Brother and wife visiting, don't want them in my house

Sues

Confident
Hello, my brother and his wife are coming to visit from the other side of the country. They mainly want to visit our Mom who is assisted living near me. I do not want them to come to my house or visit with me in my house. I don't want to spend any time with them, but I probably will not be able to avoid that. It was triggering for me to be around my brother and his wife when I went to visit them a year ago.

My son and daughter-in-law live with me. We've all been through trauma, have PTSD, and are doing therapy to work to heal. Our house is our safe place. No one comes to our house, ever. None of us want them there.

How do I tell my brother that? I don't want to disclose to him or my Mom that I'm in therapy or have "issues" because I don't want to deal with their judgement on it. It will be difficult for them to just visit at Mom's assisted living place for long periods of time. There's only so much time they can spend in a hotel or restaurant. I realize that's not supposed to be my concern or worry, but this is difficult for me, and a lot of my trauma revolves around pleasing others and making sure everything is the way it's supposed to be.
 

StartingFire

New Here
I hope that your visit is peaceful. Have they asked to stay with you or to come over? If it were me, I just wouldn't bring it up. They might not ask to come over, and if they do, I'd go for a bland "Now's not a good time for us, but I will see you at Mom's room tomorrow."

They made the decision to make the trip and are adults with resources of their own. It's not selfish to have a safe space and to prioritize taking care of yourself!
 

Sues

Confident
Thank you StartingFire. No, they haven't asked to come over, but they would assume, since that's what is the norm. I'm just trying to figure out the right words and the way to say them to keep them away. I appreciate your suggestion.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Could you apologize for the inconvenience and say that right now would not be a good time for them to stay and not elaborate on why? And if they ask, say it's not something you are comfortable discussing at this point. I know that's super hard but sometimes simpler is the best.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I know too well boundaries and traumatic families, I have a big one! One thing I changed during my therapy stints is that I no longer adhere or assume or read too much the rules in place in the family because those rules were created to keep the trauma. So when my sister and her husband decided to fly and stop by my house, I told them due to covid19, my husband and i do not do visitors without masks. You are more than welcome to come for an hour or so with mask but no staying over, no lounging all day and that was it. I said it with as much care, respect as I would to a co-worker I really like.

My sister was disappointed, hurt and took her rage (well rage in my family) onto service people...long story here and at least did not take it on me. They came and left and I acknowledged again her candor and respecting my rules and hope we see each other after the pandemic. It made my relationship with her better cause I also showed her she has boundaries she is responsible for.

Hope this story helps you making that call. Not easy but doable if you believe your own boundary, safety, and self respect not the usual fear, need for validating and need to please we often suffer from these type of generational traumas.
 

Sues

Confident
Thank you all for the suggestions. They are very helpful!! I've decided to write out something simple, short, and to the point and have it handy so I can just read it if I need to while I'm on the phone with my brother. Letting him know ahead of time will help me feel better about it as well. Thanks again!
 

Friday

Moderator
Letting him know ahead of time will help me feel better about it as well.
Keep in mind... you don’t have to justify/explain your reasons for his approval. 😁 Or anyone’s.

SOME explanation often smoothes the path so people aren’t mind-reading terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad & totally wrong reasons in, but even the preemptive casting oil on troubled waters? Doesn’t have to be the whole truth, up for his (or anyone’s) inspection. Just the piece of the truth that’s relavant to the situation.

((Like your boss doesn’t need to know you’re calling in sick because of your green foamy diarrhea, that you think was caused by -insert long story here- and having your period means your tampon keeps launchin like a missile, so both your clothes and rug in the loo look like xmas died, and is that okay? (Ummmm.... What do you mean by okay??? Yikes.) She just needs to know you won’t be at work today. You might share a little about “how” you’re sick... but tummy-bug is usually enough. They don’t need to know the color, texture, smell, and other details, much less get to demand those details and “decide” if those details are good enough. You won’t be at work today because you’re sick is the relevant piece. Anything beyond that? They don’t need to know. And if you DONT work that day at all? No reason on earth to call them and give them the squirt by squirt.))

Meaning... Just wanting to give him a heads up that since you’re a multi-family home none of you have visitors over? Because otherwise you’d be eyeballs deep in everyone’s visiting family, friends, work friends, school friends, etc.? So it’s not personal, but it can be a little unexpected, so for planning purposes wanted to give him some warning? Is not only enough, it’s more than enough.

Because

1. you could just not say anything until they get here, as it’s likely to be a non-issue, and just keep redirecting the convo without word 1 about anyone at your home, if it ever does.

IE “Let’s meet at Sues for drinks before heading over” // “Oh, mine won’t work,” smile, “But there’s a lovely little park/coffeehaus/whatever at 12345 Main that we could do” -or- “Do you want to do dinner on Saturday? We’ll be free, and we’d love to see your home!” // “Dinner would be lovely! But, sadly, our house won’t work. Did you want to go out somewhere, or we could nab a meeting room at the hotel and order in? (Unless you love to cook, in which case) or I could bring a meal to the meeting room? It would be fantastic to just relax with the 4 of you over a meal.” <<< In every case? You gloss over the ‘your house’ issue by agreeing to the general plan, but change the location, with a simple “ours won’t work”. If you DONT want to do the XYZ thing? You don’t even mention that your home won’t work as the reason, you simply suggest something else entirely, somewhere else.

2. No one -except people who live with you- NEED to know the rule, much less the reasons why, nor have any say in it.
 
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Sues

Confident
Meaning... Just wanting to give him a heads up that since you’re a multi-family home none of you have visitors over? Because otherwise you’d be eyeballs deep in everyone’s visiting family, friends, work friends, school friends, etc.? So it’s not personal, but it can be a little unexpected, so for planning purposes wanted to give him some warning? Is not only enough, it’s more than enough.
Yes, exactly what I was planning. It's not to smooth things over with him. It's to help me be less stressed about it coming up and having to deal with it and any backlash that will most likely occur. I'm not in a place emotionally where I feel ok with dealing with that crap.

No one -except people who live with you- NEED to know the rule, much less the reasons why, nor have any say in it.

Yes!!! I agree 100% and that's part of why I was agonizing over what and how to tell him. It's our own personal space and most people, including my family, wouldn't understand.


Now he's saying he probably won't visit until sometime next year. But that could change again too. 🙄
 
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