Emotional closeness to my nephew?

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Emotional closeness to my nephew?
« on: April 10, 2016, 07:45:09 AM »
Hi there,

Have come from a background where learning difficulties, in the extreme, was in play, both within my family environment, relatives and the community I was influenced by. Evidently a dysfunctional working class one.

About 30 odd years ago, I experienced mental health problems, which meant I was hospitalised. Previously to this, I was trying to unshackle myself from this disturbing environment and its unhealthy effects on my psyche, which I was confused about back then.

Having to 're-evaluate my life, I started spending more and more time back with my family members, who lived live nearby. There were my parents, now dead, and my two sisters, one mentally handicapped, 8 years older than me, the other one with  learning difficulties, 3 years older, who had a young son, about 3/4 years then.

Having no way of participating back into work, and not having the self awareness needed to gain healthy friendships, I decided to 'lavish' attention on my nephew, sharing time with him, and giving access to him like the things that were denied to me when young words and abstract ideas.

I'll try and precis the rest here for now. For the past two and a half, three years, I haven't really seen my family or nephew, now about 30 years in age, due to problems, in my own life that I am trying to work through myself.

Been reflecting on the 'special rekationship' I had/ have(?) With my nephew. Knowing how I DIDN'T cope in that setting, I am wondering if his calm, placid persona, has been a front and that he is like the swan, with lots of ferocious activity going on underneath the surface?

I feel also that maybe I have placed insurmountable pressure on him, with regards to the idea of women, me being a lesbian who is a radical feminist too, which I can now appreciate night not have been a wholesome environment for nephew, especially with regard to the rest of the home situation.

So need some advice from men or women who might have some understanding on this topic or related ones? Occasionally I write letters to my nephew, just to share some thoughts with him. Now I am wondering whether I am doing right in continuing to offer him emotional support, given the fact that he is a'carer' to his mother, my sister, which must have really imposed upon him growing up and his emotional development.

So there's lots of issues here that need 'unpacking' so I can try to see what I should be doing, if anything, to try to ameliorate the situation from my nephew's point of view. Can anyone shed any light on this, as it seems apparent now that my nephew must be very unhappy with his 'pared down life...? Just to add my two sisters can't be all that happy with their existences too, but I don't really have a good rapport with them like I do with my nephew...



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Re: Emotional closeness to my nephew?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:09:05 AM »
Welcome to OOTF!

It seems you come from a very difficult background and are trying to help your nephew. Does he respond to your letters? Are they part of a conversation between the two of you? If so, they might be helpful to him.

I just wanted to bring one thing to your attention, this website is focused on helping people who have loved ones with a Personality Disorder. You don't give any indication in your post of anybody in your family being affected. You may want to look at the Disorders   if you suspect any of them having a PD. I'm just pointing this out to you, as this is the issue people here share and support each other for. I just want to make sure you are in the right place to get the help you are looking for.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)