The bottom line is that these are toxic, broken people and we do NOT need this type of person influencing out children. We can't herd them like cattle their entire lives, but we can give them a leg up by making sure that they are surrounded by healthy behaviors as much as possible in these formative years.
I'm glad you guys are involving a counselor. Sometimes we need an objective 3rd party to reaffirm that holding family at arms-length is the right thing to do.
You have this all broken down to a science. Just keep looking at the numbers when your heartstrings tug.
(((Aubrie & fam)))
[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:50 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]
I sit back and think about all the experiences over the years, things discussed in the meeting. I get so angry. I know I've been talking in circles on this thread, repeating myself, guess its part of my process. Finding a sort of acceptance? But then, how do you accept that brand of crazy? I can't.
I was PMing someone about forgiveness. I know I *should* forgive my parents. But I'm so dang angry. How could they??? I trusted them. And they proved that I can't even trust my own parents. Parents! The people who bear and raise you.
I came to SI in 2011 so naive. Believing my family was some special unicorn of health and awesomeness. Boy was I flat dead wrong.
Ok, done whining. I'm spending time with my children today. Doing something fun and special just for them.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"You can do it!" - R. Schneider
I know I *should* forgive my parents.
I think you'll find the answer to the question of why you feel that way resides firmly in FOO issues too.
At any rate, something a dear friend told me once: only forgive the repentant.
If you happen to find it in your heart to forgive them before such time as you see true repentance, you are just ahead of schedule.
I came to SI in 2011 so naive. Believing my family was some special unicorn of health and awesomeness. Boy was I flat dead wrong.
Sending you, QS, and your sister tons of long-acting strength.
There's always failure. And there's always disappointment. And there's always loss.
But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.
- Michael J. Fox
I feel the need to tell you that this is a battle you will have to keep fighting, and it is entirely possible that it will escalate before it approaches a new normal.
The most epic, blameshifting, guilt-tripping, "once burned, twice shy", "ball is in your court" email ever.
Anger doesn't begin to describe the emotion I feel. Ball is in my court? Cool. I'm changing the rules. The ball is now a brick and I'm launching it at your head. Surpriiiise! Now you know how I feel.
The nerve. Not one word about healing and moving forward in a healthy way. Which is what us kids have always made sure to say. We want healing and a healthy approach. That's all we want. But nooooo. L They have to sling more mud. And half of it completely out of context.
I refuse to respond. I have nothing to say. I will not defend myself. They have no interest in fairness. They have no interest in equality. Only dominance and their word is lae. Well guess what Sugah Boo. Not anymore. Not me. I'm not their doormat. I will not be trampled anymore.
Something I JUST learned about forgiveness is that it doesn't mean you condone what someone has done, it means that you have found compassion for them and learned to let go of the transgression.
It sounds backwards to have forgiveness be for the benefit of the forgiver, but it really is.
I have been watching your struggles and (mostly) silently cheering you on.
BH and I are in FOO hell along with you right now with both of our families.
I have been reading and wracking my brain for insight in my own sitch this morning and have felt like I should share this with you. I don't feel like it's anything you don't already know but I'm going to share anyway. It's from a website that I've found very helpful. PM me if you want the link to read the whole article.
Narcissism in parents is the primary cause of psychopathology in our society. The narcissistic parent wants a child who's exactly like him or her. If this kid has different personality features and values than the parent, he's regarded with disappointment and disapproval/disdain and criticized or punished. It's challenging for any parent to bond with a child who's unlike him/herself, but the narcissistic mother or father treats it like a sin, and their 'prodigy' grows up never feeling good enough, or lovable just for being himself.
This issue is usually passed along generation to generation, which is why so many talented young people are urged (often against their will), to echo the parent's career choice or take over the family business, even if they have no natural ability in that arena, or passionate desire to follow a parent's path.
Depression in teens and young adults typically results from feeling like they can never live up to a parent's expectations, if they have wishes and dreams that aren't congruent with Father's or Mother's. Hence, pleasing one's parent takes precedence over pleasing oneself, and core issues are sustained.
Tragically, the narcissistic parent is insecure. God help the adult child who surpasses his parent's achievements, for this inspires malicious competition from the envious parent toward his/her offspring. This 'clone' issue sets one up for feeling damned if he accomplishes, and damned if he fails~ which is the root of self-sabotaging behavior patterns (it's easier to accept a parent's disappointment in our performance, than to incur his or her resentment if we excel).
I think you posting this is giving inspiration and strength to many of us dealing with similar issues. You're proving your tagline. *courage*
Edit to fix typo
[This message edited by knightsbff at 10:02 AM, October 24th (Thursday)]
No longer together
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
it means that you have found compassion for them and learned to let go of the transgression.
knightsbff, wow. I would love the link to that please. So much of that sounds so familiar. I'd like to pass it on to my sister.
We can excel. That's great. But like the article says, if we exceed our parents, then it's not cool. Dad has always been that way. He is so jealous of others. He is never content with what he has. Never content to just "be". He's always got to one-up someone. If someone has better than him, he belittles or finds fault.
My sister is the second born. She was accidentally conceived. She was a "mistake". Grew up thinking she was unwanted. My parents were dismayed that she poured her heart out about all that to someone other than them. Dude. If she's talking to someone that's good right? But nooo. Mother still brings up how horrified she is that Sister thought that and then talked to someone else about it.
We're just tired of our feelings being discounted. We're tired of being stupid children that cannot think for ourselves. We're tired of not having a voice. We're tired of being taken advantage of.
Some more drama happened today. Sister spoke on the phone shortly with Mother. It's shaping up so that I'm the bad guy that has an attitude problem and can't get along. Sister knows better as she and I have been very open with one another and have been working on boundaries and the flood of emotions together. So yeah. Things continue to brew, stir, and rumble under the surface.
I really don't feel inspiring or courageous. Really don't. This is a horrible path and I hate that I'm on it. I hate feeling duped. I hate feeling betrayed. It's what it is. A betrayal. They are not who I thought they were. We don't really have the relationship I thought we had. And I'm trying to careful to not get stuck in victim mode. Yes it blows and I need to process it. But I don't want to get stuck and be a whiney-butt. "It's theirrrrrr fault I'm such a screw ballllll." kwim? There's a balance and I want to keep it all evened out. If that's possible.
ETA: Thanks to all the stress, I've developed a lovely case of IBS. And I'm consuming vast amounts of my comfort foods. (Coke and chocolate) And I'm still losing weight. Losing weight! Granted I could loose some. But it just seems so ludicrous that this stuff is affecting me so badly.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 7:43 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]
Watching you stand up for yourself must make QS feel very proud of you. I think that you taking this step is going to do wonders for your relationship with him.
I do have a bit of a concern about your alliance with your sister, though. She has never struck me as a person who is emotionally healthy. I understand that you and she seem to be on the same page with this issue and have confronted it together, however, something that you wrote isn't *sitting well* with me and I think that it is something that you need to be watchful of......
Sister spoke on the phone shortly with Mother. It's shaping up so that I'm the bad guy that has an attitude problem and can't get along. Sister knows better
And whoever said that it's going to get worse before it gets better is right (unfortunately......)
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Mother wasn't trash talking me specifically, but she was fishing for info. Which Sister did not give her.
The way that email was worded yesterday, things that were brought up, I was completely thrown under the bus. So I knew yesterday that it was shaping up for me to be the bad guy.
While I voiced my opinion in the family meeting last week, I didn't walk out all peaches and cream. My sister said that she would accept their apologies and hoped that we could move forward in a healthy way. But I didn't say anything one way or the other. (I was still processing!) That doesn't sit well with the parentals.
And FYI: BIL is all over Sister like stink on crap. He isn't about to let this garbage slide anymore.
I'm not crawling back on my hands and knees. While the "ball is in my court", it's really not. I drew my line in the sand and I'm not crossing it. They will have to get used to that. If they want to pout and assume stuff, fine with me. I told them how I feel, and what I feel is acceptable and not acceptable. If they don't agree, if they can't accept me this way, I'm perfectly fine with that.
My sister said she has never felt so free as she has this week. Even though the family is upside down, she feels fresh, new. Several friends have commented that her entire demeanor has changed. They way she interacts with her child has changed. She told me when she got off the phone with Mother, she felt "ick" again, on edge again.
Maybe talking to Mother wasn't the best choice. She knew that after she hung up. She has no clue about boundaries. She doesn't have an SI to give her a boost. She's still learning. And she's going to falter. Just like I have the past couple years. Yes, I could possibly get burned. I'm fully aware of that. But if I get crucified for helping someone discover healthy boundaries? I'll take that punishment and bear it.
My BFF is mailing me a book on toxic parents. Should be here any day. Sister is getting it first. She is hungry for backup, more understanding, and ways to cope with this.
If the parentals want to be civil, she will shoot the breeze with them. But she will not delve deeper in. And I'm the same way to a degree. Sure, shooting the breeze isn't going to be the same for a long time, if ever. If any of them would look at me, I'd say hi. Beyond that, I don't trust them (And quite frankly, myself yet) to not get sucked back in.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 9:11 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]
I have a strong sense that *you got this*, Aub.....I was just highlighting a potential speed bump....
A comment on grief - I understand why you wouldn't want to cry in front of your parents, since they use it against you. But there is nothing to be ashamed of in having cried. You had a feeling and you expressed it, which is the basis of mental health. You are experiencing a tremendous loss - the loss of the supportive and loving relationship that you thought you had with your parents, and that you deserve. I am so sorry that you are having to fight such a hard fight. But you arefighting it (the definition of courage), and you are experiencing the benefits when you feel free. Hold on to the memory of that feeling when you are sunk in the pain that you are also feeling. It is not ludicrous that this is affecting you so badly!! Be gentle with yourself - I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
You know that the best response to that email is hard-core *crickets*, right?
More fishing today. Sister shut her down. Another peep about me and Sister going to lower the "That's between you two. Keep me out of it" boom. Of course we all know the best time for her to do that was yesterday, but hey. She's still learning.
After the ridiculous email, Mother is the one who initiated communication with my sister. But she expects me to initiate with her! What??? Why? Apparently the same phone she is texting my sister with doesn't text me anymore. Who knew!? Don't update your iPhones people. Major glitches. Involves selective texting and whatnot.
And quite frankly, based on the content of the email, I still don't know their motive. To heal and move forward in a healthy way, or sling more mud? If the latter, I have no interest. Crickets will remain till they make the first move in the right direction.
Forgiveness, if it comes, is at the end of a long path of processing, not at the beginning (except maybe for some very exceptional people?).
You are experiencing a tremendous loss
QS is reminding me to not borrow trouble. One day at a time. One holiday at a time. Things may change. Things may improve. But then again, maybe they won't. Either way, the planner in me is geeking out.
Thanks gonnabe for having my back.
Thanks plainsong. Your post helped tremendously.
But I have also lost the facade of what I thought the family was.
The motive of the email was to get you to stop *upsetting the apple cart*.....THAT is the goal. Life MUST remain status quo....and you are being uncooperative.
You have GOT to be committed to doing this for you and NOT to force some type of change within your family dynamic. If that change happens because you were strong enough to finally put your foot down and say *Enough!*....then awesome. However, you really need to prepare yourself for the most likely outcome of -- *they* are NOT going to change.
I'm sorry Aub, but this really is seismic......
Either way, the planner in me is geeking out
Papa broke ties with his FOO and decided that he would make a far better family than the one he had come from. After what I've learned through SI and my own personal journey, I can only imagine as to how hard it was for my grandfather to do all of this, but he did it, and he managed to forge one of the best families I've ever known.
Family is all about what you define it as, Aubrie. As long as you continue to think of your damaged FOO as the yardstick of comparison, you will never be satisfied. Do what my father's father did and break the hurtful ties. Establish your own family traditions steeped in love and mutual respect. Make a clean start with QS and the family you two have together.
You have GOT to be committed to doing this for you and NOT to force some type of change within your family dynamic.
My sister is facing some heat and I feel bad. Mother is attempting to use her to get to me. And sister is still learning. A comment from Mother about me yesterday was, "Hmmm...I guess when she's ready to let me in, she will. Then again she may like it this way. Oh well."
For real???? You're seriously going to go there. My sister immediately changed the subject. Mother didn't get the hint. (We know she won't. She'll have to be told, point blank.) She dropped another, "I miss the kids...Have they had Aubrie and DS's birthday party yet?" Well why don't you pick up the phone, call ME, and find out???? Oh but I forgot. Your phone doesn't know how to call me anymore.
As long as you continue to think of your damaged FOO as the yardstick of comparison, you will never be satisfied.
Establish your own family traditions steeped in love and mutual respect.
[This message edited by She-Ra at 10:19 AM, October 26th, 2013 (Saturday)]
The WW formerly known as messedupchick