Wedding Woes

Brah, your family is horrible.

Dear Prudence,

I have nearly complete night blindness in one eye. This isn’t debilitating, but it is disorienting when I have to get out of bed and have almost no vision in one eye, so I have a small night light in my room that helps minimize the effects. The problem is my family. I visited them over Christmas and took the night light with me (they know I use it). My brother’s girlfriend thought it was hysterical that a grown man used a night light. She snuck into the room I was in twice and turned it off in the middle of the night. My family took her side and said I was too old to be scared of the dark, that it was a waste of electricity, and I should man up.

I lost my temper, and we fought. I pointed out that I wouldn’t be night blind if they were better parents. They told me I couldn’t throw that in their face for every failure in my life (I haven’t mentioned it in years; it wasn’t their best day as parents, but it was a dumb accident). I drove home to spend Christmas alone with Chinese food. It is obviously ridiculous to cut off your whole family because they think a night light is childish, yet I haven’t answered their calls or read their emails, and I am fine with that. I don’t get angry a lot, but when I do it tends to destroy relationships before I warm back enough to consider fixing things. How do I mend bridges this time when I am still in “Do not speak to me or my night light ever again” mode?

—Night Light License

Re: Brah, your family is horrible.

  • the night blindness the result of something that the parents did? 

    Be clear: "This is a medical need as much as you can't control your blood pressure without your medication.   In addition to being completely incorrect this was an invation of my space and a betrayal of my trust.   I apologize for bringing up an old wound.   I am not going to be a joke that is at my expense over something that is outside of my control and to be laughed at by those closest to me is beyond hurtful. "

    I wouldn't issue ultimatums but I would be pretty damn clear they were the cause of your departure.

    That said, if LW's anger destroys relationship before they get better then LW should be somewhat introspective if there is only black or white and never any gray area to emotions. 
  • It may be a little ridiculous to cut off your family just because they think a night light is childish. 

    It is not ridiculous to cut off your family when they side with someone who jeopardized your safety by turning off the night light you rely on due to a disability. 

    If you don't feel ready to talk to your family at this time, then don't. Take some time to decide whether you want to wait for that apology before you speak to them again. In the meantime, go to therapy to address your anger issues and how you want to deal with your family in the future, if you deal with them at all.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I wish that LW had reframed this incident in his head from "they made fun of me for having a night light" to "my family doesn't support me dealing with my disability".  While the disability isn't outwardly visible or 100% debilitating, LW should be concerned with his families' lack of compassion and understanding.  It makes it even worse that they contributed to this issue and still act like assholes.

    If I were LW, I would embrace the split and not go back.  There seemed to be no other redeeming qualities that LW listed out that would make me want to see them for any extended period of time.

    I do think that LW could benefit from some therapy.  If he recognizes that he snaps and he doesn't make contact until he is over it, I think it would benefit him to have someone help him with that issue, there are better ways to deal with anger.  He may also benefit from talking to someone about how his family is acting towards his disability.   Some outside perspective could help him realize how f'ed up they are!
  • Ok, I'd like to know much more about the cause of the night blindness, first and foremost.

    But LW's brother's gf is a big old B for this and his family supporting her/not telling her that was fucked up is majorly fucked up and lends me to believe this likely isn't a onetime dynamic. Feeling like the black sheep of your own family is a dark place to be. 
    "Gossip is the devil's telephone, best to just hang up."
  • For me, this falls more in the camp of a warning given like, "I will no longer tolerate snide comments made about the night light I use for my disability.  Any and every time it happens in the future, I will leave/end conversation/etc."  As opposed to totally cutting the family off, which doesn't sound like what the LW wants to do anyway.  Though if he does, that's fine too.

    Either way, I think some counseling sessions would help.  Because he acknowledges he has issues with destroying relationships from going to extremes.  Plus it also sounds like there is some baggage going on from his childhood. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Why are these people so terrible. I would have done the same thing as LW and enjoyed the Chinese food. Mocking someone for something they need to live safely is utterly disgusting and I would not be about to take their calls any time soon. 
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would have a difficult time responding to anything until an apology comes. Even then, I would never spend the night with them again. Taking away the light is cruel and childish Continuing to poke fun at him for his disability is just gross. 
    Yup, this is where I'm at. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards