View Full Version : Emotional issues and issues with parents


ADDon1
11-23-16, 10:04 AM
I need to write some things down… I’ve a lot of emotional issues at the moment, which are killing my good and productive vibes and self-esteem. One of this issues concerns my parents. I try to keep it short, but need to explain things for a better understanding.

My dad often makes ‘jokes’ that aren’t really funny, often in other people’s expense, or he says hurtful things. It's often kind of ‘covered’ so you wouldn’t really notice if you don’t know him or you don’t pay close attention.
He also tries to sell his opinions on just about anything, by making jokes and saying things.
He doesn’t like criticism at all, and waves or laughs most of it away with something like “O, that’s just me telling jokes”.
It’s obvious that he has a problem overseeing consequences of his sayings (or he doesn’t give a sh*t).
Furthermore he has self-reflection skills of that of a pancake, which makes the package complete.

All in all it’s pretty annoying and my irritation grew big the past years.
I guess many people like him a lot, he’s always friendly to most people, tells jokes and he always wants to help out with practical things like building or repairing stuff (in which he thinks he is o so competent, which in a way he is) or giving advice on such matters.
My mom follows him kind of blindly in everything he does and says. She often says things during a conversation that make things even worse.

Both my parents didn’t provide much emotional support when we grew up. And they still don’t. That can be very hard for a kid that is in need of just that because of his ADHD, emotional instability, high sensitivity and later on depression. But ADHD didn’t exist back then. Still dealing with the consequences.

In an attempt to change all this to something more positive and productive for my own family now, my wife and I decided to arranged a conversation with my parents to kind of educate them about ADHD and how it affects and affected our lives.
At the end they asked: well, so what do you want from us? I tried to explain that it would be great if there was some more understanding about our situation and why we (need to) do the things the way we do, but I still don’t know why I even bothered.

Anyway, from this conversation on it felt as if the opposite happened of what we tried to accomplish.
When they were visiting us a while back, my dad was making one of his lovely jokes again and I kind of exploded out of the blue, which led to another conversation (criticizing each other), which led to being really p*ssed of and not speaking each other anymore.
I feel really bad about all this. This is not what we wanted. Our positive intentions didn’t give us the fruits we hoped for and I don’t know if and how this can be pulled back on track. I’m past the begging state that’s for sure.

Any thoughts or words of advice?

(sorry for the long read :umm1:)

Little Missy
11-23-16, 10:21 AM
People do not change. The weather changes. People can choose to change things about themselves if they are desirous of the change for themselves.

I would let it be and keep yourself away from what you don't want to hear from them. They are who they are.

ADDon1
11-23-16, 10:35 AM
You're right Little Missy, thanks. I tell myself whole day to let it be, but find it hard to accept. Writing it down helps.

Little Missy
11-23-16, 10:39 AM
You're right Little Missy, thanks. I tell myself whole day to let it be, but find it hard to except. Writing it down helps.

I understand exactly how you feel. And then when you go and make all of that effort only to be dismissed.

Gotta love them. On your terms. You have the power. I could write reams on acceptance...:eek:

Writing it down is good.

sarahsweets
11-23-16, 11:58 AM
My dad often makes Ďjokesí that arenít really funny, often in other peopleís expense, or he says hurtful things. It's often kind of Ďcoveredí so you wouldnít really notice if you donít know him or you donít pay close attention.
Wow- very passive aggressive. Passive aggressive people can be so hard to deal with. Its like you dont know which person you'll be getting when you talk, and nothing shakes your self esteem more than someone making veiled comments.


He also tries to sell his opinions on just about anything, by making jokes and saying things.
He doesnít like criticism at all, and waves or laughs most of it away with something like ďO, thatís just me telling jokesĒ.
I cant stand people like that. They slap a smile on their face and chuckle-and its like a free pass to be an as*hole.




Itís obvious that he has a problem overseeing consequences of his sayings (or he doesnít give a sh*t).
Furthermore he has self-reflection skills of that of a pancake, which makes the package complete.

Wow, how selfish and its obvious he isnt capable of examining his part in the relationship.

All in all itís pretty annoying and my irritation grew big the past years.
I guess many people like him a lot, heís always friendly to most people, tells jokes and he always wants to help out with practical things like building or repairing stuff (in which he thinks he is o so competent, which in a way he is) or giving advice on such matters
Selfish or passive people are very concerned with image. They want to seem like everybody's go to guy and its almost like they love being the big fish in the small pond.

Both my parents didnít provide much emotional support when we grew up. And they still donít. That can be very hard for a kid that is in need of just that because of his ADHD, emotional instability, high sensitivity and later on depression. But ADHD didnít exist back then. Still dealing with the consequences.

They have been this way your whole life- i doubt there is anything you can say or do that will influence them to change.

In an attempt to change all this to something more positive and productive for my own family now, my wife and I decided to arranged a conversation with my parents to kind of educate them about ADHD and how it affects and affected our lives.
At the end they asked: well, so what do you want from us? I tried to explain that it would be great if there was some more understanding about our situation and why we (need to) do the things the way we do, but I still donít know why I even bothered.

JMO- stop expecting anything from them- you will not get hurt. Let their own behavior have natural consequences- like less time spent with you and youf family.

we tried to accomplish.
When they were visiting us a while back, my dad was making one of his lovely jokes again and I kind of exploded out of the blue, which led to another conversation (criticizing each other), which led to being really p*ssed of and not speaking each other anymore.
I feel really bad about all this. This is not what we wanted. Our positive intentions didnít give us the fruits we hoped for and I donít know if and how this can be pulled back on track. Iím past the begging state thatís for sure.

This is not your fault. You opened up and tried to get them to understand- and they pooped all over it.
Time to detach with love.

ADDon1
11-23-16, 04:26 PM
Wow- very passive aggressive. Passive aggressive people can be so hard to deal with. Its like you dont know which person you'll be getting when you talk, and nothing shakes your self esteem more than someone making veiled comments.


Wow! I'm reading about passive-agressive behavior now and that's just spot on. I recognize so many aspects. Wow.

Thanks for your kind words and advice!

ADDon1
11-24-16, 08:22 AM
I've been reading about this passive-agressive behavior and many puzzle pieces are falling together. Pretty heavy stuff.

I feel kind of relieved 'It's not (just) me who's acting weird'.

And I feel even more p*ssed of and frustrated. This is going on for many decades and it influenced me (probably a lot) in a negative way.

I feel like I want to confront him with the consequences of his behavior. That's my sense of justice speaking. I don't thinks it's going to do much, as Sarasweets mentioned. People like this build a wall around them, deny and point at you being the agressor, I've read.

I feel sorry for my mom and my brother.

And I feel worried about my own kids. Is it safe for them to stay there. This kind of behavior can look pretty innocent but in fact it can be very destructive. On top of that they are more vulnerable then 'normal' kids because they probably have ADD too, HSP and possible other 'side dishes'.

I've decided not to take direct action, that would be impulsive and irrational. This needs time.

Jeftheginger
11-24-16, 11:21 AM
Meditate in your emotions and feelings.
Learn who you are.
And do not give up.

dvdnvwls
11-24-16, 02:17 PM
Think about this: If you confront him about it, will it really change?

Answer: 99.9% no.

Is that confrontation worth the effort and risk, for a 0.1% possibility?

ADDon1
11-25-16, 11:11 AM
Meditate in your emotions and feelings.
Learn who you are.
And do not give up.

You're right, need to meditate more. Anything can resolve in love, I've been there. Don't know if that's the answer here and now. Thanks for the reminder though.

Think about this: If you confront him about it, will it really change?

Answer: 99.9% no.

Is that confrontation worth the effort and risk, for a 0.1% possibility?

Exactly, it probably will not change him. Don't know if it isn't worth it. Not confronting him gives a 100% change of him not changing. And he doesn't know about the consequences of his behavior. Him not changing means I (and probably the rest of my family) have to detach.

I could talk about it with my brother and/or mom. I feel my brother needs to know more about this, he has the most trouble with my dad. It's difficult, my relationship with my brother is not that good either at the moment. My mom follows my dad, so she probably doesn't want to hear this. She has a pretty good sense of justice though and can be assertive and determined if she needs to.

dvdnvwls
11-25-16, 12:47 PM
I guess part of what I intended to say was "To save everyone the pain of a useless confrontation, it's probably better to just start detaching now".

I do hope I might be wrong, but I fear I'm probably right. :(

ADDon1
12-31-16, 08:57 AM
Got an email from my mother. She wants to see the kids, which isn't a big problem for me. And she says she's very unhappy about this situation and if we could talk about it some time.

So far I did pretty OK with the detaching part. Don't know what to do now.
I meditated into my feelings but it's hard for me to get it clear atm. I think what stands out is that I don't want to be hurt again.

Any advice?

dvdnvwls
12-31-16, 10:27 AM
If these were just some people you had met, and not your parents, how would you feel about continuing to see them?

sarahsweets
12-31-16, 12:00 PM
Got an email from my mother. She wants to see the kids, which isn't a big problem for me. And she says she's very unhappy about this situation and if we could talk about it some time.

So far I did pretty OK with the detaching part. Don't know what to do now.
I meditated into my feelings but it's hard for me to get it clear atm. I think what stands out is that I don't want to be hurt again.

Any advice?

That all depends on whether you think harm will come to your children mentally or emotionally.

aeon
12-31-16, 03:26 PM
There is the family we are born into and then there is the family we find and create for ourselves when we venture out into the world.

That some of us are born and find that we are in a nest which is of no comfort is sad, but once we take flight, even with a broken wing, there is nothing that says we must return, except the internal longing for a loving home that never existed.

Allow natural consequences to play out, and that will be justice enough...not as a punishment, but as a protection for your own children, such that they will not be made to swim in foul waters.

For years your father has been making a grand canopy bed with the finest linens and silks. Let him lay upon it, I say, because his own comfort is what is important to him. If he should find it lonely, so be it. Your mother has been of support to him, so perhaps she can give him counsel in times of need.

And if she wishes and hopes to see her grandchildren, ask her to not think of her own desire, but what would be best for them. And if she does not understand, or she protests, I will not worry on your behalf because you know what is best for your own children, and that you strive to create a nurturing nest.


Well Wishes,
Ian

Letching Gray
01-01-17, 01:29 AM
I asked dad to read Driven To Distraction. He'd leveled me with criticism my entire life for not trying in school. As a Harvard man, I thought Hallowell's credentials would satisfy his demand for scholarship when evaluating the merits of some "new" condition. I had broken off ties with him for years but told him if he'd read that book, I'd visit him.

It took him about a year. When we sat down for the first time in many years, he said he realized that HE in fact had some of the characteristics of ADHD. Didn't mention me. Typical of him and his alcoholic ego.

I helped him out regularly for several years after that and before he graduated to the next dimension. He made Saul of Tarsus look like the Cowardly Lion. He crossed that river and made it ashore in the nick of time.

I had practically worshiped him growing up and pleasing him was my raison d'Ítre.

Eventually it dawned on me that I really didn't like him that much. I've been free of needing his approval for quite some time and it is a blessing.

sarahsweets
01-01-17, 10:11 AM
It took him about a year. When we sat down for the first time in many years, he said he realized that HE in fact had some of the characteristics of ADHD. Didn't mention me. Typical of him and his alcoholic ego.

If he really is an alcoholic and not in recovery then his ego will never get smaller. Untreated alcoholics and even some of us in recovery need to remember that its not all about us- that the world doesnt spin on its axis because of us.

ADDon1
01-05-17, 01:26 PM
Thanks all for the advice, very much appreciated.

It feels different now compared to when I started this topic. This might be because of the start of the new year, holiday stress is almost over etc. And/or because of my mom kind of opened up and seeking contact. Am I not judging them to hard?

It's complex to get all these things and patterns of the past in clear sight. Things that aren't often very obvious in the first place in case of passive aggressiveness. Combine that with a household full of ADHD and all problems that come with it and there you have a nice blurry cocktail of confused memories. I'm also aware that being emotional unstable now and back then makes it even harder if not impossible to process all of this.

It drives me nuts. Something in me says I have to leave it like this, at least for a while. To protect myself and my family. But the 'everything resolves in love' thing tends to take over. I want to be able to look myself in the eyes in a few years not regretting this. And then there's the good intentions bad intentions thing. They might be gone soon and yadayada hop on the unstoppable train.

I asked my brother to read something about passive aggressiveness, and if he recognized something. First thing he said was "I'm totally passive aggressive!". I did not expect him to say that. Very honest and very true, the more I think about it. It's not hard to imagine that I had/have a lot of issues with him too. Well, I too clearly recognize some of the aspects in my own behavior. For who am I to judge when I walk imperfectly. This is killing me, it's too much :eyebrow:

This line of Letching Gray echoes in my head now; "I've been free of needing his approval for quite some time and it is a blessing." Thanks for that (in a positive way!).

Much love.

Letching Gray
04-24-17, 12:36 AM
On the way home from a visit with my dad, as an adult, I would be all torn up inside. A brief visit with him and I'd become a basket case. He meant so much to me and I had never earned his approval (except in sports).

Deep down I pitied him and wanted to make everything causing him pain to go away. I wasn't conscious of this, not that I could express in words, anyway. And I didn't let go of that burden until many, many years later. I wasn't aware of it. but it pushed me into being his whipping post. I loved him so much, like a loyal Labrador, he could mistreat me and I stayed by his side. Like when Mr. Grower hit George Bailey on his sore ear, I knew he didn't mean it. I knew he was hurting real bad inside.

This surfaced during treatment. As a little boy I sensed his deep pain and it automatically became my responsibility, my life, to make everything okay, as if I was the parent, emotionally. Whew. I held onto that like a pitbull chewing on fresh steak.

Letching Gray
04-24-17, 08:52 AM
My entire life was ground into mushed meat because I tried to make him well, I loved him so much. No one ever saw things that way. Even me. I didn't know it was the little fella in me who refused to let him suffer, not without trying to save him all those years. Funny, with all we think we know about ourselves and others, something like that was never seen for what it was. He thought I hated him, and I did that, too.

Letching Gray
04-28-17, 07:37 AM
Sometimes I allow myself to see my life from a different perspective than I normally have.

Because, well, afterall, loved ones are dead. Youth is gone. Old friends are long gone. Old times are all over. Can never reach back in time and live there ever again. Time is short. All that's past is just held inside my mind and heart. It all went so fast. Why can't I dive back in? Why can't I be 14 again, with the goofiness and fun and friends that made life so vivid and worthwhile?

At times the memories of those days are so real it is breathtaking, even scary. They are right there in my mind's eye, vivid enough I can almost be right there. Only "time" separates me from being there, again. Just orbits around a star somewhere in a vast universe. Just moments ago really- on the big clock that's been ticking for 14 billion years. What's to make of all this? The smiles and skies and sweat and light and pimples and hairstyles and clothing and words expressed and walking and beeping the car horn and lifting weights and our kitchen. Why can't I go back there and live again? Why is everything past all gone? Where is the past? Why is it gone forever? Where did it go? What does any of it mean? People were there and they are gone, they left and they can't be found.