Faught for approval from childhood till 2004 after a severe car accident. Not one of my family was there to help me. I wandered with several broken bones from one unknown address to another for 4 months to get aid and assistance. Lost my house and my job in the process. No help or even a visit or phone call from my family at all. I was too busy surviving to notice it.
Their excuse (afterward) was I didn’t send them a moving address during that most difficult time. They had my phone number though. It was a lame excuse I realized and stopped reaching out to them.
During 2004/2005 I build up everything from scratch without any assistance from them. Instead, I got some very severe verbal and physical threats from my two brothers when I was still very down. It was then I realized I had to stop initiating contact with them. Not stopping contact but stop putting energy into it. No more emails, phone calls, or cards sent from me.
I never really heard from them again. Only one sister send me a card in 2008 (after 4 years of absence) where she officially announced she quit contact with me. Why? I still don’t know. I got no answers at all. They all shun me but why?
Got no explanation and was so devastated I wasn’t able to ask for an explanation further. I felt so betrayed.
With a lot of researching and studying, I think I found out what actually happened. In our family, we had a very dominant, egocentric, cruel mother (an NPD/Sociopath it would be called now).
She has set up all of us from the get-go to turn us against each other instead of her. She ruled by dividing. She also used her husband in this vicious game to turn us against him.
He committed suicide at 48 when I was just 19.
My conclusion was the same as yours at last. I regret I didn’t cut ties 30 years before when it was already so obvious in hindsight. But that’s hindsight. You naturally try to save your family connections by all means. They are part of who you are. You’ve grown up with them. It’s very hard to leave and to lose your ‘tribe’.
I’ve learned the only approval I need essentially is my own approval. When approval/sympathy comes from other people it’s a welcome bonus but not more.
Approval from a fictional figure like ‘God’ doesn’t mean a thing to me. Then I would still be dependent on the approval of someone else outside myself.
If you mean you are actually a part of ‘God’ I can go along. Then you truly give approval to yourself without shifting this responsibility to a fictional ‘higher being’.
IMO that ‘higher being’ is in yourself calling all the time.
Knowing right from wrong. Sadly there are many people who lack this call. They are without enough conscience and empathy but with a lot of ‘will-power’ to control and dominate other people.
It’s a natural phenomenon throughout the ages. The war between good and evil.
But I totally agree you’ll find no solace in repeating abusive family members trying to change things. You’ll have to let them go to avoid further hurt.
And you will see that if you let them go with a thorough, decent explanation, you’ll never hear from the again.
When you are clear and they notice, they won’t fight to save the relationship. They just leave it and keep silent.
This is a sign they know what they are guilty of.
It’s up to you to leave this behind. Which is very hard to do. It’s your family after all.
But in the end, all you have is yourself to rely on. Your values and thoughts. I feel empty towards my family. I miss them dearly for many years. My brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and nephews all vanished actually after my car-accident end 2004.
It’s been so hard to survive and build it all up again from scratch. They let me down totally and this was my wake-up call.
I quit the initiative to communicate and never heard from them again by visiting, phone, email, or letter.
Probably you were a designated scapegoat too. I’m sure I was. There was no way I could escape my faith in this family system. But I survived more or less. Being a rebel and smart kid. I was blessed that way.
Your comment rings to me. So honest and strong. Why don’t you live in Holland so I could meet you to talk?:)
It’s kind of sad so many people seem to experience this traumatic history without ever finding each other in person to talk about it and comfort each other.
We could shed so many tears together but also so much laughter in the process of healing.