Managing pregnancy news with the extended family (when you are estranged)

Aside from my immediate family, there's one other family member I have not yet told about the pregnancy news.

I still don't know what to make of her, which is why I'm still trying to figure out a) when to tell her and b) how to tell her and c) how to brace for the fallout.

There's my experiences with her--she's nice and generous and well-meaning. She once offered to fly me to Japan for my 16th birthday to where she was at the time, and when my parents nixed that, bought me a leather jacket.

She also doesn't have a filter--after a growth spurt in grade school, she told me, "You're not fat anymore!"

And she's a little clueless sometimes. She wrapped a really nice Polaroid camera up in a used scale box, and I, a teenager who was overly worried about my weight, opened up the paper and saw the scale and assumed that was what the gift was. My mom knew better and told me to open the box, too, when I saw the real gift.

There's also what little I know about her.

I know that she, like my mom and their brother, had a very difficult childhood. The details are murky, but there was unquestionably emotional abuse if not other kinds of abuse. I know she has mental issues of her own and has sought counseling for it. I know she still talks with her mother, the abuser, which I think clouds her perception of my dad's abuse. When I told her very lightly about what happened when I was disowned, she mentioned two things. One was, "I know your mom won't divorce him because of her religion" which tells me she probably has recommended divorce to my mom and also, she undeniably believes Catholics to not be Christians. The other thing was trying to get me to understand that I should forgive my dad and go back to him and still be in touch with him because after all, she once shook my cousin when he was a baby and he turned out just fine and still talks with her.

It's that last bit that still bothers me. It shows that she doesn't understand abuse, nor does she understand why I'm staying away from that toxic environment. That's why I'm unsure of what to do. When you combine an inability to understand WHY my family is not safe for me to be around with no filter when she talks, it means that she will almost definitely pass that information along to my parents as soon as I tell her.

And I have no clue what will happen when she does tell her sister, my mom.

The thing is, she's a nice person, and I wish I could tell her. I don't want to hurt her feelings because I still haven't told her and I'm halfway through the pregnancy now. But I also don't want to tell her because who knows what my dad will do with that information.

I can guess a couple of things.

1) He definitely will still believe I'm in the wrong, no matter what, because there is no way for him to ever admit full fault.
2) He will definitely blame me some more for "hurting your mother," like he did when he disowned me 5 years ago. It wasn't him who hurt my mom when he disowned me, it was clearly my fault for provoking him into taking such drastic action against me.
3) That blame will only increase because I'll be "hurting my mother"by not letting her be a grandmother to my child. There is no way, unfortunately, for me to have a relationship with my mom separate from my dad, but that still relates back to a) my dad's abuse and b) my mom's codependency and denial.

But the question is will he
4a) break the long "no contact" by contacting me and blaming me all the while pretending to offer another olive branch covered in a spider web of emotional abuse and entanglement, just to try to get what they want--access to a grandchild.
Or will he
4b) maintain the "no contact" and just blame me at home and say it's up to me to repair the bridge that he so horribly burned? (Remember, he thinks I'm responsible for the disowning.)

Honestly, I would rather have 4b than 4a. Keep that no-contact going, and keep protecting myself and keep on healing. For Pete's sake, I still find myself falling into old habits now and then that stem from CPTSD and ongoing childhood emotional abuse.

I don't care if they find out. (At least, I don't think I care.)

I DO care to protect myself, my family, and my child from my dad's toxic behavior.

And I still don't know whether to tell my aunt.

Filed under: Abuse, pregnancy

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