Wanted: experienced folks for touchy problem

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, May 15, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Sadly, we continue to have "stuff" going on here.
    It is not significant (I suppose), but it can be a little distracting.
    Fortunately, we've all detached, so these things aren't as draining as they were in the past.

    Our son moved after graduating from college almost abruptly 3-4 weeks ago. Right before...he was really angry with his sister and things are not "right" between them. Part of the problem was difficult child's alcoholic boyfriend. Since then, she has dumped him.

    She moved in with an old friend....new, nice apartment. Now there are problems there...it seems to be more the roommate's fault than difficult children...but who cares really...it's melodrama.

    She does seem to have friends who make really bad choices. Many (almost all) of the Landlords tell us they like difficult child...but don't like her roommates or friends.

    Now, difficult child tells us she wants to live alone. Her roommate is too "immature."

    Melodrama...all the time....all the time...melodrama.

    At first son didn't really want difficult child at the wedding. Eveyone is advising him that he will regret it if he doesn't have his sister there.

    Our current plan is to have a friend drive her there (it is about 4 hours away!!!) Have her go the night before, attend the wedding (it's in the morniing) and then drive back with these people that night.

    The sad thing is that her interaction with family and friends would be somewhat limited...although many are really just staying for short periods of time...husband and I are staying a little longer.

    The positive is that it would reduce the chances of melodrama if we get her in and get her out...BUT..she would still be there for the wedding...in its entirety.

    How do we keep the melodrama down with difficult child? IF she messes up (and you know what I mean) in my humble opinion, this would end it permanently with her brother.

    Any advice?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry...this just doesnt even come close to sitting well with me. He doesnt even want her at his wedding? Why isnt she IN his wedding? She is his sister! I cant even imagine one of my boys not wanting each other in one of their weddings no matter what.

    I had a cousin get married a few years ago and my aunt who is crazier than all get out was invited to every part of that wedding. And yes, stuff happened with my aunt. In fact, rescue ended up having to be called in the middle of the reception because my aunt had a seizure in the bathroom. It didnt make a bit of difference to anyone at that wedding because everyone was happy that at least she got to be there. Family. That is what is important.

    Ya know...one day you and your husband are going to be gone and all your son is going to have left is difficult child. Brothers and sisters are special...or should be.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    It's a small wedding.
    The fiance picked maids of honor, etc.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nomad, I think this is a very sad scenario. It seems short-sighted and somewhat insensitive to exclude difficult child from the wedding party and then have her hustled in and out of the wedding, too.

    Ok, so the bride doesn't want her as a bridesmaid...not nice, but then give her something else to do. difficult child could stand by the guest book and smile and ask people to sign it. Or she could stand by the table where people put wedding gifts and make sure they are stacked properly. She seems to "rise to the occasion" so giving her a job to do might help her feel special enough to reduce the possibility of melodrama and also keep her occupied.

    I had a tiny wedding...bride, groom, best man, matron of honor (my sister in law). That's it. I didn't want my friends to feel excluded so I gave them each a small bouquet of flowers so everyone would know they were special to the occasion even though they weren't directly involved in it.

  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    difficult child did not attend his brothers wedding. He was asked to be a groomsman---would never go get fitted for the tux. Joshua replaced him at the last minute with a friend. It hurt Joshua tremendously that difficult child was more interested in drugs and his friends than being there for him. PCdaughter was in the wedding. On crutches---right after the first knee surgery. There we are. Me, husband, Joshua, Jana and difficult child is nowhere to be found. All the pictures seem empty. Just another time that he thought more of himself than others. Of course, it was his choice. I think that you need to sit down with daughter and tell her the correct etiquette. Give her a chance, but have an out available if its needed.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    LOVED the ideas!

    Suz...difficult child can sometimes "rise to occassions"

    Give her a "job" to do might really work!!!

    However, having an "escape route" will calm our fears.

    Some of you might know...at one point...son and I were thought to have ptsd.

    difficult child has a good heart and has shown some tiny signs of improvement.

    But many, many years of very serious drama...takes its toll. Sadly, we've come to expect "drama" at every turn.

    Heck...she was at my house today. I was suppose to write an essay. It's 9 .m....have NOT written it and my brain is a little soft right now. I'm not depressed...but not thinking at the level I need to be yet. Perhaps in about 30 mins. I'll be fine. I need to get it emailed to the professor tonight. She saps energy....even today...we all know it.

    Yes, it's sad.
    Lasted edited by : May 15, 2009
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Family is family.........the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hopefully it's mostly good......but if we're honest.....the other is always in there somewhere. :tongue:

    My kids wouldn't dream of excluding each other from birthday parties, let alone and event as important as a wedding. Nor would I stand for it. Like Janet said, family is family. (believe me, I grew up with quite a colorful bunch)

    I like the idea of giving her a small job. (gives her something to focus on) And having a means of escape handy, just in case it's needed.

    easy child had Travis stand up with sister in law and his brothers. She'd have included Nichole, but Nichole was too scared to get up infront of all those people. But Nichole was right there, helping with the set up and the reception. Both difficult child's did wonderfully. No drama.

    The biggest thing is for everyone to chill. I go into a wedding knowing that something is gonna happen. It always does. Can be tiny or huge depending. And often, if you're already on edge and stressed out.....even the smallest thing can seem huge.

    So set everything into place and relax. The important part is that son and the woman he loves are getting married and that family and friends are gathering to enjoy it and celebrate. The rest is just fluff.

  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Our son cares deeply for his bride to be.

    He seems over sensitive with- reference to his sister and her "issues."

    One one hand, I totally understand this. There many, many, many times that difficult child interferred with his peace of mind.

    On the other hand, I do not wish to give him persmission to be unkind or disrespectful.

    The other family has a relative with difficult child tendencies. This person sent "regrets" and will not be in attendance.

    The bride is super easy child and many of her family members are similar. However, because of this one family member...they have a notion of the sitiuation. The bride has actually been very patient and kind...she rarely, if ever, comments about "things."

    I already spoke with husband about giving our difficult child a "job" to do. He really likes the idea. We are going to talk to the "happy couple" about this possibility!!
  9. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Well I am sorry to say this but my daughter when she got married didnt want difficult child anywhere near the wedding. She was afraid he would get drunk or whatever and that would ruin it for her. So he wasnt there and probably didnt care because he was with friends. I cant believe that he could have been at that wedding with alcohol there and not remained sober. It wwould have been just as hard for him to pull off.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stands...your son is addicted to drugs and would refuse to stay sober at an event just like EW's son did. None of that applies to any of the rest of these difficult child's. I can see keeping an active addict out if they are so out of control they cant leave the drugs alone for the day of the event.

    Giving difficult child a job is perfect. Maybe passing out the programs or what everyone else has said. When getting to the reception she could make sure the disposable cameras are passed out or even the little bottles of bubbles are on the tables. If you dont have those yet, maybe she could be in charge of decorating those in secret and getting them on the tables...it would be fun for her. Walmart has them very cheap and you just tie a bit of lace on top.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, it's his wedding and given the circumstances he is going to regret it whether she is there or not. He'll regret not having her there on what could possibly have been a day that she behaved, and he'll regret having there if she comes and acts up, or even if she doesn't act up, because he and his bride will have spent the day worrying about what she will do.

    The one thing you do know is that if me makes his own decision, he will have his own regrets for his own decision and it will be something that he can act upon in a way that he will feel comfortable with. If he invites her because people tell him that he will regret it if he doesn't, if she acts up, he will blame the people who advised him rather than accept the result for his own decision.

    If I were in your situation, I would tell him to do what he will feel most comfortable with. If grandma or auntie will be unhappy, and their happiness is important enough that he would please them against his own wishes, that's fine. He should invite her. Then grandma or auntie can feel bad for having forced difficult child on him on his wedding and ruined the day, and he can understand about caving in against his own better wishes. But I'd really let him make this decision for himself. The "You'll regret it if you don't invite them" is a total guilt trip from someone who isn't really a member of the party, in my humble opinion.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can understand your opinion Witz if we were talking about a cousin or Uncle Louie's ex wife Angie or even some other person...but his sister? Nah. I mean she isnt some homeless bum on the streets who talks to herself and picks at scabs while spouting the book of Job. (I actually had that person in my family and she came to my Uncles wake...long story)
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I would be very clear to difficult child if she does "x" then "z" is the consequence. Black and white description so it is clear. Your son and his fiance shouldn't have their day ruined by a tantrum or craziness. This is the one day that it isn't about difficult child since we know how they **** the life out of a room and bring all the attention to them.
    If son and fiance agree to have her do something so she is involved in the wedding. Maybe with a special dress that is the same color family as the bridesmaids she will want to act adult. If she decides to go difficult child then she is out of there.

    However, I would role play with difficult child on what to do, how to greet and what to say and how she wants to present herself. It will help difficult child to have a dialogue or plan with the social niceties that are difficult for them to navigate.

    I understand that in a very public social situation where you and husband will be hostessing your side of the family, you want to minimize the chance of difficult child putting herself in an embarassing situation.
    So much of our easy child's lives have been a footnote to their difficult child's sibling. It is not unreasonable to want one's wedding day without difficult child drama. Hopefully, son and future d i l will want to be open to the possibilities.

    Wait until the other side of the family's difficult child is the one to carry on.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Janet, I'm just offering my opinion based upon my experience. Nomad doesn't have to take it, but it was more than a knee jerk reaction type opinion. I think it's his wedding and he should decide. He can live with the consequences either way. I'm sure he'll be happier deciding to invite her if it's because he knew it was his choice than if he did it to satisfy someone else's sense of what is right and wrong for him. My guess is he'll invite her, and then it will be his choice, which is how it should be.

    My eldest sister W was on the outs with my dad when my older sister S got married. My dad wouldn't let W be in S's wedding. S said I couldn't be in the wedding if W couldn't be in it. Dad told her I had to be in it or he wouldn't pay, and W couldn't be in it or he wouldn't pay. We were 20, 18, & 13. I had no idea that those were the circumstances at the time. I have to tell you it cut me to the bone when 25 years and 3 husbands later I heard S tell someone "I didn't even want Witzend in the wedding but Dad made me, and he wouldn't let W be my maid of honor like I wanted." I don't know if I wasn't ever wanted in the wedding party, or if I became a bone of contention because of my dad's position on W. But I'll never forget that, and my dad's ill-intentions tainted everything. In hindsight it's pretty clear that both of my sisters were angry that I was there. Nomad's son will make the right decision in the long run, but it should be his and his bride's to make and people should respect that.

    My advice is to let him make his own decision. He'll make the right one and he'll know better than to rub the wrong decision in someone else's face years down the road, embarrassing everyon.
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ya know witz....I guess I am dense or maybe its because I never had sibs...but I cant understand this whole game anyway. It just seems to me that somethings are just kinda understood. Like who should be ushers at weddings and who should carry caskets...lol.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    LOL! Large families are an argument waiting to happen! You know, my sister W did show up at S's wedding, but I think she was not invited, and my father did not speak to her or allow anyone around him to speak to her. She's now daddy's favorite... Gag.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Witz, this is true. Or can be true. As I have seen it in some families. But even with all of the gfgdom in mine, including extended family........no one would ever exclude someone from such a major family event. Bad behavior by a difficult child may be "handled" or taken in stride with understanding....whichever was needed. But they would not be excluded.

    We as parents try to teach our kids tolerance for others differences. This most especially includes their own family. Not everyone can be a easy child. And the vast majorily of difficult children did not ask to have their dxes. They are as real an illness as any other. And while we grumble about others being prejudice against our kids for their dxes......how could we tolerate it in our own families?

    I am not saying this is what you meant. (cuz I don't think you meant it that way at all) I'm saying this is how I look at it because this is the way I was taught to look at such things. And this is how I raised my kids as well.

    I'm not saying that an out of control difficult child should be let run amuk, either. But one who is trying, even if they're struggling, should be included.

  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Actually, I think Witz makes a good point. Literally everyone wants difficult child to attend, however, literally everyone wants 1000 safeguards in place. Since so many want her to attend, naturally, son feels pressure to say yes. We are working on the safeguards. This is a complicated situation...there is no doubt.

    GUESS WHAT? difficult child got drunk last night. At least this is her claim. Now, we have a new concern. I am not amused. Another episdoe of this...and I personally will nix her invitation.
  19. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Nomad, difficult child has her foot in both sides of the difficult child world. I always figured that our kids either travel the road of poor functioning or they live in the world of deliquency type behavior. Your difficult child has some diminished capacity but does seem to function marginally. In the past few years has been sliding into the world of rebellious behavior in an effort to fit in? I don't know. It makes things complicated.
  20. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I think Witz has a lot of great points. And difficult children do tend to take a day where the focus is supposed to be on someone else and make sure that the focus is on them instead, usually with atrocious behavior or by being so needy that everyone is trying to accomodate them.

    I am surprising my difficult child 2/easy child for her high school graduation in June by bringing her easy child brother home for the event. I have considered also bringing difficult child and her baby home but then what would happen? What was supposed to be difficult child 2/easy child's big day will instead be upstaged by difficult child and baby or by drama between difficult child and someone. difficult child 2/easy child deserves to have an event of hers not be marred by difficult child as every other event has been marred. And I don't want the stress of trying to keep everyone happy and behaving well!

    Good luck, Nomad. I really think Witz is right though--let this be your son's decision and he can live with the results of his decision for better or worse.