Sunday, November 18, 2007

Post To Healing From Family Rifts Board-Response to Wedding Day Plans

It's those pesky other people we love who get in the way of a perfectplan isn't it? I was thinking that on my wedding, if I could go back in time, I just wouldn't tell my parents I was getting married at all. Then I remembered the flaw!! My grandparents on my father's side, who I do adore, were alive and would have been horrified that my parents weren't there (with me mainly). So, sigh,going back in time, because I would want my grandparents there AND happy, I would have sucked it up.

It wasn't that bad, except that neither talked, both avoided each other, my mom let me know at every opportuntity that weddings were not happy occaissions for HER, my dad and step were all stiff and didn't show any affection whatsoever. Oh yes, and my mom dragged my dad's side of the family out to see her new classic car, because she knew that would bug my father. But I was enjoying my wedding even so, just ignoring them.

I do understand the problem. What do you say if grandma and grampadon't come to your daughter? What about the telphone calls betweenthe grandparents and the daughter after that day? Are they going to triangulate that to get to you through your daughter?Abusive and controlling parents are not so good at monitoring their actions, or thinking about how their actions affect others.

Regarding T-Day, I think it's fine if your parent(s) don't want tocome. I would start making them accountable for their decisions and actions in accepting their non-acceptance of the invite, and going on merrily with your fun plans for the holiday. It took me a looonnnnnnggg time to figure this out. For instance,for some reason, I used to allow my father to call me on the stepmonster's behalf. Then I figured out, if she wants to talk to me,she can talk to me directly and I started picking up the phone to hear it from her, instead of an attempted mandate by my father. You know, the whole triangulation thing just stopped in it's tracks.

My father tried to reinstate it after she crashed a funeral!! I had called and written her that this was unacceptable, and in the future if she was not invited to something that she was not to attend,especially since it was just so she could storm past me in front of a family that (she didn't realize this) knew the situation and what she was. When I told my father that he had no control over whether I contacted her, but she did. That if she didn't do things that she knew were wrong and hurtful that she wouldn't have to hear directly from me, it all stopped. My father didn't know what to say to that LOL. It was a great moment for me when I realized that the control that they thought they had just vaporized into mist.

I remember another time when my father was calling me right before I terminated the relationship to give me the monster's reasons for believing she had the right to be the real estate agent on the sale of my house. I called her directly and told her she could speak to me, and I didn't appreciate the interference. My dad called back,and I told him I had already discussed it with the monster. You should have heard the rage in his voice, and then I asked "what'swrong with me talking with her directly instead of through you. You claim because your a teacher you are practically a mental health professional, do you feel triangulated conversations are healthy?"Again, he was at a loss for words and said "fine" before he slammed down the phone.

Only you can answer what the cost/benefit is to your relationship.In the end, I finally realized what the relationship was costing me,but it took until I was 40. I thought by complying a few times a year, showing up to the expected events, et and having contact though really not a relationship was sufficient for me. Then I realized their inability not to take no for answer, their uncaring of our relatives who were dying and sick and our needing to concentrate on that rather than their (my father and the step monster) narcistic needs, that I didn't "owe" them the debt of the commission on my house or anything else in a material or financial way. I realized that I am worth something, and people who found me shy and hard to know found that something while my parents never could. They could only find what served them best. I was a list of things that could be done for them. It's so sad, isn't it, that I still need to try and justify to myself why I don't want them in my life. If this was someone else, it would seem so obvious to me. But these are the struggles that we go to, as we come to terms with what this relationship really is, what it's worth is, what it's cost is.Ugh, good luck. Anyway, make your wedding day a happy day regardless. It goes by way to fast:)

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