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Author Topic: OT: My parents.....................  (Read 3949 times)

Indigo Mom

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OT: My parents.....................
« on: Nov 23, 2003, 08:35:05 AM »
My Dad turns 51 today.  I call every year, and the kids and I sing the Happy Birthday song to him over the phone.

My mom calls to say that because I'm a screw up, my Dad is depressed.  He's horribly upset because he has no family living near.  (nevermind the fact their entire families live in the same town as them)  He wants his grandkids close.  I KNOW THIS.  And yes, I understand.

I've been trying to move home since '97 when I left monster....but couldn't unless I wanted to leave my son behind.  Wasn't gonna happen.  The MOMENT I got my son, I was going to move there.  Well, I screwed up ONCE AGAIN, and now have another case...my daughter.  

While her "whatever he is" isn't around, he's starting his garbage again.  (it's his yearly "thing")  I'm not going to be able to leave for another year because hub is adopting my children.  

So now, every frigging year, I hear the whole "you're a screw up" speech.

I have an older brother who ran away from home when I was 12.  My parents have seen him one time since then.  I have a younger brother who is severly handicapped, and a few months ago went to live in a special home for him.  I'm the only one left.  Lucky me.

My parents haven't done a whole lot to "save" my self esteem.  In fact, they've hammered me into the damned ground my entire life.  I do love them, I know they love my kids, I do want to be close to family as neither hub nor I live anywhere CLOSE to family.  But man...I don't know how much more of this "screw up" talk I can take.

From hubs father dying in early '02, I completely UNDERSTAND why my parents want the kids close.  I know that if I don't get out there and either of them die, I'm going to regret it forever.

I'm to the point that I want to run away.  I'm an adult, for crying out loud, but my parents are making me feel like I'm  10 again.  WTH can I do?  

Each time I've grown "balls" with them, I get written off....Military style.  When I met hub, I received an email from my father (cause I screwed up another relationship) that blew hub away.  He was shocked that a parent can do to their child what my father did.  

Is there anyone who can help me?  I don't want to hurt their feelings...but I think I feel that way because I want to protect my own.  They're depressed, yet have no DAMNED clue what they're doing to ME!!!

I know my parents did the best they knew how...they had 2 kids by the time they were 19 and pretty much had NO clue WTF was going on.  My Mom admitted a few years back that she resented my older brother and I for making her life what it was.  Quite an honest admission and one I can respect because at least, if nothing else, she admitted it.

I guess what I'm asking is....how the hell do I prevent my parents from destroying what little is left of my "self", all the while making everyone involved "happy".

Thanks for allowing me to vent, and to anyone who can offer any advice.


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RE: OT: My parents.....................
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2003, 09:57:22 AM »
This is really tough Indy, as you can't change others which you well know.  Daddy wants his little girl back who is the yes-sir-no-sir-three-bags-full-sir.  So does Mommy.  See, the issue is they haven't accepted you as an adult with the ability to make decisions, be accountable for them, and follow the path you have decided to take on this life journey.

You have to try to understand EMOTIONALLY, that their reality is different than yours.  They still have the script in their heads for what they "wanted you to be in life."  In dealing with my own DS, I have had to internalize that the script inside my head for him is no longer valid.  He took that script and edited it (man, he cut it up in little pieces!) and carried on from there.  I take a great deal of pride in him in that he IS independent.  He isn't doing what I'd like to see him do, but that is NOT my decision for him.  Sorry for diverging to my kid, but it was merely for exemplary purposes.

I think you said there were some sort of tentative/possible plans to move closer to them, didn't you?  Well ... when you call them, try to get them to focus on that.  Wish the Happy Birthday, listen for a bit (NOT long if it turns into a you-aren't-the-person-I-brought-you-up-to-be), and then just keep talking about the proposed move and when you think you might be able to make it; how much you're looking forward to being closer to them; and how WONDERFUL it will be for them to have grandchildren close by as well as how WONDERFUL it will be for the kids to have the benefit of grandparents with the wisdom and other things they can give them.

Have you ever said anything to you Mom about her admission?  Validated it TO her?  That you KNOW it was hard, and that she did the best she could do?  That it's okay if she resented you and your brother, because as parents we ALL resent our kids to some degree or another at points in time (THAT comment should be good for a flame or two)?  That YOU, like HER, are trying to do your best right now, and ask for her patience with this.  See ... we get no rehearsals for this thing called Life - we do it cold and have to draw on previous experience which may or may not be appropriate.  But for the most part we all seem to get it sorta right.  Have you ever ASKED your Mom to accept you and your ways?  It's called unconditional love.  Some parents have a hard time with unconditional love ... but eventually they all get there.

Good Luck ... I battled this one with my mother for years ... only been in the past year or so that we have been able to drop the edge in our voices and truly enjoy each other.  Perhaps that was more my fault than hers, but in the end it doesn't matter if either or both of us is to blame - we're past it now and I'm grateful since Mommy-Dearest is 81 ... not likely to be around for a big bunch of years.

And, my heart goes out to ya.  I ask you to do only one thing ... never forget how you feel about this issue right now, and do everything you can to NOT put your kids in that place when they grow up.  I have a hunch you won't, but never hurts to reinforce something.

Indigo Mom

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RE: I think "my" problem is..............
« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2003, 12:55:10 PM »
I don't believe children are little empty sponges at birth that we, as parents, must fill with all of our knowledge.  (no matter how screwed up our own knowledge is)

I don't believe children will be anything EXCEPT what they want to be.  

I don't believe we, as parents, can "mold" them into little tiny "us's".

I believe children are VERY special, come here knowing who they are and what they are.  Anything we, as parents, do to "change" them to be what we want is detrimental to their own special "journey".

We're able to screw them up, absolutely, but I personally don't believe in a "screw up" child.  

I know I believe differently than most people, maybe that's why I can't figure my parents out.  

I can't see myself treating my children the way my parents treat me.  I feel like I'm "damaged" but do know there's a way for me to unbreak myself.  I just don't know how.

I usually let the hurtful things they say roll off my back.  I shouldn't do that.  I should let them know how I feel, and take the Military Write Off as my "punishment".  And rather than kissing their asses months later because it's too painful, I should stick to my ground.

I'm NOT their possession to do with whatever they wish.  I AM a human being who deserves respect even though I HAVE screwed up.  No doubt, in my travels through life, I'll screw up again.  

When my Mother made her admission, I did the typical kiss ass thing...I said she was wrong.  Deep inside, I wanted to scream and ask her how the HELL could she resent us for as long as she did!  We were little people, for crying out loud!  I didn't say that.  And we're still having problems.

Your son, MK, is going to be fine in life.  He has you for a Mother, who knows he's not your "toy" to play with whenever you feel like it.  You know he's on his own path, one which you shouldn't disturb.  He has a Mother who loves him enough to just let him fucking go.  You know unconditional love...my parents don't.  It's their way or the highway.  You should be proud of yourself, and that son of yours.

I have to figure out how to make it stop.  I can't be bothered by what they say.  I allow them to make me feel an inch tall, and until I learn to stop allowing that...it'll continue.

Thanks, Mk...thank you very much!


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RE: I think
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2003, 01:15:13 PM »
Indy - your post above reminded me of a time in my life when I had to step back from everything and everyone and come to grips with the fact that I couldn't be the perfect everything for everyone.  Sometimes we get so caught up in what everyone else thinks we should be that we lose sight of who we are.  I remember thinking I had to be the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, friend, wife, employee - how could someone be all of these things ?  Right now I live just far enough away from my family that I can always go see them if I need to, and they can come see me, but not at the spur of the moment - and I like it like this.  I don't think that makes me a bad person.  Sometimes I do feel guilty when I call and hear of problems going on, and I feel bad that I'm not closer to help out, but I snap out of it pretty quickly.  I don't think I would ever move really close to "home" again.  It sounds like you've had to work really hard to get where you are today - do you really want to go back to being controlled by people who played such a big part of what you are trying to leave behind ?  Not that you need to be hundreds of miles away - but sometimes just enough distance is a good thing.  And, I don't think you owe any explanations as to why you aren't closer - it's your life now, not theirs.  The only person you owe anything to is your kids - you owe it to them to be a better parent than your own were.  If you ever have doubts about how much time your kids have with your parents - just imagine them making your kids feel the way they have made you feel.  Not to say that you shouldn't try to let your kids have some kind of meaningful relationship with them - but these are your kids - your parents had their turn, it's your turn now.


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RE: I think
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2003, 02:17:33 PM »
I agree with ABSOLUTELY everything you're saying Indy ... but the one line that jumped out at was this

[em]I did the typical kiss ass thing...I said she was wrong. Deep inside, I wanted to scream and ask her how the HELL could she resent us for as long as she did! We were little people, for crying out loud! I didn't say that. And we're still having problems.[/em]

Girly-girl ... you laid down on the floor and let her STAND on you not just walk.  I'm not saying you should have screamed it at her, but after counting to 10, talking a deep breath or two, you should have, as lovingly as you could told her that.  In a way you are still playing the "child" role with them.  It's a hard thing with a parent/s who are unwilling to relenquish the role of "boss" to that of "mentor" and "peer."  Admittedly that is the single most difficult thing to do as a parent, IMVHO - to walk beside, or behind your adult child and only in front when invited; to cheer their successes from the audience, not from the stage with them unless invited; to ache for their sorrows or failures without intervention, unless invited.  That is what being a parent is about once your little birds find their wings, stretch them and leave the nest.

I know you're going to find the way to that place with yours, and you will find a way to behave toward your parents that forces them into, what I believe, is the appropriate role.

Stay who you are, continue to grow and life will unfold in front of you.  You DO have the ability to change how your parents treat you by your own actions.

But I would caution you with one thing ... this is in response to Linda who posted just below (or will it be above - don't know how these boards will work yet LOL).  As we get older, there comes a point when we want to be closer to our families (and dang it I should know be older than dirt!).  The distance when there are problems or difficulties with your family, be it aging parents, siblings, etc. that your very being aches for not being closer.  I was fortunate enough to have lived across the street from my sister for a year in '02.  While in ways in was a PITA (Lordy! if I got home from work 15 mins late she was all upset and unstrung - grrrrr), I wouldn't have traded being able to be there for the hard times for her for all the tea in China.  If I had my druthers we would be close like that now, but we don't.  

Hang in Indy ... and dmmit all - get that book PLEASE?!?!?  You have so many of the same beliefs as Ruiz espouses, but it will give you insight to so much.

Take care Indy ... love yer babes a whole big bunch!


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This year don't call him
« Reply #5 on: Nov 24, 2003, 11:54:30 AM »
Send a belated birthday greeting.  You don't need this crap. You've turned yourself inside out trying to please your folks.  You did your best.

Exactly why are you a screw up? Because of relationship problems?  I could see if you kept getting thrown in jail, but I suspect you haven't been able to do anything right in their eyes.  They're the screw ups for attacking your self esteem, and making you feel this way.

Imo, the only way you can keep your parents from destroying you, your kids and your marriage, is to cut off all contact.  They'll find someone else to pick on....trust me.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this :-(


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RE: OT: My parents.....................
« Reply #6 on: Nov 26, 2003, 06:35:31 AM »
You may not like what I say or you might like some of it but this is just my unqualified opinion.  You have to stop worrying about making everyone else happy...Work with what makes you happy..not on the outside but rather deep inside happy...And how can your "self" be destroyed? You have little ones who love you and they help define you (at least my kids help to define me)...I havent talked to my mother os two youger sisters in over 6 months because of some of the same stuff. It is always when are you coming home to visit (I went home a year ago and they have never visited me) they have never seen my two kids the oldest being 9 youngest 4...I decided that life is too short to not enjoy what I have here with me vice what else I could have..by focusing on what makes me happy inside I have been able to better deal with the insanity of the rest of my family..it isnt my job (or yours) to make anyone else happy....love should be unconditional and some people fail to realize that but do not think that you are worthless just because you cant make your parents happy...


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