Black Sheep, Family Matters, Speaking from Experience

2019, Year-End Review


Welcome back blog readers,

With the holiday season in full swing (today is Christmas Eve), I know that many of us will be enjoying time with our families/friends while many others are excluded for various reasons.

If you are part of the Black Sheep, Scapegoat, Loner club (myself included), then this portion of the post is for you.

With so many toxic people living on this planet, it only stands to reason that some of them are our family members. While we can’t choose who our biological family is, we can choose who we consider family. Maybe you have a few very close friends, maybe you have a few awesome co-workers, maybe it’s just you and your dog. All of these are very good options if those you surround yourself with bring you joy and have your best interest in mind.

You are under no obligation to spend time with family that is toxic, if they are always negative, insulting, putting you down or make you feel uncomfortable in any way. I know it’s natural to crave the attention/affection from your family, but when they only cause you to stress, heartache, anxiety, and you’re walking on eggshells you’re just setting yourself up for another disappointing encounter. You don’t need that negativity.

Find your TRIBE, find other outcasts and misfits that can relate, but more importantly, want to be there for you and genuinely enjoy your company. If you haven’t found your tribe, that’s okay too.
If you don’t want to be alone for the holidays you can,
* Volunteer your time preparing/serving food at shelters, VFW, churches
* Spend time at a nursing home playing card games or Bingo
* Volunteer at an animal shelter, they need company and a meal too. Plus it’s a great way to destress. A good option if you have social anxiety and just don’t like people.

The point is, that there are so many people (homeless, veterans, elderly and animals) that are also just as lonely and don’t have a family. They would love the company/companionship for a few hours.

If you are going to attend a family holiday event and feel that you can’t participate in the gift-giving, that’s okay too. The gift-giving should really be just for the kids, in my opinion. Know that your presence is a present in itself. Don’t worry about the adults if they are the ones giving you grief, go and spend time with the kids. The kids are more likely to be in better spirits and less judgemental. Help them get their new toys out of the packages, help them put batteries in the noisemakers, play their new board game or console game because the other adults will be “too busy” to spend time with them. Kids won’t remember what they got for Christmas a few years from now, they will remember that you took the time to play with them, you were the cool adult.

Those of us that have endured trauma or suffer from PTSD/C-PTSD are more likely to also be “people pleasers” for the sake of keeping the peace. I can relate to that. You don’t have to say YES to everything. I know it’s hard to say NO, but for the sake of your sanity you must learn. You are allowed to set boundaries. You are allowed to be firm that when you say NO, you are respected and don’t cave in. It took me decades to be comfortable enough to say no and mean it. I’m better through text and email when I have more time to think about my response. Doing it in person is harder, but I have a few successes under my belt. Each one builds more confidence.
Those the get upset when you say NO (adults, not kids), they are NOT your friend or have your best interest in mind. Those are the ones you have to be firm with and not give an inch. Those that care about you will understand and might even acknowledge the fact that you are sticking up for yourself. It’s quite liberating when you say No and there is no confrontation, it’s just accepted for what it is. Gets you thinking why didn’t I do this sooner.

Anyway, whatever your situation is at this time of year I hope that you surround yourself with people that bring you joy. You are not alone! You don’t have to be alone, get out there and find your tribe!

Happy Holidays, wishing you all the very best in 2020!~Hannah

Abuse comes in many forms, Clear the air, Family Matters, Speaking from Experience, Venting

Unhappy Mother’s Day

Welcome back blog readers,

Yes, I know it’s been a while since my last post. Life gets busy and I haven’t been inspired until now to post anything.

No the title is not a typo, It is meant to read Unhappy Mother’s Day. It’s not to discredit the great mothers and motherly figures out there. This post is not about them. For me and for others that don’t get along with their mothers, it’s simply just another day. I am not a mother in a biological sense, I do consider myself a pug mom. I am an Aunt and a big sister that has stepped into a motherly role from time to time.

Here is what prompted this blog post.



I saw this on Facebook, I can relate so I shared them both to my page knowing that I have a few people on my friend’s list that can also relate. My mother saw them, and her natural instinct is to think they are about her. I’ve told her on a few occasions that not everything I share is about her. If I don’t tag her specifically or share it on her page, it’s not meant for her and is just a generic post I thought was worth sharing.

My mother sent me a private message, here is how things played out.  ** If you have not read my book, or through posts on this blog SPOILER ALERT**

Mom:  Hi Hannah, just a question.. be truthful.. was I really a bad mother to you and Joey? as you put all these two posts say..

Hannah:  I have no reason not to be truthful… First not everything I post is about you or anyone in particular. Not everyone has a mom to celebrate Mother’s day with for various reasons. I can relate to that. Not everyone has a great relationship with their mother, I can also relate to that. If you’ve read my book, you should know exactly where I stand. As for your question about you as a mother… You were not great, you were not the best, I know that you believe that you did the best you could. You were also not the worst. Your kids grew up to be functioning members of society, that was partially you and also not your doing. You don’t get to take credit for how we turned out as you only had 7-9 years of influence.

Mom:  Okay… Wow… I did not finish the book yet but I will at some point.. and I feel like you just slapped me for being who I am.. sorry you feel the way you do but you are right about me doing the best I could at the time you two lived with me.. and no I was not there as you both grow up as I had wanted too but then again that was not all my fault… but I do and will still always love you both and will be here when and if you both ever need me ..

Hannah:  You are free to take whatever I say in any manner that you see fit. I didn’t say that you DID the best that you could, I said that I know that YOU believe that you did the best that you could. You are and have been in complete denial about the choices that YOU made and the part that YOU played in everything. You asked me to be truthful, now I ask that you be truthful. I told you the truth about George and what he had been doing to me once you walked in on the last encounter. That wasn’t enough for you… you wanted confirmation/proof, you wanted to know who was telling the truth… You heard the truth, from ME, from the doctors and you still wanted to be with a man that raped me 9 times over 14 months. YOU did NOT do all that you could do to protect me and to keep your kids. YOU could not stay away from George once he was in prison, you got caught visiting him even though you knew you should not, if you wanted your kids back. You chose George again over your kids and their best interest was to be with their mother , not sharing a roof/life with a pedophile. Not only could you not stay away, but you befriended and married another one. Still you feel that you did the best you could, playing the poor me victim card, wondering why your kids don’t talk to you, or make the effort to visit. I opened the door of communication for YOUR benefit, not mine. I don’t need you as a parent in my life. I’m 40 and have done just fine without you. read my book, or don’t, I honestly don’t care. I’m too busy for this BS. You wanted honesty, that is all that I have ever given you, I can’t help how you react to it, that’s on you. I won’t respond because I have to work. Happy Mother’s Day, you brought this on yourself. Now you know why people get frustrated with you and don’t talk to you. How’s that for honesty?

For those of you that are not caught up and not at all familiar with the references, long story short (or as short as possible). I was sexually abused by my mother’s boyfriend in the mid-1980’s the abuse happened 9 times over 14 months (I was 8-9 years old). Once confirmation was obtained (rape test at the hospital the next morning) Child Services were called, my younger brother and I ended up in foster care. What was supposed to be short term ended up being 5 years that ended up in adoption because my mother kept choosing her boyfriend over her kids. We never did go back home.

Anyway, you get the idea. Mother’s day is just another day for me as I don’t have a reason to celebrate. Sometimes fishing for compliments backfires. Some might think that my response is a bit harsh, that’s fine.  You don’t know her like I do.

She has a knack for asking loaded questions, starting an argument and when she finally hits a nerve, she asks why you’re so upset. No accountability for her actions, she’s never to blame and always the victim of circumstance. It’s never her fault for anything.

I’ve tried to be nice, I put myself in her shoes 13 years ago and realized as big as her family is, nobody talks to her or goes out to visit. I felt sad for her. She had 3 grandchildren that she had never met. I was able to salvage/rekindle her relationship with my brother (married with 3 kids) and with her sister. Sadly both were short-lived because she can’t leave well enough alone, she sabotages herself and blames everyone else.

I’m done. Done sugar coating my responses to spare her feelings. She doesn’t take a hint. Sadly brutal honesty is the only thing that gets her attention. Sometimes the truth hurts, so be sure you want to hear it if you come looking for it from me.

I do want to wish all of the great mothers and those that take on a motherly (Aunts, grandmothers, sisters, stepmoms, cousins, nieces) role a Happy Mother’s Day!

Thanks for letting me vent.


**** Just an update****

Since the post went public yesterday, I have exchanged a few more private messages with my mother.

Just more of the same BS, of her not taking responsibility, not recognizing that her choices have consequences, nothing is ever her fault. After her last message this evening, I decided not to respond. I’m done! I have blocked her from Facebook as there is nothing more for me to say to her. She sees us (me, my brother, her sister and her brother) as the problem, as to why we don’t talk or visit with her. Funny thing is, we all talk to each other, she can’t admit that she is the common demoninator.

Anyway, just thought I’d share the most recent event for those inquiring minds.




Family Matters, Speaking from Experience, The World We Live In

Family Matters, at least it should.

Girl on a swing in the woods


Welcome back blog readers,

I’m just going to come right out and say it, My Family Sucks!

I feel that I should clarify that there is a handful that I do associate with and none of those members are included in what comes next. Nor are the family members that have been the most supportive (my husband’s family), they are not involved in my family bashing post. It’s important that I say that up front as there are a few that do follow my blog, this is not about you.

Now that I’ve made that disclaimer let’s get into this.

Due to my childhood, having been separated from my family at the age of 9, it is understandable as to why I feel deeply compelled to reconnect with family. I have patched a few relationships within my family because I know how it feels to be cast aside, given the silent treatment over stupid petty issues or pride getting in the way.

I don’t know where my deep sense of family values came from, it certainly wasn’t from my parents or my immediate family. They honestly do put the FUN in dysfunction. As a 40-year-old woman, I wouldn’t think that this shit would bother as much as it does, but yet here I sit in tears because my family fails to disappoint me at every opportunity.

I do believe that this post has triggered my inner child to emerge and that is where the tears are coming from. I know that things aren’t going to change because they haven’t in my entire adult life. Yet, that small part of me, my inner child keeps holding onto a false hope that one day she’ll be worthy enough and loved enough for her family to make an effort to visit her. How do you tell a child that once they reach 9 years old, her family will never come to visit her? Imagine carrying that around with you for 31 years.

Sure I have some of them as “friends,” and we share the odd message every once in a while, but it’s idle chit chat, nothing that really matters. What’s worse is that I’ve been putting a few on “snooze for 30 days” and limiting their posts because they often share hateful, racist messages that I don’t want to be associated with.

The only time specific family member seek me out is when they are asking for money. There was an incident back in 1998 when I was living in Florida when I received a call from my mother (we were on talking terms back then), and she mentioned that family member (one of her aunt’s that I had never met) had been diagnosed with Cancer. I offered my sympathy and sorry that I can’t do anything to help as I was 19 and trying to get settled after moving 1,000 miles away.

A few moments later I receive another call from someone claiming to be a family member and sharing the bit of news that my mother had just talked to me about. I found myself baffled that this person has never reached out to me in 19 years, I don’t know who they are even though they seem to remember me, to call out of the blue because they want money. If my mother had not called me first, I honestly would have thought it was a scam. This was back before PayPal and e-Transfers. Have I ever heard or seen this mystery family member since then? Nope. Not a single peep.

My mother’s side of our family is huge. My grandmother has 7 siblings, those siblings have 3+ kids each, and they grew up to have 2+ kids of their own. I have so many second and third cousins out there, some I had never met because I was taken away from the family before they were born and they have no idea I exist.

Like this morning for example; I received a friend request from one of my cousins. I knew of her, she reached out to me last night, and I replied this morning. Letting her know that I look forward to getting to know her, thanks for reaching out and I was happy to answer any questions that she might have. She admitted that she didn’t realize I was family (I wasn’t surprised because she is one of the younger cousins), but she’s pushing her line of jewelry and hoped I was interested in placing an order. I declined because I don’t wear jewelry, but I did offer a quick rundown as to how I fit into the family. That was met with an ” Ok, well if you would like to still show support that is much appreciated, share my video when I go live.” Awesome, that makes me feel great, I was just a cold call to drum up business and nothing more. Yeah, I’ll be sure to share your videos and promote your $5 jewelry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for showing support and helping people promote their business, books, buying from your kid’s school fundraiser. I’ve donated to various GoFundMe pages to send your kid to Washington D.C, or send your kid to Japan, sending your family money for medical expenses because you’ve fallen on hard times. I’ve placed orders for Tupperware /Mary Kay/PartyLite/Pampered Chef for items that I don’t need just to support your side home business.

What do I get in return when I’m promoting a fundraiser for Children’s Cancer? Nothing.

What do I get when I share the news that I’m a best selling author and offer a free copy of my book? Nothing. Nobody says a damn thing. No congratulations, no comments, no inquiries. No acknowledgment. No shares, no likes, no downloads or purchases.

I know they’ve seen the post, actually several posts that I’ve shared. They comment and share the posts before and after, just not on the milestone that actually means something to me. When I decided to write my book, I thought it was best to use a pen name as many authors do. Due to the nature of the contents, I was afraid of the backlash that often comes with sharing an experience like mine. Not all family members were cast in a positive light. I did change the names of all living family members except for those who granted me permission to use their real name.

I took a considerable risk in sharing this milestone with my family, most don’t know I even wrote a book, some know, but don’t know what pen name I used. Those that do know, I have their support. I chose to create a separate author page because I wanted the distance from my personal life. It’s been a year and my views have changed. I wrote something that I am proud of, and it sucked feeling like I couldn’t share that with my family/friends that really know me, not as Hannah Reinbeck. I have reached a point where I no longer care if feelings get hurt, those people should have made better choices and did more to protect me. I will not apologize for how some people are portrayed, their actions were their choice.

I have to stop expecting my family to be better than what they are.  I have to stop caring about what they think and be honest with myself. They don’t care, as much as they profess. It’s difficult to throw in the towel and give up on family even when they’ve proven that you are not a priority. Maybe it stems from me believing in treating people the way I’d like to be treated, I don’t know. This issue has been an ongoing struggle and internal battle that I keep fighting, yet knowing I’ll never win.

That’s all the time I have for now. Thanks for listening.