What to Think?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by goodwood, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. goodwood

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    Hey Gang -
    So what do you tink about this?
    Many of you were very supportive and vocal in your thoughts re. my distressing interchange with my parents re. my birthday and holiday time spent with them and I thnk you for your iput (How Do You Make People Go Away).

    I have not communicated with them since I told them my honest thoughts on their behavior. I received packages at my house today including great antique pieces and money.

    So I received calls from them this afternoon as though nothing was ever amiss and I thanked them for their thoughtful and generous gifts.
    They continued to chat about the most banal things. So I decided to address the rift and spoke directly to my mother about the fact that a simple phone call would have been appropriate. She said nothing. I addressed the psychotic Chirstmas gathering and told her I would be willing to spend a few hours for Christmas dinner on Christmas day and was amused by her response which was: "that is a lot for a driver to manage in one day. Besides the weather might be bad."
    I live two and a half hours away one way. So add that up and its 10 hours of drive time for a high day of family togetherness which was previously the stated objective.
    I would like to think that there might be some merit to be honest and let the chips fall where they may. I would be content not seeing my family on Christmas and am happy to let them know that while I appreciate their efforts on my behalf, I do not appreciate their bad, controlling behavior. But then again, we would like to think many things about being honest with our families.
    For the moment, I just may be home free on Christmas! (I can hope).
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    My experience has been that some people measure their value by their wealth and the gifts may be an honest gesture to apologize to you. If they give you a Ming, two Etruscans, and some of great-great-grandmother's Hepplewhite pieces then they're effectively saying that they're sorry for not loving you enough. To them, things and money are love. What excuse, after such a nice cache could you have otherwise? And now that all the unpleasantness is over can't we go back to our lives without you disrupting it all? We don't want you around if you're going to distract us from our fantasy. Do it too frequently and you might just force us to confront some bitter truths about our lives.

    You're not going to change them. Even if they're slightly moved by this incidence, the glacial response you received indicates they're not willing to budge very far.

    This is why I go back to the forgiveness issue. The best thing you can do is walk into their home and openly and genuinely embrace your mother and father and tell them how much you love them.

    To get to that point you have to understand that by reacting to the bullshit you're playing into it. The most you can do is just let the bullshit happen without letting it get to you. Don't play their game, just be yourself and be glad that your parents are expressing their love for you in the only way they know how because it's the only kind of love, after 37 years, you're likely to get unless one or both of them has some kind of revelation that they're, by your description, pretty empty people.

    The best friends we have in life are those that won't tolerate our bullshit but don't punish us for it either. They know we're acting out lousy behavioral pathologies we learned long ago and they're willing to let it blow over.

    They can only be themselves as you can only be yourself. To continue to demand that they change is asking for water from the moon. Yes, it's a terrible disappointment for you, but someday you'll thank yourself for being loving to them in your way and accepting that they're being loving to you in theirs. When they're gone you can either live with regret or with the full knowledge that you tried to love them as best you could even if they didn't understand or appreciate it.

    I do not underestimate how difficult this is for you because accepting their limits is to accept a deep loss of hope but providence has given you a second chance. Be bigger than they are; they're like two children and you may have to just live with the fact that you will always be wiser than they.
     
  3. Dave NoCal

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    Jason, what a thoughtful post!

    Goodwood, the only thing that I can think to add is that it is important to understand that your parents are IMPAIRED. It isn't like they are withholding some other kind of love that they have to give and are deliberately depriving you. This is probably the best they can do and you are poorer for it, but so are they. My guess is that they are similarly impaired in all of their relationships. If that is the case, that is very sad. Have you ever really watched a movie, named "Ordinary People?" It follows this theme with great art and sensitivity.
    Dave
     
  4. goodwood

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    Jason and Dave -
    Thank you for your time and thought to respond. My only response to yours is to be quiet and thoughtful. Dave - Ordinary People is one of my favorite Movies. I love it. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  5. 36DD

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    You have already been given the advice I would give...that is to forgive and continue to love them...but do not succumb to playing their game. At least if you forgive and love them you will be able to sleep at night and look yourself in the mirror in the morning. Remember, forgiveness is just permission to get on with your life so that you can live yours to the fullest. It is so truly frustrating to try to have a relationship with any kind of genuine communication when those involved do not even see the error of their ways or their shallowness and to expect otherwise will only dishearten you further. Just forgive...it's a choice, not a feeling.
     
  6. goodwood

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    Thanks 36. You know what? I have forgiven them and realized that's how they will be and every day get on with my life and am happy about it, no matter how random and ridiculous it is. Thanks for your imput all. : ) You are wonderful!
    I spoke with a friend of mine on the phone tonight and when I told him that I might be alone on Christmas he was aghast and said "But you'll be ALONE.".
    Which is the standard reaction. But I am perfectly content to be alone and indulge in reading and music and naps and feel badly for people who are afraid to be alone or who don't do that well and would happily spend time with them and be amusing and entertaining and convivial.
    So here's to a happy Christmas...perhaps a new thread?
     
  7. 36DD

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    I've spent the last few Christmases alone too...doesn't bother me. Sure, I'd like to have someone special in my life but I don't and that is just a fact...but to spend time with others just to avoid being alone is absurd to me...I am perfectly content in being alone this Christmas as well and personally I'd rather be...the holidays are sort of depressing for me and my family now and I'm not going to pretend they are not just to make someone else feel better about my not being alone. Besides, being lonely in a crowd is worse than being alone.
     
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