Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Need Your Advice as I Plan My Wedding
The wedding planning has begun. We have a date, location, officiants and have begun many of the other items on the "to do" list. When we told my parents, they were supportive and excited for us. I wasn't completely surprised because our communication has been better, more respectful and more patient lately. Not all smooth sailing (what parent relationship is even before factoring abusiveness), but not a nightmare either.
A bit of background; so far I am planning to have my parents at the wedding. I haven't decided yet what ritual roles they will be invited to participate in. Right now, I don't feel a need to exclude them, nor do I want to make it obvious that I am limiting their role. Those of my family and friends who know the history will understand what is happening and those who don't won't. The day should be about J and I, not about "protecting" myself from my parents. I plan to ask two friends to be on "parent patrol" - prepared to intervene and step in if necessary. (One has already volunteered to do so.)
So, here is my question. How have you navigated having abusers/parents at a wedding/important family event? I am confident that I (with help of my fiance and friends) feel safe and focused on the really important things that day. It is the process of figuring out what I am comfortable with that I am less sure about. For example, my finace would like a mother/son dance. I don't particularly want to do father/daughter dance with my dad. My fiance's father is deceased, so that isn't an option. Should I just not dance when J dances with his mom? I don't really want to keep him from dancing with his mom. Should I ask a friend to be my dance partner? Won't that make things stick out to everyone? Should I just pick a short song and dance with my dad, keeping a nice proper dance distance from each other? I am at the stage of processing, exploring and trying to figure out what feels right. It would help me to know how other survivors have handled it.
Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for sharing your ideas.
Your sister thriver,