May 2 2007, 12:23 PM
I'm doing okay.
My sister is pissed at me because I told my parents not to neglect her. I made them feel like crappy parents (hee!) for abandoning me and told them not to make the same mistake. Now my sister is pissed at me for it. But I'm fine with that, just so long as she's getting the help she needs.
My brother is moving on with his life. He recently had a chemistry study session with a cute girl. Yay!
Hey Bulb I hope your daughter fells better.
Gumby good luck on your upcoming nuptials.
Pugs, I hope your mom gets over her blood infection.
May 4 2007, 04:21 AM
wow, families can really suck. dechatsrouge, I'm glad your brother is moving on. it's such a hard thing to do. but cute girls must help
are your parents following through with your sister?
May 4 2007, 08:59 AM
(((((Busties with Disfunctional Families)))))
My situation is a little better. My mom and dad had it out for about 20 minutes yesterday when I stopped by to visit. I took everything in me to just sit there and wait for them to finish. Had I just stood up and left my father would have gotten pissed at me. I tried to get them to stop before it got bad but he just yelled and she just egged him on. So irritating. I hate visiting them. My sister came down to stay with me last night. I invite her down all the time so she can have a break for living in that house. I tell her she can move in with me but I don't think she's comfortable doing that until she has a steady job. Good luck everyone. It really helps me just coming on here to vent.
May 4 2007, 09:02 AM
QUOTE(deschatsrouge @ May 2 2007, 02:40 PM)
Hey Bulb I hope your daughter fells better.
She's perfectly fine now which is why it's so infuriating when my boyfriend's family insists there is something seriously wrong with her. It's almost like they want something horrible to be wrong with her just to say,"I told you so!"
May 4 2007, 09:42 AM
Here's hoping everyone is at least *feeling* better soon...
it seems like the dysfunction doesn't really end in a lot of cases...
all ya can do is hope for an upswing once in a while...
here's to upswings
May 4 2007, 09:58 AM
My stepmother called me downstairs last night to scream at me for about a half hour to tell me that I'm not contributing enough to her family.*
*Keep in mind that *I* work full time, more than 9 hour days, and then come home and clean her pigsty of a house when her own SON doesn't work at all and just sits home in his room and watches sports all day or hangs out with his 18-year-old girlfriend. Keep in mind that said son is 27. Oh AND her two daughters also do nothing. Mr. Arc and I are forced to do the upkeep while all my step-siblings do nothing. It is a true Cinderella story. I believe that she said I wasn't contributing enough because I didn't have enough money to pay for HER gas, when she makes $100,000+ a year. Does that seem right to anyone?!
We need to move out FAST.
May 4 2007, 10:56 AM
QUOTE(gumby_cc @ May 4 2007, 10:38 AM)
wow, families can really suck. dechatsrouge, I'm glad your brother is moving on. it's such a hard thing to do. but cute girls must help
are your parents following through with your sister?
I think so, My Sis told me she is going to counseling on a regular basis and is taking medication. But because she all pissed I haven't heard anything new. I'm going to assume that they are following through. come to think about it I should give the 'rents a call and ask, since Sis isn't talking to me.
Hey LMP if it makes you feel any better, I'm sorry your parents are ungrateful for your visits, I know I would be grateful.
Arcadia, if you need help looking for an apartment really far away from you step mom (like in Idaho
) I'd be happy to help.
May 9 2007, 06:18 PM
Haha, Idaho. That would be really far away!
It's kind of funny, because Mr. Arc is originally from Montana!
We will be moving out soonish. Just a matter of saving up the money. I guess I can't really complain because we live here rent free . . . .
. . . . Oh who am I kidding?
May 10 2007, 10:24 AM
I donno, living for free when it costs so much emotionally is such a drag....I mean, whatever works but I hope you are saving a ton of money by doing that! Sometimes it just isn't worth it. How much longer till you have enough, Arcadia?
Update: after another week of trying to contact my father, I finally caught him on the phone, after one month of no response. He acted nice on the phone, but the conversation was weird as always---he's very secretive so he can talk and talk but won't even really *tell* you anything. I told him about my wedding but he seemed completely disconnected from that part of the conversation. He offered that if I had the wedding in Providence he would hook me up with opera singers and caterers that would be willing to give me a discount. I said, "Oh, wow, how generous of you, that is so wonderful, but we just have to have it in Boston, le boy's grandma is very old and can't travel more than half an hour in any direction". He said, "Fine. Whatever." awkward silence for 15 seconds, then "so thanks for the call". End of conversation. That was about two weeks ago. Haven't heard from him since.
May 11 2007, 12:22 PM
Yeah, it's a little bit stressful. Especially today because last night my (indoor) cat went missing because someone wasn't paying attention and left a window open which didn't have a screen in it. I am not currently happy, sitting at work, very worried about my lovely little man.
It just makes more sense right now for me to stay where I am because I'm just starting to pay off some debt from student loans and stuff. It's kind of sucky, to say the very least.
May 12 2007, 08:24 AM
May 16 2007, 07:17 PM
I think step-parents suck way more!
My parents are actually pretty awesome. My mother is my best friend in the whole world and my father is equally awesome; I just wish he would grow a backbone and stand up to my step-mother when she is being rude or unjust to me for no reason at all. It just makes me angry because I'm stuck living with my Dad and step-mother (hopefully getting an apartment in three weeks; going to check it out tomorrow!) and whenever she reams me out for no reason he just sits back and lets her do it. It just bothers me because I'm *his* daughter, not hers, and therefore he should be the one to talk to me about anything and everything. I don't want to have to deal with her at all.
In other news, the cat came back! Yay! I missed him entirely too much. He's currently sleeping at the end of my bed. When I have my kitty, all is well with the world, even though it might really suck.
May 16 2007, 10:29 PM
I've been MIA for a long time (and forgot my username) but I want to give everyone props for hanging in there and being strong.
My parents neglected me when I was growing up, and I still find it very hard to make friends and be close to people. I'm 23 and I've never had a romantic relationship that lasted more than a few weeks. I'm so scared--I think all these things like, what if this person hurts me, how do I act, what if I just don't know how to be a friend, what if that question is too personal. I get attached to people too quickly and lost two friends in college in very nasty, hurtful ways (meaning, we're not friends...not that they died). My dad also used to (and probably still would if I let him) say very cruel things implying that I had no sense and didn't matter. I tried to get him to apologize a few years ago, but he said he hadn't done anything wrong...sigh...I'm moving back in with my mom for a few months after I graduate college in two weeks, so we'll see how that goes.
May 22 2007, 07:27 PM
Just an update:
I'm moving out in two weeks. I couldn't be any more happy than I am right now. Well, wait, maybe I could, if I was moving out tomorrow!
I sincerely think that my oldest brother hates me. He never looks at me, never talks to me, nothing. He never says my name. I don't know what I could have done to him that would make him feel this way. I don't get it. It's pretty horrible, though. It makes me feel pretty awful.
I kind of hate that I moved to the province I live in now. I moved from having an awesomely supportive family to living with a family that I barely know and who don't know me, who try to change everything about me (even the way I walk!), and who treat me like their maid. I looked over at Mr. Arc today and asked him (somewhat desperately) if he's always going to be here for me. Because without him, I have no one here. It makes me really sad sometimes.
I hope things get better for you. Sometimes I really hate what happened between my parents because I'm 22 and it's never-ending. I thought once I was all grown up it wouldn't hurt any more, but it does. I guess something like that never goes away.
May 30 2007, 11:55 AM
I have a situation that is going on in my family that is quite complicated. My mother got diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2004, she struggled for nearly two years and passed away last April. During the time she was sick, I was living in Chicago and attending school, When she took a turn for the worse, I began coming home (to Michigan) every week, on top of going to school. I was not able to work. During this time, it seemed like it was all on My Dad and I. My mother's sister didn't really do anything. Like she would come for an hour and then leave. Come over, have a couple of cigarettes and then take off. Instead of, perhaps picking up some groceries for my Dad and Ma or bringing dinner. Anyway, after my mother passed away in April, I finished school and had to move back home because of financial reasons. In July, about two months after my mother passed I started to notice a flirtation with my dad and my Aunt (mother's sister) this made me very uncomfortable and I asked my Dad about it one night and he kind of exploded..he then calmed down and said that they were just friends, but actions speak louder than words. Months went by and still felt like this was going on, my aunt would come over and there was this tension and flirting going on. It felt disrespectful to my mother and I was resentful that no one was talking about it, especially since we are a close family. Anyway, last night I had it and said it was time for all of us to be honest. My Dad and Aunt said that they had feelings for each other etc..This whole things makes me feel so uncomfortable. I have a best friend who is practically like my sister and I can't imagine wanting to pursue something similar if she were to die. The main thing that I am also picking up is that my Aunt is kind of critical, always comparing people and herself to others, she just strikes me as acting from a insecure place in all of this. Some of things that she has said, makes me think that she has always been jealous of my mother and really gets off on what is happening. Like she is exploiting the weaknessess that my mother and father potentially had in their relationship. She said that she would stop everything now if I felt weird about everything. However, that builds all this resentment from my father, and I don't want to control his life, but I also don't want to compromise my feelings. I also feel that since my mother died, a lot of the honesty in the family died with her. I was so close to my mother and we related to each other so well, I feel like the ghost of my mother sometimes.
Jul 3 2007, 03:48 PM
Jul 8 2007, 06:36 AM
Silverhaide, what's the scoop? Anything changed? I'm sorry things suck.
I talked to my father on the phone last Monday----it was the very first communication at all since April. You'd think after so long there'd be things to talk about....considering I'm getting married in August and all. But nope. Tons of awkward silences, him being completely unresponsive whenver I said anything, him not asking me anything about my life, and when I ask him things about his, he just giving me completely vague answers. We talked less than 10 minutes before he said he had to go. It was so fake.
Both my therapists have helped me the past month write up a letter I am sending to him regarding his behavior towards me.....I wrote I want a better relationship with him, that this one is crap, how pissed I am at the way he treats me, how his behavior makes me feel unsafe, and how I can't invite him to my wedding unless we can start having a conversation about this. I am expecting no response at all, but at least I would have gotten this off my chest. I actually sent it yesterday.
The problem is my mom, who although my dad hates her guts and treats her like shit, she still continues to give him the benefit of the doubt. When I first told her I was writing this letter, she was completely discouraging. "This is not going to solve anything, so why light this fire?" and "I'm not worried about his behavior!". Last night I called her to tell her how worried I was about his reaction, that he would try to get information about the wedding from her and then just show up. She said, "I don't want to be put in that position, what am I supposed to say?" I said, "Tell him to call me and ask." She just grunted like it was an impossible feat. I told her I couldn't live with myself if I didn't tell him how I feel. She said, "Does your boyfriend think you should send this?" Not once in my coversation did I ask her whether I should send it or not. I said, "I didn't call you to debate this, I'm sending it." She said, "I don't know what to tell you." This is coming from the same woman who suggested to me that since I can't afford a photographer for the wedding, I ask my father to do it. Or use the money I get as wedding gifts to pay for it. I feel like she's treating me like this 9 year old kid again where she knows best, like I'm just some idiot who is making it more difficult for everyone else. This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and she can't even say "I support you although I don't support what you're doing?"
Jul 14 2007, 05:56 PM
Gumby--nothing has really changed--it's just kind of strange. Nobody has really mentioned it since I brought it up. They can do whatever they want, but it is uncomfortable to me, maybe esp. since I am living in my Dad's house. My Aunt and I used to be pretty close, our relationship is very different ever since I noticed all of this. I kind of wish she would talk to me about it. We barely ever speak alone anymore really. It just seems like something that she would want to talk to me about seeing that I am my mother's daughter. Who knows. I guess that's what bothers me the most. Is that it took all this time for it to be out in the open and I was the one who brought it up. It just seems backwards. How did my life become so weird?? Ha!
Aug 1 2007, 10:44 PM
Oh, how I need this thread.
Despite the fact that we live in suburbia with the sterotypical two kids and a dog thing, my family is a dysfunctional mess. It's been a difficult thing for me to explain all my life, and I've only been realizing how truly awful it's been now, as I'm (thank heaven!) about to leave. I think one of the reasons I have such a hard time explaining it is that it's such a pervasive, general sort of problem, and my mother has an obsession with avoiding 'negative generalities' and only talking about specific incidents. Well, I'm sorry, but the whole thing sounds completely petty when broken down into little bits and pieces, and the fact that she accidentally threw out my birth control pills (fortunately I was at the end of my cycle and they were all blanks) because she was cleaning up for my uncle's visit and then also lost my prescription isn't really the point, although it certainly was irritating.
I suppose the problem is that they're rather set on social appearances, and so we can't possibly disagree in public or have a bit of clutter in our house when guests are over, despite the fact that our house is usually rather a mess. They're also extremely hypocritical most of the time, ex. my mother will lecture about how much time she spends cleaning the house, and how ungrateful we all are, despite the fact that we have a maid service, and she doesn't really clean anything herself at all. Also they both claim to hate interruptions in conversations, but constantly interrupt my brother and me when we're talking. I'm basically a latch-key girl half of the time, and they have no problem with me imposing on my friends' families when I need rides, but my brother is barely allowed to go out late, and they occasionally contact our teachers and fanatically track our grades, and inexplicably force us to make up random missing assignments and such. The worst bit is that through all of this they claim to love us and want to help us and listen to us, and they really think they are doing so. They have this great marriage where they never admit the other is wrong, although they do argue, but it's really harmful to my brother and me.
Fortunately for me, I'm going away to college this coming fall. I've had about enough of this treatment, and so I'm going off to Bryn Mawr College and never looking back. Hopefully I'll be able to stay in the area for summers as well, although that will make it difficult to see my best friend.
My current problems are that I'm scared to cut my parents off completely, even though I know I have to eventually, or close to it. I can't do it all the way until after college, as they're paying my tuition, but I don't think I should put myself through a lifetime of dealing with these people. (I don't know what the hell I'll do when/if I get married, but I certainly don't have to think about that right now.) It's just going to be hard for me because that would mean admitting I've never had real parents in my life, which I can do mentally already but not quite emotionally. The other thing I worry about is my poor boyfriend. I used to have a lot of anger about my home situation that I expressed by yelling at my parents constantly, and he's really influenced me to cut back on that. He's made me such an optimist, lol. But I worry that I unburden way too much of this stuff on him, and I don't want to do that. He just seems to be the only one who can help sometimes. He's totally cool with me talking to him about this stuff, but I think it upsets him somewhat, and it's hard to make him see that this isn't something I'll grow out of, because he's such a sweet guy himself. His parents are separated, so I wonder if that bugs him when I talk about this stuff, although frankly his family is way more functional than mine. They still read together and go on vacations and stuff. Oy. Finally, I'm worried about my younger brother. He used to be kind of a brat who was influenced a lot by my parents, but he's changed a lot lately. Unfortunately, he still has two more years with them, and for some reason they've suddenly decided I'm the good child (probably because I got into one of the Seven Sisters), so now they're restricting him even more than they ever did with me. They also gave him way less money this year then they we supposed to (oh yeah, we get yearly allowances, which they occasionally randomly take money from when they decide we're misbehaving, another fucked-up aspect of our relationship), because 'they had to pay for my college'. Um, bullshit. They've been saving for my college for ages; it isn't an unanticipated expense. Meanwhile, they gave me the normal amount of money. They always used to favour my brother, but apparently it's me now. Go figure. Poor guy.
Arrgh. This got really long, but it's good to have it out. I hope someone has suggestions, but if not it's been lovely to get this off my chest at any rate.
Aug 14 2007, 10:22 PM
So, I'm new to this thread, but things are just dragging me down in my family lately, and as much as I try to explain this to my friends/boyfriend, everyone makes excuses instead of just listening.
I'm not even sure where to start.
I moved a lot when I was a kid, and we weren't financially stable. I have 5 siblings, but only grew up with four. The oldest, who is my half-sister although I consider her my sister period, kind of came and went as she pleased. The one above me, (i'm the youngest), was never with me period due to some fucked up reason that I don't fully understand. My dad used to bail out on us when we were kids, but eventually came to stay. We've lived in hotels, and crammed into studio apartments.
My mother and I never really had a good relationship when I was growing up. She's called me everything from psycho, whore, to "the accident" she wishes she could take back. Otherwise she flat out ignored me unless it was to start a screaming match telling me she wished I was dead. Despite that, I still tried. When her diabetes went down hill and she was put on insulin, I went out of my way to help. Even learning to give her the shots myself, and cooking things for a diabetic diet. My sisters had kids that they never took care of, and I essentially dropped out of highschool and took my GED to be a stay at home mom for kids that weren't mine. My oldest brother ignores me completely, dismissing everything I say as childish and below him, even today when I'm 22 years old. My other brother, (closest to me in age), is a massive alcoholic. He can be the nicest person in the world, but as soon as he drinks I get the phone calls blaming me for all his problems, and telling me that if I hadn't been born, they might have done better in the family. It's all my fault.
I finally moved out at twenty, when the boyfriend witnessed the barrage of phone calls I would get for being out past ten p.m.
Ever since then I've had a better relationship with my mom. She considers me her "only friend". And going from giant mistake, I was elated! I helped out anyway I could, even when my boyfriend felt I was doing too much.
Recently, however, they lost the house. My parents and my brothers are essentially homeless. I was more than happy for them to stay with me for a night. Then a night turned into a week. My boyfriend broke down and asked if he could have one night just me and him. He works weird hours and has two jobs, so we really only have one day a week to see each other. They said yes, and went to my sisters.
I was working at the time, and later got angry phone calls from my mother, and my completely wasted brother. To the point where they were making me cry so much, my giant bitch manager felt sorry for me and came in to run the register so I could calm down. They wanted to stay again. I tried my boyfriend's phone several times, but he didn't answer, and it was close to midnight. My mother then played the guilt card and started sobbing and saying I didn't do enough for them. I caved, and said yes. Then my boyfriend calls and hears everything my brother called me, and me sobbing on the phone and flips out.
Basically, everyone hates me. After another week of staying, my boyfriend told them they had worn out their welcome, and it was time to leave. Told them to stop taking advantage of me, and treating me like shit. As nice as that was, it made things worse with my family.
I don't want to cut my family off, especially my nephews and neices who are like my kids, but it feels like I'm being used. I don't know what to do, and I've gotten insomnia again for the first time in two years.
Thanks for reading this if you do. I know you guys don't know me, but I do appreciate it. And sorry for any typos, I was typing fast.
Oct 20 2007, 09:03 PM
okay, so, i have an issue with my grandmother. here's the thing--she's never been very involved in my life. we were never close at all, and she moved several states away when i was about 15 and i haven't seen her in person since. we speak on the phone at christmas, we send each other the appropriate cards at the appropriate holidays--and she emails me.
like, three or four terrible, horrible, no good, very bad FORWARDS a day. things i have absolutely no interest in reading and many which, when i finally do read them, i find actually offensive (tasteless jokes about asian people, tasteless jokes about tired gender roles, preachy out-of-context quotes proving the existence of god's love and the supremacy of america, squawk squawk squawk, etc.). i mean, more often than not it will be a bunch of photos of pets in halloween costumes or obviously photoshopped "unbelievable optical illusions!", but there is also stuff i have a real problem with.
she's not sending these TO ME. she has put me in an address group, so she presses a button and off it goes to everyone. and i pretty much delete them the second i see them in my inbox.
now, this would be fine to ignore and avoid an ugly situation, except that she expects me to reply to them. most of these are sent without any editing on her part, straight into the forward group, but every once in a while she will slip in a few lines before the forward, and it's always some shit like "i miss hearing from you". i write her emails SEPARATE from the forwards, but obviously not as often as she forwards stuff to me, and it makes me so pissed off that she's guilting me about not replying to every damn one, as if a forwarded email she got from her neighbor with an animated gif of a thomas kinkaid painting and a story about how isn't it funny how men don't do the dishes is hearing from her!?
what do i do? can i confront her about it? or do i just go on as before, suck it up and have the guilt trips as my cross to bear? if she had been a part of my life when i was a kid and it really counted, maybe we'd have the kind of relationship where there would be more to talk about, but apparently that was not on her mind. i feel bad that she's old and probably sad and bored, but i also resent being guilted into dealing with something that is not only annoying but patently offensive to me. am i being selfish?
Nov 2 2007, 11:44 AM
Hey mouse I know how hard it is to stick up for your self and reject guilt from family members. I had a different problem but a similar situation. I had to make the decision to stand up for myself and not let the guilt in to my brain. I though of it this way: If I let the guilt in, I'm letting my family member control me and my thoughts. I made a stand and took back those things, by not letting any one else but me into my head. I did this by realizing that I didn't deserve the guilt, and if I don't want to do something I don't have to. When you take a stand remind your grandma that you like sharing your life with her, and then only share your life with her when you want to. I don't think you are being selfish, I think it's a bit selfish of her to expect you to respond to every inane email she sends you.
Do you have a spam function on your email? if you do inform your grandma that if she doesn't remove you from her junk email list you are going to apply the spam function to her emails.
Nov 25 2007, 10:46 AM
I just saw Margot at the Wedding this past Friday. It reminded me so much of my mother and her sisters in my own family and just how two faced they all are. How they all compete against each other, lie to one another, and emotionally beat each other down. They claim love, say it, and then turn around and throw it out the window - never listening and always selfish. I have never thought the behaviors of my family was normal. As a I grew up, I saw it sad and un-nerving. I wish I had my own sister. So, that I could try to change the way the other women in my family treat their mothers, sisters, and daughters...and even their own cousins.
Whew, I got that out. Felt good. Thanks.
Dec 5 2007, 11:33 PM
Okay so, the holidays are coming- and i'm not looking forward to them at all because my alcoholic father always ruins it. I have a very quick temper when it comes to his antics, and I just have not found a way to deal with him without snapping. He's been this way for almost 17 years now (post-Desert Storm war). And while I feel bad for him, he makes me so angry. He verbally abuses my mother (but she gives it back to him!), he verbally and emotionally abuses me and my siblings (and has for all these years) yet strangely I still care about his well being and health. I always get upset and can't express myself to him without anger or crying uncontrollably.
I've tried for years reaching out to him via letters and one on one conversations when he's sober. He remembers nothing when he's drinking which is 85% of the time. Anyway, i just needed to get that out. I dont really talk about it with anyone except my family - obviously thats not helping.
Anyone else in here a child of an alcoholic?? How do you cope?
Dec 6 2007, 12:58 PM
My Missus is a daughter of an alcoholic and I've been trying to get her to go to therapy and to an alanon/alateen support group forever. I bumped the alcohol thread and the addiction thread for you kon.This
is the addiction thread.This
is the alcohol thread.
Dec 8 2007, 10:09 AM
My parents decided to get their hardwood floors refinished. With the way their house was set up there was no way they would be able to get to the kitchen, their bedroom and bathroom without walking on the newly finished floors while they were drying. So Mr. Pug and I invited them to come stay with us. Although we don't get along when we are all under one roof I thought it was a nice gesture. They were putting a lot of money into this and I didn't want them getting messed up from their dogs nails or anything. So I kept saying, "Hey, come stay with us. We have an extra room and bathroom. You'll be very comfortable." Everytime I saw them I'd say this. My dad was all about it. He wanted started packing for the week and kept bugging my mom to start as well. However, my mom kept saying, "Well, I don't want to stay there if the floors will be dry later in the evening. I'll have to drive even further to get to work." blah, blah, blah.
So the morning of the beginning of the project my dad finally freaks out on her to pack her shit cause they were coming to my house that night. She just looked at him like he was being unreasonable and then started packing. They came down that night. I was really worried about the stay because my mother was just being so difficult.
So they stayed the first night and the first morning they were there my mom went out to start her car and fell down the front steps of my house. *sigh, eyes roll* She is so clumsy and always in a hurry and doesn't pay attention. She really sprained her ankle. She ended up staying home half the day, elevated it, iced and wrapped it. All the while, I'm taking care of her, brining her this and that and not getting anything done myself. This is the last two weeks of school so I'm crunching to get shit done and not getting shit done while I'm pampering her.
So they stayed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesay nights. I cooked every night and there was tons of dishes and no one helped me wash them. They kept offering but never actually helped. I fed their dogs and laid out fresh towells on their bed every morning. I mean I think they had it very well while they stayed here.
So Thursday they left and then Friday morning my mother is calling me at 5:45 a.m. giving me a list of her things that "my dad" forgot to bring home asking me if I could drop it all off after class. I'm trying to get some sleep cause I have class at 8:30 a.m. Then my dad calls to tell me that they decided to have another coat put down on the floors and that they would need to stay another night. I said no problem.
So, last night was their last night (I hope) and my dad bought pizza for all of us so I wouldn't have to cook. I thought that was very nice. He also bought us a $50 gift card to our local supermarket which was also nice since I had to make a couple stops at the market throughout the week for extra food since I had an extra two mouths to feed.
This morning we had breakfast and they thanked us and told us how nice the stay was and how easy we made it on them. I felt really good about all of it. My parents and I have never gotten along under the same roof but this time they treated me like an adult. It was actually a really nice visit. They cleaned up their room and made the bed before they left. Cleaned up the bathroom and my dad even washed a load of dishes before he left.
I can honestly say I actually enjoyed having them here. Maybe my family is getting a little more functional as we all get older.
Dec 8 2007, 09:09 PM
I am so glad this thread is here.
My 32-year-old brother has decided that he never wants to have any contact with our grandmother for the rest of her life. She wasn't mean or abusive - just a normal, affectionate, doting grandmother. I don't enjoy spending time with her, as she can be somewhat annoying, and she's not a person I would choose to hang out with. But she's a sad old lady whose husband no longer recognizes her and has very few living friends. It doesn't take much to make her happy, but my asshole brother is just waiting for her to die. He won't call her, allow our parents to give her his new phone number, answer her mail, or visit. He lives many states away from her, but now it looks like he's going to avoid visiting our parents too, because they live in the same town as her.
I'm so mad at him. The last contact I had with him was in June, when I emailed him and told him not to give me his new phone number, because if he did, I would give it to our grandmother. He never responded. Now the holidays are coming up. Who knows what's going to happen.
Dec 15 2007, 08:18 AM
I've been eating much healthier the last three weeks and yesterday, after treating my mom and sister to lunch, my sister made a comment that my legs are looking thinner and that I’m doing well with my new eating habits. My sister is very encouraging and a sweetheart all together. However, my mom then made a comment that when my legs get skinnier I’ll be able to walk straight without walking with one leg out to each side like I do now (waddling). I just love her encouraging comments. When I told Mr. Pug about this just nonchalantly before dinner, he told me not to talk to him about my mother anymore because she makes him so angry and he feels helpless. I think he wanted to call her and yell at her for being so fucking mean. I know he won’t in order to avoid a family feud but it made me feel good that she bothers him as much as she bothers me.
In all honesty, her comment didn't bother me at first but having played it back over and over in my head it really did hurt. I know I'm fat and I'm working on it. I didn't get fat overnight and I'm not going to loose weight overnight. I need time. I've been feeling so good about my new eating habits. I'm already down a size. Feeling more confident and having more energy. Why does she have to say things like that? Why can't she just be positive? Well, at least I have Mr. Pug, my sister and my dad.
I'm not going to do it but when she says things like that it just makes me want to go on a fast food binge.
Dec 16 2007, 08:17 PM
So I went to visit the family this weekend. Gaaaaaaaaaaaah, for the most part it was a pleasant visit. I got to spend quality time with my mother and grandmother-- we talked about old times; I even had a convo with my sister about religion. Which is a topic we've NEVER ventured into. But of course, by the middle of the visit, my father's alter ego reared his ugly head. But we kinda avoided each other or only stayed in each other's presence for a limited period of time.
I dont know if I make him nervous, or if he thinks I hate him or what. But our interactions are usually volatile. We're like oil and water. I can't deal with the drinking. Im going to go post on the addictions board too. I cant believe how much he consumes! Its unreal.
Dec 23 2007, 08:42 AM
I just had my family Christmas thing yesterday here at my parents. It was good for the most part, but I still feel really uncomfortable around my one uncle, because during the summer he was visiting friends where I live, and i went out with them and got really drunk (as did everyone else), and later my housemate found me passed out on our living room floor and had to call an ambulance...
however, my uncle doesn't know the part about the ambulance, nobody in the family does because they would just yell at me, so at dinner he was all like "Hey lananans, why don't you have some red wine, you like that, don't you?" and i felt like crying... he doesn't realize how awful that was for me, it was embarrassing to be like that in front of his friends, and awful for my housemate, and i was depressed for days... and I don't want to tell him about what actually happened but his comments make me so upset. So I only had a drink after all of my aunts and uncles left, because I didn't want to drink in front of him. And once he was gone I felt a lot more relaxed. I guess I don't have to see him for another while, so it's okay. I was just upset, so I thought I would post it here.
((hugs)) to everyone with family problems, the holiday season can be the worst. definitely.
Dec 28 2007, 01:41 AM
I really need to get this out; it's about my relationship with my uncle. Most of my issues with him are about food and my body image, and i'm living with him and my aunt this semester before I move to university, which is why this is such a big problem.
first of all he is the biggest food pusher I've ever met without a doubt. he's never been to cooking school but i consider him an amazing chef, and he cooks everyone's favorite food, which is nice. but he makes you guilty if you don't have seconds, sometimes thirds, even if you decline he doesn't take no for an answer. food is basically the focus of his life - he's had a double bypass, diabetes, and blood clots. he really can't control his eating habits, and he buys mass quantities of cookies, cakes, everything he likes. he cooks humongous (sp?) portions and we have leftovers for days. the problem is i'm trying very hard to lose weight and eat healthy, but he doesn't respect my decision and makes all my favorite (fattening) foods anyway and it's very difficult for me sometimes, especially if i've had a stressful day. especially when he pushes.
I've gained some weight since i've starting living here, and he doesn't make me feel great about it. my self-esteem has taken a huge dive. he called me 'fat girl' (jokingly) for awhile until i told him to stop. pretty much everything i eat is scrutinized by him - he comments on the fat content and sugar amount of everything i eat, and i can't stand it. he'll be chowing down on Popeye's chicken and be like 'you're going to eat that fattening burrito instead of this dinner i brought home?' He tells me i don't have the body to wear certain clothes that i look at in catalogues (thanks, really.)
he criticizes every woman on TV, and if she's any less than perfect he thinks she should wear a bag over her head, and he's blatanty disgustingly sexist, openly tells me which women he would like to "bend over" and who he would like to go down on him, which needless to say is irritating. women on TV that are my size he describes as 'fatasses,' (I'm not even really that big, but not the point, of course.) my aunt is very overweight and he calls her fat to her face. even though they both work, she has an 'allowance' while he's free to spend what he wants and i think she's depressed. and he's so obsessed with appearances, despite his beer belly and middle-aged body. not to mention his hour-long monologues about his latest monster shit, including smell, size, color and consistency (sorry, i know). His nick-name for me is 'the liberal,' which is a step up from 'fat girl' i guess. i've tried so hard to set boundaries with him, but he doesn't respond very well to my attempts. I'm not asking for advice really (unless you have some) i just really needed to vent this. he's driving me f%*&ing nuts.
that's a little better....i'll be back to vent some more soon i'm sure.
Dec 28 2007, 05:05 AM
hey, it's only one semester right?? hang in there.
Dec 28 2007, 11:48 AM
*deep cleansing breaths*
Dec 28 2007, 07:47 PM
Dec 28 2007, 08:18 PM
I am very upset. My brother is in first year university, I am in fourth. I am leaving on New Year's Eve to go back to school because I have to work, but he is just leaving tomorrow to go visit friends, and not coming back to visit my parents, because he just doesn't want to. I have a real reason, he just doesn't care. He didn't even tell my parents he was leaving until tonight, and he's leaving tomorrow morning. They are so incredibly upset and he didn't even take how they would feel into consideration. He is just so ridiculously selfish. I'm now hiding in my room because I don't want to face my parents when they are this upset, and I'm too mad at my brother to go hang out with all of my brothers (3) who are playing guitar hero or something.
I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.
Dec 28 2007, 08:18 PM
Jan 2 2008, 02:55 AM
my uncle is at it again. I'm at the point where i am sneaking food to my room so I don't have to hear his comments about what I'm eating, unsoliticted advice on how to lose weight, etc. it's not even unhealthy food, it's just.....food, like sandwiches. I have to come up with a defense for every bite i put in my mouth. I don't know who made him the food police, but i think he needs therapy. seriously. he conveniently doesn't believe in therapy though, he's incredibly old-fashioned. Whenever i object to his behavior he looks absolutely puzzled! it's this weird dichotomy because he has the unhealthiest eating habits and consumes way too, yet he criticizes my eating habits more than anyone (projection maybe?) really he's the only one. I think he definitely has a food addiction. he also sits in front of the Tv and looks for flaws in the women on the screen, it's this weird sort of hobby for him. I don't think he realizes that it hurts the women around him too.
My mom and dad have really bad eating habits, and i'm worried about their weight as well. Looking over the thread I can see other BUSTees have or have had the same issues with family members, so i know we are in the same boat. I am rehearsing this speech in my head that i'm going to give him about how what i eat is my business and that from now on I do not want any unsolicited advice or comments about my food consumption. *Sigh.* I hope it works.
Jan 3 2008, 04:51 PM
I AM SO WITH YOU ON THIS!!!! I am still home for Christmas and have been "sneak eating" for almost a week and a half. I don't want to be self-promoting, but I did just write a BLOG entry I am sure you would love. It's me recounting trying to get the scent of TACO BELL out of my Mom's car so I DON'T GET BUSTED. hee hee.
Jan 8 2008, 01:28 PM
Thank you, kayla! I read some of your blog and your situation is sounding so familiar. I feel for you. A few days ago when i asked for a slice of banana bread my uncle told me that he "hid it from me" to help me on my diet. This really upset me as i didn't ask him to do this, and it's not like I'm gorging myself - i wanted 1 piece because he threw out what i was going to eat for dinner. If i were gorging myself it would be my damn business anyway. I accidently snapped at him and told to that i didn't need him to make a comment evertime i put something in my mouth, and he got upset and told me that i'm a guest in this house, and if i'm going to be "cocky and a smart-aleck" then he'll just ask me to leave. So I'm visiting my mom for a week, something i very much needed. Especially upsetting is that i'm doing Weight Watchers and haven't lost any weight at all. My self-esteem/body-image is at an all-time low and i don't feel the least bit attractive. The last thing i need is to go back and have him remind me everyday that i'm fat. More upsetting is when i tell him i'm trying to eat healthy, and he then makes special foods "just for me"--lasagna, enchiladas, mashed potatoes, cookies. All i want is just to eat what i want without anyone trying to shove fattening foods in my face, or tell me what i should/shouldn't be eating. this should be simple enough. I can't watch television anymore because when i do, he looks at all the women and goes, "Don't you wish you had a flat stomach like her?" Fucking asshole. Mind you own fucking business! My body and eating habits aren not your fucking business!
Jan 8 2008, 09:33 PM
olivarria - although my situation isn't exactly the same as yours, my family issues right now are pushing my bad eating habits straight off a cliff. i've been stuffing my face none stop for three days now. i have to get my emotions under control or i'm going to undo all the hard work i've done. i'm already plotting to eat the leftovers Mr. Pug's mom gave us tonight that are calling my name in the fridge.
Jan 19 2008, 07:24 PM
Does anyone else think there should be some sort of help center for abused men, i.e, "henpecked" men who are verbally and emotionally abused by their long-term partners? Is there something like this already? I really worry about my dad sometimes. My mother is a very mean person who does not seem to care for his feelings at all, (or anyone else's for that matter, but is esp. mean and controlling/manipulative/abusive and demeaning to my father).
P.S. Is the word "henpecked" offensive? If anyone feels it is, please enlighten me. I've a feeling it probably is. But I'm saying it here because I feel it's the best word to get my meaning across.
Feb 14 2008, 03:20 PM
warning: bitching ahead, could be a downer
I'm beginning to hate some of the fuckers in my family. They seem to have this assumption that, because I don't constantly air out my dirty laundry to them, and didn't fall to pieces over my recent divorce, that my life is easy breezy. So they run with that and literally make constant pokes at me in what really, really reeks of an attempt to get me to feel bad, (like they ASSume I don't already.) From Thanksgiving to now, they have criticized my choice to not have kids, my choice to live with a guy rather than marry again, as these women do over & over ad infinitum, and the one that's really starting to get me down: my body size (they're always talking fat talk, to which I'm not privy, and apparently since I'm not fat, my height is called into question on a more and more regular basis, comments about how short my legs are, "are you wearing high heels today? cuz you look taller than usual", "you can't weigh more than what, 100 lbs soaking wet?"). It's to the point where I'm so stressed and anxious before going around them that I'm shaking. Even after relaxing to the best of my ability.
I totally feel that what has put me under the microscope of these evil scientists is that I don't show up on their doorsteps every few months, rolled up in a pathetic little drunken ball going "waaaaaaahhh....pleeeeease somebody heeeeelp meeee...I've lost everything (again! for the 34th time!), went out with another ex-con, failed to use protection, he's back in prison, I'm pregnant again, can't take care of the kids I already have, broke (jobs are out the question), no car, can I sleep on your couch for a few months or three years," that life is pie & ice cream for me. Cuz that is literally what these peoples' lives consist of, all jokes aside. This is what they do. Every few months. Someone has had a nervous breakdown, someone has started drinking again, someone's got another DUI, someone's kid's back in juvi, someone shacks up with someone else in a desperate attempt to pick up the pieces, time & again, just like clockwork. Conversely, my route of choice to self-improvement is just that: self-im-fricking-provement ~ not running to others because no one can help you but yourself, that's how I feel.
But the thing is, I feel for them, always have, never talked this way about them before. Cuz you know, there's stuff going on there that I don't think anyone would consciously choose? What I've done is treat them with kindness and respect each and every time I see them. It's as though, since they know I won't speak back to them (I really don't need to stoop to that level?), they are desperately trying to provoke this reaction in me, they keep poking at me more and more and seem angrier and angrier each time I don't react.
So it's this stuff that's been really getting to me lately. They've been doing it a lot lately. I had been going along for the last several years trying to stay zen, actually doing better than I ever had before, because I had a break from them for the last decade simply by being married, and they didn't act that way at all toward me with husband there as a buffer. But after the recent divorce, they once again unleashed the beast on me. Suddenly I feel exactly the way I used to feel when I was a kid. And so all that negative BS is piling up, and it's bringing up the past which I feel terrible about, blah, blah, the first couple times I swore I wouldn't let them invade my private space like this
I hate those fuckers is how I feel now. cuz I can't get it out of my head. They've poked away, finally got to me, and I feel awful because i think I'm starting to sound bitter, which in my opinion, means they've won.
My boyfriend begs me to stay away from my family. He tells me that he saw me gradually feel worse and worse after the last several times I've seen them, of course he's right. But it's like, I don't want to let them make me disappear you know? Like I do still want to at least come around for holidays, I just want them to leave me alone.
Flip, I don't know. After thinking about it, I may have to write them off though. Has anyone done that? Sorry for the negativity. pfft. I just really need to sound off. I mean, all I can think about is revenge lately. And that's *not* me at all...??
Jul 9 2008, 07:47 AM
I'm so annoyed right now. My boyfriend's mom lives downstairs, and we always shared a vacuum. Then one day his mom bought a new one and told us we could keep the old one.
I was kind of stoked because I love to vacuum and I hated having to lug the thing up and down the stairs constantly. Plus I was glad that we could keep it in the closet.
Well, that lasted about a week, before they decided they didn't like the new vacuum because it doesn't work. It was really expensive and there's a 5-year warranty on it, but do they do anything about it? no. She would rather waste the money and leave it sitting there than get it fixed. So she started just coming upstairs and taking it without even telling me, and now it's back to me having to go downstairs and drag the vacuum up whenever I need to use it. Sometimes I haven't even gotten to use it yet and she comes back up and takes it.
She made my boyfriend carry it down last night and then this morning she came up here (with me eating breakfast in my underwear- she is ALWAYS coming up here!!!!) to ask me if I had any vacuum bags, because she "doesn't have any money" for them. They're like $2. Maybe you could afford them if you weren't constantly doing things like buying brand new expensive vacuums and then blowing off the warranty when they don't work! She has so many pieces of equipment (DVD players, exercise machines, etc.) in her house that she hasn't used once because she's too dumb to figure them out, so she breaks them or just plain doesn't do anything with the warranty she paid for. This is why she always comes up and takes our DVD player. She thinks that the most expensive always = the best and so she's like 30 thousand dollars in debt because she barely works and buys tons of crap like flashy new cars and hot tubs and stuff that she doesn't need. And then she whines about her debt and acts like it's something that happened to her and not something she did to herself.
(I know I should just buy my own vacuum)
She's just so annoying. She's the dumbest person I've ever met- I'm not kidding. She really is that stupid. And she's also passive-aggressive and nosy. And always coming up here at the drop of a hat, and if I lock the door she gets mad. Last fall my boyfriend's cats were peeing in the house, and I wanted to kick them out and we kept fighting about it and of course she butts in about it. I was willing to let them in at night if they were outside all day but she'd let them in our house 5 minutes later. I asked her not to do that and explained they were peeing in the house and that gave her an excuse to start nosing in and giving her "opinion" on how it's mean to let a cat outside for more than 3 seconds a day. And when we went to europe we asked her to water the plants once a week and take care of the cats and we get back and half the plants are dead and it smells like cat piss in here again.
fuccck I hate her!
Jul 9 2008, 01:02 PM
@ht: why don't you just take her new broken vacuum, use the warranty, have it repaired and keep it as yours? or you might return it to her and have her give you back the old one.
wow, i feel for you! i am glad that my boyfriend's mum lives 300 miles away. we get along fine when we visit her but i would not want to share a house with her.
Jul 9 2008, 03:23 PM
((((hellotampon))))) what indie said, although I'd probably keep it. I have to ask though... is there a reason you live above her? Would it be possible/practical to move?
I'm mostly getting this off my chest, although if you've got suggestions, I'm open to them.
My mother is thinking of bringing her boyfriend with her back to the uk. He's 27, she's a month off 52, which freaks me out as it is. They've been together nearly a year, but I've never met him (I can't be bothered to go out to where she's living now, as it's expensive to travel, boring when you get there, and I do not want to deal with him). The last time my misgivings were brought up (cheers, nana, I told you that in confidence) we had a massive falling out and I don't know if our previously strong relationship has recovered. I've got this horrible feeling that I can't quite get through to her, but the more I say, the further away she seems. I want to be supportive, but... I don't think I can deal with this. Part of me is scared it's middle-class snobbery and racism (he's arabic), and part of me knows that I can't judge him if I haven't met him, but... I'm not comfortable discussing him with her face-to-face, or even over the phone. I know I should accept he's a part of her life, and I've done this with her earlier boyfriends (serious ones included) but.. yeah. I really don't want to screw my relationship with my mother so it ends up taking me ten years to have a civil conversation with her (like it did my dad)
Jul 9 2008, 07:52 PM
Nope, it wouldn't be practical to move. She owns the place and got sick of renting out the apartments to crackheads, so they decided to give them to family members. Our rent is cheap, we have a big yard, lots of pets, ample parking, etc. Not to mention I'd never be able to drag my boyfriend out of here- he has no desire to let go and live somewhere else. He'll probably still be living above his parents when he's 40. It's kinda shabby here but it's an amazing place to live, aside from his family! That's why I feel like an ass for getting mad, but uggh, she's so annoying. Same with the brother.
HTboy's brother lives downstairs with his girlfriend, and they don't work, they're constantly drunk and fighting loudly, coming upstairs looking for trouble, etc. The parents have called the cops on him several times and have tried to kick out the gf but it never works. They just keep enabling him. While we were abroad we actually got an email saying they threw them out. I was like, "oh yeah like all those other times??" but we came home and they were actually gone. It's been nice and quiet the last few days, and then yesterday and today he started bringing the gf over, and now it looks like they're already back. No screaming yet though. I don't know how the gf can even show her face here. I wouldn't want to, I'd be embarrassed. They've tried to kick her out several times.
I think you might as well meet your mother's boyfriend. You already feel shitty about it, so you have nothing to lose. Personally I would probably NOT deal with it, and try to keep the conflict to a minimum since you know she'll be going home (or is she moving permanently?). Can you tell her you don't want to repeat what you went through with your dad?
Jul 10 2008, 07:18 AM
she'll be moving here permanently, although not until september. If I want to meet him before then, I have to go out to algeria (which is not happening)
urgh for stupid people. I'm sorry you can't move, and I hope you can... i don't know, sort something out. especially the brother/gf downstairs.
Jul 14 2008, 04:45 AM
My mom does this very annoying thing to me. If she doesn't like what I'm wearing, which is often, she just won't comment on my outfit. Then when I leave the room she'll comment to my sister about how terrible a certain shirt looks on me. Of course it always gets back to me and my feelings are hurt. It's always at some big family event that she has to pull this shit. Drives me crazy. I'm overweight and self concious about my appearance anyway and she always makes me feel so terrible.
Well, last Friday when I went to her house she was outside laying in the sun and she was wearing this OLD LADY swimsuit. She looked terrible. She's also been complaining about how much weight she's put back on since her weight watchers days. Let me tell you, not only did she look old but FAT and I mean FAAAAAAAT! Of course, I didn't tell her this but I also didn't tell her she looked good. When I got home I couldn't wait to tell Mr. Pug how bad she looked. He laughed.
When we went out to see my grandmother on Saturday I purposly wore a shirt that I knew she wouldn't like. It was purple, low cut and tighter then she thinks I should wear. Again, she didn't comment that I looked nice or anything. FUCK HER!! I wore it anyway and I looked nice in all the pictures we had taken. I kept thinking of her in that swimsuit anytime she looked at me in my new shirt.
Jul 16 2008, 08:37 PM
Pugs, I can so
identify with your need to seek your mom's approval. It's a particular issue of mine that I still haven't managed to see my way through. My mom suffers from borderline personality disorder which, in a nutshell, means she puts a lot of conditions on her love, she has a fear-based outlook on the world (and taught me to be the same), and she literally can't recognize anyone else's feelings but her own, to the point that it borders on narcissism.
My mom had a very tough childhood. Her mother had mental issues and was physically abusive to my mom and her brother when they were small children. She was taken to a mental facility when my mom was about 4 or 5 years old. Due to the abuse, my mom and her brother were taken away from their father by social services. He eventually got them back, in about a year's time, but the damage had been done. My mom had horrible abandonment issues, which research has shown, can lead to BPD. Her father was also an alcoholic, and even though my mother has never mentioned a word about any kind of physical or sexual abuse from him, her deeply ingrained mistrust of men speaks to the possibility.
My mom did date when she was in her 20s, but on the rare occasions when she talks about it, she mostly says that she thought the guys were ridiculous and she didn't like it that they were always so "handsy." From everything she's told me about her life, my mom basically threw herself into work, and by the time she was in her late 30s, she decided she was interested in adopting children. She wanted to buy a house and raise some kids, but she knew she couldn't do it on her salary alone. So after some trials and errors, she eventually found a female co-worker who was as equally fearful of men, shared my mom's rather strict set of religious morals, and was also interested in adopting kids.
They bought a house together and eventually started working on making a family. My mom adopted me and her...um...housemate
, for lack of a better term, adopted a son from India. And that became our odd little family. My mom and her housemate have lived together for over 40 years now, and my mom has never identified as a lesbian. For all intents and purposes, she isn't. She and her housemate were certainly never romantically involved. And despite the fact that they share some surface similarities, I've never known two people with such opposite personalities to co-exist in the same house for so long.
My mom, with her BPD, is VERY
much a control freak, extremely opinionated and has a very strong personality. Over the years, her housemate has essentially given up whatever personality and skills of independent thinking she brought to the relationship (such as it is), and now simply agrees with my mom on nearly every topic they discuss. She allowed my mom to undermine her parenting skills with her son and to shatter any semblance of self confidence she had as a parent and an individual. My mom completely took over the discipline of her housemate's son because, according to my mom, she "didn't know how to be a parent." When the housemate threatened to leave and take her son to her sister's house in another city, my mom destroyed her confidence by telling her she'd never make it on her own, even with her sister's help. Over the years, her housemate's personality has become sucked up into my mom's. But I can't blame her for it because how else was she supposed to survive with that kind of emotional abuse in her life?
That said, though, when I was a kid, I had very little respect for my mom's housemate as a parent. They had different work schedules, so when her son and I came home from school at 3 pm, the housemate was there to parent us while my mom was still at work. When we were kids, we often gave the housemate holy hell on those afternoons after school, but she had no idea how to function as a disciplinarian (while my mom had absolutely no
problem in that area), so she couldn't control us.
Many afternoons when I came home from school, the first thing I did was call my mother at work to bitch and complain about the housemate and tell my mom how horrible she was being. It was the one thing my mom and I could agree on, and one of the few ways I had of gaining her approval (or so I thought) when I was a kid. All it really served to do was widen the cracks in our already dysfunctional family.
What I was doing in those instances of talking with my mom about the housemate to get my mom's approval was something known as 'triangling' by family systems therapist Murray Bowen. I'm going to put on my 'counselor hat' now (if I haven't been pedantic enough already) and say that Pugs, I think you're doing a bit of triangling with your partner regarding your mom when you talk with him about how horrible she's acting. And I can tell you from experience that it's not helpful to you and your family.
Murray Bowen, who was a practicing therapist in the '50s and '60s, developed a particular theory of family therapy known as the Bowen Family Systems Theory, which you can read more about on this link
. He did extensive research on his theory, which involved triangulation between three members of a family unit, which I mentioned above, and you can read more about here
. The cornerstone of his theory came from his belief in the "differentiation of self," in which the individual "recognizes his (or her) realistic dependence on others, but he (or she) can stay calm and clear headed enough in the face of conflict, criticism, and rejection to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotionality" (quote taken directly from the site). You can read more about self differentiation here
A healthily differentiated person might still feel hurt when a parent acts out in the way your mom, my mom or her housemate can do, but they would respond in a less emotional manner, and be able to express their feelings about it without being hurtful to the person acting out.
I certainly don't hold myself above all this. I'm hardly
healthily differentiated from my family myself. It doesn't take much for my mom to say or do something that pulls me back into our standard argumentative state, and for me to say something hurtful to her and for her to respond in kind. But I'm becoming better at recognizing those tendencies, and I've actually been able to say once or twice (when I'm feeling exceptionally strong), "I'm sorry you feel that way, mom, but I see things differently," and leave it at that. No argument needs to happen. Although my mom will certainly try. She'll make another disparaging comment after I've tried to healthily sidestep the issue without being hurtful, and (if I'm really on my game) I'll just respond with "mm-hmm," neither agreeing or disagreeing with her, until her ire has passed and she's lost the energy to argue. Unfortunately, it's really the only way we know how to relate to one another and if there's going to be any kind of change, it's going to have to come from me.
...Sorry, ladies. Another long-ass post. But Bowen theory is definitely worth checking out, imho, for developing some understanding of our crazy family dynamics. And that includes partners and partner families, too.
Jul 17 2008, 06:59 AM
With my mom it's all about money.
She won't help pay for a wedding till I'm done school.
She won't help pay for a wedding if we go away and get married.
She won't pay for a wedding if we don't invite ALL of our family. (Her side includes a sister who is crazier then she is and her three children. One is a heroin addict, one is an alcoholic/pot head and the last is a 40 year old child/asshole with a terrible attitude and temper)
She won't pay for school if I say anything that makes her angry.
At one point she wasn't going to pay for school if I moved out with Mr. Pugs.
She was going to take my car that's in her name even though I paid for it.
She thinks engineering is a male dominated field (it is) and that I'll be miserable so I should just do something feminine like Business or Teaching.
So right now my mom has the upper hand because if I don't follow her rules (which change all the time with her mood) she won't "pay". What will be great is pretty much after this next semester I won't need her anymore. I'll be done school and hopefully working a fabulous job and I won't need her approval or her money. After that I plan on cutting a lot of ties from her. So for now I must listen to her comments about my weight, my choices, my dress and lots of other bullshit. I'll be glad when I don't.
She's really going to be pissed when Mr. Pugs and I fly away and get married, pay for it ourselves and DON'T INVITE HER!!