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How do you ENFP get along with your family ( parents ), siblings ? For me personally i love my family, we have a great relationship over all. Of course we bicker and argue from time to time, the typical family stuff. At the end of the day we respect each other, stand up for the other.

I realize this isn't the case with all families, some family dynamics are messed up. I can't relate with that, because at the end of the day blood is thicker than water. What would cause a parent to dislike their own child ? What causes siblings to have so much hate towards each other. I'm not talking about kids either, i mean siblings who are mature enough to respect boundaries between the other, lets say 16+. I often read about siblings and parents who have a hate on for each other, i can't imagine living or being associated with such dysfunction. This dysfunction doesn't only stay within the family, it seeps out into the real world creating toxic behaviours, relationships/friendships.

When creating lasting friendships i tend to look at the family dynamics of said X. If i see there is any kind of dysfunction happening within the family dynamics, i don't get close to said X. I don't want to be associated with people who can't get along with their own family, it raises a huge red flag for me.

Do you have a family member you can't get along with ? Do you think you're the problem ? Or something else ? If so, what have you done to rectify the issue, or do you sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist ? How important is a healthy family setting for you ?
 

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Well then you would hate me ;-)! I love most of my family, but there is a large chunk I don't know of and most also live far away.

I also have to battle the primary fact I'm adopted, as well as the choices my parents have made. My birth dad is far away, so is my adoptive mom after she divorced my adoptive dad, my birth mom has severe mental illness, and my dad is a control freak. I wish it didn't have to be that way; what I wouldn't kill for some stability in my life! I have not allowed myself to be the victim; I'm learning of the dysfunction of all my family and implementing techniques to make sure I will not repeat. My fiancé is doing the same.

Since I only live with my adoptive dad, we have been getting along better. He usually does anything for me but it has to be his idea. I'm also learning the more space we have from one another, we get along better. He just has a completely different way of communication; he does nothing wrong but we have a tendency to take what the other person says wrong. But I love him :) he is a great dad and wants to see me succeed. Wish I could do more for him, but he won't let anybody.
 

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I don't have an exactly close family. I didn't grow up around my grandparents or extended family. My brothers live far away. However, my parents live less than 40 miles away and it drives me mad.

I love my parents but my Mom is hard for me to deal with but the kicker is that she doesn't even know. I put on a good act. She is really "different" and her ideas are strange. There might be a little bit of a personality disorder involved. She is sweet and good natured for the most part but I find it very difficult to have even a conversation with her. I wish it was different and I wish I was more capable of wrapping myself around her and embrace everything that she is, but I just can't. I never fight or argue with my parents but I do sometimes feel resentful towards my Mom. My Dad is awesome, though, and if it wasn't for my Mom I would definitely be closer with him.

I get along really well with my brothers. They are identical twins and are nearly 8 years older than I am. I miss them and wish I was around them more. They are very close with one another but I m not jealous about it, it is what is natural. My relationship with each of them in different. One is more warm hearted than the other but one is more level headed than the other. I love them both.

Besides the fact that I have had three husbands I always seemed to love my in-laws, no matter. It was the one thing that crushed me both times that I got divorced, the perceived loss of my extended family. I never have run into any drama with with in-laws. In fact, I am probably more understanding than most. I still like my ex evil sister-in-law when the rest of the family hates her.

My main crazy relationship is with my Mom. I avoid her as far as my conscious allows me to. The rest just aren't "super close" relationships but that is normal for me. I get along with most people.
 

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Do you have a family member you can't get along with ? Do you think you're the problem ? Or something else ? If so, what have you done to rectify the issue, or do you sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist ? How important is a healthy family setting for you ?
I have rather big relationship issues with my mother (who, after much thought, I believe is an ESTP Type 8)

I spent most of my life believing that I was the problem. I should probably note here that I think my mother displays a large number of narcissistic traits (her father was also a narcissist.) She drank very heavily when I was younger which made her behaviour even more unpredictable and agressive. To cut a very LONG story short; she was, and always has been, very controlling and highly manipulative.

Obviously when I was younger this was much harder for me to understand/deal with than it is now (although I do still struggle with her behaviour) I think, because I am very intuitive; I always had a vague understanding from a very young age that there were reasons why she treated me the way she did (i.e. she was deeply unhappy and had been abused herself as a child) There comes a point though, when you really cannot reason with people that are so deluded, that they cannot admit to any fault whatsoever. Unfortunately, these people can be very dangerous and damaging to your self-worth and mental health.

I have tried on numerous occasions tried to reason with my mother, unfortunataly, these attempts have all been in vain. I love her, and I always do. I understand why she is the way she, and I know she will never change or accept any fault. For this reason, I have to draw firm boundaries between us. It's the only way I can maintain any kind of relationship with her at all.

I think because my family life growing up was quite dysfunctional - I do, in some sense, crave some kind of security now. I do feel that I have problems with connecting and trusting others as a result of my experiences. This is something I am currently working on though.
 

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I love my siblings more now that I don't have to live with them. XD

My dad is an ENFP and an insurance agent, so he wasn't really around much when I was little. I basically saw him on the weekends, and he was always either preoccupied or spontaneously deciding we should go see a movie. He was the big goofy dad all of my friends thought was cool.

My mom is an ESTJ and a very diligent hard-worker who has parameters to keep the house in order. She's pretty lenient about it, considering that there is no way to keep a home 100% clean with an ENFP living in it....let alone 2. My dad can make storage space out of anything....and fill it completely. XD My mother was always the one who did the cooking, cleaning, and yardwork. If something needed to be done, she'd do it - but occasionally she'd put up a list of chores for the kids. I went to my mom for practical support and my dad for sympathy and money. :p

My oldest sibling is my INTJ brother. He's 7 years older than me, so he was always off doing his own thing and didn't really have much time for his baby sister. He'd sometimes roughhouse with me and my sisters or do goofy little puppet shows complete with weird voices (he still does that for his kids). I hero-worshiped him. :)

My oldest sister is an ISFJ. She and I clashed frequently. She'd get crazy emotional and would shriek at me, and I'd respond by provoking her. Her room was messier than mine.... That's not really important, but I felt the need to share.

My other sister is an ENFJ. We'd either be best friends or at each other's throats. She could be a major diva and I could be really petulant and whiny. Our biggest fights were over the tv and then the internet when we got a computer hooked up to AOL.
 

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I don't hate anyone in my family but I was raised by SJs who tried to make me just like them. It was frustrating and I have a lot of issues to work on just because of that.

My family's close- just not to me. My parents are ISTJ and ISFJ and my brothers are ESFJ and ISFP. They get along great together. Then there's me, an ENFP who can only thrive in an environment that nurtures and supports my intuition. This was not my family. I grew up feeling like I was horribly different and needing an intimate and close connection with my family that they literally could not provide. Because they couldn't give me what I needed from them, I couldn't build a close connection to them. They're much better off without me.

I'd say that growing up as the only intuitive in your family will prevent the close connections we so desperately need.
 

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Actually, this is a real big issue in my life right now, so thanks for the opportunity to talk some of this crap out.

My mother's family is seriously SJ. We have a saying in the family: they are "Supposedta People". In that: you have to do it that way because you're supposedta. My sister is INTJ, my dad's family is NFJ, and my dad is either an ENFP or ENFJ, but is very macho and tries to drown out all of his F.

Add to this that dad is Lithuanian/Russian Jew, and mom is Hungarian Catholic, so I was raised in a household of loud anger, cold judgement, and more advice than listening. Want to be a poet? That'll get you a good year and a half of lectures on how you would starve, stupid, and deservedly so. Then another couple of decades of jokes: Remember when you thought you could live out your dreams? Ha ha haaaaa!!

Now at 45, I'm actually living back with my parents and my sister as I recover from my divorce. IT'S KILLING MY WILL TO LIVE. Buuuut... I'm ungrateful for wanting to move out. And now that I've finally started confronting my mother with the idea that yes, I really do want to have my own house, even if I have to do my own laundry, all I get is "I just don't understand you. Why can't you X, Y or Z.? (be happy to have a job, even if it is shitty? stay here until you find a man? Not buy things and just save money? get off the computer? stop worrying about your weight/looks/career/etc.?)

Do I hate my family? No. But I honestly would love them more if I lived someplace else. :rolleyes:
 

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My mom is likely an ESFJ that isn't the most mentally stable person - I suffered from many years of verbal and psychological abuse. She and my step/adopted dad (likely an ISTP) have what is essentially a financial union and she continually emasculates him and taught my sisters and I to treat him the same. She's aggressive and he's passive-aggressive, so my family was quite dysfunctional from the very beginning. It's only been in the past year that I realized that my "hatred" for my dad was only because my mom taught us that behavior, and that now I'm to the point where I really just feel sorry for him that he puts up with my mom.

My sisters are twins, 5 years younger than me. One is an ENTJ and one is an ESFP. I get along fairly well with the ENTJ sister, especially as we got older. I think it helps to have another N in the family....we think very similarly, even though our interests and strengths are very different. The ESFP sister and I have always had a very volatile relationship, mainly because in so many ways we are so alike and we know how to push each others buttons (or really she knows how to push mine).
 
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A healthy family setting would be ideal for me, but isn't entirely realistic. It's either someone is dating/married to someone a family member might not like; or the way another family member is acting that pushes someones buttons and throws off the vibe of a gathering/ puts other family members in awkward situations.

I generally don't have a problem identifying what I've done/ could have done differently to keep peace in my family; the times that I reacted in a way that was against what my family wanted, or stuck to a decision that my family couldn't understand- yes, I was as much of the problem as they were. I've had a family members call me "evil" for my spiritual beliefs and "Trash" because I have tattoos; these are both my own choices that I stuck to,so yes, technically I was the problem. If it's something I think I can help resolve, I'll participate in trying to mend fences. However, if it's something like my spiritual beliefs, that i'm not ready to change and they are not ready to accept; I see it as a two way street, and if they don't initiate, will sweep it under the rug.

I've been kicked out of my parents house, and have had some family troubles in the past. Your post makes me wonder how many people might have chosen to not associate with me out of hearing I have family problems from myself or the family member the disagreement was with.
 
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I have an awesome family dynamic. ENFJ mother, ENTP dad and INFJ brother. I also have a lot of NFs in my extended family its one of those freak occurrences that somehow produced a slew of INFJs. One thing I have to admit is the excessive Fe in my family. I’m completely used to it as I grew up around it and it really helped me to develop feeling outside of myself. But too much of the stuff all at once makes me super sleepy.
 

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Wheww... I have one hell of a rough time with my family. I get along amazingly with my brother, despite a 6 year age difference, which is amplified, as he is 11 and I am 17. Of all the siblings with similar age gaps I know, I think we actually get along the best (as a fair judgement, I really do). I think the reason we get along so well is because of two things: I'm a lot nicer than most older teenage brothers, and I try a lot to connect with him ('cause there's always a little kid inside of me :D). We're actually completely different in terms of personalities and life goals, but we're both very "live, and let live" types of people. There's a couple of things that each of us has that can really piss the other off, but the number of instances we've had is less than 3. On my brother's part, it really helps that he has respect for me, and fully believes that I'm looking out for him (which I am). As far as cognitive functions go, I think he's a budding ISTJ, but I think it's still too young to change.

Then there's my dad. He's a full ISTJ and has an extraordinary amount of work ethic, ambition, and ego. He used to have one of the most horrible tempers I've ever seen, and, since we never really saw eye to eye on a lot of things, we clashed hard and often. But since then, I've grown up and learned he was right in some areas, and he's learned to not get mad when people think differently. For the most part, he's slowly changed to a "live, and let live" person as well. He's realized that him and I are completely different people, and is willing to respect that. However, like many parents, he is not willing to accept our differences as an excuse for being lazy (I'm way more lazy than him XD). I think we only have one thing that repeatedly annoys the other. For me, it's that I'm unwilling to work for things that I deem as unimportant. For example, taking an AP Exam for a subject my college will not take credit for. I studied very little for it, and he was extremely mad. For him, it's his ego. He has never fully apologized to me for anything he's done, even if he did something that really hurt, or where he is completely at fault. When we argue, he loves to play what I call "power games", in which he escalates his voice, then threatens to kick me out, and, one-by-one, begins to take my belongings (phone, laptop, wallet, ID, textbooks, etc.) However, I'm pretty glad we've worked out our differences. Instead of thinking "Oh, he thinks differently, let me tell him why he's so wrong", he thinks "Oh, he thinks differently, and I don't understand why he thinks like that, but it's okay, so I'll just let him be." Our relationship is mostly "I respect him immensely as a person, but I really disagree with a lot of views." That being said, we're still a have a decent father/son bond, but we're not too close.

So the trend of this is basically going from best to worst. And from my brother to my dad, there's a huge drop. From my dad to my mom, there's an even larger gap. Me and my mother (ESFJ, pretty unhealthy to me, because most ESFJs I know are NOT like this). I find a lot of things about her extremely disturbing, and also extremely hypocritical. I also find her extremely immature, in the sense that she will never own up to her mistakes and will ALWAYS rationalize her wrong actions on the grounds that "someone else did something first". To me, this is like saying "oh, he said a bad word, so I killed him." I can see her reasoning is "well, if he hadn't done that, I wouldn't have done this", but that's something I would expect out of a 7 year old. She also tends to think of herself as the perfect one. Every time anyone in the house fights with her, she does some weird passive aggressive BS, tries to evoke pity, and then will run around telling all the other people how badly she was hurt. It's extremely frustrating.

Perhaps the most classic ESFJ/ENFP clash is the problem with freedom and independence. Compared to me, she's very traditional, and our views are totally different. But unlike my dad leaving me alone, my mom is very into telling me why my opinions and beliefs are wrong ("Oh, well, I'm 45, and you're 17, so I obviously know more, and therefore can obviously tell you why my beliefs are right") I've tried explaining to her that people wish to go on different paths in life, and success is not determined by how close I will adhere to her path, but how far I will walk my own. We generally clash on seemingly stupid things, such as clothing choice ("guys can't wear not-neutral colors"), profession ("you'll never find a job if you become a mechanical engineer, instead of XXXX" which is SO untrue), hairstyle (I like mine short, she thinks it's better a bit longer), music taste ("educated people should only listen to classical music"), what I think people find attractive in a guy (me: personality, intelligence, way of thinking. Her: job, money, more money), what I like to do ("guys shouldn't like to shop or cook"). If it wasn't obvious, she's pretty sexist, on top of being racist. However, she picks and chooses stereotypes, so essentially, asian women come out as being able to do anything, while every other group is held back by limitations. I try to understand how she arrives at these conclusions, but I've mostly given up at this point and accepted her for who she is.

If I had to say one thing for her to change, it wouldn't be any of these; it would be for her to simply have a holistic view of people. She only sees the best in people. And this isn't meant in the good way, such as seeing only how people are nice. It's meant in having the biggest multi-standards I've ever seen. For example, she encounters someone very good at basketball, but with an academic record that won't allow him to graduate. She doesn't care; he's good at basketball. Or, she encounters someone who is an amazing student, but has no ability to take care of himself, nor has any social ability (not an extroverted vs. introverted thing, more of an pretentious asshole vs. down to earth person thing). She doesn't care; he's really smart. Or, she encounters someone who is extremely nice and charming, but has no job and who's life is falling apart. She doesn't care; he's nice and friendly. (This is obviously exaggeration, but it's not too far off). This works really badly for me, because I'm more of a well rounded person. I don't EXCEL at one thing, so when compared to the first person's athleticism, I suck; second person's brains, I suck; third person's pure charm, I suck. So her overall verdict? I suck. I get an endless "Ohhhh... Why can't you be more like him? How come he can do this so much better than you can?". I've tried explaining that I'm more balanced, but apparently that's loser mentality. I've tried explaining that I can only do so much with 24 hrs in a day, but that's also loser mentality. I've tried telling her that some people are simply, overall, better than others, but that's also loser mentality. I see my dad getting held up to the double standards of "Oh, how come he works so much harder than you and makes so much more money" and "Oh, how come he's so much more of a family man?". And on my brother, "Oh, how come he can beat you at this sport" and "Oh, how come he's better at piano" and "Oh, how come he made it to this math competition?". It's ENDLESS. I've tried giving her a taste of her own medicine. Does not work. The reply is "I already do everything wonderfully, besides, I only have *so much time in a day*" The hypocrisy....

I guess as far as cross family dynamics work, my mom and my dad have a really strained relationship. Mostly because of three things: neither of them is willing to accept that the other thinks of a different way (well, dad, possibly, but mom, definitely not), have just about the worst personal communication skills I've ever seen between a married couple (neither likes to apologize, both think the other is at fault, won't sit down and actually express what they feel, etc.), and though my dad is a more "live, and let live" person, he is just as stubborn as my mom when the two face off.

I noticed my reply changed from an actual reply about family dynamics, but then changed to what I hate that my mom does. Sorry for the rant; it was long, but I hope it gives some insight into my family dynamics. I think I am partially to blame, though. A lot of the fights started because of my less than stellar (like actually, "less than stellar", aka, not Stanford or MIT material) academic performance. It's a lot to do with my general laid-backness about things I don't care about, which is useful in later life, but not in high school. However, though I could have caused less clashes, I think the root causes are based in the problems each of us have as people (makes us human). I don't mean to be harsh, but I would honestly say my mom is an instigator for a lot of the problems (I would say almost 90% or so of the fights in my home are between her and someone else).
 

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I am close with my family, but also not. I tend to keep my deep values to myself because it's not worth the fight. I tell my siblings more about myself than my parents, by far. My family had its struggles, but we are very close at the end of the day.

I don't believe we have to love our families though. I know an ENFJ who suffered terrible abuse from his father and he insists he must love his father and welcome him in his life because he is his Dad. His Father still takes psychological jabs at him. I don't share the same views as him on this and seeing as though his Father is still actively abusing him in ways, and doesn't acknowledge what he's done, I don't think he deserves to be in his son's life unless he makes major changes.
 

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@KookyTookie I think I can relate on some level. My mother doesn't sound quite like yours (cause she is not quite that manipulative) but it is the same in the sense that you know you don't have control over who she is. I have to accept her for who she is, even if it is hard. There are some people we just can't reach - no matter how hard we try.

I don't know what personality type my mother or my Dad is. I kind of would like to to know. Maybe I can ask them to take the test.
@Alysaria -- I think it is very important that your sister's room was messier than yours. HAHAHA! This is coming from a messy person and I am always delighted to see someone messier than I am. Makes me feel better. :)
 

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I don't believe we have to love our families though. I know an ENFJ who suffered terrible abuse from his father and he insists he must love his father and welcome him in his life because he is his Dad. His Father still takes psychological jabs at him. I don't share the same views as him on this and seeing as though his Father is still actively abusing him in ways, and doesn't acknowledge what he's done, I don't think he deserves to be in his son's life unless he makes major changes.
Thank you, thank you- for this.

Going through my family problems were tough. I felt extremely alone, alienated and judged for my decisions and actions, which tore me apart in so many ways; but I really had to do, what I knew I had to, to keep my sanity. I was lucky to have at least a few people in my life who understood my motivations and supported my decisions. I just want to give you a massive hug for being one of those people, thank you.
 

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Thank you, thank you for this.

Going through my family problems were tough. I felt extremely alone, and could feeling alienated and judged for my decisions and actions tore me apart in so many ways; but I really had to do what I knew I had to do to keep my sanity. I was lucky to have at least a few people in my life who understood my motivations and supported my decisions. I just want to give you a massive hug for being one of those people, thank you.
Aww, I'm happy that my words helped. I strongly feel that way, it is one of my personal deep values actually :) Keep strong and remember that you are not a bad person for feeling the way you do.

IMO, children who suffer abuse are damaged the most by the expectation to love their abuser. If they find themselves hating this person, they internalize it and feel like they are bad, or awful. This is probably worse than the actual abuse IMO. I would tell any angry person I ever meet that they are allowed to be angry, hurt, betrayed, upset...they are not bad people for feeling that way. I don't care who says differently. I don't care if the Bible says differently. No one has to love, cherish, and respect anyone who abuses them. Period.
 

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IMO, children who suffer abuse are damaged the most by the expectation to love their abuser. If they find themselves hating this person, they internalize it and feel like they are bad, or awful. This is probably worse than the actual abuse IMO. I would tell any angry person I ever meet that they are allowed to be angry, hurt, betrayed, upset...they are not bad people for feeling that way. I don't care who says differently. I don't care if the Bible says differently. No one has to love, cherish, and respect anyone who abuses them. Period.
QFT

I wish somebody had said that to my little lost 17 year old self before I embarked down a path of self-destruction, fuelled by feelings of guilt and worthlesness. One of the hardest things to deal with when you are a child that suffers any form of abuse - is the reaction you are often greeted with when you do find the courage to open up and tell somebody. Especially in the case of highly emotionally manipulative parents. Unfortunately, their web of deceit often has a hold on everybody else that is close to you. To outsiders, you look like the 'perfect' family. A lot of people simply aren't interested in hearing about what really happens behind closed doors. People are often too quick to judge.
 

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I have an ISTJ father who I butt heads with all the time, and an INTJ mother who I waver between loving and hating all the time. I have an ISTJ older brother-y figure, but I love him to pieces, unlike my dad. I have a special needs INFP-ish younger brother, and a ESFx youngest brother.

I rely on my older brother for a lot, he is my rock, and more of a father figure that my own dad will ever be. My dad cares a bit too much about politics and money, over the past four years, it's become all he can talk about, and anyone who disagrees with him on anything is threatened to be kicked out. My mother has taken to starting passive aggressive wars with him. I mostly keep to myself at home, doing what I need to do until I can get out of here. In fact, we all keep to ourselves and try to avoid each other as much as possible.

We're just not a very happy or united family.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am close with my family, but also not. I tend to keep my deep values to myself because it's not worth the fight. I tell my siblings more about myself than my parents, by far. My family had its struggles, but we are very close at the end of the day.

I don't believe we have to love our families though. I know an ENFJ who suffered terrible abuse from his father and he insists he must love his father and welcome him in his life because he is his Dad. His Father still takes psychological jabs at him. I don't share the same views as him on this and seeing as though his Father is still actively abusing him in ways, and doesn't acknowledge what he's done, I don't think he deserves to be in his son's life unless he makes major changes.
I completely agree. I don't have experience with any kind of abuse, so thanks for sharing that. When i created the thread i didn't have abuse in mind, i was thinking more along the lines of family members who can't keep their egos in check in order to compromise and have a healthy relationship.

My Mother has a life friend who went through lots of stuff, but mostly it was because of inflated egos. The drama /bickering and fighting was endless. This family came from good homes, no abuse, nothing drastic or life changing. I find it hard to have pity with families who can't put their egos aside in order to bring some peace within the home. I have people in my family also that i could send on a life journey never to return, but i think we all have a few nuts in our trees so to speak.

I appreciate hearing all the stories here, it makes me feel that much more appreciative for what i have at home, even if its not always perfect. Thanks everyone, keep posting and sharing your experiences with each other, i think it helps one another :)
 

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I'm very close with my family and love them dearly. My parents are still happily married, and I'm the oldest of five kids. I have a biological brother who is two years younger than me, an adopted brother who is seven years younger than me, an adopted sister who is eight years younger than me, and an adopted sister who is twenty years younger than me.

I haven't lived at home in like five years now (except for a brief stint last summer), but I go home quite often for weekends.

My mom and I couldn't be more different, but she has such a big heart, it's difficult to stay annoyed with her. I admire her and the way she is, despite our differences. We clashed a lot when I was growing up though. In middle school I hated her so very very much and was a complete brat. My dad is very funny and has a similar artistic sensibility to my own. We like a lot of the same humor, film, and music, which is nice because it's become a bonding point for us. We are quite alike, and I think realizing that has helped my mom deal with me as well.

I'm not terribly close with my youngest brother (perhaps due to some lingering resentment for being left to babysit him from such a young age because he exasperated my mom and she would just leave the house with me in charge), but I love him a lot and think he's such a great kid who will do great things. My other brother is very funny, if quite irresponsible, and him being the closest to me in age (and also our sharing genetics) has led us to be fairly close. I'm very close with my two sisters. The little one in a weird sort of way due to a twenty-year difference in our ages, and me being her godmother as well as her sister, but she makes my life better in so many ways. She's a big part of why I moved back here from the west coast this past winter. And the other sister is so much like me (personality-wise), I think it freaks everyone out a little bit. We also share a room when I come home, and she fills me in on celebrity gossip and middle school drama.

My extended family is fairly close as well (and very large - I have 35 cousins on my mom's side, as my mom is the youngest of 12 kids).

I used to rag on my family all the time and hate the way they were and how complicated things were (we did foster care for a long time, and three of my siblings are adopted, and we're a trans-racial family) and how much responsibility was placed on me. Which, looking back, I can't believe how much my parents put on me, and they've since apologized. Things were really really crazy in our house when I was in late elementary school/middle school/even early high school...and my mom sometimes would just leave because she couldn't take it anymore. Which left me responsible for the whole mess (which hadn't resolved itself, obviously). I was way way way too young for all of that. I resented that a lot and was pretty angry for a while. One time when I was ten, I remember calling the next-door neighbor because my mom had left me to babysit (for the eight year-old and the three year-old) and the three year-old (who was incredibly strong and had crazy ADHD that was at that point undiagnosed) had somehow managed to get a knife and was running around with it and I wasn't strong enough to get it away from him without hurting both of us. And I was just sobbing. That kind of stuff happened a lot in those years.

But we made it through and we've realized past mistakes and we're fine and we love each other and I am thankful for them every day. Overall, our dynamics are pretty laid-back and lighthearted. We joke a lot, tease a lot, and like to play games and tell stories. We like having people over, and we like going out to eat together. We love bonfires and summertime parties. And we really really really love to laugh and make other people laugh.
 

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Aww, I'm happy that my words helped. I strongly feel that way, it is one of my personal deep values actually :) Keep strong and remember that you are not a bad person for feeling the way you do.

IMO, children who suffer abuse are damaged the most by the expectation to love their abuser. If they find themselves hating this person, they internalize it and feel like they are bad, or awful. This is probably worse than the actual abuse IMO. I would tell any angry person I ever meet that they are allowed to be angry, hurt, betrayed, upset...they are not bad people for feeling that way. I don't care who says differently. I don't care if the Bible says differently. No one has to love, cherish, and respect anyone who abuses them. Period.
Your words really did help! And I agree with @KookyTookie- I wish I had someone tell me that. I can't even tell you the struggles I had between my duty to love myself, and my duty to "love" certain members of my family. I tried so very hard, got nothing, and went through a very self depreciating time; like you described, where I truly believed that there must be something wrong with me- "My family is supposed to love me, there must be something horribly wrong with me". I'll never forget the first time I heard my therapist tell me it wasn't my fault; I had always truly believed that it wasn't, but it's hard to see the end of the war zone when you're being bombed. To be honest, this thread triggered some of those thoughts again, because I told myself "I can't maintain a relationship with certain family members, how in the heck can I maintain relationships with someone outside of it?" So many times; it just really touched a nerve with me. Obviously, I still have some issues, but I'm working on them and, thankfully, things are so much different and better for me now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't even tell you how much your words have touched me. :)
 
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