Family Therapy - Advice and Commentary Wanted

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by idiomie, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    I'm both unsurprised and deeply exasperated with your family, to find out that they're not respecting your dietary choices. But then, I also wouldn't be surprised to hear about them "accidentally" exposing someone to a food allergen that they'd been warned about, and claiming that they thought it wasn't that serious or that the person was faking it. So there's that.

    (Also, I suspect it's probably easier to keep kosher with a vegetarian diet. I'm not sure if there's actually hella amounts of pork in the grocery stores these days, or if I'm just noticing it more and not having any luck finding sandwich meat that isn't pork and also isn't turkey or chicken.)

    But the thing is, you're allowed to make choices about what you eat and how you interact with the world! You're allowed to go "hey, y'know what? I really don't like how the industry treats animals right now, and I'd rather only consume animal products that I know were ethically obtained, and I currently am not in a situation where I can raise my own animals so I won't eat any meat at all". There's nothing wrong with making that choice (and I think it's a pretty hard one to make, too). I might have questions about cutting eggs and dairy out of your diet, but I would not for a second think it's my place to try and tell you not to do it if you feel it's the right choice for you.
    • Agree x 2
  2. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I think the thing that gets me here is that my mother sent me an article that, broadly, I agree with as some sort of Gotcha. And like, she hasn't asked me about my dietary choices directly, but my siblings have, and it's been the topic of dinner discussions. And I'm baffled and annoyed, but honestly I'm mostly hurt that my mother hasn't been paying attention at all as to why I'm making this change (a change that, for anyone who knew me and was paying attention, has been coming for the last five years).

    (Also it is so much easier to keep kosher on a vegetarian diet.)
    • Witnessed x 2
  3. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    Hey so

    My grandfather died about two months ago? I think? It sucked and I'm understandably upset, but that's not the point of this post.

    My grandmother was no longer capable of affording the mortgage on her house without my grandfather's social, so I've moved from Virginia to Iowa!

    Pros: out of my parent's house!

    Cons: I'm living with family. I have no support network here (and can't afford setting one up wrt professionals because everything is out of network and all my income is going to the mortgage and whatnot for my grandmother for at least the next month).

    What do? I'm supposed to be convincing my grandmother to move in with my parents, and am expected to move back to Virginia in 3-5 months. I don't want to move back with my parents. In fact, outside of doing family therapy, I don't want any contact with anyone in my family except my siblings.

    Worst case scenario, my therapist in Virginia has said she would get me into a shelter if I don't have any other options. But I lose my cat if I do that.

    I am tired of trying to figure out a game plan for this by myself so. Advice, please.
    • Witnessed x 3
  4. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I'm working part time as a hostess at a restaurant right now. I take home ~600$/mo after taxes. My grandmother needs ~1200$/mo to cover the rest of her living expenses, so so far everything I make has been going to that, and then my parents and aunt and uncle have been splitting the remaining difference.

    I have about $100 saved up from when I was working back in Virginia, and I have my own bills - a credit card bill left over from when I was hospitalized two years ago; my bills at UVA for trans healthcare (that I'm behind on because my parents have still refused to tell UVA that the $3000 they gave me six months ago was a loan, so UVA thinks I don't qualify for their low income pricing, so it's been. complicated.); the aforementioned $3000 I owe my parents; and my student loans, which I need to start paying back October or November (I was going to take online classes part time so that my student loans wouldn't come due yet, but my parents were supposed to pay for that and ... didn't. They offered to pay again, if I covered the late fee to re-enroll in classes, but a) I couldn't afford it, and b) I've made the executive decision that I cannot handle school part time, 2 or more jobs, and moving halfway across the country to live with people who go out of their way to disrespect my gender, and (on my uncle's part) make a lot of neonazi statements that leave me feeling unsafe, with no support network. So. Not enrolling back into college yet.) I also have to buy my own food because my grandmother doesn't keep a stocked kitchen. As far as I can tell, before my grandfather died, they mostly ate out? I have like cans of gravy and boxes of pasta and some frozen meals and. that's it. I'm not even being picky re: being vegetarian here (though, since I'm buying my own food, I figured I might as well be). I've been trying to go through her pantry and freezer as much as I can, but I've also been supplementing it by doing things like buying frozen vegetables at the store.

    My parents have always been pretty fanatical about credit worthiness and whatnot, so I have a really good credit score for someone my age (I'm 21 and it's just under 700). I've never missed a payment before, but with all of my current income going to my grandmother right now, until I get a second job and make more than 1200$/mo, I only have enough money to cover part of this month's payments (I can pay the minimum on my credit bill (70$) or the minimum on my UVA (94$) bill, and what's left can either be saved or go to groceries and meds. If I pay for UVA, I don't have enough for meds, but I think I can get my mom to pay for that while she's here?). If I don't make the 1200$ benchmark by the 14th (when the credit bill is due), I'm debating between concealing my income and telling my family I've made less than I have, and paying my bills; or, giving my grandmother the money, and missing one of the payments, and taking whatever hit that makes on my credit report. (I think I can miss the UVA one with incurring the least harm. IIRC from when I owed my therapist money, unless it goes to collections, the individual payment transactions aren't (and whether or not they're late) on my credit report.) (I feel guilty about the first option because I know my aunt and uncle aren't well off, and my parents are struggling with paying for this and my sister's college tuition, and they all really can't afford to keep covering my grandmother's bills.)

    Anyway. I like the restaurant I'm working at, it just doesn't pay enough. I'm looking at getting a full time job in addition to my part time as a hostess. I'm also trying to convince the owner to train me as a server, because, talking to the other servers, it typically pays better to be a server there than a hostess. I've sent out a couple applications and am waiting to hear back.

    I'm not really sure what else to do right now.
    • Witnessed x 1
  5. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    Relatedly, I've lost my glasses and so need to schedule an optometrist visit to get a new prescription (it's been over a year since my last one anyway), so I can get new glasses and contacts (I have approximately four months of contacts left). This is complicated by there being no one in network.

    Also, I wasn't able to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist before coming to Iowa, so I need to find someone to prescribe me 1-2 months of my meds. (I have a final refill for this month, and an appointment in November that my parents have said they will help me get to.)

    • Witnessed x 2
  6. Toaster

    Toaster Active Member

    Honestly, I think if you can do it safely, underreporting what you're making to your family and saving it for your own needs is a really good idea.
    • Agree x 3
  7. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    S0! The last ... several pages, of this thread have been really shitty re: my family and their hijinks. And the last time I posted here I was. really panicked. So, I wanted to update with some good news!!

    My grandmother has been, to my incredible surprise, nothing but supportive since I came out here. She's been helpful regarding me looking for a therapist here - going out of her way, without me asking, to ask her pcp for therapists in the area that would be a good fit for me, paying attention to the issues I've said I need help with (gender dysphoria, depression, suicidal ideation, addiction) and that they need to be in network for my insurance.

    About three weeks into my being here, after my mother left, my grandmother and I were talking about suicide awareness and support. I was telling her about a tattoo I want to get, maybe, at some point (;&), and why and she just. wasn't getting it. She kept saying "well you don't want someone to think you tried to kill yourself" and then "but I guess if it just means you support people who have or have tried to kill themselves" and kept going back and forth and finally I was like, grandma. do you remember when I went home for two weeks in November, 2016? And she was like, yeah, your father said you were really struggling that semester and needed a break from school (and started on a tangent about how she'd always felt that my parents were too hard on my siblings and I wrt school and grades, and she was glad I'd taken that break) and I interrupted and said: "Grandma, I went home because I'd tried to kill myself two days before and was going to try again. I went home so that I could do a two week outpatient program."

    Apparently, no one had ever told her. My dad had glossed over it every time it came up. She started crying, and then she did something that absolutely no one in my family has done when this came up, or I guess didn't do what they've all done: she didn't tell me she was angry with me, at all, and didn't try to guilt me or make my suicidal ideation about how much it hurt(s) her.

    And then today, we were talking about how I need to get a refill for my psych meds soon. And she started doing what every single person in my family does when this comes up - "are you sure you need that?" "well when do you think you can stop taking them?" - and usually I just sorta laugh it off and ignore but. Telling her about my attempt had gone so well? So I was like, well, I have bipolar. I really can't ever go off my meds. And she did the usual "well you don't seem like you have bipolar" and I started explaining the relationship between depression and bipolar and bipolar i versus bipolar ii and how I discovered I'm bipolar ii not just depressed (I went on antidepressants and had a manic episode, ie, pretty much the most textbook example of bipolar ii being misdiagnosed for depression) and she just. actually listened. and by the end of it she was like, yeah, you need to always be on your meds. And I got to explain to her how amazing going on latuda and zoloft has been and she said "yeah, we need to keep you on that, and get you help for everything else" instead of "if you're better now, why don't you stop taking your meds?" (ie, everyone else in my family).

    Things are still stressful money wise, and also parentals wise, but. Things are also so, so much better than I thought they could've been. So I thought I'd share that.

    I'm still not talking to my parents like. any time ever right now. nope. mom kinda blew it in family therapy so we are. taking a Very Long Break from each other.
    • Winner x 18
    • Like x 2
  8. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I've been talking to my grandma this entire time, and I said, just now, "so, yeah, that's why I don't really want to talk to my parents right now" and she said: "i agree. i don't think you should. you need to focus on yourself, and they can wait."
    • Winner x 10
    • Like x 2
  9. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    "I can't believe it looked like your childhood was so happy. I'm so sorry."
    • Like x 7
  10. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I'm just so emotional right now, this conversation tonight was literally everything I have ever wanted out of telling my family about my parents ESPECIALLY BECAUSE my grandmother didn't go "oh never speak to them again" but was like they love you and you love them but they need to learn how to treat you better first and just. validating that I love them and so so desperately want a relationship with them and that it's true that they love me - without ever using it to justify how they have hurt me in the past and continue to do so now and reaffirming that even if it hurts and I feel guilty, distance is the right choice right now.

    and just

    i told her about girl's state.

    i told her about how i made it to the national level and i never went (i declined and it went to another girl) and i never told anyone because my mother told me i didn't deserve girl's state at all and.

    i told her about the wall of shame

    i told her about the only time i brought straight a's home in high school, and how my mother sniffed and my father said "you expect us to be impressed? this is the bare minimum of what you should have been doing the entire time."

    i told her about how it was wall of shame/hall of fame, but those straight a's never made it to the hall of fame

    i told her about the thing's my mother says to me when we're alone, and says she never said at all

    i told her about being suicidal like presently, right now and she didn't get angry she just, asked what i needed or if i even knew

    i told her about how they stopped paying for my meds, and that's why i got a job, and how they said they'd pay for my psych visits but never did, and how they screwed me over with uva

    and she did get angry tonight, but she wasn't angry at me, she said she was angry at my parents because all this time they've been telling her they don't understand why things are so bad between us

    and she said she believed me. she said she was so sorry that because i was a happy child and she never saw when they were cruel, that no one believed me, and that she did believe me and that she didn't think i was just making this up ("you can't make up being suicidal at 12. what 12 year old writes in their journal 'i want to go to sleep and never wake up' over and over.") and that she was sorry
    • Witnessed x 6
  11. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    i told her about how i'm actually really loving iowa and would like to stay here but lebesgue doesn't want to because they're afraid of being too close to my family and she said "of course. you see how much your parents love you and are trying, but they're your parents, not [theirs], and [lebesgue] only sees how they hurt you."
    • Agree x 4
    • Like x 1
  12. Vierran

    Vierran small and sharp

    welp. I guess I am crying happy tears on your behalf now. <3 your grandma.
    • Agree x 9
  13. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    So we made it ... two weeks, juuuuust under, before grandma circled back around to "but you really should talk to your parents."

    No. I'm willing to talk to them when: 1) they're willing to stop OUTRIGHT LYING about the things they've done to me; and, 2) they stop BLAMING ME for being hurt by the things they've done to me. I've told them this. Until they can meet these two very basic requests (I'm not even asking that they stop misgendering me! Or stop ignoring my boyfriend! Look at how low these standards are!)

    I get that he's her son, and he calls her like every other day, and he ~feels really bad~ about us not talking but like. It felt really bad when my mom told me they "never" stood between me and my medications and have "always gone above and beyond" to make sure I have them. I'm sorry, do you remember the summer between freshman and sophomore year? Where I had an appointment with my psych because I needed a new prescription and you wouldn't let me go? It felt really bad when my dad told me I "deserved what [my mom] said about girl's state" because she was "angry and disappointed" in me, and even though they "were wrong in [their] beliefs about [me]," they believed those things were true, so I still deserved to have them said to me. Gee. Thanks.
    • Witnessed x 9
  14. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    For what it's worth, you are doing the right thing here. They need to get their shit together and be willing to actually put in even an iota of effort if there's going to be any possibility of a healthy relationship with them and I am so fucking proud that you're 1. sticking up for yourself and 2. really sticking to it. You're doing good here.
    • Agree x 7
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