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My father phoned on Christmas Eve. It was a difficult and stressing conversation for me, because I’ve realized that I’m caught up in the same family dynamics which I’ve been trying to remove from my life. I’m tired of the lying, manipulation and triangulation. Based on some of the last few conversations we’ve had, I’ve come to realize that either my father or my brother have betrayed me, by conveying news of my pregnancy to my estranged mother.

While I have no direct evidence of this, except the change in their tones when they speak to me, it is the sinking feeling in my heart and gut coupled with the tragically predictable nature of our dysfunctional family that lead me to this conclusion. A few months ago, our calls were different, carrying a tone of support, sympathizing with the abuse that I endured at her hands and subsequently used to justify the estrangement.

However, in the last few conversations, the tone has shifted. My brother is not yet openly hostile, but his resentment is there. My father has justified that since I’m “forcing” my brother to “compromise” his morals by lying to my mother, he has every right to be snippy with me. Ironic, I think, since they’re so obviously not lying to her, or they wouldn’t be trying to find a way for her to see the baby.

My father has brought up in of our last several conversations scenarios where she could have access, such as in a public park or something. He insists that she has a right to see the baby, which I know is absolutely bull, courtesy of the information I’ve found about grandparents rights. Apparently, the U.S. Supreme Court backs my decision. I have flat out refused any of these ideas, and have become increasingly withdrawn when he calls.

The other part of the conversation was my father’s justification for moving his current lady friend back in with him. He’s been trying to find a way for her to have access to the baby as well, which I have been adamant about that NOT happening. I’ve posted about her before, but to refresh your memory on this particularly sore subject: she is in recovery, or so he says, and he’s been supporting her financially for the last year and a half to the tune of about $800 a month.

I get such a bad vibe from her when I’ve had interaction with her in the past that there’s no way I’d consider letting her near my child. When she was drinking, she was incredibly dangerous, not violent, but would get very intoxicated and pass out or fall down, sometimes soiling herself. She wrecked my father’s car one evening while he was sleeping, but totally denied it. Beyond that, her religion is completely opposed to my father’s beliefs, and it is only a matter of time before that comes to a head.

In our last conversation, he mentioned how her perspective is so different on things that are beautiful or valuable because she comes from poverty. (For example, he went on about the faux Tiffany lamp she has that she “thinks is real” and is “so proud of.” His description of her enjoyment of the item was so condescending, like she was a child who found a shiny toy she liked.) He justifies many of her less savory qualities on this, but frankly, I think he very much enjoys having someone completely dependent on him, both socially and financially, that it doesn’t matter what she does as long as she tows the line.

It’s a very bizarre pairing, condescending to say the least, but one where he’s able to exert some control. His attempts to force this relationship on me have been very aggressive, but I’m not buying it.

My brother and I have not spoken directly since Thanksgiving. He phoned yesterday. I had guests over so I didn’t get a chance to answer the phone, but his voicemail was very stern. He didn’t say he loved me like he normally would, he just sort of hung up after a rather irritated “Merry Christmas.” It’s hard not to take that as anything but a direct **** you.

Fortunately, there has been no contact from mother or my youngest brother, unlike last year. In a way, I’ve gotten what I wanted from them, which is to be left alone. However, I think they’ve only left me alone because they’re getting information from some other source. The more I consider what’s happening, the more I realize that I’m going to have to cut ties with all of them, including my father and brother.

I’m not sure how else to protect myself and my family, or how to handle the birth announcement when the time comes. I don’t know if a confrontation would be helpful or appropriate given the circumstances, that I know what’s going on, and there is no confidence between us any longer. I feel tremendous sadness at this realization, but am not really sure what else I can do about it.