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On Estrangement: What Happens When the Truth is Inconvenient?

Estrangement is hard. If you’re experiencing estrangement from one or more family members, or friends, I want you to know that you are not alone.

Estrangement from family members and friends usually occurs as a result of some kind of misunderstanding that often follows covert or overt abuse, and/or the subsequent denial of that abuse; it’s impact is nothing short of devastating.

It is common to feel betrayed, abandoned, rejected, angry, traumatized, and very sad.

Being abused by family members, or someone connected to your family, may have put you in a position to have to either abandon yourself or abandon your family/friend group.

Estrangement means that you chose not to subject yourself to more abuse in order to continue to be an active member of your social group.

Instead, you may have told the inconvenient truth, and then you may have been scapegoated for it.

The truth may have brought more pain, shame, blame, guilt, fear; and you likely did not deserve it.

You may have been strong enough to to leave your family behind; others may have been left behind.

The impact is the same; it hurts and it is not fair.

It is excruciatingly painful to be telling the truth about how you have been treated and to have that truth fall on deaf ears.

Sometimes we just need someone who will hear us and believe us.

The truth is that your family members and/or friends are triggered. They are also trying to find a way through the abuses that they have also endured and for them, the most useful tool may be denial.

Denial is the first stage of the 5 stages of Grief and Loss (Kubler Ross-Model) and it can be very effective when used to preserve that which would otherwise be destroyed if your family members and/or friends accepted the truth.

Truth is touted as this wonderful ideal that builds structures that last; it also destroys structures built on fantasies and flimsy lies.

The truth will prevail; it must. I know what it’s like when the world turns their back on you but I have ears that hear and a heart that listens which allow me to be part of your healing journey.

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