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#421487 - 01/08/13 09:38 AM Re: Appropriate Dinner Conversation [Re: A270465]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6602
Loc: FEMA Region 1
I read the thread-title and let-out a loud "HA!" If I was drinking milk, it would have blasted through my nose.

Table talk....nice-talk...."how are you Rob?" In my mind I say (HA!!! Trust me....you don't want to know....cuz you can't handle it and you dont care). "Oh...doing super...how about you."

The problem is, I don't get invited to ANY (as in ANY) family functions anymore (post disclosure)...and I never did talk about it at ANY family functions. They are quite safety-oriented in constructing pre-emptive walls.

Thank God we can say it ALL here!
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I'm "that guy."

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#421564 - 01/08/13 08:01 PM Re: Appropriate Dinner Conversation [Re: A270465]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
It helps me to realize that everybody has problems they can't share at the dinner table or at family gatherings. It's not just us.

The difference is that most people have a broader range of things that can occupy their mind than we do, especially when we're first dealing with the abuse or if it is still the forefront of our minds.

IN a way our experience of abuse becomes so totally present that nothing else can get in.

Try to see the truth in the fact the everyone has deep issues they can't openly speak of. Then let the dinner conversation carry you out of your own problems even if it's just by listening deeply to what's being shared. One of the hallmarks of healing is being able to get caught up in the simple things of daily/family life again, like "normal" people are able to do.

We all have to try to make life safe for each other by finding common ground we can talk about that lets us know we care about each other without stirring up emotions we can't bear to feel.

Sometimes it feels fake to try this, but it's not really.

I had a friend who said she hated the fact that when people ask "How are you?" they mostly want a positive (to her empty) response, like "I'm fine." What she didn't realize is that the "I'm fine" response is actually really important. It's says, we're all able to handle it, whatever comes our way.

Getting through a family dinner has that power, too. It's important to be there for each other, supporting the positive energy.

Then you can use a place like this site to really get out the hard stuff. Eventually the hard stuff gets easy enough that friends and family can hear the story too.

I hope that's helpful,

Danny

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#421572 - 01/08/13 08:25 PM Re: Appropriate Dinner Conversation [Re: A270465]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
sometimes you just have to suck it up and blather about inconsequential things - news events, books, movies, somebody else's kids or job or new car or whatever. it's part of the "social" expectations. even if you don't care - the only way to survive is to pretend to. one think i have found helps is askiong questions - people love to talk about themselves - and think you are a great person for being so interested. and it gets you off the hook of having to say much yourself! once in a great while - it even leads to a more meaningful exchange.
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#421589 - 01/08/13 09:04 PM Re: Appropriate Dinner Conversation [Re: A270465]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
About two weeks after I disclosed to my parents, we were all having a big family dinner: them, my wife and I and the kids, my sister, brother-in-law, their kids, and his parents.

Mom got drunk and started talking about how kids were never safe anywhere and you can't protect them. And that my 9-year-old nephew is "too beautiful" to be safe in a sleepaway camp. Because you never know where your kids aren't safe.

My wife held BOTH my hands, under the table, as I sat there a mute prisoner waiting for my fucking drunk mom to "out" me to my sister, her husband, in-laws, NONE OF WHOM ARE AUTHORIZED.

Fortunately she must have thought she made her point because she shut up. No one seemed to get it. I hope.

No it is NOT dinner conversation.
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My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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