Author Topic: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB  (Read 5539 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

NotTheNarcissist

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 779
Not really etiquette-related but I am wondering if my thinking is off on this. This situation keeps rearing it's head. Turning to ehell as you all have been so wise in the past for me.

Sometime back, an old friend came to me upset at her sister for posting trauma stories from their childhood on her Facebook page. Without going into details (sorry for the vagueness but it can't be helped this time) essentially her sister posted multiple (sometimes gory) details of childhood abuse (today CPS would have removed the children if they were aware of the abuse) for all her FB "friends" to read. My friend's sister refuses to have rel@tionship with her mom and has a very distant but slightly better rel@tionship with her father. (They talk about once a year compared to never.)

This is not the first time the sister has done this; this is going on for several years of posting childhood trauma stories in her FB status.

My friend is conflicted about this. It's her mom too and she did not receive the same level of abuse her sister did. She knows her mom has some level mental illness (no professional diagnosis, just based on experience) but has basically accepted her mom where she is with all her junk & learned to live with it by enforcing healthy boundaries. My friend is very positive and stays rooted in today, not dwelling on past events, even though she also suffered abuse, just not the level her sister did. My friend has already done professional counseling too concerning abuse from her childhood.

She didn't really ask me for advice, rather she asked my opinion on the situation.

I told her essentially this:
-Facebook is not your therapist - while she can't control her sisters actions, it would be better (IMO) for her sister to seek professional counseling than dredge up pain & suffering from 40 years ago in a somewhat public forum;
-It's her (my friend's) mom too and if the feelings of being torn continue, that she has the right to ask her sister to respect the fact it's her mother too and to refrain from bashing their mom and her actions in a somewhat public forum.

Am I off on this? Is it ok for someone to bash their parents on Facebook? Or maybe it's ok under certain circumstances like if there are no siblings? Is this any different than writing an autobiography & spilling your parents mistakes to the whole world? Or is it actually a healthy healing thing to essentially publish this type of info for so many people to read & digest? In this situation, it's apparently "healthy" by one sister but her sibling is more or less saying "Hey, uh, wait a minute there..." - Should the sibling(s) just get over it? or do they have right(s) too & their feelings should be respected? Looking for general thoughts on this subject from wise ehellions ...to either solidify my thoughts or correct them.

I can just imagine all the moms-who-are-reading-this eyes getting huge at the thought of their kids spilling all their mistakes when they get older, whether it be online or book form, and it's a scary thought. I am a step-mom. While not perfect, given the confluence of circumstances at that moment (whatever 'that' moment is), generally speaking, IMO, parents do the best they can right then and there.

If you read this far, a virtual cookie for you.

Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 12:35:19 PM »
Well, ultimately, she can't force her sister to do anything. I think she can say something ONCE, maybe something like:

"Sis, I know that you have a lot of hurt to deal with, but I really feel uncomfortable when you share these things on FB. You're talking about my childhood, as well as yours. What happened in the past is very personal, and I don't want lots of people to know about it.

 I totally understand that you need to get these things out, but I think it would be more helpful to you to speak to a proper counselor. I know it really helped me."

After that, all she can do is hide her sister's posts.



CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4255
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 12:36:39 PM »
Generally speaking, I think it's rude to divulge gory details to all and sundry on FB. This includes gory details of medical issues, sex, abuse, hunting, or anything else. I don't think it's rude to speak in general terms. "My mom abused me as a child and I had a flashback today, hugs please?" versus "I recall the day my mother did [horrible things], and [really uncomfortable details]."

At the same time, you can't tell someone what to do with their FB. Unfortunately the only thing you can do is hide objectionable posts or hide the person's entire feed. I do think since it's her sister, she can gently suggest she get counseling rather than posting about it on FB, once. After that, I think it's best to let it go.

Personally, I don't agree with divulging details of the abuse. But I do understand venting about one's parents. I grew up in an emotionally abusive household, and my mom still treats me really badly sometimes. I am a very private person, but if I were not, I could see myself posting something negative about my mom.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 12:54:06 PM »
My opinion depends on what she is posting - if it is stories about what she experienced or information about how she is feeling about what she went through, that is her business and her right (though personally I think it unwise as a method of coping).  If your sister is naming you as another victim of abuse, if she is sharing stories about what you personally experienced, I think she is crossing a line.  The fact that her mother is your mother as well means less to me when I think about whether it is ok to post about family members.  You may not want people to know what your mom did, but she did in fact do it & if your sister chooses not to hide that, it is her choice - but only as far as what your mom did to her.

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2569
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 01:40:36 PM »
I agree with Nya Chan. My mother abused some of my sibs but not me. I witnessed it and occasionally wake up with a nightmare flashback of the abuse. If my sibs were to publish something about it, so long as it was the truth, I would not intercede unless I thought it truly inadvisable. It is their story to do with as they please, even if Mom has since asked forgiveness it's their choice as adults how to handle the emotional scars.

O'Dell

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 05:19:23 PM »
If Sis is sharing details about your friend, then your friend has the right to ask her to leave friend's personal details out of it. But as long as Sis sticks to sharing about her own personal experience, she's fine. And I would find it offensive on her behalf if her sibling, who received less abuse, asked her to stop because it's her mom. The woman is Sis's mom too. Why should your friend's feelings about their mother take precedence? I'm glad your friend came to terms with it, but that doesn't mean that she gets to diminish her sister's feelings and demand that she act the same.

If your friend doesn't like reading it, she should hide her sister's posts. If she wants to tell her sister, she can say that reading about the abuse is painful to her so she's hiding Sis's posts for the time being. And just make it an indefinite period of time that stretches to forever.

Your friend can definitely go to her sister and express any concern she has about revealing too much or maybe making herself look bad in the eye's of her friends or whatever other objection she might have, and even suggest Sis seek professional help. However, going to Sis and expressing concern for mom's feelings and how mom looks to others is misguided and insensitive.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

MrsJWine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8803
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 05:26:32 PM »
Someone recently posted here about her experience with her abusive father. She shielded her brother from much of the abuse, and her younger sister never experienced any at all. In fact, the sister had a great relationship with their father, and expected the OP to have the same relationship; people outside the immediate family even slam the OP for not being a loving daughter, when they weren't privy to the horrors he inflicted on her growing up.

Perhaps your friend's sister is in a similar position, and she feels she needs to make these things public. I'm near-certain that I would want to. I don't know for sure; it might be more healing to keep my head down, ignore the nasty comments, and try to forget the past as much as possible. But I think that I would want to clear my name and would not be okay with an abusive man getting all the back-pats for the natural consequences of his actions.

Is Facebook the best venue for that? Well, no; and I don't think it will do your friend's sister much good, beyond allowing her some catharsis. But it's not really the sort of thing I would condemn her for, either. I think your friend is better off just blocking her status updates so she only sees them if she goes to her sister's wall.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

Sheila Take a Bow

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 777
  • Formerly arija but I felt like a name change.
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 07:18:44 PM »
I have a sibling who likes to air our family's dirty laundry in dramatic fashion via Facebook.  I think Sibling does it because each post earns a bunch of virtual pats on the back from friends and gets attention.

Personally, I'd rather not have the details of my dysfunctional childhood aired on the Internet.  And I think that, given that Sibling friends not only casual acquaintances but also coworkers (and subordinates), it's oversharing.  I also don't think it's a healthy way to deal with real issues that came out of the dysfunction.

But I can't change how Sibling copes with the world, I can only deal with how I react.  And I choose to ignore.  Even though I love Sibling, and I think Sibling needs a better coping mechanism, it's really not my problem.  So the only thing to do is to ignore it all.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 08:11:24 PM by arija »

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 10:27:50 AM »
 I blast my family on FB too, For things they are doing now, tho.  FB may not be my therapist...but it is MY page any one who does not like what I post can hide or delete my posts or me from the their feed.  It don't see how it's rude to say "I am pissed at so and so because they've been hateful" or "K came to visit and was drunk and a jerk last night" or whatever. Details about past beatings or such might not be the best thing to post, but it's her page and she has no responsibility to maintain appearances or to keep things civil if she does not want to.
  If it bothers you - hide her in your feed and only check when you're up to it. 

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11010
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 10:32:21 AM »
I have a sibling who likes to air our family's dirty laundry in dramatic fashion via Facebook.  I think Sibling does it because each post earns a bunch of virtual pats on the back from friends and gets attention.

Personally, I'd rather not have the details of my dysfunctional childhood aired on the Internet.  And I think that, given that Sibling friends not only casual acquaintances but also coworkers (and subordinates), it's oversharing.  I also don't think it's a healthy way to deal with real issues that came out of the dysfunction.

But I can't change how Sibling copes with the world, I can only deal with how I react.  And I choose to ignore.  Even though I love Sibling, and I think Sibling needs a better coping mechanism, it's really not my problem.  So the only thing to do is to ignore it all.

Same here, I'm pretty private and don't really want to say anything about the less pleasant aspects of my adolescence. Not just for me but I don't want to embarrass my brother, who still lives with them, and I'd just really rather keep it to myself.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Bibliophile

  • May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12025
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »
I agree with Nya Chan. My mother abused some of my sibs but not me. I witnessed it and occasionally wake up with a nightmare flashback of the abuse. If my sibs were to publish something about it, so long as it was the truth, I would not intercede unless I thought it truly inadvisable. It is their story to do with as they please, even if Mom has since asked forgiveness it's their choice as adults how to handle the emotional scars.

This.  If your friend doesn't want to read the posts, she needs to hide them, but it is here sister's story to post and do with as she wishes.  While your friend may have an "understanding" with her mother, it doesn't mean her sister needs to do the same or deal with it quietly.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Fleur-de-Lis

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2567
  • Dum Vivimus, Vivamus!
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2012, 10:37:40 AM »
It's your friend's sister's wall, and none of your business beyond whether you choose to read what's there (assuming you are on the sibling's friend's list).
•   Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe.


QueenofAllThings

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2921
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2012, 01:08:48 PM »
Personally, I don't think anyone should bash anyone on Facebook - ever. For one thing, once it's out there in the cloud, you can't ever take it back. You may delete the post some day (if you remember to) but it cannot be undone or unsaid. Even if you don't change your mind, you may find, later, that you've moved on.  For another thing, I think it's self - centered, one-sided, and unattractive behavior. I realize that we all have our pages, and they are ours to say what we'd like, but is that sort of negativity the face we want to present?

*steps off soapbox and sweeps from the room*

rachellenore

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 126
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2012, 11:41:13 AM »
These people all need therapy. That's it. You're a friend, tell her "Get therapy" and if she won't, don't let her rant to you anymore. This is not a question of etiquette.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9802
Re: Need others opinions on a person blasting their family on FB
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 06:25:40 PM »
Personally, I don't think anyone should bash anyone on Facebook - ever. For one thing, once it's out there in the cloud, you can't ever take it back. You may delete the post some day (if you remember to) but it cannot be undone or unsaid. Even if you don't change your mind, you may find, later, that you've moved on.  For another thing, I think it's self - centered, one-sided, and unattractive behavior. I realize that we all have our pages, and they are ours to say what we'd like, but is that sort of negativity the face we want to present?

*steps off soapbox and sweeps from the room*

I agree. However, so long as Sister is not posting info about Friend, I don't think Friend can tell her to stop.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls