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Can you help me? Should I speak to my family?


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#1 *JAC*

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:23 PM

Hi

A very long, drawn our story which I can't really go into. All I can say is my parents and my sister have hurt me very, very badly. I have seen a counsellor over it to help me deal with what they had done. I have never spoken to them about the issue, I found out third hand. They know I know what happened, and they know I am upset.

My Dad called me this afternoon, I didn't pick it up and I got my DH to listen to the voicemail. Apparently it is quite urgent, he needs to speak to me to try and resolve the situation. He said he knows he isn't welcome here at my home, and he is willing to meet up anywhere to talk.

I don't want to call him, I don't want to speak to him or see him. I don't want to bring back all of my heartbreaking feelings again. I also don't think there is anything he can say to fix it. I will never believe him. I don't even understand why he even wants to see me. You don't treat someone the way he has (like I'm nothing), and then 6 weeks later tell me he wants to talk...

My husband thinks I should speak to him. He thinks I need to face it all rather than burying my head in the sand. He thinks I should see him so I have the opportunity to explain my feelings over the matter. I'm just not sure what it would accomplish. I don't think it will end well, and I think I will feel even worse than I do now. I just want to carry on with my life without them in it, but DH thinks I would be making a big mistake. He thinks that I am influenced by emotion, and if I didn't love them I wouldn't care.

I don't know what I should do. I'm sorry for not being able to disclose more details.

Thank you if you got this far.

#2 MakesMeHappy

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:31 PM

If you don’t want to talk to them don’t. You know you best, if you don’t think it will make YOU feel any better then don’t bother. From your post it is quite clear that’s it’s not what you want to do.

Can you go back to the counsellor and get some help with how best to move forward without them in your life?

I’m sorry that they have hurt you.

#3 Mishu

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:33 PM

You can love your family but that doesn't mean that they are allowed to treat you badly. I love my sister from a distance but she is not an active part of my life at this time, the impact of her behaviour is just too negative for me.

I'm not sure why your husband is so insistent about this but I would go back and talk to the counsellor to work out what I wanted to do. Get independent & professional advice (including about how to convey your wishes to your husband).

I'm sorry you are in pain. We are brought up to believe that  family should always be there for us and support us. So it really does hurt when this turns out to be untrue.

#4 yellowtulips74

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:37 PM

I'm sorry OP.  What a difficult situation.

Does your family have form or was this totally out of the blue? If it was 'out of character', I'd probably be more inclined to hear them out.

I think if I were you, I would definitely discuss with my psych, to get their perspective on the meeting, and some strategies for dealing with it, before going ahead.

Another thing I would consider is sending DH to the meeting instead, to hear what your Dad has to say.

Good luck - it sounds really stressful.

#5 *JAC*

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:49 PM

Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words.

Yellowtulips - it was out of character for them, which makes it hurt even more, I think.

My DH is coming from a good place. He isn't pushing a reconciliation, I think he thinks it will give me closure, and no doubt he has a glimmer of hope that things will resolve.

#6 lizzzard

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:03 PM

My response really varies depending on whether the hurt was deliberate abuse or inadvertent. I think people make mistake sometimes. My mum and I fell out over something and barely spoke for several years. We both made mistakes...but in the midst of it I couldn't see that - I thought it was completely her fault that she'd hurt me.

Today we are extremely close and our relationship is much better because of what we went through. We've learned to communicate better, and set firmer boundaries. I'm not saying any of this context applies in your case OP, but suggesting that cutting off people forever over a single incident....well, I think its not necessarily the right answer. Humans aren't perfect - we all screw up sometimes, and it sounds like your Dad might want to fix his mistake?

#7 Gudrun

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:05 PM

If you will never believe him then I don't see there would be any positive point.

As a random not knowing your actual story I think continuing to put space between them and you is the way to go.

Go by your own instincts and encourage your DH to just support you in that.

Keep it as simple as you can.

Toxic family do not deserve any different than toxic anybody else.



#8 Threelittleducks

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:12 PM

If they were to die tomorrow, would you regret not being able to have the opportunity for closure for the sake of your own healing?

I'm estranged from a family member, and I have no need or desire for closure. Buy I know others who would regret this week f something were to happen suddenly. Only you can decide what's right for you.

#9 lizzzard

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:14 PM

View Post*JAC*, on 17 June 2019 - 10:49 PM, said:

Yellowtulips - it was out of character for them, which makes it hurt even more, I think.
I would think about this point some more.

Do you think they all changed suddenly and permanently?

#10 Ellie bean

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:17 PM

Depending on what happened, if it was out of character, I would hear your dad out, but not till you’re ready- your timetable not his- and with the help of your psych to set some boundaries

#11 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:08 AM

View PostEllie bean, on 17 June 2019 - 11:17 PM, said:

Depending on what happened, if it was out of character, I would hear your dad out, but not till you’re ready- your timetable not his- and with the help of your psych to set some boundaries
this.

And are you interested in reconciliation?

#12 MooGuru

Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:43 AM

Did you post about this at the time?

Look if I'm remembering it correctly (and I might have you confused with another poster) given you say it was a one off and out of character I'd be trying to figure out what was stopping me from talking to my father.
Depending factors include:
What was my relationship like prior to this incident?
What was the actual incident?

Emotions I'm coming up with considering this for me might include:
Fear - what if I get hurt again?
Anger - I'm not ready, how dare he try and make me.
Rejection - what if he doesn't want to try hard enough to reconcile? Will he prove I'm worth something after he made me feel so insignificant? I can't be rejected if I'm the one doing the rejecting.

After looking at what my emotions are, I'd contemplate my father's motivation for contacting me compared to how I'm feeling i.e. if I was fearful he was going to reject me, would he be getting in touch at all?

I am lucky that I can detach myself from my emotions and analyze them relatively clinically at times and that this isn't for everyone.

#13 McG2013

Posted 18 June 2019 - 05:12 AM

If you don't want to talk to him then I would send him a text saying you're taking a break from the relationship and do not wish to be contacted. You will contact them if and when you are ready.

I have ongoing family issues so I feel your pain x

#14 Newbutoldish

Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:18 AM

If 6 weeks ago before this happened you had a good relationship and this was a once off, I would hear him out.
I’d make a decision after that. Just because you meet to hear what he has to say doesn’t mean you are committing to having a relationship with him again.
It’s really hard to give advice when we don’t know exactly what was done. If you feel like sharing then it may be easier to help you? Completely understand if it’s something you don’t want to share.

#15 born.a.girl

Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:25 AM

I feel what you're saying is that if you meet, you are still vulnerable enough to be significantly impacted if he's just trying to 'win you over'.  If you knew for certain he was meeting to offer an abject apology, would you want to go?

I think that's what you need to establish, before you meet - the objective of the meeting.

I agree with the suggestion that perhaps your husband meet first with him, to establish exactly what it is he wants to say to you.

All the best.

#16 Jersey Caramel

Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:25 AM

Obviously it's hard to say without knowing the actual incident.  But I do think that cutting off your family over one,  out-of-character incident is probably an overreaction. Yes, you may feel worse after speaking with your dad - but it's not like you feel fine now. You may feel better, as there are likely to be elements of misunderstanding on both sides.  And if not,  at least you will have all the information in order to make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Your dad is extending an olive branch.  Even though it's been 6 weeks,  and you think they should have contacted you earlier,  there is a good chance that he didn't realise exactly how much this has hurt you.  I could easily go 3 or 4 weeks without speaking directly to my dad,  and we are pretty close... so if I stopped talking to him without telling him, it could easily take him a couple of months to realise!

#17 MarigoldMadge

Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:36 AM

I've had someone in my family decide to not see me for a while, over a once off incident that I did.

In hindsight, we were both wrong. Them, for not giving me any opportunity to explain that it was completely accidental and I was sorry. And for me, not appreciating at the time, that while I thought the matter was trifling and not worth the overreactions (my perception), it was a big deal to them and they were genuinely distressed.

We've moved past it (sort of) but I wish one of us had have the courage to pick up the phone earlier and just talk about it openly, instead of letting it fester.

Without knowing the nature of the issue, and assuming it's a once off, I wouldn't be so quick to completely cut yourself off without at least some opportunity to hear them out.

#18 71Cath

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:18 AM

Is it possible it is about a health issue?  Hence the "urgent" plea.  Would your DH be willing to go and hear what he has to say and decide if your dad is being sincere?

#19 Bereckii

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:20 AM

PP's suggestion of talking this through with your counsellor and working with your counsellor to set boundaries is a good one.

Also keep in mind, if you do agree to meet up, that doesn't mean you have to respond at that time. Turning up and listening (to your father/family) is adequate. "I have heard you. I need time to process and am not ready to respond" is a fine response at that point given how hurt you are.

#20 Mollycoddle

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:41 AM

View PostMakesMeHappy, on 17 June 2019 - 10:31 PM, said:

If you don’t want to talk to them don’t. You know you best, if you don’t think it will make YOU feel any better then don’t bother. From your post it is quite clear that’s it’s not what you want to do.

Can you go back to the counsellor and get some help with how best to move forward without them in your life?

I’m sorry that they have hurt you.

This.  If you think it might help with closure and to get it out on the table then it may be worth it.  You can do that without having to have anything to do with them afterwards.  I wish I had done that with my father before he died as he had done some hurtful things (or not done things I feel he should have) which I kept quiet about but too late now.  But if you don't feel you need this then don't do it.

However I would maybe think a bit more about the fact that whatever the act was, it was out of character for them.  This would be the only thing that would give me pause for thought.  Of course, it depends what the act was as some things are standalone unforgiveable.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 18 June 2019 - 09:46 AM.


#21 Chicken Pie

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:43 AM

I understand where your DH is coming from....its not an easy decision but it is yours

I would suggest if you go have DH with you as a support person so you dont feel "alone" in the discussion

Sorry OP

#22 Mollycoddle

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:44 AM

View PostThreelittleducks, on 17 June 2019 - 11:12 PM, said:

I'm estranged from a family member, and I have no need or desire for closure. Buy I know others who would regret this week f something were to happen suddenly. Only you can decide what's right for you.

Reminds me of a meme my MIL recently put up on FB along the lines of 'life is too short, the funeral will be too late' blah blah.  I couldn't help putting in the comments 'life is too short to put up with sh*t from people just because they happen to be related to you'.  Aimed squarely at her own b**ch of a daughter who uses and abuses everyone in the family and who I actually wish dead.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 18 June 2019 - 09:45 AM.


#23 born.a.girl

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:47 AM

View PostMollycoddle, on 18 June 2019 - 09:44 AM, said:

Reminds me of a meme my MIL recently put up on FB along the lines of 'life is too short, the funeral will be too late' blah blah.  I couldn't help putting in the comments 'life is too short to put up with sh*t from people just because they happen to be related to you'.  Aimed squarely at her own b**ch of a daughter who uses and abuses everyone in the family and who I actually wish dead.

If you wanted to be really flippant, you could have replied with the words my mother had on a magnet on her fridge.

'Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.'



It's actually a good question for people to ask themselves, and came up in our own family when there was disagreement about an issue.  As my sister said 'would I go to his funeral ...?' and at that stage she didn't have an answer.

Fortunately it's all died down (if you'll pardon the pun) to polite Christmas gatherings.

#24 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

View Post71Cath, on 18 June 2019 - 09:18 AM, said:

Is it possible it is about a health issue?  Hence the "urgent" plea.  Would your DH be willing to go and hear what he has to say and decide if your dad is being sincere?

I instantly thought of this also. What if one of your family just been diagnosed with something terminal? I would at least want to know ao I could factor that into my decision to cut off or not.

#25 orangutan

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:59 AM

Having recently been hurt by someone very close to me, I can understand your position. And because of the nature of the betrayal I experienced, I learnt one important thing - talk is cheap. The person at fault can and will say anything to relieve their own guilt and make themselves feel better, sometimes with the best of intentions. But until they go out of their way to DO something that will repair the situation, it's not enough.
If you are only going to get words from your dad, it's not worth your anxiety in going. If it is at all possible, I would ask for ACTIONS as reparations. Then you can consider your options.
Best of luck.




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