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Posted by: stranger ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 12:10PM

The wedding isn't until Friday, but you have all been so kind with your stories and words of support that I thought I'd give you an update on the post "Brother's Wedding--Need Advice" in the meantime.

I tried asking my brother to talk to me in person or at least by phone or facetime since this is such a difficult conversation to have by text, but he is giving me the silent treatment. It is a classic tactic of punishment, control, and denial in our family system. For me, it was the last straw. I love my brother and I wish him well, but I just can't do this anymore. Every interaction with my family leaves me sick with anxiety for days, and I'm just done. My family has decided that I am selfish, apostate, and mentally ill, and nothing I do or say or accomplish will ever change that, so I'm just done. I'm done trying and I'm done doing "the right thing" when it costs me so much.

A friend of mine who has been supporting me through this recently sent me a meme of Maria Kondo with the words "Does it spark joy?" across it. For me, the answer is a resounding no. I understand that healthy relationships involve give-and-take and are not all joy all the time. By my relationship with my family has been all give and no take for as long as I can remember. Even my lil' bro. He loves me and sings my praises as long as I don't cross him. Once I do, instead of disagreeing with me like an adult, he behaves exactly like the rest of them--guilt trips, silent treatment, holier-than-thou speeches, etc.

So I am going to spend Friday with a bunch of wonderful friends who love me and support me as I am and who have offered to get me blazing drunk ;-)

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 12:28PM

I'll raise a glass to you on Friday, stranger. So glad you have a great group of friends because this is tough stuff you have been dealing with and cuts deep. I don't think you could have possibly handled it better.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 12:37PM

It's too bad your brother has shunned you. It's too bad for your brother. I'm glad you've got some friends to hang out with on Friday. Raise a glass in a toast to your brother for setting you free.

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Posted by: Darren Steers ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 12:52PM

FWIW, I think you are making a good choice.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 01:21PM

There's no good reason to allow toxic people to run your life. I'm glad you're taking charge of your own experiences.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 03:41PM

Letting go, I found is hard, very hard, but very freeing.

Like you, I also had to make tough decisions with family members. My journey led me, thankfully, to counseling but, sadly, theirs' never did. I tried to share some of my new found knowledge, but this went nowhere - their take in what I was doing was being the smart***, trying to instruct them.

With the help of a counselor, I came to the conclusion that the relationship was toxic until these family members changed. It was hard because the old way of doing things is what is familiar and the MormonCult had taught me to be a co-dependent doormat.

I am happy with where I am, and I do not give up hope that someday family members will find their way to healing and understanding.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 03:48PM

I wish we had a thumbs up function. Great post.

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Posted by: Laban's Head ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 04:12PM

Thank you for the update. Letting go of a toxic relationship is never easy, but I think you made the healthy decision. I will enjoy a drink or two in solidarity. So glad you have good friends.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 10:32PM

Never easy, but always rewarding.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 06:58PM

Stranger (and Friend)

I am very sorry that happened. I believe you have made the only choice that you can in the circumstances.

With family members, when you have worked and worked and worked a problem for so long, there comes a time, as you say, you must put your own sanity and well-being first, and walk away.

Shunning, not speaking, is so childish and cowardly--what are they so afraid of, if they talk to you?

I had to make the same hard choice, walk away, cut off family. If you do try to talk to them, they will twist everything around and lie about it, making it all your fault somehow. And then expect you to beg to come back.

You are being very brave. I'm glad you have friends who love and appreciate you. Take comfort in knowing once you cut them off, they can't hurt you anymore.

Hang in there. I'm sorry for how all that went down.

-Mel

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 07:09PM

Don't let toxic people ruin your life.

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Posted by: Elyse ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 07:39PM

Good for you!

It would be the height of stupidity to go to a person's wedding who gives you the incredibly aggressive "silent treatment" .

You deserve better.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: March 13, 2019 08:02PM

Stranger--I'm so sorry that you Mormon family has subjected you to so much unhappiness. My own TBM parents loved me, but they were very strict, and believed in "tough love." However, my siblings were unbearable! One older brother beat me and tortured me, all of his life, until I broke off all contact with him when I had children of my own, who needed to be protected from him. He was sued several times for sexual harassment, yet always took on an air of Mormon male superiority, because he looked like our important GA relative. He spoke like our GA, imitating his voice and gestures perfectly. He prayed like our GA. Our oldest brother stole away my parent's estate, from the rest of us. When our parents died, my sister and I broke off all contact. She and her husband were/are faithful Mormons, and they still found our Mormon family to be unbearable.

We made the right decision. We didn't join in the family business with them, and, years later, my oldest brother's children stole all the money from the family business, and left the country. Recently, one of them, who was in the bishopric, forged a fake Will for our other brother, and the beneficiaries of his real Will sued him, but he had already sold the assets and spent most of the money, so they recovered only half. Our nieces and nephews are too warped to hold jobs, so they wander around, mooching off of other family members. Still--their nastiness and cruelty is my main complaint about those people.

In my experience, these people never change. Not ever. It might help you to read about sociopaths and narcissists. You will understand that you are not to blame, that you couldn't form a normal relationship with them. You will understand that you did the right thing for you at this time!


Stranger wrote: "I love my brother and I wish him well, but I just can't do this anymore. Every interaction with my family leaves me sick with anxiety for days, and I'm just done. My family has decided that I am selfish, apostate, and mentally ill, and nothing I do or say or accomplish will ever change that, so I'm just done. I'm done trying and I'm done doing "the right thing" when it costs me so much."

I was forced into making this same choice, along with my sister and her husband and all of our children. I would be literally sick for days. I have PTSD from the childhood abuse from my older brother, who was the school bully, but went on a mission, and his pious self-righteous act made the darling of the ward.

Congratulations! I swear, some of the most joyous moments are the ones in which I can add-on my freedom! I celebrate on the nights of the ward Christmas party and the Christmas Fireside--that I'm not there! I celebrate every weekend, that I don't have to put up with Mormon demands, negativity, and punishment. You will have a wonderful time on Friday! 1) You will be true to yourself. 2)You will be with people who genuinely like you.

I will be thinking of you on Friday. Sorry you have suffered in the past--for nothing--it's so unnecessary.

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Posted by: Betty G ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 05:00AM

Good for you, but I have a different approach.

I'm a never-mo. I have never been a Mormon, and probably will never be a Mormon.

I live in the Morridor. I don't shun Mormons, they live all around me.

One of them invited me to their wedding. Obviously, I could NOT go into their temple.

That should have been obvious to them that I would not be able to do so.

Did I take it as an insult?


I didn't. Sometimes toxicity breeds itself, and if you breed toxicity, it will exhibit itself outwards.

Instead, I was gracious. I went to the Visiting area with all the kids that could not go in either. I had a blast with the kids, probably a LOT more fun than anyone did in the temple itself.

We then had pictures outside and they had me wearing a dress along with the other girls that were in her train.

They had a small lunch afterwards and later a reception.

I enjoyed it, they had fun, and I didn't stress overly about it. Instead of venting toxicity, or taking something as an insult, I did the Southern thing and took it graciously.

Did I have suspicions? Yep. Did I wonder if this was another thing where they were going to launch Missionaries on me? Yep.

They didn't. I still don't know exactly why she invited me to be part of the wedding and her bridesmaids, but it turned out to be a decent experience.

Sometimes things are what you make out of it. I know you refuse to see the temple, and maybe because I'm a never-mo I just do not understand this resentment. I, personally, would take a more gracious path than what you have chosen.

Your choice may be the best for you, something I as a non-Mormon (and many other Non-Mormons cannot understand). So what if you can't go into the temple there? Most of the kids can't.

Sometimes you can blame your family, but sometimes you might want to say, is this really what I want?

They may be at fault. You probably will have more fun getting drunk with friends. In the end, I don't see that it is just the family to blame (from an outsiders viewpoint). I have a sister I cannot stand, but hell or highwater if she was getting married (even if I couldn't go inside if for some crazy reason she became Mormon, which is zero percent chance) there's no way I'd ever simply just sit it out. I'd find some way to be there, even if it was outside looking in.

I might have hated her guts, but we are still blood.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 05:57AM

I'm a nevermo, and when I first came to this board more than a decade ago, I found the fact that Mormons expect family and friends to wait outside of the temple for them appallingly rude. Now I understand that decisions on how to handle that are individual matters, and that people have to do what is right for them. Some wait outside the temple, some go directly to the reception, and some skip the event altogether.

To give a corollary, I personally would never show up at a wedding to which I was not invited. I would never consent to be a member of the wedding party at a wedding to which I was not invited.

It's two cultures colliding, and honestly I don't think Mormons handle it all that well. They have bridesmaids who never saw the wedding, and people in wedding pictures who were never invited inside. They have ring ceremonies for people who could not see the wedding. They have wedding clothes that were not or may not have been worn at the wedding. It's a cultural mish-mash.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 10:04AM

The OP demonstrated unconditional love. Turned out to be one sided.

You weren't invited to a wedding where the Mormon family wasn't even speaking to you, keeping you at double arm's distance, so the comparison between the two situations does not hold water, or love.

Being treated as someone on the outside who is expected to have their nose pressed up against the window hoping to be let in is the position some of us have been in.

Some people are family and some are only blood relatives. It is the ability to love unconditionally that makes a family, not plasma and platelets. And Mormons are ALL plasma and platelets.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 10:40AM

Betty G Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did I take it as an insult? I didn't. Sometimes toxicity breeds itself...

I think in theory, Betty G has a point about taking the high road and refusing to see insults.

However, because she was "never in" and thus never shunned, there are big differences between Betty's casual invitation by a neighbor, and Stranger's with close family.

The factors here that scream abuse are the "silent treatment" and the guilt trip laid on him about the tie and flowers.

It's nice to be gracious, but not if it means continuing to subject yourself to belittling and insults and 'silent treatment.'

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 11:26AM

Good points, mel.

For me it comes down to this: The idea of automatically assigning equal parts of blame to any situation? Putting the onus back on "victim" to be the bigger person?

The "Sometimes toxicity breeds itself" comment made me think of the blame the victim scenario and shame the victim who stands up for themselves. If that isn't totally the case, it is at least overlapping as far as I am concerned.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 03:42PM

Done & Done Wrote:
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> For me it comes down to this: The idea of automatically assigning equal parts of blame to any situation? Putting the onus back on "victim" to be the bigger person?

Agreed. People who question their own behaviors, who open themselves up to wondering if they themselves did something wrong, can be 'victims' of nefarious manipulators or cruelty.

Whereas the perpetrators see themselves as right and the other person wholly in the wrong and never self-reflect.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 03:46PM

Stranger,

It's an old movie, but if you want to give yourself something to laugh about on attending weddings, I recommend watching or re-watching "Four Weddings and a Funeral" with Hugh Grant.

Every horrid cliche about weddings is poked fun at. I think at least it would give you a laugh. :) :) :)

I will be thinking of you tomorrow and admiring the strong life choices that you made, despite their difficulty.

Cheers!

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 11:33AM

It’s best to leave an abusive relationship.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 11:55AM

>>It's nice to be gracious, but not if it means continuing to subject yourself to belittling and insults and 'silent treatment.'

Right - graciousness is a two-way street.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 11:43AM

I think you would have felt differently about the wedding invitation if they had been actively shunning you.

It's good to take the high road, if you think it's leading somewhere. Otherwise, it's just more abuse and debasement.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 11:51AM

You're a casual on looker who might be curious about their customs.

I don't think it's fair to impose your point of view on a family member who has been abused for years.

The situations are not in any way the same.

You're blaming the victim which is never fair. You are not being victimized in a similar way and seem to trivialize another person's difficult situation.

Your sister is your problem, not ours or the OP's. You can go to her wedding with our blessing since that's what works for you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2019 12:00PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:52AM

THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE, you have no idea what you are talking about.

I went. I was a "good sport." It was extremely difficult because of the actions of my aunt. Two of my inactive siblings told me that she probably wasn't trying to be hurtful (we all know her well), but my boyfriend said that her e-mail was insulting and it was. It triggered some PTSD from my experiences in mormonism.

You have no idea what it is to be the mother of the bride and not be there to see her married. I went through a lot to deliver her (she was a twin) and I bear the scars. My body will never be the same. I had toxemia/preeclampsia and was very ill. Then after raising them to 10, my ex left me and I raised them from then on (still am at 33) working 2 jobs and going without much of anything for myself while providing them with anything I possibly could. I was BROKEN and yet I kept moving just for them.

And I was the one left out. I WAS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY OF SEEING MY DAUGHTER MARRIED--the only one. I'm the only one who has been there no matter what for her. I'm the only one who sacrificed. And I was outside.

And I should just say, "toxicity breeds itself?" OMH!

I have mormon neighbors, too. I've lived here for 33 years, even when I was active mormon. My neighbor who I dearly love invited me to the R.S. birthday dinner by text message the other night. I don't use my phone much, but I found the text the day after the dinner. You would think they'd all just GIVE ME A BREAK.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 10:55AM


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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 11:54AM

I had come to terms with her marrying in the temple. I got married in the temple. She had the right to make her own choice, but the attitude of mormons is so offensive that it is difficult to tolerate. Most of the mormons who attended her wedding were careful not to say anything about the wedding. This is for Betty. But my aunt couldn't help herself.

She has made me feel like the "unclean" too many times. What the lds church does is OFFENSIVE. I would have been fine and felt the day went really well up until I got her e-mail the following evening. My family members were all outside the temple except one sister. I worked hard to make all my family members feel wanted there even if we have problems in the family, including my relationship with the sister who was in the temple. I arrived at the temple 30 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to happen. I brought flowers for my sister, my aunt, and the groom's mother. I went straight to my sister (who I haven't talked to in 2 years and not much for 13 years) and handed her flowers, hugged her and told her I loved her and that I was so grateful for her being at the temple to stand in for me. I caught her at the reception afterwards before she left and told her again how grateful I was. I sent flowers to my little sister so she would come as we hadn't spoken for a few months. I got clothes for my disabled brother and took a special invite to each of them including my brother who didn't make it.

I was able to see my niece and nephew, who are anti-mormon, who I haven't seen in a while because of the problems with my sister. My kids see them and her, but she makes it hell for her kids to see me even if they are adults. Her youngest son grabbed me and hugged me hard and I told him I loved him so much and missed him, and he said the same back. Then we talked for a long while. I'm very close to my sister's children as I helped raise them.

I did everything in my power to make it the "perfect" day for my daughter and most mormons were very good about how they handled the situation, but not all of them.

So your comments are so out of line as you don't know the whole story for the OP. You don't know the history and you've never been a mormon. You have NO IDEA what we put up with.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 12:36PM

That. Everything you wrote in the last two posts. That is why you will always be one of my heroes, cl2. I don't know how you did all that. I am in awe. Makes me choke up to read that.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 10:38AM

How ridiculous of your brother to act this way. I agree with the choice you have made. After I started reading, my first thought was, "Don't go at all."

For what it is worth, my youngest brother is my hero. He is probably the ONE PERSON in the world I trust 100%. He is 11 years younger than me, but he has been my rock. We have the same type of personalities, etc. He is extremely intelligent and even with a GED has done really well in his career and he has helped me out financially and took me on vacation a few times. He is an extremely caring and deep individual. He couldn't come to my daughter's wedding--to either the temple grounds or the reception afterwards and I UNDERSTAND. I was concerned about him being able to handle it. He didn't want to see family members (we have an ongoing war in our family over how my sister handled our disabled brothers' money) and we also have my dear aunt and her husband (who I don't claim was my own). My brother desperately wanted to come, but couldn't face it and I knew he couldn't. It doesn't bother me at all. One of my nephews didn't come either, who is going through a horrible divorce right now, and he couldn't bring himself to attend. He is very close to my daughter. There are reasons NOT TO ATTEND and family should understand, but it sounds as though your family will again blame you.

I have been the one to blame most of my life in my family. I AM the identified patient as I get help (go to therapy). Everyone comes to me to fix things, to dump their emotional baggage, and then make me the bad guy, so I know why you feel like you do. I agree 100% DO NOT GO. You will pay a huge price if you do emotionally.

I really do believe there will come a day that they have time to reflect on how they treated you and wish they had done it different.

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Posted by: iris ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 05:00PM

Relationships with family can be difficult and sometimes impossible. I've been there with one of my brothers and both sisters. It takes two people to want to have a relationship. If only one is exerting all the effort to connect, it's not going to work out. Since you didn't receive a wedding invitation--only a text with the time and place--it seems to me that he didn't consider you important enough to receive the formal invitation--unless he didn't have any invitations printed up and texted all his friends and family the relevant info. The bit about already buying a tie and flowers for you and your spouse seems questionable to me. I think you have made the best possible choice. Doesn't matter if he is "blood" (per the earlier post) if he is giving you the silent treatment after guilting you with respect to the tie and flowers. Enjoy your day tomorrow knowing you don't have to try to interact with people that obviously see you as less than.

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 08:06PM

I was at a party recently following a funeral. I was talking to a stranger who was dealing with a family member similar to my sister. We agreed that our siblings were disordered and that we did not hate them or wish them ill. However, I, like you, just cannot take the toxic interactions forever. For this reason I will, hopefully, be able to move out of state when my mother dies. I'm here only to care for Mom but when I'm not tied down by her aging needs I will begin traveling far and wide to find a new home. My sis has three adult children to take her abuse. Why me too?

I won't refuse to talk to sis by phone. If she comes to visit me I'll be happy to see her. However, she won't be staying in my home or spending any time with me in an environment where I cannot get away from her when her always occurring rants begin. I've just had my fair share and won't put myself through that any more.

Do what you must to save your sanity and your self-respect. You've given your family every opportunity to accept you and the olive branch. If they refuse it there's no reason to stand in the rain holding it forever. Move on.

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Posted by: laperla not logged in ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 03:26PM


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Posted by: Heidi GWOTR ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 11:42AM

It's a difficult decision to make when one has to cut their family off. I know, I've done it. It's hard and it hurts like hell. And, it probably will for some time.

Hugs to you. Now, go raise a glass with people who truly love you.

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Posted by: Talon Avex ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 01:00PM

Sending out positive vibes to you today. I've had to cut off close family before and it's never easy. Healing does come and looking back, it was the best thing ever. May the journey in healing be a good one for you.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 06:14PM

Talon Avex Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sending out positive vibes to you today.

Me too! Hope you had a good day, and remember to come by often, you are welcome here, stranger. :)

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