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Old 11-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #21
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Of course I would talk to him. I found out he said something curious awhile back. My step-grandmother asked him why I and my family was not invited to visit for the holidays, and he told her: "I don't know WHY he doesn't feel welcome"......... However, you tell me. My grandmother died (my stepmom's mom), my brother called to tell me that. She was my only real connection to my family, she met the kids and DW several times, and my sister and I both kept in touch with her. However, he asked me NOT to attend her funeral, as he thought it would be look awkward and stressful on my parents. I protested vehemently, but he asked me 'as a favor" to him..... Half of me wanted to come anyway, but I decided not to. I regret that at times.........
Not attending your grandmother's funeral was probably the right decision. There wasn't anyone you cared to see (other than her), and being around your "family" would have ruined your mood and your last memory of her.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:04 PM   #22
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I sent my parents a handwritten 6 page later 13 years ago, telling them my true feelings. I am sure a lot of it was emotional and hurtful, but I wanted them to know how I felt. I heard some feedback from my step grandmother about it, she said they told her I was angry and needed therapy, that they provided a stable and loving childhood and I ended up being rebellious and the "black sheep" of the family, etc........
People generally don't want to hear how you honestly feel about them. It undermines their sense of self-worth and their opinion of you. They are forced to confront an image that can't possibly be true (in their minds).

Far easier to shoot the messenger than to hear the message.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #23
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I sent my parents a handwritten 6 page later 13 years ago, telling them my true feelings. I am sure a lot of it was emotional and hurtful, but I wanted them to know how I felt. I heard some feedback from my step grandmother about it, she said they told her I was angry and needed therapy, that they provided a stable and loving childhood and I ended up being rebellious and the "black sheep" of the family, etc........
Ahh, but that letter was to let them know why you felt the way you did toward them. What I suggested is purely for your benefit. Forgiving them for what they did and didn't do...is for you, not them. Without all of that hurt in your heart, you may find yourself thinking of them with pitty for being so emotionally...retarded, constrained, you fill in the blank...instead of resenting how emotionally battering they are to you.

The letter I suggested you write to your dad...sorry I was such a difficult child, wishing you health and happiness...again is for you. He'll probably ignore it or stepmom will not give it to him. But when your dad dies, you won't be questioning whether things might have been better if you had tried reaching out in kindness. BTW, I'm not suggesting you are nieve enough to believe your dad might be moved by such a letter. Again, this is purely for you.

Thank you for sharing your story. Some will realize they have it a lot better than they thought, others will know they are not the only ones terrible parents.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #24
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Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have a lot of sad things about your family, but I am so glad that you had such a wonderful sister, and a good relationship with her. She sounded like an amazing person, and she was lucky to have you.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:45 PM   #25
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While your step brother may have been the 'golden one' he will have to put up with your step mother for so long as they both live. He was cursed at birth.

IMHO it is your father who is responsible for the treatment you and your sister suffered. In many ways you were blessed with the strength to leave a toxic situation, you have done what your mother would have wanted you to do.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:07 PM   #26
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Wow, What a story. I think you have handled it well. I have always said that just because you are related to them does not make them family. I would get on with live and build a caring family as you have.

FWIW if you look up my in-laws name in the dictionary the definition of their name is shackle! No I did not know that when I got married and DW is definitely not like them thankfully. If the dictionary had my mother and father in laws picture by that definition it would be just right. They act much like your Dad and step Mom and I would end all contact with them if they were my family. Since they belong to DW I just avoid them and try to keep the kids away which is not a problem as they do not usually want to see them anyway.

You have been through a hard situation and I commend you for how well you have handled it!
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #27
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Wow. I read all your chapters and there is a lot of pain in your story. I honestly can't imagine how I would of felt or reacted if I was in your place.

I felt the need to post in an aknowledgement of your story but I'm at a loss for words...
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:35 PM   #28
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:26 PM   #29
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I wonder if reading some books by Gail Sheehy such as "Passages" would be helpful or not. I know they were helpful to me.

I >think< it was from her books that I learned that one's parents (and relatives) are not always the people you would like to know and interact with. I am sure it cuts both ways: One's child is not always someone you would like to know and interact with. If you were not related to them, would you even worry about all this or not? Sometimes you just write them off.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #30
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What a sad story of life with your relatives, with the exception of your sister. Your sister did sound amazing and that is who I would remember when you are thinking of family. I agree with Nova, that it would be best for you, if you could forgive your family. I had a difficult childhood and my parents gave me up when I was 10 years old. I went to live with an aunt and uncle and it was a good change. Both of my parents had hard childhoods and backgrounds, so I was able to forgive them for giving up their five children. However, sometimes when I stop to think about it, it hurts. I had a good relationship with both of them before they died and that is the big difference in our situations. I can only hope that they come to their senses and realize how much they are missing out by not having a relationship with you and your family. I do not blame you for not trying to reach out to them anymore. I think that you have went way beyond what you needed to do and the ball is in their court. I am glad that you have a loving family of your own! May peace be with you and I also am giving you cyber hugs. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:50 AM   #31
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Hard and sad stuff, thanks for sharing.
All the events, positive and negative, in your life have created the man you are today.
You did not have influence on the events, but you made good decisions how to react on them.
As said before, relationships are like two way streets. Your father, step mom and brother wanted to have them at their conditions only.
If you accept these conditions, the consequences on your wife and kids would be worse than having no relationship to these people at all.

Even if you reach out and write a forgiving letter you might have to decide what comes thereafter. If they react, how would you follow up? Make regular contact? With wife and kids? Expose them to such toxic influence? Their reality certainly is not your reality. I do not know...

In your shoes I might print out the story and hand out to my kids once they are grown up. I would tell them that I do not mind if they contact the other family to get to know them and to hear their side of the story, too.

All the best to you, DW + kids.
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