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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families.

(1000 Posts)
singingprincess Sat 28-Jan-12 13:25:06

There is a word document with all the relevant links which I will try and find, but in the meantime...Post away.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 11:26:50

I just wanted to mark my place. The last time I posted on here was in June.

My Dad is still not talking to me, he removed me as a friend on fb months ago and the pressure is beginning about the family get together at Christmas and scoring brownie points with my Mum by going to the gathering hmm

I don't want to go, I could drive the 2 hours there, all the DCs cousins will be there too and my 4 brothers and their wives but my Dad can make the atmosphere of an entire room change. Everyone treads on egg shells round him and normalises his behaviour. Last Christmas he shouted at me and afterwards my brother said "well that wasn't that bad today, was it?"

I can just see me leaving within an hour in tears and the DCs wondering what was going on and bearing in mind he once told my son he was "he was just like his father" when angry, I simply do not want to see him. Or my son now older, picking up on the fact that my Dad simply doesn't like him sad He is 3 btw sad

So I think I just want to lurk again. It's reassuring being part of this thread sometimes, with the pressure mounting on me about Christmas.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 25-Nov-12 11:36:16


Would advise you not to put yourself through all that toxic rubbish re your parents and stay at home instead with your own family instead for the Christmas holidays. You'd all be a lot happier.

Am going away for Christmas because I want to sit in the sun again and avoid the toxic ILs.

FOG - fear, obigation, guilt are powerful but Christmas is but two days after all and you do not need such people to be around.

Do not be a part of further perpetuating the dysfunction by being there; they
may or may not ever see the light re him but you certainly have and you do not have to be a part of their game any longer.

Your job too is to protect your children from such malign and toxic influences; your three year old has already picked up on the fact that his grandad does not like him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 25-Nov-12 11:36:51


Well done for binning the card!.

HissyByName Sun 25-Nov-12 12:04:30

Don'tstep another one here saying don't go to the christmas thing.

Why put yourself through it? Nothing and nobody's worth that!

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 12:22:07

Yes, my SIL sent me an e-mail and it sounds so reasonable but life is hard enough, I need my Christmas to be a peaceful and happy experience this year. I am staying at home for once and I am looking forward to it.

Her e-mail:

"I think your reason for getting back in touch with your dad would be your ongoing relationship with the rest of your family. Some of them would look very badly on things if you still weren't talking when he died.
Perhaps the gathering could be an opportunity to touch base in a group which might be a little less awkward than one on one. You wouldn't have to do any in-depth soul searching, just polite moral high-ground stuff!!
And of course you can always say you're doing it for your mum. Lots of brownie points there.
You can always go for a walk and feed the ducks if its getting too much."

I think I am going to end up looking petty, everyone excuses my Dad's behaviour and no one has challenged him on his threatening and abusive e-mails to me earlier this year. Or his generally EA behaviour the rest of the time.

I need to try and stop worrying about what my family will think, if I do not go. So bloody hard.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 12:26:34

I was just re-reading HOTDamn's advice to me on 15 June again, it was so wise. I think I need to re-read all of it again. Nothings changed since then tbh sad

Thank you for listening again.

Dawndonna Sun 25-Nov-12 13:21:27

Thank you Atilla.

Dontstep Reply to email.
Dear SiL,
Thanks for email, but as you are aware, judging from your 'moral high ground' comment, things are a little difficult. My job as a mother is to protect my famiy and to ensure that life is as easy and happy as possible for them. Given the fact that father has sent abusive emails in the past, I really don't see why any of us should have to go through this, particularly as it seems it's just because others may look badly on things when people die. My dcs happiness and welfare are paramount, I will therefore be spending Christmas at home. Thank you for your kind offer of group protection, but actually, it normalises the bad behaviour and is not something I wish my dcs to witness.
All the best,

Hope this helps.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 25-Nov-12 13:35:53

Hi Dontstep

If your SIL really gave a toss about your own feelings (which she clearly does not given this communique/demand) she would not try and guilt trip you over such things. Its all about her and on a wider level the dysfunction family unit.

You may find the following excerpt helpful:-

BTW if your Dad sent threatening and or abusive e-mails to you earlier this year, he would have been committing a criminal offense by doing so.

Dawndonna Sun 25-Nov-12 13:37:50

I keep an eye on this thread, a lot. I think a luffs Attila a bit! grin

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Sun 25-Nov-12 13:43:50


The first xmas i spent at home with my family (son and dh) i was so worried but it was better than going to my parents. Then the year after i did it again and it was good (i had one evil xmas card delieved on xmas eve that upset me but i binned it and carried on having fun with my family) and this year im soooo looking forward to a fun and uneventful xmas with my family.

Its nice and i have no fog bec ause i believe they choice it this way with there behaiour and i like my family more than them. I always invite them over after boxing day and they have never come - thedir choice their lose grin

It does get better

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 13:44:58

I asked him to stop after 6 follow on text after the e-mail, or I'd contact the Police. Which actually made him even more angry sad

Apparently he was just protecting Mum who was hurt at the time hmm After I'd ask for some space after 2 years of their constant criticism/ judging of my children and my parenting <sigh> Anyway my story is on here already. I mustn't repeat myself blush

I'll look at that link. Thank you.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 13:49:13

Sorry there's a lot of typos. I'm very tired, I have a lot on my plate at the moment and an impending Colposcopy for an abnormal smear which I'm fretting about as well.

Last year I went to my Mums after a guilt trip about them being all alone on the big day and it was an awful Christmas. I am looking forward to this year and the DCs Dad will pop by for a bit. We're divorced but amicable, so I won't be entirely alone on the day and I'll probably go to Church in the morning too. But it will all be a vast improvement to having my brooding, angry father for company. I'm not sure he even likes either of my DCs. I used to long for him to play with them, be a 'fun' Grandad.

I'm really taking over the thread today, sorry.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 25-Nov-12 14:02:51

"I'm really taking over the thread today, sorry".

Oh Dontstep, no you are not. Honestly please do not think that nor give that thought any more houseroom!.

Your Dad is abusive (and was not really surprised to read in one of your previous postings that he has narcissistic traits as well) and your mother is his willing enabler. Narcs like your Dad always but always need a willing enabler to help them. God only knows what keeps your mother within such dysfunction but she has her own warped reasons no doubt for staying within it. She gets something out of it.

Do not under any circs go to them for Christmas and if they send any cards or anything to you destroy it without opening. If he sends you any more abusive nonsense go to the Police because they will be interested. He has already committed a criminal offense by sending you such communications via e-mail.

I wish you the very best of luck with regards to your forthcoming medical procedurethanks.

Dawndonna Sun 25-Nov-12 14:03:25

Stop worrying. I hated Christmas until I had my dcs. My oldest is 27 now and nobody, and I mean nobody but direct famiy, eg, me, dh and dcs, is allowed here on Christmas day. (Did once, but long, complicated, not family and was fine). We have a Christmas eve present, started when they were young to get them to bed, usually a new quilt cover, throw, cushion or pjs. We always read The Night before Christmas. Mug of hot chocolate and bed. Christmas day, fry up. then it's tapas, put out at ten, removed at two. Presents after breakfast, but pull a cracker with brekkie. Father Christmas always leaves a boardgame to while away the hours.
We love it. My 27 year old hasn't lived with us for years, he comes home every christmas eve. He comes home between times, too, but couldn't contemplate anything else. We've made our own traditions, our own christmas, it's safe, it's fun and my mother has no chance of getting within a hundred miles of it.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Sun 25-Nov-12 14:08:10

Keep posting and talking as it helps.

I found making new family traditions help me. I also got caller id on my phone and i just dont answer it to them. I dont talk to my Brother or his family or my sister and i only see my parents a few times per year for a few hours. I limit their time with my children and i never let them spend time on their own with my children. When my son was a baby and they started up DH and i would just pack up and leave. We voted with our feet and they had to respect our boundaries if they wanted to see us and their gc.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 14:16:01

I am so so tired of everyone excusing his behaviour and being made to look like I am unreasonable. I'm so tired today I keep yawning. I do need to reply to my SIL, it was on Tuesday she sent it. I cannot muster up the energy though. Maybe I should copy and paste Dawn's reply grin

We'll reach the 1,000 mark on here today, if I carry on blush

HissyByName Sun 25-Nov-12 21:35:40

Ooh! I had the 'before they die' shit levelled at me too!

Do i shout House for Bastard Bingo? smile

You know what's right love, hold onto it, it will get less surreal in time.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 21:39:06

LOL at Bastard Bingo.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 25-Nov-12 21:51:03

I'm going to bed in a minute. Thank you for all your kind and helpful words today. I made a new thread. Let's hope the links all worked blush

I just knew this one was nearly full and wanted the next one to be easy to find, if I'm still struggling tomorrow <selfish>

Hope that was ok?

The new thread is titled the same, I wasn't sure if I was meant to label it part 2? It's here:

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 25-Nov-12 22:56:33

Thanks for starting a new thread, MomeRaths

Your SIL's e-mail is highly manipulative, in my view.
She is essentially asking you to keep up the charade, so that the rest of them need not feel uncomfortable that the boat is being rocked (or, heaven forbid, question their own part in it). The "before they die" bit is a very low blow.

If you want to reply to it, I would just keep it factual: "I will not be attending the family gathering."

You don't need to justify yourself.

forgetmenots Mon 26-Nov-12 00:01:04

Oooh , death, my ILs favourite - 'we will die and you won't even know, so you clearly don't care if we die or not.' And - 'you are killing us with this behaviour' (the behaviour is going NC) And one more - 'I will just kill myself and everyone will know you drove me to it.'

Poor DH. He will grieve them sorely when they die. Just like he has now, for the parents he would have needed.

Don't let them blackmail you Dontstep. Your SIL may mean well or she may be stacking up brownie points of her own but I think dawn's response is good. Clear, unemotive and polite.

forgetmenots Mon 26-Nov-12 00:07:48

Actual laugh out loud at Bastard Bingo from Hissy. I can help make the cards. Mine (MIL to DH) would include:

You don't understand me or care about me
I gave you years of my life and now it's your turn
We have all moved on and you haven't
There are no individuals here, only the family
How dare you talk to me like a stranger, no one tells their mother they don't trust them
When I look at you I feel nothing but sadness and disappointment
You should defend me at all times
I know your wife has to come first, but I should be 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th
If your children turn out like you, slit their throats
I had far worse from my parents and I never turned my back, toughen up

Joyful, happy, wonderful woman she is grin

Dawndonna Mon 26-Nov-12 07:24:46

Bastard Bingo.

You were always difficult, even as a child.
I'm ill, you don't understand.
Life is so hard, you'll understand someday.
There's always one child in a family that isn't liked.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 26-Nov-12 07:28:45

Oh yes I was a "difficult" child. That one was rolled out every Christmas, why my family think it's ok round the dinner table to bring it up I have no idea. I used to believe them sad

Now I have children of my own my perspective had changed.

forgetmenots Mon 26-Nov-12 08:02:30

don'tstop sad - you can shout 'bastards' instead of 'house' if you like. New thread, anyone? smile

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