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Should I totally ignore my father's 60th, and his 30th wedding anniversary?

(10 Posts)
bintofbohemia Thu 15-Sep-11 16:37:40

Both are imminent. Have not really spoken to my father properly since March, although my SM keeps in touch a bit more often. Masses of history, but in a word they're fairly toxic and life is easier without any contact.

However, I can't work out if I'll look (and feel) like a total bitch if I ignore their anniversary and his birthday. But then again, if I send a card they'll probably get in touch to say thank you and I don't want to open up any lines of communication. At the moment am wondering if I need to formally have a conversation to tell them not to contact us? confused I think it's just safer to have nothing to do with them - my half sister sent my DH a birthday card which he opened the day before his father's funeral that had a fucking corpse on the front of it. It was immensely insensitive and really upset him - and rather than apologise she picked a fight with me about it and my father and SM backed her up and blamed me for the whole thing. So something as innocuous as a greetings card has the ability to ignite all kinds of shit with them. But I can't shake the feeling that not acknowledging these things makes me a bad person. (But would however, get the point across about lack of contact.) Plus then it's my birthday soon, and they'll probably send a card/money, and I'll have to send it back, so yet more contact...

Sorry, this is all a bit waffly, am just a bit confused and not sure about the practicalities of cutting contact with people. Any advice?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 15-Sep-11 16:51:15

Your story sounds familiar, bohemian. Did you post about it in one of the dysfunctional family support threads over the summer?

Regarding your dilemma: Who is going to think that you're a total bitch? And does their opinion matter?

Realistically, would these people's opinion of you be any different whether you turn up or not?

If you were free of your concern about appearing like a bitch, would you want to go?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 15-Sep-11 16:53:39

(sorry, re-read and seems you're talking about card exchanges rather than attendance at a party. My questions still stand, though: will their opinion of you change whether you acknowledge the events or not? If you didn't care so much about whether you will look like a bitch to them, would you send any greetings?)

bintofbohemia Thu 15-Sep-11 17:08:40

Yes, that was possibly me.

To be honest, the more I think about it the more I think it's a bit weird for me to celebrate their wedding anniversary. (Congratulations, it's been 30 years since you cheated on my mother (allegedly) and got married!) But my dad's 60th... To be honest, I probably need to man up, I can't imagine they'd invite me to anything and the last time I spoke to him he said some really shit things to me. I still find it really sad though, but I guess that's coming to terms with the fact that he doesn't give a shit about me and never has. Thinks the sun shines out of my half sister's arse though. I probably do just need to draw a line and make no contact mean no contact.

bintofbohemia Fri 16-Sep-11 09:57:59

With regard to anything they send to us (birthday cards, Christmas presents for the children) - should I just put them back in the post saying "not at this address"? I feel a bit uncomfortable with saying they can't give things to their grandchildren - but then again they're not overly arsed about seeing them and tend to bung £20 in an envelope twice a year.

AMumInScotland Fri 16-Sep-11 10:18:32

I think if you're sending back their cards unopened, it would send a bit of an odd message for you to send them cards. They might think you had changed your mind about not being in contact - it would certainly gove them a space to accuse you of that.

I'm sorry, I haven't been in this situation myself, but I think if you have good reasons for breaking contact (which I'm sure you do though I cant remember the details of your previous posts) then you need to stay strong and focus on why you've had to take this step.

bintofbohemia Fri 16-Sep-11 11:13:47

I haven't had to send anything back yet, but the issue will (probably) arise in the next month or so. And again at Christmas.

I think you're right about having to stay strong. They've fucked with my head for years, and I still occasionally think maybe it's me. (Am fairly sure it isn't, and thankfully now have DH to back me up on this, but still, it's hard to shake the feeling.)

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 16-Sep-11 11:19:37

Many adults who were children of toxic parents remain trapped in the FOG - fear, obligation, guilt.

It is not your fault they are like this, you did not make them this way. Their own families did that.

You set your own boundary of no contact; I would stick to it to the letter. If you open up any line of communication they will jump on it and overstep their mark yet again. Do not give them this power and control.

Read the Stately Homes thread on these pages if you have not already done so.

I would shred any correspondence from them without actually opening it. Toxic parents are also more than adept to pass on all their crap to the next generation i.e your children as well.

bintofbohemia Fri 16-Sep-11 15:34:42

Hello Attila. grin

Can't believe am still posting about this. We did cut down contact, and moved away. It obviously wasn't enough. It makes me sad that this is the way it is, but there doesn't seem to be any way around it. (Other than us just quietly accepting their behaviour, which I can't and don't want to do.)

I've had calls for the last couple of weeks, but I haven't picked up. I'm not sure when this will stop. I don't feel comfortable having to actually tell them to stop (as it means more communication!) but I'm guessing ignoring these two significant events will get the point across...

bintofbohemia Mon 19-Sep-11 16:50:03

On the upside, my phone has just broken so that cuts lines of communication by 50% grin

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