Family anything of this nature is like an endless trip into a torture chamber. Let's look at these issues one at a time.
The money: No, it is not bad to think of money when someone dies. It is natural and does not make you a bad person. She certainly is not going to need it, and her life left her with assets that must be divided. You are a relative and may be entitled to some of this. It is not bad to think it. As a matter of fact, it is simply logical to do so. So, don't feel badly about these thoughts. Totally normal and not ghoulish.
Kate is at an age where death is not understood as permanent. It helps her to see and go to funerals and of course you would not let her run amok. She is a little girl, not a disturbance. This limiting thinking of not including her is ridiculous and you are totally on target. This is rejecting you as well as your family. You may wish to think about the stand you are willing or not willing to make on this. But, if you stood your ground and insisted Kate come, or you refuse to attend, you would not be wrong in doing so. They are. Badly at that. However, you are an adult, despite being surrounded by these miserable adults looking but in reality, adolescents. Yes they may be angry with you if you do not go. And, you may have them angry at you if you do. But this must be what you feel is best for Kate and for your family. Sometimes is really does not matter what family thinks of you. It hurts, true...but sometimes a stand on an issue is needed.
Your mom and her sisters not coming up to the plate to help plan: That is definitely something you should stay out of. That is their issues and the ones who do not work should take the lead. If they do not, natural consequences will occur. Those are often bloody fights and nasty words, but in this case it is best for you to plead the "work issues" of your own life and the pregnancy and bow out of this as much as you can. This will cause trouble. You can see it already brewing and the money issue will add fuel to the fire.
You can't win in this one, so stay out as much as you can and as silent as you can. Even if you are right in your thoughts on this you will lose if you are heard. So, low profile here. In know yo have great ideas, but professionally speaking. Try to not say a word on this.
Your father, and he is not my client, but I will say he should do the same thing. He has been through enough with all that you described. And, he is working full time. He does not need the stress of planning a funeral on top of work and his own past trauma with his brother. The memories will be hard enough let alone having him relive the trauma of the past. Your advice to him about the days off for bereavement was excellent. He does not know what is happening, so plan like he does and take time off.
Hang in there. This is going to be a emotional ride. I can see it forming. Steven
About not allowing Grandma to see Kate?
You did have good reason to restrict this, did you not? I remember having this discussion with you a while back and the results were pretty much that she should not see her. Plus, what would the overall results be if she did see her? Not good.
Life is compromise and you have to weigh what would work for you; for Kate, and for all of your family. Yes, management by avoidance is never the best solution, but sometimes it is the only solution that can be used. With your family...well, let's just say that some of the people in it have issues that would make them a risk for a child emotionally. Your role is to protect, and you did so through avoidance. It worked.
Your father was in a serious bind with his brother. A suicide is horrible enough, and yes he did have tons of worry and anxiety and even guilt to deal with. The underwear story just shows how much he had to deal with at this age; none of it was easy. (Now, if you told me that your father took off his own underwear to give to the funeral home...now with your dad's view of life, and as funny as he is...I could see it.) But reality: This was really tough for him and he took it in stride. He doesn't need more of this stress. It was hard on him, probably a lot more than he ever would admit.
Your father is right about the money. I think this will get ugly. There is a potential of a million dollars in assets that must be liquidated. Question is: Who is the executor/executrix? That will make all the difference. But money of any magnitude is trouble and this is big money; hence, more trouble.
You sure you want to have a BBQ? I mean that is really nice and all, but it does place you in an interesting position as this will show to others some degree of your organization, care giving and similar supportive behaviors. The family...well, they may just take mega advantage of you after that. (Liz can do it...look at how good she is...) Maybe think twice about this? But if you do, certainly you cannot control who comes.
I try not to be direct in a blunt way about advice, but when it comes to Kate and the viewing and funeral. I would just tell people what you are going to do and not depend on what they may or may not give to you for support. If you want her to be there: Take her. I am certain somebody will watch her. But the choice should be yours alone.
You absolutely did the right thing with the girl who came in dirty, drunk, scratched up and had a repeat history. You didn't narc; you are required to report, and this will protect her. Any one who didn't in the past is either lazy or uncaring or unprofessional or all three. Yes, I am sure something will come out of this that is not a positive potentially. I am sure someone will be frustrated by the report, but this girl's life hangs in the balance. I really do not see a choice here. You not only did the right thing you knew why, in detail. That shows me that you don;t have any reason to second guess yourself. This was the correct call. Steven
I am glad to see that Kate was at the funeral and that instead of the terrible outcome that everyone predicted, it was great.
Memories: It is hard to see and remember people when you recall their better days. You did though have some good memories of your grandmother. She was obviously very different when your grandfather was alive.
I have to say that I laughed my butt of at the Lorraine and Arlene fruit episode. That was classic. Really Really funny. And, I would bet Rob does remind you of some of the better men in your family. You can tell you have ties with him into your own past just by how you talk about him. (hard to explain easily).
Therapist role: It fashionable to have a therapist, more so than a boyfriend. And, I think I would tick a few people off with that last comment about my role, don't cha think?
Well, is Patrick the father? You never said.
I do have to let you know that it appears that the new policy is one question, one answer per thread. Steven
Ah yes...the unfairness of it all when it comes to paying taxes and doing it correctly; others just do not, and you and I pay for it, literally.
I saw this stuff so much when I worked in community mental health. It was awful. People who received free services due to "poverty" but drove luxury cars, leather coats and rolex watches.
Don't know why I laughed so much at the Jerry Springer comment, but I did. I can really picture it.
I guess amused wasn't the word I was thinking when it came to the boyfriend thing. It might not be so amusing. But then again, your sense of humor is twisted a bit. lol
Your comments about the not so good husband thing was very, very well said. I could not have said it better. You are good at that, yet you are correct, they either didn't hear your very clear meaning, or they chose to ignore it. I would guess #2. Still, you would have made a good therapist.
I am glad you saw Ray. He seems so sane in a pool of insanity.
You'll have to ask the moderator about the new policies about questions and threads. But, I can say tat we need to open a new thread for each question. I know that is a pain for you, but if I understand correctly that is what you should do. But if you are still having trouble, please talk with them. This thread will only allow one exchange I believe. Steven
Your mom is too broken emotionally to rely on for your self value. I know that you do not do that directly, but as long as she is alive it is natural for you to seek approval and recognition from her. She is, after all, your mother.
Yet, she is angry and hurt and for whatever reason has decided to take this out on you as rejection and criticism and emotional pain. I am sorry she does this to you. This cannot feel anything but very painful.
Know that this is not you. She is not okay and is relating to you much as she feels herself. Others, it is easy for her to accept and be nicer too as they do not represent her own issues. You however, do. And, because that is so she can really dish out the rejection.
Do what you need to do and try not to plug into her in any way. She is damaged and not able to act in a way that is normal. Because of this she is unable to give you what you need. Her actions about Kate, and you, and the whole family are just symptomatic of her own unresolved issues. Until those are dealt with, and they may never be, she will be unable to act as she should.
All of this behavior is not about you. And, after this is over it may be time to set the record straight with her. But now is not that time. Take care of you and the family first. Ignore her behaviors as they are nothing but evidence of her own brokenness. And, do not take this on yourself, even though that is so easy to do. Today, just get through...and do not use mom as a mirror of anything truthful about you. She is wrong and you are now the person she is putting her own issues on.
We must start a new thread. Can you close this one out? Steven
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