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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Kate The whole question doesn't fit in here, but hope this

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Kate
The whole question doesn't fit in here, but hope this is enough to start a new thread.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 1 year ago.
That's ok Nick. I already reviewed your question on the other thread before we switched to the new thread so it's no problem. You may feel that what you said was petty, but what it really sounds like is that you feel hurt and angry about how your family has treated you over the years. And when you begin to feel a bit safer and have stronger boundaries, those feelings can start to come through your defenses and out into the open. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a natural response to have, given what you have been through with your family. Keep in mind, for a number of years, you have been trying to defend yourself and feeling anxious each time you had to deal with your family. And they have in a way "ganged up" on you together and by involving your sister and communicating through her to try to control you. There has been a lot of guilt and attempts to control you directed your way and that can cause all kinds of emotions to develop. You never felt safe expressing any of these feelings to your parents or sister, so it is bottled up inside. The fact that you are letting some of it out is a good sign- one that says you may be healing and also gaining strength in setting strong boundaries for yourself. To help you express your feelings further, you can try a couple of things. One, consider telling your family members what you feel. Start with your father when he visits. You can do this in a nice way, but also be firm about it. Your family members may not react well, but in therapy part of healing is saying what you need to say and not expecting the reaction you want. The key is having the chance to express yourself so you get your say and you also get the feelings out there. It helps you gain more control and it also lets the other person know they are hurting you, even if they don't take it in and do anything about it. Two, you can write down what you feel in the form of a letter to each family member that hurt you, but one that you never deliver. These letters are for you to keep. When you write the letters, act as if you are writing directly to them. Don't hold back. Say whatever comes to mind, even if it is full of angry words or deeply painful ones. Anything that you feel about the past and current relationship. Then you can either keep the letters and add to them or you can get rid of them in some way that symbolizes letting go of the pain, such as burning, shredding or burying them. Share the letters with someone safe, like your wife if you want. Often, this helps you heal and it gives you some way to express all the things you have held in in a safe and supportive way. Kate
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Kate

This wasn't a serious issue and what your saying is correct. I did previously write everything down, so that has made me feel like i have more control. It has definitely helped me to deal with situations and it does feel like my parents attitude has changed, but there is still that underlying need to for them to try and control, however small it may be. As you have said, i can't influence that, the only thing i can influence is how i deal with it. I am at the stage that if i deal with it badly then it is my fault.

Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Anytime. It is hard to say that you are dealing with your emotions about this in a bad way. It is very natural to not know how to express yourself when you start recognizing and releasing the emotions related to the abuse, especially since they have been repressed for so long. And what you have suffered is considered emotional abuse. When you start to feel ready to express the feelings you have repressed all these years, it is going to come out in many ways, like a hose springing leaks. And sometimes they will feel overwhelming or very powerful because they have been sitting so long collecting over the years. As a result, your emotions may come out as rage or feel like an open wound. You also have never been able to talk to your parents directly about your feelings so this kind of communication is very new to you. But once you learn to let those feelings out and explore them, you also learn how to channel them. Go easy on yourself. This will take time. But I can assure you, you are on the right path. Kate
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kate,
Hope you are well!
My parents have come to visit us in South Africa so you probably knew you would hear from me!
I had been anxious for a few weeks leading up to there visit because i knew that there would be some issue at some point. They arrived a few days ago. Everything has been ok, there have been the comments and remarks and opinions which Michelle and I have let slide, for the sake of harmony but last night ended up in an argument. I am again feeling stressed, a bit caught in the middle and definitely don't feel like i can now talk to them because it will be another argument. They will not see my point, and i certainly won't see theres.
This was the argument, 'i will try and keep it brief!:
We had leant my car to my parents so they didn't have to rent one, they were going to go to Cape Town for the day and sightsee. We looked after my sisters baby so they could enjoy the day. I told them the way to go, where not to go and programmed the destination in the satnav, i also filled the car with petrol. Unfortunately i inputted the wrong destination by mistake and they ended up in the wrong place, and it end up being about a 1.5hr detour!When they phoned i directed them, and they got to Cape Town. My sister gave instructions on her babies sleep time etc and told us that he goes to bed at 8 but they wouldn't be home anywhere near that late. However by 9pm they still weren't home and it was dark so me and Michelle were both very worried, because i thought maybe they got lost again and it was dark and travelling in South Africa, when you don't know where your going is dangerous. They eventually arrived at 9.30pm, and we asked "where have you been" we were really worried" To which my sister replied, what do you mean, we've been in Cape Town, we would have been sooner but you lead us the wrong way. Then both me and michelle said why didn't you try and call. My Dad had a pay as you go phone that had no credit and that was their only way of communicating. So we said when you knew you were going to be late why didn't you find a way of calling, a restaurant or internet cafe. Michelle said to my sister that we had her child so what if we needed to get hold of you, this is South Africa, we wouldn't have been so worried in England but you need to be carful. She stormed off and went to bed. We stayed and talked to my parent which ended in shouting, Michelle then said, she is not used to this, it her house and she doesn't want arguing and she just put Christian to sleep and he should be hearing screaming or arguing. My mum got really angry, and michelle went to bed crying. My mum took offence and michelle got up again to explain why she said she is not used to this. So we all went to bed, my Dad had stay quiet and was actually sensible, said he agreed that there should be no arguing. He also said he didn't realise how worried we would be and it was nice we cared and he apologised.
I just again feel this stress in my stomach, they are the only people in my life that make me feel like this and I've had enough. I heard my parents arguing after last night, and my mum essentially telling my dad off! yet he was the only sensible calm one!
I don't know what to do now, one thing i won't accept is arguing in front of my children, i had a whole childhood/teen years of that and both me and Michelle won't accept it in our house.
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 1 year ago.
Hello! It's good to hear from you. Just to let you know, you need to start a new question thread for this new question since you already rated on this thread. With the new JA system, you can no longer continue the same thread once you rate for your answer. For each question, you need to start a new thread and rate each one as you receive your answer. Thanks,Kate

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