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How will this be MY fault?(10 Posts)
A member of my very very close family cut me out of their life after I spoke up about their treatment by a new partner. I spoke up because I loved that person and wanted to protect them from harm. It backfired as they ran back to the person that was treating them badly and in a show of loyalty just cut me out of their life.
A family event is coming up that we are all invited to. Family member hasn't contacted me for a few years and although I've broken my heart over it I'm now a lot stronger and feel it's their loss not mine.
I'm dreading the event. It's not something I want to miss but also the thought of going there and seeing them is upsetting. The person is seen by the family as being the one in the wrong over the whole saga but when I said to my aunt that I hoped they wouldn't come over and bother talking to me as I'm over it all she said that if I wasn't civil to them and make small talk to avoid bad feeling at the event then I'd be the one in the wrong and that I was being childish.
After years of being cut out why should I be the one to now pretend everything is ok? the person involved is the type to try and speak to me in front of everyone in the family to publicly extend the olive branch in a show in front of everyone, my reaction is to tell them to shove their olive branch where the sun doesn't shine but if I do that then I'll be seen as the bad one.
The alternative is to miss the event but I don't see why I should.
I went back to my DH after we split and one of y sisters refuses to be at any family event if we go. Won't bring her dd to my dds party either. It's not very nice being on the receiving end and I always wonder why she can't just attend and be civil. Why can't you cast it to one side, after all, you say you love the person. Surely it's the easy thing to do. Support them no matter what.
Difficult to say without knowing all the background, but in my experience sucking it up and playing the grown-up in situations like this can feel a lot better than refusing to play along with it and taking the consequences (I've done both in my time, and in retrospect the ones that make me go hot and cold are the times I made it a point of principle not to talk to someone).
Plastering on a fake smile and saying 'hi-how-are-you-I'm-good-thanks' does not mean you're admitting you were wrong. It's just making life easier for a family member who you say has always been supportive in the past.
Can you get your DP or someone to keep an eye out and phone you with an 'important' call about 30 seconds after the conversation starts? Then you'll have done your bit and can walk away.
The truth is, everyone else finds these situations awkward, and after a few years they find them boring too. They've probably forgotten all the fine details. You (and this other person) are probably the only two people to whom this situation still seems important.
I understand where you are coming from, trouble is I can't give the whole story as its very outing. The details are pretty shocking and I was treated extremely badly by someone who should never have done it (my father, that's all I'm saying) after years of my supporting him he simply cut me out? I'm finding it hard to forgive, I'll never trust him again anyway.
No of course, don't expect you to spill the beans here and end up in the Daily Mail...
You don't have to forgive him, or think that he's right, or any of that stuff. This is purely about rising above for the sake of your other family member who has always been in your corner.
Just role play how the conversation might go and think of how you might want to close down various conversational approaches that upset you or would lead to a row. Preparing might make you feel less anxious. Focus on being relaxed and fabulous and feeling in control.
Thank you, great advice. I want to go in there smiling, with my lovely DH and children (who he's missed out on too) and show that life is good for me. Some role play of possible scenarios will be useful - I want to be cool and calm, I certainly don't want to give him the opportunity to say 'there you go I did try but it was thrown back in my face' to other family members. He'd love that.
There you go. Glad your DH is lovely - make sure he knows how you're feeling and is briefed to back you up if necessary. Drag the kids in as a distraction (or an excuse - 'must go, one of my little monkeys is about to knock a glass over' sort of thing...)
Oooh, my specialist subject.
Turn up. Be polite. Be completely normal yet quietly avoid the batshit ones. I
f you find yourself in group conversation with them smile politely and make the necessary small talk. Offer nothing personal. Try to turn the conversation to other people, weather, or even the media so you don't have to chat about their life or your life.
Under no circumstances, with anyone at the event:
- discuss any "big" topics.
- discuss the bad time when you fell out.
"Let's not spoil things by talking about that. Today is all about x, let's keep attention on them. What lovely flowers / do you still play the trumpet / did you have thunder snow?"
My rule of thumb: I treat them like a drunk offensive senior manager from a random different office at the works party. Be polite. No drama. Not the time to set the world to rights. Quietly avoid. Be prepared to walk out, quietly with no obvious drama if you decide they are determined to pick a fight with you. Don't let yourself be alone with them.
Sadly, I am an expert at this.
Thanks Run, another set of great advice. It's shit we have to do this but in a strange way I'm glad I finally saw my DF for the manipulative narc he really is after all these years. It took the death of my mum for it happen though.
wow thanks Tres and desole I am going to save this, learn it by heart and use it for next time I come across my sis HO
good luck OP
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