Who has successfully stood up to their parents?

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brioche

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Are there people on this forum that have successfully stood up to their parents and obtained peace of mind?
You would help me a great deal if your shared your story.

I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety disorder this fall but I believe I’ve had it for a long time…
My parents have always reacted very violently whenever I just tried to be myself and do what I feel is right for me.
I am sad to say my father is only Christian in that he gets very mad if the the whole family is not seated together at table for Christmas/Easter…
he was raised to think it was OK for a Christian husband to beat his wife. Though he has stopped this a long time ago, my mother always tries to shut me up at home cause I would make my father angry with my impertinence…
I live in another town with my siblings who are still in college. *This Christmas, back home, I forgot to mention what time I would come back from church- I was the only one feeling like going to church- and when I came I was told “father is upset cause you left to church without a word and he couldn’t organise the Christmas breakfast anymore”
I tried to explain him that I just left in a hurry cause I needed going there for some peace of mind and we could have eaten together anyway, but he wouldn’t let me speak to him, he sat frowned all day, NOBODY stood up for me, everybody just tiptoed about their bussinesses… *
It also tears me down that my father is treating my mother like his servant, calling her names, refusing to stop calling her those names even if I tell him it disturbes me… My brother and sister will NOT get the courage to stand by me when I tell him that… maybe that’s why he won’t stop…
I can avoid going there too often, but they try to make me feel guilty… And when I go there they start yelling at me if I upset them with the slightest thing… and when they’ve calmed down, they say to me I should put things behind me and not hold gridges against my parents… If I go to another room to have some peace, they come after me with endless reproaches…
I am now 25 and have a degree in something I didn’t want because the night I was leaving for college they came into my room and kept talking and talking to stop me… they would NOT let me leave without answers to their questions, they would NOT accept any of my arguments … until I broke down and let them have their way.
I thought, what was I supposed to do, push them out of the doorway to get out of the house?
And very often they say things like “What kind of Christian are you if you are so rebel to your parents”?
And I am NOT at all rebel, I am a very quiet type and I have never tried to impose anything on anyone… But I guess I am “imposing” my personality on them from their point of view…
Have you set limits in your relationship with your parents AND come to be at peace with yourselves? even if they constantly try to break those limits…
It’s very hard for me especially that my younger brother and sister prefer not to get involved and pretend to agree with parents…
I am financially independent from them but I have to get emotionally independent as well…
 
Hey Brioche,
My situation growing up wasn’t quite like that, but I did have an unmerciful mother who could be so volatile at times that I really do believe she has a mental disorder. My dad was wonderful, but he decided in the early years of their marriage that he was going to “let it roll off” his back. I didn’t get through to her until I had been a mother for about 6 years. She blew up at me about my child rearing, in front of my children, calling me the worst 4-letter expletives available. That did it for me. I refused to be around her, or let my children around her, until she apologized and promised not to do such things again. I said we were not going to put a little “band-aid” on this particular incident, just to have the disease keep growing. It took many weeks, maybe a couple of months, before she realized I was serious. When she caved I told her that I would not tolerate a word about my dh (she can’t stand him), my childrearing, or whatever.
Anyway, here we are, another 7 years later, and while I don’t live near her anymore, she thinks that my children are the best behaved kids around, and that I am the best mother a woman can be. I do think she means that, but she had to be shaken out of her ways to recognize that #1- there is more than one way to raise kids, and #2- I have been ordained by God for this role (as Dr. Ray Guarendi puts it)
Personally, I’d put my foot down now, not later when you have children. The amount of damage such behavior can do is immeasurable.
Oh, and be calm, loving and charitable!
God bless,
 
I have had the exact same thing, only with my husband’s mother, and only when he took a step back and was firm to say ‘I’m an adult now!’ did they stop their behaviour. It’s manipulative and abusive, and it will break you if you don’t put your foot down now! Prayers!!!

Anna x
 
OK, brioche, lots of people have annoying, manipulative parents who cross over boundaries. You have abusive parents.

They are not the same thing. A father who is physically violent, that is a different level all together. So, you are well within your rights to cut all contact with them. Remember, they will visit this same abuse upon any future children you have as well.

What you can do is begin by setting up your ground rules. Something like:

I am an adult and you will treat me as an adult. Here is what I expect when I visit you or you visit me: (1) You will speak to me respectfully, (2) there will be no raised voices, (3) there will be no questioning my decisions or my whereabouts-- I will come and go as I please.

And, if they cannot abide by your groundrules, you need to leave. Don’t feel bad at all about having no contact with them until they can abide by the groundrules you establish.

As for throwing the “honor father/mother” commandment at you-- I suggest you get a Catechism and read that commandment in its entirity. It has A LOT to say to parents as well-- things your parents will not want to hear because they are violating them left and right.

Also, get psychological counseling.

Now that you have posted this, it is just that much more important that you get out of the relationship you talk about in your other post. Your boyfriend’s mother is picking up the abuse where your parents left off. DO NOT continue in this relationship.

Get counseling and get it fast.
 
Your family knows that religion is important to you and are using it as a guilt trip to control you. Don’t let them do that! They know you so they know what words to use to cause an emotional reaction in you.

After having dealt with a abusive mother myself, I can tell you that this is never going to be easy. But you can control the way that you respond to their manipulations.

I would limit contact with them, if I were you. Send cards, phone but try not to visit them in person. This might lessen some of the stress on you. Eventually you might have to break ties with them completly. When you have kids you are going to have to decide if these are the grandparents that you want to influence their lives.
 
OK, brioche, lots of people have annoying, manipulative parents who cross over boundaries. You have abusive parents.

They are not the same thing. A father who is physically violent, that is a different level all together. So, you are well within your rights to cut all contact with them. Remember, they will visit this same abuse upon any future children you have as well.

What you can do is begin by setting up your ground rules. Something like:

I am an adult and you will treat me as an adult. Here is what I expect when I visit you or you visit me: (1) You will speak to me respectfully, (2) there will be no raised voices, (3) there will be no questioning my decisions or my whereabouts-- I will come and go as I please.

And, if they cannot abide by your groundrules, you need to leave. Don’t feel bad at all about having no contact with them until they can abide by the groundrules you establish.

As for throwing the “honor father/mother” commandment at you-- I suggest you get a Catechism and read that commandment in its entirity. It has A LOT to say to parents as well-- things your parents will not want to hear because they are violating them left and right.

Also, get psychological counseling.

**Now that you have posted this, it is just that much more important that you get out of the relationship you talk about in your other post. Your boyfriend’s mother is picking up the abuse where your parents left off. DO NOT continue in this relationship.**Get counseling and get it fast.
I knew there had been another post by you, brioche, and now I remember. 1ke is absolutely right, you have a bigger problem than just the individual relationships and you’ve got to break the cycle or you’ll end up with huge problems down the road. Believe me and the rest of us, this is going to be infinitely more difficult to live with once there are children involved, and the damage that can be done to them is immeasurable.
 
I am an adult and you will treat me as an adult. Here is what I expect when I visit you or you visit me: (1) You will speak to me respectfully, (2) there will be no raised voices, (3) there will be no questioning my decisions or my whereabouts-- I** will come and go as I please. **

.
One thing, when you are a guest in someone’s home, even if you are related to that person, it is “good manners” to come in at a decent hour (when I stay with elderly family members, it would be rude for me to wake them by coming in at 1 AM.)

It soulds as if it would be better if you stay at a hotel when you visit this part of the family.

From what you describe, it seems you have an abusive father and should speak with a professional.

Prayers!
 
If you have reached the point where you can say, “I am an adult. I had an abusive childhood, but I am an adult now, and I make or break myself” then you are on the level you need to be to stand up to your father.

If you have not already gotten some professional help, I highly recommend www.exceptionalmarriages.com . If you can’t right now, or you can’t afford it, please, from someplace, get the book, *God Help Me! These People Are Driving Me Nuts! *by Greg Popcak. eBay a copy. It is really helpful in explaining why one does not have to accept abuse from people.

In your case, I would also recommend People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck. It explores situaitons where peolpe choose to believe lies, and the psychology of the group lie.

You might very well have to turn your back on your family of origin, your parents and siblings. It is not for the faint of heart. I have done it. I have also had to mourn my loss. Not everything was horirble in my childhood. But enough was horrible, and the overcontrol and lack of respect from my parents caused me to lose contact with several siblings over the years. I have two nephews I’ve never met because of it, as my mother “banned” me. So, this is something you need to prepare in advance, even though it will still feel as if you have not prepared when it occurs.

You owe your parents honor. You do not owe them your life. You do not owe them the ability to verbally, or corporally, abuse you and yours. If they have no food, you make sure they have some; however, you do not give them caviar on toast points and steak while you and yours eat rice and beans. If they have no place to live, you help them get a place; however, you do not have to allow them to move in with you, and they don’t get the Palmer House while you live in an old trailer. If they have no clothes, you obtain them for them; however, you do not owe them Chanel and Armani while you are wearing used Wal-Mart. Most of all you owe them prayer.

Anything else, no, certainly not verbal and physical abuse.

Your mom is an adult and has to make her own decisions. If you have encouraged her to get outof her situaiton and she won’t go, there is nothing more you can do.

I can say in my case,while I miss my sibs and their children, the peace of not being abused is wonderful.
 
I’m not sure if this will be of any help, but I have to wonder if your mother doesn’t go along with your father out of fear of him. There’s a book I read not long ago that I wish every woman - married or otherwise - would read. Maybe you could find a copy - Amazon should have them - and give it to your mother after reading it yourself. It’s called Fascinating Womanhood. I’m not sure if your mother would be receptive to receiving a gift like that, but…it couldn’t hurt to try a little something before completely giving up on them.
 
I’m not sure if this will be of any help, but I have to wonder if your mother doesn’t go along with your father out of fear of him. There’s a book I read not long ago that I wish every woman - married or otherwise - would read. Maybe you could find a copy - Amazon should have them - and give it to your mother after reading it yourself. It’s called Fascinating Womanhood. I’m not sure if your mother would be receptive to receiving a gift like that, but…it couldn’t hurt to try a little something before completely giving up on them.
This book is by a non-Catholic, and contains many ideas that contradict the Catholic undeerstanding of the dignity of women.

Would very much advise that the OP seek out Catholic sources of teaching.

foryourmarriage.org/

dignityofwomen.com/
 
This book is by a non-Catholic, and contains many ideas that contradict the Catholic undeerstanding of the dignity of women.

Would very much advise that the OP seek out Catholic sources of teaching.

foryourmarriage.org/

dignityofwomen.com/
Yeppers. That book is not in line with what the Church teaches about marriage!:eek: There have been numerous threads about it here at CAF, and what is wrong with it.
 
several have asserted this emphatically and I lovingly reiterate their concerns:

you’re suffering from post traumatic stress from a life of domestic abuse, bullying, fear-tactics and firestorming. and judging from the other thread, your future MIL is on the bandwagon and your boyfriend can now be considered abusive by proxy or by omission. his passive agression is most definately AGRESSION.

and they all wonder how Christian ***you ***are?

PLEASE, Brioche, *quit the BF, give up your parents for Lent, stay in counseling, increase your counseling, find some group therapy, stay out of romantic relationships, pray, pray, pray and frequent the sacraments and heal. *

***volunteer at a domestic violence shelter or with abused kids. wait till you see how much their fall-out matches your own. ***

you are allowed to get angry. remember, Brioche, even JESUS got angry at evil.

**i will pray you will reclaim through Jesus, your God-given human dignity. **
 

I am now 25 and have a degree in something I didn’t want because the night I was leaving for college they came into my room and kept talking and talking to stop me… they would NOT let me leave without answers to their questions, they would NOT accept any of my arguments … until I broke down and let them have their way…
you are 25 and your parents and living at home, allowing your parents to dictate to you about your education, job and life?

what am I missing?

move out, pay your own way, go to night school if you have to, take charge of your own life. if you depend on them financially, and they are manipulative people, they will call the shots in your life as long as you let them. No one can make a doormat of you without your cooperation.

if someone in your family is abusive and hurting people, and you do not turn this person over to the authorities, you and all the other family members who cover up and enable his abuse are guilty along with him as accessories to a crime. if he is abusive, be sure all children in the family are kept away from him until he is locked up.

do not discuss your private concerns with third parties, or give them a chance to criticize and second guess your actions, unless it is a pastoral or professional person who can help you and your family.
 
brioche,

I am 26, and I too have recently been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that, as far as I can tell, has been with me my whole life. It took a long time for my doctor to diagnose because, quite frankly, I thought it was normal (and it was for me).

My situation with my childhood and my relationship with my parents are similar to yours. My father was an angry tyrant/bully who emotionally and verbally abused my mother, my brother and me. None of us could ever do anything good enough in his eyes. My mother was a pushover who regularly used guilt-trips to get me to do what she wanted.

My parents are now divorced but having relationships with them is difficult. They divorced while I was a junior in college, and both remarried last year (2.5 months apart), which has made everything more complicated.

My mother wants to treat me like her sister/best friend. She has not been a mom for a long time and comes to me for advice. I have needed to back away to gain perspective and allow myself to heal. When I do speak with her, I do not engage in conversations that are not appropriate for a mother/daughter relationship. I have boundaries about what I will not talk about, and I try very hard to stick to them even when she tries to guilt me into doing what she wants. Even though I have tried to explain some things to her, she does not understand. Seriously, I can say the same things over and over and over again until I am blue in the face, and she will just filter out whatever she doesn’t want to hear. It’s maddening. For now, I have to keep her at arms length.

My father is an entirely different story. We have never been close; he is like a stranger to me. He still displays inappropriate behavior on a regular basis, but it is not as abusive. I do not have an understanding of how to address all of this with him because we really have never learned to talk with each other. He has spent a good portion of his life denying that anything is wrong, and if I have a problem (or anyone else does), it must be something wrong with me. Anyway, I need to set up more detailed boundaries with him and stick to them.

The boundaries I have so far, mostly implemented with my mom. I’m still in progress with my dad:
  1. I will not stay in either of my parents’ homes. I need a place to go to get away from them. I reserve part of my time visiting them for doing something away from them that they have absolutely no involvement in. I make visits short (both how many days I am there and how many hours I see them on those days), and I decide when I will come and when I will leave. I only do what I can handle.
  2. I refuse to downplay or deny inappropriate behavior/conversation. Just because they don’t understand that it is wrong does not mean that I am crazy :). I repeat that repeatedly to myself. I will not “advise” them on matters that are harmful to them or upsetting to me. If something bothers me, I say so and leave the situation if necessary. If that bothers them, too bad, because I cannot keep denying my feelings to spare theirs. I will not carry their burdens for them anymore.
  3. I do my absolute best to communicate to them about my needs and my boundaries, but I do not hold myself accountable for whether or not they understand these things. I can do my best, but they need to make an effort to understand; it is not something I can force them to do.
My advice to you is to regularly see a counselor. Take a step back from your family to gain perspective. Set up boundaries and do your best to enforce those boundaries (it’s going to be difficult and you may fail from time to time, but don’t let that get you down!). And finally, surround yourself with supportive/sane people who you can talk to about the situation on occassion. These are the kind of people who will say, “Are you serious? They really said that? They must be crazy!” These people are essential for reprogramming your brain to recognize abnormal behavior that has been normal for you your whole life.

Okay, so now that I’ve written all of that, I need to go out and take my own advice 😃 . If anything in this long post has helped you, praise God! Your post was very helpful to me, and I thank you for posting. It is so good for me to hear about someone else going through a similar experience. Feel free to PM me anytime.

God bless you!
 
Are there people on this forum that have successfully stood up to their parents and obtained peace of mind?
You would help me a great deal if your shared your story.
Yes, I have stood up to both my mother and my father (they are divorced) - it started for me when they started breaking promises that they had made to my younger brother. I just stood there and did not back down until they kept their promises to him. My motivation was that I did not want to tell my brother, “Oh, yes, I stood there and did nothing while they broke their promises to you,” because I knew he would be even more impossible to deal with than they are. (IOW, I am more terrified of my younger brother than I am of my parents.)

After that, it was much easier to deal with them on adult terms; they saw that I would protect my brother’s interests, and I suppose they just naturally assumed that I would stick up for myself, as well, so I have had no trouble with them, since then.
 
OK, brioche, lots of people have annoying, manipulative parents who cross over boundaries. You have abusive parents.

They are not the same thing. A father who is physically violent, that is a different level all together. So, you are well within your rights to cut all contact with them. Remember, they will visit this same abuse upon any future children you have as well.

What you can do is begin by setting up your ground rules. Something like:

I am an adult and you will treat me as an adult. Here is what I expect when I visit you or you visit me: (1) You will speak to me respectfully, (2) there will be no raised voices, (3) there will be no questioning my decisions or my whereabouts-- I will come and go as I please.

And, if they cannot abide by your groundrules, you need to leave. Don’t feel bad at all about having no contact with them until they can abide by the groundrules you establish.

As for throwing the “honor father/mother” commandment at you-- I suggest you get a Catechism and read that commandment in its entirity. It has A LOT to say to parents as well-- things your parents will not want to hear because they are violating them left and right.

Also, get psychological counseling.

Now that you have posted this, it is just that much more important that you get out of the relationship you talk about in your other post. Your boyfriend’s mother is picking up the abuse where your parents left off. DO NOT continue in this relationship.

Get counseling and get it fast.
DITTO!!!

WOW! You’ve got a full plate! Better you deal with it head on now while you are young and single and can devote yourself to getting better. As for your siblings, you can’t make them do anything. They probably feel beat down and defeted by your father from years and years of this abuse. AND IT IS ABUSE!

Hopefully you can find a good christian counselor or spiritual advisor!

God Bless you! I’ll pray for you!
 
Brioche,
You have been given some good advice from the people on these forums, both on this topic, and the one dealing with your future MIL and BF. Please heed it.
Do you realize the pattern you have set for yourself in your life? You are jumping from one abusive situation to another. And you will continue to do this throughout your life if you do not break the pattern NOW. You will continue to gravitate toward these type of people and relationships because that is what you have become comfortable with (but you probably do not recognize this.) Allowing this abuse (and I am including your BF here, because he is allowing his mother to abuse you) is a learned behavior–you learned this growing up and it has now become a way of life for you. This can also become sinful behavior, because God has created you in His image and likeness, He has given you human dignity, and you are allowing others to deface that image and trample on that dignity. Think about it.
Please get some counseling. Take time off from all these people (BF included) and learn how to treat yourself with respect and dignity and how to love yourself. Stop being a victim. And stop choosing to be a victim–that is a choice you make. Be careful with the people you associate with–do not allow toxic people into your life. Ask God for guidance, and listen to what these people are telling you–they have been through this. I will pray for you.
 
thank you all for your encouragement. I’ve talked to my boyfriend again and he is really determined to help me out, he says he really wants me to be a part of his life and does not want me to be unhappy, and even said that his parents will have to get used to me not being docile as they wanted…
And I have started taking time off from them and from my own parents, including not thinking about them all the time and their influence on my life and it feels great!
I guess it was very hard to accept myself as I am, without feeling guilty or insecure cause parents or in laws don’t like what they see…
 
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