Hi All, I'm the adult daughter of a controlling alcoholic, but in the name of peace I would like to add this discussion up for debate. I have been going to counseling for two years and attended Al-Anon for one year. Mom and I have been estranged off and on again for nearly three years. As of now, we have not spoken in two months after she hung up the phone on me calling me a mother f---er. I am married with a family of my own etc. Anyway two months ago, Mom said that I created problems in the extended family when I did not show up to one of their Christmases. I did that without confrontation and quietly pulled away from going to all the family gatherings and only went to some sparingly. I enjoy my brothers at times who are also toxic, but also married toxic wives. When their behavior involved mistreating my children or standing us up on occasions, I did not enjoy their company much any more. They did this to each family member at different times. After working all week and all that comes with raising kids - it just wasn't enjoyable. Mom on the otherhand believes I owe it to her to come to her gatherings regardless of the toxic behaviors. Was it my duty in the face of Acceptance of my toxic family to show to all of these gatherings regardless of how they affected myself, my husband and my family? Was it my duty to my mother and learning acceptance and remaining in the adult to show to these gatherings? I've only learned these skills after much damage was done. Prior I never confronted anyone, but removed myself from the situations much to my mother's anger. She is 70 and even as I write this I feel it is stupid because I feel that it was not something I should have done or required to do. Ultimately though, between Mom's alcoholism and my decision not to attend - it has cost me my relationship with my mother which I did not want to see happen. Yet I felt the toxic behavior of the family was affecting my kids and my husband so I had to think of all. So much damage has been done that it is difficult to see how any of this can be amended as the toxic family members remained toxic and exhibited more toxic behaviors in the face of all of these problems. I'm getting healthier, but don't really know at this point if re-entering these relationships would be good for me or my immediate family. I really don't know if I'm writing this for answers or to gather my thoughts. Regardless any thoughts you may have on this would be greatly appreciated.
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