Healing from Family Rifts

Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member
Mark Sichel

Healing from Family Rifts Book Cover

Click on the image to access Healing from Family Rifts on Goodreads.

I didn’t find this book. This book found me! I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and noticed it on the bookshelf. While all the other books were placed uniformly, this one was skewed and in plain sight. Coincidental? I think not. It happened at a time in my life when I was ruminating choices I’d made concerning my estranged mom. I was wondering why we hadn’t found a path to healing our family rift.  The solution seemed to be in plain sight, like the book on the shelf, but neither of us could get past a communication blockade; one that had always existed, I guess, but had never been tested.

So, when an insurmountable blockade exists in your relationship, sometimes you have to be “ok” with it. Communication can’t be forced and understanding is sometimes elusive, in which case you have to live in grace and accept that a resolution might not happen, immediately or otherwise. Basically, the book is about acceptance.

Mom and I are still estranged, but I’ve accepted it without burning the bridge, thanks in part to author, Mark Sichel’s advice. I am free.

Needless to say, I think Sichel’s book provided the best & least expensive counseling I could ever have received!

“I began to feel liberated and genuinely felt they could take the new me or leave it. So far, they’ve chosen to leave it, but I feel a sense of integrity and self-respect that I had never experienced before.”

― Mark Sichel

P.S.: The book is not overwhelming–in fact, it’s a secular, quick-read that weaves bits of memoir into its approximate 200 pages. The format is simple too, as it is based on common “12 step” programs (although Sichel organizes the content into 10 steps).

I’ve also enjoyed reading some of Sitchel’s articles published on the Psychology Today website where he’s a contributor under the heading, “The Therapist is In.”  His website is marksichel.com.


11 thoughts on “Healing from Family Rifts

  1. Thank you for sharing this!

    I’m in a similar situation with my dad and it’s great to see glimmers of light that aren’t called ‘Reconciliation Or Else’.

    Composed exclusively using Thumbs™ El 25/01/2016 00:12, “Simply Forgotten” escribió:

    > Kennedy posted: “Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace > After Being Cut Off from a Family Member Mark Sichel I didn’t find this > book. This book found me! I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s > office and noticed it on the bookshelf. While” >

    Liked by 4 people

    • I understand what you mean–people that haven’t been through it, figure reconciliation with a parent should be obvious, simple, and initiated by you; when more often than not, reconciling means that you have to honor them by honoring your truth.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I haven’t read the book. UT this is my experience: For 6 1/2 years, one of my sisters summarily stopped speaking to me, my mother, nieces, nephews and other members of our family. It was preceded by kicking my mother out of her house, for no discernible reason.

    She went on to create a “fairy tale” whereby she was the injured party and spread the most horrendous lies about me and my mother. It took a year for me to accept it and even then, I was heartbroken. This was my baby sister after all, but I had to let go.

    Anyway, after 6 1/2, she reappeared acting as though nothing happened. I wanted to demand an answer from her but my mom convinced me to leave it be, so I did. For 1+ years things were going well. About four months ago, it happened again; for no reason, she stopped speaking to us. This time, I tried to reconnect but when I realized that I was only ignoring the obvious so I stopped trying. This time, I am saddened but not wringing my hands over what I did to cause her actions. The passage of time, and hopefully wisdom, has shown me that I cannot allow her to control my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I’ve taken back my control, in spite of her bad behavior. Sometimes, the only thing that you can do about another family member’s bad. Easier, is to acknowledge it, wish them the best and move on with your life.

    Thanks for this post. It is a great one. I am happy to discover your blog.

    Blessings, Lydia

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m glad you’re finding peace. I have too for the most part, but every now and then something in the media, a TV commercial, a radio advertisement or song, will sport an idyllic family, and I’ll again start thinking that that picture is attainable for me.
      Needless to say, healing is an ongoing process and I happened to find a salve in an unlikely place (e.g., this book).

      Sometimes the human condition brings us together, even in cyberspace, so, thanks for sharing, Lydia. Much peace!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. An interesting subject I haven’t yet come across on the blogsphere. I felt a bit like you when you spotted the book on the shelf. My story is quite complex but basically I’m shut out by my whole family because I brought something up that no one wants to deal with. Which is why I’m living far away from my them. It took me a long time coming to terms with it, also because I felt like floating in space without an anchor attaching me to anyone or anything.
    I had to rebuild my life completely and it took me most of my forty years. These ‘lovely’ family depictions don’t do the trick for me anymore and I decided to live in truth instead. A high price to pay but one that was worth the struggle and the fight.
    An affirmation I used was: I forgive those who have harmed me in the past and peacefully detach from them.
    So here is thumbs up to you and everyone in a similar situation.

    Liked by 3 people

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