Letter to My Mom and Siblings Regarding Family Gatherings

English: Half of a homemade pecan pie in a gla...

My pie plate is half-full this year, not half-empty as usual (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I sent the following email to my Mom and siblings in response to Mom’s email asking us to come to Thanksgiving dinner.

Hello Everyone,

Thanks Mom for starting the Thanksgiving planning. I am sure we can come, but we don’t know our work schedules yet, so it may be after work that day.

I’ve been thinking, and I do have a request this year. I’m already stressing out about our get-togethers, and the main reason is quite simple. Each year I am asked to see my abuser, look him in the face, and not get triggered in to flashbacks or panic or just vomit. I’d prefer not to have to do this any more. So if you want to include Dad in our family dinner, I will not come and subject myself to that again. It has taken me this long to love and respect myself. The day he started touching me, he ceased to be my father and I owe him nothing. I understand this now. He is also not a grandfather to my kids. No connection whatsoever.

Please respect my decision, and only invite me to events without him. I’m beyond fearing causing trouble and keeping the peace. I know now that I am worth the trouble. And I do look forward to seeing everyone else, and I hold no judgment for how you all wish to spend time with him, just don’t want to hear about it. No ill will at all though. You can share this with him or not, I don’t care, but I do not directly correspond with him any more.

My life, and my family’s is just too amazing and precious.

Thanks for understanding,


It felt so good to hit send on that email. Even better was my Mom’s reply to me.

I am sure we can work something out.

I see my beautiful butterfly is spreading her wings – and I love it! 

What? Who wrote that? Is she seriously trying to support me? I just had to take the lead? Is this real? or a trick? Did I step into a parallel universe? Argh, I still don’t trust her, but I’m open to the possibility. But really, denying this request would seem quite Ass-holish, wouldn’t it? I did not leave any wiggle room there – on purpose.

And then, Mom replied to all of us, inviting her kids and grandkids ONLY to a dinner at her house. I’m so happy!

No replies yet from any siblings . . .

I have never requested this from my family before, because it never felt right. I thought forgiving my Dad meant I had to allow him in my life, or at least in those family gatherings. And then it was just what we did, who was I to change it? It had come down to seeing him twice a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am so relieved that particular stress has been removed. And I don’t think I have caused much conflict at all – yet. But if I do, it’s OK, because I know I’m worth it. And I know I can handle whatever might come back my way. Yup. I really can. (Gulp)



17 thoughts on “Letter to My Mom and Siblings Regarding Family Gatherings

  1. Holy shit!!! I mean, pardon my french but WOW! I couldn’t possibly be more proud to know you (even just like this). Good, no, AMAZING job setting those boundaries and I just about dropped my coffee when I read of your mother’s response…..

    I am so happy for you. An amazed. And delighted. (and inspired…geez I think I owe you dinner or something!)

  2. WOW!!! this is great! What a huge step. I am so glad you did it. I hope it all works out.
    and your mom! more WOW. I hope she means it……..she should be proud. We are all proud.
    You GO GIRL!

  3. Woo Hoo!!! May I say, on my first visit to your blog, I AM IMPRESSED! You rock, girlfriend!
    (PS No – forgiveness, does not mean allowing abusers back in our lives. and PSS Good for you to protect your kids from him!!!)

    • Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment. This is an amazing time of my life. I am figuring out what forgiveness means to me, not what others told me it meant years ago.

  4. Good for you! You should never have to spend a holiday with your abuser and I’m glad you have decided that you are worth it!

    • Thank you. Yes it sounds so simple that way. No idea why I put up with it for so long, or how my family thought it was OK, but no matter. Things will be different now.

  5. I did something similar on my blog. I sent this post to my family members to help them understand what I go through with fibromyalgia and why I’m not at family events. I got a very supportive note from my uncle in reply!

  6. Pingback: Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Dysfunctional Family Disorder | Roots to Blossom

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