The Stigma of Sibling Estrangement

It’s not always easy to deal with this subject. In fact, you may even be hesitant to talk about it with others. We’re taught, in today’s society, that we should get along with our family. And if we don’t, then society can judge us, and make us think we’re somehow wrong. Maybe you’ve even been through the cycle of saying “I need to work harder at this”. And there go the doubts and second thought hamster wheels, pulling you back in. It’s ok to want to self improve. But yet, whenever we get together with a sibling, we can invariably fall back into the same power struggle, and feel depleted, overwhelmed, or worse. Even with the best of intentions.

Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions and learn to back away from this. And sometimes, when we refuse to play their game, we are subjected to rejection on their part. And this is where the estrangement can start be painful. When we aren’t given the choice.

Mourning the living, as you may have seen in some of our videos, involves going through a grieving process with regards to the relationship you would have hoped to have had. It’s ok to have conflicting feelings here. That you’re relieved that you no longer have to deal with your difficult sibling, and that you’re sad or disheartened at having to navigate through life with one less significant relationship.

Whether this was a choice you had to make for yourself, or a choice imposed upon you, you are still left with the experience of having to deal with your feelings, and the ensuing grief that comes with them.

First, I want to say that this experience is much more common than we think. A full third of us, according to some statistics, don’t get along well with our siblings. This is much more common than the rosey picture society paints us through various media. And it’s normal that we don’t get along with people that don’t make us feel comfortable, safe or welcomed. Read this last part again, in case there’s a part of you that still criticizes yourself for how you feel.

You are on a journey, and life has brought you here. It is my hope that you will be able to find some insight and some tools here that will enable you to continue to empower yourself. Together, we can break the stigma, and allow you to grow into the best and most wonderful person you can be.

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