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.