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Niece’s sister still wants contact with us even though we don’t want to see her

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2022 02:58 pm
So my late brother had a daughter (Anna). I used to keep in contact with Anna a lot to keep her involved with our family. So I would have her over a lot and take her with our family to do things or on trips.

Anna also had a little sister (Jenny). She’s not my niece. Shes Anna’s moms other kid that she had later with another man. Sometimes I would bring Jenny along if we did fun little days trips such as going to an arcade or a movie. I would also invite all three of them over for holidays so that Anna could be with us.

Throughout her life Anna had been very close with my daughter (Haley). They had always gotten along. Several weeks ago Haley tried to kill herself. We found out that Anna had secretly been bullying her for the past couple years. The things she said and ways she purposely tried to make my daughter was horrifically cruel.

As of right now neither me or my wife want Haley to have any contact with Anna. We just want to focus on helping Haley feel better. Our other children are also very distressed by this and have on their own already stopped talking to Anna. Several other family members have also cut contact with Anna.

I honestly don’t think we will have any relationship with her in the future. I’m usually the type of person that always leaves the possibility for people to change and forgiveness. But I just feel such a huge amount of hatred for her that I can’t even consider it a possibility. My daughter almost died because of her. If it was an accident it would be one things. But the things she said and did were just out of pure malice.

Anna’s mother has been understanding and has kept Anna from trying to come over or call us after she would try to turn up after we found out what she did.

The issue is with Anna’s sister Jenny. Jenny apparently misses us. Their mom says that since they don’t have any other family Jenny sees us as her extended family.

I however don’t see her that way. I really don’t feel anything for her. Neither does the rest of my family. I have talked to them about Jenny and none of my kids or my nieces and nephew care about ever seeing her again. They actually don’t even like Jenny. They find her annoying, but put up with her for Anna. Which I understand because Jenny can be tough to be around due to her meltdowns.

With Easter coming up the girls mother has asked (practically begged) that we continue to include Jenny. We usually throw a big party with an Easter egg hunt every year and she apparently really looks forward to it and wants to come still. So now we’re in this tough place of where I guess we are technically punishing a child for something she didn’t do, but we just don’t see her as family and don’t enjoy being around her.

I just feel like I need some outside input. Sorry if this isn’t right this is my first time trying something like this.
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 770 • Replies: 7
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Mame
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2022 03:23 pm
@Sssaustin,
Hey, I'm a great believer in doing what you want to do and not doing what you don't want to do. If the entire family doesn't want her there, don't invite her.

While it's sad for Jenny, it's not your responsibility. Why doesn't her mother create some new Easter memories with her own daughter?

Another thing is, if you perpetuate this relationship with Jenny, that keeps the door open for Anna, which it seems you definitely don't want. So... sad to say, Jenny's mom is going to have to find new friends for Jenny.
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2022 03:24 pm
@Sssaustin,
Whoa, lots to unpack here.

First off, I am so sorry Haley was so desperate. But thank heaven she survived it.

I would consider Anna's actions to be comparable to if she'd aimed a loaded gun at your daughter and pulled the trigger. By all means, write her off.

But through all of this, although she's annoying, Jenny is innocent. How old is she? If she's a middle teenager (maybe 15 and up), then she should be past most meltdowns and will get over it. Sorry if that sounds harsh. But I would see if there's a way to leave the door open, even just a little bit. Again, Anna's behavior isn't Jenny's fault or responsibility. When Jenny matures, she will (we can hope) be far less annoying. And maybe there can be a limited relationship with her.

If she's younger than that, then excluding her, I feel, is more problematic. An immature child cannot be expected to be non-annoying 24/7. To condemn her for the twin sins of being too young to handle herself and unable to prevent Anna from bullying is truly unfair.

I mean, I'm not responsible for what my brother does, and he's not responsible for what I do. And we're both past our 58th year.

But let's get back to Jenny. In a large party, there should be fewer opportunities for one on one with her. You've got drinks to refill. Your kids have their cousins (or whoever you invite) to hang out with. I'm not saying to 100% ignore Jenny, but you have legitimate reasons for not paying perfect attention to her all the time.

So that's one way to maybe go. Here's another.

Since the mother has been good about this, is it possible to sit down—you, your wife, Jenny, and Jenny's mom, and talk a bit about it? Maybe Jenny will understand if you tell her something like, "Look, this has been a horrible experience for us and we need to protect Haley. Your being here, unfair as it may sound, will just remind us all about it. We would greatly appreciate you giving us some space right now. If you want to stay in touch, then we feel Haley would be really pleased if you sent her a letter or a card. It can be short. Just something to say you're thinking about her. Thank you so much for understanding."

Do you see what I'm doing here with language? I'm acknowledging it's unfair but at the same time providing a reason. And also demonstrating that things may not be like this forever, plus a way to extend a lifeline. And, finally, ending with a presumed understanding.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. And as for Anna, I do hope her mother is getting her the help she clearly needs. This is obviously not normal behavior. An intervention with a mental health professional might help keep Anna out of jail. Because this sort of behavior is pointing in that direction.

Again, I am sorry for what's happened, and I hope life is better for Haley, and you, soon.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2022 03:48 pm
Gosh I am so sorry you are going through this .... I agree in part with make and in part with jespah.

Meaning yeah I see no reason to include Jenny but at the same time to have a little compassion for her by having the discussion similar to how jespah suggests.

I've personally dealt with a similar situation...not the bullying part exactly but very similar so I can emphasize with you and I agree stay away from this person and I am sure you are getting your daughter the help she needs.

Way too fresh in my opinion even if you felt closer to Jenny to include her at this point for your whole family. You guys need to focus on yourselves right now and your daughter. You could always say under the circumstances you are just having a close family dinner if you don't feel comfortable having a full conversation with the mom and jenny. Honestly the more I think about you all should be a but more selfish of your own personal care right now.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2022 06:46 am
@Sssaustin,
I think you should do everything possible to make Jenny feel absolutely terrible, despised and hated.

Didn't you see what that did to your daughter?????????????

What's wrong with you people????//
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2022 07:30 am
@jespah,
Jespah delivers great advice as always. I will say that Jenny might also be a victim of Anna's abuse, so I do feel some sympathy, but right now, I would follow your daughter's lead. If she wants to see Jenny then great, but it doesn't sound like that is the case.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2022 08:07 am
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

I think you should do everything possible to make Jenny feel absolutely terrible, despised and hated.

Didn't you see what that did to your daughter?????????????

What's wrong with you people????//


Have you been through anything like this? Their family is healing - no one is suggesting being mean to Jenny - you can be kind while also turning someone down. My children have learned from being young that you do not get everything you want.

There is a big difference between saying sorry honey, but we are not in a place where we are going to have a big Easter celebration so we will be unable to have you over and celebrate as we normally do. And saying get lost brat we don't like you.

Their family needs to focus on healing - this includes everyone - the parents, siblings and the poor girl who has been bullied to the point she had so much pain she wanted to end the pain. At this point they need to self care - all of them. Do you know how painful and hard it is to have a child do this sort of thing? Do you know how hard it is for a sibling to see their brother or sister go through this?

You saying these things is causing this family to have more grief when they need support. You might as well be this bully. Being kind can go a long way and giving thoughtful kind advice will help them heal whereas your mean thoughtless words are like daggers.

Please be kind -
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2022 12:13 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Overreaction much??

Jenny has a family. This one is not hers. Yes, she's been included in some things in the past. Does that make Haley's family responsible for inviting a child they don't particularly like and actually find irritating to all their family events?

The person who's responsible for Jenny is her mother, who somehow raised another child who caused great harm to this family.

Give your head a shake. It's perfectly natural, given the circumstances, that Haley's family wants some distance. Jenny's presence might be a trigger for Haley... have you considered that?

It's Jenny's mother who should devise an Easter entertainment for her daughter.
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