What To Do When Found Family Is Lost

While some relationships last forever, others are ultimately meant to come in and out of our lives. This is a lesson I have learned time and time again, but I had no idea how to move forward when I had a falling out with someone I considered to be a sister. I found that I wasn’t prepared for this lesson to apply to found family relationships. I’ve since found that other people have had similar experiences, and not known how to move forward either. 

For this reason, I’ve compiled this list for those of you who have had a falling out with someone you considered family. Here are some important things to note for the healing/coping process I wish someone had told me:

  1. Feel all of it. Don’t be afraid to feel any and all emotions this change is stirring up. If you are hurt and angry, allow yourself to feel all of that anger. If you’re feeling crushed or heartbroken, cry it all out. If you are experiencing nostalgia over happy memories, don’t suppress them. If you want to successfully move forward with your life and with creating new relationships, it’s imperative that you don’t hold back any emotions. Anything you suppress now, will only come up later and hinder you from moving forward.

  2. Know that missing this person is normal. No matter who this person is, even if they’ve really hurt you, it’s completely normal to miss them. Humans are creatures of habit, so it makes sense that you might be resistant to change. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself missing the way things were. But if this person disrespected you or your boundaries, don’t let missing them bring them back into your life. Some relationships end for good reason.

  3. Lean on your support system. Whether it be other friends, a significant other, a therapist, blood relatives, or whoever else is in your life, lean on them. Let your loved ones know that you need their support right now. If you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to hang out with, something to take your mind off things, or someone to talk your feelings out with, ask for those things. You don’t have to go through this change alone.

  4. Do what you need to let go. Whether this means unadding the person on social media, deleting pictures of this person, or moving trinkets that remind you of them into one small space, go ahead and do it. Or if it helps for you to continue on with each of these things remaining the same amidst the fall out, do that too. Whatever you need to do to feel okay about the end of this relationship, do it, and don’t beat yourself up for it. As long as you’re taking care of yourself and not hurting anyone else, however you need to cope is valid.

  5. Don’t let this stop you from meeting new people. Have faith that you will make new friends, foster new relationships. If your trust has been affected by this fall out, know that you will trust again. You will trust and love new people, and they will trust and love you too. The end of one relationship isn’t the end of all relationships. You deserve to find happiness in your relationships with people and on your own— and I promise you have the ability to do just that.