Family drama about to come to a head. Help me head it off
July 31, 2014 9:54 PM Subscribe
I stopped speaking to a family member due to a unhealthy dynamic that had been going on for years now. We're both invited to a family event we both want to attend. What do I do?
[I've anonymized this because my sibling may read the green. I'm using a plural pronoun to keep sibling anonymous, too--sorry for any confusion].
I stopped speaking to my sibling a few years ago. Suffice it to say I lost the ability to trust my sibling's behavior, which can be duplicitous and vengeful in a way that led to some anxiety issues for me that were serious enough to seek medical help. I feel guilty for cutting my sibling off, but I'm also relieved that the drama is no longer in my life and I'm actually getting better. I do want to reconnect with them at some point when I'm better equipped to handle it. My sibling is understandably upset by this.
Here's the problem: a relative who lives near me is getting married. We're not close but we have spent a few holiday dinners together. I really like them and want to grow our friendship as I have no other immediate family in the area, so I'd definitely like to go. Plus it's not too far from me. At first my sibling said they wouldn't go, but recently they told our mother they are thinking of going. FWIW, sibling lives on the other side of the country, where a lot of our relatives live.
A family member is renting a big house for all of us to stay in for the wedding. That makes it affordable for me. If my sibling comes we would be staying in the same house. This would not be good. My sibling can be highly emotional, manipulative and boundary-breaking. I’m just not ready for this. I can’t afford to rent a hotel and I can't invite a friend. The only thing I can think of is to see if somebody in this small town will let me rent a room. Though then I’d still have to see sibling at the wedding and related events, and I'm not sure how I would handle that.
I don’t think any of our relatives know I'm not in contact with my sibling. Should I tell my relative getting married, maybe they have a right to know of the drama that could transpire? I'm really at a loss as to what I'm supposed to do. Any ideas, proper etiquette suggestions, would be really appreciated.
Here is my throwaway account in case you want to memail me: email@example.com