Family exclusion; I've all but been dumped by my family, and they're going to completely dump me when my dad is gone.

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I'm whining again. I recently had a birthday party for my dad. Most of the family showed up. Only one person besides me brought a gift, no one else even brought a card. I do not understand them at all. It's a birthday party!! Fast forward a few weeks. Although I've had party after party, offered my home to them in times of crisis, babysat, etc. I just found out that one of them is having another family birthday party, but my kids and I are not invited. I have truly just about had it. My dad asked me tonight if I was going, and I told him I wasn't invited. He was completely stunned. Until now, I've not been forthcoming with him at all about the numerous slights and multiple times they've ignored my attempts to communicate, as I wanted him to focus on his health, and not on family drama. But it all just came tumbling out tonight. I told him how they've ignored me, and said unkind comments, and that my kids and I have come to consider him, not them, our family. We've never even been invited to most of their homes, despite having invited them for parties that require a lot of work, time, money, and love. I'm realizing that I've all but been dumped by my family, and they're going to completely dump me when my dad is gone. They've shown a mild, sudden interest in helping out the last few weeks. I've been trying not to assume that they were afraid of being cut off financially, but I don't know what else to think. There are so many details that I'm pretty sure this won't make a lot of sense. I've posted about similar events before, but I just can't seem to get used to this. I feel shaky and like someone just slugged me in the stomach.


SueQ, me too. Often happens in dysfunctional families to the one that provides the day to day care. I did it for four long years until I decided I had enough of dysfunctional sibs and completely wacky ways. Even Christmas eve I was not invited. I decided I would rather have a few hours to myself then play the games pretending how happy and perfect life is. It isn't easy, for sure. But it does move to another place once I learned to completely detach. You will get there. It is not a reflection on you at all, it is them and the sick pleasure they get thinking they are hurting you. Don't let that happen.
What the heck??! Why in the world does this happen? Life can be so unfair. They should be thanking the person spending time caring for a family member, instead they seem annoyed. How dare they?! I'm sorry about Christmas eve. That's very hurtful. I hope that I too will reach the stage of detachment. Detachment without bitterness is my goal. I know my parents generation didn't behave this way. I don't know how 1) they've become so uncaring 2) In this regard I'm more like someone born in the generation before mine
SueQ, you would think they would be grateful, but it is actually the opposite. We are able to do something they never would even think about. That is something to be proud of. And we are a constant reminder to them of their ineptness and a cause of the guilt they are feeling. It does not happen like this in some families. But, it happens at different degrees in many families. Unfortunately the father knows best families are nearly impossible to find. Hang in there, do not expect thanks or gratitude from them. Life is way too short. Do something good for you today and every day.
And parents generation, their parents usually passed much younger than they are now. Though I had a grandma live to 101, both grandpa's passed in their 60's other grandma in her 80's. This is largely a very new social problem that needs lots of work.
You're absolutely right. I hadn't thought of it like that before. With the increase in life expectancy, this is a relatively new social issue. Lord help us all. I'm going to think of this every time I don't feel like going to the gym. What an incentive to stay healthy!! I don't want my kids going through this.
Hi suzeeQ. I am sorry that your extended family are unkind to you. But it is a bad reflection on them. You have opened your home and your heart to them but they did not appreciate or reciprocate. My suggestion is to stop invite them over for any party or spend any money on gift or anything on them. Instead, use that money on yourself, your children and your father. A one sided relationship is not worth having. Perhaps, this is one step toward detachment from them and their dysfunctional relationship.
Thank you, polarbear. I think that's good advice. Without reciprocity, there is no relationship.
One thing's for certain SuzeeQ, people will disappoint you and let you down.
You can do SO much for some people but they wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire. (sorry, my dad used to say that a lot.)

You can't change others, you can only change yourself, they say. Because you can't change them doesn't mean that you have to "accept" them either. They sound very self absorbed and really, not your type. Since you would probably never choose them as friends, why have them around as family?

I would stop inviting them to your elaborate gatherings, as they have stopped inviting you. My husband is so darn worried how things "look" but I could care less what people think. Who are THEY? I've started telling him that I won't be going to any more of his family functions because his family is down right rude and I don't feel like faking a smile and trying to not have it bother me. I'll stay at home in my jimmies with a cup of coffee parked in front of the tube watching CSI.

You are the one who turned out RIGHT! I'm sure your dad is proud of you.

You have a great goal. Harboring bitterness is a road to nowhere. All it does is harm YOU.
"Well, they don't seem to want to come and they don't seem to want to invite us, so I'll let them go and not worry about it." Don't call or send gifts. It doesn't mean you don't care about them but you can't be drawn into their way of life.
It will get easier as time goes on. Don't give in to guilt. You'll be compromising yourself.
Thank you, Sue. I know from previous posts you've had your crosses to bear too. Oh, life is a funny thing, eh? Thank you everyone for your boost. I sure needed it tonight.
Good night, all. So much kindness to respond to, but it is late where I am, and I am so tired, emotionally and otherwise. Thank you again for your kind words.
It makes a difference.

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