“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 25, 2013
Dear Amy: I'm in therapy learning to deal with the fallout from being raised by parents who belittled, bullied, and verbally and emotionally abused me for most of my life.

They have never admitted doing anything wrong, insisting that they were great parents and I was too weak or too immature to see that they were only doing "what was best for me."

Before I started to see a psychiatrist, I planned to write my parents a long letter telling them how they had hurt me and how it has affected every aspect of my life. I also considered telling my concerned family and friends via social media what they did to me and how much it hurt.

I was very surprised when my therapist told me not to post anything. He said many libel and character defamation lawsuits have resulted from such revelations, and he advised me not to say anything unless it was face to face, so as to not leave any paper trail.

Amy, all I'd be doing is telling the truth about the horrible way they chose to raise me and the affect it has had on me. Why would it be wrong to tell the truth? Posting for Closure

Dear Posting: Your therapist seems to be offering legal advice, and while he may be right (I don't know), your therapist would do best to ask you a question: "Why?"

Exploring your motivations is one key function of therapy, and answering the question "why?" might lead you to insight and closure,
without the inevitable personal mess that would result from public postings.

I completely agree with your therapist that making these postings is unwise, though for different reasons. When you post something deeply personal online, you immediately lose control of the information. This text can fly through cyberspace and land anywhere; it can be altered, made fun of, or invite commentary that would be hurtful to you or others.

Furthermore, this would not cause your parents to admit their wrongdoing or apologize for it, because they would see a public airing of their failings as further proof that you (not they) are flawed.

I would encourage you to write a letter to your folks, and you could make a long-term decision about whether to send it.

Dear Amy: I have a long-distance friend who canceled her wedding two weeks before the wedding date.

I am relieved that she escaped what was sounding to be a dangerous marriage. Her parents sent out an appropriate, well-thought-out, handwritten postcard to relay the "wedding canceled" message. They asked that we keep the individuals involved in our thoughts and prayers.

I would like to send a kind card and perhaps a small, thoughtful gift to my friend. Is a card and small gift appropriate? If so, what type of gift would be both personal and appropriate? Wondering

Dear Wondering: This is not necessarily a gift-giving occasion, but I appreciate your desire to reach out in supportive friendship during what might be a confusing and difficult time.

You don't describe your friend, but if she is the thoughtful type (like you), I think a book would be the right gift. Poetry is the right genre, because you can keep a book of poetry next to your bed and visit and revisit the work, the way you do a favorite song.

I prescribe poetry by Mary Oliver. Oliver writes with wit, grace and gentle wisdom about ordinary life and the natural world. Her most recent volume is "A Thousand Mornings" (2012, Penguin Press). If this book speaks to you, then send it to her.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Jul 25, 2013
L1: I agree with the therapist that the LW shouldn't post stuff on "social media" but not necessarily for legal reasons but because it's immature and stupid.

L2: No gift. Reach out with a card or a phone call.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Jul 25, 2013
1 Your shrink is trying to cover their own ass, not yours. get another shrink. And toughen up for gods sake! lots of people have idiot parents, quit defining yourself by your past. If it was toxic, then let it go.

2 Email her a card and a link to a dating site, or maybe a link to a local craigs list local hookup site.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#4 Jul 25, 2013
L1: I immediately thought the girl has to be a drama queen b/c she wants to post that crap. She should write the letter and then burn it in spirit and celebration of letting things of the past go and look toward the future.

L2: I wouldn't do a gift. Save the money and go visit her soon.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#5 Jul 25, 2013
LW1: I was thinking drama queen, too. That's the type of person that is seeking attention and wants to do so by airing their dirty laundry to the world. There is no reason to post such personal things on social media. It's idiotic. And, while I am not an attorney, I am pretty sure some defamation issues can come of it. She can't prove her statements are true (I would think; I could be wrong) and if there is no truth to it (or provable truth) she might get into some trouble.

LW2: I don't think a gift is necessary. I think a card is enough, but if LW really wants to send soemthing, maybe some nice flowers or a bottle of wine? I like a thoughtful book, too, though. But, really, a card wit a thoughtful note will work just fine.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Jul 25, 2013
L1: It sounds like you think if you "out" your parents, you'll feel better. You won't. I think it' ssafe to say that MOST people don't want to read/hear others airing their family's dirty laundry. I would lose respect for you if you posted a hatefilled rant on FB about your horrible parents. I GET that some parents suck. I get that YOURS sucked.

I think you need to work more on letting go of your parents instead of punishing them -- they'll never get it.

L2: You're asking a complete stranger for a "personal" gift idea for a friend? I do not like poetry much (although, I sure loved Dante's Inferno/Purgatorio/Paradiso), so sending me a poetry book would not be a smart gift choice. Were you going to fly out for the wedding? If so, ask your friend if she'd like you to fly out for a fun weekend together on or after the date of the wedding. Or ask her to fly to visit you (maybe split the cost of the ticket, even). I think time together with friends would be better than a break-up gift.

L3: And again, AMy can't admit she was wrong.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#7 Jul 25, 2013
Hey, I broke 30K posts! Whoda thunk I could have so much to say!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Jul 25, 2013
LW1 wants revenge. You hurt me, now I am going to hurt you. Revenge is a dish best served cold. LW's method sounds immature and like a temper tantrum.
Amy's advice to write a letter hardcopy and put it away for awhile is decent as long as you DO NOT send the letter for at least 1 year after it is written. Better yet, stay with therapy, drop the parents-as-baggage and then cut them out of your life .

Then, if at sometime in teh far future she wants to have contact, she will have preserved her options.

But this is cold thinking rationality and LW is not thinking that way.

FWIW I don't thin the therapist is giving legal advice. I think the therapist is trying to scare LW into not posting her grievances on FB and is using the legal stuff as a boogieman

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Jul 25, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: And again, AMy can't admit she was wrong.
Okay, I didn't see a 3rd letter in the Denver Post. If you can access it, please post it. Thanks

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Jul 25, 2013
LW1: If you didn't want to listen to your therapist, why did you start talking to one? You will accomplish nothing by this public shaming and you'll only feel better for a short time. Take the time to work with the therapist and you'll realize that he's adivce was correct.

And instead of posting this cr@p to FB, put it in a journal. Way more theraputic.

LW2: A card and if you really want to send a gift, how about a GC to the movies? Mindless entertainment might be something she could use right about now.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#11 Jul 25, 2013
1: You went through a very difficult time and I'm glad you're in therapy......because your idea to publicly accuse your parents is NUTS!

2: Send them a card and get out of gift-giving mode, ya' whack job!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Jul 25, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I agree with the therapist that the LW shouldn't post stuff on "social media" but not necessarily for legal reasons but because it's immature and stupid.
L2: No gift. Reach out with a card or a phone call.
I suspect the therapist used the legal angle just to get the LW to NOT do it, knowing that the real reasons to not do it weren't persuasive enough.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#13 Jul 25, 2013
PEllen wrote:
LW1 wants revenge. You hurt me, now I am going to hurt you. Revenge is a dish best served cold. LW's method sounds immature and like a temper tantrum.
Amy's advice to write a letter hardcopy and put it away for awhile is decent as long as you DO NOT send the letter for at least 1 year after it is written. Better yet, stay with therapy, drop the parents-as-baggage and then cut them out of your life .
Then, if at sometime in teh far future she wants to have contact, she will have preserved her options.
But this is cold thinking rationality and LW is not thinking that way.
FWIW I don't thin the therapist is giving legal advice. I think the therapist is trying to scare LW into not posting her grievances on FB and is using the legal stuff as a boogieman
In this case, "revenge best served cold" could mean not visiting the parents in the nursing home.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Jul 25, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
In this case, "revenge best served cold" could mean not visiting the parents in the nursing home.
I have a friend who used to say to his mother whenever she got out of line: "Be careful, I am the one who will pick your nursing home."
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#15 Jul 25, 2013
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
I have a friend who used to say to his mother whenever she got out of line: "Be careful, I am the one who will pick your nursing home."
I always tell my mom she is going to Shady Pines. I say it as a joke, though. My mom can be a nag sometimes, but she's pretty much awesome.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#16 Jul 25, 2013
1: Most of us have been mistreated in some way. I think how we go about it is usually wrong. We somehow think that since we have some adult clarity, we'll be able to change the offenders, and they will offer apologies and modify themselves forever.
I say you need to learn the art of LETTING GO! People hardly change so let it go, and let them go if you have to, and move on. Life is too short to let someone else destroy you.
Posting all on media = attention.

2: Our [give gifts for every occasion] has really reached new levels, eh?

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#17 Jul 25, 2013
Stina wrote:
<quoted text>
I always tell my mom she is going to Shady Pines. I say it as a joke, though. My mom can be a nag sometimes, but she's pretty much awesome.
my parents are always "threatening" to move in with us... i keep saying they'll be fun wehn we put htem in the home, because no one will ever know if they're with it or not... <sigh> either way, it'll be an interesting ride.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#18 Jul 25, 2013
LW1: Team JMW, squishymama, Toj, and Red. Do NOT broadcast your personal family business on social media. You are telling the right person - your therapist. This trained professional can help you work through your issues. There is nothing to gain and much to lose by disclosing any of this to your extended family and friends.

LW2: A gift? No. A gift will be a reminder of the broken engagement. Call often or visit.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#19 Jul 25, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I agree with the therapist that the LW shouldn't post stuff on "social media" but not necessarily for legal reasons but because it's immature and stupid.
This.

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