Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Opinions Needed

Warning: Totally vanilla post ahead!!!  Also be aware for anyone with abuse issues there may be triggers for you so you may not want to read.

Ok, I am seeking opinions here. I have a decision to make. I don't want to even face this decision much less actually make it, so I am seeking input.  Don't be shy, feel free to speak up and give me your opinion. I will take it all in and discuss the situation with Musicman and then I will think some more. Eventually I will make a decision, I have to one way or the other as there is a deadline for it.

So here's the situation: My mother and I have been estranged for about 2 years following ten years of me being her primary caregiver. I recently found out that she has terminal cancer and is refusing treatment. I have no problems with her refusing treatment as she and I have discussed this at length. I know what she wants and have known she wants to die for some time now.

The issue for me is that I really don't want to become involved in her life again. I've said everything I need to say to her and really wouldn't have a problem with her passing without me seeing her again. I know that sounds selfish and self serving, and in a way it is. It is self protection on my part, I don't want to get sucked in to her drama.

Some of you are probably thinking, but she's your mother. Yes, she bore me, that's about it though. She didn't protect me, she didn't nurture me. Quite the contrary, she blames me for the abuse. She has come right out and said it was my fault my father raped me repeatedly throughout my childhood. I've never understood that one, but I am not going to change her mind so I let those kinds of comments slide.

My oldest nephew, whom Mom is very close to, is getting married at the end of the summer. His fiancee invited me to the bridal shower which is being held this weekend. Unfortunately, she mailed my invite to my Mother. She really wants me to attend with her.

I have never been close to this particular nephew and was somewhat offended that the fiancee, who I've never met, couldn't be bothered to get my address and mail it to me. Petty of me, I know. 

This particular nephew is my sister's son. My sister and I are not at all close either. I spent a good many years taking care of her too. We are nothing alike and she resents my happiness with Musicman. She has actually said, "it's not fair you got the life I wanted, you are the bad girl." Apparently, in her mind, I don't deserve to be happy and the fact that I have worked hard to get where I am is not important.

I know if I attend this shower with my mother the rest of my family is going to see it as a reconciliation. They are going to expect me to step in and take over her care and final arrangements.  At this point I would be good with not being involved at all, except for my brothers.

I have 2 brothers, one I have always been close with, the other is much younger and I didn't really know him until we were both adults. The youngest one lives out of town and is also estranged from our mother. The other one has taken over our mother's care since I bowed out 2 years ago. I know he needs my help and I want to be supportive of him. I just don't want to deal with our mother or sister. I should also say that my brothers do not know about the abuse. I was forbidden to tell them about it as a child. As adults I tried once to tell my brother I was close to. It didn't go well so I dropped the subject and have never mentioned it again.

As I said I will be seeking Musicman's opinion, I always do. But, he has a hard time relating to this kind of family dynamic. He comes from a normal loving family and can't really fathom families like mine.  Also, he is going to advise me to do what ever I think I need to do, he will always support me in that. He is not a big fan of my mother or sister, but for him family is important.

So, I am asking for honest opinions, what would you do? I don't want the abuse to define me, but I also don't want to sway so far the other way that I leave myself open to being hurt again. I have a tendency to do that sometimes. Should I let sleeping dogs lie and skip the shower, or should I bite the bullet and the do right thing as society defines it? 

I need to make a decision soon and I'm very torn about it. Please, tell me what you would do.

68 comments:

  1. Well, I have a bad habit of picking the wrong thing, so I'm not sure that what I would do is a sound idea.

    When you say attend with your mother, do mean going with her as opposed to showing up and seeing her there? If so perhaps an answer would be to go under your own steam, not actually "with" her.

    I do believe it is important not to be defined by past abuse. But I also think that good rarely ever comes from doing things simply because society says you should. Especially when the impacts on your happiness can be so big.

    I wouldn't go. But that's just me.
    Good luck with your decision.

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    1. I appreciate your opinion lil, having read your blog I don't think you pick the wrong thing : My mother would expect me to go with her and it wouldn't matter much if I went on my own. We are not a large family, but the brides is, so there will only be a few of us in attendance from our side. I would have to sit with mom and listen to all her crap :(

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  2. Faerie: Your post reminds me of the Faulkner line that the past isn't dead, it is not even past. But I hope you will attempt to keep the past in the past and skip the shower. Don't do the right thing as society defines. Do the right thing for you. You have done a terrfic job of putting your life back together again and youdon't want to get sucked back in the family drama. At least that is my two cents worth but I will be the first to support you if you do go to the shower. I am not in a position to judge you. Go with your gut. But if it was me, I'd skip the shower.

    FD

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    1. Thnak you for the support, it means alot :) I really don't want these people back in my life, I do better without them. I haven't decided yet, but I am definitely leaning towards not going.

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  3. Obviously, no one can make the decision, as you know. So, I give you permission to not go. (If you need permission, that is.) And if you decide that is the right choice, I am your get out of virtual hell card. Just blame me.

    Hugs.

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    1. Maybe I did need permission, thank you :) I just really don't want to deal with this at all. The only people I care about are my brothers and I don't want them upset.

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  4. Do what you need to do to stay healthy. The shower sounds like a bad idea. She didn't bother to get your address and you aren't close to that nephew either.

    Let your brother know how much you are willing to help out. That is, if you feel comfortable helping at all. Set your own boundaries and get Musicman to help if they try to push too hard.

    It wasn't your fault that you were abused and your mother is so very wrong for blaming you. Have out thought about sitting your brothers down with Musicman there to support you? It might help them understand the situation better if they know all of the story. Hugs to you. Wish I could fix this for you.

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    1. Thank you DR, I so appreciate the wish to fix this, you have no idea how much I wish it COULD be fixed. I don't know what I will do about my brothers, they are the only reason I am even considering going.

      I've used Musicman as shield from my family in the past. For some reason they have the ability to roll right over me and totally disregard me and my feelings.

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  5. I liked Kitty's response. Because honestly, from everything you have written, I would say you have the right to fuck society and do what is best for you. If you don't want to be sucked into that family dynamic again (which I wouldn't from what you have written), I would decline.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in Julia, I appreciate it :) That's exactly it, I don't want to get sucked back in. This family is toxic and no matter how hard I try I haven't been able to change it. I'm tired of trying.

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  6. When a decision eats at me like this,whattodo, whattodo, I flip a coin. Heads, I go; tails, I stay. Then I listen to my body. If its heads and I'm comfortable, I go. If its heads...but my tummy knots up and I just feel sick all over, then I don't go. Crazy, maybe, but it works for me.

    I probably wouldn't go, but I would send a gift. Good luck with whatever you decide!!

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    1. Can I use a two tailed coin? My tummy is pretty much always in knots when I have to deal with them. Thanks for the support Rogue, I haven't decided yet, but it's not looking likely.

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  7. What a difficult situation. I guess I'm like Musicman and can't really fathom a family dynamic like that. I would say that you need to do what is healthy for you though, whether that coincides with what society deems right or not. I imagine that's not a lot of help, but I hope and pray that you have peace about whatever you decide. (((hugs)))

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    1. I'm glad you can't fathom it Grace, that makes me very happy :) It does help that you shared your opinion. I have no ability to withdraw my emotions and make good decisions when it comes to dealing with my family.

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  8. It take way more than giving birth to be a mother. You mother made the decision not to fulfill her roll of what a mother should be - a job she accepted by giving birth. So in my opinion she is simply a woman you have known through out your life. It sound like you did what you could for her for a long time and then when it became necessary you closed the book on that chapter of your life. There seems no reason to open it again.

    If your brothers need help and there is something you can do for him without having to become embroiled with her, go for it. If he wants to know why, tell him "If you want to know why, I'll tell you again. If you don't want to know, don't ask me."

    Sorry it's like this, but she had her chance. Several times it seems. Mentally wish her the best and go on with your life.

    Hugs,
    PK

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    1. Thanks PK, it is hard to admit, but I have no mother/daughter connection with her. I never really have and I have always been happier when she hasn't been in my life.

      It's my relationship with my brother that I am worried about. I don't want to have that discusiion with him again, but I might have too. That will not be pleasant.

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  9. If it was me? I'd stay as far away from that crazy circus as I could. You've sought and obtained your own balance, and if doing any of this will do nothing to increase your own happiness, don't do it. None of them deserve you to put yourself out for their benefits.

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    1. Gee, could you tell them that? They not only think they deserve it, they expect it and I'm the evil one if I don't comply. I just don't think I can do it this time. Thanks for the kind words, they help me see things a little more clearly :)

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  10. We all have to set healthy boundries in our life. I like all the answers you've gotten so far. Rogue says don't go and send a gift. That sounds good. Wishing you all the best as you make your choice. Regards,

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    1. Thanks SNP, They don't respect boundaries, any contact with them is painful for me. I haven't decided, but I do what my gut is telling me, DON'T GO.

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  11. My mom always tells me,,,if you don't don't care of yourself, noone else will. Not entirely true, but I think it fits your situation. Someitmes You have to put You first...sounds like you know what to do...I vote for protect yourself. Send a gift and good wishes. abby

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    1. Taking care of myself has always been a difficult thing for me, but I've made tons of progress with it recently. As I've told the others, I haven't decided, but I don't think I am going to go. I will have to deal with the fall out of it, but that would be easier then getting sucked back in the mess. Thanks for sharing your opinion with me :)

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  12. (((hugs))) faerie. You know from my post which followed your very brave post that I do not consider the woman who gave birth to me my mother - she was a womb donor. I tried, like you to make a relationship for a while after I left her house - because I felt I had to.

    When you have a cancer or some invasive disease that sucks the life out of you, you excise it. You and I both excised toxic parents from our lives. Ask yourself if you are happier and healthier since she is gone. And if the answer is yes, I think you have your answer. That's not letting the abuse define you. That's not being a doormat.

    As for your sister and her son - tell them to go fluff themselves. They did not live your pain - and your sister's assertion that you don't deserve to be happy very clearly illustrates that she is a small, petty woman who is reaping what she cultivated in her life.

    Just a wry question here - you don't do what society expects in other areas of your life because it's wrong for you. So the fact that what is hypocritically socially correct is wrong for you should not have the power to sway you.

    You are not weak, you are not bad, you are not a horrible person. You are a person who has chosen to be safe and happy and healthy in her spiritual and emotional life. You have the right not to compromise that.

    The WD passed away last year - I hadn't spoken to her since 1985. I found out on Facebook 2 weeks after the fact. I did cry for about 30 minutes - not over the loss of that particular soul, but because I did not feel what a person should have felt when their parent dies.

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    1. Faerie - June has said it best. Keep yourself safe, happy, and healthly. I don't know you personally but I'm sure it has been a difficult journey to get here.

      IMHO, since the family knows the situation between you and your mother, to send your invitation to her was an insult to you and deserves no response or gift.

      If you want to help your brother, you could volunteer to help him in his personal life - run errands, etc. but no care/help/contact with your mother. Some people tend to lash out cruelly as they are leaving this world and you sure don't need that.

      God Bless and good luck on whatever decision you and your HoH make.

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    2. June,

      Sad to say, but I don't really think of her as my mother either. And you hit the nail on the head with my sister.

      You are right, I have always danced to the beat of a different drummer and damned society if they didn't like it. I don't know why it is so hard to do that with my family, other then possibly I was still holding out hope that they would actually act like family at some point. I have accepted that that is never going to happen.

      It's nice to know someone thinks I'm not a bad person, cause they sure have the ability to make me feel like one. I think a big part of the problem is that I just don't care what happens to them. That feels wrong, but I guess in this case it isn't. Thank you my friend for the support and understanding.

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    3. Cat,

      Welcome and thanks for sharing your opinion. It did feel kind of petty to be upset about the invitation, but I know them well, it was done on purpose to put me in this position.

      My mother is a very bitter, angry person and my sister is going down that same road. They seem determined to drag me down it with them. They are the kind of people who aren't happy unless everyone is miserable.

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    4. Honey, not caring what happens to them is not the same as wishing bad on them. It is simply releasing that which is detrimental to your well-being.

      For years between I stopped talk to her & she passed I said & meant that were I to see her walking down the street I would feel no more for her than I would a stranger.

      I think we all feel like that, in fact my therapist said maybe part of the reason that I cried for that 30 minutes was that now that she had passed there was no chance that she would ever change and be a mother. But honestly, it was that conclusion that led me to cut ties.

      No I don't think you're a bad person at all. I think you're pretty much awesomesauce. Try to take it out of the context of family - that simple term is an emotional trigger. Look at it as the kind of person 'Mary' & 'Sue' are. If they were simply people in your social circle, or work environment, would they be people that you would seek to engage, be friends with or develop a relationship with?

      If they bring nothing positive to your life, they have no place in it. You can let them go, without guilt. There is nothing to forgive yourself for. Be gentle with yourself.

      You are most welcome, my lovely winged friend & (((hugs))).

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    5. Thank you my lovely friend for saying the things I need to hear. I know them, but it is nice to have the validation. Once again I have this awesome community of people to thank for giving me much needed support and affection.

      As Bob B put it so very eloquently, we live in a special world. I am so happy I do and that it has people like you and me and everyone else in it :)

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  13. Aw, Faerie ((((((hugs)))))). I wish I could offer some advice, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through and the road you have ahead. I don't have experience with this, but I think only you can decide. I know that may not be the most helpful answer, but only you know how you'll feel -- I'd just think hard about how you'll feel in either situation you choose and any regrets you could have. Lots of love.

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    1. Thanks Riley, I'm glad you don't have any experience with this, I wish no one did. I've been thinking hard about it, almost obbsessively, precisely because I don't want regrets. I don't know yet what I am going to do :)

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  14. I have a deeply dysfunctional family, but it pales in comparison to yours, so take this for what it's worth- just one reader's opinion (that you asked for)...

    Unless you think that your presence would be a distraction, go. The poor fiancee of your nephew likely has no idea about the family dynamics, and probably sent the invite to you at your Mother's house because she was going off a 2 year old mailing list or something. Rise above your past. They did and said some terrible things to you - Fuck em'. You'll be better off in the long run to rise above it, help those that need it, and not let the past determine the present. (But... sounds like your sister is a bit jealous of your life now... wear something cute, be nice to everyone, and if it makes her more jealous- so be it.)

    Don't go with your mother, but be cordial. Go to support your brothers and give advice/help on final arrangement type stuff, and go to support the poor clueless girl that's marrying into this, and your probably equally clueless nephew.

    Again, I've not lived in your shoes, but you asked... I'd try to rise above it and think you'll be happier in the long run for it.

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    1. I did ask, and I'm grateful you shared :) I like that you seem to represent the other side, I like to hear all sides.

      Having said that, I have lived in my home for a dozen years, the invite was a calculated move on my sister's part, I know that.

      You are right about my sister, she is jealous, she wants my life, but doesn't want to do the hard work to get it. Dressing nice and being polite has always been one of the weapons I have employed to deal with her, but it isn't as effective as I would like it to be.

      Guess I should have explained that my nephew and his sister are not clueless, my sister has never been stable and they have a very tenous relationship with her.

      I usually do take the role of rising above, I just don't know after all these years if it's worth the effort on my part this time.

      Thanks again for sharing your opinion, I asked, and I appreciate that you answered :)

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  15. Hi Faerie

    It seems that the underlying message from the people that care for you is not to go. You don’t live in society’s world you live in a special world where your friends always wish you happiness in everything you do and any small minded, jealous and malicious people whether they are family or so called friends don’t belong there. I have a good family but i am not a family man which in its self has caused problems over the years but i have always been of the opinion that this is my life and i will live it as i see fit. Do what is best for you, the people you love and the people that love you, nothing else is important.

    Take Care

    BOB B

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    1. Very well put, BOB B. I like this special world very much.

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    2. Ditto Bob - very well said!

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    3. Welcome BOB B, I appreciate the lovely sentiments. I really like the way you put it, the special world, without malice and hate. I wish everyone understood those sentiments. I have worked hard to block the negative hateful things from my life, they just drain me too much.

      I think it really is time for me to move on with the people I have chosen to let into my life. My immediate family have no regard for me or what is best for me, so I guess maybe I should stop worrying about what they want.

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    4. Negative and hatful things and people will always be draining. Quote: I think it really is time for me to move on with the people I have chosen to let into my life. No truer word spoken. You will find that if you always look ahead and to the future what happens behind you and the past will be forgotten. All I can say is never worry about anything you have got no control over. There will always be family and so called friends that think they no best and if they don’t know make it up. Without being crude FUCK UM. Don’t even give them a seconds thought. They are not worth it.
      Take Care
      BOB B

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    5. BOB B,

      I'm so glad you commented, you have great positive energy :) Just reading them makes me smile, thanks. I am not going to the shower, to steal your words....FUCK UM. LOL.

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  16. Like so many have said I think you must do what will keep you safe and make you happy. I think that probably means not going and sending a gift if you want. Good luck with all this. Families can be so complicated.

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    1. My family sure is complicated, and it's not a family I have wanted to be a part of, ever.

      I made my own family with Musicman. It's a happy family and there is no room for the poision my mother and sister want to spew all over it.

      Thanks for joining the discussion. Since my vanilla friends don't know about the abuse I haven't been able to really discuss it with them.

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  17. I haven't read any of the comments but your post tells me to stay far far away.

    If you send a gift, don't make it personal or expensive. A token acknowledgement is my opinion.

    As for your caregiver brother, it seems to me it's his turn or your sisters. The fact that you cared for your mother after what she did to you tells me volumes about your character. If your brother asks for help with your mother tell him why you won't. If he doesn't want to hear it, well guess what, you didn't want to live it.

    Sorry if I sound so harsh but it seems to me you have to protect yourself and the hell with everyone else.

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    1. Can I tell you how many times I have said to Musicman that I have done enough and that it is my brother and sister's turn?

      They were too busy trying to stabilize their own lives to ever give much help with mom. It all fell to me and Musicman. I was able to hang in for them for ten years before it overwhelmed me. The consequences of that where disasterous for me and almost destroyed my relationship with Musicman. I won't risk that again, we both deserve better.

      It doesn't sound harsh, it's what I needed to hear, thank you for saying it.

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  18. Faerie, you should go ONLY if it would bless you to do so. Family is important, but not when it is toxic to you. I struggled with this idea that "she's my mother, I have a duty, obligation, etc.," but I don't. In all other areas of your life, I bet you avoid people who bring you down and/or cause you pain. Continue to to avoid those people (these people). Your decision should not be one of "I should..."; it should be "I want or I don't want..." Do what blesses you and be happy.

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    1. Welcome TamiDee3, thanks for joining the conversation. You're right I do avoid negative people and actively work to keep them out of my life. I guess I need to let go of the illusion of family and realize they are toxic and they will hurt me. Sad, but true.

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  19. That you're so torn up over this tells me (if you're anything like me) that you've decided you'd rather not attend and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE but you feel guilty about making that choice for whatever reason and you're looking for absolution.

    So if it counts any, I say follow your instinct and don't let what society THINKS you should do be the governing thought. Let what YOU think you should do be the rules you live by.

    I have a tough relationship with my siblings too but luckily for me I'm still great with my parents. This makes for a lot of pressure for me to attend stuff "and just make peace" - on the one hand I don't want to upset my folks, but on the other hand I can't tolerate being badly treated when I DO show up.

    In the end I do pretty much the same thing. I ask my friends what I should do, and I give them all the reasons I shouldn't attend. I KNOW this means I DON'T want to go. And usually I don't. On the occasions that I went against my instinct I've always come away with anger, resentment and regret. And they're not any happier either.

    SO I SAY - reading what you wrote and putting myself there - I wouldn't go.

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    1. Thanks for spelling it out so clearly. I was feeling guilty about not wanting to go. I suppose there is a small part of me that still holds out hope they will change. Realistically, I know they won't. I also know if I go, at some point I will regret it.

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    2. Ah. yes. you're right. on those occasions that I did go, it was because I thought something good would come out of it.

      Still, take a moment to reflect and find your center, then decide when you're all calm instead of frenzied.

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    3. I'm feeling pretty zen at the moment, lol. All the wonderful support helps bunches.

      I've sent a message to my SIL saying I won't be attending and gave no reason. She is taking mom and wants me to go really bad. I just can't do it.

      Now I wait and see if there will be fallout from my brother. That would make me very sad.

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  20. Lots of comments faerie. I can't add much else but I favour what June and Sunnygirl have said. I think you know what's best for you and what you think you should do, I've no doubt you'll make the best decision. ((hugs))

    Dee x

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    1. Thanks Dee for the support. I really need to try and focus on myself and make the decision based on that. Historically, I'm just not very good at putting myself first, guess maybe it's time I start.

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  21. Bah faerie, I don't know and I didn't take the time to read everyone else's comments. My gut feeling says that if this family member isn't someone you are close to, why use this venue to reconnect with your mom. If you choose to do that over the next months you sure can, but on your own terms and with your words ready to talk about any expectations of care for you mom's care.

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    1. Thanks Susie, you're right, this isn't the place to do what whatever needs to be done. I do resent them pushing me into this situation too.

      Guess it's time to put on the big girl panties and stand up to them. I think I'll do that while hiding behind Musicman. He did promise to protect me all those years ago, and he's never let me down.

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  22. Absolutely - what society seems to say is irrelevant. IT is hard to understand our impulses - it sounds as if you feel some compulsion about all of this - and it's hard to know if that's from outside influences, or your own heart. Maybe talk with the one family member who seems to be rational - your brother - and ask him, or explain to him, maybe even offer to help him if you can in ways that allow you to protect yourself in the process. Best of luck.

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    1. Hi gg, thanks for contributing to the conversation. I do have a particularly hard time with this issue. I don't know why I seem so bent on doing the "right" thing when it feels so wrong. I think probably my desire to have a normal loving family has a lot to do with it. That's never gonna happen so I need to quit trying so hard.

      I am going to have to talk to my brother, he and my other brother are the only ones I care about. I don't want to lose them, but I also don't think I am willing to sacrifice my own happiness for them.

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  23. I typically don't like weighting in on these things, because it's impossible to really know someone via the internet, but let me say this:

    At the end of the day we are responsible for our own happiness, from what little I know of you it sounds like you are the type of person who makes large efforts to make everyone around you happy - not confronting your Mom on those terrible comments, not telling your brother whom you are close to about the abuse, etc...

    Again, without knowing your true motivation, I think if you went you would be going to make others around you happy. There is nothing wrong with that.

    But there is also nothing wrong with looking out for your own happiness and saying no you will not go.

    Personally, I would go if I thought it meant something to my nephew. If I felt that it didn't, I would make the decision based on what I want, not what I think my sister or Mom would want.

    Good luck with your decision, it is a tough one.

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    1. I'm glad you took the plunge and weighed in, I did ask afterall, lol.

      I've spent 47 years making decisions about my family based on what they want, and I'm pretty much done with that. Putting other people before myself is a bad habit for me. It's a bad habit because I have a tendency to sacrifice myself and my own happiness for it. I'm working on changing that :)

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  24. Faerie,

    I know what yo mean about relatives who have no emotional impact in your life. My biological father was a drunk who was in and out of our lives - mostly out. I cut all contact with him many years ago and it simplified my life imensly. The only reason I remember his death this fall is becaused I was amazed how unmoved I was by it. I heard it, acknowledged it, and went on eating my supper and talking to the kids (my step dad is the only grandfather they ever knew).

    All of that to say you have no obllighation to a non entity. You nephew invited you out of a sense of obligation. If your sister is going to be drama, stay away from any wedding event so you do not ruin their moment. If the price of that is feeding our sister's petty view of it, so be it.

    remember, if someone does not matter to yuo, their opinion of you should not matter.

    TTFN
    Mr. No Name

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    1. This is the third time in 30 years I have been estranged from the family. I'm always happier and more stable during those times. I have in the past felt obligated to do certain things because thay are "family".

      My sister will most certainly be dramatic and so will my mother. They thrive on it and do what they can to create it, including lying.

      I don't tolerate liars very well at all, tell me anything you need to say, but tell me the truth. That should be a simple concept for most adults, not them though.

      I really think I have gotten to the point where I really don't care anymore what they think. My only worry is about my brother, he and I have always been close and I don't want to lose that. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it :)

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  25. I'll keep it short and sweet, dear. Screw society, and screw all the moralizers who will preach about selfishness and give you the "but she's your mother" bit. If you've made your peace and there is nothing more to be said, I say stay away. Life is for the living; live yours in a way that honors your needs, your feelings, your well-being.

    I often wonder why people make such a @#$%ing big deal about "family," when some of the worst things done to us, physically and emotionally, are often perpetrated by blood relations.

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation Erica. I think the people who make the big deal about family might be the ones who actually got a good. I didn't. In my experience those are the people who don't want to hear about anything but lollipops and rainbows. I don't know about you, but for me, life isn't like that.

      I'm preparing myself to hear the "but she's your mother" bit, cause I know it's coming. I'm afraid this time though I may just inload on them and tell them all about what kind of mother she really is. That will be an ugly scene, but probably quite satidfying, at least for a minute or two.

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  26. faerie dear,

    You have more advice and replies probably than you need already, but let me just say that I have more experience in this area than I would care to have.

    It's not so simple to say, "Screw everyone, I won't go so it will be fine." It would be awesome if that were true...but as you say, there will be implications. I've dealt with something similar, not exactly the same of course. Once I did not go. Once I did. Both were the right decisions for me in those circumstances. But the time that I didn't go, it took me a year and a half afterward to come to terms with my grief. Not because of what anyone else said, but because I had no way to "officially" grieve.

    If you choose not to go, you might ask MM to be the "fall guy." Ask him to help give you a reason to give your family, should you choose to give one, why you won't go. Then say you're very sorry but you just can't talk him around. It's easier to hold firm if it's not your fault.

    There are many ways to grieve. Every time we are confronted with another life milestone, we face grief in a new way.

    Sometimes we have no right choice. Just a lot of not-quite-right ones. Then it's up to us to be right with the choice we make.

    Email me if you like. ana_stasia2007@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm always happy to hear another opinion so thanks for sharing :) I'm sorry to hear that you have had to deal with something similar. It's comforting to know I'm not alone, but it makes me sad to hear about anyone being in pain.

      Unfortunately, MM and I have been together so long no one is gonna buy me saying he won't let me. He will however step in and tell them where to get off if I want him too. They won't mess with him the way they do me.

      Hopefully I won't need him to come to my defense, but if I do, he will. He promised me years ago he would protect me, it was a hard thing for me to let him do. But I did let him and he has never let me down.

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    2. MM might have a very...er..persuasive reason that you are...er...occupied that day. :D You could just write to your family and say, "I'm sorry, I can't go to the shower because MM is going to paddle me in the nude." :)

      Seriously...be strategically proactive. If you don't want to go, and it sounds like you don't, fake illness or overwork or something coming up that needs attention. Or, since you didn't get an invitation directly, give your regrets the same way. Let the grapevine work for you. Drop a hint to the person who told you that for X reason you probably can't go, but you'll keep it in mind and you wish everyone well. Then be really slow to respond to any future request for an answer.

      You don't have to give a direct answer. You can think to yourself, "No way in blinking heck" and just be sweetly enigmatic on the inside. No one can respond if you haven't really given an answer. :)

      Hugs to you, good luck, and I hope that you are getting the support you need through this hard time.

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    3. Teeheehee, Ana, my family wouldn't bat an eye if I told them MM was going to be paddle me in the nude. They know we have a very healthy relationship :) They also know I'm not shy about talking about it.

      I sent my SIL a message declining the invitation, the details are at the end of my next post. I wanted to keep everyone updated. I really appreciated the chance to talk it all out :)

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  27. I can understand exactly what you are going through. My family dynamic is very similar. I honestly would skip the shower because one his bride to be didn't respect you enough to send you the invite you had to get it by other means. It sounds like you've already made your peace with your mom I would leave it as it stands. Things were so bad between my family and myself I was willing to move across 6 state lines to get away from them.

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    1. I moved away once to get away from them, when I was 17. I did end up coming back and met Musicman. I stayed for him :)

      I'm sorry to hear that you have a similar background. If you read the other commenters you will know that you are not alone. It's sad, but gratifying in a way too. Thank you for sharing that.

      I've made my peace, but I'm not sure she has. I'm not ready to listen to her yet and I'm not happy they are trying to push me into a confrontation.

      If it were not for my brothers I wouldn't care a bit about any of it, or waste my time and energy thinking about it.

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