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Sunday, October 4, 2009


It wasn't too long ago when at this time of the year I really started to look forward to all the family events that would soon take place.

Before I married into my husbands family I wasn't used to having big family get togethers for birthdays and Holiday occasions. I remember thinking how wonderful it was to be around a family who certainly was not quite about there opinions but in fact seemed to keep there family closer by being open and honest about there thoughts and feeling, even if that meant a good family blow up at a diner or two.

I remember my sister commenting to me more then once on the phone that she thought it was silly that we spent all three days over Christmas with my husbands family. Over and over I told her how great it was. How we would stay up late after the kids had gone to bed and we would just talk and most defiantly laugh about the past, present and maybe whats in store for the future. I honestly and truly trusted being with my husbands family I really felt this was my family as well.

Fast forward 13 years. My husband and I are now in a place were those once looked forward occasions have for us anyway turned into a obligation. Leaving us with the feelings that if we don't attend we are showing his parents some sort of disrespect. That there will be some sort of consequence for not inviting all the family member's to our home if we have an event over the holidays. That we are the problem with the family get togethers. That the family members who have acted inappropriately are still warmly invented to these events and WE are frowned upon because we choose to not attend or not invite those family members who have hurt us.

This just didn't happen over night.. For us, we saw happen what we felt was the unthinkable.. We experienced family blatantly taking advantage of family, and it didn't happen once it happened more then that... and to make it worse we didn't see any remorse from them.. They seemed to feel that regardless of what happen, whether it was right or wrong .. All should be put aside for family events and one should just put on happy face and get together for the parents.

This is were I struggle... I have never been one to be two faced... I have never put on a smile and just gone along with it... Personally I don't feel it's being true to ones self and I don't think it sends a good message to your kids that it's OK to let people treat you in a bad way and then just act like all is OK for certain events. As a mom I teach my kids that there are consequences for bad behaviour, the hope being that they will learn by there mistakes and not make them again. So why is extended family any different? Why should family be allowed to take advantage, use and hurt one another and there be NO consequence for this.. I also try to teach my kids that family NEEDS to stick together. But does that always included extended family??? As Dr. Phil might say "At some point those person's have lost the privilege of being a part of your family" But does that apply here??

I am sick and tired of feeling like this.. We are not the bad guys. We simply helped when we could and when someone did something we felt was wrong we called them on it... Even if that meant not wanting to spend time with that person...

Tell me if you have ever been told this before... You come home one day from school and one of your friends has not been nice to you.. Your mom then tells you "A true friend would never treat a person like that and if they did a TRUE friend would feel very sorry and most likely ask what they could do to make it better!!! So I ask "Why should family be given a free pass from this message.

As I write this post I am so sadden that a family who I once trusted and deeply felt a part of has over time hurt and left me with the feelings that when I am around them I need to be guarded and cautious about what I say in front of them... Constantly I ask myself why on earth would I want to put myself in the presence of people who can't truly care or respect me or my family when there actions have shown the total opposite.

As I stated at the beginning of this post.. This time of the year was once my favorite. Now our first holiday approaches I am left feeling very hurt, frustrated and angry and feel the best solution to this is to just focus on my family and not concern myself with extended family.

8 Don't Be Shy Leave Me A Comment:

Brandi said...

This sounds like a good year to start your OWN family traditions!! Sometimes I feel like the grandparents can only have their traditions for so long and once their kids have moved out and gotten married and have their own kids, they need to start their own family traditions.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I agree 100% with your comments....just because we are family, that does not give us a "free pass" to take people for granted, to take advantage of people's generosity and just go along without any remorse or consequence. Sorry but life doesn't work that way....if I would not allow a co-worker or total stranger to treat me that way I am certainly not going to allow it from my own family. Nor does it give us license to practice hypocracy by putting on a "face". It removes all sense of sincerity.

There is something to be said for "calling a spade a spade".

Phyllis said...

Oh, Wendy, how terrible for you! I'm sorry. Starting your own traditions won't solve the deep hurt, but it might help bring a little joy into the season. It is awful being hurt by those that should love us no matter what.

Lisa said...

Who sad for you and your family. I hope someday your extended family can realize the pain they have casued and will find a way to make amends.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for some time and I don't usually leave any comments.. But I wanted to say that I understand family and how frustrating and hurtful they can be.. Just keep living your life the best way YOU can.

Sandra said...

If your family has done what you say they have I am sure you will get some tude over this post. Just focus on the people who treat you the way you should be treated..

Linda said...

It's about time someone speaks up I have been dealing with this in our family for years... Thanks for sharing your feelings..

colleen said...

I hope over time you can all work things out.. Family is important they can be a pain but they are important.