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Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition

Le chien, so chic
Le chien, so chic

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments.

681 replies on “Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition”

Ally — you know how little kids will taunt boys with how so and so looks like a girl? Well my ten year old brain is going “Ally looks like a GIRL”. So congrats on that, I’m a smidge jealous, as much as the whole “passing” thing is BS, cuz you ARE a girl/woman, not passing as one, I gotta say, you pass way better than I do!

And don’t go back to your father’s. Seriously, unless you need to deal with him for college stuff, finances, shit like that, just don’t talk to him at all. If you have to stay in contact for personal reasons, see about getting a PO box and using snail mail with that as your addy. If he calls, let him go to voice mail, smoke a bowl, and listen to it.

Also, Ativan. Seriously, the stuff is how I make it through the day now that I can’t smoke pot (no connections in CT anymore, blew those when rapist ex #1 got shown the door). If you need to smoke, go ahead, how is it really different than my relying on benzos? I have a script? Big whoop-de-do-da. Seriously, self-medicating is a problem when it fucks with your life, not when it helps you get through your life.

Idk if it’s still the case, but when I worked there, Joann Fabrics didn’t drug test. Strangely enough, neither did the law firm.

Thanks, Argenti! :3 I still feel really dysphoric when I look at my pictures, even that picture, but’s better than having a conspicuously masculine appearance.

@Ally S: the photo is great (and wow, B&W, love B&W photos). We all tend to be entirely too hard on ourselves for how we look. Please, look at photos of yourself with the intention to see things you like, and try not to focus on things you don’t like.

If this was a close friend of yours going through this, and they were showing you these photos, what things would you point out to your friend to make them feel better?

Please don’t beat yourself up. And a lot of the hard anti-drug sentiments come from people who would whine like babies if alcohol was made illegal – so are fucking hypocrites.

What pallygirl said. All of it. But namely the last bit. I am currently drinking and smoking a cigarette — both legal — go smoke a bowl, it’s less damaging to your health! (Ok, smoking now is up to you, but the point stands)

Oh dear, so I like sent this email to dad to explain my moving plans to him:

Currently I’m planning to return to UCSC by this upcoming autumn. For the time being, I will stay at [my friend]’s place, a trusted friend I have known for almost 2 years. I’ll also try to get another job, insha-Allah [hopefully] in programming, in order to both help support myself and build my resume for future jobs since I can’t avoid work forever.

My therapist told me that, given the great deal of family-related stress I have gone through over the past 4 months, it’s best that I try to live away from all family members temporarily. I trust his opinion because I have told him a lot about my anxiety and stress. It’s not that I want to stay away from the family forever or even that I have some kind of hatred for them. Quite the opposite. I love you all very much, and half of my stress has been coming from the fear of family disapproval. But for my own sake I need to have my own space and take care of myself mentally a bit longer. I assure all of you that I want to maintain healthy family relationships, but at the same time, family-related stress can get in the way of that process. And that is what has happened so far in my situation.

All I will be doing is staying at another place. That means that I’ll still visit all of you very often. I’m coming up to [city] the day after my arrival to bring gifts for everyone from us over here. And I will also go on hikes regularly with [my older brother] and co. like I used to.

I’m very excited to see everyone in California.

This is his response:

Thanks for sharing the plan.

I would like to know who in the family has given you stress during the last four months. I would like to speak to those people right away.

I have spoke to [your older brother] and [your older sister] and we concerned about the people who you’ll be living with. We do not know anything about them. You’ll be similarly concerned if any of your younger siblings decided to stay with someone you did not know about. Has anyone including your mother, [your older brother], and [your older sister] spoken to [your friend]?

Please email us the physical address and phone number of [your friend] — we need to have this information for emergency purposes. Also, I would like one of us speak with [your friend].

For the last four months (and before), [your older brother], [your older sister], and your mother have gone out of their way to support you both emotionally and financially. Therefore I find it very odd that you’d rather stay away from [your older brother].

My thoughts:

1. WHO ELSE WOULD BE CAUSING THE STRESS BESIDES YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE I’M SCARED OF OUTING MYSELF TO JFC

2. No, if my younger sibling decided to live with their friends for a while and I knew that they were good at picking friends, then I would leave them the fuck alone.

3. No, no, no. Leave the the hell alone.

4. MY BROTHER COUNTS AS A FAMILY MEMBER SO OBVIOUSLY I’D BE LIVING AWAY FROM HIM AS WELL EVEN THOUGH I’M ON GOOD TERMS WITH HIM

I’m so sick of this abusive bullshit. He shows no signs of changing for the better.

Also: he’s never going to change. He’s had most of his lifetime being an abuser, there’s no reason for him to change, he gets what he wants that way. There’s no motivation in him to change, it’s all about power. If you think of contacting him again, I’d say: remember the advice you give other people being abused!

The stricter I am with what I tell him, the more likely he will freak out and try stalking me, causing anxiety for everyone in the family. So I had to email him about my plans in as vague terms as possible.

I wish I could just be hugged by someone now, and by someone I don’t mean my dad.

@Ally Captain Awkward does these sort of scripts really well if you want some ideas.

Although definitely seconding kittehs that dealing with him at all is really unnecessary.

@Ally: sending you virtual hugs. The only thing I can think of to ask is, have you and the therapist discussed how to deal with your father via email?

(Note: some of these might be triggering in various ways. Most obviously, they are generally meant to apply to possibly abusive situations)

I found some of CA’s advice on boundary-setting in ways I think (?) may be applicable Ally. Don’t know if they will be useful (especially when dealing with someone you KNOW won’t change), but I thought I’d throw them in anyway.

http://captainawkward.com/2013/08/18/504-replying-to-the-council-of-unsolicited-advisors/
http://captainawkward.com/2013/06/29/491-a-dream-job-is-taking-me-back-to-the-city-i-left-10-years-ago-to-escape-my-abusive-family-how-can-i-keep-myself-safe/
http://captainawkward.com/2013/03/22/london-meetup-462-when-is-it-time-to-cut-off-communication-with-abusive-family/
http://captainawkward.com/2013/03/15/460-boundaries-are-good-even-if-other-people-dont-enjoy-it-when-you-set-them/
http://captainawkward.com/2012/09/19/357-dispatches-from-the-mean-old-people-internet/
http://captainawkward.com/2012/07/31/315-the-boundary-crossing-neighbor/

And virtual hugs if you want them Ally.

I was just clicking around Tumblr and stumbled on to child porn. I reported it, of course, but I can’t unsee it. Why are people terrible?

He doesn’t care about me in ways he should at all. And it hurts because deep down I still love him. I feel really ashamed of saying that, but I wish things could get better. I wish he and I could just talk about programming together without the background tension caused by his abuse. I wish I could hug him without feeling unsafe and anxious. I just want a normal relationship with him, for once.

It’s natural to wish that, Ally – it’s just not safe to act on it. Because you know, rationally you know, that not only will it never happen, but it’s dangerous to have anything to do with him. Even when he can’t physically harm you, he’s harming your mind, emotions, inner life.

Does he get allergies? I’d love to introduce him to a roomful of dermestid beetles. Those little dudes are right up there with Legos for non-fatal curses.

Ally — first, I’m drunk, so please bear that in mind. Second, *covers in hugs* you’re awesome and amazing! Even if your male parental unit fails to grasp that.

Ok, the practical stuff. Your mother is a safe emergency contact right? If you give her your friend’s info she won’t give it to your father? If so, give her the info, and ask her to not share it with anyone. As far as actual uses of emergency contacts go, when I was in Pittsburgh, I had my now not speaking to me best friend as my emergency contact — he knew how to get in touch with my parents, and when (e.g. if I had a broken arm and needed to be picked up, don’t bother calling them, if I’m in ICU, he had their info) — you might want to do similar — put your friend as your contact, and ensure ze has at least your mother’s contact info and a good idea when to use it, and when not to.

In any case, if your mother won’t tell your father more than you give her permission to, I’d give her he friend’s info, let them talk, and then email your father that you’d rather not say who’s been giving you trouble, you’d rather just forget about it, and yes, your mother has spoken to this friend.

Damnit, the BF fell asleep while I was smoking…ok then…

But yeah, if you think you can trust your mother, let her talk to the friend you’re with, and then tell your father that she had, and it’s all cool. As fucking obnoxious as it is, he still views you as a man? Would it help to point out that, bullshit as it might be, that you need to grow as a (*gag*) man to find a proper Muslim wife? That hurts me just to say, I can’t imagine how it would feel to you to say it, but if it would make him back the FUCK off, it might be worth it.

*more hugs* you’re awesome and you deserve to be free of him

Oh, one more random emergency contact thing — I have a living will, first named is said former best friend, pecunium is second and likely the actual one in charge. My father doesn’t know, my mother was strangely okay with it. Your parents are, by default, your next of kin and I charge if you get injured to the point you can’t make decisions. You may care to figure out local laws and if you should talk to someone else (e.g. a friend) about them being in charge.

If nothing else, I’d stick a little note in my wallet saying to contact my mother at #, not my father.

Thanks, Argenti and kitteh, but I need to get some rest. I’m too anxious and self-loathing to deal with anything right now. I’ll read your advice upon waking up. I wish my dad would just leave me alone…

Oh Ally, I wish your father couldn’t hurt you any more. Please do go and stay with your friend, and don’t give your father the information. You need this.

Less horrible but still super disturbing – I had a dream last night with Elam in it. WTF? Eww. Elam isn’t even someone who stays on my mind generally: I blame that super creepy poster from the other day. >_>

[CN: suicide]

I feel like such a horrible, worthless child. I’m going to make so many people in the family angry at me. I wish I was dead. The only thing that is stopping me from planning any act of suicide is the thought of family and friends’ grief. And I also realize that I have a whole life ahead of me that I can’t just leave unfinished. I have so many things to do. I have good reasons to not kill myself and I will stick to them.

But it still hurts so much. Today is Father’s Day. I should be feeling safe around him, not distressed to the point of wanting to kill myself. I assure you all that I’m safe and I’m nowhere near trying to actually harm myself, but I just needed to vent about this. Fuck my life.

Ally, fuck what he’s done to make you feel this way.

Fuck HIM. He’s the one not worthy of your love.

Think of all the care and compassion you’ve shown victims of abuse on this blog and elsewhere. That’s the care you deserve, too. You’re a fine human being, and that’s more than could ever be said about the shitface who dares call himself your father.

Yes, you should be able to be safe and loved around your parent. But you’re not.

He is no more worthy of love or respect than the most toxic MRA.

Why does he always go after me? Why does he always hurt me like this? Why doesn’t he just leave me the hell alone? I’ll probably never find answers to those questions. He never wants to change. He never wants to empathize. I feel so exhausted right now and it’s only 7:30 AM here.

Did you get much sleep, Ally? It’s not that long since you were online.

He does it like any abuser – he sees someone he can terrorise. He did it to your mother, too – didn’t she take out an intervention order against him? He’s a textbook example of all the things quoted from Lundy Bancroft’s book.

I didn’t sleep well. I had some very unpleasant dreams about my family. I don’t want to go into them right now.

Is it so unreasonable for me to say that my friend doesn’t want to reveal her address to people? Even if my dad wasn’t abusive? What the fuck is wrong with that? Why doesn’t my dad care?

I’m sorry, I’m being totally scatterbrained and anxious. I just took a shower and I’m feeling more relaxed. I still feel awful, though.

“Is it so unreasonable for me to say that my friend doesn’t want to reveal her address to people?”

I’m apparently sick. So I’m sorry but this is going to be short. That aside, that’s totally reasonable.

@Ally

::Offering internet hugs and sending good thoughts your way::

I don’t have any advice though 🙁

In better news, my sister took this picture of me on a hike earlier today, and I look more femme than ever in it: http://i.imgur.com/vRtEhlc.jpg

You look awesome in that picture :3

@emilygoddess

I was just clicking around Tumblr and stumbled on to child porn. I reported it, of course, but I can’t unsee it. Why are people terrible?

wow. 🙁

@argenti aertheri

You may care to figure out local laws and if you should talk to someone else (e.g. a friend) about them being in charge.

law ignorant thing here, but how hard is it to do that?

@Ally

But it still hurts so much. Today is Father’s Day. I should be feeling safe around him, not distressed to the point of wanting to kill myself. I assure you all that I’m safe and I’m nowhere near trying to actually harm myself, but I just needed to vent about this. Fuck my life.

It’s the personal thread, it’s for venting. ::offering more hugs::

But it still hurts so much. Today is Father’s Day. I should be feeling safe around him, not distressed to the point of wanting to kill myself. I assure you all that I’m safe and I’m nowhere near trying to actually harm myself, but I just needed to vent about this. Fuck my life.

No, that’d be perfectly reasonable.

Why does he always go after me? Why does he always hurt me like this? Why doesn’t he just leave me the hell alone?

Because you’re not falling into line and being (or pretending to be) the person he thinks will reflect well on him. EVEN IF you contorted yourself into a painful, horrible shape that fulfilled the script he’s written for you, his approval and displays of affection would STILL be conditional, and I have no doubt at all that he would push for further concessions.

You are a smart, beautiful, eloquent, and amazing woman. Your father will never see or acknowledge that, and that’s going to hurt.

Sometimes, you’re born into a loving, supporting family. Sometimes, you have to make your family. And that necessarily means separating to some degree from our family of birth, and seeking out new people.

Keep yourself safe, and you’ll get through this eventually, and one day you’ll even be happy. You need to be your priority, though. Your dad had his chance to be the person you’d like him to be, and to be the person in your life he’d like to be. He blew it, and continues to blow it.

Children are not possessions. His job in life as a father was to keep you alive to adulthood and teach you the life skills you need to become a whole person. He chose to try to own and control and abuse you. That’s on him, not you.

Marie — it isn’t that hard, both PA and CT you just need two over-18 witnesses, but the paperwork itself has to follow the right sort of form (the googles are your friend on that one)

*hands Ally the other sleeve of saltines* that’s all I’ve got that hasn’t been said already

@argenti

thanks. Maybe I’ll google for more info on that. It sounds like something I’d like to do.

@Ally: sometimes families just plain suck: it might be one person in the family, or it could be a bunch of them. You’re in the category of “some people in my family suck”.

The good news: a bunch of us are in that category with you. The good news is that you can get through this crap and come out the other side happy and fulfilled. The other good news: people (who aren’t idiots) don’t judge you for your family, it’s not like you were asked what family you wanted to be born into.

You’re doing really awesome, it’s just your dad has decided to continue to be a shit. That’s on him, but unfortunately it is hurting you.

I’m with Argenti re revealing your friend’s address. Both of you have to be safe because you’re living under the same roof, so it’s not unreasonable to refuse to provide the information. I don’t know if it’s an option for you, but a friend of mine had a PO Box so she could get stuff delivered without revealing her address.

Please don’t let the current situation get you down, with this sort of family issue life tends to be quite up and down before it (honestly!) stays up.

On the matter of getting an intervention throwing the family into chaos – why? Are they so deep in denial about what an abuser he is? Didn’t your mother already do that once? If they’re going to be so freaked out by it, then they’re just being abuse enablers and showing they don’t actually give a fuck about your safety or well-being, so FUCK THEM. If that’s their attitude, they aren’t being family, they’re just people you happen to be related to.

I was looking at advice on doing this in California last night, and there are legal opinions you can get. I don’t know how one would be required to have “evidence” when this sort of thing is by its nature not likely to have witnesses, or be something done when one is covered in bruises. It includes threats and stalking. I think, when you’re feeling less immediately anxious/panicked, it would be well worth getting more information about your legal options. Stopping that scum from contacting or stalking you would be a major plus.

You’ve already got away from him once. You don’t actually owe these people anything, if they’re treating you as some sacrificial lamb who has to put up with his shit.

Sorry I haven’t been around much this weekend, but Ally, let me give you a big pile of hugs. And you look beautiful in that picture.

So, I’m back in Santa Cruz, and my dad…is being really fucking weird. He now says that he doesn’t want me to see him until I move out of my friend’s place. I am still having trouble understanding how this could possibly make sense to him.

I was going to bring gifts for all of them and say hi to my little sisters. And now he has banned me from his house. I’m so fucking tired of his abusive bullshit.

Ally, I’m so sorry that your father is an abusive shit. And seconding katz, on both the hugs and the fact that you look lovely in the picture you shared.

I’m so confused. Earlier he wanted to get my friend’s full name and address for emergency purposes and now he’s acting like he wants nothing to do with me. It really hurts.

Ally – he seems to have really bad control issues. He is essentially punishing you for being autonomous – it’s either you do things his way, or you get stonewalled. This is abusive behavior. I’m sorry you have to put up with it.

My brother told my little sisters that I couldn’t come over today because my dad is upset at me and that I wish I could see them. They’re very upset and disappointed, though fortunately not at me.

Lovely photo of you, Ally. Thanks for sharing it with us.

And all the hugs you’d like. Hold tight to the knowledge that you are the one outside of your father’s control and therefore the one able to see clearly how badly he is behaving. Don’t doubt yourself. It sounds like your brother & sisters understand how much you care about them & I hope you get to see them soon.

RE: Ally

He now says that he doesn’t want me to see him until I move out of my friend’s place. I am still having trouble understanding how this could possibly make sense to him.

He’s trying to get you back under his control. That’s his sole motivation. His words don’t have to make sense; he just has to get you back.

Your dad is being a big jerkface, as usual. I’m sorry you weren’t able to see your sisters since I know how much you love them, but I do worry about what your dad will do if he sees you again IRL. Take care.

I miss my sisters so much. I was really looking forward to meeting them today. Now I don’t even know if I’ll be able to visit them outside of their home. I feel like my dad is treating me like an outcast. I don’t know what to do.

RE: Ally

I feel like my dad is treating me like an outcast.

That’s because he is. He hopes that if he punishes you enough, you’ll knuckle under and rejoin him. Keep staying away; like they say in airplanes, make sure your own oxygen mask is secure before trying to help anyone else.

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