selling my soul for them- should I?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by upallnight, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Im going to Disneyland, although my parents live 10 minutes from there I haven't seen or spoken to my mom in years. Without the gory abusive details, she doesnt deserve to have me or my kids in her life. by the way, I talk to my dad. They're still married. He's old and sickly, and I did want us to see him before he dies. My mom is young 60, I'm 42.That's why I planned this vacation. My teenage boys are less than thrilled with the whole Disneyland thing.

    My dad left me an ANGRY ranting message that if I don't see my mom, then I won't see him either. Nobody speaks to me like that in my life, people never yell at me. There is never any reason to talk to someone in that way, but I grew up like that and I do not under any terms want to see either of them now. Truly, after that message, I'm done with seeing them.

    But I called him back and spoke very kindly and said everything he wanted to hear without entirely agreeing (I have a brother that dissapeared from all our lives many years ago-we don;t know where he lives, or even if he's still alive. Just to give some backround on what kind of parents we had)

    The reason I called him and spoke kindly is my husband is upset, he thinks our kids should see them. I cant do it, I know I don't want to see either of them, but I may have regrets later.
    The regrets later is my reason. It's not long that I would have to spend with them, but I'll feel good knowing I punished them. I'm crazy, I know. What do you think I should do? My heart says I shouldn't see them, but my kids ......I'm torn.-Alyssa
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like it would be awkward to go to their home without some more conversation and settling of minds first. Would it work to try to find a solution for you, husband, and the boys- maybe just calling your Dad far enough in advance and invite him and your Mom (if you think she can be civil) to join your family for lunch or dinner one day (which ever meal and day YOU and husband have already picked out). If he takes you up on your offer, fine, if not, you haven't let this take over your family's vacation. And usually, things are less strained in a neutral, public setting while they are eating.

    Just a thought.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{hugs}} What a difficult situation.

    If I were you and I was thinking that I may later have regrets about not simply sucking it up and seeing them, I think I would make a plan to meet for lunch or something with a definite beginning and ending, so there is a time limit in place beforehand.

    However, if you really and truly, in your heart, do not feel the need to see them, but you do want your kiddos to see them, then I would ask H to meet with them in your place. It can be a nice grandparent/grandchild visit and that's it. Or, perhaps you and H can drop the kiddos off with grandparents and go off by yourselves for an hour or so and then return to pick them up. We did that once with my exmil and my kids. H and I stopped over, chatted for a few minutes and left the girls there for the afternoon and went off to do our own thing. Picked them up just after dinner and everyone was happy.

    I do not think that you should allow your father to guilt you into this. You're an adult and you've created some healthy boundaries for yourself under very difficult circumstances. It is difficult to tell you what you should do because only you know the damages you've suffered from the abuse and whether or not you can tolerate an afternoon in your mother's presence.

    I will pray that you find the answer for yourself, one you can live with.
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    The plan is for them to meet us at the airport, and take us to the hotel. Even though there is a Disney bus that would get us there. The next day we'll got to the park with them all day. I can't do this. And go out to restaurants together. We haven't been on a vacation in years as a family.
  5. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Oy Vey! I don't know where to begin! I also have no contact with mom & dad as i feel they are toxic to me and everyone else they touch. I stopped my difficult child from seeing them when she was about 7-ish becuase of toxic things I saw happeneing (like having my mom forcing difficult child to call her mom!) I never prevented phone or written coontact, but over the years difficult child sees what I did in my parenst and does not want contact with them. I am moving in a few months to where they live (my brother is still there, he's the only one I speak to) We will be staying with him until we get settled into our own place and am horrified at the thought of having contact with the parents and will avoid it at all costs - but enough about me!

    Your husband is not understanding that this is your family and you need to deal with it the way you see fit. Why are you going to disney if no one else is into it? setting yourself up for failure is no fun. If your parents were toxic to you, then they are toxic to all children (in my humble opinion) the fact that your brother is "missing" should be testament enough that things were not great. It all comes down to what you can live with. If you never see the parents (either on of them) again - would it be hurtful to you? Do you want to purposely put you and the kids in an unhealthy situation? Are you helping or harming by not allowing contact. I have explained to my difficult child that grandmas is not quite right and although she has her faults she's still grandma. I left the decision up to her. If your difficult child's have a desire to see them than maybe they need to learn first hand why there hasn't been contact. (we went through that with difficult child's bio dad's family and she learned within one visit why we don't see them either!) It's a tough call, but you have to do what you feel is tight for you and the kids - not for ANYONE else - you are the only one that will have to live with that decision. So sorry you're having to deal with this. Keep us posted!!!!
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    JHMO- that sounds like an awful lot of sudden, constant time to be with people who you haven't seen in years and who you still carry around baggage from.
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for the good advice. husband thinks Disneyland is the greatest place on earth he has never been. He has been wanting to go there forever, my kids seem interested in the fact that there will be girls in bathing suits. I had only been planning on seeing my dad until that call. My children won't know there are missing anything like grandparents becuase they don't have them in their lives anyway. Thanks for the good advice, I think I know what to do!
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    If they'd like to meet you at the airport, fine. If they'd like to all go out to dinner and be cordial, fine. I would draw the line at spending the day at Disney with them. After all, this is your vacation. It should be about spending time with your family.

    See how the airport thing goes and then maybe dinner. Then perhaps, if things go well, you can do something else with them. I would definitely not want to spoil my Disney vacation with the possibility of things going sour.

    I don't blame you for being reticent about this. My stomach is in knots from reading this.
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Hmmm, I think that is just maybe TOO much time with a person you have issues with.

    Every time I have contact with my mother in person I am back to a bad place in time- I will be 58 this year, but my mother doesn't see that woman, she only sees a 17 year old and has this need to bring up each and everything I ever did wrong. Logically I know she just cannot get past it for whatever reason (believe me, there is no such thing as letting her vent and get it out of her system - that cork is firmly welded on and its just the same thing reguritated over and over and over again) and in the meantime I have moved on and grew up and came to terms that like in life, with people you meet, sometimes there is not a good personality match, and the same holds true with family members. I will never be the daughter she wanted, nor will she ever be the mother I had wished for. It S ucks eggs, but there it is.

    Just be prepared for finding yourself in a time warp. My beliefs in the hereafter are that there is a next life and you get to come back and work on unresolved issues and problems. I am trying to take the high road and make nice cause the thought of having to do a life all over again with her makes me want to claw at my eyes in this life :)

    I think I would just see how dinner goes and play it by ear. I have always been a believer in kids should get to know the family - I just don't want to have to participate in that too much with people who I have a toxic relationship with.

  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Personally, I would tell them that I would take the bus to the hotel and meet them at a restaurant for dinner. If that goes well, you can make plans for meeting them again while you are there.

    If not, at least you have made an effort and have the rest of the vacation to look forward to.

    You could tell them that you don't want them to meet you at the airport since their could always be delays, etc. Explain it as not wanting to put them out.

    Then leave the rest open on a "let's see how it goes" basis.

    Good luck!

  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member


    I doubt I would accept the ride from the airport, becuz then you would be kinda stuck if things go poorly, and you would have little control, becuz you would be in their car.

    As for spending the day at Disney WITH them? If your dad is old and sick, how would that go? Could he tolerate being at disney? Seems to me he would drag down the time for the kids. That does not sound to me like it would be optimum for the boys at all.

    I can understand there might be some issue between your mom and dad, if he is old and sick and depends on her, he may feel he has to "side" with mom for his best interests.

    I would say possibly, if anything, consider a meeting for a meal, at a neutral location, where everyone gets themself to the destination, in public, where anyone can leave if things are not going so well. Then take it from there. Play it by ear. I would also suggest...seperate checks for the meal. Noone will "owe" anyone, noone can "buy" anyone?
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Dreamer and all: You have such GOOD advice!!!My dad 's in a wheelchair. He goes to Disney all the time. They live in one of those Disney houses. So right about the transportation and the meals. And everything. I told husband this, we could have dinner with them one night and see how that goes, they could take the "kids" while we go to Pleasure Island. After that, we'll see. That's all I can commit to for now. My aunt and uncle will come with us, they live there also, by the way my aunt did not have contact with my parents for 20 years from the time I was 14-34, and KNOW exactly where I'm coming from, and more that I don't even know, according to my aunt. So, it's common knowledge.-Alyssa
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am not sure why you would leave your kids with your parents if you find your parents toxic? That would be leaving your kids with them with no way to get away if things get ugly or whatever, it leaves your kids vulnerable.
    ANd it also could put your parents into a position of being able to think- oh, hey, wait look we watched your kids for you, you owe us.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Oh, no no no no no! Who made that plan? I have to know it wasn't you. Lunch or dinner I could do, if I absolutely had to, for my kids. If that is what my kids wanted to do. Honestly, your husband did not grow up in your house, and as much as he thinks he can understand the way you feel and why you feel that way, he can't.

    That being said, if that is the arrangement you made when you spoke to your father, that's what you have to do. And to quote all of the old adages, "if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well." Believe me, on this one thing, I know exactly how you feel. Remember what happened to the Wise Men and the manger scene at my house last Christmas? Thank God the only ones there to see it were my husband and the dogs. But this is one day out of your life. It's not your childhood all over again, it's just one day, and it's probably going to be a crummy one, so all you can do is make the best of it.

    The only ones who need to learn a lesson out of this is your kids. And the lesson you want them to learn is that you were gracious and found a way to make it work. If Grandma wants to be a witch, they can see that, and they should see that you handled it with grace and style. Before, during and after. Personally, to make this work for me, this would involve diamonds. For me. Or maybe a new sofa or a flat screen. If I thought I could just keep my eye on that prize and keep my mouth shut, that would be it. I have my reward for behaving.

    If I thought I might slip up, I would set a budget for my ultimate diamond earring or sofa or whatever it is. Then if I really thought it was going to be a challenge, I'd either wipe out $25 from my budget every time I slipped up, or start low and reward myself $25 for every time I let one of their snarky remarks slide. You need to let your husband know that since this is his idea, it's his job to step in when needed.

    Absolutely no fighting or complaining about this, either with your parents or with your husband, in front of your kids. The one thing you want them to come away from this with is the idea that even with family a family member that you can't stand, you can be pleasant and move one when it's over.

    Enjoy those diamonds, girlfriend. You'll earn every little bit of them.
  15. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Leave your kids with them and realize they will "pump" your kids for information. I would be very leery of doing that, but I don't know all that has gone on.....just because you are related by blood doesn't mean you owe them a relationship.....that is YOUR decision. Sending good thoughts and wishing you wisdom in making these decisions.......
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Do your own thing -
    Get your own ride -
    Don't dump your toxic parents on 2 teenagers who are not looking forward to the Disney experience hoping that you can get some vacation time alone with husband - because those kids are going to be looking for babes, not grandma and grandpa - and it would make sense after the vacation was done - YOU would be blamed for "running" off and leaving THEM to baby sit grandma and a sickly grandpa.

    Get the bus from the airport -
    Meet them for dinner/lunch and tell the boys that it's up to them if THEY want to make the first move to spend more time with grams and gramps - and if not - then devise a plan at Disney so YOU and husband can have YOUR fun and the teens can have THEIR fun. That way NO pressure.

    Before you leave - IF you want to sacrifice another hour or two of your vacation - meet them for breakfast, board the bus and say good bye.

    Short periods of time spent with toxic people can alleviate a lot of stress.

    Not spending time with them at all - could cause some stress later on after your parents are gone - but don't make plans for the teens forcing them to spend time with people YOU don't want to.

    Have a family meeting and vote - and a clue word that your kids could say at dinner - if they want to get OUT of spending more time with your folks - give them an out.

    Hugs - sorry you had such a toxic childhood.