Maybe…It’s That I Contacted My Cousin…

October 20, 2010

I found a cousin on my mother’s side on FaceBook. It is interesting connecting with her. I have never been close to any family members. We always lived really far away from everyone. I would really like to add her to my friends list. Thing is…she most likely has a cult background, too. There is every indication that my family is generational…on both sides. So…do I just add her and trust that all will be OK?

My former therapist noticed something about when people break free from the cults. For some unknown reason, they find that the breaking free goes across and down…to siblings, cousins and children. So…maybe she is free. She did mention that she had been trying to figure out what issues the family had, but that she could never figure it out…that it was always a secret with them.

Could she have broken free without knowing about her past? Could it be they are just leaving her alone? I don’t know. I have no connection with family on either side. I have no real desire to connect with anyone on my father’s side. I got to meet my relatives on my mother’s side more frequently…albeit only a few times.

I don’t really know how to resolve this. I hate to bring up the SRA. Perhaps I should mention my growing up amnesia and see how she responds to that. I so want to connect with my cousins. Right now…she is pretty much it. Even she does not seem to be close to her other cousins. She was not sure where some of them are.

If it were not for my own children and grandchildren, I would just befriend her. She is being very understanding about connecting in private. I am grateful for that.


  1. Within the dynamics of my family, my sexual, physical, and emotional abuse affect how I perceived how family members saw me. Unknown to me at the time, cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents weren’t aware of the abuse inflicted on me. But how I viewed myself I projected on them believing they knew me to be the ugly, sad, black sheep of the family. Always told that I was a bad person, that nothing ever good would come my way, I came to beleive it. I can’t remember a time in my young life thinking otherwise. When cousins came to our house for a brother’s birthday party, or the holidays, I was ignored, placed in a corner, or more often in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, serving. I later learned some of my cousins thought I was mentally disabled, disturbed…though never told this outright, it was assumed because I was never allowed to engage with them. My mother and stepfather kept me apart because they undoubtedly feared I would expose their abuse. Recently, I’ve connected with some of those cousins on Facebook and talked with them by phone. Slowly, they came to understand, and connect the dots and we now have a closer relationship. BUT, two months ago, my oldest brother, mother’s favorite child, and the one brother I thought closest to, called me. He accused me of ruining the family, and blamed me for the abuse received by our stepfather. He told me I was the cause of their divorce and that he NEW of my abuse. Shocked and hurt, we haven’t spoken or communicated since. His life is completely mirered in God to the extreme to where if one doesn’t beleive as he does, you are damned as a sinner for eternity. His Facebook page is awash with religious and moral sermonistic diatribes and banned from other family members’ Facebook pages. His page is that over the edge. Whether this is his way of perfoming penance, I can’t say, but I now take care when it comes to “family” because one never knows how they remember, feel, or see you from their perspective, nor does one know how a dysfunctional abusive family affects those on the perimeter looking in.

    • It can be very difficult when you cannot count on family…when you don’t know if they are believing or at least supportive or not. I find it amazing how much we can take on of others’ attitudes toward us…or what we think they are thinking about us. People look for others to blame…especially if they are feeling guilty about either their own involvement or lack of involvement. I am glad that you are getting closer to at least some of your family even if it seems that you are losing others. Stand strong. You will get through it all. I think you are wise to take care…to stay cautious. I try not to close the door, but I also don’t just swing it wide open, either. I take things slow. Thank you for sharing.

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