Author Topic: is my dad's email worth cutting off contact over? - updates, posts 43, 64  (Read 21511 times)

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TootsNYC

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I think some of the people who give lectures or get all shocked about others who've cut off their toxic relatives *don't* have great relationships with their families. But they haven't yet got to the point where they're able to stand up to them, so seeing someone else who has makes them feel worse. Like, 'I have to put up with this family badness, why don't *you*?'

Or perhaps (subtle but important, and more charitable, distinction), "I think family is important enough to hold on even through the awfulness--why don't you have the same, universally important values?"

Because our world absolutely sends the message that we should put up with stuff from the people who are our family. And bucking that message takes a LOT of strength.

And because LOTS of people are troubled when their own values are rejected by other people. It causes some disquiet for them, psychologically and emotionally.

Danika

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I think some of the people who give lectures or get all shocked about others who've cut off their toxic relatives *don't* have great relationships with their families. But they haven't yet got to the point where they're able to stand up to them, so seeing someone else who has makes them feel worse. Like, 'I have to put up with this family badness, why don't *you*?'

Funny, I was thinking of that earlier, myself.

Another POD

Calistoga

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Is it possible that the "I hate you" was like a playful "I'm so jealous" type?

reflection5

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I think some of the people who give lectures or get all shocked about others who've cut off their toxic relatives *don't* have great relationships with their families. But they haven't yet got to the point where they're able to stand up to them, so seeing someone else who has makes them feel worse. Like, 'I have to put up with this family badness, why don't *you*?'

Or perhaps (subtle but important, and more charitable, distinction), "I think family is important enough to hold on even through the awfulness--why don't you have the same, universally important values?"

Because our world absolutely sends the message that we should put up with stuff from the people who are our family. And bucking that message takes a LOT of strength.

And because LOTS of people are troubled when their own values are rejected by other people. It causes some disquiet for them, psychologically and emotionally.

Excellent observations from Allyson and TootsNYC.  I totally agree.

Some people feel that must, no matter what, stick by toxic family members just because they are family.  Or, they havenít summoned the strength to stand up and say ďIím not gonna take it anymoreĒ, and they resent those who have. 


stargazer

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Is it possible that the "I hate you" was like a playful "I'm so jealous" type?

She mentioned that it wasn't earlier: Yes, he definitely meant it seriously. I mean, I doubt that he honestly, literally, 100% hates me - I think he was just lashing out - but it wasn't a joke. It is not the sort of thing he'd say as a joke. Like, he can and does tease me, but not like that.

I guess it's hard to explain since I know it can be used to jokingly rag on someone, but that's not his style of joke. (Especially since the plans I told him about involved going to see the circus, and my dad couldn't care less about the circus. He doesn't care for the theater and performance arts in general.)

TootsNYC

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I think some of the people who give lectures or get all shocked about others who've cut off their toxic relatives *don't* have great relationships with their families. But they haven't yet got to the point where they're able to stand up to them, so seeing someone else who has makes them feel worse. Like, 'I have to put up with this family badness, why don't *you*?'

Or perhaps (subtle but important, and more charitable, distinction), "I think family is important enough to hold on even through the awfulness--why don't you have the same, universally important values?"

Because our world absolutely sends the message that we should put up with stuff from the people who are our family. And bucking that message takes a LOT of strength.

And because LOTS of people are troubled when their own values are rejected by other people. It causes some disquiet for them, psychologically and emotionally.

Excellent observations from Allyson and TootsNYC.  I totally agree.

Some people feel that must, no matter what, stick by toxic family members just because they are family.  Or, they havenít summoned the strength to stand up and say ďIím not gonna take it anymoreĒ, and they resent those who have.

I want to stress--I want to distance myself from the word "resent."

I think they may be puzzled by someone else's willingness to jettison family, even if it is toxic.

Or they may be unsettled or feel threatened by someone else's very clear rejection of the values that they are holding on to, especially so when they are holding onto those values under duress.

Or they may feel that the only reason someone is lovable is because they are family, and if they reject that notion (that you have to love or value someone simply because they are related to you), then they may be rejecting *their own value.* So if *you* reject that notion, perhaps *you* are rejecting the notion that they have intrinsic value.

Danika

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I think some of the people who give lectures or get all shocked about others who've cut off their toxic relatives *don't* have great relationships with their families. But they haven't yet got to the point where they're able to stand up to them, so seeing someone else who has makes them feel worse. Like, 'I have to put up with this family badness, why don't *you*?'

Or perhaps (subtle but important, and more charitable, distinction), "I think family is important enough to hold on even through the awfulness--why don't you have the same, universally important values?"

Because our world absolutely sends the message that we should put up with stuff from the people who are our family. And bucking that message takes a LOT of strength.

And because LOTS of people are troubled when their own values are rejected by other people. It causes some disquiet for them, psychologically and emotionally.

Excellent observations from Allyson and TootsNYC.  I totally agree.

Some people feel that must, no matter what, stick by toxic family members just because they are family.  Or, they havenít summoned the strength to stand up and say ďIím not gonna take it anymoreĒ, and they resent those who have.

I want to stress--I want to distance myself from the word "resent."

I think they may be puzzled by someone else's willingness to jettison family, even if it is toxic.

Or they may be unsettled or feel threatened by someone else's very clear rejection of the values that they are holding on to, especially so when they are holding onto those values under duress.

Or they may feel that the only reason someone is lovable is because they are family, and if they reject that notion (that you have to love or value someone simply because they are related to you), then they may be rejecting *their own value.* So if *you* reject that notion, perhaps *you* are rejecting the notion that they have intrinsic value.

I agree with all of the above.

I think there's another component to it. I think people want others to not make hasty decisions that they'll regret. They ultimately want people to get along and they want to be helpful by trying to convince you to extend one last olive branch and try again. They don't want you to be sad or have regrets. What they likely don't understand is that people don't generally cut off family members impulsively. Generally, someone has extended 999 olive branches and is just done.

reflection5

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What they likely don't understand is that people don't generally cut off family members impulsively.

True.

Outsiders often don’t know what really happened.  They might think “so-and-so has cut off his/her (family member).  I’ve heard that so-and-so angers easily and files off the handle.  In fact, so-and-so got upset with me back in (whatever year) over essentially nothing.  Therefore, so-and-so must have given (family member) the direct cut for no valid reason.  That’s terrible.”

But they often have no real clue about what really happened or for how long it’s been going on.

Piratelvr1121

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What they likely don't understand is that people don't generally cut off family members impulsively.

True.

Outsiders often donít know what really happened.  They might think ďso-and-so has cut off his/her (family member).  Iíve heard that so-and-so angers easily and files off the handle.  In fact, so-and-so got upset with me back in (whatever year) over essentially nothing.  Therefore, so-and-so must have given (family member) the direct cut for no valid reason.  Thatís terrible.Ē

But they often have no real clue about what really happened or for how long itís been going on.

This.  Completely.  I've run into this with some of my extended family. I haven't shared any of my reasons for cutting off my parents, and really no one has even asked, but from what one of my cousins said to me last year, I get the feeling my parents have had no such trouble with sharing their side.    ::)  And so from my cousin last year I heard "Well they're hurting, don't you think you should reach out the olive branch now that you have another child?" He also played his "my beloved mother died, you don't know how much time you have." card..  >:(

I managed to stay civil and just said "I have my reasons" but really wanted to say "I'm hurting too, cousin, do you think I made that decision easily?"
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postalslave

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OP your relationship with your family and brother is so much like mine its scary lol.

I think you made the right call, both with the emails you sent and not involving your brother until absolutely necessary.

Hugs :)

reflection5

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I get the feeling my parents have had no such trouble with sharing their side.   

Yes, most likely.  And that’s tough.  It hurts :( , it makes you (general) more angry, and unfortunately there’s no easy way to “fix” it.

I had a couple of situations where I made the direct cut after many years of toxicity.  In both cases I found out that the other people had told very different versions of what happened.  Of course, they left things out to cover their own butts.  I had actual physical proof of what happened, but I refused to discuss the situation with others. The way I see it, it’s not the business of outsiders.  I simply moved on.  Well, not "simply", because I had to use tremendous restraint.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 09:47:26 AM by reflection5 »

TootsNYC

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I managed to stay civil and just said "I have my reasons" but really wanted to say "I'm hurting too, cousin, do you think I made that decision easily?"

I honestly think you could say something like that. Follow it up with a conversation closer, like, "I do not wish to discuss it; I consider it to be between them and me only. But please respect me enough to realize that this was not easily done." And walk away.

But, of course, saying anything does open the door. So I wouldn't say anything at all unless I were confident I could "cut-and-paste" my way out of it.

Piratelvr1121

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I managed to stay civil and just said "I have my reasons" but really wanted to say "I'm hurting too, cousin, do you think I made that decision easily?"

I honestly think you could say something like that. Follow it up with a conversation closer, like, "I do not wish to discuss it; I consider it to be between them and me only. But please respect me enough to realize that this was not easily done." And walk away.

But, of course, saying anything does open the door. So I wouldn't say anything at all unless I were confident I could "cut-and-paste" my way out of it.

True. I haven't seen that cousin since, mainly because we just live a good distance apart and don't see each other all that often. That and we're just not as close as we were as kids.   And he said he'd only bring it up once so hopefully he'll hold to that.

As it was I was worried "I have my reasons" would open a can of worms but he gave that "I don't need to hear it" hand wave which simultaneously relieved and ticked me off, if that makes any sense.

To OP, see? You're not the only one who's needed to take a break from toxic parents and there are plenty on this site that wouldn't fault you at all if you took a nice long break from that toxicity.  And I know you didn't ask for them but here's some (((hugs))), not only for having that toxicity to deal with but also to get you through any aftermath from relatives or family friends.
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

Bethalize

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All this is why Number 2 on the Toxic People Survival Checklist is "Lots of people don't comprehend what toxic people do or the impact they have. Don't be swayed by their views. The rules are different when dealing with a toxic person, especially if they are family. You are working on mental, physical and emotional survival."

It's second only to "It's not you, it's them".

Danika

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I cut my parents off nearly two years ago now. Actually, the straw the broke the camel's back is what I posted about here when I was a newbie on EHell.


I've heard various things from the "flying monkeys" (friends and relatives, who, like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, do the witch's bidding).

Mainly, I've said nothing in my own defense because I feel like they are not the judge and jury. I agree with this:

I refused to discuss the situation with others. The way I see it, itís not the business of outsiders.

But I have so many responses in my mind, like to:

And so from my cousin last year I heard "Well they're hurting..."

I'd be like "What about me? When I'm with them, *I* am hurting. They are abusive. Whose feelings should I care about more? Theirs or mine? I've spent 3 decades prioritizing their feelings above mine. But now, I realized that I should not give a darn about the feelings of those who don't give a darn about mine.

To the few family members whose opinions I still value, I'm prepared to say "You know me. Am I impulsive? Do I take things lightly? Do I strike you as the kind of person who makes rash decisions about serious matters? No? Then, I didn't about this either."

But to the rational family members (and in my huge family, there are very few of these), I haven't had to explain myself. They know my parents well enough to have pretty much cut them off already too.