This is another one in a series about difficult parent relationships: A dad who wants to talk on the phone for hours about only the things he wants to talk about and who reminds his daughter, when she tries to set boundaries, that he has nobody else to talk to. It's about guilt and about … Continue reading #1248: “How to set boundaries with someone who just doesn’t listen to me?”
#1247 “I went no-contact with my mother and it’s turned her into a bogeyman”: Anxiety, Anticlimax, and the Aftermath of Estrangement.
I've gotten a bunch of letters about family weirdness and estrangement and boundaries (weird, almost like there was a series of events in the last month that forced a lot of family togetherness, can't think would have caused all these old wounds to re-open at the same time? 😉 ) and I'm going to put … Continue reading #1247 “I went no-contact with my mother and it’s turned her into a bogeyman”: Anxiety, Anticlimax, and the Aftermath of Estrangement.
#1245: “My Brand New Stepfather Thinks We Are On The ‘LW’S Mom Is Terrible Train’ Together. Help?”
Dear Captain, I (34/she/her pronouns) have a new stepfather as of this summer. He has been with my mom off and on for the last 10+ years, and they finally married in July 2019. I think this man is a Garbage Human, but we have to let our parents make their own adult decisions. A … Continue reading #1245: “My Brand New Stepfather Thinks We Are On The ‘LW’S Mom Is Terrible Train’ Together. Help?”
2019’s Most-Viewed Posts
Thank you all for the kind words and end-of-year donations and patronage that have flowed in over the last week or so. I've been traveling and kind of made a point about not touching my laptop for a week or so, but I read everything and I'm very grateful. ❤ Everyone's doing decade-retrospectives and my … Continue reading 2019’s Most-Viewed Posts
#1243: “Broaching a service dog with dismissive family.”
Ahoy Captain, This past year I (31/F) finally received a diagnosis for what I've been struggling with for over half my life. I have Complex PTSD/PTSD (I'll spare you the differences and overlaps) (Ed. Note: No worries! I, Jennifer, will link people to a basic explainer.) Encouraged by my therapist I shared the PTSD with my … Continue reading #1243: “Broaching a service dog with dismissive family.”
#1242: “What’s a helpful holiday gift for my 10YO niece who has crappy parents?”
Hello, Captain, Quick aside: I really like your switch to allowing comments only on select posts. It makes the whole site somehow calmer and more inviting. Being able to read your writing without the distraction of subconsciously wondering what sharp poky things might turn up at the bottom is relaxing in a way I wouldn't … Continue reading #1242: “What’s a helpful holiday gift for my 10YO niece who has crappy parents?”
Captain Awkward at Vice and other links.
I wrote a piece for VICE about taking good care of yourself during holiday visits with family. We're at work on the sequel about hosting holiday visits that people won't have to write to internet advice columns about. The therapist I spoke with for the Vice piece, Rae McDaniel, is a delight and had so … Continue reading Captain Awkward at Vice and other links.
#1233: “Is it ever safe to take a difficult parent off a ‘low information’ diet?”
Dear Captain, I (she/her, 32) suppose that this is a question about resetting boundaries. My mom has made a few comments over the last year or two that I’ve never really reached out to or confided in her, and she sounds hurt about this. This is true! For example, in fifth grade my school put … Continue reading #1233: “Is it ever safe to take a difficult parent off a ‘low information’ diet?”
#1232: Infertility and In-Laws
We're gonna need to keep the "we will fight these people in real life" map active.
September 2019 Short Question Grab Bag: Part 2
Hello again! Patrons have sent short questions. I have attempted to answer them. Installment 1 is here. This round: How do I deal with my mom's anxiety about my life, how do I tell a roommate that their helpfulness is not actually helpful, how do I preserve a friendship over distance, how do I build a … Continue reading September 2019 Short Question Grab Bag: Part 2