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Family: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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1 hour ago, Suzy Rhapsody said:

Did I do the right thing in telling her that I’m unable to take her?  Also, if I were still at my old job where I had total freedom, should I have taken her then?  

Yes and no to your questions in that order. 

If you haven't read Codependent No More I strongly recommend giving it a read ASAP.

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15 hours ago, Suzy Rhapsody said:

 Did I do the right thing in telling her that I’m unable to take her?  Also, if I were still at my old job where I had total freedom, should I have taken her then?

It's incredibly important she take all possible steps toward avoiding pregnancy, but that doesn't mean you have to interrupt your own life to shepherd her through those steps.  She wants to be an adult; let her act like one. 

If you'd asked in your prior employment situation, I'd have said it may be worth it to take time off to make sure she follows through; if it would be a non-issue at work, maybe go ahead and do it even though she doesn't need or deserve your assistance, because if there's no downside for you, it might be worth doing to make sure she doesn't further fuck up her life (not to mention putting you between another rock and hard place) should she become pregnant and choose to parent.

But under these circumstances?  Not even a maybe, because it's clearly not worth it for you to get involved.  You have a good thing going at work, but it's new and must be nurtured.  That takes precedence over taxiing her and holding her hand (literally or metaphorically).  She either does this or doesn't, on her own.  (And she should still be using condoms, anyway, as she's far from being in a long-term monogamous relationship with a trustworthy partner.)  Boo hoo, she's having to hire an Uber driver to get to the appointment -- that's the position she put herself in.

You handled it just right - declining to take time off to accompany her (and explaining why, since she doesn't get how the world works) but congratulating her on a responsible decision.  Done.   

Edited by Bastet
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Suzy Rhapsody, yes, you did the right thing. And I know this is incredibly rude, but your daughter is acting like a total asshole. You're sick, your mother is sick, and she's boo hooing about having to Uber to a doctor's appointment? She needs to get over herself. 

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Thank you, folks.  You're all absolutely right.  She's at her appointment right now.  I wrapped up our text conversation on Saturday by suggesting that she ask her paternal great-aunt to take her to the appointment and she has completely ignored me since then.  I would bet good money that she asked her to take her.  My daughter knows that her great-aunt is almost literally sitting by the phone, waiting for an opportunity to be useful.  In fact, I blame her for a lot of my ex-husband's arrogance and sense of entitlement, but I digress.  It's truly none of my business anymore.   

@emma675, that's not rude at all!  It's correct.  It took me basically all of 2019 to be able to look at both the situation and her as a person in a very clinical way and come to the conclusion that yes, my daughter is acting like a total asshole.  When I say that I feel like I, as a mother, have been tossed out like a bag of trash, I mean exactly that.  My brain understands that every child grows up and creates a life for themselves independent of their parents, but my heart is still breaking at the fact that she has transferred her entire life to her father's house where she can pursue whatever whims come to mind at any given time.  She does drugs, drinks while underage, works maybe 25 hours a week, has put off returning to college for well over a year, and still hasn't put in the work to get her driver's license, choosing instead to bum rides every single day from her great-aunt and virtually anyone else.  She actually has that same aunt drive well over an hour from another city each day to personally chauffeur her to work, which is about 10 minutes away from my daughter's father's house.  She used to Uber, but decided that it cost too much money that could be better spent on pot and guitar accessories.  Given that complete and total freedom, it's not really a surprise that she would choose to live there, but I can't help but feel incredibly hurt about the way I am treated like a pesky nuisance to be "dealt with" on occasion, relegated to the periphery.  Over time, that has taught me to stop reaching out to her, expecting her to at least want to visit or hang out once in a blue moon, or expecting any sort of common courtesy or compassionate responses from her.  That has minimized any chance of conflict, but it doesn't make it feel any better.  We used to be very close, but to be honest, I don't even feel like I have a daughter anymore.  For all intents and purposes, I don't.

I asked her a couple of months ago when it felt like we were getting closer (ironically, right around the time that she basically demanded a birthday party after barely speaking to any of us for a year) why it felt like her entire maternal family was no longer a priority to her.  Her response (verbatim): "Well, in a way, I guess you're not.  I live over here now and I really don't think about you guys because you're not right in front of me."  That was seriously tough to hear and she wasn't even being nasty.  Her tone was totally cordial and normal.  I cannot even imagine saying that to my mother.  I keep telling myself that I don't deserve to be treated this way, but it can be tough to internalize in my lower moments.  Should I text her today to ask how her appointment went or just stay quiet?  At the end of the day, I have no clue what is expected of me as a "mother" and if/how I'm supposed to be communicating with her.

Thanks for reading.  I'm just trying to talk some of this shit out in the hopes that things become more clear.

Edited by Suzy Rhapsody
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I wouldn't text her anything, but if it's just killing you not to (because you're still her mom inside), maybe just send something like "hope your appointment went well!". Not any questions that she can leave unanswered, not anything where it seems like you're expecting a response, not anything where she can turn it around on you. 

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8 hours ago, Maetimar said:

I have a conflict in my family right now. I quarreled with my eldest

With all this quarantine I’m not surprised. If most people were honest you’d find that lots of people are squabbling right now. Eldest what? Child? They might be at that time of their lives where their inner self says it’s time p for them to spread their wings. Well nobody is flying right now. Don’t beat yourself up. These are difficult times. It’s hard with families being underfoot of each other right now. Tomorrow may be better. 

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Even with all this social distancing, my mom has NOT stopped trying to PARENT MY CHILD.  My mom thinks he's too thin (he's thin for his height, but the doctor says he's fine.  It's just the way he is.  It's not like he suddenly lost a lot of weight or anything.  He's just built to be lanky) and is trying to get me to force feed him his meals.  I know it's a mix of generational and cultural differences, but I'm a 40 year old woman who just doesn't need to be helicoptered.  It's really frustrating and stressful.  No one needs stress these days.

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On 5/20/2020 at 5:33 PM, PRgal said:

My mom thinks he's too thin (he's thin for his height, but the doctor says he's fine.  It's just the way he is.  It's not like he suddenly lost a lot of weight or anything.  He's just built to be lanky) and is trying to get me to force feed him his meals. 

First, hell no to the idea of force feeding meals to your son, who per his doctor is an acceptable weight for his age/height. That kind of food manipulation can easily result in a kid having problems later on. Second, despite the mix of generational and cultural differences, this is your child, not your mother's, and you need to let her know that you are making the decisions about your child's health, in consultation with his doctor, and that he's fine. I know you feel compelled to be polite and respectful when talking to your mother, but you can firmly say that you're not going to force feed your child, that he's fine per his doctor, and that's the end of the discussion. If she persists, shut her down and change the topic. If you don't establish and maintain boundaries around this topic, you'll be getting unwanted parenting advice at least until your son is old enough to leave home. 

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On 5/25/2020 at 4:42 PM, BookWoman56 said:

First, hell no to the idea of force feeding meals to your son, who per his doctor is an acceptable weight for his age/height. That kind of food manipulation can easily result in a kid having problems later on. Second, despite the mix of generational and cultural differences, this is your child, not your mother's, and you need to let her know that you are making the decisions about your child's health, in consultation with his doctor, and that he's fine. I know you feel compelled to be polite and respectful when talking to your mother, but you can firmly say that you're not going to force feed your child, that he's fine per his doctor, and that's the end of the discussion. If she persists, shut her down and change the topic. If you don't establish and maintain boundaries around this topic, you'll be getting unwanted parenting advice at least until your son is old enough to leave home. 

I told my mom not to parent my child and I think she’s p!$$ed. I’m pretty sure the next thing I’ll hear is that I’m being disrespectful to her.  Can’t win in anything. 

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50 minutes ago, PRgal said:

I told my mom not to parent my child and I think she’s p!$$ed. I’m pretty sure the next thing I’ll hear is that I’m being disrespectful to her.  Can’t win in anything. 

Good for you! You're a parent now and you have to do what's best for your child (and yourself as a mom) and if that means telling your own mom to back off and mind her own business, that's what you have to do. It's her problem if she's pissed, not yours. I had to learn to set boundaries with my mom in certain areas and I will basically speak to her calmly in a way that lets her know when she's pushing it (like "I'm sorry that you're feeling this way, but that is your issue, not mine. When you're feeling calmer, we can talk again but not about <this matter>, as I've made my feelings clear."). It's not easy but staying firm over the years has gotten my point across. 

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58 minutes ago, PRgal said:

I’m pretty sure the next thing I’ll hear is that I’m being disrespectful to her.

In reality, it's more that she's being disrespectful to you. She's not respecting your authority to raise your child as you see fit. It would be different if you were blatantly endangering your child or showing yourself to be an unfit parent, but that's not the case. 

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1 hour ago, BookWoman56 said:

In reality, it's more that she's being disrespectful to you. She's not respecting your authority to raise your child as you see fit. It would be different if you were blatantly endangering your child or showing yourself to be an unfit parent, but that's not the case. 

I really think she believes I'm "unfit."  I think she feels what I'm feeding him isn't nutritious enough (because she doesn't understand plant based proteins.  I had her listen into my call with a dietitian and I STILL don't think she fully understands.  I really think that to  HER, most plant proteins (other than soy) are vegetables akin to, say, kale.  This part isn't necessarily generational - I know of a woman (from mainland China) slightly younger than me who doesn't understand how her trainer can be plant based most of the week and  STILL manage to work as a personal trainer).

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Again, not your problem, that's her issue. It sounds like you're covering all the bases to have a healthy child and just because your mom doesn't understand (or chooses not to), doesn't mean she has a right to undermine and judge you. 

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21 hours ago, emma675 said:

Again, not your problem, that's her issue. It sounds like you're covering all the bases to have a healthy child and just because your mom doesn't understand (or chooses not to), doesn't mean she has a right to undermine and judge you. 

The kind of attitude my mom has isn't uncommon in many immigrant or non-multigenerational Canadian/American families.  I have Jewish and Italian friends who say that their parents do the same thing.  It's really annoying.  I suppose I have to be careful - I'm only the first generation born here.  These things tend to linger for at least two generations.

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I’ve been through a lot and have learned how to assert myself without upsetting the other person. Here’s what I would have said in this situation and can be altered for other situations if need be:

”Mom, it’s really great that you’re so concerned about Little Timmy. I appreciate that. But give me some credit for my parenting skills. I learned them from you! (She’ll be complimented, even if you mean that you learned to do the opposite of what she did.) No one is more concerned about the welfare of my kid than I am. That being said, I love you and I love that you’re looking out for what’s best for your grandson.”

You say it sweetly and kindly. Sure, the b.s. probably doesn’t sit well with you, but it doesn’t cost you anything and it shuts her up. Trust me. 

 

 

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How many of you have family members who are different people towards you compared to others?

I don't remember if I ranted about my sister on here before, but it's a good place to anonymously get it off my chest.

Towards others, my sister is friendly, kind, complimentary, and patient. She can come across as sweet and innocent. 

Towards me, she is rude, harsh, jealous, and short-tempered. She can be a total bitch. 

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54 minutes ago, RealHousewife said:

How many of you have family members who are different people towards you compared to others?

I don't remember if I ranted about my sister on here before, but it's a good place to anonymously get it off my chest.

Towards others, my sister is friendly, kind, complimentary, and patient. She can come across as sweet and innocent. 

Towards me, she is rude, harsh, jealous, and short-tempered. She can be a total bitch. 

My family members —especially sister— are like that too, but sometimes they are mean to other people too, but probably never to the same extent. But they aren’t always nasty to immediate family members either —which is what makes it hurt more when they are suddenly taking out their frustrations on you again. 

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My mother is like that.   Outsiders think she's wonderful.   Her mother was like that too, the church lady who was so religious, and nice, but actually was a total cretin to her family.  My mother learned exactly how to hurt people from her.       

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Got a call this week from mom, yelling again (of course). Your brother is sick! I knew it would happen! He does too much!! (He does her grocery shopping and runs errands for her. I would say maximum time per week is maybe 2 to 3 hours. He stops at her house on his way home from work). So he we went to his doctor, very slight fever, got covid test, which was negative. He got a written excuse to be off work for a few days, rest of the week? Somehow, this was,again, all my fault. Ok, whatever. He had gone to Mom’s on Friday, got her a few groceries. I should sayI have stayed at her house for a week, working remotely from there, several times. Whatever I did (cleaned or making meals), was never correct. The last time I left her food that she just needed to reheat because she had been complaining she had not had a decent meal in ages. So she complained I made too much food, plus she doesn’t like or want leftovers. I said fine, toss it then. She said then that I was overreacting.

Flash coward to yesterday. I get a panicked call from mom, cannot get in touch with brother. Ok what do you want me to do? Of course, it was my fault (back to old rant that I didn’t want to live with her). I asked if I should call him? YES!! So I call, leave vm that mom is crying, freaking out, please call her or me. I call her back with what I did. I asked how many times she called. One time to landline which he just had disconnected.  It said number not available!! Well sure it did (duh). She called his cell one time. He talked and then nothing. Uh he says his name when it goes to vm.  I wait, at least 30 minutes, then thought, why don’t I text him? Huge mistake. Within a few minutes get text back, I called mom. Mind your own damn business.

Excuse me? I was asked/begged to contact you. I started crying then, what had I done so wrong? I called mom later and she had her phone off of the hook. 

I am going to let her call me. So done with both of them. I was reading something last night that said don’t carry stuff along. Forgive, etc. So I have decided to forgive but not forget (and keep my distance). 

They both treat everyone else nicely, except me. I honestly give up with them. They have shown me who they are multiple times, and they aren’t going to change.

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46 minutes ago, hoosier80 said:

Got a call this week from mom, yelling again (of course). Your brother is sick! I knew it would happen! He does too much!! (He does her grocery shopping and runs errands for her. I would say maximum time per week is maybe 2 to 3 hours. He stops at her house on his way home from work). So he we went to his doctor, very slight fever, got covid test, which was negative. He got a written excuse to be off work for a few days, rest of the week? Somehow, this was,again, all my fault. Ok, whatever. He had gone to Mom’s on Friday, got her a few groceries. I should sayI have stayed at her house for a week, working remotely from there, several times. Whatever I did (cleaned or making meals), was never correct. The last time I left her food that she just needed to reheat because she had been complaining she had not had a decent meal in ages. So she complained I made too much food, plus she doesn’t like or want leftovers. I said fine, toss it then. She said then that I was overreacting.

Flash coward to yesterday. I get a panicked call from mom, cannot get in touch with brother. Ok what do you want me to do? Of course, it was my fault (back to old rant that I didn’t want to live with her). I asked if I should call him? YES!! So I call, leave vm that mom is crying, freaking out, please call her or me. I call her back with what I did. I asked how many times she called. One time to landline which he just had disconnected.  It said number not available!! Well sure it did (duh). She called his cell one time. He talked and then nothing. Uh he says his name when it goes to vm.  I wait, at least 30 minutes, then thought, why don’t I text him? Huge mistake. Within a few minutes get text back, I called mom. Mind your own damn business.

Excuse me? I was asked/begged to contact you. I started crying then, what had I done so wrong? I called mom later and she had her phone off of the hook. 

I am going to let her call me. So done with both of them. I was reading something last night that said don’t carry stuff along. Forgive, etc. So I have decided to forgive but not forget (and keep my distance). 

They both treat everyone else nicely, except me. I honestly give up with them. They have shown me who they are multiple times, and they aren’t going to change.

One reason why I often let my calls go to VM unless I'm expecting someone to call me.  

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The only reason I don't let calls to to VM on my landline (internet phone, with portables), is that I have a call blocker.   On a regular landline I could either push the red blocker button, or program in the number to block it.    With the portable, the base unit plugs into my internet modem that also is the phone modem.    So I can only block calls on my portable by hitting a code when the call is still live.     On my cell if I look at recent calls, I can block numbers on there easily.   So I do let those go to VM or just go to missed call, because I can block them from that screen.   

Edited by CrazyInAlabama

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2 hours ago, hoosier80 said:

I honestly give up with them.

I hope you finally do.  You keep saying it, but not doing it.  I was hoping that between pandemic-necessitated isolation and not having posted the usual scenario in a while you'd finally cut the cord.  You deserve better, and they're never going to give it to you.  I hope you can find the strength to give it to yourself. 

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2 hours ago, Bastet said:
6 hours ago, hoosier80 said:

I honestly give up with them.

I hope you finally do.  You keep saying it, but not doing it.  I was hoping that between pandemic-necessitated isolation and not having posted the usual scenario in a while you'd finally cut the cord.  You deserve better, and they're never going to give it to you.  I hope you can find the strength to give it to yourself. 

Agree, but maybe you can get help breaking the pattern? One good thing (only good thing?) about the pandemic is video therapist appointments. 

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I'm new to this topic if not this forum. I just need to vent somewhere. My husband, whom I love dearly, constantly interrupts me or, worse, talks over me. We had our stylist over on Sun. for some quick haircuts. I told him and he heard me that this was not going to be a social visit. He then proceeded to do his usual interrupt me /talk over me thing until our haircuts were done. I stepped outside to take off my mask/get some air/give him time to finish whatever he was rambling about. When I came back in he was still going on and on and I finally had to say something about her needing to get home.  Is this a thing all men do or is he unique?

Edited by peacheslatour
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1 hour ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm new to this topic if not this forum. I just need to vent somewhere. My husband, whom I love dearly, constantly interrupts me or, worse, talks over me. We had our stylist over on Sun. for some quick haircuts. I told him and he heard me that this was not going to be a social visit. He then proceeded to do his usual interrupt me /talk over me thing until our haircuts were done. I stepped outside to take off my mask/get some air/give him time to finish whatever he was rambling about. When I came back in he was still going on and on and I finally had to say something about her needing to get home.  Is this a thing all men do or is he unique?

I don't think it's just a man thing. I've been known to inappropriately chatter on my whole life. My mom, my teachers, even my bosses have called me out for it.
I had a female friend who was the same way; we had great conversations talking over each other, going off on tangents. It drove my then-teen kids nuts.
If I know ahead of time I need to be quiet, I can usually prevent myself from getting started. But once I do, it's really hard to turn off. 
BTW, over the decades nearly every complaint female friends have had about their husbands have been flaws that I personally have. My ex-husband had different annoying traits. 

 

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I don't think it's just a man thing. I've been known to inappropriately chatter on my whole life. My mom, my teachers, even my bosses have called me out for it.
I had a female friend who was the same way; we had great conversations talking over each other, going off on tangents. It drove my then-teen kids nuts.
If I know ahead of time I need to be quiet, I can usually prevent myself from getting started. But once I do, it's really hard to turn off. 
BTW, over the decades nearly every complaint female friends have had about their husbands have been flaws that I personally have. My ex-husband had different annoying traits. 

 

Nope, not just a guy thing.  As an undergrad, I was told by a (female) prof that I had to "let others speak" because I was constantly dominating the conversation in a seminar class.

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My husband interrupts me in mid sentence quite often. Generally he’s not particularly chatty so I think he just saves it up for me. He’s been doing it for 20 years and I don’t think it will stop. I know that I have a tendency to talk too much, so I have a post-it note on my computer monitor that says WAIT which stands for “why am I talking.”  It’s a good reminder for me. 
 

@shapeshifter, I have a similar situation with one of my friends. It’s just how we relate! I’m not like that with anyone else, but put us together and we talk a mile a minute about everything and nothing.

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I don't think it's just a man thing. I've been known to inappropriately chatter on my whole life. My mom, my teachers, even my bosses have called me out for it.

 

2 hours ago, PRgal said:

Nope, not just a guy thing.  As an undergrad, I was told by a (female) prof that I had to "let others speak" because I was constantly dominating the conversation in a seminar class.

Bingo - not something only men do, but definitely something women are more likely to be scolded for doing.

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59 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Bingo - not something only men do, but definitely something women are more likely to be scolded for doing.

Yes. That dawned on me after I posted. 

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13 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

I have a similar situation with one of my friends. It’s just how we relate! I’m not like that with anyone else, but put us together and we talk a mile a minute about everything and nothing.

Same. We've been friends for so long that half the time we're not even speaking in a way that makes sense to others. Her husband (great guy) just *loves* it when were together. 

I'm also an inappropriate chatterer. It's gotten worse since the quarentine started because I spend so much time alone.

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Looks like I got through to hubby. I had a meeting with my dad's financial adviser to discuss the proceeds of selling my dad's house. My DH got pissed because he wasn't invited. We got into it because I told him I needed to talk to the guy without him interrupting me or talking over me. Later I had to reschedule and I set it up so he could be there. After it was over he walked me to my car and before he kissed me goodbye he said "I hope I didn't interrupt you or talk over, I caught myself a couple of times and I realized that I was doing it so I stopped myself. I'm sorry." I gave him the biggest kiss!

Edited by peacheslatour
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OK, I'm bringing this up because I'd like to know if anyone might have any postmortem insights as to why my late father might have gotten so hung up on something that I believed NOTHING to do with him.

Confession- There were quite a few years in my teens and 20's in which I had a rather frosty bond with him but then we both learned to relax and like each other for who we were and there are many things I miss about him and of course there are some mysteries concerning him and/or his family/friends that I've found out before/since his passing that I'd like to solve but there's no one else who could provide insight (including Mama).However, I also came to admire how he managed to handle his declining health and becoming a shut in  & invalid the his last years and I have to say that he was more stoic than I would have imagined earlier.

Anyway, here's the story. Back in my frosty 20's, he had been working abroad in academia for months and I hadn't seen him in all that time. Anyway, I had a week there before I was to venture to a nearby country to see a longtime friend and that friend's family. OK, first of all within minutes of arriving at his apartment, he casually asked me if I'd like to see a somewhat famous city some hours away from his locale. I politely said that this sounded interesting. Immediately, he got on the phone with a colleague  in that city and before I knew what happened,he talked the colleague and family to put me up there  in their apartment there for a few days before I even had the chance to voice whether to stay with them  and it was essentially a done deal by the time he put me on the phone to 'thank' them for the chance. OK, even though I'd never once met ANY of these people, I thought it would be best to go along and not get into any kind of disagreement over this which  could have easily resulted in the rest of my visit being tense.

He was about to walk me to the train station and I thought I was in the clear when he casually tossed out the idea that I should pack only a couple of changes of clothes in a small bag and leave my actual suitcase back in his apartment so I wouldn't be weighed down by it. I  replied that it wasn't that heavy and I wanted to have all my clothes with me so I could decide for myself what to wear on a daily basis. He then repeated the idea and I, as politely and respectfully as I could, I reiterated that this wasn't necessary. Well, he blew up at me and then said that he would NOT snoop into my suitcase while I was gone ( I had NOT accused him of  wanting to do  that) and said I was being stubborn and ridiculous. I managed to hold my ground and finally just said that since it was my suitcase and belongings he was just going to have to accept if not like that this was MY call  so that there was no need to keep arguing. He technically dropped the main argument  but he stayed tense literally every step of the way to the train station and kept reminding me of how heavy the suitcase I was carrying was as opposed to the lighter bag he had proposed (and I  had made ZERO objections to him setting me up with these total strangers in another city just minutes after we had begun our own visit after months of no interaction besides letters and phone calls). 

I was relieved to get on that train!  Well, the good news was that I got to see a marvelous ancient city and explore some great sites during those few days there and, regardless of how it came to be, I AM grateful for having had the opportunity to have seen that locale. The bad news is that my father's colleague was well-meaning and civil but stayed an awkward host the whole time (whether it was his personality or the fact that my father had sprung me on him or both I'm not sure. His wife wanted me to believe  she was much more  clever and sophisticated than she actually was- and openly ranted at   my absent  father  and me for my not being fluent in the language of this nation (even though I tried to tell her it was not my father's fault- and I sure didn't want her to start harping on the subject of my lack of fluency with him who was VERY fluent  and himself was  already unhappy with my lack of fluency). Their minor son was a bit of a pill.  Beyond thanking them for their hospitality and a few polite holiday greetings down the years, I never felt any need to reconnect to these hosts nor did any of them attempt a genuine friendship with me. Despite my father's claims about how great friends these folks were supposed to have been  to him,  they didn't bother responding to Mama's note informing them of my father's passing decades later.  The rest of the time with my father went okay but still there was less time for us to spend together than there would have been had he not sprung me on these folks.   Anyone else have anything like this happen with one of one's parents after one's technical adulthood? 

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4 hours ago, Blergh said:

OK, I'm bringing this up because I'd like to know if anyone might have any postmortem insights as to why my late father might have gotten so hung up on something that I believed NOTHING to do with him.

Confession- There were quite a few years in my teens and 20's in which I had a rather frosty bond with him but then we both learned to relax and like each other for who we were and there are many things I miss about him and of course there are some mysteries concerning him and/or his family/friends that I've found out before/since his passing that I'd like to solve but there's no one else who could provide insight (including Mama).However, I also came to admire how he managed to handle his declining health and becoming a shut in  & invalid the his last years and I have to say that he was more stoic than I would have imagined earlier.

Anyway, here's the story. Back in my frosty 20's, he had been working abroad in academia for months and I hadn't seen him in all that time. Anyway, I had a week there before I was to venture to a nearby country to see a longtime friend and that friend's family. OK, first of all within minutes of arriving at his apartment, he casually asked me if I'd like to see a somewhat famous city some hours away from his locale. I politely said that this sounded interesting. Immediately, he got on the phone with a colleague  in that city and before I knew what happened,he talked the colleague and family to put me up there  in their apartment there for a few days before I even had the chance to voice whether to stay with them  and it was essentially a done deal by the time he put me on the phone to 'thank' them for the chance. OK, even though I'd never once met ANY of these people, I thought it would be best to go along and not get into any kind of disagreement over this which  could have easily resulted in the rest of my visit being tense.

He was about to walk me to the train station and I thought I was in the clear when he casually tossed out the idea that I should pack only a couple of changes of clothes in a small bag and leave my actual suitcase back in his apartment so I wouldn't be weighed down by it. I  replied that it wasn't that heavy and I wanted to have all my clothes with me so I could decide for myself what to wear on a daily basis. He then repeated the idea and I, as politely and respectfully as I could, I reiterated that this wasn't necessary. Well, he blew up at me and then said that he would NOT snoop into my suitcase while I was gone ( I had NOT accused him of  wanting to do  that) and said I was being stubborn and ridiculous. I managed to hold my ground and finally just said that since it was my suitcase and belongings he was just going to have to accept if not like that this was MY call  so that there was no need to keep arguing. He technically dropped the main argument  but he stayed tense literally every step of the way to the train station and kept reminding me of how heavy the suitcase I was carrying was as opposed to the lighter bag he had proposed (and I  had made ZERO objections to him setting me up with these total strangers in another city just minutes after we had begun our own visit after months of no interaction besides letters and phone calls). 

I was relieved to get on that train!  Well, the good news was that I got to see a marvelous ancient city and explore some great sites during those few days there and, regardless of how it came to be, I AM grateful for having had the opportunity to have seen that locale. The bad news is that my father's colleague was well-meaning and civil but stayed an awkward host the whole time (whether it was his personality or the fact that my father had sprung me on him or both I'm not sure. His wife wanted me to believe  she was much more  clever and sophisticated than she actually was- and openly ranted at   my absent  father  and me for my not being fluent in the language of this nation (even though I tried to tell her it was not my father's fault- and I sure didn't want her to start harping on the subject of my lack of fluency with him who was VERY fluent  and himself was  already unhappy with my lack of fluency). Their minor son was a bit of a pill.  Beyond thanking them for their hospitality and a few polite holiday greetings down the years, I never felt any need to reconnect to these hosts nor did any of them attempt a genuine friendship with me. Despite my father's claims about how great friends these folks were supposed to have been  to him,  they didn't bother responding to Mama's note informing them of my father's passing decades later.  The rest of the time with my father went okay but still there was less time for us to spend together than there would have been had he not sprung me on these folks.   Anyone else have anything like this happen with one of one's parents after one's technical adulthood? 

My family has had lots of awkward moments, visits, years, relationships, etc. 
So, to me, reading your story, it sounds like your father may have been living with a "friend" and didn't want you to know, so he imposed on his other friends to take you in during your trip--which would put them in the awkward position of covering for him and being a bit dishonest with you. 
Or maybe I've just got too wild of an imagination, have watched too many TV dramas, and have had too many unfaithful lovers myself.
 

Tangentially, for several years I've talked about getting a DNA test in case the eggs my daughter sold 20 years ago grew up to be someone who wants to find me. Recently that daughter told me about a friend who had had the test and learned that their father had unknowingly fathered a half-sibling during a one-night stand with an exchange student. That knowledge caused a lot of misery for that family. After the story, my daughter asked what did I expect to come of reuniting with strangers with whom I shared DNA. I came to see that it was probably better not to ring a bell that could not be un-rung, especially since our family struggles to get along with the members we have. 

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16 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

My family has had lots of awkward moments, visits, years, relationships, etc. 
So, to me, reading your story, it sounds like your father may have been living with a "friend" and didn't want you to know, so he imposed on his other friends to take you in during your trip--which would put them in the awkward position of covering for him and being a bit dishonest with you. 
Or maybe I've just got too wild of an imagination, have watched too many TV dramas, and have had too many unfaithful lovers myself.
 

Tangentially, for several years I've talked about getting a DNA test in case the eggs my daughter sold 20 years ago grew up to be someone who wants to find me. Recently that daughter told me about a friend who had had the test and learned that their father had unknowingly fathered a half-sibling during a one-night stand with an exchange student. That knowledge caused a lot of misery for that family. After the story, my daughter asked what did I expect to come of reuniting with strangers with whom I shared DNA. I came to see that it was probably better not to ring a bell that could not be un-rung, especially since our family struggles to get along with the members we have. 

Shapeshifter,

 

 I want to thank you for reading my account and giving your interpretation on the subject. 

I'm not going to say that your theory is impossible. However, my father was notorious for NEVER being able to successfully clean up behind himself or others so that, had he opted to live a life of crimes, he'd have gotten caught by any 'evidence' straight away! And the place looked as though he clearly had been living solo there the entire time. So I'll say your theory is a possibility but not a strong probability (and of course I can't ask him to confirm anything).

 

Sad for your daughter's friend's family  . On both sides  of my family there have been folks  who are known to us going back centuries who were the results of extramarital flings - and I have a triple great-grandmother in the Old Country who wound up being raised by her father's legal wife but they DID acknowledge her. 

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@Blergh, is it possible that your father was uncomfortable being with you? Didn’t know what to say, wasn’t sure how to talk to his kid? I hope you didn’t take it personally.

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12 minutes ago, Auntie Anxiety said:

@Blergh, is it possible that your father was uncomfortable being with you? Didn’t know what to say, wasn’t sure how to talk to his kid? I hope you didn’t take it personally.

I think at that time, that was a strong possibility. Thankfully, we did get to be genuine friends in the decades after this (albeit he ALWAYS pulled rank). 

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1 hour ago, Blergh said:

I think at that time, that was a strong possibility. Thankfully, we did get to be genuine friends in the decades after this (albeit he ALWAYS pulled rank). 

The whole part about leaving the suitcase behind made me think he wanted to hide something there for you to "smuggle" home.  But that really does sound far-fetched.  It is a shame you could never ask him about it, because I'm really curious now 🙂   I'm glad you because close later on. 

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On 9/23/2020 at 9:16 PM, Bastet said:

 

Bingo - not something only men do, but definitely something women are more likely to be scolded for doing.

An ex boyfriend I had said I would always cut him off. In my defense I think I get excited about a conversation and interject.  But it stayed with me and I actively try not to. 
 

The guy I am with is the type who talks to someone for an hour (I am not kidding) like at a hardware store and I think “they have got to want to get away” but it happens frequently enough I guess Im the weird one.  

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22 minutes ago, KnoxForPres said:

An ex boyfriend I had said I would always cut him off. In my defense I think I get excited about a conversation and interject.  But it stayed with me and I actively try not to. 
 

The guy I am with is the type who talks to someone for an hour (I am not kidding) like at a hardware store and I think “they have got to want to get away” but it happens frequently enough I guess Im the weird one.  

If I understood this correctly, @KnoxForPres, you are the Less Weird One of the two of you--which if fine if you enjoy each other.
And (also if I understood correctly) it sounds like you have some psycho-emotional baggage from the ex. 
Try Googling the word gaslighting, if you're not already familiar 
I'm not saying that you didn't have positive growth while with the ex. But you might also have attained that growth at a cost to mental health.

But I may be projecting (again). 
I met my ex 40 years ago at age 27. My entire first 27 years I had cried excessively and frequently. He and I got in a verbal argument after our first night together and I cried. He became very angry at my crying (i.e., cold shoulder, rejection), and I was soon trained not to cry. For the last 40 years I have been embarrassed when I don't cry at funerals etc., although I did cry a lot during the 2 years of my divorce 30 years ago.
Recently I have Zoomed with a grief counselor following the death of my mom. She lead me through writing a letter to my mom and reading it aloud, which resulted in a healthy amount of crying.

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I thought the father wanted @BLERGH to leave the suitcase behind because he was expecting someone else to ask to stay over and wanted a ready-made excuse why he could not accommodate them by pointing out his kid’s suitcase.  The ‘someone else’ and Blergh may not have known about each other and the father wanted to keep it that way.

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2 hours ago, WhereThereIsLife said:

I thought the father wanted @BLERGH to leave the suitcase behind because he was expecting someone else to ask to stay over and wanted a ready-made excuse why he could not accommodate them by pointing out his kid’s suitcase.  The ‘someone else’ and Blergh may not have known about each other and the father wanted to keep it that way.

Well, I wasn't expecting that one! I suppose my father could have gone out and bought a suitcase and pretended it was 'mine'  to 'someone else; once I declined his 'suggestion'   but it seems odd that he would have sent me away to these strangers first thing after my arrival.  As for the idea of him trying to smuggle something via trying to insist I leave the suitcase? Well, I was going to see a friend after the time with my father and would have unpacked it long before I finally arrived home so I'm not sure about that one. 

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Such imaginations.  I just figure the father felt quite awkward having the adult child with whom he had a strained relationship around just the two of them in a foreign city, and suggested the excursion to another city to reduce that one-on-one time (and provide a safe opportunity to explore another city), and then fixated on the suitcase as a way to be helpful, irrationally digging his heels in when this turned into yet another thing to disagree on.

Edited by Bastet
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Bastet, while I appreciate everyone's input on this (and each one got me thinking), I believe your interpretation is likely the closest one to the mark! Thanks to you and everyone else who participated! 

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Even more tiring than then being in the third trimester of  pregnancy is dealing with the baby shower issue. I find the thought of them embarrassing, but my stepmother is insistent that I have one. Fine. So I go along with the idea and tell her early November would be best. I am off Mon and Tues. She asked me if it is ok to have the baby shower on a Wednesday during a time that I am working. I inform her that the time is no good for me,and then she tells me "Well, it's the only time your sister can come. Can you leave early that day?"

My sister has barely spoken to me throughout this pregnancy, not due to any issue, but because she prioritizes spending time with her girlfriend over anything else. I don't care at all except for the fact that I am expected to cater to her schedule for my baby shower instead of my sister being asked to be the one to take time off to attend if she wants to. I honestly don't even think she wants to attend and is being forced anyway.  I am already going to be out on FMLA for a while so how does it look for me to ask for more time off just before my leave starts?

I can't wait for the whole thing to be over with, honestly.

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I hope you told her no, that time doesn't work for you since you'll be working as much as you can now so you have more time available after baby comes and you understand if your sister can't make a time that works for your work schedule.

Edited by theredhead77
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She is now trying for a Sunday after I get off work, which doesn't exactly work for me but does for my sister. 🙄  SMH So tired of having to cater to someone who doesn't even value me enough to check in on from time to time.

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You told her Monday or Tuesday. How hard is that to understand? You're the one the party is for and they can't have it without you--your schedule takes priority.

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14 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

Even more tiring than then being in the third trimester of  pregnancy is dealing with the baby shower issue. I find the thought of them embarrassing, but my stepmother is insistent that I have one. Fine. So I go along with the idea and tell her early November would be best. I am off Mon and Tues. She asked me if it is ok to have the baby shower on a Wednesday during a time that I am working. I inform her that the time is no good for me,and then she tells me "Well, it's the only time your sister can come. Can you leave early that day?"

My sister has barely spoken to me throughout this pregnancy, not due to any issue, but because she prioritizes spending time with her girlfriend over anything else. I don't care at all except for the fact that I am expected to cater to her schedule for my baby shower instead of my sister being asked to be the one to take time off to attend if she wants to. I honestly don't even think she wants to attend and is being forced anyway.  I am already going to be out on FMLA for a while so how does it look for me to ask for more time off just before my leave starts?

I can't wait for the whole thing to be over with, honestly.

I hate showers of every variety. They're tedious, expensive and a waste of everyone's time. I send a check along with my regrets.

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