Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Sunday, 11 December 2011


So I went to the wedding. I'd had about 3 hours sleep but I washed, dressed in my new clothes, fixed my hair and put on the make-up that I'd bought the day before. A big part of me had wanted to go and for it to all be wonderful, meaning that I'd spent a lot on clothes and shoes and new bag, haircut and make-up and even had had my eyebrows threaded- which had been excrutiating! So I had tried to get myself in the right mindset, you see. I HAD 'made an effort'. I stress this because it is the cause of the blazing row that started at the reception-

I went over to talk to my brother. We had all eaten the dinner and were waiting for dessert. A general hubbub and interlude. I went over to talk to my brother but the bride started talking to me right away instead.

Earlier at the church, I hadn't been able to face the service- as I had predicted. I did text my brother the night before and warn him that an hour long service might be too much for me. I wanted to forewarn him in case he turned round in the service, saw I wasn't there and wondered why.

Well according to the bride this text hugely upset my brother as did my not staying for the service. -I did NOT walk out of the service. I left before it began. I did this because it was an old church with old, boxed in pews, so the only exit was down the main aisle. Not good for quick, or subtle exits. SO I explained to mum and Luvbug, and sneaked out. Unfortunately it was just as the bride's party were hanging around at the door. My brother later told me that she had accused me of giving her a filthy look as I left, but I certainly did not!

I really don't think that they would have noticed me not being there if she hadn't seen me leave. THere were so many of their friends there.

But what the bride said to me during reception was that it didn't matter whether I was ill, or couldn't stand church services because of things in my past, or that I felt I was havign a panic attack, or that my depression had been particularly bad that week - all explanations I tried to give her whilst she was ticking me off for not supporting my brother- no, it didn't matter how bad I felt or why, "It's your brother's day, not yours, you see? You understand? It's his day." this is what she kept telling me. And it didn't matter how bad I felt or what reasons I had. Because HER sisters would have overcome it and put him first, she said.

NExt to my clothes. I explained that I had had to wear black trousers in the end- I made a joke of it- as it was hard to find anything this time of year as the shops only sold Chrismassy things. "That's ok, to wear something Christmassy, it's meant to be a celebration, Helen, not a funeral." was the reply. Poor mum, in black and navy. No one took the troubel tell her how nice she looked.

Well after all I'd been through- the fact that I HAD gone to the wedding to do precisely what I was being accused of not doing- to support my brother- something in me snapped. I went back to my table, pick up my things, told Luvbug, I can't stay, not after that, and went to the car....

That would have been enough, but although Luvbug came with me, Mum didn't, so I went back in to explain and to get her... Luvbug begged me not to go back in, but I was so fuming and maybe 2 1/2 glasses of wine hadn't helped (oh dear).

Well mum had gone over to say goodbye to the bride. God alone knows what she said to mum. Mum said she didn't hear half of it.

David was chatting to his friends and working his way to the door where Luvbug and I were waiting. Once he got there, we thought he was going to say something like, "oh dear, that didn't go well did it? Are you going early then?" but no, he started to say that this was HIS day and that I should put him first and I hadn't behaved properly and blah blah blah. SOmething in me was so mad! I told him how low and depressed I'd been, how we'd really tried to get to the wedding, how we had had to come to get mum there- even though she was mostly ignored by them when there!

-Here is how mum was treated-
we seated her in the second pew, behind where the bride and groom, and her beloved grandchildren, were to sit. They moved her back to another pew, further away, and put their witnesses, friends, in that place. SO in the wait for the bride's party it was to these friends that my brother chatted, not mum.

-no buttonhole! I asked if there was a buttonhole for mum, as a few people were wearing a red rose. No, he said. He told mum that as they cost £12 each he didn't get many. So just him, his boys and... the ushers! The ushers got a flower but not the mother of the groom!

-next mum fell went getting out of the box pew. I was in the Ladies' loo at the time, when I came back there was just her and luvbug at the top of the church. They explained what had happened. Had my brother known? Yes, he did. Was he there? No. Luvbug took care of her, though.

-Mum, Luvbug and I waited at the top of the church a bit late while they had official photo's taken. Mum was waiting to be called. But they never called her. All packed up and finished, they let. Mum was so upset. I went after them and asked my brother, what about a photo with mum? -She is upset, she wanted to be in a photo! His reply was something like, "Oh I suppose so, yeah maybe we should, I'll get the photographers...."

We were the only people from this side of the family there, we knew no one else. SO it was particularly difficult. We'd hope my Aunt Pat and 2 cousins would be there, we would all have enjoyed meeting up again. But my brother had invited my aunt and not my cousins, so the invitation was turned down- my cousins felt hurt and besides, my aunt and uncle unable to drive a long way, the cousins were needed to get them there!

Oh well.... back to the door of the hotel- my brother and I got into a shouting match only some of which I remember, but I do remember him shouting in my face that I have always treated him like shit.
WHAT the?? HOW???
Back to how this was HIS day....

There is more, a lot more, but the bottom line is that I felt that the bride had no business pulling me up at that moment anyway, and certainly could not judge me, as she didn't know how hard things were. All she would say to my explanations is that it didn't matter and that I should put my brother first. She went on to say I had not said congratulations to them and blah blah.... not that they had come over to the three of us, leaving us on our own, and not even thinking to include us in the photo's until I chased after them! We had brought cards and gifts.....not congratulations enough....

'Are you glad we're married, because you haven't said so!' she said. This put me as piggy in the middle as I knew that my brother had told me, when Steph had booked the date, that he would rather spend the money on getting a decent car that didn't keep breaking down. As far as we knew, this was her big idea, not his. So hard to congratulate him really, when we felt more sympathy for him...

Well the shouting went on right up to the front door of the hotel and till I got into the car, telling him that my family had treated ME like shit since I was 2 and not any more because they were all dead.


Today I woke up and thought it had all been a nightmare.
I wish it had been.
I am shocked how it all escalated from the bride's words to a blazing row.
But telling me that I had to think of others touched a very, very raw nerve.

Next time when facing things I know I can't do, I shall listen to my gut, to my mental health, to my friends out there, and say no, I'm putting myself first this time and I'm not going....

I sent a long email to them this morning giving my side of what happened and how things escalalted etc. Luvbug went over it with me to make sure I wasn't emotive or angry in it.... I doubt it will be read but hey ho. I wish the whole day had not happened in a week when I have been worse than ever. At a better time who knows, I may have been able to pull it off. I feel a total failure that I didn't, a fool, embarrassed as guests must have heard us, I feel bad that mum had to leave early because of it all, I feel wretched about not being able to be normal, and confused as to whether to hate all of me or just my bloody head... suicide was breathly a suitable solution today, but a sleep and a hug from Luvbug, I am now bruised and battered, but ok to go out to the Xmas fair with mum in town..... I feel I have been hit by a truck....

I would love to hear your opinion good or bad, I need other perspectives maybe, I need to know I'm not the biggest shit around- or am I? the worst sister? I am utterly amazed that Luvbug still loves me today.


Shrinky said...

Jeeesus girl, a shit? I think you're nothing short of a Saint! I do believe your brother and his bride are a perfect match for each other, though. WTF? How brattish for her to make such an appalling scene, and at HER OWN wedding, at that(??), it beggars belief.

Hon, thank God your poor mother had you and Lovebug there, the whole debacle was shameful, and I can only imagine how hurt and out of place both she and you were made to feel. Hold your head up high, girl, this is nothing to do with anything you did or did not do, this is obviously just a small part of the drama your brother has (voluntarily) married into.

My advice? Keep well away, it's not worth it. ((x))

Angel and Kirby said...

Your brother has proven his colors in the past by not keeping his promise to have your Mum for a weekend every month. He thinks the world owes him every thing and all of his family should serve it up! The Bride was wrong and selfish. She does not know you or how you were treated as a child so has no basis for her statements! They were wrong not to have family pictures with His side of the family. What photographer would not suggest that! You did your best. You took care of your Mum at your own expense, as you always do. You did not know any of the people there so don't worry what they heard or thought. they are not your friends so who cares. Your friends would have understood.

Please take care of yourself. Forget this nasty experience and move on. He is not worth your grief.

MorningAJ said...

I don't think you should be hating any part of yourself for this. If you broke your leg and had to go to the wedding in a wheelchair would they have expected you to 'snap out of it'? No.

These people are obviously self centred oafs. I suggest you do exactly what you want for the rest of this year and let them fend for themselves.

Look after yourself now.

CherryPie said...

*hugs* NO it isn't you, you tried to do the best by everyone despite knowing you weren't up to it.

They (brother & bride) are selfish, limited and naive.

Now take time to look after yourself, it is important. I know luvbug will help you :-)

*big hugs*

Feronia said...

Oh Helena, I am so sad for you that this has happened. What an absolutely horrible experience. It is *not* your fault in any way. I'll email you today. *Big Hug*

Di said...

One huge NO from me too Helena. This isn't your fault honey!! Possibly all you did wrong was to even go to the wretched wedding in the first place - from now on, you must look after yourself first and foremost when it comes to having anything more to do with them. They do deserve one another, and quite frankly aren't worth the grief.

Hold your head high and remember that you did your very best - I just wish we could have been there in your pocket to leap out and bang a few heads together,

Sending love and big hugs, Di xx

Found art blog said...

My take …. There’s two types of people. Radiators (those that give out) and drains (those that suck dry). It seems your family of drains have raised you to continually give out at your own expense, and now that you’ve chosen (and about effing time!) to “turn the heat down” and conserve yourself, they’re pee’d off. I suspect that’s what Saturday was all about. They wanted a room full of radiators and you weren’t playing. I also suspect that all they’ll do is, now you’re conserving, they’ll just go find another radiator to take your place. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Follow their example and hang out with your own radiators instead of family drains!!! now, put away the sledgehammer and stop beating yourself up.

dreadnaught said...

Families, You can't choose them, but you are stuck with them. Your brother should have been aware of the issues and made provision for them, the fact that he didn't speaks volumes. Don't beat yourself up, things are always said in the heat of the moment that we regret, maybe time will heal the rift, maybe not. The important thing is that the people who really care were there to look after you and make sure that you were safe. Treat it as a lesson learned, you have to make sure that YOU are ok and look after your health first. Ignore Drama merchants, they are usually too shallow to be happy for any length of time. Little -Leon sends a big hug...

Take Care

Don (Little-Leon's Dad!)

Julie said...

I've got here late and it's all been said Helena. Forget berating yourself, you did nothing wrong. Put yourself first and look after yourself first with Luvbug. Try and get soem rest if you can this week. xx

Leenie said...

Dear Helena, I agree with all your friends' comments. You continually go above and beyond, but I know from personal experience that for some people in our lives nothing is ever enough.

Unfortunately, they know they will get away with continuing to abuse you. There's nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. You aren't an extension of your family, you're a lovely human being in your own right .. and you can't let anyone bully you.

It's water under a bridge. Enjoy your time with Luvbug and Scooter and your Mum. And enjoy being you.

Love and hugs,

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Sorry i've only just found this . . . Helena, I agree totally with what everyone else has said so eloquently.
Please don't beat yourself up over this - they had it coming!
Your brother and his wife were very rude to your mum and also to yourself and Kevin. Personally, I would have nothing more to do with them. It is their loss. xxx