First let me apologize for ranting - I will try to keep this short & to the point. I am a married 42 yo man with 3 children (some of you will remember that all are adopted & youngest is biracial). Been married 21 years. The issue.... i grew up in a very abusive, dysfunctional southern home - left at 17- lived in my car for 2 years - tried to heal the family after I was married - finally called it quits around 4 years ago after years of manipulation & bio father started using the "N" word in front of my youngest. Have had little contact (none initiated by us) since. The issue is this - my typical in denial battered mother showed up at my home a few weeks ago on the night of my 42 birthday. My wife, child & some friends were there. I chose to not interact with her at all during her 15 minute "visit" - she spoke with my wife. To be honest when I drove up & saw her car I became furious & did not interact with her to avoid a scene. Today, a nephew came by & during his visit indicated that mother was very upset that I wouldn't talk with her. Understand that we have neither heard from her or saw her in about a year. She brought a gift & a gift for my wife & child for christmas. This is what she does - she shows up once a year with a small gift but has no contact any other time. Talking with her is like talking to a total stranger because she does not know us nor will admit that the family is still dysfunctional - she would not be seen in public with my dark child nor speaks if we see her in town. There is a lot of pain & anger from the past that I DID forgive but I feel my behavior is within reason because I cannot forget nor allow them to hurt my family. What do you all think? Am I right to refuse the once a year visit & to be angry that she wants to show up once per year and act as if that is acceptable. Or am I right in refusing to allow someone else the power to hurt my family? The problem is that it brings up the old memories & pain for me & I do not feel that I "owe" them the resolution that they feel I owe them. It was their pleasure & my pain that brought me into this world - unwanted & unloved until I met my wife & began my own family. I feel like I should be able to dictate the relationships I have - not that others should be able to dictate the type of relationship we have.