DEAR ABBY: I am a former drama queen and addict now enjoying long-term sobriety, or trying to. What's missing in my life is my family. Since returning from rehab, I have been "going it alone" -- and I'm not sure why.
My kids are the only grandchildren in the family. I work and go to school. I am pleasant. There have been some rough spots I have had to deal with, and when I have needed to, I have called my mom or sister, but they don't call me or visit. They have expressed no love for me through all of this. When I call, I feel like I'm intruding.
Aren't I entitled to their love and caring? I feel abandoned. It's hard doing things on my own. My family lives close by, so distance isn't the issue. What am I missing?
I want my kids and me to have a family, but when I try to reach out, I end up hurt by their lack of interest. Should I just get on with my life? I have been going through this for years. -- MOVING ON IN FLORIDA
DEAR MOVING ON: It's possible that the "drama" and turmoil you put your family through while in the throes of your addiction is the reason your mother and sister avoid you. They may be reluctant to take a chance again.
Because they have made it plain that they aren't interested in a closer relationship with you and your children, you should absolutely get on with your life. Sobriety isn't easy to attain, and you have every right to enjoy yours to the fullest.
It would be healthier for you to stop courting rejection and "create" a caring family for yourself and your children. Many people do this for a variety of reasons. It's not unusual for people in recovery to socialize with others like themselves. Start there, because it would be better for all of you to spend your time with people who welcome and appreciate you.