Author Topic: is my dad's email worth cutting off contact over? - updates, posts 43, 64  (Read 21327 times)

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Seraphia

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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.

I once had it out with a friend/acquaintance over this issue. She loved to be the center of everything, and would get quite hurt if people did anything from get married to get tacos without notifying her, but frankly, I wasn't interested in being close enough to her to call her up because "My BF and I broke up/Roommate found a job/I'm having pizza for dinner/etc."

She wailed: "You never calllll meeeeeee, how are we supposed to hang out?"
I replied: "I'm still in school and you're working. But, I can't remember you ever calling me to hang out either."
Pause. "But I'm workinnnnng. I don't call because I don't know how busy you are. I wait for you to call me."
"So, I'm supposed to call you when I want to hang out, but without knowing your schedule, and also supposed to call you when *you* want to hang out, without knowing your schedule? How is it only my fault here? I'm hardly psychic."
She didn't have an answer for that one. She also stopped bugging me to call her.
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Thipu1

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I don't see any problem with the question.  To me, it seems sweet.

Aunt is genuinely interested in the children.  I'll bet that Aunt has plenty of interesting things the children would like to hear. 

weeblewobble

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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!

My grandma had a very tense competitive relationship with her own mother and sister.  It was pretty ugly, from what I understand.  My great-grandmother pitted grandma and her sister against each other to vie for her attention and approval.  Great-grandma didn't seem to want grandma to do better in life than she did, so spent a lot of time criticizing grandma's career.  This tension carried on through their adult years even after great-grandma died.  Grandma and my great-aunt had been estranged for some time before my great-aunt died.

Grandma simply refused to believe that my mom, my sis and I enjoyed a close, loving relationship.  We squabbled like any siblings-generally about issues concerning our brother's refusal to do housework - but for the most part, Mom, Sis and I got along really well.  We enjoyed doing things together just the three of us- like movies and crafting and weekend trips.  Grandma couldn't grasp that it was because Mom made an effort to be loving and attentive to both of us.  That she made activities fun because she wanted us to have pleasant memories. That she didn't play mind games with us. 

Because Grandma couldn't accept that her own mother was deeply, deeply flawed.  She couldn't accept that pride and anger and deep-rooted selfishness between all three of them had made their relationship what it was.  Instead, she insisted that Sis and I were just good at covering up our emotions.  That we were secretly "seething with resentment" on the inside and that one day it would all come out and Mom would see what real mother-daughter relationships were like.

So far, so good.  We're still OK. :)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 03:26:21 PM by weeblewobble »

Danika

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My grandma had a very tense competitive relationship with her own mother and sister.  It was pretty ugly, from what I understand.  My great-grandmother pitted grandma and her sister against each other to vie for her attention and approval.  Great-grandma didn't seem to want grandma to do better in life than she did, so spent a lot of time criticizing grandma's career.  This tension carried on through their adult years even after great-grandma died.  Grandma and my great-aunt had been estranged for some time before my great-aunt died.

Grandma simply refused to believe that my mom, my sis and I enjoyed a close, loving relationship.  We squabbled like any siblings-generally about issues concerning our brother's refusal to do housework - but for the most part, Mom, Sis and I got along really well.  We enjoyed doing things together just the three of us- like movies and crafting and weekend trips.  Grandma couldn't grasp that it was because Mom made an effort to be loving and attentive to both of us.  That she made activities fun because she wanted us to have pleasant memories. That she didn't play mind games with us. 

Because Grandma couldn't accept that her own mother was deeply, deeply flawed.  She couldn't accept that pride and anger and deep-rooted selfishness between all three of them had made their relationship what it was.  Instead, she insisted that Sis and I were just good at covering up our emotions.  That we were secretly "seething with resentment" on the inside and that one day it would all come out and Mom would see what real mother-daughter relationships were like.

So far, so good.  We're still OK. :)

That's awesome to hear! It's inspiring to hear that your mother was able to break the toxic cycle and create a healthy relationship with both of her daughters.

My family is very toxic, like your grandmother's. When I see friends who want to spend a ton of time with their family members, I am very skeptical. I hope that it's true that they are loving and pleasant like I also hope that Santa Claus is true, but because I haven't experienced it, it's hard for me to believe.

I like reading posts like yours because I hope to have a healthy relationship with my own children. It's very hard to break out of the toxic cycle. I know what not to do, but I don't know what to do to have a healthy bond. So far, I see that I have done a good job of getting my little kids to get along with each other and not fight. They are very close. But I hope that when they are adults, they will want to be around me as well.

Piratelvr1121

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I can understand that, as I'm the same way.  Trying to break the toxic cycle.  I envy people who honestly have a good relationship with their parents, and I remember not quite grasping the concept of getting homesick while at college. 

I always thought of the joke "I'm homesick." "But honey, you're home!" "And I'm sick of it!"
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

weeblewobble

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My grandma had a very tense competitive relationship with her own mother and sister.  It was pretty ugly, from what I understand.  My great-grandmother pitted grandma and her sister against each other to vie for her attention and approval.  Great-grandma didn't seem to want grandma to do better in life than she did, so spent a lot of time criticizing grandma's career.  This tension carried on through their adult years even after great-grandma died.  Grandma and my great-aunt had been estranged for some time before my great-aunt died.

Grandma simply refused to believe that my mom, my sis and I enjoyed a close, loving relationship.  We squabbled like any siblings-generally about issues concerning our brother's refusal to do housework - but for the most part, Mom, Sis and I got along really well.  We enjoyed doing things together just the three of us- like movies and crafting and weekend trips.  Grandma couldn't grasp that it was because Mom made an effort to be loving and attentive to both of us.  That she made activities fun because she wanted us to have pleasant memories. That she didn't play mind games with us. 

Because Grandma couldn't accept that her own mother was deeply, deeply flawed.  She couldn't accept that pride and anger and deep-rooted selfishness between all three of them had made their relationship what it was.  Instead, she insisted that Sis and I were just good at covering up our emotions.  That we were secretly "seething with resentment" on the inside and that one day it would all come out and Mom would see what real mother-daughter relationships were like.

So far, so good.  We're still OK. :)

That's awesome to hear! It's inspiring to hear that your mother was able to break the toxic cycle and create a healthy relationship with both of her daughters.

My family is very toxic, like your grandmother's. When I see friends who want to spend a ton of time with their family members, I am very skeptical. I hope that it's true that they are loving and pleasant like I also hope that Santa Claus is true, but because I haven't experienced it, it's hard for me to believe.

I like reading posts like yours because I hope to have a healthy relationship with my own children. It's very hard to break out of the toxic cycle. I know what not to do, but I don't know what to do to have a healthy bond. So far, I see that I have done a good job of getting my little kids to get along with each other and not fight. They are very close. But I hope that when they are adults, they will waoant to be around me as well.

Actually the grandma in question was my dad's mother. Sorry.

Danika

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Actually the grandma in question was my dad's mother. Sorry.

Oh, that makes more sense. Your mother possibly had a better role model for what a healthy mother-daughter relationship should be.


I can understand that, as I'm the same way.  Trying to break the toxic cycle.  I envy people who honestly have a good relationship with their parents, and I remember not quite grasping the concept of getting homesick while at college. 

When I left for college, my mother kept telling me "You're going to miss us. You're going to cry without us." I was very worried about that even though I purposely chose to go to school 1800 miles away. I went as far away from home as I could before I hit ocean and could go no further. I was worried I'd miss home. Instead, the first week without my parents, I kept singing George Michael's song Freedom over and over.

weeblewobble

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When I left for college, my mother kept telling me "You're going to miss us. You're going to cry without us." I was very worried about that even though I purposely chose to go to school 1800 miles away. I went as far away from home as I could before I hit ocean and could go no further. I was worried I'd miss home. Instead, the first week without my parents, I kept singing George Michael's song Freedom over and over.

I see parents starting that bullstuff as soon as preschool.  When DD was four, she had a classmate, Brianne, who could have very easily been mistaken for the "cry baby" type, always in tears, unable to cope with any sort of difficulty.  But if you watched her mother when she dropped Brianne off at school, she would say things like, "No, try not to miss Mommy too much, OK?  Don't be scared, no matter who tries to take your toys.  Don't cry when Mommy leaves.  Even though Mommy is sooooooo sad to be leaving you at school and she cries all the way to work.  Don't you cry, OK?"

In order words, "CRY!!  Prove to me how much you love me and miss me!! SHOW YOUR LOVE THROUGH TEARDROPS!!"

So of course, Brianne cried.  She felt responsible for her mommy crying.  Her mommy was giving her the impression that school was something to be sad and scared about.  And that the other kids were just waiting to swoop in and steal her toys as soon as mommy left.  So she reduced the poor kid to a neurotic mess. 

It was way more important to that mom to feel like her daughter was missing her and that she was the most important person in her daughter's life than to make sure her daughter felt secure and safe.  And I think that's the problem with a lot of these parents in this thread.  THEIR feelings are the most important.  Reassuring THEM is more important than their children's feelings, schedule, comfort or priorities.

Venus193

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If every parent did that our species would have been extinct ages ago.

weeblewobble

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Actually the grandma in question was my dad's mother. Sorry.

Oh, that makes more sense. Your mother possibly had a better role model for what a healthy mother-daughter relationship should be.



Mom adored her mother.  And grandma had her moments where she and mom had a lot of fun together. 

Piratelvr1121

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When I left for college, my mother kept telling me "You're going to miss us. You're going to cry without us." I was very worried about that even though I purposely chose to go to school 1800 miles away. I went as far away from home as I could before I hit ocean and could go no further. I was worried I'd miss home. Instead, the first week without my parents, I kept singing George Michael's song Freedom over and over.

I see parents starting that bullstuff as soon as preschool.  When DD was four, she had a classmate, Brianne, who could have very easily been mistaken for the "cry baby" type, always in tears, unable to cope with any sort of difficulty.  But if you watched her mother when she dropped Brianne off at school, she would say things like, "No, try not to miss Mommy too much, OK?  Don't be scared, no matter who tries to take your toys.  Don't cry when Mommy leaves.  Even though Mommy is sooooooo sad to be leaving you at school and she cries all the way to work.  Don't you cry, OK?"

In order words, "CRY!!  Prove to me how much you love me and miss me!! SHOW YOUR LOVE THROUGH TEARDROPS!!"

So of course, Brianne cried.  She felt responsible for her mommy crying.  Her mommy was giving her the impression that school was something to be sad and scared about.  And that the other kids were just waiting to swoop in and steal her toys as soon as mommy left.  So she reduced the poor kid to a neurotic mess. 

It was way more important to that mom to feel like her daughter was missing her and that she was the most important person in her daughter's life than to make sure her daughter felt secure and safe.  And I think that's the problem with a lot of these parents in this thread.  THEIR feelings are the most important.  Reassuring THEM is more important than their children's feelings, schedule, comfort or priorities.

Ugh. I saw that on "Good Luck Charlie". The mother did that when her toddler, Charlie, didn't cry when dropped off at daycare.  The mother decided there was something wrong and tried to get Charlie to cry for her own good.   ::)
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

Iris

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When I left for college, my mother kept telling me "You're going to miss us. You're going to cry without us." I was very worried about that even though I purposely chose to go to school 1800 miles away. I went as far away from home as I could before I hit ocean and could go no further. I was worried I'd miss home. Instead, the first week without my parents, I kept singing George Michael's song Freedom over and over.

I see parents starting that bullstuff as soon as preschool.  When DD was four, she had a classmate, Brianne, who could have very easily been mistaken for the "cry baby" type, always in tears, unable to cope with any sort of difficulty.  But if you watched her mother when she dropped Brianne off at school, she would say things like, "No, try not to miss Mommy too much, OK?  Don't be scared, no matter who tries to take your toys.  Don't cry when Mommy leaves.  Even though Mommy is sooooooo sad to be leaving you at school and she cries all the way to work.  Don't you cry, OK?"

In order words, "CRY!!  Prove to me how much you love me and miss me!! SHOW YOUR LOVE THROUGH TEARDROPS!!"

So of course, Brianne cried.  She felt responsible for her mommy crying.  Her mommy was giving her the impression that school was something to be sad and scared about.  And that the other kids were just waiting to swoop in and steal her toys as soon as mommy left.  So she reduced the poor kid to a neurotic mess. 

It was way more important to that mom to feel like her daughter was missing her and that she was the most important person in her daughter's life than to make sure her daughter felt secure and safe.  And I think that's the problem with a lot of these parents in this thread.  THEIR feelings are the most important.  Reassuring THEM is more important than their children's feelings, schedule, comfort or priorities.

Ugh. I saw that on "Good Luck Charlie". The mother did that when her toddler, Charlie, didn't cry when dropped off at daycare.  The mother decided there was something wrong and tried to get Charlie to cry for her own good.   ::)

LOL they would have HATED my daughter then. We moved house the *day* before DD1 was due to start school and it was unexpected so she hadn't attended any of the familiarisation sessions or anything at that school. I admit, I was terrified of how she would react to moving to a new city and starting school in the space of less that a week and was a bit hover-y that first morning. Until the eleventy millionth time I asked "Now, will you be fine if Mummy goes to work?" She fixed me with a stern eye and said "Yes! Go now, please. I want to colour!"  ;D
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Piratelvr1121

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My older two cried when I dropped them off at daycare the first week and I felt awful, and even called once I got to work only to learn they'd stopped about 5 minutes later, and my youngest used to cry when dropped off in the church nursery.   

I felt so much better when they got to the point where I had to say "Um, don't I get a hug?" because they were so happy there that they couldn't wait to dig into the toys. 

But I totally get what a PP said about singing "Freedom" because once my parents finally stopped nagging me and headed home after dropping me off my freshman year of college, I was mentally going "FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, I'M FREE AT LAST!"  And for the first time in my life I was counting down the days till I could go back to school during summer vacation.  My freshman year I wanted to take a winter semester class, and really really pushed for it.  It was technically to try and save my gpa because I'd done poorly in Anatomy and physiology but also because it meant getting to stay at the school.

Basically I completely understood why Harry Potter dreaded vacations.
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

JenJay

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When I left for college, my mother kept telling me "You're going to miss us. You're going to cry without us." I was very worried about that even though I purposely chose to go to school 1800 miles away. I went as far away from home as I could before I hit ocean and could go no further. I was worried I'd miss home. Instead, the first week without my parents, I kept singing George Michael's song Freedom over and over.

I see parents starting that bullstuff as soon as preschool.  When DD was four, she had a classmate, Brianne, who could have very easily been mistaken for the "cry baby" type, always in tears, unable to cope with any sort of difficulty.  But if you watched her mother when she dropped Brianne off at school, she would say things like, "No, try not to miss Mommy too much, OK?  Don't be scared, no matter who tries to take your toys.  Don't cry when Mommy leaves.  Even though Mommy is sooooooo sad to be leaving you at school and she cries all the way to work.  Don't you cry, OK?"

In order words, "CRY!!  Prove to me how much you love me and miss me!! SHOW YOUR LOVE THROUGH TEARDROPS!!"

So of course, Brianne cried.  She felt responsible for her mommy crying.  Her mommy was giving her the impression that school was something to be sad and scared about.  And that the other kids were just waiting to swoop in and steal her toys as soon as mommy left.  So she reduced the poor kid to a neurotic mess. 

It was way more important to that mom to feel like her daughter was missing her and that she was the most important person in her daughter's life than to make sure her daughter felt secure and safe.  And I think that's the problem with a lot of these parents in this thread.  THEIR feelings are the most important.  Reassuring THEM is more important than their children's feelings, schedule, comfort or priorities.

I've seen this, too! I worked in a daycare and we had a little 3 year old girl, Hailey. Hailey's mom would kneel down in front of her and say "Okay, Mommy has to go now. Did you hear me? I'm leaving. I'll see you later. I have to go..." on and on until Hailey cried! Then she'd leave. Well, check this out - after a few months little Hailey knew what the score was and she would FAKE CRY just long enough for the door to shut behind her Mom and then she'd perk right up and run off to play.  ;D

Jones

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That drives me nuts. It took several carefully executed sneak-offs to get my son to attend the childcare at the gym. Now he goes without complaint and a cheerful "Bye!" but really, after a few 20-minute scream fits (I could hear him elsewhere though the workers assured me it was all right), I simply don't understand why a parent would drive their child to cry on purpose.