Post # 1
I’ve posted previously about issues with my family; specifically my mother and I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from a bee that has helped tremendously.
DH and I got married 3 months ago and our wedding reception ended with a very huge blowout with my family. Since then, I have not spoken to or seen them outside of a few text messages in which I had to communicate with them on some outstanding things to fully be able to go no-contact with them. Essentially the text communication HAD to happen to tie up loose ends and completely separate my life from my parents. There were also been a few other times of direct communication when my mother contacted me in an attempt to get a rise out of me or a reaction (sometimes she succeeded and it did not go well), but they all ended with me eventually ignoring her (which I know drove her nuts)
Also since the wedding, my mom (and my dad who enables her behavior 100%) has done her due diligence in going around to my side of the family as well as mutual family friends I’ve known my entire life and bad-mouthed me and my husband. I know this because I’ve reached out multiple times post-wedding to say thank you in person and just visit and I’ve been ghosted by any of them I reached out to. I’m 100% confident that I know the reason these friends/family haven’t responded to me is because my parents have talked to them first and told them their side of the story and they of course believe them, over me and my husband. I’m also aware of what is being said about us by very trustworthy family members and absolutely none of what my mom is saying is true (she puts all blame for the wedding and our fall out on me). Its pretty disheartening when people I thought were my family (even close friends we considered family) my entire life are being blindsided by my parents (again, mostly my narcissistic mother) AND that my own family is treating and saying what they are about their own daughter and SIL.
With all of this, I’ve had an amazing support system with my husband, trusted family members and especially my husband. I’ve also had a few counseling sessions and feel very at peace with everything. I do have my moments of self-pity when I have those “I wish I had this/that relationship with my family” or “I wish things were different with them” but I work through it and let it pass quickly.
All of this being said – DH and I are attending my younger brother’s (who we both have a very good relationship with still) high school football game tonight and I know my parents will be there. I’m not going to lie and say that my anxiety is already high right now. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I know I’m very emotionally vulnerable around my parents and despise confrontation. There is plenty of space at the high school to sit – but still even seeing or hearing my family or even the slightest possibility that we may interact with them in some form makes me so anxious and honestly scared. I (we) have done so good going no-contact with my family but I can’t NOT go support my brother. We haven’t been to see him play football at all this season and it’s likely the only time we can go, I know he’s excited we’re finally able to attend. I’m really excited to see my brother but DREADING the fact I will no-doubt run into my parents.
I guess this ended up being more of a venting than anything but – any words of advice? Anyone been in a similar situation and have tips for how to handle it? How do I not let my emotions get the best of me?
Post # 2
I would avoid the football game to be honest. It sound like a disaster waiting to happen. I would talk to my brother and offer to take him out for dinner, have him come over for some food, take him out somewhere etc. But I’d avoid chancing running into any narcissistic crazed parents right now.
Post # 3
Bee, it’s only a football game. I wouldn’t attend. You’re going to make yourself sick over it. I would continue the therapy sessions. You’re at peace with your decision but you’re having horrible anxiety issues, I would continue to go
Post # 4
I agree with pps. It seems too soon, too fresh. You haven’t seen him play all year, unfortunate to say but it’s not really that big of a deal to miss out on one more.
Post # 5
I’m not sure if I would say disaster – it would just be awkward, but you’re right I guess there is a chance of something occuring, although highly unlikely. If I know my parents and IF we see them (I would avoid it at all costs) they would act like we don’t exist because they are in public and would avoid the confrontation too.
I am! Luckily its covered with my work insurance and we just started a new fiscal year, so I’m waiting until next week after our new benefits from re-enrollment kick in.
It just makes me sad to miss it, and I know it means a lot to my brother. I’m sure he would understand, but I don’t want to disappoint him.
I appreciate the advice, I really do. It all makes a lot of sense, but I’m so torn I want to see him play so bad. Its a crappy situation and I cannot stand that my parents seem to control the entire issue and relationships with other family members. The immature side of me says I can’t continue the rest of my life letting them think they’ve “won”. They think DH and I are scared of them and what they have/can do (which is NOT true).
Post # 6
You could show up to the game a little later than normal and sit as far away as possible, maybe even on the opposing side. (I’m sure your brother would understand if you sat on the opposing side considering the circumstances.) If they speak, be polite but if they try to start something, just walk away.
Post # 7
I was thinking you could sit on the opposing side, also. It’s weird, but worth your sanity. Show up right as the game starts or a little after and leave right before it ends. Don’t go get snacks or go to the bathroom or put yourself in any position to see them. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Post # 8
thebeekeeper : crazychickenlady :
This is a good idea and crossed my mind too! However, sitting on the opposing side would definitely call more attention to ourselves because it is on the opposite facing side of the field and you can see everyone who walks back and forth. So it would be a no brainer that my parents would notice us… but less likely to be in contact with them I guess.
Still thinking about what I should do. I appreciate all of the advice.
Post # 9
The correct answer here is: Don’t go to any family “event” at which you are likely to see the CO family.
However, I understand your reasoning for still wanting to go.
I think it is a big enough event, spread out, and with enough people, that you can go. In your shoes, I would send DH into the stadium area first to try and find your parents/family. Then, we’d find seating as far away as possible from them and I would stay seated the entire time. DH would go for food and drinks. I wouldn’t sit on the other side of the field – that would just give the FOO a greater chance of seeing and watching you.
If FOO tried to initiate contact at any point, DH and I would stand up and quietly leave.
Post # 10
I would go. I understand the advice that it’s the most concrete way to avoid them and drama but I wouldn’t let them dictate where I do or don’t go. That’s still giving them control imo. Go, avoid them, if you see them act like they don’t exist but otherwise live your life
Post # 11
Thank you for the advice, since said event with my family (and many fights beforehand) I get easily triggered by them and having DH with me helps A LOT. We don’t plan to eat/drink while at the game (eating dinner at home before) but I think in the case we would get up for anything – we’d go together because if my family were to see me by myself they would corner me, knowing DH wasn’t around.
Exactly my point, they can’t dictate where DH and I go or who we talk to regardless of the family issue/drama (honestly, that they have created, not us).
I’m still thinking about how to best handle this, and I appreciate all of the good advice so far! It’s a small enough event, I think we can still quietly attend with limited, if not zero interaction -even from a distance.
Post # 12
I don’t know or recall the back story here. Are you worried they would make a scene? or you are worried about any eye contact whats so ever? Either of these is still giving them control over your life.
I would go to the game, cheer on your brother, take a few photos of him playing and meet up with your brother later to catch up. I guess I don’t really see an issue here… how small is the high school? Surely there will still be at least 80+ people at a high school football game.
You’re overthinkging it and giving them too much power. Go and act as if they are not there, I wouldn’t be eye balling the stands looking for them. You’re there for the game, right.