You must delve into your own past, Mariella Frostrup tells a social worker who has no contact with her own family
The dilemma I’m 28 and was born and raised in a northern mining town. I went to university quite late in life, trained to be a social worker and now work in child protection, which I love. When I went to university, I left that old life completely and had a few great years. I now don’t have anything to do with my family. My current job makes me realise the effect my childhood experiences have had on me, and the impact of some really awful things that were going on in my family. Nothing specifically bad happened to me, but our lives are so different now. I live in the south and love my life. But I feel guilty that I haven’t spoken to my mum or siblings for years, that anything could have happened to them and I wouldn’t even know. I feel bad for not wanting to get in touch, and I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I tell people all the time about the importance of family on our identity and sense of belonging, but I don’t get any of that myself. I don’t know what I’m scared of.
Mariella replies Me neither. Not specifically, anyway, but that’s because you don’t offer up any details. Not that I need them in order to respond, but if crimes were committed or behaviour occurred that emotionally or physically remain a present danger for you or family members, you have a responsibility to address that. It goes without saying that you would certainly benefit from seeking the support and advice of a professional.