Amy 11/11

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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1
Nov 11, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: Today a lady introduced me to her “daughter, Laura” and her “stepdaughter, Katherine.” Later, on TV, a man was describing his family and said that he had two sons and his wife had three sons.
What is it with this Cinderella syndrome? Either these children are members of the family, or they are not. If I was one of these stepchildren, I would be very distressed. What do you say?-- A Real Daughter

DEAR DAUGHTER: There are times when introducing a child as a “step” is seen as a way to clarify a relationship that people often ask about, regardless of the introduction. For instance, if a parent says,“These are my daughters, Laura and Katherine,” you might be shocked at how often the person will then say (in front of the daughters),“Hi, now which one is yours?”

Another reason to do this is to acknowledge in front of the daughter that she has another (unseen) parent, who is her birth parent. The daughter may feel it is disrespectful to her bio parent if she is introduced as a “daughter” by her stepparent.

Parents of blended families should treat all of their children as “their” children, but there are nuances attached to this that can be challenging for everyone.

DEAR AMY: I am pretty sure I have social anxiety disorder. I am definitely an introvert. We moved a lot when I was a kid (seven different school districts in four states during 12 years of school) so I was always the new girl.

I always kept to myself. I did not want to draw attention to myself, and I never got attached to people because I figured I’d just be moving again soon anyway.

Looking back I never attended any after-school event, joined a club or went to a game. I am pretty sure that is why I was never interested in college, though I had good grades; the whole college thing seemed like socializing, and I just wanted to learn.

Now fast-forward 20 years; I only socialize with a few people in a limited capacity. If it weren’t for my partner, I would not even be doing that. We haven’t gotten married because I can’t handle the thought of a “wedding” and being the center of attention. If I agree to go to an event, I just worry about going and try to make up excuses to not go, even if it is work-related.

I can go to a class or seminar but don’t see the point of socializing when it just causes me stress.

What is wrong with being this way? I am told I should “get out more,” but I am not sure why. I am happiest at home with my partner and dog. I don’t think I need fixing. I am happy the way I am.-- Homebody

DEAR HOMEBODY: There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Nothing at all.

However, if you have a social anxiety disorder, your anxiety about having to interact with other people will cause you stress and physical reactions related to stress — your heart will race, and you will feel the strong desire to avoid or flee.

If this anxiety is interfering with living your life the way you want to, then you should try to address it. For instance, if you want to advance in your career and if occasional public events, socializing or networking will help you do your job better, then you should at least try to manage your symptoms.

You can try to do this with deep breathing or meditation techniques. You can build on even small successes.

If you want to get married, get married. For you, a quiet ceremony with only you and your partner (and your dog) might be the definition of the perfect wedding.

DEAR AMY: Thank you for telling “Worried Neighbors” to call the police when they heard yelling and loud noises from next door.

Almost 40 years ago, my neighbor called 911 when she heard noise from my apartment. The police arrived in time. No one ended up in the hospital or the morgue.-- Survivor

DEAR SURVIVOR: Frightening. Thank you.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#2
Nov 11, 2013
 

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1 Your right, and it's a form of bullying. Get social services involved. You dont know the dynamics, but your view is more important than the reality.

2 There is something wrong with you, your gay....but thats not whats wrong with you. Whats wrong with you is that you cant seem to grasp the concept that you do NOT have to socialize on the road, just say stomach virus and stay in your room.

3 Yeah, kinky sex can be dangerous, thanks for the PSA.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#3
Nov 11, 2013
 

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1: Step-parents have it rough: if you are too involed and love the kid, the other parent *coughmom* will attack the crap out of you.
If you don't involve them as much and maintain boundaries, you are "evil."

2: Do you have a job? Introversion is fine (I am) but there is a line. I loathe socializing and schmoozing, but I love teaching/presenting.
I went to college, went to class, and went home. Socializing is not mandatory.
If you're living off your partner, no good--make your own way, then stop apologizing.

3: More details or shut up.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#4
Nov 11, 2013
 

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LW1: Fortunately, 99% of the world is not as sensitive as you.

LW2: If you are happy and your SO are happy, who cares? If you are happy and your SO is not happy with your extreme fear and the limitations this imposes, perhaps you should consider working on it.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#5
Nov 11, 2013
 
LW1 - You don't know the dynamics and all the whys, so shut up with your judgment.

LW2&3 - No comment.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#6
Nov 11, 2013
 
L1: Look, if my dad were to get married, I wouldn't look to kindly on some woman calling me her kid, thanks.

OTOH, J's been a part of his step family since he was 8, and we very much get the "he's only a step" vibe from them. But they suck anyway, so whatever.

L2: Xanax is a hell of a drug.

L3: Did anyone end up in jail?
Community Disorganizer

Newtown, CT

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#7
Nov 11, 2013
 
LW 1: The reality is some kids are step kids, so what!

LW 2: Did you really need 200 words to tell Amy that you're a homosexual?

LW 3: What were you doing that necessitated your neighbor calling the police?

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#8
Nov 11, 2013
 
L1: It's whatever works for someone. Don't be so judgmental. That's not good, either.

L2: It doesn't matter what other people think how you should run your life. The only thing is, you wrote a letter to a columnist so it's obviously bothering you. Decide what is bothering you and fix it.

L3: Interesting. I'm with the other. Details!

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#9
Nov 11, 2013
 
L1: My stepfather was wonderful to my mom and me. He would introduce me as his daughter and I have to admit I would get a little twinge of discomfort. But, I never corrected him or really minded because he was such a great guy, and I was an adult at the time.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#10
Nov 11, 2013
 

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1. Why do people only say Step- kid and never Half-kid?

2 LW is in enough distress that she reached out as best she will allow herself- to an anonymous advice columnist. It's a start. Every piece of change has to start somewhere.
3. LW is a drama queen and a tease or there would have been more details. She was probably playing Metallica too loud at 10:30p.m. on a weeknight.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Des Plaines, IL

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#11
Nov 11, 2013
 
LW1 - on the flip side, my gramma wou;d call my mom her daughter, yet my mom called gramma her step-mother (and used her 1st name when talking directly to her). she was married to my mother's father, so she was my grandmohter.

whatever... maybe that's what the family talked out. if the the "kids" are adults, and the parents married when the kids were adults, its different than if the parents married wehn the kids were kids and the step-parent helped raise them. my parents were married before my grandparents got married.
Blunt Advice

Bayonne, NJ

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#12
Nov 11, 2013
 
1. All depends on the family dynamics. I know of step parents who took on the parenting role better than the bio parent, where they refer to each other as mom dad son daughter sister brother. Then there are some step families that dislike someone enough to refer to them as "my mothers second husband". Everyone is different and family doesn't always have to involve a DNA match.
2. Get therapy for coming to terms with your being lesbian. If it doesn't help then see psychiatrist about anti anxiety meds. If your partner is an extrovert, then you need to make compromises as far as going out and socializing.
3. Calling the cops good better safe than sorry.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#13
Nov 11, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
1. Why do people only say Step- kid and never Half-kid?
people can't have half kids. People can have half siblings, but that's not the same as a step sibling.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#14
Nov 11, 2013
 
L1: I agree with Aisle Sitter, although I got a little confused. My father's wife was a b1tch and I would never use the word mother in any form. when she died, I was furious that my dad named me and brothers as children in her obit. So age and family dynamics can come into play. But LW needs to stop fretting about it.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#15
Nov 11, 2013
 
1- Not everyone feels as close to a step kid or parent as you would your own flesh and blood.

2- thanks for not having a fking point! "I'm a loner, I'm gay, and I'm happy." Good for you, want your dam parade now?
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#16
Nov 11, 2013
 
Mathilda, how is your SIL doing these days? I don't think you've mentioned her here for a very long time...

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