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NC parents and Christmas

25 replies

Orangeblossom78 · 15/12/2019 11:30

I dread this time of year as am NC with my parents - getting weird presents and messages. I did get a card going on about how depressing the rain was, then another from an aunt on that side with the message "I hope you are well. I hear from your Mum about you" (shudder)

It makes me feel about 12. I am mid 40s.

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Am I being unreasonable?

39 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
StreetwiseHercules · 15/12/2019 11:34

I have a similar situation. It’s horrible. Being NC with my parents has led to being NC almost by default with the rest of my family, and it’s too hard to face into.

Receiving post and opening cards is a bit of an ordeal as you just don’t know what’s lurking in there.

SingingLily · 15/12/2019 11:34

Orange, you are really not on your own with this. Might I suggest popping over to Stately Homes on the Relationships Board? You will find understanding and support over there from people in the same position as you.

Here on AIBU, you will get some support, but you will also get some very unhelpful posts from people who mean well but think Christmas is a time for all families to come together, regardless of how impossible and how toxic that might be.


Softleftpowerstance · 15/12/2019 11:35

Well with zero backstory it’s hard to understand what your AIBU is or why you feel 12.

They’re trying to keep a line of communication open and possibly hope Christmas will bring a reconciliation. It’s hard to know what to write when relations are strained or non existent.

I come from a family with a lot of estrangement and low contact and Christmas is an incredibly difficult time, so I have some sympathy. But I also know that there’s not always a clear cut villain and victim.

Sicario · 15/12/2019 11:35

I am NC with my family and have received a parcel from my toxic sister. Even the thought of opening it fills me with dread. I wish they would all just fuck off.

LyingWitchlnTheWardrobe · 15/12/2019 11:39

Sicario, maybe a daft question, but does your sister know that you're no contact? If she does then just given the parcel to a charity shop or put it in the bin. You're not obliged to respond.

I know it's touch, I'm estranged from one of my brothers, he hasn't been in touch for 4 years now and I respect his decision, I wouldn't dream of contacting him.

Christmas is a difficult time and sometimes it's just about getting through as unscathed as you can.

Orangeblossom78 · 15/12/2019 12:37

It's scary wondering what kind of lies and stuff they can come up with. Mine pretends that I am a 'drug addict' things like that. God knows what she has been telling my aunt. It is all just a horrible reminder they haven't changed. And the hoovering. Just need to get through to the New Year

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JJSS123 · 15/12/2019 12:44

Same thing here i am apparently a drug addict and a prostitute. Using my baby as a weapon because I’ve kept them completely away from the situation and there has never been any contact to protect baby. But using as a weapon! Weird weird people

countdowntochristmas · 15/12/2019 12:59

I understand, I'm nc with my dad and brother but tbh I hardly see any of my family . I make the effort they just choose not to .
It's sad as growing up I was close with my siblings. My dad gaslights though but I don't think my family realise as it's subtle over the years .
I'm lucky that I have a great relationship with my in-laws .

FudgeBrownie2019 · 15/12/2019 13:02

YANBU. I don't see or speak to MIL; DH has to deal with her and she's messaged me twice asking if I'd like anything for Christmas. Each time I reply politely no thank you, and each time she's phoned DH crying that i won't let her back in.

Stay strong and try to let it wash over you wherever possible. Flowers

Orangeblossom78 · 15/12/2019 13:10

I have supportive in laws and it does help. Even after she raged at them one time, (they had to ask her to leave) it didn't mess up our relationship thankfully.

It is all heightened at Christmas and birthdays, I find. Flowers to anyone going through it too.

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NoGravyForYou · 15/12/2019 13:21

I know how you feel OP.
I am NC with my father for several years now, and dread this time of year. Like others because of being NC with him I've become NC/LC with his side of the family by default. Except at Christmas when I'm expected to be wheeled out so they can take photos of all the grandchildren and post them on social media.
Some years he's sent presents via my brother and others he hasn't. I wish he just wouldn't because the years he sends them it's another stick for him to bash me with because i haven't reached out to thank him for my gifts. The whole thing is exhausting.

HoHoHoik · 15/12/2019 13:50

They’re trying to keep a line of communication open and possibly hope Christmas will bring a reconciliation.

A lot of times when toxic people send letters/cards or gifts, they're not trying to keep lines of communication open or hoping for a reconciliation. They're doing it to try and continue the emotional manipulation because no matter how you react, they get vindication from it. They do it to try and wrongfoot you, to insidiously remind you that they're still there, and to get mileage with which to play the victim. It is never just a card or just a gift.

Ignore any attempts, OP. Don't engage. If any cards or letter arrive then bin them unopened, if there are gifts then donate them elsewhere. They are not owed space in your mind.

Obligatorync · 15/12/2019 14:02

I understand and I also recommend the Stately Homes thread in Relationships if you haven't been there already.

Orangeblossom78 · 15/12/2019 21:18

Thanks I will have a look.

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tobedtoMNandfart · 15/12/2019 22:11

Thx for the thread OP. Agree it's a VERY difficult time. What is it with Xmas & birthdays?
Being the scapegoat I wonder if the gifts are sent so that they have another way to blame me? ... "and she didn't even thank us" ... after I have told them clearly to not contact me.

tobedtoMNandfart · 15/12/2019 22:12

I have 'dealt' with mine today. Second hand bath bombs. Words fail.

Orangeblossom78 · 16/12/2019 09:20

Oh God, mine went and sent a delivery of unwrapped presents- toys, to the DC who are teens (toys for much younger kids) and we had no idea thought it was another delivery and opened them. Reminded me of mad stuff they did when I was small like giving me a talking teddy as a ten year old and a china doll at 5 (it's face smashed when i took it into school)

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Orangeblossom78 · 16/12/2019 09:20

Last year I had vitamins and a copy of the bible

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tobedtoMNandfart · 16/12/2019 19:15

🤣 that just sounds like the contents of their bedside table drawer!

Orangeblossom78 · 16/12/2019 20:59

No it has a message i think

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Lucyccfc68 · 16/12/2019 21:20

First year (last year) of being totally NC with my parents and siblings and one sister sent me a bottle of champagne (I donated it to the works raffle) and a huge bouquet of flowers (my neighbour kindly accepted them). My mother sent me a card with £50 in. I posted it back.

It was tough last year, as I hated them for what they had done (it was spectacularly cruel). I shed a few tears on Christmas Eve.

This year will be totally different. I am at peace with it and am looking forward to a lovely Chritsmas with my DS and spending time with some lovely friends.

Whatsername177 · 16/12/2019 21:22

Return to sender unopened. If there is some sort of message/ulterior motive, then just don't engage. I don't get it. Why would you have children just to spend your life torturing them?

RaiseaGlasstoFreedom · 16/12/2019 21:33

Yes op I get it too.

I'm dreading the in laws trying to shoe in some gifts and it's handed over like they are gods deeming to lower themselves and give something when we don't want to see them and don't want it.

elmosducks · 16/12/2019 21:49

I am NC with my brother. I did just receive an abusive message from him, but he's a twat so I try not to give him any headspace

Orangeblossom78 · 17/12/2019 09:29

Really horrible with the champagne. Idiots. Yes I would not open it but sometimes it is hard to tell who it is from in advance.

Mine have also started trying to send postcards and gifts directly to the DC so they will see it I guess. (before opening) usually something guilt inducing- but I can usually get the post first. Not easy though

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