DEAR ABBY: As far back as I can remember, my family has been in turmoil over spousal abuse, bitter sibling rivalries, and worse. Not surprisingly, I entered into a relationship with an abuser. My father's advice: "Go back, take your beating, and give that baby a home!"
Years later, after issues of childhood sexual abuse came up, I made a near total break. I have spent years in therapy, learning to protect myself and my child.
My family worships the god of respectability and public appearances. Despite years of spousal abuse, my mother has supported my father completely.
When Dad was near death, I made a final visit with my 7-year-old daughter and a support person. Abby, as my daughter played her violin for "Grandpa," he exposed himself to her. I attended his funeral for my mother's sake -- another mistake. My daughter was snubbed by her cousins and I was verbally attacked by an aunt.
In recent years, I limited our contact with my family. Mother's health is now failing, and she's in severe pain. I wish her no more suffering, but the situation hasn't changed. Do you think I should attend her funeral, or mourn privately for her passing? -- WANTS TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT
DEAR WANTS: Do what is right for you and your daughter, and discuss the ramifications of attending your mother's funeral with your therapist. Funerals sometimes bring out the worst in people, and from your description of them, your family could serve as poster models for dysfunction. If you feel the need to pay your respects, as far as I'm concerned, you and your daughter can visit her grave the following day. I see no reason to set yourself up for any further demonstrations of hostility.