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I'm 23 and have made the choice to almost entirely detatch from my siblings due to a plethera of reasons. What do you all think of someone deciding to do such a thing? Right or wrong? Do any of you have absolute views on this or is it entirely a contextual issue?

C_M_G_1995 4 Apr 5

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Last year I left my job and spent 2 months cycling and walking in France and Spain.

Done to escape family B.S.. I'm 60. 30 years too late.

Don't burn bridges. Just say you're off on an adventure on your own.

You'll grow strong and others will change (hopfully) over time. Don't carry unnecessary emotional weight.


I walked away from my entire family 3 and a half years ago.
The gaslighting, abuse, attacks, and abandonment were finally enough.
My mother will send "flying monkeys" (her little spies) to see what I am up to, but I have learned to ignore those messages, and block whenever possible.
I have seen significant positive change in my life since walking away.
I am really sorry you have had to go through this, it's gross, and hard.
I am a prayer so I will be doing that for you.
Much love. xo

Thank you so much for the comment, you're very kind x


There are certainly cases where detachment is warranted. An abusive spouse or parent or a hateful, unloving environment, severe neglect, an unrepentant cheater. However, I'd like to make the case that many relationships are recoverable even when it feels like they aren't.

We aren't very good at relationships. We really just don't even know how, and we don't seem to have a very good language for relationships (or speaking with emotion in general).

I've watched counseling put people back together by first creating safety, validating everyone's experience, learning about what it is that's getting the people stuck, moving around secondary emotions (anger) to dig at something more primary (fear), and then watching empathy take hold as dyads or triads or whatever start truly seeing and hearing each other and caring about each other's painful experience in being stuck.

My first impulse is to say it can be much better than it is, and I think in every case there is a non-zero CHANCE of success. But, ALL members have to have some motivation to stay together and a willingness to change what's not working. Not everybody is. It's possible--not guaranteed.

Without knowing more about your specific situation, I can't really say more. But, I'm really sorry you're where you're at. That must be really painful to consider severing those meaningful ties. I can really appreciate the care you're putting into the decision. And, I hope your decisions leads to a positive change for you. Seriously, my heart goes out to you, man. Ouch.

It's hell to be honest. I'm at least trying to uphold civility between us in the hope that one day it can become more but that is yet to be seen. I really appreciate your extensive reply, it was very helpful.

@Mortaqai, there you influenced me. Happy?


@C_M_G_1995, Wise. Hold the space and hope. Nothing wrong with that!

@Mortaqai, well the criticism wasn't unwarranted. I'm so wordy, if I only write a couple of hundred words, that's a paragraph. Bad habit.


I'd suggest that if anyone said that context wasn't relevant and family is family and you have to stick by them is not able to think outside their own experience. It's really not hard to come up with obvious examples of situations where you would be crazy to continue dealing with certain family members... and those examples don't need to be as extreme as having Joseph Fritzel for a father.

haha couldn't agree more. I have encountered many that make the argument that: "blood is thicker than water" but I agree that this way of thinking about family verges on idiotic when considering extreme situations. I have also found that my family is well aware that they can get away with far more when dealing with a family member; they actually weaponise this mode of thinking.

They completely exploit it. Call you every name under the son and a few days later act like nothing happened because they think that you are tied to them no matter what and the fact that you are their brother, sister etc means that words and actions mean nothing when aimed at you regardless of their contents.

@C_M_G_1995 In the past I have tried to shift how I interact with certain family members because of the difficulties I had with them but I found that I wasn't capable of having them in my life and not feeling increasing levels of animosity towards them. I pulled back and barely see them now but will have limited contact on my own terms and when they start playing games I just leave. The worst thing about it all is that I end up having such a negative attitude towards them so I'd rather keep a cautious distance so that when I do see them they have no leverage to try and get under my skin and we can have a pleasant interaction.... It's taken me a long time to figure out what that distance is though.


Been there. Back in the late 70s a therapist recommended that I take a separation from my family. It was a conscious choice. It wasn't a reaction to a thing so much as an opportunity to move forward in my own life.


Sometimes, the rifts are so soul shattering deep, you come to a point where you have to make this type of decision. You, and forgive me for saying so, are young and I have no idea of why you would be at this point in your life. I would say as one who has been there, at that cross roads, ultimately you have to decide, do you face your differences and try to change the situation, or do you protect yourself, by walking away. Giving up on someone you are so bonded to, is a life changing decision, do not give up without weighing the consequences first.

Thank you for the wisdom, it is very much appreciated 🙂


There was a time that I separated from family, from ages 19-27, and around 34 ,looking to be more traditional, married, baby, new home, we came back together as much as fractured people can. If this is as good as it gets I'm OK. I now take care of parent, actually both are failing at same time. Life will change you, each day a new adventure.


At 18 ... a long time ago ... I completely “disappeared” from all family and relative contact for a bit more than 3 years.
I went down to the Caribbean without notifying or contacting anyone the entire time.
I wouldn’t say it was “detaching” deliberately from everyone but that was the effect.
It worked out that it made my resulting re-connection with the family quite a bit better. 3 years allows people to grow ... or something.
I wouldn’t say that their thought process got any “better” but it made them understand that if I didn’t agree, they were better off not trying to push their thoughts on me.
Families are one of those arrangements where most people think ... and most people accept ... that they have some sort of “inside track” ... that because they’re “family” they have some sort of “right” to “tell” you ... Stuff where you’d tell a stranger to STFU and walk away.
Once my family realized that I wouldn’t hesitate to tell THEM to STFU and Totally Mean It ... we were able to work on becoming friends. Which has pretty much worked out well.


It's very difficult, I had to cut my own mother off, and later my only sibling, my brother. Both were toxic. I miss my brother to this day, it's been over 10 years. My mother passed away about 10 years ago. We never reunited. Its such a convaluted story,. It was very hard to do, but my well being was more important. Good luck to you,

I'm so sorry for your loss and troubles, it honestly saddens me to hear that. I do not know your exact situation but I do know that mine parallels what you have said of your family; toxicity has no place in ones life.The issue in my family when I try and put myself first when I truly feel that I must, I get called selfish and self absorbed; every name under the sun to manipulate me and shame me, all so they can compel me in anyway that they please. Thank you for your response and once again, I'm sorry for your loss. Good luck to you too.


I have been in a similar situation in having to detach from other family members. Since I am responsible for my own happiness, I feel that includes deciding who I allow in my life. If those family members try to use guilt or manipulation, obviously I have made the right choice. Not every person in our families are healthy for us. It is our job to weed out the toxic people and stay close to the healthy family members


I’m old today, 70. Born first child into a family of eleven. I left for the military at 19. Served in Vietnam and returned home to discover that I was very different after war and they didn’t want to listen nor understand that things had changed. I probably wasn’t very capable of explaining that either. I moved away again within months of returning. I began a biomedical electronics career, found my wife and moved forward. I never forgot birthdays or Christmas’s; always sent presents and loving sentiments. Some returned but not often. My wife and I ‘came home’ to live about 14 years later. Things went well for a few years. As we settled in, buying a home and beginning two businesses. My mother started feeling I was “stealing her children”. Then, one at a time, problems began to develop with several sibs. We were excluded from events and when together hostilities developed. After accusations began we retreated. We made our case but manipulations grew more outlandish. No one came by our place and when we were present with them, childish completions ensued. We simply stopped being involved. My mother began her Trust in which she chose unequal treatments for different children. Then she died. Of the eight sibs that remain today three are great friends, one lives in a psychotic world of her own making, three don’t “trust” us and one literally “hates” us. Hopes for a reunion of the sibs are very diminished. Sorry, I’ve run so long. The point for me is simple. When I step forward, some move with us, some move away from us and some cannot be helped by us. We have not changed and would be willing and able to engage, help, listen, or care at anytime. To your question about your conduct of ‘disconnecting’, I believe there are many reasons and I would only advise NOT to close the door. Being available doesn’t mean being vulnerable. One of my brothers, the youngest, began a relationship anew with us, after about sixteen years. He broke free of the family bias. ‘It’s a shame.’ ‘It’s sad.’ ‘It’s tragic.’ Are all statements that generalize bad family situations. Protect yourself and alway be True to yourself. Good luck

Thank you so much for such a reply 🙂


I'm the oldest brother of four children. I left home when I was 17 in 1968 enlisted into the Navy. My siblings we're still playing with dolls at the time. I lost contact with them for over twenty years. When I left the military, it was a long road home. They didn't know me, I didn't know them. The only one who wanted me home was my father. Soon after he died... I'm almost 70 now... My Mom and Dad are gone... and I'm not quite home yet... .. My point is be careful what you want, you might just get it...


I want to thank everyone for your wonderful comments, really shocked by all your kindness. I have read all your advice carefully, and will certainly consider it carefully.


If you need to do this for your wellbeing then it's a definite yes.
I'd like to suggest that you just walk away gracefully with no announcement of closure.
This may leave opportunities for reconnecting.


I had 4 brothers and one sister. Jesus saved me when I was 30 years. I became a pariah having little in common with my siblings. It was a mutual separation. There are many good reasons to distance oneself from family, but we do have obligations to care for them more than non-family so long as there are no moral or safety reasons that would supersede.


Sadly Eliminating toxic people from your life no matter who or how much you love them is a must do. You are showing them many signs that you will not stand for the the same thing's over and over.
At the same time you yourself are growing and expanding your world and veiws in very important ways for you. I have 4 children 1 left the toxic family the other's did not. She is successful happy with herself, independent, confident strong willed, and stands up to the scools for her children. My son is broken, confused, upset alot of the time, involved with his very much a good father but not a leader, depressed, and mentally abused.
You need to do what is best you be the best you to care for those you love the best.


I cut out an entire 50% of my family and extended, for me, I'm better off, things started going in a much better direction in my life because of it.
I don't feel it's right or wrong but more better or worse. Sometimes you need to burn off the dead wood for the forest to grow.
I believe this kind of decision directly relates to your own personal circumstances, I think you instinctively know what's best being that you know what brought you to the decision in the first place.
Didn't make my choice any easier though.

Best thing I ever did


At times in the last 40 years , I have been estranged from one or more of my siblings . Sometimes , we can only keep the peace at a distance .


I broke ties with one of my two sibs, and have never regretted it.


Life is rarely black or white. Nor are most relationships. It truly depends on you and your ability to handle what you are experiencing. There are certain personality problems that you can just widen distance between. Occasionally having a small get together and while you may be irritated or hurt maintaining distance allows you some clarity. There are relationships that are so emotionally damaging it effects your mental and emotional health. It's hard when it's a parent or child. Your first loyalty should always be yourself and your children. However, my suggestion would be to get counselling before you break off contact. Not because it's wrong but to help clarify your actions, and resolve any underlying guilt, anger, sadness or fear. You also may be able to acquire tools to help you cope when confronted by those family members. It is a difficult situation for anyone who walks away because we WANT to believe family won't destroy you. We want to believe in the concept of family loyalty, family love, family protection. It simply doesn't always happen. You can surround yourself with people who do feel that way about you. You can create loving family like relationships that heal you and support you. And you can always walk away from those who don't.

How old are you?

@ScottforKing Bwhahahaha old enough. I walked away from an alcoholic abusive mother. Drug addict sister as well as others.

@DDots67 I thought you were young and wanted to say if you are, that you are fortunate to do so so early in life, lucky you to see the wisdom and not have to live too long to figure it out. Best wishes.


Family can project them selves on to you in a way that will bolster you or corrode. If you feel they are corroding your dignity, get out.

very true.


I am an only child married to an only child. At one time in my life I was addicted to alcohol. I chose sobriety over relationship. I ended up with the respect of my parents over time. Sometimes you must walk away from toxic relationships in order to survive and thrive. You alone can know.


You need to live your life according to your wants and desires, only you can manifest your future. If others in your life can respect that ok if not you aren't responsible for their reaction. Continue on.


That you've asked the question in a sober way suggests this is not just a reflex decision and you have good reasons to distance yourself from your family.
However, life is always testing us - illnesses, accidents, loss, newborn babies etc offer us the chance to reflect on our life choices. So at some point even the most toxic of people can "wake up".
So by all means detach yourself, but I would advise that you have the humility to check in with your family once in a while. Someday you may find that your siblings have grown up - just don't expect it.

Thank you for this advice 🙂


I must say that I am a lot older than you. There were 2 children in my family. My brother was 5 years older than me. We used to play together, fight together and eventually a bond was formed.
I was raised to believe that a sibling is one of your best friends and to be close to each other. The wife is first of course. The worst emotion between siblings is jealousy so we must be frank about it and talk about it.
My brother died when he was 60 years old. I have already outlived him by 7 years. I miss him like crazy. I am left with his wonderful family.
Do I think it strange that you decided to become estranged from your siblings? You already know the answer because you asked the question.
I am sad for you. There can be many reasons that siblings are not close . Did you try to find out why? It’s not just your siblings that you became estranged from. What about your nieces and nephews and their families. Sometimes when both you and siblings get more mature, you may develop that special bond. Remember you also played and fought and laughed with them.
You must do what your heart tells you to do. This is not just a logic question.

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