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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:25 pm 
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Tree - totally fair question. Relative to my parents, who were free-range parenting long before it was a buzzword, then yeah i suppose i am a control freak. But largely speaking, no; I am detail oriented, but I don't know that i ever try to control what others do or feel.

Had a great talk with my wife last night. She helped me better understand the "pre-existing conditions" that were there between my dad and my uncle, so i could better see his explosion at me as a misdirected pent up bomb that was waiting to go off; she also helped me see that there is no reality where i am able to divorce myself from my dad but still see my mom and siblings.

On that note, I wrote him a brief note this morning, basically saying "yeah i was pissed, but i've heard more about your conflict with your brother and can better appreciate why you were so reticent to engage him."

His email back to me was exactly what i knew it would be: An attempt to spin the narrative into something other than what actually happened. I imagine we'll continue to fly conflict-filled email back and forth on this for a few more days, before hopefully just moving on.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:39 pm 
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Punch him

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*tickles you*


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:44 pm 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
Tree - totally fair question. Relative to my parents, who were free-range parenting long before it was a buzzword, then yeah i suppose i am a control freak. But largely speaking, no; I am detail oriented, but I don't know that i ever try to control what others do or feel.

Had a great talk with my wife last night. She helped me better understand the "pre-existing conditions" that were there between my dad and my uncle, so i could better see his explosion at me as a misdirected pent up bomb that was waiting to go off; she also helped me see that there is no reality where i am able to divorce myself from my dad but still see my mom and siblings.

On that note, I wrote him a brief note this morning, basically saying "yeah i was pissed, but i've heard more about your conflict with your brother and can better appreciate why you were so reticent to engage him."

His email back to me was exactly what i knew it would be: An attempt to spin the narrative into something other than what actually happened. I imagine we'll continue to fly conflict-filled email back and forth on this for a few more days, before hopefully just moving on.

sounds like things in my family (between my brother & my parents and between my wife and her siblings & parents). What we've learned is to be the bigger person (and let go of your own shit, because they never will) to allow everyone to get together.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:49 pm 
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elliseamos wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
Tree - totally fair question. Relative to my parents, who were free-range parenting long before it was a buzzword, then yeah i suppose i am a control freak. But largely speaking, no; I am detail oriented, but I don't know that i ever try to control what others do or feel.

Had a great talk with my wife last night. She helped me better understand the "pre-existing conditions" that were there between my dad and my uncle, so i could better see his explosion at me as a misdirected pent up bomb that was waiting to go off; she also helped me see that there is no reality where i am able to divorce myself from my dad but still see my mom and siblings.

On that note, I wrote him a brief note this morning, basically saying "yeah i was pissed, but i've heard more about your conflict with your brother and can better appreciate why you were so reticent to engage him."

His email back to me was exactly what i knew it would be: An attempt to spin the narrative into something other than what actually happened. I imagine we'll continue to fly conflict-filled email back and forth on this for a few more days, before hopefully just moving on.

sounds like things in my family (between my brother & my parents and between my wife and her siblings & parents). What we've learned is to be the bigger person (and let go of your own shit, because they never will) to allow everyone to get together.

:thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Your families sound horrible and you should stop talking to them

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*tickles you*


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 7:59 pm 
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LoathedVermin72 wrote:
Your families sound horrible and you should stop talking to them


Nu Metal post


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 8:06 pm 
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LoathedVermin72 wrote:
Your families sound horrible and you should stop talking to them

Want to Strangers On a Train each other's dads?


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 8:10 pm 
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bodysnatcher wrote:
LoathedVermin72 wrote:
Your families sound horrible and you should stop talking to them


Nu Metal post


ITS ALL ABOUT THE HE SAID SHE SAID BULLSHIT....I THINK YOU BETTA QUIT....TALKIN THAT SHIT.......OR U BE LEAVIN WITH FAT LIP!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 11:47 pm 
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my grandfather passed today...makes me really dread my parents ultimate demise

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run2death wrote:
Len, I would seriously come and see you if you were a bit closer than Yuma.

6 hours roundtrip is a little much for freaking Yuma.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Thu August 02, 2018 11:50 pm 
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sorry to hear that man. was it expected, or out of the blue?


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:07 am 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
sorry to hear that man. was it expected, or out of the blue?

expected

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run2death wrote:
Len, I would seriously come and see you if you were a bit closer than Yuma.

6 hours roundtrip is a little much for freaking Yuma.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:07 am 
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Sorry Lenny

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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:24 am 
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:(


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:48 am 
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sorry lenny


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:56 am 
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thanks, team

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run2death wrote:
Len, I would seriously come and see you if you were a bit closer than Yuma.

6 hours roundtrip is a little much for freaking Yuma.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 12:59 am 
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lennytheweedwhacker wrote:
thanks, team


whats for dinner, buddy?


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 1:33 am 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
Strat wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
came within a cunt hair of punching my dad in the face yesterday and would have been arguably justified had i not held back, so not awesome

Details please


Spoiler: show
This has continued to occupy a sizable portion of my brain, so I'll share more and see what RM says about it.

Some rough background: My dad is a moody guy, and quite possibly an undiagnosed depressive/bi-polar/something like that. The sort of weird outburst I'm about to tell you about has happened many times before, although I haven't seen one for a while. If I didn't grow up with the man and only met him several years ago, I'd think that he was on the spectrum because he's so socially awkward. But that narrative doesn't really hold, because he used to be totally normal in social situations. As he's gotten older, he's become even more ghostlike, drifting in and out of conversations as he pleases; using his phone to watch Facebook videos way too loudly when others around him are trying to have a conversation; his attire is typically weird and sloppy; and he is generally out of touch with reality. He now basically operates at two speeds: weird and happy, and weird and out of it, with the occasional angry outburst thrown in for good measure.

His brother, who is ten years younger, is very different: super high-energy and personable, certainly has some ADD, but is not even a little bit socially awkward. He and his family (wife and three kids) had been visiting with my family back east for a week before they all came out here to MT together; by the time they arrived, it was clear that my mom and dad had already reached a point of frustration with my uncle's family in trying to keep them on schedule, organized, etc, which is tough to do given my uncle's ADD and his three kids being totally normal, high-energy kids; plus one of them has leukemia and is on a long-term medical regimen, so there are a lot of in-the-moment decisions that have to get made like "well can he eat X, or can he engage in that activity against the doc's advice?".

The story: Sunday morning we are planning to head to Yellowstone Nat'l Park, with a meetup and liftoff from my place at 630am. I was up until 1230 the night before getting breakfast burritos and lunch/snacks together for 10 people, mapping our route so that we could all keep a roughly similar pace across three vehicles, and then slept like shit. Got up at 530 with about three hours of sleep in me to start getting everything together.

Mom, dad, sister, and BiL are all here; wife is sleeping in (not joining us). I've already texted my uncle to make sure they are on schedule and see if there are any last-minute things they need from my kitchen. My dad's phone starts ringing, it's right next to him, and he's not answering it. While I usually have a pitch-perfect memory of these sorts of conversations, I admit I was groggy and it all happened so fast, so this is my best memory:

me: "Hey pop, is that your phone ringing?"

dad: "Yeah."

me: "Well could you get it please?"

dad: "I don't want to get it."

me: "Well it might be your brother, and I'm trying to coordinate with him so we can hit the road on time."

dad: "Ok, well I don't want to get it. He'll be fine. He'll figure it out. He's gonna get here when he gets here."

(My back is to my dad, as I'm still making breakfast burritos) "Why are you being like this? Could you please just help us get out the door on time?"

dad: (raises his voice to about a 7): "HEY I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE, ALEX. I MAKE MY OWN SCHEDULE!"

me: (I turn around and raise my voice to about a 7): "WHY ARE YOU BEING SUCH A SHITHEAD ABOUT THIS? I'M TRYING TO GET TEN PEOPLE FROM THREE HOUSES OUT THE DOOR ON TIME. WHY ARE YOU GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN HERE?"

dad: (raises his voice to a 10 and gets up from the couch and walks over to me, shouting at me from about a foot away): "I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE! MY BROTHER CAN FIGURE IT OUT ON HIS OWN!"

me: "YOU ARE ON MY FUCKING SCHEDULE BECAUSE MY SCHEDULE IS THE ONE THAT GETS EVERYONE THROUGH THE PARK AND OUT IN TIME FOR DINNER."

dad: "LET'S STEP OUTSIDE!"

me, not budging: "SOMEONE GET HIM AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I HIT HIM. NO WAY AM I SPENDING A WHOLE DAY WITH HIM."

By this point my mom is providing some great comic relief by walking around the kitchen in circles going "Well I have never seen this before, this has just never happened..." She finally comes over to my dad and ushers him out to the patio (my mom is a stone-cold saint, by the way).

I'm shaking from rage as the implications of what just happened start sinking in: My dad is yelling at me in my own house; he's woken up my wife who really needed to sleep in a bit today; he's also likely woken up the six-month old in the adjacent condo; and he's reenacting the very same outbursts he used to throw at me all the time when I was a teenager. It's also sinking in that twelve people have traveled in from all over the country, my dad has been awkward, aloof, and occasionally rude throughout the course of the week to these people, and he's now letting his fussy meltdown derail our plans for the day.

Dad comes back inside after a few minutes and says at an uncomfortably loud volume (I'd say a 5): "I apologize. I have my own reasons for not wanting to talk to my brother. It's not your concern." This sort of half-apology is pretty common with him, so I don't say a word.

We spend the day in Yellowstone as planned, me and my dad in separate cars. We occasionally get out and do various hikes, see wildlife, etc, and interact very minimally but respectfully for the rest of the day.

The next night we are at a really nice dinner before everyone leaves the next morning, and we are asking everyone "So what are the highlights of your trip?"

My dad says "Well our little blowout the other morning was certainly a highlight. Floating the Madison River was pretty great too."

And that's my dad in a nutshell. He can engage in outdoor activities that don't require any emotional investment from him just fine: fly-fishing, hiking, floating the river, those sorts of activities usually go off without a hitch. Once he has to pay attention to anyone other than himself, he either disengages to the point of awkwardness, or blows his stack. I thought I had made my peace with this a long time ago, just sort of figured "Well, we don't get along that well, I'll just enjoy those mellow outdoor activities as best as I can and try to roll with the punches on everything else."

But I'm currently feeling like I don't want to talk to him ever again, or at least any time very soon. And we have plans to fly back east in Sept for a wedding, were supposed to be staying at my folks' house. We will definitely make other arrangements now.


I've been thinking on this a little trag and I feel for you here. My family has its issues for sure, alcoholism, narcissism and base selfishness and stupidity among them, but one thing I really am thankful for as far as my parents are concerned is that violence in any form has never been a part of our dynamic. My parents have been plenty fucked up in plenty of ways, but never have they raised a hand in anger that I can recall.

You say that your Dad's "Let's Step Outside!" was a standard reaction you'd heard before - is that for real? To me that's just unthinkable, a father and son coming to blows. I'm not so sheltered as to not think it ever happens of course, but to me that's so foreign and quite frankly just the saddest thing. I am pretty much 100% pacifist and believe that there's almost no justifiable reason to raise a fist, and I guess the base for that comes from my upbringing. I think your Dad owes you some big apologies (and himself some heavy self-reflection) if that's something that you had to deal with regularly when growing up.

I'm a firm believer that everyone should be responsible for themselves and their words and actions and that as a parent your responsibility to your kids is even more pressing. But as you know parents are just as fucked up as the rest of us of course.

Anyway, my point is if he's being a dick there's nothing wrong with calling him out on it and treating him as a dick. I appreciate that may well cause difficulties, but whatever. Of course I also understand elliseamos' point about 'being the bigger man' and just getting along for family's sake as well. Its just that in my experience that can leave a pretty bad taste, and it can get a bit fucking boring constantly turning the other cheek when no other prick wants to admit to any wrong-doing or take responsibility for being an arse.

Its exactly this type of situation that's resulted in my not seeing my Mum for at least the past 3 months, and here's a lady who lives literally 5 minutes drive from my place. Its cool though, she doesn't call me or visit me either. I'm cool (happy even) with it.

Good luck with it trag, whichever way you choose to go. I feel for you getting to that level of frustration. Just wanted to point out that I'd think that your almost violent reaction to your Dad is a direct result of how he seems to have chosen to react to you over the years. And he should have fucking well known better.

:peace:

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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 1:42 am 
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doug rr wrote:
lennytheweedwhacker wrote:
thanks, team


whats for dinner, buddy?

i had a buy one get one free coupon for a bbq sandwich at smokey's...they were okay

u?

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run2death wrote:
Len, I would seriously come and see you if you were a bit closer than Yuma.

6 hours roundtrip is a little much for freaking Yuma.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 1:43 am 
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Higgs wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
Strat wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
came within a cunt hair of punching my dad in the face yesterday and would have been arguably justified had i not held back, so not awesome

Details please


Spoiler: show
This has continued to occupy a sizable portion of my brain, so I'll share more and see what RM says about it.

Some rough background: My dad is a moody guy, and quite possibly an undiagnosed depressive/bi-polar/something like that. The sort of weird outburst I'm about to tell you about has happened many times before, although I haven't seen one for a while. If I didn't grow up with the man and only met him several years ago, I'd think that he was on the spectrum because he's so socially awkward. But that narrative doesn't really hold, because he used to be totally normal in social situations. As he's gotten older, he's become even more ghostlike, drifting in and out of conversations as he pleases; using his phone to watch Facebook videos way too loudly when others around him are trying to have a conversation; his attire is typically weird and sloppy; and he is generally out of touch with reality. He now basically operates at two speeds: weird and happy, and weird and out of it, with the occasional angry outburst thrown in for good measure.

His brother, who is ten years younger, is very different: super high-energy and personable, certainly has some ADD, but is not even a little bit socially awkward. He and his family (wife and three kids) had been visiting with my family back east for a week before they all came out here to MT together; by the time they arrived, it was clear that my mom and dad had already reached a point of frustration with my uncle's family in trying to keep them on schedule, organized, etc, which is tough to do given my uncle's ADD and his three kids being totally normal, high-energy kids; plus one of them has leukemia and is on a long-term medical regimen, so there are a lot of in-the-moment decisions that have to get made like "well can he eat X, or can he engage in that activity against the doc's advice?".

The story: Sunday morning we are planning to head to Yellowstone Nat'l Park, with a meetup and liftoff from my place at 630am. I was up until 1230 the night before getting breakfast burritos and lunch/snacks together for 10 people, mapping our route so that we could all keep a roughly similar pace across three vehicles, and then slept like shit. Got up at 530 with about three hours of sleep in me to start getting everything together.

Mom, dad, sister, and BiL are all here; wife is sleeping in (not joining us). I've already texted my uncle to make sure they are on schedule and see if there are any last-minute things they need from my kitchen. My dad's phone starts ringing, it's right next to him, and he's not answering it. While I usually have a pitch-perfect memory of these sorts of conversations, I admit I was groggy and it all happened so fast, so this is my best memory:

me: "Hey pop, is that your phone ringing?"

dad: "Yeah."

me: "Well could you get it please?"

dad: "I don't want to get it."

me: "Well it might be your brother, and I'm trying to coordinate with him so we can hit the road on time."

dad: "Ok, well I don't want to get it. He'll be fine. He'll figure it out. He's gonna get here when he gets here."

(My back is to my dad, as I'm still making breakfast burritos) "Why are you being like this? Could you please just help us get out the door on time?"

dad: (raises his voice to about a 7): "HEY I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE, ALEX. I MAKE MY OWN SCHEDULE!"

me: (I turn around and raise my voice to about a 7): "WHY ARE YOU BEING SUCH A SHITHEAD ABOUT THIS? I'M TRYING TO GET TEN PEOPLE FROM THREE HOUSES OUT THE DOOR ON TIME. WHY ARE YOU GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN HERE?"

dad: (raises his voice to a 10 and gets up from the couch and walks over to me, shouting at me from about a foot away): "I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE! MY BROTHER CAN FIGURE IT OUT ON HIS OWN!"

me: "YOU ARE ON MY FUCKING SCHEDULE BECAUSE MY SCHEDULE IS THE ONE THAT GETS EVERYONE THROUGH THE PARK AND OUT IN TIME FOR DINNER."

dad: "LET'S STEP OUTSIDE!"

me, not budging: "SOMEONE GET HIM AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I HIT HIM. NO WAY AM I SPENDING A WHOLE DAY WITH HIM."

By this point my mom is providing some great comic relief by walking around the kitchen in circles going "Well I have never seen this before, this has just never happened..." She finally comes over to my dad and ushers him out to the patio (my mom is a stone-cold saint, by the way).

I'm shaking from rage as the implications of what just happened start sinking in: My dad is yelling at me in my own house; he's woken up my wife who really needed to sleep in a bit today; he's also likely woken up the six-month old in the adjacent condo; and he's reenacting the very same outbursts he used to throw at me all the time when I was a teenager. It's also sinking in that twelve people have traveled in from all over the country, my dad has been awkward, aloof, and occasionally rude throughout the course of the week to these people, and he's now letting his fussy meltdown derail our plans for the day.

Dad comes back inside after a few minutes and says at an uncomfortably loud volume (I'd say a 5): "I apologize. I have my own reasons for not wanting to talk to my brother. It's not your concern." This sort of half-apology is pretty common with him, so I don't say a word.

We spend the day in Yellowstone as planned, me and my dad in separate cars. We occasionally get out and do various hikes, see wildlife, etc, and interact very minimally but respectfully for the rest of the day.

The next night we are at a really nice dinner before everyone leaves the next morning, and we are asking everyone "So what are the highlights of your trip?"

My dad says "Well our little blowout the other morning was certainly a highlight. Floating the Madison River was pretty great too."

And that's my dad in a nutshell. He can engage in outdoor activities that don't require any emotional investment from him just fine: fly-fishing, hiking, floating the river, those sorts of activities usually go off without a hitch. Once he has to pay attention to anyone other than himself, he either disengages to the point of awkwardness, or blows his stack. I thought I had made my peace with this a long time ago, just sort of figured "Well, we don't get along that well, I'll just enjoy those mellow outdoor activities as best as I can and try to roll with the punches on everything else."

But I'm currently feeling like I don't want to talk to him ever again, or at least any time very soon. And we have plans to fly back east in Sept for a wedding, were supposed to be staying at my folks' house. We will definitely make other arrangements now.


I've been thinking on this a little trag and I feel for you here. My family has its issues for sure, alcoholism, narcissism and base selfishness and stupidity among them, but one thing I really am thankful for as far as my parents are concerned is that violence in any form has never been a part of our dynamic. My parents have been plenty fucked up in plenty of ways, but never have they raised a hand in anger that I can recall.

You say that your Dad's "Let's Step Outside!" was a standard reaction you'd heard before - is that for real? To me that's just unthinkable, a father and son coming to blows. I'm not so sheltered as to not think it ever happens of course, but to me that's so foreign and quite frankly just the saddest thing. I am pretty much 100% pacifist and believe that there's almost no justifiable reason to raise a fist, and I guess the base for that comes from my upbringing. I think your Dad owes you some big apologies (and himself some heavy self-reflection) if that's something that you had to deal with regularly when growing up.

I'm a firm believer that everyone should be responsible for themselves and their words and actions and that as a parent your responsibility to your kids is even more pressing. But as you know parents are just as fucked up as the rest of us of course.

Anyway, my point is if he's being a dick there's nothing wrong with calling him out on it and treating him as a dick. I appreciate that may well cause difficulties, but whatever. Of course I also understand elliseamos' point about 'being the bigger man' and just getting along for family's sake as well. Its just that in my experience that can leave a pretty bad taste, and it can get a bit fucking boring constantly turning the other cheek when no other prick wants to admit to any wrong-doing or take responsibility for being an arse.

Its exactly this type of situation that's resulted in my not seeing my Mum for at least the past 3 months, and here's a lady who lives literally 5 minutes drive from my place. Its cool though, she doesn't call me or visit me either. I'm cool (happy even) with it.

Good luck with it trag, whichever way you choose to go. I feel for you getting to that level of frustration. Just wanted to point out that I'd think that your almost violent reaction to your Dad is a direct result of how he seems to have chosen to react to you over the years. And he should have fucking well known better.

:peace:


I’m with Higgs.


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 Post subject: Re: Thread For Long-Term Parental Strife
PostPosted: Fri August 03, 2018 5:09 am 
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wease wrote:
Higgs wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
Strat wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
came within a cunt hair of punching my dad in the face yesterday and would have been arguably justified had i not held back, so not awesome

Details please


Spoiler: show
This has continued to occupy a sizable portion of my brain, so I'll share more and see what RM says about it.

Some rough background: My dad is a moody guy, and quite possibly an undiagnosed depressive/bi-polar/something like that. The sort of weird outburst I'm about to tell you about has happened many times before, although I haven't seen one for a while. If I didn't grow up with the man and only met him several years ago, I'd think that he was on the spectrum because he's so socially awkward. But that narrative doesn't really hold, because he used to be totally normal in social situations. As he's gotten older, he's become even more ghostlike, drifting in and out of conversations as he pleases; using his phone to watch Facebook videos way too loudly when others around him are trying to have a conversation; his attire is typically weird and sloppy; and he is generally out of touch with reality. He now basically operates at two speeds: weird and happy, and weird and out of it, with the occasional angry outburst thrown in for good measure.

His brother, who is ten years younger, is very different: super high-energy and personable, certainly has some ADD, but is not even a little bit socially awkward. He and his family (wife and three kids) had been visiting with my family back east for a week before they all came out here to MT together; by the time they arrived, it was clear that my mom and dad had already reached a point of frustration with my uncle's family in trying to keep them on schedule, organized, etc, which is tough to do given my uncle's ADD and his three kids being totally normal, high-energy kids; plus one of them has leukemia and is on a long-term medical regimen, so there are a lot of in-the-moment decisions that have to get made like "well can he eat X, or can he engage in that activity against the doc's advice?".

The story: Sunday morning we are planning to head to Yellowstone Nat'l Park, with a meetup and liftoff from my place at 630am. I was up until 1230 the night before getting breakfast burritos and lunch/snacks together for 10 people, mapping our route so that we could all keep a roughly similar pace across three vehicles, and then slept like shit. Got up at 530 with about three hours of sleep in me to start getting everything together.

Mom, dad, sister, and BiL are all here; wife is sleeping in (not joining us). I've already texted my uncle to make sure they are on schedule and see if there are any last-minute things they need from my kitchen. My dad's phone starts ringing, it's right next to him, and he's not answering it. While I usually have a pitch-perfect memory of these sorts of conversations, I admit I was groggy and it all happened so fast, so this is my best memory:

me: "Hey pop, is that your phone ringing?"

dad: "Yeah."

me: "Well could you get it please?"

dad: "I don't want to get it."

me: "Well it might be your brother, and I'm trying to coordinate with him so we can hit the road on time."

dad: "Ok, well I don't want to get it. He'll be fine. He'll figure it out. He's gonna get here when he gets here."

(My back is to my dad, as I'm still making breakfast burritos) "Why are you being like this? Could you please just help us get out the door on time?"

dad: (raises his voice to about a 7): "HEY I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE, ALEX. I MAKE MY OWN SCHEDULE!"

me: (I turn around and raise my voice to about a 7): "WHY ARE YOU BEING SUCH A SHITHEAD ABOUT THIS? I'M TRYING TO GET TEN PEOPLE FROM THREE HOUSES OUT THE DOOR ON TIME. WHY ARE YOU GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN HERE?"

dad: (raises his voice to a 10 and gets up from the couch and walks over to me, shouting at me from about a foot away): "I'M NOT ON YOUR SCHEDULE! MY BROTHER CAN FIGURE IT OUT ON HIS OWN!"

me: "YOU ARE ON MY FUCKING SCHEDULE BECAUSE MY SCHEDULE IS THE ONE THAT GETS EVERYONE THROUGH THE PARK AND OUT IN TIME FOR DINNER."

dad: "LET'S STEP OUTSIDE!"

me, not budging: "SOMEONE GET HIM AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I HIT HIM. NO WAY AM I SPENDING A WHOLE DAY WITH HIM."

By this point my mom is providing some great comic relief by walking around the kitchen in circles going "Well I have never seen this before, this has just never happened..." She finally comes over to my dad and ushers him out to the patio (my mom is a stone-cold saint, by the way).

I'm shaking from rage as the implications of what just happened start sinking in: My dad is yelling at me in my own house; he's woken up my wife who really needed to sleep in a bit today; he's also likely woken up the six-month old in the adjacent condo; and he's reenacting the very same outbursts he used to throw at me all the time when I was a teenager. It's also sinking in that twelve people have traveled in from all over the country, my dad has been awkward, aloof, and occasionally rude throughout the course of the week to these people, and he's now letting his fussy meltdown derail our plans for the day.

Dad comes back inside after a few minutes and says at an uncomfortably loud volume (I'd say a 5): "I apologize. I have my own reasons for not wanting to talk to my brother. It's not your concern." This sort of half-apology is pretty common with him, so I don't say a word.

We spend the day in Yellowstone as planned, me and my dad in separate cars. We occasionally get out and do various hikes, see wildlife, etc, and interact very minimally but respectfully for the rest of the day.

The next night we are at a really nice dinner before everyone leaves the next morning, and we are asking everyone "So what are the highlights of your trip?"

My dad says "Well our little blowout the other morning was certainly a highlight. Floating the Madison River was pretty great too."

And that's my dad in a nutshell. He can engage in outdoor activities that don't require any emotional investment from him just fine: fly-fishing, hiking, floating the river, those sorts of activities usually go off without a hitch. Once he has to pay attention to anyone other than himself, he either disengages to the point of awkwardness, or blows his stack. I thought I had made my peace with this a long time ago, just sort of figured "Well, we don't get along that well, I'll just enjoy those mellow outdoor activities as best as I can and try to roll with the punches on everything else."

But I'm currently feeling like I don't want to talk to him ever again, or at least any time very soon. And we have plans to fly back east in Sept for a wedding, were supposed to be staying at my folks' house. We will definitely make other arrangements now.


I've been thinking on this a little trag and I feel for you here. My family has its issues for sure, alcoholism, narcissism and base selfishness and stupidity among them, but one thing I really am thankful for as far as my parents are concerned is that violence in any form has never been a part of our dynamic. My parents have been plenty fucked up in plenty of ways, but never have they raised a hand in anger that I can recall.

You say that your Dad's "Let's Step Outside!" was a standard reaction you'd heard before - is that for real? To me that's just unthinkable, a father and son coming to blows. I'm not so sheltered as to not think it ever happens of course, but to me that's so foreign and quite frankly just the saddest thing. I am pretty much 100% pacifist and believe that there's almost no justifiable reason to raise a fist, and I guess the base for that comes from my upbringing. I think your Dad owes you some big apologies (and himself some heavy self-reflection) if that's something that you had to deal with regularly when growing up.

I'm a firm believer that everyone should be responsible for themselves and their words and actions and that as a parent your responsibility to your kids is even more pressing. But as you know parents are just as fucked up as the rest of us of course.

Anyway, my point is if he's being a dick there's nothing wrong with calling him out on it and treating him as a dick. I appreciate that may well cause difficulties, but whatever. Of course I also understand elliseamos' point about 'being the bigger man' and just getting along for family's sake as well. Its just that in my experience that can leave a pretty bad taste, and it can get a bit fucking boring constantly turning the other cheek when no other prick wants to admit to any wrong-doing or take responsibility for being an arse.

Its exactly this type of situation that's resulted in my not seeing my Mum for at least the past 3 months, and here's a lady who lives literally 5 minutes drive from my place. Its cool though, she doesn't call me or visit me either. I'm cool (happy even) with it.

Good luck with it trag, whichever way you choose to go. I feel for you getting to that level of frustration. Just wanted to point out that I'd think that your almost violent reaction to your Dad is a direct result of how he seems to have chosen to react to you over the years. And he should have fucking well known better.

:peace:


I’m with Higgs.


thanks dudes.

i need to clarify that, to the best of my memory, my dad got "physically violent" (threw me against a wall, a couple other "one and done" things) maybe 2-3 times in my life, and i'd say i was asking for it at least once (by 1950s/1980s standards). he's never challenged me, as a grown man, to a physical fight before, and of course there is a gradient to his shittyness (as there is with all people).

these things didn't happen every day, but they happened often enough that it's colored my opinion of him and our relationship.

anyway, he and i are emailing about it and it's feeling like some sort of resolution might be possible. it'll be sort of a slow go until i see him in Sept, i think.


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