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Question
Posted by: Confused | 2007/02/21

How should I communicate with my perants

Ok, I haven't posted in a while so I hope you all are fine.

Today on screwd families we have my family that can not communicate. We struggle and live past eachother and try to mend it only once some damage has been done. This time I fear it may be irrepearable.

I don't think anyone who hears their first born son tell them that he's gay will take it well. The communication lines are there but how do I get it going? As things stand I have an extreme dislike of my mother and my dad is in the backround only coming forth when there is mending to be done. My idea of converation isn't getting a lecture, yet it's all way I talk to my perants other than "Hello" or "Good night"

I can't tell them who I like. I don't really want to tell them anything right now. I want them to switch off the F***ing TV so that we have a chance, no matter how slim, to have a decent conversation. I mean I came out to them and since then all respect for me and my respect for them has almost disappeared.

As I said, the communication lines are there. How do I use them when they make the time? I really want a better relationship with them, but mother has the habit of going on guilttrips and dad is usually in the backround. My uncle can to this day not have a decent conversation with his mother and he's a bitter old queen. I don't want to be a bitter old queen because I don't talk to my perants.
;-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi again Confused, thanks for this post and I apologise for this late response.

It sounds as if your family culture is characterised by a dominant, critical mother and everyone feeling isolated. It may be wise for you to work on your relationship with your dad, as opposed to trying to do the "family" thing. Spend a bit of time with him (away from your mother), find out more about him and how he feels, and possibly discuss one of his interests. Ask him for his opinion on issues. Empower him by making him feel a bit more important to you and by bringing him into your interpersonal foreground. That may make it possible for him to be more open to your experiences and feelings.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Junior | 2007/02/23

Hi There

Just to clarify things: Has your family always had poor communication, or was it as a result of you comming out to them?

I think that the besat course of action to take would be to seek the assistance of a councillor, depending on where you live, there are many GLBTI organisations that will be able to assist or refer you. This will alow you to work through your feelings about your family and there response to your sexuality.

After which, Dyls suggestion of a sit-down dinner might be the perfect situation to discuss whatever issues are on you mind with your parents. I am fortunate in that my family has always had good communication lines, and we have sit-down meals accompanied by conversation frequently.

All the best. Keep us posted

Hugs an Kisses
Junior

Reply to Junior
Posted by: Confused | 2007/02/22

Thanks everyone.

;-)

Reply to Confused
Posted by: Ferny | 2007/02/22

Hi Confused,

Sjoe, this is a tough one for me, simply because we as a family are GREAT communicators and always have been, especially Stef (my gay son) and I. As a family we accepted Stef (and his partner) without hesitation when he told us he is gay and we are SO proud of him for being true to himself. HAVING SAID THAT, I KNOW FULL WELL THAT WE ARE NOT THE NORM !! I have met and chatted to enough of Stef's gay friends to know that parental acceptance doesn't come easy EVEN THOUGH IT SHOULD !!

I would agree with Nikki that it doesnt sound like you are in a good place to broach the subject with your parents and specifically your mother, who obviously is going to be the one you really need to have a break through with.

Just the fact that you consider your family "screwed up" and that you "dislike" your mother and "don't want to tell them anything right now" makes it crystal clear that you will not handle any discussion or possible confrontation well.

You need to deal with all this anger and confusion BEFORE you can deal with your parents. So if it is at all possible see a psychologist and get some counselling AND THEN with guidance from your therapist formulate the right way to go about communicating with your parents.

If you are in the Durban area i can recommend an excellent psychologist or else contact the Triangle Project in Capetown who will refer you.

Whatever you do, don't let the status quo continue, because it is OBVIOUSLY bothering you and is not healthy!! Do something about it as soon as possible, PLEASE!!

I'm sending you all the love and support i possibly can long distance. Go well.

Love and hugs - Ferny :-)

Reply to Ferny
Posted by: Nikki | 2007/02/22

Hello Confused

Your inner struggle is very clear and the bitter and anger is notable. Referring to your uncle as a bitter old queen is a tad offensive and a frame of mind you do not want to live with forever.

I don’t think you are in a good position to sit your parents down and talk to them on your own. There is a splendid chance that this will tear the family further apart, increase your anger, disappointment and frustration to no ends.

Do things RIGHT. Talk to a professional therapist first. Lay things out to him/her and get your own head clear as a bell first and foremost. Then proceed to approaching your parents with the guidance of the therapist. I am convinced that the ONLY way you are going to get your parents to accept and talk to you with respect and without prejudice and guilt trips, will be to get them to the therapist as well. From where I sit I would advise that you deal with yourself first, and then one by one bring your parents into it.

Your mom sounds to be the dominant one (dad in the background you said) so start with her and get her to the therapist so that she can work through the guilt trip issues.

Remember if you have a load of bricks to transport, the safest way will be to have a bakkie for the job. Now if the bakkie has a flat wheel you are going to have a problem right? The bakkie needs to be in tip top condition to get the job done so do you need to be in tiptop mental condition to open mature dialog with your parents and in particular your mom.

Professional help is available; make use if it and your life will change like day and night.

Xxxxxxxx
Nikki

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: Deeve | 2007/02/22

Hey Confused,
I feel for you man...what a hassle!! I can just picture Dyl's idea, where the foods all cooked, and everyone sits, and as soon as you mention the topic, they all get up and leave you with a table of half eaten plates. Shew....Ferny, you got anything to add here...maybe a Mothers perspective might help...??
This is when I feel so priviliged to have the support that I have...and I mostly take it for granted, and tend to bemoan my circumstances when everything isn't just the way I would like it.
Gosh it must be hard for you.....

Reply to Deeve
Posted by: BatBoy | 2007/02/22

Hi
Let me tell you how I did it- I also have a mom that constantly has guilt trips. And one day I just decided to tell her so I said - mom, lets go to your room and just talk. Now I am sure that she knew in the back of her mind long ago but to hear me tell her str8 that I was agy , well she was shocked and hurt and angry.
But, I did not mention it again and neither did she - we always went past the issue and I knew that one day once she had mulled it over enough she would come to understand me more. It took a lot of pressure off me once I had told her, and that was what I needed.
You though- need to make an appointment with your folks- sit them down and explain the facts of your life to them- that is the only way- and be strong about it.But do it gently as they are your parents.
Good luck- let us know more.

Reply to BatBoy
Posted by: Dyl | 2007/02/22

howzit?
ok, so to force everyone to sit and talk you might want to try making dinner sometime and setting the table. this will force all of you to sit together without the distraction of the TV.

once you done that, you need to tell your family how you feel and what your perseption of there feelings towards you are. you will probably see that they feel the same way and they dont know how to get a conversation started with you. you also all need to talk honestly with each other.

good luck
Dyl (",)

Reply to Dyl

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