death in the family

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
death in the family
16
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 4:19am

I come from a dysfunctional family in which I was the designated scapegoat.  After years and years of trying to connect with family members who ignored me and/or could/not would  connect in a healthy way,  I decided to stop reaching out.  After that, all reaching out stopped because it was always one-way. My siblings blame me that  my parents have rejected me. I have no hatred with any of them but just choose to no longer stay in a dysfunctional, abusive one-sided relationship with anyone. I have made peace with that and have gone on to have a happy life with many loving friends. I know now that relationships are two sided, I am not entirely responsible for the success of a relationship or making someone love me, and I have a healthy concept now of what love really is.  If anyone of them came to me sincerely wanting to build a healthy relationship with me, Imy door is open.  

My dillema is that one family member called me today to  let me know that my youngest brother who has not talked to me in over 25 years has passed away. ( Have to say i am amazed I was even on the list of those to call.)

  My own children have kept in touch with the family.  Even they think I should be the one to mend the fences.  They do not even know these fences can not be mended as long as the people do not get healthy.  I believe that some of them will be attending his funeral.  If I  they needed me there, I would go.  Otherwise, I feel no desire to be there with people whoa) have such a negative attitude toward meb) to put on the act of we are one big happy family.  I can comfort my children individually as needed for the loss of an uncle that they also could not get close to. 

I have healed from the guilt and shame I used to feel for finally taking care of myself by not always being there for them and "doing the right thing" when it is not right for me.  Why then do I feel so conflicted about this. Should be a no brainer, don't go.  Perhpas i am not completely free of the "what they will think."   Based on past behavior, it doesn't matter whayt I do or say, I know what they will think and i am done basing my behavior to tryg to change what people think of me.  

As for myself, I can do my own private ceremony at the sadness that the brother I practically raised and tried to protect  from all the abuse in our childhood,  chose not to be a part of my life and passed away, as a stranger to me.

I'd like to hear  any ideas how to respond to this news: send a card, flowers, go to the funeral, not go?  Since someone did contact me, I do  want to acknowledge his passing in some way.  I know I HATE how I've been ignored all these years.  I am having a hard time coming up with a reason to go. If I just send a card do not even know what to say.  And what do i say to my own grown kids.

Thanks

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 11:43pm

Samuby...

You nailed it right  on every point.  Yes, it is my mother.  She is narcissic and lives in some kind of world of denial where she makes things up that she believes.  And there is no winning with people like that. But isn't that their point.  They are right and I am wrong no matter what. It is crazy making.  But Ha! I am not the crazy one, even though they try to give that impression.  

OH yes, the triangulating that goes on.  No one talks directly. And you can never get a straight up answer anyway.

My mother was not ever there for me. NEVER! Not in any way, emotionally , financially,  I could go on and on about the really cruel things she did mot of my life. I won't. Well one exception, during the time  I was married she played the part of a mom.  My husband did not like the way they treated me but he, too did not have the courage to stand up for me.  My mom got in her head that he was the cat's meow. Even though she had only met him  once before our marriage, she told him at our wedding, she did not think I was good enough for him.  The year we were separated, I drove myself and my kids 200 miles in the smow to be with my family at Thanksgiving and let  them know what was going on im my life.  Well, suddenly there were not enough chairs at the holiday table.  We were banned with no explaination except not enough chairs.  No solution I could come up with to rememdy the chair problem would work.  The kids and I ate dinner at Dennys and crashed at a friend of a friends before heading back over the mountains.   Mother's explaination later about that?  I was  selfish and always wanting my own way.  A chair at the family table for me and my kids???

But when my kids left home, then she played up to them. But where was she when they were kids?  Presents? They were usually old worn out completely inappropriate things she bought 2nd hand.  Usually the response from my kids was confusion and disappointment. In fact, the last time i talked to my sister-in-law, the new widow, was when she and my brother sent a package with lovely Christmas gifts from them and the usual from the grandparents.  Around that time I had been having conversations  with my children about giving to others and we were cleaning out closets to donate things we no longer wanted. . And conversations about graditude when recieving,  We made a phone call to my brother's so the kids could thank them for the gifts.  My daughter who was young at the time talked first.  "Thank you for the presents. I loved it.  But,,,,I am giving Grammas present to the poor kids"   She was so proud of herself to think of that idea. Oh my, her aunt immediately wanted to talk to me and then told me she was so mad at me she could not even talk. And hung up.  I then decided that I did not need to call back up to defend myself anymore. And she never , ever called me either. About 25 years ago.

I have moved on and I have a rich full life with many friends and a wonderful business and vounteer activites. I am loved.  Just not loved by my family.  I really do not know what it is to be a part of a loving family.  I did my best to do it differently with my own kids.  I was single and it was rough with absolutely no support and being undermined, to boot. Yes of course, that is a pain that does not go away.  Especially at times like this or when i hear of family get togethers because my own kids are going.  Some of them judge me for not "mending the rift"  But I think they get that idea , again, from my family who make me the one resposible. 

It still makes me mad when I see how it has affected my own children.  a poison that seeps threough the generations. Sad that my own children still do not understand. 

Congratualtions on yur home.   20 years! You've given me a bit of hope.  That, too has been a dream of mine.  A home of my own.  Don't know if that will ever happen .I've scrimmped and saved, too but it seems to keep on eluding me. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 2:03am
My daughter -in -law called tonight to ask how i was doing and how I am processing this. Bless her heart. We had a long, very positive talk tonight about family I am so pleased.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2011
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 7:14am

Your mother threw you out after you drove 200k with kids in the car ??? What sort of a monster is she? And you say she is into images and NOT making a scene?? And you continued to accept her second hand rubbish gifts and got the kids to thank her? 

Unbelievable. You have been trodded on, rejected, thrown out and abused and you havent seen that she is the most toxic person in your world.   You   had   no   hope   with   a   person   like   this. 

I hope you never see her again. She is dreadful -she threw out her own daughter and Gchildren from her home and then thinks that everything is their fault. Im sorry but if it were me I would NEVER speak to her again. NEVER ever again. And I would have turned up at my siblings houses and not at a friend of a friend to let them know how this happened. 

Stay away from this negative energy and DO NOT send her a card for the loss of her son until she reimburses you for the petrol money you used to get her place for TKS giving. Hugs xoxox

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Mon, 08-26-2013 - 6:55am
Yes, of course, I will "do the right ting" as always. It is me that is reaching out to let everyone to let them know that I care. So dejavu Me taking care of everyone. Me the one reaching out. Even so, I feel good about sending that out and also a bit of resentment. One person did reach out to me to genuinely see how I was doing with this. It was my daughter-in-law. Bless her. We were able to have a really good talk. I spent quite some time writing a sweet memoir about my brother. At the end expressed my sadness that we did not get to know each other as adults and that he passed away a stranger to me. I am including that in my cards. Except to my mother, I can not give that to her. Card yes, my deeply personal memories no. She abused and betrayed my confidences way too many times. She will probably see it from her DIL anyway. Thank you all for being there for me through the process and hard work this week. I had a wonderful evening with a friend and watched Mama Mia. Perfect medicine for an intense week. PS wouldn't you know it. I've heard through the grapevine there will be no formal service or funeral but a private celebration instead. That is so my family. So exclusive. I think there are many, many people whose lives he touched through his business, his volunteer work as marine search and rescue and firefighter, and flight EMT who would appreciate being able to say their final goodbye to him or pay tribute to him. So many people from all over the world. He did serve his community well. His marina was the biggest in an area that attracted people from all over the world. Even Tom Selleck and John Wayne had their boats in his marina. Maybe his town will do something for the public.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 3:00am
Update. I sent cards to my parents and sister-in-law, niece and my kids. My daughter who told me in the first place mentioned there would be something on the 28th, my niece mentioned the 29th, but no other info like where, when, etc. No acknowledgement of the cards from.parents or SIL. So, I am very clear. Going camping with friends the 28/29th. This was one more opportunity for people to step up, to do yhings differently, to connect but nope.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Fri, 09-27-2013 - 7:42pm

Yes,when I asked my neice for information she said, I think the 29th but I'm not sure.  So I figured someone would let me know.   If any of them had sincerely included me or reached out to me, I may have reconsidered my choice.

Yesterday, I I was tagged on  facebook as one of a bunch of people gathered at the ferry to go to the island.  Yet I recieved NO direct information about this.  That was shocking to see that the plans had indeed been made. Yet, again, I am left out of the loop, but for all to see it looks like I'm included.    Was it my responibility to start chasing down the informationation?  I already reached out to the parents and the widow but not acknowleded. My decision  is definetely sealed now.   Anyway, I want to reply on the facebook post  with the following:  Would this be appropriate at a way  I was not informaed about this event.   This younger generation has no idea about wht goes on except I am not there.  My kids will see my comment as well. .

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"Thanks for the tag,.  Thinking of you,too,  but I got no information by which to know to be there. Like when where, etc. 

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