Date: August 16, 2019 04:52AM
Your posts sound just like me, whenever my TBM relatives would come to visit. Yikes! You seem like you are facing a major war, and you are strategizing how to avoid getting killed! One of my older brothers was physically and mentally abusive, for my entire life, and I was anxious and afraid that he would abuse me again--and he always did--one way or another, while the rest of my family enabled him. I would never know what he would do. I would lock up all my personal financial records and private client files, because he invaded everything. I would make sure he had no contact with anyone at my office, or anyone I needed to impress, or anyone I was dating. My brother was out to get me, and I was NOT being paranoid. When I couldn't tolerate being around him, and left the house, or went to work, he would break my furniture, break my children's toys, eat all our food, trample our flowers, hurt our pets--and claim that it was all a series of accidents. He was in my desk files looking for paper and a pencil, in my dresser drawers, trying to find the key to wind my clock, etc. Whew, I learned from all of this that you can't out-guess, you can't out-maneuver, you can't adequately prepare for whatever it is your family has in mind for you!
I was too much of a coward, at first, to stand up for myself, because my parents were so angry with me, because I "didn't love my brother." "Love?" Puhleeze!
At first, I avoided. I took one encounter at a time, and make up one lying excuse at a time. I kept my children away from my brother, because that was the only way he would not abuse them. He spied on our nieces, when they were getting dressed, and made crude sexual remarks on how they were "developing" into women. He stole their underwear--I mean--there was no way I would let him around my children! I agree with Cl2, that it is just fine and dandy to lie to these people as much as you need to!
If you go see your family, go AFTER the dinner, and drive your own car, but don't park it in the driveway, because someone could park behind you and block you off. Park on the street. After dinner, you can always comment on how late it is. Is this dinner going to be on a work day? They are on vacation, but you are not, and your career is important.
Talk to your daughter--I mean, LISTEN to your daughter. Probably she feels uncomfortable being used as a pawn. It must be awkward for her to be included, when her mother is not.
Sometimes, you can use people's skewed logic against them. In your case, I'm wondering WHY you are not included in their vacation. Whatever the reasons for your exclusion, these still exist when you go visit them. Do you know what I mean? You're still an ex-mormon when you go see them, just like you would be on the vacation.
When my cheating husband abandoned me and our children for multiple other women, his TBM family blamed me. They also blamed me for my ex leaving the church. They had not communicated with me or my children for four years. My ex's TBM sister gave a fancy birthday party for their TBM mother, at the JS building. My MIL wanted all of her numerous grandchildren lined up in a row, so she could show them off, and have them all sing "I Am A Child of God." My children wanted to go, because they hadn't seen their father in four years, and they missed their grandparents and cousins. I was willing to take them, because at the time I believed that my children needed all the family support they could get. I was wrong--that family was the destruction of both of their sons (bankrupt, divorced, and depressed) and several of the Mormon cousins. Two cousins committed suicide, one died from an overdose, and one is hopelessly in rehab. I wonder how much of a "plus" it is for your daughter to have a relationship with these people. You aren't obligated to smooth things over for them!
Anyway, my SIL called me at the last minute and UN-invited me to the party, telling me that my ex and his woman were going to be there, and the MIL didn't want any awkwardness. I still was "supposed to" drive my kids downtown, and drop them off in front of the building, and pick them up, afterwards. This happened a few other times. Three years after that, after no contact from my Mormon ex in-laws, my ex-MIL and SIL wanted me to bring the children to my TBM FIL's funeral 6 hours away, which would have involved missing work and school, and staying overnight in a hotel, at my own expense. They had conletely disowned my children, and my ex-husband, and me, because we had all left Mormonism by that time. Again, they wanted all the grandchildren (who were still alive) lined up and singing "I Am A Child of God." I told them that nothing had changed. The reasons they had dis-owned us were still on-going. If I made the trip, I would probably be told at the last minute to NOT come to the funeral, and I didn't want my children to go through that alone.
I don't blame you for being suspicious that your family does not want you to go on the vacation, but they DO want you go visit them. It seems like they might be planning some kind of ambush, confrontation, or intervention, or something.
No, it would not be a good battle strategy for you to meet them on their own turf, where you are out-numbered, and have no quick and easy escape!
I'm sorry you are dealing with all of this by yourself. When my children got a little older and could see for themselves the dysfunctional Mormon family dynamics, they became my allies. Having each other's backs made us closer than ever!
We had a large enough family, and enough really good people who loved us, and we were able to nurture those good relationships. Having good friends helps, too. RFM helped me.
Stay true to yourself, and close to your daughter. Be real. Don't try to out-manipulate the manipulators. You are doing better than you think, in establishing your boundaries, and creating your own happiness. Be proud of yourself! I hope you have a heck of a vacation on your own! You deserve it!
Ask yourself: "What's best for my daughter? What will preserve our relationship?" Nothing else matters as much.