My parents announce TARP for siblings

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Ego
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Ego »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:21 am
..but on a very good, very high functioning day you can also maybe get to feeling compassion for somebody who must resort to such manipulation.
It is good to see the manipulator as a human being but I generally approach those who appeal for compassion with caution as they frequently use the resulting compassion as an indulgence to continue doing what they were doing.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:21 am
For instance, it might just be that you are withholding the bravery or honesty necessary to directly confront the issue.
Granted, my advice is predicated on the fact that the person has directly confronted the issue and found that....
Ego wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:07 am
Trying to win over the person with the power to withhold rarely works and usually results in loss because the thing they withhold is their asset in the relationship. .

ertyu
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by ertyu »

Wise words, @Ego. Many thanks.

@7w5, a formal statement might not be necessary if you behave as a decent human being when your children share something about their lives. A simple, "oh that's great!" + holding a supportive space for someone who is talking about something they've achieved or want to achieve, and acting compassionately when they experience a set-back, is more than enough. I think the sort of drama I'm describing and going through only arises when the above is withheld - or the opposite is provided - as a matter of course.

@ID: whether it's manipulative depends on what the "discussion" consists of. There's a subtle change from being a parent to being a mentor that would ideally happen as one's children age. Of course you want the best outcome for them - you care for them, after all. How you define "the best outcome" is what counts. As a parent, you define it and you guide your children towards it. They are too young and too inexperienced to define it for themselves. As a mentor to an adult, you let that adult define the best outcome, and you make your wisdom and expertise accessible to them as they decide how best to proceed. Every now and then, you need to do things like, "ok, your best outcome seems to be to be out of a job drunk on your ass all day, well, i'm not bankrolling that" but on the whole, as long as you've been a minimally decent parent, that shouldn't really arise.

Qazwer
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Qazwer »

Compassion and understanding does not mean acceptance or acquiescence. You can understand another person, what made them, realize you cannot change them. Fighting them is a cost to you. Worrying about how they may show pathology is a cost to you. Everyone is human. Everyone has gone through crap to get where they are. It is better to be compassionate about their struggles. That is what is in it for you. But you have to separate that from doing whatever that other person’s pathology entails for you. Fighting someone and anger at them can be useful fir a while but after some time it just gets old. Make it about what is best for you not them.0

Laura Ingalls
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Laura Ingalls »

ok, your best outcome seems to be to be out of a job drunk on your ass all day, well, i'm not bankrolling that" but on the whole, as long as you've been a minimally decent parent, that shouldn't really arise.

I would be careful to attribute that to parenting. As someone with addiction in the family. It is not that hard to have multiple “perfectly imperfect” children raised by the same “perfectly imperfect” parents and one completely off the rails raging addict of something that the rest of the family gets to watch self-distruct.

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:41 am
I would be careful to attribute that to parenting. As someone with addiction in the family. It is not that hard to have multiple “perfectly imperfect” children raised by the same “perfectly imperfect” parents and one completely off the rails raging addict of something that the rest of the family gets to watch self-distruct.
+1. The whole point of this last segment of the discussion is the aftereffects of not turning out the way our parents wanted.

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

ertyu wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:52 am

@ID: whether it's manipulative depends on what the "discussion" consists of. There's a subtle change from being a parent to being a mentor that would ideally happen as one's children age. Of course you want the best outcome for them - you care for them, after all. How you define "the best outcome" is what counts. As a parent, you define it and you guide your children towards it. They are too young and too inexperienced to define it for themselves. As a mentor to an adult, you let that adult define the best outcome, and you make your wisdom and expertise accessible to them as they decide how best to proceed. Every now and then, you need to do things like, "ok, your best outcome seems to be to be out of a job drunk on your ass all day, well, i'm not bankrolling that" but on the whole, as long as you've been a minimally decent parent, that shouldn't really arise.
Part of my point is there really is no change away from being a parent to being something else. Sometimes different facets of being a parent ebb and flow. At least in my case. You obviously still see yourself as a son.

Discussion would be something like: Okay, so you got in this jam/problem. How did it happen? Lets talk about some ways you can avoid it happening again.

Part of helping them achieve their self-defined best outcomes is trying to help them see the pitfalls and steer around them. Cheerleading them over a cliff is dereliction of duty.

A bit of an aside, once they decided they were going to go off and do what they want, I bankroll very little. Learning to bankroll your own whatever you want to do is a pretty good working definition of adulthood.

chicago81
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by chicago81 »

My thoughts on inheritances or economic-outpatient-support-for-children is: It's the parents' money, so it's their choice to do with it whatever they want. If they want to give more/all if it to one sibling over another, or all to charity, or spend every last penny -- that's entirely their choice, regardless of the reason.

In my opinion, the only potentially problematic thing is, if it becomes a means for a narcistic parent to use it as a weapon to hold over you (and/or your siblings') head(s) as a means of unwanted control/influence in your life. This is relevant to me. (I reached FI independently without any economic support.) However, I have explicitly told my parents to do whatever they want with their savings. My mother tries to interfere with my life enough, even without being able to hold a pile of cash as a carrot over my head. My sister has already implemented a nearly zero-contact-protocol with my mother, even though my sister's family economic situation is borderline poverty without the aid of outside assistance and tax credits.

Andy Dufresne
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Andy Dufresne »

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:31 am
. It's a sad reflection on my moral character that I am my own favorite charity. I wouldn't consider it a total loss if grow beyond that a little someday.
Charity begins at home. But charity, in my mind, is providing what is essential to as many people as possible. Thus, by being charitable towards yourself you learn, over time, to use what is needed, not more. The first step in giving is usually to your children, but tha warm feeling that you've provided them can enlarge to encompass others, in increasingly larger circles.

Thanks for the extra color. Shows once again that decisions eventually lead to character and then to destiny!

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fiby41
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by fiby41 »

Being an only child, I can't relate but I've distant cousins, one of whom bought a new phone every other year and when the second sibling had to buy a new phone he added up the cost of all the phones the first sibling had bought and their parents brag about buying him a high-end phone for that price.

Sandi_k
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Sandi_k »

ertyu wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:20 am

And the answer is no, you cannot, because respecting you was never about you. It was about them and their need to, in my case, feel powerful and influential by continually finding and pointing out flaws that they can "direct" me out of. They stay the competent, powerful parent, I stay the inept, blundering child in need of direction. And rationally I know this.

It's a great grief for me - I may or may not be tearing up as I write this. I hope I grieve it out one day. In the meantime, I flounder like everyone else, vacillating between anger, bargaining, denial, and back. I don't yet know how to make it out the other end. Does anyone, fully, ever?
I see much of my own family in your account, and perhaps the gift my DH gave to me will be helpful to you:

"If your father doesn't know after 30+ years of observation that you are smart, honorable, a good child, a good *person* - what can you possibly do now that would convince him of your worth? Think about how you're feeling now - the rage and the grief and the sorrow - and ask if you still want to be hoping for your parents' approval at age 35? At age 40? At age 50? When will you come to the conclusion that you are Good Enough, Right Now?"

This hit me upside the head like a thunderbolt. *Especially* the idea of myself as a sad, emotionally-needy cryer, boo-hooing at 50 because Daddy doesn't love me the way he should.

It was a fantastic perspective. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

I ended up sending Dad a "Dear John" letter after that event, telling him that I was done trying to win his approval. I would live my life, and he could live his, and I would be polite at family functions. But I was *done*. I saw him a few times in the 7-8 years after that, and the last time was...freeing. He almost *cowered* in front of me, and avoided me, because he KNEW I would just leave if he stepped out of line at the baby shower. And that it would reflect poorly on *him*.

When he was in his last days, dying of cancer, and barely able to speak, I did agree to take a call from him. Wherein he did admit that he had a lot to say to me, and no time or breath left to say it. And I did understand. Because, in the end, I am the kid who walked away - just as he had with his father, many years before.

I hope you find some peace yourself; the magic mix of independence and compassion for both *yourself* and his clearly emotionally-inadequate affect is a wonderful thing.

ertyu
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by ertyu »

Sandi_k wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:49 pm

"If your father doesn't know after 30+ years of observation that you are smart, honorable, a good child, a good *person* - what can you possibly do now that would convince him of your worth? Think about how you're feeling now - the rage and the grief and the sorrow - and ask if you still want to be hoping for your parents' approval at age 35? At age 40? At age 50? When will you come to the conclusion that you are Good Enough, Right Now?"
Thank you for taking the time to write this out, Sandi. Wise words. Seems like the only way of moving beyond is to accept there is indeed nothing you can do. I'm glad that you've found someone who sees your worth and who took the time to say these words to you because they care to see you free and happy.

Sandi_k
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Sandi_k »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:05 am
Thank you for taking the time to write this out, Sandi. Wise words. Seems like the only way of moving beyond is to accept there is indeed nothing you can do. I'm glad that you've found someone who sees your worth and who took the time to say these words to you because they care to see you free and happy.
Agreed - he's awesome. And wise. :P I hope it's helpful to you.

Andy Dufresne
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Andy Dufresne »

Sandi_k wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:49 pm
I see much of my own family in your account, and perhaps the gift my DH gave to me will be helpful to you:

"If your father doesn't know after 30+ years of observation that you are smart, honorable, a good child, a good *person* - what can you possibly do now that would convince him of your worth? Think about how you're feeling now - the rage and the grief and the sorrow - and ask if you still want to be hoping for your parents' approval at age 35? At age 40? At age 50? When will you come to the conclusion that you are Good Enough, Right Now?"

This hit me upside the head like a thunderbolt. *Especially* the idea of myself as a sad, emotionally-needy cryer, boo-hooing at 50 because Daddy doesn't love me the way he should.

It was a fantastic perspective. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

I ended up sending Dad a "Dear John" letter after that event, telling him that I was done trying to win his approval. I would live my life, and he could live his, and I would be polite at family functions. But I was *done*. I saw him a few times in the 7-8 years after that, and the last time was...freeing. He almost *cowered* in front of me, and avoided me, because he KNEW I would just leave if he stepped out of line at the baby shower. And that it would reflect poorly on *him*.

When he was in his last days, dying of cancer, and barely able to speak, I did agree to take a call from him. Wherein he did admit that he had a lot to say to me, and no time or breath left to say it. And I did understand. Because, in the end, I am the kid who walked away - just as he had with his father, many years before.

I hope you find some peace yourself; the magic mix of independence and compassion for both *yourself* and his clearly emotionally-inadequate affect is a wonderful thing.
Thanks for sharing. I sadly came to the same conclusion about my parents. I think it was worse because I never tried to get their approval, I just tried to be a good child to them. Haven't seen or spoken to them in a couple of years and the relationship has been sketchy for more than a decade now, but I agree that the feeling is one where an invisible yet substantial weigh has been lifted from your shoulders. Do I wish things were different? Sure, but I realized early on that my parents are adults and I cannot "change" them, so I wish them well and am thankful for what they did to raise me all those many years ago, but too much of my life passed while embroiled in family matters rather than focusing on my own stuff.

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