how did our foo influence our family of choice?

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Honestly, this is an important question. My first thought is to say I tried hard NOT to be the mother I had. However my first family of choice included a man who was emotionally unavailable and we snipped at each other a lot. He called me names and I cried and tried to do better . A lot like my foo. Since my parents fought all the time, for a long time I actually believed my marriage was normal. I also thought that I could not defend myself because ex had a serious disease and in my foo you treated sick people differently.

    Took until my 30s to feel so desperate I joined coda and changed my thinking which lead to divorce.

    Id learned by then and when I finally fell in love again it was with an easygoing emotionally available man.

    I have since talkedvwith ex, we both admitted our faults in the marriage, and get along.

    But my foo really affected the dynamics of my first marriage.
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I was so out of balance about everything that mattered that I am surprised D H held faith with me at all. I am still confronted with wrongnesses in the way I think about marriage and family as I continue to heal, to this day. I regret so much about the way that I saw things; I try to concentrate instead on gratitude for having been able to come to see with more clarity.

    I cannot believe the depth of harm done me. I have to admire myself for what I was able to do with so little.

    I did have D H mom and sibs though, and that made a good, good difference for me, and for all of us.

    Still, my values systems revolved around how not to be.

    I think I did alright. I wish with all my heart I had known then what I know, now.

    I would never have seen my Family of Origin.

    D H believed we should, of course. We were talking about that last night, about how unbelievable their actions and intentions.

    We need to give ourselves credit for the good things we did, Serenity. We had nothing, really. But we did the right thing the best we knew.

    I was thinking about you last night, and about how you called your mom, and about how she hung up.

    I wish I could have been there for you, then.

    It is good we can be here for one another, now.


    It has been a hard, thankless journey, this business of learning how we grew up.

    Somehow, I think I always believed I would find that magic thing that would bring everyone back together.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I cedar. Thanks again.

    Cedar she would have been kinder to me if she had hung up. I dont remember much about our phone conversations until she stopped talking to me and I decided to go on a fools journey to try to do the right thing and heal our rift, even though in my heart I knew I couldn't. She talked to m e in her baby girl voice that I fear I inherited from her. She was distant but never told me I was out of her life. That is too honest for her. She liked having me call because never fid she rush me off, knowing all the while that she would never forgive me for not giving only Bart my deceased grandmothers $5000. Im sure that was her final straw as I never did do as she told me if I felt it was wrong.

    She had more fun stringing me along. I would have handled it better if she had been honest. I probably would have left all of them as I felt that both my siblings allowed her to speak badly of me without defending me yet they acted like they were my buddies. I would have figured it out if she had been honest.

    Phone call. Finish later.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    As an adult I never believed I could unite my family. Although I continued to need my Mother until my late 20's.

    I did take responsibility as a child for the family. I believe and felt then that I was the moral voice. Almost like the missing father. How that could be, I do not know. I am only putting it down because it comes to my mind.

    I am the one of us that lived a single life. So learning about real relationships, the kind with trust and sharing came late in my life.

    The hardest thing for M and I has been about role and sharing. It may be played out around money but it is not really money. I could really care less.

    M has not had money enough to contribute a "fair share." He does not feel he owes me. He will not work "in exchange." He will not be compelled to help me through any notion of owing.

    He works based upon his desire and my need, filtered by his interpretation of what makes sense.

    I think he feels that diminishes the relationship and each of us.

    For the longest time I did not understand. I only understand a little now. He wants our relationship to be pure and to not be corrupted by power and money. He wants to help based on his desire to do so, and my need. He will not be compelled.

    It is very refreshing, now that I get it a little bit.

    I will think about how to better explain it.

    Now that he is working pretty steadily, and in the house working together, on days he is home, and we have clear cut plans to handle responsibilities here and then go East, much of this is sorting itself out.

    I am getting braver, too. Yesterday, the subject about inequality in money contribution in the house came to my mind. I got anxious. Instead I chose to speak about it (usually I stew and then erupt in fury.)

    I said, now that you are working, will you be contributing more to household expenses?

    He answered, "there are a lot of ways I want to help and things I want to pay for. Here and with my parents. My Mother is sick and does not have medicine."

    I felt bad. It is not there is no money. He sent money from what he is earning. But the evil sister threw out the nice sister, once she got title to the parents's house. And there is nobody there, now to walk to the store to get medicine. The phone is disconnected because nobody can go and pay the bill.

    I am happy I said something to M. And I am happy he answered me back. I think this is showing more confidence and safety.

    Even though I still have shame. Why is M not helping me more with money? Even though I know the answer.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Copa, if you were the man and he was the woman would you still feel the same?

    I ask because it is more socially average for the man to make more money than the woman, but is that really important? Just something to chew criticism meant...
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    No. Not one bit bad. I would be in my glory.

    Maybe that is it. I never had a man take care of me financially. Not that this was necessarily my highest aspiration. I have very undeveloped values with respect to gender roles, I think.

    I wonder if this is Foo-related too.

    My mother was far more emancipated than I. I am speaking of Feminism here. I was always slow to catch on. I had a very, very powerful mother who believed she was more not less entitled to power. I knew women as a class were oppressed. I just did not see as operating in the same way with respect to my own family.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It may be societal. I don't consider myself a feminist, although I do believe in equal rights for women. However, if a man wants to take care of me and open doors for me, I'm happy to let him. I may feel funny too, due to society, if I made a lot more than my male SO, but these things are OUR issues. And th ings are changing. Many men are stay at home dads these days. I found this out reading through the Dad's Divorce forums while Bart was going t hrough a divorce. In the younger set it is more accepted that the wife may make more money or all the money.

    Our generation did not feel that way and that's probably why it bothers you. To my way of looking at it, M. is such a kindhearted, hardworking and wise soul that carries his weight in how he loves you (that is priceless). I would happily have had a relationship with a man like M., undocumented and not wealthy, because of his heart. The only problem would have been, I can't speak Spanish ;) But for the right man, with a golden heart, I would have made sure I learned it.

    Copa, you are very lucky and so is he. You don't find too many good folks like the both of you.

    by the way, I'm so proud of your son!!! I feel like I know him and am so happy he is doing well. There is much hope for him in his new frame of mind! Kudos!
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Do you think I should be really worried about the conspiracy theories, Serenity?

    The Psychiatrist thinks this and the fact he slept near my house under the bridge...are indicative that he is really impaired.

    I guess the multiple hospitalizations and the SSI, too.

    I still do not see it, fully.

    Part of the problem is when I am scared I listen to everybody else.

    Thank you, Serenity.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What good does it do to worry, dear copa? He will see soon enough that he was wrong again
    Prerhaps one day he will want to get help. He is doing so much better now. Baby steps.

    He is being fueled in his thinking by others who think like him. One day, after they are wrongly predicting over and over again, he will realize they are full of it.
    I think maybe this is how he is choosing to funnel his anxiety. I was afraid of many useless things as a youth and they never happened. Your son may have an anxiety disorder.
    As you well know, this is treatable and when he is a bit more mature, he may well decide to seek treatment.
    I would just let him see that this doesnt happen and let it be

  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Serenity, your entire post was brilliant. Alas, I am late for my appointment. I will say this, for now.
    My son has been anxious since I he was a toddler when I first saw him. I did not see it, but therapists did. I think it is exactly what you say, he is using the conspiracy theories to channel anxiety.

    I think it is so, too, that he may mature and seek treatment. I have tended towards anxiety, too. Panic attacks and phobias, unfortunately.

    And I think, too, you are right. It does me no good at all to worry about something over which I have no control.

    I worried so long because he did not show much empathy. Despite the fact he was always the most loving and sensitive and empathic child.

    In our last conversation he was distraught because he anticipated his friend's pain and confusion and panic...when the catastrophe would come...and felt so sad at the idea that he would suffer. I mean, it is all a little nutty, but touching at the same time.

    Thank you, Serenity

  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think that is what was behind, "What would Cedar do?" Not so much a moral voice for me, but I just always thought we could do this. But I am not so sure now why I believed that way. I had told D H I did not want to see them anymore in the beginning of our relationship. D H had no concept of how my family worked, and believed we should see them, so we did. There were some good times that happened, but D H says now that if I had been honest about my childhood, he would never have insisted that family mattered. It was like I made a choice to commit to them, and blinded myself to do it. There was much that was hurtful and weakening and just so wrong about all of it.

    In the end, everything fell apart anyway.

    But I think I hear what you are saying about "moral voice", Copa.

    Serenity seems to have been the one who believed everyone could make family out of what was left once we were adults, for her family, too.

    I admire that, about all of us.

    But for me, it was more a choice than a real loving effort, I think. I was always on automaton. Even so, there were things that were always so wrong when we did come together.

    That's huge, Copa.


    I think so too, Copa.

    I think it shows respect for yourself, too. Money is a touchy issue in every relationship. Someone has to be captain of the financial ship or it will flounder. In my marriage, that is D H. In daughter's relationship, that is daughter. In son's relationship, it is son.

    We talk openly about what we are doing, but D H is the one who says whether we can or cannot afford whatever it is, or whether we need to budget that in the future.

    We have to talk about money, because it is important. Everyone in a family has to know and agree to the ways we are going to spend money. That is why, when the kids were so troubled, they knew they could get D H to give them money through me.

    D H would say no.

    I would say yes.

    Then D H would say yes too, for my sake.

    That is what I meant by captain of the financial ship. It isn't that the other person has no say. It is that responsibility for keeping the ship sailing beautifully along has to be one person's, so they have flexibility to manage financial matters correctly.

    I am glad I learned to say no, too.

    I have a "give everything that is mine to help" mentality. That is why I would not be a good captain of our financial ship. Managing resources is a learned skill, that is true, but that shame base affects how I see money, and what I believe I deserve.

    Not just in money, but in time and possessions and in everything.

    So I am glad we are getting healthier now.

    In case D H leaves me and I have to manage the ship.