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To ignore my 90 year old nan's wishes?

(76 Posts)
GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 21:03:25

Long - to avoid drip feeding

I have been NC with my dad for about 10 years, with only rare contact before this. He divorced my mum when I was 8 and I have never really had a relationship with him since then.

My main reasons for going NC were:
- the first time he visited his grandson, ( when he was 1), I was in the middle of my uni finals and I hadn't washed up for 3 days. Instead of helping out he called Social Services
-when my mum died (I am an only child), he didn't even call to see if I was Ok, despite our extended family asking him to
- he blocked me on Facebook which I thought was very immature

- there is of course more, but those are the most recent things

I don't really have much to do with the Extended family as I don't want to cause any difficulties or awkwardness.

Anyway, his mum, my Nan, has phoned to say she is having a 90th birthday party and she wants her whole family there. I cannot bear the thought of him near my children ( who he has met a couple of times and who don't remember him), especially as he would be very chummy with them ( for 5 minutes). I really don't want any drama, or to spoil the party, but if we don't go, I will be seen as the baddie, which shouldn't bother me, but it does!

I'm really unsure about what to do. My cousins and aunts and uncles would all be lovely if we go, but the thought of it is just horrible.
What should I do?

Fratelli Thu 10-Mar-16 21:07:47

Are your kids old enough to understand the situation if you explain it to them? Could you go for your nan and just be civil to him without actively engaging him in conversation? Tbh he's going to look like a fool when he speaks to your kids and they ask who he is!

happyinherts Thu 10-Mar-16 21:09:37

I think you should respect your Nan's wishes. It's her day and one of these days you may live to regret it if you don't.

It's just one day out of your life. You don't have to go out of your way to be friendly with your Dad. I'm sure there's cousins, aunts etc who you can stick with.

I understand your predicament, never an easy one, but it is Nan's day.

PotteringAlong Thu 10-Mar-16 21:12:34

Go. For your grandma.

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 21:13:19

My son is 21, and very friendly and polite. My daughter is 15 with severe disabilities. Apparently he is an expert in disabilities because he once visited a special school with work (!) She wouldn't speak to him as she doesn't speak to anyone she doesn't know well.
I could try to avoid him but the thought of such a stressful afternoon makes me feel sick. The party will be in our home town, hundreds of miles from where we live so I can't escape home easily either.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Thu 10-Mar-16 21:14:08

Could you maybe go but make an excuse in advance that you're not able to stay for long?

ridemesideways Thu 10-Mar-16 21:15:08

If you don't think there's any way you can be there with him, arrange a separate time to visit her and any rellies who'd like to see you. Maybe arrange to go before the party?

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 21:17:09

..and knowing my Nan she will seat us at a table together thinking we can make friends!

thewocketinyourpocket Thu 10-Mar-16 21:17:19

If you're not wanting to have your children meet him, could you attend the party and leave them with a sitter or at a friend's house?

moveon Thu 10-Mar-16 21:18:44

as you are not close to that side of the family I am not sure that you would regret not going. Or if you do go and it's the drama that want to spare your children to, go alone.

TickettyBoo Thu 10-Mar-16 21:18:45

I'd be inclined to go, for your nan's sake. However, I'd have a prepared excuse/plan to get away early (such as a friend in need maybe), just in case an escape is needed.

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 21:18:54

I think my Nan would probably want the great grandchildren there more than she wants me tbh!

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 21:21:05

I'm just going to have to go aren't I. I might arrange for a pile of manure to be dumped in his garden while I'm there ( it was my mum's dying wish).

nocoolnamesleft Thu 10-Mar-16 21:25:45

Well, you definitely need to honour your mother's dying wish!

0hCrepe Thu 10-Mar-16 21:29:31

I would say you're going and then something comes up on the day which means you can't make it after all.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 10-Mar-16 21:33:34

I can understand your dilemma!

Is there any way you can get one (or more) of your aunts, uncles, or cousins to 'run interference' for you? If your dad comes up to you or one of your children they'll go over and start talking to him so you/DC can walk away. They could swap seats with you/DC at the table if Nan seats you together. Would you have the courage to face him and say quietly but sternly "I'm only here because I love Nan. If it were up to me we'd never be in the same room with you. So stay away from me and stay away from my children?".

chillycurtains Thu 10-Mar-16 21:49:54

Could you talk to your Nan on the phone and explain to her that you would like to come but please can she not seat you with your dad as your DD gets easily upset and that you don't want to have to leave early. It may not help but if you don't explain to your nan then you can't expect her to understand. Are there other family members like aunties or cousins who you could contact and explain to them that you are worried and that your DD is not able to speak to people she doesn't know and get them to help you on the day but looking out for you and intervening if necessary?

whataboutbob Thu 10-Mar-16 21:54:54

How about you go and leave the kids at home. They don't need the tension. You get to fulfill your Nan's wishes.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 10-Mar-16 21:56:18

You don't have to go. It will probably be a great shame for your nan, but her son is an absolutely atrocious father and this is the fallout of that. It may not have been her fault at all, but it certainly wasn't yours. Not everything is perfect, you don't have to be the one who absorbs all the imperfect to make it nice for everyone else.

Having said that, do you have a cousin/aunt/uncle or someone you can confide in who will be there and would be willing to swoop in and save you whenever he appears/swap seats with you if you're seated next to him/etc.?

Wafflenose Thu 10-Mar-16 21:57:09

I would go on your own, or visit her with your children at a different time.

RandomMess Thu 10-Mar-16 21:58:08

Can I start a whip round for the manure delivery on your behalf????

If you decide to go can you speak to your nan and tell her who you do want to be on a table with?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 10-Mar-16 22:00:06

What, the 54th of octember?

You would really love to go and catch up with everybody, but that's the day when somebody has that hospital appt that has been cancelled 3 times already.

WandaFuca Thu 10-Mar-16 22:01:01

How supportive of you was your nan when you were young? How supportive has she been towards your children? What’s her attitude towards her son’s neglect of his parental responsibilities?

And your comments that she’d probably put you, your children, and your ex-father together to make friends, and that she probably wants all the grandchildren there, presumably for the photographs, makes me think that it’s all about her. And it’s hundreds of miles away from where you live.

I could be reading it all wrong, of course, but it sounds to me as though you and your children are supposed to just turn up, play the “Happy Family” act for the benefit of the family album, without any thought of the emotional cost to you.

Just because it’s someone’s birthday, even such a significant birthday as their 90th, doesn’t require you (or anyone) to attend if it’s at an emotional cost.

On the other hand, if she’s been a lovely nan, she should understand that you can’t go to this family gathering.

And, yes, I'd also chip in with manure delivery!

Pippidoeswhatshewants Thu 10-Mar-16 22:03:23

Your nan is an adult who will survive if you and your children can't make it to this one family event.

She is also old enough to know that you cannot force people to get on or be friends.

In short, don't go. Go some time before or later to celebrate, but give the party a miss.

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Mar-16 22:04:54

I could ask relatives to intervene but I really don't want to as It could be seen as getting people to take sides/ causing drama. While most of the family think he has been a terrible father and are lovely to me, in reality I don't know them well as we live a long way away and it's just been easier to stay in the background.

Leaving my daughter at home isn't an option. The distance will mean staying in a hotel and the only person we could leave her with is my son, but he has recently suffered a head injury and several broken bones in a climbing accident so wouldn't be able to look after her.

I might suggest we go and see her the weekend before - that's a possibility.

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