I am in real turmoil at the moment as to whether I should attend a family holiday that has been arranged, which would involve spending over a week with my abusive controlling parents. There will be other family there who are not abusive but I am particularly worried about my father who has a tendency to be cruel, cold, controlling and aggressive (especially with me, and he has directed it at dc before) I am not so worried about me, I am damaged enough by it all anyway, but my young dc. The problem is I have had such a horrible couple of years, leaving an abusive relationship, I wish I could do something nice but deep down I worry that there is a risk that their influence could be damaging and I won't be able to get away this time. They could kick off and get nasty with me, blaming me for being a bad person, or even just subtle everyday things. I feel sometimes that I am so alone and I am really struggling to cope with all this. Seeing this all written down I know I should cancel shouldn't I.
Yes I think you should cancel. Even if nothing happens and your parents don't behave badly you will spend the whole time on tenterhooks waiting for something bad to happen. You won't enjoy yourself and worse, your DC will sense that you are wound up and distressed and they will be confused and worried. It's just not worth it.
I agreed to go because they decided to join us at the last minute, and since then I've been really torn about it. Trying to convince myself it will be ok. Mainly as they can be ok some of the time.
In my heart I think I know it's the wrong thing. I can't relax with them, they snap at the slightest thing and then spiral into melodrama and character assassination. Either that or it's silent treatment, disapproving grunts/glares. I try and avoid them now as they often make me feel depressed. If we go on holiday it will be the longest I've spent with them for a long time and I will be trapped.
No, no chance of that Chloe84. Last time I stayed with them my DF went ballistic because my dc threw some food on the floor (aged 1 at the time) and this escalated into a shouting tirade about behaviour and a character assassination directed at dc and also me. I actually had to retreat to my room (Although it was hard because df had foot in the door). DM crying downstairs because I was upsetting her. These are the sort of potential Scenarios it's so damaging.
Do not see your parents at all let alone go on holiday with them. Your children do not need to be exposed to such toxic behaviour from relatives. You have been profoundly affected by them as parents, they could do similar damage to your children as well. Toxic parents make for being toxic grandparents.
Abusers are nice sometimes but their nice/nasty cycle is a continuous one. I feel Womens Aid Freedom Programme would help you no end.
Your parents own abusive treatment of you led you into having an abusive relationship yourself. We learn after all about relationships first and foremost from our parents and they taught you a lot of damaging lessons.
You can recover from such abuse through therapy even though that is a long road; are you seeing a therapist currently?.
Sweetheart you are not dysfunctional. They are nasty cruel dysfunctional bastards who do not deserve the luxury of your time or presence.
Do not be defined by what they did to you, use their hatred to motivate you. Start to do things you've always wanted to, you can be a success (if you aren't already) and consider cutting them out of your life completely.
They are still damaging you to this day and that is so unfair on you and your children.