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Do I go to this funeral in a land far far away.

(18 Posts)
NewZ Mon 20-Mar-17 17:49:18

I will try and keep this short, and not too identifying.

My mother grew up in a severely abusive household. Her mother (my grandmother) enabled her husband's violence and always excused him. The family as a whole were extremely toxic, and damaged my mother's mental health very badly. She has had decades of counselling, but is still always seeking approval and validation from her family.

When I was about 10 or 11 my father refused flat out to visit his ILs at all. He had had enough. I stepped into his place and would go and see her family with her to provide some sort of support. I bloody hated it. There were always screaming fights and on more than once occasion my aunts would beat the shit out of my mother and sometimes me. I got smashed and punched around the head when I was about 12 maybe because I 'looked' at one of my aunts 'funny'. Some sort of incident happened every time we saw them, for christmas or an annual 'family reunion' or whatever.

I finally put my foot down when I was in my 20s, and I have refused to see them again. This has not stopped my mother from 'accidentally' arranging meetings- like when we went out for my 30th for example she invited a bunch of her side of the family and 'what a surprise!!!!' it was that they were there etc. I truly do not understand what motivates her to try and play happy families. I also do not understand why she thought it was okay to throw me under the bus from such a young age - it was more important to her to try and keep up some pretence with them than it was to keep me safe. After I had my first DC I had a bit of a breakdown because I simply could not understand why she did that to me, when I was too young to defend myself.

Anyway - One of her siblings has a terminal illness, and the end is very very close. Thing is, this particular sibling is the only one who was vaguely okay and pleasant, and was relatively normal. I liked him, never had much to do with him because he avoided the family too! If it were any of the others I would not even consider going to the funeral. But I am feeling like I may be obligated to...... I know my mother would want me to go. But, to go is either a (very) long drive, or a flight away. But the thing is, the thought of being in the same room as any of that side of the family makes me genuinely feel sick to my stomach. I feel like I OUGHT to go - again to support my mother- and feel like I will be emotionally blackmailed into going by her (or she will just do the pursed lip disapproval thing).

I liked this uncle. But I cannot stand the thought of seeing any of that side again, ever. I hate that I still feel suckered into 'keeping the peace' when it comes to my mother and her family.

I don't have an excuse of funds, or time off work - I work in our own business. Our DCs are older and will be fine. But I am not sure that I could cope with facing decades of silent punishment from my mother for disappointing her over this. It has to be said, she has not asked me to go, but I feel there will be a very solid expectation of it.

I am confused, and angry. And that is overshadowing the fact that a nice man that many people loved is going to pass away and that is desperately sad for his loved ones.

I feel so sick about it all- confused, worried, and feel as I am being very very selfish. I really do not know what to do, or to think about it all.

I'd be really grateful for outside perspectives.

NewZ Mon 20-Mar-17 17:49:54

God that was long, sorry.

BarryTheKestrel Mon 20-Mar-17 18:19:00

I wouldn't go. You can say goodbye and honour him in your own way, a candle, a drink, a special meal whatever is appropriate. But going to that funeral is opening yourself up for a ton of abuse from living family members who have abused you for years. You don't want to see any of them for fear of the abuse that will come from it, don't go.

I am so so sorry that you've been through this and that you are losing a loved family member. flowers

jeaux90 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:23:26

I wouldn't go either. Honestly you have been through enough. X

HerRoyalNotness Mon 20-Mar-17 18:29:44

I wouldn't go. I'd try to speak to him on the phone or send a card before he passes, but no I wouldn't attend funeral

FourToTheFloor Mon 20-Mar-17 18:30:37

I would not go and it's sounds as though your uncle would completely understand.

What a shit situation you were put into at such a young age flowers

OnTheRise Mon 20-Mar-17 18:31:12

You don't have to go to a funeral to remember someone you cared for. There are all sorts of things you can do to commemorate your uncle.

If you go to the funeral you'll get caught up in all that abusive bollocks again (excuse me, but what on EARTH were they thinking?) and if your family is anything like mine, there will be repercussions which will cause you distress for a while after. Don't risk it. Self-care is so important. Stay at home, raise a glass of wine or a cup of tea to your uncle, and congratulate yourself for looking after yourself properly.

Therapy has been a lifesaver for me, and I do feel like I'm much more together these days: but I still do all I can to avoid certain members of my family, because it's just not worth getting caught up in their machinations. It sounds as though you had a dreadful, dreadful time when you were younger. I am so sorry, and I really hope you're ok now.

PuellaEstCornelia Mon 20-Mar-17 18:35:56

No, I wouldn't go. Send flowers, write to him before or to his wife and children after, but keep away from the sort of nutters that enjoy this sort of drama.

LillyBugg Mon 20-Mar-17 18:38:46

Seriously don't go. You will get nothing but pain and anguish out of going.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 20-Mar-17 18:40:36

If your uncle was a decent sort I doubt he would want you to risk at the very least upset and possibly injury by going.

It's not what you were asking but I find it hard to think sympathetically of your mother if she took you with her as what, an emotional shield? when you were young.

Nomoreworkathome Mon 20-Mar-17 18:43:33

Your story is so shocking. I echo other posters....don't go.

justdontevenfuckingstart Mon 20-Mar-17 18:46:14

Sweetheart don't go, and no need for any guilt either x

troodiedoo Mon 20-Mar-17 18:48:16

Fuck that stay well away! Funerals make toxic families much more so.

So sorry you've had to put up with such a horrific ordeal flowers

Neglectedbythesun Mon 20-Mar-17 18:48:32

You've had a lifetime of feeling obligated to people who don't deserve your loyalty. There are a myriad of ways to say goodbye in your own terms that don't involve attending the funeral. You could send him a letter remembering what he meant to you and including nice memories. The dying and those they leave behind might gain some comfort from that.

Tell your mother up front you're not attending and you'll quietly remember the only decent member of the family in your own way. Not attending this funeral could draw the line against the awful era of fear and obligation for you. The games will go on whether or not you attend. Why put yourself through it?

ohfourfoxache Mon 20-Mar-17 18:53:32

No way in hell would I be going- you have absolutely no reason to go. Quite the opposite in fact.

ForalltheSaints Mon 20-Mar-17 18:54:37

I am not aware of your religion, but could you have a memorial service locally to where you live. A meal with friends and the family to remember him (those who are not toxic) if not a religious service, perhaps?

Isetan Mon 20-Mar-17 20:09:55

Given his non relationship with them, he would most definitely wouldn't want you in harms way on his account. Don't go, say your goodbyes in peace and with a smile, not under circumstances where the stress would detract from the person you're paying your respects to.

NewZ Mon 20-Mar-17 20:43:44

Thank you everyone.

I have to admit it feels very strange to hear so many of you say the story is shocking etc. It certainly did not feel normal or healthy growing up, but 'shocking', well it feels odd to me to hear that 'from the outside' so to speak. I have so much anger about it all, but have (mostly) squashed it down.

My mother suffered alot, and I have tried to see my way to forgiving her for alot of stuff - a few years back we got very drunk together and she apologised for so much stuff and so much of her behaviour. That would be fine, and I think I could move on, but for the fact that she still tries to please her family, tries to play happy families, tries to manipulate and outright trick me into seeing them etc. If she went NC with them I would find it easier to forgive her or to get over it all. But she seems stuck in this cycle with them.

It honestly never occurred to me to call my uncle and to talk to him or his wife. blush I do have some memories that I can write about in a condolence card also when the time comes.

I have had some therapy over the years... mainly because I have had eating disorders all my life and I personally think it is related - lots of self hatred, punishing myself etc. I have read on here about FOG and that sums it up pretty perfectly.

Thanks all so much for taking the time. thanks

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