The last time that I saw my family was on December 24. 2009. After seven years, and a lot of therapy, I can talk about my parents without completely breaking down. I miss my parents, but I made the right choice for everyone. Here is what I've learned, and maybe it will help someone out here in the li.stverse. **Still drafting this one**
  1. You're the Bad Guy
    Whatever my parents tell people about my seven year silence, I know people must think I am a monster. I have to accept that to some people will think bad things about me or even be told bad things about me by my parents. So, I'm the Kylo Ren of my family.
  2. Everyone is Estranged from Someone
    Here's the deal: everyone is estranged from someone. When someone finds out about my situation with my family, they ALWAYS tell me that it'll work out and that we'll have a fantastic, functional relationship. That person might be looking at me, speaking to me, but they're really talking to themselves about their own screwed up relationship. 90% of the advice people will give you, is going to be some form of self-talk that has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their relationship.
  3. Stick to Your Boundaries
    I flat-out told my parents that I would not speak to them unless it was to arrange a time where we could speak with a trained counselor or mediator in attendance. Seven years later, I've stuck to it. There have been SO many times when I've wanted to call, and you can't do it. It's also hard not to send ridiculous messages back to my mother when she emails or sends me a text message. My mom knows my boundaries, but chooses to ignore them. I can't validate her bad behavior.
  4. You're Allowed to Miss Them
    You can miss your abusive, crappy family. You can still love them too. People somehow think that because am estranged from my parents that I suddenly don't care about them. I really care about my parents and what they think of me, to the point that I wasn't an independent adult (that is a whole other topic). There's no "estrangement" button where all those complex feelings and attachments are magically severed.