My son isn't invited to family functions


#1

My son has had schizophrenia for the last 2 years and it has been awful for me and him. However the last month he has had a remarkable turnaround! He is enrolling in college this fall, making plans for his future, cleaning the house without being asked, and just being a joy to be around. I never thought I would get this chance again to ENJOY his company!
He has been staying with me for the last two weeks and July 4th will be the second family get together that he isn’t invited to.
I went to the one last week, and I feel weird going without him again. I told my family I already have plans with HIM, my daughter and myself to go enjoy the celebrations.
Now the calls are trickling in from family members saying I should come anyway.
Ever since he got sick my family has never even spoken to him.
I thought that now that he was doing so well they would support me and him by inviting him.
they treat him like he has leprosy.
I guess my question is do you guys experience this too? It feels yucky
I almost think my family likes me better when I am crying and not knowing what to do. I dont know, but any imput would really be appreciated


#2

I would SOOOOO say… great! Me and my kids will be there!


#3

Yup! I can’t imagine it being reversed and saying “I’m having a family party and your kid isn’t invited because he got sick.” I say but he is doing great now!!!
I really just wondered if you guys are treated that way by your family or friends too.


#4

We don’t have much interaction with blood family but when I am invited places my son is invited by family or friends. They, however, had not had much interaction with him as he never wants to attend the functions. I would just say no thanks and go have fun with your kids! Perhaps a movie and a picnic by a river?


#5

So hurtful!

Even if a person is symptomatic, they should be invited to every family function. I mean, how many of our family members would actually go if they weren’t up for it?


#6

It is heartbreaking that our children are treated like they are less than humans. Death and mental illness, two subjects most people don’t like. When my husband died, I was left with my daughter with schizophrenia. People we had known for years including family ran away as fast as they could. Few ask how she is doing. We are not invited places, and frankly I wouldn’t want to go now. My daughter and I are a package deal. I can’t chanfe people, but can control how I react in a situation. I am delighted to hear your son is doing well today. That is great news!


#7

My sister asked if she had to invite my son to her daughter’s wedding in 2020. How do I know how he will be in 2 years? I was very hurt by it.


#8

Fear causes people to say and do terrible things. I dont get angry with people when they say horrible things about MI people, I do caution them to be careful what they say, because they really have no idea. personally, I would not attend a family function that does not involve my son. Go do something nice with your son. We have to forgive people, they have no idea how we all suffer and what the pain is like to know our children are never going to have normal lives.
Nothing else matters to us who love our MI person. We show great compassion that others lack because of ignorance.


#9

My family has done the same thing. They even talk horribly about him to my face. I just write it up to ignorance. But, they live in another State, so I don’t see them much anyway. I’m thinking that it must be a normal family reaction. I’m sorry


#10

Yes, my son has been treated that way. it hurts me and makes him feel so unloved or like its his fault. I have decided that I don’t want him around people who will not treat him with respect and compassion. He has not seen his niece and nephew who are 10 and 8 years old for a couple of years now and that hurts the worst since he always remembers their birthdays. He now doesn’t want to come to my home if the kids are there. He says its because there is too much noise but I am sure its more than that. My sons only companions are myself and my husband. I have no solution.


#11

I could have but I didn’t want my sister and brother being weird so I asked if he could come. He has been homeless for 6 months so this reprieve is great for him I was hoping he could have extended family support too.


#12

That was a nice might hearted reply from you that I read last night
We all went and watched fireworks and had lots if laughs. It was great! Thanks


#13

Plus they’ve all watched me cry non stop for a year. I’m on the mend as far as being able to think good thoughts and not going to the “what if” thinking. I am really focused on thoughts that make me happy now.


#14

Having you both as your son’s companion is everything!
It’s really suprising how people (family) shuns him.


#15

They ask me, “is he still delusional”? I want to say, "are you still delusional (fill in the blanks) we are all a little delusional.


#16

Hi! First of all, thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. Everyone’s perspective helps I think.

I can see both sides, yours and your family’s. I’m wondering if your son’s behaviour at a family function in the past isn’t generating this hesitancy to invite him again. I kind of had the same problem with my SIL. Her poor hygiene and attitude kind of ruined it for me on Mother’s Day, and thus I didn’t want her at the baby shower. I know it sounds harsh, and like your family is just being harsh. But really it is a balancing acts between everyone’s needs. Because it takes a lot of effort and money to plan functions, and it really is not nice to the host or the other guests if someone can’t behave in a socially acceptable fashion. What helped for me and my SIL is that we opened the lines of communication again, and I was able to communicate to her the respect I needed to feel (for example, her hygiene needs to not make me throw up, but of course i said it nicer than that).

But i honestly don’t think forcing his presence on a party he isn’t invited to is the way to demonstrate his ability to be social, and reassure your family. When you host your own function, then yeah. And I know I’m assuming, but I think I can tell from some of the comments, is that your family is just scared. And honestly, sick or not, if someone isn’t behaving socially, or hasn’t, it’s not like you can just expect them to get over it immediately. I know it sucks, but it’s not your fault, it’s not his fault, it’s not their fault. It’s human to expect the social contract to be followed. And it’s no one’s fault that in society,we aren’t taught how to deal with “off norm” people.
So I think you have to call it a wash on this holiday (which I realize now, is passed, so how did it go? What did you do?) But for the future I think it is possible to reconcile him to the family.
Perhaps start small on your end, instead of a big function, just invite the people who are most likely to be chill and open minded. Then they can tell the rest of the fam that your son has made progress. The next time you can invite other family members, and slowly build back that bond of trust.
Anyway, just my 2 cents, feel free to ignore it. But I do wish you the best of luck and to your son too.


#17

I say that this is the hardest thing for me by far. My son is 34 and has been ill, it seems, for ever, with schizophrenia. His is severe. Of about 40 family members not counting his mom and I (parents, in-laws, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) there are 4 who inquire about him and one who sends Birthday and Christmas cards. There is one, his older brother, who really takes an interest in him, visits him (he lives alone in a pension subsidized apartment) and involves him with his own family. So out of all those there a re two who really care. The others do not. Those two are my ‘diamonds in the rough’. I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. Family gatherings? I try to avoid. My pat answer is, “O gee. I’m sorry. I’m going to have to beg off this time.” I never tell them why whether it’s the truth or not. My diamonds in the rough - they get me. That really helps.

So yes I have experienced what you are dealing with many, many times. It used to break my heart every time it happened. Now when he’s excluded I jus say to myself, “Fuck them, they don’t matter.” The two who care - they matter.

So try not to beat yourself up over the many who really don’t matter much. Zero in on the very few who do matter; they’ll get you the tough times at a little more easily.


#18

You are not alone. My family also does not invite my son to family get togethers which I think would help with his mental illness and substance abuse problems. They do however say I am enabling him. I would like for them to be in my shoes and see how they would handle this. Unless the person wants the help it is not easy to get it for them since you cannot force them to stay at a rehab.

I think family support is very important. They need to feel loved.

So no you are not alone and I am sure there are many on this site that have the same problem.


#19

Sounds like a totally disgusting group of people. If they are family, they should invite all of you and trust your judgement about whether your son will be able to handle the situation. Before you completely cancel on them (I could understand feeling like doing that), perhaps you could try to explain that you are spending a lot of time with your son and can say that he’s been doing really well lately and that you really feel that the family should all be together. You and your poor son have to put up with this crew as his relatives. They obviously not only have no understanding of compassion and empathy. Sad, but have courage. You are both doing great things.


#20

I agree. I completely understand how hurtful it is to have a loved one be purposely left out. We haven’t received any invites from family since my brother moved in. It hurts, but I can also understand why some people would be hesitant if they don’t really know what to expect.

I think easing back into family gatherings or hosting one on your own turf and on your own terms are both great ideas. Some people aren’t going to be comfortable with it. That’s fine. I wouldn’t want to hang out with people who aren’t willing to make an effort to be accepting anyway.