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  #91  
Old 04-06-2010, 05:48 AM
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Sometimes it seems it is necessary to pick what to be guilty for with my parents.

This weekend, being Easter, we had if all planned out that we would have Easter dinner with my parents and all four of us. I made some items to take to their house and Mono was to come too for the first time since our coming out. We were all set to go and then my brother showed up with his girlfriend. No problem, since we decided that if they show up that we are not going to drop our plans necessarily, but work around them as much as we can. We used to feel as if we should drop everything as that was the expectation.

Nerdist had an over night date with his boyfriend planned and we had to kind of skirt the topic about where he was on Friday night and why he couldn't make it for an impromptu dinner at our house. There was disappointment and confusion about why he would be out at all on a Friday, let alone over night... shouldn't he be at home with his wife and child???!!

Mono and I made dinner and everyone enjoyed themselves... my mum even helped him make one of the dishes and we later all sat around and chatted into the evening while doing a puzzle.

Because Mono had been there and because my brothers girlfriend mentioned at one point that she thought my mum was still uncomfortable a bit, we decided that Mono would now not go to the Easter dinner that was originally planned and would make other plans instead. This so as to give us all some pre Mono family time.

Well, my mum was disappointed and so was everyone else. She had gone out of the way to make it especially nice with chocolate bunnies at our place setting and the whole bit. A quick potluck dinner had turned into a big deal and we didn't know it. So we felt bad.... and were made to feel guilty because of their disappointment... so it goes in our family, one must always feel guilty and that they have disappointed in some way... it's a constant state that keeps us all balanced it seems.

We remarked later however that it felt better to feel guilty because Mono wasn't there than to feel guilty because he was there... which is what it felt like previously. A very different feeling From now on I think we will work on manipulating situations in order to make sure we feel guilty for what we want to feel guilty about rather than what we really feel guilty about (does that make sense). My men are catching on to my survival method in my family sad, but necessary strategy I'm afraid.

Mono showed up in time for dessert and all went well
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  #92  
Old 04-06-2010, 04:25 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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RP-

I mean NO disrespect here, but it sounds like the whole family needs to mentally tell the sister in law to buzz off.

In this example I would say the mistake was in listening to her. It would have been better to ask your mom, "hey, mom it was SO nice having you all over this evening and we've REALLY enjoyed ourselves. I know we have plans for Easter, I just wanted to be sure that there weren't any new details I should know..."

That way if she WAS wanting to "uninvite" (way rude in Ms. Manners book) Mon she could do so herself.

One of those details we all talked about on the communication thread... but it's hard to put into practice with people we've had "unhealthy" communication with our whole lives.

I would start practicing it with them though. Never assume ANY single one of them knows what another is thinking.. so if one says another one wants/feels/needs, go back to the other one and verify it. You don't have to start a rumor mill with "so and so said you...". You can just say "hey mom/dad/bro/sil, I was thinking you might like... but I thought I should ask" or "hey m/d/b/s, how do you feel about...."

They may hem and haw, but you will be teaching (through example) much healthier self-responsibility for speaking the truth of what they need/want etc.
AND if your son witnesses your actions it will help him be more confident in using the good communication skills he's learning with you, PolyN and Mon at home-out in the 'real' world too!

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  #93  
Old 04-06-2010, 05:08 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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To me it sounds like Brother's Girlfriend™ was uncomfortable HERSELF (perhaps a bit concerned that RedPepper's Brother™ might also have inherited the Polyamorous Gene™?) and was trying to foist the responsibility for her own feeling onto RedPepper's Mom™.

Way to go, Brother's Girlfriend™.
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  #94  
Old 04-06-2010, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
RP-

I mean NO disrespect here, but it sounds like the whole family needs to mentally tell the sister in law to buzz off.

In this example I would say the mistake was in listening to her. It would have been better to ask your mom, "hey, mom it was SO nice having you all over this evening and we've REALLY enjoyed ourselves. I know we have plans for Easter, I just wanted to be sure that there weren't any new details I should know..."

That way if she WAS wanting to "uninvite" (way rude in Ms. Manners book) Mon she could do so herself.

One of those details we all talked about on the communication thread... but it's hard to put into practice with people we've had "unhealthy" communication with our whole lives.

I would start practicing it with them though. Never assume ANY single one of them knows what another is thinking.. so if one says another one wants/feels/needs, go back to the other one and verify it. You don't have to start a rumor mill with "so and so said you...". You can just say "hey mom/dad/bro/sil, I was thinking you might like... but I thought I should ask" or "hey m/d/b/s, how do you feel about...."

They may hem and haw, but you will be teaching (through example) much healthier self-responsibility for speaking the truth of what they need/want etc.
AND if your son witnesses your actions it will help him be more confident in using the good communication skills he's learning with you, PolyN and Mon at home-out in the 'real' world too!

No offense taken, I totally agree, I should of checked with them specifically. My parents weren't present for our puzzle time talk and a lot came out about their disappointment about me disappearing from their lives to pursue Mono. They saw it as perminant. I saw it as an adjustment time. Essentially I am asking them to invite Mono into our extended family. They didn't get that and thought I was chosing him over them. This is what I was told by my brother and his girlfriend. I was told that they still thought that way and in a quick rash decision to make it right, Mono and I agreed he should back away a bit.

See, our family has always worked by way of control through making others feel guilty. Control by imposing on each others independant thought and lives. I have only realized this in the last few years and they haven't realized this at all. I guess I realized the second part of that, but not the guilt part. I have been doing the same thing in terms of control and have worked hard to not do that any more. At the same time I have worked hard to not feel guilty for things that are not my issue. We're talking a life time here and a cultural thing in that they are British and came from a culture of guilt and control in a general sense (not saying that all Brits experience that).

I have learned a lot from my husband about not playing into control through guilt and imposing on others independant thought and from people on here. I wrote a thread last year about guilt and was surprised that no one got why I felt guilty. It made me wonder if I should. Very helpful in my endless self discovery.

I can't change them and their ways. I can do as I would have done to me and be an example of how I want to be treated. I know that and do that, but it will take time and it is early days yet.

I know something about what makes them happy and feeling considered, that used to be to not invite Mono to every family event. I guess that has changed and I will adjust. I don't buy it, but will check in to be sure next time. The trouble is that checking doesn't mean I get a straight answer and I am often left guessing if I have been placated. Ah well, its a work in progress.
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  #95  
Old 04-06-2010, 08:49 PM
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LR and I and her sister went to church on Easter. It's the church we like most of all we've gone to, but it's also my parent's church.

I was nervous, but we went because it was time for us to go there again. I honestly don't remember the last time we were there, over a year, maybe closer to 2. But I haven't even spoken to my mother in a year, since I ended our relationship, BECAUSE of my lifestyle and my goals and my priorities.

She (they) know nothing about us being a "poly" family, although we've all been living together since 2003. But my stepfather's decision to try and control my life and the lives of my family (LR/Maca/the kids) by saying our lives weren't blessed and that things could be fixed if we'd only do as he instructed, forced me to make the decision to cut them off altogether.

I know my mother may not approve of my lifestyle, but she loves me and if I believed in it as much as I do, she'd be fine with it and ever accepting with open loving arms. However, she chose to side with her husbands desisions and in doing so, lost out.

I know it's hard, especially with your parents not accepting you for who you are. All I wanted was for them to be my parents and encourage me in doiong something I believed in that wasn't hurting anyone, nor myself, and just be glad I'm happy. But sometimes that's way too much to expect, or even desire.

BUT... the good part is, that dispite that sad part of your life, you DO have a family that loves you and encourages you and accepts you for who you are, and is thrilled that you've found something in your life that makes you not only happy, but all worth it in the end. =o)

And you have an extended family as well...US! =o)

Hang in there Kiddo! God told me once that it wasn't my job to make them understand. My job was to do as he instructed and that was love, support, encourage, and strengthen this family. The rest is His responsibility. ...if you believe in that sort of thing, that is. =o)

You know your job, do it the best you can, with all you've got. (Not sure if I'm really the one to say that right now, but I am anyway).

Show your child that dispite the heartaches, there is love. And the greatest there is, is love. =o)

You're doing great, RP! Much love to you and your family!! =o)
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