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'None of my family knows this trip will be the last time they see me.' MAJOR UPDATE

'None of my family knows this trip will be the last time they see me.' MAJOR UPDATE

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There's a point where you've given people too many chances, and it's time to walk away.

"None of my family knows this trip will be the last time they see me."

Firstly, I’m okay, physically anyway. Honestly, I have no idea who this is for, but I think I just need it out of my head. The circumstances of my birth were complicated. I broke up two marriages, and my family has never been shy about how they feel about me for that.

Only one of my brothers has gotten dr*nk enough to tell me to my face that he resents me for existing, but I know it exists within all of them, at least in some way. I'm much younger than all my siblings, and there was so much that happened out of our hands that I made excuses, but my whole life, I’ve never quite felt “part of the family."

As a child, I told myself we’d make up for lost time once I got older and we could talk as equals. Now, at 23, I see glimpses of the life I wished I’d have, but in the end, I’m always too much trouble to involve. I hear EVERYTHING from my father. I had to find out my niece was in a car accident from him; I had to find out my other niece had a misc*rri*ge from him.

I had to find out my oldest brother had a BRAIN T*MOR haphazardly on a phone call with my father, which he didn’t even know I was unaware of. I’ve known for a while I’m the only one trying, but for the sake of my dreams, I’ve given every opportunity for them to let me in, but I just can’t do it anymore.

I have a psych*atric service dog who aids me with CPTSD. He is the single greatest thing to happen to me. Not only did he save my life from myself, but he has made life livable. He can tell when I’m panicking and he knows pressure therapy to help me through an attack. He stops me from hurting myself in meltdowns, sits with me until the only noise I can hear anymore is his snoring on my lap.

He allows me to go grocery shopping by myself. He is my soulmate, and anyone who knows me knows how important he is to me. My dating life isn’t thriving, so I took a shot in the dark and asked my niece if she minded if I brought my service dog as my plus one for her wedding at the end of this month. I have to fly across the country to go, so I will be bringing him anyway since I cannot fly alone.

I figured it couldn’t hurt to see if he could not have to stay in the hotel all night. I do not technically need him for the event, since I’ll know every guest and I will be drinking pretty heavily to cope, but getting to spoil him with a bow-tie, dancing, and STEAK, sounded like the perfect reward for helping me on my flight.

Several times, I emphasized that I understood it was an odd request and she could say no if she wanted. She was EMPHATIC that he could come! She said even if I found a date, he could come! I was elated! For once, I felt seen, I felt cared about, I felt valued. And then I got a call from my dad. No one wanted to make things awkward, but the mother of the bride was NOT okay with a dog being at the venue.

I explained that he is a trained service animal and will not impede the ceremony in anyway, and I’d of course remove him if he did. Still, he said they didn’t like it. I was so tired of hearing everyone else’s words through my father. He won’t be around forever and sooner or later, they will have to start talking to me. I had one request: let the bride tell me.

When I asked her, she said yes, and until she told me she changed her mind, I was under the assumption he could go. Well, I never heard back. My dad kept dropping hints when i’d call him, but I told him what my expectations were. When I RSVP’d, I put my dog as my plus one on the response to let them know I wasn’t backing down this time.

At this point, I didn’t even care if she said he couldn’t go. I just wanted to hear it from her. The next morning, I woke up to an EMAIL from my father. Not even a text, a f**king email explaining that my niece didn’t want to be the bad guy, but my dog was NOT welcome at the wedding. He said he was sorry, but he could still come with me to the hotel if I wanted.

Something inside me broke, I think. I think I realized this is truly a helpless case. They are never going to respect me the way I crave them to. To this day, not one of our conversations has been started by them. I always initiate, and now, the one time I request a direct contact, I get an email. Family means everything to me.

Over the last few years, I’ve redefined what a family can be, and if right now, my family needs to be a very damaged orphan and their service animal, I’m grateful I have that much. So, I’m going to the wedding, and then I’m never going to talk to any of them again. And the sad part is, I didn’t even think they’re going to notice.

Not long after, OP shared an update.

First, thank you to everyone for the kind words, and all the advice. It sincerely means so much that so many people care. I want to address all the questions about why I want to go to this wedding at all. There are plenty of practical reasons that I can name, but the truth is, I need to go for my own closure. I have a strange relationship with death, and loss.

My mother died when I was 5; my family split up right after. I’ve lost several caregivers to serious diseases, grieving their death as they lived. I’ve learned how to navigate MY grieving process. If I don’t go to this wedding, I will regret it. Not only is it my last chance to see my childhood family all together in one place, but if I don’t go, I show them they can bully me.

I do not want to make a spectacle of my trauma with them, but that does not mean I have to walk away with my tail between my knees. I’m not scared of them. My relationship is non-existent, but I did see my siblings/cousins/nieces and nephews fairly regularly. When I was a kid, they intimidated and b*llied me into silence, but I’m not a child anymore.

I lived with these people; I can manage one night, if for no other reason than to prove they cannot control me.

Thanks again for all the kind words. Happy to provide a pupdate if someone can tell me how to post pictures from the app?

The internet had OP's back.

Quadruple-J wrote:

I’m really sorry OP. I want to remind you that YOU are not the reason 2 marriages fell apart. That would be the 2 parties actions and theirs alone. You’re a victim in this situation too and it breaks my heart you’re treated as an outcast from your whole family. You and your service dog would be welcome in my life/events any time, you deserve people around you who think that same way.

Brave-Cheesecake9431 wrote:

There's something odd about the bride being emphatic about it being fine and then your dad saying she didn't want to be the bad guy. I think you're being lied to. Any time someone asks me something and I say yes to be nice, I'm not super good at being emphatic. It comes across as tepid, at best.

She'd have to be a fantastic liar and also really good in situations where she's caught off-guard. It's not like she was expecting you to contact her and ask. I don't think your niece cares and just thinks of course your service animal should be there. My guess is she said yes and probably didn't give it a second thought. No big deal. This is your older sibling and the past and old feelings.

It's not even about you or the dog. It's about the whole thing they wish never happened to them. I wonder if your niece is even aware of this whole backdoor "the dog must be banned" conversation. I'm betting she's not.

Childhood trauma really f#$ks people up in the most profound ways. For what it's worth, don't let that spoil any relationships you want to build with the younger people, like nieces, nephews, etc. They aren't carrying around resentment. If they are all old enough for you to stay in touch directly and bypass your siblings, you may want to give it a try. See how it goes.

OP responded:

One of two things happened. Either she lied to me the first time we talked, or her domineering mother made the choice for her and she felt bad being the one who had to tell me since she truly doesn’t care. That’s why I put so much emphasis on HER being the one to tell me, and she couldn’t. That shows me she doesn’t respect me.

Hour-Ad-1193 wrote:

I read that you want the wedding to be a sort of goodbye party and to have "free" drinks, but I have this feeling that you have this tiny hope that maybe if they see you, something will change, and they will suddenly accept you and you will not feel alone or estranged from your family. Please reconsider that.

Cancel the flight, even if it's a partial refund, and use this money to fly to an exotic destination with a lot of sun and drinks. You need sun. I promise you that you will feel much better after that. You don't need to see these people; you don't need to beg them to accept you and your plus one; you just need to surround yourself with positive energies, and they are not positive people.

Maniacalminds wrote:

When I started reading this, I was afraid you were saying goodbye to the world. I’m glad I read to the end; these people don’t deserve you. They don’t deserve your dog. YOU DO. You deserve so much better, and you deserve your dog. He deserves you.

You’re right that family is important and now that you’ve defined what family really is, I hope you can both move forward to a much brighter future leaving these NPCs behind.

sheer_audacity wrote:

So I'm gonna be real here. I didn't read like 97% of this. But I did read this.

"So, I’m going to the wedding, and then I’m never going to talk to any of them again."

But really that's all I needed to read to say, don't go to the wedding. No point.

OP responded:

I spent $700 on a plane ticket and $200 on a suit. Least I can do is go drink someone else’s liquor and dance my worries away. Besides. It feels like goodbye.

A few weeks later OP shared an update.

POST-WEDDING UPDATE!

So, I went to the wedding. It went about how I expected it to go, though one can never be ready for a spontaneous conga line. Sadly, there was no secret last minute invite, nor any secret plot of which the bride was unaware.

She felt bad saying no, so she lied, and she didn’t want to tell me that, and she still didn’t, even at the wedding. No one really said much at all, in fact. The mother of the bride did not speak to me at all, my brother tiptoed around the subject until the end of the night. To his credit, he did apologize, “for all the dog stuff” as he said goodbye. Strangely, the apology didn’t make me feel much better.

There was no big confrontation either, mainly because no one cared to listen to me if I tried. As the reception began, part of me wondered how much I was going to miss the people, the environment, the vibe, really. Truthfully, I surprised myself with how ready I was to leave. Goodbye was short, and bittersweet.

The venue was pretty and the alc*hol was free, so I made the best of my night, but I got what I needed out of it, I think. Getting home tonight felt like a weight lifting off my shoulders. I know more than ever that I need to do this, and what I once saw as cutting my family in half, I can now see is clearing space for new family, one that cares. Thank you for all your kind words, and all the support for my dog!

The internet was invested.

RanaEire wrote:

OP, I had read your first post, and I truly felt for you. Your "family" do not deserve you and I hope karma hits them with a sledgehammer for their treatment of you. Kudos for making the decision to cut them all off. I believe it is the right call, because hoping to be included and appreciated, when it is clearly never going to happen, will only cause you more pain and harm.

Cut the toxicity; you are young and have your whole life ahead of you, and I truly hope you find healing, but stick to your guns and do not entertain them anymore. One more, very important thing:

"I broke up two marriages..."

You did not do that, okay? That was done by whomever cheated.

You should talk to someone about this, because - like Robin Williams said to Matt Damon:

It's not your fault.

OP responded:

I have two therapists, a psychiatrist, and worked with a neuropsych for a bit, so we’re getting there. Thanks for the kindness, it really made the weekend easier to bear.

Oldmenyoung wrote:

I so happy for you. You don’t need them, they were never there for you anyways your dog is your real family. Good luck to you and for your dog.

OP responded:

Thank you! Square one feels exciting for some reason. :)

themellowjello wrote:

It's so good to read that it was a relief for you and that you're taking this as a new beginning, because that is exactly what it is. I think you should do something to celebrate this new stage in your life, get a new haircut, go on a trip - something good to start off this new chapter in your life!

You deserve to be happy and to be surrounded by people who love you. Noone deserves to be made to feel like an outcast simply for being born.

OP responded:

Thank you, it’s going to be a process, but the support has helped tremendously.

Clear-Okra-7351 wrote:

I went thru a very similar situation and I also was surprised by how easy it was to say goodbye, but I realised its easy because there was no relationship to mourn. Love hurts, and I didn't hurt anymore from trying to love them so actively to get nothing in return.

I have my own family now, a chosen family, I'm a carer; mother figure, a sibling figure, with the right people. We go on holidays and we all adapt for each others disabilities. We are all disabled in some way or another. It's the healthiest friend group I've ever had.

Sources: Reddit
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