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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Big family issues

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Author Topic: Big family issues
Member # 21475

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I'm sorry ahead of time if this is really long-winded, but I would just like to get some people's opinions on my WHOLE situation right now. Thanks. [Smile]

High school graduation is coming up, and I'm really excited. I've already been accepted into my first-choice university, have gotten academic scholarships, and everything seems to be going great. However...

My mom is a problem. My whole family is incredibly dysfunctional, but she is definitely at the top and I don't know what to do.

My mom and I used to be very close. My parents had a very abusive relationship with one another and divorced when I was 7. I lived with her and she was single until I was 13. After I turned 13, she met up with an old high school boyfriend and they got married within weeks of knowing one another. He moved he and his daughter that's 3 years younger than me into our house immediately, and my mom made me share my room (the room I had for 6 years) with his daughter, and I just felt so betrayed. At this point, my relationship with my mother began to deteriorate very quickly.

Without going into a lot of detail, my stepfather was very physically/emotionally abusive towards my stepsister and I. I would tell my mom, and she would accuse me of exaggerating things and making things up because I wanted things to be the way that they were before. He and my mother ended up divorcing less than 6 months later.

Then, all of a sudden (within a couple of months after her divorce from my stepfather), my mom decided to get back together with my dad. Looking back on it now, I think it was because of money issues, but I didn't realize it then. It was a kid's dream-come-true, right? Divorced parents getting back together? Well, it turned out it wasn't. My mom started partying, leaving for days at a time without calling, and (although I don't have any proof) I think she began abusing drugs. It was just really hard because people would ask where she was when they'd come over to my house, and I didn't want to say "I don't know". I mean, we live in the nice part of town (not to sound snobby or anything), and this just isn't an issue with anybody that I know personally. My dad isn't exactly a "talking" kind of guy, so I can't tell him how I feel.

Anyway, that was two years ago. When I was 16, she left one weekend to go partying and never came back. She moved out without saying good-bye or anything. I didn't see her at all or have any contact with her for about a year. Once during that year period though, she came into the house and took all of our DVDs and a one of our computers. She left a note saying that she'd bring them back, but she never has. I think she sold them for something else (if you catch my drift). The next time I saw her, she was remarried to a guy that is a drug-user. As far as I know, they're still married.

The last time I spoke to her was over 6 months ago. I don't know where she lives, I don't know what she's doing, and frankly, I don't want to know. It's just too painful. However, I know her phone number, and therein lies the issue...

Graduation is coming up in less than a month, and I'm about to mail out invitations. I know I have an obligation to invite my mom because she is still my mom no matter what, but... I mean, I'll have to call her to find out where she lives. How messed up is that? What if she does show-up and there's a big fight between she and my dad? I don't want to remember my graduation as a big fight. I know it sounds terrible, but I honestly don't want her to come. However, I'd feel SO bad if I didn't invite her.

Only a few of my friends know about her behavior, but even they don't know the whole story. I mean, the school I go to just doesn't have people with families like mine. So, (I don't think she would) what if she comes to graduation all strung-out? I'd be mortified.

I guess my question is, what do you guys think? I haven't ever talked to anybody about this before (I just told my friends that she moved out), and I'm just really conflicted.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading this and ANY input would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 4 | From: Texas | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 28071

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First of all...let me tell you that I'm SO sorry you have to go through this...this situation can't be much fun at all.

To be perfectly blunt and honest, if it were me I would not call your mother. Not because of possible issues with your dad, and not out of fear that she will come strung-out (though both of these are very valid fears). I would not invite her simply because she has made it clear that she does not consider you a point of her life anymore, and therefore, you have no obligation to make her part of yours. If people ask where your mom is, simply say that she's been away for a while and is unable to come.

If you do decide to invite her, I'd broach the subject with your dad first. Explain to him that she is your mother, and you feel that you would like her to attend something as major and important as your high school graduation. At this the possibility of your mom coming is on the table early, so your dad has time to prepare. Also, any issues that your dad may have with this scenario can be discussed now. Also...if she does come your mom and your dad need to come to an agreement to be civil while there, so they will likely need to talk beforehand anyway. When calling your mom, let her know that you would like to let her know of the graduation and are extending an invitation to attend...but that you would appreciate it if she didn't do anything while there that would embarrass either of you. (which would include showing up sober and not fighting). If your dad is up for it he talk with her as reiterate that any behavior that would reflect poorly on you would not be tolerated.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide what road you want to take. But do what you are most comfortable with. Given the sitiuation, don't feel obligated to have your mom there if you think it would cause more trouble. If you would like her there...let her know how important it is to you that she be on good behavior there.

Good luck...and I hope everything goes well on your big day.

Posts: 96 | From: Illinois | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 25425

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I, too, had a big family feud preceeding graduation and I got so fed up with it that I invited only my best friend along in the end.

In all honesty, graduation is not the big deal it seems to be and it just isn't worth stirring things up for. Unless you want to use this as an opportunity to get back in touch with your mother, I'd say save yourself the hassle and don't invite her.

(And if you do want to get back in touch with your mother regardless, I'd do so in a private setting where you can concentrate on the two of you and don't have to worry about her showing up drunk at an official event.)

Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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My estranged parents, and my abusive steparent, both came to my graduation, and the situation was in many ways similar.

Ultimately, because it was a large group event, they kept their dysfunction to themselves. However, especially having him there made it in no way a good time for me.

Graduation is for YOU: it's a celebration of what you've accomplished. That means it's up to you who you invite. You don't have to invite your Mom if it's not something you want.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 26390

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You don't have to feel forced to invite her. Just because she's your family doesn't mean that you HAVE to love her. Love and trust is something you earn, not something you should have for granted. I'll tell you in my case, my "father in law" has been more of a father to me than my own. If she hasn't been a mother to you, she doesn't have the right to say you're her daughter.

"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 21475

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Alright. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has replied. You all really helped. It was great to get some input.

Anyway, in case anyone wants to know, I'm not going to call her. She knows I'm about to graduate and she has my phone number. If she really wants to come, she can call me.

[ 04-30-2006, 12:01 AM: Message edited by: aquaticflash ]

Posts: 4 | From: Texas | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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