Gareth has a large family, one of whom abused him when he was a child. I won't reveal any more about that. We've been invited to a Christmas family "do" where said family member will be attending. The person organising the party knows about it. I can never tell whether his family don't believe him because he's "mental" or whether they just want to ignore the whole situation, pretend that it's in the past and that's where it should stay. Fine, if you want to ignore it that's your choice but do NOT expect me to ignore it! I've sat at one family engagement with "it" and never said a thing out of respect for everyone else's feelings except Gareth's but I just will not sit in another room and say nothing and pretend it didn't happen again!
I won't pretend that Gareth doesn't vomit, scream, cry, shake, shiver, whimper and break because of flashbacks. I won't pretend that his childhood isn't the reason he has personality disorders. I won't pretend that I think it's ok to sit in the same room as that thing and be polite because I'd be in the wrong to make a scene. And I'm certainly not going to pretend to the organiser that I think it's ok that he invited it and casually mentioned it to Gareth like nothing happened.
I believe it's in my absolute right to explain to the organiser in a polite manner exactly why we won't be attending and to let them know that if we did I would not sit in that tiny room and be polite this time "for the sake of the family". What about Gareth? What about me? We are supposed to be a part of this family too! Don't we count?! Gareth's childhood affects us quite literally every single day of our lives so I won't sit in a room and pretend that part of my life does not exist so that they can all feel better about the fact that they choose to ignore it.
It may be a better Christmas for them to pretend it didn't happen but we don't get that luxury and I am going to make sure they at least know that!