Author Topic: is my dad's email worth cutting off contact over? - updates, posts 43, 64  (Read 17736 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15620
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
My late mother was always under the impression that I should always call her rather than she me.  It's like she was the Queen and I a mere peasant subject.  From a lot of discussions here I see that was not uncommon.

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3942
I don't get this - the phone works BOTH ways. 

My family and "friends" rarely call me, and usually only when they want something (information, favors, $$).  Otherwise, I was always the one to reach out, try to make plans, etc.  Within the past year, I've cut the number of people I'll cold call way down.  When they do call, it's always, "I miss you, you never call anymore."::) ::)  As much as I want to, I don't say, "Well, were YOUR fingers broken?" and usually end up bean dipping.

This point does make me think more about how keeping in touch can't be entirely the burden of one person.  That is a problem with my extended relatives, or rather my parents as they get mad at me on the relatives behalf.  When I point out that I've never gotten so much as a text from the people they say I've been neglecting, I'm simply told that I should be the bigger person or that they probably haven't contacted me because they think I don't want to talk to them.  I just make faces into my phone at that point to amuse myself  ;)

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12228
  • Runs with scissors!
At that point, you could ask if the relative relaying the "you should contact them" comment could please give me their contact information, "as I don't seem to have it"............or don't have a current address (I get Christmas cards back - I don't get change of address notifications, for some reason - not even the automated ones that can be sent to the entire email contact list if you change providers).

Amazing how many time Great Aunt Matilda doesn't have Second Cousin Once Removed Roger's cell phone, personal or work email, or postal mailing address on hand, either.  So why is she telling you to contact them if she can't help put you in contact with them?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 09:00:33 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10444
I don't get this - the phone works BOTH ways. 

My family and "friends" rarely call me, and usually only when they want something (information, favors, $$).  Otherwise, I was always the one to reach out, try to make plans, etc.  Within the past year, I've cut the number of people I'll cold call way down.  When they do call, it's always, "I miss you, you never call anymore."::) ::)  As much as I want to, I don't say, "Well, were YOUR fingers broken?" and usually end up bean dipping.

This point does make me think more about how keeping in touch can't be entirely the burden of one person.  That is a problem with my extended relatives, or rather my parents as they get mad at me on the relatives behalf.  When I point out that I've never gotten so much as a text from the people they say I've been neglecting, I'm simply told that I should be the bigger person or that they probably haven't contacted me because they think I don't want to talk to them.  I just make faces into my phone at that point to amuse myself  ;)

In college my mother used to whine I didn't call her enough, but when I did I'd get nagged about this and that.  I'd bean dip with a more pleasant topic but she'd drag it right back to nagging.  "I'm not interested in that."  While they were paying for my education, I could understand wanting to know how I was doing but it was only how I was doing academically.  Never cared that I was happy because I no longer felt like an outcast and had a fresh start, socially. 

So I can understand that feeling of being made to feel guilty for not calling when you know it's not going to be a pleasant call. 
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

Minmom3

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2353
I HAVE asked people if their fingers were broken.  I have asked them to show me their hands, and then commented that their fingers look just fine....  One particularly cranky person I asked if she'd just gotten the casts off her hands recently...   >:D  Nobody gets to be snarky with me about a lack of contact when they haven't worked any harder at it than I have.  I haven't done it with my mother, but with other family members I have done it, and with friends.  With friends with whom it finally dawns on me that I'm the only one doing any work to keep up contact and maintain the friendship, I just quit doing it all.  I have friends I contact rarely, who contact me rarely, but with whom I'm still tight and solid.  I have had friends with whom I email many times a day, and we're good.  But if all the attempts are on my side and they are never reciprocated, then we don't HAVE a friendship anymore, so while I may be a little hurt, by the time I realize what's going on I'm also a little bit annoyed, so it's much easier for me to just quit working on that friendship anymore.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

MsMarjorie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1458
  • The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork
Aunt Mame, you are clearly commenting from a painful place and (((hugs))) for that.  I do want to gently point out that if you thought Cicero's earlier comment was judgemental, it may be because of your own experiences "colouring the comment", so to speak.  Cicero is one of the kindest and most gentle posters here and I doubt that she meant anything in a nasty way.

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1992
As the OP, I didn't really have a problem with cicero's comment either, even though I disagreed (obviously). Among the comments that disagreed with my plan of action, I actually felt that cicero's comment was one of the mildest.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4212
First of all, (((hugs))) OP.

I've come to this thread, written out responses, and changed my mind more than once. This thread hits home for me--how far are adult children expected to go to please their toxic parents? Some posts have suggested that the OP is somehow wrong for not wanting to be abused and manipulated. I heartily disagree. The OP's parents clearly care more about controlling her than her happiness, and IMO at that point they deserve nothing from her.

OP, I'm glad that you are taking a break from them. I sincerely hope that this time away from them will give you some peace and also give you insight into what you want for the future.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

laceandbits

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
All this about one way phone calls brings it right back that my Mum particularly who was the queen of the snarky "So you're not dead then" when I did call (regardless of whether it was a day or three or a fortnight), said to me one day, very sadly, she wished that her grandchildren phoned her all the time and visited with her whenever they could, just like one of my aunts who was the centre of her extended family.

I was very tempted to point out to her that I was not the only one on the receiving end of her Female Dog.  If my children called her they got more of the same usually followed by an inquisition of how are you doing at school, did you pass your exams, have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend and other prying questions, so they hated calling her.

Aunt on the other hand simply greeted everyone, either on the phone or in the flesh, with "How lovely to hear from you/see you, tell me all the exciting things you've been doing" and allowed them to decide what and how much they wanted to talk about.  And they got the same warm welcome whether it had been a day or a year since they'd last spoken except if it was a loooong time she'd say "You must have LOTS to tell me". 

Even my daughter came home from a visit with my sister who lives near aunt, and said why can't Granny be more like Aunt x and I had to try to explain that they were both asking for information about what everyone was up to, but that Aunt was able to do it such a more diplomatic way so that everyone wanted to tell her everything and to confide in her and that Granny has just never learnt the art. 

As you can imagine, I try to be more like Aunt than Mum and never ever say why haven't you called or any other sarky snarky comment and I even call them if I haven't heard from them for a while!

laceandbits

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Well, I didn't know I wasn't alowed to use *that* word.  It must be considered much naughtier in the US than the UK.    ;D

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28665
... said to me one day, very sadly, she wished that her grandchildren phoned her all the time and visited with her whenever they could, just like one of my aunts who was the centre of her extended family.

I was very tempted to point out to her that I was not the only one on the receiving end of her Female Dog.  If my children called her they got more of the same usually followed by an inquisition of how are you doing at school, did you pass your exams, have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend and other prying questions, so they hated calling her.


I think you missed a great opportunity there. To explain, not to chastise. To say, "Mom, do you realize that every time we call you, you say these things in this way? It can feel like we're being attacked. It's sort of basic behavior modification. If you want people to call you, you have to go out of your way to make the phone call enjoyable for them. And it's not enjoyable to be greeted with resentment for not having called earlier, or to be questioned so closely."

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16889
Re: is my dad's email worth cutting off contact over?
« Reply #86 on: April 22, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »

Thank you Stormtreader and Ms Marjorie for your kind words, and especially Blahblahblah for being so understanding and gracious - I now understand how painful this whole issue is for you. In your first post (to which i originally responded) it seemed to more about the "calling" issue. Following this thread in its entirety I understand that that is just the tip of a huge iceberg.

hugs to all who are dealing with toxic families...




            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10444
Once in college my mother called me, gave me no indication of what she wanted to talk about and her tone was casual as she asked me to call her back.   Since her calls, as I've mentioned were of the nagging ilk, I had little interest in calling her back. 

My dad called that evening and as he didn't call often I thought "Hm, wonder what's up?" But since I got back late and had an early class I didn't have time to call and then when I got home from my 8 o'clock class my mother called and said "Your brother has diabetes.  I might have broken the news more gently if you'd called back right away the first time!"

I said "Well if you'd given me any indication it was a matter of some urgency or about brother, I would have called back right away!" (I adored my brother and still he's the only one of the 3 of them I still like.)
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

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
All this about one way phone calls brings it right back that my Mum particularly who was the queen of the snarky "So you're not dead then" when I did call (regardless of whether it was a day or three or a fortnight), said to me one day, very sadly, she wished that her grandchildren phoned her all the time and visited with her whenever they could, just like one of my aunts who was the centre of her extended family.

I was very tempted to point out to her that I was not the only one on the receiving end of her Female Dog.  If my children called her they got more of the same usually followed by an inquisition of how are you doing at school, did you pass your exams, have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend and other prying questions, so they hated calling her.

Aunt on the other hand simply greeted everyone, either on the phone or in the flesh, with "How lovely to hear from you/see you, tell me all the exciting things you've been doing" and allowed them to decide what and how much they wanted to talk about.  And they got the same warm welcome whether it had been a day or a year since they'd last spoken except if it was a loooong time she'd say "You must have LOTS to tell me". 

Even my daughter came home from a visit with my sister who lives near aunt, and said why can't Granny be more like Aunt x and I had to try to explain that they were both asking for information about what everyone was up to, but that Aunt was able to do it such a more diplomatic way so that everyone wanted to tell her everything and to confide in her and that Granny has just never learnt the art. 

As you can imagine, I try to be more like Aunt than Mum and never ever say why haven't you called or any other sarky snarky comment and I even call them if I haven't heard from them for a while!
Have you also taught your children to ask Aunt about her life?


Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 744
All this about one way phone calls brings it right back that my Mum particularly who was the queen of the snarky "So you're not dead then" when I did call (regardless of whether it was a day or three or a fortnight), said to me one day, very sadly, she wished that her grandchildren phoned her all the time and visited with her whenever they could, just like one of my aunts who was the centre of her extended family.

I was very tempted to point out to her that I was not the only one on the receiving end of her Female Dog.  If my children called her they got more of the same usually followed by an inquisition of how are you doing at school, did you pass your exams, have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend and other prying questions, so they hated calling her.

Aunt on the other hand simply greeted everyone, either on the phone or in the flesh, with "How lovely to hear from you/see you, tell me all the exciting things you've been doing" and allowed them to decide what and how much they wanted to talk about.  And they got the same warm welcome whether it had been a day or a year since they'd last spoken except if it was a loooong time she'd say "You must have LOTS to tell me". 

Even my daughter came home from a visit with my sister who lives near aunt, and said why can't Granny be more like Aunt x and I had to try to explain that they were both asking for information about what everyone was up to, but that Aunt was able to do it such a more diplomatic way so that everyone wanted to tell her everything and to confide in her and that Granny has just never learnt the art. 

As you can imagine, I try to be more like Aunt than Mum and never ever say why haven't you called or any other sarky snarky comment and I even call them if I haven't heard from them for a while!
Have you also taught your children to ask Aunt about her life?

What is the point of this question? The poster was merely discussing the topic of differences in how people talk to kids on the phone. Why turn it into some sort of analysis of her parenting?
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss