Cousins with disabilities

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7019 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

OK this is just me thinking about it, because I don’t have any violent disabled relatives, but: is there ever a nurse or carer who can accompany the violent cousin? Perhaps talk to your mother about this, because it sounds like she is the sister of one of the parents. There must be some sort of arrangement in place when she’s taken out.

I think you should invite the older one regardless.

I can’t imagine how hard this is for their parents.

Post # 5
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

could you just explain what you just said in that post?? About all the pregnant guests and your grandmas and dad, maybe they will understand that its best she stays away when there are fragile people

Post # 7
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’d risk the bad blood and not invite the violent one. It sucks for the parents, but it’s not like she’s really going to enjoy or get much out of it anyway… it sounds like a wedding environment would cause her more stress and anxiety than joy based on your description. I’d say I have nothing against her and I’d feel that I was looking out for HER benefit by not inviting her.

Post # 8
36 posts
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t think there is a loving way to say this.

Are the aunt and uncle really so unaware of the risks their daughter poses that they despise people who won’t invite her to formal occasions?

I think you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that you may have anger them to ensure the safety of your guests.

What do they do when she is being violent? Do they have any strategies to help? Could you explain that you have 17 pregnant people, several frail old people, and people recovering from surgery (and that’s just the guests you know about) and then ask them what they suggest is the best way to manage the risk? They may have some good suggestions- and don’t accept ‘oh it’ll be fine’ from them, ask them HOW it will be fine, what is the plan if she has an episode, how are they going to ensure the safety of the people around them. If they can’t come up with anything that you are satisfied with, then you can say she can’t come but they will know you tried everything- if they get snotty at that, they’re mad.

And I don’t want to assume anything of your friends and family, but aside from the emotional trauma of something happening, there’s the possibility that they could sue you if something happened.

Post # 9
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Ihavenottold:  I totally agree.

Talk with your aunt and uncle, let them know your concerns, and ask them how the risk can be managed or avoided. I know it must be awful for them to have not one, but two children with disabilities to the extent that their family members are excluding them from big family events. Obviously the rest of the family don’t mean it in a negative way when they don’t invite these daughters, but it’s hard to see it that way when it’s your child that is being denied entry to these family events.

Ask them how they can handle it – and bring up the bridal shower as an example of her behaviour being really distressing to you and your guests, and she was clearly upset and stressed by the situation herself. If it helps, maybe ask if you can catch up with the aunt, uncle and daughters after the wedding and have a quiet family get-together to celebrate where it is less likely to be stressful on anyone.

If they don’t have any strategies, to manage the behaviour, then tell them politely that she won’t be able to attend – you have too many guests that could be hurt by her. Let them know the last thing you want on your special day is someone with a broken arm, or having a miscarriage and you would rather be safe than sorry.

Post # 11
7019 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Thinking about this more, I think you need to invite the violent girl too. She has not been institutionalised, so that says to me that the authorities have decided she is “safe” enough to function at some level. I think your wider family needs to work out better ways to manage her at family events. I would suggest sitting one or two strong young relatives near her.

I know this is easy for me to say from behind a keyboard. But I am mindful of the parents of these girls, who not only have to care for them 24/7, but have also found themselves isolated from at least one family event in the past (your aunt’s wedding) because of them. It must be so hard for them, and I think they need support from the wider family, rather than being ostracised.

Post # 13
1085 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@ChellaBella:  Safety first. You will have to accept that the parents will not like it.

Post # 14
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I feel bad saying this but I have to wonder about why her parents want to bring the violent cousin. Given her autism (from what you say it sounds severe) and violence, it sounds like it wold be more distressing for her than anything. Of course that would be sad for your aunt and uncle as it would probably mean at least one of them would have to stay home, but I can’t see her dealing well with a crowd of strangers.

Post # 15
8387 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

She has not been institutionalised, so that says to me that the authorities have decided she is “safe”

 @paula1248:  I don’t know about Australia, but in the US, this is not a good measure for who is “safe.”  Our institutions pretty much suck lol.  Eric Harris (columbine high school) was under the care of doctors, had known behavioral issues, was placed on probation, etc., but it did nothing to stop the shootings.  Now I’m not saying that her cousin is going to fatally injure someone, but I think the safety of her guests should be more important than making sure someone feels included.

Post # 16
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@aliciaspinnet:  The OP said they don’t have any resources who can manage/babysit her it assume this means that at least one of the parents will also have to skip the wedding.

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