Donate Now
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Why is my family so screwed up?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Why is my family so screwed up?
000
Activist
Member # 30201

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 000     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, so really that's not the question. My question is really more about what to do about it.

Anyway, my parents are some of those who are "staying together for the kids" and b/c they "believe in commitment". My mom grew up in a pretty emotionally and physically abusive environment, so I figure she just never learned a lot of effective ways for dealing with people growing up, and she never sought counselling or anything. My dad was sexually abused one day when he was a kid by a stranger and his family didn't believe him. I don't know how much it affected his psychologically -far as I know he never sought help. He wasn't even the one who told me, my mom was. I /can/ say he's a little misogynistic, and I'm not entirely sure where that came from except southern culture.

So anyway, my 14 yr-old sister is telling me about this stuff: Our mom won't allow my sister to go over to her best friend's house anymore, b/c her best friend's mother is letting her 17 yr-old daughter have sex with a 18 yr-old bf, in their house. Apparently my mom got into a huge fight with the other girl's mother over this issue. (yeah, and it's /so/ my mother's business, right?) My sister was also telling me about how she recently heard our parents fighting and my mom yelling at my dad "you just want to have sex with me."

This was also similar to **** I had to deal with growing up (except more was directed at me), but it hurts me to see my sister going through similar things. I want to help. But I'm not really sure what to say to her, whether I can do anything to help my parents, etc. Any suggestions for first steps, or ways that would be best to talk to my sister? (I guess I've really just been trying to reassure her that our family is not like all families, that really what's important when it comes to sex is just to make sure everyone's safe and happy, and then it can be a positive thing. Is that appropriate?)

But aargh... this makes me so mad -what is /wrong/ with my parents? They both have professional degrees, yet I feel like they never used their intelligence to seek out ways to learn social skills, ways of being emotionally healthy, etc, b/c they're so darn sure they're right about everything. I just, I don't know what to think about this always. I don't know if there's anything I can do.

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
000
Activist
Member # 30201

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 000     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
no one has ideas?
Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Often, I don't stray to topics like these, because it's always a bit hard for me to view some family dysfunction topics without bias, since the level of dysfunction in mine went far beyond things like this, so I worry I may come off as dismissive, if you follow. Parents fighting within earshot of their kids, or fighting about sex, isn't really atypical.)

Is having a heart-to-heart with one or both of your parents, in a compassionate way, at all possible? Maybe talking about how you feel these approaches poorly effected you; about how putting trust in your sister to not make the same choices as her friend might be a good thing to do? If you can't have that discussion with them, saying same to your sister might be a good thing -- as in, "I trust that you'll make the best choices for YOU, not whatever your friends feel is best for them."

I take it family therapy is out of the question, but if it's not, that's obviously also a strategy to consider.

--------------------
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
000
Activist
Member # 30201

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 000     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
yeah family therapy is out of the question. I can't say I have that much faith in it, anyways. I think therapy is a positive tool, but not particularly powerful. I don't know if having a heart-to-heart with my parents is possible. I could try. It's not something I've done for years and years, mainly b/c they're very dismissive of my complaints, b/c they think I'm a bit of a screw up on my own, and they think I caused lots of problems for the family while I was still living at home. My mom is also a bit disgusted with my fairly open views on sexuality.

"how putting trust in your sister to not make the same choices as her friend might be a good thing to do"

The problem is, that if my sister does wind up having sex when she's 17 b/c she wants to I think that's fine. And if that was to happen, my parents will think they just didn't put enough control on her/the situation.

"Parents fighting within earshot of their kids... about sex, isn't really atypical"

Well jeez, I think it's awful. Make it like #152 reason why the idea of highly committed relationships doesn't appeal to me.

"it's always a bit hard for me to view some family dysfunction topics without bias, since the level of dysfunction in mine went far beyond things like this, so I worry I may come off as dismissive"

Hmm... maybe my questions are not a good use of this website. I guess some topics addressed at Scarleteen I've dealt with, like hitting adolescent and adult children (which also happens in my family, along w/ pulling hair, spitting, etc.), depression, etc. does not seem as big a deal to me as this fighting.

(Probably doesn't change anything from your view, but I'm sure if there had ever been noticeable love/affection between my parents, fighting might not seem like such a miserable thing to me. But I think I'd much rather live alone w/o family my whole life than live the way my parents do.)

Another thing, it's hard for me to imagine what "the level of dysfunction in mine" means. Your "official" bio doesn't make it sound that way, so I'd just rather have some context in which I should take your comments.

[ 10-13-2006, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: iheartdc ]

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
iheartdc, because I'm a very, very visible person, and all of my immediate family is still alive and well (and a couple members of my family have put a lot of work into recovery from abuse cycles), I really can't/don't talk in depth about a lot of my familial abuse. Suffice it to say, yelling and being overprotective was the least of my worries during much of my adolecence, before I left my mother and stepparent's home at 15. Regardless, my family is not very relevant here, I was simply explaining why you had been waiting a long time for a reply to your post per my end.

quote:
"how putting trust in your sister to not make the same choices as her friend might be a good thing to do"

The problem is, that if my sister does wind up having sex when she's 17 b/c she wants to I think that's fine. And if that was to happen, my parents will think they just didn't put enough control on her/the situation.

I could have worded that better. What I meant was that her friend's choices need not dictate or even influence hers, no matter WHAT those choices are.

And if that's what your parents might assume, perhaps that's a good window of opportunity for you per a conversation? As in, a lot of control didn't change your choices, and that you feel that more trust and less control might be more helpful.

Per some of your attitudes here, I'd just do your level best NOT to bring them to the table in a conversation like this: they're not very likely to be productive, or to support your folks really listening and evaluating. So, for instance, I'd not advise questioning why they choose to stay together at this point, or stating that couples fighting makes you not ever want to be part of one, etc.

--------------------
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
000
Activist
Member # 30201

Icon 1 posted      Profile for 000     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Per some of your attitudes here, I'd just do your level best NOT to bring them to the table in a conversation like this: they're not very likely to be productive, or to support your folks really listening and evaluating. So, for instance, I'd not advise questioning why they choose to stay together at this point, or stating that couples fighting makes you not ever want to be part of one, etc."

true dat, I know. i've gotten somewhat better over the years about keeping my mouth shut.

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3