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You are choosing to feel that way

(64 Posts)
NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 13:37:05

I hate this phrase.

I kind if get the whole you can't control other people but you can control how you react thing.

But this seems a step further?

You are choosing to let them wind you up
You are choosing to let them upset you
You are choosing to feel that way

I feel like it dismisses my feelings, almost invalidates them? Struggling to articulate why it upsets me. When I said that I was told it wasn't invalidating my feelings?

It was always about small things, but niggled. And always to me.

It was then said to dc1 (ASD) last night (I wasn't home ). Dc got upset. I told dh (later when he was recounting) that dc was upset as he had invalidated his feelings on the situation. Dh said not.

This morning I was annoyed at dc1 being nasty to dc2. Dc 1 retaliated with dc2 was choosing to be upset about it, and I was choosing to be annoyed about it.

It feels like a stepping stone to abuse? To do what you want and discount the fall out as the person is 'choosing' to feel bad?

I can't quite articulate. But it is undermining me telling off Dc for being quite nasty to each other sad

Or am I over reacting?

corythatwas Sat 25-Feb-17 14:12:07

I'd say it is one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions.

* Abusive dh shouts in dw's face- not a lot of choice about it, any normal person would feel upset.

* MIL bursts into tears at baby's christening because the table is laid with paper napkins and years later is still bringing up how the DIL ruined the occasion for her- well, maybe one would feel there was a certain amount of choice there. (NB imagined example, nothing to do with my MIL who was lovely)

In your case, I would totally side-step the question of your dd2's feelings and tell dd1 that it doesn't matter what her sister chooses: she is not allowed to be rude or unkind and you intend to put a stop to it.

I grew up in a household where half the family were very sensitive and the rest of us just had to manoeuvre around them. The problem with that was not just that it was unfair on us, but that my db and I grew up with the idea that their sensitivity was the whole problem: it made it harder to distinguish between actual unacceptable behaviour and behaviour that would have been fine if the other party had not been abnormally sensitive. It would have better for me to sometimes have been told "no cory, you can't say that because it is wrong^" and sometimes "well, there was nothing wrong with what you said, so don't feel responsible". Instead, what I took from the whole experience was that I ^was responsible for everybody's happiness.

As a grown-up and parent, my take has always been that there are certain things we don't do in this household: we don't call names, we don't tease or bully, and we don't hit. It's nothing to do with how sensitive other people are: these things should not happen here and if they do, dh and I will put a stop to them.

jeaux90 Sat 25-Feb-17 14:12:22

I understand where you are coming from. I think from an early age we get taught to choke our feelings down and I don't think it's normal either as you are allowed to tell someone when they are behaving unreasonably and how it makes you feel when they do. How do kids learn to behave otherwise and how do you deal with difficult situations unless you respond?

I think those sayings are completely valid when you are dealing with someone who is abusive for example because you are giving them power.

noego Sat 25-Feb-17 14:16:50

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:17:30

Dc1 did get told not to be nasty. But that was their responses. So in their eyes now, they can say what they want as dc2 is choosing to be upset.

But on a bigger scale, if I have had a bad day with the dc, I am choosing to let it upset me. Sometimes I just want to rant. Sometimes I am genuinely hurt at the way they have treated me/what they have said to me/their ungrateful behaviour. But I just need to move on as it is my choice to feel that way. Does my head in.

But now it is being said to the dc and for some reason it feels even more wrong? They are choosing to be angry/upset/sad at a situation? Rather than say, talking about the situation, identifying what went wrong as trying to change that - on both sides. It feels almost victim blamey?

Like I said, struggling to articulate

geordiedench Sat 25-Feb-17 14:19:10

It took me years to completely agree with this phrase. I used to feel like you - and my DC do. I think it's normal when you are younger to feel an immediate emotional response to a situation is the most appropriate and valid one. But as I've toughened up a lot, I've realised that if someone upsets me I can choose to drop them. I can choose to walk away from my dad mid-sentence if he is spreading bile about the world. I have control over what I choose to let my brain be filled with and not filled with. It's made me shockingly hard-hearted against manipulative people. Ah well.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:19:48

Xposted. I can see in some situations it works. But in others it feels wrong. And the person saying it of course still gets angry etc but that is ok because it is them? If I ever said, well, you are choosing to be angry and let them wind you up whilst they were would up, I would probably be told to fuck off! Well actually, I don't know what's they would do, because I wouldn't do that! Fuel to the fire etc.

I will watch that video when the kids aren't around, thank you.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:21:12

Geordiedench, so you never get wound up by the dc? Or hurt by their rudeness?

geordiedench Sat 25-Feb-17 14:23:32

With DC it's far harder to explain, as I totally agree with you that it would be wrong to say this in any way that invalidates genuine feelings that they have. But it would always be worth asking one child why they choose to try and belittle their sibling, and it would always be worth trying to teach the other child to look them in the eye and say: 'Nice try but I don't respect a word you say when you're being horrible on purpose.'
It's teaching them to be resilient in the face of bullying rather than teaching them to bottle up feelings that is worth doing, iyswim. Hard to explain the difference when they're young.

corythatwas Sat 25-Feb-17 14:24:13

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:17:30
"Dc1 did get told not to be nasty. But that was their responses. So in their eyes now, they can say what they want as dc2 is choosing to be upset."

Rome may not be built in one day, but that doesn't mean that you are wasting your time by calmly repeating that they are not allowed to say unkind things. Make it clear you will not listen to any excuses, this is not allowed full stop. Don't let yourself get rattled by their counter-argument: the very fact that they are defending themselves may well be a sign that they do feel bad about it. Just stick to your guns.

As I said, I can see that sometimes there is an argument on both sides (and actually, the napkin incident did happen, just not involving my MIL). I have known children who could pretty well win any argument simply by bursting into tears. Concentrate on the behaviour, not on the victim and you are less likely to end up with victim-blaming from either side.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:24:52

Re para 2 of 14:17 oat. I am being told it is my choice not to get upset by the dc.
But I AM upset. And I feel him saying it invalidates what I am feeling. Does that make sense? Or I am angry that they have been SO rude o that they continually fading listen. And I am being told it is my choice to be annoyed about that?! No, it is genuinely annoying!! And yet he gets annoyed about the same thing?! And that's ok?

manateeandcake Sat 25-Feb-17 14:26:26

We all have to take responsibility for our own feelings up to a point.
We also have to take responsibility for the fact that the things we do and say (or don't do or say) affect others.
Consistent failure to do either is problematic and can lead to either a victim or bully stance. None of us gets the balance right all the time. That's one reason why communication is so important.

corythatwas Sat 25-Feb-17 14:27:34

I also think the situation of you having had a bad day is not quite the same as that of your dc. You are the parent, you have chosen that job, and that job requires getting back on your feet and letting your anger go; it's in the job description. Of course you are able to do it- you have to. Your dc have not chosen to be a sibling. And they are still young.

manateeandcake Sat 25-Feb-17 14:28:56

Re: your specific situation, it sounds like DC1 was taking no responsibility. And if you weren't affected by one of your DC being nasty and the other one being upset, you'd be a pretty useless parent.

corythatwas Sat 25-Feb-17 14:30:09

Or to respond to your last post: because you are a parent, sometimes it doesn't matter whether you are angry or not, you still have to get on with the job of parenting. Sometimes that will mean you can show how hurt you are, sometimes not. You do whatever the job requires. (and I am sure you do do it very well)

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:31:18

Ok yes, I have chosen to be a parent. And I don't tell them I am upset. I just say that was incredibly rude <sanction for rudeness>, then I might go downstairs and off load to hubby, and it is just off loading and that is the response. Like almost get over it, I don't want to hear it.

And I didn't see the incident with dc nad can't remember what happened but if o feel that way, won't the dc? Apparently they were teary. And I said that is becias Ethel felt you weren't listening and invalidating them and the response was no I Wasn't!

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:33:17

Yes, this morning, dc1 was taking no responsibility and keeps repeating the behaviour, using that as an excuse (very ASD literal) . And having two of them doing it at me would be even worse than one!! Because he will use it against me as that's what he does!

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:34:37

And I do let me anger go, the next day I am back to happy smiley mum, or an hour later or whatever. But when I pull dc up on their behavior that is the response I am getting.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:38:01

Having chatted it through, I think you have helped me see my problem with it. Yes you can choose your response, so can they, but you also have to choose how to TREAT people. And take responsibility for that. So it is the lack of responsibility of D.C.'s actions that annoys me. And dh dismissing me that annoys me. He can't listen to me off loading without either blaming me for what I did wrong (despite himdoingthe same in the same situation, i.e. Getting annoyed, shouting, letting them get to me) or dismissing me.

BrucieTheShark Sat 25-Feb-17 14:39:28

I think it's a horrible thing to say, if you are not generally a whinger or over-dramatic about things (only you can say!). What the person really means is that you may have felt justifiably upset but that now you are over-indulging, stringing it out and should be over it by now.

It may be true, some people are prone to histrionics and never let things go.

He is really telling you and now your DC that you are behaving like someone who does this. To me it's a criticism. And only you will know if there is a grain of truth there.

geordiedench Sat 25-Feb-17 14:42:32

NotMyChoice - yes of course I do. In fact, I can still remember something DS1 said to me that was deeply hurtful years ago, and I pull them up every time when they are unpleasant. But in DS1's case, instead of just getting upset, I took it as a sign that my parenting had slipped and I'd let him become a spoiled brat, so instead of choosing to be upset, I chose to do stuff with him that stopped him from being such an arrogant tosser. It's not that we have no right to be sensitive or hurt - we do. But that we also have the right to choose how long we feel that way and how we deal with that. To empower ourselves as a result of it, not stay victim.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:43:41

I do think i string things out? The dc have a difficult bedtime (read they are rude andpissing about, and I mean things like dc saying yes? What do you want? So I reply, please don't talk to me like that! And dc:well what do you want? Or are you just in here wasting my Time? When all is as doing was popping into their room to remind them (nicely!) to brush their teeth. Then I will go downstairs and mention to dh that I am upset they are so rude to me and it makes me cross anddh will say wellyou are choosing to let it get to you!)

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:46:55

*dont think I string things out.

Ok so how do I stop the rudeness for example?
Or dc2 shouting with frustration at the smallest thing?
Or dc1 getting involved in conversations that don't involve him and saying very unhelpful remarks that inflame the situation?
Or dc1 generally being nasty and calling names?
Or dc2 getting upset/annoyed/frustrated and calling people stupid idiots or dummies or kicking out at them?

I guess I am just a failure. I feel like I am. And if I say anything then I just get told I am choosing to be that way. It's upsetting.

NotMyChoiceTo Sat 25-Feb-17 14:56:37

Or stop getting upset that they don't listen when I ask them todo something?
Or I ask that something is down by the time I get home from work but the other parent doesn't enforce it so I come home to it not being done?
Or a basic annoyance that I get in at midnight and the dishes from the dinner that I have cooked and served before going to work aren't done?
Or I put routines in place that work and then the other parent doesnt care and it all goes to shit so the fact we have different standards on how the house should be means I get home from work to a shit pit, but of course me being annoyed about that is my choice, note that actually I then ask for it to be done cue arguments and shouting from the children at the sheer unreasonable cheek of me to ask them to clean up after themselves and put their trashinthebin, pick their clothes off the floor or actually take some dishes into the kitchen!
Or the children don't get showered as they all'ran out of time' beachside it is a night i work despite the fact I leave two hours before bedtime. And I manage to do it in that two hour if I am at home?

I feel like I am doing everything and responsibile for everything but equally everything is all my fault.

If they put their shit away then it wouldn't be a case of not being able to find a sock in the morning. Cue screaming at me for having no socks. But I hav ewashed and dried them, but they CHOSE to not put them away, and that is my fault to!

When does anyone else start to take responsibility? Or do they not have to?

See, I told you it is all is all fucked up. sad

I ranting now so going to stop.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Sat 25-Feb-17 14:58:17

I think some people throw oil on their emotions. I think some people feel like they need to feel x amount of emotions to justify a course of action that feels legitimate. And I think a lot of parenting is teaching children to crowbar logic and calm between a trigger and a reaction.

I think if being upset is how you feel then that is the starting point. Let the emotion wash over you and then find the best course of action. I don't think much good if you wallow in the emotion.

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