Your life sounds so much like mine, Ann. My mother died when I was three months old, leaving me and two older sisters with a father who didn’t have the skills or desire to be a single dad. He took care of us physically but was narcissistic and angry.

The only relatives left in my mother’s family were one cousin and her son. My mother was an only child and her parents died before I was born. My father did not like anyone in my mother’s family, including the remaining cousin and her son. I grew up not knowing them and knowing very little about my mother’s family.

My father also hated his own brother and did not care much for his sister and her family. Once his mother died, when I was eleven, we lost contact with what was left of his kin. His brother developed dementia and was assigned a guardian. As per guardianship laws, my father was notified. That was about 20 years ago. He laughed. When he received notification that his brother, who was younger, died about two years later, he laughed again. He said he had “won” because he outlived his brother.

I separated myself from my father when I was in my late 40’s and eventually did the same with my two sisters. They added no value to my life.

Now I have a family that I created. One that loves and protects me. What you are not given is up to you to create.

Thanks for your kind and generous response.

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