How to Survive Being Disowned By Your Family

How to Survive Being Disowned By Your Family

depressed woman
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It’s considered taboo: being disowned by your family. Even though it is something nobody talks about, it has happened to many Americans. There are many reasons why it happens, but those who are disowned go through years of negative feelings, not sure how to move on. If this is you or someone you know, here are some tips on how to survive when you have been disowned by your family.

Get Counseling

Counseling can really help you deal with the feelings after being disowned. Counselors can help you analyze the situation and help teach you coping skills. It can also be helpful just to have someone to talk to without fear of being judged.


If you live in the same area as the family who disowned you, seeing them may be painful. There might be certain places that can trigger memories, bringing on depression. Sometimes it can help to move someone new where you don’t have those memories to remind you.

Create Your Own “Family” or Support System

Holidays can be especially painful for those who have been disowned. Make sure you have your own support system or create your own “family.” Some people regard their friends as surrogate “siblings” or even have someone they look up to as a parent figure. Spend time with them and enjoy the holidays together. Sometimes your family isn’t blood.

Keep Communication Open

Sometimes as people get older, they realize how important family is. This can prompt people to reach out to the ones they disowned. It doesn’t happen all the time, but there are times that it does. Just in case, keep the lines of communication open. You can do this by having a social networking profile so they can easily find you or by having your phone number listed.

Don’t hold on to hope that this will happen because many times it doesn’t. However, it is good to keep the lines open just in case.

It is important that people realize that being disowned is different than estrangement or tough love. When someone is disowned, it is intended to be a permanent break. Many people who disown family members will tell people they have one child instead of two. They may even remove all photographs and memories of the person from their home.

Being disowned is not as rare as people think it is.