NCsister emailed me about a family funeral

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nanceejo

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NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« on: May 12, 2016, 05:49:39 PM »
My cousin passed away last week from cancer. I did not know he was sick so it was a shock. He is in his mid fifties and was recently engaged to marry the mother of his 21 year old son but did not live long enough. There will be a service where he lived a few hours from me and I am one of just a few relatives that live in the same state. My sister was closer to him and sent me an email letting me know my family was invited to the Celebration of Life for him and there is a picnic afterward to celebrate his love of cooking. I have been NC with her for 15 months since she and my unNPDmother started a fight with me and I told her off.  I have been the scapegoat for years and sister was the main flying monkey but I didn't know it all had names until now. I have been sooooo happy since I went NC but of course they make me look like the jerk for not "just getting along".  I would like to go to the service for the sake of the son and fiancé of my cousin but I am not wanting to have to talk to my sister.  She spewed some hatred at me recently on facebook through my brothers page and right after sent me a Happy Birthday e-mail. I have ignored all attempts at contact for this past year.   Should I go for the service and skip the lunch or not go at all.

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alonenow

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 07:05:34 PM »
if you want to go to pay respects for your cousin then do so.  It is not about her.
I recently found out my cousin passed away  long after the fact of the service,  no one had the decency to contact me at all and I live a few hours away.  It might have been nice to have the choice. I had lost touch with cousin so I have resigned myself that I probably would not have gone hurts less after not even getting the choice.

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Froggy

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 06:59:12 AM »
I really feel for you Nanceejo. This is a tough one. On the one hand, you're so happy having nothing to do with her, but on the other hand you'd like to attend this important event...which she will be at. There is no right or wrong way to handle this, whatever is right for you is the best thing to do, but sometimes finding out what is best for us is really tricky, and we don't always make the right call.

Some things to possibly consider:

Will you feel better afterwards if you went or stayed home? Which of these scenarios would be best for your (long term) health and happiness?

Do a BRAIN analysis - what are the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, what does your Intuition tell you, what if you do Nothing?

If you do go, can you go in the company of someone who really gets how it is for you, and is prepared to defend you from any attacks from your sister? Can you plan to have a 'rapid escape' route if you need it?

If you don't go, could you meet up with your nice relatives separately, to give your condolences and share memories?

I hope you manage to work out what is best for you, and field any comments on your decision made by those who disagree. It's always this type of situation and the accompanying fallout which is the toughest thing about the brilliant decision to go NC. You can do it!

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AncientSoul

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 11:51:05 AM »
I went through this recently. My cousins husband passed away and I went to the funeral. I have had little contact with my sister since my mother's death in 2010. I went no contact with my sister because of advice from medical doctor's and mental health professionals. That was for their fear of my own health and well being. It has helped, but I am totally alone most of the time.

My sister can best be described as a Narcissist and Sociopath. (I would use the term Malignant Narcissist as a definition) She is eleven years older than myself, and according to my parents, my sister was extremely difficult for them to handle. I had very nice parents. Not perfect, but everyone that was around them liked and respected my parents. They were also my friends and fun to be with. My sister never had good things to say about my parents and I ran across an article today on Facebook in regard to PTSD and Parental Alienation. It is what my sister did to me in regard to my parents, and what my sister has done to her own four children in regard to myself, my parents and the memories of my other family members. My sister's abuse is a direct correlation to my own Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I've also learned about DARVO. (Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender) DARVO will be presented this August at a psychiatric convention after decades of research. I was shocked when I learned about it, as it describes my sister's methodology of attacking and defending her thinking and perceptions.

In a nutshell, my sister lies with the best of them and always has. She calls herself, and I quote, "The nicest, most intelligent, caring, thoughtful and most wonderful and least greedy person in the whole wide world." In reality, my sister takes whatever she can, never pays back any money, runs up bills, ruins things that are not hers, will not say any information about herself or her own family (Unless it is spectacular to show how great she is) and she has constantly told me how bad, awful and terrible I am. I had left my job in the 90's to become a caregiver for my Mom. Then my brother had a stroke in 2001, so I was there to also help him. My sister figured out how to take all my brother's property and possessions, plus his pensions. I became a slave, and when I asked for help with my bills, I was then "Greedy". You get the picture.

So as far as the funeral. I've been through several, and my mother's was a nightmare. My cousin's husband's happened after I went No Contact. My sister put on a show and acted like she was frightened of me. She cowered in her seat when I showed up to comfort my cousin, who has Parkinson's, in a wheelchair and cannot speak.

I paid my respects, sat through the services with a niece and nephew sitting by me, separating me from my sister. After the service, I spoke with a few people, then made a hasty retreat and did not attend the luncheon in the basement of the church. I was always expecting a tirade from my sister. She just acted like she was the one that is abused.

To give you an example, my sister has no emotions or conscience. Though when people are around, she plays the "victim". After my mother died, she and her kids ransacked my mother's house before my mother was even cold. I challenged my sister about that, and my sister said to me, "You killed Mom." My sister used that every time since that she saw me. In effect, my mother was nearly 93 years old, and had suffered a "fall" two years earlier where her right hip and right shoulder were broken. I was always suspicious as to what happened, as my brother was a witness, but he cannot speak because of his stroke. I figured out after a time in spending time with my brother, that my sister pushed my mother down. My brother knows what is going on, he just cannot speak or write. He finally got it through to me what he witnessed.

So you see, I've had experience in these matters. It felt good to see my cousin and pay my respects for her deceased husband, but I was always on guard. I'm glad I went, but I probably looked bad for leaving and for how my sister acted when I was around.

My advice is to do what is best for yourself. Do what you can handle. Don't feel bad if something makes you uncomfortable, and you cannot deal with it at the time. Guilt is a powerful force and learning to accept it and handle it takes time.  Having hate thrown at you really does hurt, and all you have is your own free will in your defense. Be as strong as you can be, make a choice and accept that choice.

AncientSoul
AncientSoul

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Brigid O.

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 11:42:15 PM »
Nanceejo:  You have my sympathy for your situation.  My sister is 14 years older than me and sounds like your sister.  The lies and the attacks which she makes against me are really startling.  I really feel sorry for her; she is so alone and because of her lifelong behavior she has isolated the other members of her family both from her and each of us is isolated from the others.  No one wants to be around her, her probing questions, her criticisms, her gaslighting and mean comments.  And you know, I don't think she connects her behavior to the responses she gets from others.
You asked for some thoughts:  I simply would not go to the funeral (now, this is without knowing how close you are to the survivors).  I would not risk the contact with PD sister, knowing how upsetting and potentially explosive the situation could be.  I would send flowers and a card.  If possible, I would visit the survivors after the funeral in the next month or so, without the dynamics of PD sister.   I would also block the email from your sister sending you messages.  If you go NC, go NC.  That's just what I would do -- no one can stand in your shoes but you. 

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nanceejo

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2016, 02:23:28 PM »
Thank you for the responses. This site has been so good for me. My husband and kids are very supportive as they have witnessed the behavior of my mother and sister and a niece but just never said anything til I was ready. They have been hurt by them as well. My mother verbally attacked my husband, wouldn't call my daughter when she miscarried a baby but called every time she was holding the nieces baby. Niece is jealous of my family and daughter so she attacks my daughter and myself and says she is an adult because she has a child(no HS diploma, no drivers license, never had a job and is turning 21 this summer) Sister repeated things I said but left out the things she said so that it caused my mother to scream at me. My mother did not come to my sons graduation last summer(her youngest grandchild) because I would not move the party to 3 weeks after to accommodate her babysitting for the niece for school. The niece could have gotten a sitter for the TWO DAYS in question and had quit school AGAIN by that time. Even though moving the party would mean that no one else would be able to come since they all live out of state.
   Anyway, I decided not to go to the funeral and after reading your responses I feel good about my decision. I searched my heart and felt I would be going with a chip on my shoulder and waiting for the drama to begin and that is not fair to my cousins son and fiancé. I sent the fiancé(I have known her since high school and consider her family always) a message saying I was sorry I could not be with her and her son today(no explanation) but that I have her in my prayers for Gods peace and comfort.  I am thinking I will go through old pictures and send to her son the ones from past family reunions. I spent decades putting all of them first and either being at the family functions or hosting them. I wish they could think about how much pain it must have taken to make me walk away from it all. They seem to believe the lies my mother and sister and niece tell of how emotionally disturbed I am and how they haven't done anything to deserve all my horrible treatment of them.  I am so happy being no contact and I feel stronger today for having stood my ground this weekend. My husband and I are stronger today after almost 24 years of marriage then we have ever been. He says it is because when I get mad at him I am not rehashing it 5 times with my mother and sister and getting mad all over again and he is soooo right.  I have asked his forgiveness for the past and we enjoy our life together now.  Thank you all!

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Brigid O.

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2016, 06:35:47 PM »
Nanceejo:  I am so glad you have a supportive husband.  I also like your strength when you say you are not going to the funeral and don't give an explanation -- why burden other people with the dynamics of interaction with your sister, especially when they are grieving?  And you are obviously thoughtful for going through pictures, etc. 

When an event comes up which might mean I see PD sister, my stomach just churns.  I literally go from one extreme to the other:  first, thinking I must take part because I feel sorry for her and perhaps this time it will be different; and then alternating with fear and disgust on thinking about how she will attack me and hurt me.

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FinallyPeace

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Re: NCsister emailed me about a family funeral
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 01:16:30 PM »
Good for you, Nanceejo.  I think you made the right decision FWIW.

I would keep in touch with the fiancee and their son afterwards, like you said.   <3

"Behind the smile, a hidden knife!"
― Ancient Chinese saying describing passive-aggressive behavior
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