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Should I invite my Mom?

Ok Knotties - this is extremely personal to me, and I have been mulling over this for the past several months. Should I invite my mother to my wedding?
This question needs some detailed explaining so here goes:
Both of my parents were drug addicts and alcholics. There was a lot of abuse, verbally, physical, and sexual abuse in my life. When I was 10 years old (after my father split and moved to NY) my mother gave my twin sister and I away to a "family member" when in all actuality, he was my mother's sexual partner, who in turn sexually abused my sister and I until I was 18 years old. When I got accepted to Seton Hall University, I refused to go back there and just ran away from home.

I got on my feet, got a job and worked through school at the same time. I hadn't brother, mother, or father in 10 years, so the first thing I did was to find them. Long story short, I found my mother and tried to help her. Being young and gullable, I used to send her money when she needed, tried to help her. To a lot of people this doesnt make sense. But, to someone who understands pyschology, abuse in my life was just normal, almost as if it was okay. So, I had no reason to be mad at my mom. It took me five years after that to come to grips with what had happened in my life. I flew back to Wisconsin to see her for the first time and really saw where the money went. She didnt change her life. She was still the same woman that could give her children away to a child abuser, a heavy drinker, consumed by drugs... still i tried. But, it would consistantly backfire.

Last year after getting engaged, I really thought about my future. About having children and protecting them, about my kids not having to go through what I went through. And, I came to grips with the idea my mother would not be the type of influence I want in my life, or my children's lives. After finding out she tried to get my younger brother to purchase a handgun for her, it was the last straw. I totally stepped away from her. I'm going to be 29, i tried long enough. I speak to her every now and then, my sister told her that I was getting married.

She wants to come to my wedding. She claims she's my mother, she has the right to be there and no other woman should be in her place. But, I feel like she revoked motherhood 19 years ago. My sister says that I am being cruel, that if I had no anomosity then I would still let her be there, but i honestly wholeheartedly have none. I pray that she gets her life together and that one day my kids will be able to meet Grandma, but I just dont think its possible...On the same note, this woman is still a heavy drug addict, she is still an alcoholic. Thoughts?

Re: Should I invite my Mom?

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    Ho boy. First, I'm terribly sorry for everything you've endured. I'm glad to see that you've come out of it as a strong individual with a good head on her shoulders.

    My frist inclination is to agree with you. She claims that she is your mother, and that as your mother she has certain rights. But, I agree that she gave all of that up when she gave you up.

    Personally, I would not invite her. But, I am not you. I am not in your shoes, dealing with what you are dealing with, going through what you are going through and you are right, this is very personal. If you have no desire whatsoever to have this woman in your life as your family and your friend, then do not invite her to the wedding.

    Good luck with your decision, it's a tough one.
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    Wow.

    Well, for starters,  I admire your strength for getting through something so horrific.

    But to answer your question, I think if the only reason why you'd be inviting your mother is because you somehow feel like you owe it to her then don't.

    And ask yourself this, has your mother done anything in your life, even recently that wasn't motivated by her selfishness?
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    Thank you for your replies. I have been EXTREMELY blessed, a walking testament that God exists!

    I don't feel I owe her anything. Perhaps I have been feeling guilty because my sister has been pressuring me. My mother hasn't done anything for me in 19 years. I feel like she just wants to be there for show. A Mom is there for you every day, really for the rest of your lives. At the same time, I feel if I did invite her, it would be phony. I have been blessed with plenty of strong women in my lifew.
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    How will not inviting her damage your relationship with your sister? Will it just be something she disagrees with you on, or could it become a huge problem that affects how close the two of you are?

    It doesn't sound like there's really any reason to invite your mother beyond it potentially affecting how you interact with the family that HAS been there for you.
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    I admire your strength and level-headedness, OP. You definately went through a lot in your life and clearly have come out on the better side of things.

    As to your question, I'd suggest having a heart to heart with your sister on the matter. It sounds like she thinks she would make a different choice (invite your mother) if she were in your place but you are not her...and you are absolutely entitled to your feelings on the situation. Perhaps she can better understand that your choice may be different than the one she feels she'd make but it's not wrong, you know? I think it's very understandeable, from an outsider's perspective, why you would prefer not to have her there.

    A wedding is a life milestone - this may be another way for you celebrate how far you've come and the new family life you intend to create in your marriage. Only you can make the decision as it's your life, but I lean in favor of not inviting her and having the day be a celebration of the good to come - free of reminders of a painful past.
    The Bump ate my signature. DD - Apr 2011 DS - expected June 2013
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    edited May 2010
    Just because your parent is biologically your mother/father DOES NOT mean that they have any right to treat you that way and claim "but i'm your mother." Family is earned not given. I would personally leave her off the guest list. I would also talk to my sister about not giving her the wedding information. If she gives you a hard time again just say "I would really appreciate it if you would respect my wishes. This is a hard decision for me but I feel that I have made the right decision for me, my happiness and my life."  

    I'm very impressed that you have been so strong. I'm proud of you for the fact that you stepped away from a time of your life that was so awful and kept moving forward. Don't let anyone guilt you into letting her come if you don't want that.
    Anniversary
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    I would say NO. don't invite her.  no explanation necessary.  she can't just invite herself and claim she has the right to be there soley bc shes your mother
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    Thank you ladies,

    I just had a heart to heart with my sister. I let her know that our mother would not be apart of the day, and why. She thought I was being mean and was really hard pressed for me to invite my mom -saying that I havent let go of the hurt. I had to explain to her that I have, which is why I can't associate myself with our Mom. She's still that same person, who until this day has yet to apologize for anything...

    And, then it hit me. Maybe she just wanted us all to be a family again, even if it was just for one night??
     
    Its tough with her being in the military, but if I had the means I would have jumped on the next flight to South Carolina just to hug her.

    I am going to stick with my heart on this. Thank you ladies, I really appreciate it.
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    yeah she can't just be family for one night.
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    no. you've tried and it didn't work. she just wasn't there for you. and even if you invited her she may not still show up which you would probably be a little disappointed after you met her half way, so don't bother. if you are ok with it completely then do what you feel you want to do.
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