- 6 years ago
I’m going to use fake names for the sake of anonymity.
When I was a preteen, my family fostered a teenage girl (“Cassandra”) for almost 2 years. Cassandra had a horrible childhood, grew up on the streets and was abused in multiple ways, so she has serious psychological damage. She has bipolar disorder and severe Reactive Attachment Disorder. So in addition to the bipolar emotions, she does not have the ability to trust anyone, and when life is too calm, she feels like a trap and has to create chaos. She has little to no conflict resolution skills and little to no understanding of other peoples’ emotions.
Although her disorders made it impossible for her to stay with any foster family for long (before her psyche broke and she started running away, causing fights, etc), she stayed with us the longest. Since adulthood, she has remained in contact with us and considered herself a member of the family. I think she really needs one.
However, Cassandra and one of my brothers, Thomas, do not get along. We have never been able to even get them in the same room. Thomas cannot forgive Cassandra for the hell she raised in our family, especially for her attacks against our mother, and Cassandra cannot stop causing fights with Thomas, especially because he cannot keep quiet if he feels that someone has been wronged and has an fiery temper.
Thomas has been estranged from the family for a number of years, but agreed to come to my wedding was even excited about it! This means a lot to me.
Cassandra has been married to her husband for almost 3 years, excluding the two temporary divorces she initiated. They have two children, a one-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl, both of whom I love dearly and helped raise.
Maintaining contact with Cassandra is always tumultuous. One day she will be loving and positive, the next day she will attack you and call you all sorts of names. She was vicious to my mother earlier this year, after Cassandra ran away from her husband and threatened a third divorce and my mother suggested that she get help for her emotional problems. The verbal abuse that my mother endured was hurtful to all of us. Later, after almost 2 months of refusing to speak to any of us in the family, Cassandra tried to “rebuild the relationship” by demanding that my mother help her clean her new house and tend the children for a week. You can see how difficult it is to live with her.
Today she insulted my religion, and when I suggested that we discuss it so we could understand each other, she called me a bitch and said I wouldn’t have any friends if I kept talking like that.
I’m at a loss for whether to let her come to the wedding. I was planning on it, because she is considered a family member, but after today I’m not sure whether I can trust her behavior. She is sometimes genuine and kind; usually rude and selfish; occassionally a hell-raiser. I’m worried about how she and Thomas will get along, or whether she will throw a tantrum at somebody during the long day. I love her husband and kids but am always on guard around her.
It’s important to note that I don’t believe that the wedding is “my day.” It’s my family’s day. And I want to do what will be best for our family. I want a happy today spent together with the people we all love. So what do I do about Cassandra?