My hissy fit (or "Christmas is over")

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Most of you who know me know that I haven't spoken with my family in years. A couple of times I did speak with my mother, but it's just not meant to be. They interfered with my children and took advantage of them when they were vulnerable. I am the family scape-goat. The last time I saw my father (I was a respectable 38 year old married working woman) he called me a sl-t and told me he could tell my children whatever he wanted about me because I was garbage. For two hours. My mom then grabbed my arm and said "We love you." I yanked my arm away and walked out the door.

    You might remember that at Thanksgiving, I had been invited to a family reunion set for August '08. I mentioned to L that it meant little, considering I wasn't welcome for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and that my cousin who is a schizophrenic who beat an old lady to death for her purse and spent 12 years in the California institute for the Criminally insane was also invited to the reunion. She asked my family if I could come for Thanksgiving and they told her "no". They said that I might come by for smaller visits to see if I was worthy of an invite to Christmas. I said "no thanks". I felt that spoke for itself.

    So a couple of weeks ago, my sister W calls L. She wants L to know that my father is dying (not really) and sad (you get what you deserve) and since I'm family it would be nice if I would go see him. He didn't ask for me or say he wants to see me. She also wants to know about M. Is he dead or alive, in jail or what? Real nice. L calls me and says that I should meet with her for coffee, so that I don't have to put up with my sister S (the one who wouldn't have me for Thanksgiving) that way, but she doesn't want to talk about the rift in the family and thinks we should move on. "You know, since the last time you saw Grandma you shoved her."



    That's a new one to me, how long has that one been going around? It was a horrible conversation. L's going on and on that she knows they love me and I should just move on. Move on from being falsely accused of manhandling my then 68 year old mother? I'm thinking not! "But mom, W doesn't want to go over this stuff again, she just doesn't know who you are, she hasn't seen you in 9 years!" Apparently she's been spreading lies to my children for nine years. That's way more fun than knowing someone.

    husband calls, and I'm crying. I feel like I have been beaten up. We talk about it, and we agree that W needs to be told that she needs to lay off my daughter. Especially with the poor dying grandfather crud and the I beat my mom up stuff. Or, she could at least pretend to listen to my side of what happened 9 years ago, and I might consider talking to her. husband calls her. No surprise that it didn't go well. She doesn't want to hear what I have to say because our father (who beat the hearing out of her left ear when she was 18) is a saint who would never do anything to harm me or my children and "You have to realize that everything you are saying is filtered through Witzend and she's a liar." He told her "Witzend is my wife, and she is my filter. I believe every word she says." Then he told me that he told her "in so many words" that she was a sh-t and hung up. I asked what the so many words were, and he just can't tell me. I think he just hung up. He didn't tell her to leave L alone.

    Above and beyond my supposedly beating up my mother, she laid on the "Grandma and Grandpa miss M" real thick. First off, what's it to her? Second, why don't they say so? husband tells her that we haven't seen him in five years, and we love him and worry about him every day. Her reply? "Then you got what you wanted, didn't you?" :9-07tears: He hung up on her. He told me what was said. He then called L and told her that she is to lay off of W, and she is to lay off of me. I don't want anything to do with those people, and they don't have anyone's best interest at heart. Then she calls me. "They love you mom! What if Grandpa dies and you never get to be a part of the family again? I can't tell them they are wrong because they're my grandparents and it would be disrespectful!" That didn't go well either.

    I picked up some of the Christmas ornaments - we didn't have a tree - and started to wrap them up. I picked up the Nativity and threw it across the room. When it didn't break sufficiently, I stomped it to bits. I tore up every Christmas card. I swept up my mess, got every box of Christmas paraphernalia we owned and put it in the back of the car and took it to the Goodwill. I gave Allan his gifts and told him that if he didn't have mine at home he'd better not bring them here because we are not celebrating ever again.

    P.S. husband says he finally understands how awful they are, and how difficult it is to just say "What they say and think doesn't matter", because he now has been a personal victim of one of them letting him know that they have been spreading lies about him for years, too.
  2. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Jeeze Witz - my thoughts are any discussions of your family should be banned between you and L. Your life was made miserable before by them, and even though you have not laid eyes on them for ages, its still being made miserable via a third party. I am asking with a lot of kindness, and as a friend, how is smashing your Xmas stuff, and giving the rest away getting back at them, cept now you are going to be more mad cause THEY have again ruined it for you. They probably don't even know, or care.

    You know, I have not seen my mother since I was 43 - she came out for the wedding of the eldest, and started her spiel before she even left her house. Since we have always been like oil and water, I vowed to myself that I was going to be the bigger person and her worded barbs would just bounce off me and fall harmlessly to the floor. I did pretty good for two weeks - kept my mouth shut till she cornered me in my room, and started to bring up stuff that happened between the ages of, ohhh 14 and 17.
    I told her it was not up for discussion and ignored her, something I had never done, and she actually picked up a shoe and went to hit me with it. And I lost it and told her to get the blank out of my ROOM - no one puts their hands on me. I don't care you are my mother - I am not that little girl anymore and you should not think you can control me trying to beat me into submission.

    Course she made a phone call to my family back home, sobbing hysterically, one phone call to another to family members saying I had just thrown her out of my HOUSE. Course she never mentioned to them all of the details, just the ones that related to her. Now they all think I am the biggest piece of doo doo walking (like they didn't have that opionion before anyway).

    I was miffed for a while after I put her on the plane a few weeks early. I couldn't even defend myself as they already had a lot of notions as to the person I am. Oh I could have called them but what was the point - no one would believe me, and I would just have kept a lot of family dramma going and I HATE drama. The drama was one of the reasons I got out of Dodge in the first place.

    I just had to let it go - my bitterness at the whole thing wasn't doing anything to anyone except to me. Eventually the not discussing it with anyone anymore made the anger fade away. I had to take comfort in knowing the true story, despite every one else believing my mothers version. Now it just makes me sad, not angry.

    I hate to see you so distressed, and letting them ruin your christmas. Your giving them too much power over your life. Maybe some therapy might help for you to let go of this anger - discuss it with an uninvolved third party.

    Am sorry my friend - sometimes I wish I could have been born in some science fiction life where I just popped out of a pea pod and there was no "family" to have to deal with..

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    The Christmas ornaments haven't been used in years. They were just a dusty reminder that no one loves us enough to include us in Christmas. No one comes to our home, and no one invites us. Oh, L stops by for half an hour or so on her way to her "real" Christmas celebrations to pick up gifts, but that was all so false. She should have Christmas if it means something to her, but I'm tired of pretending that it has meant anything other than sadness to me for many many years. Better to pretend it doesn't exist, I figure.

    And yes. I'm seeing a therapist. Every one I've ever seen tells me they're toxic and to leave them alone. I do. But how do you ask anyone to choose Christmas as a boring night at your house that takes 5 minutes to open gifts then old videos over a house full of 40 people and children and your favorite foods and celebration. Even if half of them are a bunch of worthless louts? You can always find at least one that's entertaining enough to talk to for an hour or so.

    Marcie, I don't know how put up with it for two weeks. I haven't spoken to them for two minutes in 9 years and they're still making me doubt my sanity.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    Honey, you don't deserve this. Not from anyone, but especially not from family.

    I say this with love, you give them too much power. They are not worth the air you breathe. Don't let them ruin your holiday and future holidays. Don't let them win. They've ruined enough of your life already. That cannot be undone, but you can take back the power to let them ruin anymore. So, they spread lies about you. The only ones that are going to believe them are those cut from the same cloth. Would you really want to have anything to do with those people anyway if they are willing to believe a one-sided story?

    L obviously has her own reasons for wanting to be a part of the family and it really sounds like they are using her to get to you. It's time to set boundaries with L. Tell her that you want no part of that part of her family (as they may be your family by birth, but certainly not by choice) and that she is not to discuss them with you. Ever. Period. One day, hopefully, she will see them for who they are. Hopefully, that happens before they sink their claws into her.

    I cut my father out of my life 5 years ago. He recently came back and I wish I hadn't let him, although nothing sufficient has happened for me to cut off contact again. But it will. He hasn't changed. It will build. It's already started. During that time that I wasn't talking to him, my grandmother - my dad's mom - would try to get me to talk to him or would try to make me feel guilty. I let her know in no uncertain terms that it was not up for discussion. She tried to bring it up again and I told her that I was not discussing it and if she couldn't respect that, then we had nothing else to talk about. That sunk in.

    Take back the power. Don't let it eat at you. Don't let THEM do that to you. That, in turn, will just eat away at them. They won't be able to stand it that they can't get to you anymore.

    The best revenge is living well. There's a lot of truth to that.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    It hurts me to see you so sad and distraught.

    I agree with Heather. Take back the power. You have control of every conversation. You don't want to hear it? Hang up the phone. Do not allow what the family is doing/saying/lying about you affect you. They are only words.

    I am so sorry that you feel that your Christmas (and ALL Christmases!) is ruined over this. I wish I could find some words of comfort but I am coming up empty here.

    Let husband comfort and take care of you. Try to have a pleasant day. And remember we all care about you here.
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    What an awful family! But you have your husband as family and I am proud of how he stood up for you. Please take care and don't let them ruin Christmas for you. I'm really angry at L for trying to manipulate you so much. You owe these people nothing! And, what nonsense about what if grandpa dies and you don't get to be part of the family again--why in H would you want to be part of it?! Oh, I am so mad I could spit!

    Take care, we all love you, you are a big part of this cyber family.

  7. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    wit - if you lived closer, I'd invite you to our house for Christmas. We're having a ham, and one or two additional people wouldn't matter at all!

    I always make dinner on Christmas. I started this after NF's first Christmas and we drove all over, listening to a screaming 10 month old most of the time. I figured that no matter what I did, it wouldn't please my mother, so why bother trying. I was going to do what I wanted to do and what was best for my family.

    Everyone knows I cook on Christmas, and they are invited to come whenever. Some years, I've had just us. Other times, I've had as many as 12 show up. But it takes all the "stress" off of us of having to do what is "expected". I buy a big ham - which freezes well if we have a lot of leftovers. I make sides that also will heat up again if we don't eat them all at the one sitting.

    What I'm saying is do what YOU want to do, and the heck with anyone else! Make your own traditions - make your "family" full of people that appreciate you.

    And I'll save a slice of ham for you!!
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    Sad to say, but I was raised in a household similar to you. Emotionally and physically abusive father, and cowardly mother.

    My two siblings and I loathed the man. I couldn't wait to get out of the house. (Unfortunately chose marriage to do that.) For years I did not talk to either parent. Then, I moved to Florida where my father's mother lived. It didn't take me long to figure out WHY he was the way he was.

    I know I've posted about this before, but his mother was the most bitter person I've ever met. She was hateful, ungreatful and just mean. NOTHING you could do for her was right. (Odd I ended up being her guardian.) Even my father would have nothing to do with her.

    But, what it showed me is he had no model to look to as how to be a father or be a family. I didn't forgive him, but I chose to let that anger go on my part. My brother and sister have not chosen to do this. I don't think they've talked to him in over 30 years. I respect their wishes, but also wish they would see he is a different man now.

    We used to beg my mother to leave him. Now...she is the light of his day. You'd think they were teenagers. Although he'd never admit it, I think he now realizes what an a_ss he was when we were young. But, you can't take back time. He's never apologized, but shows it in his actions now. I'm so sorry your father is not doing the same.

    Let the bitterness go and live your own life. Don't take calls from family that berate you.

    Since you are having issues with your own Christmas, try taking the family down to the soup kitchen or homeless shelter on Christmas day to help out. There is nothing like helping people who are so much worse off than you are. It helps put things in perspective.

  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Witz, they sound like perfectly hateful people. I'd want to wash my hands of them, too. I'm sorry for the pain you've felt for all of these years.
    I have a couple of thoughts on the above.

    #1. What if you didn't make it a "choose" situation? There's no reason L can't do both.Think of it like a divorce situation where the kid goes to more than one parent's home on holidays. As soon as you take the "choose" part out of the equation, the less the impact on your feelings.

    #2. If you think it's a boring night then she certainly will, start thinking now about who you can invite to liven things up. Single friends? Fun couples who are new in town? Someone from church or work who doesn't have other family in the area? Mix it up. All ages. All circumstances. Sometimes goofy combinations of people have the most fun. Do that stupid gift exchange where you can steal gifts from each other- that's bound to liven things up a bit. Make it a pot luck so the food responsibilities are spread around and not just on you. Make it a brunch instead of a dinner if that would help ease the pain of "Christmas dinner."

    People having fun attract people who want to have fun. It's a benefit for everyone.

    And if L still can't...or won't...come? Do it anyway...for YOU.

  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. Still very sad here. I just wish this holiday were over.
  11. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen've got to let this go. Let THEM hold the anger and strange fantasies. Live your own life.

    Just because it's the holidays doesn't change any of this. I can guarentee you one thing...if you go to an VFW hall, they'll be plenty of people around having a great time, but have no family to celebrate with. They are the most welcoming people. It really does lift your spirit, which is what you need. I have one that has the same 10 people in it everytime I do a job there. They welcome me like family. It's a pleasure going out there. They are lonely people who still have a great spirit. They just don't have anyone to share it with. Find something like this.

    Giving you strong hugs, dear.

  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Witz -

    Their behavior - their lies, snarkiness, mean-spiritedness, and hatefulness - are a reflection of THEM. Not you. You wouldn't treat someone like that because YOU are a better person than that.

  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Have you ever thought of going away with your husband for the holiday? Make it a special trip for the two of you. It could become a new annual tradition.

    Leave the people that hurt you behind and concentrate on enjoying Christmas with your husband.

    I would love to do something like that but my difficult child and easy child want to be home for Christmas. But I think it would be fun to celebrate Christmas on a cruise ship or at a beautiful old inn somewhere in New England. It wouldn't even have to be that far away. My husband and I went to Asheville, NC last Christmas (right before Christmas) and had a great time.

    Maybe you could start a new tradition and leave the old family ugliness out of it.

  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I was just checking in and hoping your night gave you some peace and our prayers and good wishes give you the courage to get through today and every day.

    Felize Navidad -(I put that there so I could still wish you a Merry Christmas but you wouldn't know it maybe)

    Love & Hugs
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Witz I didn't read this yesterday so am weighing in rather late. But I want you to know that I feel for you. I hope you are OK and had a plesant evening with your husband. I do have a suggestion for future christmases. INstead of not celebrating at all and feeling like you are missing something maybe just try to make it more about the real meaning of christmas. Particapate in a mitten tree, or adopt a family, volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen where you will be appreciated.

    It is OK to keep away from toxic people as a matter of fact most therapists will tell to that you absolutely must when they are so very bad for your emotional health. I am sure you feel lost and unloved and underappreciated right now. I want to just reach out and hug you. But I do think that forgetting about Christmas in a world where Christmas is so publicly celebrated is going to be a very hard thing to accomplish. Like swimming against the current and I am afraid all you are going to do is defeat yourself. I think that redefining your Christmas Through volunteering and vacationing with your husband and making it special again is a better way to go. Take your open heart where it will be appreciated. And remember "the best revenge is to live well". author unknown. -RM
  16. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I am really sorry about your crummy bio family. I am hoping you can find some way to move up and on. Thoughts and prayers!
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thank goodness it's over. It is like a 100 pound weight lifted from my shoulders. I'm going to take time over the next few months to find a suitable way to replace the annual Christmas plague we have been celebrating. Since there aren't any ornaments or decorations left in the house chances are slim to none that I will try to convince myself that a traditional Christmas at home is for me.

    I have a romantic image in my head that instead of being home at Christmas we will be floating down the Nile on a barge or poking around Beijing where no one else will be celebrating either, or at least won't mind if we don't participate. Christmas is such a hurtful time for so many people. I know that being aware of what my family has been up to for the past 9 years would have upset me no matter what time of year I had learned about it. It was the double-whammy of it all happening around Christmas that really made it so hard.

    No more unrealistic Christmas expectations for me. I won't say "Bah-Humbug", but for me I think it's best if it's either all about something other than Christmas, like traveling to a new place, or just another day.
  18. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Witz, I love the idea of you and husband traveling someplace new next year. It doesn't have to be far, just different. Some place where you can make new memories and mark a new direction for the future.

  19. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I'd go too!!

  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    With everything here I am coming in very late to this. I am sorry I wasn't here for you sooner.

    IF EVER you want to be part of a celebration, we are in OK and would absolutely love to have you. ANY holiday, or we will just have a "Happy Day" get together. Not fancy, just full of people who care and would love to see you.

    I have only met you here on the board. But I KNOW you. You are a special, beautiful person with wonderful gifts and a big heart. I am so sorry your family is so stupid and mean.

    I have lots of relatives that are strange, but fun. You can be one of us!!!

    Tell L to mind her own business or leave you alone. This is NOT something you need to go through.

    You have ALWAYS reached out to me with care and love. Sometimes I didn't want to hear it, because the truth can be not pleasant, but I always knew there was love in what you said.

    PLEASE find whatever you need to heal. And if you ever come out this way, we would LOVE to have you.