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#36630 - 07/15/03 10:56 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Aaron,
It was neat to read your post and watch you working some things out there.

My feeling would be that if your parents said something that was out of line to you about you, you could, ever so gently tell them that they know full well that it is not the truth.

I wonder if there are many families that are not hampered in one way or another. My own belief is that insisting on everyone being truthful, in an assertive way, is good.

I took a workshop once on how to be an assertive teacher. It was great. The main point was to just keep repeating, without emotion, the truth.e.g. "Yes Mrs Jones, I understand that you think I am the worst teacher in history and I must be fired. But Bobby has failed the course." A person can go on and on like that and actually it can be kind of fun. People who are angry of mean spirited just do not know how to react to a peerson who is completely calm and simply recites the truth.

I found it so much better than getting into arguments and getting to a point where I as well as the parents, were so emotional that we were not listening to eact other.

I think you could apply this to your family. It is not mean or sarcastic, it just keeps driving the point on home.

I hope you really enjoy you visit with your parents and your niece and nephew...who I hope are safe.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#36631 - 07/16/03 12:12 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Aaron,

I have one suggestion,

If you decide to go, then determine in advance how long you will stay. Draw some boundries for yourself. For instance, go, but drop in unannounced and only stay for "a minute" or long enough to give a hug and exchange formalities.

Without giving the impression that you will negotiate your decision, stick to your plan, and don't take off your coat, or don't take a chair. Just remain kindly insistent that you have a deadline and stopped in because you were "in the area".

If you feel comfortable enough, then plan a lengthier visit, again with some guideline for your self. However, the second you begin to sense you are being manipulated then get the hell out of there.

With all the pleasantry that I can muster, and with all due r-e-s-p-e-c-t: we can't be a doormat unless we lie down.

Good luck, you powerful person, you,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#36632 - 07/16/03 01:19 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Oh, Aaron, you posted a most difficult post for me.
I'm one of these people that believes that you don't owe your parents anything, nichts, nada. If they wanted to be friends with you, they, we as parents, would have built in some boundaries, feelings, good thoughts, along with the love they could have had for you while you were growing up, to assure some mutual respect so that parents, themselves, can move into a friendship mode as you, we, us, our kids, were/are growing up.
So, here you got some great encouragement from the guys and I weigh in with permission, and maybe a good reason or two for you, not to go.
If you do, I too, would plan on only a short visit and maybe that hug, for your niece and nephew.
Family gatherings can be murder, that's why we have all of this classic literature about families and how badly they can treat one another.
In the best of families, interacting is difficult. In wounded families, with recovering
members, and members "who let it all hang out" and don't give a shit, run, I say, grab a life jacket--that be us--and get your ass out of there, or stay the hell away.
You are one incredible brother and you are in control now, if they can put on nicy nice faces for their get together, great, if not, it's up to you if you want to take the chance on having old wounds reopened.
Trying to be your loving brother but maybe I'm pushing too hard,
David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#36633 - 07/16/03 07:45 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Aaron
"Families - who'd have them ?"

But we've all got them somewhere, and so many of us have problems with them even if like me they weren't abused by them.

Even now I still have feelings of "why wasn't I protected by them ?" completly irrational given the circumstances of my abuse, they didn't know what happened to me and if they did my Mother would have pulled their f****g arms and legss off ! she was a fearsome woman, still is I suppose.

Add to that the fact that I was always being compred - badly - to my 8 year older brother and older cousins, then I believe it's no wonder that I feel distant from them.

From the age of 11 I went to boarding school, at 16 I was in college and doing an apprenticeship, and I was married at 21.
I hardly know them. And now they're both elderly and getting infirm I go to hell and back because I feel guilty for not caring enough.
My dad's been to hospital today for some checks, my wife took him in, and I haven't even phoned him tonight. I just kept putting it off with bullshit excuses until it was too late.

They say you don't appreciate someone until they're gone, and I'm already dreading the guilt that will entail.

I try, most of the time, but do I try enough ?

Funnily enough, most of my school reports said "Could do better if he tried" - carve it on my stone.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#36634 - 07/16/03 10:25 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
martin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth
Thank you all,

This is a very difficult and delicate situation, as I have not yet disclosed my SA to anyone in my family. All they see is that I'm being uncommunicative.

Its also a delicate time for myself, I don't want to continue to deny what took place. That would be to deny myself, something I did for a long time. At the same time I don't feel up too disclosing to my family. I feel strongly that I will and I want to. It needs to come when I feel ready.

I have to give myself the time I need, thats an important realization. Often I've done things by others timetable and found that it was counterproductive.

Ron:

Quote:
If you decide to go, then determine in advance how long you will stay. Draw some boundries for yourself. For instance, go, but drop in unannounced and only stay for "a minute" or long enough to give a hug and exchange formalities.

Without giving the impression that you will negotiate your decision, stick to your plan, and don't take off your coat, or don't take a chair. Just remain kindly insistent that you have a deadline and stopped in because you were "in the area".
Thats a really great idea. A great way to handle it, caring, but keeping your own sense of respect and you boundaries. Thanks!

David:

Quote:
I'm one of these people that believes that you don't owe your parents anything, nichts, nada. If they wanted to be friends with you, they, we as parents, would have built in some boundaries, feelings, good thoughts, along with the love they could have had for you while you were growing up, to assure some mutual respect so that parents, themselves, can move into a friendship mode as you, we, us, our kids, were/are growing up.
I agree with you, people aren't deserveing of our respect who do not respect us, no matter what their relation to us is.

I do love my parents and they have given me so much. Thats what makes this so hard.

Thank you everyone, very much. Bob, Dave, Danny, David, Ron, and Joe. Its great to know so many intelligent, decent, compassionate men.

I'll let you know what I do.

Also I think it would be a good idea to post a thread about what to do, what to expect, and how to handle it when you first disclose your SA. Think'll I'll start one in the public forums, drop in if you get a chance.

Peace and love,
Aaron

Oh i know its confusing about my name being that my username is martin. First name is Aaron, used a my middle name I registered was never imaginative soming up with those usernames. Sorry for the confusion.

_________________________
Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

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#36635 - 07/16/03 11:32 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
I have not yet disclosed my SA to anyone in my family. All they see is that I'm being uncommunicative.
Quote:
It needs to come when I feel ready.
Aaron,

I just went through something like that. I did not disclose to my parents until a couple weeks ago. I had been avoiding conversations/phone calls/etc for months.

I felt very uncomfortable about the way I avoided my parents especially. Eventualy I told my parents, but not my siblings, when I thought there was a chance they were going to find out anyway, and not from me. By that time I guess I was ready.

I think your realization is right on. It might not feel "comfortable" when you're ready, but I think you will know when you are ready.

And your name really isn't any more confusing than the names some of us use. Did you wonder how I pronounce "outis" to get "Joe" out of it? \:D

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#36636 - 07/19/03 02:29 AM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
RickL Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
This is a very good thread. I'd like to weigh-in with some ideas.

For myself, I have attempted to practice "loving detachment" regarding my parents. I have worked for years on forgiveness. Of course, I also understand that feeling of being with the family. There's a part of me that feels good in their presence, because of familiarity. And yet, I find myself struggling with defining whether or not those interactions are "loving".

It's been painful for me to come to the realization that my relationship with my parents is best when I don't look to them to give me parenting--don't look for the affirmation, don't look for love, and most of all, don't look for the parenting my little boy so desperately needed (but didn't get) from them.

I had always thought my mom was so loving and that my dad was evil. At least, this is the way the little kid experienced them. But now I'm seeing that my dad was sort of sick, and that my mom's way with me as her son was more that of an older sister or perhaps a hired servant. Not really a parent who would step up and protect me from his abuse. She too was afraid of him, and yet completely mesmerized by him. It's chilling to write that, but it was the case. I was like a "shield" for her in a way, and on a certain level my dad knew it and hated me for it (he was my abuser).

So now I'm getting some understanding as to why, beginning in early adolescence, I tried to rely on friends in a way that was too much--because now I know that I was really looking to be parented, not just befriended. And it's also sobering to realize that my mother, who I always thought had been a good, loving parent to me, really did not parent me very well. But that explains a lot for me.

So bottom line--I have no illusions of a Norman Rockwell family. And since I'm learning to parent myself, and getting support from you all here, it's finally ok.

Rick


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#36637 - 07/19/03 03:40 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
As I read posts here at MS, I have a range of emotions. Often, there is sadness as I picture you men as yourself at the age you write about. I want it to all be good for you, and I wish it had better good for me.

What a complex situation it is. So many of us, have been harmed by a family member, or someone who was so close to us, that they were certainly like extended family.

We have become well aware, that people who harm other people, have almost always, had a prior harm to themselves. It does not excuse a thing. But, it makes me think of how difficult it would be to make any one family really well and together again.

Who abused the father, who abused his son, and who abused that father etc. etc. etc. Lots of healing over generations would be needed. What a miracle it would be, if we could all at least talk, about the abuse given and received.

Rick, I think you have focused on what is needed. We get as well as we can be. How our family works into that is not as important, but still important. If ,or when, we can extend our healing beyond ourselves to other members of the family we do it. But it need not be our goal.

Maybe, the only family I can try to make sure, are well as they can be, is the family that came after me. My nephews, and their children, and now their children. I am feeling a need to connect better with the family I still have. Thanks Rick.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#36638 - 07/19/03 08:31 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Aaron,

I hope you've found some answers or at least a direction of thinking to look at. A lot of good replies. Some of the posts on this have been painfully pointed for me, that is, I resonant with many of the complaints... but most of all - can you say social phobia? I've had it almost all my life and didn't know it or why I had such a hard time meeting new people, making friends, and keeping them.

I was naturally shy as a kid, during and after my abusive uprearing, I became so isolated, depressed, and withdrawn from people. Somehow, I managed to function at various jobs.

It's gotten better for me since I've been taking Effexor and two other antidepressants. The Effexor has done wonders reducing my fear of people in general as well as social situations.

David(Ivanhoe), you wrote:
Quote:
I'm one of these people that believes that you don't owe your parents anything, nichts, nada. If they wanted to be friends with you, they, we as parents, would have built in some boundaries, feelings, good thoughts, along with the love they could have had for you while you were growing up, to assure some mutual respect so that parents, themselves, can move into a friendship mode as you, we, us, our kids, were/are growing up.
I had to laugh else I'd be crying. What a novel thought... respecting one's parents. I can't say I have much for either parent, mom who didn't protect me from dad-thing.

It's been really difficult for me to get past the mom guilt trip thing. [detour - no offence meant - GUILT: The Jews invented it, the Catholics perfected it].

At age 43, I could scream to realize how I haven't cut the "apron strings", seeing how mommy-dearest has no intentions of ever doing it. Even though I haven't lived with her since age 17-43 (with a two year mistake of moving into her house), the guilt trips abounded, and I've bought them, hook, line and sinker (anchor?, battleship going down?). I've been making big changes in my life, which is filling me with hope and optimism for the future and doesn't include my family of origin much at'all.

Can't change my inside thoughts, attitudes, then I change something on the outside. Can't change the outside, then....

It works for me.

peace brothers,

jer


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#36639 - 07/20/03 05:43 PM Re: Anxiety dealing with people
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Aaron
Quote:
The point is that I both fear and love my family. I fear getting pulled in being so captively held by the gravity of their judgement, love, guilt, and denial. But I also don't want to be rejected by them. A quandry with no solution just continued suspension.

I was like you in many ways. I loved my parents although my father beat me constantly and my mother ignored me. I ran away so many times that it became a game.

It took me until I was 59 to actually confront my parents with what happened to me and I would not wish that on anyone. I held it inside from them for 43 years. Needless to say relations were tenuous at best.

What I am getting at Aaron is that you are your own person not the property of somebody else; parents included. When you visit, do so on your own terms. If the situation arises and they lay on the guilt or whatever just stop them and let them know that you are your own person. You can embelish the point or not. That is your decision.

It may be that they are aware of what you went through but are in denial or whatever to pretend it did not happen. That Aaron is there problem and not yours.

I did that after the usual attack; and this aftern my father had had a stroke and my mother was in the terminal stages of emphysemia (cant spell worth a damn). I finally just god mad and told them to stop all the shit because I had enough of it. They started again and then I really let it all out and that shut them up good. They were indignant that I would use my issues. And that was too bad because they both died within a year of my spilling the beans so to speak. But when I did it on my terms and visited them after it was always on my terms. Whenever the old manipulation, laying on the guilt etc. reared again I told them I would not tolerate it and left. I am my own person and it has been a gd tuff struggle getting to that place.

I hope this has helped a bit Aaron. A lot of the guys before me have said similar things to me but more eloquently. I am a nuts and bolts kind of guy and if I get complicated I screw up.

Just be yourself and be comfortable in that place.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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