Friday, 25 March 2016

Our disconnected family

The 23 year old visited for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year, (child 3 of 5) he left home aged 18 and moved from the Midlands to the South East, 3 months later we moved half way round the world.

He's grown into adult hood on his own, he now lives in the North of England 100's miles from any other family member, he rents a shared house and has his own job.

He's comes to visit us once a year, we visit him twice a year, but our visits are short with him, trying to get round all 5 children and parents dotted around the UK.

He uses the train or coach to travel south to visit his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, but rarely sees his siblings.

The 26 year old (child 2 of 5) also left home aged 18, moved to a similar location and then was living in Germany for 2 years before we upped sticks and left the UK, he lives with his girlfriend, he doesn't work and lives about 25 miles from one of his brothers and his sister, but only sees them when we visit the UK, pick him up and drive him over there.

The 27 year old (child 1 of 5) is profoundly disabled, she has been in a care home since she was 13, apart from us visiting her when we go to the UK, she has no other family members who visit her, although my mother does make regular phone calls to check she is OK.

The 21 year old (child 4 of 5) didn't leave home until he was almost 20, he lives in Northern Ireland, he has a car, he drives to visit his extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins etc, but rarely sees his siblings.

The almost 17 year old (child 5 of 5) is technically still living at home but spends term time at boarding school in the UK, he comes home for the holidays and is bored out of his brain on his own and we have little interaction during daylight hours with him. Due to him still being at school, family members will collect him for exeats and for half terms, but unless children 3 & 4 are visiting, which they try to do when they know the others are there, he rarely sees his siblings also.

If hubby and I were still living in the UK, I know for a fact that our family would see more of one another, because we'd be there to organise, plan, collect, give train money, drives miles to collect them all. But in our absence no one else does it, whether it's because they can't manage the long journeys, due to health or finances or because they don't view us as a family unit, rather they see us as two separate families joined together, or because they just don't don't think. It does upset us greatly that our family are separated, not only by distance with us living 1000's of miles away, but that they are separated by lack of thought or interest, because they are adults now and are viewed as being OK. They are all OK, they do all function perfectly well without input from the rest of their family, but it doesn't mean to say they don't want or need them in their lives.

We do our best with the internet, with Skype, writing letters and twice yearly visits and their occasional visits to us, but we're all disconnected from one another on a daily basis and no idea when we'll all be together again, with or without the added complications of the extended families.


  1. Sorry S It can't be easy dealing with the disconnect and not any easier with you and hubby being so far away

    1. sometimes i love just being on my own, but then the reality of what that actually means kicks in