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Anyone with experience of siblings who do not speak to them?

(46 Posts)
reikizen Tue 23-Jun-09 17:47:20

Any hints or tips on coping with a family gathering? I have a family wedding coming up where I will meet up with my sisters for the first time since they cut me out of their lives nearly 20 years ago. I am absolutely sh*ing it I don't mind confessing. I wonder if there are any wise words to help me through...sad

crokky Tue 23-Jun-09 17:53:58

Depends - are you planning on staying estranged or do you want a reconciliation?

What happened with your sisters?

If the thought of it is upsetting you so much, just don't go to this wedding.

stroppyknickers Tue 23-Jun-09 17:55:54

Write to them, suggesting that you miss the gap where a sister should be, that there is little point going over what happened, as everybody will have their own versions, but thast you would like to get to know them. I included a little bit of information - favourite food, music etc, and just said that I hated having a sister I never saw. It did work, hth x

Sheeta Tue 23-Jun-09 17:56:00

Why did they cut you out?

I'd just not go to the wedding...

reikizen Tue 23-Jun-09 17:56:56

I want to stay estranged tbh after all this time! It is a silly story really and boils down to nothing more than borrowing an item of clothing without permission but blew up out of all proportion when neither of my parents intervened to sort the problem out (I was 18 at the time). It's my brother's wedding, and I think I would lose the rest of my family if I didn't go...

crokky Tue 23-Jun-09 18:01:57

If you are certain you want to stay estranged, could you just try and keep away from them at the wedding so your paths don't cross? You could make sure you show your face (ie brother/other family see you etc) then keep a v low profile/go home?

llareggub Tue 23-Jun-09 18:04:09

What a shame to stay estranged over such a silly story. Perhaps it might be time to put it behind you?

pagwatch Tue 23-Jun-09 18:04:17

I have been throughthis and tbh whilst it is undeniable that you will be stressed the reality is that it won't be a problem.
Ifthey don't want to speak to you and you don't want to speak to them then you will neatly sidestep each other.

We all negotiated my fathers funeral and there were eight of us to work around (plus other halves and dcs)
You will manage

reikizen Tue 23-Jun-09 18:07:36

Thankyou, that is reassuring! I can sidestep...

crokky Tue 23-Jun-09 18:13:20

llareggub - I think that although it started over something silly, the fact is that nobody has made contact for 20 years - that is far worse than the original incident. If someone had cut me out and not spoken for 20 years, I don't think I would actively try and reconcile things.

pagwatch Tue 23-Jun-09 18:16:20

TBH if people haven't spoken for 20 years it is pretty obvious that whatever triggered it, it is not about something silly.

The issue that causes the arguemnt is not the reason for the hurt/dislike/
distrust etc etc. It is just a manifestation of those things.

pagwatch Tue 23-Jun-09 18:17:51

My brother didn't speak to me for 14 years - he hadn't even argued with me. he had argued with my brother, my dad and my sister. It didn't make it any easier...

Families [sigh emoticon]

llareggub Tue 23-Jun-09 18:41:10

I understand that after all this time it probably isn't silly. But the OP states it is a "silly story" which implied to me that it wasn't a massive falling out. In my experience both parties usually feel that it is the other's fault so I do wonder what the other perspective is. Sometimes it is worth holding out an olive branch even it you feel you aren't at fault. Some things are bigger than personal pride, and in the absence of abuse or violence, maybe this is one situation where it might be worth putting the past behind and offering some sort of reconciliation?

zoggs Tue 23-Jun-09 19:12:41

Rise above it, grit your teeth and grin and bear it.

My brother and his partner are virtually estranged from our family. He chose to tell me he had got married as we signed our father's death certificate. Dad never knew.

I choose not to allow it all to upset me and feel much better for doing so. Do nothing that could be seen as confrontational and keep your distance physically and emotionally.

reikizen Tue 23-Jun-09 19:19:35

Yes, I think when I said a silly story I meant it was a trivial incident initially. But it did become very unpleasant and I know it must be hard to understand if you have a family that gets along but I don't have any reason to reconcile with them. I don't hold a grudge, I recognise my role in the initial situation but if someone physically refuses to speak to you then there is very little you can do. I think it upset me for such a long time that now I feel stronger I have no desire to revisit such an emotionally draining relationship.
I am taking the kind advice of pagwatch and zoggs and feel better for knowing I'm not the only one!

HolyGuacamole Tue 23-Jun-09 19:22:57

You're not the only one! Go and hold your head up high, mix with the people you do get along with and have a great time.

zoggs Tue 23-Jun-09 20:16:25

When you are at the wedding, think of the calmest, kindest, most sensible person you know and imagine them whispering advice to you. No matter what, don't bite. Keep reminding yourself that it's your brother's day and not the time or place for anything that won't bring happiness to him and his new wife.

You never know, maybe it will be the start of a truce but go with no expectations then you won't be disappointed. I know you don't want to be reconciled but this may be the first of other gatherings so if you can all be civil then that's a result.

At my mother's funeral my (very placid) partner said he would physically restrain me if I said anything rude to my brother's partner as it would be disrespectful to my parents. He was right. I felt a huge sense of achievement and self-righteousness(!) at rising above it all.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 23-Jun-09 20:19:11

FGS - losing your family over something that mattered 20 years ago?

Yes, it might have been important then but is it really still that important now?

Families should be cherished when you are lucky enough to have one.

zoggs Tue 23-Jun-09 20:35:50

"Families should be cherished when you are lucky enough to have one."

I would love to be able to cherish my brother and his wife (no dcs as they hate ALL children including mine!) but they have gone out of their way to be hurtful to every member of the family (including our parents) and alienate themselves. They only turn up when there's an inheritance around. What's to cherish?

Good luck, reikizen.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 24-Jun-09 10:17:02

How about not letting things go so far that there isn't anything left to cherish iyo?

MadameCastafiore Wed 24-Jun-09 10:26:58

Families don't always have to be cherished - my life is lovely and calm and stress free without most of mine.

If I were you I would make myself look beautiful and serene and confident (hair done, new dress, shoes, the works), I would smile politely say hello and then leave it to them to reply if they want to but I wouldn;t be drawn into any communication with them whatsoever as it could all blow up and that would be not good on a wedding day!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 24-Jun-09 10:28:56

I didn't say they did always have to be cherished but as some one who never had the chance to grow up in a family, I am always going to feel differently about this to some other people who did have a family.

MadameCastafiore Wed 24-Jun-09 10:29:07

Maybe ny stepmonster should not have gone so far as to stand against me in court whilst fighting for custody with XH of my daughter - it is fine to be sanctimonious when you can but shut up FFS when you don't live with the issues that family breakdown brings.

MadameCastafiore Wed 24-Jun-09 10:29:40

You can have mine - abusive, violent cretins that they are!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 24-Jun-09 10:33:09

Oh blinking hell. I am NOT being sanctimonious and you have NO idea what I have been through and what issues I live with EVERY DAY.

Thank you for bringing me to tears when I have done nothing to you.

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