SRS Family secrets

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Cerridwen, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    How do you deal with finding out new information about your family? Things that you never could have imagined yet are shocked you didn't know?
    As I become closer to my mom, she is opening up more to me. Last night she told me things about her childhood and my childhood that I just don't even know what to think about them. I kind of want to forget about them but I know if I do that it will come back to haunt me later on in life.
    She also wants me to start working with a therapist at the tribal center (we are Native). It would be free and I guess they are pretty well known in our area. I don't know if I'm ready for that though.
    So I guess what I'm asking is how do you deal with things like this?
     
  2. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Therapy is a good choice. FOR YOUR MOM.
    There's a fine line between revealing family secrets, and using your children as a dumping ground. Remeber that she doesn't intentionally mean you any harm.

    Many parents use their kids as a "therapist" in that they tell them inappropriate things. This is a relief for them, in the same way that telling a therapist is relieving; it transfers some of the mental burden and a shared burden is a lighter one.

    But of course it is unfair to unload this material on your kids. Now ZX, you're clearly old enough so this is no longer age-inappropriate but your mom needs to fully deal with this through her own therapy first.

    So that when she tells you this stuff (which many families have) it is no longer damaging, emotionally laden, OH MY GOD material.



    If you're having these questions, that suggests to me that she isn't yet at the point where it's integrated for her even, much less be able to present it in a semi-neutral manner to you.

    Talk to your own counsellor. He/she will help you integrate the stuff you already heard. :)

    Last item: if you live in a small, closed community and the therapist is IN that community, would you be more comfortable with a therapist from outside? Think about it.
     
  3. RedVsBlue

    RedVsBlue Penguins > *

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    I really dont care personally. My life has been full about finding out secrets about myself and my family. It really has no affect on me now, although i am not very close to much of my family.

    My wife was in her teens before her parents told her she had an older half sister that they kept in contact with. She wasnt to happy about that, and they never ended up very close.

    Really it just depends on how you deal with things, and if you let them affect your life. Things like that really dont bother me one way or another, but to some people, I can see how they would have a big affect.

    Obviously those things that you find out arent important or a determining factor in your current life, so it really is up to you personally if you let them get to you or not.
     
  4. RedVsBlue

    RedVsBlue Penguins > *

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    The fear that something will haunt you later in life is something one should never fear. Later in life you wont have the mindset at the point you have now, and therefore you may see decisions differently. There is no point in worrying about how your future self will see things now. Wait till you get to the future, you will probably be worrying enough about things then.
     
  5. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    She is already in therapy. She told me that I have a lot in my past and from my childhood that I am choosing not to deal with and she doesn't want it to come back an haunt me later (and it's true, there is a lot that I choose to forget about). edited to add that I don't live on the reservation, but the therapist she wants me to go to is a coworker of hers. I can't help but be uneasy with that. I am still very cautious and keep my guard up tremendously around her. To be completely honest, I think this relationship and mending my relationship with her is moving too fast. I went from not seeing her for years to having coffee or shopping with her once a week? I am starting to feel more than a little overwhelmed.

    I haven't seriously thought about my extended family (including my father and some of my grandparents) in years. I do and I don't see how these things pertain to me. We are working on our relationship right now and she thinks that for me to understand her and the way she was when I was a child, I need to understand the things that happened (both when I was a child and when she was a child).


    I am not close with my family either. I haven't seen many of them in years and I am happy with that.

    You are absolutely right that it isn't a determining factor in my life, and that is something that I actually need to hear so thank you RvB. What is in the past is done and over with, it can't change anything in the future.

    Fair enough and very true. :)
     
  6. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    Am I really that messed up or does she just make me feel that way?
     
  7. Ford4Life

    Ford4Life Guest

    It sounds like your Mom is trying to pressure you into therapy for her own selfish reasons. Only you can decide when you are ready, until then tell her to shut her trap.

    Maybe it's best you don't find out any of these "secrets". If everything is going ok for you now, why complicate your life?
     
  8. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    :hs: That's kind of how I feel. She was insisting last night because she said she started having terrible 'flashbacks' later on in life and she didn't want the abuse I witnessed in my early childhood to do the same to me later. She said she thinks I need to deal with it now instead of waiting for it to affect me.
    The more I think about it the more I disagree and the more I feel like such a young child again being controlled by her. I think I made a terrible mistake by attempting a reconciliation of our relationship and now I feel trapped again.
     
  9. sportsjunkie

    sportsjunkie OT Supporter

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    My mom has told me some stuff about the family that I never knew and was shocking, but I can easily block stuff like that out and not think about it

    I don't let it get to me

    I think seeing a therapist would be good for you
     
  10. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Personally i think the 'tribal' theraphy sounds fishy too, i think they would talk to you in such a way that it would only benefitial in a pre-native instead of neutral way.

    My suggestion is that you don't listen to your mothers suggestions, first she ruins your life, and now she feels she is in the rightfull position to rebuild that life. Honestly i can understand that you feel you need to listen to your mom, but reality is that its really cracked up what she says. It all sounds a little bit derranged if you ask me, you should listen to your gut feeling on what is best for you. I think that in the way you managed without your mom, is still the best way to go,namely independant, and thinking for yourself instead of letting your mom doing that for you. She hasn't been a healthy contribute to your life, that's why i think she is a bad source for into rebuilding your life. :down:
     
  11. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    It's not "tribal" therapy in the sense that you are thinking. They are modern day therapists with degrees.
    I'm just really confused. :o There are so many parts of me that desperately wants a mother which is why I still cling to this tiny bit of hope that things COULD work out, but the majority of me says run as far as you can the other way. You ARE absolutely right though that I can do it without her. It DOES seem as if she has truly changed though which makes me want to give her the benefit of a doubt. She has been clean (off drugs) for 6 years, went back to school and is now an AODA counselor. She has been focusing on parenting with my two younger sisters. She has been more responsible with money and I can see that she ISN'T the same person I grew up with.
     
  12. lick wid nit wit

    lick wid nit wit Official OT Oracle

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    Let me give you some advice based on what I went through with my psycho ex husband..... I saw a lot of scary shit with him. Him cooking meth in my house, physically and verbally abusing me, and he killed my dog right in front of me. There is a lot more but I won't go into detail. However, I don't go to therapy. Because I am one of those people who "buck up" and move on. Maybe it affects me in a negative way, maybe it doesn't. But I don't think therapy works for me. However, I've had plenty of people try and tell me I need to go to therapy because of what I've been through. I feel what I have been through has made me a stronger person and I don't carry the "victim" badge on my sleeve like a lot of women in my shoes would.

    It all boils down to what YOU want or feel you need. If you feel you would benefit from therapy, by all means, do it. However, I would be wary of seeing a therapist who is a freind or coworker of your mom's. To me, that has big red warning flags all over it.
     
  13. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    I agree. If I chose to see a therapist it probably wouldn't be a coworker of hers. That part did make me feel uncomfortable.
    I also agree with you on the victim part. While it abuse was normal and an accepted part of my childhood, it doesn't mean I should think about it every day and cry about it. I can accept what happened and forget about it and move on. I don't think it is necessary for me to know every detail. I am actually doing pretty well at this particular moment in time and I am happy with that. I can understand her need to share what happened to her, but I just am not the right person to listen. :hs: She called just before and I told her I needed some time to myself instead of going over to her house or out shopping with her as has been the norm for Friday nights.
    I feel bad to be honest. I feel that I somehow led her on and I don't know how much further I can go with it. I wouldn't mind seeing her every once in a while, but this is starting to feel overwhelming to me.
    What I have been through HAS had its share in making me the person I am today. For example, I am overly anti-drug due to all of the drug abuse I witnessed, same goes with alcohol. I can't subject myself to those things again and I refuse to. I can accept that it is a part of my past, but I think I'm better off not knowing the things I don't know right now.
     
  14. gsxec

    gsxec New Member

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    So Umm What Did you Find Out?.....You Can Tell Us, This is The Internet Afterall
     
  15. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen Guest

    :hsugh: What I found out is none of your business.
     
  16. Derek

    Derek OT Supporter

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    I was helping my parents move and found a box with a name and address I had never seen before, but it struck me as odd that the person had my mom's maiden name. So I asked her who it was, and she said "oh, why do you ask?", and didn't really want to talk about it. Turns out it is her brother, somebody I had never heard of or met in my entire life. So I have an uncle somewhere out there, but for reasons unknown to me, he's been kept a secret from my entire family. I didn't want to dig too deep so I didn't ask any more questions, but even today I wonder why he's being kept a secret. :hs:
     
  17. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat New Member

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    A+ advice. couldnt have said it better. so i wont
     

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