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To be upset about being left out of family things all the time?

(46 Posts)
NormaSknockers Thu 06-Aug-09 14:11:33

The latest being my dad is starting up his Am Dram society again (I know it doesn't sound exciting but my dad is very passionate about it & I'm so pleased he's doing something for him & doing something he loves) & my mother got all my siblings together for a big family photo with her & dad all wearing the branded sweatshirts etc to promote it.....only I knew nothing about it til I saw the photos just now. Even my SIL was in it, why wasn't I asked to join in?

This always happens, my mother is always having family BBQs & arranging this, that & the other yet I never get asked & only find out after the event. Am I that meaningless?

She even got drunk at my DSs first birthday party but that's a whole different story.

So AIBU to be upset or should I just act my age & act like it doesn't hurt?

flashharriet Thu 06-Aug-09 14:12:51

Have you asked them directly?

NormaSknockers Thu 06-Aug-09 14:14:38

I have once or twice in the past but it got me no-where so I gave up.

Greensleeves Thu 06-Aug-09 14:15:13

It's not childish or unreasonable to be upset ((((hug)))))

there's nothing more hurtful than feeling left outsad

could you ask him, or her? Do they know it upsets you? It sounds very weird, I would want to know what the hell was going on

gingerbunny Thu 06-Aug-09 14:15:13

that sounds really upsetting. are you close to them and your other siblings?
would you be able to have a chat with your mum and dad about it and tell them how you feel. they might not realise they are doing it.

blametheparents Thu 06-Aug-09 14:15:42

Are you the only one of your siblings with children?
Not an excuse for your mum, but could be a reason. Perhaps she only wants 'adult' gatherings?

Tidey Thu 06-Aug-09 14:16:05

There's no point getting upset if you're not going to confront them on it. You've got to either ask why you're being excluded from so called 'family' events or leave it alone completely and accept it.

I would find it deeply upsetting and have to be direct about it.

letsgostrawberrypicking Thu 06-Aug-09 14:18:05

yanbu that is incredibly hurtful, and I find it pretty shocking that they would do that

muddleduck Thu 06-Aug-09 14:19:12

How horrible sad

Is it possible that they have issues with your DP/DH?

flashharriet Thu 06-Aug-09 14:19:39

I think to ask "any reason why I'm not in the photo?" is a fair enough question to ask.

I'd be upset - my family do this kind of thing too and it's very hurtful sad.

NormaSknockers Thu 06-Aug-09 14:19:55

My brothers baby was due yesterday & he has 2 step daughters & my other brother also has 2 step daughters.

My youngest brother is only 6 so wasn't adults only IYKWIM.

throckenholt Thu 06-Aug-09 14:22:15

I would talk to your siblings and ask them what they think. You are obviously being excluded - the question is why, and how to deal with it.

Presumably they must have noticed as well - so it would be worth talking to them about how to deal with it.

OhBling Thu 06-Aug-09 14:25:01

I would find this very upsetting and there's no way I wouldn't say something. And if they refused to acknowledge or address it, I'd be tempted to take the approach that they obviously don't care and distance myself. Which would hurt, but at least I'd know that I wasn't constantly waiting for them to get in touch with me.

My sister is very organised so my family had got into the habit of planning things via her and not discussing with me - I'd simply be told when I was expected to turn up. I told them this was unacceptable, and on more than one occassion, refused to turn up when I was ordered. They have realised now and are much much better about talking to me too. And I'm better about proactively getting involved in conversations or making suggestions too - it works both ways.

NormaSknockers Thu 06-Aug-09 14:30:19

I have tried to ask in the past but it just didn't get me anywhere.

Deep down I know I really should distance myself as tbh it has been like this for as long as I can remember. It's almost like I don't exsist at times

I know I'm going have to broach it & soon as my Nana is hosting a big get together on Sunday & my mother will be there, but I also know it will be twisted & I'll end up feeling guilty & apologising for something I haven't done.

Greensleeves Thu 06-Aug-09 14:32:30

If it's so hurtful that you are considering distancing yourself (and I would be too!) then would you consider putting your feelings in a letter? That way at least you won't be interrupted and your words twisted before you've even had a chance to say your piece. It seems drastic to write your family a letter, but if your relationship with them is on its last legs anyway it may be worth a try?

I don't know that it would do any good as such - but if it were me I would want some answers, and I would want them to know how they had made me feel.

flashharriet Thu 06-Aug-09 14:35:46

Agree with GS about the letter. Sometimes it's cathartic to write things down and you waon't have to contend with any puzzlement or eye rolling.

How have they reacted when you've asked them or have they just brushed it off?

TwoHot Thu 06-Aug-09 14:35:53

Perhaps something dramatic like bursting into tears would get their attention. Its always those of us who dont make a fuss and who hold it all in who get ignored.

edam Thu 06-Aug-09 14:37:46

Think about what you want to achieve and practice what you want to say beforehand. And work through what you think the likely responses are and how you will deal with them.

For instance, on the first bit:
- Do you want to express your feelings out loud?
- Do you want to get an explanation?
- Do you want your family to change how they operate?

The first one is the only one you can control - while it is useful to think about the others, they depend upon your family's response.

Once you've decided what you want to achieve, work on what you are going to say, practise it - in front of a mirror, if necessary, then once you are there take a deep breath and get it out.

And stay focused on what you want to achieve - don't get distracted by attempts to turn it round onto you or bring up other issues. Stay focused on your key message.

You don't have to respond to any sideswipes or criticisms - just repeating your point can be quite powerful. As can staying quiet and forcing the other person to fill the gap in the conversation.

Btw, you might find assertiveness training techniques helpful - some of this is roughly in that area. Have a google, I'm sure you'll find some helpful stuff.

Also, think about what you will do/how you will feel if it all goes horribly wrong, and they try to shout you down or deny it. Decide whether you are OK with walking out, for instance.

OhBling Thu 06-Aug-09 14:38:01

What could also work is on specific situations plan your attack. So, on the family photo situation, could you call your mum and say, "Mum, why didn't you ask me to come round for the family photo". And don't deviate from that but insist on an answer. Practice repeating the question in different ways eg "I just want to know why you did't think it was important to ask me to come over"? "Do you like having a picture without me in it?" "Do you want me to come another day and we do the picture again"?

And a few follow ups like, "I am very hurt that you don't seem to feel that including me in such a big event is important" And just keep repeating.

edam Thu 06-Aug-09 14:38:46

letter is a v. good idea, btw - even if you don't send it, it will help to get your feelings down on paper and may clarify your thoughts.

Stigaloid Thu 06-Aug-09 14:40:07

(((HUGS)) I am sorry you are hurting.

NormaSknockers Thu 06-Aug-09 14:43:18

I'm going to ring her tonight I think but will wait for DH to be here, I know that sounds sappy & weak but knowing how the conversation is likely to go I'll end up a weeping wreck & will need a cuddle, plus the DC are climbing all over me at the mo so I can't think straight to talk to her.

I think I'm reaching the point where the relationship is to destructive (to me) to keep it going any longer. Tought I'd check incase I was BU to be upset over this (this is just the tip of the iceburg really) thankfully it doesn't appear to me so I guess I, at least, have that.

FedUpWithRainyDevon Thu 06-Aug-09 15:01:05

You are not being unreasonable, sappy or weak - I totally feel for you and hope the phone call goes well later - try and stay in control of it and try not to be forced into apologising for causing a fuss etc because you haven't done anything wrong and you deserve an answer. x

Greensleeves Thu 06-Aug-09 15:02:14

well nobody here thinks YABU at all

and WE love you (((((squashy cuddle from plump lady))))

EyeballsintheSky Thu 06-Aug-09 15:07:12

I can't see how it would get twisted to ask them directly why they leave you out? Do exactly as OhBling says. Ask why you weren't included in the photo and keep repeating that same question. If you focus on one thing it may open up the reasons why other things have happened. And it'll keep you focussed and you won't back down or get tangled up.

And DO NOT APOLOGISE!!! Good luck.

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