Author Topic: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life  (Read 8631 times)

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half_dollars

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Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« on: February 10, 2011, 02:03:56 PM »
If you have cut toxic family members out of your life, how do you respond to others when they ask why "so-and-so" isn't at an event?

I have posted about my very toxic parents and sister.  I have very limited contact with them.  I did tell my parents about this pregnancy, but not the gender nor any other info.  I was not told when my sister had her baby (my grandma told me), nor was I invited to her baby shower. 

DS will be having a big birthday party for his 5th birthday.  It will be at a local jump place, and he is inviting his classmates and a few friends from church.  I have already invited my grandparents, and we will be inviting my in-laws.

I have no plans to invited my sister.  I'm sure I'll be asked why.  I want nothing to do with her, and she is not the kind of person I would want to have influence my children.  I am almost sure I am not inviting my parents.  I know my kiddos will be running around and won't have one-on-one time with my parents, but I don't want to risk my parents trying to place guilt-trips on DS because he'd rather play with his friends than with them.

1.)  When (if?) people ask why sister isn't there, what is the best, un-awkward-est way to respond?

2.)  Again, I am not positive I'll invite my parents.  Can I use the same phrasing in response to why they aren't there?

3.)  If I don't invite my parents and they ask why, how do I respond?  They have made no effort to be involved with our lives, and my mom has even said she didnt want to speak with me ever again.  However, they also twist everything around so they are the victims and I am the one keeping their grandchildren away from them.  Not everyone believes them, but I am tired of being made the bad guy.  I know not caring is something I need to work on.  But how do I let them know this is the result of their actions?  Or is that a hopeless cause?

Thanks.


Kaypeep

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 02:21:23 PM »
If you are cutting your parents, then you are not talking to them at all, and therefore you won't be answering their questions as to why they weren't invited to the party because you wouldn't even be taking their call.

If someone asks why Parents or Sis aren't at the party, just answer "They were not invited."  If the person has the gumption to ask why, then reply "that's personal and not something I care to discuss." then bean dip them.

You don't owe anyone an explanation.


bah12

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 02:23:23 PM »
This is a hard question, and I'm not sure that I have a good answer.

Who will be inquiring about your parents and your sister?  I'm assuming your grandparents already know about your relationship, so I'm guessing it won't be them.

For friends, at least for me, I don't normally ask them where their extended family is.  If I go to a party and a sister isn't there, I usually don't ask why.

I do know that sometimes people will ask "where is so and so" or "what is so and so doing today"...mostly when one half of a couple is at a party alone...and if that's the question, you can just answer truthfully that you don't know.

I guess I just think the "why isn't she here" question to be a little too specific and a little too detailed and not an appropriate question for your friends to be asking you in the first place...

anonymousmac

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 02:26:45 PM »
1.)  When (if?) people ask why sister isn't there, what is the best, un-awkward-est way to respond?


How about, "Oh, we really don't keep in touch."  I'd keep it light so it doesn't cause more questions or tell someone more than they need to know.

TimeForANap

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 02:28:37 PM »
I'd simply say "It just didn't work out for them to be able to come".  That could be interpreted a lot of different ways.  They could easily assume sis and parents got ill or had to work.  But it's not a lie, because it didn't work out for them to be able to come because they weren't nice enough to you to merit an invite.

SamiHami

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 02:29:41 PM »
All you have to say is "they weren't able to attend."  It's nobody's business if the reason that they weren't able attend was because you didn't invite them. 

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Hanna

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 02:38:01 PM »
All you have to say is "they weren't able to attend."  It's nobody's business if the reason that they weren't able attend was because you didn't invite them. 
Yes, this is the least awkward.

Nuala

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 02:50:02 PM »
All you have to say is "they weren't able to attend."  It's nobody's business if the reason that they weren't able attend was because you didn't invite them. 

Absolutely.  Keep it as light and breezy as possible; don't let any sadness or regret creep in.


cicero

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 03:18:21 PM »
All you have to say is "they weren't able to attend."  It's nobody's business if the reason that they weren't able attend was because you didn't invite them. 
this.

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jellyjar

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 03:27:22 PM »
I have cut off two of my sisters because they were very toxic.  I do get comments about me cutting them off.  You can't really change what others will think about it.  You just have to know in your heart it is right for you and your kids.  The comments do fade with time as people get used to it.  I would just practice some phrases as the ones previously suggested. I would keep it just matter of the fact to not allow further questioning.  And you might be surprised at how many people will relate to you.  I think most people have some relatives that maybe they wish they weren't related to. 

If your parents try to to guilt you about this, I would again just keep to the facts. But also, you can just say that this was a birthday party for your child's friends, not really a family party.  They might not understand it from your perspective, but just remember in your heart that this is their way of interacting and not your fault. 

JonGirl

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 12:23:22 AM »


I tell them the flat out truth, and if they ask why I cut them off, I tell them.
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kherbert05

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 01:00:55 AM »
I think it depends on what you want. I like the "They weren't able to come" type comments. If someone presses then Why is this your business? Is also good.

That said - I once had a friend "confess" tom me that she cut off her toxic abusive parents. She literally thought because I'm from this crazy "I know my 3rd cousins and like hanging out with them" family that I would not want to be her friend. I was ashamed i had given her that impression - and told her that protecting herself, her husband, and their kids. You might find you have support you don't know about.
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katycoo

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2011, 05:24:06 AM »

1.)  When (if?) people ask why sister isn't there, what is the best, un-awkward-est way to respond?

2.)  Again, I am not positive I'll invite my parents.  Can I use the same phrasing in response to why they aren't there?

"It wasn't possible for them to attend".  You don't have to explain that it wasn't possible because they weren't invited.


magician5

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2011, 07:56:30 AM »
"We had some issues I'd really rather not go into. On a happy day like this it would be better to talk about other things." And then not another word about it.

It's the politest statement I can think of, but it might leave the door open for a curious (nosy) person to ask again later, and you'll have to tell them frankly "I'm not comfortable talkimg about it, it's a private matter. By the way, how bout [local team]?"
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TootsNYC

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Re: Question for those who cut toxic family out of your life
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2011, 08:31:08 AM »
Who is going to ask you?

Surely not the other parents.

Maybe not your in-laws.

Your grandparents, perhaps?

These are people that you know. Surely you can say to them, not at the party, "I'm really hurting from these relationships with my parents and sisters. I've discovered that I am at peace when I don't try to force them to be loving to me, and when I don't try to force myself to expect it. And so I'm simply not going to invite them to things. It seems best for all of us. I know I can count on your support."

Then they won't ask you.

Your grandparents are the ONLY people in that scenario that I can imagine actually giving a hoot what your answer to that question would be.

To everyone else, simply say, "Oh, this is not her kind of thing."

It's the truth, right? It's NOT her kind of thing to come and be loving and friendly to you and your family.
And it leaves the door open, if someone says to Sis later, "Oh, the party was fun," thinking she had been invited, for you to explain that you DIDN'T invite her because "it's not her kind of thing."