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Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 01:03 pm Guilt Trips by my Family
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From:lupinekassidy
Date:December 19th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
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Forgive the length of the response; it was necessary to provide you an answer. It may not be as concise as some or as straightforward as others, but it's heartfelt, to try and provide a measure of understanding to you as to why everyone seems to be acting the way they are and how they feel about you. The most important thing, for you, that needs to be said is this: Your Family Does Not Hate You. They are not against you, though it may seem like it because of the positions they take and the words they say.

As for why they say these things? Because, at the end of everything, they're reacting to a situation that they can't understand, that they never developed any reason to believe, and that goes against everything that's already in their heads about 'what's right', which is to say, those social norms that they are ingrained with. They are, when it comes down to it, acting human; even though it's you, they can't reconcile their emotions for you and their "knowledge" that what you're doing is somehow wrong or misguided, and all of these words are jointly ways to address their own discomfort at a situation they cannot reconcile and an attempt, however unaware they are at doing it, to enforce within you those same social norms that they believe.

It is most likely they're not aware of this part. From their perspective, they simply see you doing the 'wrong' thing and want to try and help you. They don't really realize that it's not helpful, and they don't really realize that they're causing you pain. Moreover, as mentioned, they're *human*; if you tell them 'this hurts me when you do this' it'll trigger off a chain of behavior in which you're the bad one, mostly because they're trying to reconcile what's 'right' and the notion that they're hurting someone they care about, which typically ends up with harsh words and fighting as a means to try and reconcile mounting stress due to the dissonence of doing these things.

That said... "Fault" isn't a word I can use here. It implies intention, and all this stupid, all this harm, all this stress they're causing you, it's not done with the intention of hurting you. It's not really done intentionally at all. This pain, absurdly so, is just a reaction on their part, almost as involuntary as a reflex. In its way, it's not really about you; you're just the poor soul who gets to deal with all of it.

As for why this hurts you and why you can't help but listen and be hurt? Because they're still your family. They're still a peer group that you listen to and respond to. That you can't keep the emotions from hurting you isn't wrong or doesn't mark you out as different or outcast. This is the core of being social, though admittedly taken to a level that is almost unbearable. They are, and will likely remain for a very long time, your family, the people you learned how to behave from, from who you learned how to be in the first place (even if not who you are today, having developed far beyond the simple measures of their norms), and it is very likely that you will always feel this pain when they express their disapproval, dealing with the stress of being true to yourself conflicting with their disapproval and that ingrained response, uncontrollable, of wanting to behave socially within your clade.

All of this pain, all of this stress and anger and everything: it's because everyone involved in this is human, subject to the patterns dictated by our brains. I imagine this may be cold comfort, at best; I can't provide you any solutions because there are none to provide short of metaphorically cutting yourself off from a chunk of what makes you who you are, both in the sense of being yourself and in the sense of separating from those who have been there to help you develop and still do so, even if you don't want the negative influence provided any longer.

I just hope this helps, for what it's worth.
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From:viqsi
Date:December 19th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
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This is pretty much what I was going to say, so I'll just add my endorsement and my hopes that you get through this latest episode OK.
From:funkybomb
Date:December 21st, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
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Intent is not magical--that they may not mean any harm does not make it hurt less. Her family's actions and words are causing her serious emotional distress, and they are either ignorant of why, or they simply do not care--either way, they ARE at fault. She shouldn't have to take this shit from anyone, least of all her family.

If it were me, I'd deliver an ultimatum: start showing respect, or get used to not having me around. I realize, though, that this can be a very difficult thing to say to one's family, but I don't know what else to do. :(

Just remember that this is their problem, not yours, Pathia. None of this is your fault.