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FFS I have tried to do this THREE times now!(25 Posts)
I have managed to delete this bloody three times. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something!!
Ok regular poster. You may guess who I am but I am not hiding from MNers. Just cant talk about this as 'me'.
My DD died five years ago. Since then my family have totally ignored her birthdays and anniversaries. My mum usually calls me daily or every other day. During these times - silence.
DD's birthday at beginning of year. First phone call from mum afterwards was 'just phoning to remind you to put my birthday in your diary! Village are throwing me a party!' Her birthday is at the END of the year. Its a big one and I am pleased that her friends are doing this for her. She wanted me to confirm there and then that we would come.
I realoly didnt feel like talking to her much because I was hurt. It was also a long way off so I was able to sort of fob her off a bit.
She has called about this again trying to get me to confirm. It sounds simple but its not its causing me loads of stress. The reasons are both practical and emotional.
Its a 600mile round trip.
OH has multiple sclerosis, long journies are hard going for him.
Four surviving children. One teen who isnt at home, DS2 has ASD and LDs and is NOT a good traveller, DCs 4 & 5 are 3 and 15mths.
OH works evenings so we couldnt leave home till 10amish on Saturday and would have to return the same the next day. OH works term time only so he cant take time off.
She lives in the wilds and its not a great drive in the winter.
She lives in a very expensive part of the country and we dont have a lot of money to rent somewhere.
We dont know what would be available and if it meet OH's needs (downstairs and upstairs toilet etc).
She said there was a cottage available for us but again wanted us to confirm (even though I doubt it would be booked up at this time of year) but no dogs. This would mean kennelling two dogs.
I hurt so much that they ignore my DD's birthdays.
I think mum was hurrying me because her friend had offered to put us up and she wanted us to confirm. The idea of staying with a stranger horrifies me and is not practical anyway due to DS2 and having little children.
I find family dos really hard going because they just remind me all the more that my girl is not with me.
My family have all been up to very near where I live without taking time to drop in and visit. My mum has done it several times. I find this very hurtful and difficult to understand. I did question it once and she said she would come but the times she said were when the kids were at school! She said she didnt want to mess up the relative who she was staying with's plans.
We are not from the area where they live. They all moved down after my dad died. Within a few months my whole family had either died or up sticks. Their lives, their choice but I obviously was not a consideration at the time.
I have had to spend every holiday for years where they live. Its a lovely area but it meant we couldnt afford to go somewhere of our choice. It seemed either we did it or we would not see our family.
Last time we went down the only family member to see us was my sister. I saw my mum for about 10 mins a day.
The biggest thing (I think) is this - I have a brother and a sister and a mother all in the area. They all have houses. None of them have invited us to stay so we can attend this party. I just cannot understand this and cant bear to ask why.
I just dont want to go. The whole thing is upsetting me because it just seems a reminder of what an outsider I am.
I know my mum would like to have us there but I really feel all this pushing is for the consideration of her friends rather than because she is desperate for us to be there.
I know its wimpish but I find it impossible to just be upfront with my mum. She becomes very 'upset'. She does this ' oh, ok, no, no its fine, no really. Ok look what I will do is I will put the phone down and when you are feeling better you can phone me ok'
She did this after laughing at my attempts to donate cord blood. It seemed very important at the time because it was only a year and a bit after DD died. I was explaining to her how I felt and she laughed and said 'you ARE funny'. When I got upset she did the 'oh ok, I see' thing.
It is impossible to just talk to her. Everything has to be on a certain 'level'. Any sniff of realism and she goes off on one.
God if you have got to the end of this you are going to realise this is not just about a sodding party!
Hey stop winding yourself up about it and say that it is not practically possible for you to attend and covering 600 miles in the space of 24 hours is not practical at all.
Just say it.
I can understand why your child who died is not mentioned, people don;t like to talk about the dead, they would feel that it would upset you, I know it's hard but everybody is different.
She was 14 when she died Fabby. Children dont cease to have ever been because they die. When their grandmother and aunties and uncles act like they its more than hurtful.
If you really can't bring yourself to go through the whole brainwashing, guilt tripping stuff, just say yes you'll go, but have no intention of actually going, call them up the day before and say that you can't come, something has come up. car failed MOT... you'll think of something, or just tell the truth, it's NUTS to even contemplate.
It's what i did to my dad recently. So far no come back... yes that was a 'big one' too.
You need to talk to THEM about your DD, YOU need to say, I want her to be remembered. People need to know you are not going to gloss over it.
Do you have a tradition that you have started in her name, could you do something if you haven't? like planting something in her name?
You poor thing. Your daughter was amazing, I feel very cross on your behalf that your family don't talk about her. I agree with HerHissyness plan and that you need to spell it out to your family (not that you should have to) that your beautiful girl is still a real person, you are still her family, remember her, talk about her.
I do stuff for myself. But OH doesnt get involved. He finds it too difficult.
I cant pull out at the last minute because we have to rent somewhere. I wish I could do it like that but wont that just keep this whole passive aggressive thing going on for ever and ever?
I know it all seems so simple from the outside. It just isnt from in here IYSWIM.
Its so bloody stupid. HOw can we go? FFS its miles away!
are you prepared to admit that you care as little about them as they do about you?
1) I would agree, yeah yeah yeah, we'll all be there at your bash, no prob, yeah yeah all sorted.
2) make no plans to actually attend, put it out of your mind, get on with your life
3) if questioned, yeah yeah yeah, of couse we'll be there
4) continue making no plans whatsoever, in fact sort yourselves out with whatever holiday, work stuff you would normally do
5) yeah yeah yeah we'll be there etc etc every time someone brings it up
6) the week/couple of days/day before - phone up - oh dear, somethings come up, sorry, can't make it, oops, sorry about the last minute thing
7) job done, nobody can prove that you had no intention of going, nobody can quiz you for reasons, nobody can run your life for you for the nextr 6 months , you don't havce to discuss it in any detail, nobody will be diapppointed
"I cant pull out at the last minute because we have to rent somewhere"
yes you can
don't rent the prporerty being pushed at you
say yes we've got it in hand, somewhere a bit different, havent quite decided yet
HH & I are of the same opinion, close it down now
I do care though Cat. Thats the problem. It would be really easy if I didnt.
I do appreciate all you are saying and you are right of course. But its like I have to keep bloody trying after 44 years to somehow get it all right.
She does love me, my family do care but they are just not caring iyswim.
Its all bloody stiff upper lip mixed with a lot of drama and hypochondria if you can imagine it!
I feel for you, I really do.
I have a mother who is difficult and my DC3 was stillborn. He is never mentioned so maybe I understand a little of how you feel. At least I can tell myself that there was nothing for my family to remember fo him. It must hurt you so much given you DD was in their lives for 14 years
Just say you can't go - say it and get it over and done with, tell them you are sorry it is just too much, which it clearly is.
I think with some people you just have to accept that you cannot have the relationship with them that you would like. It is hard but accepting that makes for a much more positive life.
I wouldn't lie. Just say you aren't going.
Once it is accepted I'm sure you will feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.
ps, we mark my wee brother's birthday every year.
"But its like I have to keep bloody trying after 44 years to somehow get it all right"
not your job to though
attending some party at considerable disruption to your family will win you NO approval, NO medals , NOTHING at all
"my family do care but they are just not caring "
fine, drop in a visit when convenient , just you by train, before the weather goes wintry, all you need to do.
you could be trying after 54/64/74/104 years, you will change nothing
step outside of yourself, you are not seeing clearly, you are completely bogged down in something that will just be a few photos & birthday cards in 12 months time. Really, nobody is that bothered. It's a nice-to-do, not a must-do-at-all-costs-regardless
It IS simple.
I just needed to see it written down.
The fact that she thinks its even do'able is weird in itself really.
No helpful advice but I just wanted to say you're not a horrible daughter and I absolutely understand your hurt.
( disclosure: Personally I would just say No, and that would be it. THe dragging it out yesyesyesyesyesno bollocks is just to make it easier on you if you don't feel particularly confrontational)
I am sorry about your loss. And that your family ignore your DD's birthdays etc. My cousin died at the same age too. Some people just don't want to cause upset but know what to say so end up not saying anything.
As to the visit, can't understand why your family are not putting you up? I would just say you can't afford the visit this year - credit crunch etc. As catinthehat said, just go along with them for as long as you can and when they become too much, plead poverty and don't commit to anything. That way they can offer to put you up if they really want you there. HTH
Do you think you could say some of this to your siblings maybe ? Or have you already ?
It is rubbish that they don't acknowledge your daughters birthday to you and I completely understand why you can't be arsed to put yourself out so much for your mums birthday when they can't even be bothered to pick up the phone and speak to you about your gorgeous girl on her day .
If you can speak to them then I would , I had similar rubbish from my in laws and tbh they can still be pretty awful about mentioning my son or acknowledging his existence but they are slightly better and I now know that I have done all that I can to make him still a part of our family and if they are too crap to do it too then it is their loss .
I think that there are stages we have to reach before we stand up for ourselves as proper adults. I don't think we can say NO easily to our parents until we are at least 40.
I have friends in their 30s and I am astonished at what they put up with.
I'm 43, just out of an abusive 10 year relationship, granted, but I am now saying NO left right and centre. It's very liberating!
For the first time in my life, I refused to drop everything, including my principles, just because my dad wouldn't respect my wishes, because he wanted to force a truly horrible person on me and my DS knowing that I preferred NOT to let that happen.
I told him I was coming, but had no intention of going.
What I am suggesting is verbally say OK, don't worry, we'll sort ourselves out, and see you there. then ring up, or get DH to ring up and tell them you had a dodgy curry... or summat....
It's all doable.
Or you could sail into battle and say "We're not going", and withstand the onslaught of mental manipulation all this year....
I may be able to talk to my sister but tbh she is pretty uptight about any sort of emotional stuff. She gets very uncomfortable. She is a lovely person but she keeps everything inside.
I think it helps her deal with my mum and also her OH.
I am a coward. i cant bear the backlash if it all goes wrong. Its not like it would all kick off. Mum would be all and none of it would be 'real' and I would feel like a bitch.
Its always been like that.
Sometimes of course I have been in the wrong or unreasonable. I just cant tell the difference now.
I think under the circumstances, where your DD is being seeming forgotten, or worse, ignored, you are wholly entitled to get a little unreasonable.
Say what you need to say on your DDs behalf, do that for her and get it out there. Let the chips fall as they may. Your DM and your siblings are all still very much alive and it can all be talked out.
I think you are lumping everything together which is compounding the situation, and really making it a huge issue for you.
For now set the issue with your DD's memory to one side, please and let's deal with the party.
It is MENTAL to make such a huge journey in 24 hours, more so when you have all the additional issues with DH/DC health, SN etc. You need to speak to your DH and state that you have talked about it, but on so many levels it is just not feasible.
The subject of your DD deserves it's own space, and you need to really think about what YOU want as her mother, how YOU will remember her and honour her, and THEN communicate it to the wider family. Then you can tell them that they are letting you and DD down if that is the case, it may be they don't know what to say, well then YOU need to bring it up and say, she is not to be the Girl We Don't Talk About, she is much missed, much loved and much needed.
I think the time has come for you to STOP worrying what people think and start insisting on what works FOR YOU!
I agree with HerHissyness .
I know it is easier said than done and it shouldn't be down to you to make them see sense but I am sure you will feel better once you get it out in the open and tell them how you really feel . It is shit that they don't know how to deal with your dd but it is their problem and shouldn't be yours .
I know it is a cliche but the only thing you can change is your reaction to how they are , changing them is up to them .
We luvs you though .
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