Tag Archives: family

“Estranged Parents and Boundaries”

All relationships have boundaries, but people usually don’t state them explicitly unless the other person has crossed the line. Therefore, openly stating a boundary implies that the other person has done something wrong, and members of estranged parents’ groups aren’t having that.

issendai, Down the Rabbit Hole: The world of estranged parents’ forums, “Estranged Parents and Boundaries”

Possibly of painful interest to those of you with family issues and crummy parents. This is mostly just quotes, but if you’re like me, it can be illuminating/helpful to see echoes of personal experience atomized like this. Obvious content warning for self-entitled parents saying awful things.

a piece of de-familied solidarity

“See, this is why you don’t talk to relatives about politics.”

“How about just ‘don’t talk to relatives.'”


cw: heterosexism, cissexism, fundamentalism

Contrary to popular misperceptions of fundamentalists, then, [James] Dobson does not see sex as a necessary evil.  For Dobson, sexuality is our most primary energy.  Whereas in Dare to Discipline, he castigates the “scientific experts” whose theories of child rearing led the nation to lose confidence in its heritage of biblical wisdom… Dobson idealizes and fights to preserve the modern family created by those scientific experts he loves to hate. But the point of his nostalgia was never historical accuracy. The point was discipline.

In large measure… this discipline is about maintaining middle-class status.  Historian George Mosse has argued that the emergence of nationalism in the nineteenth century was intimately connected with white middle-class norms regarding respectable sexuality. Dobson cites Joseph Daniel Unwin… who frames the issues as quasi-mathematical law: a civilizations level of cultural attainment is inversely proportional to the openness of its sexual regulations regarding extramarital and premarital sex.

Drawing on Unwin, Dobson identifies sexuality as our deepest truth. It is the heart of personality: “Self-awareness begins with an understanding of our sexual identity… Everything we do is influenced by our gender assignment.” […] Whereas Freud presented the discipline that civilization exacts as a source of discontent, Dobson presents this discipline as true contentment. For the mechanism by which society effects sexual discipline (according to Dobson) is private property: having a mate, a family, and a home of one’s own.

Ann Burlein, Lift High the Cross, p.155-156

compassionate leave

Okay there are a lot of other things I should be doing right now instead of posting here but I was thinking again today about how my company offers “compassionate leave” as a category of time off from work and how my coworker had to use her PTO hours (a different category) when she took time off to go to her uncle’s funeral, because she didn’t get compassionate leave for that, because her uncle isn’t considered “immediate family.”

The nuclear family is an economic unit.

abuse spans all

Okay yeah and branching off that last post, how about this wild idea: Abusers… are… unreasonable.  They do unreasonable things.  They have unreasonable expectations.  They are unreasonable.  So I’ve got no clue what some people are on about whenever they say something like “imagine a parent getting mad at their kid for X, that doesn’t happen because that’s just ridiculous.”  Hey, real fun fact: “it’s ridiculous” has never been enough to stop humanity from doing cruel and violent things.  Holding that expectation at all is ridiculous.  And more importantly here, it begs the question: Why are you expecting abusive behavior to be reasonable?  Why are you talking like there exists any abuse where you’d look at it and say, “oh, yeah that makes sense”?

Do me a favor and pay attention to that.  If someone’s position is that real abuse is “reasonable,” that’s the kind of thing that calls a person’s entire politics into question.


me: *takes a picture of the card my mom sent me*

me: cursed image

“No Matter What”

I had to tell my grandfather something I knew he didn’t want to hear yesterday: I’m not going to see him this Christmas.  I’m still not sure whether it was the right decision.

I expected him to respond with hurt and confusion, and he sort of did, in his own way, but he also caught me off guard by telling me the same thing he’s told me many times before — that he loves me, and will always love me, no matter what.  That was his way of responding.  By emphasizing that, over and over.

He’s told me that for as long as I’ve known him, and when I was little, I just took it for granted that my grandparents love me.  The sky is blue, peas are gross, and my grandparents love me.  I actually didn’t understand why Granddad emphasized it so much — that he loves me and will always love me, no matter what.  It seemed almost random sometimes, but I just accepted it as a thing he liked to say.

But ever since I realized what I am (i.e. not straight), it’s started to make me feel queasy when he says it.

Because, yes, he loves me.  But this is my Catholic, Republican, Fox-News-watching grandfather we’re talking about here.

And so I’m left wondering, these days, when he says he loves me no matter what…  Would you still?  If you knew?

And.  God.  I don’t even know how to put a name to that emotion.

He says “no matter what,” but it’s not as easy to believe that anymore.