“I am wondering if my two daughters and I should visit my brother and his family this Christmas vacation. I feel nervous about it because our older sister was awful after our Mother died two years ago. I have decided that for now I want no contact with my older sister, but my brother seems more open to that even though she was very mean to him as well as me. I feel like he maybe has something unsaid to me that he is mad about, but maybe that is just my imagination. I tried to support him during the one year ordeal. I love my brother, but at the same time need to protect myself and heal and so I don’t want to visit him if it is a bad idea. What are your thoughts?”
I completely understand what you are saying. You don’t want to reopen your own wounds, but I feel like you take a greater risk by not going. This could be an opportunity for healing. If you decide not to go, things will be okay but will most likely cause more alienation within the family. I can tell you that your brother is hurting and would very much love to see you and your girls. I don’t know if he has something left unsaid, but his emotions need healing. He’s reaching out to you. Maybe you’re also reaching out to him?
If you do decide to go, just keep your expectations positive yet realistic. You don’t want to expect something negative to happen and therefore create a self-fulling prophecy. You also want to keep in mind that there are some raw emotions here. The best course of action would be to focus on the spirit of the season … faith, joy and love. Maybe plan to keep the visit short, too. You can always extend your stay if things go better than expected.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas vacation!
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