To feel terribly hurt by this both myself & on behalf of my DS?(107 Posts)
A few weeks ago a cousin of mine whom I was speaking to said 'next time I see you will be at (my sibling's name's) party'. I didn't know what she was talking about but didn't say anything as I assumed would hear in due course - also it was a bit awkward. No date for this party was mentioned.
I didn't hear anything in the interim - then I was speaking to another close relative who said she was 'looking forward to seeing me at the party on Friday'. I said I didn't know anything about it & that I wasn't sure if I could go, she got quite irate with me for suggesting I might not be able to go because of the short notice; 'but we are counting on you being there. Of course you are going'.
I spoke to my other DSis (not the one giving the party - she had been invited sometime ago together with her DC and DH) and said that I hadn't heard any more about it so had assumed I wasn't invited. She just said 'Well I'm not getting involved with that'; this made me think she knew something about the background to this.
Just a bit of context to this - my DS is severely disabled both mentally and physically. To cut a long story short, I often feel he is tolerated rather than truly cherished by my DFamily. That is my perception, I don't know if this is true. But I have had conversations with them before about needing to know about events in advance so that we can prepare DS and also sort out the logistics of getting there.occasions so that DS can be prepared and so we can arrange travel and accessibility.
Either it is assumed that somehow the message would have got to me to come along, or we are not invited - probably because they don't want DS because it is 'not that sort of occasion'. Either option is a bit shit really.
When asked, just say
We've not been invited, mate.
It reflects more on her than you.
Either that or just turn up and if she days anything just respond
Oh we assumed you just forgot to send us an invite.
No I haven't heard anything more in the meantime.
How did you go OP. Did you get a reasonable explanation or apology from your sis?
I am so sorry AnybodyWantsAChip that you have been treated like that. I really identify with your being accused of breaking up the family through not wanting to put up with the status quo any more.
I feel the pressure to conform to the 'happy family' which each member has a duty to uphold through maintaining his/her allotted role. Mainly because of my DS situation - and also how hugely that has changed me as a person - my allotted role just doesn't fit, but I know that I will be accused of being difficult and destructive the more I point that out. So why subject myself to all of it?
My brother is the same - invites usually go out to everyone but me. It's been going on for about 20 years. a few months ago I finally asked him why and got a huge list of things I had done wrong; some where genuine misunderstandings, some were just plain nuts and others simply hypocritical.
I thought a lot about how to handle it going forwards and came to the conclusion that he could have resolved this at any time just by having a conversation with me. But he chose not to, and had instead edged me out of his life. So I'm guessing it really is as simple as he doesn't like me.
He is the golden child - my DM would never say anything to him, but has had a go at me for finally standing up to him. Apparently, by refusing to put up with it anymore I was breaking up the family.
My family are so fucking dysfunctional it breaks my heart. On the outside we all look normal, but underneath we are completely messed up.
Anyway - I decided not to spend anymore of time feeling upset - one more day wasted feeling like you do right now OP was a day too many. I've gone LC with both DM and DB - I no longer actually enjoy spending time with them because of what has happened.
So my experience has been that challenging family on their behaviour did not fix anything, but it did give the strength to finally accept the situation for what it is and move on with my life. I can't force them to like me, it is what it is.
Thanks all. No I think it is fine for party givers to select their best choice of venue etc. What I would expect (and this is where I want to know if IABU) is for them to have a conversation with me about their plans, whether it would be suitable for DS to attend as they would love to have him there if possible, and what they could do to make it easier for us to bring him. It would also be nice to hear about the plans at least at the same time as everyone else.
What I find hard is the status quo where plans are made which we are the last to know about, and we are just expected to fall in - and if we don't we are seen as being difficult/snubbing the event.
Really I feel so upset by this it has taken me by surprise, it is hard to articulate how strongly I feel about this so I have little hope of being able to explain it to anyone irl.
You owe it to yourself to ask your sister outright what’s going on.
Only then do you need to think about how you handle it.
The “we don’t wanna get involved” comment leads me to think that they know it’s deliberate, perhaps they suspected you weren’t coming and don’t agree with what your sister’s doing so are flagging it up to you.
If it goes nuclear, that will be because it bloody needed to.
and for you, Livingtothefull.
I cannot add anything to what has been said but I'm so sorry for you and your son - and I don't think you are being over sensitive.
My kids are the centre of my universe. They are my no. 1 Priority in life and I would do anything for them. It must be hard to feel like you need to advocate for your son all the time with specialist help, and school in the past and now to be included in your family.
I suppose the only thing to consider is that he isn’t the center of everyone else’s thoughts. Maybe when organizing a dinner the organizer want to go to a particular venue because it’s the birthday person’s favourite restaurant or cuisine. But what happens if it doesn’t suit your son’s needs (although I imagine most venues need to be disability friendly these days). Would you expect family to change plans so your son can attend or would you be happy for plans to go ahead?
Did you hear from your sis OP?
Thank you Blondebaking I appreciate that.
I maybe abu (just a bit) but have had to see DS encounter so much prejudice in his life....then when I call it out I am told I am being oversensitive. I want him to be valued for who he is rather than just tolerated....but the willingness to value him is either there or it's not, it can't be forced.
Sorry OP, I misread and thought your son was a child 🙈
I would not go, I would not contact my sister, I would assume I wasn’t invited and just ignore it.
How fucking hurtful. for you. You’re not asking too much AT ALL. If members of your own family can’t act with compassion and insight around disability then that’s absolutely awful. Shame on them.
It sounds like they aren't making any effort at all OP and I'm sorry, that's a crap way to treat a family member
I don't think it is too big an ask to factor in my DS needs into family get togethers. DS is an adult attending adult occasions, his disability is a permanent state of affairs.
This is not about children's nap times it is about thinking about things like accessibility of amenities and loos, about not booking restaurants etc that have steps to the door, or keeping a parking space clear for us. About asking us beforehand if they're not sure what our needs are.
Although it doesn’t take much effort to let you know in advance so you can prep your son 🤷♀️
To be honest I don’t expect my kids to be the center of my family get togethers. If my family are planning something and it doesn’t suit my kids’ nap times etc then we don’t go. It’s not always about my kids and What their needs are, so I think it’s a big ask to always be about what suits your son. I apologize if I misread your last post but it does sound like you want your son’s needs to come first.
I totally get that you feel hurt for your son to not feel included in your family, but my kids are often on the sidelines because they are kids not because they have a disability.
There is some form for this - I have discussed with them that I really need to know about events beforehand, whereas I am generally the last to know. Usually plans are made & then they get round to telling me about them.
Whereas what would be helpful to me is if I was engaged at the start - that I was told 'We are planning a family get together around (date), what can we do to make it easy for DS to attend?' So I would like DS to be at the centre of things, the heart of the family, rather than feeling that DS & I are an afterthought. Am I asking too much? I do appreciate that without 1st hand experience it is hard to know how challenging and tiring it is to get around with a disabled person.
Many of you have said I should speak to Dsis to clarify before making any assumptions, and yes you probably have a point. But it would be so much better if I was contacted first, the confusion must have got back to her. If I don't hear shortly then maybe I will text.
'I know a woman who ruined her friend’s 40th by causing a scene when “discovering” her party' - but I am not going to do anything like that or risk spoiling the occasion. Part of the reason why I am reluctant to contact is that I don't want to cause any drama.
I'd give the benefit of the doubt the first few times but it's harder to do when the bad behaviour keeps happening
well, quite, which is why i suggested calling and asking - and then having The Conversation (or row).
But if it looks like a pattern of behaviour (i don't get "but i thought your sister would tell you" when the sister has an invitation straight from the horses mouth and no instruction to pass it on. etc.) it probably is.
Since I stopped tiptoeing around the more toxic members of my extended (in-law) family I feel so much better. Although I realise that not everyone is as "bolshy" as me and can't all do that.
“I really don't see why anyone should be diplomatic and kind to people who treat them like this”
I agree. But it is as well to be sure that they are treating you like this before being undiplomatic.
I know a woman who ruined her friend’s 40th by causing a scene when “discovering” her party, only to find that it was her own lack of attention to her Inbox that was to blame.
We have this. 2 DC, elder one with severe ASC. MIL has a large family, and DS1 is often omitted from their numerous events. There's always an excuse, of course, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that they can't be arsed with him. I would never dream of taking him along to something that he wouldn't enjoy, or would actively hate, but an invite to all would be thoughtful. MIL often says 'I'll take DS2 to X's party' - it's like she's forgotten all about DS1. And he's easy going, too … but he's non-verbal (has a communication system, but none of DH's family have bothered to understand it). They dropped him like a ton of bricks aged 3, when ASC was mentioned. I've even had relatives offer to come and pick up DS2 so he can attend their event - because their DC want someone to play with - and not even mention DS1. And MIL wonders why we're not chomping at the bit to socialise with them.
Gosh families can be shits.
TBH you are already feeling left out, so why not call your sister and just ask her outright? Have the row if it happens but you will know where you stand.
And if she does say you're not welcome you can tell her what a shit she is and that she needn't bother communicating anything ever again. (and that her attitude is putting other family members in a shit situation to)
And then don't look back. Do you want a person who would treat you like that in your life?
I really don't see why anyone should be diplomatic and kind to people who treat them like this.
You need to find out whether you were invited or not. It is possible that your sister sent an invitation that has got lost; and any perceived division will turn into a reality when you don't turn up at this party. So give her the benefit of the doubt, say that others have mentioned the party, and ask if you were invited because you've received nothing.
You still don't have to commit to going - if you need more notice because of prepping your child (and I know how that feels!) you can decline, legitimately but personally, on that basis. If your sister wasn't thinking badly of you, she'll understand that the lost invitation = lack of notice = lack of prep time = unable to attend.
You don’t want to ask her in case if a fall out....but it is a fall out if you retreat feeling rejected.
I would call her, and say “Two family members have said they will see me on Friday at yours!!! Have I got my diary mixed up or something? “
Because it might have been a genuine mistake: invite for astray, and asking puts you no further back than not asking.
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