For a bride-to-be, it’s not uncommon to worry about family drama tarnishing the big day. What is rare is launching a massive, pre-emptive strike about it — but that’s exactly what Alyssa Pearce of Australia did when she sent her parents a fancy wedding “de-invitation,” as payback for years of alleged abusive and narcissistic behavior.
“Together with our friends and family, Alex and Alyssa would like to invite you to suck it and bask in our happiness, your bitterness and our mutual irritation at each other’s existence as we completely ignore yours and celebrate our marriage without you. There will be a lovely ceremony, followed by cake, food and general merriment. And you’re not invited to any of it. Because f—k you that’s why,” reads the parchment-paper invitation, printed in calligraphy by the bride herself before she mailed it to her estranged parents.
Pearce, 23, posted an image of the angry non-invitation several months ago on Reddit in a special “raised by narcissists” forum, using the anonymous screen name SkitzoCat. “So my narcissistic parents abused me for 16 years before I ran away from home,” she wrote. “Now they’re trying to bully their way (via family, they haven’t bothered to speak to me personally) into getting an invitation to my wedding. There was really only one way to respond.” Her post, which is going viral now, drew more than 200 comments, with supporters deeming her everything from “badass” to “my hero.”
The non-invitation, as posted on Reddit. Photo by Imgur.
This week Pearce spoke with BuzzFeed about her motivation, saying she suffered “physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of two people who were supposed to love and cherish me,” and that she was then being “bullied” to invite them to her upcoming wedding. Pearce, who is working toward a PhD in applied linguistics, according to BuzzFeed, added that she “snapped” after a family member pressured her to invite her parents, which prompted her to create the fancy announcement. “I mean, if you’re going to send someone a memorable ‘stuff you,’ you’ve really got to put in some effort,” she said. “You may as well go all-out.”
In an update she posted on Reddit, Pearce wrote that her grandfather had passed on a message to her from her father: “It went something like ‘Our relationship is now irreconcilable. If you keep harassing my family I will take out a court order to protect them. I don’t want to see you again near my business/house/family.’ I love how I’m not included in that ‘his family.’ Oh well.”
Pearce’s non-invite could bring a range of possible results for her, according to Mark Sichel, author of the book “Healing From Family Rifts” and a New York–based psychotherapist. “If the stories of abuse are true, then I think it’s a good thing to do,” he tells Yahoo Parenting, as sending such a loud and clear message could empower her. “And it could make her wedding happier, and allow her to not worry about the toxicity she feels [her parents] would bring to the event.” Because in feuding families, he notes, there’s often “a history of trying to ruin others’ happy occasions.”
Sichel also points out a possible irony: that posting the exchange in such a public forum “could indicate some psychopathology on her part,” and that “she herself might have narcissistic tendencies.” He further explains that, within families, there can be counterpart personalities known as “injustice collectors,” who hold on to past affronts and wounds, and “people pleasers,” who do everything they can to appease the unappeasable injustice collectors. “Within this family it could be that both sides are injustice collectors,” he says, which can tend to make reconciliation especially challenging.
A move like Pearce’s could also create “an irreparable wound” with no chance at healing — but that might be absolutely okay with her, and with others in her position, Sichel explains. “Some relatives give no pleasure, and blood is often thinner than water,” he says. “Some people have no problem walking away from family.”