What do you think?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Most of you know that my family and I have been out of contact for about 9 years. I didn't like that my parents and sibs actively recruited my teenage children against me, into a stupid disagreement about my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, and they told me that they would do what they wanted when they wanted because they were good and everyone knew it, and I was garbage and everyone knew it.

    L stills sees my family for holidays, and one or two times a year besides. I am not invited. She's going for Thanksgiving this week. I'm fine with that. I hadn't asked her to come to our house because she never does. It was always her dad's holiday in SF Ca.

    From time to time there will be some big huge extended family thing, and I will get an invite in the mail. The same one that 40 or 50 other families of distant relatives got. A month or so ago I got an invite to an August 2008 family reunion for my 79 year old mother's side of the family. It went out with a list of known family members who also got the invite and a request for people who might have been missed. I sent my mom a note and said I would try to be there. I don't know that it will still be happening, given my mom's advanced age. I don't consider it much of an invite, considering it went out to every nutcase relative of my Mom's, including my schizophrenic cousin who bludgeoned a little old lady on the street to death for her purse and spent 15 years in the state mental hospital and has lived in a halfway house for the last 12.

    husband and our therapist were not pleased that I said I might go. My thought had been that I should be able to go someplace and hold head high and have my husband and my daughter treat me like I deserve respect in front of these people. That is my condition upon them for me to go. Without it I won't. It's a long way to go, and it's premature for advice on this at this point. We all have time to work on it.

    But here's where the "What do you think?" part. Would it kill them to invite me to Thanksgiving or Christmas? They couldn't hold it together for an hour or two and put a good face on it? Do they really think that inviting me to a family reunion every 5 years counts me in as a member of their family? Me and the bludgeoner?

    When I talked to L yesterday, and she told me she was going to my mom and dad's for Thanksgiving, I told that I wouldn't worry about her being alone. (This is true.) She had been all excited because they had invited me to the reunion, and I had said I would try to go. I pointed out to her that it might actually mean something if they invited us to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I could go for an hour and be polite, and I think that's what they are afraid of. I can't be the boogey monster if I can control myself at Thanksgiving for an hour. I told her that it had nothing to do with her, and that I wasn't upset or meaning to make her upset, but that I was taking a hit from husband and the therapist for even thinking about going to a reunion under the circumstances.

    L wants to call me back this afternoon to talk about it, because she was at someone's house when we talked yesterday. I don't really have much to say. This thing is moving at a glacial pace. I'm not rushing to any decisions here. It's just a fact of the matter that I'm good enough to ask to a family reunion to make it look like they've got a nuclear family, but not good enough for Christmas. It almost makes it easier to go to the family reunion because there's a lot less pressure to pretend that I'm anything important to them, or they to me.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just want you to know I have read your post. I have not had any
    similar experiences so I can't spout off on a been there done that. :whew: I
    would assume that your husband, therapist and child would be the most
    valuable resources as you contemplate the event.

    In general I think that most of "events" or "happenings" is found
    in the preconceived expectations. If one is anticipating bad
    vibes or actions...chances are it will be a self-profilling prophecy. A number of times I have been over enthusiastic and
    totally convinced that a get together was going to be totally
    awesome etc. and I have been disappointed. My expectations were
    too high. Resting in the middle are where most of us function.
    No high expecations. No anticipation of horror.

    When I am going somewhere I prethink who is apt to be there, who
    I might want to avoid, etc. I always have an excuse ready so I
    don't feel trapped anywhere. That keeps me comfortable and I would hope that making sure YOU have the control will make your
    decision comfortable too. DDD
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I don't think I would want to go to the family reunion. You should follow your heart when it comes to that one. If you are comfortable and want to go hold your head high, then go. If not, then skip it.
    I learned that anxiety is caused by indecision. As soon as you make up your mind whether to go or not, you will feel much better.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Well, these are my thoughts and probably worth every penny you spent to get it :smile:

    I think you need to give up on the thought of being included this year and I think you also shouldn't talk about it with anyone. You know what you are saying to L but you have no way of knowing how she is translating it in her head...or translating it verbally to your family. And I think that if you think you are talking to her confidentially you are mistaken. I don't think that L would intentionally hurt things but this is between you and your parents and she should be kept out of the loop altogether.

    Man, that is a lot of "thinks."

    Anyway, if my longterm goal is to be included in the nuclear family gatherings again and there is major trepidation on both sides about whether or not both sides can behave themselves....I would go to the family reunion next summer. It would show my interest in being included and it would give me an opportunity to show that I can hold my tongue and mind my manners. And it would also give them the opportunity to show that THEY can hold their tongues and mind their manners! Going through that event successfully might very well pave the way for an invitation to next year's holiday dinners.

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Ditto, Suz!

    You just never know if they are thinking you do not want to be there. Just go slowly with the reunion. You will learn alot there.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I used to be very outspoken on matters of psychic ability. For you see - I was able to predict what everyone thought of me, how everyone would react to my presence at a dyfunctional-family-function (that's almost an oxy moron isn't it?)
    and I could sit and sense from miles away what people were going to do if I arrived or didn't arrive. I was better than Kreskin the magnificent. I had "THE POWER"

    I knew whenever there was a family get together - my x-in laws and family didn't want ME there - but could I send my son? I was sure of it. They didn't invite me into their little miserable cookie baking holiday get together, but when I walked in the door unannounced? Even the flavor of the day for either my brother in law or my husband had been invited, participated & was laughing with the rest of the witches of Eastwick. I went home with my baking powder in a baggie and cried.

    Then there were family reunions and I would always try to get out of them because I COULD predict the future and it always ended in someone saying something and me being a tad outspoken would not be able to keep my mouth shut and thus ww3 would ensue. I wasn't a pot stir- but you weren't going to fling any hash at me. I'd had it with the whole famdamily.

    When I went to therapy it was a different story. My therapist wrote a word down on a piece of paper and asked me what it was. I said HOW DO I KNOW? Then he said I am thinking of something - can you tell me what I'm thinking? I said HOW DO I KNOW and he said "My point exactly - you aren't psychic".

    HOWEVER - (keep in mind)

    History DOES tend to repeat itself with family that has not had any mental help (crazy beating uncle of yours) and other family members I'm sure at this moment will come to mind when I say to you "They say things they have no idea what they are talking about." or "She is a selfish idiot" or "He's a fruitcake without everything but the rum." And there you have it -

    You aren't psychic - YOU ARE BASING YOUR FINDINGS ON FACTS that history has told you WILL repeat because they WILL.

    I ditto Suz too - with the exception that at this point in my life if I DID get an invitation to my x's family anything I would take out a crayon - something dull and write ARE YOU NUTS and send it back. I didn't get an invite to the funeral, or a phone call or even a mention of my son in the will (and we didn't want it either) so why would I want to work so hard on getting my life together to go back and be a part of some lunacy?

    If you miss your Mom - see her without everyone around. If you miss them all? Write out the rules, if they get broken - leave without saying a word. They are going to talk anyway -

    I had hoped after so many years that my own family on my Mom's side would get back together - and they did - it was DISASTROUS! My sister left in tears - It made me mad. But then I realized that we all grow older, grow apart - and grow up in different houses that don't have the same values and morals. When you mix them - it's like an Ozzy Osbourne concert - with Tony Bennett lyrics and music. You show up expecting one thing - ready for that and you get something totally different.

    (author notes she likes Ozzy and Tony Bennett)

    We'll work on this - I'd say reunion maybe - Tday and Christmas - private with my mom if nothing else.
    and L? I wouldn't count on her to keep the peace. When has she before?

  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Actually I don't know anything about your family situations - except what is posted here today.

    I guess I have the privilege of ignorance.

    If your lack of speaking rests on one or two incidents - can you try and bridge the gap and make amends?

    If your lack of speaking rests on years and years of family dysfunction - then I personally would keep a comfortable distance.

    It is so sad when family cant forgive and forget. It is so sad when family can't love based on who we are.

    I'm sorry you're family is so pig headed.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Like GG, I also had no idea of your past family issues.

    How sad. I am so sorry.

    This is going to sound so "cop out", but it is true. Life is short. You have to do what you can live with.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It's nice to hear a different perspective on this stuff. I think we take it for granted sometimes that people have the same life experiences as we do, and it's a shocker sometimes when I see that not everyone had a drunk yet brilliant Uncle Frank, or a wealthy sister who wants everyone else to finance their kid's Christmas.

    To answer the question, it's years and years of dysfunction.

    I don't have much interest in going to the reunion, because I think it's for them to pretend that there isn't dysfunction. It's not that I care so much about the dysfunction, it's the pretending that there isn't any that gets my goat.

    I'd rather know that they were having Tday at my moms and at what time, go over to the house with my husband and ring the bell. Swear to God, they'd let me in, we'd sit down and have dinner, and there would be no fuss no muss until I was gone (right after dinner) because my family does not under any circumstances make a scene in front of anyone. They're too good at stabbing you in the back for that. Then they'd moan and gnash their teeth amongst themselves about how they couldn't believe I showed up. They'd get around to telling L how awful I was to show, but since she was there, she'd have her own perspective about it. That's a total fantasy, though, because my husband and L would never back me up.

    Honest to goodness, it's wrong to invite my kids to holidays and weddings and funerals but not invite me. It's wrong of my kids to go without me.

    by the way, L hasn't called. But if I'm not good enough for an hour or two of strained niceties at Thanksgiving, I want nothing to do with family reunions. I think that's a reasonable interpretation for any of us regardless of our family histories. That's where my thoughts on this were, and that's what I want L to know.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well if you wanted to see a play - then go to NY on the red eye and see something worth watching - lol

    Maybe L could take a picture of you and lovingly display it at the Tday table?

    OH for the love of pete if you ever met my x-inlaws and outlaws - you would swear it was a Manson fun-fest. Even when I looked up the family tree other people had posts about the last name and it said "Quote" - ARE ALL the So & SO's dysfunctional. And there were over 50 replies that all ALL said YES - they are nuts.

    I told DF if I read rootsweb and it said that his last name was in any way labeled "nuts" we're done. He said well that's good dear, because my family is just crazy - not a nut in the bunch.

    Families - gotta just love em.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    Families - gotta just love em.</div></div>

    "Gotta" is a strong word, there Starbie...