Author Topic: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct  (Read 2891 times)

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blue2000

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The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« on: December 28, 2013, 08:54:03 AM »
I was chatting with a friend today. He mentioned that he still had baby things in his basement from when his nieces and nephews were little. He was wondering if one of the nieces would want them for her baby, but his sister (her mom) said no, thirty-some-year-old baby stuff wasn't safe.

Sis actually considered giving it to her anyway, but does not have contact with her daughter (Sis was apparently the mom from heck and her kids want nothing to do with her). Friend said he doesn't have an address or phone number either, and he wasn't invited to their holiday family gathering. He seemed rather sad about it - he loves his niece and nephew and used to spend a lot of time with them when they were little. He seems to really miss them.

I suggested Niece might not want to give him her number or any information because he still talks to her mom. No animosity there, he's just a chatterbox and would say too much if Sis asked him about Niece. He said 'yeah, nephew suggested as much' and shrugged it off.

I didn't suggest he stop talking to his sister about Niece. He couldn't stop talking if he tried. It just seems like a sad commentary on life. I don't think Sis cares much. And Niece is probably happier this way. But Friend cares, and he's stuck in the middle.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

weeblewobble

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 09:31:30 AM »
Yes, it's sad, but your friend has made choices that led to his separation from his niece and nephew.  He chose to remain connected to his sister, knowing she was the mother from heck and her children wanted nothing to do with her.  He chooses to be a "chatterbox" who could not be relied upon to keep information about his niece and nephew from their mother. (Yes, it's a natural tendency that is hard to control, but he could be discreet if he really wanted to be.) These choices keep niece from trusting him and you can hardly blame her.  If he really wants to be reunited with his niece, he needs to realign his loyalties.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 09:47:53 AM »
Why should he?  The problem seems to be between the sister and her kids - the  friend shouldn't have to take sides at all (and probably doesn't want to anyway).

bloo

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 10:32:13 AM »
Why should he?  The problem seems to be between the sister and her kids - the  friend shouldn't have to take sides at all (and probably doesn't want to anyway).

The niece may see him as a 'flying monkey' as per the info in the OP. We have some really nice relatives that are too close to the really yucky, toxic ones. So we don't have much to do with them (the nice ones) so as to not find ourselves in contact with the toxic ones. It doesn't sound like he wants to take sides but he would have to if he wants to be close to his niece. And that's okay in my book.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 11:03:03 AM »
Why should he?  The problem seems to be between the sister and her kids - the  friend shouldn't have to take sides at all (and probably doesn't want to anyway).

If he is happy with the status quo, there's no reason he should change. However, if he would like to be a part of his niece's life, as the OP gathered, then changing his own behavior is really the only option he has. The original problem was between the sister and her kids, and her kids have resolved it in a way that works for them--by cutting off contact with their mother and with others who would pass information to her. If the uncle wants to resolve his "problem" of having no contact with his niece, then not being one of the people who passes information to her mother is a logical first step. (That doesn't mean "taking sides," IMO. It just means not passing along someone else's personal information without permission.) It sounds like he is in contact with the nephew, so there is still a possible line of contact to get back in touch with the niece if the uncle changes his behavior.

It's not guaranteed to work, of course. It's possible the niece has other reasons not to stay in contact with her uncle or that she won't trust him not to relapse into "chattering" to her mother, in which case he's probably out of luck. But it's a logical first step if he wants the situation to change. If he doesn't want to change, the situation will most likely remain as it is--his choice.

Psychopoesie

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 11:14:16 AM »
I understand why he doesn't have a relationship with his sister's kids, if they don't want their mother in their lives any more.

Once I became an adult, I quietly stopped having anything to do with one of my relatives who had been really unpleasant towards me since I was a little kid, athough I stopped well short of a cut direct. It also meant I had had less contact with her adult daughter, who I really liked, because she told her mum everything. I just didn't feel comfortable with her telling her mum anything about me, however trivial, because it seemed to get twisted around. It's not something I could see the daughter changing either.

BTW love Bloo's description of the guy in the OP as a 'flying monkey'. Have the whole Wizard of Oz thing playing out in my head now. Fabulous.
 

bloo

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2013, 11:18:52 AM »
I understand why he doesn't have a relationship with his sister's kids, if they don't want their mother in their lives any more.

Once I became an adult, I quietly stopped having anything to do with one of my relatives who had been really unpleasant towards me since I was a little kid, athough I stopped well short of a cut direct. It also meant I had had less contact with her adult daughter, who I really liked, because she told her mum everything. I just didn't feel comfortable with her telling her mum anything about me, however trivial, because it seemed to get twisted around. It's not something I could see the daughter changing either.

BTW love Bloo's description of the guy in the OP as a 'flying monkey'. Have the whole Wizard of Oz thing playing out in my head now. Fabulous.

ITA.

By the way, as far as the bolded I have to give credit to Etiquette Hell, because that's where I learned the expression!  :)

m2kbug

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2013, 12:58:54 PM »
I'm going to have to agree with the majority.  When you cut someone toxic out of your life, this usually carries with it people who are very close to that toxic person, and it doesn't necessarily have to be personal at all.  The Friend would really need to work on modifying his own behavior if he wants to continue a rel@tionship with the nieces and learn not to talk so much about the nieces to their mother or people close to their mother because of what might get back to her.  This can be tricky on what gets around and who is on the "yes list" and "no list," which is why people become collateral damage in in this type of split.

This can also create a bad spot with Sis because if he's spending time with her daughters, and also bragging all about dinner or the BBQ or how big the baby is or what Niece did on her vacation or got into X school, this can cause some real hurt in the Sister that she is essentially cut off of all of this.  He really would have to tone down his chatty ways a lot and even be mindful of what gets shared on FB, etc.

Not to mention loyalties.  Friend could get himself in hot water with other family members who feel that he should be loyal to Sis and not the "mean nieces" - drama everywhere. 

Yep, it can get ugly. 

Best of luck to Friend.  If he's still in communication with Nephew, maybe Nephew can help close that gap. 

blue2000

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 01:59:45 PM »
LOL! Flying monkey would be one description of him. Or parrot? He's not malicious, he just can't be discreet to save his life. Anything that goes in his ears will come out of his mouth sooner or later. I don't ever tell him things that I don't want the whole world to know.

It isn't a matter of taking sides. I don't think anyone (even him) condones Sis's dreadful behavior. And I guess Niece is still nice to him when she sees him. She just doesn't see much of him now. :-\
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

bloo

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 02:11:58 PM »
LOL! Flying monkey would be one description of him. Or parrot? He's not malicious, he just can't be discreet to save his life. Anything that goes in his ears will come out of his mouth sooner or later. I don't ever tell him things that I don't want the whole world to know.

It isn't a matter of taking sides. I don't think anyone (even him) condones Sis's dreadful behavior. And I guess Niece is still nice to him when she sees him. She just doesn't see much of him now. :-\

That's the way we are with the nice relatives that are still close to the yucky ones.


I suggested Niece might not want to give him her number or any information because he still talks to her mom. No animosity there, he's just a chatterbox and would say too much if Sis asked him about Niece. He said 'yeah, nephew suggested as much' and shrugged it off.

I didn't suggest he stop talking to his sister about Niece. He couldn't stop talking if he tried. It just seems like a sad commentary on life. I don't think Sis cares much. And Niece is probably happier this way. But Friend cares, and he's stuck in the middle.

I should have added earlier that I really do appreciate the way you handled your friend while he confided in you. Not everyone would feel comfortable even gently pointing out an unpleasant truth.

And I agree it is a sad commentary on life.


Pen^2

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2013, 02:23:30 PM »
I think this is what makes the cut so hard. No one is an island, even the most toxic person. If you cut them off, there very likely will be people close to them of whom you are fond, but through sheer practicality, have to reduce contact with them as well. It's easy (relatively only) to cut off a person who is overtly damaging or dangerous. It's much harder to do so when you know that it means you won't get to see their spouse, or child, or whoever as well.

It sucks for the person who ends up as collateral. These things happen and it's not personal. It should, if anything, be seen as a symptom of the toxic person in question. "Alice is so toxic to Bob that she's made it not feasible for him to speak to me anymore." It's not always very clear-cut, and the cleverer toxic people are often good at hiding the damage they do to others so a cut might seem, to an outsider, unfair. Being collateral to a cut can then feel very unpleasant. But it should always be remembered that it's not personal, and is the result of another person.

The cut, after all, is done as a last resort, when the damage done by a person is so great that all attempts to temper it have failed and it is not possible to suffer it any longer without coming to harm (or more harm, depending on the situation). It's not much of a "choice" in the normal sense. It's a forced hand. If someone is beating you over the head with a club, sitting and taking it is certainly a choice, but it's not one that any rational person would make. It's important to remember that, I think. The cut is not done out of spite or desire, but sheer practicality and self-preservation. It's unpleasant to be affected indirectly by that, but one shouldn't begrudge the person who was forced to do it. The only person who made a voluntary choice was the person who forced their hand. It's tragic that people like this put others in the position where they are forced to cut off otherwise good people.

Amara

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2013, 05:30:36 PM »
Pen^2, this post is one of the most clear, insightful, and frankly, excellent posts I have ever read on Ehell.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 05:43:53 PM »
Why should he?  The problem seems to be between the sister and her kids - the  friend shouldn't have to take sides at all (and probably doesn't want to anyway).

The niece may see him as a 'flying monkey' as per the info in the OP. We have some really nice relatives that are too close to the really yucky, toxic ones. So we don't have much to do with them (the nice ones) so as to not find ourselves in contact with the toxic ones. It doesn't sound like he wants to take sides but he would have to if he wants to be close to his niece. And that's okay in my book.

I know how that is.  While I do have contact with my brother and extended family, I'm extremely careful of who I give information to.  When we first moved I did give my new address to my brother and he said he'd keep it to himself, same with my phone #.  Well then mother started calling that # and we started getting things from the parents.  My brother doesn't get phone #'s anymore.  And other family is contacted strictly through fbook.  We also watch what we say to my brother, his gf and on fbook because I am wary of much making it back to my parents. 

When DB moves out of my parents house and gets his own mobile account (his phone is paid for by our mother right now) I might give him my phone # but I'm still wary, so who knows...
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squeakers

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Re: The Other Side Of The Cut Direct
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2013, 07:02:07 PM »
I cut my mother off.  She lives with my oldest sister now.  Which means the days of me walking over and chatting with sis are pretty much over.  No more holidays(1), no more just dropping by (which I did for a decade previously) and she doesn't get to see my boys like she used to (they would be out and about on their motorcycles and would stop and talk with her and her (deceased) husband).

I had been pulling back previously since my mother might be there (lived in a house next door) or my Toxic sister and her Toxic husband might be there.  Now with mother actually living in her house I can't even stop by when the coast was clear.

Also no more dropping off a dinner for one (cos I cook for an army and sometimes it's too good to not share).

Oldest Sis is one of those "Let's forget the bad so we look like a Happy Family".  That makes her happy.  Unfortunately I can't get behind that.

(1) I could stop by early and wish her well before the ones cut off would be around.  Now that option is gone.
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