Two Years


imagesToday marks two years that I’ve been estranged from my biological family. There’s a long and dramatic story attached to that decision and what ultimately pushed me to “pull the trigger” so to speak, but I don’t want to share that quite yet. Today, I just want to share the transcripts from the final voicemails that I received from each member of my family of origin. I think that the messages actually do a great job of outlining the type of relationship I had with each person and the role I played both within the family itself and in each individual person’s life:

Brother:

“Andi, I’m trying to call you to vent about people who’s IQ’s are inferior to mine and you’re not picking up and I really need to discuss this because this dumb twat bitch in my class is talking shit and thinks I can’t hear her and she needs to get slapped right in her little bitch face. Bye.”

Sister:

“Hey sister, this is [Sister] (as you probably know). I just wanted to wish you guys luck on your run tomorrow if I didn’t catch you before that. Um, I’m working late so I figured I’d catch you in between jobs. But, um, I hope everything goes well tomorrow. Also, I got this great job notification about a job working for the government. So I’m gonna work on my resumé and update it with my cover letter and stuff. I was just gonna send you my cover letter just for you to look over and make sure it looks okay just to get a second set of eyes. Um, so I’m hoping to work on it on Sunday and get it emailed to you and then get it emailed to them by Tuesday if you’re gonna be available. Um, so anyway, hope you have fun and good luck with your race and I shall talk to you when you get back. Okay, love you. Bye.

Father:

“Hi Honey, just wanted to let you know that…If you didn’t get my text message…that the dress came in – around 6:30 they dropped it off. So it’s here in our house safe and sound. Love You. Bye.”

Mother:

So these are actually series of a voicemails. The first six were all left within about 20 minutes of each other, interspersed with scathing text messages of similar content. She was upset with me because of something going on with my older sister (the prompting event I referenced earlier):

VOICEMAIL #1 (9:36PM):

“Hi, this is Mom…on the way to Georgia. Wanted to call and wish you a Happy Easter. Can you please call me?”

VOICEMAIL #2 (9:38pm):

“Well, let me think…Since you don’t want to answer the phone and you don’t want to call me back and you don’t want to…whatever. Maybe I should just like, I don’t know, call [Wife]’s parents tomorrow? Maybe you’ll actually pick up the phone and talk to your mother?!”

VOICEMAIL #3 (9:39pm):

“You better just throw this phone away because I am just gonna keep on fucking calling you until you answer the damn phone. I have done nothing to you. Nothing!”

VOICEMAIL #4 (9:42pm):

“If you don’t call me back and discuss whatever your problem is. I will never call you again. I will never have ANYTHING to do with you again…. as long as I live.”

VOICEMAIL #5 (9:55pm):

“You know, I think I finally figured it out: um, we’re not quite rich enough for you. You can go have your precious little dinner with your [married name] family because I don’t have an Andi [maiden name] anymore. That child died a long time ago.”

VOICEMAIL #6 (9:58pm):

“Um okay, Andi… How would YOU like it if your father and I asked [Sister] and [Brother] not to talk to YOU? How could you be so selfish?! You couldn’t even call your own [younger] sister back on your birthday! What did she ever do to you? Why are you doing this?! What is wrong with you?! Andi! I gave my life….my LIFE for you. What have you…Andi…EVER done for us?!”

This final voicemail came in about two weeks later, just following the Boston marathon bombing. We’d had absolutely no contact since she left the above messages. She had no reason to believe I would be near Boston, but I think since I live in NYC and at the time we weren’t sure exactly what was happening, she may have been concerned that NYC might experience terrorism as well. Either way, here is the message she left (she is sobbing by the end and does not finish her sentence):

VOICEMAIL #7: (4/15/13)

“Hey, they got a big explosion at the Boston marathon. Two bombs went off and I just heard another went off at the JFK library. Call me when you get home. I want to know you’re okay and you’re not….I….”

So….yeah. Those were the last words I ever heard from each of my immediate family members. I don’t miss them. And when I brought this transcript (as well the recordings of the messages) to session today, the therapist said that this was literally all she needed to hear in order to understand why I cannot have contact with my family. She was particularly impressed with how quickly my biological mother escalates. She also told me that two years without contact was no easy feat and I should be proud of myself.

I am. But I’m also a little sad, I think. I don’t miss them, but sometimes I do miss the illusion.

Happy anniversary?

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26 thoughts on “Two Years

  1. myambivalentexistence says:

    I relate so well to that last part. The only time I contact either my bio or adopted family is when I miss the illusion of what a family should be.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sara J says:

    *hugs* Your bio family is dumb and you’re so much better than them. I’m soooooo proud of you for not having contact with them. And I’m sorry that you’ll never have a good or healthy family of origin…but you can and are creating a better family now, and that’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kat says:

    you really got it right when you said, ‘i don’t miss them, but sometimes i miss the illusion’. that is me to a T. i went no contact with my moms’ side of the family 7 years ago and it was the best thing i’ve ever done for me…but i miss the idea of a mom and sometimes wish i could call my mom…except not her. i know just how it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Exactly. Sometimes I yearn for them, but then I realize it is not my actual family I yearn for – it is the IDEA of a family. Two very different things. I’m sorry that you know how this is :/

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Katy Messier says:

    I can relate – I don’t miss my family, but I do miss the idea of what I thought my family was. I’m cheering for you that you’ve been able to keep them out of your life for that amount of time. It’s bittersweet – but still amazing to keep doing what’s best for you even when they will not and can not understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bourbon says:

    Two years I was estranged. I think I miss that estrangement tbh. My guilt got the better of me and I returned. 😦 heres hoping you can stay strong and away from the toxicity for many more years to come

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you, Bourbon. I know how hard it is. There are days when I just want to pick up my phone or send an email. And there are parts of the system that do not believe my family is toxic at all, so that’s a whole other struggle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bourbon says:

        Oh it is. The amount of times I was dragged to outside their house by another part of me in the majority of control…. If you are ever having one of those days feel free to email me. I can’t do much i guess but I can understand the pull. There is a song that I even dedicated to it :/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Omg. I understand this so well. And, actually, I will be in my hometown next week for Spring break – which is when this becomes the biggest problem. So you just might be getting an email from me! I’m scared to death!

        Also, what song? I love music that sorta tells our stories for us.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Anxious Mom says:

    Jesus Christ that family dynamic sounds familiar as hell (except replace my dad with the mom part). Cutting off your family is hard as hell, no matter how much they deserve it (something I have not been successful with), so I agree you should be proud, no matter how much it hurts not to have that illusion of family. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zoe says:

    Oh, Andi. You deserve a true family and I hope you can build one with the people who truly love you as a person should be loved. The voice messages are so telling of their personalities.

    I also hope to build a family someday where I fit in. I don’t know if I’ll ever reconcile with mine, but the therapist said I would need a couple of years if I went consistently to iron out my issues. It’s been over ten years since I’ve spent Christmas back home. I’m not exactly estranged from them, but we’re not close either.

    I don’t know if I miss them or miss what they should be.

    *hugs* You made the right choice. It’s never easy, but you’re succeeding in re-building your life without their toxic influence.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cat says:

    And here was me thinking my family were bonkers. Once again, I relate so much. I didn’t talk to mine for 7 wonderful years. I still only text mum a handful of times each year. Your family seem to each demand a piece of you, “We want you NOW,” and disguise it as “but we only care… we only want to see you… oh, you’re so selfish.” The bizarre part is that they think we are the odd ones.

    Sometimes, especially when we’re in therapy, it is best to stay clear of those toxic family members who caused us the problems in the first place. Sadly, there is always a gap in our lives, but that would be there regardless of any contact.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Your last sentence really resonates with me. You’re absolutely right – that emptiness, that longing, that feeling of needing/wanting more would absolutely be present whether these people were still in my life or not. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Jay says:

    I have no family contact either. It’s sad that it’s sometimes necessary, but the truth is, I don’t really miss them either. If you miss them, then you didn’t make the right decision. You only cut out people who just aren’t missable. But yes, the idea of family is hard to let go of, and it does leave a hole.

    Like

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