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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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oceaneyes95 Offline
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Name: Lillian (Lilli)
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DISOWNMENT. How do I gain closure & inne peace?? - July 27th 2014, 09:41 PM

Before I go into details I would just like to include that I don't want to discredit any of my family that is very much involved in my life. I have a sister, two brothers, and parents that do not disown me in any way. This is basically just applying to distant family such as Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Second cousins etc. I have a very large family in that sense so this is kind of a long story. I'm also nineteen years old now, and pregnant. I started my profile on Teen Help when I was about fourteen. So, you can read my previous posts about my family, and home life to see more of my story. I have never really fit in with my family. As a teenager I started going to church at the age of fourteen. I was also home schooled in high school which was the original reasoning behind getting involved in a church. I became so consumed in my church life & church family, and also so fulfilled with my Christian Baptist beliefs that I really didn't pay much attention to the fact that my family didn't have, or even want much to do with me. However, I was very jealous of the people I went to church with because they all came from these happy Christian homes, and my church was made up of three LARGE families. It seemed like everyone was related in someway. I just happened to be the one that went to church with my dad, and that was it. I didn't understand why I didn't fit in with my family, but all I could say on the matter was that I was already fulfilled with my church family, and my relationship with Christ to care about not fitting in with them. That void had been filled. This same routine in my life lasted from the age of fourteen until I was almost eighteen. I had a very stable, structured, and comfortable life. Until my dad passed away from Cancer in November of 2012 which was a few months before I turned eighteen. Then, In the beginning of January I had to move a few hours away from my home in Illinois to Missouri with my mom & her new boyfriend. I was so against moving, but I couldn't do anything about it because I wasn't legally an adult. So, my moms approach was kind of just like "you have no say so because you're not eighteen yet". My older brother went off the college the same day we moved, and my older sister had her own apartment in the town she worked in. So, it was just me & my younger brother that got roped into moving. I ended up losing EVERYTHING that meant something to me in my life. Meaning I didn't just lose a parent. Let alone the one parent who I actually had a relationship with. I also lost my church home, and all my church family that I had gotten to know for that past few years. I lost my home that I grew up in. I lost my sense of stability, and my sense of security. The worst part was that my actual blood related FAMILY some of which live five minuets from my house I grew up in didn't even know that we were moving until we were already gone, and they only found out by accident. But, my church family had known about it weeks before the move actually took place. Does that tell you anything? After the move I found it really hard adapt to my new life. There was a lot of drama in the home I was living in, and I had nothing to fall back on because I had no friends in that new town to give me any insight on the problems that I was facing. Going back to my home town was a big deal to me when I got to. I would make a big deal about going to see my dads grave, and going back to my old church to see my old friends. But, I never saw any of my family when I went back home because they simply didn't care to see me. When the spring came I had turned eighteen, and moved away for a week behind my moms back. I went to some big city with a guy that I had just met out of a desperate attempt to get out of the dysfunctional home I was in. I ended up coming back, and then shortly after that was when I started working in a nearby strip club & moved into my own trailer. I didn't want to leave that part out. That following summer my whole family had a HUGE family reunion at my grandmas house. I didn't find out about it until a week later by accident. I was so heartbroken. I felt so left out. I didn't understand why all 50+ members of my family were invited, but I wasn't. So, I decided that after crying over it for a while I would just let it go. Only because that was the only choice I had. What's done is done. So, by the end of the summer I ended up meeting someone. I had kind of rushed into a relationship with this older man for multiple reasons. He told me a lot of dishonesty about how he had a lot of money, and I could quit my unhappy job as a stripper, and he'll take care of me. Blah, blah, blah. But, not only did I HATE working in a strip club just to pay my rent. But, I also thought if I had no other family why not just get married, and have a baby. I thought I would just develop my own family. I could become the "housewife/stay at home mother" that I always wanted to be. I ended up making a big announcement about it on Facebook. It was just this big happy status about my recent "engagement", and other events in my life that were soon to come. One person in my family that I just happened to be friends with online saw it, and eventually word got around. I tried to text a group message to multiple members of my family letting them personally know the news. I later found out they all got it, but didn't care enough to reply. Eventually, I tried calling a lot of my family thinking they never received the text message. I ended up talking to one of my cousins. Unfortunately, the conversation ended on a bad note with her telling me "NOBODY IN THE FAMILY WANTS ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU!! LOSE MY BLEEPING NUMBER!" Then the line went dead. I cried more than a few tears over it. then, The holidays had come & gone. I never came to the family get together on Christmas Eve that my grandma does every year simply because I felt unwelcome. So, instead I spent the Thanksgiving, and Christmas with my "fiancé", and my brothers, sister, and mom. Fast forward almost a year later, and even after my multiple attempts to add my family as friends online, and text them, and call them, and even message them online. It's never enough. All my attempts at any kind of communication with them are always rejected. Shortly after that phone call I ended up moving back to Illinois with my "fiancé" I have seen a few of my family members around seeing as i'm in the same area as them. But, when I smile, and wave they just look away in disgust as if they don't even know me. Unfortunately, my "fiancé" went to jail, and I found out the truth about him. We just recently became civil towards each other, and he says that when he gets out of jail in September he'll simply sign over his parental rights for me. So, that there isn't any fighting between us anymore. So, thankfully things in that aspect of my life are working out. But, no matter what I do my family literally DISOWNS me!! Since i'm now living in the house I originally moved from I have to kind of tip toe around all of them. As to when I was living in Missouri it was kind of like "out of sight, out of mind" I had my own life that suddenly wasn't defined by their opinion of me. At that point in my life I was set free from being a slave to their opinion of me. On two different occasions this summer I went to my grandmas house for something, and some of my family was parked in the driveway so I didn't even pull in. I just went right back home. It's so complicated to explain the problem to people when they ask about the family problems that I talk so much about because it's literally years worth of rejection for reasons that are unknown, It's not like I can just say "i'm gay so my family disowns me" or "I was adopted so my family disowns me" I can't explain it in five minutes. Some people think it could be because I worked in clubs as a stripper. But, the problem existed before then, and my family never knew about that. Some say it's because I was always the "good girl" which makes a lot of sense because before I turned eighteen, and started working in clubs I was a very Christian young lady. A lot of my family claims to be Christians, but they never live their life as Christians. They don't present themselves like Christians, and I always did. So, maybe it's jealousy. Maybe they see something in me that they don't see in themselves. They always smoke, and drink, and fight, and cuss. However, I am more concerned about being Christian like, and lady like, and proper, and appropriate. I looked up to the woman at church, and they kind of molded me into who I am today. I remember getting so upset as a teenager after seeing online a big status that one of my aunts wrote to my cousin about how proud she is of her neice getting pregnant at sixteen by some random stranger in a drunken one night stand. But, she couldn't give me the "i'm proud of you" speech for actually being the "good kid". In my family right is wrong, and wrong is right. I also dress differently, and look differently than most woman in my family. I look like some Barbie Doll from L.A as my others tell me. I'm into the fake eyelashes, and the extravagant make up, and hair extensions, and nails, and plastic surgery. I wear dresses, and skirts, and high heels. I'm so girly, and high maintenance that I stand out from my family. They're all just normal average small town woman who really don't take pride in their appearance. So, at the end of it all even if they were to become more accepting of me. Even if the conflict was resolved, and the broken relationships were mended. I still just wouldn't fit in with my family simply because I was not meant to. I am set apart from my family. Weather it's my lifestyle, and beliefs, and interests, and my over all personality, or my appearance, and style, and looks. I'm just different. I'm currently planning to move to Iowa after I have my baby in an attempt to get involved in a new church there that I've picked out, and eventually regain that church family, and church home, and over all support system that I so badly wish to give my baby since I can't provide my family for him. Which is actually why I won't be having a baby shower. I want to settle down, and buy a home, and just develop a stable life for the both of us. Because it takes a village to raise a child, but right now i'm lacking that village. I have a good job picked out in Iowa too. So, financially i'll be fine considering that my ex scammed me out of a lot of money leaving me in debt. I don't at all fear not being able to provide material things for my baby, but more of just providing a good support system. Because money comes & goes. There will always be another bill to pay, another dollar to make, and another job to apply for. But, a strong support system is hard to come by, and I don't even have that for myself. I have plans, and i'm excited for the future. But, I just don't understand how to do it without closure & inner peace on this matter.


~~you doubted me then, but look at me now~~
   
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Re: DISOWNMENT. How do I gain closure & inne peace?? - July 28th 2014, 01:28 AM

Hey there! I remember reading some of your threads a while back - it's good to hear from you again. =) I'm sorry you're facing these hardships right now.

I can see that you rely heavily on your spiritual beliefs, so I'll try to offer support/advice that matches up with those spiritual beliefs. First, as you hopefully already know, God can be your ultimate source of support. If you ask Him to be in control of this area of your life, and you truly believe He's capable of providing that inner peace you seek, then He WILL assist you. Your family members' attitudes may not change, but yours can, and that will lead to a more positive outlook on life, regardless of what happens.

You stated that you've never fit in with your extended family. Different spiritual beliefs may have contributed to that rift, but other factors could have as well. For example, if neither you nor your extended family members made the effort to spend quality time with each other, then it's understandable that your relationships with each other wouldn't have become stronger. That's a systemic issue - one person isn't necessarily to blame for what happened. Everyone played a role by not making time with extended family members a priority. Just as you prioritized time at church over time with extended family members, your extended family members may have prioritized other things over time with you. Of course, I understand that your extended family members may have shunned you long before you began attending church, so I'm not trying to suggest this is the ONLY factor that contributed to the problem.

I'd like to go back to the idea of different spiritual beliefs contributing to rifts within the family. While it's true that your extended family members may not have liked that you followed a different moral code than they did, I also think they might not have liked your judging them, just as you don't like them judging you. You may be thinking, "but I don't judge them!" Well, you do. Look at your post and re-read some of the things you said about them. Maybe you never said any of that to their faces, but your body language, tone of voice, and other subtle things may have suggested that you believe you're better than they are - and no one likes to associate with someone who thinks that way.

No one is perfect. We all deserve grace, compassion, forgiveness, etc. I'm not just talking about your extended family members... some people would argue that your lifestyle (e.g., working at a strip club and having a child out of wedlock) doesn't match up with your spiritual beliefs. It's not my place to judge, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of your extended family members looked down on you for those seemingly contradictory aspects of your life. That could be another factor that contributed, and continues to contribute, to the problem.

Right now, it does seem like your best plan of attack is to create a network of people who will be supportive as you get back on your feet financially and prepare to raise your child. Continue to turn to God during these difficult times, and be open with Him. Present your concerns to Him, but also be willing to work on yourself. After all, getting plugged into a new church community won't amount to much of anything if you continue to struggle with feelings of jealousy or a sense of superiority. The only person you can change is yourself. You can change your location, occupation, and community, but ultimately, that closure and inner peace will be found when the change comes from within yourself... when you're able to forgive your extended family members for how they've treated you, and when you're able to address anything within yourself that disrupts relationships with other people. Forgiveness and self-improvement is an ongoing process, so don't expect everything to be resolved overnight! Fortunately, you're not alone in all of this. =) Please don't hesitate to include TeenHelp's members as part of your supportive network of people!






   
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oceaneyes95 Offline
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Re: DISOWNMENT. How do I gain closure & inne peace?? - July 29th 2014, 10:14 PM

Thanks for the advice! I took into consideration some the things that you said, and I will freely admit that if my family had said some of those things to me I would've immediately jumped to the defensive! But, considering that you weren't saying those things in a negative way, but more of a way of "constructive criticism" I was actually more understanding. Considering that you are a neutral person in the problem meaning you don't personally know me, or personally know anyone else involved it helps a lot to know that you're not basing your advice, or opinions on who's side you take due to friendship simply because your a stranger that just has to give advice based on the story you've heard! Which makes all the difference! I understand that it could be my fault just as much as theirs for not taking the time to develop a stronger relationship with them, and I understand that I actually have been very unintentionally judgmental without even realizing it, and I realize that as much as I've judged them they could judge me, and like you said look down on me for working in a strip club, and having a baby unmarried. However, they never knew about me working in a strip club like I said before, and the problem existed even before that came into play. Also, considering I was in a sexually abusive relationship it's not my fault I got pregnant before marriage. I had no choice, and no way out. But, it was a lot easier for me to hear all of this from you rather than them because like I said before if they had said the things you said I would have just went off on them instead of trying to understand the point of it.


~~you doubted me then, but look at me now~~
   
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