Diamond Posted March 5, 2005 Report Share Posted March 5, 2005 I looked over the topics for bereavement and am not sure where to post. According to the reading I've done, and the self-analysis and analysis of my family (parents and siblings and myself), I am a survivor of life-long severe and traumatic emotional abuse from my parents and siblings. I have set pretty stringent boundaries with my family but they are always so "nice" and make me feel guilty for not being happy with everyone. Now we are facing serious ill health in our parents and the Big Question is whether or not I will go to their funerals. I talked with a few people--a friend who has received similar treatment from siblings, and a person who has professional training. I conclude that for my own welfare it is probably best not to go--it will depend how I feel when the time comes--but how does one deal with siblings who will put on the guilt trip? Even my sisters whom I thought understood and were sympathetic demonstrate hurt that I might not go. I can see their point. If I don't appear at my parents' funerals my siblings will have to answer awkward questions from the other relatives and church people. That will be unpleasant for them. At the same time, I think maybe it's time to stop compromising myself just to keep everyone else happy. They won't be "happy" with me anyway; all the relatives will be critical of me whether or not I show up. I have made some life decisions that they strongly disapprove of. They think I am on the way to hell, and that they have to save me before it's too late. Whether or not I attend any funerals will not change anybody's mind. If I don't go, at the very least I won't have to feel all the negative vibes, questions, looks, etc. directly. I am geographically separated from them and will hardly meet anyone if I don't go. Frankly, I've wished my parents had disowned me when I had to make these major decisions; then nobody could blame me for not participating in family things. As it is, I feel I am under obligation to do these things, yet it takes too big a toll on me emotionally. (I have already skipped a grandparent's funeral and a brother's wedding, so they know it might happen. But I think they will be especially shocked if I don't go to a parent's funeral; somehow, our society considers parents sacred.) The counsellor I talked to said people with difficult relationships with their parents experience the death of a parent as really traumatic whether or not they go to the funeral. My life could probably be summed up as a long succession of grief and broken hearts because of the love that never materialized. But how can I ever put this message across to well-meaning relatives who quite naturally will see me as the ungrateful and wayward daughter? On top of that, if Mom goes first, then Dad will be hurt that I don't attend her funeral, or vice versa. Somehow, it seems like I shouldn't have to carry the family's hurts and burdens but it comes so naturally because I've done it all my life. The last twenty years or so I've tried not to do it so much anymore, but the stage is set to repeat the worst case of scenario and simply put: I'm scared. I'm also incredibly sad for what has not been and will never be. I can't talk to friends about this because they all think decent people have close relationships with their families. I better stop for now; I could go on forever. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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