I spoke to my great aunt last night. I’m very close to her. She’s been somewhat sympathetic, but is very much of the old school, “but they’re faaaaamily” line of thought. I told her about the situation as it unfolded, but emphasized that I didn’t expect her to choose sides and was happy to hear she’s still in contact with them.
At first, they didn’t say anything to my Aunt about this. At Christmas/New Year’s my mother told her my brother and I weren’t speaking, but she had no idea why. My aunt’s birthday was recently. They both called her belatedly to wish her a happy birthday. Before the cut off, I was the one who reminded them to call her and listened to her praising them for calling without letting on that I had reminded them.
He referred to it and my mother told my aunt that my brother had seated me away from the family because he was afraid she & I would “get into it”. Which my mother told my aunt was “bullshit” because neither of us would have started anything at his wedding. So within the space of a month, she now knows why? And this still doesn’t explain why she has chosen not to contact me.
Between that and the fact that SIL is due in the Spring, I fear they are going to try and use the birth of my niece (my aunt told me about the pregnancy and gender), as well as some manipulation of my aunt, to get back in my life. I don’t want them back in my life. I’m sick of the drama and chaos they cause in my life. While I’m sad to miss out on a relationship with my future niece, as well as any of her future siblings, I realize they can and will use her as a weapon against me. I plan to contact her when she’s 18 to see if she would like to have a relationship (and will do the same for any other future nieces or nephews).
I’m sick of the pain and hurt they bring to my life. And then dismiss as they accuse me of being oversensitive. Yet every issue or problem in their life is important and must take priority in everyone else’s life.
Through therapy and a few AlAnon meetings, I’ve done enough work to know I can’t change them. I can’t. I’ve tried. I can protect myself from them though and I will.
But I do appreciate one relevation in the conversation from last night. For most of my life, I played the peacekeeper and took a lot of crap that I shouldn’t have in the interest of keeping the peace and wanting everyone to get along. For example, I didn’t say anything negative to my mother when she hounded me about the yogurt or the cell phone the day of bro & SIL’s wedding. Wanted to keep the peace, didn’t want to rock the boat or make waves. Yet, I was still perceived by bro & SIL as someone who might “start” something on their wedding day. And I was the one exiled from the “family” table because of it.
Even though I made every effort to get along, I was still the scapegoat. I will always be the scapegoat with them. I was never happy as a scapegoat and there’s no way in hell I’m going back to being the scapegoat. If it means being away from them for the rest of my life so be it.
What I don’t get is why they don’t just take some !@#$ responsibility for their actions. They’re expending a huge amount of energy manipulating this when if they just owned up to what they did and took steps to prevent it from happening again, we’d be able to have some contact. But that would require admitting fault, which narcissists (I strongly suspect my mother is one) are incapable of.