Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




When bad stuff happens to me, I get lectured from my mom about what a monster I am that I don't drop everything to console her. That time I almost died, yeah, how could I do that to her, I should have not gotten into that accident because it upset her so much. When I was diagnosed with a terrible illness? Do I have any idea how hard that is on her? Especially announcing it to everyone in my life the same way, that means I don't have any more respect for her than my friends.

Which lol, no, you don't have get a higher level of respect than my friends. You get less than them. Because you're a selfish rear end in a top hat and treat me like poo poo.

And it pisses me off because I spent so much of my life being hated by the person who's supposed to love me most, I struggle with relationships to this day. I get stuck in these headspaces where I am convinced all my friends actually despise me but keep me around for reasons such as "convenience friend" or "too polite to tell me I'm annoying". I had a complete mental breakdown at work one day over it, just sat on the floor behind my till and cried for an hour.

I also recently discovered the concept of selective mutism. I'd kind of heard about it in other discussions, but over the weekend my husband and I fought over something, and whenever he asked a question, I tried to speak but loving couldn't. I get completely paralyzed when people are angry at me specifically, doesn't even matter who's right and who's wrong. And I came to realize I was always this way. When I was a kid, it also happened when I was expected to say someone's name. My mom would tell me to go to her friend, and use my manners by saying "Excuse me, Lori, can I please have some ice cream?" and I'd walk over and freeze on the spot and stare at the floor stuttering random syllables. Then I'd get either yelled at or laughed at for "being ridiculous". But if I was allowed to just ask "Can I please have some ice cream?" I could do it no problem. I'm mostly over that now, but when I need to call someone's name, it takes a few seconds of drumming up courage to do it.

The literature right now states that it doesn't seem to be caused by trauma or neurodivergence, but it would not surprise me at all if it was made worse by those factors.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Clitch
Feb 26, 2002

I lived through
Donald Trump's presidency
and all I got was
this lousy virus


Picnic Princess posted:

When bad stuff happens to me, I get lectured from my mom about what a monster I am that I don't drop everything to console her. That time I almost died, yeah, how could I do that to her, I should have not gotten into that accident because it upset her so much. When I was diagnosed with a terrible illness? Do I have any idea how hard that is on her? Especially announcing it to everyone in my life the same way, that means I don't have any more respect for her than my friends.

Which lol, no, you don't have get a higher level of respect than my friends. You get less than them. Because you're a selfish rear end in a top hat and treat me like poo poo.

And it pisses me off because I spent so much of my life being hated by the person who's supposed to love me most, I struggle with relationships to this day. I get stuck in these headspaces where I am convinced all my friends actually despise me but keep me around for reasons such as "convenience friend" or "too polite to tell me I'm annoying". I had a complete mental breakdown at work one day over it, just sat on the floor behind my till and cried for an hour.

I also recently discovered the concept of selective mutism. I'd kind of heard about it in other discussions, but over the weekend my husband and I fought over something, and whenever he asked a question, I tried to speak but loving couldn't. I get completely paralyzed when people are angry at me specifically, doesn't even matter who's right and who's wrong. And I came to realize I was always this way. When I was a kid, it also happened when I was expected to say someone's name. My mom would tell me to go to her friend, and use my manners by saying "Excuse me, Lori, can I please have some ice cream?" and I'd walk over and freeze on the spot and stare at the floor stuttering random syllables. Then I'd get either yelled at or laughed at for "being ridiculous". But if I was allowed to just ask "Can I please have some ice cream?" I could do it no problem. I'm mostly over that now, but when I need to call someone's name, it takes a few seconds of drumming up courage to do it.

The literature right now states that it doesn't seem to be caused by trauma or neurodivergence, but it would not surprise me at all if it was made worse by those factors.

This is a combination of ADHD and Anxiety for me. I have ten things I want to say fighting to be the first out of my mouth, and at the same time, I'm overthinking each one. When I was a kid, I could be near-catatonic in social situations I couldn't deal with. In high school, I made a girl think I hated her because I locked up so bad when she hit on me. It's bad with my spouse because I grew up learning that family disputes are won or lost, not resolved, so I'm also fighting my impulse to be hurtful and score points. I can sit there, mouth open, not breathing, and rejecting every sentence my brain has come up with to say, until she asks, "Are you not speaking to me, now?". Even in normal interactions, I can freeze up for a second, because my brain gets logjammed. I often get three words into a sentence, and just start over, because my brain's trying edit the first draft as I'm speaking it.

I've also fallen out of touch with a hundred friends because I believe they don't really want to hang out with me, and never call or text them. Meanwhile, they probably don't call or text me, because my anxiousness and self-loathing makes it impossible to be comfortable around them, and they believe I don't like them. Either that, or I really am just a piece of poo poo.

Zil
Jun 4, 2011

I kind of want it.
Good Enough!




Clitch posted:

This is a combination of ADHD and Anxiety for me. I have ten things I want to say fighting to be the first out of my mouth, and at the same time, I'm overthinking each one. When I was a kid, I could be near-catatonic in social situations I couldn't deal with. In high school, I made a girl think I hated her because I locked up so bad when she hit on me. It's bad with my spouse because I grew up learning that family disputes are won or lost, not resolved, so I'm also fighting my impulse to be hurtful and score points. I can sit there, mouth open, not breathing, and rejecting every sentence my brain has come up with to say, until she asks, "Are you not speaking to me, now?". Even in normal interactions, I can freeze up for a second, because my brain gets logjammed. I often get three words into a sentence, and just start over, because my brain's trying edit the first draft as I'm speaking it.

I've also fallen out of touch with a hundred friends because I believe they don't really want to hang out with me, and never call or text them. Meanwhile, they probably don't call or text me, because my anxiousness and self-loathing makes it impossible to be comfortable around them, and they believe I don't like them. Either that, or I really am just a piece of poo poo.

Just saying, I get all that too. So if you are a piece of poo poo, so am I.

Sanguinary Novel
Jan 27, 2009


Clitch posted:

This is a combination of ADHD and Anxiety for me. I have ten things I want to say fighting to be the first out of my mouth, and at the same time, I'm overthinking each one. When I was a kid, I could be near-catatonic in social situations I couldn't deal with. In high school, I made a girl think I hated her because I locked up so bad when she hit on me. It's bad with my spouse because I grew up learning that family disputes are won or lost, not resolved, so I'm also fighting my impulse to be hurtful and score points. I can sit there, mouth open, not breathing, and rejecting every sentence my brain has come up with to say, until she asks, "Are you not speaking to me, now?". Even in normal interactions, I can freeze up for a second, because my brain gets logjammed. I often get three words into a sentence, and just start over, because my brain's trying edit the first draft as I'm speaking it.

I've also fallen out of touch with a hundred friends because I believe they don't really want to hang out with me, and never call or text them. Meanwhile, they probably don't call or text me, because my anxiousness and self-loathing makes it impossible to be comfortable around them, and they believe I don't like them. Either that, or I really am just a piece of poo poo.

Solidarity friend, for real.

Sisal Two-Step
May 29, 2006

mom without jaw
dad without wife


Had a pretty big argument with my partner last week, the first one we've ever had. At one I expressed that I would continue to be hurt by her words even if I got my way and I wasn't sure how to move forward. She asked me why I wouldn't want to sit down and work through the hurt with her and I literally had no idea what she was talking about lol. How I was raised was that all fights either resolve in me getting my way (and feeling guilty about it) or I suck it up and take the L (and feel resentful). I guess there's a third way, one that involves discussing the root of feelings to release the hurt and reaching compromise??

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


Clitch posted:

This is a combination of ADHD and Anxiety for me. I have ten things I want to say fighting to be the first out of my mouth, and at the same time, I'm overthinking each one. When I was a kid, I could be near-catatonic in social situations I couldn't deal with. In high school, I made a girl think I hated her because I locked up so bad when she hit on me. It's bad with my spouse because I grew up learning that family disputes are won or lost, not resolved, so I'm also fighting my impulse to be hurtful and score points. I can sit there, mouth open, not breathing, and rejecting every sentence my brain has come up with to say, until she asks, "Are you not speaking to me, now?". Even in normal interactions, I can freeze up for a second, because my brain gets logjammed. I often get three words into a sentence, and just start over, because my brain's trying edit the first draft as I'm speaking it.

I've also fallen out of touch with a hundred friends because I believe they don't really want to hang out with me, and never call or text them. Meanwhile, they probably don't call or text me, because my anxiousness and self-loathing makes it impossible to be comfortable around them, and they believe I don't like them. Either that, or I really am just a piece of poo poo.

All that plus also being on the spectrum....yeah...

Reading that actually drummed up an old memory of being like 4-5 years old and at the bank with my dad. The teller had a cup of lollipops to hand out and after my dad was done doing his business she gave one to me. Before I could fully reckon with the whole process of being given something for free, then needing to talk to a stranger (who I had otherwise largely ignored and just fussed about waiting for my dad to be done), and then finally say thank you...my dad said something like "okay now thank the nice lady" and that put me on the spot and I froze up and couldn't do it. Pretty sure this made my dad embarrassed and as we left I seem to remember him threatening to take the lollipop away because I was being such a brat. :/

Dr. Stab
Sep 12, 2010


Why do they think it could possibly work to punish and shame anxiety and depression out of a child?

Hasn't worked yet, must not be strict enough. So, the punishments escalate until I have to choose between spiraling further and further or getting out.

Lieutenant Dan
Oct 27, 2009

Weedlord Bonerhitler


"The beatings will continue til morale improves" is applicable to so many people's parenting technique

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.





That's where the conservative political ideology becomes a fundamental parenting problem. Many of the other lovely things in this thread are apolitical, but "you can't budge, you must be strong, kindness is weakness and they will attack your weakness" is the heart and soul of conservativism.

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




All it did was make my problems worse, and left me broken.

I never wanted to start a family because I was scared I'd either lose control and awareness of myself and continue the cycle, or they would harm my kids somehow. I did vow that of I ever did have a kid, they would never, ever be left alone with anyone in my family.

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

ikanreed posted:

That's where the conservative political ideology becomes a fundamental parenting problem. Many of the other lovely things in this thread are apolitical, but "you can't budge, you must be strong, kindness is weakness and they will attack your weakness" is the heart and soul of conservativism.

I would say it's a circular thing, being on the receiving end of that kind of parenting [and internalizing it as "correct", which obviously not everyone does] leads to an attitude to the world which equates to conservative political ideology

Post Ironic Cereal
Mar 24, 2015



Pope Corky the IX posted:

Anyone have that parent that actually enjoyed hearing about certain bad news in your life?

Way back in 2000 when I was seventeen in high school a friend of mine was going through a bunch of medical issues including a kidney transplant. At some point he decided that he wanted to withdraw to deal with stuff and sent emails to several friends (including me) seemingly at random to tell them he wouldn’t be in touch anymore. It hurt, but I understood and respected his decision. However, for the next twelve years until I cut contact (at age twenty-nine) my father would bring up this friend in almost every conversation. “Whatever happened to ___? It’s a shame you guys aren’t friends anymore. Seriously, what did you do to him? Was it because of the time you did this? You should call him. Are you inviting ____ to your wedding?” No matter what we were talking about, how many friends I had, how much time had passed, he would mention it loving constantly, and always in a way that insinuated I did something wrong.
My mom still brags about how she screamed so hard at my childhood friend's mom that no other kid wanted anything to do with me until I left for college. She wasn't even mad, she just fuckin' hated me having friends.

I was homeschooled. It was a very long and lonely few years.

trickybiscuits
Jan 13, 2008

yospos


life is killing me posted:

Possibly schadenfreude and/or getting validation in their own lives. They may have done some horrible poo poo you see, but they haven't done that.
It sounds like they enjoy feeling superior to other people? Which is pretty much what you're saying.

Sisal Two-Step posted:

AITA for telling my mom that I can and will keep my kids away from her?

Quote from that thread:

quote:

2020 gave us 20/20 on so many things, including the people in our lives that don't give a rat's rear end about literally killing other people with their selfish, irresponsible actions.




Two comments from someone I quoted earlier, who took their son to court for shared custody of their son's infant child whom they had never cared for:

quote:

I have been in your position so many times with my ES. I have been deeply hurt by his side-lining of me and his cold pleasantries which were basically insults and rejection. I told my truth, only to be pushed further away, just like you have.

On advice from this forum I have started seeing a counsellor who has been spending a lot of time explaining my ES’s point of view on interactions like the one above.

He explained that I cannot know for sure what my ES’s intentions were when sending the letter/email/text/present/card or whatever. I was assuming that his intention was to be controlling and punitive, but I didnt and can’t know that. treating my assumption as the truth was not helping , because I was assuming the worst.

My ES’s perspective in these ‘cold pleasantries’ (according to what he submitted to the court anyway) was to ‘test the waters’ and maintain contact with me. The counsellor explained that if I had responded in kind, pleasant and with no pressure, then my ES may (again, MAY) have felt comfortable and in time opened up to me more. Instead I confirmed HIS assumption about ME which is that I am quick to emotion and “dramatic” by expressing my hurt. He saw it only as me ‘lashing out’, which he has criticised me for in the past, because that is how he describes any emotion he doesnt want to deal with.

He sees me as an emotional burden and someone who causes stress, Again – THIS IS WRONG. But that is his truth.

These EC are a different generation. We are disposable to them.

quote:

Can I ask, (only because I am in such a similar situation and trying to navigate these issues myself) – when you say ED is not capable of a ‘real relationship’, have you considered changing your view of what that relationship should be? This is something I am currently struggling with in counselling.

My son and DIL shut me out and kept me at arms length. I had always been best friends with my son, even into adulthood we spent lots of time together and talked on the phone often. When he got married he shut me out, I was no longer his priority – he made that clear many times. My counsellor has encouraged me to ‘adjust my expectations’ (this is a phrase I have heard a million times) and accept a more distant relationship with my ES, rather than insist on reclaiming the close relationship we had before.

I understand on one hand what my counsellor is saying, but why should I give up on the good relationship we once had? Being in his life while he constantly reminds me of MY PLACE felt like salt being rubbed in the wound. But then, was it better than nothing?

This is all hypothetical for me, my son has cut now me off completely. But if I am one day in a position to have some contact, I wonder how that would feel and what I would be willing to put up with. You say you have grandchildren, would it be worth the pain just to keep the lines of communication open and to know your GC who might grow up more compassionate than their mother?

I am not sure about continuing with counselling for this reason. The counsellor wants ME to change, but the problem isn’t me. HOw can a counsellor fix someone who is not in the room?

ElectricSheep
Jan 14, 2006

she had tiny Italian boobs.
Well that's my story.


I empathize with a lot of the opening posts on this page, and I just wanna say as someone who dealt with a lot of poo poo that trashed my self esteem as a kid, and more recently a 12-year marriage coming to an end, that therapy continues to be loving awesome and I highly recommend it

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Those EP/NC passages are like...eerily similar to my own adult life with my parents that I was in shock when I initially found that website, right down to taking zero responsibility for themselves and gaslighting their children. And of course my childhood, with the tremendous blows to self-esteem that came with a the usual poo poo.

But also something that sticks out is one of those comments that is talking about them no longer being a priority in their kid’s life after they got married. Well, duh. Their spouse is their priority now, and that is how it should be.

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






Found some offhand EC content at the end of one of the advice columns in the local paper the other day:

Ask Amy posted:

Dear Amy: “Grieving” wrote to you, saying their daughter had become estranged, due to a mix-up of the timing of a funeral, which the daughter had missed.

Has it come to this? Family members will initiate a total estrangement over a relatively minor issue?

– Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: My theory is that – like many other dynamics relating to families – estrangement is actually quite complicated.

That's the entire response.

Sisal Two-Step
May 29, 2006

mom without jaw
dad without wife


trickybiscuits posted:

It sounds like they enjoy feeling superior to other people? Which is pretty much what you're saying.


Quote from that thread:




Two comments from someone I quoted earlier, who took their son to court for shared custody of their son's infant child whom they had never cared for:

This woman sounds completely deranged. I bet the ES is her only kid and I bet there's no dad/husband in the picture.

quote:

He sees me as an emotional burden and someone who causes stress, Again – THIS IS WRONG. But that is his truth.
How can 'his truth' be wrong? What?

quote:

These EC are a different generation. We are disposable to them.
At least she got this one right.

BrigadierSensible
Feb 16, 2012

I've got a pocket full of cheese, and a garden full of trees.

trickybiscuits posted:






Two comments from someone I quoted earlier, who took their son to court for shared custody of their son's infant child whom they had never cared for:

Now these two poo poo me terribly.

The son is doing everything right. He is being polite, civil, and open to his mum whilst staying in contact. His mum's counsellor even says "He is being polite, so maybe if you are polite back, then you two can start to rekindle a relationship, which is what you both want." But the mum says "gently caress off! How dare he not react exactly the way I want him too! I think I'll chuck a fit, and it is his fault for not immediately saying 'I love you mummy' in the exact tone he did when he was 12."


Also the second one has made me have a thought, which may be super obvious, so I am sorry if I am being trite.

But to a lot of these estranged parents, they have fetishized, and over-romanticized the relationship they had with their kids when the kids were little. "We were always best friends when X was growing up.", "She was always my princess and we were so close.", "he was such a mummys boy always clinging to my skirts and confiding in me everything about what went on in school." etc. Leaving aside the over-clingy dependant parenting stuff for another time, I think a lot of these memories are bullshit projections of what the mother wanted. As in, the estranged child had a relatively normal childhood, and sure, when they were 5 they hid behind mummy's skirts when they were scared etc. But they, as all normal people do, grew up and became independent people with lives of their own and didn't need their mummy to cut the crusts off their bread anymore. This has sent the parent insane, coz they refuse to accept that their little baby is no longer a baby, and thus intentionally mistake independence for aloofness.

Clitch
Feb 26, 2002

I lived through
Donald Trump's presidency
and all I got was
this lousy virus


Sisal Two-Step posted:

This woman sounds completely deranged. I bet the ES is her only kid and I bet there's no dad/husband in the picture.

How can 'his truth' be wrong? What?

At least she got this one right.

'His truth'? You mean 'fake news'?

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




I got the "YOUR generation" bullshit too, it was great, I was like 35 years old

trickybiscuits
Jan 13, 2008

yospos


Sisal Two-Step posted:

This woman sounds completely deranged. I bet the ES is her only kid and I bet there's no dad/husband in the picture.
It's a man, surprisingly, and his son's mother is still married to him. But he doesn't mention any other kids.

life is killing me posted:

But also something that sticks out is one of those comments that is talking about them no longer being a priority in their kid’s life after they got married. Well, duh. Their spouse is their priority now, and that is how it should be.
This poster is so messed up because when I started reading between the lines it was clear that they expected to be a higher priority than their son's wife and his baby- he was just supposed to turn over his child to them. Poor guy wasn't supposed to have anything that his parents weren't allowed to take away. The whole thing comes across like a complete narcissist who had his family catering to him for decades like it was the natural order of things.

BrigadierSensible posted:

But to a lot of these estranged parents, they have fetishized, and over-romanticized the relationship they had with their kids when the kids were little. "We were always best friends when X was growing up.", "She was always my princess and we were so close.", "he was such a mummys boy always clinging to my skirts and confiding in me everything about what went on in school." etc. Leaving aside the over-clingy dependant parenting stuff for another time, I think a lot of these memories are bullshit projections of what the mother wanted. As in, the estranged child had a relatively normal childhood, and sure, when they were 5 they hid behind mummy's skirts when they were scared etc. But they, as all normal people do, grew up and became independent people with lives of their own and didn't need their mummy to cut the crusts off their bread anymore. This has sent the parent insane, coz they refuse to accept that their little baby is no longer a baby, and thus intentionally mistake independence for aloofness.
They totally do! Maybe they also assumed things were great at the time because their children couldn't do anything to protest or change it. But I've also seen some of them talking about how they had wanted this idyllic Norman Rockwell Christmas or something in a totally unrealistic way.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

trickybiscuits posted:

Quote from that thread:




Two comments from someone I quoted earlier, who took their son to court for shared custody of their son's infant child whom they had never cared for:
You could replace these with ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME and there'd be no difference in the content. Especially the second one("my son is a married adult now, who could predict that his parents would stop being his #1 priority???").

13Pandora13
Nov 5, 2008

I've got tiiits that swingle dangle dingle






That one (and many others) just scream poor boundaries to me from the narcissist parent's own childhood.

Your child should not ever be your "friend" until they are a mature adult themselves. You should not be relying on your child for emotional support, confiding in them, etc. - it's an inappropriate and abusive exploitation of a child. And you KNOW that'd exactly what that lady was doing, her poor son's probably been a sound board for all over her insecurities, emotions, rants, etc. his entire life and because he was young and couldn't effectively process what he was hearing (much less respond) he'd listen to her endlessly and tell her he loved her. Once he got old enough to realize he was doing the emotional lifting of a book club, neighborhood ladies, old friends from school, and church potlucks his mom should have been going to, he bounced out on that relationship to try to have an appropriate, mother-son relationship and she lost her loving mind over it.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



BrigadierSensible posted:

But to a lot of these estranged parents, they have fetishized, and over-romanticized the relationship they had with their kids when the kids were little. "We were always best friends when X was growing up.", "She was always my princess and we were so close.", "he was such a mummys boy always clinging to my skirts and confiding in me everything about what went on in school." etc. Leaving aside the over-clingy dependant parenting stuff for another time, I think a lot of these memories are bullshit projections of what the mother wanted. As in, the estranged child had a relatively normal childhood, and sure, when they were 5 they hid behind mummy's skirts when they were scared etc. But they, as all normal people do, grew up and became independent people with lives of their own and didn't need their mummy to cut the crusts off their bread anymore. This has sent the parent insane, coz they refuse to accept that their little baby is no longer a baby, and thus intentionally mistake independence for aloofness.

I don’t think this is trite at all. It is a common thing in this type of situation—parents from their generation, boomers in particular, it seems, must always be the parent. It’s why they endlessly pull poo poo on their adult children like, “you have to honor me, you must respect me,” etc. They don’t see their adult children as adults, and we will never be their equal. Never. My wife is still astounded by this as she and her mom are literal friends and she grew up just thinking her childhood was like how all families were. Then she married me and met my dad—hoo boy. Night and day for her.

Mx.
Dec 16, 2006

am i tired or am i angry




trickybiscuits posted:

quote:

why should I give up on the good relationship we once had? [...]
This is all hypothetical for me, my son has cut now me off completely

Literally lol

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...





Picnic Princess posted:

I never wanted to start a family because I was scared I'd either lose control and awareness of myself and continue the cycle, or they would harm my kids somehow.

I've not had anything close to the level of abuse many folk have had in this thread, but I can definitely understand this POV, since it's pretty close to mine.

Lieutenant Dan
Oct 27, 2009

Weedlord Bonerhitler


BrigadierSensible posted:

But to a lot of these estranged parents, they have fetishized, and over-romanticized the relationship they had with their kids when the kids were little. "We were always best friends when X was growing up.", "She was always my princess and we were so close.", "he was such a mummys boy always clinging to my skirts and confiding in me everything about what went on in school." etc. Leaving aside the over-clingy dependant parenting stuff for another time, I think a lot of these memories are bullshit projections of what the mother wanted. As in, the estranged child had a relatively normal childhood, and sure, when they were 5 they hid behind mummy's skirts when they were scared etc. But they, as all normal people do, grew up and became independent people with lives of their own and didn't need their mummy to cut the crusts off their bread anymore. This has sent the parent insane, coz they refuse to accept that their little baby is no longer a baby, and thus intentionally mistake independence for aloofness.

This rings true, my mom has invented what seems like an entire fake fantasy "friendship" that she and I "had" when I was little... but can't articulate anything about it, and I don't remember it, and neither does my dad. I do remember her taking me to lunch a couple times in middle school, which was nice, but after I became an actual teenager the next time I remember her wanting to spend time with me was when I came home from college with a facial piercing and she took me to lunch specifically to tell me about how I reminded her of her dead brother, who I'd never heard of, and how she had to ID him in a fatal car crash when she was in college and my face reminded her of seeing his body every time she looked at me. A single eyebrow ring. Also, nobody in her family has ever, ever spoken about me having an extra uncle, and it seems rude to ask, on the off-chance that it's true?

Sometimes she'll say poo poo like "oh when your dad and I retire I'd love to live in the same house as you" to which my dad and I have actually laughed aloud at, because she has beef with literally everything about me as a person (how early I wake up - too early!, how gay I am - too gay!, my job - too low-paying! my hobbies - dumb! my choices - all made to deliberately piss her off! My physical appearance - also... somehow deliberately chosen to piss her off! My girlfriend - too quiet! My fingernails - first they were too dirty, now they are too gay!!). She used to not let us out of the house as a family on the weekend unless we were wearing colors that didn't clash, because that would "make us look bad". And she's wondering why I am not her friend. It's loving bizarre. I once asked her why she had double standards since she doesn't go apocalyptic when she sees a gay stranger with a facial piercing and she said "it's different because it's you".



When I was in high school I told my therapist I very much was afraid of being a parent because I was afraid to turn out like my mom, and he said "Look at it this way - when you become a parent, you'll know exactly what not to do". Which, in hindsight, is pretty funny and true

Sanguinary Novel
Jan 27, 2009


I have nightmares about what is going to happen when my parents hit retirement (well lol my mom at least, my dad quit his job and made drinking his job). They have little to no retirement savings, the US is a hell country, and I am my mom's "best friend". I don't have a partner or a family, but my brother has two kids and a wife, so I fear so much it'll become a "Oh hey Sanguinary why don't you move home and take care of mom and dad? You don't have anything going on, and it'll be good for you!"

The idea of taking care of my abuser and his enabler, my mom constantly using me as an emotional dumping ground every day for the rest of their lives haunts me. I love my brother and his family very much, but I will cut off all contact and disappear first if they press this issue one day.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

Sanguinary Novel posted:

I have nightmares about what is going to happen when my parents hit retirement (well lol my mom at least, my dad quit his job and made drinking his job). They have little to no retirement savings, the US is a hell country, and I am my mom's "best friend". I don't have a partner or a family, but my brother has two kids and a wife, so I fear so much it'll become a "Oh hey Sanguinary why don't you move home and take care of mom and dad? You don't have anything going on, and it'll be good for you!"

The idea of taking care of my abuser and his enabler, my mom constantly using me as an emotional dumping ground every day for the rest of their lives haunts me. I love my brother and his family very much, but I will cut off all contact and disappear first if they press this issue one day.
It might be a good idea to make sure your brother+inlaws know now that you're not going to be taking in your parents once they stop working. If they're good people they should understand, and it'll make the 'no, I'm not letting our parents move in with me' conversation easier in the future since you've already said you won't do it. (I'm assuming your mom & dad will be unreasonable about it no matter how much warning they've been given, although you may decide it's worth it to tell them now too. You know everyone involved better than I do.)

13Pandora13 posted:

That one (and many others) just scream poor boundaries to me from the narcissist parent's own childhood.

Your child should not ever be your "friend" until they are a mature adult themselves. You should not be relying on your child for emotional support, confiding in them, etc. - it's an inappropriate and abusive exploitation of a child. And you KNOW that'd exactly what that lady was doing, her poor son's probably been a sound board for all over her insecurities, emotions, rants, etc. his entire life and because he was young and couldn't effectively process what he was hearing (much less respond) he'd listen to her endlessly and tell her he loved her. Once he got old enough to realize he was doing the emotional lifting of a book club, neighborhood ladies, old friends from school, and church potlucks his mom should have been going to, he bounced out on that relationship to try to have an appropriate, mother-son relationship and she lost her loving mind over it.
Thinking on my relationship with my mom(who's a good parent and pre-emptively cut off a lot of lovely family before I was old enough to even be aware of them; I lurk this thread because I think it's important for everyone to be able to spot abusive/narcissist people in the wild & not be roped into their delusions about their terrible victims kids or what have you), this checks out. I can't remember her leaning on me for emotional support or venting until I was an adult(and even then that didn't really start until I was out of college); all the support flowed from her to me, not vice-versa. Of course, if you tried to explain any of this to an estranged parent, they probably would refuse to get it because in their eyes I'm a "good child" who loves his mom and they're not capable of thinking about family dynamics beyond the roles they assign people in their heads.

Shellception
Oct 12, 2016

I just wasted all my charitable impulse for the day on a wet lump of fuzz.






Haifisch posted:

I can't remember her leaning on me for emotional support or venting until I was an adult(and even then that didn't really start until I was out of college); all the support flowed from her to me, not vice-versa.

Hell, same, from another lurker that really doesn't belong in this thread. My dad died when I had just turned 13, almost in my mother's arms (cerebral thrombosis, but he had a cancer in late stages anyway). I know she struggled for emotional support in the next months, not being really a sociable person. My grandma while not abusive could feature a bit in this thread so no support there either. It was some years ago I really grasped how the thing got, and she never ever leaned on me or gave me some "we are equals" bullshit, and I respect her all the more for it.

Laminar
Dec 11, 2006



Hello,

I've posted in this thread before, but usually delete what I write after a few days. I've been estranged from my entire family for quite some time (mothers side from when I was 12, fathers size for the last 5 years or so). It stems from the typical things, abuse, trauma and the like. I'd say based on the stories I've read in this thread I'm a bit on the extreme side of things.

When I had my children, I cut off contact with my fathers side completely, as I wanted to protect them. It frankly has been great. They found where I lived from tax records several years ago and occasionally send letters (which I trash) but otherwise they have no way to contact me.

My issue is now my children want to know about my childhood. They don't really know anything about my childhood, not even my parents names or that I had siblings.

How do I address it? It is mostly natural questions about where I am from, and the like. They are very involved with my partners family, and have just now realized it is weird I don't have any.

My concern is that they will be naturally interested in my family, and I don't want to give my family access to my girls at all. They can't be trusted.

Any resources people can point to? My therapist has been not the most helpful about how to handle this (just tell them you don't talk to your family). No five year old will take that as an answer.

Neito
Feb 18, 2009

Finally, an avatar the describes my love of tech, my love of anime, and why I'll never see a real girl naked.


13Pandora13 posted:

Your child should not ever be your "friend" until they are a mature adult themselves. You should not be relying on your child for emotional support, confiding in them, etc. - it's an inappropriate and abusive exploitation of a child.

As a friend of mine likes to say, describing their experiences as a child, "Excuse me sir, that's my emotional support eldest child."

BrigadierSensible posted:

Also the second one has made me have a thought, which may be super obvious, so I am sorry if I am being trite.

But to a lot of these estranged parents, they have fetishized, and over-romanticized the relationship they had with their kids when the kids were little. "We were always best friends when X was growing up.", "She was always my princess and we were so close.", "he was such a mummys boy always clinging to my skirts and confiding in me everything about what went on in school." etc. Leaving aside the over-clingy dependant parenting stuff for another time, I think a lot of these memories are bullshit projections of what the mother wanted. As in, the estranged child had a relatively normal childhood, and sure, when they were 5 they hid behind mummy's skirts when they were scared etc. But they, as all normal people do, grew up and became independent people with lives of their own and didn't need their mummy to cut the crusts off their bread anymore. This has sent the parent insane, coz they refuse to accept that their little baby is no longer a baby, and thus intentionally mistake independence for aloofness.

I don't even think it rises to that level. I think for a lot of these parents, their children aren't even to the level of fetish objects; they didn't have kids out of a genuine desire to raise an independent life from childhood to independence, to see a life blossom under their care. It wasn't even to the level of "Well, I can have something that will always love me no matter how I treat it, and something that will take care of me in my old age". It's "Well, Tim and Darline have a kid now, what, do they think they're better than me or something?. Gina, throw away the condoms, I'm raw dogging you every night until we have a kid too!"

Kids to these people are a tick-box on a list, like owning a house or complaining about how downtown's gotten a little "dark" these days.

Uncle Enzo
Apr 28, 2008

I always wanted to be a Wizard

Laminar posted:

Hello,

I've posted in this thread before, but usually delete what I write after a few days. I've been estranged from my entire family for quite some time (mothers side from when I was 12, fathers size for the last 5 years or so). It stems from the typical things, abuse, trauma and the like. I'd say based on the stories I've read in this thread I'm a bit on the extreme side of things.

When I had my children, I cut off contact with my fathers side completely, as I wanted to protect them. It frankly has been great. They found where I lived from tax records several years ago and occasionally send letters (which I trash) but otherwise they have no way to contact me.

My issue is now my children want to know about my childhood. They don't really know anything about my childhood, not even my parents names or that I had siblings.

How do I address it? It is mostly natural questions about where I am from, and the like. They are very involved with my partners family, and have just now realized it is weird I don't have any.

My concern is that they will be naturally interested in my family, and I don't want to give my family access to my girls at all. They can't be trusted.

Any resources people can point to? My therapist has been not the most helpful about how to handle this (just tell them you don't talk to your family). No five year old will take that as an answer.

My father was a butterfly when he was growing up. That was the answer I got my whole life until just a few years ago. "What about when you were little daddy" "I was a butterfly". I saw my paternal grandparents maybe 13 times in my whole life, I'm 36 and they only died last year. My aunts and uncles on that side I've seen maybe 3-5 times.

Turns out, my dad had a pretty lovely life growing up, with systematic bullying and abuse out in the world and at home. I wish he had just told us that in an age-appropriate way. It wasn't until I was an adult and very purposefully started digging that I pieced together the truth. Like, it was a long time before I realized the fact that my dad absolutely refused to talk about his upbringing meant that it wasn't just "a painful memory", it was loving torture and he was unwilling and unable to discuss it.

However, my father protected me. He protected my siblings. Not having family on that side was the price we (unknowingly) paid to not be abused. My parents certainly have their problems and growing up we went through some poo poo. My mom is a piece of work too lol. But I am really grateful that my father kept us away, literally thousands of miles away, from his abusers.


So in response to a direct question from your kid, I would propose a direct, truthful, but age-appropriate answer.
"I'm sorry honey, but I can't really talk about when I was little, or about my family growing up. You see, they were bad to me. They hurt me. So when I grew up, I moved away and never spoke to them again."
And when they immediately follow up with "how did they hurt you? Was it on purpose?" Or anything like that, you don't go into any more detail. "Honey, I've told you all I can. When you are older and can understand more, I will tell you more, though I probably can't ever say everything that happened". And assure your child that you are ok now, you love them, and this was all a long time ago and they don't need to worry about it, they just need to work on growing up and playing and reading and being friends with other little boys and girls.

I'm not a therapist, maybe that's not the generally accepted right answer, but speaking as a child of someone who was in a similar position as you, that's what I wish I had been told. I would say obviously don't give any specifics, and don't go on and on about how awful it was our anything. Just say that it was bad and it's not appropriate to talk about with children and you'll give them more info when they're ready.

Laminar
Dec 11, 2006



Uncle Enzo posted:

My father was a butterfly when he was growing up. That was the answer I got my whole life until just a few years ago. "What about when you were little daddy" "I was a butterfly". I saw my paternal grandparents maybe 13 times in my whole life, I'm 36 and they only died last year. My aunts and uncles on that side I've seen maybe 3-5 times.

Turns out, my dad had a pretty lovely life growing up, with systematic bullying and abuse out in the world and at home. I wish he had just told us that in an age-appropriate way. It wasn't until I was an adult and very purposefully started digging that I pieced together the truth. Like, it was a long time before I realized the fact that my dad absolutely refused to talk about his upbringing meant that it wasn't just "a painful memory", it was loving torture and he was unwilling and unable to discuss it.

However, my father protected me. He protected my siblings. Not having family on that side was the price we (unknowingly) paid to not be abused. My parents certainly have their problems and growing up we went through some poo poo. My mom is a piece of work too lol. But I am really grateful that my father kept us away, literally thousands of miles away, from his abusers.


So in response to a direct question from your kid, I would propose a direct, truthful, but age-appropriate answer.
"I'm sorry honey, but I can't really talk about when I was little, or about my family growing up. You see, they were bad to me. They hurt me. So when I grew up, I moved away and never spoke to them again."
And when they immediately follow up with "how did they hurt you? Was it on purpose?" Or anything like that, you don't go into any more detail. "Honey, I've told you all I can. When you are older and can understand more, I will tell you more, though I probably can't ever say everything that happened". And assure your child that you are ok now, you love them, and this was all a long time ago and they don't need to worry about it, they just need to work on growing up and playing and reading and being friends with other little boys and girls.

I'm not a therapist, maybe that's not the generally accepted right answer, but speaking as a child of someone who was in a similar position as you, that's what I wish I had been told. I would say obviously don't give any specifics, and don't go on and on about how awful it was our anything. Just say that it was bad and it's not appropriate to talk about with children and you'll give them more info when they're ready.

I appreciate this greatly, and thank you. I think your approach is sound, frankly I just know her follow up questions will hurt as it is stuff I try to never think about.

I'm also looking down the line a decade when I can no longer protect them, and wondering how best to ensure they do not get ensnared. I think your approach of being truthful but age appropriate might hurt now, but mitigate some of my concerns later.

Now to just figure out how to say it.

trickybiscuits
Jan 13, 2008

yospos


Uncle Enzo posted:

So in response to a direct question from your kid, I would propose a direct, truthful, but age-appropriate answer.
"I'm sorry honey, but I can't really talk about when I was little, or about my family growing up. You see, they were bad to me. They hurt me. So when I grew up, I moved away and never spoke to them again."
And when they immediately follow up with "how did they hurt you? Was it on purpose?" Or anything like that, you don't go into any more detail. "Honey, I've told you all I can. When you are older and can understand more, I will tell you more, though I probably can't ever say everything that happened". And assure your child that you are ok now, you love them, and this was all a long time ago and they don't need to worry about it, they just need to work on growing up and playing and reading and being friends with other little boys and girls.

I'm not a therapist, maybe that's not the generally accepted right answer, but speaking as a child of someone who was in a similar position as you, that's what I wish I had been told. I would say obviously don't give any specifics, and don't go on and on about how awful it was our anything. Just say that it was bad and it's not appropriate to talk about with children and you'll give them more info when they're ready.
Yes, this is the advice that people give on other discussion: say something like, My parents were not nice people and so we don't see them, because they don't know how to be kind. As your kids get older you can get more detailed.

Rat Patrol
Feb 15, 2008

kill kill kill kill
kill me now


Laminar posted:

I appreciate this greatly, and thank you. I think your approach is sound, frankly I just know her follow up questions will hurt as it is stuff I try to never think about.

I'm also looking down the line a decade when I can no longer protect them, and wondering how best to ensure they do not get ensnared. I think your approach of being truthful but age appropriate might hurt now, but mitigate some of my concerns later.

Now to just figure out how to say it.

I've heard other people phrase it as a safety thing, if that helps. "We don't see them because they are not nice, and it is not safe to spend time with them." That way they get a sense that it's not just you avoiding the question, but also a matter of you looking out for them, too.

LeschNyhan
Sep 2, 2006



MAKE NO BABBYS posted:

I hope your sister threw him out of her home and made it very clear to her child that grandpas behavior was not at all okay and he would never be allowed around her again, because that is heinous. I would have a hard time not violently beating the person who did that to my child (out of the sight of said child) and I don’t even have kids yet.

I wasn't there so I don't know, but I know my sister is working through a process with her own supports. I am so proud of my niece: her response was apparently to shout back "You don't know me, only my parents know me, and I'm not clumsy." She is stronger than I was at her age by an order of magnitude, and I think that reflects well on her parents.

Anyway, I'd like to thank you all for sharing all your stories and resources for me to lurk on, because I had it out with him today and I was ready for it. I told him I'm deeply concerned about his inability to control his anger and he needs some goddamn anger management and impulse control therapy. I think he was shocked because I've never brought it up like I did today, because it was easier to enforce my boundaries by moving cross-country and going low contact before I knew it was a thing.

His responses were pretty much entirely in line with the script everyone describes, it's so uncanny. It didn't happen, who told you that, you must have misunderstood, it wasn't that bad, I don't remember that, if it did happen it was maybe once, are you mad at me for [x] unrelated thing.

I told him his 'well I'm sorry if you feel I let you down' didn't mean poo poo if he wasn't going to commit to real change. Ball's in his court now. I fully expect a weepy twenty-page email over the weekend about how bad he feels and waxing nostalgic about the parts of my childhood that were good for him.

Thank you all for helping me stand my ground. I know my poo poo isn't as bad as it has been for many of you, not by a long shot, and I've had it relatively good by comparison. If it helps you to know that you've helped me, you have. My heart's still pounding, and it's been like half an hour since I put down the phone.

BrigadierSensible
Feb 16, 2012

I've got a pocket full of cheese, and a garden full of trees.

Also remember "I'm sorry you feel that way" is a VASTLY different apology to "I'm sorry for what I did".

If you are getting the former, tell him to get hosed until you can receive a sincere form of the latter.

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

The pain your parent or parents cause you is still huge to you, no matter if other people have it worse. Both cool and good to recognize that others may have it worse, but it’s personal—this change in your relationship is by definition about you.

Plus you have lots of people who all are rooting for you. Does he have the oldest, bestest and deadest forum on his side?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Clitch
Feb 26, 2002

I lived through
Donald Trump's presidency
and all I got was
this lousy virus


LeschNyhan posted:


Thank you all for helping me stand my ground. I know my poo poo isn't as bad as it has been for many of you, not by a long shot, and I've had it relatively good by comparison. If it helps you to know that you've helped me, you have. My heart's still pounding, and it's been like half an hour since I put down the phone.

I don't know where I heard it. Maybe here, but the saying goes: If you've lost an arm, and you meet someone who's lost both arms, you're still missing an arm.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply