Their Big Fat Cruel Weddings :: By Candy Austin

Writing is cathartic for me, but to write this article is to open the proverbial ‘Can of Worms.’ My hope is that, in writing this, it will somehow help someone going through the same plight. This is a raw, painful, and terrible account of what happens when people are ‘shunned’ from a Wedding out of hateful, rebellious, and spiteful hearts.

A Wedding is a ‘Huge Milestone Event’ in one’s life and a moment you can never recreate or redo once it has already taken place. A History that should include loved ones and important people in your life, especially ones ‘who, with the best of intentions’ shaped and molded you into the person you are today. Who spent their life documenting your firsts, threw all your childhood birthday parties, basically who ‘sacrificed much’ for you.

It is understandable that some people do not invite certain family members due to ‘valid reasons’ and extreme cases. This article, though, is about the ‘invalid shunning’ of loved ones from a place of malice. It is the ultimate form of ‘cruelty and bullying’ to plan and premeditate such an act in order to ‘shock, stun, and mortify’ those who were uninvited.

It is an action and an event that can never be undone or taken back. It is a record that will always be there to remind you that you were ‘so insignificant’ at that moment and time that you did not ‘even deserve’ to be a part of that momentous day. It is something that will stay with you forever; it is beyond tragic, surpassing what one would call sad.

In many ways, I feel sorry for people who live in such a state of hatred, rebellion, and spite. They obviously do not know the ‘Joy of the Lord’ or they would not treat people so maliciously. Such is the case with my estranged sister. Even though we both came from the same ‘highly dysfunctional’ background, we have become ‘polar opposites’ in the way we have chosen to deal with our past in many ways. Especially in how we have preferred to treat people.

When I decided to get married at a young age, I just ‘readily assumed’ that family members should be the main ones you include in your Wedding. Even though I ‘secretly wished’ to have my favorite uncle walk me down the aisle instead of my abusive dad, I nonetheless had my dad walk me down the aisle. I also had my sister (whom I never really got along with) be my Maid of Honor and did not think twice about it.

Looking back, and not surprisingly, she was not a very good Maid of Honor, seeing how the night before my Wedding she chose to go out with other people and not spend those last moments with me. Instead, one of my Bridesmaids from H.S. celebrated with me by eating at a pizza place and visiting a local carnival before the Big Day of my becoming a Bride!

Years later when my sister decided to get married, she made it clear that I needed to let Dad know that he was not to be invited. In many ways, I understood her decision. What I did not understand was her manipulating me in being her ‘Messenger’ at the time. Needless to say, once she collaborated with Mom, they ended up using me as a ‘scapegoat’ and denied things that were said and simply put the blame on me. Accusing me of being the ‘Bearer of Bad News.’

A week later at sister’s Wedding Shower, Mom saw how she just ‘totally pretended’ that she did not see us (me, Mom, and my 2 kids) out of guilt the whole hour and a half that we were there! Mom then decided to tell me on the drive home what had transpired in recent days and what was said ‘behind closed doors.’ I remember feeling utterly betrayed and did not know how to initially react while Mom was ‘hypocritically revealing’ all of this to me.

Ultimately, I decided to call, and since sister would not answer, I left a voicemail basically telling her not to ‘drag me into this if she is just going to go and lie about me behind my back.’ Sure enough, she called back while we were out eating and left me a ‘foul-mouthed voicemail,’ basically calling me one expletive after another. Needless to say, after that ‘riotous episode,’ I pretty much deemed that she was no longer my sister.

Relatives flew in from different states for her Wedding despite knowing that we (Mom, Dad, me and my family) were not invited. Apparently, sister had her soon-to-be father in law walk her down the aisle, and her Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids were coworkers from her job at the time. From what we heard, the reception did not last long seeing how it was mostly coworkers, and as my uncle wryly put it, “Candy, tell your parents that they did not miss much!”

Aunts and uncles made it sound like it was a ‘short and meaningless ceremony’ which they seemingly did not really approve of. The historic outcome reveals that after 14 years of an ‘unhappy union,’ sister got divorced. Then, after 10 years of divorce, sister’s ex-husband recently passed away at a relatively young age just this past summer. Of course, I was not notified of his death; rather, I found out on my own by snooping online. Once I found out, I promptly sent a sympathy card to my niece and nephew. As usual, all my efforts go ‘perpetually unanswered’ even to this day.

To rewind a bit, not long after sister’s divorce, our oldest decided to become a prodigal, and sister was instrumental in ‘aiding and abetting’ our oldest in shunning us for her Wedding as well. From early on, our oldest was a ‘force to be reckoned with,’ always defiant and rebellious.

By the time she was a teenager, the defiance, lipping-off, eye-rolling, and lying became unbearable. When our oldest became 18, I finally told her, “If you can’t respect me in my own house, then get out!” The day she left was a HUGE RELIEF, not just for me, but for all of us! Unbeknownst to me, she used that opportunity to spread lies, libel, and slander about me to make herself not look so bad for having been kicked out.

Psalm 109:1-5 KJV “Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”

Her ‘defamation of my character’ on social media won her the support of several jealous family members. By the next year, our ‘Bridezilla was planning her Secret Wedding.’ Those “family members” (a term I use lightly) had no problem going to her Wedding, all the while knowing that we were not invited.

Many jumped on the bandwagon of the “Let’s Hate Doug and Candy Club.” It was like they were ‘enthralled’ in seeing our ‘perfect little family’s downfall.’ Like I said, they were always envious of our homes, my husband’s job, how clean we lived, our travels, and how close-knit our family used to be.

Through pictures on social media, we found out that our oldest did not get married in a church; instead, she got married outside with her atheist husband and his atheist family at our favorite park on Father’s Day weekend. Not only that, she had my husband’s also atheist brother walk her down the sidewalk while wearing a very unflattering punk-style cocktail mini dress.

As if that was not disturbing enough, the main focus of the Wedding was on dancing to ungodly music for hours on end at a small reception hall with “family members and supposed friends” (once again, a term I use lightly) looking on, knowing all the while that we were being ‘purposefully excluded.’ How wonderful.

Not like it matters now… but I had plans of a ‘Winter Wonderland Wedding’ for our oldest. My oldest and I even ‘excitedly discussed’ it at one point during her teenage years. The plan was to have a known friend who is also an ordained minister marry her at the Chapel at our church, then have the ‘Winter Wonderland reception’ at the local Hilton Hotel.

I was going to have the place all decorated with multiple trees and white lights, fake snow, white table cloths, white candles, and crystal décor. The dress I envisioned would have been beautifully flattering (princess-style); ideally, it would have made her look like an Ice Princess.

The song for the Wedding march was going to be the instrumental version of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon.” A march I have envisioned many times in my mind of her and her sweet Daddy smiling beautifully while walking down the aisle together.

A vision that has since become jilted, vague, and dimmed through all the tragedy, trauma, and tears over the years.

To find out your child (the one whom you poured your heart and soul into) got married without you is beyond anything a ‘well-meaning parent’ should ever have to endure. Traumatic does not even begin to describe this kind of pain.

No one is perfect and there are no ‘flawless parents,’ and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we did not even remotely deserve this kind of treatment whatsoever! Nevertheless, we know it all boils down to an ‘intense spiritual battle,’ to say the least!

Excerpts from Bible Study Tools – “Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Battle”

Job is a perfect example of a spiritual conflict that was manifested in the physical form. Job was a real human being living here on earth, but the Bible gives us a clear look at what was happening concerning Job’s life in the spiritual realm. God looked upon Job as a righteous man but, because Satan wanted to prove God wrong, Job became the victim of Satan’s attacks. Job’s family, finances and home were destroyed, and his health and friends turned against him. Job experienced very real physical and circumstantial conflicts because of the conflict in the spiritual realm. Job also became the victor because of his faithfulness to God in words and actions throughout the trial. His victory was spiritual, physical and material…on earth as it is in heaven.

After reading John 17, it becomes clear that if we are in the world but not of the world, we are going to have conflicts. Those conflicts are spiritual warfare. Why? Because the physical manifestations of the world, such as the trees, the ocean, and the sky are not the problem. It is the forces that control the world that are in conflict with God. We, as Christians, are God’s children. Thus, if the world is in conflict with God, the world is also in conflict with us. The prayer of John 17 expresses the heart of Jesus, as He knows the battles that we will face in this world. The world hates those who follow Jesus. We are not called to be of the world, or worldly, but we are sent into the world to be a witness of Jesus Christ. Source

In these Last Days with the love of many waxing cold, the rifts, rivalries, and traumas within families all around the world are only going to escalate! Most of my articles are about broken relationships such as heartbreak, dysfunction, trauma, and the breakdown of the family unit.

Like I said, this ‘Can of Worms of the Love of Many Waxing Cold’ is only going to get worse! Sadly, if I were to divulge ALL of our Family Affliction, in my mind, it would make the Infamous American Family Feud of the Hatfields and McCoys look somewhat trivial and tame! (((sigh)))

1 Peter 4:12-14 KJV “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Until next time… Maranatha!


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