This all has to be explained or you just won’t understand.
Over the years we have had trouble with a family member. My aunt (mother’s sister). She has suffered some abuse in her childhood from her father who we no longer have any contact with. 15 years ago she begun dating a man who soon showed the ugly side of himself and the whole family disapproved of the relationship. Once the disapproval was known by him, he was outraged. There were several incidents where violence was created by this man. He jumped thru a window in the front of my great grandmother’s home to get to my aunt, who was ill at the time. He broke my grandmother’s nose during a conflict surrounding my aunt. All this time the whole family made it clear he was not allowed to be around at any time. And all this time she continued to pull stunts like trying to kill herself or fake fainting spells and end up in the hospital. Over the next 5 years she continued to see him. She eventually got engaged and married him. During all of this time, I attempted to see her side of him and tried to support her when no other family did. It was easier, as I was a teenager and simply eager to rebel against what my family thought was ok.
Ten years ago I had my first child. Anyone can admit many views, opinions, and realities change once you become a parent. When I was pregnant my family completely ostracized me, at my parent’s request, for getting pregnant and not being married at which time she supported me when no other family would. They eventually got over the pregnancy and moved on.
Two years and one more child later I find myself hauling her to the ER again and attempting to find out why she tried to kill herself this time. I bring her home at which time I have to face ugly phone calls from her (drunk) husband asking why I won’t let him see her.
A year after that I find myself getting a phone call from her in jail telling me that she pulled a gun on her husband he called the police to have her arrested. My mother bailed her out and after two rough weeks including a physical threat to my father by her husband and many nasty phone calls and one more suicide attempt she ended up in a psychiatric hospital. At this point I told her I have to think of my children and their mental health. That her husband is no longer safe for us to be around and that I don’t want my children getting close to someone who every time the going gets tough, she tries to “check out”. This was the end of the road for this relationship and I had to separate myself from her. She screamed obscenities at me and called everyone in the family to tell me what a cold hearted b**** I was being. We didn’t ever speak after that. Everyone told me I was wrong for what I did. I told everyone they were only enabling her behavior. But as far as I was concerned my children’s safety and happiness was far more important to me than hers. Six months down the road I did not regret my decision, life was much more pleasant without her drama.
Four years ago she approached me and told me that she and her husband were having a baby. I looked at her plainly and she wondered why I was not happy for her. I told her simply I feared for the life of a child being brought into that home. They moved back to my hometown to be closer to family that was more accepting of them; my grandmother.
Since then my mother has not spoken to her sister. Not at my request or anyone else’s request. My father feels the same way I do; that life is so much more pleasant without her drama in it. My aunt’s husband has forbade her to have anything to do with us since we “abandoned” her. Her husband has never ONCE apologized for his actions over the years saying that we are the source of all the trouble. That it is our fault that he was forced to jump thru the window. That he was forced to break my grandmother’s nose because she was “in his face”. That he was forced to threaten my dad with a physical beating because we threatened to take her into our home and not let him see her. He has made it plainly clear that if any of us make trouble for him that will be “consequences”.
Three years ago my grandmother asks if she can take my two oldest girls to visit with her at her home for 2 weeks. I agree with the only stipulation being that they are not be anywhere around my aunt or her husband. She agreed. Same thing the following summer still with the same stipulation. Again this summer only she had my three oldest daughters with her this year.
This all has to be explained or you just won’t understand.
One week into the visit I called my daughters to check on them, as I did every day. They plainly stated that they had just gotten home from spending the night at my aunt’s house. Yes, the one and only one that I had said they are not to be around. Trying to remain as calm as possible I ask if her husband was there over night. Yes. I ask if my grandmother was there over night. Yes. I calmly ask if I could speak to her. She gets on the phone and asks why is there a problem and goes on to explain that she didn’t think it would be an issue if she stayed there with them. I told her that she didn’t even ask me if it was ok. She didn’t even mention it to me before hand because she knows I would have said NO! She went on to tell me that they have a pool and she wanted to take my girls somewhere and do something fun and it was free and she didn’t get what the big deal was. I got off the phone and burst into tears. I felt betrayed. I felt nervous. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. They were a 5 hour drive away from me! I called my husband. He wanted to leave immediately to go pick them up. I had to stop a moment and pray to calm myself. I felt that if I went that moment to get them, my grandmother would never speak to me again. Not that that result was all that important to me at the moment; it was more of causing another huge family conflict at my hands once again. It took every bit of anything in me to call my father and tell him what had happened. He told my mother what happened and she didn’t understand why I was so upset. My father likened it to my grandmother taking my children to a bar without my permission. It’s something I would never agree to but she did it anyway, without even asking me first!
My grandmother brought them to my parents house at the end of the week. My dad asked that I stay calm if I chose to confront her about the situation. I couldn’t even look at her. I didn’t speak one word to her. I loaded my girl’s stuff up and left. After careful consideration and lots of prayer my husband and I have decided no more going to visit my grandmother unless one of us is there. My mother is furious with me telling me that I am killing my grandmother. I say she decided this on her own knowing fully how I felt about the situation and decided to heck with how I have decided to raise MY CHILDREN and did what she wanted to. I haven’t spoken to my grandmother since the summer. I have not made my decision known to anyone but my parents. I fear that once again family fiasco at my hands once I voice my decision. But then again, life is much more peaceful without dealing with that mess. Is it wrong to “punish” my grandmother, as my mother says?
You are not “punishing” your grandmother. You are protecting your children. If you don’t protect them, then who will? Many members of your family are toxic. If it were me, I would pray for them and stay away from them. :eek:
Your first responsibility is the safety and well-being of your children, not the happiness of your extended family.
I have to agree with this.
You have to protect your children.
I agree with everyone else. Your grandmother broke your trust, so you must be around if they have contact with her. This is sad but her fault. Don’t let your mom guilt you about this. Your children’s safety is more important then anything else.
Wow. Grandma is majorly passive aggressive.
You don’t want your children exposed to:
Emergency room visits
relatives in major denial
Your grandma took your kids against your wishes and exposed them to all of the above all in the name of “fun in the pool.” And since it’s “for the kids” you are supposed to be happy for that.
And you are afraid to be angry because everyone will be mad at you?
I’m seeing a multi-generational dysfunction going on here.
A revolving door of acceptable/non-acceptable relatives. Everyone ignoring the big abusive elephant in the living room. Group rates on family punishments. Shunning (are you Southern? That’s a fine Southern family tradition)
You did good! I might have found it hard to keep my mouth shut around Grandma.
Send her cards. Have the kids talk to her on the phone. Meet her at mama’s (with no abusive BIL around) and never ever let them go over to visit grandma alone again ever. She has a misplaced sense of family harmony. She’s probably a big reason everyone else is nuts. (Sorry. Had to put that in.)
She violated your trust when you sent your kids over there. She may have screwed her kids up, but that’s no reason to let her screw yours up. She may not mind a broken nose, but your kids deserve better.
And your mother’s lack of understanding why you are upset leads me to believe you shouldn’t leave your kids alone with her either. You aren’t killing your grandmother. All the other nutbunnies in that family had a long head start on that. Something tells me grandma thrives on that kind of drama. You’re adding years to her life by giving her something new to moan about.
Your mother won’t have anything to do with her sister but she is mad you dont’ want your CHILDREN around that? Gimme a break!
You aren’t punishing anyone. You are being a good mother.
Next summer take a family vacation. Just you, the husband and the kids with a pool somewhere far from relatives.
I would like to thank all of you.
It’s hard sometimes to defy family. No matter what you know is right and good. I suppose I was just looking for some strength as the holidays come up. As you can see it’s been years dealing with this.
(yes ma’am I am from the south )
Sweetie, you have a host of issues. They apparently start with extended family.
As someone who has her share of unusual relatives who prefer to be reactive over proactive, and allow crime and mayhem out of people because they are “family” and we allegedly have to show our love them by allowing abuse- My opinion is no more of this. Grandma thought because of her age, she was smarter than you when it came to your kids. She was wrong, and if it happened again, she could be dead wrong.
Ok, see right there. That’s where my mom thought I was crazy.
What if one of my daughters said something while around my aunt and her husband about my dad or me for that matter that just triggered him? We all know how off he is. Not to mention my third daughter was there. My aunt and her husband had never met her before. A perfect stranger. What liability on their hearts is she to them; none. I don’t know where my mom gets off telling me that my grandmother can protect my children physically against that man. My grandmother has a bad knee, hip, elbow and shoulder all on one side from an accident at work.
I have spent years defending myself over this. I feel better today.
Oh, Grandma has already proven she can’t protect herself from this hulk, much less your children. So her opinion just doesn’t matter anymore. It’s like mosquitos buzzing. Completely irrelevant to the issue.
As well you should! As Liberanosamalo said, just buzzing mosquitos. Pay them no mind. Your kids, your rules. All else- doesn’t matter.
Your aunt and your grandma sound like two borderlines, and borderlines never change. Keep your distance (and your sanity), and pray for them. Borderlines aren’t happy unless they’re constantly dragging others into their pit of manipulative drama games at every possible turn. Nothing positive will ever come of your exposing your kids to their poison.
After thinking about this all day long today we went to RCIA tonight and low and behold God spoke to me!!!
Father Pat handed out this to all of us:
Your warrior prepares for battle.
Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on
The whole armor of God!
I put on a GIRDLE OF TRUTH!
May I stand firm in the truth of your word
So I will not be victim of Satan’s lies.
I put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!
May it guard my heart from evil
So I will remain pure and holy,
Protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.
I put on the SHOES OF PEACE!
May I stand firm in the good news of the gospel
So your peace will shine through me
And be a light to all I encounter.
I take the SHIELD OF FAITH!
May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of
Doubt, denial and deceit
So I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.
I put on the HELMET OF SALVATION!
May I keep my mind focused on you
So Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.
I take the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT!
May the two-edged sword of your word be ready in my hands
So I can expose the tempting words of Satan.
By faith your warrior has put on the whole armor of God!
I AM PREPARED TO LIVE THIS
DAY IN SPIRITUAL VICTORY!
It meant a lot to me after my day of deliberation.
BPD, so common and so aggravating!!! I agree.
Know what? I needed it today as well, so you helped me out, Ms. Panda.