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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » A Complicated Set of Events

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Author Topic: A Complicated Set of Events
Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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Hey everyone. First off I just wanted to say that this board is amazing for people who need advice or anything to help them, like talking about their issues.

Now my problem is complicated and very complex in some ways, but is deceivingly simple. I'm not quite sure where to put this post either, considering it's a strange combination, but the issues are with the relationships.

I have a boyfriend, who I've now been seeing for a year and I would like to tell my mom and family about him, but there are some problems. I'm going to start with the facts. My boyfriend is 16 years older and is pretty well-off financially, which is maybe the only thing my family will listen to. He lives in Australia and I live in the US and we met over the internet playing an online game. I know that's usually never a good idea but it seems to have worked for us. I want to visit him in Australia in the summer and have him meet my mother while he's here beforehand (he wants to escort me on the very long plane trip). My mother is very controlling, if I go out with friends or on my own even to our small town she calls multiple times and gets angry when I don't answer or don't answer fast enough, often leaving me angry voice mails. Sometimes when she's extremely angry she can be physical. For example a few weeks ago she thought I had raised my voice to her while she was in an irritated mood and grabbed me rough around the throat. Not enough to bruise, but enough to feel awkward for a while. She was a lot worse when I was younger, pulling me around by the hair, slapping me, hitting me in the mouth.

I'm scared if I tell her she may get angry enough to get physical with me, and I'm scared she will be just as angry with me for some of the information. She doesn't trust the Internet and is going to be mad at having met him there anyway. I also know that she won't think well of him at all being 16 years older. She'll think he is just taking advantage of me. The same with many other members of my family. My biggest fear is she will get physical in any way and may hurt me. She is completely unpredictable and I never know when she will get that angry, she doesn't yell when she gets angry. I live with her too so I have no where to go to get away if she does.

I know she may not take it well. At a similar age she married someone 20 years older than herself and it ended with him trying to kill her.

I do love my mother and would like her blessing if at all possible. I know that sounds strange but it's almost like she's not herself when she gets into those stages of anger, sometimes she's very apologetic.

I need advice and any information anyone is willing to give. Thank you.

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey Okami. Welcome. [Smile]

I'm heading to bed right now myself, and you hit the boards at a time of day when the volunteers often aren't around either, but I'd be happy to pick this up with you in the morning.

To get started with that, can you maybe fill in a couple blanks for me?

• Do you have any supportive, totally safe -- as in, you have NO experiences of fears of them doing you harm -- in your in-person life? Boyfriend issues or not, I want to see if we can't identify any safe people for you who you already know in person.

• Has any of your mother's abuse ever been reported? have you ever had anyone intervene or help you at all with this?

• Are you a legal minor?

• Is your boyfriend aware of your home situation?

• How long has this relationship been going on for, and have you yet met this person in-person at all?

Those pieces would help me help you with this a bit better.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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Sorry. It's quite late here too [Smile]

I have a friend who knows about my situation and mother and she and her family have often offered if things get really bad that I can stay with them, but they have troubles of their own, mostly financial and their dad can be verbally abusive.

My grandmother(my mom's mother) knows about it, my mother was like this to my aunt when they were younger, and once when I was younger I went to children's advocacy because she was a bit out of hand. But other than that no official reports, my grandmother told me to go as far as to press charges against her if she touched me again, but I don't want to do that.

I am an adult. Legally in the US in my state I'm at the age of consent but you're not an adult until 19 which I will be in 3 months. That's why we would like to visit Australia in the summer, just to be completely sure, so she doesn't claim I'm kidnapped or anything.

Yes he is aware of everything. I speak to him around 7 or more hours a day, so I tell him a lot and vice-versa.

It's been around a year, roughly 11 and a half months we've been seeing each other. And yes we've met a few times, and I hate to say I've had to sneak around to see him because she is so controlling she wants to know where I am all the time.

Hope that helps. [Big Grin]

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Thanks for all of that, that's helpful.

Would you also say your relationship with this person has been healthy and non-exploitive?

Let me tell you why I'm asking that so you know where I'm coming from. You might already get the gist, but I also don't want anything hidden here or for you to feel like I'm making assumptions.

Something that is very common with romantic or sexual relationships between young people, especially teens, and much-older adults is that the teens most often are in or come from abusive or very vulnerable home situations. That can be an issue, or a problem, for several reasons. 1) If the older adult has identified you because you're vulnerable in that way, or others who have been before, and 2) because when abuse is our normal, it can be very hard to identify if other relationships of ours are healthy, or see someone abusive coming, especially if they are doing any grooming or not acting like the abusive people we've known before.

Obviously -- hopefully -- that's not an always, but it is more common than not, and one of my concerns here is that you don't exchange one unhealthy relationship or living situation for another.

But that's stepping a little further along.

When it comes to disclosing to your mother, it's sounding to me like your gut feelings that doing so could result in abuse are sound. Given all you've said here, I'm worried about that, too. I'm wondering if it might not be best to first talk to the people in your life who are safe and supportive about this first -- like your friend's mother and your grandmother -- before you think more about disclosing to your mother or make more plans for a trip to AU this summer.

I'm also wondering if we might talk about options for you not living with your mother, period, anymore, so that you're in a safer place no matter what. I totally understand that abusive relationships, especially with parents, are complicated, and I respect your desire to have a relationship with her instead of severing ties. I also get that reporting now might be of limited benefit to you or something you don't want to do right now. But I am concerned for your safety when it comes to her, with or without this romantic relationship, and I think having somewhere else to live, per this situation and in general, is something wise to really consider and look into.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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I know that happens a lot of the time yes but no, he never has been manipulative or exploitive in any way. I'm a very paranoid person myself and am very untrusting and rational. I would have never thought myself that I would have met someone over the Internet like that. I'm very cautious.

There's really no way for me to talk to my grandmother, she will react badly like my mother and my friend and more mother know everything and my friend has even met him and thinks he's ok too.

There's really no way for me to move out, I was in college and now I'm withdrawn and am looking for a job. My mother isn't that bad its just on certain occasions, and very rarely but I'm just afraid this information may end in one of those outbursts. There's not many places here hiring either and places to rent are vey expensive. My boyfriend has offered to help but I don't want to have to take his money or use his income in any way. Plus my mother would want to know where the money came from. She is very paranoid and overprotective.

I just need advice on finding a way to tell her that won't make her angry. I don't mind disappointing her or making her sad, jus avoiding the anger.

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I'm afraid that when it comes to abusive people, as you probably know yourself already, there's no way to be sure you're "following their rules." THEY are the ones who are all about control: other people controlling them is just something that's rarely possible.

So, it seems to me that with this, like likely with anything, figuring out some right way to try and assure she won't be abusive isn't something you can do. My best advice anytime anyone is in any kind of abusive relationship is to put their own safety first. I think the best way for you to do that would be to do what you can to not be in the line of fire anymore, period, but at the very least, not to disclose this or anything else for now you even suspect will trigger another assault from her.

I would try and keep straight in your mind that a person can't really be abusive and controlling and "protective." Control isn't protectiveness, you know? We can't protect people while doing the harm and keeping them under our control: that's the opposite, really.

I totally understand the situation right now with employment. At the same time, it sounds like you have invested a lot of time and energy -- a LOT of time, every day -- in this relationship. I think that maybe putting some more on changing your own situation here, on your own, and on your own terms -- though maybe with a little help from this person, I mean, after all, they're likely the one who'd be paying for the AU trip, right, so why accept that help and not for something like this which supports you better and could put you more in the spot to assure you have more control over your own life and safety, in every relationship?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Also, you're saying your grandmother may also do you physical harm if you tell her about this?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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Not physical but she may tell my mother, but she will be mad too.

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Okay. So, do you have ANYONE else at all in any part of your life you trust who is NOT abusive or complicit in some kind of abusive relationship? A teacher, a counselor, a healthcare provider...?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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I have a close family friend that I haven't spoken to in about a month. That's the only other person I would trust.

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Okay: how about starting by disclosing all of this to that person, seeing how that goes, and then talking some of this through with them?

It is sounding to me like you're pretty isolated here. Have you yet looked into any community resources for yourself? For instance, if you have a YWCA in your area, they can help you with looking for work, sometimes with housing, with counseling, the works.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Okami
Neophyte
Member # 95296

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Ok I will give my friend a call and see how it goes from there.

I live in a very small town and the community is pretty isolated unless you are involved in a church, which I'm not. I will look into the resources in the city next to our town.

Thanks for the advice.

--------------------
"She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudness climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes..."

~Lord Byron

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I'd be happy to help you look if you like, too. If you want some help, I'd just need your zip code.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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