Did I do the right thing in defending my mom from her brother and sister


#1

My uncle and aunt had a baby just a couple days ago. The family got together to welcome the new addidtion to the family. A time of great joy… of course.

During the little “party” I left the table to be with my aunt and the new baby and talk to her in the living room while everyone else was in the dining room. All of a sudden I hear a great fight in the dining room, lots of yelling and screamig. I don’t want to confuse you guys too much but this was the fight:

Long time ago, my mother’s mother died. My mom is the 3rd of 5 children. She was 16 at the time. Her two older sisters were gone to college and did not help with the family home. My mom took care of her father, and her two younger brothers. One sister, E, got married. E and her husband came home (she was not a very pleasant person), and told my mother to make them something to eat. My mom said no that if she wanted something she could make it herself (my mom was 17 at the time). E’s husband proply slapped my mother hard on the face. Nothing happend to E’s husband and no one took my mom’s side, not her father, no one. This occured 39 years ago. Since then E and her husband divorced.

Yesterday, my uncle, A, was saying what a wonderful man E’s ex-husband use to be. My mom said that he wasn’t and that he slapped her in the face. And the fight begun, with my aunt, U, backing up A saying that "it is not as if he raped you, " and A saying, “why did you let him hit you”, and “I wasn’t there I just know that he was good to E, and too bad she divorced him.”

Sitting in the other room, I couldn’t take it anymore. I came into the dining room and said to U and A. “This man hasn’t been part of the family for 19 years and you are defending him for slapping your sister. It still hurts her that you will not take her side. All you have to say is that you wish it has never happend to her and that you wish you could have done something. That is all she wants and yet you are defending a man that beats up women.” After that, my husband took me home. Before I left, I heard that they were upset that her daughter was allowed to talk to them like that. How dare a brat yell at them.

Did I do the right thing to defend my mother? I just don’t know. How far do you go to be respectful to older members of your family. I just couldn’t take them saying such things to my mother.


#2

I think you did the right thing. You honored your mother, which in my book is more important than appeasing your uncle.

I would also suggest that perhaps you should distance yourself from the relatives for a while (I would suggest the same for your mom). My dad had to distance himself from his siblings for quite a while in order to deal with a lot of family junk. They mostly get along now. And at least we haven’t had to hear about the potted plant debacle in a while. (Originating from grandfather’s funeral in 1964; apparently the issue of whether the oldest or second-oldest brother got to choose the first potted plant to take home from the funeral caused a decades-long rift.)

Ah…dysfunctional families. Aren’t they fun? :rolleyes:


#3

My grandparents and great aunts and uncles had similar fighting, except it lead to life long grudges. My grandfather was the only one of his siblings who spoke with his other siblings. He had one sister who didn’t marry. Another sister’s husband touched this unmarried sister in inappropriate behaviors. She told her sister about her bil (sister’s husbands) actions. So of the total of 5 children, the two other sisters and one brother didn’t believe the assaulted sister and never spoke to her. They didn’t even go to her funeral (all but 1 are traveling, well functioning seniors) nor did they send any flowers or any money to help pay for her bills and funeral (my mom and her siblings were the only ones who took care of this aunt). My grandfather died years ago, and obviously he taught his children better than his jerky siblings learned their entire lives. Its best for your mom and you to distance yourselves from these unloving siblings. She should let them know that they hurt her and until she is ready to talk with them they will not be seeing her or hearing from her because of this agreement with abuse toward her. By blaming her this many years after the fact, they continue the same abuse, just in the emotional form.


#4

I believe you did the right thing, ElizaE. I will refrain to comment on the behaviour of your mum’s siblings because I don’t want to speak ill of your close relatives and I can’t say a good word.

On second thought, let me just say how appalling I find it that people would support beaters and other bullies in such a way. That’s something which makes bullies strong, possibly more so than their own bullying does. I feel sorry for you and your mum.

Gmarie21, your story is another example of how people choose to be sheep and follow the easiest route: to blame the victim or to deny her words. I believe the place of sexual abusers is in therapy, not in people’s high regard or fond memory.

I cannot understand what makes people so fond of support abusers. Being on the side of power maybe? And against own family. :frowning:


#5

Yes, you did the right thing. It sounds as though you didn’t loose control or use profanities, and that in general you were respectful (though forceful). You came to the rescue of your mom and defended her against persons who SHOULD have been on her side since the beginning of the situation. If I were you, I would wear the title, “Brat” with honor in this case.


#6

Thank you all for replying. I just wanted to clarify that I was in the house of my mom’s youngest brother, K, (he was only 7 when my grandma died), and not in A’s house. K actually witnessed the slapping of my mom but he was only 8 and didn’t understand what was happening.

I saw my aunt U at church today. I prayed all throughout Mass for God to give me the heart to forgive, but I think I need a little more time. I didn’t say anything to her and she didn’t say anything to me. I just need more time and I need to ask God to give a little more strength to forgive. All throughout Mass I prayed for us all… for forgiveness for some and understanding for others. Thank you for your words, they help me a great deal.


#7

You did the right thing.:thumbsup:

God bless you for sticking up for Mom; I’m sure it meant a lot to her. I know it would mean a lot to me if I were in a similar situation.

Peace to you!

Kelly


#8

Eliza, It certainly sounds like you were more diplomatic and Christian than I would have been able to be!

I have my share (a whole crop, actually) of presumptuous older relatives who still treat me as if I were 10 (I am 29, a wife, and a mother of three children!) and expect me to show them the deference of a child to an adult. I firmly believe in treating all relatives (and people in general) with respect and all the kindness one can, and being grateful to those who loved you as a kid, but adults simply do not owe other adults the deference of children! This seems obvious to me (and is something I plan to remember quite well when I am old), but is ridiculous to my family. :eek:

In my family, you are expected to do promptly whatever an older relative asks of you, regardless of whether it is reasonable, or if you are asked kindly or rudely. So, you can imagine how a polite refusal goes over!

For example (please pardon the vent!), I’ve been *told *repeatedly that I *should *take my children (with or without their Daddy, as he is viewed as the one who “stole” me from my family! Another thread entirely. :wink: ) to Arizona to see my mother, who lives in a nursing home there, and my aunt, who is coming into town from Connecticut soon. Nevermind the fact that we were just out at New Year’s and will be out again over the summer, that it is a 12-hour drive away, that it is very hard to travel with a toddler and a baby and stay in a hotel room with them, that it is very expensive to pay for gas and the hotel room, that I am sick to my stomach most of the time now, and that my DH teaches and is not off of school again until summer. I simply am *expected *to bring the babies (by myself, mind you!) to amuse the relatives (this “babies as toys” issue is also another thread entirely!). I have been “guilted” repeatedly over my polite refusals/explanations of this!

So, yes, it is proper to defend the right against the wrong, even if your relatives think you are a “brat”! It sounds like they have not yet realized that you are a married adult. Kudos to you for acting like one!

Kristen


#9

YES YOU DID - and welcome to 'The Brat Pack".


#10

I was going to say something similar. Yep, it was a very mature response and I too hope I’d be able to act the same in a similar situation.

I have my share (a whole crop, actually) of presumptuous older relatives who still treat me as if I were 10 (I am 29, a wife, and a mother of three children!) and expect me to show them the deference of a child to an adult.

I suppose a cold clean-cut refusal will do the least harm in the long run. Every little concession gives them hope and makes the fight harder.

I firmly believe in treating all relatives (and people in general) with respect and all the kindness one can, and being grateful to those who loved you as a kid, but adults simply do not owe other adults the deference of children! This seems obvious to me (and is something I plan to remember quite well when I am old), but is ridiculous to my family. :eek:

Do tell me. I have a future-in-law-o-phobia for a reason.

In my family, you are expected to do promptly whatever an older relative asks of you, regardless of whether it is reasonable, or if you are asked kindly or rudely. So, you can imagine how a polite refusal goes over!

Do what I did and confront people on rudeness respectfully but unfailingly, regardless of age or hierarchy in the family? Polite refusals annoy people because they can’t use their favourite argument of your being rude. It annoyed my public school teachers to no end when I was a teenager.

For example (please pardon the vent!),

Don’t worry about the venting. Even PM me if you feel like venting some, I’ll listen. :wink:

I’ve been *told *repeatedly that I *should *take my children (with or without their Daddy, as he is viewed as the one who “stole” me from my family! Another thread entirely. :wink: ) to Arizona to see my mother, who lives in a nursing home there, and my aunt, who is coming into town from Connecticut soon.

Sometimes such requests are reasonable, so maybe it’s not good to ignore them on principle, but I hear you… “shoulds” are my pet peeve as well. I can take imperatives pretty well, but I just hate future tense (“you will do this or that”) or shoulds. I generally confront people about that.

I simply am *expected *to bring the babies (by myself, mind you!) to amuse the relatives (this “babies as toys” issue is also another thread entirely!). I have been “guilted” repeatedly over my polite refusals/explanations of this!

Perhaps stop explaining and start being more concise and adamant in your decisions? I think I would even tell them that kids are not for their amusement and especially so if they insisted on bringing along a sick, tired or overloaded with homework child.

So, yes, it is proper to defend the right against the wrong, even if your relatives think you are a “brat”! It sounds like they have not yet realized that you are a married adult. Kudos to you for acting like one!

Yep.


#11

Eliz,

You did a very excellent thing. I might have punched the old fools if I had been there. You did the better thing. God bless you and don’t be weighed down by their sins.

CDL


#12

So many of these stories sound like my own dysfunctional family! :stuck_out_tongue:

You did the right thing - you honored your mother, and she must be very proud of you. :thumbsup:

~Liza


#13

You did the right thing. And don’t worry about the strength to forgive them. They are the ones who should be on their knees crawling to you and your mom.

I think the place for them is in jail and/or the receiving end of a good right cross to the ole schnozzola…

Believe it or not, part of it is misguided religious belief - the type that says peace over confrontation at all costs, turn the other cheek, it’s just your cross shut up and bear it, offer it up for the poor souls in purgatory, who are you to complain compared to what Jesus went through, etc., etc.


#14

Gee…I just quickly browsed the responses and I feel that my parents are not alone with this…I just never thought that this was so common.

It is bad with my parents siblings. Many things that have occured. From my mom’s side, I have always thought that it is all my grandmother’s fault and from my dad’s side, I think they are just like that.

They just decided to distance themselves from their families. I think that is the best thing. It never ends with those problems. They have given it too many chances already.


#15

By the way, you did the right thing. You were not being rude and talking nonsense. You were backing up your mother because she was being attacked.

God bless your heart!


closed #16

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