Generalized family drama

Cukernaut

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My mother and sister suffer from mental illness, my father (divorced from my mother) has a new family and we work together but don’t have any personal relationship.

my grandparents are great (on one side). I’ve drawn the conclusion that i don’t really care to pursue or maintain a relationship with any of them except the grandparents.

Im 33 and have 2 young kids (3 and 2) I think it would be Better to focus on building a healthy community around them rather than chasing my old bullshit in a real relationship with my dad, or getting sucked into my mom/sisters drama vortex (i personally don’t care)

i think it would be better to be a really strong nuclear family (my wife and I are great) than to deal with all this nonsense. (I guess you could say nuke it to basics.

I guess I’m interested to see if anyone has any big perspectives on this from experience - like a “tried this watch out for xyz “ or “go bro so glad I did it” type opinions.

i generally Live a pretty good life unless they are involved.
 
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Captain Suave

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A limited number of positive relationships >>>> a large number of mixed toxic relationships. Not quite the same as your situation, but my mom died young (fuck cancer) and my dad underwent a serious personality change when he remarried. Despite being close when I was young we're now only cordial and basically only talk on major holidays.

If you get along well with one set of grandparents, stick with them. Involved grandparents are really a blessing and provide a kind of benign wisdom and patience you can't get from a nuclear family.
 

Falstaff

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It's never worth maintaining a toxic relationship even if its family. Stick with the positive people.
 
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Cukernaut

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My sister has a daughter that makes things particularly sad for me. She is my sons age and they are amazing with each other. My 31 year old sister still does not stand on her own two feet and is subsidized and nearly unemployable. I see signs of neglect in her daughter and it makes me pretty sad.

We had them over and the kids were amazing- being around the sister was a train wreck.

my wife and i talked about it and if my sister dies or anything we want to take the girl, but we struggle with how toxic my sister and her life is because we feel like we are leaving an innocent child behind as part of it. Pretty sad.

i would adopt her right now if we could- but I know that would never happen.

i guess the answer is the same it’s sad but not good for me to be involved. I guess we keep the door open in case the girl ever needs us. (Assuming she doesn’t turn into a toxic generationally bonded sick person) Thoughts?
 

Cad

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It's never worth maintaining a toxic relationship even if its family. Stick with the positive people.
Agree completely. Don't feel bad about cutting off assholes in your life, even if you did spring from their vagina. They're not going to suddenly stop being assholes later, and you probably have enough to deal with from being around them during your childhood. Life is short, let them go, enjoy your life. Spend time with those who love and care about you and make your life better.
 
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Cukernaut

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My sister has a daughter that makes things particularly sad for me. She is my sons age and they are amazing with each other. My 31 year old sister still does not stand on her own two feet and is subsidized and nearly unemployable. I see signs of neglect in her daughter and it makes me pretty sad.

We had them over and the kids were amazing- being around the sister was a train wreck.

my wife and i talked about it and if my sister dies or anything we want to take the girl, but we struggle with how toxic my sister and her life is because we feel like we are leaving an innocent child behind as part of it. Pretty sad.

i would adopt her right now if we could- but I know that would never happen.

i guess the answer is the same it’s sad but not good for me to be involved. I guess we keep the door open in case the girl ever needs us. (Assuming she doesn’t turn into a toxic generationally bonded sick person) Thoughts?

In addition to this - practically speaking about >60% of my family is toxic. Do you even go to family holidays or nix that altogether?

kind of thinking through understanding even practical considerations
 

Hateyou

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In addition to this - practically speaking about >60% of my family is toxic. Do you even go to family holidays or nix that altogether?

kind of thinking through understanding even practical considerations
If you aren’t getting anything from the gathering or don’t like it then don’t even go. Feeling obligated to hang out with family you don’t want to be around sucks, just stop going. If there are some you want to see, set up a lunch or dinner with them sometime.

We went and visited a couple of my sisters a few years ago and it was just white trash central. Her kid had a meltdown about something, she starts wailing on his ass in the middle of the room. Visit my mom and brother and they just want to drink, smoke, get high. We get home and the other sister texts us the next day they found out all their kids have lice so we should check ourselves. I went through that kind of shit as a kid and it’s not something I want my kid to be around.

We declined thanksgiving invite with the sisters this year. So one asked if she could swing by for a couple hours after visiting our mom which is fine. Her kids are 13-18 now, mines almost 7. She’s dropping cuss words in casual conversation every other sentence, as are her kids. Whatever, trashy but my kid is in the other room. Eventually we’re all in the same room and she’s still dropping F bombs so I say “Hey, ears in the room.” And she just shrugs and waves a hand like it doesn’t matter. My kid still thinks “stupid” is a bad word. I don’t care about cussing but Jesus, learn when to turn it off. She said our mom was complaining her kids were saying shit and fuck while they were visiting. Well no shit, no one wants to hear their teen grandkids cussing like a sailor at a bar. She acts like it’s funny but it’s just so trashy to me. I was just ready for them to leave the whole time honestly.
 
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Kithani

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We went and visited a couple of my sisters a few years ago and it was just white trash central. Her kid had a meltdown about something, she starts wailing on his ass in the middle of the room. Visit my mom and brother and they just want to drink, smoke, get high. We get home and the other sister texts us the next day they found out all their kids have lice so we should check ourselves. I went through that kind of shit as a kid and it’s not something I want my kid to be around.
This stuff reminds me of a friend who once told me when he was growing up his parents always referred to visiting his relatives in Louisiana as "hey kids, we're going on a trip to opposite-land, where everything is the opposite of how people are supposed to be!"
 
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Ossoi

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My mother and sister suffer from mental illness, my father (divorced from my mother) has a new family and we work together but don’t have any personal relationship.

my grandparents are great (on one side). I’ve drawn the conclusion that i don’t really care to pursue or maintain a relationship with any of them except the grandparents.

Im 33 and have 2 young kids (3 and 2) I think it would be Better to focus on building a healthy community around them rather than chasing my old bullshit in a real relationship with my dad, or getting sucked into my mom/sisters drama vortex (i personally don’t care)

i think it would be better to be a really strong nuclear family (my wife and I are great) than to deal with all this nonsense. (I guess you could say nuke it to basics.

I guess I’m interested to see if anyone has any big perspectives on this from experience - like a “tried this watch out for xyz “ or “go bro so glad I did it” type opinions.

i generally Live a pretty good life unless they are involved.

I don't speak to my dad or sister and would no contact my mother if she was still alive.

Family or not, toxic relationships and people are still toxic
 
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Hateyou

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I know a lady through a friend who had a meth addicted son who was stealing, lying, etc. It was so bad after his first OD they wanted to give her Narcan to have on hand if he ODed again. She said no, if he ODs again it’s over. She was ready for him to go it was so bad. He eventually got into a ridiculous accident and sobered up in the hospital, which surprised me since they had him on pain meds the whole time.

Anyways. Toxic, etc. cut em out.
 

Ridas

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My mother is unstable, because she had a shitty childhood. It was difficult for me growing up.
When I got older I set up boundaries and that helped a lot. Our relationship is fine now. I cut her off on some topics very quickly and limit the way things can go wrong. I make it very clear, that I am an adult and make my own decisions. It is not perfect, but it works.
 
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Oblio

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I cut my brother off 15ish years ago. It was a toxic relationship, I was always way more loyal to him then he ever was to me. He sexually abused me during childhood and I probably could have found a way to forgive him as adults if he was just kind to me and treated me with some respect. He never quite got that, so one day I just didn't call him back. One of my biggest regrets is that I let my Mom guilt me into making him my Co-Best Man for my Wedding as a result I have zero Wedding Party Pictures hung in my house.

My cutting him off has caused a huge strain with my parents over the years. A few Christmas' ago my Mom and I really got into it, I basically told her she was a huge disappointment for turning a blind eye to it during my childhood and then being the exact opposite of supportive in my adulthood. I told my parents about it like 18 years ago and their idea of fixing it was for me to just to get over it and force family shit down my throat, always guilting me about everything acting as if they were the victims. So when my Mom and I got into it I told her she was a coward and to fuck off. That she was lucky to have a son as loyal as me that kept her and her bullshit in my life all these years and that I never with held my children from them. Had a blow up with my Dad at one point too where he did not talk to me for like 1.5 years, again they were playing the victim role. It has been turbulent, but I continued to trudge forward because I don't want to have regrets when they are gone. All that said we had a great visit in the Fall and had some really good productive talks, things have been solid since then. Honestly the best it has been in years. I think it is basically because I let them know their victim shit had to go and the relationship is now on my terms. I informed them their guilt trips no longer had any power over me and I have to do what is best for me so that I can be the best Dad/Husband possible, they could either come along for the ride and play nice or have a very limited relationship. Fingers crossed this new peace treaty holds.
 
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Tripamang

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My mother is unstable, because she had a shitty childhood. It was difficult for me growing up.
When I got older I set up boundaries and that helped a lot. Our relationship is fine now. I cut her off on some topics very quickly and limit the way things can go wrong. I make it very clear, that I am an adult and make my own decisions. It is not perfect, but it works.
I'm in a similar situation, my mother made my childhood miserable and she would compare how terrible she was treated to how she treated us and that somehow justified her shittyness. She hated men because of what happened and I was simply an outlet, when people pointed this out to her I was manipulating them. I spent years trying to get her to admit how bad she was and I just gave up. I steer every conversation with her now and shut her down when she tries to start shit. She treats my father like garbage but that's really on him for allowing it. If she starts going off the rails I simply leave, I don't fight her on anything it isn't worth it. I'm the only person who calls out the shit she says my father but he looks at me like I'm not doing him any favors. It's not something I enjoy being around but they have a great relationship with my kids, so I do the minimum so the kids don't miss out.
 
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TecKnoe

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I know a lady through a friend who had a meth addicted son who was stealing, lying, etc. It was so bad after his first OD they wanted to give her Narcan to have on hand if he ODed again. She said no, if he ODs again it’s over. She was ready for him to go it was so bad. He eventually got into a ridiculous accident and sobered up in the hospital, which surprised me since they had him on pain meds the whole time.

Anyways. Toxic, etc. cut em out.
huh? this does not make any sense, narcan does nothing for someone who overdosed on meth. just sayin that shit only reverses an opiate overdose, i would have taken the narcan then when my son OD'd and died because the narcan wont reverse it sue the hospital for giving her the wrong info :X because thats what would have happened if she did take it home, he OD'd and she tried to use it on him

but ya, glad hes ok
 

Big Phoenix

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My mother is unstable, because she had a shitty childhood. It was difficult for me growing up.
My father was a pretty shitty father growing up. Today 20-30 years removed from raising his kids and close to death, he is clearly having some serious emotional issues regarding his shitty parenting

My sister cut him out of her life due to his retardation but my brother and I still talk to him. Once every few weeks he will call one of us up and basically pour his heart out for lack of a better way to describe it about why he was a shitty father; he had shitty parents growing up so he couldnt help how he turned out, he didnt know any better so its not his fault. Neither me nor my brother have any issues with his shitty parenting, we developed into well adjusted adults so its irrelevant at this point but our father talks about it nonstop now.

IMO its all a sad excuse for their behavior.
My cutting him off has caused a huge strain with my parents over the years. A few Christmas' ago my Mom and I really got into it, I basically told her she was a huge disappointment for turning a blind eye to it during my childhood and then being the exact opposite of supportive in my adulthood. I told my parents about it like 18 years ago and their idea of fixing it was for me to just to get over it and force family shit down my throat, always guilting me about everything acting as if they were the victims.
I think this explains why so many aspects of society are dysfunctional, especially at the family level. No one wants to sit down and have hard conversations about ugly topics. Just ignore it and move on like it didnt happen then act surprised you cant deal with the problems caused by the thing you refuse to acknowledge.
 
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TomServo

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I cut my brother off 15ish years ago. It was a toxic relationship, I was always way more loyal to him then he ever was to me. He sexually abused me during childhood and I probably could have found a way to forgive him as adults if he was just kind to me and treated me with some respect. He never quite got that, so one day I just didn't call him back. One of my biggest regrets is that I let my Mom guilt me into making him my Co-Best Man for my Wedding as a result I have zero Wedding Party Pictures hung in my house.

My cutting him off has caused a huge strain with my parents over the years. A few Christmas' ago my Mom and I really got into it, I basically told her she was a huge disappointment for turning a blind eye to it during my childhood and then being the exact opposite of supportive in my adulthood. I told my parents about it like 18 years ago and their idea of fixing it was for me to just to get over it and force family shit down my throat, always guilting me about everything acting as if they were the victims. So when my Mom and I got into it I told her she was a coward and to fuck off. That she was lucky to have a son as loyal as me that kept her and her bullshit in my life all these years and that I never with held my children from them. Had a blow up with my Dad at one point too where he did not talk to me for like 1.5 years, again they were playing the victim role. It has been turbulent, but I continued to trudge forward because I don't want to have regrets when they are gone. All that said we had a great visit in the Fall and had some really good productive talks, things have been solid since then. Honestly the best it has been in years. I think it is basically because I let them know their victim shit had to go and the relationship is now on my terms. I informed them their guilt trips no longer had any power over me and I have to do what is best for me so that I can be the best Dad/Husband possible, they could either come along for the ride and play nice or have a very limited relationship. Fingers crossed this new peace treaty holds.
You're brother is a massive evil piece of shit. You're parents are cowardly assholes. fuck them.
 
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Oblio

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My father was a pretty shitty father growing up. Today 20-30 years removed from raising his kids and close to death, he is clearly having some serious emotional issues regarding his shitty parenting

My sister cut him out of her life due to his retardation but my brother and I still talk to him. Once every few weeks he will call one of us up and basically pour his heart out for lack of a better way to describe it about why he was a shitty father; he had shitty parents growing up so he couldnt help how he turned out, he didnt know any better so its not his fault. Neither me nor my brother have any issues with his shitty parenting, we developed into well adjusted adults so its irrelevant at this point but our father talks about it nonstop now.

IMO its all a sad excuse for their behavior.

I think this explains why so many aspects of society are dysfunctional, especially at the family level. No one wants to sit down and have hard conversations about ugly topics. Just ignore it and move on like it didnt happen then act surprised you cant deal with the problems caused by the thing you refuse to acknowledge.
Your Dad is trying the best he can with how he knows how to deal with these subjects. He is not equipped to deal with and probably has no clue as to how to go about educating himself to deal with these subjects.

Just take a step back and think how hard it probably was for him to admit any wrong doing. I get that he doesn't know or understand how to take accountability, but if your childhood was as bad as you say think about how far he has come. Give him credit for his progress and maybe provide him with some literature that addresses his childhood woes.

Try to think big picture, wouldn't you rather have the best possible memories with him in his last few years? I am not saying let him slide on bullshit, but rather give him some kudos for making some sort of an effort. Also read the Four Agreements.
 
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Oblio

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You're brother is a massive evil piece of shit. You're parents are cowardly assholes. fuck them.
I hear you and understand that sentiment. I have felt that way a lot. Even though I had some terrible shit in my childhood it wasn't all bad. My parents were home every night. I was fed well had warm bed and was provided a pretty solid moral compass. My parents were involved in my life the best way they knew how to be based on their childhoods. My anger toward them is not as much about my childhood as it is my adulthood. Once we were all adults they handled it in a way that was foreign to how they raised/tried to raise me. I think their guilt was so overwhelming they had to deflect. If nothing else it has afforded me the opportunity to really think about how I parent and the kind relationship I want with my kids.

While I wish none of it had ever happened, I wouldn't be me if it didn't. I actually like myself and the path I have chosen in life. I am proud that I have not let my lowest moments define me and I have fought through a ton of shit to get to where I am. I also chose the right partner in my life, my wife is amazing. I have a great relationship with my kids and I have a successful career. Sure there are things I want "fix" about myself but overall I am kind of amazed I have ended up with such a good life. I have often said my life is better than I deserve so I am just trying to not fuck it up.
 
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Oblio

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My sister has a daughter that makes things particularly sad for me. She is my sons age and they are amazing with each other. My 31 year old sister still does not stand on her own two feet and is subsidized and nearly unemployable. I see signs of neglect in her daughter and it makes me pretty sad.

We had them over and the kids were amazing- being around the sister was a train wreck.

my wife and i talked about it and if my sister dies or anything we want to take the girl, but we struggle with how toxic my sister and her life is because we feel like we are leaving an innocent child behind as part of it. Pretty sad.

i would adopt her right now if we could- but I know that would never happen.

i guess the answer is the same it’s sad but not good for me to be involved. I guess we keep the door open in case the girl ever needs us. (Assuming she doesn’t turn into a toxic generationally bonded sick person) Thoughts?
Not sure how old your niece is, just make sure she knows she can always call you for help. Perhaps tell your sister your kids really want to play with her kid. Ask if she can drop her off for an all day play date on Saturday, say something to your sister like I am sure you could use a day off being a single mom probably doesn't allow for much down time. Maybe it starts to become a regular thing and at the very least your niece will see and experience a different household structure. That alone could make a huge impact in her life as an adult.
 
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