Thread: Difficult relatives Board: Hell / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
I'm starting this thread because I want to have a bitch on the topic, and to give others the opportunity to do likewise, and (oddly) I find myself a bit squeamish about the idea of writing "Today I condemn to hell" before going on about a family member...

So, anyway, difficult relatives - in this case, my mother, who sent me an email a few days ago couched in a tone I would label 'sniping'. These arrive every few months, and alert me to the fact that, somehow, I have done something to offend her. On this occasion, I have failed to bring the children to visit her over the holiday period, whereas all her friends have had their grandchildren to visit. Any attempt to explain only makes things worse for myself, thus:

Her: Why haven't you brought the children to visit over the holiday period?

Me:...?...because you didn't invite us?

Her: You should know by now that you don't need an invitation to visit me! I am quite happy to clear my schedule and rearrange things to accommodate you!*

Me: Also, I remember you saying when we were down visiting last** that you were very busy in January.

Her: Oh come on! You can't expect me to remember conversations from that long ago, at my age!***

Me: Well, anyway, it's done now, I have other activities planned for the kids, but let's hope we can do a better job of communicating around the next holiday period, so we don't have any more misunderstandings.

Her: I sincerely hope you actually mean that.

Me(to self): Now what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

And the worst of all is that I can't just elect to ignore it and hope it will all wash under the bridge when I get one of these communiques, because if I don't respond I get another barrage asking me why I haven't answered.

In the absence of a 'throwing up hands in frustration and marching out of the room' smilie, I am going to have to make do with this one: [brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]


*not wholly true
**a whole six weeks ago
***my mother has NOT entered advanced old age and her memory is completely fine
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
Oh for goodness sake, love her, she's your mother, you only get one and you won't have her for ever.

Be grateful.
 
Posted by Gwai (# 11076) on :
 
I'd be tempted to include the response script you give above in my reply, anoesis. [Biased]

[ 22. January 2014, 20:57: Message edited by: Gwai ]
 
Posted by Spike (# 36) on :
 
Shit, is your relationship with your mum so bad you have to wait for an invitation before you visit? That's really sad.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Oh for goodness sake, love her, she's your mother, you only get one and you won't have her for ever.

Be grateful.

I do love her. I also get frustrated by her - as I think happens with all the people we love. I appreciate you may think it is bad form for me to discuss this sort of thing on a public forum, but these episodes have an effect on me, and I am hoping to be able to mitigate that (and actually get on and do something with my day rather than hand-wringing), having been able to vent.

I may not have her forever, but I fully expect her to live for another twenty or twenty-five years, and I don't want to spend all that time being told it is unreasonable in me to expect a measure of consistency in her behaviour and/or actions because she can't really be expected to remember things she said a month or so ago 'at her age'.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
Not bad form, just dull and boring and depressing.

I also think it strange how you bright young things dote on your little darlings (also boring to the sad childless) and yet speak of the older generation so nastily.

I suppose you'll understand when you're old(er) and your kids have their own lives to lead and you're left out.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
Shit, is your relationship with your mum so bad you have to wait for an invitation before you visit? That's really sad.

Well, I live several hours drive from her, so visiting necessarily involves staying a few nights - and I come bearing children, which her house is not really prepared for. So while I may not need an invitation, exactly, I certainly need to obtain an okay before turning up - I can't just arrive and expect to be fed and watered and housed without running it by her beforehand, can I?

I think the real answer, though, is that, no, most of the time, this relationship works just fine, and I sometimes propose visits to her, and sometimes they are proposed to me, and likewise with her visiting us, and its all okay. But when I get asked 'Why haven't you brought the grandchildren to visit me?' in a manner that implies some sort of dereliction of duty on my part, I wonder if bringing a little more formality into the relationship might actually be helpful, because at least then everyone would know how things stood - the easy, casual, approach has the potential to lead to assumptions, and cross-assumptions, and here we find ourselves, both kind of annoyed about something which is (I'm aware) nothing much, really. It's just that it happens a lot.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Goodness, is someone holding a gun to Francophile's head and forcing him to read this? [Votive]

anoesis, you may regret opening this thread in Hell rather than All Saints. But FWIW I too have an Irritating Mother. She pampers Other Half outrageously when we go to stay with her and heaps extravagant praise on him every time he makes a cup of tea or helps with the washing up. This sets impossibly high standards (which I have no interest in matching, anyway; he irons his own shirts at home).

He thinks she's wonderful and gets very indignant when people try to tell him mother-in-law jokes.

[ 22. January 2014, 21:25: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by Kitten (# 1179) on :
 
If it's any consolation anoesis, things can improve. I've never had what you might call an easy relationship with my mother (80 next month) but things have improved in the last few years and while things may never be perfect, I have a better relationship with her now than I've ever had before.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Not bad form, just dull and boring and depressing.

Alright, alright! You know, this is helping enormously, actually. I'm now a lot more angry with you than I am with my mother.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I also think it strange how you bright young things dote on your little darlings (also boring to the sad childless) and yet speak of the older generation so nastily.

I resent that. I am not a bright young thing. I am depressed and anxious and frazzled and worn out from trying to entertain and mediate between my 'little darlings' (and what have you seen in my posting so far to indicate that I dote on them, particularly, may I ask?) Or are you just making assumptions, along with the assumptions about how other childless people feel, and the assumptions of how I feel about other people of the older generation? I have known my parents-in-law for nearly twenty years now and I have tremendous respect for them a great relationship with them which is not fraught with all this emotional baggage. Similarly, I had an excellent relationship with my father, once I was out of adolescence.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I suppose you'll understand when you're old(er) and your kids have their own lives to lead and you're left out.

I suppose I will. When it eventually happens, you can look down from your heavenly abode and sneer at me some more, eh? And by the way, that is the sort of sniping comment that my mother specialises in. You cannot possibly understand what it is like to be me, because you haven't reached my age yet, but inevitably you WILL understand, when you do reach my age, because it's inconceivable that anyone my age doesn't feel as I do. And then you'll see. And then you'll be sorry. And then you'll wish you'd been nicer to me. Rah rah.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
If it's any consolation anoesis, things can improve. I've never had what you might call an easy relationship with my mother (80 next month) but things have improved in the last few years and while things may never be perfect, I have a better relationship with her now than I've ever had before.

Thanks. I think in part I am responding badly to this episode because we have had some excellent (but painful) talks in the past couple of years, and I really did think things were better - and I had a phone conversation with her about ten days ago that was as happy as you please - and then we seem to be back to square one again, and I still can't work out what sets it off.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I assumed franophile must really hate you, due to scrap on other threads. I don't know, I don't read enough. I've no idea what the hell is going on, but I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.
Mothers are always a touchy subject. I love and not love mine, would struggle post on a forum about her. My daughters' crap half brother, however, is open season. Bring it on, the man is a jerk.

[ 22. January 2014, 21:50: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assumed franophile must really hate you, due to scrap on other threads.

Not that I know of.

quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.

Bingo. Exactly.

quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Mothers are always a touchy subject. I love and not love mine, would struggle post on a forum about her. My daughters' crap half brother, however, is open season. Bring it on, the man is a jerk.

Actually, I suppose I am fortunate, in a sense, as there is no-one I can think of, even in the wider family, who is a complete unmitigated jerk. It's just some people are harder to get along with than others.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Frankly, the whole "one day I'll be dead and you'll be sorry" routine is exactly what various obnoxious family members of my own used to get away with being as rude and unkind as they wanted, without consequences.

At one point I decided a good life goal would be to treat my people in such a way that they wouldn't mutter "promises, promises" should I ever be stupid enough to utter that line.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Not bad form, just dull and boring and depressing.

Alright, alright! You know, this is helping enormously, actually. I'm now a lot more angry with you than I am with my mother.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I also think it strange how you bright young things dote on your little darlings (also boring to the sad childless) and yet speak of the older generation so nastily.

I resent that. I am not a bright young thing. I am depressed and anxious and frazzled and worn out from trying to entertain and mediate between my 'little darlings' (and what have you seen in my posting so far to indicate that I dote on them, particularly, may I ask?) Or are you just making assumptions, along with the assumptions about how other childless people feel, and the assumptions of how I feel about other people of the older generation? I have known my parents-in-law for nearly twenty years now and I have tremendous respect for them a great relationship with them which is not fraught with all this emotional baggage. Similarly, I had an excellent relationship with my father, once I was out of adolescence.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I suppose you'll understand when you're old(er) and your kids have their own lives to lead and you're left out.

I suppose I will. When it eventually happens, you can look down from your heavenly abode and sneer at me some more, eh? And by the way, that is the sort of sniping comment that my mother specialises in. You cannot possibly understand what it is like to be me, because you haven't reached my age yet, but inevitably you WILL understand, when you do reach my age, because it's inconceivable that anyone my age doesn't feel as I do. And then you'll see. And then you'll be sorry. And then you'll wish you'd been nicer to me. Rah rah.

No wonder your mother despises you. What has she done to deserve a self pitying, whining excuse of a daughter like you. You really need to experience real hardship. Oh, and did anyone force you to have children to frazzle and depress you? Grow up and take responsibility for your own pathetic choices un life.

Oh, you cannot possibly undrstand what ut is to be me.

Why post your self absorbed drivel on the Hell board if you're looking for sympathy? You ain't going to get it except from the pathetic, right on Christian idiots on here.

Hope I get banned.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
No wonder your mother despises you.

I'm not aware that she does. She merely gets upset with me from time to time (on a strangely regular sort of timetable). Do you have ANY family? Any relationships with other people at all? YOU are actually the one who is blowing everything out of proportion here by suggesting that we two despise each other when what is actually going on is some mutual frustration as a result of poor communication.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
What has she done to deserve a self pitying, whining excuse of a daughter like you.

Fuck you, fucknugget. Oh everyone, gather round! See how little respect I have for the older generation!

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
You really need to experience real hardship.

REAL hardship being the sort YOU have experienced, no doubt... the only genuine article. Will it make me a better person? It's not looking like it from where I'm sitting, but of course, I'm only young, so what would I know?

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Oh, and did anyone force you to have children to frazzle and depress you? Grow up and take responsibility for your own pathetic choices un life.

Nope. But, as I believe you have already noted, I don't come from the 'just suck it all up and plaster on a smile so everyone else can be happy' generation. The fact that I express the fact I am frazzled and depressed by my experience of having young children does not preclude my taking responsibility for them, or for any other area of my life I may choose to express my feelings about. If you don't like to read it, then fucking STOP, for crying out loud!

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Oh, you cannot possibly undrstand what ut is to be me.

Why post your self absorbed drivel on the Hell board if you're looking for sympathy? You ain't going to get it except from the pathetic, right on Christian idiots on here.

Hope I get banned.

I like my own mother more and more with every passing second. You have done me a service here, you know. I could have done so much worse for a parent. I will endeavour to be more patient with her in future.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Anoesis, just ignore him/ her/ angelic being who never had an uncharitable thought about a relative. The rest of us live on earth and know how it is. I will try to think of some juicy stories that are appropriate for sharing and chime in later.

The thing about my mom, is that she was the oldest child in her family, and developed a razor tongue, a penchant for bossiness, and a lack of ability to handle it when things don't go her way. Sometimes dealing with her is heart- breaking, because she just doesn't care what she says as long as she wins the argument. But when I write down what she says later, often times I laugh it off, because "who the hell says that?"

And it makes me hate her less and accept her more.

[ 22. January 2014, 23:06: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Francophile, if you're that desperate for attention, why don't you open your own thread? All this jumping up and down and thumping your chest isn't doing much for you.

(Thoughtfully) who was it who said if you want attention that badly, you can just pay for it up the alley like all the other freaks?)
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Well both of my parents are dead now and I am sorry for all the times I didn't visit or wasn't patient enough with them or disappointed them in some huge way -- but, at the very same time, I find myself still remembering all the times they said hurtful things to me or let me down somehow. That's what really bothers me most, my inability to forgive and forget their failings as parents while simultaneously making mistakes with my own family that they will probably remember and resent long after I'm dead.

Go raise children.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Isn't it possible to forgive someone while still acknowledging the can be a huge pain in the ass sometimes? Of course it goes both ways-- does that mean one can't talk about their end of things?

In fact, how on earth can you really forgive someone until you have articulated what has happened? Even if only to yourself?
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
Francophile, what the ever loving fuck is up your ass on this fine day?

you don't have to like aenosist... aeomebist... anmbulist... analcyst....whatever. You can even get all judgy and superior because your family's shit don't stink. fine with me. But what I'm seeing here is a sad, lonely human who is projecting the fuck out of this situation.

So tell us, you delicate little snowflake... did someone not get a visit? feeling rejected? let me guess, they left you off their christmas card list? it couldn't possibly be because you're a nasty little excuse for company, could it? How on earth could they possibly not be just wrestling and jostling each other for a chance to sit there with you telling them how fucked up and evil they are and how much better you are?

Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of reading about how dysfunctional other people's families are. I come to the Ship to escape, not face my own reality straight in the eye coming out of other people' typing fingers.

(one of these days I'm giving you all a dose of my baby sister both barrels and you'll collectively wet yourself)

The reality is, anosist gets to bitch about the fucked up freak what spawned her. You get to say what you like in return (and kudos for the eversion therapy, BTW) but frankly, on this thread I would like to deal with one disastrous Shipmate at a time and you're piling all your issues all over this shit.

Take your turn, you big baby. tell us about how you done been wronged by your family ('cause, you know... it's fucking obvious) and get your agenda out of aoneaosis's throat.

you really need to buy her a drink first.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
How on earth could they possibly not be just wrestling and jostling each other for a chance to sit there with you telling them how fucked up and evil they are and how much better you are?

[Killing me]

Ok, first funny mom story.

Listening to my mom on the phone is excruciating, because she never leaves space for the other person on the line to talk. Also, what she has to say usually revolves around a string of complaints. (Hence my laughter at the above.) Whether it was her that called or the other person, from the first second she starts talking she just keeps up talking in one long stream. I can't imagine what the poor soul on the other end must be doing. "Yes, I.. Well of course.. Actually..."

So, one Sunday a letter appeared in Dear Abby, in which someone complained about a friend who called just to talk about their own stuff and never let them contribute, or get off the phone. Abby( or whoever) suggested that the writer cut the conversation off before it could germinate.

I swear to God, all my mom's friends must have read that article, because for about two weeks afterward, phone conversations were like this on her end.

"Hi, it's [Mom] I was ju-- oh, you're busy. OK, but really quick I just wanted to sa-- oh, can I call later? Tomorrow, maybe? Well, goodbye then."
If it was a coincidence, it was an amazing coincidence.

Another good life goal-- treat your people in such a way that they don't cringe when they see your name come up on Caller ID.

[ 23. January 2014, 01:11: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
you really need to buy her a drink first.

And, if you'd be so kind, do it in front of my toxic grandmother, Insulter of Daughters-In-Law, Bona Fide Class Snob, and She Who Makes Grown Women Who Have Seen It All break down in tears. She's a strict teetotaler, of the variety who thought I'd turn into a ten-year-old alcoholic from taking communion at a Lutheran church. May I suggest you try the demon rum? It'd do us all even more good than our regular family toasts to her.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
She's a strict teetotaler, of the variety who thought I'd turn into a ten-year-old alcoholic from taking communion at a Lutheran church. May I suggest you try the demon rum? It'd do us all even more good than our regular family toasts to her.

Oh, she sounds WONDERFUL. Dish! Dish!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Ok, here's another Mom story for Annnawhosis--

Mom's version of an argument involved her telling you how much you suck, followed by her shouting louder and louder over any reply you might make until you just give up and storm off, at which point she heckles you for storming off. Loads o' fun.

One time when I was a teenager, we she was shouting at me, and I don't know what it was-- maybe she accused me of something I didn't do, maybe she said something extra- mean-- but at some point I got a sentence in that called her out on something she couldn't wiggle out of. She apologized. Here is her version of an apology.

"Ok, I am SOOORRRRY. I guess I have to be SOOO CAREFUL with my words. Please ForGIIIVE me!"

I was still scowling, so she snapped, "Aren't you done sulking? I APOLOGIZED!"

At the time I didn't understand the concept of a non-apology, so I just sat there.

"I SAID I APOLOGIZE! Do you want me to BEG? Do you want me to KISS your FEET? Yes, that's it, you want me to KISS your FEET! Well alright, then!"

I swear to God I protested, but she moved with cobra-like swiftness. She lunged forward and grabbed my bare foot (I was sitting on my bed just before I was about to turn in-- fantastic time for screaming arguments) and wrenched it to her lips while I struggled to pull it away.

Years later I reminded her of this, and she chuckled. "I guess that's the kind of thing you remember five years later and laugh over."

Pause. I swallowed.
"Uh, Mom? Five minutes after you left the room I was laughing..."

I mean,shit, most of us have these kind of stories, so who cares? It's called life. Make it ART.

[ 23. January 2014, 02:13: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Oh, she sounds WONDERFUL. Dish! Dish!

Eh, most of them are "I wouldn't believe it, except I was there" or "seriously, I know my parents don't go in for hyperbole, and there's no way anybody could have made THIS up" so there's not much to dish. I almost wonder what we're going to kvetch about when she's gone, except that we've material enough to last us a good long time. I do worry about my parents who have to bear the brunt of things, though. Nobody deserves the wrath and insults that come from someone who can just tell what will cut right to your heart and feels no qualms about using every weapon she has without a second thought.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Well Stephen King made a mighty fine living working his crazy-ass relatives into his books.

Augustin Burroughs, too.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
I do worry about my parents who have to bear the brunt of things, though. Nobody deserves the wrath and insults that come from someone who can just tell what will cut right to your heart and feels no qualms about using every weapon she has without a second thought.

...and amen to this.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Francophile,

This is Hell and one is allowed to be a sanctimonious, little shit. You do not have seemed to realise, however, that it is not required.
When next you visit a physician, please ask about assistance in removing the bug up your arse.
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
Shit, is your relationship with your mum so bad you have to wait for an invitation before you visit? That's really sad.

It's not so rare. Mine moved to another country built a house without guest rooms 3 weeks after the birth of her first grandchild, my child, and saw us 6 times in 20 years. Once because I dragged tbe family along. And then I had to clean up her mess when she died. Now burdened with a father who I moved back and spent God knows how many thankless hours and some $50k organizing. I suppose the abandonment has made me less likely to respond to the pull of talk designed to blame others for feelings.

My general advice is to ensure others' feelings never belong to you. And say when you don't like what they try to put on to you.

Re OP, I would tend to say that I prefer talk to email, and
that I would prefer that she not use guilt towards me, that I don't enjoy having feelings that her email gave. Of course mine was a little different than your's. So my response may be a little strong.

Parents can be difficult. Its the guilt part
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[crosspost]

Oh, let him roll. He's acting out the role of "difficult relative." Makes the whole thing so much more interactive. Anybody can just point him out.

"See, there? See the judgement and criticism? See the sneering dismissal of my comments and the hand-rubbing glee with which he calls me a failure? That's just what my dad was like!" [Waterworks]

[ 23. January 2014, 02:41: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Ok, here's another Mom story for Annnawhosis--
...[snip]
Here is her version of an apology.

"Ok, I am SOOORRRRY. I guess I have to be SOOO CAREFUL with my words. Please ForGIIIVE me!"

Mine goes in for "I'm sorry you feel that way", or "I'm sorry if that's how you heard it"or "I'm sorry if you were offended by something I said", that kind of flavour...

quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I mean,shit, most of us have these kind of stories, so who cares? It's called life. Make it ART.

Wise words. It would probably take me more than five minutes to be able to laugh about such an episode as you recount, though. That's a good duck's back you have yourself there...
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
No, I can't take that praise. Usually these harangues left me devastated. I just had this strange moment of clarity in which I realized,"This woman is nuts. And this is comedy gold."

Wish that happened more.

(Having said that, i can't tell you how I giggled over the phrase "cobra-like swiftness.") [Snigger]

[ 23. January 2014, 02:46: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
Nobody deserves the wrath and insults that come from someone who can just tell what will cut right to your heart and feels no qualms about using every weapon she has without a second thought.

see, there? now I feel all warm and cuddly.

'cause my crazyass sister is way too stupid to pull that off with any style whatsoever.

she's just like ocean waves. the constant battering of the "poor me!" routine wears you down until you blow.

and then (I shit you not) she calls Dad and tells on me.

it's so fucking awesome.

But she doesn't have my buttons. no doubt I've offered them up to her in my own stupidity and in weak moments; but she's a brick. the screaming tirades are less "et tu, Brute?"and much more "whattheeverlovingfuckwazat?"
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I say pressure Mom to move closer and then get her to babysit the kids at every possible opportunity. Then act shocked [Eek!] at any suggestion that in fact THIS time around she's not in a position to have the kids today/this weekend.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.

Bingo. Exactly.
So the whole bit about how you paint a target on your ass when you post in Hell just slipped right by you?
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:

Her: You should know by now that you don't need an invitation to visit me! I am quite happy to clear my schedule and rearrange things to accommodate you!

She's your Mum. One day she may be like my Mum - unable to speak to you, remember you or acknowledge you at all.

Read this, then read it again. Remember it and take it to heart.

Now phone your Mum and ask if you could all visit tomorrow/next week/the week after. Repeat indefinitely

Simples, yes?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Yes, it is Hell. But there should be [i]standards./[i] Franky, Gaul-boy has displayed none. All nasty, no style.

ETA: Reply to RuthW

[ 23. January 2014, 05:50: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:

Her: You should know by now that you don't need an invitation to visit me! I am quite happy to clear my schedule and rearrange things to accommodate you!

She's your Mum. One day she may be like my Mum - unable to speak to you, remember you or acknowledge you at all.

Read this, then read it again. Remember it and take it to heart.

Now phone your Mum and ask if you could all visit tomorrow/next week/the week after. Repeat indefinitely

Simples, yes?

No. It is often not simple. Love, frustration, anger, happiness, etc. can all cooexist in any relationship. It is not one thing or the other, not balanced. One can love someone but truly, legitimately feel vexed. Simply because they will not exist in perfect health forever, and may die before one does, does not erase all the problems.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.

Bingo. Exactly.
So the whole bit about how you paint a target on your ass when you post in Hell just slipped right by you?
No, it didn't. While the thread didn't pan out quite as I had expected, I read Hell pretty regularly and am familiar with the ways things are down here, so I can't honestly say I was...shocked, shocked, I tell you! And I also acknowledge that just because I started the thread doesn't mean I own it. It's quite possible I should have done as Taliesin advised and started the thread in All Saints instead. That is a board I know less about, but I'm thinking I should educate myself in that area tout suite.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:

Her: You should know by now that you don't need an invitation to visit me! I am quite happy to clear my schedule and rearrange things to accommodate you!

She's your Mum. One day she may be like my Mum - unable to speak to you, remember you or acknowledge you at all.

Read this, then read it again. Remember it and take it to heart.

Now phone your Mum and ask if you could all visit tomorrow/next week/the week after. Repeat indefinitely

Simples, yes?

No. Sorry. It's never been simple with my Mum. It probably never will be. I go through periods of trying, periods of giving up, periods of handwringing. And so does my sister. And, so, I imagine, does my Mum. Cos we're related, and that's how it works - that's how it is. But how it isn't is simple.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
... aenosist... aeomebist... anmbulist... analcyst....whatever.

[Killing me]

Comet, next hosts and admins day, go on - improve my name. Analcyst! - I love it - although I missed it on the first readthrough...
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.

Bingo. Exactly.
So the whole bit about how you paint a target on your ass when you post in Hell just slipped right by you?
No, it didn't. While the thread didn't pan out quite as I had expected, I read Hell pretty regularly and am familiar with the ways things are down here, so I can't honestly say I was...shocked, shocked, I tell you! And I also acknowledge that just because I started the thread doesn't mean I own it. It's quite possible I should have done as Taliesin advised and started the thread in All Saints instead. That is a board I know less about, but I'm thinking I should educate myself in that area tout suite.
Maybe educate yourself in how to use French at the same time.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
That's what really bothers me most, my inability to forgive and forget their failings as parents while simultaneously making mistakes with my own family that they will probably remember and resent long after I'm dead.

Go raise children.

Oh man, you said it. The fact that I have a difficult relationship with my Mum, who had a difficult relationship with her Mum, and I have a daughter, freaks me out completely. Firstly, I'm like "How can I possibly avoid avoid screwing her up? How will I deal with her resenting me for screwing her up?", and second, I'm like, "I have to fix this relationship with my Mum. I have to make it work. But I have no idea how to do this." And then thirdly, "I have to make sure I don't get like that" (because there's no doubt my Mum is getting like my Nan, and I do sometimes hear myself parroting stuff to my kids that she said when I was little). And all the time I have this sense that I'm just flailing around wildly to no effect and upsetting myself in the process.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Not me! I got that you wanted to vent, and invited others to vent on a similar theme. All saints is a much different dynamic, and invites other comments you don't want, like boogie's.

Speaking of toxic grandparents, how about the old lady who spent Christmas day weeping when I came for dinner with my young kids, invited by future husband? Apparently a divorced woman is a bad thing (TM) and 'it's the children I feel sorry for'.

When we later revealed I was pregnant, she suggested we abort him.

Out of wedlock is a bad thing.
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
Froggy-person - you obviously have not A relatives and/or B a clue. Walk a mile in Anacrusis' (sic) shoes before you criticise. Now that our parents are dead, it falls to me to be the next of kin to my disabled sister in care (cue for sympathetic looks in HER direction) A connection living abroad was moved to comment that my thrice yearly visits were "not very often." True, but an aunt who had had more contact with the sister in question replied that under the prevailing circumstances of distance and interpersonal difficulty, it was in fact plenty! As much as I could manage without sororicide IMO. Most of us do what we can, with due regard for our own well being and the need to stay afloat psychologically. You, being an island, pace John Donne, wouldn't experience these issues.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

Speaking of toxic grandparents, how about the old lady who spent Christmas day weeping when I came for dinner with my young kids, invited by future husband? Apparently a divorced woman is a bad thing (TM) and 'it's the children I feel sorry for'.

When we later revealed I was pregnant, she suggested we abort him.


As played by Dame Maggie Smith.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I crossposted with yours, anoesis, and to that last post, I would say, get thee to an all saints thread and I'll join you there. [Smile]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I assume you opened his thread for other people to rant about their families, rAther than comment on you and yours.

Bingo. Exactly.
So the whole bit about how you paint a target on your ass when you post in Hell just slipped right by you?
No, it didn't. While the thread didn't pan out quite as I had expected, I read Hell pretty regularly and am familiar with the ways things are down here, so I can't honestly say I was...shocked, shocked, I tell you! And I also acknowledge that just because I started the thread doesn't mean I own it. It's quite possible I should have done as Taliesin advised and started the thread in All Saints instead. That is a board I know less about, but I'm thinking I should educate myself in that area tout suite.
Maybe educate yourself in how to use French at the same time.
Hah. Yeah, I walked right into that, didn't I? Should I say 'touche' now? (No, I don't know anything about fencing, either. Colonials, you know. Not quite the thing).
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jacobsen:
Froggy-person - you obviously have not A relatives and/or B a clue. Walk a mile in Anacrusis' (sic) shoes before you criticise. Now that our parents are dead, it falls to me to be the next of kin to my disabled sister in care (cue for sympathetic looks in HER direction) A connection living abroad was moved to comment that my thrice yearly visits were "not very often." True, but an aunt who had had more contact with the sister in question replied that under the prevailing circumstances of distance and interpersonal difficulty, it was in fact plenty! As much as I could manage without sororicide IMO. Most of us do what we can, with due regard for our own well being and the need to stay afloat psychologically. You, being an island, pace John Donne, wouldn't experience these issues.

Fuck off.

I nursed my 87 year old father through terminal stages of PD last year. He died in my arms after 24/7 care for months, and years of deteriorating health back to 2003.

Now looking after my 86 yearold mum every day

Love(d) them both despite their foibles.

Go and take a shit.


Go fuck yourself
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Not me! I got that you wanted to vent, and invited others to vent on a similar theme. All saints is a much different dynamic, and invites other comments you don't want, like boogie's.

Speaking of toxic grandparents, how about the old lady who spent Christmas day weeping when I came for dinner with my young kids, invited by future husband? Apparently a divorced woman is a bad thing (TM) and 'it's the children I feel sorry for'.

When we later revealed I was pregnant, she suggested we abort him.

Out of wedlock is a bad thing.

Oh. My. I really am speechless.

As to the 'Aargh! Help! I have/Am in A Family' thread, I'll look into that tomorrow maybe - getting late here now...
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Francophile ~ I suggest you didn't have parents who both knocked seven shades of shit out of you and your siblings~ and promised the same to your own children. I figured that my own child was more in need of protection than my parents needed cosseting.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
quote:
Mine goes in for "I'm sorry you feel that way", or "I'm sorry if that's how you heard it"or "I'm sorry if you were offended by something I said", that kind of flavour...
Women's magazines have a lot to answer for. If I had a pound for every time I'd read one of those 'assertiveness' articles that tells you to deal with conflict like this... <pause for cogitation> ... I'd have about ten quid, because I don't read women's magazines that much. But they all tell you the same stuff.

(it was me who suggested All Saints as an alternative, btw. But all I said was 'you may regret opening this in Hell'; I got that you needed to vent, too).

We haven't been to see my parents for nearly a year, though it's not for want of trying. They moved house and don't want visitors until they've finished renovating their new one. Turning up on their doorstep unexpectedly is not an option; we live too far away from them to do day trips. They come to see us instead.

[ 23. January 2014, 08:24: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I'm going to have a rant,

Francophile, I'm going to take you at your word. My wife and I currently have 3 surviving parents, one in her mid nineties, the other two both 90 this year. We are heavily involved in their care and support. It is something we do out of love. It has its frustrations and its weariness and sometimes we both need to vent.

Sometimes we do look at other folks who don't have this persistent, ongoing, wearying pressure and figure they have little real understanding of how hard that can be.

But Hells Bells, Francophile, after reading this thread the person I am most pissed off with is you! And I mean, really, really, REALLY, pissed off!

I think you should take whatever resentment, weariness, self-pity, ignorance, malice and condescension is floating around in you and shove it where the sun don't shine. Rather than thinking that stuff gives you the ever-living right to piss all over someone else's pain and frustration.

Hell is a robust place, and there's some wisdom in the alternative AS forum.

But you have shown a level of pig-ignorance that is pretty unusual, even for this place.

Sure, that's judgmental of me. But it's pretty much what I feel right now. As one carer for the aged to another, I'm telling you that you let the side down, big time.
 
Posted by Jonah the Whale (# 1244) on :
 
Wow, B62 has gone over to the Dark Side! Look what you've done francophile.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I'm going to have a rant,

Francophile, I'm going to take you at your word. My wife and I currently have 3 surviving parents, one in her mid nineties, the other two both 90 this year. We are heavily involved in their care and support. It is something we do out of love. It has its frustrations and its weariness and sometimes we both need to vent.

Sometimes we do look at other folks who don't have this persistent, ongoing, wearying pressure and figure they have little real understanding of how hard that can be.

But Hells Bells, Francophile, after reading this thread the person I am most pissed off with is you! And I mean, really, really, REALLY, pissed off!

I think you should take whatever resentment, weariness, self-pity, ignorance, malice and condescension is floating around in you and shove it where the sun don't shine. Rather than thinking that stuff gives you the ever-living right to piss all over someone else's pain and frustration.

Hell is a robust place, and there's some wisdom in the alternative AS forum.

But you have shown a level of pig-ignorance that is pretty unusual, even for this place.

Sure, that's judgmental of me. But it's pretty much what I feel right now. As one carer for the aged to another, I'm telling you that you let the side down, big time.

Oh how fucking hard do you have it, fucking arsehile!
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Francophile - if you are capable, which frankly I doubt, try reading B62's post for comprehension
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
Francophile - if you are capable, which frankly I doubt, try reading B62's post for comprehension

No, im not a sanctimonious git like you. Go and say a fucking prayer on the pray thread. Or shut the fuck up.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Frankopile,

I must apologise to you. A twelve year old who has the wherewithal, patience and understanding to care for elderly parents is an amazing thing.
 
Posted by Niteowl (# 15841) on :
 
I've got it - francophile is a bitter martyr, hence the arsehole routine. He hasn't yet figured out that other people have had it as bad or worse than he has...
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Frankopile,

I must apologise to you. A twelve year old who has the wherewithal, patience and understanding to care for elderly parents is an amazing thing.

Can'tyou fuccking spell, you old bitch.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl:
I've got it - francophile is a bitter martyr, hence the arsehole routine. He hasn't yet figured out that other people have had it as bad or worse than he has...

Well tellus your fucking sob story. Yawn.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Frankopile,

I must apologise to you. A twelve year old who has the wherewithal, patience and understanding to care for elderly parents is an amazing thing.

Can'tyou fuccking spell, you old bitch.
The only thing that's a bitch is the recoil action on that verbal cannon you just fired.

Put the smartphone down, take a deep breath and go for a walk around the block. Seriously. For your own good.

[ 23. January 2014, 12:46: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
Francophile - if you are capable, which frankly I doubt, try reading B62's post for comprehension

No, im not a sanctimonious git like you. Go and say a fucking prayer on the pray thread. Or shut the fuck up.
wheezy, have you shut the fuck up long last. Or are you just praying to your pointless god.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Well, no more than usual - mainly I have been giggling at your inanity.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
All we've learned so far is that some folk do and some folk don't.

Live with it. If you force stuff down another person's throat, you'll eventually get your arm bitten off.
 
Posted by Niteowl (# 15841) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl:
I've got it - francophile is a bitter martyr, hence the arsehole routine. He hasn't yet figured out that other people have had it as bad or worse than he has...

Well tellus your fucking sob story. Yawn.
Since you asked so politely [Roll Eyes] I'll just say I'm another boomer who is taking care of her 90 yr old mother 24/7 - and I'm also disabled with serious health issues myself. I don't whine though, about how everyone else is such an ungrateful baby like you do, though.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
See, this is why people don't want to let every asshole and fuckwit on the Ship know where they live.
 
Posted by MrsBeaky (# 17663) on :
 
I find it interesting that there appear to be two types of posting (maybe more?) here in Hell:

Those where the personality of the person as evidenced on other boards generally stays the same but with some agitation and swearing....
then there are those who appear to become a completely different and often very unpleasant person

I find it quite disconcerting/ bewildering which is why I rush back out again quickly...
Bye!
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
I love the smell of a dogpile in the morning! [Biased]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:
I find it interesting that there appear to be two types of posting (maybe more?) here in Hell:

Those where the personality of the person as evidenced on other boards generally stays the same but with some agitation and swearing....
then there are those who appear to become a completely different and often very unpleasant person

I find it quite disconcerting/ bewildering which is why I rush back out again quickly...
Bye!

Down here we are, essentially, a psychology experiment that has gone completely feral.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:

I find it quite disconcerting/ bewildering which is why I rush back out again quickly...
Bye!

I'm not sure what you mean by this. You are either posting and reading the thread or not.

Do you mean that you post and then don't read the replies?

The fact that you are posting shows that it holds some sort of fascination for you ...

I pop down to Hell when I need cheering up!

Also - I don't think anyone is hiding their personality on other boards - just abiding by the 'no personal attacks' rules!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I don't think anyone is hiding their personality on other boards - just abiding by the 'no personal attacks' rules!

So, naturally, when someone who has made themselves unpopular by posting at the edge of decency for years steps into Hell, they really shouldn't be surprised to get dumped on. Pity-Lit doesn't get much of a hearing in Hell either.
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
I love the smell of a dogpile in the morning! [Biased]

It isn't dogs.
 
Posted by MrsBeaky (# 17663) on :
 
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:

I find it quite disconcerting/ bewildering which is why I rush back out again quickly...
Bye!

I'm not sure what you mean by this. You are either posting and reading the thread or not.

Do you mean that you post and then don't read the replies?

The fact that you are posting shows that it holds some sort of fascination for you ...

I pop down to Hell when I need cheering up!

Also - I don't think anyone is hiding their personality on other boards - just abiding by the 'no personal attacks' rules!

Sorry for lack of clarity.
I always check for replies- hence this response.
What I meant was that as it's clearly stated that posting here is the equivalent of posting a large bulls-eye on yourself I post with trepidation as I hate causing offence. The "rush back out again" comment was an attempt at humour.

I get that "the no personal attacks" rule is lifted here, I think perhaps orpheo sums it up for me!
I do find a lot of stuff down here hilarious, especially as you say when I need cheering up.

As to the OP, I've lost count of how many times I've failed to love the people I've found difficult whether because of who they are or the things they've done. It's crap sometimes, it really is crap.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MrsBeaky:

As to the OP, I've lost count of how many times I've failed to love the people I've found difficult whether because of who they are or the things they've done. It's crap sometimes, it really is crap.

I know, me too.

But I stand by what I said. It's worth making the effort. Excuses don't = effort imo.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
This is turning into the fun thread I had hoped it would be! I firmly believe amusing anecdotes about our awful relatives help relieve the stress so next time we're sitting on our loved ones (and we do love them) sofa quietly weeping from boredom or worse, we can imagine the stories we can relate on the ship.

I also like the competitive aspect:
In the non-stop talking category, I submit this entry:

I was once visiting my father when we went out to eat and an old family friend stopped by our table to say hello. She was sorry to learn that I had laryngitis and couldn't speak a word. I enjoyed watching my father's face turn red as he realized I had been there almost a week and he hadn't noticed.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
[Killing me]

My mother and my father in law are both very deaf now. Listening is not something either of them was very good at anyway. Mix in frailties and other deteriorations and you do get some hilarious misunderstandings. Particularly when punctuated by "No need to shout, you know". Mix in some memory and cognitive loss and it can become very Pythonesque.

I find it sad to see them reduced. That's a hard thing for me.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Frankopile,

I must apologise to you. A twelve year old who has the wherewithal, patience and understanding to care for elderly parents is an amazing thing.

Can'tyou fuccking spell, you old bitch.
Everything is spelled correctly, franklyapile, unlike your reply.
Seems I over estimated your age, though.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
what's an arsehile?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Me apparently. The 'I' gives the game away. I'm an arsehole with a certain redeeming self-awareness.

Or maybe it's bloody bollocking autocorrection at work on his iPad, iPhone whatever.

But given the Francophile mind, it's more like trying to make sense of shadows on the wall.

Now when it comes to arsehOle, there's absolutely no competition on this thread. Francophile has completely swept the board. You can give him the gold medal straightaway. Or roast him again on your own special fires. I've had it with him.
 
Posted by Organ Builder (# 12478) on :
 
Unusually, I'm rather glad the thread has moved on a bit before I had a chance to respond.

My first thought on reading the OP was "That's one side; I wonder what the other would be?" I was not without a certain sympathy for Francophile's initial position, though I hope I might have been a bit more tactful. Still, there really wasn't enough information to make me comfortable posting. Given the way the thread has gone, I'm glad I didn't.

I'm only 55, but both my parents are dead. I'd love to have misunderstandings with them again. Cleaning out the house, I found an old scrapbook my mother had put together, which included all the letters she and my father had exchanged before their marriage. They had the same conversations young people always do; they complained about their parents, talked about their dreams--shared their fears and hopes.

What that scrapbook really did, though, was provide a window into my parents as people--because we usually don't see them quite that way. We see them as Mom and Dad and they will always be there with a soothing word or their irritating habits that drive us crazy--whatever. We don't cut them the same slack we would cut our friends or our spouses. We have a hard time not putting them in an impossible position and expecting them to live up to it. I wish I had had that insight before they died.

Anoesis, I don't really have advice, just a few observations based on things you've said on the thread (not just in the OP). I would note that even though you expect your mother to have another good 20 years (and she might have 30) there's no guarantee that she--or you--will see the end of 2014. Ranting in Hell is probably a good thing, as long as you remember RuthW's point.

From the OP it seems you and your mother both have ill-expressed expectations of each other. A little more structure in times and frequency of visits might have saved you from this particular frustration, but there would undoubtedly be another. I suspect like most empty-nesters (an assumption I'm making) she's feeling a little lost and neglected. These are all things we would notice immediately with our closest friends, and we would have nothing but sympathy for them. It's a little harder to view one's parents in that same light, but sometimes they need it more than our friends do.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Or roast him again on your own special fires. I've had it with him.

I don't know. fish in a barrel and all that. I prefer a little bit of a challenge.

and all of you who actually managed to get upset by francy's words, here's a hint - read it with the drunken slur that it actually comes with. ups the entertainment value and lowers the actual value.
 
Posted by Lucia (# 15201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:


and all of you who actually managed to get upset by francy's words, here's a hint - read it with the drunken slur that it actually comes with. ups the entertainment value and lowers the actual value.

Funnily enough Francophile's posting on this thread made me think "Go home Francophile, you're drunk"

Probably influenced by seeing
this and this (Go home train..) this week. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
what's an arsehile?

The latest form of nazi salute?

Francophile, step away from the keyboard dude. Take 5, in fact take more than 5.

[ 23. January 2014, 19:20: Message edited by: Pyx_e ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Saying that nearly 7 hours after his last post is incredibly helpful. Thank you.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
Well, I had a chat with my Mum on the phone last night and we parted on the best of terms, as far as I'm aware, with misunderstandings ironed out. I think probably my big lesson here is not to attempt to communicate with her via email, to phone her even if she originally contacts me via email. It is just too difficult to tell what the inflections of things are in writing. Also, she has such a punctuation-free stream-of-consciousness style that I think I have a tendency to miss the important things she is trying to communicate in amongst all the other stuff.

quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
I'm only 55, but both my parents are dead. I'd love to have misunderstandings with them again. Cleaning out the house, I found an old scrapbook my mother had put together, which included all the letters she and my father had exchanged before their marriage. They had the same conversations young people always do; they complained about their parents, talked about their dreams--shared their fears and hopes.

What that scrapbook really did, though, was provide a window into my parents as people--because we usually don't see them quite that way. We see them as Mom and Dad and they will always be there with a soothing word or their irritating habits that drive us crazy--whatever. ...[snip]... I wish I had had that insight before they died.

Interestingly enough, the realisation, a couple of years ago, that my Mum didn't get on with her Mum, and here I was, not getting on with her, and was I going to propagate this, led me to try and see her relationship with her Mum (my Nan, many years gone now), from her point of view. And I think it did give me a bit of perspective on her 'as a person'. I thought my Nan was lovely - and very pretty, in a old-person way - although a bit wafty and not at all inclined toward rough-and-tumble play. But when I remembered some stuff my Mum had said, and thought about other stuff - well, Mum was the youngest of a big family, and I think Nan was probably pretty much over children by the time she arrived, and she got largely ignored. Then, of course, she was the last to produce grandchildren, and by that time, Nan wasn't massively interested in them, either. I can see that being tough stuff to carry around with you, and at least I do know that my Mum is not indifferent to me or mine.

quote:
Originally posted by Organ Builder:
I suspect like most empty-nesters (an assumption I'm making) she's feeling a little lost and neglected. These are all things we would notice immediately with our closest friends, and we would have nothing but sympathy for them. It's a little harder to view one's parents in that same light, but sometimes they need it more than our friends do.

You're probably right. My kids are still little, but I suspect the need to 'be a parent' persists, so that it is difficult for her to say 'I'm lonely', or 'I'm grieving', or 'I need help with this', because she is supposed to be the parent. So yeah - I need to keep my eyes and ears open and not wait to hear these exact things.

[edit for spelling]

[ 23. January 2014, 20:03: Message edited by: anoesis ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Or roast him again on your own special fires. I've had it with him.

I don't know. fish in a barrel and all that. I prefer a little bit of a challenge.

and all of you who actually managed to get upset by francy's words, here's a hint - read it with the drunken slur that it actually comes with. ups the entertainment value and lowers the actual value.

True. There's funny drunk, and there's nasty drunk. No prizes for which showed up here. Wonder what, if any, version of Francophile will show up next?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
See, this is why people don't want to let every asshole and fuckwit on the Ship know where they live.

Marv FTW.
[Overused]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Saying that nearly 7 hours after his last post is incredibly helpful. Thank you.

Was I writing to you? You well oiled tiny ball sack.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
("oiled"? do you all oil those things?)
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Saying that nearly 7 hours after his last post is incredibly helpful. Thank you.

Was I writing to you? You well oiled tiny ball sack.
I'm a Hellhost. You're always writing to me.
 
Posted by Organ Builder (# 12478) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
("oiled"? do you all oil those things?)

Only if you're overly messy with the lubrication.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Saying that nearly 7 hours after his last post is incredibly helpful. Thank you.

Was I writing to you? You well oiled tiny ball sack.
I'm a Hellhost. You're always writing to me.
Not when you don't sign as a Hellhost I'm not. raisin-nads.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
("oiled"? do you all oil those things?)

orfeo does or they chap
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Saying that nearly 7 hours after his last post is incredibly helpful. Thank you.

Was I writing to you? You well oiled tiny ball sack.
I'm a Hellhost. You're always writing to me.
Not when you don't sign as a Hellhost I'm not. raisin-nads.
Oh goody, one of those smartarses who thinks he knows way more than he actually does know. My favourite kind.

I have to READ everything that you write, whether you sign it as a smug git or not. I suppose I could always go into every one of your posts as I read it and leave a sweet little Hellhost-signed note to let you know that I've read it. Would you like to trial that system?

Also, your claims to have intimate knowledge of my genital area are puzzling.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
("oiled"? do you all oil those things?)

orfeo does or they chap
Either they're tiny or they're big enough to rub against things and chafe. Make up your mind.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
("oiled"? do you all oil those things?)

orfeo does or they chap
What would they chap against if they were raisin-sized? Anyway, one good thing to be said for raisins - (and they usually are oiled), but at least they're not hairy.
 
Posted by Porridge (# 15405) on :
 
Anoesis, for what it's worth (nuttin'), here's my diagnosis: this isn't actually about you. It's about your mother's friends. The "everybody else got visits from the grandkids" line gives the game away. Your mom sounds like someone who needs constant "proof" of other people's "love" for her, so she can yak about or brag on or run down or whatever her grandkids (& possibly you) to her circle to make herself seem important. Does she want to see[i] or [i]use you as fodder to inflate her image with her friends?

Honestly? May not be worth the time and trouble it takes to visit her if that's what she's up to. If/When you do go, see what you can do about introducing her to new friends.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
Anyway, one good thing to be said for raisins - (and they usually are oiled), but at least they're not hairy.

'Cos then they'd be gooseberries.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
Okaaaayyyy, new page, so that none of us have to read about anyone's rude bits any longer. I came here for snark and smackdown, not…whatever mental image I just accidentally got. Come on, people, if I wanted that, I'd be on 4chan, not here!
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
Anoesis, for what it's worth (nuttin'), here's my diagnosis: this isn't actually about you. It's about your mother's friends. The "everybody else got visits from the grandkids" line gives the game away. Your mom sounds like someone who needs constant "proof" of other people's "love" for her, so she can yak about or brag on or run down or whatever her grandkids (& possibly you) to her circle to make herself seem important. Does she want to see[i] or [i]use you as fodder to inflate her image with her friends?

There is probably something in what you say - I think she may well be a bit insecure, but (see reply to Organ Builder earlier), perhaps that's understandable, and I should just attempt to build it in to my relationship with her - ie: be aware of it but not upset by it.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

Also, your claims to have intimate knowledge of my genital area are puzzling.

He's just fishing. He wants the job of oiling them.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Great. That's another page ruined.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Well, my mother so incensed me (and my siblings) by yet again turning up to Christmas and announcing that she had not had time to buy presents for anyone (despite having nothing at all to do all fucking year) so had nipped down to KMart that morning and bought us each a $2 torch and then proceeded to tell us about how she and my father have been planning their next overseas holiday, I spent at least half an our googling "Cheapest funerals". Lucky for her she didn't cark it that day, or she'd have been buried in a plastic bag, upright in a hole dug by a post hole digger, with no service at all.

I have calmed down somewhat now.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
[Killing me] Just like you've never been away, LATA. Missed you. Nice to see you, to see you, nice.

[I seem to have returned from the Dark Side ...]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That's the spirit.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
If I'm lucky. Doesn't have a high alcohol content, anyway. Shall I ruin it by some further speculation about a certain HellHost.

Tempting ... but Nahhh. You'd think I really had gone nuts.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
Well, my mother so incensed me (and my siblings) by yet again turning up to Christmas and announcing that she had not had time to buy presents for anyone (despite having nothing at all to do all fucking year) so had nipped down to KMart that morning and bought us each a $2 torch and then proceeded to tell us about how she and my father have been planning their next overseas holiday, I spent at least half an our googling "Cheapest funerals". Lucky for her she didn't cark it that day, or she'd have been buried in a plastic bag, upright in a hole dug by a post hole digger, with no service at all.

That's the problem with not having an Established church - the bastards expect you to pay them to bury you. Good to see you back - you may have been left at the altar but you've never left our hearts (cheap. cheap schmaltz, schmaltz)

And we're of to a pleasant restaurant in a few minutes for dinner with friends. No more small talk of Orfeo's genitals please.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
I came here for snark and smackdown, not…whatever mental image I just accidentally got.

Until next time you are having a bowl of muesli and a raisin falls onto your chin.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
The funeral bit hit my funny bone, because a sticky point with me has been that when my grandfather died, he got the fancy casket and the big, formal funeral, and when my dad died, he got the cadillac of caskets and the cement lined plot and the gorgeous black granite headstone, and when Grandma (my mom's mother) died, she basically got plopped in a cheap urn and tucked on top of Grandpa. Which would have been great if it had been anywhere near what she wanted, but via various discussions I had had with my grandma-- with whom I was quite close-- I knew she hated the idea of cremation.

And no, it wasn't finances. The travel budget stayed exactly the same.

She has bought, paid for, and arranged her own funeral, and a good thing it is because if she left it up to me it would be a styrofoam cup in a divot above Dad's grave.
(I exaggerate. A Thermos, maybe.)

[ 24. January 2014, 08:01: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
No more small talk of Orfeo's genitals please.

Again with the size references.
[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I forgot to add that I planned to tell anyone wanting to buy flowers, to donate to the Australian Labor Party instead (communists, in my mother's eyes).

My mother envisages herself looking down from heaven at everyone weeping and taking note of who hasn't turned up. The very thought of no flowers AND no mourners AND the commies getting her flower money would be more than she could bear.

I, as you know, am a heathen, who reckons she'll just be dead, so she wouldn't see anything. Or care.

Makes no sense at all. And I have to say, I do feel fairly guilty for my rather hideous behaviour (although my youngest sister got into the spirit of it and proposed that we save on the costs of the digger by getting her father in law's tractor and hiring the drill thingy), but bloody hell, she gives me the shits. She's tighter than a cat's bum when it comes to buying anything for anyone else. She'd better die with a shitload of money.

ETA: I'm sure you're hung like a donkey, orf.

[ 24. January 2014, 08:09: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Yes,you are awful and horrible. And so am I for laughing myself into a hernia.

No kidding-- and y'all Who fans, just shut. up.-- throughout my life, my mom would occasionally drive us past a nearby cemetery and instruct my sister and I to make sure she got this headstone when she died. I presume we were supposed to access our gigantic trust funds to pull this one off.

Like I said, styrofoam cup.

(ETA: They call him Tripod.)

[ 24. January 2014, 08:14: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
She wants a drunk angel headstone?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Oh now I want to make that happen. And to weld a brass replica of a bottle of Jack Daniels into the angel's hand.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
You should tell her to carve it herself. That's exactly how THAT tomb got it.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
If she wants THAT tombstone so badly, tell her you'll consult the current occupant to see if she/he is interested in a timeshare arrangement.

[ 24. January 2014, 08:21: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Hee. It was Teddy Roosevelt's cousin.


And I got the wrong grave-- or the same stone on the wrong grave.

Here is the one I got rubbed in my face all those years.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
That's one sloshed angel. Lying all over dead folk everywhere.

Does your mother have a drinking problem?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Killing me]

Stop! Stop!
Jesus, I'm gonna be haunted by the friggen' ghost of Jenny Pool tonight
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
This thread looks as though it is about to become a LEGEND. Coffee over keyboard and all.

anoesis

I remember you very well from the time we had the same avatar and played "I'll change; no I'll change". You were generous; I never forgot it. Even though in the end it was me who changed.

I hope the recent fun and games has helped; relatives can be anything but a joke, sometimes, but it does help to laugh. Helps us to manage what cannot, often enough, be changed.

LATA always adds something special to the party spirit anyway. It's a gift.
 
Posted by Jonah the Whale (# 1244) on :
 
Just for the record, I have decided never to touch a bowl of muesli again. Ever.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
I sometimes propose visits to her, and sometimes they are proposed to me, and likewise with her visiting us, and its all okay.
You are way, way ahead of me there. Mum was brought up to be self-effacing to a quite extra-ordinary degree. So if she wants to visit, she phones me up and says:
Are you coping, dear? Do you need any help? Perhaps I could come and do your laundry?

Now, I would rather crawl backwards over broken glass than tell my mother than I'm not coping, and would like her to do my laundry. So I cheerfully tell her that all is well in the North East household, and she ends the call disappointed.

Then I get The Guilt. So I phone her back and say, cheerfully:
Why don't you visit, Mum? There's a new coffee shop opened that I'd like to take you to. We could visit that wool shop you like!

But Mum can't accept an invitation to do something enjoyable with me. So she then lists the worthy things she's doing, visiting the sick and dying, baking for a charity cake stall etc. etc. and tells me she can't visit.

So, she wants to visit me, and I want her to visit me, but it can't happen. Because I can't bear the sight of her, aged 80, doing my ironing, and she can't bear the thought that someone might see us together in a coffee shop and think that we were enjoying ourselves.
 
Posted by bib (# 13074) on :
 
All people annoy each other from time to time, me included. I used to struggle with my Mother in law's rants about all men ( especially when she went on and on in front of FIL). In fact after her death my FIL was a changed man who became funny and charming.
However, nastiness in families just feeds more unpleasantness and life is too short to start making mountains out of molehills. As my old teacher used to say 'don't sweat the small stuff'.
I'm sorry that you are having relationship issues with your mother, but you don't seem to be seeking intelligent ways to resolve the issues. Can you try to put yourself in your mother's shoes and consider what you would do and say in her place? Her words to you are unfortunate, but she sounds anxious and lonely to me. Is there a way acceptable to you to ease that loneliness and to she her that you love her? Sorry if you don't like being given advice, but I miss my own dear mother so much since her death and would do anything to be able to see and talk to her again.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
She can come and do my ironing.

I am at the stage in life where I sort of get your mum. My eldest has just flown the coop big time (she's been away at university in another state for 3 years, but now she's on another continent) and I am somewhat bereft. I want to look after her. She, of course, does not want to be looked after.

But she is wonderful enough to let me be helpful. She doesn't need to be - she can look after herself perfectly well. But since I do love her and miss her so much, it's important.

So, I reckon let your mum do the ironing. Even if only once. Sounds like a win-win to me. She feels useful and you get your clothes pressed.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
But, LATA, will you still want to do your daughter's ironing when you're 80???

I'm 49. I'd love to get some acknowledgement from my mother that I am a perfectly capable adult.

My elder child is at Uni and I know he has no plans to come home. I do have a strong urge to feed him and provide treats, and I bless Facebook as a means of communication. I miss him. But I have no urge whatsoever to iron his clothes or clean his kitchen floor.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I have no idea what I'll want to do when I'm 80. And I can iron my own clothes perfectly well. But hell, if my mother wants to iron my clothes once a year, she can.

She doesn't want to do it because she thinks you are incapable. She wants to do it so that she can be of value (even if you don't need it - and she knows you don't need it. But that's not what it's about).

[ 24. January 2014, 11:15: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
True-ish, LATA, and I agree probably best handled that way. Only one reservation, really. Underneath, there may be a desire to continue to control, put down. Some parents are like that, more's the pity. They never learned how to let go, recognise the adulthood of their children. Actually, it's childish of them but not the sort of thing children can easily correect, no matter how old we get.

[I'm 71, still get the odd bit of that from my 95 year old mum. These days I just tell her she's being bossy, and she laughs.]

But doing the ironing can't harm. It's not the thin end of a wedge unless you let it become that.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
My father is past 80 and he comes round to do my DIY. I let him. He enjoys it, feels that he's useful and not old, and I bring him cups of tea during and dinner after.

The grandchildren mill around asking for explanations of what he's doing, which he freely gives (quadrupling the time of the simplest job). They also associate him firmly with fixing things, and when he calls insist on giving him a list of broken things in the house, which he loves.

I absolutely don't need him to. I could either do it myself or pay for someone else to do it if I was desperate. But it works for us.

There would be no sense in feeling guilty about any of this and refusing it. It does me good to be humble enough to accept the help and it does him good to be able to give it.

One day he will be too old to do it, but he will still come when DIY needs doing to supervise me doing it.

I would say with a knowing and patronizing smile and a slight roll of the eyes that obviously I do need supervising don't I, but actually the evidence of the last decade is that I do.

And one day he will be dead, and I and my children will remember that he did my DIY when he was in his 80s.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
True-ish, LATA, and I agree probably best handled that way. Only one reservation, really. Underneath, there may be a desire to continue to control, put down. Some parents are like that, more's the pity. They never learned how to let go, recognise the adulthood of their children. Actually, it's childish of them but not the sort of thing children can easily correect, no matter how old we get.

Indeed. I take a thyroid supplement every day. I have done for 30 years. Whenever my mother stays, she asks me, "Have you taken your medicine today?". It drives me batty.

She has threatened many times to cut me out of the will for being a communist (I'm not), marrying an Italian (I did), not being a Christian etc. Actually, she is so manipulative, her usual line is that my father will die of disappointment/cut me out of the will etc because I am hurting him. I doubt he could care less.

And from time to time she makes me so angry, I look up how much it is to bury her upright in a bag, without flowers.

But she can still do my ironing if she's that desperate.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
I'm castigated continually for one of the opposite problems LATA: being a Christian.

According to the latest news, the Nag Hammadi scrolls were suppressed by the church for ages because they revealed Judas was chosen to betray Jesus because he was strong enough to handle it.

Apparently she's just trying to "open my mind".

I told her an open mind is fine, just don't be so opened minded that your brains fall out. (*)

I love my mum and we generally get on famously. But oh my lordy does she have a massive chip on her shoulder about the Church and oh my lordy does she not hesitate to tell bring it up continually even tho she knows I am very much part of The Establishment.

She also loves pointing out to many of my Christian cronies that she's a Muslim, Pagan, Quaker. [Roll Eyes]


(*) Thanks Mudfrog

[ 24. January 2014, 12:30: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Originally posted by Barnabus62:

quote:
They never learned how to let go, recognise the adulthood of their children.
That's how it feels. Mum won't visit just for the sake of visiting. I have never taken Mum out for a cup of coffee. There are things I've done with my daughter that I've never done with my mother.

It's not a reciprocal relationship; Mum buys me presents, but doesn't want me to buy her presents. Mum cooks meals for me at her house, but refuses to eat food I've cooked at my house.

I think she was brought up to put other people first, and herself second, always. But refusing to visit me unless she can spend the entire visit doing housework is just annoying; why can't she just visit for the sake of visiting?
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
Could you be the one that rises above it?

If she offers her food, eat it, and if she wants to come and clean let her clean. You can't change her. Wouldn't that be better than no contact?
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
We do have contact. I visit her roughly once a month, and we speak on the phone once or twice a week. I send a photo by e-mail about once a fortnight. I have a great relationship with my Dad; it's relaxed and affectionate. When I visit my parents, Dad and I might go out for a walk or a drive whilst Mum's cooking. I'm pretty sure I've taken Dad out for coffee, just not Mum.

She's a wonderful grandmother, too.

Mum and I just struggle to communicate.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

Like I said, styrofoam cup.

I've an uncle who causes Gran naught but grief. She rises above it and suggests we not treat him poorly. I would like to go beyond her suggestion and, when he dies, build him a tomb of marble and porcelain.

I would visit often and leave something appropriate.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Got that link without even clicking on it. But I did anyway. I can think of a few it would suit very well ... at least in my mind, anyway.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I would like to go beyond her suggestion and, when he dies, build him a tomb of marble and porcelain.

I would visit often and leave something appropriate.

If he's married or has a partner, perhaps this would be appropriate.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
[Nuts jokes have moved into crapper jokes. This is clearly a progression. Will orfeo welcome it?]
 
Posted by Barefoot Friar (# 13100) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[T]hroughout my life, my mom would occasionally drive us past a nearby cemetery and instruct my sister and I to make sure she got this headstone when she died.

Sheesh. I couldn't blink if I wanted to. That thing's slightly hideous.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

But doing the ironing can't harm. It's not the thin end of a wedge unless you let it become that.

My MIL used to do our ironing then complain to all and sundry that she'd 'had' to do it. It was her way of still feeling useful and letting people know it.

If it got too much I hid the ironing - but usually I just let her get on with it (and the complaining). She really didn't know how to communicate her real needs.

She was very hard work. But I miss her, all the same. [Votive]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Originally posted by Barnabus62:

I have never taken Mum out for a cup of coffee. There are things I've done with my daughter that I've never done with my mother.


She's from a completely different generation. Going out for coffee would have seemed terribly wasteful 30 years ago as, I suspect, would be many things you do with your own daughter. And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
To avoid confusion the coffee ref is all from North East Quine. (My mum is still happy to be taken out anywhere but will still argue over who should pay, now that we're both pensioners ...)
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
my mom would occasionally drive us past a nearby cemetery and instruct my sister and I to make sure she got this headstone

I guess when some people die there's rejoicing in Heaven and for other people there's this reaction.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Oh, that's funny. I had just remembered a minute ago that somewhere along the line during one of these jaunts, I had worked up the nerve to ask,"If the person is supposed to arriving at Heaven's gate, why are the angels so despondent about it?"

I then offered the opinion that I would like my headstone to have two angels high-fiving each other, or doing the bump, or something.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
One of the things parents know how to do is push all the buttons to manipulate their children. Not necessarily successfully to do what they want, but at least toe get a response.

As they get to be very old, their skills degenerate. It's hard to manipulate when you forget to listen to the person you are trying to change. That leaves the child with irritation of what is unvarnished nagging without the power to upset and a sadness about the decline in ability of the parent. I don't know if any of that applies to you, but it's worth noticing if what's frustrating you has changed from what it was in the past.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
you other parents of college kids have got it backwards - I want my son to come home from college and visit so he can get down the stuff from the top shelves and because all of this snow ain't going to shovel itself.

if I happen to make him cookies while he's here that's my business.

and lord protect me from my children someday "allowing" me to do stuff because it will make me feel useful. fuck that. if I'm that much of a burden stick me out on an ice floe and get it over with.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
All people annoy each other from time to time, me included. I used to struggle with my Mother in law's rants about all men ( especially when she went on and on in front of FIL). In fact after her death my FIL was a changed man who became funny and charming.
However, nastiness in families just feeds more unpleasantness and life is too short to start making mountains out of molehills. As my old teacher used to say 'don't sweat the small stuff'.
I'm sorry that you are having relationship issues with your mother, but you don't seem to be seeking intelligent ways to resolve the issues. Can you try to put yourself in your mother's shoes and consider what you would do and say in her place? Her words to you are unfortunate, but she sounds anxious and lonely to me. Is there a way acceptable to you to ease that loneliness and to she her that you love her? Sorry if you don't like being given advice, but I miss my own dear mother so much since her death and would do anything to be able to see and talk to her again.

If this is for me, rather than NEQ, I would say that I am getting a lot better over time at 'not sweating the small stuff', and also at discerning what is and is not small stuff. For instance (what is it with the ironing?), I am now quite happy to have ironing, or even vacuuming, done for me, when she is visiting, whereas once I would have read it as a veiled comment that I had let the floors get too dirty.

Obviously, the episode which tipped off my rant was relatively small stuff also, in the scheme of things (which I have acknowledged a long way upthread). It was the final comment, with its implication that I was not actually sincere about planning to bring the children to visit in the future, which lit the candle, so to speak.

As to 'not seeking intelligent ways to resolve the issues' - I assure you I have spent much time and effort seeking to resolve them, and have attempted to put myself in my Mum's shoes (see also upthread, in reply to Organ Builder), and, if it helps, I do feel that we are getting somewhere positive with this relationship. Conceptually, rather than going around in circles, we move in some sort of pattern which has rather a lot of loops in it, but a general forward direction.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
She has threatened many times to cut me out of the will for being a communist (I'm not), marrying an Italian (I did), not being a Christian etc.

She's straight-facedly anti-Italian but thinks of herself as a Christian? Whoa...
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:

...and lord protect me from my children someday "allowing" me to do stuff because it will make me feel useful. fuck that. if I'm that much of a burden stick me out on an ice floe and get it over with.

Interestingly, I didn't read mdijon's post that way. I think it's only 'allowing' them to do stuff so that they 'feel' useful, if what they are doing is not actually useful, and needs more fixing quietly afterwards, which didn't seem to be at all what s/he was saying. My Dad couldn't visit without needing to fix a whole load of stuff, but I never felt as though my toes were being stepped upon, probably because most of the stuff he worked on I could never have fixed myself anyway, being effectively pixie-sized and thus quite disadvantaged for heavy-labour tasks.
 
Posted by Patdys (# 9397) on :
 
And here Boogie describes families in one simple sentence.
quote:
She was very hard work. But I miss her, all the same.

 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
She has threatened many times to cut me out of the will for being a communist (I'm not), marrying an Italian (I did), not being a Christian etc.

She's straight-facedly anti-Italian but thinks of herself as a Christian? Whoa...
Well, now that she has three Italian grandchildren, she does like them.
But, hey, I know a few Christians who hardly pass the litmus test of goodliness.
(In fact, there is one person I secretly stalk on Facebook - and I hasten to add, he is the only person - whose background pic says "Repent: Believe in the Gospel" and who has racist, bigoted rants for every post. He has a lot of friends who join in. And they all claim to be Christians).

[ 24. January 2014, 21:08: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
I'm sure you're hung like a donkey, orf.

No idea, but the donkey line goes with his brain and braying.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I need brain bleach after reading some of the stuff online produced by people who self-declare as Christian. Seems to come from Planet Zog.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Mum cooks meals for me at her house, but refuses to eat food I've cooked at my house.

Okay, you win. She is a bit fucked up.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
[Nuts jokes have moved into crapper jokes. This is clearly a progression. Will orfeo welcome it?]

What, you mean we've eaten the muesli and now it's coming out the other end? [Snigger]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I need brain bleach after reading some of the stuff online produced by people who self-declare as Christian. Seems to come from Planet Zog.

I've just done a little stalking of my Christian buddy right now, and he's bleating about:

I used to get really cross with him, but I was just saying to my daughter, that it makes me immensely happy that he is so dissatisfied with the world and that he will never be happy. (He thinks our current PM is nowhere near conservative enough [Killing me] ).

He apparently has a wife and children. Now, he would be a challenging relative.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Oh Lord. I was just thinking the same about someone else I have the displeasure to deal with daily.

How do such people ever get married?
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
(In fact, there is one person I secretly stalk on Facebook - and I hasten to add, he is the only person - whose background pic says "Repent: Believe in the Gospel" and who has racist, bigoted rants for every post. He has a lot of friends who join in. And they all claim to be Christians).

Who is it who said: "You know you've succeeded in creating God in your image and likeness when he ends up hating all the same people you do."
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:


I have never taken Mum out for a cup of coffee. There are things I've done with my daughter that I've never done with my mother.


She's from a completely different generation. Going out for coffee would have seemed terribly wasteful 30 years ago as, I suspect, would be many things you do with your own daughter. And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.
I used to take my paternal grandmother out for coffee.

And here is a thing: Gran was a difficult mother-in-law to my mother, but a brilliant grandmother. I adored her. My father often used to remark that Gran and I were very alike, adding, as if I needed it to be said, that that was not a compliment. Gran spent the last year of her life in hospital increasingly confused. On one visit, I asked her if she knew who I was. "Yes," she replied, "you're me."

How cruel a quirk of genetics is it, that my mother had a difficult mother-in-law and then her only daughter turned out just the same? To give birth to a child who is basically an "in-law" - it must happen quite often, surely?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@ LATA

What an asshole. I wouldn't take HIM out for coffee unless I could smuggle a soluble enema into the mix. In Christian love, of course. A kind of gentle correction by a not so gentle purging. (Think I mean enema? Something taken by mouth anyway)

[ 25. January 2014, 08:53: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
@Barnabas62 - laxative? Mind you an enema by mouth is a good concept.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Ta. Perhaps a laxative wasn't exactly strong enough for the purging I had in mind?

[Gonna have to be careful of my forays down here. The Dark Side, you know. Where's me light-sabre?]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Ta. Perhaps a laxative wasn't exactly strong enough for the purging I had in mind?


Rusty farm implement?
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:


Gran spent the last year of her life in hospital increasingly confused. On one visit, I asked her if she knew who I was. "Yes," she replied, "you're me."


That is the coolest thing! It might have been tough for your mother but how amazing for your grandmother, a woman who seems by your description to have probably had a tough time with personal relationships, to have found a true kindred spirit in you.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@LATA

[Killing me] Stop it!

Seriously, a mite too strong ...
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
The grandmother, grandchild thing is so common that there's a saying about it - 'My grandchildren are so wonderful I should have had them first'.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
For a small fee I awill come over and make passes / inapropriate hugs / ass touch any relies driving you mad. It sends them into a tail-spin and they for ever ask "Is that man going to be there?" and not come if you say "He might be."
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I'm almost dead with stress this evening after a full on parents and in-laws fest. Plus kids concert and older kid being ill.
What happened to the anxiety thread? I can't find it in all saints.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Here?

Sorry to hear that Taliesin. There are some good laughs in this thread, but now may not be the right time for that. All the best.
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
Another Website has a board called "raised by narcissists". Google the phrase. It is eye-opening for those of us who have not had parental experience with Kelly Alves' mom or similar.
 
Posted by Dennis the Menace (# 11833) on :
 
I need to have a rant!!

I have an aunt by marriage (Mum's brother's wife) who regularly bombards me with phonecalls etc.

She has a blocked number so I cannot screen her calls. Both Mum and her brother are deceased and Aunty Dot(ty) is in her late 80's and has slight dementia. She has an adopted daughter and son, several nieces and nepews. The son has nothing to do with her (another saga!!) and the daughter seems only interested in aunty's money, and the nieces and nephews give her a wide berth!!

I live 10 mins drive and daughter 45mins, and will ring me with the least little problem, usually when daughter is away/wont answer phone etc. The last was that I didn't visit her for Christmas. No I didn't as she was at daughters, she had forgotten!!

I refused to give her my work phone number but she managed to track it down and has caused me trouble with the boss for doing so. She won't take the hint that I cannot take phone calls from her at work regarding trivial matters that can wait till after hours.

When my poor uncle was alive it was a case of aunty giving instructions and uncle dutifully obeying.

Rant over!!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
Another Website has a board called "raised by narcissists". Google the phrase. It is eye-opening for those of us who have not had parental experience with Kelly Alves' mom or similar.

(cover your eyes, Hellhosts)

Leaf?

I love you, I love you,I love you, I love you,I love you, I love you,I love you, I love you!!!!

Can't stop laughing.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
A typical phone call from my mother will relate to me the details of someone's impending demise.

Her: I have some rather devastating news.
Me to self: Oh fuck, here we go.
Me to her: Oh?
Her: Yes. X* is desperately unwell and will probably die.
Me: Oh, what's wrong with X?
Her: Blah blah blah blah. You should go and visit X. X would like to see you.**
Me: I havent' see X for 10 years. I doubt X can even remember me. I really don't think X cares if I don't go and she him/her..
Her: You really should.

X invariably recovers, although we are told endlessly how s/he "almost died". Most of my very close and very distant family and the ones in between have almost died at some point (including me)***

* insert name of any relative, no matter how distant. Often I need to be reminded who the heck X actually is.

** All our relatives know that when I (or any of my siblings) visit, my mother has declared them "almost dead". She will usually turn up with a camera to take a photo of us with the soon-to-be-deceased so that we can prove we went to see him/her before The End. Grandma, for example, had at least 8 years of her "last Christmas". (You have to come and see Grandma. She won't make it to Christmas/have another birthday etc). Everytime she felt poorly, my mother was there with the camera.

*** I was in hospital and my mother made the calls to give the devastating news to my relatives. I knew something was up when they turned up to my hospital bed without flowers and looking mournful, and she came along with her camera.

[ 26. January 2014, 05:28: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Leaf - I always reckoned my parents were too selfish and involved with themselves to have had children - narcissistic parents about nails it.

They treated the dog better.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
LATA, any with prostate problems?
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Only fatal ones
 
Posted by kingsfold (# 1726) on :
 
quote:
posted by Chorister:
She's from a completely different generation..... And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.

Ay, and there's the rub. If you are expected to fit in with what your elders (and betters) want, do you spend your time being a doormat and doing what they want? Do you compromise what's important and meaningful to you in order to fit in with what they want? Do you bow to the emotional manipulation and expectation that you will behave as they want? Do you compromise your integrity to fit with what they want/believe should be? Is that "meeting him/her where he/she is?" Should we shoehorn ourselves into a shape or behaviour that is not who we are, in order to fit in?
 
Posted by Tortuf (# 3784) on :
 
Have any of you considered that you might just be the difficult relative?

I know I am.
 
Posted by Belle Ringer (# 13379) on :
 
I've seen several examples of a mother trying to prevent the daughter from growing up into her own life.

"You can't move to an apartment now, I have chest pains." (but not bad enough pains to go see a doctor.)

"Quit your job and come home and take care of me." (The Mom was perfectly healthy.)

One woman I know, the Mom kept her home with "I have a rare blood disease, I might heed help at any minute." A man in their church proposed marriage to the daughter, she accepted; the Mom was furious, tried to stop the wedding, tried to break up the marriage.

My analysis - told their only valid role in life is to be a mother, they are desperately trying to cling to their role, since there is no place or purpose for them if they stop being a mother to a child at home.

But I don't know if that's what is going on.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
quote:
posted by Chorister:
She's from a completely different generation..... And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.

Ay, and there's the rub. If you are expected to fit in with what your elders (and betters) want, do you spend your time being a doormat and doing what they want? Do you compromise what's important and meaningful to you in order to fit in with what they want? Do you bow to the emotional manipulation and expectation that you will behave as they want? Do you compromise your integrity to fit with what they want/believe should be? Is that "meeting him/her where he/she is?" Should we shoehorn ourselves into a shape or behaviour that is not who we are, in order to fit in?
My mother did not want me to to do a non-vocational degree.
My mother did not want me to marry my husband.
My mother did not think we were fit to be parents; she spent the whole of my first pregnancy worrying about what a crap mother I was going to be, and telling me how worried she was.
My mother wanted us to stop after two children.

I do not know who I would have been had I been the daughter my mother wanted.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Have you considered cognitive analytic therapy, it will help you work out what dynamic she is pulling you into - and how to exit that constructively.

[ 26. January 2014, 16:22: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Oh, and I feel this thread needs a soundtrack.

[ 26. January 2014, 16:28: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
Oh, and I feel this thread needs a soundtrack.

(Because linking on an ipad is a pain in the arse.)

[ 26. January 2014, 16:30: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Haven't cracked that yet, DT, but will now find out how!
(Good to see you BTW)
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
quote:
posted by Chorister:
She's from a completely different generation..... And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.

Ay, and there's the rub. If you are expected to fit in with what your elders (and betters) want, do you spend your time being a doormat and doing what they want? Do you compromise what's important and meaningful to you in order to fit in with what they want? Do you bow to the emotional manipulation and expectation that you will behave as they want? Do you compromise your integrity to fit with what they want/believe should be? Is that "meeting him/her where he/she is?" Should we shoehorn ourselves into a shape or behaviour that is not who we are, in order to fit in?
My mother did not want me to to do a non-vocational degree.
My mother did not want me to marry my husband.
My mother did not think we were fit to be parents; she spent the whole of my first pregnancy worrying about what a crap mother I was going to be, and telling me how worried she was.
My mother wanted us to stop after two children.

I do not know who I would have been had I been the daughter my mother wanted.

I just think you're an absolute saint to phone and visit as much as you do. I can't imagine why you feel even an echo of guilt, except, of course, that that's what you've been trained to feel. Try feeling proud, smug and righteous instead for a while, cos you deserve it.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Agreed. Your mother sounds utterly dire. NEQ. Mine is just mad with a touch of dire, and that's bad enough..
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
quote:
posted by Chorister:
She's from a completely different generation..... And that generation also expected you to fit in with what your elders (and betters!) wanted. They are of their time - some have adapted to the 21st century, but a large number have not. You may need to meet her where she is.

Ay, and there's the rub. If you are expected to fit in with what your elders (and betters) want, do you spend your time being a doormat and doing what they want? Do you compromise what's important and meaningful to you in order to fit in with what they want? Do you bow to the emotional manipulation and expectation that you will behave as they want? Do you compromise your integrity to fit with what they want/believe should be? Is that "meeting him/her where he/she is?" Should we shoehorn ourselves into a shape or behaviour that is not who we are, in order to fit in?
No, but I do believe there are ways where you can adapt when you are with someone with a different (more old-fashioned?) world view to yours, without compromising your own integrity and way of being. It's hard, but achievable. Saying you'll bear their advice in mind (without any intention of actually following it), for example.

Can anyone remember the TV ad (forgot what it's advertising now) where student writes to gran that he's having a great time - he words it really carefully so she thinks he's the perfect studious old-fashioned boy, but actually he's living it up in nightclubs, etc. Very clever - it's all in the words you use.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
God it's hard isn't it when parents' ideals and children's ideals dont match up!
My mother wants me to be slim, beautiful (but not as slim and beautiful as her), married to a successful career driven man (but with not as much money as her) have slim pretty children who also have good careers, have a big house which looks like something out of House & Garden, and most importantly - stop doing voluntary work for the church (oh and vote tory [Ultra confused] )
I however am fat, not very good-looking, have been married for 30 years to a lovely man who put his family before his job, have gorgeous children with various developmental difficulties, cannot be arsed with housework and find doing things for God totally fullfilling. Oh and will never vote Tory!
I am such a disappointment to my mother and oh my Lord, doesn't she let me know!
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
God it's hard isn't it when parents' ideals and children's ideals dont match up!
My mother wants me to be slim, beautiful (but not as slim and beautiful as her), married to a successful career driven man (but with not as much money as her) have slim pretty children who also have good careers, have a big house which looks like something out of House & Garden, and most importantly - stop doing voluntary work for the church (oh and vote tory [Ultra confused] )
I however am fat, not very good-looking, have been married for 30 years to a lovely man who put his family before his job, have gorgeous children with various developmental difficulties, cannot be arsed with housework and find doing things for God totally fullfilling. Oh and will never vote Tory!
I am such a disappointment to my mother and oh my Lord, doesn't she let me know!

Stories like those make me wonder if, perhaps, there are some people one should try their absolute damndest to disappoint.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
[Big Grin] I went to lunch with my father twenty-five years ago and announced my engagement. To which he responded, "You KNOW I don't believe in marriage."

Thanks, Dad. [Razz]

I disappointed him horribly by marrying a seminary student and becoming a missionary. That's a backward kind of rebellion, I suppose! [Snigger]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
A few weeks before my 13th birthday my sister had a nasty cold/flu bug. Moving on to a few days before my birthday. I started to develop a temperature and stomach pains. Cue my Mum saying “Your sister had it last week, stop making such a fuss.” As daily my symptoms increased and worsened she repeated this mantra more forcefully obviously to kill my germs and keep my very mild mannered Dad quiet with the accompanying Stern Look.

So on that fateful day (my birthday) when I did not get up for my presents in the morning (offstage loud row as my father, bless him, tried to suggest a doctor) and then again not rising for Dr. Who in the evening (unheard of). At this point my Dad rang the GP, who came (I was delirious by this stage and have no recollection). He apparently took one look at me and bundled me into the back of my Dad’s car and we picked up a police escort on the way to the hospital 16 miles away. On operating my ruptured appendix exploded and covered the whole operating theatre in pus and shit. I was in IC for two weeks after and nearly died on several occasions.

My Mum was never wrong. We never spoke of this incident again and I offer it to you as a fable of my whole relationship with her. I would die rather She be wrong.

She died 24 years ago and I love and miss her more now than ever. She was totally bat shit crazy and screwed us all up forever. Learning to live with these two truths is a real insight into Love. Christ have mercy.

edit for SP as ever, and to note Dr Who saved my life [Big Grin]

[ 27. January 2014, 13:20: Message edited by: Pyx_e ]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
'Strewth. My mum drives me mental poo-flinging bananas at times. But compared to some of the stuff here, I am deeply grateful for her!
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Pyx_e's story.

I have no words.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
From talking to ones I know well, living with an alcoholic only parent is not significantly different from the way Pyx_e describes, either. Sometimes people decide that the most positive response is to be the best parent they can possibly be to their own children - they can't change the past, but they can change the future.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Like your sig, Chorister!

Pyx_e's story gets you in the gut, doesn't it. I suspect there are many accidents waiting to happen out there. The gradual freeing of children from apron strings while making sure they don't come to great harm in growing up is a bit of an art. Protection can be over-protection (control issues) or under-protection (neglect issues). Bet all the parents here have misplayed their hand sometimes on that balance. I know we have.

My dad had these lovely ways about him if he thought my mum was straying into the overprotective territory. "Listen to your mum" he'd twinkle, "she may have her faults but being wrong isn't one of them". Said in front of her, of course. She'd bridle, sometimes a lot, but eventually she'd laugh, and we'd talk. She got her own way a lot, but that was because she was very often right. Makes me smile now to look back on those times. Sometimes she'd have to make the case. But if he knew, or learned, that she was right, they were like iron together; we learned that too.
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Pyx_e has the right of it. My mother was pretty batshit crazy too. And she did horrible damage to both my brother and I. Which doesn't stop me from missing her now that she's gone.
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
Kelly Alves: [Biased] Aw shucks.

Pyx_e: Jee. Zus.
 
Posted by David (# 3) on :
 
Good story Pyx_e, my mother thought she was Mary reborn and that Bob Hawke was Jesus, but at least she didn't nearly kill me with passive-aggression. Quite the contrary, her everlasting gift to me was that dire housekeeping skills that saw me growing up in the worst rubbish tip in the worst street in the worst houso suburb in the city also made me resistant to nearly every known disease.

Anyway, I left as soon as I was 15, not a moment too soon. Some 30 years later dodgy kidneys put her out of our misery. People often ask me how I turned out normal, I have no idea what they're talking about.

Not as exciting as your story I'm afraid, doesn't end with any hint of grace or Dr Who either.

[ 28. January 2014, 04:30: Message edited by: David ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
mental poo-flinging bananas at times

Room for manoeuvre with the hyphenation there.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Good though, Kelly. Especially the bug resistance. Could have done with that. This thread is becoming a Philip Larkin celebration zone ... with bits of gratitude thrown in for good measure.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Uh, that was David. Huge compliment to me, but David will probably wreak horrible vengeance on you for insinuating he is anything like me. [Big Grin]

Having said that, funnily enough I can relate to what David said-- and, in a milder way, with what Pyx said. Maybe a general weirdness about sickness is part of the whole NPD thing.

My mom is-- the sickest person in the family always, forever. God help you if display symptoms that might draw attention away from her, God help you even more if you display evidence of taking care of yourself. From November to December of last year, I had a few oral surgeries back-to-back, and the ensuing weeks were a nightmare of health competition.

This has been going on since sis and I were kids-- so that when were were going through all the normal childhood illnesses, not only were we pretty much expected to care for ourselves, but if we dared demonstrate our symptoms in front of her, we were quickly reminded of who the sickest person in the house was.
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
Basically, I suspect we have all had quirky mothers. By the time I was 39 and my mother was dying, I adored her. But there is no denying that she was quirky, and had her own ways of manipulating all 5 of us (and Dad, for good measure). Some good times (usually when we were obedient) bad times, too many to be counted. When we finally left home, we got on better with her, but oh, my! The quirkiness never abated.

I never doubted her love, but the quirkiness drove me batshit. All the grandchildren she lived to see adored her... mostly.
 
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
 
A sudden burst of insight: motherhood forces a degree of manipulativeness upon you in many cases. Not wanting to be nagging all the time, knowing that telling a child (especially a teenager) not to do something might well push them further into doing it, needing to find a way to guide someone into doing the right thing or the safe thing or the best thing without causing tantrums or arguments or fights.... a bit like a sheepdog works a sheep into going the right way, not by picking it up and taking it there, but by "driving" it.

After nigh-on twenty years of adopting that approach, it's hardly surprising that it's a habit that's become ingrained.

Nastiness, on the other hand...
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Smudgie:
A sudden burst of insight: motherhood forces a degree of manipulativeness upon you in many cases...

Fatherhood too. But you're right that yer actual nastiness is to be avoided at all costs.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
In the end my 12th step programme forced me to deal with my bitterness and resentment. I had to speak to my family, my mum’s friends, anyone really. What emerged was a train wreck long before I was even a twinkle. I won’t go into detail but she was dirt poor as a child, she served and had a terrible War (WWII) including a breakdown, a marriage that ended horribly and broke her heart another to a vile abuser (third time she choose my Dad for his pliable nature). To top it all her much loved Father died while she was carrying me. Dickensian really.

I had to stop blaming her and start understanding her, the more I did that the more I loved her (even forgave). The worst is that I have always known she absolutely loved me the best she could. Mostly her best was just not good enough (says he, renowned for his hard heart) but the truth was it was her best, and that is all you can ask for. I suppose. What a weird thread.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Pyx_e has the right of it. My mother was pretty batshit crazy too. And she did horrible damage to both my brother and I. Which doesn't stop me from missing her now that she's gone.

She obviously didn't teach you English grammar.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Look who came by to take dump.
 
Posted by jbohn (# 8753) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Pyx_e has the right of it. My mother was pretty batshit crazy too. And she did horrible damage to both my brother and I. Which doesn't stop me from missing her now that she's gone.

She obviously didn't teach you English grammar.
Are you always an asshole, or just here?
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Pyx_e has the right of it. My mother was pretty batshit crazy too. And she did horrible damage to both my brother and I. Which doesn't stop me from missing her now that she's gone.

She obviously didn't teach you English grammar.
And yours nothing approaching manners.
 
Posted by BessHiggs (# 15176) on :
 
My mother is an extremely toxic person. Without going into sordid detail she did a real number on me while I was growing up and it's only after some pretty intensive therapy that I've come to realize that I'm not the awful failure and all around shit she told me I was. I have had no contact with her for going on 2 years on, save the odd sniping email from her. I'm a stronger, healthier person for it.

Pushing another human being through your vagina makes you a mother, it does not make you a mum. There's no magic nurturing dust they sprinkle on you in the delivery room. I have been blessed through the years to know some wonderful, caring, loving maternal women. My mother does not happen to be one of them.

Perhaps it is a failing on my part that I cannot find the grace or understanding to fully forgive my mother. Considering all the other failures in my life, it's just one more thing I will have to answer for in the hereafter.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Look who came by to take dump.

I see what you did they're.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Pyx_e has the right of it. My mother was pretty batshit crazy too. And she did horrible damage to both my brother and I. Which doesn't stop me from missing her now that she's gone.

Yeah to that. There's an old story in therapy circles that you miss a bad parent more than a good one. I don't know if it's true or not, but I believe it.

By the way, fuck grammar fascism, innit? Whatever.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
quote:
you miss a bad parent more than a good one
That bodes ill for someone I know. Eventually.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BessHiggs:
My mother is an extremely toxic person. Without going into sordid detail she did a real number on me while I was growing up and it's only after some pretty intensive therapy that I've come to realize that I'm not the awful failure and all around shit she told me I was. I have had no contact with her for going on 2 years on, save the odd sniping email from her. I'm a stronger, healthier person for it.

Pushing another human being through your vagina makes you a mother, it does not make you a mum. There's no magic nurturing dust they sprinkle on you in the delivery room. I have been blessed through the years to know some wonderful, caring, loving maternal women. My mother does not happen to be one of them.

Perhaps it is a failing on my part that I cannot find the grace or understanding to fully forgive my mother. Considering all the other failures in my life, it's just one more thing I will have to answer for in the hereafter.

See I am somewhere in between you and Pyx. On the one hand, The whole "did the best she could" doesn't resonate with me, because both my parents made significant choices that made their lives more comfortable and ours more hellish. A woman dragging a preteen girl with mono out of her sickbed and screaming at her about not washing the bowl from the soup she had to stagger out of bed to make herself, and then screaming straight in her ear when said girl is pleading with her to stop yelling because she has an earache, is not "doing their best." A man who corners his teenage daughter in the hallway the evening that her boyfriend broke up with her and giggles that of course someone would dump and ugly, zit-faced slob like her, and why did she think any guy would want her/? is not doing his best.* Maybe I need more program, but I can't see it that way yet. To me, "doing your best" means something other than doing the most horrible thing you can think of.

In ACA, they talk about doing a "blameless inventory" where you do get to talk about the horrific behavior of your alkie/ cody parents, but to the end of understanding the nature of the illness and aborting it in yourself.

So, going down that road, I do have flashes of compassion for my mom who, since I live with her, poses an extra problem for me. What strikes me is, when you have built up such a need for overt reassurance of your importance, and play such manipulative games to get them, how on earth can you really believe that anyone cares about you? How can you be sure that someone is actually acting out of genuine feeling for you, rather than out of a desire to appease you?

ANd I had a big, big moment with my dad, in which I realised (contrary to what I had been told) I have enough memories to confirm that I did try to bond/ befriend/ play with him when I was a kid, when my mom remarried, and he just couldn't do it. And then I asked myself-- if I were in a position where some little six year old girl was trying to play with me and I couldn't, how would I act? Angry, that's how. Disgusted with myself and the world. Wow, gigantic sections of my childhood explained!

So I see that will probably have a similar moment with my mom someday but right now I can't blame or excuse, I just need to get away. And have a significant space of time to be out of her influence, completely.

*I deliberately chose things that I witnessed rather than endured, so as to avoid accusations of pity-mongering, I have plenty of these stories of my own, but for some reason I only allow myself to feel the rage when I talk about what I saw happen.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Look who came by to take dump.

I see what you did they're.
[Razz]

It was five in the morning. Give me some slack. [Waterworks]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Kelly, I described over 50 years in 2 small posts, you got to be who you got to be. Lions gonna lion. Sorry if I made it sound easy or complete.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
I don't know if this helps anyone here. hope it does.

My mom is awesome. We have our issues, but for the most part I consider myself very lucky. She is an explorer, a naturalist, a feminist (in the good sense), an activist, a musician, an actor, and generally a wonderful mother and grandmother. She ain't rich, she's a little stuck in her (post-hippie) ways, and she will never suffer a redneck. but she's generally amazing.

plus, when her red locks turned gray, she dyed them all the colors of the rainbow. so she's a tattooed almost-70 punk rocker looking mama, too.

I hear lots of talk about how having abusive parents will fuck you up, make you a dysfunctional human being, make you a terrible parent.

My mom was raised by a single mom. my grandmother was mentally ill and an alcoholic who did all the kinds of stuff I'm reading here and more. She was a classic abuser. when my mother was 18, she was given custody of her mother, as well as her little sister. things were bad.

But my mom is great. I can't ask for better. she raised me right, she has done right by me and hundreds of students she's had over the 40 years she's had of teaching, not to mention her foster kids and random collection of lost causes she straight-talked back onto their feet. She is respected in her community (and a few others) and is even in a few books for her work as an educator.

So yes, your shitty parents can fuck you up. but that doesn't mean they will. Don't lose hope. your kids, your students, your parishioners, etc may someday be singing your praises just like this.

There is nothing wrong with you.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Look who came by to take dump.

I see what you did they're.
[Razz]

It was five in the morning. Give me some slack. [Waterworks]

Lyda, mdijon and I both thought you were being smart by missing out the "a". Challenging a nazi-grammar call, we thought. Or so I think.

But that's 'cos you are smart, of course. Now we know you won't take a compliment you don't feel you deserve. That makes you double-smart, dunnit?

Maybe that should have been innit?

Anyways, nice move. Take a [Overused] Such skills are very useful when handling difficult anybodies.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
The worst part of dealing with a mother who has a bad view of life is you can learn to shield yourself from the manipulation, but there are times when you talk to yourself and you hear her voice offering the dysfunctional opinion.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Yeah. This is very common. Like comet said, you can be a fantastic person despite abuse, but damn, it takes mighty hard work.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
There's an old story in therapy circles that you miss a bad parent more than a good one. I don't know if it's true or not, but I believe it.

My first reaction to this was bullshit.
However, I think this is a probable dynamic in a number of relationships.
My parents are both alive, so I cannot personally attest. However, I've two uncles who died prematurely. One who was greatly loved by many, a surrogate parent at times to me. I celebrate his life and mourn his death and think of him often.
The other died alone after alienating most of his family, including his own children. He did nothing to me, but the havoc he wrought lessened my care for him. When I do think of him, it is with sadness, but not nearly so strong.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I hate to say it, but even though Dad and I had done significant fence-mending in the two years before he died, there was still a part of me that felt huge relief when he died. And there are still times I wake up from terrible dreams and have to reassure myself that he's dead.
I am sure mileages will vary, but he simply did not provide me with much to miss, as far as personal memories. If anything, i miss the person he never was allowed to be- but I only have a vague idea who that is.

[ 29. January 2014, 01:25: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Kelly, I described over 50 years in 2 small posts, you got to be who you got to be. Lions gonna lion. Sorry if I made it sound easy or complete.

Oh God, in no way did I take it that way. I was just analyzing my own progress.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Lyda, mdijon and I both thought you were being smart by missing out the "a". Challenging a nazi-grammar call, we thought. Or so I think.

So I still think. This 5am thing is a cunning double-bluff designed to really annoy Francofile.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Every time someone annoys that tool an angel gets its wings. Fuck that guy.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Look who came by to take dump.

I see what you did they're.
[Razz]

It was five in the morning. Give me some slack. [Waterworks]

Lyda, mdijon and I both thought you were being smart by missing out the "a". Challenging a nazi-grammar call, we thought. Or so I think.

But that's 'cos you are smart, of course. Now we know you won't take a compliment you don't feel you deserve. That makes you double-smart, dunnit?

Maybe that should have been innit?

Anyways, nice move. Take a [Overused] Such skills are very useful when handling difficult anybodies.

[Big Grin] (I don't dare write a reply. [Hot and Hormonal] )
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Every time someone annoys that tool an angel gets its wings. Fuck that guy.

Not in any way, shape or form.
Besides, you'd be done up as he's naught more than twelve.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Eek!] You are my guardian angel, girl.

[ 29. January 2014, 04:33: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
[Big Grin] (I don't dare write a reply. [Hot and Hormonal] )

Very neat. Keep building the ambiguity.
 
Posted by Thyme (# 12360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
There's an old story in therapy circles that you miss a bad parent more than a good one. I don't know if it's true or not, but I believe it.

My first reaction to this was bullshit.
However, I think this is a probable dynamic in a number of relationships.

I don't know if you miss them more but I do think that death of a person does not necessarily solve all the problems for the living. I have recently had to work through some stuff about my paternal grandmother who has been dead a long time. I felt nothing when she died, except maybe relief.

Maybe it's not that you miss them more, but that the grieving process can be more complicated.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
Basically, I suspect we have all had quirky mothers. By the time I was 39 and my mother was dying, I adored her. But there is no denying that she was quirky, and had her own ways of manipulating all 5 of us (and Dad, for good measure). Some good times (usually when we were obedient) bad times, too many to be counted. When we finally left home, we got on better with her, but oh, my! The quirkiness never abated.

I never doubted her love, but the quirkiness drove me batshit. All the grandchildren she lived to see adored her... mostly.

Man, there are some heady stories on here, and I have not done it so tough as most. I identify well with the last line above. I know my mother loved (and loves) me, mostly because she does stuff for me (including ironing, as discussed upthread) - but also, makes meals which she believes are amongst my favourites if I visit, etc. When I was a kid, she made awesome birthday cakes for my sister and I, and handmade clothes, etc., etc. Now, on some rational level, I appreciate this. However, my enduring memories of childhood are the following soundtracks: Side A.) "Sit up straight! Stand up straight! Don't slouch! Don't scowl! Don't sulk!", Side B.) "Well, you did that to yourself, didn't you? Well, what did you expect, really? What did I tell you?" She also (I remember this vividly, as something which just made NO sense), was very distressed that the arches of my feet fell when I was about ten. This was attributed to me doing too much running about in bare feet, and, as near as I can tell, was a tragedy because it was kind of 'common'. For the record, I do slouch - terribly, and I have forward head posture and neck problems as a result. I got pretty sulky as a result of constantly being told not to sulk. I have since realised (after being pulled up about 'attitude' by bosses) that my problem is 'bitchy resting face'. I don't give a shit about my fallen arches.

The interesting thing is, my Dad, who was also as mad as a sack of rats, in his own particular way, I remember with great affection - and he has not been dead long enough for me to romanticise his memory. No, he was crazy too, but my sister and I loved him to bits, because he was on our side.* He didn't sit there and say, "Well, I did tell you, but would you listen to me?" He'd give you a cuddle. He cried when one of my pets died. Even at six, I thought it was unlikely that he was that distressed by the death of a rabbit, so I asked him what was wrong. He said "I can't bear to see you so unhappy." He could have been a thousand times more embarrassing and paranoid than he was, and he would still have had my unswerving devotion, just for this. I miss him.

*I don't mean 'on our side against our mother' here, just to be clear. Just that he got empathy and solidarity and that.
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
My relationship with my family is not good. One of the reasons I live 500 miles away and that every time I visit them I end up so stressed out I need significant psychiatric input (yes why I visit them is indeed a very good question).

The strange thing is I find the minor things they do more irritating then the Really Bad Things. The Really Bad Things seem almost normal (yes I am a fuck up) while the minor things make me want to scream.

As my parents grow older I do spend more time thinking about what I'll feel when they go. I think it will be a mixture of feeling truly safe for the first time in my life and sadness at the relationships we could have had but their behaviour made impossible.

They do make me laugh though. My siblings and I share a little list of our favourite ridiculousnesses. Mine is when I was seriously ill in hospital less than a mile from my parent's house for over a week and the only contact I had from them was one text saying, 'I would come and visit you but I've got to walk the dog.' This compares with the weeks of abuse I got because I couldn't visit my dad when he broke his arm because a) it was a broken arm, he was going to be fine, b) I lived 500 miles away and c) I was a witness in a major court case at the time.

I mourn the relationships I have with my family every day. I don't think I hate them but I do hate the game of happy families we play when we do get together when everything is a lie, everyone is acting and I want to scream.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
There's an old story in therapy circles that you miss a bad parent more than a good one. I don't know if it's true or not, but I believe it.

My first reaction to this was bullshit.
However, I think this is a probable dynamic in a number of relationships.
My parents are both alive, so I cannot personally attest. However, I've two uncles who died prematurely. One who was greatly loved by many, a surrogate parent at times to me. I celebrate his life and mourn his death and think of him often.
The other died alone after alienating most of his family, including his own children. He did nothing to me, but the havoc he wrought lessened my care for him. When I do think of him, it is with sadness, but not nearly so strong.

I don't think it's bullshit, and I think the analogy with uncles is a bad one, because they don't normally bring you up.

I think the word 'miss' is problematic, since it might suggest 'think fondly of', but here it really means that it's hard to mourn a bad parent, and it takes a long time. However, it's also useful, as something is missing.

And if you don't mourn them, they tend to get inside you, and fuck up your relationships, your work, your personality, your sex-life, etc.

But I think that people don't want to mourn a bad parent - they just want to forget them, but you can't, otherwise we just recreate them in our lives.

The most obvious example is abuse: many people who were seriously abused either find someone else to abuse them, or become abusive, (in other words, they repeat it all). But this can be halted, by the ghastly work of letting go of the abusive parent.

Old joke: old Jewish lady says proudly, 'my son goes to a psychiatrist every day, and he mainly talks about me!'

[ 29. January 2014, 10:56: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
A man who corners his teenage daughter in the hallway the evening that her boyfriend broke up with her and giggles that of course someone would dump and ugly, zit-faced slob like her, and why did she think any guy would want her/?


And with that Pyx_e's mom becomes parent of the year, because even though her stubborn need to be right was almost fatal, it wasn't deliberate cruelty. When I think of how my parents', much milder, words of criticism hurt, I can't imagine how she even survived this.

Chive's annual visits that need a follow up trip to the psychiatrist reminded me of mine. My doctor once gave me a twenty pill bottle of an anti-anxiety medication. After about five years I asked for a refill. He made some joke about how I obviously wasn't abusing them and I said, "Well, I only need them when I visit my parents." Then we both laughed as it reminded us of a line from a Woody Allen film.

My favorite movie line about family is from The Joy Luck Club. One of the young women cries about something mildly critical her mother had said to her and tells her mom that she has the power to hurt her more than anyone in the world. The mother tears up and says, "That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."

My son's prime memory about me being cruel is from a trip to the Dairy Queen when he was about five. Evidently he said he wanted green ice cream and I sneeringly said, "They don't have green!" I have no memory of this traumatic incident, and as I was a young, free spirit, hippie type mother, it would have been more like me to have praised him for his original tastes, but I guess I was having a bad day, or looking at his father or something, and there you have it -- bad memory, number one, for the therapist.

It makes me wonder if our parents even remember the things we have so much trouble forgiving them for.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Twilight wrote:

My favorite movie line about family is from The Joy Luck Club. One of the young women cries about something mildly critical her mother had said to her and tells her mom that she has the power to hurt her more than anyone in the world. The mother tears up and says, "That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."

What a corker that is.

I've already told my old Jewish lady psychiatrist joke, so here's a famous psychiatry joke:

Woman goes to shrink, and lists a long list of calamities in her life; he makes copious notes, childhood abuse, lousy marriages, ungrateful children, and so on.

She seems to be winding up, and then says, 'but there is one bright spot - my sex life is now absolutely wonderful'.

Shrink groans, puts his head in his hands, and murmurs, 'we are in really really deep shit here'.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
However, my enduring memories of childhood are the following soundtracks: Side A.) "Sit up straight! Stand up straight! Don't slouch! Don't scowl! Don't sulk!", Side B.) "Well, you did that to yourself, didn't you? Well, what did you expect, really? What did I tell you?"

And let's not forget the bonus tracks "You're useless" "You're pathetic" "let me look at your schoolbooks and point out everything that's wrong, and not mention anything that's good" "your younger sister is so much more wonderful than you, we approve of everything she does, and nothing that you do".

Between us, I think we've got the full box set [Smile]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Great post Twilight. My fav Woody Allen (“Manhattan” I think) is when in reply to the sentence “Just think of him as having two Mothers” he says “Raised by two mothers...wow, most of us barely survive one” my family crease up at that one.

We were in a restaurant a few years ago and in the booth next door our daughter and her friends were complaining about their parents. We overheard stories of smacks and groundings, no phones and no car. Our beloved chirped in “Yeah my Dad gave me such a bollocking for squeezing the toothpaste out of the middle of the tube.” Which just goes to prove its all subjective. I often remind her of what a hard life she had. The irony is of course is the way she nags the ass of her partner for squeezing the toothpaste out of the middle of the tube.

And I really do struggle with the fact that for good or bad most of my gifts are similar to my mothers, some of my strengths and empathy come from the battle I fought to be free of her and ultimately understand and forgive her. You think you have dealt with it and then threads like this crop up, sigh.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
However, my enduring memories of childhood are the following soundtracks: Side A.) "Sit up straight! Stand up straight! Don't slouch! Don't scowl! Don't sulk!", Side B.) "Well, you did that to yourself, didn't you? Well, what did you expect, really? What did I tell you?"

And let's not forget the bonus tracks "You're useless" "You're pathetic" "let me look at your schoolbooks and point out everything that's wrong, and not mention anything that's good" "your younger sister is so much more wonderful than you, we approve of everything she does, and nothing that you do".

Between us, I think we've got the full box set [Smile]

Oh I think we're just getting started.

My father's lines leaned toward the military with:

"Why don't you kids police the area!"

"Look at me when I'm talking to you!"

and the borderline funny ones like:

"Want to take a chance on a comb?"

"You left the lid sitting khakiwhampus and it's all over the counter!"

Inevitably followed by:

"Wipe that stupid grin off your face!"

Stupid Grin being my own resting face.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
"If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about".
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

I think the word 'miss' is problematic, since it might suggest 'think fondly of', but here it really means that it's hard to mourn a bad parent, and it takes a long time. However, it's also useful, as something is missing.

And if you don't mourn them, they tend to get inside you, and fuck up your relationships, your work, your personality, your sex-life, etc.

But I think that people don't want to mourn a bad parent - they just want to forget them, but you can't, otherwise we just recreate them in our lives.

This I can agree with.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
However, my enduring memories of childhood are the following soundtracks: Side A.) "Sit up straight! Stand up straight! Don't slouch! Don't scowl! Don't sulk!", Side B.) "Well, you did that to yourself, didn't you? Well, what did you expect, really? What did I tell you?"

And let's not forget the bonus tracks "You're useless" "You're pathetic" "let me look at your schoolbooks and point out everything that's wrong, and not mention anything that's good" "your younger sister is so much more wonderful than you, we approve of everything she does, and nothing that you do".

Between us, I think we've got the full box set [Smile]

Mother to shop assistant who is struggling to find anything to fit me: "You won't believe it, but my *other* daughter is SO petite!"
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
'I'll pray for you' with a sad shake of the head and a huge dollop of passive aggression.
 
Posted by Kitten (# 1179) on :
 
My Mother's bi threat was 'If you don't do what I tell you, I'll have you made a ward of court'

I don't think she knew what that actually meant
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
You think you have dealt with it and then threads like this crop up, sigh.

You don't HAVE to read it, Pyx_e....

About mums who say things like 'I'll have you made ward of court', I remember having a conversation with Wood, also brought up in Jannerland, where they (used?) to say some truly awful things to their children, eg. 'I'll feckin' murder you when you get home!' - when I first went to school and heard some mums yelling this at their children, I couldn't understand why they weren't terribly upset. It took me quite a while to realise that, whereas I took it literally, most of those children knew it was just a figure of speech, and the dire threat wouldn't really happen. So they just ignored it. And, consequently, the mums shouted it louder.

Janners, eh?
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
I was threatened with boarding school (money for a school trip was begrudged, so why they would have paid for boarding school is beyond me...).

I was also told once "I'll throw you out of that window, and you won't come back in because you'll be dead".

"If you're not asleep within 5 minutes you're going to get a good hiding" - that when she needed me asleep to go over the pub and join the rest of the family - obviously spending time with her son was so abhorrent that it needed to be over asap.
 
Posted by ecumaniac (# 376) on :
 
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ecumaniac:
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)

It is not about addressing real problems, but the method used.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by ecumaniac:
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)

It is not about addressing real problems, but the method used.
That's part of it. Some parents focus entirely on the negative aspects of their children and ignore anything even remotely positive, such as talent and skill or simply being a nice person to have around. That inability to encourage a child can have awful consequences.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by ecumaniac:
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)

It is not about addressing real problems, but the method used.
What lilBuddha said. Do you point out the faults with the schoolwork by saying something like "this isn't good, here's some ways you could improve", or do you say "that's wrong, that's wrong, that's wrong", and then walk out of the room leaving the child feeling wretched?
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
And if you're a bitch on wheels owing to something that happened at work that day, do you 'fess up and apologize for taking oyur shitty attitude out on the family?
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
hell, yes.

I spend a large percentage of my time apologizing to my family.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Of course. Call yourself out.

I was talking to a colleague the other day,a nd said as a teacher I go one step further and announce my crappy moods to the class before I say anything stupid, and give them permission to point out that I am being crabby if I slip. Boy you watch your attitude when you have given a room full of children permission to call you out.
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

I think the word 'miss' is problematic, since it might suggest 'think fondly of', but here it really means that it's hard to mourn a bad parent, and it takes a long time. However, it's also useful, as something is missing.

And if you don't mourn them, they tend to get inside you, and fuck up your relationships, your work, your personality, your sex-life, etc.

But I think that people don't want to mourn a bad parent - they just want to forget them, but you can't, otherwise we just recreate them in our lives.

YES.

quote:
The most obvious example is abuse: many people who were seriously abused either find someone else to abuse them, or become abusive, (in other words, they repeat it all). But this can be halted, by the ghastly work of letting go of the abusive parent.

Yes, yes, yes.

So, one of the things I initially thought would be therapeutic about this thread was, by dragging out the more manageable annoyances and celebrating their stupidity, as it were, it would actually convert them into semi-fond memories. To chive-- I am projecting my own patterns on you probably, but I get irritated by the "small stuff" too- and I have grown to think it is because I disassociate so strenuously form the "big stuff" that I can only allow myself the irritation in a more manageable size. (In the same way that I can work myself into a red fury over things that happened to my sister, but when I think about things that happened to me, I want to get out of that memory as quickly as possible.)

At the same time putting words to the small irritations gives one an opportunity to see them in perspective, and a group of your peers helping you chortle over them can give you the strength to tackle the big stuff. And laughter helps you move from grieving your bad experiences to respecting yourself for having survived them.

And those of us who have survived deserve our measure of survivor triumph.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Great stuff, Kelly. I agree about respecting yourself for having survived, people deserve medals for the stuff they had to go through.

People usually say that you get what you can deal with; I don't really know if it's true or not, but the small stuff is often really important.

Hell, I'm nearly 70, and I'm still dealing with the big stuff - hope that doesn't dismay you! My parents were expert at laying guilt-trips, and so now I lay them on myself, in loving memory of them, ha ha ha.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ecumaniac:
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)

My experience as an aunt, a daughter and a teacher tell me that conversations like that are much easier* when they are not the only kind of conversations taking place. So that, it's not that you don't criticize, it's that you make sure you spend enough time genuinely noticing and enjoying and appreciating and celebrating the great things about your kid (student, nephew), when it comes time to point out a flaw, they have such a solid basis for your regard for them that they can take it.

And (paradoxically) a criticism from someone who is generally pleased with you is going to have a lot more weight than that of someone who acts like they expect the worst of you no matter what.


*Well no, they still might act like the world is ending. But have faith in those prior conversations, because that will be the difference between the child's misery being incidental and being a life- sentence.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

People usually say that you get what you can deal with; I don't really know if it's true or not, but the small stuff is often really important.

First of all, that's a misquote of Paul, and a lot of people hate it. Second, I think people in program would say, you get what will force you to admit you can't deal [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
quote:
you miss a bad parent more than a good one
I've been dwelling on this. Could it be that after a lifetime of having to push against all that negative stuff, when it is suddenly not there, the person cannot cope with the absence, or know how to redirect all that energy.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ecumaniac:
But what if the kid really does slouch all the time? What if their school work is actually rubbish? Should it not be pointed out?

(This is why I shouldn't have kids I guess.)

As I pointed out, my mother wasn't mistaken about the slouching in my case, and it would certainly have been better for me in the long term if I could have learned not to do it. But the manner in which she went on about it communicated that either slouching was a sort of moral failing in me, an outward manifestation of an inward slackness, or that I was doing it to annoy her. As to the first, who can say? But for the second, I wasn't doing it to annoy anyone. It's just how I am - how I sit, how I stand, it feels completely natural to me and anything else feels unnatural. I know this because I have gone through periods in adulthood where I earnestly tried to cure myself of it. I end up going to bed about eight o'clock because the effort of being vertical is just getting too much...
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Other than the one atop your head, did you have a point?
Your nanny needs to have better watch over your internet use.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Oooh - I post some of my experiences, then Francophile pops up from his sewer and has a go - I feel like part of the gang now [Smile]
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Oh, and Franco - I'm 40 this year, I've been married 18 years, and I'm not a parent - not that it's any of your business.

[ 29. January 2014, 20:20: Message edited by: The Phantom Flan Flinger ]
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
It suggests that GeneralissimoFrancophile's toxic shithood is entirely self-achieved. Just as well he is vanishingly unlikely ever to be a parent.

[ 29. January 2014, 20:23: Message edited by: Firenze ]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.

I am not as good a parent as I could wish to be. I had hoped to be the kind of parent who doesn't shout at their children, but patiently explains. Well, sometimes I do patiently explain. And sometimes I shout. And sometimes I shout on purpose, because it is just the quickest way of stopping whatever behaviour is going on. And that I feel bad about. And yes, I just began four sentences with 'and'. How's your blood pressure?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
Oooh - I post some of my experiences, then Francophile pops up from his sewer and has a go - I feel like part of the gang now [Smile]

No shit, This is what just started playing when I read your post.

Fuck him.
 
Posted by ecumaniac (# 376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
So that, it's not that you don't criticize, it's that you make sure you spend enough time genuinely noticing and enjoying and appreciating and celebrating the great things about your kid (student, nephew), when it comes time to point out a flaw, they have such a solid basis for your regard for them that they can take it.

But what if there aren't any? (Or you just can't see it) Do you just pretend?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I personally have never met a kid who doesn't have some tiny hidden buttress of likeability somewhere, even if they are doing their damnedest to hide it from you. Sometimes they themselves have forgotten it is there. I can't speak for parents, but my job as a teacher- hell, simply as the adult in the situation- is to build on that.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
(Glances up at Francophile)
I admit my faith in this statement is currently shaky.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.

Who died and made you arbiter of the direction a thread's going to take down here? It certainly wasn't me.

The only deafening silence around here is the lack of electrical activity in your head as you fail to comprehend what the Hell board is actually for. If I'm going to start talking about warm, fuzzy parenting relationships, it's not going to be here.

[ 29. January 2014, 21:54: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
I've been saddened to read of the hard childhood so many posters had. Certainly, I had my moments with parents, and in turn with Dlet, but nothing like the descriptions above. I know this is Hell, but can I offer prayers - and a specially hard one for Francophile.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.

The only person I have said a bad word about on this thread is you. You asked for it then, you're asking for it again.

Why are you venting over people's right to vent in Hell? orfeo is right. You just don't get this place. Of course you can be pissed off with the pissed off. Which in turn gives everyone else the right to be pissed off with you. Which they are. And, frankly, who can blame them? Empathy level epsilon minus moron. Not even semi-moron. O brave new world, that has such assholes in it.

Away n' bile yir head ya stumur, dont be sae stupit!

[ 29. January 2014, 22:02: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]
 
Posted by Barefoot Friar (# 13100) on :
 
Alright, who's the wise ass who is forcing Francophile to read this thread? Knock it off, already. It's plain he doesn't want to read it, and you forcing him to isn't helping anything.

Oh, what's that? No one's forcing Franco to read the thread? Why, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.

Well then, Franco, if you want to get upset about this thread and the contents thereof, you're certainly welcome to do so. But as you're neither Simon nor God, (nor any of the H&As), you get no say in how it goes down. Kindly stick it up your arse.

[ 29. January 2014, 22:53: Message edited by: Barefoot Friar ]
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.

Actually, I have admitted, on this thread, that I'm imperfect as a parent. as well as admitting I have a great parent.

on the level of Pyx_e's and others' parents? no. I'm imperfect but I'm not like that.

I yell at my kids, yes. usually when that's the only thing they'll hear, but often enough it's because I'm at the end of my rope. I have never called them names or belittled them - because I don't see them that way. I probably have risked their lives a few times - I get an adventuring bug up my ass and off we go hiking in the backcountry or rafting for ten days down wild rivers or driving 800 miles through winter blizzards on a lark.

but is sheltering them from adventuring and experiencing a good thing?

but yes, generally, you're full of shit. no silence here.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
quote:
you miss a bad parent more than a good one
I've been dwelling on this. Could it be that after a lifetime of having to push against all that negative stuff, when it is suddenly not there, the person cannot cope with the absence, or know how to redirect all that energy.
That's part of it. It's complicated - people also hold on for grim death to a bad parent, when they have gone. Partly, we wait for what we didn't get - I think it's possible to wait for ever. And they are just inside you - so how do you let go of them?
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
RooK forgive me, I'm gonna feed the troll. He gets the attention he wants, but we get to blow off steam, so I guess it works out in the end.

You know why I've been reading this thread, but not posting? It's because my parents, fucked up as I may be, honestly did their best, and their best was, in the end, not that bad. I mean, there's a lot of stuff I really wish they had caught, times I honestly think they could have stood up for me, told me what I was doing was just fine, taken my side in a fight, rather than just worrying if they were doing the right thing—I never knew they were worrying about me, only that they were never taking my side against, among other things, the bullying I dealt with for ten years while in school—but that's being a parent who doesn't want their kid to be dependent, who wants them to think for themselves, figure things out on their own, etc. And so, I do; I may not have the confidence in my actions I should, or I always expect the answer to be "no," or I expect even the slightest of requests to involve a hard fight, but hey, that is what it is. Contrary to what my ex will tell you (fuck, she had issues), they weren't/aren't even remotely close to bad people. Heck, I'm probably a bad son for being a bit distant from them, just as I am with everyone else.

See that? It's the full extent of my ranting. "My parents fucked me up, but hey, they're parents. It happens to everyone." They weren't cruel, they weren't malicious, they weren't trying to destroy my life out of fear that I would have a better one than them (heck, if anything, it's the pressure to have a better life than them that's hard to deal with sometimes), so I ain't got nuttin' to rant about here. They're good people, y'know? I have my complaints, but I'm sure my nonexistant children would complain to their shrinks about me, too.

So, not all of us are victims. Not all of us are claiming to be blameless. I'm only saying I'm beyond reproach because I haven't any kids, and quite probably never will, and therefore don't have any kids to screw up. I have to wonder: what's your problem? Did someone call you abusive? Were you the person who believed in proper discipline, but whose kids were traumatized by it? Or are you just a lonely old git whom nobody loves and yells at the kids to get off his lawn?

Again, sorry for the trollfeeding, but someone had to mention their normalish past—and jerks bug me.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
Again, sorry for the trollfeeding, but someone had to mention their normalish past—and jerks bug me.

I also had normal parents. Actually they were good parents. Boring eh? Perhaps I should post some poorly-confected trollish stuff to liven things up for myself.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Oh alright, I'll join the Kum Ba Ya circle. When I was a teenager, my best friend and I both agreed that I had the better parents.

I've seen them twice this week and it's been perfectly enjoyable and drama free both times. SO THERE.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
See, that' s how my ex's family was. It was weird as fuck. We would go to holiday parties, and everybody would actually enjoy themselves. I couldn't get over it. I even invited my mom along a few time to show her, "See? fun holidays! Ain't it weird?"*

I think I missed them more than him when we split.

*She, of course, immediately began explaining how everyone I got into a conversation with actually liked her much better than me. Simply bonding over how much we liked this-or-that person wasn't even on the table.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
ecumaniac - I cried the day I praised one of our most difficult children at pre-school for doing the right thing. You could see him swell with pride as he said: "I a good boy!" It made a huge turning point for him. I'd been making observations to try and work out how to help him and trying to catch him being good for weeks. Praise works. Concentrating on the good things about children helps.

And talking forgiveness - we can understand why our parents are the way they are, work out how that effects us, but still need to keep a distance for our own protection and that of our children. If you've been made to conform by physical force, it's very difficult to not fall back into those patterns of behaviour if you expose yourself to those influences and find that the responses beaten into you at a young age return to overtake those you've painstakingly trained out of yourself.

I read the John Cleese and Robin Skynner books: Families and how to survive them and the Life one - and that helped.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Oh alright, I'll join the Kum Ba Ya circle. When I was a teenager, my best friend and I both agreed that I had the better parents.

I've seen them twice this week and it's been perfectly enjoyable and drama free both times. SO THERE.

What is that noise? Is it FranklyaPile's heart, inspired by the nice comments, growing three sizes? My bad, just his zits exploding.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That was just unprovoked nastiness there.

Erin would have loved you.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
In tribute, I was trying to work up an "Erin", but gave up. She had skills in verbal assassination which I can't get anywhere near.

But I liked the lilBuddha continuation of the 12 year old theme as well. Wuz good! 6/10 on the Erin scale?
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Funny how everyone posting their experiences is the misunderstood or bullied or badly-parented suffering child or somehow the victim of a relative's unreasonableness.
Are SoF posters only ever victims and never perpetrators? Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Deafening silence ensues. I thought so.

I have a theory: Francophile is anoesis' mother and she is mightly pissed off with this whole discussion.

[ 30. January 2014, 07:41: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Now Erin might have said "Are you anoesis's mother? Does she ever have all the fucking luck." Yep, there may be some channeling going on here at this point, LATA.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Is anyone prepared to admit in full detail to their actions as a mad/unreasonable/vicious parent along the lines of Pyx's mother?

Of course they bloody aren't, because if they thought that about themselves they'd change the way they act.

No, the issue with such parents is that they think they're doing the right things (or at least justifiable things), and the kid is the problem. We've been given one example of a parent trying desperately to get their kid to sleep so they can go out for the night - to the kid in question that felt like "you don't want to spend time with me", but to the parent it was probably more like "I've spent howevermany years of my life taking care of you, can't I have one fucking night to myself once in a while?"

I worry about what kind of parent I might be should I ever have kids - it's an unimaginable level of commitment and sacrifice, and often a thankless one. Would I be able to hack it, or would I be resentful of all the freedom I'd lost? It's a question nobody can answer until they actually have kids, and by then it's too late to find out that you shouldn't have had them.

I feel sorry for both sides.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Marvin:
quote:
Would I be able to hack it, or would I be resentful of all the freedom I'd lost?
Yes.

Most people muddle through somehow, with the occasional flashes of resentment at not being able to do stuff that they took for granted BC (before children). It's not really an either/or question.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I worry about what kind of parent I might be should I ever have kids - it's an unimaginable level of commitment and sacrifice, and often a thankless one. Would I be able to hack it, or would I be resentful of all the freedom I'd lost? It's a question nobody can answer until they actually have kids, and by then it's too late to find out that you shouldn't have had them.


The thing that amazes me every day is how quickly and completely my children forgive me. They are 7 and 3, so it's early days yet. But it is an experience of absolution that rivals the sacrament of reconciliation - with none of the contrivance of the latter.

The heart-breaking side of that is that you get to see how it is that children continue to love and forgive parents who do the most appalling things to them - I'm thinking of some of the horrendous cases of abuse that come to light from time to time.

But for me, falling within the normal non-abusive range of shitty parenting - I hope - the experience of being forgiven totally and immediately by my children is the most wonderful experience of human love there is. Worth any amount of hard work.

[ 30. January 2014, 09:31: Message edited by: Erroneous Monk ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Speaking as a son, son in law, and father of mature sons, ain't that the truth. With grandchildren in the mix, the double-truth. People goof off. Parents and children are people too. Sometimes both of those truths get lost. Hard to see through the both-way expectations. A mistake I've made in both directions. So have they.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Of course they bloody aren't, because if they thought that about themselves they'd change the way they act.

Marvin, I've warned you before about using logic to respond to mindless Hell rants. It upsets the minions.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Speaking as a son, son in law, and father of mature sons, ain't that the truth. With grandchildren in the mix, the double-truth. People goof off. Parents and children are people too. Sometimes both of those truths get lost. Hard to see through the both-way expectations. A mistake I've made in both directions. So have they.

Too true.

As a father of five I learned a helluva lot between my first born when I was 25 and my youngest at 38. It had its effect on my children and looking back I can see that my eldest is most like me, because I was more like my father when he was young.

Parents change.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
That's the old theory that the first born gets all the shit flung at them, since the parents are young/fucked up/anxious, but if they have more kids, they relax more. I don't think it's always true, but it often is. There's a name for it, which I've forgotten. First born fucky uppy-itis, I suppose.

My wife just said to me that the first born also is supposed to repeat the patterns of one parent, whereas the others do it less so. I don't know about that one.

[ 30. January 2014, 10:25: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Marvin:
quote:
Would I be able to hack it, or would I be resentful of all the freedom I'd lost?
Yes.

Most people muddle through somehow, with the occasional flashes of resentment at not being able to do stuff that they took for granted BC (before children). It's not really an either/or question.

God yes. Two things you can only say to other parents, or in Hell:

1. You wish you could live twice. Once with children, once without.

2. You only realise how great not having children is once you have them.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Originally posted by quetzalcotl:
quote:
That's the old theory that the first born gets all the shit flung at them, since the parents are young/fucked up/anxious, but if they have more kids, they relax more. I don't think it's always true, but it often is. There's a name for it, which I've forgotten. First born fucky uppy-itis, I suppose.
I know exactly when my firstborn reached all his milestones, I know what his first word was, and what he said the first time he put two words together.* I have a list of his entire vocabulary on his first and second birthdays.

My second must have started talking at some point, because she certainly talks enough now, but beyond that I have no idea.**

*"Up" and "Door shut" since you asked.
** Although I do know the date she first slept through the night and finally dropped the 2am feed, which was two weeks before her second birthday.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


I worry about what kind of parent I might be should I ever have kids - it's an unimaginable level of commitment and sacrifice, and often a thankless one.

You can't be serious.

My kids give back a thousand, thousandfold the commitment and sacrifice I have given and continue to give. They are extremely cool kids and loads of fun.

If you put your kids first ( like any good parent should) I reckon you'd make a great parent. [Smile]

[ 30. January 2014, 11:30: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Originally posted by quetzalcotl:
quote:
That's the old theory that the first born gets all the shit flung at them, since the parents are young/fucked up/anxious, but if they have more kids, they relax more. I don't think it's always true, but it often is. There's a name for it, which I've forgotten. First born fucky uppy-itis, I suppose.
I know exactly when my firstborn reached all his milestones, I know what his first word was, and what he said the first time he put two words together.* I have a list of his entire vocabulary on his first and second birthdays.

My second must have started talking at some point, because she certainly talks enough now, but beyond that I have no idea.**

*"Up" and "Door shut" since you asked.
** Although I do know the date she first slept through the night and finally dropped the 2am feed, which was two weeks before her second birthday.

I remember women who would sit by their sleeping new-born, worried in case he stopped breathing. I think with the second and third, that anxiety abates!

I also remember women who swore that the first born was the messiah - well, in a way, s/he is.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
There are endless photos (well, mostly slides actually) of my older sister placed in front of various interesting locations in Europe, and at Disneyland. I sat through them all many times in my childhood.

Mum struggled to find a decent photo of me when I needed one for school for some reason.

I'm not bitter or twisted about this one little bit, no sirree. Nor about the fact that my sister lived overseas for a couple of years and went to Disneyland and I never left Australia until I was an adult. Nope. I'm fine with all of that. They looked after us both equally... [Waterworks]
 
Posted by MrsBeaky (# 17663) on :
 
Phone call with my mother this week.

She was talking about boys in general and reminiscing about my younger brothers in particular:
"Yes, as I recall they were very nervous about being left, boys are you know. I can't say I was concerned about you really as you were the eldest and the girl and were out there forging ahead....."

Hey ho!
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Originally posted by quetzalcotl:
quote:
That's the old theory that the first born gets all the shit flung at them, since the parents are young/fucked up/anxious, but if they have more kids, they relax more. I don't think it's always true, but it often is. There's a name for it, which I've forgotten. First born fucky uppy-itis, I suppose.
I know exactly when my firstborn reached all his milestones, I know what his first word was, and what he said the first time he put two words together.* I have a list of his entire vocabulary on his first and second birthdays.

My second must have started talking at some point, because she certainly talks enough now, but beyond that I have no idea.**

*"Up" and "Door shut" since you asked.
** Although I do know the date she first slept through the night and finally dropped the 2am feed, which was two weeks before her second birthday.

That's the other side of first-born fucky uppy-itis: first-born parental attention, guaranteed. Apart from pathological and criminal cases, once a first-born gets beyond babyhood, they are in as much danger of excessive attention. Kids like personal space too.
 
Posted by A.Pilgrim (# 15044) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
quote:
you miss a bad parent more than a good one
I've been dwelling on this. Could it be that after a lifetime of having to push against all that negative stuff, when it is suddenly not there, the person cannot cope with the absence, or know how to redirect all that energy.
That's part of it. It's complicated - people also hold on for grim death to a bad parent, when they have gone. Partly, we wait for what we didn't get - I think it's possible to wait for ever. And they are just inside you - so how do you let go of them?
Entirely agree with this. I think every child is born with an intense innate expectation that his* parents will care for him. If that happens, and the hope is satisfied, the child can let go of the parental bond. But if he has drawn the short straw in the parental lottery, and the expectation is unfulfilled, that unconscious drive to look to the parent for nurture carries on all his life – with the associated anxiety caused by the conflict between the desire to get away from the abusive parent, and the desire to find nurture from the parent. Until the parent dies, at which point the ‘child’ is likely to grieve more for the loss of the hope of what might have been than for the loss of what was actually experienced.

quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
...
I read the John Cleese and Robin Skynner books: Families and how to survive them and the Life one - and that helped.

Both good books, especially Families ... - indeed anything by Robin Skynner is excellent. He was a family psychotherapist and certainly knew what he was writing (or speaking) about.

quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
My father is past 80 and he comes round to do my DIY. I let him. He enjoys it, feels that he's useful and not old, and I bring him cups of tea during and dinner after.
...[Text deleted to save space]...
And one day he will be dead, and I and my children will remember that he did my DIY when he was in his 80s.

Superb post, mdijon, very moving...

Angus (Both parents now deceased, so it’s all water under the bridge...)

*Generic usage (as in subsequent occurrences)
 
Posted by Gwai (# 11076) on :
 
I-an oldest-promised my sister that there would be just as many pictures of child #2 as there are of #1, and told her to hold me to it. I think we've safely actually done that too, and if we hadn't my sister would hopefully have reminded me, because it really bothered her that there were a ten snaps of baby me for every one of her and her twin.

It's always an interesting tension as a parent. (Insert cliche about raising children successful enough to pay for t heir own therapy.)
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
A. Pilgrim wrote:

Entirely agree with this. I think every child is born with an intense innate expectation that his* parents will care for him. If that happens, and the hope is satisfied, the child can let go of the parental bond. But if he has drawn the short straw in the parental lottery, and the expectation is unfulfilled, that unconscious drive to look to the parent for nurture carries on all his life – with the associated anxiety caused by the conflict between the desire to get away from the abusive parent, and the desire to find nurture from the parent. Until the parent dies, at which point the ‘child’ is likely to grieve more for the loss of the hope of what might have been than for the loss of what was actually experienced.

Excellent summary. Another thing that we do is recreate them, either in another person, or in ourselves, thus messing up many a marriage or relationship. "Those who do not remember the past, are compelled to repeat it".

Not Freud actually, but George Santayana.
 
Posted by Dormouse (# 5954) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I-an oldest-promised my sister that there would be just as many pictures of child #2 as there are of #1, and told her to hold me to it. I think we've safely actually done that too, and if we hadn't my sister would hopefully have reminded me, because it really bothered her that there were a ten snaps of baby me for every one of her and her twin.


Indeed - I was looking through mum's old photo albums...a page of photos of new born older sister plus newspaper cutting of the birth announcement. Many photos of growing child. Page of new born photos of older brother. No birth announcement. Fewer photos of growing child. And Me (youngest)? Nothing. Zada. Zilch.

Mum claims it's because by the time I was born dad was into taking slides - and that's true, I remember interminable slide shows growing up - but it does still rankle a bit. Still, I won't die from it...
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:



I remember women who would sit by their sleeping new-born, worried in case he stopped breathing.


When my daughter was a few weeks old I asked another bloke at work when you stopped waking up in the middle of the night if you stopped hearing them breathing. He said that his daughter was 13 and he still did it.

I think for lots of parents, most probably, it comes automatically. You can't help it, you end up wanting to. For some it doesn't, and then they have a terrible time faking it.

Its as if some brain circuitry you always had but never used much suddenly gets turned on. Maybe that is exactly what happens.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dormouse:
Indeed - I was looking through mum's old photo albums...a page of photos of new born older sister plus newspaper cutting of the birth announcement. Many photos of growing child. Page of new born photos of older brother. No birth announcement. Fewer photos of growing child. And Me (youngest)? Nothing. Zada. Zilch.


I'm a third child and youngest, too, and the lack of photos is almost as bad. In fact, evidence that the novelty had worn off after the second child was everywhere. My fifth grade teacher, frustrated over my lack of ambition, once declared to the class that as the only girl and the youngest I had probably never had a spanking -- the whole class burst out laughing as my neighbor said, "Only every single day."

Which incident also demonstrates what basically nice people my parents were, because all the kids knew them and were at our house a lot. The boy who spoke up for me had alcoholic parents and loved our big organized, peaceful house and my wholesome, "Leave it to Beaver," parents. Even in high school my brothers' friends would still congregate at our house for cards and touch football. But there were always those moments of surprised shock when I would get a quick slap in the face in front of them, or the curiosity of the teachers about why a girl from such a well-off family wore the same two outfits all through high school.

Just as you can't really know ahead of time whether you will be a good parent or not, you can't even know from one child to the next how you're going to feel about each one or how much interest you still have in the process.

(Not saying I didn't feel loved by my parents, I definitely did. It's just a weird dynamic when viewed from this distance.)
 
Posted by basso (# 4228) on :
 
Fucky-up happens sometimes regardless of birth order.

I'm the eldest by a year. When I graduated high school, I got a check for $50.
My sister graduated a year later -- by the skin of her teeth. She got a trip to Hawaii.

(This may be partly because I didn't really even know that trips to Hawaii existed...)
 
Posted by ecumaniac (# 376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Two things you can only say to other parents, or in Hell:

1. You wish you could live twice. Once with children, once without.

2. You only realise how great not having children is once you have them.

Would be rather nice if parents said this to non-parents once in a while, instead of the usual guilt-tripping accusations that are thrown!!!!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Yeah, and I have a lot less of a problem with folk who can articulate "forbidden" thoughts like that than people who won't acknowledge them and take their resentment out on the kids.

Or (worse yet) articulate those thoughts only to the children, and expect to be treated like parent of the year regardless.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
How about this re-interpreted as an early recorded case of narcissistic parental dysfunction, with disaster narrowly averted by direct and timely divine intervention.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
It gets better.

The noble look on the lad's face as he prepares to take one for the family team is especially inspiring.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
An old friend, has given me a stern talking to.

I visited my parents this week and intercepted my mother filling a hot water bottle for me. I asked her not to. She seemed surprised that I did not want a hot water bottle.

This has a long history. In my teens Mum and I fought many a fight over hot water bottles. ISTM that every time I had a hot water bottle, as the bottle cooled, so did I, and I'd wake up at 3am cold, and not be able to get back to sleep. But Mum kept trying to sneak HWBs into my bed.

These days, I just remove any HWBs I find and waft the duvet till any hint of warmth has been dissipated. But if I catch my Mum in HWB-filling action, I asked her, pleasantly, to please don't as I don't like them.

I remarked to my friend that I'd probably told my mother that I don't like HWBs 5 times a year for the past 20 years, 10 times a year for the preceeding 10 years and at least 20 times a year in the 5 years before that. So not less that 300 times. And each time Mum reacts as though I'd never mentioned this before.

And my wise friend said that my mother regards putting a HWB in my bed as a loving gesture. Minor details, such as my opinion, don't count. What counts to Mum is that she is Doing Something For Me. And she loves Doing Things For Me, because, my friend said, my mother loves me very much. And I should just Suck It Up. Pull up my big girl panties and deal.

We are, apparently, in Corinthians 13 territory.

My mother's love for me is not self-seeking - she knows there will be no pay back in terms of gratitude in return for her attempts to put HWBs in my bed, do my laundry, clean my kitchen floor etc.

My mother keeps no record of wrongs - all 300 rejections of her HWBs, ranging from the full-on teenage tantrum, and slammed door, to the mildly exasperated refusal, are instantly forgotten.

My mother's love perseveres. Perhaps one day I will let her do my ironing!

My friend pointed out that I like to interact with people I care for by communicating with them. And it frustrates me that I cannot communicate with my mother.

Communication isn't important to Mum. She shows her love by Doing Things for other people. Including things they'd much, much, rather she didn't.

Families. Meh.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Oh jeeze, though, NEQ, the frustration. My husband has traces of whatever it is your mom has. He has a list in his head of "things women like," and it doesn't fit me. For example women like plants and flowers for gifts and the fact that I don't has never gotten through, in spite of 34 years of heavy hinting. But that just happens a few times a year.

Every night he politely sits at the table watching me eat. I'm a slow eater, plus, I fall behind since I'm the cook/server. I tell him to go ahead, watch TV, I'll be awhile, no fuss. I have serious talks about how being watched while I eat makes my throat close up and I can barely swallow. It doesn't matter. In his head it's not nice to leave the table until I'm done.

Don't your mother and my husband have any duty at all to adjust their definitions of kind and caring, according to circumstances?
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
That's very much treating love as an abstract concept: I Am Being Loving. (aren't I good)

Actually loving a person, I would have thought, ought to involve getting to know their individual qualities.

Or maybe we're dealing with folks who take 'do unto others as you would have done to you' very, very literally. I would like people to give me hot water bottles, therefore I am commanded to give other people hot water bottles...
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
There's a whole list of stuff like that. For instance, if my journey home from my parents involves train/ walk to bus stop / bus/walk home, I will never be grateful when Mum gives me a parting gift of an iced cake and an admonition to keep it level. And yet.... [brick wall]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:

Every night he politely sits at the table watching me eat. I'm a slow eater, plus, I fall behind since I'm the cook/server.

Sounds like you could accommodate both your desires if he did the cooking/serving, which would slow him to closer to your natural pace... [Big Grin]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by orfeo
quote:
Or maybe we're dealing with folks who take 'do unto others as you would have done to you' very, very literally. I would like people to give me hot water bottles, therefore I am commanded to give other people hot water bottles...
Which is why a dress size 8 (US 4) friend was puzzled when her MiL gave her a corselet - heavy-duty, definitely NOT 'fun lingerie' - for her birthday.

But then the same woman gave her son a book Life after Divorce:create a new beginning for his birthday...
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:

I will never be grateful when Mum gives me a parting gift of an iced cake and an admonition to keep it level. And yet.... [brick wall]

[Killing me] There's an entire comic movie in your mom and my loving husband, and yes, Orfeo has them in one, "Aren't I good!"

And, LC, if he did the cooking, I'm afraid my throat really would close up, permanently.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by basso:
Fucky-up happens sometimes regardless of birth order.

I'm the eldest by a year. When I graduated high school, I got a check for $50.
My sister graduated a year later -- by the skin of her teeth. She got a trip to Hawaii.

(This may be partly because I didn't really even know that trips to Hawaii existed...)

Going by the family photos on display in the living room of a friend's parents, you'd know they had a daughter but not a son. It's like he doesn't exist. He got a similar deal to you growing up.

Tubbs
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
That's very much treating love as an abstract concept: I Am Being Loving. (aren't I good)

Actually loving a person, I would have thought, ought to involve getting to know their individual qualities.

Or maybe we're dealing with folks who take 'do unto others as you would have done to you' very, very literally. I would like people to give me hot water bottles, therefore I am commanded to give other people hot water bottles...

We all see each other through the haze of our own experience. For some it is a light mist, for others solid stone. One that ends at their skull wall.
Just as there are those who seem to feel your pain, there are those incapable. Not that they do not care.
Empathy <---Sympathy---> Unwanted Hot Water Bottles
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
That's very much treating love as an abstract concept: I Am Being Loving. (aren't I good)

Actually loving a person, I would have thought, ought to involve getting to know their individual qualities.

Or maybe we're dealing with folks who take 'do unto others as you would have done to you' very, very literally. I would like people to give me hot water bottles, therefore I am commanded to give other people hot water bottles...

Interesting points. I think 'getting to know their qualities' means actually seeing someone. Some of the parents on this thread just sound more narcissistic, and people who are like that, often can't see someone else, except as a kind of reflection of their own needs.

I remember my own mother really could not understand why my son didn't like certain foods - and she used to say pitifully, 'but there's nothing to dislike'. Oh, what a wealth of information is contained in that remark!
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
NEQ, have you considered if you can have an electric blanket ? These can stay on all night, she gets to feel good cos she has made sure you have a warm bed and you get to be toasty right through the night. (Or secretly ensure is is switched off at a strategic moment.)
 
Posted by ArachnidinElmet (# 17346) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
That's very much treating love as an abstract concept: I Am Being Loving. (aren't I good)

Actually loving a person, I would have thought, ought to involve getting to know their individual qualities.

Or maybe we're dealing with folks who take 'do unto others as you would have done to you' very, very literally. I would like people to give me hot water bottles, therefore I am commanded to give other people hot water bottles...

Interesting points. I think 'getting to know their qualities' means actually seeing someone. Some of the parents on this thread just sound more narcissistic, and people who are like that, often can't see someone else, except as a kind of reflection of their own needs.

I remember my own mother really could not understand why my son didn't like certain foods - and she used to say pitifully, 'but there's nothing to dislike'. Oh, what a wealth of information is contained in that remark!

My Dad is the dictionary definition of this phenomenon. He likes helping people, but only if it's with things he would want himself, and if you do not need or want that help then begins the whining: " But you should ask for help", "Why don't you want me to do that" "Why won't you let me help you".

At the more extreme end of the spectrum my Dad has had knock-down drag-out screaming matches with people based on two arguments solely thought out in his head. He reacts, not to the other person's words, but to what he would say or do if he were in that position himself.

It's extremely frustrating to deal with.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
We all live in our own heads, but it is nice if we go out to visit.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
And you know what else? All our relatives who live in their heads are just going to get worse as their old-age hearing loss increases.

We're going to need a bigger thread.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
I'm having a terrible guilt attack, prompting me to come here and mention that Hubs does about 30 hours per week volunteer work for the food pantry and starting today, he's doing taxes for free for anybody who wants it. Now I hate myself.

I hope you're happy Francophile.
 
Posted by Spike (# 36) on :
 
If it's sympathy you're after, you're on the wrong board
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
But then the same woman gave her son a book Life after Divorce:create a new beginning for his birthday...

Wow.
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
My mother's love for me is not self-seeking - she knows there will be no pay back in terms of gratitude in return for her attempts to put HWBs in my bed, do my laundry, clean my kitchen floor etc.

I understand what you mean by equating "not self-seeking = not seeking payback". But I do see her actions as self-seeking. As orfeo points out, they are about her self-regard as "A Loving Mother". They are not actions made with the needs, wants, or preferences of another in mind; they are motions toward a mirror.

Perhaps it will be difficult for those who only see themselves in a mirror dimly to actually see others face to face! And to really truly understand the needs and wants of the other as something other than mere reflections of their own. What a shock that will be.

However, she's your mother and I have no axe to grind about it. Although some of the relatives on here really do make me think about sharpening axes.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
If it's sympathy you're after, you're on the wrong board

No, actually. The first part was sort of an agreement about the double mindedness of our feelings toward our relatives, already mentioned a few times on this thread, and the last line was a joke.

But I wouldn't expect you to get any of that, Spike.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'm having a terrible guilt attack, prompting me to come here and mention that Hubs does about 30 hours per week volunteer work for the food pantry and starting today, he's doing taxes for free for anybody who wants it. Now I hate myself.

I hope you're happy Francophile.

Yes, very happy, thanks for enquiring. I have/had wonderful parents who I love/lived greatly. Even if my mother had ever forced a hot water bottle on me (which she didn't) Id have been grateful. Honestly, some folk have very little to worry them. In the time it took NEQ to tell us about hot water bottles, she could have brought some joy into her mother's life with a telephone call.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Yes, very happy, thanks for enquiring. I have/had wonderful parents who I love/lived greatly.

poor things must really wonder where they went wrong.

Twilight - get the fuck over yourself you delicate little snowflake. Spike's comment easily applies to the whole thread, but of course, it's all about you, isn't it?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Huh? Since Spike's comment came directly after Twilight's post, she was hardly mis-reading it.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I've always said that Twilight has amazing foresight.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
She wasn't mis-reading it in her subsequent post. But you knew that. [Disappointed]

[ 01. February 2014, 00:44: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
She has pretty good hindsight as well.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Sorry, but I feel the need to give [Ultra confused] advice!

NEQ, you have my total sympathy and admiration. Please just smile and say 'no thanks' when handed an iced cake. Don't take it in your hands. If you had a car, she could put it in the boot, but you don't, so she can't. Don't worry about hurting her feelings, because she clearly has a different set of... perceptions. She might think you're odd, but that's hardly a new concept.

Twilight, when you're eating and feel uncomfortable, pick up your plate and fork and go and sit somewhere else with it. On the stairs, if necessary. When he asks why, tell him you don't like being watched while you eat. I guarantee you he will say, you should have told me, or similar.

Just smile and agree.

Anyone can now tell me of for giving advice. But this is hell, and I can do what I like.
Francophile, you are horrible.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
Well, I suppose it depends in your perception of horrible.

Some filk might think that a non-horrible reaction to being presented with a cake by anyone, not least your elderly and much-loved mother, would be to accept it graciously, express your thanks and live to her, embrace her, make her feel loved and wanted and appreciated, promise her that you will take great care with the box/tin/receptacle on the journey home, take such care even if inconvenient and phone your mother on your return and tell her that you and the cake are both home safely.

I suppose, unlike you lot, I just had the good fortune to grow up with loving parents who I cherish(ed).
 
Posted by Alicïa (# 7668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Well, I suppose it depends in your perception of horrible.

Some filk might think that a non-horrible reaction to being presented with a cake by anyone, not least your elderly and much-loved mother, would be to accept it graciously, express your thanks and live to her, embrace her, make her feel loved and wanted and appreciated, promise her that you will take great care with the box/tin/receptacle on the journey home, take such care even if inconvenient and phone your mother on your return and tell her that you and the cake are both home safely.

I suppose, unlike you lot, I just had the good fortune to grow up with loving parents who I cherish(ed).

Lucky you. So you had good fortune and now you sanctimoniously blow chunks whenever you hear of others who have received less harmony than yourself.
How very self interested you are Franklydull.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
My mother's love for me is not self-seeking - she knows there will be no pay back in terms of gratitude in return for her attempts to put HWBs in my bed, do my laundry, clean my kitchen floor etc.

My mother keeps no record of wrongs - all 300 rejections of her HWBs, ranging from the full-on teenage tantrum, and slammed door, to the mildly exasperated refusal, are instantly forgotten.

My mother's love perseveres. Perhaps one day I will let her do my ironing!

I am reminded of a passage from my favorite novel, Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey:

quote:
“The knowledge that she would never be loved in return acted upon her ideas as a tide acts upon cliffs. . . . She secretly refused to believe that anyone (herself excepted) loved anyone. . . . She saw that the people of this world moved about in an armor of egotism . . . in dread of all appeals that might interrupt their long communion with their own desires. . . . She knew that she too sinned and that though her love for her daughter was vast enough to include all the colors of love, it was not without a shade of tyranny: she loved her daughter not for her daughter's sake, but for her own. She longed to free herself from this ignoble bond; but the passion was too fierce to cope with.”

 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
That's good. Very good. Not seen that before. Thanks, Amanda B.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Well, I suppose it depends in your perception of horrible.

Some filk might think that a non-horrible reaction to being presented with a cake by anyone, not least your elderly and much-loved mother, would be to accept it graciously, express your thanks and live to her, embrace her, make her feel loved and wanted and appreciated, promise her that you will take great care with the box/tin/receptacle on the journey home, take such care even if inconvenient and phone your mother on your return and tell her that you and the cake are both home safely.

I suppose, unlike you lot, I just had the good fortune to grow up with loving parents who I cherish(ed).

Just sitting waiting for my mother at the Saturday nurse-led macular clinic at hospital, having driven my mother 50 miles to her monthly scan to prevent blindness. Her third hospital visit since the beginning of the year which I have taken her too so far. I have the urology clinic with her on 12 February. Just as well I've got the energy. Some of you seem to find carrying a cake tin or chucking a hot water bottle out your bed just too much to cope with.

I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Fun
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
Francophile,

I think when I read your posts the big thing you don't seem to realise is that some of us would love to have the relationship you have with your parents. Some of us pray for it daily. Some of us yearn with a yearning that can't be described for a family that make us feel wanted, loved, cared for, whole, whatever. Some of us would give up everything they have for that. And some of us know that whatever we do, whether it is giving our last penny, our last drop of blood, our last breath, it will not be enough. We will still be rejected, unloved, abused, hurt, destroyed. We come back and try over and over again to stop this but we can't.

Every time you post one of your passive aggressive bullshit posts it reminds us that our families don't want us except as receptacles for their use and abuse. That makes us feel great.

Families are not all wonderful. Some families are deeply and tragically pathological. Some of the children of these families do the things you do, drive their mothers to the hospital, wait for them. They do that despite the abuse, the rejection and the sadness. Because of the fantasy that one day, maybe even for one second, they will feel the love and comfort you take for granted. But it doesn't happen. Doing things for people you love is easy, it is not sacrificial, it is nothing to boast about. Doing things for people who destroy you is hard. Loving someone who despises you is sacrificial. You clearly know nothing of this. Be grateful.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
[Overused]
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
Lord have Mercy! I've just read Pyx-e's story and believe I am travelling across a plain called Ease in comparison.

Where on earth does this thing about being always right come from, because it boggles the stuffing out of me, every day when I get it here.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
yes. Completely beautiful Chive. Would you like to be my honorary relative? We would love to have you. [Smile]
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
I do love my mother. I see her every week and would always want to help her. When she was in hospital recently for a week I visited her every day and when she came home I did her shopping, helped her bathe and washed her hair.
However I also dislike her deeply. She sneers at my husband and my sisters husbands. She carps at my beautiful daughter for not being some slim identikit blonde clone. She tells people in front of me about the fact that my son is severely autistic and what a worry he is to her and how she can't understand why I don't worry (translation - she is better than I am.)
She is 82 and looks set to be with us for many more years. I dread her dying, partly because I love her and will miss her, partly because I worry I will be relieved.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:

Just sitting waiting for my mother at the Saturday nurse-led macular clinic at hospital, having driven my mother 50 miles to her monthly scan to prevent blindness. Her third hospital visit since the beginning of the year which I have taken her too so far. I have the urology clinic with her on 12 February. Just as well I've got the energy. Some of you seem to find carrying a cake tin or chucking a hot water bottle out your bed just too much to cope with.

I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love. [/QUOTE]


Well FUCKING good for you. Aren't you just a saint. Understand this - some of us have difficult relationships. Sometimes we need to vent about it in places like this.

I've mentioned upthread some of the things my mother has done to me. If she needed me, would I be there? Hell yeah. Does the fact that she's done some things that I feel the need to rant about mean I don't love her? No.

Get over yourself - some people are not like you. Doesn't mean their opinion is invalid, or should be denigrated by an asshat like you.

[ 01. February 2014, 16:58: Message edited by: The Phantom Flan Flinger ]
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
*Yawn* It all has to be about you, Frankenstein. You are a very disagreeable sort of snot, actually.

BTW I would love to have my parents back to do that sort of thing with. I loved both of them very much. But I don't. They are dead. That doesn't change the fact that they were both very difficult people to live with when they were alive. You seem to not understand that people can love difficult people, and still acknowledge their difficultness. This is a failing in you. I suggest you work on trying to rectify it. It's called developing empathy, among other things.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love.

It's a pity that offering what you call love to her creates so much resentment in you that you have to spew so much venom here.

[ 01. February 2014, 19:00: Message edited by: Palimpsest ]
 
Posted by A.Pilgrim (# 15044) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love.

It's a pity that offering what you call love to her creates so much resentment in you that you have to spew so much venom here.
I've just had an idea regarding Francophile...

One of the most profoundly revealing things I've ever read is the following: 'We hate the expression by others of that which is repressed within ourselves'. So why should Francophile hate all the posts in this thread which express the unpleasant and ambivalent feelings about difficult relatives - especially parents? Well, perhaps he or she has the same feelings buried within his/her own psyche, but is unable to acknowledge that they even exist, because to do so would disrupt the functioning of the relationship as it currently exists.

I might be right, I might be wrong. But another hint is that the response of someone who came from a truly happy family background to hearing about the unhappiness of others would be sadness, not irritation or hatred.

Angus
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Well, I suppose it depends in your perception of horrible.

Some filk might think that a non-horrible reaction to being presented with a cake by anyone, not least your elderly and much-loved mother, would be to accept it graciously, express your thanks and live to her, embrace her, make her feel loved and wanted and appreciated, promise her that you will take great care with the box/tin/receptacle on the journey home, take such care even if inconvenient and phone your mother on your return and tell her that you and the cake are both home safely.

I suppose, unlike you lot, I just had the good fortune to grow up with loving parents who I cherish(ed).

Just sitting waiting for my mother at the Saturday nurse-led macular clinic at hospital, having driven my mother 50 miles to her monthly scan to prevent blindness. Her third hospital visit since the beginning of the year which I have taken her too so far. I have the urology clinic with her on 12 February. Just as well I've got the energy. Some of you seem to find carrying a cake tin or chucking a hot water bottle out your bed just too much to cope with.

I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love.

You've never mentioned (at least, not that I recall) that they love you.
Do they?
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
You wonder.

And when - as in course of nature they must - his parents go, who has he then to 'love'? Judging by the attitude he's displayed on this thread, I'd be surprised if there are any.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Of course they do, their too scared not to.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
I expect he'll be along to point out you've used 'their' instead of 'they're'. He's good at that sort of thing.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
I expect he'll be along to point out you've used 'their' instead of 'they're'. He's good at that sort of thing.

I kind of guessed it was a deliberate trap by Pixie so didn't bother.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
You wonder.

And when - as in course of nature they must - his parents go, who has he then to 'love'? Judging by the attitude he's displayed on this thread, I'd be surprised if there are any.

Well, if you'd read the thread properly you'd know that my dearly loved father died on 20 February 2013 aged 87 years. We scattered his ashes at Lamlash, Isle if Arran on 4 August 2913. He loved that place, having spent 50 years of sailing holidays on the Firth of Clyde and west coast waters. A wonderful man.
Thank you for your concern.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Yes, yes, he was wonderful. We've got that. But did he love you?
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
Yes, yes, he was wonderful. We've got that. But did he love you?

He was a loving father to all his children and a devoted husband of 62 years to my mother. Sadly, he suffered from Parkinson's related dementia for about 5 years prior to his death which (if you have been unfortunate enough to witness this decline in a loved one) greatly reduced his ability to express love by words or actions.

I am assuming that your enquiry is genuine and have responded accordingly.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Well, you see, it's just that the way you react to people who have difficulty giving and expressing absolute unconditional no-matter-how-much-you-drive-me-nuts love to their own, flawed parents, isn't all that suggestive of someone who grew up feeling the love themselves and understands that shit happens in families.

Your approach seems more Honour Thy Parents No Matter What.

Which might be strictly biblical, but it's hardly realistic.

We don't all have to be martyrs. And if you choose to go down that path (and I'm not saying you are, mind, but you kind of sound like it) then getting all self-righteous and expecting everyone else to do the same is going to slow down your path to sainthood. If that's what you are aiming for.

It's great you take your mum for her appointments. I'm sure it's draining and rewarding at the same time. Maybe she's grateful, maybe she's not. You do a good thing.

We ain't all good though. I'm not. And my parents love me. I know that. I'm thankful for their love. But they drive me batshit.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
Well, you see, it's just that the way you react to people who have difficulty giving and expressing absolute unconditional no-matter-how-much-you-drive-me-nuts love to their own, flawed parents, isn't all that suggestive of someone who grew up feeling the love themselves and understands that shit happens in families.

Your approach seems more Honour Thy Parents No
Which might be strictly biblical, but it's hardly realistic.

We don't all have to be martyrs. And if you choose to go down that path (and I'm not saying you are, mind, but you kind of sound like it) then getting all self-righteous and expecting everyone else to do the same is going to slow down your path to sainthood. If that's what you are aiming for.

It's great you take your mum for her appointments. I'm sure it's draining and rewarding at the same time. Maybe she's grateful, maybe she's not. You do a good thing.

We ain't all good though. I'm not. And my parents love me. I know that. I'm thankful for their love. But they drive me batshit.

oh, I better say I'm a fucker to keep you happy then. Fuck moaning, and get on with wiping shit from backsides of your old mum or dad. Someones got to do it. Either pay a stranger to do it or put them into "care" or do it yourself. Bottom line, that's what may happen. Get used and stop worrying about being misunderstood because mummy should know that you dont like hot water bottles but presses one into your hand. Be grateful that she thinks she's doing you a favour. Assume (unless you have strong evidence to the contrary) that's she's not malicious but off her rocker. Empty the water out, or quietly put on the floor to get cold until morning. Deal with it. Save moaning until you're left to wipe the encrusted vomit from her breast creases because there's no one else to do it and someones got to do it. If you can't, put her in the care of someone else, no shame in that, but please don't feel sorry for yourself that she once made you an iced cake and expected you to carry it home and post that shit on a public forum.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Bloody hell, where's my violin?

I hope your mum has lost her marbles, because if she had the slightest inkling of what a bitter, twisted, self-righteous, screechy person you are because you do stuff for her, she'd be mortified.

And I hope her olfactory senses have packed it in too, because I can smell your resentment from here.

I'm going to take a punt and suggest that you don't think your siblings are pulling your weight with your parents.

They must dread any family occasion that you turn up to.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
You're getting it all wrong LATA. She's upset about the cake. It's definitely the cake.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
The cake has something to do with it, for sure.
It's all a bit Oedipal.
Where's Freud when we need him?
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
He probably got left out in the rain.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Well, if you'd read the thread properly you'd know that my dearly loved father died on 20 February 2013 aged 87 years. We scattered his ashes at Lamlash, Isle if Arran on 4 August 2913. He loved that place, having spent 50 years of sailing holidays on the Firth of Clyde and west coast waters. A wonderful man.
Thank you for your concern.

You know, it is awfully coincidental that the biggest shits on the ship have just the perfect back-story to justify their shitty behaviour.
However, let us for the moment accept your story at face value.
You are still a shit.
anoesis started an OP to vent frustration, not condemn. It is a normal, human thing. Your reply was at minimum an over-reaction. Your subsequent interaction has been shit.
My characterisation of you as a pubescent twit has been called nasty. Actually, it was quite generous. If you are a child, your behaviour is understandable, though still rude. If you are an adult, you are a shit.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Get on with wiping shit from backsides of your old mum or dad. Someones got to do it.
Yup, I understand that, because I've been there, done that, for my late grandmother.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Be grateful that she thinks she's doing you a favour.

No. Fucking no. That is the stupidest sentiment on the bloody planet.

I encountered that exact same stupid sentiment in a completely different context a few weeks ago. See, apparently when someone does completely pointless work that actually makes something less functional than it would have been without the work, I'm supposed to be grateful.

Why, I ask you?

Does your boss behave like that? Does he/she congratulate and thank you when you do stuff that isn't any good? NO!!! He/she bloody well tells you that it isn't any good!

I mean, if it's a decent boss they'll find a constructive, helpful way to point this out to you, but they won't just leave you in a happy positive little haze of thinking you've done something marvellous when you bloody well haven't.

Far too many people in this world live in this stupid universe where it's seen as bad manners to point out to people when they're not any good at something or not helping. The reason it's stupid is that if you never get criticism you never learn.

I might be grateful that someone thinks they're doing me a favour the first time. If I've told them 10 times that it's not actually a favour, I'm not going to be grateful any more. Why should I be? Why should I be grateful for someone demonstrating that they don't actually a give a shit about my wants and needs? In some contexts I might just about manage to tolerate such behaviour, but be grateful for it? Don't be ridiculous.

Just how far do you want to stretch this logic of it being okay so long as someone THINKS they're doing good, even though they actually aren't? Go and read Mercutio's death scene in Romeo and Juliet to see a proper reaction to 'I meant well, please don't blame me for the outcome being a complete fucking disaster'.

[ 02. February 2014, 07:28: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Well, I haven't. But, you know, I don't think I'm a lesser person for not doing it.

Maybe we non-arse-wipers are lesser beings (NEQ - I'm not lumping you with Frankie here (s/he vividly recalls every arse-wipe with bitter, bitter detail that can only come from the realisation that his/her parents don't love him/her anymore than his/her siblings who don't wipe arses). Maybe we'll be in non-arse-wiper hell for all eternity, wiping Francophile's bony donut.


X-post. orfeo, stop butting in!!!

[ 02. February 2014, 07:27: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
X-post. orfeo, stop butting in!!!

The private chat room is thataway.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Being in a room in private with Francophile is not an inviting thought.

[ 02. February 2014, 07:34: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I'm sure it would fall under justifiable homicide.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
Maybe we'll be in non-arse-wiper hell for all eternity, wiping Francophile's bony donut.

I think you may need to start believing in eternal redemption at this point, LATA. It's an ill wind ...
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I like to live on the edge.

If it's wipe-arse-hell I'm tempting, I'll take the risk.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
You have a talent for bringing out the [Big Grin] . That's pretty redemptive in itself! Thanks.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
We're not doing this right, are we? We're failing to be guilted-out by his level of filial devotion. We are not feeling sorry for him (possibly because he is so sorry for himself). We feel uncondemned by our inferiority to him, no matter how often he points it out.

But at least he can scream at us that we're all fuccking (sic) bitches. Something you feel he would like - oh so much like - to do nearer home.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I just called my parents. My mother is out. I spoke to Dad. He is deaf. We talked about his distant cousins.

Him: We are going to see .. I can't remember his name .. he has no chin
Me: Bill
Him: He lives with his sister
Me (louder): Bill
Him: He has trees all over place. She has dogs
Me (shouting): BILL!
Him: She's Lesley. What's his name?
Me: Bill?
Him: I'll think of it in a minute.
Me: Is it Bill?
Him: What?
Me: Bill?
Him: Could be. Yes, I think it is.

Gotta love him. [Razz]

[ 02. February 2014, 09:11: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
See, the trick is to figure out how to turn that shit into a drinking game.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Every time you have to repeat something you just said, you get to drink a bottle of vodka.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Everything they repeat something they've said 50 times, you get to drink 3 bottles of gin.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
I like to live on the edge.

If it's wipe-arse-hell I'm tempting, I'll take the risk.

Even if there's gastro?

EDIT: I've finally done it. I've hit a new low as a Hellhost. Toilet humour.

[ 02. February 2014, 09:32: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Do you think that if someone called The Perfection that is Frankiepiles to Hell on his Very Own Thread that he'd notice if we all ignored him and posted elsewhere?

[ 02. February 2014, 09:50: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Hell Yes.

He needs to be noticed.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
We're not doing this right, are we? We're failing to be guilted-out by his level of filial devotion. We are not feeling sorry for him (possibly because he is so sorry for himself). We feel uncondemned by our inferiority to him, no matter how often he points it out.

But at least he can scream at us that we're all fuccking (sic) bitches. Something you feel he would like - oh so much like - to do nearer home.

Oh my Lordy, do we have projection issues my dear friends?

I'm not picking up huge amounts of resentment from the french lover ( or does she love Spanish dictators? ).

Looking after aging parents is hard. Resentment does not necessarily come into it. The resentment might come in if someone was put in childcare (say).


Personally I find it curious we're happy to have our own arses wiped, vomit cleaned up and be whealed around in a wheelchair in the first few years of our life but we have trouble with the idea of doing the same to those who have done so unto us.

When it gets to the stage of me doing it to my mum, it'll merely be a return of favour.

How can you resent that?
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I don't remember ANYONE resenting that, actually. People were resenting emotional manipulations, not bodily functions.

It was Francophile who decided to bring up wiping shit from backsides.

And I hate to break it to you, Evensong, but being a parent and doing all that stuff for kiddies doesn't give you the right, when they're older, to play with their minds or ignore their emotional needs. Which is what we were talking about.

[ 02. February 2014, 10:49: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Just so.

I'm getting vivid recall of a young couple back in my churchgoing days: she had severe physical disabilities and was in a wheelchair, his main occupation was as her carer. In no gathering could you share any problem, or ask for prayer without him describing, more or less fully, his wife's problems and what he had to do to help her.

I'd say he was my benchmark for belligerent passive-aggressive (can you have that?) manipulation and self-pitying aggrandisement - until now.
 
Posted by Kitten (# 1179) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
We're not doing this right, are we? We're failing to be guilted-out by his level of filial devotion. We are not feeling sorry for him (possibly because he is so sorry for himself). We feel uncondemned by our inferiority to him, no matter how often he points it out.

But at least he can scream at us that we're all fuccking (sic) bitches. Something you feel he would like - oh so much like - to do nearer home.

Oh I do feel sorry for him / her. It must be dreadfully uncomfortable having such a tight halo.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
I like to live on the edge.

If it's wipe-arse-hell I'm tempting, I'll take the risk.

Even if there's gastro?

EDIT: I've finally done it. I've hit a new low as a Hellhost. Toilet humour.

Ya, you have hit the bottom.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I don't remember ANYONE resenting that, actually. People were resenting emotional manipulations, not bodily functions.

It was Francophile who decided to bring up wiping shit from backsides.

And I hate to break it to you, Evensong, but being a parent and doing all that stuff for kiddies doesn't give you the right, when they're older, to play with their minds or ignore their emotional needs. Which is what we were talking about.

Huh? We are?

I think you're conflating NEQ's mum with the french lover's mum ( or was it the Spanish Dictator's mum? - I had to repeat that. No one laughed the first time - you must have missed it.)

Personally I was commenting on LATA and Firenze's take of Francophile's reaction to NEQ's mum while describing what she does with her own.

Got that?

Right.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I had to repeat that. No one laughed the first time - you must have missed it.

You're on the bloody internet woman, not in front of a live studio audience.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Another nice thread ruined. Some of us were getting a bit of harmless relief, venting about the things our loved ones do that drive us crazy, but Francophile had to come along and lecture us all about not being grateful for our hot water bottles of passive aggression and iced cakes of inconvenience, and Spike had to drop in to tell us that if we (or I) were "looking for sympathy we wouldn't get it here," sounding just like the "I'll give you something to cry about," parent, and Comet, smelling her favorite blood source, had to jump in to tell me to get the fuck over my delicate little snowflake self as it's not all about me and Left at the Altar had to rush in to agree with her about me before telling Francophile, three or four times, that, clearly his mother doesn't love him. Because she knows.

Just once, I wish we could keep the anger all going in the same direction without allowing ourselves to be sidetracked this way.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

I think you're conflating NEQ's mum with the french lover's mum ( or was it the Spanish Dictator's mum? - I had to repeat that. No one laughed the first time - you must have missed it.)

Possibly because we'd already had that one 3 pages ago.

Do try to pay attention.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

Why are you venting over people's right to vent in Hell? orfeo is right. You just don't get this place. Of course you can be pissed off with the pissed off. Which in turn gives everyone else the right to be pissed off with you. Which they are. And, frankly, who can blame them? Empathy level epsilon minus moron. Not even semi-moron. O brave new world, that has such assholes in it.

Apologies. This needs modification. After "Which they are", please insert the following bracketed sentences.

[Except Evensong of course. She is pissed off with the rest of us who are pissed off with you for being pissed off with the rest of us. But don't get too encouraged by that exception. She's like that with every underdog, whether or not that underdog is an asshole. It's her "thing" in Hell.]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
No, no, Barnabas62! Let him appreciate being admired, It might help stimulate puberty. He may not mature any, but he mightn't type so much with one hand occupied.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
... and Comet, smelling her favorite blood source, had to jump in to tell me to get the fuck over my delicate little snowflake self as it's not all about me and Left at the Altar had to rush in to agree with her about me ...


No I didn't you batshit crazy cow.

I responded to RuthW, who thought that what you wrote came before anything Spike wrote. It was a one-liner having a friendly dig at Ruth. And then RuthW corrected herself and I wrote another - again having a dig (friendly, again) at Ruth.

Get over yourself.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
... and Comet, smelling her favorite blood source, had to jump in to tell me to get the fuck over my delicate little snowflake self as it's not all about me and Left at the Altar had to rush in to agree with her about me ...


No I didn't you batshit crazy cow.

I responded to RuthW, who thought that what you wrote came before anything Spike wrote. It was a one-liner having a friendly dig at Ruth. And then RuthW corrected herself and I wrote another - again having a dig (friendly, again) at Ruth.

Get over yourself.

No. Go back and read starting with my post written 20 minutes before Spike's post. I was not wrong to think his post immediately following mine was directed at me. RuthW was not wrong to point that out to Comet. You were wrong to think Ruth was wrong and both of your posts mentioned me in some convoluted way. In short you jumped in where you had no idea what was going on. I don't really care. If I had cared, I would have said something at the time, not two days later as minor evidence of your desire to yap along with the other members of any and all spats.

To be perfectly clear, what I am complaining about is the way you're beating Francophile over the head with your amateur psychologist theory that her mother doesn't love her. Give it a rest.

Evensong isn't the only one that starts feeling sorry for the underdog after a while.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
"RuthW was not wrong." I keep telling people that, but do they listen?
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
You are nuttier than a picnic bar, twilight.
I have no gripe with you. But if you feel that you need to weigh down those saggy old shoulders of yours with another chip, then by all means use me.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
I just called my parents. My mother is out. I spoke to Dad. He is deaf. We talked about his distant cousins.

Him: We are going to see .. I can't remember his name .. he has no chin
Me: Bill
Him: He lives with his sister
Me (louder): Bill
Him: He has trees all over place. She has dogs
Me (shouting): BILL!
Him: She's Lesley. What's his name?
Me: Bill?
Him: I'll think of it in a minute.
Me: Is it Bill?
Him: What?
Me: Bill?
Him: Could be. Yes, I think it is.

Gotta love him. [Razz]

Ah. Been there. Yes. Long, long years of those "conversations" with my mom before she passed away.

The hardest thing was when she made the mistake of asking me to drive her to the audiologist-- and I came in. I came in to hear her fibbing about wearing her hearing aid "all the time" when I know she wore it for a few minutes a day, tops. Came in to hear the audiologist explain (not that mom could hear her) that the problem was not with the hearing aid or the quality of sound getting thru. It was that after years and years of not wearing the aids the neural synapses that would allow her brain to understand and interpret those sounds had atrophied. And there's no going back.

My own kids have permission to slap me hard if they catch me pulling that one.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
My own kids have permission to slap me hard if they catch me pulling that one.

After one particularly memorable conversation with my grandmother, my parents told me to look at a map of Canada and pick an ice floe for 'em. I don't think they were fooled by my claiming the Chambly Canal totally counts.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
My own kids have permission to slap me hard if they catch me pulling that one.

After one particularly memorable conversation with my grandmother, my parents told me to look at a map of Canada and pick an ice floe for 'em. I don't think they were fooled by my claiming the Chambly Canal totally counts.
I speak as a henpecked daughter-- when you actually get to the point when you hear something that brilliant coming out if your mouth, it is almost worth all the bullshit. In other words-- [Overused] to your folks.

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]

My memory of what happened next is a bit...grey. But my memory of that story only makes me love my punk self. I was about 8. I was a badass kid. [Big Grin]

[ 02. February 2014, 23:23: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
Eh, I wouldn't say I was being a brilliant henpecked son, so much as trying to figure out what the nicest ice floe in Canada would be. I may be abandoning my elders to their fate, but, given that there's a brewery in town and Montreal a few miles away, I don't think they'd mind.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I was actually talking about your folks--they were the brilliant ones in that particular story. They went through the effort to pull out a map? [Killing me]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

I think you're conflating NEQ's mum with the french lover's mum ( or was it the Spanish Dictator's mum? - I had to repeat that. No one laughed the first time - you must have missed it.)

Possibly because we'd already had that one 3 pages ago.

Do try to pay attention.

OMG. I'M SLIPPING [Eek!]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]

A very sincere [Overused]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]

A very sincere [Overused]
I was thinking this over today. In one of my meetings they have you do visualizations to talk to your childhood self, and I asked myself, what if I could hop in a TARDIS and tell my eight-year-old self,"Seriously, think about what you are about to say, you will get the beating of your life, consider your words, for God's sake!"

And I got this really clear image of that little girl turning to me, smiling, and saying, "His grammar was atrocious. And he called me stupid."

So worth it. Wouldn't advise it, but so worth it.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
OMG. I'M SLIPPING [Eek!]

Consistently.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
No, no, Barnabas62! Let him appreciate being admired, It might help stimulate puberty. He may not mature any, but he mightn't type so much with one hand occupied.

There is that. I bows towards the "rounded sage" insight, if not 'xactly its Gautama personification. Perhaps I should have "refused to prefer"?

I hear the sound of one hand clapping. No, not that hand! The other one, silly.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]


Am I reading this right Kelly - your dad told you to insult yourself?
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]


Am I reading this right Kelly - your dad told you to insult yourself?
That's a stereotypical British Army thing it isn't - as in: "You're a useless little bleeder Private Smith, what are you ?" "A useless little bleeder, sir"
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Indeed it is Doublethink - mind you, it sounds like Kelly could have given the most gruff Sergeant Major a run for his money [Biased]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I love and respect her and want to do as much as she needs and as much as I am capable of. Its called love.

It's a pity that offering what you call love to her creates so much resentment in you that you have to spew so much venom here.
I've just had an idea regarding Francophile...

One of the most profoundly revealing things I've ever read is the following: 'We hate the expression by others of that which is repressed within ourselves'. So why should Francophile hate all the posts in this thread which express the unpleasant and ambivalent feelings about difficult relatives - especially parents? Well, perhaps he or she has the same feelings buried within his/her own psyche, but is unable to acknowledge that they even exist, because to do so would disrupt the functioning of the relationship as it currently exists.

I might be right, I might be wrong. But another hint is that the response of someone who came from a truly happy family background to hearing about the unhappiness of others would be sadness, not irritation or hatred.

Angus

Another top post from you. Yes, to be so judgmental about negative stuff, is revealing something about oneself. The irony is that it is itself very negative!

It's quite amusing, but after all, let's face it, awfully fucking boring. If I want to have a good moan about my mother, and somebody doesn't like it, then fuck off and read something else.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Cliffdweller wrote
quote:
Came in to hear the audiologist explain (not that mom could hear her) that the problem was not with the hearing aid or the quality of sound getting thru. It was that after years and years of not wearing the aids the neural synapses that would allow her brain to understand and interpret those sounds had atrophied.
Thank you. The audiologist told me something vaguely like this as she segued from assessment to selling, and I was not convinced. "Use it or lose it," she said, without explanation. Currently the only thing I'm not hearing is the angel chimes bell.
I know this isn't the place for thanks, but ...
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Came in to hear the audiologist explain (not that mom could hear her) that the problem was not with the hearing aid or the quality of sound getting thru. It was that after years and years of not wearing the aids the neural synapses that would allow her brain to understand and interpret those sounds had atrophied. And there's no going back.

I didn't know that. My father (94 in February) gave up on his hearing aids because they were giving him so much trouble. I should really be evaluated myself, but I've vowed not to do it because of my father's experience. In light of what you said about neural synapses atrophying, though, maybe I should reconsider.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Yes,I was interested in this, too. Is it possible for them to atrophy in one ear only,I wonder?
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Actually. I've got a cheapo pair of earphones that look like I'm listening to a player or something. £9.99 shoould keep the atrophy at bay a bit. What puzzles me is how the synapses get to "hear" stuff when the hair cells have died.
 
Posted by Chocoholic (# 4655) on :
 
The hair cells are in rows and so some dying off affect your hearing but there are others in adjacent rows and also in the same row near by which can still detect the sound, generally the more you loose the worse your hearing.

Not very hellish, sorry.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

My dad once demanded that I call myself the stupidest person he ever saw, and I heard myself correct his grammar.
[Snigger]


Am I reading this right Kelly - your dad told you to insult yourself?
That's a stereotypical British Army thing it isn't - as in: "You're a useless little bleeder Private Smith, what are you ?" "A useless little bleeder, sir"
Yep. My dad was a vet, obviously had a lot of PTSD going on. It wasn't till I saw Full Metal Jacket that it hit me that his after school ritual of standing us in front of him and grinding us down for battle(I guess) was textbook drill seargent. He even had us kind of standing at attention.
 
Posted by Thyme (# 12360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Came in to hear the audiologist explain (not that mom could hear her) that the problem was not with the hearing aid or the quality of sound getting thru. It was that after years and years of not wearing the aids the neural synapses that would allow her brain to understand and interpret those sounds had atrophied. And there's no going back.

I didn't know that. My father (94 in February) gave up on his hearing aids because they were giving him so much trouble. I should really be evaluated myself, but I've vowed not to do it because of my father's experience. In light of what you said about neural synapses atrophying, though, maybe I should reconsider.
I got two assessments by reputable firms when I finally decided I had to get help with my hearing. They both told me this, 'use it or lose it'. I suspect I have already lost some.

My husband got assessed not long afterwards and also got hearing aids which he does not wear.
[Disappointed] He swears he wasn't told this, even though he saw the same person I did!!
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Came in to hear the audiologist explain (not that mom could hear her) that the problem was not with the hearing aid or the quality of sound getting thru. It was that after years and years of not wearing the aids the neural synapses that would allow her brain to understand and interpret those sounds had atrophied. And there's no going back.

I didn't know that. My father (94 in February) gave up on his hearing aids because they were giving him so much trouble. I should really be evaluated myself, but I've vowed not to do it because of my father's experience. In light of what you said about neural synapses atrophying, though, maybe I should reconsider.
Yes, honestly, if I could have a crusade about anything, this would be it.

Hearing aids can be very uncomfortable to wear, especially the cheap ones that don't do a good job of filtering out background noise. It can be hard to get used to having this thing stuck in your ear. I get that. That discomfort is why a lot of people, my mom including, resist wearing them or wear them "only when needed"-- i.e. when someone is trying to speak to them directly. But yes, if you wear hearing aids, you really should wear them 24/7, whenever you are not sleeping or in the shower, or you risk losing your ability to benefit from them forever.

The really hell-ish part of this is that, because hearing loss in the elderly tends to happen gradually (as it did for my mom) as opposed to all at once when you're younger (and more likely to learn sign language or some other form of communication) it's all too easy to discount to true cost of your deafness until it's too late. The relational cost is huge-- watching my kids grow up unable to communicate with their grandma, watching them try to tell her some little thing about their day then all of a sudden she's talking over them (because she didn't realize they were talking). Watching our own conversations whittle down to talking to her only about what I absolutely needed to tell her (because telling her anything at all became so very difficult) then realizing how much of a relationship is built on all those little conversations about nothing at all, but amount to sharing a life together.

On a more pragmatic note, it also very much affected her end-of-life care. The last few years of her life she had some physical health issues, but remained very sharp mentally. But when she was in assisted living or the hospital, I found her caregivers always assumed she was incompetent because of the deafness, and would treat her that way or ask me to make decisions that she wanted to make for herself.

Ah, thinking about it makes me sad all over again. Hellish. So, yeah, wear your hearing aids.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Yes,I was interested in this, too. Is it possible for them to atrophy in one ear only,I wonder?

I don't know the answer to that-- although mom's hearing was worse in one ear than the other, she lost hearing in both. But it's a question I would strongly recommend asking an audiologist.
 
Posted by Thyme (# 12360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The really hell-ish part of this is that, because hearing loss in the elderly tends to happen gradually (as it did for my mom) as opposed to all at once when you're younger (and more likely to learn sign language or some other form of communication) it's all too easy to discount to true cost of your deafness until it's too late. The relational cost is huge-- watching my kids grow up unable to communicate with their grandma, watching them try to tell her some little thing about their day then all of a sudden she's talking over them (because she didn't realize they were talking). Watching our own conversations whittle down to talking to her only about what I absolutely needed to tell her (because telling her anything at all became so very difficult) then realizing how much of a relationship is built on all those little conversations about nothing at all, but amount to sharing a life together.

Ah, thinking about it makes me sad all over again. Hellish. So, yeah, wear your hearing aids.

Yes, we went through all that with my Mum. I lost her long before she died because she wouldn't admit she was deaf and I couldn't have a conversation with her. Her mental faculties were sharp as a pin to the end.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
[

It's quite amusing, but after all, let's face it, awfully fucking boring. If I want to have a good moan about my mother, and somebody doesn't like it, then fuck off and read something else.

In another moment of cosmic irony, this just came on the cFe sound system. [Killing me]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thyme:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The really hell-ish part of this is that, because hearing loss in the elderly tends to happen gradually (as it did for my mom) as opposed to all at once when you're younger (and more likely to learn sign language or some other form of communication) it's all too easy to discount to true cost of your deafness until it's too late. The relational cost is huge-- watching my kids grow up unable to communicate with their grandma, watching them try to tell her some little thing about their day then all of a sudden she's talking over them (because she didn't realize they were talking). Watching our own conversations whittle down to talking to her only about what I absolutely needed to tell her (because telling her anything at all became so very difficult) then realizing how much of a relationship is built on all those little conversations about nothing at all, but amount to sharing a life together.

Ah, thinking about it makes me sad all over again. Hellish. So, yeah, wear your hearing aids.

Yes, we went through all that with my Mum. I lost her long before she died because she wouldn't admit she was deaf and I couldn't have a conversation with her. Her mental faculties were sharp as a pin to the end.
It's ironic, because if one of my kids had been born deaf, she was the kind of grandparent who would have wanted to learn sign language so she'd be able to communicate with her grandchild. But she allowed the same exact thing to happen without really realizing it until it was too late.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The last few years of her life she had some physical health issues, but remained very sharp mentally. But when she was in assisted living or the hospital, I found her caregivers always assumed she was incompetent because of the deafness, and would treat her that way or ask me to make decisions that she wanted to make for herself.

Interesting. I find that doctors assume that about my father because he is so physically feeble and frail, although mentally he is as sharp as he ever was (thank God).
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The last few years of her life she had some physical health issues, but remained very sharp mentally. But when she was in assisted living or the hospital, I found her caregivers always assumed she was incompetent because of the deafness, and would treat her that way or ask me to make decisions that she wanted to make for herself.

Interesting. I find that doctors assume that about my father because he is so physically feeble and frail, although mentally he is as sharp as he ever was (thank God).
grrrr... hellish, isn't it? Both doctors and nurses (who oughta know better) would ask me questions right in front of her as if she were an incompetent child. I would have to keep reminding them, "she will make that decision herself" (followed by, "here, write the question on her white board, it's much easier than trying to get her to hear you...")
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Big Grin] An, erm, relative of mine does that to Mom. She (mom) seems to be hovering on the fence of "does that habit suggest caring or patronizing?"

I basically refuse to respond to an answer of a question I have asked Mom. I will just ask her again.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Both doctors and nurses (who oughta know better) would ask me questions right in front of her as if she were an incompetent child. I would have to keep reminding them, "she will make that decision herself."

When that happens with my father, I turn to him and ask, "What do you think about that, Dad?"
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
This thread has taught me things.

In an aside, Kelly, it wasn't military training that caused my mother to require the statement repeated back to her, no idea where it came from. Just a belt and braces you will not pretend to ignore me thing.

You did indeed rock. I was 16 before I answered back, saying quietly, 'please don't shout'. I got smacked in the face of course but interestingly my older siblings agreed it was a very rude thing to say to mum so it wasn't surprising she hit me.

Upthred, someone says kids aren't alarmed when their mothers threatened to kill them later, because they know it's just talk.
It made me wonder why I always believed in the terrible thrashing my mother promised I was getting on our return from church, because I always tried to be quiet but I usually failed, and at some point ma would hiss in total fury 'I'm going to
thrash you when we get home.' And I always believed it and couldn't believe my luck when it didn't happen. I wondered why til I realised, last week, that all other thrashing occurred immediately and without warning, but not even my mother was mad enough to beat her child in the middle of a sermon in a filled church.

And as I was driving down to see her last Thursday, thinking on this and thinking, that was some shit we all lived thru... And something shifted and i felt shit, and that is the beginning and end of something in our religion, this Christianity. I can feel shit (I'm rejecting the word sinful, by the way, it is totally anachronistic and turns people off faster than anything else and its time the church caught up) but it's ok, God knows, and loves me anyway. And it's ok. And if I ever want mum to acknowledge the hell she put us thru at times, it's so she can get rid of it... she knows really, but can't admit to it because she images it would be the whole thing in reverse. ( what were you? A horrible parent, sorry. Yes, a very horrible parent!) But it wouldn't at all, we could just have a cry together, and remember the good things, the clothes mended, the hot meals, the care when we were ill.

Because we all want to love our parents, they just sometimes make it difficult.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

Because we all want to love our parents, they just sometimes make it difficult.

Well, there are some who are utterly, irredeemably shit. And some who are near perfect.
But most are somewhere between, yeah?
ISTM, the most difficult to come to terms with are those who do foul things sometimes. Because the good times make one hope it could always be this way.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I guess we are vets too, in a way. Respect, T.

I stopped wanting my mom to acknowledge what was going on in our house at some point-- not sure when, I just don't have that desire anymore. I just want to be able to talk about my own damn life. I just got sick of pretty much nobody I cared about knowing anything about who I was and what made me. She doesn't have to join in if she doesn't want to, I'm just done keeping my mouth shut. My life is my life.

One thing I do hope for-- and probably should let go, too-- is that someday I will have some sense that everything about me isn't a huge disappointment to her. That there is something about me she actually finds likable.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

Because we all want to love our parents, they just sometimes make it difficult.

Well, there are some who are utterly, irredeemably shit. And some who are near perfect.
But most are somewhere between, yeah?
ISTM, the most difficult to come to terms with are those who do foul things sometimes. Because the good times make one hope it could always be this way.

Surely all parents do foul things sometimes. Even the near perfect ones on the spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect Both mine did foul things sometimes. So that means that everyone (except the unfortunate ones with irredeemably shit parents) has to Come To Terms With It. Its called Growing Up and Dealing.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Surely all parents do foul things sometimes. Even the near perfect ones on the spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect Both mine did foul things sometimes. So that means that everyone (except the unfortunate ones with irredeemably shit parents) has to Come To Terms With It. Its called Growing Up and Dealing.

Why is Coming To Terms With It and Growing Up and Dealing (not sure why we need the upper case, but still...) incompatible with having a rant about it from time to time?
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Surely all parents do foul things sometimes.

There's a difference between those for whom "sometimes" means every decade or so, and those for whom "sometimes" means every.fucking.day.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

Because we all want to love our parents, they just sometimes make it difficult.

Well, there are some who are utterly, irredeemably shit. And some who are near perfect.
But most are somewhere between, yeah?
ISTM, the most difficult to come to terms with are those who do foul things sometimes. Because the good times make one hope it could always be this way.

Surely all parents do foul things sometimes. Even the near perfect ones on the spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect Both mine did foul things sometimes. So that means that everyone (except the unfortunate ones with irredeemably shit parents) has to Come To Terms With It. Its called Growing Up and Dealing.
I agree with this in principle (where we're not talking about criminal behaviour). However part of Growing Up and Dealing is dealing with it as a grown-up. It is not unkind or unloving to break out of the roles our families cast us in as children, or to decide that we aren't going to read from their script anymore.

However, it seems to me that parents who expect their children, as adults, to continue to play out the characters allotted to them by their parents sometimes interpret the adult child's unwillingness to do this as somehow hostile to them.

Tolerating someone else's unhealthy expectations for your relationship doesn't have to mean playing along with them.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
I agree with this in principle (where we're not talking about criminal behaviour). However part of Growing Up and Dealing is dealing with it as a grown-up. It is not unkind or unloving to break out of the roles our families cast us in as children, or to decide that we aren't going to read from their script anymore.

However, it seems to me that parents who expect their children, as adults, to continue to play out the characters allotted to them by their parents sometimes interpret the adult child's unwillingness to do this as somehow hostile to them.

Tolerating someone else's unhealthy expectations for your relationship doesn't have to mean playing along with them.

YES! My main monk! [Overused]

To that end, whinging is not just self indulgent, it allows you to 1. articulate something and thus take away it's power (how often have you been in mid-whinge and discovered it doesn't bother you anymore?) and 2. articulate something and confirm its reality ("Holy crap- I did not realize how crazy that behavior was until I wrote it out!")
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Surely all parents do foul things sometimes. Even the near perfect ones on the spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect Both mine did foul things sometimes. So that means that everyone (except the unfortunate ones with irredeemably shit parents) has to Come To Terms With It. Its called Growing Up and Dealing.

Why is Coming To Terms With It and Growing Up and Dealing (not sure why we need the upper case, but still...) incompatible with having a rant about it from time to time?
Did I say it was incompatible with having a rant from time to time? Don't fucking obsess.
And presumably you'll let me rant from time to time that you're a fucking idiot from time to time.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Surely all parents do foul things sometimes.

There's a difference between those for whom "sometimes" means every decade or so, and those for whom "sometimes" means every.fucking.day.
Get with it you fucker. We've agreed there's a spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect. Thus the near perfect might act like shit once every 10 years while the almost irredeemably shit will do it every day.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:


To that end, whinging is not just self indulgent, it allows you to 1. articulate something and thus take away it's power (how often have you been in mid-whinge and discovered it doesn't bother you anymore?) and 2. articulate something and confirm its reality ("Holy crap- I did not realize how crazy that behavior was until I wrote it out!")

Oh Yes! I was talking to some Christian friends about forgiveness and how things from our childhood seem really hard to forgive.
I recounted a story about a teacher who humiliated me in front of the whole class (I was 15 and humiliation is mega at that age.) I had started to tell the story as an example of something I could not forgive and surprised myself by laughing at it and realising that it no longer hurt me. It was, in other words, forgiven.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Get with it you fucker. We've agreed there's a spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect. Thus the near perfect might act like shit once every 10 years while the almost irredeemably shit will do it every day.

And what's the point on that spectrum where people can post on this thread without incurring your judgement?
 
Posted by ArachnidinElmet (# 17346) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
To that end, whinging is not just self indulgent, it allows you to 1. articulate something and thus take away it's power (how often have you been in mid-whinge and discovered it doesn't bother you anymore?) and 2. articulate something and confirm its reality ("Holy crap- I did not realize how crazy that behavior was until I wrote it out!")

Another vote for constructive whinging here.

Whenever I spend time with my Dad, I inevitably come home and have a bit of a rant to my Mum. She's both sympathetic and relieved as most of the complaints were once her complaints. She didn't think anyone would believe some of the bat-shit craziness that happened when they were still married 30 years ago and subsequently told no one. She didn't even mention it to me as a child preferring to leave me to make up my own mind. Well I have and now we can exchange war stories and shake our heads at the nonsense.

If I couldn't vent, I'd have gone postal years ago.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I'm just curious as to what Growing Up and Dealing Actually Means, oops, these caps are addictive!

My experience working with people is that it often means Suppression and Pretending. In other words, people being dishonest about how much their parents hurt them.

Generally, that works out badly, since it's difficult to cheat this stuff - it leaks out in various ways; for example, it can really mess up your relationships, and it can really mess up your kids, as they will pick up your hidden stuff.

My version of Growing Up and Dealing is honestly facing what happened to you in childhood, having the feelings which came out of that, talking about it all, either with friends or a professional, so that one is being real, and not a fake.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Did I say it was incompatible with having a rant from time to time?

Yes. Yes you did. In your very first post on this very thread. And every subsequent post on this thread until now.
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:

And presumably you'll let me rant from time to time that you're a fucking idiot from time to time.

And we shall rant most of the time that you're a fucking idiot most of the time.
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Did I say it was incompatible with having a rant from time to time?

Yes. Yes you did. In your very first post on this very thread. And every subsequent post on this thread until now.
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:

And presumably you'll let me rant from time to time that you're a fucking idiot from time to time.

And we shall rant most of the time that you're a fucking idiot most of the time.

For the sake of the fucking wee man, dont take yourself so fucking seriously!

Of course you can rant about any fucking subject under the shun, including how mummy doesn't love you because she shoves a hot water bottle into your hand.

But if you rant in public, someone's bound to rant back and call you the selfish bitch that you are.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Well, at least Mummy wuvs you, Franky.

(But man, you're tedious.)
 
Posted by Francophile (# 17838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Well, at least Mummy wuvs you, Franky.

(But man, you're tedious.)

Not half as tedious as you, puella. How many versions of my name have you used? Gies a been.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Funny how threads called 'Difficult Relatives' always seem to deteriorate into threads which should be renamed 'Difficult Shipmates'....
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Funny how threads called 'Difficult Relatives' always seem to deteriorate into threads which should be renamed 'Difficult Shipmates'....

It's powerful stuff, and it gets right under people's skin. The old rule in the officer's mess about not talking about sex, politics and religion, to avoid spilling blood, should have an extra - mothers.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Well, at least Mummy wuvs you, Franky.

(But man, you're tedious.)

Not half as tedious as you, puella. How many versions of my name have you used?
One. [Razz]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
For the sake of the fucking wee man, dont take yourself so fucking seriously!

So first, you say we should not rant. Next you plead that your explosive diarrhea of a posting spree was just a rant and should therefore be excused. Now you were not serious. [Roll Eyes] Trolls used to at least be consistent.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:

But if you rant in public, someone's bound to rant back and call you the selfish bitch that you are.

I am not selfish.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Well, at least Mummy wuvs you, Franky.

(But man, you're tedious.)

Not half as tedious as you, puella. How many versions of my name have you used? Gies a been.
The best you can manage is name calling and "I know you are but what am I"?
Please do make an effort, this is getting boring.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Surely all parents do foul things sometimes. Even the near perfect ones on the spectrum from irredeemably shit to near perfect Both mine did foul things sometimes. So that means that everyone (except the unfortunate ones with irredeemably shit parents) has to Come To Terms With It. Its called Growing Up and Dealing.

Why is Coming To Terms With It and Growing Up and Dealing (not sure why we need the upper case, but still...) incompatible with having a rant about it from time to time?
It isn't. Because part of growing up and dealing is being able to identify that it was shit and that just because the people we grow up instinctively trusting and adoring did it, didn't stop it from being shit.

Another part of growing up is learning how to use capitals properly...
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Did I say it was incompatible with having a rant from time to time?

No. You just skipped that part and went straight into laying into everybody who was having a rant.

My estimation of you has plummeted thanks to this thread, and you're just making the drop larger with posts like that one.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Well, at least Mummy wuvs you, Franky.

(But man, you're tedious.)

Not half as tedious as you, puella. How many versions of my name have you used?
One. [Razz]
[Snigger] [Overused]

You gotta admit, though, "puella" is pretty exotic...
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
True. Could be worse.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I have been walking around the last couple hours humming "Puella DeVille, Puella DeVille..."
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
[Killing me]
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
True. Could be worse.

You like being called a little girl?
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
I tell myself it's like being ID'ed in a bar.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
"Could be worse" usually implies "don't like but could be worse".
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I like Lyda's answer better.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
But if you rant in public, someone's bound to rant back and call you the selfish bitch that you are.

Human beings can produce the most extraordinary complexes of contradictory behaviour. Can you see how your accusations of selfishness or view that people deserve your responses for ranting in public are a little self-defeating considering the approach you take to it?

Your explosive rants are very much less pleasant reading than anything I've come across for a while. At first I wondered if you'd simply had a nerve tweaked by something that had been posted, but now it starts to look like your standard mode of engagement.

That can't be good for anyone can it?
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
Opps, my grasp of languages other than English is somewhat wanting - I thought it meant something much worse [Hot and Hormonal] . Thanks for the translation Pete.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Hi. Francophile has his own thread now, so if you'd like to take any further responses to his comments there, that would be great.

I'm really sorry I can't link to threads.

[ 05. February 2014, 05:58: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Well, well, well.

We apologise for this interruption to our service and return you now to our regular program.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Idly wonders who Franco was a sock puppet of.

It shall remain one of Life's Great Mysteries no doubt.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
So anyway, difficult parents.

Did I mention the time my “dad”* punched me to the ground and gave me a black eye? Or that he terrorised our entire family, to the point that no-one would dare disagree with him? Or the black eyes he gave my mother?

I often wonder how I can obey the Biblical commandment to honour that.

*Inverted commas not meant to imply he’s not my actual father, just that I don’t consider him worthy of the title.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Perhaps the best thing those of us with consistently 'difficult' relatives can do is resolve not to become one ourselves?

No, not a saintly twee outpouring but the rows, arguments and relentless unpleasantness were so dreadful in my family that persistent nastiness now makes me physically ill.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Idly wonders who Franco was a sock puppet of.

It shall remain one of Life's Great Mysteries no doubt.

Yes, it will. Public* speculation along those lines is not encouraged.

Marvin
Admin

*= Speculate all you want in private. It's not like we could stop you doing that anyway...
 
Posted by Nenya (# 16427) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
Did I mention the time my “dad”* punched me to the ground and gave me a black eye? Or that he terrorised our entire family, to the point that no-one would dare disagree with him? Or the black eyes he gave my mother?

I often wonder how I can obey the Biblical commandment to honour that.

One of the leaders of my previous church struggled with the same thing about his abusive father. Then he heard some teaching about how the word "honour" can also be interpreted as "give due weight to" - negative things as well as positive. So there's absolute justification in acknowledging that some things our parents do are pretty damn shitty.

Apologies for the unhellish post.

Nen - *runs*
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Yes. Psychiatrist Scott Peck once said that he would change that commandment if he could, because it is the single most damaging cause of psychological dysfunction and distress in America.

I like this idea of giving due weight. It's not honouring them to minimise their impact, and pretend they don't matter. And interestingly, not psychologically healthy... the adults who shrug and say, they did the best they could,I don't care anymore, are actually still carrying unexpressed pain and resentment.
And until you've been properly angry, you can't begin to forgive.

It's difficult to strike a balance though...
Still a new discipline. Maybe another thread...

[ 06. February 2014, 10:30: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Taliesin

Yes, my experience is that the people who say, oh well, they did their best, it's best not to be resentful, and so on, (or, Grow Up and Deal, I suppose!), tend to avoid their parents a lot. I suspect this is because, although they have suppressed their resentment, it still keeps them away.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
So, back to hellish ranting. Mother drove me nuts on phone this morning. Father is quite seriously ill, but she took 15 minutes to give me a note by blue account of events since Monday morning, up and including the DVD that may or may not play on the thing that may play DVD s, but they might be too thick.our too thin, or something. And I really really wanted to snap, because I'm not well right now and don't have any patience. I wanted to know if he has pain relief, do they need transport, do they need more information.

I'm still not entirely sure if he has access to proper pain killers. They're so bloody English, they won't make a fuss, and its considered a point of honour to refuse pain relief until they have definitely gone beyond a point at which other people would need it. Except whisky. Whisky is apparently acceptable.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Except whisky. Whisky is apparently acceptable.

I have yet to come across the situation where this isn't true.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I was trying to edit this - i'd cross posted with quetzalcoatl, and my kindle had rendered 'blow by blow' as 'note by blue' ... What the..?

but the ship had tossed me overboard.

whisky is often acceptable in this life, but not when self-righteously refusing to take prescription drugs. but, what the hell. I keep expecting the next call to tell me he's dead, and I don't know how to react. I'm afraid I'll react very differently to how I've always imagined.

And dead is one thing, but incapacitated?

there's no manual for this stuff. When I've done it, I'll write a book. 'How to cope when the parent who was a complete shit but mostly harmless in the end, finally shuffles towards the edge of/off the mortal coil.'
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
(Not so funny story)
Once when I was married, my mom called when I was preparing dinner. I let her know this straight off. She gossiped about friends. I let her know I was sitting down to dinner. She complained about relatives. I repeated that I had to get off. She talked about Oprah, ffs, I kid you not. I finally sighed and said I had let her know at the start that I was sitting down to dinner, and it was getting cold, and I needed to get off now.

She snapped, "Ok, have your dinner. By the way, [very good friend my own age who sang at my wedding]James died. Just thought you would like to know. Bye."

This was before caller ID, so for a good month I made my husband answer the phone when it rang and tell Mom I was unavailable when it was her. I couldn't speak to her.

[ 06. February 2014, 18:15: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Is it at all possible, that she called to tell you - but found it difficult to do so - so kept talking about other things till pushed into blurting it out by imminent call termination ?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Possible, but she did't blurt, she snapped. It was like she was punishing me. Her tone was angry and cold.

It was completely unfair.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Oh, and my mom refusing to get off the phone and ending the conversation with something sullen and punitive is kind of her style. She just had extra ammunition in this case.

Also, she voluntarily elects herself caller when someone dies in the church , and I've heard how she handles those conversations. Basically, a greeting and a immediate, respectful delivery of the facts. Not only us she not awkward at it, she is pretty good at it. She treats sensitive situations with me and my sister differently than she does with anyone else- and that's mainly, we are not to bore her with our feelings when she is having hers.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I have a friend with a mother like this, Kelly. Absolutely the same style. She would contrive to break her own limbs rather than have a child of hers 'one up' her in the rights to sympathy stakes.

Everything is about her. My friend severed all contact about 10 years ago, which has helped enormously. It was a wise and ultimately compassionate decision. Sometimes, things just can't be fixed.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
I haven't popped up here for a while, but I've been meaning just to log on quickly and recommend a book to all those who have had difficult/traumatic family lives.

http://www.amazon.com/Stitches-A-Memoir-David-Small/dp/0393338967

This is a graphic novel, by a talented illustrator, about his childhood, which was not a happy one. He was never able to reconcile with his difficult parent in their lifetime, but I nonetheless found there was something redemptive in the book.

It was also a huge lesson for me (a very wordy sort of person), in the power of the pictorial. There are some pages in the book which express an emotional state that you just could never really reach with words.

*I don't have any connection with the author or publishing house btw*
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Alison Bechtel (yes, that Alison Bechtel) did two graphic novels about her dad and mom. The one about her mother had huge resonance with me. ("Are You my Mother?")

There us one scene in which Bechtel recounts trying to discuss some literary accomplishment of hers with her mom over the phone, and Mom just keeps tacking dismissive little asides on to what she is saying and redirecting the conversation back to herself, until Bechtel is finally just sitting there with tears streaming down her face. She made some excuse to hang up and had a long cry. She said it was that it finally dawned in her that her mom wasn't capable of a reciprocal relationship with her.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Did you ever read the drama of being a child? Alice Miller. Very good. Very clear.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Killing me] Holy cow, a big part of Bechtel's book is about how that book changed her life!
Yes, a long time ago, want to read it again.
 
Posted by Mertseger (# 4534) on :
 
("Bechdel", dear cunicular axe-wielder.)
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I thought that was right! Spell check checked me!

And how the hell are you?!
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
It's Mertseger! Good to see you again. SoF is like the Hotel California.

"You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave".

Hope you keep checked in!
 
Posted by Mertseger (# 4534) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
And how the hell are you?!

I have a new job over in San Rafael with access to the forums at work. I'll be lurking a bit more at the very least.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Mertseger! Great to see you! [Smile]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Gahh! Topic! Merts, go to the "returning prodigal assclown" thread in AS before you get eaten!


Anybody out there got more "Sh&t my mom/ dad says" stories? Seriously, I got a million of them, but I don't want to dominate the thread.

[ 09. February 2014, 18:49: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Anybody out there got more "Sh&t my mom/ dad says" stories? Seriously, I got a million of them, but I don't want to dominate the thread.

I just thought of one which is kind of ideal to the purpose, actually, because I remember it in a reasonably positive way, and honestly, it's pretty funny, from wherever you're standing...

To set the scene: My sister and I were homeschooled for a number of years. Not for all of our schooling, but for several years, and these years, shall we say, encompassed puberty. A large part of the reason for this was the 'worldliness' of the state schooling system. At some point during this time, while we were being educated with imported Christian curricula, the Ministry of Education prepared some new curriculum material for state schools around sexuality and sex education. It was called 'Affirming Diversity', and I believe an updated variant of it is still in use here. Anyway, my mother, despite not having any children engaged with the curriculum, ordered a copy of the materials so that she could make a submission on them when they went before a select committee. (I was about 12 or 13 at the time). So, anyway, she ordered these documents, they duly arrived, she left them sitting around in the lounge while she was working on them (despite their apparent danger to children), and on one occasion, I clearly remember her being so incensed by something she read that she shoved it in front of my face and said 'Look at this! Just look at this! Can you believe they are planning to brainwash children like this?' This was an exercise at the end of a lesson involving two questions for the students to ponder. 1.) 'When did you decide to become heterosexual?' and 2.) 'Imagine going to the school ball, and being surrounded by guys dancing with guys and girls sitting on girls laps, and wondering if there was something wrong with you, because you preferred the opposite sex'.

I was supposed to be outraged, of course. I was not. I was slapped-in-the-face-viewpoint-changed-in-an-instant, and concurrently ashamed of my previous ignorance and prejudice. Almost certainly more effectively than I would have been, had I been presented with this material in a classroom context, along with thirty other snorting teenagers.

I cannot think of this episode without sort of giggling, but I do wonder what other cultural insights I missed out on by being kept away from 'brainwashing'.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Here's one, not about me, so easier to ascribe folk tale status.
My eldest sister was the serious rebel; parents said don't go out (no actual reason involved you understand, just a power exercise from what I can make out) she'd make a break for it. Parents response would be to lock the front door so she couldn't get back in til morning.
I used to think that was reasonable behaviour....

This is in a densely populated city, which had a dockyard and a naval base. She was 15. In the winter. All her friends would go home at a reasonable hour, she'd be outside our front door at 2am. She said the neighbour saw her once and let her sleep on her sofa. It was February.

Anyway, mythology steps in because one time she tried to climb up the back of the house, and broke through the conservatory roof. And another time my other sister managed to drag her all the way up with knotted dressing gown cords. That's love, hey. Incredible that the idea of going downstairs and opening the front door to let her in, was too terrifying to contemplate. None of us even thought about that til years later.

[ 10. February 2014, 08:00: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
Anyway, my mother, despite not having any children engaged with the curriculum, ordered a copy of the materials so that she could make a submission on them when they went before a select committee. (I was about 12 or 13 at the time). So, anyway, she ordered these documents, they duly arrived, she left them sitting around in the lounge while she was working on them (despite their apparent danger to children), and on one occasion, I clearly remember her being so incensed by something she read that she shoved it in front of my face and said 'Look at this! Just look at this! Can you believe they are planning to brainwash children like this?'..

I cannot think of this episode without sort of giggling, but I do wonder what other cultural insights I missed out on by being kept away from 'brainwashing'.

[Big Grin] Not much, I guess, if she's gonna go around showing stuff to her child and asking, "can you believe anyone would show this to a child?!?"

Sorry, this belongs in the family quotes thread on the heaven board. Or perhaps it can be our first-ever (is it?) dual-entry for both boards!
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
I don't know if any of you know the site Daily Afflictions but I came across one of my favourites when I was having a tidy over the weekend and thought of this thread.

quote:
It is important, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, to take time to reflect on the competitive edge it has given you. People from happy, harmonious homes may feel healthy and well-adjusted, but they're fixed on one family model which they try to emulate for the rest of their lives. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family however, you may be deeply damaged, but you've acquired a broad repertoire of negative models to outgrow...
The actual Daily Affliction is "My parents taught me everything I need to unlearn."
 
Posted by Landlubber (# 11055) on :
 
I have been bringing my piece of kindling to this hell fire - slowly, underneath my coat and umbrella, near my heart, so that it would stay dry and burn well when we got here. As we got nearer, I saw a number of charred fragments of posts float past and stopped to grab one or two. I won't now read them aloud to my aged parent, but I will keep them for a talisman during difficult visits. Catching hold of those, I dropped my kindling in a puddle. I picked it up and threw it on anyway. Maybe it will dry out enough to burn.

Cue background of parent screaming "I didn't particularly want children but once I had you I had to make the best of it." Making the best of it how - and for whose benefit - exactly?

The bad fairy wishes "you might grow up to be successful, but you'll never be happy"? Complaints starting "after all I've done for you ..."? Calls for help worded "you'll have to ..." followed by "that's no good" afterwards? Announcing, at my Christmas dinner table, "I don't want to see your children if I can't see X's"? During a birthday visit giving other children cakes and drinks but leaving mine hungry and thirsty? Telling my eldest child, a much longed for daughter, that my husband and I wanted a boy? When, once old, being visited or taken out once or twice a week, while telling the world that she has not seen anyone for over a month?

But there was always hot food on the table when I was a child and we always had warm clothes. So now we visit, make sure there is always heat and food and company. And my beloved children got taken for treat food on the way home from That Birthday and know who is out of step here. And last visit, she said thank you for coming.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
You are being so gracious and wise and measured that I am just going to say it for you-- what an evil, vile, contemptible bitch troll from hell.
 
Posted by Landlubber (# 11055) on :
 
[Hot and Hormonal] If I don't curl up in shame at complaining in public, I'll have to learn the language.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Sorry, that was visceral. Especially what she said to your kids.
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
On Sunday, we painfully have my father for supper, ever since I rescued him from Mexico where he and my dead mother* moved the month their first grandchild, my daughter, was born, now more than a quarter century ago. My children are grown adults, and they have never known them. So now he talks about the boring conversations at supper with the other residents of the assisted living I pay for: "they keep talking about their children and their grandchildren". My wife, bless her heart, simply said firmly and gently, "well you could talk about your's", looking him right in the eye, and he was lost for words, not exactly sputtering, but deliciously and never seen of him before. For about 2 minutes. But it was a Good two minutes. Probably it is evil for me to enjoy it, but I did I did I did. It is one of those odd things that you must either enjoy or get to crying about.

(*I can't actually tell you how many years ago my mother died, I think it's 5, could be 4 or 6, well it was in July.)

(**ashes don't 'scatter', they sort of plop in a lump)
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
It seems strange that we took my father's controlling behaviour as a parent for granted when we were growing up. Two incidents that made things clearer to me happened when I was an adult.

In one my eldest brother and I were visiting a friend of mine when her husband came home. Brother (who didn't know my friends)leapt up off the chair he was sitting on in case it was the host's chair and he might be angry to find someone else there. He only sat down when they both reassured him it was OK.

In the second my youngest brother was having fun with his son J. J said something in fun and we all laughed. Middle brother said, "I wouldn't have dared say anything like that to dad".

Sometimes it takes watching other people and their interactions to work out how destructive a relationship is/was.

There are some things I wish I had said to my parents before they died and there are others I couldn't even let myself realise while they were still alive.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:

In the second my youngest brother was having fun with his son J. J said something in fun and we all laughed. Middle brother said, "I wouldn't have dared say anything like that to dad".

I have those moments, too when I see kids bantering with their folks or indulging in giggly playfulness and think, "Never would have dared." But that though is usually followed quickly by "and whose fault is that?"

Sis and I were chortling about a road trip we took with my grandparents in which were were singing Willie Nelson songs and mangling the lyrics, and I felt my mom just glowering at me. I ignored her. Good God, if you invest your energy in making sure your kids stay quiet and still on family road trips so that you and your husband can talk exclusively to each other, then don't fucking expect your kids to make up memories about merry sing-a-longs.

[ 12. February 2014, 04:36: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Mum, at numerous points during my childhood – numerous variants on “wait till your father gets home” “I’m telling that to your dad” “We’ll see what your dad says about that” etc.

Mum, years later “I was scared of him”.

I see, so, knowing full well what he was capable of, and knowing what fear that instilled in you, instead of attempting to protect me, you chose to use him as a weapon against me.

“Dad” – a few years back – “A bit of fear of your parents isn’t a bad thing”.
Errr – yes it is you no good, brainless, unfeeling moron. I’m not of the opinion that parents and children should be “bezzie mates” (as I believe the current funicular has it), but the gap between respect and fear is a huge chasming canyon that could not be spanned by all the engineers in the world. It’s a shame that you, not being blessed with the brains that God gave a rabbit, will never be able to realise the damage your attitude did.

Of course, that didn’t apply to my beloved sister did it? Oh no.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
It's worth remembering, though, that the standards of a generation ago were rather different. Now, young people expect their parents to be their best mates. A generation ago, there was still the (Victorian?) attitude of your parents being very forbidding. While I would have liked it to be different, it wasn't - so you have to accept the context of the times. Back then, the attitude of 'What I say goes', corporal punishment, etc. was still normal. Now it would probably be considered abusive. But you can't go back in time, even if many times we might like to.

I wonder what the world will be like (gets into time machine and travels into the future) when all the young people, who used to be best mates with their parents, grow up? Will it create new monsters? New difficult relationships? I'd like to know how much authority it is necessary for parents to wield, without the world being overrun by overgrown spoiled brats who were always used to getting what they wanted as children.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
They will all be pounding cushions in the therapy room, shouting, 'you bastards, you never gave me any structure or discipline, just a load of soft squidgy hippy nonsense. Now I'm having to create my own structures, you bastards. I didn't want a friend, I wanted a parent'.

Just a guess.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Hang on - no, what we got wasn't normal for the culture and the time. The dog got treated with more humanity.

One story: middle sister aged about 6, having her hair cut into a pretty hideous pudding bowl by mother, standing on a chair hopping from foot to foot because she was desperate to go to the toilet. She was belted for not staying still and told to bloody well hang on while mother finished cutting her hair. Sister then wet herself. She was belted for that and had her nose rubbed in it. Can't remember if she also had to clean the floor and wash her own knickers. I think she probably did, because I have a vague memory of helping wash the chair and floor, and getting a slap for telling my mother she should have let my sister go to the toilet when she asked.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Also, although parents as mates is a definite trend, there is still a lot of cruelty to kids. Last time I looked, NSPCC stats show 16% of kids receive some kind of abuse or neglect. So in a big school bus, with 70 kids, about 12 are going home to abuse.

It's a staggering epidemic, and I suppose nobody has a clue how to reduce it really, or if they do, the money isn't there.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Actually, their latest stats are even worse - 25% of young adults were 'severely maltreated' during childhood. Mind-boggling.

http://tinyurl.com/opox6p4
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
I don't think young people today do expect their parents to be 'mates' - I think there are a lot of middle-aged people out there desperate to hang onto their yoof who like to think they are their child's 'best friend'.

Having older parents, my children are deeply cynical about this type of parent and have profound sympathy for their friends who have kidults for parents.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I don't think young people today do expect their parents to be 'mates' - I think there are a lot of middle-aged people out there desperate to hang onto their yoof who like to think they are their child's 'best friend'.

Having older parents, my children are deeply cynical about this type of parent and have profound sympathy for their friends who have kidults for parents.

Yes, now you mention it, that does ring more true. Weren't those young in the '70s the ones who seriously believed they'd never grow old?!
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Yes. (to the child abuse statistics.) I meet a lot of young people. Most are having a fairly 'normal' time, which is to say, culture and 2014 appropriate. Some have had appalling experiences, some are being neglected in over-affluent ways - no boundaries, too much money for no effort, no responsibility.

My own childhood experience was hard because it was out of step with my culture and time; my mother had trained as a nanny-for-the-middle-classes two decades previously, and raised me with them in mind, plus her own impatience, frustration and anger at a life more ordinary was breaking through. It doesn't compare to Curiosity's experience - my mother would have instructed me to use the toilet before the haircut. But it would never have crossed my mind to utter any criticism, no matter what had happened.

When you say belted, CK, do you mean with an actual belt [shudder] ? or hitting with a hand? Smacking was on its way out for my generation, and I was never hit with an implement, though my older siblings were. The biggest walloping of my life was 8 hits to the bottom for continuously playing a bar of music with the wrong rhythm. Clearly, it was infuriating. More often it was a single sudden, no warning slap for, say, wearing trousers when I should have been wearing shorts, not that anyone had told me to. Or asking a question that was inappropriate, like, 'what's that?' and pointing at a dog's erect penis.

But it was a pretty hostile environment. And no one understood, for example, why I had to be home hours before anyone else, or not let friends eat anything in my house unless they were sitting down to a meal they had been invited to, or why I never had any money. Or new clothes, ever, apart from school uniform. well, hardly ever. Occasional random things like a pair of red polyester pedal pushers, remember those? But I didn't have a new pair of jeans no one else had ever worn until after I left home. Endlessly being laughed at because I was a decade out of step with fashion. Being the only girl at school without pierced ears, and later, without a perm. And not really knowing what was wrong.

And the worst bit was not knowing what was ok for my own children. I read endless books and kept trying to learn, but I still struggled to let them spend money, or know how often to buy clothes, and what kind, and how much choice.

When my D2 was going thru a particularly selfish, bitchy phase, I would say to my friend (a survivor of far worse abuse than I) '...we don't know what a normal, healthy teenager looks like. Maybe this is it. Maybe she's going to come out the other side, and be fine.'
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
My own childhood experience was hard because it was out of step with my culture and time...

...it was a pretty hostile environment. And no one understood, for example, why I had to be home hours before anyone else, or not let friends eat anything in my house unless they were sitting down to a meal they had been invited to, or why I never had any money. Or new clothes, ever, apart from school uniform. well, hardly ever. Occasional random things like a pair of red polyester pedal pushers, remember those? But I didn't have a new pair of jeans no one else had ever worn until after I left home. Endlessly being laughed at because I was a decade out of step with fashion. Being the only girl at school without pierced ears, and later, without a perm. And not really knowing what was wrong.

And the worst bit was not knowing what was ok for my own children. I read endless books and kept trying to learn, but I still struggled to let them spend money, or know how often to buy clothes, and what kind, and how much choice.

I identify very strongly with this. And I am struggling to know what to do with my own children. I know that I feel we were brought up in an unnecessarily austere way, but I don't know where the middle ground between that, and reacting against that, is. As a result I suspect I overthink stuff a bit too much. My sister spends a lot* of money on buying her kids toys and equipment, and meals at Burger King, etc., and it has become clear to me over the last couple of years that my mother disapproves of this. She demonstrates it by buying my sister's children birthday and Christmas presents that are more in the nature of a gesture than anything else - I suspect on the basis that they have more than they 'need' already. I have also had my sister on the phone saying to me, 'I can't understand why she doesn't buy the kids an icecream or something when she takes them down to the beach - I mean, not every time, but sometimes, surely? Don't grandparents like to treat their grandkids?' And I cringed inwardly and mumbled something incoherent, because she does buy my kids icecreams. I can only assume because they are judged to be not in danger of being 'spoilt'.

I don't spend all my money when I get it because I'm not a risk-taker - I have no taste for living on the edge. But I do. not. understand. austerity for its own sake.

*It occurs to me that I am making a judgement here, almost certainly based on my background conditioning. What I suppose I mean is that she spends a considerably greater proportion of the weekly income on this than I do.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Taliesin - slapped with hand or a rolled up newspaper by my mother, could have used flip-flops. One of the times she lost her temper with me I was kicked. She was wearing wooden clogs with metal studs around the front. That was brought upon me by my little sister blaming me for something she (little sister) had done.

Weapon of choice for my father was a riding crop (usually known as a whip), but if that wasn't to hand, yes, a belt, or slippers or shoes.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Curiosity - a very un hellish [Votive] That's abuse, whatever the generational or other attitude.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
yes. I hope you've found good support and therapy over the years, Curiosity. There are some very good survivors groups out there. And sometimes, it can help so much to have it all acknowledged. That it wasn't normal, not ok, not a reasonable response to you or your behaviour. Not your fault.

I know you probably know, and did all this work years ago. You still deserve to hear it though. [Votive]
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
It's worth remembering, though, that the standards of a generation ago were rather different. <blah blah condescending bullshit snipped> While I would have liked it to be different, it wasn't - so you have to accept the context of the times. Back then, the attitude of 'What I say goes', corporal punishment, etc. was still normal. Now it would probably be considered abusive. But you can't go back in time, even if many times we might like to.

There was a time when I would have believed this gently exculpatory pile of manure. Now I don't.

My mother and her siblings were raised in an abusive household, but her own mother was not! My grandmother was raised in a nurturing, happy household, with supportive parents... but unfortunately she married an abusive asshole. My grandmother was not able to provide her children with the emotional security she herself had enjoyed.

So no, the previous generations "weren't always like that" and there is no reason to believe they didn't know better at the time. Sure times were hard for everyone, and pressures about survival were more intense, but even then people knew the difference between good and bad reactions and their consequences.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I don't think young people today do expect their parents to be 'mates' - I think there are a lot of middle-aged people out there desperate to hang onto their yoof who like to think they are their child's 'best friend'.

Having older parents, my children are deeply cynical about this type of parent and have profound sympathy for their friends who have kidults for parents.

Yes, now you mention it, that does ring more true. Weren't those young in the '70s the ones who seriously believed they'd never grow old?!
I was in my teens in the seventies and while the numbers keep rising I only feel different physically, so I'm right in that cohort.

There's a world of difference being your children's best mates and their best friends. "Mates" are peers, who do much as you do while friends can be and often are much older. I hope my children regard me at least as a good and respected friend, as they do of some others of my age.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Yes. People who want a good friendship with their kids remember their kids need to be the adults in the situation.

In fact, I think the "matey" thing is often a precursor to [certain kinds of] abusive behavior-- it's the perpetual children who try to be buddies with their kids who wind up getting in the kind of arguments with them you'd expect to see with siblings.

[ 12. February 2014, 23:08: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
yes. I hope you've found good support and therapy over the years, Curiosity. There are some very good survivors groups out there. And sometimes, it can help so much to have it all acknowledged. That it wasn't normal, not ok, not a reasonable response to you or your behaviour. Not your fault.

I know you probably know, and did all this work years ago. You still deserve to hear it though. [Votive]

This. Well said, Taliesin.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Of course there is a world of difference between highlighting stricter parenting styles and accepting outright abuse. (Just in case anyone should misunderstand what I said upthread....)

And as for the person who said they never had new clothes, pierced ears or a perm, neither did many people. I was expected to earn my own money to provide for non-essentials (and even quite a few of the essentials, too). But again, wasn't that more normal then? Particularly in more rural areas, where people didn't think it necessary to furnish their offspring with every latest fashion item.

The middle line between 'having a whinge' and 'suffering abuse' might be blurred, but the extremes are pretty obvious.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
But Chorister - much of what was happening to us was just seen as stricter parenting styles. We didn't speak out as children because enough people heard what was happening and didn't speak out for us. And you learn silence. When you say something about home life, innocently, in passing, and see disbelief cross adult faces, you shut up.

And we were also dealing with much of the other stuff too - the home-made clothes, haircuts ...

I have a good spidey sense for abused kids now, because I recognise the signs. And this thread has reminded me that I need to be a bit more proactive for a child I have concerns about.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
OK, so I choose to call my experiences 'stricter parenting styles' and you don't. We all have to come to terms with our past in the way that makes most sense.

I'm trying to get at whether there is a definite dividing line between people who were genuinely abused (within their cultural context) and those who were just being petulant at not having a privileged life at a certain age. And, if so, where that divide lies.

I wonder if the difference is whether or not parents thought they were doing it for the best? Misguided behaviour, but arising out of good intent / ignorance / inadequacy, being much more healthy than that arising out of bad/evil intent.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Sorry, I obviously haven't made myself clear.

I would not describe my childhood as stricter parenting. My youngest sister still has the scars of the whippings she took as a child. That's not stricter parenting, that is abuse. Beatings like that happening regularly means you grow up in an atmosphere of fear and reminder that it's always on offer for you.

But you grow up in what is normality to you. And it takes a long time to work out that what is normal to you is not necessarily normal to everyone else.

So someone saying things like
quote:
Of course there is a world of difference between highlighting stricter parenting styles and accepting outright abuse. (Just in case anyone should misunderstand what I said upthread....)

<snip>

The middle line between 'having a whinge' and 'suffering abuse' might be blurred, but the extremes are pretty obvious.

is actually incredible unhelpful, because it brings back all that childhood confusion and doubt and fear. It puts me back wondering what we did to deserve the beatings ...
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
You and your sister were abused, Curiosity, and no child deserves to be beaten so just don't waste any more time wondering about that. My childhood was similar to yours in many ways but it's clear to me that your parents crossed the line.

I understand some of what Chorister is trying to get at though, because for many of us it is a blurry line. My parents were far too critical of us, if you didn't know better you would think they were deliberately trying to destroy our self-esteem, but I'm absolutely sure they thought they were just doing their duty as good parents to point out our many faults. There was no mean intent, they just wanted to be proud of us.

My mother whipped us with tree branches, yard sticks, wooden coat hangers, and shoes, but she would get really furious if we put our hands behind our rears to try to ward off the blows -- because she didn't want to hurt our little hands. She honestly thought it was all part of raising kids, teaching us right from wrong and not to be sassy (the greatest sin of all.) But it really was a common thing with my peer group and it didn't make us think our parents didn't love us.

I think it probably veers into abuse when the child thinks the punishment is coming from a place of hatred or, at least, anger and an intention to hurt rather than teach.
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
Things have changed. Those of born in the middle of the 20th century, say those over 50, the experience of parenting was rather different, at least in my Canadian experience.

Spanked, usually by father with a belt once or twice a week. Strapped on the hands at school for minor infraction, using a leather strap about 18" long. For major infractions, a wooden board on the buttocks while holding your knees. We used to count the number of strokes. I was usually on the low end with about 110 per year.

If you got it at school most of us got it again at home.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
I feel really, really angry about your post, chorister.

It feels like you are taking Francophile's old position, of feeling qualified to make judgements about 'how real is your pain'

I've no idea what stake you have in being able to say, this person was abused, that person was neglected (which is actually abuse) that person's self esteem was damaged, (also abuse) this person is whingeing.

I suspect you have a younger sister who had an easier life than you, yet still moaned.

But those of us with damage react very badly to having our hard won reality questioned.

I don't consider myself to have been abused, really. But bad things went on, and my older sister genuinely thought mum had a right to lock her out the house all night in February. Is that really ok?

[ 14. February 2014, 06:56: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
OK, so I choose to call my experiences 'stricter parenting styles' and you don't. We all have to come to terms with our past in the way that makes most sense.

I'm assuming there's an inferred 'for each of us' at the end of your sentence above, in which case it makes a lot of sense. But it also means that the below about petulance at not having been provided with a privileged lifestyle is not a judgement you can make for anyone else.

quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
I'm trying to get at whether there is a definite dividing line between people who were genuinely abused (within their cultural context) and those who were just being petulant at not having a privileged life at a certain age. And, if so, where that divide lies.

Well, I agree that cultural context has a lot to do with it. For instance, I have chosen not to use corporal punishment, at all, with my children. This is not specifically because I think it is always and necessarily wrong, however, so much as to do with the fact that it is kind of getting to be a thing of the past - and, oh look! - the apocalypse has not happened in response. I was subjected to corporal punishment as a child, but I don't have a great deal of angst about it, largely because as far as I can tell, what I got was pretty much in proportion to what others my age were getting at the time. Which certainly did NOT involve riding crops or belts or large pieces of wood.

As far as petulance at not having a sufficiently privileged life at a certain age goes, I identified strongly with Taliesin's post about the things she missed out on, which made her stand out as an object of derision and mockery amongst her peers, because I had this experience too, and it is this which I am hung up about, rather than being hit with a wooden spoon, because it is this which hurt me. I think I would have a lot more understanding of the austerity of my childhood if my parents had been genuinely poor, and unable to provide above the basic necessities - then we would have been all in it together against the world. But my parents were not actually poor - they were not wealthy either, but they lived in an austere way by choice, and it was a choice that owed a lot to an austere variant of the Christian religion. I was prevented from wearing jeans or sneakers, or ornamenting myself, dressed like a grandma in mostly secondhand clothes (often cut down from my Mum's clothes), and of course this made me an object of derision. I did once or twice try to talk to my mother about it, but I suspect the experience was meant to be character building, and anyway, there was a principle at stake: we may be in the world, but we are not of the world. This sort of thing has nothing to do with privilege - the experience of being a social outcast for much of my childhood and adolescence continues to colour my life to this day. I submit that for me to be resentful about this is not petulance.

quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
I wonder if the difference is whether or not parents thought they were doing it for the best? Misguided behaviour, but arising out of good intent / ignorance / inadequacy, being much more healthy than that arising out of bad/evil intent.

I have no doubt at all that my parents were doing what they thought was best - largely blindly, as all parents do. I do find it a bit hard to understand how they could have placed ideological concerns on such a high pedestal that it allowed them to overlook or write off evident unhappiness in their children as 'bad attitude' or 'worldliness'. But maybe that's a personality thing. My approach to life isn't 'What's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?', so much as 'What is going to work, in this situation?' Which, so far, involves two different approaches for my two different children.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
I was prevented from wearing jeans or sneakers, or ornamenting myself, dressed like a grandma in mostly secondhand clothes (often cut down from my Mum's clothes), and of course this made me an object of derision. I did once or twice try to talk to my mother about it, but I suspect the experience was meant to be character building, and anyway, there was a principle at stake: we may be in the world, but we are not of the world. This sort of thing has nothing to do with privilege - the experience of being a social outcast for much of my childhood and adolescence continues to colour my life to this day. I submit that for me to be resentful about this is not petulance.


anoesis - I agree - this is not petulance, in fact I would argue that it is a different form of abuse. To be made a social outcast is one of the worst things that can happen
during adolescence, and of parents to actively contribute to this is at best misguided.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
And I understand why you feel angry, Taliesin. I chose to put myself in the firing line by pointing out that some people have suffered real, genuine, horrifying abuse, while others have suffered from thoughtless, neglectful parenting, perhaps not to such a great degree.

But I have been very careful not to assign any of the above posts into a particular category. Just thought it was worth raising the point that there is a difference, that's all. And trying to place my own experiences on the scale at the same time, which is the whole point of raising them, I guess. It's actually quite hard to do without somehow 'stepping outside' and looking objectively.

Anyway, I've said my piece and will stop now, if it's causing obvious distress. Pax.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I think the problem is by lumping in the horrific stories with the general whining, maybe the tome is being communicated as evenly agonized.Or something. Maybe we need to codify our entries.

So for instance, my whinge about my mom never letting anyone get a word it is exactly that-- a whinge. I reserve my right to call the annoying annoying, but I recognize that isn't abuse.

On the other hand, the story about family car trips is not whining-- Dad's method of keeping us quiet in the car was to reach back and smack whoever was closest when he heard a noise.

It genuinely angers me when my mom sighs, "why do you never tell stories about the fun times?" because it is basically bullshit- family outings were a nightmare of random shamings and bullying,and living through that is bad enough without someone hanging over you and demanding you craft some alternate history to soothe them.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Kelly - maybe your Mum wishes there were more fun times to recall, and that's her way of expressing it? Doesn't excuse her, but still.....
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Things have changed. Those of born in the middle of the 20th century, say those over 50, the experience of parenting was rather different, at least in my Canadian experience.

Spanked, usually by father with a belt once or twice a week. Strapped on the hands at school for minor infraction, using a leather strap about 18" long. For major infractions, a wooden board on the buttocks while holding your knees. We used to count the number of strokes. I was usually on the low end with about 110 per year.

If you got it at school most of us got it again at home.

Not only did all that happen, but many of us tend to start chuckling and want to share stories the same way my, "We survived Catholic school," friends, do.

I'm just glad to hear you say, "Once or twice a week," because it was that frequency factor that separated me from my brothers and friends who only "got it," a few times a year. I don't get it No Prophet, and you and me so non-annoying?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
Kelly - maybe your Mum wishes there were more fun times to recall, and that's her way of expressing it? Doesn't excuse her, but still.....

Maybe, somewhere in there. But the way she phrases it, it comes out angry and punitive (this is the basis of most problems I have with her-- if she just expressed what she had to say without this veneer of disgust, I could cope a lot better. She uses this tone when I ask her what time it is for God's sake.) So that's what specifically pisses me off, is that instead of being happy I got some kind of childhood in there, she instantly defers to "What about me?"

And that's another thing-- the sense I get from the various comments she's made is that she is less concerned about what might have been and more concerned about her PR. So if regret is what she is trying to communicate, it isn't coming across. All I am getting is resentment.

I need to add, though, I don't go sailing into these rants about abuse in front of her. The comments about "Why can't you talk about the fun times?" come up when I am talking about fun times I had with other relatives. What ever her issues are, I'm just done with feeling guilty about appreciating those who were kind to me because I am afraid it will slight her somehow.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Yes, there are levels of conversation, casual comments, reminders sparked by others, long held stories, and, disclosure.

I'm not sure about ship rules and hell, but generally, I'd say don't stop contributing, chorister, if you are still interested, the the role you are playing can be a valuable one. It's not objective, though.

I am finding it interesting how family dramas can be played out on the ship, because we push each other's buttons on an unconscious level.

You and I had a moment where I reacted like a younger sister, because I was hearing you say, a) don't imagine that you are one of us, for your life is much easier and you have no idea. b) go home and take whatever they dish out because you have no choice and c) it must be right on some level, because I am too tired to fight anymore.

I know you didn't actually say that, stay with me here.

On the 12 years a slave thread, Kelly strongly disagreed with me, but more importantly said my priorities were wrong. I could hear a powerful female making a definitive judgement about me, and my actual physical reaction was fear. In response I can a) leave the ship. b) become an outcast on the ship c) find a way of convincing her I have really, genuinely, properly changed my faulty attitude. But it won't work, because it's too late, not good enough and I have irrevocably failed in some way.

Now, Kelly's not a bit like my mother! Has never reminded me of her before or since. It's nothing to do with Kelly, but the unconscious buttons we all have, and play out all the time in work and home and social life.

Thankfully, Kelly didn't ignore me and explained that this is, in fact,a discussion board.

Which I know, really, but on this thread, in particular, it feels important to look at the parallels. Do you have a younger sibling,chorister?

Have a rant. I can take it, and it might help.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

On the 12 years a slave thread, Kelly strongly disagreed with me, but more importantly said my priorities were wrong. I could hear a powerful female making a definitive judgement about me, and my actual physical reaction was fear. In response I can a) leave the ship. b) become an outcast on the ship c) find a way of convincing her I have really, genuinely, properly changed my faulty attitude. But it won't work, because it's too late, not good enough and I have irrevocably failed in some way.

Now, Kelly's not a bit like my mother! Has never reminded me of her before or since. It's nothing to do with Kelly, but the unconscious buttons we all have, and play out all the time in work and home and social life.

Thankfully, Kelly didn't ignore me and explained that this is, in fact,a discussion board.

[Hot and Hormonal] [Big Grin]

Can I say that I have been on the other end of that particular reaction enough to recognize what was going on? My reaction was, "Why the hell does she give a shit about my self-important pseudo- cineaste opinio- oh."

Since I am the youngest in my family, I am used to people not giving a hot damn about my opinion, or dismissing it automatically. Therefore I have grown really bold in expressing it, because I figure people will just talk around me anyway. The situation with you taught me a lesson-- I have a responsibility for my words, and my decision to believe "nobody listens to me anyway" can be self-indulgent and self-serving. And I can hurt people that way.I appreciated the "schooling."

[ 15. February 2014, 06:51: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Yes! I recognise that. And my 'I am very angry' post to chorister is grounded in my learning to state my case or feelings firmly, and not wobble if people say, so fucking what?

I used to try to hint and suggest and vaguely imply, and wonder why I was never heard.

As an adult,I mean. My mother says 'you're very loud, since you became a teacher.' And, 'where has my sweet, quiet baby gone'

Cute vomit smilie. She also says, 'oh, I suppose I've hurt your feelings now, "oh, oh oh, you hurt my feelings, you don't listen to me!" ' in reference to one occasion, nearly 10 years ago, when I tried to explain the impact she had.

And the last time she said that was after she'd stayed for two weeks, being looked after. it obviously comes from a place of vulnerability.

She thinks I have all the power now, and will hurt her very badly, given the chance. I wouldn't though.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Cue! Cue vomit smilie. I can't actually use it, but it would have been appropriate.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Something which has kept coming back to me since my last post happened when I was 16ish. I was a questioning 16 year old, and my Girl Guide Commonwealth badge had sparked an interest in other religions - a purely academic interest, but I was reading whatever I could find.

Out of the blue, Mum told me that she'd spoken to our church elder, and had agreed a date on which I was to join the church. In the Church of Scotland, that involved standing up and making a profession of faith in front of the whole congregation.

I was aghast, as I felt nowhere near ready to make what was, for me, a hugely significant step. So I said no, I wouldn't. Dad backed me up and said Mum should have spoken to me before arranging it with our elder. Mum wasn't happy, as she said it would be embarrassing for her to go back to the minister and say I'd refused. And she said I was being ridiculous, because, she said "No-one asked me if I believed before I made my profession of faith!"

I think that was true - no-one was interested in her views on the matter when she joined the church. She was expected to, and she did. With the result that it didn't occur to her that I might have an opinion.

I wonder how many opinions and views of her own Mum was allowed when she was growing up? I wonder how baffling and alienating it is for her that she has an opinionated daughter?

[ 15. February 2014, 09:58: Message edited by: North East Quine ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Brilliant example, NEQ. It reminds me of my mother, who used to try to prove logically that there were certain foods that you couldn't dislike. She did it with me, and with my son also. She also used to lie about what we were being served with.

I know it's trivial compared with a profession of faith, but it's always stuck in my mind as an example of over-weening authority - you don't actually dislike this, because I have decreed it!
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Taleisin: now that is real. Genuine. Now I do believe this thread is working.

In answer to your question, I had two younger siblings. One died.

I don't really feel the need to say any more at the moment. But will bear your offer in mind should the thread lead towards a more relevant contribution I could make.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Ok chorister, thanks.
Sorry to hear about your sibling.

I do sort of feel that everything I've said so far is real, and genuine, but I guess you might mean it resonates for you now.

I'm glad.

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
I guess I mean the thread makes sense to me now.
It feels good to resort to fisticuffs to clear the air on occasion. Pow, pow.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
We were all scared. [Biased]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Grrrrr.....
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
I had a dream about my mother last night. Not a good dream. I guess I still have unresolved issues. [Frown]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Big Grin] I think this thread is working on us. I had a dream a couple nights ago that Mom was being such a bitch that my long dead drunken abusive father showed up and offered to help me escape.
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
It could be... [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by deano (# 12063) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
I wonder how many opinions and views of her own Mum was allowed when she was growing up? I wonder how baffling and alienating it is for her that she has an opinionated daughter?

My son (11) is an acolyte at our Eucharist. It takes up 1 hours of his precious time every few weeks. How much moaning can one small boy do?

He tells me “I don’t believe in God, your are forcing me to do something I don’t believe in. It’s unfair”. But he isn’t going to use the time reading, or doing homework or tidying his room… oh no, he’s going to play Minecraft with his mates!

So I’m sorry son, but you will be an acolyte whether you believe in God or not. Because I expect it of him as part of his “chores” around the house. I accept that it isn’t the same as a profession of faith, but sometimes kids do need to be made to do some things otherwise they will think all things they don’t like can be ignored.

I accept that he may not believe in God. He’s 11 and probably has very little conception or understanding of God, and peer pressure is always there of course, but if he choses to leave his faith behind when he’s an adult then fair enough, but I hope that by then he will have been going enough to have a good understanding of what he is laying down. He may choose then to pick it back up later in his life.

We do have a Sunday School but inevitably this is more a form of crèche facility for children to young for the main service. No education or information for the older children/teenagers is available. I think we’ve a few threads about that. I don’t know, perhaps I ought to step up, but I don’t even know if my own theology is sound. Mind you as a universalist AffCaff in the CofE, I would guess that pretty much anything short of actual virgin sacrifice would fit.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
He tells me “I don’t believe in God, your are forcing me to do something I don’t believe in. It’s unfair”. But he isn’t going to use the time reading, or doing homework or tidying his room… oh no, he’s going to play Minecraft with his mates!

Oh My God! Shock! Horror! He's only 11 and already he's showing a different set of priorities to your own!

I bet he's decided he likes different music as well. [Paranoid]
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
I had Roman Catholicism rammed down my throat as a child. It didn't do a thing for my view of the Church. (Neither have a few other things, but that's another story.) Enforced religion really doesn't work imo. But you and your child are certainly reading from the same hymn sheet in regarding the acolyte activities as a chore. It's nice to see parents and children in agreement over something. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Nothing new here. As Socrates said
quote:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.


 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Nothing new here. As Socrates said
quote:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.


They CROSS THEIR LEGS? Oh the humanity - where will it end? [Devil]
 
Posted by deano (# 12063) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
He tells me “I don’t believe in God, your are forcing me to do something I don’t believe in. It’s unfair”. But he isn’t going to use the time reading, or doing homework or tidying his room… oh no, he’s going to play Minecraft with his mates!

Oh My God! Shock! Horror! He's only 11 and already he's showing a different set of priorities to your own!

I bet he's decided he likes different music as well. [Paranoid]

Strangely enough no! He's a Status Quo fan as well.

My daughter also has similar taste in music to me... Country. She want's some tickets to see Brad Paisley next month at the O2! She can fuck off!

Basically we all like anything rooted in blues and with a good slathering of guitars on there, whether twangy or raunchy.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Wow, I thought _I_ was the only Status Quo fan in the village...
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
Geez. I am in the shower yesterday morning, and am visited by thoughts of my dead mother. Then I have a dream last night and she is in it. She had so precious little to do with her children in the 25 years before her death, you'd think she'd leave me alone now!

Okay, something triggered my thoughts of her, displacing the leaves, grass clipping and bits of trash my brain usually collects. But what??
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Let's see...hmmmm...
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
Yeah, it's a weird oedipal thing. But has something to do with cooking too, she couldn't cook at all unless it was from a can. And she liked to heat tin cans directly to save on having dirty pots.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Okay, something triggered my thoughts of her, displacing the leaves, grass clipping and bits of trash my brain usually collects. But what??

You've been participating in this thread for nearly a month, and you can't figure out what could possibly have triggered thoughts of a parent in a dream?
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Cousins who misunderstand their importance. Who remember you a as a breathlessly adoring teenager, and forget that the intervening 30 years of them being an alcoholic who only phones to complain may have tarnished the image somewhat.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Alcoholism can do that--leave a person in a timewarp, I mean. Dad was banging on about things so old the rest of us had well -nigh forgotten them, but to him it was yesterday.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
Oh man, here we go again. Now, don't anyone take me too seriously - it's just an ironic story with differing viewpoints...

Every so often (like, lately, at least once a year) my mother gets a maggot in her head about needing to 'de-clutter' her environment. Which is all well and good, probably better than never ever throwing anything away - but here's the thing. Despite 'de-cluttering' at about five times the rate I do it, her house is and remains full . of . crap.

Because when she 'de-clutters' she gives away or chucks out, useful, well-made, high-quality, valuable, or sentimentally valuable items. But keeps things like old cellphones which don't work any more, and sixteen pencils of varying un-useful stub-lengths. Coloured stones. Strings of tiny cowrie shells. Crystals. Furniture made of faux cane. Cushions that died decades ago.

But - oh no, out the door go such things as: a complete Royal Doulton dinner service, a sleek mahogany upright piano in near-perfect condition (but I don't play the piano, dear...), a whole load of very high quality carpentry tools, complete box sets of significant books - you get the picture.

Mostly, it's just kind of sad-funny, but the last time but one this cycle came around she was trying to throw out a whole load (by which I mean one briefcase's worth) of ephemera and photographs my Father had collected, related to a hobby of his - about three months after his death - and I got a bit upset about this. She remained determined to have it out of the house as it was 'in the way' - long story short, my sister now has it stashed under her bed, (in her much smaller house, which has four occupants, rather than one), as a way of keeping the peace between us.

Now the need to declutter has come around again, and this time she has a dresser in her sights. It is the dresser which was in my bedroom as a child, and it is a very fine piece of furniture. If I won't take it, out it goes. I literally can't fit another dresser in my house without compromising an accessway, but that's not really the point. There is of course that it is NOT in the way in her house - but hey, it's her house, and her stuff, and if she wants to put it out on the street despite it probably being the best piece of furniture left in the house, I have nothing much to say to that.

What is really getting me is this: Her house is madly, madly cluttered, and remains so, despite all this 'de-cluttering'. She doesn't need to get rid of something with drawers. She needs to put more things in drawers. Probably even to get more drawers so that things can be put in them. Then some calm might at last prevail in her environment...
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Total sympathy from me!
My parents house is utterly cluttered and we've been trying to help them shift it for years, with much more success when they were more ill.
I wish they had some decent stuff to throw out! But it's all ....

I decided years ago that I mustn't care about any of it, because it would take years to look at it all. When the time comes, I'll just get a skip.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
anoesis - is your mother trying to get rid of memories for some reason? Keeping the stuff which means nothing to crowd out that she is missing your father?

I know someone who seems to be burying the past with clutter. And can't be shifted. The clutter thing is very, very difficult to deal with. (And some health service people don't understand this and think relatives ought to go in mob handed and throw the clutter out willy-nilly. It doesn't work. Weeks of tidying just a hall turned into accusations of creating a mess. It's been re-cluttered.)
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:


her house is and remains full . of . crap.

the last time but one this cycle came around she was trying to throw out a whole load (by which I mean one briefcase's worth) of ephemera and photographs my Father had collected, related to a hobby of his - long story short, my sister now has it stashed under her bed, (in her much smaller house, which has four occupants, rather than one), as a way of keeping the peace between us.

I literally can't fit another dresser in my house without compromising an accessway, but that's not really the point.

I think it might actually be the point. Anoesis' mother is a hoarder. Anoesis is a junior hoarder with no room for a dresser. Only difference between the two is a matter of taste on exactly what to hoard. Poor sister, caught in the middle has to store stuff in her small house for the hoarders.

My father was such a hoarder we took over twenty truck loads to the landfill after he died. My brother has his house filled to the brim but he tries to forbid me to throw away anything that remotely pertains to my father's art --the father he didn't speak to for his last thirty years.

I'll never understand the hoarder mind set. If something isn't used, why shouldn't it go? Just because it's "worth something?" Clear square footage and attractive, balanced spaces are worth something, too. Sentimental value? Do you need to keep everything the person ever touched in order to remember them? How many generations back do you need to go with that?

The whole business of renting storage units is new and amazing to me. If you can't fit it, comfortably, in your house why in the world do you want it?
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
Twilight, I rent a storage unit because I can't fit kayaks in a teeny condo unless I want to use them as living room furniture. That being said, I don't want to move to a larger space because there's a tendency in my family to accumulate stuff, and I don't want to go down that road.

I understand the impulse to hoard, though; in my grandmother's case, she raised 7 kids through the Great Depression with very little support from her tomcatting husband. When you don't know if there'll be enough to feed or clothe your children, you don't throw anything away. And even when things get better, the spectre of poverty continues to lurk. When my aunts finally managed to place Grandma in a care facility, she had been reduced to moving around her house in a maze of cramped corridors created by papers and boxes stacked to the ceiling.

I genuinely feel for those who have to sort out hoarders' messes, but also for the people who created the chaos.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Well those Kayaks are a good reason, Meg and so are things like going to another country for a year or storing the tools for a business, the trouble is, in most cases it's old stuff that everyone agrees should have gone to the landfill but, "Someone needs to go through it first, Grandpa once put a twenty in a book!"

I understand the depression era thing, too, but I don't see how all those boxes of papers are going to help if the family gets hungry.

I know, I know, I've watched every fascinating episode of "A&E's Hoarder"s and "TLC's Hoarding Buried Alive," so I've heard the therapists explain it all and if someone would rather sit on their sofa surrounded with cardboard boxes of old jars and piles of McDonald's wrappers, or cook in a kitchen where the counters are covered with every small appliance ever sold on late night TV and the table is set with fine crystal, sterling silver and plastic plates (my brother) -- rather than live in a nice airy, uncluttered space, then more power to them.
I just don't get it.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
quote:
You know how in the days when fish and chips were wrapped in newspaper you would find a story that was interesting and which you had not seen before - even though you had had that paper?
One explanation.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:


her house is and remains full . of . crap.

the last time but one this cycle came around she was trying to throw out a whole load (by which I mean one briefcase's worth) of ephemera and photographs my Father had collected, related to a hobby of his - long story short, my sister now has it stashed under her bed, (in her much smaller house, which has four occupants, rather than one), as a way of keeping the peace between us.

I literally can't fit another dresser in my house without compromising an accessway, but that's not really the point.

I think it might actually be the point. Anoesis' mother is a hoarder. Anoesis is a junior hoarder with no room for a dresser. Only difference between the two is a matter of taste on exactly what to hoard. Poor sister, caught in the middle has to store stuff in her small house for the hoarders.
I don't think either my mother or I fit the hoarder profile, really...although I do have a lot of books. Bookcases double-stacked and then piles of books sitting on top of the bookcases, on top of our dresser, etc. I agree that it is partly a question of taste, though about what to throw away rather than what to hoard.


quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'll never understand the hoarder mind set. If something isn't used, why shouldn't it go? Just because it's "worth something?" Clear square footage and attractive, balanced spaces are worth something, too.

I agree about clear square footage and attractive balanced spaces, and once my kids are out from under my feet, or (pray God, one day), we have a two-level house where they can have their own 'zone', then I will go for the zen thing in a big way - it has a calming effect on my psyche. But investing in storage (such as, say, drawers), is really necessary to this approach, NOT so you can hoard more shit, but so that what stuff you do have is accessible and organised.

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Sentimental value? Do you need to keep everything the person ever touched in order to remember them? How many generations back do you need to go with that?

Well, this is obviously going to be different for each person, but I know I have felt some sort of vague...lack for not having any tangible history of my family. It's just a big...gap. A load of stuff that happened to some other people, in another country, in another time. All I have is names, and most of them I only found a couple of years ago. I guess this means that the majority of my direct forebears were unsentimental types, too. I suppose I would like to keep some select things as mementos so that my children can get some sort of handle on their history - and they will never know their Grandad as a person, or have any independent memory of him at all. To know what he was interested in and see proof of his skill at it - it seems worth keeping to me. And my sister agrees. The only reason it's still under her bed is that we still haven't got around to going through it and divvying up between us.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
anoesis - is your mother trying to get rid of memories for some reason? Keeping the stuff which means nothing to crowd out that she is missing your father?

I think this is possible. Either that or that there is a need for work, for sorting, for busyness, for the same sort of reasons. But I'm only speculating, really.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
There's some interesting new research on brain activity of hoarders when they took brain scans of hoarders trying to throw out junk mail. It may be that your mother is overwhelmed by trying to process the smaller effluvia so she chucks the big pieces to make some progress.
It can be very frustrating. My mother's death after living in a house that had almost a century of clutter from her and her aunt happened when the house was flooded. Almost everything including the walls had to be chucked in multiple dumpsters leaving us children to marvel on how a fairly poor family could spend so much on musical instruments.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
The problem with that research is that it was with a group of people who had agreed to be the subjects of research, so possibly not typical hoarders. And the suggested therapy would only work if the hoarders agreed to be treated. Which means that they would have already taken the first step towards dealing with the problem. While they persist in the belief that there is no problem, there can be no solution.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Anoesis, I didn't mean to offend you or your mother with the "h" word, to me it's an interesting quirk, not a Bad Thing.

I just read the link and it described my brother's relationship with his paper and his shredder so well. I'm all for shredding and recycling in most cases, but those two concepts have stymied the de-cluttering efforts of sooo many overwhelmed people.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
all right, gang. you're on the wrong board. this discussion belongs here. Get your hugs and commiserations outta Hell.
 
Posted by aunt jane (# 10139) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
I'm starting this thread because I want to have a bitch on the topic, and to give others the opportunity to do likewise, and (oddly) I find myself a bit squeamish about the idea of writing "Today I condemn to hell" before going on about a family member...

So, anyway, difficult relatives - in this case, my mother, who sent me an email a few days ago couched in a tone I would label 'sniping'. These arrive every few months, and alert me to the fact that, somehow, I have done something to offend her. On this occasion, I have failed to bring the children to visit her over the holiday period, whereas all her friends have had their grandchildren to visit. Any attempt to explain only makes things worse for myself, thus:

Her: Why haven't you brought the children to visit over the holiday period?

Me:...?...because you didn't invite us?

Her: You should know by now that you don't need an invitation to visit me! I am quite happy to clear my schedule and rearrange things to accommodate you!*

Me: Also, I remember you saying when we were down visiting last** that you were very busy in January.

Her: Oh come on! You can't expect me to remember conversations from that long ago, at my age!***

Me: Well, anyway, it's done now, I have other activities planned for the kids, but let's hope we can do a better job of communicating around the next holiday period, so we don't have any more misunderstandings.

Her: I sincerely hope you actually mean that.

Me(to self): Now what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

And the worst of all is that I can't just elect to ignore it and hope it will all wash under the bridge when I get one of these communiques, because if I don't respond I get another barrage asking me why I haven't answered.

In the absence of a 'throwing up hands in frustration and marching out of the room' smilie, I am going to have to make do with this one: [brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]


*not wholly true
**a whole six weeks ago
***my mother has NOT entered advanced old age and her memory is completely fine

I know this is an old post and I'm not much good at using these boards, but you my every sympathy. Some people get into a dangerous habit of behaviour whereby everything is somehow or other made out to be one particular person's fault.
 
Posted by Philip Charles (# 618) on :
 
Thanks for going back to the beginning. I was in a similar position with my mother. By the GoG I discovered that every time we had a conversation the would throw out a fishing line and I would take the bait.
quote:
Why haven't you brought the children to visit over the holiday period?

Me:...?...because you didn't invite us?

A classic case of following your mother's conversational agenda. There are a number of replies you could make which reflect your agenda.
"are you missing them?" Leading into how are you getting on?
"the children were involved in such and such activity." Leading into what the children are doing.
"we had a lot to do at home" Leading into what you are doing.
Your mother is indulging in relationship destroying behaviour and must not be allowed to get away with it. With practice the cure becomes second nature.
To those who made platitudinous responses, get real, this is a serious family situation.
I had a continuous relationship with my mother on my terms and was with her when she died. Another family member was pissed off and did not attend the funeral.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Someone had totally jumped on my raw nerves on another thread so I've come here to shout.

My bloody mother made it my 'self pity' if I was ever upset about anything, and it invalidated my feelings on every level, every time.

If I failed to stop my self pity, she would 'give me something real to grizzle about' ie, slaps to the bare legs.

I feel really fucking angry. And it isn't here, isn't now. Past.

Thanks. got to cook dinner now.

[ 09. March 2014, 15:43: Message edited by: Taliesin ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I want to be crabby here too because I've got a very close relative (unidentified to protect the guilty) whose idea of cheering me up during this difficult time is to tell me how much worse she has it. It doesn't matter what the hell it is, she has a worse version of it. Lost my job? Well, she's housebound and bored (not entirely true, either). Sick? She's dying (see parenthesis above) Depressed, lonely and grieving? Why, I have it so much better than others .... I think the last conversation might have broken down when I asked if she would have told Jesus on the cross to always look on the bright side of life.

No, come to think of it, that was ANOTHER close relative. But he at least had the decency to laugh and shut up thereafter.

[ 09. March 2014, 16:36: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I want to be crabby here too because I've got a very close relative (unidentified to protect the guilty) whose idea of cheering me up during this difficult time is to tell me how much worse she has it. It doesn't matter what the hell it is, she has a worse version of it. Lost my job? Well, she's housebound and bored (not entirely true, either). Sick? She's dying (see parenthesis above) Depressed, lonely and grieving? Why, I have it so much better than others .... I think the last conversation might have broken down when I asked if she would have told Jesus on the cross to always look on the bright side of life.


YOu DID??!!!
[Overused]

I have a couple of those folk.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Lamb Chopped , the song was Look upon the sunny side of life".
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
No, it's Always look on the bright side of life
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Holy cow, that mistake is worth a hell call in and of itself.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
I was thinking of a radio show in the fifties. 2GB from memory.
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
Hello Dad, thanks for the email reminding us when Mum's upcoming birthday would have been, and how old she would have been.

'Cos it's not like I would have remembered all by myself.
 
Posted by aunt jane (# 10139) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I want to be crabby here too because I've got a very close relative (unidentified to protect the guilty) whose idea of cheering me up during this difficult time is to tell me how much worse she has it. It doesn't matter what the hell it is, she has a worse version of it. Lost my job? Well, she's housebound and bored (not entirely true, either). Sick? She's dying (see parenthesis above) Depressed, lonely and grieving? Why, I have it so much better than others ....

I once had a doctor who behaved like this.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Oddly enough my daughter had an appointment with him this week. [Frown]
 
Posted by JoannaP (# 4493) on :
 
I appear to have upset my mother.

I did not receive anything from her on my birthday because she doesn't know what I want. WTF? In December she took great pride in telling me that she was ignoring the link to a wish-list I sent her and would give me something unexpected. But assuming that she has decided to give me something that I actually want, couldn't she have tried to find out what that might be before my birthday, rather than afterwards? And I don't see that that explains the lack of a card.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
She forgot it.
 
Posted by JoannaP (# 4493) on :
 
I suppose it is possible (and, if she had, she would not admit it) but she has never forgotten before, over 40+ years and there are no other signs that she is getting forgetful. Besides which, I think if she was aware that she was getting forgetful, she would make sure it was in her online calendar with a reminder set.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
When my stepdaughter turned 13, the phone rang and I suggested she answer it of course, since it was likely to be somebody to wish her happy day. It was her mother... they spoke for a few minutes then stepdaughter came back... said they'd arranged the weekend pickup. She hasn't said happy birthday, turns out she'd forgotten. [Frown]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Ouch. Yeah, I've had that happen to me. I suspect I'd be feeling homicidal if it were one of my kids, though.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
JoannaP, if you want to be nasty, send a cheerful note thanking her for the lovely gift she sent last year.
[Devil]
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
That sort of thing really doesn't work, and leads to all sorts of hell.

Believe.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
When my stepdaughter turned 13, the phone rang and I suggested she answer it of course, since it was likely to be somebody to wish her happy day. It was her mother... they spoke for a few minutes then stepdaughter came back... said they'd arranged the weekend pickup. She hasn't said happy birthday, turns out she'd forgotten. [Frown]

Though in that circumstance it would be helpful for daughter to tell mother that it is her birthday. If I have to tell you why i'm angry, i might as well not bother - is never a successful strategy.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
She didn't withhold it, she was stunned and hurt. Children who are left by their mothers in horrible, hurtful circumstances tend to be fairly low in self esteem at the best of times.
Yes, of course, in retrospect, I should have answered the phone and checked that whoever it was knew the date. I was 24 at the time and it didn't cross my mind. Obviously my childhood was better than I realised.
Certainly, what actually happened, that her father used it as an excuse to get drunk and rant at ex wife, was really crap. Luckily, I was there to give her a nice day and a party with her friends.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Just thinking about that--when it happened to me, I didn't tell my Dad because it would have precipitated an alcoholic rage, and I was traumatized enough by all the other rages, down through the years. There are some situations where you choose your battles. I waited a few years until I was mature enough and then wrote an intervention-style letter focusing on the really major issues, which may have been part of the reason he eventually got his shit together. Mostly.

[ 20. March 2014, 20:43: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]
 
Posted by George Spigot (# 253) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
My son (11) is an acolyte at our Eucharist. It takes up 1 hours of his precious time every few weeks. How much moaning can one small boy do?

He tells me “I don’t believe in God, your are forcing me to do something I don’t believe in. It’s unfair”. But he isn’t going to use the time reading, or doing homework or tidying his room… oh no, he’s going to play Minecraft with his mates!

So I’m sorry son, but you will be an acolyte whether you believe in God or not. Because I expect it of him as part of his “chores” around the house. I accept that it isn’t the same as a profession of faith, but sometimes kids do need to be made to do some things otherwise they will think all things they don’t like can be ignored.

I accept that he may not believe in God. He’s 11 and probably has very little conception or understanding of God, and peer pressure is always there of course, but if he choses to leave his faith behind when he’s an adult then fair enough, but I hope that by then he will have been going enough to have a good understanding of what he is laying down. He may choose then to pick it back up later in his life.

We do have a Sunday School but inevitably this is more a form of crèche facility for children to young for the main service. No education or information for the older children/teenagers is available. I think we’ve a few threads about that. I don’t know, perhaps I ought to step up, but I don’t even know if my own theology is sound. Mind you as a universalist AffCaff in the CofE, I would guess that pretty much anything short of actual virgin sacrifice would fit.

He'll make a fine atheist.
 
Posted by Caissa (# 16710) on :
 
Forcing him to be an acolyte against his will is likely to reinforce his move to atheism.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Is he attending/going to attend a CofE secondary school entrance to which is dependant on churchgoing?

If the answer is YES then explain that part of the deal for the school of (presumably) his choice is church-going. He is at liberty to give up church but, in all conscience, he should also give up the school place. Of course, if this isn't the case then that argument isn't open to you.

What you could say is that you would very much like it if he would make his communion once a month: you understand that prancing about in an alb is not to his liking so he can go to the early, said service - but that he does that once a month (or however frequently).

Alternatively, if there is an evensong on offer, say he can go to that: just say that you'd prefer it if he went once a month to something.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Just explain to the boy that sincerity is important. If he can fake sincerity he's bound to be a success.
[Biased]
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Meanwhile, in England, tomorrow is mother's day.
[Votive]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
No, it is Mothering Sunday.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
My late mother always insisted (rightly) on getting it right ... but that meant it was quite difficult buying cards with the correct wording.

John Lewis to the rescue!
 
Posted by FooloftheShip (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
My late mother always insisted (rightly) on getting it right ... but that meant it was quite difficult buying cards with the correct wording.

John Lewis to the rescue!

Even John Lewis failed me this year, so it had to be a blank card.

I think there *might* have been one with Mothering Sunday on it, but it failed the nausea test.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
My late mother always insisted (rightly) on getting it right ... but that meant it was quite difficult buying cards with the correct wording.

John Lewis to the rescue!

This reminded me of when my mom gave my feisty grandma one of those schmaltzy-sweet Mother's Day (as we call it) cards with some hyperbolic poem about Mother's Sacrifice, Love and Devotion or some such mush. Grandma said something like "Oh, how lovely that you feel that way, " to which mom responded "well, it's just so hard these days to find a Mother's Day card that says, 'you're a crusty old bird and frankly, a pain in the a** but it's Mother's Day so I had to get you something.'"*

*This sort of thing works in my family. YMMV.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
My Mother insisted on the day being Mothering Sunday, but wasn't worried about cards so long as she was spared all housework for one day of the year. She wasn't difficult, but stubborn.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
And practical. [Smile]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
My mother has now formally moved from being difficult to being crazy.
Long rambling letter about a big secret involving one of my sisters - ask another sister but don't tell anyone. She also mentions another sister (I have a few) and says "I wouldn't be surprised if there were three".
Confused I call my youngest sister who says Mum believes that my second youngest sister is a twin and that her twin was stolen and given to someone else at birth. I call another sister and learn that she believes that this sister is a triplet - same story.
I ask my sisters why this is the first I've known of it and they say "she told us not to tell anyone".
Fuckity duck.
I have had the most bizzare conversations with my mother these last two days. Stolen babies, conspiracy theories, you name it.
So I have been navigating the mental health system and I can tell you, it is a maze. Notwithstanding that this woman has people running for cover in her small town, we can't do much unless she admits she is unwell and asks for treatment, well, as far as she's concerned, she is the victim of prolific baby stealing.
Anyway, her doctor tells us that in his view, she suffers from paranoid personality disorder. I looked it up, and there is was - my mother. For pretty much all my life. Goddam.
So I am now trying to find care for the lying, manipulative, paranoid woman who has, frankly, made my life (and the lives of my father and siblings) all these years, but evidently could not help it.
Shit happens I guess.
On the upside, if she's right, there are 3 more sisters to share the burden

[ 07. April 2014, 11:21: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
You might want to try getting a copy of 'overcoming paranoid and suspicious thinking' - which is a self-help book - not because she will use it; but because it will help make her crazy much more predictable for you. And give you an idea of what strategies will and will not be likely to work when managing stuff with her.
 
Posted by sabine (# 3861) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:

My mother has now formally moved from being difficult to being crazy.

I'm new to this thread, so I went back a few pages to see if you had posted recently about your mother's situation. My own mother went through a period of paranoia, seeing things, delusions, etc. We were quite worried until she was diagnosed with a severe urinary tract infection. The doctor told us that sometimes UTIs can lead to thought disorder. Sometimes it's worth checking to see if there is a physical problem underlying the unusual behavior.

I don't have words of wisdom about difficult mothers. Mine is difficult, as well. It's hard to be a caregiver in such situations.

But, as I told my sister, I'm taking notes about how to be or not to be an elderly person who is cared for by others. If I live to be as old as my mother and if I need caregivers, I sure hope I remember where I put those notes. [Smile]

sabine
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
Thanks, we are getting her tested for a uti to see if that's what's behind the sudden escalation of delusion.
But the pattern all my life with her fits the diagnosis so I'll see if I can lay my hands on the book.
She's right troppo at the moment.

Eta: Stupid autocorrect.

[ 07. April 2014, 20:44: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
My poor old mum ended up in a public hospital with the doctors suspecting the DTs and talking about shipping her off to a psych hospital before her best friend, who nursed geriatric patients suggested a uti. One course of anti-biotics and she was back to her usual self, to the relief of all concerned.

I was furious when a cousin, who also worked with elderly people told me that it was standard where she worked to immediately test for a uti if an elderly woman seemed to become paranoid overnight. Dad was embarassed and didn't want to make a fuss, but it seemed to me a complaint should have been made to the hospital about their failure to act promptly.

Huia
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Something similar happened to both my Mother and the aunt of the ex-Mr L. We soon learned to ask for a check.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
My mom had a similar reaction to certain pain killers. Unfortunately, I think there is all too often just a default assumption that old=crazy (see my earlier post re mom's deafness).
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
And I've seen it in my grandfather, both with a UTI and when he was having some kidney dysfunction for some reason. It got better after treatment.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
just in case it helps:

Last year my mum went to hospital with dangerously low sodium levels. We were visiting regularly, obviously, and coping with the fact that she thought she was on a ship, waiting at an airport, one of the hospital staff, watching the woman opposite who was an old colleague, who had a small cat with her. (none of these were true)

Then someone announced she was to be discharged, and 'wasn't confused' so we told more senior staff that this wasn't normal behaviour.

They kept her another week, and kept checking her levels. It took her a long time to get over the illness, including the mental confusion, but now she's better. Point being that hospital staff thought the level of confusion she was exhibiting was normal for her age group. They hadn't bothered to talk to family. Thank God she had family.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Doublethink, did you mean this?

book

or a different one?
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
My grandmother got confused when her calcium levels slipped (can't remember which way) - she had liver, lung and other cancers by that stage. But from being mentally all there to total confusion was quick - and reversible.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Doublethink, did you mean this?

book

or a different one?

Yup, that one.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Hi little thread! didja miss me?

I am so pissed off right now I am nauseous.

I have been working on this largish painting for eight years.When I first began this painting, I asked my mom for permission to prop it up in a corner of the along the back of an end table, completely out of anyone's way,once it dried. It was in a place where nothing artistic was going on anyway, it sort to goes with the room, and in any case she said OK.. Within a week, Mom had gathered every unmounted paining she had, every drawing my nephew had left at our house, plus a couple prints she had bought in England, and piled all of these in front of my painting. As I said, nothing else had been there before. So, that's part one.

Part two, is I have now finished my painting and bring it up to my room, and the resulting difference inspired me to go through a huge tear in my room I move out four bags of old clothing and several bags of trash, and in the process I find three mid-sized canvas boards (matts with canvas covering, sort of), still wrapped.

Like an idiot, I enthuse about my find to Mom, and in the process I mention that I remembered she had initially bought them for Neph, but he'd only used one and lost interest. (neph is more into digital art.)She has found them during one of her own tears, and asked me if I wanted them, mentioning how disappointed she was that Neph hadn't shown any interest.I noticed her get a weird look on her face, but figured it was just because I was talking about myself, heaven forbid,. I did feel the need to remind her that she had given the boards to me, though.
Of course, I am doing some more spot- cleaning roday, and when I reach over to put the boards in a space I have cleared for them-- they are gone.

Backstory-- both my parents have stolen from me, repeatedly. It is like if something belongs to me, automatically the parents have salvage rights. All they had to do was come up with some bullshit justification. Kelly is saving offerings for Bible school? Well, if they knew what a lousy kid she was, they wouldn't want her money anyway, so Dad cops it for beer-- no shame. Kelly gets a special book from the turn of the century from an elderly cousin? Kids don't get gifts like that-- so just take it from her room and hide it in the closet. If she asks where it went, make terse comments about what a slob she is. No shame. Kelly gets a diamond chip ring for her 18th birthday? Make snide remarks about how 18 year olds don't need diamonds, offer to "keep it safe" in your jewelry box, then when she asks to wear it, claim that that conversation never happened and the ring she sees in your box is something Dad gave her. No FUCKING shame.

(The day after my dad died, my sister cleaned a bunch of crap off the top of the ettigier (sp? hate that thing, anyway) in the front room, and found her high school ring squirreled away with a bunch of other stuff Dad had decided we didn't deserve.)

When I got divorced and moved my stuff out storage into the basement, I caught her pawing through my stuff with my sister, removing things from my boxes, and hiding it in her own stuff. From their whispered conversation I gleaned that she had decided certain items were "too pretty for Kelly-- she's not into this fancy stuff" and therefore it was ok for her to just claim it. One item was a very special gift my former mother-in-law had given to me.

She was actually giggling about it.I have never seen someone turn so white when I caught her.

The issue with the painting is twofold-- yes, she gave me the mats, but they were originally Neph's and therefore me using them is audacious beyond bearability, two, Mom is The Painter in the family. My even attempting it, and definitely enjoying it, and being happy with my results, is some sort of declaration of war to her. Never mind the fact that I have bought her art supplies as gifts for years, and she just let them collect dust rather than doing a single damn creative thing on her own, I have to humble myself before her talent on the off-chance she might feel like dabbing at a canvas. This is also about me displaying any enthusiasm about anything other that something that involves her, personally and exclusively.

same thing happened when I briefly took up piano. I asked for a cheapo brand keyboard for Christmas, and she gave me her own cast off, which she never used. The next time she had a beef with me-- during a private discussion, I had answered a cousin truthfully when she asked how my dad treated my sister-- she announced to the air that she was thinking of giving Neph her old keyboard for his birthday-- the one I 'kept in my room.' "Oh, that's right, you're taking piano now. Well, are you still using it?"

And then she started using the keyboard to pile stuff on, despite my repeated request for her not to. Laundry, books, trash-- everything on the keyboard. First thing I did when I cleaned out my room was put a big sign over the keyboard saying "LEAVE PIANO CLEAR."

Fucking get off your OWN butt, paint whatever you damn well please, play whatever you damn well want, and stop pissing on my parade, you spiteful cow. And I don't know what kind of person you are but since I am reminiscing-- Mom and Dead Dad, I have no idea how the two of you could have done the kind of nasty, soulless things you did to children and still locked yourselves in the mirror. I can't understand how anyone who invokes their relationship with God as often as you do/ did can be comfortable with the idea of facing him after nicking your daughter's fucking birthday ring. If you are not ashamed of yourselves, you should be.


(Whew.)
To tell the truth, now that I have gotten that out, I just kid of feel sorry for her. How miserable must your interior life be if you are so worried about how what someone else does,tries, accomplishes affects your general status in life? How does one get to thinking that way? It has to be misery- making.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
WHOA that's a helluva glurge. Sorry!
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
You're not currently LIVING with her, are you???? Because if you are, I strongly suggest a lock. Either that or a stun gun.

Wow, and I thought I had freaky relatives. hate hate HATE it when people try to gaslight others.
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
A double or triple lock. And an industrial padlock, just in case.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
A double or triple lock. And an industrial padlock, just in case.

Nah, you can get through those sorts of things with bolt cutters or an industrial grinder pretty easily—just ask anyone who's ever had their bike stolen. What you need is a u-lock, a reinforced steel, Kevlar jacketed chain, a few pieces of reinforced steel plating, and a very large and protective dog who bonds to one person very, very exclusively.
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
I was thinking a proton pack might come in handy. ('Course, you'd have to change your name to Spengler - small price to pay, IMO).
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:


Wow, and I thought I had freaky relatives. hate hate HATE it when people try to gaslight others.

Mom is the queen of gaslight. Makes it impossible to call her on anything. Any time she doesn't like what reality has to offer, she just reinvents it and sticks to it like glue.

Needless to say I love that movie. Every time Bergman goes into her triumph speech, I call up, "Ma, turn it to channel 29, you gotta see this!"

It's not my house, so I am reminded of that when I bring up putting a lock on the door, but I have pretty much let Mom know if I am pushed far enough I will get out the tools and install it no matter what she says. I already have a door jam because she would burst in my room without knocking any time she saw fit, and i figured she couldn't complain about something that wasn't attached to the door.

Ariston-- Husky? Doberman?

[ 14. April 2014, 02:23: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Macaw. Greenwing.

The personality of a two year old on speed, the loyalty of a loyal thing, and a beak like a bolt cutter. Believe me, Mom will learn to stay out. Can you say, "Maimed?" [Snigger]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Macaw. Greenwing.

The personality of a two year old on speed, the loyalty of a loyal thing, and a beak like a bolt cutter. Believe me, Mom will learn to stay out. Can you say, "Maimed?" [Snigger]
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Electrified door handles?
 
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
 
Move out. Asap. And don't look back. It really is the only answer, though physical distance doesn't always mean emotional distance. It does make emotional distance easier to achieve, though.

[ 14. April 2014, 07:03: Message edited by: Ariel ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Ariel, Love I know you mean the very best, but you did say this in Hell, so I am going to take this opportunity to shout past you down the line of the dozen or so people who have said what you have said. Cover your ears dear.

I'M TRYING TO MOVE OUT, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!!!!!

Bless. [Axe murder]

Seriously, the minute I collect move-out money, I am gone.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Don't take anything she offers you or ask her for unused things she has. For her it's all bait with a nasty hook she'll reel back in. Paint on cardboard boxes if you need to rather than take art supplies from her. If you have any jewelry, get a lock box and bolt it down if you can't store it with a friend or relative you trust. See what items might benefit from having your name written on them with an indelible marker.

This will no doubt make her get even more crazy, but at least it won't be making you crazy.

Good luck with the move-out money. I imagine any used things she "gave" you will be forfeit as you leave the house.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Ariston-- Husky? Doberman?

I've reconsidered. Ill-tempered and vicious chihuahua that you forfeit/forget when you escape.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:

Good luck with the move-out money. I imagine any used things she "gave" you will be forfeit as you leave the house.

Meh, it's not that bad, I just happened to trip over her crazy this weekend. Mostly we just stay out each other's way. And for the most part my stuff goes unmolested, it's just random acts of crazy. It's not like I live in constant fear of my stuff going missing, and that's not always how the crazy manifests itself.

i found some more mats on sale, and stocked up. These have no prior legacy I have to worry about.

I think this incident just triggered a bunch of pent-up bitterness from all that old stuff. And you better believe that wherever I wind up is going to have a big damn lock on the door.

(oh yeah, and I am already employing a marker.)

[ 14. April 2014, 08:06: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Ariston-- what I really need is a voodoo witch doctor to put a binding spell/ protective curse on every damn item in my room. Fuck with me at your peril,world.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Kelly -

Wow - you're living with her.

You're describing my Dad, and in a slightly different way, Mum. 'Narcissistic Parents', as I have usefully picked up, on here. But I escaped 200 miles away, which for me is really not far enough. Mentally preparing for a weekly-ish phone call had me in a rage and off church yesterday, for instance. My relationship with my parents is effectively the vehicle for the most substantial spiritual attack I have to face, and despite my middle-age I have not yet got anywhere dealing with it.

Wrath is a normal-enough hellish emotion around here, and here's another - hopelessness. There is no hope for these people, and our relationships with them. If we self-abnegate in the face of their demands, we damage ourselves and their corrupted sense of reality rides on unchallenged. If we challenge, then the crippled ego which drives them strikes out in a fury, and, further crippled, demands yet more reality-defeating appeasement. Lord have mercy.

Speaking personally, this is a 'sins of the fathers' thing. Growing up with this stuff fucks you up. One's own ego grows up (or rather, fails to grow up) crippled and angry. So the inner reserves of confidence and grace needed to say 'yes Dad, you're right again, how could I have been such a fool, I must change my life now in so many ways' (while perhaps intending to do nothing about it) aren't there, and something inside is screaming 'not fair not fair not fair you semi-skilled semi-literate self-regarding cunt' - instead.

I pray to be given the reserves, to feed to those total-loss grace-consuming machines. Rather like manna, sometimes it comes but it doesn't last long in the cupboard.


['To gaslight' = to act out an alternative, personally satisfying reality around oneself that everyone else is obliged to act with deference towards? Or am I reading my own situation into yours too much?!]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Kelly, I thought that someone else's situation, about which I cannot post was bad, but yours.... I feel for you.
Mark, you would find, based on someone else's experience, that the full diameter of the Earth, crust, mantle and core, would not be far enough. I feel for you, too.
I had occasion to ask for advice from the local domestic violence police officer, for someone else, concerning parental abuse of an adult, and she told me how common it was - which was a perverse sort of comfort, but an appalling thought, none the less.
That so many people have immunised themselves against seeing the harm they are doing, or, not having done so, still seek to do it, is horrifying.
"to gaslight" based on a film in which a husband attempts to persuade his wife that she is mad, by engineering events around her and then denying that they happened. In a wider interpretation, it may involve the persuader having first persuaded themself of an alternate reality before imposing it on the victim.

[ 14. April 2014, 14:03: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Phew, Kelly.... I used to work for someone just like that (a live-in job, so 24/7). But at least I could walk away, get a job somewhere else and never ever have to see them again. People are very good at throwing on the guilt if anyone removes themselves from an actual relative so completely. But, sadly, for extreme reasons, that's sometimes necessary too.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:

"to gaslight" based on a film in which a husband attempts to persuade his wife that she is mad, by engineering events around her and then denying that they happened. In a wider interpretation, it may involve the persuader having first persuaded themself of an alternate reality before imposing it on the victim.

Exactly. One of the things Charles Boyer did to Ingrid Bergman in that film was mess around with the gas levels in the light fixtures, and then claim they were the same as always. Hence the name of the film--"Gaslight"-- and the subsequent adoption of the term to describe the dynamic Penny described.
Mark-- I am in the Alanon program, and trying to build the arsenal of tools that will allow me to "detach with love". As Chorister says, guilt from a variety if family members can be powerfully crippling.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Do you pay rent to your mother ?
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Aha! "Gaslight" was used of the person I'm pushing out, and now I know what it really means. Yes, that's exactly it. Tells you one day one thing, then you act on it, and the next day tells you the opposite thing.

Not a relative, but I'm very pleased to have learned what this term means -- and only a day after I watched the gas being turned up and down in quick succession, and it was all on display for a third party. Ha.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
I think the term "kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse" might be more appropriate for this crowd.

Anyway, it's bad. On all who kick, on on who lie, I invoke Commandment 1, and will refer them to the admins.

So There.

[Hopefully the video works now!]

[ 14. April 2014, 23:46: Message edited by: Ariston ]
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
I think the term "kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse" might be more appropriate for this crowd.

I clicked on that link and got the message, 'This video does not exist.'

Moo
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
Should be better now...
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
Do you pay rent to your mother ?

No at the moment, because I don't have a job. The last year I was in College I was living on financial aid, and I am currently fund-less.

I'm gonna assume you don't mean, "As long as you are a charity case, She can rip off whatever she wants" because there is not enough Fuck Off in the world in response to that. I may have no legal recourse, but that doesn't excuse her behavior. it just means she is picking on somebody who can't currently hit back.

If what you mean is, "As you landlord she is required to respond to your request for a door lock" --Well even when I do get a job and rent money, I would rather work on the process of getting her as far away from a landlord position as possible. She offered to let me continue staying here until I graduated-- I was actually ready to move out three year ago-- but Mark is right, the gift of the free rent she offered-- SHE offered-- comes with a huge price tag. In retrospect I should have politely declined and got the hell out of there when I had the chance and finished my schooling later

(She tried to do the same thing when I started getting invites to enroll in graduate school-- What' a couple years more, she said. NO, I said. My guess is the next step is another round of mysterious illness that crops up just when I get into a position to move forward. Last semester was an absolute hell of manipulation and chaos, I have no idea how I managed to graduate without having a heart attack along the way.She acts like I am the world's biggest thorn in her side, but also throws all these monkey wrenches into things every time I take a step toward freedom.)

...

...

Now that I have said all that-- I have to mention that the matts turned up. While there is still the issue of her moving stuff around in my room, and I can't say with any kind of real confidence that she has broken the habit of grazing for odds and ends in my room, in this case she wasn't taking things away from me, she was just deciding she knew better where stuff belonged than I did. So, my reaction was at least 75% old stuff. I moved them back, told her that that was my space for them, and that seemed to settle it.

I guess the bottom line is that, if all that other stuff hadn't happened, I wouldn't have any basis for worrying about what she is doing with my stuff at all. So while I am somewhat mollified--I still have a hard time being too hard on myself.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Did the mattes turn up after she knew you had purchased new ones? If so, that does seem like gaslight behavior... You get upset about something she does, and she secretly undoes it and makes you feel you over-reacted.

A webcam running on your room while you're gone does seem like it would be interesting watching. [Mad]

[ 15. April 2014, 04:31: Message edited by: Palimpsest ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Did the mattes turn up after she knew you had purchased new ones? If so, that does seem like gaslight behavior... You get upset about something she does, and she secretly undoes it and makes you feel you over-reacted.

A webcam running on your room while you're gone does seem like it would be interesting watching. [Mad]

No, I never confronted her when they turned up missing-- I was hurt and pissed off and needed to calm down. And the new ones are still in my car. The place where I found them made sense, if I tried to look at it her way. So, not gaslighting behavior this time, just mundane controlling behavior. She didn't dodge at all when I brought it up.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I recognise the things turning up manoeuvre. Don't assume it to be innocent in this case. Someone else's passport just at the point when it would be too late to apply for a new one to attend something important, in his own bag, previously searched through again, and again. And there is always a reasonable explanation.
Sorry to be cynical, it doesn't look too Christian, but this behaviour happens.
It also sounds as if it is grounded in the same roots as my acquaintenance's troubles. A desperation not to be left, but leading to behaviour which would actually drive the victim away. While making sure the victim can't leave. I don't understand it. Why not make the home really attractive, and the relationship really friendly? Why not allow the victim a personal space that is their own?

[ 15. April 2014, 09:13: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Massive insecurity. It reminds me of how someone once described borderline personality disorder--as "I hate you, don't leave me." I've known people very like this.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
My mother has never actually stolen anything from me but has, sort off, tricked me out of things. Example, when my father's mother (no love lost between her and my mum) died, she left myself and my two sisters her three diamond rings. I got the eternity ring and loved it. My mother made a few comments along the lines of 'Oh that large eternity ring makes your engagement ring look even smaller. Such a shame that it isn't small like mine, my very large engagement ring dwarfs my eternity ring.'
So being the complete mug I am, I offered to swap. After all, when mum dies I will probably get my beloved grannies ring back, no? No! She sold it a week later on the grounds that she would probably not wear it that much [brick wall]
She simply does not understand my sentimental attachement to things belonging to people I loved but she didn't.

ETA - in fact she doesn't understand how I could love someone she didn't like. After all, I am not a seperate person from her am I?

[ 15. April 2014, 14:10: Message edited by: tessaB ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Yes. I was asked by Relative to say what I wanted from grandparents' house when they passed, as she would be executor and wanted to know what to put aside then. I mentioned a small table. When the time came, she tried to argue me out of taking the table,stored it outside (!) and told me the rain had warped it, and when I still wanted it, gave it to her pastor and handed me a reproduction Mayan calendar thingy that she SAID I had always wanted. [brick wall] WTF am I to do with this thing? It has a face on it, sticking its tongue out at me.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Give it to her for Christmas? With inadequate postage on it.

[ 15. April 2014, 14:54: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
[Big Grin] It weighs a ton.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:

Sorry to be cynical, it doesn't look too Christian, but this behaviour happens.
It also sounds as if it is grounded in the same roots as my acquaintenance's troubles. A desperation not to be left, but leading to behaviour which would actually drive the victim away. While making sure the victim can't leave. I don't understand it. Why not make the home really attractive, and the relationship really friendly? Why not allow the victim a personal space that is their own?

I still maintain that in this one instance, there was an element of misunderstanding. Just trust me in that, otherwise I have to write another five paragraph explanation, mostly containing a really boring description of my living space and certain aesthetic ambiguities that contributed to the situation. Leaving that aside, the dynamic you are expressing is pretty much my life right now. Mom is uncomfortable with the thought of being alone, but she has live with someone that she can feel superior to. She sabotages my efforts to collect the courage and will to move forward, and rewards my withdrawal into cowardice and stagnation.

I remember complaining at the end if my studies that I could watch a fucking five- hour GoldenGirls marathon, with no disturbance from her, but let me start an essay and all of a sudden furious activity would develop around me. I would wait till10 when she went to bed and start working then, and when she figured that out she suddenly developed the habit of taking four hour naps and staying up till midnight, because she overslept. I was killing myself staying up till I actually heard her snore, and then working. She usually gets up around 8: 30 or 9 in the morning, but the one time I took a 7 week class, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:45 AM, by God, she suddenly had 10 doctor appointments that had to be scheduled at 8 in the morning, meaning I had to get up earlier than I really needed to to make sure she didn't commandeer the bathroom and make me late. When I mentioned that I though her usual habit was to make midday appointments, she gaslighted me. "I ALWAYS do early appointments."

Needless to say, once I passed my finals, the afternoon mega naps stopped, the appointments went back to midday, and the flurry of vaporous health issues she complained about disappeared. That really was the breaking point with me, just seeing her return to normal so quickly after she had dominated the most important sections or my academic calendar. I can't trust her anymore. If I can't live with somebody I can trust, I would rather be alone.

I totally relate to the Inheritance Wars- what a Petri dish for codependency those are.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Oh boy, this gets more and more familiar. That there are two people in the world suffering this stuff is beyond ... She cannot bear for you to be happy?
It's actually very frustrating that I can't talk to people about detail.
I was once reduced to calling Samaritans after I had made a call to let the person know I was home safely, and found myself trapped in a tirade which lasted about an hour, after midnight, from the gaslighter. My call, I was paying, and I couldn't put the phone down. Partly because I was afraid of what would happen to my friend if I did, partly because the GL can do that, put a sort of control on one. I was so wound up at the end that I rang to ask how to wind myself down - advice on what they did after difficult calls. And it was no use, because they wanted to know too much about the relationship.
I hope you succeed in getting away soon.
Actually, it's three people I know of.
There was a TV programme on hoarders, one of whom kept her adult son at home to fetch and carry and so forth. His sister had escaped, and gave him occasional respite. The mother slagged him off terribly, to camera. And must have agreed to be filmed, and the film to be shown. Presumably so she could tell him how terribly he came across in public. Not how I saw it. Nor, I suspect, how most viewers did. She had not been edited kindly.

[ 15. April 2014, 21:15: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Oh boy, this gets more and more familiar. That there are two people in the world suffering this stuff is beyond ... She cannot bear for you to be happy?

Only within certain perimeters; if I am happy for reasons she can relate to, she has to make sure I haven't exceeded her happiness, and if I am happy for reasons she doesn't get, it must be a bad reflection on her state of happiness somehow.
She has to run my happiness through a series of mental checks before she can just leave me alone and let me be happy.
It's not just me, to some degree everyone around her gets this. I think one if the first big fights she got into with Neph was when he announced he was rooting for a ball team other than the Giants. We all did the jokey "how dare you" thing, but Mom actually got angry, and accused him of deliberately trying to made her angry. He was, like,7. He was totally baffled, and when I tried to talk to her about it, the fact that he was baffled and frightened by her reaction seemed far less important to her than the fact that he'd expressed a sports opinion contrary to her own.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Seriously though, I know what I need to do-- which is why I didn't' start this thread as a call for advice in All Saints*-- I already know what I need to so, it is just gonna take some time to do it. In the meantime, loving the war stories from comrades in arms in the crazy family situation.

Rant with me,hellions**!

* Hint
**Hint, hint.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
Not quite gaslighting, but similar – like many a child of the 80s, certainly in the UK, I wanted a snooker table – my father (a carpenter) made one himself – a fact he would frequently remind me about – and it took pride of place in the dining room.

However, it only took one foot out of line for the threat of “putting a saw through that snooker table” to be wheeled out – seemed that it was only given so that he had something to hold over me.

Also from my mother – “if you don’t give your favourite game away, there’ll be no Christmas presents this year”. When challenged on it some time later – utter denial.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
People getting cheated out of little knick-knacks from an inheritance?

Pah. Small fry. I got cheated out of... *counts number of cousins*... one-ninth of a house.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
I first read that as one-ninth of a horse [Big Grin]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
If it was a racehorse that would've been noteworthy as well.

But no, it was a house. My grandfather's house, which he left to his grandkids but allowing my step-grandmother to stay in it for the remainder of her life.

My step-grandmother who, it transpired after she died, had lied wholesale about her own history pre-grandad and had also said a lot of untrue shit about her stepchildren over the years.

She'd claimed that she had been married before and that her husband and children had died in a car crash. It emerged at her funeral that her children weren't dead and she hadn't had a husband... after that and some other shocks, I think my Dad and his brothers ended up feeling that ownership of the house was a relatively trivial matter not worth pursuing. None of us really needed it.
 
Posted by Cottontail (# 12234) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Oh boy, this gets more and more familiar. That there are two people in the world suffering this stuff is beyond ... She cannot bear for you to be happy?

Only within certain perimeters; if I am happy for reasons she can relate to, she has to make sure I haven't exceeded her happiness, and if I am happy for reasons she doesn't get, it must be a bad reflection on her state of happiness somehow.
That's how one of my sisters operates. She can be very sweet and lovely, but she has absolutely zero imagination, and so she looks at my life - very different to hers - and cannot understand my choices. So she makes no attempt at all to engage with me until such times as my life moves into a zone that she can relate to. For example, despite me living only 40 miles away during all this time, she and her family did not visit me for six entire years. I have since moved to another place, also 40 miles away, but now she visits me because I am doing a job that she can relate to and approves of.

Meanwhile, I am expected to do two things simultaneously: (a) build my life and happiness around her family, which is of course the most important thing in the world; and (b) not expect to be involved in any real sense with her children, because she wants no adult influencing them apart from her and her husband. So it is a grievous fault if I go away on holiday and cannot be at one of my nieces' or nephews' birthday parties (five birthdays - between two sisters - are spread throughout July and August, so it is impossible to take a summer break without missing one of them). And yet she has strongly discouraged me from building relationships with them. For example, I was once laughing and sympathising with her middle child about how hard it is to be the middle child, only to have her round on me for "passing on my hang-ups to her children".

Then she does this retelling history thing so that it makes her look good - and she genuinely believes it! A mild example: once she was praising to the hilt the parenting skills of a sort-of friend of hers. I commented that I thought she didn't like this woman. "Oh no," she said, "I've always thought she was wonderful." I checked this with my other sister later, and sure enough, she also said that sis couldn't stand that woman. But sis has absolutely no memory of ever not liking that person.

This turned into gaslighting in a big way when we had a serious falling out six years ago. She basically rounded on me pretty much out of nowhere - at a little family party I was holding because I was going overseas for some months. She had arrived in a foul mood, and had told me at the start that she didn't want to be there, and it was selfish of me to expect them all to come. Then, when she was throwing a tantrum about not being able to find the teabags in the cupboard, I made the mistake of saying "Oh, shut up," in weary tones, while walking away - not my most tactful moment, I admit. She lost it completely flew at me and actually screamed at me - and was heard by mother and other sister, who were pretty shocked as well. Party ruined.

When I tried to talk it over with her a couple of days later, it turns out that I had it all wrong. It was in fact me that had screamed at her, and said terrible, unforgivable things to her. (I had actually gone completely silent when she had flown at me: the quiet 'Oh, shut up," was all I had said.) But the trouble is when the gaslighting starts, how do I prove that my memory is the right one? Maybe it is me who is retelling history to make me look better. I remember one thing, and she remembers another, and how do you arbitrate between that?

I know that at the root of all this was her jealousy of my relationship with our mother. I had at that point moved back home for three months, and she accused me of "taking advantage" of her. Even when presented with direct evidence that my mother and I, as in any good relationship, actually helped each other out in a mutually supportive way (including my paying rent), she refused to revise her version of reality.

That one took a long time to repair, but I did it in the end for the sake of our mother, who doesn't deserve to have her daughters unable to be in the same room as each other. But my sister basically drove me away from the family home: I could really have done with moving back in for a couple of months when I came home from overseas, but felt I couldn't do that. And given that, unlike her, I have no husband and children, and at the time had nothing to call a home of my own, her attempts, conscious or otherwise, to separate me from my mother and my other sister were pretty devastating.

I have learned not to tell her anything personal, because although she might listen sympathetically at the time, she will use it against me later. I strongly resist holding any kind of family party now, because she will find a way to spoil it for me - which causes problems with others in the family who can't understand why I don't want to celebrate things like my 40th birthday. And I have accepted that I will always be in the wrong somewhere, and that although she is being lovely at the moment, the next attack will come, and it will come out of nowhere.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
(((Cottontail)))

My mother re-tells history, but I think she honestly believes her versions. She has a few standard narratives and will bend facts to fit into them.

We have a sad situation in the family just now, which doesn't affect me directly, but is giving me flash-backs and bad dreams about previous comparable situations which did effect me. I wish I could get it out of my head. I have tried telling myself sternly that This Is Not About Me, but then I wake up at 4am, upset and irrational.

I want to cry, but that seems self-indulgent when It Not About Me.

There's just something about families that pushes your buttons like nothing else can.

[ 16. April 2014, 12:59: Message edited by: North East Quine ]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I think certain things in fairy tale and myth stick because they reflect real life. Like Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty, or, before her, Eris turning up at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis with her nasty little apple. I have seen this happen. (Well, not the curse or the apple... but the turning up in fury. We didn't give a lift - offered, but refused...)
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by orfeo
quote:
I got cheated out of... *counts number of cousins*... one-ninth of a house.
Try this: not only destroying a will and declaring that someone died intestate but at the same time producing a typed document which was claimed to be 'the will they asked me to draw up but didn't have time to sign' which liberally slagged off me and another person.

Having, of course, used the power-of-attorney to liquidate all the bank accounts bar one before the person died and the money being squirrelled away.

The silent (sleeping?) partner to some of this finally got up the courage to tell me 6 years after the death: it wasn't news. And they 'feel guilty' about being party to it - but not so much that the disinherited grandchildren get what their grandparent wanted them to have.

The really sad thing is that the g.kids and me would prefer the person to the money anyway but...
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Kelly; The true horror of a dysfunctional mother is the point where you are having a bad day and say something to yourself about a third person and then realizing you are channeling your mother's voice perfectly.

It's a wakeup call.

[Confused]
 
Posted by JoannaP (# 4493) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoannaP:
I appear to have upset my mother.

I did not receive anything from her on my birthday ...

I was maligning my mother - she did send me a card but, due to a "senior moment", got the address wrong. It was returned to her and has now been resent to the correct address, so I have it as well as the replacement that she sent when I complained.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
Do you pay rent to your mother ?

No at the moment, because I don't have a job. The last year I was in College I was living on financial aid, and I am currently fund-less.

Etc

I was merely thinking about about the dynamic. I remember reading an article years ago about why Christmas is difficult for many - that the family falls back into the patterns of your childhood as you are altogether at the home you grew up in.

I was thinking that without a contract, to your mum it may be just like when you were a kid, except for you being taller.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Kelly; The true horror of a dysfunctional mother is the point where you are having a bad day and say something to yourself about a third person and then realizing you are channeling your mother's voice perfectly.

It's a wakeup call.

[Confused]

I got into Alanon because I realized mt relationship behavior was grossly codepenant. I got into an adult child program because I heard my Father's voice coming out of my mouth, after living alone with Mom for so long. Jesus, that is far from good, and indeed it was a wake up call..

[ 16. April 2014, 23:09: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:

We have a sad situation in the family just now, which doesn't affect me directly, but is giving me flash-backs and bad dreams about previous comparable situations which did effect me. I wish I could get it out of my head. I have tried telling myself sternly that This Is Not About Me, but then I wake up at 4am, upset and irrational.

I want to cry, but that seems self-indulgent when It Not About Me.

I read a nice take on this once that visualized this with concentric circles. In the inner most circle is the person directly effected by the tragedy, the next circle is those closest to that person (spouse, kids, etc.) and so on outward. The notion was that when you are communicating inward (e.g. you are the spouse talking to the effected person) you offer support and compassion-- the "it's not about me" stuff. But when you are talking outward (e.g. you are the spouse/caregiver talking to your friend rather than the effected person) there are no such rules-- you can complain, bitch, moan, and be as self-centered as you like.

So, for this thread (which has honestly become as heavenly as it is hellish) you are speaking to an outer circle-- we don't know your family, we only know you-- so feel free to be as selfish as you wish.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Exactly! Here is where your inner child gets to throw a big old tantrum!

[ 18. April 2014, 04:13: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Exactly! Here is where your inner child gets to throw a big old tantrum!

Ach! I don't want to throw a tantrum. I want to cry and cry. We have had yet another bad situation complicated by poor communication.

My sister in law told my mother X, and assumed that my mother had passed this on to me. But my mother thought that my sister-in-law couldn't possibly mean X, and she told me that my sister-in-law hadn't said anything, and she had definitely not said X. If fact she had said Not-X. And in response to my repeated queries, Mum said that she thought it must be a sensitive subject because my sister-in-law was avoiding the subject. (Whereas in fact, having told my mother X sis-in-law simply hadn't seen a need to repeat it.) So I didn't phone my sis-in-law because I didn't know X and thought the whole subject was being avoided.

Fast forward 4 weeks, and my sister-in-law met my daughter and realised my daughter didn't know X. So she phoned me and found out that I didn't know X either. So, four weeks late, she told me X. And I phoned Mum and she said, yes, sister-in-law might have said X at the outset, but surely she didn't mean X??

And this has happened so much to me- Mum reacts not to what I've said, in plain English, but to what she thinks I meant. And if I say something like "Black is black" I have no idea what Mum is going to hear - "Black is green? Black is black, but with red spots? Black is black, but kind of faded, more of a grey, really? Black is currently yellow, but plans to be be black one day?"

Then it works the other way, too. Mum says something to me, but doesn't mean it literally. Sometimes she says the exact opposite of what she means, assuming I'll understand. But I don't. I just don't. I just get bewildered.

Part of this I do understand. She was brought up in a twisted Presbyterian mindset which encouraged her not to express personal wants. She had to always remember that there are less fortunate people in the world and if God heard her say "I want an ice-cream!" God would be outraged and think that she had forgotten about the starving children in India. So she had to say things she didn't mean, in order to be acceptable to God. "No! Of course I don't want an ice-cream."

But then if she says to me "I don't want an ice-cream" and I think she means that she doesn't want an ice-cream, and don't get her one, I realise that she's disappointed and I've got it wrong (AGAIN!) and that "I don't want" was code for "I do want"

But it works the other way, too. I will say "I want an ice-cream" and Mum will think, hmmm... the Quine wants something bigger than ice-cream, but is minimising what she actually wants to stop God thinking that she's forgotten the queues at the Food Bank. What can the Quine possibly want? Clearly, she doesn't want an ice-cream. That can be ruled out straight away. So what does she want ....hmmmm....


[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
The "I want to cry" is actually about X, but the fact that I found out about X 4 weeks late just compounded everything and added a whole extra swirl of unhappiness on top. As if X wasn't bad enough.
 
Posted by JoannaP (# 4493) on :
 
{{Quine}}
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Alas. If this is your mother, then it is very probable that she is too old to change her ways. (Heck, I'm too old to change my ways!)
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Thank you so much, north east Quine, for explaining something to me. I've been ranting away at my family saying, in effect, if everyone was as brave and clever as me, they would speak clearly of their needs in plain English! But the reality is that they can't, any more than an alcoholic can just decide to be sober, and need help and support and compassion... And yet without enabling.

I want to cry for you... it is about you, too.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
The "I want to cry" is actually about X, but the fact that I found out about X 4 weeks late just compounded everything and added a whole extra swirl of unhappiness on top. As if X wasn't bad enough.

Now I want to hug you. And buy you an ice cream.


[Votive]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:


But it works the other way, too. I will say "I want an ice-cream" and Mum will think, hmmm... the Quine wants something bigger than ice-cream, but is minimising what she actually wants to stop God thinking that she's forgotten the queues at the Food Bank. What can the Quine possibly want? Clearly, she doesn't want an ice-cream. That can be ruled out straight away. So what does she want ....hmmmm....


[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]

That sounds absolutely crazy making.

(and sorry all I meant by "tantrum" is that you aren't required to present a "fair and balanced opinion." All you need is your own. )

And while I can't offer advice (first of all because this is Hell, and second because what do I know, anyway?) I sure as hell can commiserate. I have actually gotten to the point when I have just flat out told my mom, "I will not try to read your mind. You need to tell me what you want if you want me to get it right."

She still insists that if people really cared they would anticipate her every need.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Oh Lordy, do you get 'But I thought you would have understood that.' or worse 'Well you have obviously not thought of me at all'.
Well yes Mum I did think of you but thought that when you said you wanted to go to the cemetary on your own on the anniversary of Dad's death, that actually meant you wanted to go on your own!
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
It's a test. If you really love (insert relative of choice here), you'll be so in tune with them that you'll crack the code and know what they think, as opposed to what they said.

I confess, I've had the occasional moment in my past where I've taken the 'you should know what I'm thinking' attitude with someone. Only I always snapped out of it quite quickly, realising how profoundly bloody stupid it was to ask people to be psychic.

[ 20. April 2014, 12:54: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Friend's mother. Only fortunately, it seems, yesterday when she assured him that she did want him to go out while she grieved over the news of a friend's death, that's what she meant.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Oh Lordy, do you get 'But I thought you would have understood that.' or worse 'Well you have obviously not thought of me at all'.
Well yes Mum I did think of you but thought that when you said you wanted to go to the cemetery on your own on the anniversary of Dad's death, that actually meant you wanted to go on your own!

My mom's tropes are "Why should I ask when it is obvious what I need?" (exact words) and "Why should I say thank you to someone when they are just doing what they are supposed to do?" (this when I was talking her through how to reinforce Neph's good behavior. "You say thank you to encourage him to do it again, and also just because it models politeness, Mom."

I'm actually blue this morning because literally everyone in my family is at church. I am not, because the last time I celebrated Easter at that place, it turned into family hell.

One of the many reasons I stopped going to my home church was that I was being harassed by an older member of the church-- someone well placed and respected, so I never would have gotten help from the pastor about it (based on how I'd seen him deal with other young women in the same situation, he would have chided me for spreading gossip and sent me out to confront him alone, because that damn verse in whatever Pauline book it was meant a 19 year old girl was obligated to face a predatory male on her own two feet.)

So, I turn into one of those C&E Christians I promised myself I would never be. The year in question, I was sitting in a pew with my mom and two of her friends when the man cam in. He entered the pew on the opposite side and slid next to me.
I did not want to sit next to him. The last time he sat next to me, he grabbed my knee. I made a pretense of going to the ladies room, and when I came back my mom hopped out into the aisle and began scolding everyone to hop out, too,and give me my place back. I told them it was ok, just scoot over and I would sit on the end(which is what I was angling for anyway.) She riased her voice"NO, GO BACK WHERE YOU WERE! WHY DO WE HAVE TO SCOOT OVER? YOUR PURSE IS OVER THERE!"
so, unless I wanted to make a scene, I had to sit back ibn that spot. I spent the entire service trembling.
After the service I took her aside in the narthex and told her,"The reason I didn't want to go back to my place was--"

She snapped,"That was the guy who was bothering you, right?"

I was devoid of answer.

As we walked down to the after service breakfast, my sister noticed that I looked shaken; I gave her a whispered summary of what had happened, and she told me to meet her in the bathroom for a talk. I went, and waited, and waited and waited. I finally came out and found the table the family was at. Both my mom and sis barked WHERE WERE YOU? at me. And they spent a merry Easter chatting about dresses and hats and godly blessing, occasionally barking at me to cheer up or pass the potatoes, while I tried vainly to get a grip on my crying, which never happened. The apex of this awful day was when my sister pointed a camera at my tear stained face and demanded I smile.

I can't go back there. If at least I felt like my people had my back, I could do it, but I can't face that mountain of shit alone. And that incident made it clear how alone I really was.

I pretty much let everyone know after that I was not setting foot in the church again, which means each holiday I get a speech aimed at me about what a loyal daughter my sister is for driving a half hour to go to church with her. Yes, I have clearly explained what my problem is, no they don't give a shit.

[ 20. April 2014, 18:30: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Don't talk to the pastor, scream loudly on contact and call the police on your cell phone. Whatever else happens he'll never come within five feet of you again.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That is very fucking easy for you to say.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
You think ? I have vivid memories of being stuck in a boarding school for months at a time, 8000 miles away from my family, with unsafe staff.

One of the advantages of maturity and experience is realising you can do things differently this time round.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Possible alternate result: Perv never comes within five feet of Kelly ever again, and Family Alves further abuses Kelly as "our awful sister who screamed and falsely publicly accused nice kind Mr. P.E.R. Vee."

I don't know what the least harmful thing to do would be for the young Kelly. Good on you for not going back to that church, Kelly.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
You think ? I have vivid memories of being stuck in a boarding school for months at a time, 8000 miles away from my family, with unsafe staff.

One of the advantages of maturity and experience is realising you can do things differently this time round.

Did the unsafe staff have their wife and kids sitting right next to them? Friends of yours? Kids you counseled in youth group?


I would not dream of judging any decision you might have made about the situation you were in. And since you say you have been in a similar situation I will again express surprise at how easy it is for you to judge my response to being groped in church as inadequate-- except wait, you didn't even ask what my response was. If you were in such a situation, don't you have experience with how scary and confusing and hurtful it is? At ANY age, excuse me?

I am very sorry I did not perform up to your standards, but I did the very best I was capable of doing at the time, and I did what I thought (and still think) was the best thing to do.

In the first instance (if you even give a shit) I got up and changed seats. I didn't have anyone to interfere. I might be better able to cope with something like that in my wisdom and maturity, but why set myself up to cope with it when I can just stay the hell away from the guy?

And my wisdom and maturity lead me to get away from a church in which I didn't feel safe. I think that was the best thing to do, too. Am I allowed to feel some grief over it?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
I know this is Hell, but can we not do this?
There are several reasons I am not very much into revealing personal things here, this is one.
Victims should be about supporting each other.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
well this isn't the place for support.

I guess it was unwise for me to open up that particular wound here. I was in a bad space this morning and will bow out.

Actually, I have just as much a right to rant as anyone else, so I will bow out-- for now. I thought I was angry when I wrote that story above but-- it's something else. I'll come back when I am genuinely angry.

[ 21. April 2014, 05:32: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Kelly, that is the second time you have responded on this thread to a post of mine in a way, that seems to me, to include responses to a lot of things I did not say or think. Perhaps I have been ambiguous, perhaps you are over-reading, perhaps both.

Your post talked about an incident in your teens, but also being sad about not being able to go to that church now - in the present. And it was in the present / potential future that I responded.

Being trapped in frightening unpleasant situations when young is a very powerful learning experience. Our unconcious mind does notice the passage of time, and it is painfully easy to get sucked back into the same emotional space as adults. To act as if the only choices we have now, are the ones we had then. Of course you can choose to avoid certain places or people, but it can be empowering / healing to go back and reclaim bits of the world. It is easier to do, if you have a clear plan of how it is going to be different this time.

Observing a different response is possible is not a judgement, its a new option. Maybe its not the right option for you, but it is one of many choices you could make.

This thread is full of stories from different posters, about how such a relationship has always been X, she does a and I do b and it happens again and again. Well, we may not be able to change a, but b is in our control now in a way it wasn't years ago. The risk is that we don't notice this.
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
I've received some excellent support on this very thread - much of it from Kelly. I'm going to assume the 'can we not do this?' from LilBuddha was about the differences of opinion, rather than the topic, and chip in to say that several years ago I did 'the right thing' by reporting sexual harassment at work - well - was it the right thing?, I ask myself, still. I reported what was going on (although it was a relatively open secret and pretty much any female under 50 was fair game to this guy). This was one of the things that decided me - the fact that management could not possibly have been unaware of the behaviour, so the only possible explanation was that they didn't really know it was upsetting to the women who had to put up with it.

Well, I got shat on by several levels of management, for 'making a fuss about nothing', 'causing a lot of work for all the people who are going to have to look into these allegations now', and 'undermining [perpetrator's] manager by raising this issue with senior management'. I was so enraged by this that I had a proper shouting match with my immediate manager, who (fortunately) used shouting as a currency himself rather a lot, and didn't refer me to any sort of disciplinary process.

But the actual perpetrator? What happened to him? Fuck all, that I could tell. Maybe he was gently taken aside and asked if he could please be a little more sensitive, maybe not. What I am quite sure of is that he didn't get as much shit as I did, despite having spent years getting a kick out of making females uncomfortable in his presence. Because he wasn't creating any paperwork, was he? He wasn't making extra work for HR. No...that was me...

Honestly, screw these people - all of them. The ones who (metaphorically) punch you in the face, unprovoked, and the supporting cast who say, 'My god, look at all that blood on your shirt! How careless of you! Did you never stop to think about who is going to have to wash that out?' And that this is going on in a church? That's sad, but what's even sadder is that it isn't surprising. Screaming - or reporting (otherwise known as making a fuss) - may be the right thing to do, but it isn't always the best thing to do, ISTM.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Hey, I've got both of those too - SNAP!

quote:
My mom's tropes are "Why should I ask when it is obvious what I need?" (exact words)
Yay, thanks Mrs MiM Snr!

quote:
and "Why should I say thank you to someone when they are just doing what they are supposed to do?"
And Mr MiM Snr too - come on down.

My parents failure to deal with challenging social situations (viz your church story) also led to them controlling their children (who, I guess, they felt they had some control over) rather than attempting to deal with a third party; I guess the thought of public failure there was more than their fragile egos could handle. In my case their finest moment came as they sent me away for a week's holiday with a paedophile uncle. Guess my stumbling 8 or 9 yr-old attempts to explain how he was touching me had been just too darn embarrassing to warrant attention, heh?

The uncle is dead, but everyone else is still alive. I don't know if their death, when it comes, will free me from the rage I still feel toward them - I suspect not. Forgiving them requires supernatural, massive and constant grace injections into me, to pour down their ever-needy throats if we interact. I am not spiritually-gifted enough to pull this off. Not forgiving them burns me up and kills other relationships. Hey, this is Hell.

[ 21. April 2014, 09:01: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
I'm going to assume the 'can we not do this?' from LilBuddha was about the differences of opinion, rather than the topic,

This is correct. We can do this thread without hurting each other.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Posting this after all the really difficult stories above seems a little self-indulgent but you know what - just cos the guy next door has lost his leg doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when I stub my toe. So here goes.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, a lovely day for all the family to get together. So husband, son who lives with us, son who is in a care home, daughter who lives in North London and myself all go to see my mother in her new flat. We had a drink and then went down to the local restaurant for lunch. On the way mother took the opportunity to tell me that my daughter needed to lose weight and as her mother, I should tell her that and make her go on a diet. Now my mother has struggled with her weight all her life and is obsessed with it. Her definition of a good daughter is one who is slim, successful and runs a clean tidy home. Slim equals pretty, fat equals ugly, slovenly and uncaring. I have struggled with weight all my life and suffered from low self-esteem due (in part) to my mother's criticism and I will not do the same to my beloved daughter. She is beautiful, confident, caring, enthusiastic and I will not do anything to dent that.
If this was a one off then I wouldn't get upset. But everytime we see her I get the same. She has reduced my daughter to tears and that brings out the beast in me. I do not see my daughter as much as I would like and she is spoiling it for me.
OK, rant over.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Nothing self-indulgent about that. Can we absorb the shit coming down the generations, and pass less of it on to our children? Will our offspring marry wankers anyway, and spawn a whole new strain?! [Votive] for us all, and especially our children.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Good for you, tessa! Your daughter is lucky to have you.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
Forgiving them requires supernatural, massive and constant grace injections into me, to pour down their ever-needy throats if we interact. I am not spiritually-gifted enough to pull this off. Not forgiving them burns me up and kills other relationships.

Amen to that.

For some odd reason, articulating my anger dampens it down some-- it's like, making it text makes it smaller, more manageable.

Yesterday, for instance-- I did manage to have fun Easter. I actively focused on more-or less playing with my older sister-- there is a lot more to work with , relationship wise, with her. We both just kind of unified to aim positivity at each other and everyone else in the face of my mom's pretty much non-stop negative comments. We even managed to do it in a positive, inclusive way (Meaning, our fun wasn't based on laughing at Mom.Well, mostly.)

At the end of the day, I gave her a big hug and thanked her for helping me laugh.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Her definition of a good daughter is one who is slim, successful and runs a clean tidy home.

Oh shit, tessaB, we're sisters!

(Shit that we both have the same horrid mother, not shit at you.)
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Mother who:

* asks at TV store for a white clerk.

* refuses to walk in between two black people who are standing on either side of a wide archway.

* mutes the sound if a black person is talking on TV

* won't watch a certain game show because it often has people of colour or lower socioeconomic class or fat people on it.

* is deeply annoyed if a person of colour (or a fat person) wins on her favourite game show

* thinks it's disgustingly revolting and sick that my (mostly white) chorus did a concert of gospel music from the African American tradition. Her attitude: "White people shouldn't mix like that"

* decides on doctors by if they have an English-sounding name, or if failing that, looks on web to see their picture to see if they look white enough

* compliments people's babies by saying how white their skin is


I don't know how to deal with this.

I think at the TV store, that instead of cringing inwardly and standing silently by, I should have said "this shopping trip is over" (I was buying her a TV) and left.

Other things I've tried to challenge the thinking and I get met with a massive stonewall of refusal to change in any way, or even consider the possiblity of an alternative way of thinking. So currently I've given up trying to challenge this.

I've always been the "be quiet and get along" person with my mother. I'm thinking, enough of that shit, time to change (in many many areas, not just this racist shit part). But I see much more possibilities in the other areas. I just have no idea about how to respond to the racism.

Fuck manipulative narcissistic bastards everywhere, and especially the subtype manipulative narcissistic bigoted racist bastard.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I don't know if it is helpful to reflect that she is probably not going to change. And that therefore the only thing you could change is your reaction to her.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Thanks, Brenda. It is helpful to think that she is not going to change, because it allows me to let go of thinking that I'm at fault in some way for not yet finding a way to change her.

It's my own reaction that I completely don't know what it should be. It seems so pollutingly awful to be a silent witness to this.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Oh, I left out:

* Standing on head {figuratively, although literally wouldn't be out of the question...} to arrange to have assistant at [diet place] with white enough skin.

[brick wall] [Mad]

I'm done accommodating there, though.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
Holy soggy moonpies and flat beer, is this thread still alive?
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
There is an endless supply of difficult relatives and their endless crap.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
truth.

I was going to suggest we dump'em all and adopt each other, but I suspect it would be worse. I love you all, but if you were my relatives I would have to kill you all.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
What's your technique, Comet? Found a way to no longer give a shit?

Alcohol does that for me, but staying pissed all the time seems a bit...problematic...
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
What's your technique, Comet? Found a way to no longer give a shit?


I don't now about comet but 'loving without liking' has got me through some less than perfect moments (I suspect the worst I've had is trivial compared to some, but "controlling relatives" are part of life's rich pattern).
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
Holy soggy moonpies and flat beer, is this thread still alive?

Is that the Ship's version of Holy Communion?
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
Holy soggy moonpies and flat beer, is this thread still alive?

It's open and people are still posting to it. In real terms though, it's on life-support and the NOK have been summoned. Had we found DNR anywhere on the body, things may have been different.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
What's your technique, Comet? Found a way to no longer give a shit?


I don't now about comet but 'loving without liking' has got me through some less than perfect moments (I suspect the worst I've had is trivial compared to some, but "controlling relatives" are part of life's rich pattern).
living thousands of miles away with large carnivores as my neighbors keeps the more obnoxious ones at arm's length, too.

I ignore a lot of phone calls, too.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
replace the large carnivores with mid-sized ones, and that is my battle plan. I want to move further north. Just far enough for it to be a legitimate pain in the ass to travel.

Comet, I was actually thinking of suggesting that I lend you my sis and you lend me your mom, and we sent the other two on a long sea voyage somewhere.
(I actually think you would love Sis. She would like you anyway.)
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
the mental image of my sister locked on a boat with your mother just made me cackle with glee. surely we can make that happen?!?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Since we are both writers, yes we can. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I've always been the "be quiet and get along" person with my mother. I'm thinking, enough of that shit, time to change (in many many areas, not just this racist shit part). But I see much more possibilities in the other areas. I just have no idea about how to respond to the racism.

May I suggest a peace offering? Everyone loves a good book, and, for my money, Ralph Ellison, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglas, and Maya Angelou write some of the best.

Note: said idea may or may not have come out of similar discussions about my own Difficult Relative, who only recently struck the word "picaninny" from her vocabulary. Something about "but what do you expect, he's a Mexican" was the moment even I realized something was Unright.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Ohhh, sweet Jesus. My grandma used to use the word "pickaninny" as a compliment. As in "Isn't that the cutest little pickaninny hairstyle?"

Talk about a mind-fuck. I'm so glad I didn't attempt to bond with one of my black friends by blurting out "What a cute pickaninny hairdo you have!" Don't know how I managed to avoid it, actually. Guardian angels or something.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
My Palestinian mother will vehemently deny she is rascist "don't be silly, I'm a foreigner myself!" but will then ask every single person she is served by in a restaurant or coffee shop where they come from [Roll Eyes]
Oh and also in case you were wondering "scratch a Moslem and you uncover a fundamentalist". I mean where do you even start with that?
 
Posted by Stercus Tauri (# 16668) on :
 
I sent this to a friend whose difficult brother - a nervous flyer - had just threatened to come over here for the first time for 35 years. He sent it on to him, and I understand that the threat level is now much diminished.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
Why, Stercus, you are a naughty little fucker! I'm so proud!

reminds me of every takeoff and landing ever in Juneau. Seriously. only surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and ocean on the fourth. never a dull approach in that place.

and - what the hell is with the roller coaster runway? Do you lot over there just try to keep things interesting for the pilots?
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
Holy soggy moonpies and flat beer, is this thread still alive?

If you have soggy moonpies and flat beer after Easter you're not taking care of Mardi Gras properly. [Smile]
 
Posted by Stercus Tauri (# 16668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by comet:
Why, Stercus, you are a naughty little fucker! I'm so proud!

reminds me of every takeoff and landing ever in Juneau. Seriously. only surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and ocean on the fourth. never a dull approach in that place.

and - what the hell is with the roller coaster runway? Do you lot over there just try to keep things interesting for the pilots?

Ah... it's nice to be appreciated by someone who cares. The secret of the movie is that it is all shot with an absurdly long telephoto lens to give it that lovely roller coaster look. It actually isn't as bad as it looks. Bad enough, though. The seriously hellish part of it all is that the toilet doors are locked before landing.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Ohhh, sweet Jesus. My grandma used to use the word "pickaninny" as a compliment. As in "Isn't that the cutest little pickaninny hairstyle?"

Talk about a mind-fuck. I'm so glad I didn't attempt to bond with one of my black friends by blurting out "What a cute pickaninny hairdo you have!" Don't know how I managed to avoid it, actually. Guardian angels or something.

My mom had a certain phrase she used to say whenever she was feeling overworked and unappreciated (iow, several times a day), "I've been working like a d*** n******". Yes, that. To her credit, as she got older, got serious about her faith, became in general a better person, that phrase and the attitude behind it eventually vanished from her vocabulary. But it was a staple of my childhood.

20 some years later I was preaching on the prodigal son. Reading thru the text, trying to "inhabit" the characters, I come to the line spoken by the elder son, who is feeling overworked and unappreciated, "I've been working like a... slave".

I was so desperately afraid that in the pulpit I might slip and, um, not say "slave" that I changed translations for no reason other than it rearranged the word order. I've never read it in that translation again.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
My evil sociopathic 16 year old stepbrother, who I haven't talked about much because even in Hell there is certain bullshit we don't need, deliberately taught me (when I was about 7) that the word "nigger" was simply a synonym for stupid. He actually sat down and coached me in it. The first time I shouted it at him in an argument, I was dragged off for a proper spanking and lecture by my mom. Naturally R. played the innocent maligned one when I explained where I heard the word and what I thought it mean. Naturally his adoring father completely bought it, because the guy walked on water, as far as he was concerned.

While generally against physical punishment, I am kind of glad for that particular spanking-- again I was caught before I left the house saying that. Because one of my two best friends was black. I am positive R. had that in mind when he pulled this stunt.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
My mother used all those expressions, including 'play the white man' to mean, be fair, and 'happy as a sand boy... using 'wog' as a mildly humorous expression.. working like a black... And all the usual crap about Jews, cowardly Italians, untrustworthy French, aggressive Germans, stupid Americans...
The English are the only decent, fair, properly acting people on the planet.

I had to realise as a child that it wasn't literally true, and as a teenager understand it wasn't even ok as irony, and train myself to think differently. It was bloody hard work.

I've been challenging her ever since, from the day I asked if her black hair and olive skin was genuine Anglo Saxon, or perhaps, perchance, from the Norman invasion... to last week, when she was busy denouncing all the other nations in the European union... And she said to me, you know it's all in jest, don't you? She did drop all the colour references when she realised they were seriously hurtful ... bizarrely, she never meant to hurt anyone feelings. She thought people were being over sensitive...
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
What's wrong with 'happy as a sand boy'?

M.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by M.:
What's wrong with 'happy as a sand boy'?

M.

It might be classist. Sandboys were often portrayed as drunk, it being a lower class profession and strongly associated with public houses.
 
Posted by Barefoot Friar (# 13100) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by M.:
What's wrong with 'happy as a sand boy'?

M.

My grandfather doesn't say boy. He says n*****. He means someone of middle eastern origin or descent.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barefoot Friar:
quote:
Originally posted by M.:
What's wrong with 'happy as a sand boy'?

M.

My grandfather doesn't say boy. He says n*****. He means someone of middle eastern origin or descent.
That is a different thing altogether. Got to give props to that phrase, insults two groups for the price of one.
Sand Boy
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Your link doesn't work, just takes me to a slightly dodgy looking Google page.
Actually, I don't know what sand boy means, I just know it's somehow racially patronising.

I grew up imagining that to say someone was working like a black was a compliment, because they were working so hard, so it was never entirely clear. And I had black friends and that was fine, so all the lines were very blurry.

My Nan would say, querelously, 'I've got nothing against darkies, but...' followed by some outrageous bit of racism.
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
The problem is there were a lot of phrases that were racially derived but became common usage. It can be hard to stop using some of them because we say them without thinking.

For example my OH used to use the phrase ‘play the white man’ a lot, it took me long time to make him realise that is was no longer acceptable.

My grandmother who never had a racist bone in her, would refer to a black family in her street as ‘the darkies’ because that was the term that she was brought up to use for black people. In her time to call them black was rude! For the same reason a lot of the older generation still call black people coloured. It is hard to change an inbred use of language.

I looked up the sand boy one it is not racist but classist as somebody said above, derived from the men who would deliver the sand to low class establishments which they would put on their floor
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I found a page giving the origin, which is not racial.

Without finding it again, I'll just have to summarise. Sand boys were in the business, at the time of Dickens, who wrote about them, of supplying sand to pubs, where it was used as sawdust was later for spreading on the floor to absorb spillages and spittle. They were not boys as in children, but boys as stable boys, tea boys, barrow boys etc.

Here the page is, with Dickens reference.
Sand boy etymology

I note, however, that house boy is given as a similar usage for a grown man in a menial position, which indicates that there is an overlap, where that usage hung on in referring to black servants and field hands. But sand boys were not necessarily black (though I suppose a few of them might have been).
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
For the same reason a lot of the older generation still call black people coloured. It is hard to change an inbred use of language.

One of the largest and most venerable civil rights organizations in the US, the NAACP, still does (the "c" is for "colored"). If memory serves, at one point, their then-president Benjamin Hooks was asked by younger members about changing their name, but Hooks argued for retaining that language to remind them of how hard they had worked to be called "colored".
 
Posted by Antisocial Alto (# 13810) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
The problem is there were a lot of phrases that were racially derived but became common usage. It can be hard to stop using some of them because we say them without thinking.

National Public Radio's Code Switch blog (on race, ethnicity and culture) has a semi-recurring feature on common American phrases with racist or racial roots. It's fascinating. See this entry on the expression "long time, no see".
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
Taliesin wrote:

quote:
Actually, I don't know what sand boy means, I just know it's somehow racially patronising.
No, no, it really isn't, as others have amply demonstrated. You think it sounds a bit naughty. So don't use it, but don't have a moan at others for using it.

M.
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Antisocial Alto:
quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
The problem is there were a lot of phrases that were racially derived but became common usage. It can be hard to stop using some of them because we say them without thinking.

National Public Radio's Code Switch blog (on race, ethnicity and culture) has a semi-recurring feature on common American phrases with racist or racial roots. It's fascinating. See this entry on the expression "long time, no see".
I was once told by a friend who had been on equal opps training with her local authority, that I mustn’t use the phrase ‘nitty gritty.’

She said it had origins in the slave trade, but didn’t tell me any more?
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
I recall a row some years ago when a chap in the US attempted to use the word niggardly, which the PC brigade quickly leapt on with howls of 'racism', completely missing the point (which should have been obvious from the spelling) that it has nothing to do with a racial 'n' word, being derived from old Norse...
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
I remember that, too, l'organist.

M.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
A quick search engine look on the expression "nitty-gritty", which I had heard associated with slave ships, and particularly the women on them shows that I was right in feeling a touch of urban myth about it. The word is not recorded until the 1930s. The faulty etymology is reported from a training session in Bristol. (Training courses are very good at spreading urban myths - Brain Gym, anyone?)

But I am now thinking - if a sufficient number of people in a group that has been oppressed believe that an expression is related to that oppression, even if it can be shown that that belief is false, should other people respect that belief, and in order not to cause hurt, avoid it? Or is that analogous to not discussing what is known about the authorship of the Bible in order to protect the weak, and thus patronising and infantilising?
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by Penny S
quote:
But I am now thinking - if a sufficient number of people in a group that has been oppressed believe that an expression is related to that oppression, even if it can be shown that that belief is false, should other people respect that belief, and in order not to cause hurt, avoid it?
No.
quote:
Or is that analogous to not discussing what is known about the authorship of the Bible in order to protect the weak, and thus patronising and infantilising?
Yes.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
If enough people believing a wrong thing made it into a right thing, the TV show QI wouldn't exist.

What it does do is alter perceptions, so if you're in a situation where you care about PR, you might alter your own behaviour accordingly. But preferably through gritted teeth and while finding excessively polite ways to point out that, once again, lots of people are being idiots.

[ 23. April 2014, 10:09: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
...the PC brigade...

What is this brigade? How do I become a member? Do we get instructions what to get upset about?

[ 23. April 2014, 12:36: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
The PC brigade are those that will not let you say something offensive about someone else without mentioning that you are doing so.
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
But I am now thinking - if a sufficient number of people in a group that has been oppressed believe that an expression is related to that oppression, even if it can be shown that that belief is false, should other people respect that belief, and in order not to cause hurt, avoid it?

I think that people should avoid gratuitously offending others. On the other hand, if someone has never heard the incorrect theory that a certain word of phrase is racist, they should be told that this is offensive rather than being accused of deliberate racism.

The man who used the word 'niggardly' lost his job.

Moo
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
I miss the innocent early days when PC was an in-joke rather than an external term of opprobrium.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I think that people should avoid gratuitously offending others. On the other hand, if someone has never heard the incorrect theory that a certain word of phrase is racist, they should be told that this is offensive rather than being accused of deliberate racism.

The man who used the word 'niggardly' lost his job.

Moo

I agree, but who in the last, I don't know 50 years, would use niggardly without thinking about the word nigger? At best it demonstrates a profound lack of social awareness.
The very reason that the words are conflated is the same which should temper its use.
 
Posted by Gwai (# 11076) on :
 
Probably those of us who read lots of old books. The connection would never occur to me except that some poor schmuck got fired because some people have no knowledge of etymology and a lot of confident ignorant self-righteousness. I was baffled by that news story when it happened. Now that I'm grown-up I'm not; just depressed by it.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I think that people should avoid gratuitously offending others. On the other hand, if someone has never heard the incorrect theory that a certain word of phrase is racist, they should be told that this is offensive rather than being accused of deliberate racism.

The man who used the word 'niggardly' lost his job.

Moo

I agree, but who in the last, I don't know 50 years, would use niggardly without thinking about the word nigger? At best it demonstrates a profound lack of social awareness.
The very reason that the words are conflated is the same which should temper its use.

While I don't think the guy should have lost his job, I agree his word choice was foolish. In the end, words mean what we all agree they mean. If we *all* believe "niggardly" is a racist reference, it doesn't much matter what the dictionary says the word means. The point of using language is communication, and unfortunately racism is what he communicated.

[ 23. April 2014, 14:16: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
Well, so glad to see I found the thread marked "Let's Discuss the Etymologies of Things That Could be Offensive," since clearly none of us have difficult relatives to kvetch about.

Oh wait. Granny's still nuts, David Howard got rehired, and this discussion belongs somewhere else. Anywhere else.

Take it there. Now.

—Ariston, insufficiently caffeinated Hellhost
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Old literature were my first independent reads. Dickens at 8 or 9 and Chaucer soon after. I encountered a number of words no longer currently used. Including niggardly. I am not offended per se by its use, but find it odd. It is homophonic with nigger and we humans tend to associate similar sounding words, which is why people mistake the origins of the two. So I find it odd to choose to use an archaic word sounding so similar to an offensive one.
Should the word be never used again? No, but context and situation should be considered.
Should the staffer have been fired? No.

I will own that, perhaps, I am more sensitive here than you might be.

ETA: Sorry, Xpost with the host. Yes, Boss, no more from me.

[ 23. April 2014, 14:33: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by lilbuddha
quote:
The PC brigade are those that will not let you say something offensive about someone else without mentioning that you are doing so.
Rather, when using the term 'PC Brigade' I had in mind those who are so anxious to be seen to be non-racist, non-sexist, non-discriminatory in general, that they will find offence where not only was none intended but none caused.

See the example of the furore over the correct use of the word niggard quoted above.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
posted by lilbuddha
quote:
The PC brigade are those that will not let you say something offensive about someone else without mentioning that you are doing so.
Rather, when using the term 'PC Brigade' I had in mind those who are so anxious to be seen to be non-racist, non-sexist, non-discriminatory in general, that they will find offence where not only was none intended but none caused.

See the example of the furore over the correct use of the word niggard quoted above.

L'organist:

Speaking of furor noted above, how about the host warning telling you to take the tangent somewhere else if you want to keep discussing it. Let me give you a clue as to how seriously I meant that:

VERY.

Take. It. Elsewhere.

—Ariston, Irate Hellhost
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I agree, but who in the last, I don't know 50 years, would use niggardly without thinking about the word nigger?

People who don't come from a country thoroughly obsessed with the word nigger, for starters.

To my irate fellow hellhost: I ain't going to identify for them WHERE else to take this stuff. And you're cute when you're angry.

Anyway, the original point was that some of our relatives say horrible, appalling racist things, and we don't need to go looking for false examples of them saying horrible appalling racist things because there are quite enough true examples.

[ 24. April 2014, 07:07: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
At this point, I will quote my grandmother's entry to my autograph book. She wrote this when I was about 7.

God made the the little niggers
He made them in a night
He made them in a hurry
And forgot to paint them white.

My mother would never use that word (although my father has), but she believes that black and white people should not "intermarry". She nearly died when I said I was marrying an Italian. (She likes Italians now).

Happily, not one of my four siblings, or I, share either my grandmother's sense of humour (she had no sense of humour, but the above was her valiant effort) or my mother's stance or my father's vocal racism (he is racist).

Fuck a duck. Maybe we were all stolen at birth and swapped with my parents' real offspring.

But please don't suggest this to my mother. She will believe it.

Although, it might be true.


[Ultra confused]


ETA: I know what niggardly means. I'd use it.

[ 24. April 2014, 08:41: Message edited by: Left at the Altar ]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Apologies Ariston. St George's Day brainfart.
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
Well, yeah alright, perhaps I was a bit tetchy. But my contention remains that maybe the mentally ill need psychiatric input, not fucking prayer ministry and prn diazepam.

Oh dear.
 
Posted by John Holding (# 158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Old literature were my first independent reads. Dickens at 8 or 9 and Chaucer soon after. I encountered a number of words no longer currently used. Including niggardly. I am not offended per se by its use, but find it odd. It is homophonic with nigger and we humans tend to associate similar sounding words, which is why people mistake the origins of the two. So I find it odd to choose to use an archaic word sounding so similar to an offensive one.

While I agree that "niggardly" is a little on the archaic side, I have to question your implicit assertion that anyone hearing it will associate it with "nigger". I'm reasonably certain that in my part of Canada "nigger" hasn't been used in normal speech for a couple of decades, and that for a large number of people under the age of 25 or 30 it's a pair of meaningless syllables. THe only way I ever see it in print or hear it in speech is when (much) older people criticise unspecified "people" for using it, or referring to it, or remembering when it was in popular use a fair number of years before.

If a word has effectively died out of use, as it has here, how can other words be depredated because they sound like it?

John
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
You guys are amazing.

John, am I missing something, or is your abusive uncle personally effecting the semantic evolution of the word" niggardly"?If not, why are we still turning a thread entitled, " Difficult Relatives" into a review of the English lexicon?

I mean, I understand this is the Ship and these indeed are the things that provoke white hot rage around here-- but where does the desperate need for accuracy disappear to when the topic of " properly categorizing rants" comes up?

Jesus, word nerds, get a blog!

[ 24. April 2014, 15:56: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Are we going to have to find a new name for Scunthorpe? [Biased]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Not you, too!
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
Oh for fuck's sake, people.

Be glad we're not related, or else you'd be seeing your exploits plastered all over this thread.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
relative (noun): a person connected to oneself by common genetics and/or marriage.

relative (adjective): considered or compared by reference to something else, such as the difference between the etymology of a word, its current meaning, and whether it is a homophone or near-homophone for a word with a different etymology or meaning.

relevance (noun): something that some relatives have in relation to this thread, and others don't.
 
Posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger (# 8891) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Are we going to have to find a new name for Scunthorpe? [Biased]

Yes, it's going to be called Smyfatherhorpe.

(Making an effort to drag this thread kicking and screaming back on topic).
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Jemima, were you answering a different page, or a different thread..?

This morning, I wished all my relatives dead, so I could just be left in peace. But that's a bit extreme, even for here.

I've regained some kind of... grip...
Wouldn't be adverse to falling through a time hole into another dimension, tho. Doctor...?
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
No, this thread, honest. I was on topic, even if everyone else was nattering (interestingly, as it happens) about Dickens and stuff. [Biased]

It turned out at the top of the page which made the post look even weirder than my original not-particularly-coherent rant at the DR.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Jemima, were you answering a different page, or a different thread..?

This morning, I wished all my relatives dead, so I could just be left in peace. But that's a bit extreme, even for here.

I've regained some kind of... grip...
Wouldn't be adverse to falling through a time hole into another dimension, tho. Doctor...?

Not only do I think you are not alone, but I think you have formed a good basis for a drinking game, there. [Big Grin]

Louie Anderson had a bit about wishing he had a gun that would kill people dead for five minutes, just for those moments.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I've recently finished watching the first series of the French show, The Returned (season 2 is in the works apparently). There are a couple of instances of people finding that killing family members isn't permanent.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
After spending Easter with my family I've decided that they're all difficult.

I am the only perfect one.

Or vice versa.

Huia
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
Thirty years ago I returned to the UK after a six year stint abroad. There were personal and professional reasons for moving to London in the south east, but high amongst them was keeping the length of the country between me and my sister (living in the north east.) It was that or a potential life sentence for sororicide.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Louie Anderson had a bit about wishing he had a gun that would kill people dead for five minutes, just for those moments.

A tranquiliser gun has much the same effect in practice.
 
Posted by Lord Jestocost (# 12909) on :
 
I thought readers of this thread might appreciate Dysfunctional Families: the Role Playing Game.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I've recently finished watching the first series of the French show, The Returned (season 2 is in the works apparently). There are a couple of instances of people finding that killing family members isn't permanent.

It isn't a permanent solution. I'm sure the elimination of one troublesome relation merely opens a vacancy into which another one steps.
 
Posted by jbohn (# 8753) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Jestocost:
I thought readers of this thread might appreciate Dysfunctional Families: the Role Playing Game.

That's stellar, that is - if a bit close to home... [Biased]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That is fucking fantastic.

And did you read the comments? It's us! It's us!
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I agree, but who in the last, I don't know 50 years, would use niggardly without thinking about the word nigger? At best it demonstrates a profound lack of social awareness.
The very reason that the words are conflated is the same which should temper its use.

I would use the word 'niggardly' without thinking about the word 'nigger'. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Is there some reason why 'nigger' should come into someone's mind when the word 'niggardly' is used? (Apart from reasons of stupidity or ignorance, of course.)
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Thread. In Purg. Exists.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I've recently finished watching the first series of the French show, The Returned (season 2 is in the works apparently). There are a couple of instances of people finding that killing family members isn't permanent.

It isn't a permanent solution. I'm sure the elimination of one troublesome relation merely opens a vacancy into which another one steps.
I didn't want to kill one of them, I just wanted them all to be dead.

Or me. Either might have the same net effect, for me, anyway.

It felt, on that morning, that all of them just take my energy, relentlessly. It's not really true...
Mostly....

Do I sound like the mom in the dysfunctional family game yet???
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
Role: The trophy son
Consistency: High (always does exactly what he's told)
Capability: High (so much higher than everyone else's trophy!)
Charm: Low / irrelevant (better that he's seen and not heard anyway, he might distract from my vicarious glory)
Tapes tagline: "I'm so proud of you for making me look good!"
Destiny: Keep being successful, to distract from / excuse everyone else being dysfunctional.

I like it. It perhaps describes why, my socio-economic grouping having recently moved rapidly from A to C2, I find my father no longer speaks to me! Well, every cloud...
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
I didn't want to kill one of them, I just wanted them all to be dead.

Just today an acquaintance of mine said her whole family was dead, and sometimes she feels bad about that, and sometimes she is grateful.

I basically said "OMG you are the second person in 24 hours I have heard something like that from."
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Ok, thank you, I now know I don't mean it.

I just get, you know, tired...
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
At one point, I was in danger of becoming the Trophy Son in my best friend's family.

I'm not kidding. And boy was it awkward.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
I haven't seen one of my sibs for 9 years, another for 7 (my choice): the children say the effect on our family has only been positive, but I sometimes find myself feeling guilty because I don't feel guilty about not seeing them.

The sib in the middle used to keep on about how awkward it made life for them, but I refused to rise to the bait. The other two are constantly pumping them for information about us which is having the effect of alienating the middle sib from them as well.

As my children point out, I have a core group of friends of nearly 50 years' standing - the two sibs I don't see seem to have a complete change of 'best friends' roughly every 3 years.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
At one point, I was in danger of becoming the Trophy Son in my best friend's family.

I'm not kidding. And boy was it awkward.

One of the bits of damage I am trying to undo is parental tendency to paint one sibling as a trophy in the other's presence. Boy, was it fun when Sis and I finally compared notes.
 
Posted by BessHiggs (# 15176) on :
 
Just popped in to bitch a teensy-tiny bit about my dear mother. She felt the most appropriate way to tell me that my dad had died was to send me an email. AN EMAIL FFS.

Seriously, who thinks like that? You email recipies, or cute pics of the cats or banal news about the weather. Not major, life-shaking, gut-wrenching, horrible news. [Mad]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
When my daughter accepted the hand of the man who is now her husband, she sent me an Instant Message. In its entirety it read "He gave me a ring." I immediately IM'ed back, "What is this HE? what is this RING?"
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
By email. Ouch.

Can I bitch about the stepson who has not even YET informed us about our granddaughter's birth (just turned two), and we've had to worm all the info out of other relatives he does bother to tell? God knows why. I suspect a certain someone told him a pack of lies about us, but at age 40 he ought to know better and investigate crap on his own.
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
When I was a student my mother phoned to tell me my greatly beloved grandmother had died. I was hugely distressed, only to become more so as she then told me to get the train to another city and find my siblings as she 'didn't want them to find out over the phone.'
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
When my daughter accepted the hand of the man who is now her husband, she sent me an Instant Message. In its entirety it read "He gave me a ring."
"Perhaps you'd like to pay me the same courtesy" [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
When I was a student my mother phoned to tell me my greatly beloved grandmother had died. I was hugely distressed, only to become more so as she then told me to get the train to another city and find my siblings as she 'didn't want them to find out over the phone.'

Wow. We gotta start scoring this shit like Olympic gymnastic judges.
 
Posted by Dennis the Menace (# 11833) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BessHiggs:
Just popped in to bitch a teensy-tiny bit about my dear mother. She felt the most appropriate way to tell me that my dad had died was to send me an email. AN EMAIL FFS.

Seriously, who thinks like that? You email recipies, or cute pics of the cats or banal news about the weather. Not major, life-shaking, gut-wrenching, horrible news. [Mad]

A few years ago my Dad's only sister passed away and her son, my ditzy cousin, wrote letters to all our relatives to inform them of her death and to this day I have no idea whether she was buried or cremated or where her remains are. He just flatly refused to share that info.

Said relatives did not attend the memorial service, a couple of them were quite offended by the letter.

I was and still am devasted by this as aunty and I were very close.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Years back, when my grandma died, someone on our end dorked up and forgot to inform a cousin that was distant to us but close to her. She chose to express her bitterness about this on her RSVP to my wedding invitation.
 
Posted by basso (# 4228) on :
 
My sister -- the one who notified me of the existence of my unsuspected brother a couple of weeks ago -- likes being the center of the family. All info should go through her. It took her a couple of years to let me know that my brother and his partner had had their second child. (Bro doesn't much want to have anything to do with me either.)
Sis hasn't coughed up new brother's contact info yet. Tracking him down will be a task for next week. Is it wicked to think of being able to call her and say ¨btw, I had lunch with T. the other day?¨
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Very. Go for it!! [Two face]
 
Posted by Helen-Eva (# 15025) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BessHiggs:
Just popped in to bitch a teensy-tiny bit about my dear mother. She felt the most appropriate way to tell me that my dad had died was to send me an email. AN EMAIL FFS.
[Mad]

My father informed me of my grandmother's death by text message.
 
Posted by Heavenly Anarchist (# 13313) on :
 
Several of my older siblings do not talk to my sister and her daughter. So when my mother was admitted to a hospice for her last few days I clearly asked them whether my sister knew she was there and it was confirmed that she did. So when my sister and niece did not show up in the next 2 days I tentatively approached my niece. They had not been told [Mad]
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
I have no problem with my siblings. My cousins however are a different story. Having trouble with my cousin now too long and complicated to get into but involving her take charge nature and her lack of faith in my brother's ability to handle things. It's all very upsetting and I don't know what to do.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Tonight I'm googling "my mother is insane." I should probably also be googling "I am a sad codependent fuck" and "Enough of this shit".

I don't know how the fuck I got into the habit of always trying to just absorb it when she says irrational things. But I don't know what the fuck else to do, since trying to challenge what she says is just met with an impenetrable wall of refusal to acknowledge that she's said anything which is in the slightest way wierd.

Well, fuck this shit. I'm done being the codependent caring patsy.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Double triple quadruple fuckety fuck fuck fuck.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
AR - I've been withdrawing in a situation like yours for about the last 3 or 4 years. From me, she now gets polite (perhaps sometimes even warm - I do my best) conversations about facts, and monosyllables about feelings and opinions - I'll no longer be drawn. She's just about starting to behave herself, which may be timely as she's no spring chicken.

I tried the same technique with the father, who as I may have mentioned upthread has now withdrawn entirely from conversation. That has its own recompense, I guess. It remains to be seen if this is permanent.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Take my mother in law...

PLEASE take my mother in law!

Her youngest child, a son of 40+, is in hospital awaiting a bypass operation on Tuesday and we are seeking blood donors of the right group. I was sitting next to her at lunch today at a neighbour's child's birthday bash and told her that a friend, M, was travelling into the city with me tomorrow to donate blood for the operation and she went all snooty in her attitude. M is of a different [and theoretically lower] caste.

Luckily she didn't say anything and anyway we speak different languages but I could have slapped her! M is giving up at least half a day's work and a pint or so of blood to help keep her son alive!
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Thanks, Mark.

Welease, apparently my mother is moonlighting as your mother-in-law!

When my father was having prostate surgery, my mother started calling and pestering the surgeon's office to be sure no black nurses would be assisting. My father eventually found out and informed the surgeon's office that my mother was to be no way involved in decisions for his surgery, and not to take her calls.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
AR, change the subject in a more or less obvious fashion. More if you're feeling angry, less if you don't want to get into it that day. So...

Mother: "Your sister's behaving like a total idiot, don't you agree?"
You: "Nice weather we're having isn't it?"/"Have you seen my cell phone?" / "There was a leprechaun at the bottom of the garden today"

She will of course catch on, and likely punish you with angry silence for a while--but that can be a nice vacation. And eventually some learn.

My own example of this no longer brings up those subjects around me. It took about four years, but hey, it's REAL nice.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Thanks, Lamb.

I'm completely sick of this shit. I'm sick of words being used in nonsensical ways, and I'm sick of there being topics I mustn't bring up, and I'm sick of the fact that my wonderful insightful best friend ALSO has topics that I mustn't bring up, and I'm sick of standing silently by while my mother refuses to pass the peace with black people at church, and I'm ever so fucking sick of trying to be helpful and complaisant and nice.

Sick sick sick fucking sick of it.
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
Wodders, you deserve a medal for even sitting next to your Mother-in-law (Who likes me, for some reason [Eek!] ) And give M a big hug from his friend, Pete)

[ 04. May 2014, 15:30: Message edited by: PeteC ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
AR, you remind me that there are seasons in life. Welcome to the season of being pissed off! [Snigger]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
When my father was having prostate surgery, my mother started calling and pestering the surgeon's office to be sure no black nurses would be assisting.

Is it so very wrong of me to be hoping that your mother one day is in trouble or distress with only black people in a position to help?

Is it even more wrong of me to hope that they don't help and say they understand she wouldn't want them to help?
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
When my mother was a small child some idiot showed her pictures of the Japanese atrocities in Manchuria. Those, combined with constantly being told that Japanese troops would invade NZ and rape all the women, left her with a fear and hatred of Japanese people. Then one day she was at a Eucharist in the Cathedral and the person standing next to her was a young Japanese tourist holding his son.

When it came time for the Peace she reached out and touched the boy's hand saying, "Peace be with you." She later said that, seeing the care the young man had for his son and the innocence of the child that they were people just like her, not the monsters of her childhood.

I think it was a very healing experience for her.

Huia
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Lamb and orfeo: [Big Grin]

Codependency number 9001: bringing my mother a piece of the communion bread (broke my piece in half at the communion station, ate one half, carried the other half back) because she won't take communion from our new, female, rector. Fortunately no-one pointed at me as I left the station: "EAT IT! EAT IT NOW!"

She did shake hands with the rector at the peace, and didn't complain once about hearing the service in a woman's voice instead of a man's voice, so I'm counting that as progress.

It's just impossible to know: am I being a loving daughter, or am I being an idiot co-opted by insanity? Alcohol isn't the issue, but dysfunction similar to that of alcoholic families certainly is, so I'm going to Al Anon to help myself.
 
Posted by Caissa (# 16710) on :
 
I think it is more the latter although I understand your rationale. Is your mother opposed to female priests or just this particular one?
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Lamb and orfeo: [Big Grin]

Codependency number 9001: bringing my mother a piece of the communion bread (broke my piece in half at the communion station, ate one half, carried the other half back) because she won't take communion from our new, female, rector. Fortunately no-one pointed at me as I left the station: "EAT IT! EAT IT NOW!"

She did shake hands with the rector at the peace, and didn't complain once about hearing the service in a woman's voice instead of a man's voice, so I'm counting that as progress.

It's just impossible to know: am I being a loving daughter, or am I being an idiot co-opted by insanity? Alcohol isn't the issue, but dysfunction similar to that of alcoholic families certainly is, so I'm going to Al Anon to help myself.

...yeah, personally I would draw the line at taking her communion wafers. Besides, if they're not okay coming from a female rector, how are they any more okay if they've passed through your laity hands? You ain't blessing them properly if the rector isn't.

Point out to her that Jesus accepted gifts from women.

[ 05. May 2014, 12:58: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Caissa, I don't know what I think but I'm getting to the point of suspecting that my codependency goes very deep, in ways I haven't got the slightest clue about, so I'm taking what you say on board.

Orfeo, good point.

She objects to all women priests. For her own idiodyncratic reasons, not for the reasons people usually have.

[ 05. May 2014, 13:57: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
If you have Relate in your neck of the woods, they do therapy on family dynamics, and will see just the one person for that I believe. They are usually a pay what you can afford service, might be more directly helpful than an addiction focused service - if you are not dealing with an addiction problem.

Link

[ 05. May 2014, 17:18: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
(N.B The online livechat service is free.)
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
AR, your mom sounds like she stepped straight out of a Pat Conroy novel. Holy shit. [Ultra confused]

And I thought the same thing Orpheo did-- how is some lay-daughter running interference supposed to remove priestly girl cooties?


In other news, Mother's Day in the US is next Sunday. I was tickled to see a non- sweetie pie

commercial for us daughters with trying mothers, for a change.
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
Couldn't hear the commercial. Could anyone else? all the sound levels on my computer were set to high. [Confused]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
(synopsis) girl asks if necklace is right for mom, sales guy performs generic nagging mom character to demo necklace.
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
Thanks, KA.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Particularly loved "Is this your hair now, is that what it's going to be?"
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Friend of mine had her younger sister greet her coming back from a salon with, "are you happy with your hair that way?"
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Kelly, now I'm curious to try out a Pat Conroy novel. Cautiously though, in case it's so close to reality it sends me running screaming to the hills.

The fictional characters that have reminded me greatly of my mother are Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Blanche duBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Completely cocooned in their own unreal version of the world.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Particularly loved "Is this your hair now, is that what it's going to be?"

Bwah! That must be the partner for, "Is that what you're wearing?" You could write a good sit-com with this material, Tessa.

Once when my son was little, I came home from the beauty shop, and he burst into tears.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Friend's mother often greeted her with Oh dear, your hair is looking all Myra Hindley again and on the morning of her wedding opined I should have told you sooner but that dress does nothing for you.

When I bumped into the mother after friend had announced her first pregnancy her mother broadcast to a full-ish parish hall Poor little thing - lets hope it looks like neither parent! At that point I just lost it and said that as long as her potential grandchild inherited its temperament from its parents, rather than its grandmother, it would be fine with me.

This lady is still happily bitching away at 97 - they had to move her from one care home because she caused such uproar.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Particularly loved "Is this your hair now, is that what it's going to be?"

Bwah! That must be the partner for, "Is that what you're wearing?" You could write a good sit-com with this material, Tessa..
After years of hearing this stuff from my (mostly endearing) mom, I realized that if I ever won the Nobel Prize/ Oscar/ Grammy/ Pulitzer / whatever her very first response would be, "I hope you can do something with your hair" or "what in the world will you wear?". On the flip side, her default response to any life tragedy-- divorce, death, unemployment, incarceration, hospitalization-- was to buy shoes. Which worked out better in some situations than in others.

The most aggravating/amusing was the tendency to comment on my weight at every meeting, so that one day it would be "have you lost weight?" then the very next day, "did you gain weight?".

Ah, but these are small nothings compared to some of the other c*** that's been shared here.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
This lady is still happily bitching away at 97 - they had to move her from one care home because she caused such uproar.

There comes a point where it'd be good to slip into conversation, ever so subtly, the proposition that euthanasia should be available for those who continually indicate that life is one big miserable disappointment.

[ 07. May 2014, 02:52: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:


At that point I just lost it and said that as long as her potential grandchild inherited its temperament from its parents, rather than its grandmother, it would be fine with me.


You are awesome. Just had to say that.

One of my best memories is of a family friend going off on my dad when he insulted me in public for the thousandth time. Don't underestimate how much damage a gesture like that can undo.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Just come home from seeing 'The Mother'!!!!
Best comment of the day "All three of you girls take after your father, not one of you takes after me" long pause "Such a pity"
I did have to ask her if she had looked in a mirror recently as myself and older sister would have a really hard time disowning her (believe me we've tried [Snigger] )
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I don't know if I could have resisted the urge to answer, " I've always been grateful for that..."
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
You are a bad bad person Kelly [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Some years ago there was a thread titled "Ask Sine" in which Sine Nomine (now there's a much-missed Shippie) gave advice to anyone on any subject.

Marvin has since hosted a "Dear Marvin" thread to good effect and now it looks like Kelly is shaping for a run at it.

Whatever happens, I don't think AS or Heaven should host it.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Some years ago there was a thread titled "Ask Sine" in which Sine Nomine (now there's a much-missed Shippie) gave advice to anyone on any subject.

Ask Sine was one of THE BEST threads ever! It's worth a visit to Oblivion when one has a couple of hours to spare.

I miss Sine!
[Tear]
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
The night before last I was curled up in bed trying to get some sleep as I started work at 5.30am yesterday morning. My mother phoned at 11.30 and got me out of bed to answer (late night phone calls = emergency in the mind of an anxious person). The conversation went like this:

Mother - 'I've been paid to write an article for someone and it's got to be in at nine tomorrow morning.'

Me - 'mmmhhh' (Sleepy sounding)

Her - 'Well because I've been on holiday I haven't had time and I need the money.'

Me - 'mmmhhh'

Her - 'If you could email it to me by seven then I could make sure it was ok.'

Me - (waking up rapidly) 'You know I'm on an early shift tomorrow.'

Her - 'Yes but you don't need that much sleep do you?''

Me - (anger levels hitting the roof) 'So you, a supposedly professional writer, sign a contract knowing you can't fulfil it because of a holiday, expect me, who hasn't written more than an email since I graduated, to write it for you, knowing nothing about the subject and wakes me up knowing I have to get up for a 12 hour shift in less than four hours and expects me to do it?'

Her - 'Yes'

Me - 'Sorry, I need to go back to bed.'

Her - 'rarara selfish bitch, I gave birth to you, blah blah blah, won't even do one small thing for me, no wonder I never loved you, wish you'd never been born rarara'

Me - 'Thankyou so much.'

Phone gets hung up. I lie in bed the rest of the night, wide awake, furious with her, myself and everyone else because my mother doesn't know the meaning of appropriate.
 
Posted by Lord Jestocost (# 12909) on :
 
That takes several packets of biscuits. It would be interesting to hear the conversation in the editorial office at 9 the next day.
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Oh.My.God, Chive. I mean, O.M.F.G.

Makes my mother look quite cuddly. Get call barring, please. Or at least a phone that shows you who is calling before you pick up. Or screen with an answer phone and switch to silent at bedtime. Or unplug the damn thing and only let people text you.

blergh.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
Her - 'rarara selfish bitch, I gave birth to you, blah blah blah, won't even do one small thing for me, no wonder I never loved you, wish you'd never been born rarara'

If it's such a 'small thing' she should be capable of doing it herself.

It of course ISN'T a small thing. Which is why she's trying to weasel out of it and get someone else to do it. That is what is known in the trade as a blatant and manipulative lie.

[ 08. May 2014, 15:05: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
With any luck she'll be so P.O.ed she won't call for a long, long while. [Votive]

ETA: My thought exactly, orfeo.

[ 08. May 2014, 15:05: Message edited by: Lyda*Rose ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
Oh.My.God, Chive. I mean, O.M.F.G.

Makes my mother look quite cuddly. Get call barring, please. Or at least a phone that shows you who is calling before you pick up. Or screen with an answer phone and switch to silent at bedtime. Or unplug the damn thing and only let people text you.

blergh.

More than justified. Holy shit.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Chive

Well done.

Jengie
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
All of a sudden I feel quite a lot better about my tiresome relatives.
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Wow. Just wow. Good for you Chive.
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
Well done, Chive!

Somewhere I read that with manipulators and trolls, the best thing to do is consistently smile and nod cheerfully, and give them no payoff. "Why yes! You're right! I AM a brainless skank! Good night." <click> As with other forms of bullying, they tend to get weary when they never get the payoff/reaction they want, and move on.

To borrow one of those phrases from the Sixties, it puts the monkey right back on her own back, where it belongs, so she can deal with it. Also, I like the image of gently returning a screeching, flea-bitten monkey back to the back of such an owner. (So sue me for a little Schadenfreude.)
 
Posted by Leaf (# 14169) on :
 
Sorry for the double post. Brief story of my own Difficult Relative, recently encountered.

In an entirely inappropriate social situation (because why would that matter?) she kept insisting on a project that she wants me to do, which I have successfully avoided for years.

The project? I swear I am not making this up: to listen with her to hours of audio tape (for which I am expected to secure and operate the appropriate machinery) of farewell speeches praising her. These were made thirty years ago.

"But you know these people!" she exclaims. Truthfully, I don't, but that doesn't matter. Like Kelly, I lived with this particular Difficult Relative for years, and I know how she sees me. I am aware that for her, I exist only insofar as I validate her. I am only a character in her novel - or rather, a felt-cloth figure on her flannel storyboard - with no independent existence of my own. When I ever respond in some way different from her expectations/desired response, her eyes glaze over and she moves on to other subjects.

So I respond in kind. With The Project, my eyes glaze over and I say vaguely, "Yes, yes, we really must organize that," and move on. She is so deep into her narcissism that there really is no other way with her.

I would sooner chew my own left hand off than listen to those tapes with her - it would take less time and be less painful.

[ 09. May 2014, 01:42: Message edited by: Leaf ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
I am aware that for her, I exist only insofar as I validate her. I am only a character in her novel - or rather, a felt-cloth figure on her flannel storyboard - with no independent existence of my own. When I ever respond in some way different from her expectations/desired response, her eyes glaze over and she moves on to other subjects.

You know, I have recently grasped that this is a type I've encountered several times elsewhere on the internet. Having to deal with these in 'real life', in situations where you can't just walk away, must be a huge burden.
 
Posted by Porridge (# 15405) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
Me - 'mmmhhh'

Wow. A mom who's not only up for a spot of plagiarism, but wants to drag her daughter in with her. What a prize.
 
Posted by Caissa (# 16710) on :
 
You could have negotiated an excellent fee, Chive. [Biased]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
This is very instructive. Give me another year of seeing clearly the inappropriateness of others' narcissistic mothers, and I may eventually figure out how to see it clearly with my own situation -- currently even if I see it clearly in hindsight (not a given), it's still too late because I've already said and acted on "Oh, yes, of course, please let me help you." If I entered an "impersonating a doormat" sweepstakes, I think I would win hands down no-contest.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I realized yesterday that I am pushing 60. Enough, already. I refuse to let myself be made unhappy any more.
 
Posted by Barefoot Friar (# 13100) on :
 
I've not read every post on this thread, but I've generally been following it. I just wanted to say that some of the antics are utterly unbelievable, and I wonder how in the name of all that's holy you're still sane. It's unbelievable.
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
If I entered an "impersonating a doormat" sweepstakes, I think I would win hands down no-contest.

With all due respect, you'd have to unseat the reigning champion.

[nervously adjusts tiara and sash while apologizing for living]
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
Good grief, chive. And well handled you. I hope the early shift wasn't too draining.

The dawning realisation that I'm only here as an actor in someone else's play is a tricky one. Especially when the DR in question is a shrink and therefore able to hand out diagnoses like smarties.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Read up on transference, then you can diagnose right back.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Or you can be as annoying as hell by using logical fallacies, e.g. "You only say that because you're a ..." (fill in the blank). No special knowledge required. The illogic of it is precisely what's annoying.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Yes, yes, yes LC: before I cut off all communication I foud the only way to cope with one of my DRs was to listen to the accusations and unpleasantness and get straight back with "I realise you feel uneasy so you're going into passive-aggressive mode - how can I help you to feel better?" Apart from one black eye it worked pretty well.
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
Read up on transference, then you can diagnose right back.

Nice one.

Also nice ones LC & L'organist (you really are brave!) If only I had the nerve......
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Low tech version, old and mildly obscure for extra irritation value.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Aaah, TA...I found 'I'm OK, You're OK' (the 'easy read' introductory volume to this kind of psychotherapeutic approach, if that's what it is) quite helpful, and easy to digest. Just sayin.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Big Grin]

Ok, you are invited to lunch by friends, at noon. You get up at 8: 30, shower, begin the fundamentals of dressing at about 9, have breakfast at 9:15, begin working on hair at 9:30, dress at 10, put finishing touches on hiar at 10:30, and are pretty much ready to go by 10:45, when you leave early to get there on time.

Your daughter invites you lunch at noon. You stay in your room and give absolutely no sign of life until 9:30, when your daughter knocks on the door to see if you are still up to it, and discovers you have been sitting up watching TV for about an hour. You snap at her and delay the time to leave when she reminds you she recommended getting to the place early to the very small venue to grab a much fought-over seats. You generally behave as if the most selfish, most inconvenient thing your daughter has ever done was invite you out to lunch. The second you get home you ignore her, get on the phone, and express gushy, kindly , LOUD appreciation for every other card or note you've received.

Oh and while your daughter is occupied typing, make a big display for the neighbors of pulling out the not nearly full garbage and struggling with it-- though it is not garbage day, and daughter has repeatedly asked you to leave it for her, and there is not much at all in the bag-- because it is really important that when daughter does something kind and friendly to you, you cover your bases by making some attention getting display on the lawn in front of the house about how you have to do everything by yourself. In fact, the more help she tries to give, the more you really need to stock up those public martyr points.God forbid daughter have any reason to believe she might be useful or welcome. Desperately important that the neighbors never see her that way.

Happy fucking Mother's Day.

P.S. Fair warning-- the minute daughter goes off and spends a bit of time with people who act like they enjoy her company and appreciate her efforts-- you're sunk.
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
Hold on - your mother is my mother-in-law?!?!!???

That makes you my sister-in-law. FanTAStic. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Obviously I am in need of sane, genial extended family. Line forms on the left, all applications considered.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
sane

well, that's me out.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Not when you factor in the phrase "by comparison." That would encompass millions.
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Obviously I am in need of sane, genial extended family. Line forms on the left, all applications considered.

Hmmmmmm . . . . based on this January post from the TICTH thread, I think I have a sibling for you:

quote:
Originally posted by Meg the Red:
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:


Anyone want to adopt me? Please?


Dibs!!!!!

Huia, say the word and the spare bedroom is yours! (and the cat's, unfortunately) [Big Grin]

You're both welcome to stay as long as you promise not to fight the cat for the bottom bunk.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Big Grin]

In other news -- OH HELL YES.
 
Posted by Starbug (# 15917) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[Big Grin]

In other news -- OH HELL YES.

Oh. My God. [Eek!]

I love the response from Ask Amy!!! [Killing me]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Right?? Right???
 
Posted by Stejjie (# 13941) on :
 
Oooh, in-laws...

They came across on Sunday with a small freezer from my wife's great aunt's house. They'd offered it us and we gladly accepted it, because the freezer in our fridge/freezer is too small and we've got room for it in our tiny kitchen. So far, so good.

They also offered us a microwave from the house. We said no, not because we're snobbish about microwaves (we used to have one till it broke), but because there isn't room to put it in our kitchen, we don't really have room in our house to store it anywhere and, actually, we manage quite fine without one.

So we said no... and they brought it anyway. Apparently they're going to put up a shelf in our kitchen (they seem to have problems with the "our" bit of this) on which it can go, which will make our kitchen even more cluttered. Gee, thanks...

And this is how it goes all the time. They seem to think "helping" means "jumping in and doing it for us, without bothering to ask us what we want or need". So they've booked themselves in to wallpaper our eldest daughter's room in the autumn (after we'd managed to talk them out of coming in June), without actually thinking that hey!, maybe we'd like to do it ourselves it being our house and everything. They're our constantly doing stuff for us, sometimes asking first often not, and...

I'll admit to not being the best at DIY and so on. But if they keep doing stuff for us, I'm never going to get the chance to learn and get better. And then when they're unable to come and do it for us, what do we do then?

Oh, and me and my wife are in our mid-30s. We are quite capable of making our own decisions about what we do and don't want without it constantly being overruled by "We thought we'd just..." or "We thought it'd be better if...".

[Mad]
 
Posted by JoannaP (# 4493) on :
 
Stejjie,

Are you my doppelgänger or something?

That sounds so familiar...

My in-laws moved to just round the corner, so had a spare key and looked after the house while we were away. I was always very tense coming home and until I had had my prowl to discover what they had "helpfully" thrown away for us. [Mad]
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
I've solved the parental home interference in two easy steps:

a) move 500 miles away
b) develop a major anxiety disorder and labour the point that having anyone into your house exacerbates this.

Any family who come and visit me stay in a hotel, B&B or similar, which I will happily arrange (but not pay for). I am more than happy to spend time with them and take them interesting places.

Then I return to my house and whine to myself about how exhausting my family are.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
So we said no... and they brought it anyway.
I'm glad you told us your age. I waited until my early 40s to confront this behaviour in close family, with the result that the 3-4 yr shit storm which goes with that confrontation has pushed us rather close to what might reasonably be expected to be the end of the life of one of the major players. That's a shame, because she seems to be coming around a little - though this might just be end-of-life mellowing.

With hindsight, I wish I had torpedoed the old-style relationship at least 10 (and in a fantasy life, 20) years earlier by firmly and politely 'passing on the microwave to a friend with a bigger kitchen.' You (well, let's face it, they) may yet have time to build a better relationship on your own terms with some life left in it, if you and your spouse are willing to hold your nose for a bit of a shit storm now.

cheers
Mark
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
I've solved the parental home interference in two easy steps:

a) move 500 miles away
b) develop a major anxiety disorder and labour the point that having anyone into your house exacerbates this.

Any family who come and visit me stay in a hotel, B&B or similar, which I will happily arrange (but not pay for). I am more than happy to spend time with them and take them interesting places.

Then I return to my house and whine to myself about how exhausting my family are.

I sometimes laugh when friends wonder aloud why their son/daughter has moved to Edinburgh/Australia/Corsica, and so on. I think I know why they have - I just got 200 miles away, and I could breathe at last!
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
So we said no... and they brought it anyway.
I'm glad you told us your age. I waited until my early 40s to confront this behaviour in close family, with the result that the 3-4 yr shit storm which goes with that confrontation has pushed us rather close to what might reasonably be expected to be the end of the life of one of the major players. That's a shame, because she seems to be coming around a little - though this might just be end-of-life mellowing.

With hindsight, I wish I had torpedoed the old-style relationship at least 10 (and in a fantasy life, 20) years earlier by firmly and politely 'passing on the microwave to a friend with a bigger kitchen.' You (well, let's face it, they) may yet have time to build a better relationship on your own terms with some life left in it, if you and your spouse are willing to hold your nose for a bit of a shit storm now.

cheers
Mark

This is a good good point. I put off my teenage rebellion (har har) until I was 45, not wanting to upset anybody--which meant that my mother had to deal with my adulthood at the same time she was dealing with the decline and death of her own parents. It took a year or so of not speaking before she came round.

I didn't have any better options, since we do "crisis a day" style living round here. But if you do have a quiet stretch of time, get the spat over with now. It's much harder to be firm with someone who's dying of kidney failure or what have you than with someone who is still in good health.
 
Posted by Jemima the 9th (# 15106) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
Low tech version, old and mildly obscure for extra irritation value.

Thank you. It's very interesting stuff, though when I first clicked the link I confess to a flashback with all of us sat round the dinner table as TA - the new and exciting thing! - was explained and various relationships dissected. At least I think that's what happened, for some reason I can't remember too well....
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
I took some good steps for sticking up for myself yesterday -- including not expecting that DR would ever say "oh, yes I understand" so I just determined on "this is what it's going to be" and stuck to that, with occasional attempts to answer DR's distraught "why?!?!?" but not letting myself be particularly disturbed by or invested in the fact that DR Just Did Not Get It. I'm getting what I wanted to be able to take care of myself, and that's what I wanted. Good.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
quetzalcoatl - a psychiatrist I saw briefly a few years back, when he'd finished taking the family history and managed to get his steadily rising eyebrows under control*, said that people in my situation emigrate. It was the most helpful thing he could have said because it gave me permission to say that it was such a crap relationship that I couldn't fix it on my own, and I needed to look after myself and my own child rather than keep struggling on trying to change the family relationships unilaterally.

* I think we, as in close family, managed to tick everything but everything on his little list
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
quetzalcoatl - a psychiatrist I saw briefly a few years back, when he'd finished taking the family history and managed to get his steadily rising eyebrows under control*, said that people in my situation emigrate. It was the most helpful thing he could have said because it gave me permission to say that it was such a crap relationship that I couldn't fix it on my own, and I needed to look after myself and my own child rather than keep struggling on trying to change the family relationships unilaterally.

* I think we, as in close family, managed to tick everything but everything on his little list

Sound advice. It reminds me that some people, rather tragically, do feel compelled to try to fix their family, and some even sacrifice their own life to do it. I had a cousin who lived with her mother, until she died, and by then, my cousin was in her 60s, and it was all a bit late for her, to start partying or whatever. I suppose she got something out of it of course. But it's good to get away for some, a long way! Then of course, answer-machines were invented - sheer bliss! I could turn the phone off, and turn down the machine, and my ma could blather away to the machine. I vant to be alone.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[Big Grin]

In other news -- OH HELL YES.

What's more, now Mean Woman not only knows that the advice expert thinks she's a horrible person but so do the over one million people who "liked," her advice. The internet is so cool.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:

Then I return to my house and whine to myself about how exhausting my family are.

Oh, you had a typo... let me fix it for you:

quote:
Originally posted by chive:

Then I return to my house and wine to myself

The only way to survive...
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
It is always possible to rekey your locks, you know. Mention, or create, security worries that have forced you, in prudence, to do this. (Your local paper surely has a report of some crime or other than you can use for fodder.) Then when the demand comes for a spare key, forget a lot.

I have quietly blocked a DR on Facebook. If she notices, I will speak vaguely and with confusion about FB's near-weekly software upgrades, and assure DR that all will surely be well once FB finishes upgrading, which is to say when Christ returns in glory and the heavens roll up like a scroll.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Then of course, answer-machines were invented - sheer bliss! I could turn the phone off, and turn down the machine, and my ma could blather away to the machine. I vant to be alone.

Years ago, when I was married, the phone rang in our apartment and some spidey sense told me to let the machine pick up.

{Female relative]'s voice came on, fraught with doom and husky with despair.Went into a lengthy description of some domestic tragedy.

Former husband, from living room:" THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

It was a little gift he gave me.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Friend phoned me last night to say they'd bumped into one of my sibs I'm no longer in contact with.

Sib asked how I was so friend responded "Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but alive, well, and the children are thriving." [Snigger]
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Don't know if ex-spouses count as relatives for the purpose of this thread, but my ex is a real winner. Vanished out of our daughter's life in her senior year of college. She just turned 24 today, so it's been over two years since he decided to ditch her. She and her husband have tried to reconnect, tried to get him to come to their wedding, but he refused and said not to contact him again. She's still saddened, and my heart breaks for her.
 
Posted by AmyBo (# 15040) on :
 
MIL is doing the emergency a day too- she expects us to take care of her, and her house is in such a state that it would take both Husband and myself all our time just to keep up with the triage - and then there's the way she takes care of herself. We have taken all kinds of time off from work and spent more money that we ever wanted to on bailing her out of her self-made messes. But - YAY! - Husband sees what is going on. Now we just have to figure out what to do next...
 
Posted by Landlubber (# 11055) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Don't know if ex-spouses count as relatives for the purpose of this thread, but my ex is a real winner. Vanished out of our daughter's life in her senior year of college. She just turned 24 today, so it's been over two years since he decided to ditch her. She and her husband have tried to reconnect, tried to get him to come to their wedding, but he refused and said not to contact him again. She's still saddened, and my heart breaks for her.

Hurts your daughter - belongs here for sure.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
My biological father's last words to me was "don't call me I'll call you."

He said this because I called him for the second time in two years, after a good year hiatus. I called him because he had accidently called me when he was trying to call my sister and I decided to call him back. He didn't even leave a message explaining, he just complained to someone in the background that he thought it was Sis's number and hung up.

I thought it was a good excuse to chat with him From his reaction, you would have thought that second phone call was grounds for an RO.

Back with Mommy issues, again. I think I briefly mentioned that I was taking an early morning class last year, and my mother began shifting all her doctor's appointments to early morning on the two days of the week I had class- basically forcing me to jockey with her for the single bathroom on the mornings I got up early. It was a fourteen week class, two days a week, and I think if you totaled up every time she pulled that stunt, it would be 20 days out of the 24.

So, I have been job-seeking and have had loads of opportunity to lie in and observe her rising habits-- all this time since the class ended, she has not been getting up any earlier than 8:30 in the morning-- and that was only when absolutely necessary. She usually gets up after 9, and she had returned to her usual habit of scheduling doctor's appointments in the afternoon. (for the record, these are more or less routine or follow- the latest involved treatment for a mild rash she picked up while gardening. So, nothing life -or- death.)

I start back to work as a sub tomorrow, She just burst in to ask me when I was leaving because she schedules an early-morning doctor's appointment. (it's a follow up for the rash cream.)
So, you mothers out there, think that over-- your daughter starts back to work after a very long hiatus. My bet is your instinct would be either to give her space to get moving that day, or maybe even actively do stuff to cheer her on and support her. My mom takes that same amount of energy and uses it to find all kinds ways to remind me that my primary job is to always move out of the way for her.

I feel like I need justice, so here's where I need your help:

Every time she does something to interfere with my return to work-- and I assure you she will-- I will post a short note here. No details, just "she did it again." When you see that note, if you are willing, if you are jazzed by the idea of being an agent of divine justice, if you want to help me see that she can pick at me but she can't beat me-- throw a couple bucks/ quid in the Organ Fund. Or the charity of your choice, and PM me. Because fuck this.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
I'm in.

Someone's got to benefit from all the effort she puts in. [Roll Eyes]

Just be ready to keep emptying your PM box.

Huia
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
I'll donate to my local food pantry.

Moo
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I'll donate to building you an ensuite!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I told her the only way I would ever consider sticking around longer than I needed to was if I could score a loan to do just that, Orfeo.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Kelly

You must stop gibing your mother information because, AWAK, knowledge is power.

So if you take another class or add another day to your work don't tell her. Before you start the new class/work day build up a habit of early morning starts for something like long walks with visit to the library (or whatever).

Why? because once it happens a second time she's likely to tail you so you need to convince her its nothing she can cause you harm by disrupting.

I had one very controlling parent: if we wanted to go to Oxford for the day we would request Cambridge.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
Kelly -

Are there ways you can Not Play? Shower the night before? Start swimming an hour before work? Give up washing as a protest? Or get creative in the game - develop an 'unusual shift pattern with 7am starts' whereby if the Ma really gets the bit between her teeth, you can give it the full 'oh Mum, please don't make me late' while being an hour early and having the secret pleasure of getting her up early. You could shift the 'start' earlier and earlier, and see how tough is her resolve...


[Two face]
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
Can I throw my mother-in-law into the mix? Actually, can I hurl her violently into it?

She is sulking because her sister-in-law, who is in hospital and unlikely to have much longer on this earth, is getting too much attention. She is annoyed because Starman is upset and isn't paying enough attention to the trivia of her life. She told Starman that she doesn't want s-i-l to be ill, so she's not going to believe that she is. That, it would seem, means not passing the news on to people who need to hear it.

And before any soft-hearted person suggests that she is grieving and in denial, nope. She just doesn't see the point of anything that doesn't put her in the centre of attention.

When s-i-l's husband died a few years ago she decided not to attend the funeral. She doesn't like funerals. But just in case anyone thought badly of her for not going, she phoned s-i-l - ie the widow - on the morning of the funeral and told her she couldn't go because she had hospital tests for cancer. Not true. Not even a little bit true. She had hospital tests the next day, but they were very specifically to check on a pre-existing, minor condition.

Oh what fun we had that day, fielding concerned enquiries about her health from people who were already grieving and feeling their own mortality.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Kelly

You must stop giving your mother information because, AWAK, knowledge is power.

So if you take another class or add another day to your work don't tell her. Before you start the new class/work day build up a habit of early morning starts for something like long walks with visit to the library (or whatever).

Why? Because once it happens a second time she's likely to tail you so you need to convince her its nothing she can cause you harm by disrupting.

I had one very controlling parent: if we wanted to go to Oxford for the day we would request Cambridge.

WOW!!! I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!!!!

(Actually, I did,.I do withhold that kind of information. Her bursting in the room was an attempt to wrangle my morning info out of me, and I simply had her tell me her schedule and reassured her that mine wouldn't interfere-- without telling her a thing about it.)

Regardless-- She did it again. (She's started booby-trapping the showerhead, which is neatly designed and easily managed. She is now leaving it twisted in a position so the next person in can't shower properly unless this thin is wrestled back into position. The entire year or so we have had it it has been just fine the way it is, and what she is doing looks like it takes a considerable effort, but she is going to come up with some bizarre health-related reason this needs to be done.)

But just to make this truly hellish-- exchange yesterday:

Me. Remember how a few days ago I told you a Shipmate I like was going into hospice? He died. You might walk in on me crying or something, and that's what it's about.(Note, I had to say this-- if she catches me crying, she pretends she doesn't notice and starts firing remarks at me until she can blame my sadness on something she said, and then she can pick a fight.)

She (perfunctory grunt of sympathy.)

Me: Yeah, I logged on just before work yesterday and found out he--

She:(abruptly) Well you shouldn't have read that before work.

Me: (After collecting my jaw) How... would I know it would be bad to read before I read it?

She: I'm just saying, that was a bad thing to read before work. You should have waited till the end of the day.

Me: How... (I stop, and walk away.)
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Is it possible for you to schedule her doctors' appointments for her -- or to speak with her doctors' appointment clerks, asking them not to offer morning appointments to her? "Mother doesn't understand that she can't take morning appointments -- could you help, please?"
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Being petty and vindictive myself, if I had to deal with the showerhead, I'd change it to a useful position, take my shower and be sure to put it back in the useless position for her.

As for your current morning stuff, I'd suggest one other addition to the early walks. Tell her you've got some offers where you have to get up early and be ready, but won't know if you have to go in until you call in the morning. So, she can have the thrill of you sitting there dressed and comfortable as she sails off to her needless doctor's appointments.

Also you're still sharing too much information about your personal life. Just tell her you've had some upsetting news. Don't tell her how you heard it or what it is. This is not a friend who can console you, but someone looking for a way to hurt you.

[ 20. May 2014, 17:59: Message edited by: Palimpsest ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
For what it's worth (maybe nix nought nothing)--I had a similar personality as boss for the past seven years, and just a year ago began answering "THANK YOU" (and nothing else) to every freaking inflammatory thing he said to me, no matter how outrageous. It really damped down the nasty interactions--it was a kind of block wall he couldn't get through. Might be helpful with your mom.

Of course, after a year of non-response, he fired my ass--so you have to consider that as well. [Biased]
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Of course, folk prepared to go nuclear, could just print out this thread and give it to the offending relative [Two face]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Useless to give it to my relative at least. She wouldn't see the relevance in the least. And I suspect the same for many of the personality-disordered DRs on this thread.

For example: I had to laugh (in a sad ironic way) when watching Gone With The Wind with DR and DR pointed out how Scarlett O'Hara was a fool for running off Rhett Butler with her sharp ungrateful tongue over the years. Yes, WHICH crazy relative with the sharp ungrateful tongue over the years whose husband's long-enduring love eventually got ground to dust and he divorced DR and he was remarried within the year, am I watching this movie with?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:

Also you're still sharing too much information about your personal life.

I was trying to stave off abuse as well as I knew how, and and maybe my state of mind had something to do with what I said.
quote:
This is not a friend who can console you, but someone looking for a way to hurt you.
I. Know. That.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
For what it's worth (maybe nix nought nothing)--I had a similar personality as boss for the past seven years, and just a year ago began answering "THANK YOU" (and nothing else) to every freaking inflammatory thing he said to me, no matter how outrageous. It really damped down the nasty interactions--it was a kind of block wall he couldn't get through. Might be helpful with your mom.

Of course, after a year of non-response, he fired my ass--so you have to consider that as well. [Biased]

Yeah the only real solution is distance. In the meantime I'm hardly going to beat myself for expressing grief if I am feeling grief. If she can't handle other people's emotions, that is her problem.

Oh and DT-- when I am at a safe distance. [Big Grin]

[ 21. May 2014, 01:39: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Safe distance?

I'd be submitting asylum claims by now. Although of course, should you move to another timezone and she ever finds out your phone number, she will call in the middle of the night and show no awareness of having considered what time it is.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

I'd be submitting asylum claims by now.

...

...

Oh you meant political asylum.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
[Killing me]

Yes, I did. Although other kinds of asylum might also come in handy.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
As they carted Kelly away, she kept murmuring, "She'll never find me here...'
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
Being petty and vindictive myself, if I had to deal with the showerhead, I'd change it to a useful position, take my shower and be sure to put it back in the useless position for her.

I heard a funny story from an ex-miner recently, about filling the end of the pneumatic line used to drive a rock drill with shit, all ready for the next shift.

Just sayin'...
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
Being petty and vindictive myself, if I had to deal with the showerhead, I'd change it to a useful position, take my shower and be sure to put it back in the useless position for her.

I heard a funny story from an ex-miner recently, about filling the end of the pneumatic line used to drive a rock drill with shit, all ready for the next shift.

Just sayin'...

Actual "shit"? [Eek!]
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
Where did they get it from? Did they produce enough themselves or what?

I've been reading this thread and wondering what said relatives would put on a shadow thread in an alternative universe.

M.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
On a Ship hell thread in an alternate universe somewhere:

"Hi, I'm AR's DR. I'm really PO'ed because my daughter is going to start seeing a therapist to complain about me! Isn't that the most awful thing you ever heard? I don't even know what she has to complain about. [Disappointed] "
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
Being petty and vindictive myself, if I had to deal with the showerhead, I'd change it to a useful position, take my shower and be sure to put it back in the useless position for her.

I heard a funny story from an ex-miner recently, about filling the end of the pneumatic line used to drive a rock drill with shit, all ready for the next shift.

Just sayin'...

Well,
[Snigger] [Snigger] [Snigger]

... However, one of the points of my story is that putting yourself through an unusual amount of personal inconvenience to bug someone else for 30 seconds a day is a sign you might be nucking futz.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
As they carted Kelly away, she kept murmuring, "She'll never find me here...'

It wasn't you that I thought would be the one going [Big Grin]

Seriously though, if someone puts that much energy into sabotaging another person I wonder if they're playing with a full deck.

Huia
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
quote:
Actual "shit"?


Apparently yes. It seems burying it in a small hole miles (underground) from the nearest convenience, is somewhat disinhibiting / makes one scatalogically adventurous.

Or as someone else present when this story was told put it, 'aye, miners, dirty bastards, never accept a cup of tea off of one...'
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
On a Ship hell thread in an alternate universe somewhere:

"Hi, I'm AR's DR. I'm really PO'ed because my daughter is going to start seeing a therapist to complain about me! Isn't that the most awful thing you ever heard? I don't even know what she has to complain about. [Disappointed] "

Sissy Spacek from " The Help" -- ( deep sigh) "Well, call the press, folks, my daughter's mad at me again."
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by Huia
quote:
Seriously though, if someone puts that much energy into sabotaging another person I wonder if they're playing with a full deck.
Oooh, might not take that much time or energy.

But I'd also counsel against it, on the grounds that revenge is AWAK a dish best served cold and (learned in a family that makes the Mafia's ability for vendetta look amateurish) preferably has the effect of an ICBM falling from a clear blue sky.

(What you do, Kelly, is arrange to sabotage the shower head (a) once you have moved out and (b) preferably when you are away AND she knows you are away - it will freak her out. As I said, cold and totally unexpected.)
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
paint powder loaded in the showerhead. red, obviously.

also - collect all the dead bugs from the window sill and stick them inside shoes or bedsheets. or, you know, yogurt.

and - that little separate spray nozzle on older-style kitchen sinks? wrap a rubber band around it so it's held 'on' and make sure it's aiming at the person at the sink.

I've got more if you want.
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
Comet, are you someone else's Difficult Relative? [Paranoid]
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
I am sure I am. [Big Grin] I hear about how horrible I am fairly regularly.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:



(What you do, Kelly, is arrange to sabotage the shower head (a) once you have moved out and (b) preferably when you are away AND she knows you are away - it will freak her out. As I said, cold and totally unexpected.)

[Big Grin] I have done some of this stuff, but after the initial giggle I just start having bleak "you're turning into your mother" thoughts. Ugh.

I just need to get out-- living on my own will be a blessing, living (dare I hope) close to people who actually like me will be an abundance of blessing. Some people daydream about having a Dream House, I dream about not having to wake up to someone who acts like they hate me. I could cheerfully live in someone's refurbished basement if I was assured of that.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
It's about time people giving 'practical' advice around here indicated whether they've ever acted on their own advice, or are just expressing their own dark fantasies about what they'd like to do to THEIR difficult relative.
 
Posted by Happy Pebble (# 2731) on :
 
New bit for you to chew on: My sister and I, never close, have drifted apart. Last time I spoke to her was a year and a half ago; since then even cards/emails have dwindled to nothing.

Question: Is it all right to just leave her alone? We don't really have anything in common other than parentage, and it's always somewhat strained when we're around each other. I'm not angry with her...I just have nothing to say to her. Does this make sense?
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's about time people giving 'practical' advice around here indicated whether they've ever acted on their own advice, or are just expressing their own dark fantasies about what they'd like to do to THEIR difficult relative.

I vote for the "expressing own dark fantasies". And since when is practical advice given in Hell?
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Drifting Star:
Comet, are you someone else's Difficult Relative? [Paranoid]

Comet is now officially my favorite somebody else's Difficult Relative. Because, you know... it's someone else... [Big Grin]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
And since when is practical advice given in Hell?

That may or may not have been my subtle meta-point.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's about time people giving 'practical' advice around here indicated whether they've ever acted on their own advice, or are just expressing their own dark fantasies about what they'd like to do to THEIR difficult relative.

all three of the actions listed above have been acted upon in real life. 2 of them have happened more than once.

in all fairness, though, they were aimed at either good friends or not-so-difficult relatives. 'cause that's what we do in my family. we like to fuck with each other. [Big Grin]

my notable DR would not think these were funny. she's not just a batshit crazy pain in the ass, she also has absolute zero sense of fun.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's about time people giving 'practical' advice around here indicated whether they've ever acted on their own advice, or are just expressing their own dark fantasies about what they'd like to do to THEIR difficult relative.

I vote for the "expressing own dark fantasies". And since when is practical advice given in Hell?
Or, for that matter, good advice.

This is Hell. People may be giving you bad advice for their amusement. Lord knows I would.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Happy Pebble:
New bit for you to chew on: My sister and I, never close, have drifted apart. Last time I spoke to her was a year and a half ago; since then even cards/emails have dwindled to nothing.

Question: Is it all right to just leave her alone? We don't really have anything in common other than parentage, and it's always somewhat strained when we're around each other. I'm not angry with her...I just have nothing to say to her. Does this make sense?

First, make a giant cream pie. take it to her house. with me so far? then put the pie down on the front porch, and stomp on it. then take it home, call the police, and tell them your sister stomped on your pie and demand she be arrested. lastly, don't ask for fucking useful and sensible advice in Hell, take it to All Saints.

Good luck!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Toilet paper origami this morning. Kick in your cash, folks.

Dont ask me what it is-- it's all going into the book, and you will find out then. Christina Crawford, kiss my ass.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
I hesitate to ask but... was it possibly, at least, as a tiny reprieve, clean toilet paper?

I am expecting the answer to be no...
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
I want it to be a poopy dinosaur. please let it be a poopy dinosaur.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I hesitate to ask but... was it possibly, at least, as a tiny reprieve, clean toilet paper?

I am expecting the answer to be no...

Nah, nothing like that, it's like the showerhead thing-- she just makes it inconvenient for the next user, in ways that can't possibly be an accident and that also demonstrate a great deal of effort.

Before someone tells me I'm nuts, she spent a couple weeks "helping" my sister out after an illness last year (another life goal-- live my life in such a way that when I offer help, people don't shudder in apprehension) and she pretty much admitted to doing the same thing to my sister's bathroom. She actually snickered when she described how the man of the house would fix the situation, and she would change it back.

When I said that ,you know, it was sis's house and maybe she should let people decide how they should display their own paper in their own damn house, she said "But I was a GUEST! I was HELPING!"

[ETA And she has a guest bathroom all her own! She would actually sneak into the master bedroom to do this!]

"So, because you are helping, you have a right to deliberately do something that you know will bug [man of house]?"

At this she just tossed her hair like Barbie Benton. She just didn't understand the problem with that thinking.

[ 23. May 2014, 03:36: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Toilet paper origami this morning. Kick in your cash, folks.

City Mission this time.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by Orfeo
quote:
It's about time people giving 'practical' advice around here indicated whether they've ever acted on their own advice, or are just expressing their own dark fantasies about what they'd like to do to THEIR difficult relative.
Yes - but it wasn't of the practical sabotage variety.

My beloved and I were traduced and bad-mouthed to the extended family for years by two of my siblings: we only made token attempts to refute the lies and unpleasantness because my aged parent was totally dependent on the worst offender for day-to-day physical support and geography would have made it impossible for us to take over. They also had power of attorney over said parent's affairs. And over the years they created, with the second sibling, a situation where it was emotional as much as physical dependence.

After the death of said aged parent we (a) very calmly explained to all the remaining sibs what had been going on and that we would have no more contact, and (b) when later asked by extended family why we no longer saw or had contact with them explained why - backed up by letters from the two that admitted what they'd done and both of which said they'd do it again.

Extended family have warmed a bit which is nice - they were there for us when beloved died (one sib didn't acknowledge, the other sent a message to say they'd heard of death).
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Toilet paper origami this morning. Kick in your cash, folks.

City Mission this time.
This is actually quite cathartic:D
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[qb] Toilet paper origami this morning. Kick in your cash, folks.

City Mission this time.
Food pantry.

Moo
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I've got no money but I've got clothing to donate in her (dis)honor.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That works

Anything you may have picked up frim QV- fucking- C would be especially appropriate.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Ain't got the money for that. Would you settle for a fluffy toilet seat cover? (I have no idea where that came from. I am not making this up. Seriously. It is being banished from my house.)
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
...

God actually does love me. He totally set that up.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Another tack to try, Kelly:

Does she have belief / go to church (or whatever)?

If so then when she'd pulled one of her stunts what you do is:
Should gradually drive her nuts.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
OK first off-- kick down again-- she is having weird issues with how I hang my washcloth. Issues that never existed before, and I assure you I hang my-- holy shit, am I actually getting ready to defend the way I hang my washcloth? you see how crazy is catching? All I know is, I am doing nothing new and two weeks ago it wasn't a problem. All this started when I went back to work.

So, until she perseverates on something else, I can look forward to my washcloth being hung in random places around the bathroom and tossed on the floor of the shower.

*
*
*

SInce I do so much griping, I thought I would offer a positive, heart-warming, inspirational, and yet still hellish story for your amusement:

Those of you who have me on FB might have seen several warm, proud posts my mother made from my graduation ceremony, and thought, gee, she ain't that bad. Maybe Kelly has got it all wrong.

That, in fact, is what I thought. At first. I thought, "Gee she can be sweet sometimes, I need to cut her some slack." The trouble was, the things she was saying to my face were uniformly negative and undercutting. I began to get cynical-- truth to tell in situations like this, Mom usually waits for one of her friends to praise me for a scholastic achievement and then chimes in, so based on her onslaught of negativity, I figured she was putting it on for the friends and family who knew I was graduating.


We went to lunch with my cousin,L., who had attended the ceremony. I got there before Mom did, and L. had a chance to tell me the real story of those unusually warm status updates. This is what was going on in the audience while I was onstage:

Fist off, Mom removed her iPhone from her purse and begins fiddling with it-- sighing, "I want to take a picture, but Neph changed the password on this and i can't get it to work..."

Neph then sighed and snatched the thing out of her hand-- she can't just ask him to help, she gives him this lecture, every time-- and took a picture. L. says he then hung onto it and kept snapping photos and a lot of thumb-text action was happening.

L said, "What are you doing?"

Neph: "I posted it to her [mom's] Facebook."

L: "Oh! What did you say?"

Neph: "I said, Go, Kelly!"

L: "Cool! [mom], what else should he put?"

Mom:"...congratulation? On your Graduation? Kelly?"

L. "Good! And Neph, also put 'I am so very proud of my youngest daughter..."

Neph: (type type type)

Sis: "OO! and get a picture of her name on the honor roll in the program!"

(etc)

[Big Grin]

Now, you might think it would depress me hearing that all the warm fuzzy updates didn't come from Mom, but actually I love this story. first off, it really sent home to me that I have a lot more people reaching out to me than I realise, and second it was fantastic to shift from wondering what Mom's angle was to realizing there were unabashed, overflowing expressions of genuine well-wishes back of those posts.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
You know, you so TOTALLY have to figure out a way to make money from this. I mean, such a rich natural resource of crazy shouldn't go unexploited.
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
You know, you so TOTALLY have to figure out a way to make money from this. I mean, such a rich natural resource of crazy shouldn't go unexploited.

We're talking reality show gold, right here. I can see it working (with different treatments) on either TLC or the O Network.

[ 26. May 2014, 22:22: Message edited by: Meg the Red ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Reality shows are so lazy. Get a team of scriptwriters together.

EDIT: Although I'm vaguely aware there's already a show called Mom starring Allison Janney.

[ 26. May 2014, 22:29: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
No, no, no, Book. Then, even should you not find a buyer, you can self-publish. Put all manner of accolades and awards in the covers and "just happen" to leave a copy where she can see it.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
Kelly - Neph rocks.

I have one and he's the best! .

LC - a fluffy toilet seat cover? That's such a random thing to turn up.

Huia
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Yes. I have hopes of something even more random turning up in time for the next installment...
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
The washcloth also offers possibilities.

Like the classic Ball and Cup Trick there's hours of fun to be had if you get a second washcloth that you hide in your room.

You can leave the one in the shower or wherever she puts it. I'm sure she would be annoyed that it's still there a day later and you could simply say "I thought you were using it".
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Another one with a relative who double checks the way dish cloths and tea towels are hung...and is still counting the number of pieces of toilet paper left hanging after every single damn person goes into and out of the loo..........ohGodhelpme....
 
Posted by Stercus Tauri (# 16668) on :
 
You lot are bad for me. I'm basically not all that evil, but this morning I was driving along the road near here and spotted a workman stepping into a portabog on a building site, just a few feet from the road. I really didn't need to lean on the horn as I passed. I could have stopped myself.
 
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
You lot are bad for me. I'm basically not all that evil, but this morning I was driving along the road near here and spotted a workman stepping into a portabog on a building site, just a few feet from the road. I really didn't need to lean on the horn as I passed. I could have stopped myself.

the Force is strong with you, young paduwan.

(just think, you probably helped him speed the process! [Big Grin] )
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
I have read that at one point Singapore Airlines carried an extra stewardess on each flight whose job it was to properly refold the toilet paper roll edge after each passenger used the bathroom. The job was cut during an economy move.

Perhaps your mother is reliving the glory days of deluxe aviation.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I was having a memory today, of my mother saying to me, 'your life's been a failure'. And also that whatever I did, she would still say this.

Of course, I took this on board, so when, for example, I stopped work, I did feel a failure, and ashamed.

Still, I can plough through these feelings, and in the end, emerge from them, talk about them. It's hard though. It's alright talking about the wound, where the Light comes in, but sometimes, fuck that.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
I have read that at one point Singapore Airlines carried an extra stewardess on each flight whose job it was to properly refold the toilet paper roll edge after each passenger used the bathroom. The job was cut during an economy move.

Perhaps your mother is reliving the glory days of deluxe aviation.

If so, her technique is for shit. You'll see in a minute.

As I've said, part of my purpose in posting the stuff I do here stuff is I see in black and white how ridiculous it is, and to enjoy a laugh with you. It really does feel like I am conquering something, that I'm not alone in this. And money is made fir charity, : D
So, for the last week the bathroom stuff, which was unnerving me before, is only making me chuckle. Then last night, as I am putting laundry away in my room, I catch weirdness in my peripheral vision on top of my wardrobe. Weirdness that wasn't there before. I look up to see the fucking TP fairy has left me this:


Behold, toilet paper origami.

I did have one of the above rolls up there, for nose- blowing purposes, but it actually resembled a roll. Note how the two new rolls, placed there last night, are completely unrolled and re-rolled, with a couple twists midway just to make things weird. That's the bizarre shit I am talking about. That is what I wake up to (in the bathroom) most mornings.

The move to my room indicates to me she had sensed my becoming relaxed about the situation. She does not like it when people around her are relaxed. If she has to walk around life with a tightly coiled spring up her ass, everyone does, goddamn it.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

Okay, that's some freaky shit.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Ok cool, I have confirmation on the crazy.

This isn't just age, either, this cockamamie bathroom stuff has bern going on since I was a kid.
 
Posted by Meg the Red (# 11838) on :
 
I'm still trying to think of screen treatments for this - given the latest developments, perhaps another Poltergeist sequel?

(little girl scary voice) "She's heeee-eeeere"
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
(Laughing so, so very hard right now.)
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
You should engage in revenge origami.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
You know, you could have a photoblog, with minimalist captions under each crazy image. Betcha some major publisher would snap it up after a year or so.
 
Posted by Ferijen (# 4719) on :
 
WTAF?

Kelly, you have my respect for the crazee
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
OK Kelly, toilet paper revenge.

1. Unroll the entire roll right to the end.

2. Write random quote/saying on the last piece.

3. Re-roll.

No, not my idea, inherited from an uncle-by-marriage.

Realise it would be time consuming but if you did every roll in the house... [Killing me]
 
Posted by Ann (# 94) on :
 
A bit more simple - separate the two plies of the toilet paper and just unwind the top one over the roll once; tear off the surplus length. The perforations will not now line up.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
The surge of creativity. Maybe we got Heaven thread potential here.

(Ann- did that. She just did it back. I felt stupid for play g her game. Oh, well, it's. Tough being the sane one.)

[ 29. May 2014, 22:37: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink:
You should engage in revenge origami.

This might be worth it, and I could just invoke my artiste persona to justify it.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
a slight tangent
my favorite origami
/tangent

Perhaps you should take her origami, glue it to one of your matte boards and draw a charcoal sketch around it and hang it on the wall. I don't know what the caption should be though "memories of mother" might be good.
 
Posted by jbohn (# 8753) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Ok cool, I have confirmation on the crazy.

This isn't just age, either, this cockamamie bathroom stuff has bern going on since I was a kid.

Sounds (if you'll pardon the expression) crazier than a shithouse rat...
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
1. She learned a lot of this stuff from Dad.

2. She is definitely Salieri to Dad's Mozart.
 
Posted by Erik (# 11406) on :
 
Am I the only one who is increasingly developing a mental picture of some kind of zoo where Kelly's mum wanders around a cage with all of us peering through the bars while Kelly (dressed as a zoo-keeper) instructs us on an especially strange species.

(cue David Attenbough-style voice)
And here we see Motherus fruitbattius. Note the various examples of 'toilet-paper origami' which have been deposited around the enclosure. This is believed to be some kind of territorial marker produced in an attempt to achieve the status of dominant female.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
I want to quotes file that, Erik, but I think it needs the content of the thread.
Actually Laughed Out Loud.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
1. She learned a lot of this stuff from Dad.

2. She is definitely Salieri to Dad's Mozart.

Hmm. Does that mean that your dad is a Mozart of crazy malice compared to your mom's Mozart-wannabe Salieri? Or that your dad is a well meaning Mozart doofus compared to your mom's poisonous Salieri? Enquiring minds...
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Well IRL Salieri wasn't poisonous, but the comparison I was going for was the the first one.

If I went into my dad stories, things would stop being funny really fast.

[ 02. June 2014, 17:51: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Just really pissed off by families.

I heard third hand that my sister's partner committed suicide last week - and have no way to do anything about it. She pretty much blanked all my attempts to get back in contact over the last few years. I didn't even know she was back in a relationship.

Families suck. Dysfunctional families suck big time.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
quote:
Dysfunctional families suck big time.

^ This ^
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
Kelly, you have to move out. Today. I realise my house is inconveniently located on the wrong continent, but what the hell? You need to be somewhere else, because this is mad. Pick a friend, come and stay. The uk is nice, I promise.
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
I reckon we could sort out a great rota.

And I promise not to introduce you to my mother-in-law.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Seriously?? SERIOUSLY???

I just need to update my passport. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
You could come this way...
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
I could add a spare bed to the rota - not now, but soon.
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
Come and sample the delights of the Cotswolds. [Smile]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
You know where else you can stay, Fluffybunbuns?

Hell.

I'll shovel some extra brimstone into the furnace just for you. Make you feel right at home. Even throw in a screeching harpy, no charge. You won't even notice you've moved.

[ 23. June 2014, 15:23: Message edited by: Ariston ]
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
my fucking DR can fuck right off.
And she probably will, because I sent a text to say so.
and now I'll feel guilty.
And when she dies, as she undoubtedly will from sheer spite, we can all stand at her grave feeling guilty and resentful.
what a waste of a god given life.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
There will be many a glass raised to the memory of my DR when she kicks her boots.

…I've mentioned she's radically teetotal?
 
Posted by The5thMary (# 12953) on :
 
I have an elaborate prank you could pull on a relative who is a bit...cold. Hee hee hee...it's elaborate but funny, I think. This prank has to be done in bitter cold weather.

1.Take their mattress of their bed.
2.Drag it outside and thoroughly cover it with cold water from the hose. Make sure to get the water into every nook and cranny of the mattress. 3. Leave the mattress outside to freeze overnight.
4. The next day, wrestle the now frozen mattress back into their bedroom and heave it onto the box spring. Make the victim's bed as usual.
5. Wait until they try to sleep in it. "Are you cold? I feel so cold! Something is wrong! My sheets are freezing!"

I never tried this as it seems too much work and also, I don't hate anyone that much. [Snigger]
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Elaborate and frankly improbable.

A block of ice 6 x 3 x 1.5 ft weighs how much? And since few bedrooms are maintained at subzero temperatures, the impending bed-goer doesn't notice the bedding is sopping wet and puddles are forming on the floor?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:

And when she dies, as she undoubtedly will from sheer spite, we can all stand at her grave feeling guilty and resentful.

Which means you will really need to bring a bottle of champagne and play Twister on the gravesite to sooth your feelings.
 
Posted by The5thMary (# 12953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Elaborate and frankly improbable.

A block of ice 6 x 3 x 1.5 ft weighs how much? And since few bedrooms are maintained at subzero temperatures, the impending bed-goer doesn't notice the bedding is sopping wet and puddles are forming on the floor?

Well, it SOUNDED fun.
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The5thMary:
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Elaborate and frankly improbable.

A block of ice 6 x 3 x 1.5 ft weighs how much? And since few bedrooms are maintained at subzero temperatures, the impending bed-goer doesn't notice the bedding is sopping wet and puddles are forming on the floor?

Well, it SOUNDED fun.
No, it sounded dumb. If it creates loads of work for you to create a minor inconvenience for somebody else that you'll have to clean up anyway, then it's just work for no gain.
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
My mother, who may have been mentioned before on this thread, last week bought a make of tablet on the recommendation of my sister who has one. She phoned me up and told me about this and I mentioned I'd never even seen one of that make.

Since then she has phoned me six times asking me how to do things on said tablet. Each time I've informed her I have absolutely no idea as I don't own any tablet, let alone the one she has as she knows, and therefore don't know how to download what ever passive aggressive evoprayer app she desperately wants.

Eventually after she'd phoned me twice at work on the same day I asked her why she didn't phone my sister who actually had a tablet exactly the same and could probably help and was told, 'because she's got a proper job and I wouldn't want to interrupt her.'
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
You need caller ID
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Problem with screening out the crazy relative is that the day you refuse to talk to them is the day they want to tell you something important to you, like your grandmother has died, not the trivialities that are important to them.
 
Posted by JonahMan (# 12126) on :
 
chive: find out how to wipe the hard disk, or something equally fatal, and talk her through that process. Doubt you will be seen as the expert after that. Or possibly worth talking to at all.

Consider it verbal judo, using the DR's annoying habit against them.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Problem with screening out the crazy relative is that the day you refuse to talk to them is the day they want to tell you something important to you, like your grandmother has died, not the trivialities that are important to them.

That's why God created answering machines.
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
My mother-in-law used to leave little messages on the answerphone that were just whimpers. Occasionally there would be a whispered 'Oh, whatever am I going to do?' Fear makes you return calls like those, but there was never anything wrong beyond the tragedy of having to speak into an answering machine.

She got over that (I can't remember how), and now she just barks out 'It's Mum.' Never any suggestion as to whether there is anything wrong or she is just making a social call, but we assume that if she doesn't ask us to call her back we don't need to do so with any haste.
 
Posted by Starbug (# 15917) on :
 
Mother-in-law phoned Mr Bug recently, on arriving back home from a holiday with her sister and his husband. She was upset about coming home to an empty house, as her partner died two years ago. Fair enough, but how is her son supposed to deal with his mother crying down the phone 'How am I going to live without him?', then hanging up on him and refusing to answer when he tries to call her back? She said she had gone to the toilet, but somehow I don't believe it.

[ 24. June 2014, 12:11: Message edited by: Starbug ]
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]

So, I have to remember that I know A about B, but I'm to pretend to C that I don't know A about B. Because if C knew I knew A about B, he might deduce that I also know D about C. Which I do. But I'm supposed to pretend that I don't.


Do other families have a complicated set of rules about who knows what about whom?

The worst one involves a man now in his 80s, whom I have never met, not least because he emigrated to Australia before I was born.

I was told, as a child, that I must never ask who his father was. The fact that I was unlikely to ask such a question about someone who a) was quite a distant relative anyway and b) I had never met and was never likely to meet was irrelevent. This was the question that must never be asked.

The point of the secrecy was to stop the man himself ever knowing who his father was.

When I was 18, I was told who his father was. Apparently, the whole family (and if distant relatives like me were included we must have been talking about well over a hundred people) had to be told once they were adults, so that they could help keep the secret. I know one of my second cousins was also told when he was 18, so it wasn't just me.

This is weird, isn't it? It's not normal family stuff, is it?
 
Posted by anoesis (# 14189) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:

The point of the secrecy was to stop the man himself ever knowing who his father was.

When I was 18, I was told who his father was. Apparently, the whole family (and if distant relatives like me were included we must have been talking about well over a hundred people) had to be told once they were adults, so that they could help keep the secret. I know one of my second cousins was also told when he was 18, so it wasn't just me.

This is weird, isn't it? It's not normal family stuff, is it?

This is weird, yes - this particular instance. Massively weird, in fact. If you want something to be kept a secret you would usually NOT tell everyone surrounding a person...

However, I think the business of there being cliques within families which share information that is not necessarily then broadcast is not inherently weird. I suppose it might not be 100% healthy, however. I'm probably just trying to rationalise my own position here, whereby my sister and I tend to report to each other on conversations had with our mother. The main point of this is not gossip, but because at some juncture it became apparent to us that we were not being told the same stories about or given the same explanations for things. So we cross-reference. But it does sometimes lead to that whole thing where you remind yourself that, theoretically, you are hearing this for the first and only time, and you'd better adjust your face accordingly...
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Personally, I hope somebody dropped a line to the bloke in Australia saying 'Your da was that big guy in the black cape with the breathy voice you never got on with'.

But Knowledge is Power after all, so I suppose it could be seen as some kind of status enhancer. Also, it sounds as if it comes from an era (which I remember) in which a great many more things were scandalous - but one in which you were likely to spend your life in close proximity to the same people. Hence a need to construct elaborate pretences to protect both your own reputation and to channel the potentially disruptive knowledge of what was really happening.
 
Posted by Thyme (# 12360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
However, I think the business of there being cliques within families which share information that is not necessarily then broadcast is not inherently weird. I suppose it might not be 100% healthy, however. I'm probably just trying to rationalise my own position here, whereby my sister and I tend to report to each other on conversations had with our mother. The main point of this is not gossip, but because at some juncture it became apparent to us that we were not being told the same stories about or given the same explanations for things. So we cross-reference.

This! My sister and I realised at some point that Dad was being seriously manipulative (the kinder version was confused and forgetful). So we used to have to spend hours on the phone to each other relaying in detail the contents of our visits and conversations with him. The first thing we would do on arriving home would be to ring each other and download it all before we forgot the detail.

We also discovered that the versions of events that Dad was conveying to other relatives and friends was often seriously inaccurate and had to have some difficult conversations with some people in order to encourage them to communicate directly with us if they felt the need.

Dad was very into telling people 'Don't tell the girls'. He never told us anything. He didn't like the right hand to know what the left hand was doing. This led to some serious problems which had a very bad impact on his quality of life, although he could never see that this was a consequence of his behaviour.

Quite frankly it was a relief when he died and we didn't have to do all the constant having every conversation and interaction several times anymore.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:


So, I have to remember that I know A about B, but I'm to pretend to C that I don't know A about B. Because if C knew I knew A about B, he might deduce that I also know D about C. Which I do. But I'm supposed to pretend that I don't.



Oh yeah. The minute I'm told not to tell C about A, A weighs on my mind every second I'm talking to C, so that it becomes like a form of Tourette's just dying to burst forth, so that I can't really think of anything else to say.

But, recently, time passed and I was chatting to B about something very different when I made a glancing reference to A as though it was something we all knew and now I'm in waiting for the other shoe to drop.

In other news, Kelley Alves's mother has become a sort of home companion to me. I can't take a shower without thinking about her. I try to find explanations for her. I turn the shower head around various ways, thinking maybe it drips when it's down and doesn't when it's up. I won't go in to the toilet paper issue.

[ 08. July 2014, 12:14: Message edited by: Twilight ]
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Originally posted by Firenze:

quote:
Also, it sounds as if it comes from an era (which I remember) in which a great many more things were scandalous - but one in which you were likely to spend your life in close proximity to the same people. Hence a need to construct elaborate pretences to protect both your own reputation and to channel the potentially disruptive knowledge of what was really happening.
That's exactly the situation. His parents both lived in the same small village, had been dating openly, but his mother didn't want to marry his father. When he was born the entire village knew who his father was. His father then married another girl from the same small village and had children. At some point someone (his mother? his father? his father's wife?) decided that he ought not to know that the children of the marriage were his half-siblings (they all lived in the village and all went to the same village school) and this elaborate secrecy thing grew up, whereby everybody knew, but conspired to make sure that neither he, nor his half-siblings, knew.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
Presumably, to avoid accidental incest, whilst also avoiding the public stigma of being a bastard.

We had a similar related situation in our family a generation back. It got resolved when a particular set of people had died off.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Possibly - but by the time I was told who his father was, all the children were in their 50s or late 40s. Quite apart from the fact that he was in Australia.

But the whole "tell everyone so they can keep it a secret" was still ongoing.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
My father has spent 6 months not speaking to me. This is currently pressing, as yesterday was his birthday, and not having been able to ring then, I feel a duty to ring now. Cards were sent, made by my daughters, which avoided the 'happy birthday from the guy you were pretending had stopped existing' conundrum, to some degree.

Perhaps the kids can ring him. I'll report back on my here, public, bet that the second sentence whichever kid will utter, will be "because we wanted to wish you a happy birthday".
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Oh, Good Lord. Commiseration alert.


Somewhere out in the net-iverse I have an essay I wrote about the 2 year period in which my stepfather pretty much stopped acknowledging my presence. In and of itself this didn't bother me-- the less I had to talk to him the better-- but it became a problem because 1. We were living in the same house and 2. I was required to loudly greet him when coming into the house-- every day. Meaning, every time my greeting wasn't loud enough, my mother would march up to my room and demand I greet him louder.

"I don't care if he never speaks to you again, he is The Father and you show respect no matter what he does."
 
Posted by Caissa (# 16710) on :
 
There has to be several good novels in this thread.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
God is kind to authors, and feeds them like the ravens in the desert with good things.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
There has to be several good novels in this thread.

So on it.

Brenda [Snigger] Muahahaha!

[ 10. July 2014, 18:53: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by Thyme
quote:
Dad was very into telling people 'Don't tell the girls'. He never told us anything. He didn't like the right hand to know what the left hand was doing. This led to some serious problems which had a very bad impact on his quality of life, although he could never see that this was a consequence of his behaviour.
This sounds spookily like both of my parents!

But at least your father acknowledged both hands - our not only didn't like the left hand to know what the right hand was doind, he didn't want either hand to know of the existence of the other.

About a month before he died he made a point of dragging my youngest sibling (with small children) hundreds of miles so that "you can help me plan my funeral": so off they toddled, had the discussion, made the notes, took small children home, typed it all up, sent off copy (as requested), etc, etc. Papa told them to make sure it was in a safe place.

Forward four and a half weeks and he dies - at which point another sibling (a) announces that they're organising the funeral, and (b) that the clergy involved had meeting with parent 4 months ago when content was agreed. Content of this was totally different from that given to youngest child who duly felt they'd been done-over for one last time.

The upshot of 50+ years of parental game-playing (by both parents) is that none of us are in touch with all of the others, nor are we likely to be.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
God is kind to authors, and feeds them like the ravens in the desert with good things.

Quote file. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
In other news, Kelley Alves's mother has become a sort of home companion to me. I can't take a shower without thinking about her. I try to find explanations for her. I turn the shower head around various ways, thinking maybe it drips when it's down and doesn't when it's up. I won't go in to the toilet paper issue.

[Killing me]

I'm not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed that you didn't go into the toilet paper issue.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Twilght's investment in the issue touches my heart, it really does.

I finally asked mom about the matter. Tacking it on to another brand new issue. I had bought a bottle of face soap and put it in the medicine cabinet. It was a good five inches away from everything else on the shelf-- meaning it took up no space to speak of, and did nothing alter the arrangement of her stuff. Still, this acquisition of three centimeters on my part so offended her that she got a bunch of travel samples all around the new bottle, so that I could not get it out without knocking everything over. Shoulda got a picture.

I went directly to her room and let her know, in the most pleasant tone I could muster, that I had put the bazillion travel bottles back where they had come from, as I couldn't see the current arrangement doing anything other than making a big mess. She backed off of that, but while I had her, i asked what was going on with the shower head.

It turned out she had turned it off and couldn't figure out how to turn it on. Most normal people would have simply asked for help, but my mom hates asking me for help-- she has actually stated, in her mind I should be noticing these things on her own , why should she have to ask? ( and yes, I have tried just being hyper alert and noticing everything, but it doesn't work, and she gets a lot more pleasure out of finding something I have missed than any help I give. )

Polite requests for help is something my mother only gives men. The women in her life either get orders barked at them, wordless finger snapping and pointing*, or expectations of mind reading.

So, in her mind, the way to solve the problem is to do a bunch of things with the shower-head that cause inconvenience to me so that I will somehow have a revelation about the stuck lever. If I do not discern this , she has just cause to carry a grudge and escalate the matter.

" Mom, you know you could have just asked me to take a look at it."

( Shrug. Glower.)

* At this point I turn and walk off. I will not be snapped at. Sis has picked up the same habit. WTF?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Turn the shower head on when you take a shower, and then turn it back off again when you get out. [Snigger]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I don't even touch the fucking thing. It's a detachable hand held component to a stationary showerhead that works fine, so I can cheerfully pretend the stupid thing doesn't exist, unless I have, you know, a use for it.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Friend's mother has just about made it impossible for me to enjoy our local fete tomorrow. If I get to collect him early enough to come back to it as well, she won't have enough time to sleep tonight (She follows Eastern Standard time, though being just less than a degree west of Greenwich). If I collect him later after seeing it myself, she says he won't be back in time for her, by midnight, as she has to go somewhere on Sunday. And Sunday is therefore out for us to meet, as well. So I will get to his a bit later, and she will then take an hour to feed him, and when we get back, all the cakes will have been sold.

My friend also has to see his friend who has been stitched up by a business partner about the latest developments. (I have heard the Biblical phrase "I was a stranger and ye took me in" misused of situations like his.) This does have some importance and shouldn't be hurried, cakes or no cakes. But it could be done earlier, if...

I am comforting myself with the thought that she is getting very old and fitting in with her is fair enough at the end of her life.

But she has been like this since 1983. To my knowledge. I am told since before that.
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
An 86, 93 and 84 year old. The 86 year old is my parent-child. They are in a senior apartment building. They sit together at supper. They conspire. The building is downtown, close to the river and parks. I received a call this evening about my father's conduct in the gang of three.

Pigeons. The three of them got together and bought sling shots, and one of them also got a pellet gun. They won't say who. They have been hunting pigeons on the balconies. My father has been cutting the breast meat off the pigeons and the three of them are eating them. There is nothing wrong with the food there. They just wanted to get rid of annoying birds and , it turns out, my father regaled them with stories of eating them when he was a boy during WW2.

What can I say? Bloody hell! Threatened with eviction. Threatened with police. The sling shots and pellet gun are confiscated. The management are accepting the idea that the three of them will sign a paper that acknowledges the problem and not to do it again.

On a lighter note, my father also bought a haircutting kit and thought he would cut his hair in the mirror. We are getting that fixed tomorrow.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Damn.

That is one cool story.

Maybe you can send Dad and his homies over here to help us with our Canada goose problem.
 
Posted by basso (# 4228) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

Maybe you can send Dad and his homies over here to help us with our Canada goose problem.

I think we'd all support a goose thinning.

The townies in Palo Alto are complaining about crows lately. I don't mind them at all.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by basso:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

Maybe you can send Dad and his homies over here to help us with our Canada goose problem.

I think we'd all support a goose thinning.

The townies in Palo Alto are complaining about crows lately. I don't mind them at all.

Yeah, we've got Canada geese here, also white-winged doves. Management sets out drugged corn for the geese, then bags them and disposes of them after they've fallen into beddie-bye.

But I'd gladly welcome your father to help me shoot the doves, which are completely out of control. Sounds like he could help me cook them too!
 
Posted by Taliesin (# 14017) on :
 
they cooked the pigeon meat? please tell me they cooked it??

Weird secrets ... I'll never forget being a child of 7 who hadn't realised I wasn't supposed to tell my father that my eldest sister was leaving home. That paralyzing 'rabbit in the headlights' thing.

And all the random secrecy of being told not to tell A that B had visited.

All I chant these days is, don't play the game. Just, don't play the game.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by basso:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

Maybe you can send Dad and his homies over here to help us with our Canada goose problem.

I think we'd all support a goose thinning.


I say goose fattening is better. Lots of yummy foie gras. Serves the buggers right.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
I'm with you SS - foie gras. mmmm
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
We didn't get into the culinary part of the pigeon hunt. I have to remain fully annoyed and showing considerable umbridge. Like one does when 8 year olds have shoftlifted. I arranged his accommodation and pay for it and like a parent am being held to account for the kid's misbehaviour. I want to say things like "didn't you bring me up better than this?" WTF!

On the geese, I think a spring and summer goose hunt might be in order, but please not from your balcony!
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
[Snigger] We have a groundhog or three that would probably make a great pie. Send 'em on over.
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
[Snigger] We have a groundhog or three that would probably make a great pie. Send 'em on over.

Apparently a groundhog has some glands that have to be removed before you cook the beastie. Otherwise the result is inedible.

Moo
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
We didn't get into the culinary part of the pigeon hunt. I have to remain fully annoyed and showing considerable umbridge. Like one does when 8 year olds have shoftlifted. I arranged his accommodation and pay for it and like a parent am being held to account for the kid's misbehaviour. I want to say things like "didn't you bring me up better than this?" WTF!

On the geese, I think a spring and summer goose hunt might be in order, but please not from your balcony!

More and more I find myself using my teacher voice with my mom. Used to be a guaranteed four hour furious rebuttal, but now she just rolls her eyes at me like a junior high kid in the principal's office.
 
Posted by Doublethink (# 1984) on :
 
I recommend behavioural reconditioning.

[ 12. July 2014, 19:47: Message edited by: Doublethink ]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I owe an apology to friend's mother who was lovely yesterday, no delaying tactics, and compliments on my clothes. Unpredictable.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I do worry that city birds have lived badly and acquired diseases or parasites, or dined on poisoned rats. (Probably not pigeons, however.) But these sound like enterprising oldsters! There is many a polity who would pay them for their service.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Mother was moaning about virtually the last two friends she still talks to. Seems they had the unmitigated gall to invite her over for afternoon tea [Eek!]
'They just don't understand how much I have to do. I have all the paper work to sort out for my tax!' Me- Oh I thought you had an accountant for that? Mother 'Of course I do but I still have to get the papers together for them. My friends at least have sons who can help them' Me- Why don't you put all your year end statements into one file then you can just pick up the file and give it to the accountant? Mother 'Well of course that's what I do. I'm not completely doolally you know.'
So she effectively has no paperwork to do, and is resentfull that she has no son to do that lack of paperwork, just a useless daughter and is upset that her friends don't understand how difficult her life is [Confused]
I was very proud of myself for not rising to the bait.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
That's why we are here, Tessa, to serve your esprit d'escalier needs.

(Is that the right phrase? Something you wish you could have said but didn't say?)
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Well, it means a comment that you only THOUGHT OF later on. On the staircase, after you've left and it's too late and go work off your snappy retort onto the person you were aggravated with. If you are merely biting your tongue, you are polite, or diplomatic, or something.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
STOP SHOUTING.
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
Compliments of my mother (who I may have mentioned before on this thread) I have a question for you: Innocently thoughtless or deliberately offensive?

This week I had a birthday. I'm not that bothered about birthdays but it would have been nice to receive a card from my parents. Instead I received a manila envelope which contained a screwed up fiver and an unsigned compliments slip of my mothers.

So innocently thoughtless or deliberately offensive? Being me I hope the former and believe the latter.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
'Dear Mama, thank you for the money you sent me to buy a birthday card. I spent it on cheap booze/gave it to the first beggar I passed/offered a votive to Our Lady of Knock*'

*delete as appropriate
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:


So innocently thoughtless or deliberately offensive? Being me I hope the former and believe the latter.

Given the stories you've told, I'm gonna go with, "That's pretty fucked up." I think she has just officially given you permission to change you phone number.

So, here's one from several years ago-- i hadn't got my AA yet, was working for peanuts in the school media lab, and Christmas rolled around. My mom had asked me what clothes I needed. I let her know I needed sweaters and long sleeved tees, winter stuff. She asked me what colors I liked.

"Oh, you know-- our pallette. Jewel tones and stuff." ( I actually thought this was an odd question-- if you asked her what Kelly's favorite color was, she would answer with a shrug and a sniff, is my bet, but we once went to a makeup class and got our colors done, and since then she'd made a point to occasionally remind me that I had " her" pallette, especially when I wore a color she didn't like. So, given how much she'd harped on it, I was confused that she was asking. By the way, for those who are into these things, I am a "winter.")

"Give me specific colors, " she snapped.
"Blue and violet always works."
"How about green?"
"Yeah, green might make a good change -- like an emerald green."
"Red?"
"Yeah, red is ok, a cooler red. You know the pallette."

All of a sudden she gave a sharp sigh and said, "Is there any color you don't like?" ( this turned out to be her real question.)
" I'm not a big beige fan."

Come Christmas morning, a pile of boxes awaited me, and I lookedforward to having alternatives to my scruffy student clothes. You guessed it- box after box I opened was something the color of sand or clay. The one exception was a long sleeved tee in a really ugly yellow green. Just to heighten the effect, she had gotten my sister duplicates of everything I had in gorgeous, rich colors, and made a point to gush over how lovely the color looked on her.

To me she said, " I don't know, I just had this vision of you in an all beige wardrobe."

The genius thing about this stunt is we had a room full of relatives and if I responded with anything other than glee, she could ding me on ingratitude. Naturally she made me thank her over and over again.

And when I returned everything a few days later-- except for one quite nice eggshell sweater which luckily she decided was beige-- she immediately got on the phone to Sis and lamented about how hard I was to please.
 
Posted by Mrs Shrew (# 8635) on :
 
Kelly - that really is fucked up.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
All of a sudden she gave a sharp sigh and said, "Is there any color you don't like?" ( this turned out to be her real question.)

Reminds me of something my mother said once on one of my visits back home.

We had gone out in the car to the local market to pick up a few items for lunch -- hamburger, potato salad, etc. Very nice so far.

In the car on the way back to the house, my mother asked in her innocent voice, "Do you like ketchup on your hamburger?" Foolishly I replied in the affirmative.

"Well, we'll have to go back, then!" she suddenly snapped.

But my mother never even began to rise (or stoop?) to the level of those terrorist mothers described on this thread.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Don't you just hate the innocent voice?
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
I know some people with slingshots who could help straighten out mommy. [Biased]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I know this is hell, but I for one am not comfortable with, nor will I join in with, jokes about physically harming the relatives we are bitching about.

Anyway, I figure Mom's her own karma. Her inner monologue must look like a script from a film about Abu Ghirab.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
I, too, am a Winter, and for years my mother bought me beige clothes. She would always say, before handing over the beige item "I've noticed you never wear beige / eau de nil / banana yellow so I've bought you this so that you can ring the changes." Or "I know you'd never buy this colour for yourself, so I decided I'd treat you."

I tried pointing out that, by the age of 30 +, if I liked a colour I could buy it for myself, but that didn't work. So I tried another tack, and gave her one beige outfit back on the grounds that I had no shoes to wear with it, my shoes all being black / red / purple / shocking pink.

Yup, you've guessed it - I got the beige outfit back, together with a £60 pair of beige shoes.

[brick wall]

I had a friend who liked those sorts of colours and was happy to take them, or I gave them to the charity shop.

The beige thing ended round about my 40th birthday. Now she gives me clothes in a size too big, and when I say "But, Mum, I'm not a size x" she replies "Aren't you? You look like a size x"

[brick wall]

Every Christmas she buys me a multipack of knickers in a size too big. But she also buys the North East Man a multipack of too-small underpants. I cannot face telling my mother that my husband is not "extra small" as far as underpants go. It's just not going to happen.

(The underpant reasoning appears to be because my brother takes a size 11 in shoes, but my husband is a size 7. Mum then extrapolates that if my husband's feet are four sizes smaller, his underpants must be likewise four sizes smaller. Which makes my husband "extra small." )

[brick wall]

(ETA - I don't feel hellish about this, the weirdly sized underwear has become a family Christmas tradition which my kids enjoy, though Mum is oblivious to the fact we find it funny.)

[ 18. July 2014, 19:04: Message edited by: North East Quine ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Paisana.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
In the interests of fairness, this is (yet another) communication problem. Mum is very generous, and the large passion-killer knickers are part of a larger array of gifts at Christmas. I don't know what Mum hears when I say "I don't buy myself beige clothes because I don't like beige" or "I'm not a size X" but whatever she's hearing, it's not what I'm saying.

Another example - we were given a hideous vase as a wedding present, by someone who didn't know us well, and whom we knew would never visit us. The hideous vase stayed in its box, in a cupboard, for eight years, when we sold it through the small ads, to clear some cupboard space. We got £20 for it.

Mum found out (she was there when the buyer phoned) and was horrified that we were "reduced" to selling our wedding presents. (She knew that we had never taken the vase out of its box, so she ought to have realised we didn't like it. Plus we said we were selling it because we would never use it.) She hunted down a replacement vase for us, not identical, but also hideous. It cost her £50 to replace the vase we'd sold for £20. The replacement vase sits in our cupboard to this day. It's still in its box.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Mum then extrapolates that if my husband's feet are four sizes smaller, his underpants must be likewise four sizes smaller.

Mum apparently doesn't realize that that formula applies to the size of something else.

Miss Amanda will get her wrap.
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Mum then extrapolates that if my husband's feet are four sizes smaller, his underpants must be likewise four sizes smaller.

Mum apparently doesn't realize that that formula applies to the size of something else.

Miss Amanda will get her wrap.

I know, I know. This is not a conversation I am ever going to have with my mother.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Mum then extrapolates that if my husband's feet are four sizes smaller, his underpants must be likewise four sizes smaller.

Mum apparently doesn't realize that that formula applies to the size of something else.

Miss Amanda will get her wrap.

I wasn't gonna say anything but there is a subtle connection, I think...
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Well, I am no expert, but my mate Google says otherwise.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Just to heighten the effect, she had gotten my sister duplicates of everything I had in gorgeous, rich colors, and made a point to gush over how lovely the color looked on her.

Are you sure she can actually tell you apart? In her mind, I mean. You and your sister might just be in a generic "other people who are not the centre of the universe" category.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Trust me, this was not my sister's fault. Given a different whim, she might just as well have dogged her on Christmas Day. But part of her strategy is to pull her stunts in ways that pit us against each other-- you can't be the center of the universe if two people in it present a united front. I have been working with Sis on this, and it has helped somewhat.

Oh ans Sis is blonde and blue eyed, but that doesn't really negate your comment, come to think of it.

[ 19. July 2014, 07:49: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Well, I am no expert, but my mate Google says otherwise.

I hate to discredit the enormous amount of research that armies of intrepid folk must have put into this, but the formula is to subtract 3 from the shoe size -- not that the size of the you-know-what equals the shoe size.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Well, I am no expert, but my mate Google says otherwise.

I hate to discredit the enormous amount of research that armies of intrepid folk must have put into this, but the formula is to subtract 3 from the shoe size -- not that the size of the you-know-what equals the shoe size.
I wear size 46 shoes. Form a queue.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
Miss Amanda will be catty and assume you're talking millimeters.

Meanwhile, back at the thread . . . my 94-year-old father has just gone into assisted living and nothing suits him. When they come go give him his shower, it's at the wrong time. When they come to give him his meds, the dosage is wrong (it isn't). At mealtime the vegetables aren't cooked well enough. He can't find any of his clothes because he doesn't know where we put them away when we moved him in. Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch!

[ 19. July 2014, 15:24: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
When they come go give him his shower, it's at the wrong time.

Well, of course not. Left to themselves, a lot of people tend to want to shower at about the same time. If they all need help from care staff to shower, they have to wait their turn.

It's like living in digs with a single shared bathroom and a bathroom rota, except that the thing that is shared is the bath assistant rather than the bathroom.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Miss Amanda will be catty and assume you're talking millimeters.

Heeheeheeheehee
quote:

Meanwhile, back at the thread . . . my 94-year-old father has just gone into assisted living and nothing suits him. When they come go give him his shower, it's at the wrong time. When they come to give him his meds, the dosage is wrong (it isn't). At mealtime the vegetables aren't cooked well enough. He can't find any of his clothes because he doesn't know where we put them away when we moved him in. Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch!

My grandma started up a torrid romance with the guy down the hall within months of moving to assisted living. I guess that's better than kvetching.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Meanwhile, back at the thread . . . my 94-year-old father has just gone into assisted living and nothing suits him. When they come go give him his shower, it's at the wrong time. When they come to give him his meds, the dosage is wrong (it isn't). At mealtime the vegetables aren't cooked well enough. He can't find any of his clothes because he doesn't know where we put them away when we moved him in. Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch!

Sounds exactly like my father during the first weeks of his stay at assisted living. He solved two of the problems by taking his clothes out of the closet (imagine finding them in there!) and hanging them on the shower curtain rod so that he "couldn't" take showers anymore.

Before long he was kicked out altogether for threatening to "go home and get his gun" because one of the other men was bragging and showing off for the ladies. I guess he thought only he should be doing that. He's never owned a gun and didn't have a car to travel in, but I expect they were looking for any excuse to expel him at that point.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
My mom spend her entire first year in assisted living complaining and paranoid that the staff were going to do terrible things while she slept. She said horrible things to the staff-- snapped at them, talked terrible to them-- which was very uncharacteristic of her up until then. She refused to put her condo on the market because she was sure she'd be returning to it soon, even as she absolutely refused to cooperate with the medical treatment plans that would have made that a slim possibility.

After about a year of this, I went to visit her one day, and she dramatically announced that she needed to talk with me about something. Steeling myself for the worst, I sat down. She proceeded to tell me that God had told her she was going to spend the rest of her life there, and she'd better make the best of it. So she'd made a list of things she wanted me to bring her from her condo before we sold it. I happily complied. That was the last complaint I heard from her. From then on, she was her old self-- complimenting the staff, thanking them for their help, asking them about their lives and their kids, etc. In return, they loved her and took very good care of her until the end.

So, on a less hellish note, there may be hope-- for some anyway. I think having to go into even the nicest assisted living facility is a huge loss for anyone. It takes a long time to adjust to and mourn that loss. It takes time to accept the inevitable. During which time you can be a real b****.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
This week I had a birthday. I'm not that bothered about birthdays but it would have been nice to receive a card from my parents. Instead I received a manila envelope which contained a screwed up fiver and an unsigned compliments slip of my mothers.

Save the fiver. You now know what to send her for her birthday.
[Devil]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Nice. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Cliffdweller, what a lady! [Tear]

When I first started reading your post I thought that she must have had one (or more) of those small strokes that can send people's personalities over the edge. That she eventually reached such self-insight and made her own life and those around her happier is a real tribute to her true character.

May light perpetual shine upon her.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Yes, it was mini-strokes that was making my non-violent dad so difficult.

That's a wonderful story. That's the kind of miracle from God I believe in - not cancer cures or checks in the mail, but by changing our hearts and minds. He helped her accept things and gave her that peace that passes understanding. (IMO)
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Yes, it was mini-strokes that was making my non-violent dad so difficult.

That's a wonderful story. That's the kind of miracle from God I believe in - not cancer cures or checks in the mail, but by changing our hearts and minds. He helped her accept things and gave her that peace that passes understanding. (IMO)

Yes, I do believe it was a "God thing". God was telling her the same thing I'd been telling her for a year, but He has a bit more sway than I do. [Biased]

But even He took a year to get thru to her. And I think that's true to-- a lot of our miracles, our "God-breaking-ins", don't happen overnight. They take time. Sometimes an agonizingly long time.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I missed that-- that is a great story indeed.
 
Posted by Heavenly Anarchist (# 13313) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
My mom spend her entire first year in assisted living complaining and paranoid that the staff were going to do terrible things while she slept. She said horrible things to the staff-- snapped at them, talked terrible to them-- which was very uncharacteristic of her up until then. She refused to put her condo on the market because she was sure she'd be returning to it soon, even as she absolutely refused to cooperate with the medical treatment plans that would have made that a slim possibility.

After about a year of this, I went to visit her one day, and she dramatically announced that she needed to talk with me about something. Steeling myself for the worst, I sat down. She proceeded to tell me that God had told her she was going to spend the rest of her life there, and she'd better make the best of it. So she'd made a list of things she wanted me to bring her from her condo before we sold it. I happily complied. That was the last complaint I heard from her. From then on, she was her old self-- complimenting the staff, thanking them for their help, asking them about their lives and their kids, etc. In return, they loved her and took very good care of her until the end.

So, on a less hellish note, there may be hope-- for some anyway. I think having to go into even the nicest assisted living facility is a huge loss for anyone. It takes a long time to adjust to and mourn that loss. It takes time to accept the inevitable. During which time you can be a real b****.

A beautiful story. One of the blocks I teach on a health and social care course is about identity and a major theme is the relationship between home and identity. Losing one's home is a time of great grief and shock, especially if one has little choice or control over the circumstances. It is hardly any wonder that older people find the transition so hard that they often display behaviour similar to that of bereavement.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
My mom spend her entire first year in assisted living complaining and paranoid that the staff were going to do terrible things while she slept.

My mother was convinced that everyone in the facility was having fantastic non-stop sex day and night except her . . . but that was during her more delusional period.
 
Posted by Pearl B4 Swine (# 11451) on :
 
Miss Amanda said:
My mother was convinced that everyone in the facility was having fantastic non-stop sex day and night except her . . . but that was during her more delusional period.

I have that delusion too, and I'm not even in a "facility" yet. [Snigger]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Wait a minute. You mean people =don't=?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Hullo, back again!

So I go to work after nearly a month of being sick, and the day I come back I haven't even stepped in the door before the passive aggressive nonsense has begun. She has dumped a bunch clothing donations in the place on the street where I usually park in front of the house (parking on our street can be weird, and I was lucky other neighbors hadn't parked in such a way as to force me to park all the way up the street.) More toilet paper origami. She waited until I got upstairs to my room to listen to all her phone messages right outside my bedroom door, with he volume up. Various food items were relocated from places she had told me were fine where I asked to places I couldn't find them. Basically she did a bunch of things that made me really want to stay away from her.

Finally today she tells me my sister had came home sick that day and crashed at our house in the early afternoon. She has been putting off a rather serious operation and Mom chooses to tell me after she has been alienating me for two days.

But that is pretty much the point, and I really had a talk with myself in which I forced myself to admit this person does not really want me to be part of her family-- at least, not in any way that would require her to include me. That message has been very consistent-- I don't fit in, I am not "one of them," and she seems fine with it that way.

Weirdly, pinning that down was a relief.I have spend the last couple days actually finding myself recognizing moments of grace.
 
Posted by cliffdweller (# 13338) on :
 
[Votive]
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
Would it be better if she wanted you to be part of the family in a way that made her happy and drove you crazy?

Isn't this behavior a message she doesn't want you there or wants some crazy domination?

Bide your time while you plan your escape. When you leave she will be likely to be telling you that you're ungrateful for all her loving generosity.

It has been good not seeing you post any new craziness from her on here for a while. [Smile] I hope you're feeling better now.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:

Bide your time while you plan your escape. When you leave she will be likely to be telling you that you're ungrateful for all her loving generosity.

I think I am finally there. Feeling this way about an elderly relative has been making me feel guilty-- but fuck, how many ways can you tell a person they have no use for you before they call your bluff?

Part of her misfortune is that I have been getting extraordinarily good feedback on the job- both from coworkers and the kids. Especially in the case of the kids, it kind of forces me to move from "If they really knew me they wouldn't like me" to "Hell, even total strangers figure out what I am worth pretty quickly, because it is obvious. And do not challenge the good opinion of a two year old."

Not as arrogant as that sounds, it's just moving from "generally useless" to "Of a reasonable amount of use." Anything more or anything less would not be accurate or useful to me.

[ 05. September 2014, 04:54: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Kelly

Sorry to hear Mama is up to her tricks again but so good that you're finally accepting its not your fault or problem.

Practical tip: as/when you decide to move out don't tell her because it will trigger either increased passive-aggressive weirdness or tears and attempts to make you feel guilty.

What you do - got this from a mate - is make your arrangements; gradually (if you can) move small items to new place or intermediate place where Mama can't get at them.

On the day of the move you get packed up and then just tell her you're off.

Oh, and arrange for your post to be forwarded to the new place from a week before you move, and get a spare key cut because she'll demand yours.

Good luck.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I'm sorry. What a pattern of behavior! (You could make a mint by writing "Sh*t My Mom Does," but I suppose that would be problematic. Darn.)

Yeah, OF COURSE it's her. Probably something diagnosable--I'm thinking Borderline Personality Disorder myself ("Don't leave me, I hate you" contradictory attitudes). Good for you that you're unentangling yourself from the crazy.

But it hurts like hell when someone you should love and they should love you behaves this way. She reminds me of my Dad--the only way he had to show love was to criticize the hell out of us, even in a two second conversation. Or to say other deeply wounding shit.

I only figured out this was his version of love after he died, when I discovered he had kept our baby pictures.

Basically she's blighted and you're not--now the trouble of how to live around a person blighted in that way. Which is to put as much distance between you as you can, if you can't do it physically, then psychologically.

One trick that helped me a little bit is to imagine her as the crazy lady down the street whose children are having these same issues with her. How would you treat her, and them? Probably a mix of compassion and distance, leavened with a sense of humor. As much as possible, apply to self.

Forgive the rambling. Hey, got any more great pix of the toilet paper origami? And can we start donating in her name again?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
L'organist-- already thought that through. Either a week before or a week after I move out, she will get " ill."
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I have to keep telling a friend of mine that when his very elderly mother talks to him on the bus as if he is a recalcitrant toddler, everyone will know exactly what is going on, and it is not that there is something wrong with him.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
I'm glad you're getting the good feedback and it's changing your self opinion. You should think about how toxic it is for you to stay with someone who pushes your buttons and makes you feel you are worthless.

You are probably right that she will get ill when she finds out you're leaving. All the better to make it soon and give no warning.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
All the better to make it soon and give no warning.

This.

My parents (may God have mercy on their souls and let them be better now and in the world to come) were batshit insane, abusive, and crazy, my mother especially so. (Cubby met her and is sure she was paranoid schizophrenic. Probably.) It was toxic for me to have contact with them. At one point I would not let them have my phone number for my own sanity's sake.

I strongly suggest getting the hell out of there, whether she's "getting sick" or not. Millions of hugs and sympathetic prayers--I relate!!!!!
 
Posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard (# 368) on :
 
Kelly,
..... Kelly,
............ Kelly.

Said going down the register, shaking my head.

[Votive]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
L'organist-- already thought that through. Either a week before or a week after I move out, she will get " ill."

She already is.
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
My mother has an issue which makes her cough when she eats certain food. This can be fixed by taking one simple tablet once a day. Her doctor has told her she should be taking this tablet, my sister (a doctor) has told her she should be taking it, my brother in law (a doctor who also takes the tablet) has told her she should take it, my brother in law's mother (who takes the tablet) has told her she should take it, I (who also take the tablet) has told her she should take it. But no, she refuses.

This means that every meal with my mother is filled with nasty coughing/retching and complaints that apparently we should know what foods cause the problem. Last time I ate with her, my sister had put out a buffet of many different things and my mother chose what she ate and still complained that she had been served food that made her cough.

This is really irritating everybody. There is no point suffering something painful and socially irritating when a tablet, which my mother would get for free, would solve the problem. But no, apparently it is more important for my mother to a) be a martyr and b) blame everyone else for the problem then it is for there not to be a problem. She now refuses to even discuss it with the doctor anymore and accuses us all of running a conspiracy to cost the NHS money. I told her yesterday she could buy it over the counter but she refuses to do that too.

For a pacifist it makes me want to slap her which is a bad thing. [brick wall]
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
I would be tempted to grind up the pills and hide them in her food [Two face] except she would still probably cough out of pure cussedness.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
What is this miracle tablet of which you speak?
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
What is this miracle tablet of which you speak?

Just omeprazole which is a bog standard antireflux drug which is what is causing the problem.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Thanks, Chive. I'm already taking that (and still having to avoid lots of foods) so I thought perhaps your more advanced civilization had come up with something else and I could eat fruit again.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
AFAIK Nexium is the next step up, chemically related, and there's nothing beyond that (at least that I've heard of).
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chive:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
What is this miracle tablet of which you speak?

Just omeprazole which is a bog standard antireflux drug which is what is causing the problem.
Master Tor had a cough - like the sudden bark of a dog - for the first thirteen years of his life. We assumed, oh all kinds of things, and then I heard a radio program on doctoring which introduced this notion that it wasn't asthma, etc etc, but acid reflux.

Went to the GP, got referred to ENT, got a course of pills. Cough gone, virtually overnight. Three months of pills, and we assumed the cough would come back.

Nope.

[Angel]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
(also on omeprazole)

Is it me or has acid reflux become a much more common thing than it used to be? [Confused]
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
I have no idea, but giving anything that even remotely looks like medical advice, or even soliciting it, had better get a whole lot less common around here post haste.

—Ariston, Spiky Hellhost

[ 18. September 2014, 04:30: Message edited by: Ariston ]
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Two doctor friends think there is an increase in AR. The GP says they are seeing people of all ages with the problem: the gastro-intestinal specialist says its going hand-in-hand with an increase in severe ulcerative colitis, IBD/IBS and Crohns.

There has been some interesting work done with teens with Crohns that shows that roughly **% improve or are cured if they receive therapy with long-term (minimum 6 months) of heavy-duty antibiotics and or anti-virals which points to a possible cause, but the research lacks funds and, in any case, this leaves the other **% with no immediately obvious cause.

As for the classic AR - the finger is beginning to be pointed at either food preservatives in baked goods and bread (so called 'improvers') or at modern bread.

Why bread? Well, the Chorleywood process was developed to enable quick mechanised bread production and does this by missing out on the second proving of the dough; further developments have brought the time of the first proving down so that a supermarket bread machine can turn out a loaf in 45 minutes from start to shelf.

The suspicion is that full l***th and proper proving is required because otherwise people are ingesting significant amounts of still active yeast and it is the slow fermentation of this that is causing AR.

Sounds reasonable to me.

* can back up that when * make my own bread - the old-fashioned way and using imported flour without improvers - * never get AR or bloating but if * consume any quantity of supermarket bread, even the so-called artisan type, * get bloating always and AR sometimes.

* know * 'm just one person but * was put onto this by the GE specialist friend who took the same route and no longer has AR.

Looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck...
 
Posted by Ariston (# 10894) on :
 
If the plural of "anecdote" is not "data," the singular sure as Hell isn't either.

This isn't "idle medical speculation daily." Nor is it "baker's corner."

Take. It. Somewhere. Else. Or just shut the fuck up.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
Bumping this forward in honor of the holidays and because I miss Kelly's mother. [Devil]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
ROFLAO

Mom indeed spend the first half of the afternoon putting negative spin of pretty much every comment sis and I made-- and I was composing the Hell tirades as she went on-- but somewhere around dinner it started to wane,. I realized this was due to the majority of the people there actually (apparently ) having fun talking to each other, My future in-laws (Sis is finally getting hitched!) take me at face value and don't buy into all this "select an underdog" crap that my traditional family holidays seem to hinge on. Even less so, chronic negativity. So I actually was able to surround myself with fun, accepting people. (my nephews and nieces straight up love me).

And it seemed like Mom was... kind of getting it. Toward the end of the night she seemed to actually see the value of being pleasant.

That and she rounded off the night by telling me about an extremely touching, generous Christmas surprise she has in store for my stepsister, so I am actually feeling quite warm about Mom right now. Remind me of this as the holidays progress.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
... I am actually feeling quite warm about Mom right now. Remind me of this as the holidays progress.

Keep thinking fluffy bunnies, Kelly! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Friend's mother, yesterday, knowing he wants to get to a meeting he is chairing well in advance, wangles* a lift in my car, and then delays coming out until we can only get there at the time the meeting starts.
*Wangles by assuming it is going to happen. It isn't out of my way, is it?** Yes, it is, several miles, and she knows that because she knows how many buses she needs to take.
** In this case, she was coming to the meeting.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Just what is wrong with saying that we need to get to this meeting early enough to make sure everything is ready, so will be leaving at xx time. I'm very happy to offer you a lift but you will need to be ready by xx time. End of.

If she's not ready, just leave. Say goodbye. Don't argue. If she makes a later fuss, point out that you had assumed that she must have made her own travel arrangements as she wasn't ready in time for the proffered lift.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Sounds easy, doesn't it? It isn't. I don't have to live there. Friend does. Fallout is bad.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
The fallout would stop after consistently responding fairly and reasonably. Very difficult to moan that people didn't take you with them when they had to get somewhere and you didn't get your backside in gear in time. Continuing to allow her to dictate terms in this way is enabling her behaviour to continue as it is and just makes everyone around her suffer and allows her get away with it.

So rather than being passive aggressive by coming on here moaning, be assertive in real life and start using behaviour modification techniques, as you would for teenagers and children. If she's going to act like a sulky teenager, treat her like one.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Wow.

If only everyone ran everone else's life, mistakes would never be made, and everyone would have absolute clarity on how to deal with an awkward situation.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
Not to mention, it's problematic taking a hard line when the one who's going to suffer for it isn't you personally, but rather someone you love.
 
Posted by RooK (# 1852) on :
 
Some people are worth waiting for. And patience is something that requires regular practice.

That's why, sometimes when I'm giving somebody a ride and they make me wait for them longer than is seemly, after they get in I declare "My turn." and proceed to sit in there for a proportional time surfing the internet on my phone.
 
Posted by Mrs Shrew (# 8635) on :
 
Are you secretly actually my husband, Rook? That is exactly how he would handle that situation....
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
For my part, I usually make any excuse I can think of to really need to take my own car. I will make shit up. I will invent meetings with freinds that never happen. Been burnt too many times.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
The fallout would stop after consistently responding fairly and reasonably.

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I know, right?
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
That particular game playing would stop, as it would become a zero win game: if you are not ready in time for a lift, the car is no longer available as your private chauffeur-driven limousine.

No guarantees that an entirely different game wouldn't start up
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I wasn't going to come back.

But thanks to those who get it.

And, for the other game, visualise a family and friends party for another friend's birthday. F'sM has, on this occasion, "chosen" not to have lift. Turns up after bus ride like a conflation of Carabosse and Eris, complaining about absence of lift, and it's all my fault. F has never been invited to that friend's party again. Can't have that at a meeting.

[ 01. December 2014, 08:42: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
I'm afraid this is the kind of situation where I would suffer a sudden attack of "point and mock" (okay, I wouldn't do it, but I would have to go away REAL suddenly to avoid doing it, being an evil minded creature). I have been known to sympathize at great length and with oozing emotionality to such people, until they get suspicious and refuse to talk to me anymore. But of course, if she's making your friend's life hell as a result, that would take all the fun out of it. [Frown]
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
I can't really go into the whole shebang of things - read Kelly's posts for a flavour.

She did her darndest to get rid of me, but I knew what she was up to because my grandmother (abetted by his sister) had tried to get my mother away from her son; my mother's father had been regarded as a traitor by marrying so he couldn't keep his mother and sister in the manor* to which they had been accustomed before someone conned the family out of their money; a colleague at school had had his mother trying to separate him from the woman he was going to marry; and another colleague had faced the ire of her fiance's mother. So I stick it. (I did put the phone down on one of her tirades once, and dreaded the consequence for F, but she hasn't mentioned it, because she would have to think up a reason why I put the phone down that didn't make her look bad.)
*Deliberate misspelling - couldn't resist it, though it wasn't technically a manor, but it was a big house. Probably kept up by investments in the West Indies. Better gone.
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
So if I understand correctly, this is a potential mother-in-law?

He must be something really special.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
It took me until past 40 to read my folks the riot act. It was painful, and didn't have straightforward consequences - my father has not spoken to me for over a year. But it needed doing, I don't regret it, and in some ways I wish I had done it much younger - there would have been more chance of a sensible rapprochement. Penny, I suggest you take no shit now, and see what happens. If your fella can't handle it, he needs to grow some.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
I have a friend with a MOTHER. He was the first of our set to marry - but that was because he met her when they were both living in France (she was French) and they got married after a whirlwind 9 week courtship.

The trouble started when they moved to the UK with his job: his mother was constantly sniping and every time he had to go abroad for work she'd travel the 150 miles from her home to stay as a nice 'surprise' and to stop the wife from getting lonely. French wife put up with this for 2 years before throwing in the towel and going back to Lyon.

Next serious relationship took him a few years but eventually he found a lovely girl - through me! Very bright, very gifted, he was absolutely crazy about her and all looked rosy until he mentioned he might be thinking of matrimony again. Mother (who had a shedload of money) told him she'd pull the financial rug for all time and he, coward and louse that he proved to be, gave in - but only after the mother told him about her diagnosis of incurable heart condition.

Surprise surprise - her heart got better! Just in time to see off another would-be daughter-in-law.

He's now 56, still single, still a frustrated father, still incapable of seeing that his desire to placate his mother has cost him the happy family life he says he's always wanted. And his mother is still only 79 and as strong as an ox - in fact I suspect she'll outlive him.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
So if I understand correctly, this is a potential mother-in-law?

He must be something really special.

No, she isn't. Yes, he is. But also, I am of Sussex, and Wunt Be Druv.

And mark, things are more complicated than something that growing some would solve.

And, l'organist, it is very strange how tremendously healthy and longlived such people can be.

It's odd that only a few folk stories address the mother of the man. There's Venus and her behaviour to Psyche (and I think that story is at least as much about Cupid growing up and becoming independent of his mother as it is about the deification of Psyche), and there's the second part of the Sleeping Beauty, in which the prince's mother turns out to be an ogre, and he has to keep his bride, and his children secret. It really needs more exposure, so the mothers grow up knowing that that behaviour is just not on.

[ 01. December 2014, 20:25: Message edited by: Penny S ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
And his mother is still only 79 and as strong as an ox - in fact I suspect she'll outlive him.

Well, assuming it's only natural causes that gets her.

Meanwhile, I can't help feeling that this thread is cheating Penny out of a bestselling memoir.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Ah, but, it's really someone else's story, isn't it? And I've said enough.
 
Posted by itsarumdo (# 18174) on :
 
Oedipus. The "Father" that is killed is the adult he could have become. This kind of emotional/economic/security blackmail requires a very clear sense of self to overcome.

In Greek myth, Medea avenges her husbands betrayal by slaying her children. As a man, I would not say he is a louse - I'd say that his mother for some reason made him her spouse when he was young, and he hasn't learned to identify that and to free himself from it. And that's not to blame the mother - because again, no mother would consciously emasculate her son, if she were fully aware of the consequences - so it's just generational family history playing out. And by your description, so toxic that the bloodline has ended as a result.
 
Posted by Penny S (# 14768) on :
 
Interesting. Resonances on her side. Not on his. That's more to do with honouring a responsibility his father fled. Understandably. No more.

Anyway, Oedipus was innocent. So was Jocasta.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
I wanna elope, is all I'm saying.
 
Posted by Zoey (# 11152) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
It took me until past 40 to read my folks the riot act.

This year I told my parents that I'm not doing X because I don't want their response of doing Y. They told me they had no intention of doing Y. Part of me wants to go all social-worker-y on them: if you can control your propensity to do Y, why have you been doing Y with damaging effects for over 30 years; if you haven't previously been able to control your actions in doing Y, what makes you think you'll be able to stop doing Y now? Of course I don't say this, because I know that the answer is that they can't control their propensity to doing Y and they will keep doing Y until they die. The only question really is whether I can set the boundaries to maintain some contact or whether eventually me refusing to do X and other similar scenarios will lead to out-and-out estrangement.
 
Posted by saysay (# 6645) on :
 
Estrangement's not so bad.

I communicate with my father and step-mother a couple of times a year and generally see them once a year. That's all I can take (it's been that way since I made the mistake of attempting to live with them full-time for a year as a teen).

Most of the people I've known who have cut off all contact with their parents who can't stop doing Y don't know what took them so long.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
Dear difficult relative meddling on the behalf of even difficulter relative,

As previously discussed several times, we are not going to change our minds about X. Being a Christian witness does not mean enabling bad behaviour or giving into emotional blackmail, and we do not intend to build our family relationships on this basis.

Lots of love x


This email is actually being sent and that makes me, well I’m not sure happy is the right word, but at least we’re taking back control of the situation. Someone’s going to be unhappy about it, but I think the need for elopement is going to be avoided.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Dear difficult relative meddling on the behalf of even difficulter relative,

As previously discussed several times, we are not going to change our minds about X. Being a Christian witness does not mean enabling bad behaviour or giving into emotional blackmail, and we do not intend to build our family relationships on this basis.

Lots of love x


This email is actually being sent and that makes me, well I’m not sure happy is the right word, but at least we’re taking back control of the situation. Someone’s going to be unhappy about it, but I think the need for elopement is going to be avoided.

Good luck! Of course, you could just remind them that when they're telling you WWJD in the circumstances they're trying to manipulate you into giving them their own way, one of your options is overturning tables and chasing people with whips ... [Two face]

Tubbs

[ 04. December 2014, 12:58: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Atta girl. Whatever the fallout, you called it out.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
[Two face]

I think what ticks me off about the Jesus-juke is the way it’s used to shut down protest. We also reject the premises on which the argument is being made, viz. “you’re Christians and X isn’t, so it’s normal for you to be more mature and forgiving and make all the concessions.” Or not. Because (a) X may not be a Christian but she bloody well is an adult and it would be becoming for her to behave like one, and (b) plenty of people in the world aren’t Christians and still know how to treat their relatives perfectly well.

We did kind of Jesus-juke them back by opening the email with “after prayerful consideration we’ve decided…”. Anyway, I think we’ve set our boundaries for now.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Jesus-juke. Love it.

Not the same thing, but overly religious relatives judging behaviour reminded me of an old one, from my 20's. (Long post to follow, but it's kind if funny.)

I had a great- uncle who was very, very Irish-- teared up at pub songs, carried around a shilleleigh when he was older, etc. When he died, the funeral was followed by a wake in the Irish pub next door to the church.

First off, I drove, and my sister in the sidecar was burbling all the way about wanting a Guinness, had to have a Guinness, the only way to serve dear old A.s memory was to have a Guiness. Not that I didn't agree, but she was the one doing all the talking about it.

Comes the wake, we sit down at a table with our pints, and suddenly are joined by my aunt and uncle, both religious teetotalers. Aunt immediately starts carping about booze being served in a bar. Sis immediately agrees and pushes her Guinness aside. I don't respond, but keep sipping my beer. Aunt does a bunch of chatty catching up with Sis, but every time I take a sip-- and I assure you I was only sipping-- she snaps, " you need to slow down, that stuff is really strong."

i assure her that I had had stout before and was taking it slow. Sis ( who was really throwing me under the bus that day) mentions that I am the one driving. Aunt really insists I stop drinking. I tell her we were planning to walk around the town square anyway, and I wasn't planning to get into the car until I was ready. Aunt goes back to friendly chat with Sis, who suddenly makes a display of lightheadedness and asks me to finish her beer. ( bear in mind that she was the one clamoring for beer in the car, and also bear in mind that at this juncture she was newly single and went clubbing two nights a week, and those nights usually involved her knocking back three or four rum and Cokes, plus whatever the gus bought her. But a pint was too much for her. Right.)

By now I am so pissed off, I silently accept the drink she slides over and take two or three big swallows. Aunt again scolds me.

After the wake, Sis and I walk around the town square as planned, and we stop in the thrift shop where Great uncle and hus wife volunteered- it was a large part if their lives, and Sis and I spent long hours playing in the costume department while Great Aunt worked. I immediately go to the used book area, where there is a cozy chair, and am so swamped with memories I just flump into the chair, tears in my eyes.
Sis streaks over and begins addressing me in this wierd stage voice, loud enough to fill the room: "What's wrong? Are you tipsy?"
i speak in a low voice, hoping she will follow my lead." Or maybe it's just really weird to be here after all these years, and my great uncle just died, and I'm sad abour it."

Still using the stage voice, and glancing around: " I'm sad, too! "
"Yeah , but your a real person with real feelings, so you get to be sad. i had a beer at a wake, so I don't get to be sad, I'm just drunk. "

I then pointed out the drastic difference between the way Aunt was talking to her versus me, from the start, and remind her of how she was clamoring for booze on the way over. Basically she was rewarded for being a hypocritical suck- up and I was punished for being authentic, in my mind.

After a while we got up to leave, and as we left, I discovered the reason for the stage talk and glancing around. Aunt and Uncle had come in with us, and had been at the other side of the shop the whole time.

Aunt, to her credit, did not let me leave the store before she gushily asked me about my job and school activities.
 
Posted by Robert Armin (# 182) on :
 
As I've posted on the Prayer thread, I've had a big falling out with my sister. The actual details are triviality embodied, but (from my POV) I finally stood up about something that has been hurting me for several years, she responded with stuff I've done recently that has hurt her, and we had a big conversation where she stated that there was no point in our ever speaking again as we have nothing in common. While this was meant as a rhetorical flourish, she may well be right, and that hurts. Some friends have said I would be better off cutting the cord, and letting the relationship end, but for years I've been hoping that one day we could become the sort of siblings that other people manage to be. Letting go of that hope is sad.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Disappointed] So sorry.

That is such a chickenshit tactic. ( Responding to an expressed problem with threatening the entire relationship.)

And I get the people who say, no big loss, but I think some of those people are missing something fundamental in the dynamic- that particular relationship might be no big loss, but if there is a pattern, and a person is consistantly punished for trying to be authentic, that's gonna trickle into other relationships.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I don't know if this is what you were describing, but this is chickenshit also:

A. This is a problem that I am having with you at the moment. Please note my careful wording and calm tone.

B. This is every flaw you have and every mistake you have made the past year, which I chose to reserve as a weapon when you dare speak up instead of finding a respectful way to address it at the time. Note my loud voice, my free use of name-- calling and accusatory terms, and back the fuck off before I hurt you more.
 
Posted by Robert Armin (# 182) on :
 
Cheers Kelley. To be honest, the same thought has crossed my mind more than once, so I'm no paragon of sibling virtue. But, at the end of the day, she is the only person who goes right back all through my life, and losing her feels like losing all those memories as well. Still, it's not been a healthy relationship for years, and it might be good to have a bit of a break.

The other problem here is that I don't want to worry my mother, who is 87, and wants her kids to get on. We both say we don't want her drawn into this mess - but guess which one keeps ringing her in floods of tears with stories about how unfair the other one has been?
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
(Sigh) That, too.

And for some reason it's always the volatile, emotionally incontinent folk who get away with murder, while anyone who calls it out is the troublemaker.

And I understand about the sister thing. In my mind, she is the closest person in the world to me. My problem is, I get the feeling she considers me an accesory. Maybe that's the burden of being the youngest-- you are consigned to be the uninvited guest.

[ 04. December 2014, 18:04: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560)