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How should a bereavement influence NC?(3 Posts)
I'm asking here because my extended family feel that I am now becoming the villain of the whole sorry story and that I should simply 'open a window for reconciliation', trouble is since I went NC I have been happier than I have been in years.
My sister is the 'golden child' to my mother who has always always favoured her. My mother hit me and smacked me as a child - she never ever laid a finger on my sister - I left home at 18 after college and I haven't ever been back.
Anyway. To the issue I now have.
Last year around this time I had finally had enough of my sister who everybody loves, she scrounged endlessly from me, she told me how to parent, she made short cutting remarks about every element of my life, she cadged lifts, expected free meals, refused to listen to me when it concerned my DS1 and made me downright fucking miserable.
I was in weekly listening type counselling and as part of this started to explore my expectations of people around me. I decided to reduce contact - took sister months to ask why I wasn't getting in touch. I explained to my mother about why I had chosen this option and my mother said she did understand the 'attitude' I was seeking to avoid and why I had chosen to stop contact. I also let my mother know that I am open to mediation sessions should we want to bring the family back together - these are after all issues which have been going on for decades. Thing is my sister only ever turns this attitude on me and my mum - my DH has seen it occasionally but it is a side of her which is carefully hidden.
My mother requested that I not join her as usual for Christmas as my sister would be uncomfortable with our presence (but as it turns out - NOT our presents which she accepted as usual). Fine. At New Year I let family know that I am expecting DS2 after tests showed that he was healthy, a much wanted and healing baby after horrors of DS1's delivery & long term complications for DS1. My mother requests I tell my sister - I ensure I do so.
By late February my mother had become deliberately 'frosty' towards me on the phone, asking about DS1 but never asking about me. I'm expecting a CS with DS2 and she said she 'might' be able to help but was terribly busy around due date (she is semi retired). When I rang to arrange a BIRTHDAY treat I mentioned that I had let my sister know I was expecting but that she hadn't been in touch (thinking this was the cause of my mother being frosty). Anyway. Mother went fecking crazy on the phone, accused me of all sorts like banning people access to my child, acting unreasonably, blocking reconciliation attempts etc etc, saying I had to give her access to my child.
I was extremely upset. Like very very upset. After saying she understood about why I was reducing contact she had gone back as usual to supporting the golden child. I've heard nothing since from my mother - and I am due in just a few weeks.
I found out on Monday via a family friend that an elderly family relative was extremely ill - before I had a chance to get to see them they had passed away. I now have to face the funeral (alone - DH is saving his leave for the CS) when my mother rang to tell me the news she asked if this meant I could stop all of this silly nonsense - I said that there were two issues, one being the bereavement of someone we all cared about and two being the long standing issues and now wasn't the time to blur those she pretty much hung up.
WWYD? Do I go? I'm going to be bitch of the year if I don't. I'm never going to get an apology from either of them, they firmly believe they are in the right and they back each other up, I am heavily pregnant as well.
On balance, I would send flowers and a card of condolence rather than attend the funeral in person and risk a bad atmosphere. Unless it was someone to whom you were especially close and you feel you have no choice but to be there. In which case you make arrangements to arrive & leave very promptly, be polite and courteous but allow no time for idle chit-chat in the middle.
I would send a card and flowers, and decline to attend on the grounds of your advanced pregnancy. The people that know you will know the reasons, and you would probably be surprised at how many mutual friends or relatives have noticed and will agree with you about your DSis and her behaviour.
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