Discussing an estrangement is a very personal decision…some choose to talk publicly about it and others chose to keep it private and closed. 

Personally, I rarely talk about my own estrangement publicly as that’s my choice and my right to privacy and to set clear boundaries. And it might be the same anyone else reading this and I completely understand why someone would choose to not talk about it. 

For some, there may be fears of judgement, especially as there is general lack of understanding/stigma associated with estrangement. 

For others, there might also be a fear of consequences of sharing, especially if the estrangement is emotional (and not physical) so you still see the estranged parties occasionally and there are fears this will in some way get back to them. 

But ultimately, discussing it can be very triggering and compromise the sense of safety that some need after estrangement. When this safety is interrupted, it can kick off an internal process of replaying everything and torturing themselves over the situation. 

Personally, I never ask people directly about their estrangement because I don’t where they are with it and maybe they have parked it for a while and the last thing they need is me being bringing it back up. That being said. I do ask how they are doing, just to check it and give a window to talk if they want, but I’m giving control back to them, they decide and they feel more comfortable not talking about it, that’s fine. 

So I understand if you choose not to share, but it’s a double edged sword as you are also possibly depriving yourself of badly needed support (which is why I created the Closed Facebook Support Group to facilitate this) but I encourage you to be selective of who you share with and maybe get a sense of how in tune someone is to your experiences or how it might be affecting you beforehand. 

And if you know someone who is estranged and maybe they have shared in the past…respect their boundaries and ask them how they are but leave it at that.

And if you find curiosity is getting the better of you maybe step back from yourself.

Take care

Karl

Written by Karl Melvin