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"I was that child" - AIBU?

(29 Posts)
armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 19:33:00

Maybe I'm just being grumpy but AIBU at being fed up at the amount of projection flying around?

"I was your daughter"
"I was that child"
"This was me aged 7."

and so on.

Now, I understand there's a genuine desire to help but more often than not people just seem to decide their childhood and the child in the OP have identical, parallel childhoods and therefore whatever issues, problems and distress they have in adulthood will also happen for the child being discussed.

It also derails the thread as people naturally feel compelled to add flowers and the like after reading heart rending stories. (That's not me saying they shouldn't post them; au contraire I think post them as much as you need but as a thread not in the midst of someone else's.)

I'm not anti people suggesting that their problems could be a foregone conclusion but given the range of human responses AIBU to think 'this will happen because it happened to me' is at best naive, and potentially damaging to the person seeking advice?

MaisyPops Wed 29-Mar-17 19:35:29

Im with you OP.

Its a fine line between helpful advice/empathy and self-indulgent "this happened to me and my DC so your situation must be like me"

ImperialBlether Wed 29-Mar-17 19:37:51

It's on all sorts of threads in different ways.

Poster: "My husband didn't buy me a birthday card."

Reply: "Well I haven't even GOT a husband, so count yourself lucky!"

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 19:42:47


I haven't had a birthday card since 1996 when my Nan died sad

Poster 1 - that's rubbish flowers
Poster 2 - I understand, my nan died this time last week
Posters 3,4,5,6 and 7 - oh no flowers unmnetty hugs
Poster 8 - OP I hope you now understand you are being VU.

sparechange Wed 29-Mar-17 19:46:04

I've only ever seen it in things like
"DD's annoying friend calls for all the time and it's driving me mad because she wants to eat everything in the house when she is here so I just pretend we are about to go out and tell her she can't come in"
"OP, I was that child. My mother made me get out of the house and never gave me enough for lunch. I was so grateful to those who showed a bit of compassion and took me in"

ImperialBlether Wed 29-Mar-17 19:49:00

That sort is terrible to read, sparechange - while I'm always sad for the second poster, it's clearly not what the OP meant.

ThePiglet59 Wed 29-Mar-17 19:52:06

I know precisely what you mean OP.
I was that irritated poster.

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 19:54:27

I was that OP angry grin

YY, sparechange

The frustrating thing is a thread about child neglect or abuse would elicit support. There's no NEED to demand it on every single thread!

chastenedButStillSmiling Wed 29-Mar-17 19:57:16

....and the problem with it is that it derails the thread, because then after poster who comes on afterwards is reading that with the "neglect" bias of "That" poster, so the tone of the whole thread changes.

grin at I was that poster

chastenedButStillSmiling Wed 29-Mar-17 19:57:45

oppps. I meant OP blush

ApplePaltrow21 Wed 29-Mar-17 19:57:59

hmm this is totally a TAAT and I'll say here what I said there.

Everyone is projecting somewhat or at least using their own experiences as a guide to the advice they give. You were bothered by people identifying with a child's experiences on a thread. Typically people do this because the child's voices may not be heard. So raising that perspective can be important when talking about parenting.

On the other hand, it's fine to have pet peeves. Yours is people trying to emphasize and give advice through recourse to their own childhood experiences. Mine is people who've had shit childhoods and terrible parents and have absolutely no baseline for what constitutes acceptable parenting trying to constantly downplay child abuse, neglect or potential mistreatment and shout down attempts to discuss it because of their own deep seated denial.

Oh it's only a little emotional abuse! What's the big deal. Children today are so coddled.

Bonus points for parents who turn up on "social services is monitoring my parenting" threads to commiserate about political correctness gone mad or whatever they call safeguarding/good parenting.

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 20:00:10

No it is not a TAAT, it is a TA many, many Ts.

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 20:01:08

And I actually LIKE I Was That Poster.

Can we get a hashtag going?


DonaldStott Wed 29-Mar-17 20:06:23

Yes as a PP said, the extremeness of some posters trying to prove some kind of 'you aren't allowed to have a problem because I'm worse off than you' point.

OP: I have a really bad stomach ache. Aibu to take a day off and go the docs about it?

Poster: yabvvu. I've had my stomach removed from my body. In fact my ribs are superglued to my pelvis and I've never took a day off work. Suck it up.

wizzywig Wed 29-Mar-17 20:08:49

steady on armpitz, we have had #gategate today. i cant take too many witty hashtags in one day

Woollymammoth63 Wed 29-Mar-17 20:12:04

Reply 12 months ago : go to AE they need to take you seriously , go NOW!! Tell us when you're in the ambulance!
Reply now : what's wrong with nowadays is no one self cares- your GP is rushed off their feet and AE is for ACCIDENTS and EMERGENCIES - the clues in the name!!!!!

The power of the media

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 20:13:46

What's #gategate? grin

corythatwas Wed 29-Mar-17 20:15:30

torn both ways on this one

otoh yes, there is the projection and sometimes it is pretty extreme and only moderately relevant to the OP

otoh Apple does have a point about the child's voice being heard: we do have a natural tendency to want to find common ground with the person we are talking to and that can sometimes lead to sympathising with a poster in situations where they should not perhaps be encouraged

and no, I never was that child

olderthanyouthink Wed 29-Mar-17 20:17:47

What apple said

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 20:18:00

It's vitally important that the child's voice is heard.

But it's the difference between

"that sounds tough for you. Is it possible the child's home life is difficult and she sees your home as a safe place?"


"OP, I was that child. I'm so grateful my friends parents were more compassionate than you."

DaffodilsinMarch Wed 29-Mar-17 20:19:55

DonaldStott that really made me laugh! I have a friend like that...bless her and her stomachless, superglued ribs.

Wonderflonium Wed 29-Mar-17 20:24:35

Sometimes it serves a purpose. Usually when a poster is describing being emotionally abused but staying together for the sake of the children.

"OP, I was that child, staying together is the worst thing you could do. I wish my mum would have left." etc

ModreB Wed 29-Mar-17 20:26:08

It's very difficult. I had a dreadful childhood in some ways, due to my mother and her crap decisions about suitable partners. With abuse on all levels towards me.

But, then, I had the most amazing childhood when with my GP's. Who never had the faintest idea about the abuse as I never, ever told them.

So, I was a happy child, and a very unhappy child, at the same time. It's not that unusual for children in difficult circumstances to seperate the experiences that they have. And never let go of the happy face.

armpitz Wed 29-Mar-17 20:26:41

But even so, you're not that child.

Even if the situations are identical which is unusual people don't necessarily respond to them in identical ways.

More useful to give a personal experience but not to state with absolute certainty that you ARE that child.

Because you are not.

MaisyPops Wed 29-Mar-17 20:32:29

But even so, you're not that child.

This. What's wrong with 'it could be..... i can empathise because something similar happened to me/my child', Give example, 'so it might be like thia or it might be other things'.

But noooo some people just love to feel their own trauma is the be all and end all. Its one upmanship of who's had it the worst in life.

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