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Author Topic: Honoring?  (Read 6467 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: February 15, 2008, 11:49:46 PM »

I am going to put this here because I want it dissected and it won't get any attention in the family forum. Mods if you move it I will stomp and throw a fit.  Tongue

I am working on the Orthodox (rather than my guilt ridden protestant version) understanding of "honoring" your parents.
I don't want a measly, "this is what we are to do" I want this taken apart piece by piece until I find some peace!  Help me if you can, all you mighty intellectuals!

Here's the facts:
mom remarried to abusive stepfather-mother does nothing about it
stepfather not only abusive for 30 years, he's also a porn freak and we have sons and daughters. (I will not tolerate this foul crime, it nearly destroyed me as a child so there is no room here)
mother "owns' or "possesses" children even as adults, rather than letting them live separate lives
Mother cannot comprehend that a new family has begun (16 years ago) and that she isn't in control of it
Mother plays favorites among her three sons, more money/fame = more importance.
Mother cannot cope with things unless they are her plotted version of 'picture perfect nuclear family"-this despite the fact she remarried of her own volition.
Mother barged in on Christmas morning crying, demanding we open HER presents INSTEAD of attending Divine Liturgy. Her outbursts in front of my children prevented 4 out of 8 people from receiving the Sacrament that day-all for her selfishness. 

this was the last blow, and dh has made it clear she is not welcome here. However she has apparently spun into depression and now the entire family is angry with us for not pretending along with her charade any longer.  She disrespected ME in my home in front of my children, made demands and constantly puts down our faith and our decisions. I have a very special child to deal with, plus all her siblings and I don't need this crap. So she has taken the commandment to honor one's parents and thrown it in our face. Apparently PARENTS can haunt, torment, and cause genuine anguish to their children all their lives-and the children at no point can do a thing about it.  Is this aligning with Orthodox teaching on the matter?

Yes I asked my priest, Christmas morning when our family was not all in attendance thanks to mil. He did not throw me out on my ear for our choice to cut them off-so I can't be that off. I HAVE to protect my children from lunatics, even if they ARE family. Right?  Yet here I am wanting to make sure I am doing the right thing. We just caught crap because we didn't tell family about our Rett daughter's recent ER and UVA hospitalizations. Those that cared about us knew, like our church family. That kinda didn't go over too well...
Just troubled, and wanted some other points of view maybe?  There have got to be options for children with toxic parents!!
okay it's here. pick away at my feebleness this week. Just remember, I am not always mentally feeble, just while Heather is reacting to seizure meds.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 11:46:11 AM by Robert » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2008, 01:00:29 AM »

Sister I am too young to give you advice on such a complicated matter so I can only give you my prayers. Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2008, 02:11:46 AM »

Hi sister-

Here's the facts:
mom remarried to abusive stepfather-mother does nothing about it
stepfather not only abusive for 30 years, he's also a porn freak and we have sons and daughters. (I will not tolerate this foul crime, it nearly destroyed me as a child so there is no room here)
mother "owns' or "possesses" children even as adults, rather than letting them live separate lives
Mother cannot comprehend that a new family has begun (16 years ago) and that she isn't in control of it
Mother plays favorites among her three sons, more money/fame = more importance.
Mother cannot cope with things unless they are her plotted version of 'picture perfect nuclear family"-this despite the fact she remarried of her own volition.
Mother barged in on Christmas morning crying, demanding we open HER presents INSTEAD of attending Divine Liturgy. Her outbursts in front of my children prevented 4 out of 8 people from receiving the Sacrament that day-all for her selfishness. 

this was the last blow, and dh has made it clear she is not welcome here. However she has apparently spun into depression and now the entire family is angry with us for not pretending along with her charade any longer.  She disrespected ME in my home in front of my children, made demands and constantly puts down our faith and our decisions. I have a very special child to deal with, plus all her siblings and I don't need this crap. So she has taken the commandment to honor one's parents and thrown it in our face. Apparently PARENTS can haunt, torment, and cause genuine anguish to their children all their lives-and the children at no point can do a thing about it.  Is this aligning with Orthodox teaching on the matter?

Yes I asked my priest, Christmas morning when our family was not all in attendance thanks to mil. He did not throw me out on my ear for our choice to cut them off-so I can't be that off. I HAVE to protect my children from lunatics, even if they ARE family. Right?  Yet here I am wanting to make sure I am doing the right thing. We just caught crap because we didn't tell family about our Rett daughter's recent ER and UVA hospitalizations. Those that cared about us knew, like our church family. That kinda didn't go over too well...
Just troubled, and wanted some other points of view maybe?  There have got to be options for children with toxic parents!!
okay it's here. pick away at my feebleness this week. Just remember, I am not always mentally feeble, just while Heather is reacting to seizure meds.


Kudos to you and your husband for standing up for you and your children's sanity (and safety)!!!  Children simply cannot hande being saddled with adult problems of any kind, let alone seeing their grandmother behave like this.  As far as honoring our parents goes, I've never felt that that meant we must put ourselves in harm's way (and childish outbursts, pornography, controling behavior, putting down your faith and trying to keep you from the Divine Liturgy- ALL falls under the 'harmful' heading).  I'm not exactly sure what the Orthodox understanding of 'Honour thy mother and father' is, but I've always understood it to mean that we continue to love and pray for them just as we do with others (though with our parents there's definitely a different connection).  Remember also that when a man and a woman become united in Holy Matrimony, they LEAVE their parent's home and become ONE, thus creating a new family dynamic. 

Here's an article by an Orthodox priest that deals specifically with this issue:
 http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles7/AndrewsParents.php 

I do not mean to sound disrespectful at all when I say this, but from what you've told us, it seems that your mother has some serious psychological problems (probably exacerbated by her husband's abusiveness) that maybe neither you nor your husband are equipped to deal with.  IMHO, I would definitely continue to discuss this with your priest, but I would also consider a family therapist who could help you and your husband understand and deal with these issues.  Last but not least, I would continue to pray for both the courage to deal with your mother as well as pray FOR her...

I hope this helps you a little and I'll be praying for your family.

In Christ,
Gabriel

« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 02:46:05 AM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2008, 02:47:13 AM »

That is a lot of hurt, guilt and oppression for your family/mother to inflict on you.  My sympath and prayers.  In a way, by asking for our opinions or help, your mother is still manipulating and controlling you, making you doubt what you know to be the right thing to protect your children.  Your children are and must always be your most important priority.  You can't balance an obviously controlling and mentally damaged woman against the emotional health of your children and the peace of your own family.  I cannot believe and I challenge anyone to show me Biblical proof, that the Lord said honor your father and mother at the expense of your own children.  A very wise Matushka (with experience of her own dysfunctional family) told me many times - "You have to love your family, but you don't have to like them."

No matter what you decide, no solution is going to be easy.  Have you thought about what cutting her off from contact will entail?  This is really something you must sit down and deal with at length through family counselling and in consultation with your priest.  My only advice is get professional help asap.  You can't deal with your daughter's illness and this kind of family problem any other way. 

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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2008, 11:31:17 AM »

One thing my priest said once was that God had to command us to honor our parents.  After the fall, it was unnatural to honor them, so God "ordered" it.

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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 12:05:39 PM »

So how does that apply to ones that barge into their ADULT family's homes and make demands. That behavior isn't "godly" either. I am commanded to protect my children from all harm, EVEN if that is family.
Parents don't have the right to act like fools, and it's God that creates a new family when those children grow up. Her actions have disregarded what God brought together and placed herself above what God created.
No one here wants to hurt family members, but the simple fact is that my children come before my mil as far as 'duty' goes. My marriage also comes before stupidity and demands of extended family.
You know, couples with special needs children have to face down an 86% divorce rate-we already have enough to contend with. There ain't no way in hell I am going to take my sons over to see the same fool that saddled all the boys in that home with a porn addiction. He touches my sil in very inappropriate ways, he's just a foul man. And my mil has no right to expect we will look the other way. When I call her to the carpet on that one, she just fudges or changes the subject.
She knows she hasn't got an inch to budge, but she expects wrong behavior will be accepted anyway.
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 12:58:50 PM »

I suggest you read the stories of some of the early martyrs. How many of them became Christians against the will of their parents? How many of them were put to death by their own parents because they would not renounce Christ? You can love and respect your parents without having to follow their every word. As a parent you should know that an answer of "NO" can be the most loving answer you can give.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2008, 01:07:11 PM »

Remember that the Law was made new by the coming of Christ. We interpret the Law through the eyes of the New Commandment, that you love one another as Christ loves you. Are your parents biological or spiritual? Your parents are the fathers and mothers of the Church. Your Father is God the Father. Your Priest and Bishop are your fathers. This is because when we are baptized into Christ we are made knew and receive adoption into Christ family.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2008, 12:53:22 AM »

Calligraphqueen, I understand that this matter is of great importance to you, and that you felt that the only way for your concern to be properly addressed was to place it in Faith Issues. Furthermore, at its core, this post contains a question that does concern all Christians, and especially Orthodox Christians: How do we as adults honor our parents? This question could lead to some fruitful discussion, and I hope that it does.

However, as you stated above, this issue would probably be more pertinent to the discussions in the Family Forum. Now normally it would not be a big issue to move it to the proper forum, but your statement above that it should not be moved we on the moderatorial team feel was inappropriate. You may not have meant by that statement to disregard the moderatorial team's authority to move posts, but by wording it as you did you have implied that a poster can dictate what the moderatorial team can and cannot do with a post--which is simply not true. We, as do all posters here, abide by a certain set of well-established rules, and we do our very best to ensure that those rules keep the discussions here as productive as possible.

Therefore, you will be receiving an official warning for your statement above, specifically for disregard of moderatorial authority. I hope that this warning will be short-lived, and it can be removed in time. You've been here long enough to have seen this in action. In addition, this thread will be moved to the Family Forum, which as you said is where it ought to be. It is my sincere hope, and the hope of all of us on the moderatorial team, that this will be the only disciplinary measure we will have to take with you. I trust that you will take it seriously and will be a little more cautious about how you word your posts in the future. Thank you.

--YtterbiumAnalyst


 disregard of moderatorial authority

Well, even though calligraphqueen and I don't always see eye to eye, I half suspect that this is a trap to catch me; well you got me, as I said before, I'm predictable in this matter: for the cause of the freedom of speech I will always express my opinion, consequences be damned. So here it goes.

YtterbiumAnalyst, in all my life I have rarely read such arrogant B.S. (you can figure out that acronym, I hope, but we'll see) in all my readings, and I'm informally a student of Joseph Goebbels.

First of all no one dictated anything at all, calligraphqueen said, 'Mods if you move it I will stomp and throw a fit.' Now I don't know if the problem was that she used too to complex of words for a native speaker of english, like 'stomp' and 'throw' (I know, five letters is a lot), but I understood it quite well. No one told you what you 'could' and 'could not' do, the implication was that she'd merely be disappointed if you disregarded her concerns she's be disappointed...that wouldn't even be worthy of retaliation in Stalin's government, butm apparently, some here find Stalin's concept of liberty to be excessive and anarchist.

Secondly, the legal right to do whatever you want, regardless of how disrespectful to the wishes of the posters on this forum, is obvious as this is a privately funded forum. Anastasios and Robert and, I suppose you, insofar as they allow it, obviously have a legal right to move whatever post they want or warn or ban whoever they want. But from not only a moral perspective, but also a common sense perspective, this is just absurd. Sorry you had your feelings hurt, but with 'authority' (or should I say privilege, Anastasios and Robert are the only ones that actually have legal authority) comes responsibility; in this case, the responsibility to honestly and objectively evaluate a given post...and while mine may cross the line, it is utterly absurd and ridiculous to suggest that calligraphqueen's did.

Of course, I didn't disregard 'moderatorial authority' I specifically refered to the legal property rights of Anastasios and Roberty, I simply mocked your application of the same.

(I wish I could always be as straight forward and honest as I am after a fifth of whiskey, but I probably would have gotten myself banned long before now. Grin)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 12:54:27 AM by greekischristian » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2008, 01:04:06 AM »

Here, here GIC!  I couldn't agree more, this is the GIC I love!  The Agent of the Phanar is back! Wink

Seriously, I really do agree with GIC.  I read the moderators post before I read the post in question, and I was expecting some absolutely heinous diatribe.  If anything, she came across as expecting it to be moved, but asking that it not to with a wink of the eye.  The public flogging seemed over the top and vindictive, though from reading calligraphqueen's post I have no idea why.

Well, even though calligraphqueen and I don't always see eye to eye, I half suspect that this is a trap to catch me; well you got me, as I said before, I'm predictable in this matter: for the cause of the freedom of speech I will always express my opinion, consequences be damned. So here it goes.

YtterbiumAnalyst, in all my life I have rarely read such arrogant B.S. (you can figure out that acronym, I hope, but we'll see) in all my readings, and I'm informally a student of Joseph Goebbels.

First of all no one dictated anything at all, calligraphqueen said, 'Mods if you move it I will stomp and throw a fit.' Now I don't know if the problem was that she used too to complex of words for a native speaker of english, like 'stomp' and 'throw' (I know, five letters is a lot), but I understood it quite well. No one told you what you 'could' and 'could not' do, the implication was that she'd merely be disappointed if you disregarded her concerns she's be disappointed...that wouldn't even be worthy of retaliation in Stalin's government, butm apparently, some here find Stalin's concept of liberty to be excessive and anarchist.

Secondly, the legal right to do whatever you want, regardless of how disrespectful to the wishes of the posters on this forum, is obvious as this is a privately funded forum. Anastasios and Robert and, I suppose you, insofar as they allow it, obviously have a legal right to move whatever post they want or warn or ban whoever they want. But from not only a moral perspective, but also a common sense perspective, this is just absurd. Sorry you had your feelings hurt, but with 'authority' (or should I say privilege, Anastasios and Robert are the only ones that actually have legal authority) comes responsibility; in this case, the responsibility to honestly and objectively evaluate a given post...and while mine may cross the line, it is utterly absurd and ridiculous to suggest that calligraphqueen's did.

Of course, I didn't disregard 'moderatorial authority' I specifically refered to the legal property rights of Anastasios and Roberty, I simply mocked your application of the same.

(I wish I could always be as straight forward and honest as I am after a fifth of whiskey, but I probably would have gotten myself banned long before now. Grin)
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2008, 01:17:42 AM »

    The public flogging seemed over the top and vindictive, though from reading calligraphqueen's post I have no idea why.

While I don't see the 'warning' as vindictive, I agree that it seems excessive.  I re-read her initial post and didn't see anything disrespectful towards the mods.

In Christ,

Gabriel
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2008, 01:51:06 AM »

You are right, vindictive was too strong.  How about, it was excessive in tone, and excessive in length! Smiley

While I don't see the 'warning' as vindictive, I agree that it seems excessive.  I re-read her initial post and didn't see anything disrespectful towards the mods.

In Christ,

Gabriel
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2008, 04:45:59 AM »

However, as you stated above, this issue would probably be more pertinent to the discussions in the Family Forum. Now normally it would not be a big issue to move it to the proper forum, but your statement above that it should not be moved we on the moderatorial team feel was inappropriate. You may not have meant by that statement to disregard the moderatorial team's authority to move posts, but by wording it as you did you have implied that a poster can dictate what the moderatorial team can and cannot do with a post--which is simply not true. We, as do all posters here, abide by a certain set of well-established rules, and we do our very best to ensure that those rules keep the discussions here as productive as possible.

--YtterbiumAnalyst[/b][/color]

 disregard of moderatorial authority

Basically, I agree with what others have said and I sort of feel the Tongue makes the spirit of calligraphqueen's opening remarks quite clear. Mods, looks like you might have over-reacted.  Of course, the other possibility is that I have really misunderstood what the Tongue means! Smiley
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 04:49:47 AM by Riddikulus » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2008, 10:04:01 AM »

Dear Calligraphqueen,

My heart goes out to you, and I, too, have no "sound" advice or explanation. I'll just sympathize with you and mention you and your folks in my prayer.

In my family, I, too, saw examples of terrible, extremely obnoxious behavior of parents toward their children, a behavior that goes against any human possibility of "honoring." My paternal grandfather - essentially a very well-educated, highly respected man, - became very obnoxious and cruel with his son and his daughter-in-law as he grew old. When he was in his late 70-s and 80-s, he would often visit my parents' apartment and stay there very long, interfering with their lives, scolding them, demeaning them (sometimes even calling them indecent names, names that could not even be pronounced aloud in good society or in the presence of children!), and simultaneously begging for money, allegedly as a "loan" (which he, of course, never paid back). He did not really need that money - he was on a state pension and had everything an aged man needs, but it tormented him that his son and daughter-in-law earned what he perceived as big salaries... My mom began to hate him with a deep, almost animal hatred, and to spill this hatred on my dad, which probably was one of the leading factors that lead to his suicide in 1996.

Another awful example was my maternal grandmother, again, an extremely well-educated, highly intellectual, erudite woman who, aparently, did not have a slightest maternal feeling toward my mom. Paradoxically, she was very good to me, but to her daughter she was dominant (obnoxiously dominant), rude, unkind. She was obsessed with the idea that my mom, - her only child who had been born in a very short and loveless marriage to a guy who had been essentially a stranger to my grandma, - was ugly and stupid. When my mom was in her 30-s and 40-s and 50-s, and my grandma in her 50-s and 60-s and 70-s, the two of them could not be in the same room without a terrible fight, which, again, tormented my dad (he would sometimes say that "these two women seem like the next minute they will bite each other's noses off").

My father, however, showed an incredible patience and kindness to his father as well as to his mother-in-law. He would take all their hostilities on himself, serving as a buffer between them and his wife, trying to be diplomatic, to at least try to restore some peace. And, at the terminal stage of his parents' and of his mother-in-law's lives, he took care of them like one takes care of babies. But then, again, when these old folks were gone, a terrible void appeared in his own life, and a terrible fear that he soon would be like they were when they were approaching their end. Yet another contribution to his fatal decision of March 1996...

As for me, I've never really honored my parents. I wish I could be like my dad was with his dad and his mother-in-law, but I never had my dad's heart, his generosity, his kindness and patience. I've been always abrupt, rude, impatient, short-tempered. I know I'll be judged for that.

Again, no particular bright thoughts or sound advice, just commiserating, venting - and praying.

George
 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 10:07:54 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2008, 03:24:52 PM »

I just about fell out of my chair when I read my 'warning'  As if my infrequent stops into OC forum aren't proof enough, then the context of my posts up till now and this one should be a good track record.  This is just plain absurd.
I don't recall stomping and throwing a fit in real life or virtual for at least a few years now.  Grin

Sheesh. Since when are things said 'tongue in cheek' around here verboten?  Have I ever demonstrated disrespect for mods authority before-for real?

The joys of virtual discussion Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2008, 11:59:22 PM »

^^LOL! This is about the silliest thing I have ever seen here on the OC. What is the world coming to these days when people have too much time on their hands to dole out underserving warnings. I'm hoping this is some kind of joke, but apparently not. I thought the point of having moderators would be for enforcing a code of conduct within reasonable parameters; essentially allowing for free discussion while maintaining civility between members. 
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 07:37:41 PM »

I too believe calligraphqueen's warning/moderation was excessive and over the top; it did not even come close to warrant such an action. I would encourage the moderator(s) to rethink their decision.
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2008, 08:27:22 PM »

Calligraphqueen,

I'm just going to echo what some others have said here...

My own belief about the commandment to honor one's father and mother, I take NOT to mean "obey" (obeying does not always honor them), and I take not to mean "allow them to walk all over you and psychologically damage your family and allow their spouses to do something terrible to your children."  I take the commandment to mean honor them by your actions.  In other words, do them honor by being the best child of God that you can, by loving them (but not being their victim), and by praying for them.

I'm reminded of a story that Kyriacos C. Markides tells in his book The Mountain of Silence (a fabulous read, by the way).  I'm going to attempt to paraphrase, as the book itself is packed away in a box somewhere.  Please, anyone feel free to correct me if I am telling the story incorrectly.

There was a monk whose spiritual father was terribly abusive of him, though he was a pious man, righteous, humble, who loved God (substitute your mil and step-fil here for spiritual father).  The spiritual father was verbally, emotionally abusive of the monk for years.  Once, when a fellow monk asked him how things were going with his spiritual father, the monk implied that the spiritual father was abusive and difficult.  At that very moment, as a consequence of speaking ill of his spiritual father, he felt the grace of God leave him.  Then, when the spiritual father passed away, the monk had dreams in which he had visions of his spiritual father suffering greatly as a result of his actions.  The monk felt terrible, not wanting his spiritual father to be condemned, for even though his spiritual father was difficult and abusive, he loved him enough to not want him to suffer in hell.  So he began to pray for his soul.  He prayed for years, and in his dreams, the more he prayed, the more his visions changed and he saw his spiritual father moving closer and closer to heaven.  Finally, he prayed so fervently for the soul of his spiritual father that he did see him reach paradise. 

I tell you this story to illustrate a couple of points.  First, I tell you NOT to illustrate that you should just take their abuse no matter what.  Turning the other cheek is one thing, subjecting your children to harm is another.  It would be different if the children were not part of the equation. Then maybe you could try to reach out to her and help her.  But your FIRST obligation is as a mother, not a daughter (IMHO-- although most psychologists would agree with me, I think), and as a mother you MUST protect your children.  There's no question in my mind that you cannot subject your children to her abuse, and you certainly cannot subject them to her husband (the sexual predator). 

Rather, I tell you this story to illustrate that the way to honor them (again, IMHO), is to love them (but not necessarily like them), and to pray for them.  I do believe that we have an obligation to love and pray for those who abuse and revile us.  Christ Himself tells us that.  And I do believe that we have to strive, no matter how bad the abuse, to not compound our own sin by hating the abuser, and by not praying for them.  That is our sin, and is on our shoulders.  The story illustrates the power of prayer, which seems to be what she needs most.  Feel sorry for her, for the situation she has put herself in, her seeming inability to cope with reality, and her refusal to change her situation.  Just feel sorry and love her and pray for her.  But don't subject your children to her.

I am a fervent fan of professional counseling, as well as pastoral counseling from one's spiritual father.  I would say it doesn't seem that she is willing or ready to participate in something like that, but maybe by God's grace, through your prayers, she will be eventually.  In the meantime, I would DEFINITELY limit contact with her, if you allow any at all. 

My belief is this: You honor your parents by protecting your children.  You honor them by showing love and praying for those who curse you and abuse you.  Personally, I would say that you would NOT honor them by allowing them to continue to abuse you, as it is an unhealthy situation that does nothing but perpetuate sin and hurt on the part of all parties involved. 

I pray that what I have said helps you, and that you will forgive me if I have compounded your hurt with my words.  Please know that I am not judging you at all, just trying to help, and know that you and your family are in my prayers.  I have a friend who is special needs, and I have been her only consistent friend since we were in first grade, the others have abandoned her.  I know how difficult it can be as a friend, I can't imagine how difficult it must be as a parent, and I'm sure it has compounded the situation for both you and your husband exponentially.  Again, you are all in my prayers.

Pray for me a sinner,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 09:52:08 PM »

^^ Beautifully put!!! Post of the month nominee as far as I am concerned.

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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 04:48:38 AM »

As children, we may have needed something from our parents which we did not receive; and we will never receive it; and the adult response to this is grief. And if you look at the Kübler-Ross stages of grieving:
   1. Denial: "This didn't happen"
   2. Anger: "Why me? It's not fair."
   3. Bargaining: "May be I can win their love somehow and get them to give me what I needed."
   4. Depression: "I'm so sad, if this can happen, why bother with anything?"
   5. Acceptance: "It's going to be OK."

you can see that when it comes to our parent's failures, we often get stuck in the second stage. Parents (we tell ourselves) are superhumans who know everything and can satisfy our every need, so when they fail, when our idols feet of clay crumble, we are naturally disappointed. But our parents are in reality human beings with human frailties. Honouring any human being does not mean placing them on a pedestal and expecting perfect behaviour from them at all times. This is not honouring. We honour the Saints, but none of them was sinless. We honour the dead by not speaking ill of them, and by praying for the forgiveness of their sins. In the same way, as adults, we honour our parents for giving us life, not for being superhuman as we believed when we were children.
The fifth stage of acceptance comes when we take responsibility for our own life, love and honour our parents warts and all, and actively seek to break away from any bad habits or behaviours we might have learned from them which are not in accordance with the Gospel (for example: racism, passing judgement, impiety etc are often learned behaviours). As we say in common parlance "The apple does not fall far from the tree", so whenever I feel myself judging my parents past behaviour, I now automatically examine myself, and I invariably find a similar or related behaviour in myself.
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 10:14:48 AM »

Calligraphqueen,

I too agree with GIC.

Not to go into too much detail right now, I too had to live growing up with the "charades", and lies, and the "don't tell this one" to the point that nobody knew what to say to whom.  In my opinion you have every right to do what you feel is right for your family, immediate family, spouse and children.  I have taken that stand several times and have been slammed each time.  Honoring of the parents is a two way street in my mind.  One time when my stepfather went over the line on how he treated my son, and got cought with my son's belongings (that's another story) by the police  police who my son called, everyone thought that my son was wrong.  Well if you go into his apartment and empty it out and get caught with it in your car . . .  police

As far as your WARNING yeah that was an over reaction, but we shouldn't over react to the over reaction. Huh Huh  What the heck am I saying Huh  Now I'm totally confused.  Huh



At the risk of getting warned myself . . . my initial response to the initial over reaction by the mod was . . . like my friend Walter says . . .

DUMMY!!


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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2008, 10:30:56 AM »

OK - Let's not forget the real reason of this post is that our sister is stressed and is reaching out to vent as well as receive meaningful input. Presbyteria GreekChef caught this and responded beautifully.

Sister: I have no advice for you and will pray for you. I am in a similar, although not as tragic, situation as you with my mil.
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« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2008, 10:08:42 PM »

OK - Let's not forget the real reason of this post is that our sister is stressed and is reaching out to vent as well as receive meaningful input. Presbyteria GreekChef caught this and responded beautifully.

Sister: I have no advice for you and will pray for you. I am in a similar, although not as tragic, situation as you with my mil.

Thank you for your post, aserb.  I wholeheartedly agree with you and encourage us all to try to keep to the topic at hand, please. 

Calligraphqueen, as many have said, often the best we can do is just pray.  I know that sounds trite but what else can we do?  I have difficult family members too and it seems like they will not listen to reason or anything else.  It's frustrating and I believe you're right to try to keep their influence on your children to a minimum unless the behavior changes.  In any case, you're in our prayers.  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 10:18:59 PM »

At the risk of getting warned myself . . . my initial response to the initial over reaction by the mod was . . . like my friend Walter says . . .
pb

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« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2008, 11:59:52 PM »

Dear Calli---


I wish to say that I completely understand what you are going through. My mother is abusive and controlling like yours is. She controls my brother a lot more than me now, but that has to do with her disowning me three times. I don't exist to her anymore, and that's the way I like it. If I did still exist to her, she would still be uglier towards me than the zombies from 28 Days Later(not sure if you've seen this movie  Grin)
Calli, I was taught as recently as last year that you cannot change the actions or opinions of other people. You can only change yourself. All else is mostly in vain. I feel that if you do not stay away from those relatives that are toxic, you can pretty much forget about being a human being, because they will kill it in you. They will also kill the Graces of God that are in your children.
My mother has been as ugly as your mother for decades and decades, and I cannot help her because she is stuck in the mindset of gorging on her own negativity until her emotional stomach can't hold it, and she pukes it up on her own family (sorry for the yucky image!:P). I don't know if you feel this is the right action for yourself, but I have recently decided to disown my mother because she is so hateful, selfish, vindictive and ugly. And I will tell you what I have told GIC: I changed my name legally because I could not stand the very sound of my own birth name, after all the cruelty that my own mother threw at me (she actually plays the victim about this, like I'm some bad daughter for "hurting" her by changing my name). If your mother or any of your relatives are being this ugly to you or your children, there might be a chance that, one day, your children will not be able to stand the sound of their birth names.
If I ever have children, my mother will not even know I am ever pregnant, let alone see her grandchildren, after all she's done.
You will be doing the right thing by getting your family the Hell away from these people. Smiley Don't ever let anyone on this Forum or anywhere else tell you that you are in the wrong! You should also be careful that your mother doesn't pretend to be sorry for what she's done, as my mother would play that game. Remember, Jesus Himself warned us of the Pharisees.

With Love and Full Support,
Sia,
nee Adele
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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2008, 12:12:57 AM »

Heorhij--


When I saw that I was beginning to exhibit the same behaviors as my mother, I went and got myself counseling, especially after my friends caught on to these behaviors first. They begged me to get counseling, and I am a much better person for it. If you see the bad behaviors of your relatives in you, pleeeeeease get counseling. It was the only thing that saved me.

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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2008, 12:23:02 AM »

About two yers ago we drew the line with my parents. I also grew up with an abusive/caustic step father. My mother has always tried to control every iota of my existance. We are now in a war with my brother. He used to live with us, and on the Christmas of 2005 he hit my eldest daughter so hard on the back for climbing on a bunkbed (that wasn't even his) that it left a mark literally for HOURS thereafter. My parents BOTH openly contradicted my defense of my daughter in front of my kids. (my husband was at work, so it was me against my two parents and my two brothers in my own home). They claimed it "wasn't that bad" and some other rot. All this occured just TWO DAYS after my then 5mth old had gotten out of the hospital with a lifethreatening cause of RSV. And the cherry on top; they invited people over to MY HOUSE without consulting me. I have and continue to work daily on my forgiveness of my entire family. We are called to honor our parents. But as adults and parents our priority is FIRST to our kids and their wellbeing and THEN to their grandparents. At this point I have a functional relationship with my parents. I can't say the same for my one brother. I confess in retrospect that I have never had a tremendous amount of respect for my parents. They have never seemed very "respectable." But I have to "salute the office" so to speak. That DOES NOT MEAN that I condone everything that they do. But I DO do everything I can to not be in a position where they feel judged. And by doing so they have increased in their respect of me! I can't say that I will every have a "healthy" relationship with my parents. But I will do everything I can within sane means, to have a functional relationship with them. And that means little contact beyond being "polite."
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2008, 12:30:37 AM »

Heorhij--


When I saw that I was beginning to exhibit the same behaviors as my mother, I went and got myself counseling, especially after my friends caught on to these behaviors first. They begged me to get counseling, and I am a much better person for it. If you see the bad behaviors of your relatives in you, pleeeeeease get counseling. It was the only thing that saved me.



Thanks for the advice, Myrrh. Yes, I know, I must watch out for those bad genes...

So far, my wife and daughter keep telling me that I am more or less OK. What probably helps is that I have inherited some "good genes" from my dad; I am, essentially, an easy-going person, not a dominant type like my paternal grandfather or maternal grandmother. As I grow older, I, according to my wife's and daughter's testimony, become more and more like my dad, even by appearance. Unfortunately, I am short-tempered, while he was very patient with people.
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2008, 12:31:49 AM »

We have since instituted the rule that my parents can not visit with me unless my husband is present. And he now takes the role of protector of my in regards to my parents. He has always wanted to take on this role. But I have always tried to sheilf him from my familial craziness. Doing so harmed my relationship with my husband without my knowledge. And by allowing my husband to protect me from EVERYONE, we are closer.

Think about this; would you let your husband protect you from a stranger that treated you this way? Would you accept the same behavior from a stranger? How would you politely react to a stranger treating you that way?

LOL Now my parents call Tim "the enforcer," they think of it as an insult, he wears the label with pride.
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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2008, 12:37:28 AM »

Heorhij---


LOL! I am becoming the easy-going person that is my father! Thank GOD for my father's calm genes!!! I remember moments when my mother would rant and rave and scream and curse at my father for anything and everything....and he would just sit in his chair watching TV or reading the newspaper, totaling ignoring her! Now THAT'S power! I can't do it, though. Two minutes in a room with my Mad Mum, and I go crazy!

Quin, I'd never let my brother near my future children, because he has what we call "The Jan Temper", and he hasn't been to counseling. Jan is my mother's name.
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2008, 12:45:53 AM »


Quin, I'd never let my brother near my future children, because he has what we call "The Jan Temper", and he hasn't been to counseling. Jan is my mother's name.

Are you related to calligraphqueen? I don't understand. I thought that calligraphqueen was married with kids? Is she your sister in law?
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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2008, 12:48:45 AM »

Oh, OK I think I understand where you are coming from. Sorry, a couple weeks of all night nursing have gotten me addlebrained.

My brothers are twins and the twin that "seemed" to have the least problems with anger was the one that hurt my daughter. The cranky one is much less of a concern to me. His brother bottles up all his anger and directs it at me. He is 34, single, and is a BIG Calvinist buff. If all of humanity is inherantly evil then beating up a small child doesn't mean anything apparently. Honestly, I think he hates me for making it out of the cycle of lunacy that is our family line.

My biological father is a pedophile, (I haven't seen or spoken to him since I was 8 ) and with the aforementioned brothers problems with anger and porn, I won't let him near my kids until we go thru a proper reconcilation and he undergoes counseling. And since he won't recognize the sins of his father, it leads me to believe that he is more apt to repeat them.

{Edit - fixed the number 8 in the parentheses - Cleveland, GM}
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« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2008, 12:49:03 AM »

Nah, I don't know Calli. I haven't even met her.
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« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2008, 08:52:55 AM »

It seems that there is more family issues out here than we realize and this is propbably true of the larger world. I like Quin's thought of honoring the office. I think it's great that yo let your husband be the protector. This is good advice for me. All the issues we have to deal with are from my wife's mother. She plays a different game. Agrees to one set of rules then does her own thing. Claims she wants to help, but only on her terms which in the end are no help at all. I want to honor her "office" yet it is hard when you have lost respect for someone. (Well I honor the office of president but I have lost respect for him - - another discussion for another forum.)
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« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2008, 02:18:15 PM »

My mom "helped" at my step sisters wedding, she cried and complained of "adrenal exhaustion"  Roll Eyes while I made all the boquettes, boutineers and floral arrangements and cared for my then 3 year old alone (the process together took somewhere close to 10 hours) and then hiked up and down the side of a mountain 3 times with wedding stuff (my sister was wed at the top of a trail in Montana, it was so steep up there that they drove people up to the trailhead. On the drive up to the trailhead we passed soem grizzly cubs and still had the wedding, in the rain.) Oh, and did I mention I was 8 mths pregnant with pre-eclampsia? laugh Good times, good times...... Tongue

(My husband was caught in a Dantes inferno of meandering drinving to find some location with my step father and step brother. He wanted to come back to help me, but my step father and brother were on a mission to find some elusive taco stand or something.)
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« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2008, 02:31:54 PM »

Is it any wonder I finally gave in the summer after that wedding and let my husband protect me?

To me the FUNNIEST part of my mothers logical thought is her views of labor pains. My mom was there for my first delivery, I was induced with pitocin and put on blood pressure meds. I went thru the entire process without pain meds of any kind. At the beginning she told me repeatedly that I didn't "look" like I was in enough pain to really be in labor. And she and the nurses declared that I wouldn't have that baby for DAYS. I gave birth about 5 hours after this declaration.

All my life she always went on and on about out labor isn't painful; "It's just muscle pain" she would say, "no one needs pain meds for labor." I then find out that she has never had a labor without an epidural.....ah, NO WONDER it wasn't painful for her!  Roll Eyes

Labor isn't that bad. I do give her credit for raising me with that belief. But it would have been nice if she had actually experienced a pain med free labor at some point to back up her assertations.
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« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2008, 08:37:17 PM »

Hey Quin---


Because of the epidurals, I wonder if your mother's spirit stood by her body while it was in labor..kinda like those Death Near Experiences.  Wink laugh
Yeah..no pain there!
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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2008, 11:39:18 AM »

Because of the epidurals, I wonder if your mother's spirit stood by her body while it was in labor..kinda like those Death Near Experiences.  Wink laugh
Yeah..no pain there!

Um... epidurals don't separate the spirit from the body.  An epidural is done by inserting a tiny little tube into your spine and pumping anesthetic in to block feeling from the point of insertion down.  The patient is conscious the entire time.  I had an epidural a few months ago and I assure you, my spirit didn't stand next to me.  I could have sworn it did before the epidural, though.
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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2008, 12:50:26 PM »

It seems that there is more family issues out here than we realize and this is propbably true of the larger world. I like Quin's thought of honoring the office. I think it's great that yo let your husband be the protector. This is good advice for me. All the issues we have to deal with are from my wife's mother. She plays a different game. Agrees to one set of rules then does her own thing. Claims she wants to help, but only on her terms which in the end are no help at all. I want to honor her "office" yet it is hard when you have lost respect for someone. (Well I honor the office of president but I have lost respect for him - - another discussion for another forum.)

Hear, hear, brother!  That's how my mother-in-law acts, as if the rules don't apply to her, even if she's claimed to accept a different game; she's a classic case of narcisism. 

As far as the OP, an old friend of mine told me a long time ago that just because you happen to have the same blood in your veins as someone else, be it parent, sibling or extended family, you don't owe them anything as an individual.  While, as a Christian, I don't totally agree with that, I can understand his point, especially when one's children are involved.  As others have pointed out here, once you have a child, your responsibility is to that person, not anyone else, parents included.  My wife and I joke about our children calling her mother "Ms. Lady" instead of "Grandma" (although the Polish "Babcia" would probably be even more amusing) or the like because she has publically stated she's not "grandparent material" and her distaste for children has me scared to death about leaving one alone with her, not that she'd do anything abusive to an infant or small child but I don't want them exposed to the negative vibes, so to speak, that tend to congregate around her. 

My wife has a very strange relationship with her mother.  I can only describe as similar to the stereotypical Jewish mother-daughter relationship we see on tv and in movies.  It's so incredibly strange to me.  At first I tried to push myself into the Protector role but have come to realize that it's only going to make things worse.  I'm there when she (my wife) needs me to be but otherwise I let them act like complete fools when any sort of consternation arises between them and do my best to pick up the pieces and encourage her to learn from it and not let it happen again.  To my delight, she has learned to stand up to it at time and is more confident in doing so in the future.  Of course, things happen such as the recent and incredibly ridiculous hair dye incident where my wife bleached her hair out to a relatively normal color (I liked it) and my mother-in-law went ballistic as if her daughter just got a short blue mohawk.  But lines are being drawn more clearly and enforced more readily.  It takes a long time to break such a cycle; it can be almost like an addiction.  Unless a person is one who embraces change or at least isn't threatened by it, the fear of leaving the comfort zone that one has been living under for so long can make it all the more difficult.

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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2008, 02:23:36 PM »

^OMG do you and I need to sit down and have a beer sometime.

Do you have a child?  A little Schultz or are you referring to your nieces and nephews?
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2008, 02:30:11 PM »

^OMG do you and I need to sit down and have a beer sometime.

SERIOUSly, we do.  Only one of my friends around here gets what I'm talking about in theory (his wife's mother is just as crazy as my m-i-l) but his relationship with his mother-in-law is totally different (she's a pushover when he's around). 


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Do you have a child?  A little Schultz or are you referring to your nieces and nephews?

No kids yet, but we'll be going full blast into "Let's make a baby" mode later this year. Smiley

« Last Edit: February 22, 2008, 02:33:02 PM by Schultz » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2008, 05:40:08 PM »

Shultz? You have to go into a mode to make a baby??   Grin

 Wink
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Schultz
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« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2008, 05:41:25 PM »

Shultz? You have to go into a mode to make a baby??   Grin

 Wink

Well, at present it's just "We'll see what happens".  "Full baby mode" is her screaming, "I'M OVULATING!  GET HOME NOW!" Wink
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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2008, 08:26:29 PM »

Well, at present it's just "We'll see what happens".  "Full baby mode" is her screaming, "I'M OVULATING!  GET HOME NOW!" Wink

LOL!  Well, good luck.  Our "We'll see what happens" is nearly four months old now.   Cheesy
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