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AIBU to not contribute £190 for a birthday present?

(33 Posts)
Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 13:02:30

I know I'm not, but it's being twisted to present that I am...

A bit of background.. (first of all, I am a regular poster, I use this name as an alias for more private stuff, mostly to talk about childhood abuse)

It is my father's 'big' birthday at the end of September. I come from a family of 9 children, I'm in the middle... (some of those details may be different in other posts, that's just how paranoid I am about being idenitifed as I think my brother's wife uses this forum) Anyway... my brother decided that as it was a big birthday, our father needed a big gift... costing £1800.

He has a hobby, again I'm not posting what his hobby is as it may also identify me, but suffice to say it is an expensive hobby, think antiques.

My brother has found an 'antique' which he thinks will make an 'ideal' birthday gift... for a man who is ungrateful, thankless, unemotional and abusive... I could go on, but I spent 18 months in therapy trying to forget..

Myself and my sisters were systematically abused throughout our childhood, resulting in deep rooted emotional problems for most of us, with the exception of one, who claims nothing ever happened - we call her the ostrich. Problem is, we've never told anyone (our brothers included) except doctors and counsellors, we've ever admitted it to anyone who could do something about it, not even to each other until much later in life... as a result, I hate the man, never see him... though when I do, I try to remain civil for my mothers sake (she doesn't know, though I often suspect she may do)

ANyway, I told my brother I wasn't giving him the money, I had no intention of handing over a huge chunk of my monthly budget for someone who will, more than likely, auction the item off and pocket the difference... not that it matters, cos I wouldn't be giving the cash anyway!! Now it seems that everyone else has agreed & as I am not paying, they all have to fork out extra, which isn't going down too well.... WHY????

Sorry for such a long & deeply disturbed post, sorry for those who began to read & think it may have been a light hearted post... I am genuinely confused as to why my sisters want to do this... why they can't see where I'm coming from... AIBU? Should I just hand £190 over for a man who cost me much more than that in therapy????

Sorry to pour all this out, I have said it all before on here, but I felt it right that the background info be taken into consideration!!

cocolepew Sun 09-Aug-09 13:07:40

No, stick to your guns. Maybe your sisters are willing to pay incase it is asked why they don't and don't have an answer. I presume that none of you are willing for the abuse to become public knowledge within the family. Say you can't afford it and they rest can just get on with it. A horrible situation for you sad.

duchesse Sun 09-Aug-09 13:09:03

Bearing all that in mind, no you shouldn't pay the money.

Your sisters probably don't want to rock the boat.

I also think you and your sisters should share your experiences with your brothers. It might make them more likely to understand where you're coming from.

The alternative is to put up, pay up not rock the family boat, and say nothing, but harbour it all inside you. I'm presuming that you talk about it with the sisters that will? I do worry about massive secrets like this and the effect they have on families. Would you feel comfortable leaving your daughters with him? Do you feel that your brothers should be aware of the ramifications on their daughters if you think he's not to be trusted with his granddaughters?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Aug-09 13:12:34

Message withdrawn

franklymydear Sun 09-Aug-09 13:13:22

absolutely not. I love my father and am relatively well off but would never imagine spending £190 on a birthday present for him. Particularly one that I hadn't seen.

And I can assure you that as my father is 90 next birthday, he's done all the major ones.

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 13:17:38

Duchesse, no children are ever, ever left with this man.

My daughter is never in his presence without me or her daddy, and we never visit him, it's the very odd time he would ever stop here. He has already told people I hate him. He asked me once why I hated him.. I told him he knows why.

I do talk about it, a lot, to my sisters and to my lovely husband, who is 1000% supportive.

Only one of my brother's have children, and they don't live in this country, have seen him about 3 times.

I worry too about a family secret. After my counselling I was ready to take my problems to the police (who I have regular contact with through my job) but only one of my sisters were willing to admit what happened and the rest refused to stand by me if I went further because none of their husbands know One begged me not to ruin her life and that of her children.

I feel I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, I don't want to hurt my family, I don't want to ruin their lives... I just told my brother I can't afford it, as DH has been out of work for months, said I would buy something myself (which I won't, I never do). Thing is, they know I never buy him gifts, so why ask me for such a lot of money? Apparently my brother said I have ruined it.... I'm not bothered.

cocolepew Sun 09-Aug-09 13:19:43

I'm glad you're not bothered, it shows how strong you are being.

franklymydear Sun 09-Aug-09 13:21:50

I'd go to the police with or without your sisters' consent.

I really would if that was what I was ready to do.

You do not need your sisters' corroboration for your own abuse.

skihorse Sun 09-Aug-09 13:23:11

YANBU - abuse aside - I detest the the idea of being railroaded in to clubbing together for gifts.

If it'll save a fight just say you've been credit-crunched.

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 13:28:38

fmd - this I know, but it's the whole situation, they're involved, not just me.

Yes, credit crunch has a lot to answer for. DH said he's rather flush £190 down the loo than hand it over.

dizzymare Sun 09-Aug-09 13:31:04

YANBU, good for you for standing your ground.

skybright Sun 09-Aug-09 13:37:35

This almost sounds like my mothers upbringing,family of six kids all abused in one way or another and expected almost to stay mute and forget in adulthood and pretend all was fine.

The same situation in that the mother was a lovely women and contact and pretence was uphelded because of this.

They both are now dead though and it is still not spoken about.

It is up to the individual how they deal with tramua from past abuse,if some of your sisters want to carry on as if it never happened then it is their right,however it is also your right to think that your father is not worthy of any of your ime love or thought and not celebrate him.

skybright Sun 09-Aug-09 13:37:56


Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 13:45:14

Skybright, did your mother tell you about it? What age were you when she did?

As well as sexual abuse, we were all made to think we were stupid, which resulted in us having no confidence at all, looked at the ground when we walked, couldn't look people in the eye etc... So I met dh at 18, got engaged as soon as we could and got married a year later - I couldn't wait to leave home, but I also adored (still do) DH.

I still had no confidence, what I have got now is all down to DH, what he says to me, what he does, the way he treats me etc... and I also started studying, did a degree, then got my graduation pic put in the paper in my father's area (not anywhere near where I now live) just to prove to him that I wasn't stupid. I explained all this to one of my dd's (she's almost 9) and told her how stupid is a bad word etc... but I never went into any more details, she doesn't need to know, she's too young. What age were you when your mum told you, just out of interest?

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 13:45:50

oops, I asked the same question at the beginning & end of that post blush

TEJQ Sun 09-Aug-09 14:00:54

£190 on a birthday present is ridiculous unless you have plenty of money to spare. The amount someone spends on a birthday gift does not indicate how well the person is regarded or how much you care about them. I recently came across a not-well-off couple thining they should spend £100 on a wedding gift for a BIL - I thought they were barking because I know how hard up they are. £25 and a careful choice could mean just as much.

That's all aside from your personal feelings about your father and your childhood experiences. Tell your brother no, and to tell dad if he asks why you haven't contributed, that dad knows the reason why and perhaps he'd like to share that with his sons...


KiwiKat Sun 09-Aug-09 14:10:39

If this man did this to you and your sisters, and you very rightly protect your own children from him, don't you think your brothers' children deserve that same protection, and your brothers have the right to know what their father is capable of?

Stick to your guns re the money.

mamas12 Sun 09-Aug-09 15:27:05

Cowardice you haven't given yourself a name that represents you really have you.
You are very brave taking a stand like this.
I don't get anything for my father either, never have apart from the clubbed together thing two years ago, where I was railroaded (only £30 but it was the priciple) I was probably in the same mindset as your sisters are now. My mum is soo lovely and a bit frail now, and a something of a revelation now could kill her I think and I couldn't do that.
So stuck between a rock and a hard place is right. Don't pay up, your sisters know why and your brothers might know in the future. Just let them get on with it and don't get too upset about it.
I know that people like us get 'left out' of family things because of possible revelation scenarios (by our own doing btw) and the other family member don't get it and think we are just rude/unfeeling bad whatever but you are doing the right thing.
Good luck with your brothers.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 09-Aug-09 15:56:27

i think you need to try and tell your brothers and mum what happened

and spending £180 on a pressie is sheer madness

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 15:58:54

Thanks mamas.. though I have had the name since ages ago when discussing something else!!

Kiwi, I have explained that only 1 brother has children & he lives abroad.

Maybe in the future my brothers will be in the position that I can talk to them & explain things, but at present it isn't possible.

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 16:00:23

BHMF - my mum will never find out, she's in her 70s now, it would kill her.. though as I have said earlier, I think she may have her suspicions from years ago.

Meanwhile I'm hoping he drops dead. (I know that will seem harsh, but it's how I feel.)

sarah293 Sun 09-Aug-09 16:04:26

Message withdrawn

edam Sun 09-Aug-09 16:10:34

I'm so sorry you are stuck in this very hard place. Think you just have to stand firm and keep reminding yourself you have excellent reasons, whatever the family pressure.

Could you talk to your sisters and ask why they are going along with this?

Cowardice Sun 09-Aug-09 16:15:54


One of my sisters said her dh had already been talking to our brother & had agreed to give the money.

The other said it's not fair on the rest having to hand out more money if we refuse, so for that reason she is chipping in.

The other said she doesn't want to but feels pressurised & she has said she would lend the money to the youngest sister (the ostrich) who refused due to cash flow problems!

And yet another has text me this morning to say she told them she would chip in but now she doesn't know where she's going to find the money...

I replied that she could still change her mind & be an outcast with me!! She never replied

It's all mad - I never even spent that much on my children at Christmas!

mamas12 Sun 09-Aug-09 16:19:08

We know why they're going along with this and to some extent op has been too by not reporting him.
I'm in same position and just sending you support and to tell you it's shit but don't change your position, don't give brother money and your sisters will understand and in the future someday they will too.
Roll on droping down dead here too.

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