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So that was Christmas again. What a waste of time.

Went to my parent's on Christmas Day. My brother was supposed to be there but yet again he had left just before he knew we would be arriving. I asked my mum why he had gone and she made excuses saying that he was tired. I said, but he is obviously avoiding us isn't he? She continued to say that he had gone home because he was tired. I said again, but clearly he has left just before we arrived. She kept on saying, well he didn't sleep well last night, he said he was tired and he'd come back later. So I left it as she kept trying to change the subject.

So we had dinner, with my dad moaning the whole way through it about every single thing about Christmas. He was swearing and criticizing everything, which I didn't like in front of the kids. It was all just as awkward as usual. Later I asked when my brother was going to come back then, my mum said she didn't know. I said, after we have gone of course and she said she didn't know.

It wasn't much fun anyway, my dad was watching CNN and behind his laptop and it was just all a bit dull. I really didn't want to be there and I was SO annoyed at what my brother had done, yet again and even more annoyed that my mum kept covering up for him. I was frustrated that she couldn't just admit that he was clearly avoiding us. Why couldn't she just say that it's a shame that he couldn't be there and that he has a problem being around people. Why does she just keep making excuses to me?? I'm not stupid. It feels like they just protect him and don't acknowledge that what he is doing (avoiding me at every single occasion) is not very nice for me. I feel that they are condoning his behaviour. Even if they don't say anything to him about it (although I think they should), they could at least be honest with me about what is going on.

We left alot earlier than we usually do. I just had to get out of there. I was on the verge of tears the whole time that we were there. I thanked my mum for the dinner, said it was lovely, thanked her for the presents etc. As we were leaving she said, come back tomorrow. When we drove back past my parents house 15 minutes later, my brother's car was already there.

My mum called the next morning. I wasn't up yet so my husband said I would call back. But I really didn't want to go there. I was so fed up with the whole thing. All my dad does is complain and moan and swear and they both make excuses for my brother. I didn't want to be wound up again by him not being there (even though he had said he would be again). I didn't want to call back because I didn't want to go. I said to my husband that maybe I should just make an excuse and say my daughter isn't well and we have decided to stay at home all day. My husband thought that I should tell them the real reason if I didn't go. So I called and the conversation was normal, I said I didn't know yet what we were going to do. Then I said I wanted to know how my brother had arrived literally 15 minutes after we left. My mum said she didn't know, so I asked her if she had called him. She seemed a bit offended and said you can check my phone bill, I didn't call him. I said ok. She said he arrived and said he thought we would be there still. So we carried on talking about a few things, I found it hard to talk as I was nearly crying about the whole situation. My mum asked again what I wanted to do, I said I didn't know so she said do you want to leave it open and you can come later if you want? So I said yes and that my daughter was asleep in the sofa at the moment. She said okay, might see you later then and I said ok. Then about half an hour later, my dad called and my husband picked up the phone and he started shouting down the phone at him saying that this is all wrong and my mum had gone to a lot of trouble and that it's not her fault etc. Eventually my husband passed the phone onto me and he pretty much spat down the phone at me having a go at me saying they hadn't done anything wrong and my brother had got problems. I said, you are condoning what he is doing. I said that it's always poor him has got problems, like he is the only one with problems and why can't they just admit what he is doing instead of making excuses and lying about it. Eventually I said I didn't want to come round and he hung up the phone on me.

My husband then called him back and told him that it's not about my brother having social phobia that is the issue, because I already know about that and understand it and that I have it as well so it's not about that. (I have BPD and Social Phobia diagnoses but my family don't know). He said it's about them treating him differently because he supposedly has problems. He told my dad that I struggle just as much but I don't get any recognition or acknowledgement for anything I have done or for making the effort or for trying to overcome it and Paul gets all the attention when he does nothing. Andy said it is the way my mum talks about it that is the problem, not what issues my brother has. It's the fact that she keeps protecting him and not acknowledging that it's hurtful to me that he is avoiding me. And that it's unfair to me to be seemingly condoning what he does and not even admitting to me that he is avoiding me.

Since this whole thing I have been a mess, a complete mess. I've been struggling every minute of every day since to keep it together and to hide this from the kids. I've been having a breakdown every day and the kids have seen me crying and upset every day. It's awful, it's not what I want for them. Right now, I feel like moving away from here and cutting them all off. My brother has pretty much cut me off anyway. He has avoided me at every opportunity, turned down every invitation I have given him, been rude about not coming to my daughter's birthday party, sent rude texts to my husband a while am I not supposed to be offended by that? How am I supposed to go on making the effort with him? Because no one is telling me what the reason is that he is doing this. If he has his reasons for it and doesn't want me to take it personally or be offended by it, then someone should be honest with me and tell me that, otherwise I am left feeling like my brother all of a sudden doesn't want to know me anymore. My dad even said on the phone to my husband that that is what happens in families and that he hardly sees his sister and it isn't a problem for him. I can't believe that any parents would not give a toss that their children don't speak anymore. My mum has cut her 2 brothers off, shouldn't she want better for her own kids? I just wish my parents would have some consideration about how this all makes me feel.

For the last few days, I have felt scared at home. I'm scared to answer the phone, I'm scared to be on my own in the house when my husband isn't around. If he goes out, he tells me to lock the door straight away and not answer the phone. I am afraid of them coming round here and pulling my guts out and stamping on them before leaving again having destroyed me. It's happened before and I am completely on edge now waiting for the fallout. What I did on the phone was ask my mum a question, whether or not she had called my brother (which actually I think is a reasonable question, she might have just called him to ask how he was and had said that we had just left) and this is the kind of reaction I get. No one is allowed to say what they think. This is why I am always so afraid of saying anything to them or standing up to their behaviour because I get this kind of avalanche back in my face. Both me and my husband were stunned by my dad's angry phonecall. My mum didn't say anything to me on the phone that she was upset by what I had asked or anything at all, she seemed completely fine about us maybe coming round later or not coming. So I assume that she got off the phone and said to my dad that I had 'accused' her of calling my brother and telling him we had gone. And my dad then picked up the phone and inflamed the whole situation. He made it impossible for us to go there after talking to us like that.

I shouldn't feel afraid in my own home should I? I have to lock the door on the inside because my parents both have keys. I have to hide the phone so that if it rings, my daughter won't wonder why I am not answering because I'll pretend that I can't find it. I just want to go away from here. I have completely lost if a few times, ended up crying my eyes out every day infront of the kids, been irritable towards my husband, it's just been a nightmare. There is so much history with my parents, so much unsaid stuff that I have just reached my limit now I think. And I'm sure in their eyes, I spoilt the whole of Christmas, not my brother, but me. And if they think that, well part of me doesn't care at all and thinks well, they have spoilt over 30 Christmases for me, I'm sure I am allowed to spoil one. And I have never even told them how they ruined everything, never had a go at them, always let them get away with it, never held a grudge towards my brother after all his bahaviour and now, I just ask a few questions about him avoiding us and I get this response. Part of me feels guilty towards my mum because I know that she went to alot of trouble for Christmas, she cooked, she bought all the food etc. She spent alot of money on presents for us. And I am grateful for all that and I do find it a shame for her that we are now not there at all this week as we should have been. But I don't feel like I deserved the response they have given me for querying something and being frustrated by something. I didn't have a go at my mum, I didn't 'attack' her about all this, I just asked some questions. I wasn't nasty or personal or anything. I didn't accuse her of anything at all. I didn't tell her she was protecting him and sticking up for him and taking his side. I didn't say any of that. I just showed my frustration about it. And I can imagine my mum now deciding that I am ungrateful for what she has done and for the presents that she gave me. But I'm not and I don't think that's relevant as I thanked her for everything and was grateful and didn't make any issues about anything on Christmas day. Infact when I put the phone down after I spoke to my mum, there wasn't any big issue, it was slightly awkward but that was it and we may then have decided to go there either that day or the day after or whatever but my dad getting involved and calling up and having a go at us just prevented all of that.

Sorry for such a long rant. I think I needed to get that out of my system and wanted to explain the circumstances. I would be grateful for any advice or comments. I have no idea if I want them in my life anymore.


Wow, sounds like stuff that used to go on in my family. Hence the reason I don't speak to my parents or one of my brothers anymore. It's just crazy-making. Maybe for a late birthday present you could go to therapy (best gift I ever got myself, I'm not kidding). I have a feeling you will get some validation that the reason you feel the way you do is because of all these family dynamics. Maybe even some tools to deal with these behaviours. If I were you, I would try not to torture yourself over your brother too much - for example driving past the house after you left to see if you could see your brother's car, no offense, could have just saved you some pain and then it wouldn't look like you weren't trusting people or stalking... Is there any way you can talk directly to your brother without being at your parent's house? It might be best not to try to get the story from someone else, best to get first-hand. Any reason you can't go knocking on his door and just say "Hi, I miss you. Can we talk?"

I really hope things calm down for you and you find some peace, either with your entire extended family or if you eventually choose to move away and be content with your own immediate family. *hugs*
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