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The Family Drama Thread of fun!


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I LOVE OUR NEW TREND OF THERAPY THREADS!

I could have sworn we had a family one, but it turns out, we just have our own individual family drama threads. So here's mine? Or you know, feel free to add.

I'm not sure if I have ever talked much about my parents on here-- especially my dad. tl;dr: I have lots of sweet abandonment issues because my parents were partiers who had me when they were 19/20. I was always shuffled between aunts/uncles and grandparents. my mother was only interested in having me on vacations, and my dad was an alcoholic by the time I was born.

My step mom made him less of a shit show, but he still drank. And I never got along with her, so eventually my mom took me back in until I was 12 until I launched my life. I get a long fine with my mom, but i'll never forget that her love was conditional to it being convenient for her. My dad and I always went through bouts of on and off contact. We'd be fine, until I pissed him off in some unknown rando way, and he'd cut me off for months. As a kid it would just be weeks long silent treatment, and disappointed looks, as an adult, he'd go radio silent.

As I got older and discovered therapy, it helped me reframe a lot of his action in relation to his alcoholism. I also always suspect he was somewhere on the aspie spectrum. When my kid was a baby, my dad almost dropped him because he was drunk. I set a hard boundary: no drinking around the baby. And my dad fought me on it.

As a result, the last 15 years I have been intentionally distant. My kid has only seen him a handful of times. It's always been in a controlled way. We call on birthdays and holidays and that's it. I made a decision for my own mental health and the safety of my kid to just disconnect.

That's the back story-- 

TODAY, my dad is in the hospital. He went in a few days ago because he was having stomach pain. Long story short-- he has the body of a 90 year old because his back has been broken twice and he has chain smoked and drank for almost 50 years. He took a bad fall a few months ago, and since then, for pain, he's been eating advil nonstop-- with beer. So he developed an ulcer as a result. They were able to fix it, but now that he has been away from booze for a few days his body is hitting withdrawal. He's hallucinating, and his organs are freaking out.

My step mom is pretty useless, but one of my brothers is capable and on top of things. But we just found out this fall gave him a traumatic brain injury he told no one about, AND, he was diagnoses bipolar a few years ago-- neither things he told anyone out, or had treated.

The bipolar diagnosis puts so much of my childhood into clarity it's insane.

At any rate, where I am now-- I kind don't feel bad. LOT of thoughts and things to process, but at the same time, I've been detached so long emotional from him for my own safety I'm not exactly feeling any way about this. Maybe it will be delayed. His prognosis is still a question mark. But I'm very MEH about the whole thing.

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Feeling that way is perfectly natural and healthy. As someone with mental illness (bipolar disorder, even!), I firmly believe that mental illness is a reason but not an excuse. If I hurt someone because of my mental illness, they have the right to cut me out and take care of themselves. Your dad hurt you, and he almost seriously hurt your son, and he’s had plenty of wake-up calls but has continued to choose his mental illness. Like I said, there’s a reason but it doesn’t excuse him from facing consequences. Right now, he’s facing the consequences of his actions. Hopefully this helps him become a better person, and start taking this stuff seriously, but none of that is on you in any way.

Feel your feelings, or don’t feel them. There’s no wrong way for you to respond, other than faking something out of obligation.

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Basically what Fozzie said. I had a really toxic relationship with my mom because of what was essentially a TBI (probably just poked the wrong spot during brain surgery, but her whole family is kind of crazy so there's something else there), and honestly, it's hard to miss her. I did my daughterly duty by taking care of her funeral and honoring her but I'm not one of those people who cry because their mom is gone because she treated me like shit. I already know that you do better by O and that's your priority and focus, as it should be. Your own mental health is also a priority over him. You're already detached. You don't owe him that attachment.

I mean, if your brother is a good guy, be there for him as much as you can. Not his or your fault your dad is an asshole.

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4 minutes ago, Fozzie said:

Feeling that way is perfectly natural and healthy. As someone with mental illness (bipolar disorder, even!), I firmly believe that mental illness is a reason but not an excuse. If I hurt someone because of my mental illness, they have the right to cut me out and take care of themselves. Your dad hurt you, and he almost seriously hurt your son, and he’s had plenty of wake-up calls but has continued to choose his mental illness. Like I said, there’s a reason but it doesn’t excuse him from facing consequences. Right now, he’s facing the consequences of his actions. Hopefully this helps him become a better person, and start taking this stuff seriously, but none of that is on you in any way.

Feel your feelings, or don’t feel them. There’s no wrong way for you to respond, other than faking something out of obligation.

That's great to hear you affirm, because that's how I was feeling. If my family every talked about feelings or didn't poo-poo mental health, he could have had that diagnosis years ago. Would it have changed things? I don't know. But his choices were still his, including the ignoring of that diagnosis. It doesn't get him out of what he put me through, it makes it a little easier to understand, but the refusal to make any sort of amends and absolutely tell off anyone suggesting he get help was still choice he made.

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1 minute ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

 

I mean, if your brother is a good guy, be there for him as much as you can. Not his or your fault your dad is an asshole.

I'm actually really proud of him. He's only 27, but he holds that house together. My step mother has a lot of issues too, and my other brother inherited every bad quality from both of them. 

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I don't know if this helps, but my uncle was an alcoholic.  A really bad one.   He also had a bad temper and was physically abusive towards me and my brother when he and my aunt baby sat us as kids, and my parents didn't know.  I really disliked him.  Hate is too strong a word, but pretty close to it.  I didn't talk to him for years, and when he died I was kind of like "meh," too.  I came to the belief that because of his job (he was a cop) that he in all likelihood had undiagnosed PTSD from his job, as well as I later found out what an abusive asshole my grandfather was.  So, I did forgive the guy because I didn't need that on my conscience.   He made his choices though, so I am not sorry I cut him out of my life, too. 

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I'm just laying the groundwork here for what could be a family drama nightmare scenario this Christmas. 

My sister invited our entire family to Christmas at her lodge this year. The WHOLE family - both sets of grandparents, my divorced* parents and my stepmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my in-laws (but, thankfully, not my sister's in-laws).

The only person in my family who isn't vaccinated is my aunt (mom's sister) who has been the "cool aunt" my entire life. She doesn't have kids but loved having my brother and I hang out with her for several weeks during the summer in our childhoods. Now she usually takes Noah all the time for mini-adventures. She's been the most "woke" person in my family my entire life - accepting and affirming of differing religions and sexualities, anti-racist, VERY pro-mental health. She's just a live and let live kinda person - borderline hippie tbh, also...quite the stoner. 

Since my brother tested positive for covid last weekend, and we're currently dealing with a probably covid case in our own house, my mom suggested that everyone coming to Christmas take a rapid test a few days before to make sure nobody is coming with any asymptomatic cases. All 4 of my grandparents are vaccinated but still high risk due to age and health, and my mother-in-law is in remission from 2 different cancers and also has significant health risks to covid despite being vaccinated. So we just want to make sure that we can celebrate without accidentally killing anyone, right? 

Well since hearing this, my aunt has decided to skip Christmas. I did tell her bff the other day that my aunt was acting like a petulant child, and I got told to "stay in my lane". So whatever, but I stand by my statement - she's acting like a god damned petulant child. 

And honestly, when my sister suggested this whole family togetherness thing a few months ago, I had a lot of fears about shit going "wrong", but this wasn't even on my radar. We still have to deal with my Fox-news-worshipping father, who I unfriended on FB earlier this year for being supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection and who texted me the other day to check-in on Luke and ask if any of the rest of us caught the "china virus" yet. :rolleyes: I also have my less-Fox-worshipping-but-still-conservative and definitely shit-starting grandfather who absolutely CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF HIM pass up the chance to bring up touchy or controversial topics to people. Not to mention my know-it-all uncle who's convinced he can hold a conversation with anyone about anything. Oh and my ignorant af MIL and SIL, not that they're dumb necessarily, just ignorant and purposefully so (it surprises me if they know who the president is). 

On one hand, I really like the idea of having us all together for the holiday. We're usually running from one family celebration to the other so nobody feels abandoned. And I haven't spent a Christmas with both of my parents in the same room since I was 11. Buuuut, on the other hand, Trevor and I just actually secretly confessed to each other that we'd be perfectly happy if covid prevented us from going. So stay tuned...

*For all of our family drama and dysfunction, my parents' divorce is actually not a drama-factor. After the first few years (where they were intent on telling my brother and I everything negative they possibly could about each other), their divorce has been amicable, and we've done many functions as a whole family with no divorcee drama. They're not like bffs or anything, but they get along well, and our extended family has never let my parents' divorce affect their relationships with each other.

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According to my dad, the doctors are only telling him he has to stop drinking or he'll die because my step mother put them up to it. So basically, if he gets out of the hospital he'll be right back on his bullshit and dead within a year.

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4 hours ago, Tank said:

According to my dad, the doctors are only telling him he has to stop drinking or he'll die because my step mother put them up to it. So basically, if he gets out of the hospital he'll be right back on his bullshit and dead within a year.

That's terrible.  But at the same time, when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they have to WANT to get better.  One can't talk them into it if they don't want to change. I hope your Dad does change, though. 

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Of all the drugs I think alcohol can be the most debilitating long term. I've seen smack heads and crack heads in better shape (mentally and physically) than long term chronic alcoholics.

Sorry your going through stuff with your dad, tank. But I agree with most here, you shouldn't feel guilty about your feelings/emotions. All emotion is valid.

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As a person who's mother was an alcoholic it's very weird, hard, answers-a-lot-of-questions and weirdly relieving to learn about underlying medical conditions that contributed to shit parenting. My mom was an alcoholic all her life and I honestly believe it was self medicating a lot of weird mental stuff she had going on. So it was kinda easier to forgive and move on eventually. It's just sad to me that the choices they make and do (Because I am SURE if they were actually seeing a doctor the doctor would have told them to stop drinking and get mental health help but they refuse that kind of stuff) means they're going to die a particularly awful death early on in life. Like my mom literally suffocated to death which is an awful way to go. I had so many anger issues to work through and still sometimes do because I really am having issues sorting through living with my sister.

PS you are not your parents and you are awesome with your kid and he's great kid. Take this with you as you go through things and process and remember you are an awesome dad because nothing in life is easy and having a kid doesn't come with a manual.

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Holidays are always full of family drama, in some way or another. Especially with my mom. It's normally more the lead-up than anything, and then she overcorrects. Last week she asked if she could come over sometime last weekend. I told her yes, but I needed to figure out my schedule. I then told her that Sunday was best, and then she threw a huge fit about how she wasn't going to come because she didn't know what she had going on then (nothing, because she never has anything, and she mocks me for having a life that isn't just watching TV). She then proceeded to send me texts all day, with the basic message being that I don't care about her or anyone but myself. Now, she didn't know this, but I was in the midst of helping my son deal with being bullied, which absolutely takes priority over everything, but I didn't tell her because I know that she'll make it about her.

After ignoring her all day on Saturday, she sent me an apology text on Sunday. I invited her over, but she wasn't feeling well. 


Prior to this, she's been bugging me since September for a Christmas gift idea for me. I don't really want a bunch of stuff, so I finally landed on an Airbnb gift card, so I can go do a solo retreat this spring. I did it last year and it was great. So she got it and sent it digitally super early, and we're done. Until this happened, and she then decided she needed a gift for me to open at our family Christmas. So I realized I have an Amazon wishlist of stuff I kinda want, I went in and removed the bigger stuff so she wouldn't buy it. Stuff that was like $100 or more was all cut. Then I went to add something a couple days later and noticed my list was a little shorter, but didn't pay attention to what she had bought. Then I went to look at it to send it to Laura for ideas and almost everything is gone, and then I got a text from my mom saying she has too much for me and she wants to give some of it to me early. So I'll pick it up this weekend and Laura can give it to me for Christmas, I guess. But it's all because she felt guilty over her texting. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We made everyone in the family take a rapid covid test before they could come for Christmas. My aunt opted out instead , but everyone else was ok with it. 

Dad tested positive. My stepmom was negative but has since tested positive. So he wasn't here to spout off crazy Trumper-shit. 

The drama stayed pretty low-key. Christmas Eve night my husband, brother, and brother-in-law stayed up all night drinking by the fire pit. The killed 2 bottles of bourbon and almost a 12 pack of beer, and "planned" a duck hunting trip (none of them hunt, let alone duck) for January 2023. Noah made them come inside at 6 am. Apparently there was some puking and crawling, but they all had a 2ish hour "nap" and rallied on Christmas morning for Daddy Duty. Kudos to them! 

My sister and I both got a little drunk on Christmas night. We played a lot of games, and apparently everyone just thought we were hilarious. So I guess we make better drunks than the boys. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cerina said:

We made everyone in the family take a rapid covid test before they could come for Christmas. My aunt opted out instead , but everyone else was ok with it. 

Dad tested positive. My stepmom was negative but has since tested positive. So he wasn't here to spout off crazy Trumper-shit. 

The drama stayed pretty low-key. Christmas Eve night my husband, brother, and brother-in-law stayed up all night drinking by the fire pit. The killed 2 bottles of bourbon and almost a 12 pack of beer, and "planned" a duck hunting trip (none of them hunt, let alone duck) for January 2023. Noah made them come inside at 6 am. Apparently there was some puking and crawling, but they all had a 2ish hour "nap" and rallied on Christmas morning for Daddy Duty. Kudos to them! 

My sister and I both got a little drunk on Christmas night. We played a lot of games, and apparently everyone just thought we were hilarious. So I guess we make better drunks than the boys.

 

That actually sounds pretty fun!  I am super jealous!  I love staying up on Christmas getting buzzed!

Surprisingly, no real drama. 

Rural Ohio about what you expect...I drank because I was bored.  The last time I drank out of boredom was my last Christmas trip to rural Ohio pre-COVID. 

There was drama at the airport.  They cancelled our flight out of Columbus on Christmas Eve but we found a flight out of Detroit to return home.  It was a cluster at the Detroit airport United counter.  People were missing their flights because the check-in counter was so backed up and people weren't getting rescheduled because so many flights were getting canceled.  People were PISSED.  I felt bad for the lady working the counter. 

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49 minutes ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

Did you have to drive up to Detroit or just had to connect through there?

We had to drive.  Where we were is pretty much a 2-2.5 hour drive to any airport.  Unless you count farm airports with a lawnchair on top of a shed...and I am net exaggerating.

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11 minutes ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

I fly to Nebraska on a semi-regular basis. I've been to lots of 2-6 gate airports.

Well there’s 0 gates at the Ada airport.  Literally some dude in a lawn hair on a shed with binoculars.  Durango has six gates but all Involve just running out to  the plane on the runway.  So define “gates”.

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Haha Lincoln has 6 gates and you actually do get a real skybridge. So they're sort of legit. I think the smallest commercial U.S. airport I've ever flown into was College Station, TX, which had 2 gates and you just walked out to your turbo prop. I missed my flight because I missed my turn at 5:30AM. They wouldn't let me on the flight even though I saw them still boarding. Hate that craphole.

I looked up the Ada airport. Turf runway, nice. That looks like the "airport" in my parents' hometown, which also has a grass runway. The little general aviation airport we have in Snohomish is a big operation by comparison.

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Some lady my ex's partner works with got covid and waited until 6 PM on Christmas Eve to send an email out stating something like "I worked with you all week with Covid and you may have it. LOL"  and left poor Rick freaking out. Christmas Eve was basically tamales at 10 feet on the patio because his Covid testing kit was back at home because he received the email on his way to Christmas Eve services and he just had to not go to service at Church and wait until Lina and Mike got home to tell us he may have Covid. The worst part about it was Rick hates he so he doesn't have her on his Facebook feed or Twitter and she'd been posting nonstop about it since Thursday but waited until Christmas Eve to drop the email with the official you may have to get tested. Rick spent all Christmas Eve thinking about how many times and where she had interacted with him and for how long or her secretary. It pissed him off.

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15 hours ago, Fozzie said:

I’m surprised Ada has more than just some guy’s yard.

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you aren’t wrong.  That’s the Ada Ohio airport.  Some dude literally has a lawn chair somehow attached to the roof of one of those sheds.  The house at the bottom is the airport owners house.

 

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