Author Topic: A  (Read 5178 times)

hachi

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Re: A
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2016, 08:29:57 AM »
No one, and I mean no one can tell another person how to feel.

Amen
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

LTSLforever

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Re: A
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2016, 11:58:57 AM »
ArtLovingDad - I read your post.  You are open, honest and brave.  I don't use the word "hate" often but I hate what Portside wrote.  I have not been posting because I don't feel this place is safe and Portside's words just confirmed my feelings.  ALD, please know that your feelings/thoughts are respected by most people in this community.  If you ever need a friend or want to PM with someone, I would be more than happy to share this journey with you.  It sucks and it hurts so badly. 

canadiangirl

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Re: A
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2016, 12:48:22 PM »
DO NO HARM. Do NOT offer unsolicited advice. Let people vent without judgement, as long as they are not engaging in hate speech (see DO NO HARM above). Why is that so hard to understand? Could these please be basic rules for this board?   

I read and valued the original post -the OP has many articulate posts.  I had the intent to reply privately and will still try to do so.  I also did not feel this was a safe enough place to post my honest reply.  So predictable.  I know the intent is good, and I value this long-time member, but it is time for a reconsideration of how and when this type of unsought "tough love" intervention is appropriate (in my opinion, never, if it does not follow the basic rules above).  It is supremely patronizing - we are adults here- this is not the office of a shrink, no one here needs life coaching from anonymous strangers and we are not each other's keepers or parents.  Who a person is on the board is not necessarily who s/he is in real life and our emotions can change from day to day.  We all suck it up.  This has to be a safe place to speak honestly. 



Tatianakm

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Re: A
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2016, 01:15:21 PM »
I also had a chance to read the original ALD's post and it resonated with me on a level that I would be too scared to admit, even to myself. I was planning to reply, but then was wrapped up in my own Father's Day emotional rollercoaster, having to bring my baby girl to say our first "happy Father's Day" to the tomb in a mausoleum... Frankly, about 15 years of my life I wanted more than anything to mother a child, had it all planned out, down to minor details what we would want and not want as parents. They key word here is "WE". Now that it is all left up to me, my outlook is changing and I am scared of it. Don't get me wrong, I love my child and she is the only being that still keeps me here. I am not suicidal, but it is more of the thought that all the great things in life are already behind me. I had a great marriage, I love and respected my husband; we annoyed the hell out of each other, just like any relationship, but we were great partners in everything. So, instead of enjoying my much anticipated motherhood, I just made a pact with myself to be all I can be till she is grown-up; I only have to make it the next 20 years or so...

I do get it, Portside, wanting to be straightforward and to the point in your advice. What is with the anger, though? As it is indicated in your signature, your war is over now...it's not combat, it is a different kind of survival; different skills and approaches are required.  Absolutely you have a place on this forum, many of your postings are insightful and helpful. But, please refrain on commenting if you happen to be "chasing your own demons" at the moment. Let someone else to do what could be done to lift someone out of this misery we find ourselves this early on. I do so on occasion...
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 03:54:04 PM by Tatianakm »
To the whole world you were one person; to me you were the whole world.

Mrskro

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Re: A
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 01:16:21 PM »
 

 This has to be a safe place to speak honestly.

Exactly! 

Mizpah

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Re: A
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2016, 03:05:18 PM »
Tough love is one thing.  Condescension is another.  Also, and I'm sure I'm going to take some heat for this, but MANY people never wanted to be parents and then were - and then were FINE parents, and by fine I don't mean adequate, I mean great.  I think we're in an age now when honesty about parenting is becoming closer to the norm.  It's not all rosy love all the time - sometimes it's extreme frustration and it can really break you down and make you want to run screaming.  There's nothing wrong in admitting this - in fact, for me, it helps me to get it out, it helps me be a better mom to be like OMG WTF this is the WORST!!!!!  My mom calls her early days of raising me and my brother and sister "the dark days," and "life interrupted," and she wasn't a widow or a single mom, she was just a regular lady with a husband and three kids.  She was an AWESOME mom and we had exceptionally happy childhoods - she was not some selfish @$$hole who scarred us by (gasp) having an identity and wishes and needs and frustrations of her own.  She was inspiring by wanting more.  She was a full person, not just a pawn fulfilling a role.  We all are, and there is nothing wrong in being a full person with identities and wishes apart from parenthood, and in having negative feelings about feeling trapped at times by duties and responsibilities - who doesn't crave freedom and independence and solitude?  (I suppose I should've said at the beginning that I didn't read the original post, so if the original poster said he was about to murder his kids or abandon them to their own devices in the woods, I withdraw my support hahahaha.  If he was just venting, as I am wont to guess he was, then I don't think it's all that serious.) 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 03:42:04 PM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

MrsDan

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Re: A
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2016, 03:07:30 PM »
I for one am sick and tired of people throwing out the term, "tough love" as if it is a codified and tested methodology that users of the term are highly trained and practiced in. Tough love is a term coined by Bill Milliken in 1968. What began as an approach, (a thesis really) to dealing with disenfranchised youth has been distorted and  corrupted so much that there currently is no firm definition or clear set of guidelines. This mutated approach has been widely discredited, particularly in it's use in boot camp type youth programs and addiction treatment. My husband was an addict; he died of his addiction.  I thought it was the approach I was supposed to take. Instead, it's a huge part of the reason he's dead. I find it offensive that people throw it around so cavalierly.

Portside, you are not trained to practice tough love. Your approach isn't even close to what Milliken had in mind. You are using what has degenerated into a catchphrase to justify being a dick. It's clear to me that you have harnessed your bitterness and anger to negotiate a very traumatic situation. That does not give you the right to direct it outwardly at other people.

ALD, I did not read your post. But from what I can glean from the responses here, it may be helpful to know that much of my DD's life has shrouded in the utmost darkness and despair. I love her, and I berated myself constantly over the fact that she wasn't enough. I don't know why she's not, but she's just not. She was enough to motivate me to keep going, that was it. I couldn't take joy in anything, not even the most joyful of moments. I often didn't feel like a mother, with a family, but the head of a pride. Tasked with sheltering and feeding and protecting my cubs. It's only been recently that I've begun to find joy again. But prior to that, I had to come to the realization that apathy didn't make me a horrible mother. It just was what it was. I hope there are no long term effects, but if there are, we'll just deal with it.

I hope you feel safe enough to return.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

TooSoon

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Re: A
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2016, 05:03:11 PM »
Tough love is one thing.  Condescension is another.  Also, and I'm sure I'm going to take some heat for this, but MANY people never wanted to be parents and then were - and then were FINE parents, and by fine I don't mean adequate, I mean great.  I think we're in an age now when honesty about parenting is becoming closer to the norm.  It's not all rosy love all the time - sometimes it's extreme frustration and it can really break you down and make you want to run screaming.  There's nothing wrong in admitting this - in fact, for me, it helps me to get it out, it helps me be a better mom to be like OMG WTF this is the WORST!!!!!  My mom calls her early days of raising me and my brother and sister "the dark days," and "life interrupted," and she wasn't a widow or a single mom, she was just a regular lady with a husband and three kids.  She was an AWESOME mom and we had exceptionally happy childhoods - she was not some selfish @$$hole who scarred us by (gasp) having an identity and wishes and needs and frustrations of her own.  She was inspiring by wanting more.  She was a full person, not just a pawn fulfilling a role.  We all are, and there is nothing wrong in being a full person with identities and wishes apart from parenthood, and in having negative feelings about feeling trapped at times by duties and responsibilities - who doesn't crave freedom and independence and solitude? 

I live a mile away from a mother who gave up her identity for her two children and she's never let us forget it.  When I told her I was going to get a PhD in art history, she said, "At least you are not gay."  !?!?!?! Yet, my parents are liberals. So what the fuck?  Ok then!?  But by all appearances, I had the perfect childhood, a privileged childhood.  But I was seriously f*cked up by the mixed messages of my childhood - Free to Be You and Me!  but only within reason - don't take it too far!; I grew up with conditions AND expectations - lots of them - as the oldest child, and a girl, in a Mad Men, second generation Mediterranean family on the one hand and blue blooded on the other hand.  It was all achievement, all of the time......I'm being a little hyperbolic here but having a child was a compromise I made that was based on the tacit agreement of co-parenting.   My husband was so enamored with the idea of a child - a daughter! - and I loved him and we were on the road to building our life so I chose to start a family but I did not sign up for this solo parenting thing.  I would never have agreed to this.  The last five years have been more difficult than I ever could have imagined and admitting how unintuitive parenting is for me has been a whole other ball game - another PhD.  Left to my own devices, things would have been very different; I like my books and my quietude.  I am not afraid to admit it; I never have been.  I love my mother but I also see with hyper-acuity that her own endless martyrdom syndrome and all of her "tough love" (put another way: cruelty and judgement) and her mental illnesses that she will not deal with and won't ever deal with resulted in my own lack of confidence and self esteem which have held me back at every turn in my road until now.  Being widowed with a child to raise has made me choose to be my own kind of parent, to be my own person.  It has made me strong and resolute. 

I love my daughter; she is an extension of me and her father.  She is one adventure after another; she is strong and bold and fearless and vibrant and magically just kind of amazing! She has learning disabilities and is also a lonely soul and I've learned to love being her mother.  Sorry, I am biased.   I want you to know, ArtLovingDad that there was a time I was so shattered that I couldn't see those things.  Of course I have always loved her but I was very scared and on unsure footing.  But when I come here, I come here because I need to unload things.  I need to say what the rest of the world - my mother especially - cannot understand.  But it is and always will be a work in progress, a process and a ramshackle affair.  That is just who we are. Tough love is bull shit.  I tell Marina, "There is nothing you can't tell me. We will work it out."  And I never waver from that because I grew up in a don't ask, don't tell world and it was awful.  So much shame and fear all of the time.  I came to realize that was my project: I will not do that to her.  I'm just venting now, really. 

ArtLovingDad, I came to this board because I was desperate a month after my husband died.  I was back to work and I needed someone to help me get through the legos and the American Girl dolls and the two hours of reading books every night I'd long since memorized (and that now I've come to love) and the cereal for dinner and and trying to fit into suburbia (ask Sugarbell) and the feelings of alienation that come with being "those poor people" and I still need it.  One of the best pieces of advice anyone ever gave me was "just be present and be consistent."  If that only means getting up every day and going through the motions for a while, then so be it.  I've learned that by keeping doing that, it has gotten better and easier and more enjoyable.  I'm pretty sure my mother didn't enjoy it and she wasn't widowed.  She was surrounded, in fact, by a lot of other Moms in the same boat and who thought at the time there was no other way.  Times have changed!  I still hold that admitting your feelings of discomfort and frustration and powerlessness is the healthiest thing you can do, for you and for your son. 

And ArtLovingDad, if you are reading this: it is sad but it is also true, my daughter's father died when she was 6.  Now she is 9.  She does not remember the bad stuff, only the good.  It is a very thin silver lining but forgive yourself for your perceived shortcomings and keep moving, keep reaching out, keep going.  Lots of people on this board will tell you that if I got to the point where I can say that, you're going to be alright.  I'm sorry this all blew up.  It is not your fault. 

PS - Edited to add - There is a difference between treating your child as an autonomous being who has feelings and and "coddling" them.  I do not sugar coat anything for my child and never have, hence her wise-worldiness and empathy.  What I hate most about this whole thing - and Portside's post in particular - is the lack of empathy.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 05:42:04 PM by TooSoon »

Trying

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Re: A
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2016, 07:19:37 AM »
I've been staying out of this because so many of you have responded more eloquently than I could but I have been reading and thinking about this quite a lot.  I would like to say to our original poster (if he is still around) and to anyone who saw themselves in his post that I think it is very brave to be so honest and so in touch with your personal struggles as a parent and as a human being.  While I always wanted to be a parent, the reality of my 20 years of parenting is that I often feel inadequate and since Tim died, I have at times felt like a complete failure.  I find myself dreading the teen years that are fast approaching with my youngest because they have been the most challenging with my older 2.  As parents we need to be able to talk about the realities of parenting more openly with each other so we can stop beating ourselves up and get on with the job of parenting.  Of course I am not going to tell my children that there are days I wish they would all just move away but venting to other parents about my frustrations help me to move on. 

There are ages and stages that parenting feels like a job, the hardest job.  There are also times it feels like a joy and a privilege.  I can only imagine when a child is brought into the world at a time that coincides with one parents painful deterioration and death, that it complicates the bonding process for the surviving parent.  How can you look back fondly on those early years of their life when they bring back memories of the painful caregiving you were providing for your spouse?

Sometimes we have to "fake it until we make it" while we find our way.  I read nothing in the original post that sounded like physical or emotional neglect, that would be a whole different story.  What I read was a man in pain who felt disconnected from his child and concerned that he wasn't living up to his expectations of what a good parent is.  A truely bad parent does not see or care about about their short comings.

There are times when we all need a kick in the pants and times when we need compassion and understanding.  I think Portside misread the need here and while I don't think his intent was to cause more pain, that seems to be the result.  It's important to know your audience, get a feel for where a person is at, and when someone states that they are not looking for advice, don't give any.
You will forever be my always.

Mizpah

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Re: A
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2016, 08:50:58 AM »
Also, to the original poster in case you come back (and anyone else who loves to read), I just read a great book.  It's the second book in a 6-volume memoir called My Struggle by Karl Ove Knaussgaard.  He's a Norwegian writer who writes, in these volumes, about the minutiae of daily life and thought.  The second book focuses on the early days of parenthood, struggling with the need/desire for solitude and freedom and creative work, with the relentless duties/responsibilities of domesticity.  You may enjoy it.  I loved it. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

TooSoon

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Re: A
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2016, 10:38:00 AM »
Also, to the original poster in case you come back (and anyone else who loves to read), I just read a great book.  It's the second book in a 6-volume memoir called My Struggle by Karl Ove Knaussgaard.  He's a Norwegian writer who writes, in these volumes, about the minutiae of daily life and thought.  The second book focuses on the early days of parenthood, struggling with the need/desire for solitude and freedom and creative work, with the relentless duties/responsibilities of domesticity.  You may enjoy it.  I loved it.

I just read a raving review of volume 5 - when we go to England next month, I'm going to steal adp's copies of the first and second volumes.  Highly recommend The Green Road.  Loved it. 

THATgurl

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Re: A
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2016, 07:13:58 PM »
To m https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nrv5teMc9Y

Totally kidding. Miss and love this community.

Sorry to see we are one soul down currently. Hopefully that will right itself.

I say this first to myself and then to those I greatly respect and admire (and sometimes want to clean the floor with) - being right is all well and good (usually) but sometimes an illusion or based on situation and circumstance.

In other words, timing and presentation can be m-effing everything.


THATgurl

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Re: A
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2016, 09:30:43 PM »
I'll be right here, Mikey

THATgurl

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Re: A
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2016, 09:50:04 PM »
I didn't see the original post so I can't comment on the appropriateness of portside's input in this particular instance.  I can, however, vouch for his character and his desire to help those on this board. There are many different ways to help people, and portside's 'tough love' approach certainly runs against the grain of much of the advice/support that you see here. And he takes a lot of heat for it - he has been publicly 'shamed' plenty of times himself because he refuses to coddle people and give mealy-mouthed 'support' for things he doesn't agree with.  And yet he is still here, shrugging off the insults and continuing to help people the only way he knows how to. And I'm thankful for it, because his blunt advice has helped me many times, even if it stung initially.  Because he cares. Which is what matters.

The day people give a mealy mouthed shit about the person they are talking to rather than themselves, call me that day and I might weep for the likes of. Luvs ya!

*to cover my arse, #blessed

Tatianakm

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Re: A
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2016, 10:00:59 PM »


There are ages and stages that parenting feels like a job, the hardest job.  There are also times it feels like a joy and a privilege.  I can only imagine when a child is brought into the world at a time that coincides with one parents painful deterioration and death, that it complicates the bonding process for the surviving parent.  How can you look back fondly on those early years of their life when they bring back memories of the painful caregiving you were providing for your spouse?

Sometimes we have to "fake it until we make it" while we find our way. 

 :'( :'(  :'( thank you for validating everything I feel at the moment; this is why I continue to come back- supportive and kind messages like this one.
To the whole world you were one person; to me you were the whole world.