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Support (or rather lack of) from my Sisters

F Updated
Over 37 years of our marriage we were the hub of the (my) Christmas family. My 2 sisters, their partners, their children my Mother all turned up in Christmas Day for dinner for around 12-15 people. My sister Kaz who lives overseas staying with her twin boys and partner for a week sometimes two, so that she could pay her dutiful yearly visit to my Mum. STBX hated it and would constantly pick and argue with me the whole time. I tried to have his family round, but mine really ruled the roost. Don't get me wrong I love my sisters - I am particularly close to Kaz and when the children were small we all had a really great time. As things got more difficult I would think it was all worth it to be with Kaz. STBX seemed to get on well with her partner - but now he says he always hated him. When we moved to a smaller house 8 years ago we thought it would stop. But it didn't. Suggestions that ow we were all older my other sister should stop coming were met with outrage. Anyway, it all culminated on Boxing Day last year with STBX storming out and leading to our separation and now I am happily alone. I thought that I my efforts to keep the family together were appreciated. I thought that because STBX had been so hateful during family times I would have the full support of my sisters. But since I moved into this house the sister who lives 10 minutes away has not visited me. She even posted a card rather than bring it around. Ignoring her silence, I wrote a casual text to her to say I had some packaging she might like did she want to come round and pick it up? After swapping 4 or 5 messages- one of them saying that she couldn't come at 5 on a Sunday as it was 'too late' I gave up. Kaz has not phoned. The only contact I get is when I write an email to which she responds chattily as though there was no major trauma in my life. She doesn't answer my messenger calls and I don't have a phone on this landline to phone her. My question to you is this. I have found a weeks holiday to Tenerife at a 4 star hotel to go to over Christmas Week. My daughter is going away anyway and my son with his family have been invited to his mother in laws (who says I am very welcome to go to them). STBX wanted to be alone. So do I go? How will it feel to be alone away from them all? One of the main reasons of my hesitation is my Mum who's birthday it is on Christmas Day and is very elderly. It may be her last, although we have thought that every year. Also there is no indication of this and anyway I look after her every Sunday giving her dinner and taking her out for the afternoon. I have asked her very carefully how she would feel if I went away and told her I will not do it if she he is not happy with it. Questions- Why am I receiving so little contact from my sisters- when they have seen so much of his emotional and verbal abuse to me over the years? Should I go away for Christmas? If my Mum is okay with it..... Comments please.....

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Before I married the man I am now divorcing I was widowed.
I lost a lot of friends during our 5 year wait for a transplant call that never came.
The reason why these so-called friends slowly (in some cases immediately) faded away is because: no one likes to be reminded of their own mortality.
It is really hard for some (a lot of) people to spend time with someone who has a terminal diagnosis...even though, logically, they know it's not contagious.

There seems to be a similar thing going on with divorces.
Especially if you've been in a really long-term relationship.
People (even family) consciously or unconsciously see your holiday-hosting-family-togetherness as a constant. A certainty in a world full of change.
Plus...if it could happen to the two of you...
Who have been together for oh-so-long...
Then it could happen to anyone...including them.

No one likes to be reminded of their own mortality or the possible mortality of their relationship.
Even though they know, logically, that divorce is not contagious.

I don't know if this is the case in your case...but seems very familiar to me.
What did I do...you may be asking yourself?
I learned that fair-weather friends (or even relatives) are just not worth it. Let go, cause it's the only thing that can be done.

I have more recently learned that we cannot always control what happens to us...but we can control how we react to what happens to us.

I say that if they choose to not be there for you when you need them...then be there for yourself.
Do for yourself what you would do for a close friend if she was going through what you currently are.
Talk to yourself and give yourself the advice you would give to that friend.
You seem a kind and caring person who tries to treat others how you want to be treated and to take care of anyone around you who needs it.
Well...YOU need it.
So please, be kind to yourself.


S
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Go with the flow!Have a much needed break and spend some time putting yourself first for a change.
Excellent idea to take Mum out beforehand and just think of the news you'll have to share with her when you get back. ;D
T
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Go definitely go on the holiday, why don't you have an early Christmas/birthday celebration with your mum before you go and then if ( God forbid) something did happen you have done your best. I think we probably have all found family and friends that didn't know how to handle our situations so they avoided us, I know have had that happen to me. Be your own best friend and have a wonderful holiday
S
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I don't know if it is intentional or not,maybe a case of simply not knowing what to say,and also for some the realisation just how quickly a marriage can disintegrate,but I am sorry that your not being supported by them,but as Mitch said..
We all found each other,and there have been many nights we have all chewed the cud over our breakups...

Regarding Xmas,Well done you for even contemplating it.To go on holiday alone would possibly be a tad daunting for me,don't get me wrong I speak to everyone,but I am not strong enough for that,but you obviously have that strength,but Eliza's suggestion seems really good.
Your entitled to do whatever you want,and I am sure that your Mam will appreciate your reasons.

Fields.this is all about you now ;) ;) ;)

Cwtchs x
A
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I sympathise. Family can be bafflingly distant, as so many of us have found. My mother, for example, cannot cope at all. As I have recovered from my trauma I have been better able to see some of her own limitations (and recognise many in myself), which has helped me, now wiser, to forgive us both and help us both. I feel as though - perhaps only in the last few weeks, as my head has begun to appear over he parapet - that I have finally started to grow up. This includes not expecting too much of others. I am not a baby.

As for your situation, I would be tempted in your shoes to just take off. Your nearest and dearest are all spoken for and will be fine. Rather than mope at home, I would treat myself to the gift of the first xmas off in 37 years! Choice of holiday will be key, though. You don't want to be surrounded by others who are with family or mates, making you feel more alone as you look across at their tables. I have a friend who has been on many holidays now run by a company called Solos. It is NOT for dates. She has had great holidays all over the world, tried many new activities, met many people, some of whom have remained friends. No stigma, no loneliness. Sounds great, and you absolutely deserve it. What's the worst thing that can happen? You can always think again next year.
E
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It happens more than you might expect that wikis tell us about family just not being there for them in their sadness and despair. It happened to me with my sister too, so I know how hurtful and bewildering it can be. She said she couldn't cope with me distressed. She said I'd always been the strong one others brought their problems to and she couldn't cope with me being so needy. Thanks a lot!

So I made lots of new friends who have treated me far better and have become permanent friends who actually care about how I'm feeling and how I'm getting on. Yes, wikifriends!

I think it's best to do something totally different at Christmas and not try to replicate what's traditionally happened. Why not go on holiday? Explain to your Mum that as hard as it is to come to terms with, things are very different now. Why not treat her for her birthday before you go and perhaps suggest a New Year family meal in a restaurant.

Lean on us for support. There's always someone here who will listen and respond.

M
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If your mum is happy for you to go, why not take the holiday option? Nice break from hosting the family Christmas every year.
The sisters issue is perplexing if you have been very close before .. I'm wondering what happened last Boxing Day before your ex stormed out. Could they perhaps feel guilty at triggering the breakup, or was there some sort of fight or accusations that involved your sisters too?
Regardless, the lack of support must be a horrible surprise. It's doubly hurtful when family or friends drop off through separation, with no explanation.
V