On calling bluffs, escape velocity, and the futile, necessary, but probably still futile, work of reclaiming some of our relatives from history's flaming dumpster. Content note: Sometimes honestly talking about authoritarian stuff and white supremacy means describing it, so there are examples of actual racist and xenophobic statements from relatives herein.
Behind a cut for mention of physical and emotional abuse of adult children by parents as well as some frustrations and victim-blaming attitudes that are common in friends and support networks of people who are embroiled in abusive situations. Abusers ruin everything, pretty much. Dear Captain Awkward, I (31, nb, he/him) have a friend who … Continue reading #1277: “Abuse, agency, and the limits of advice.”
Dear Cap, I've (she/her) got White Family Facebook Drama over police racism, regarding my (male) officer cousins, D and A. I began publicly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016, and they became distant but civil. (It was hard because D and I had been friendly on social media before that, but I didn’t … Continue reading #1272: “White Family Facebook Drama Over Police Racism”
Content notes for alcohol addiction, emotional abuse, illness requiring hospitalization. O Captain, My Captain, My mother was always (imo) an emotionally abusive narcissist. I'm the oldest of 3 and the scapegoat. She became an alcoholic when I was 16 or 17, has been hospitalised with liver failure a number of times in the last 12 … Continue reading #1271: “I went no-contact with an abusive parent who is dying now. What are the rules here?”
Who wants good news today? Letter Writer #762 and Letter Writer #1194 both have good news about making happy lives away from controlling and homophobic parents. Hi Captain! Five years ago, I wrote in and became LW 762. I thought I'd give an update. Trigger warning: my mum makes repeated threats of suicide/self harm. Eventually, … Continue reading Two Pleasing Updates
Hi Captain, My mother and I have always wanted different frequencies of interaction. After I moved out for university, at a holiday party my mother announced the only gift she ever wanted from me was daily phone calls - even her friends were incredulous. She tends to call any hour of the day, hitting redial … Continue reading #1260: “How to maintain boundaries within stressful family relationships during COVID-19 lockdown?”
Hey Captain, I (she/her) am getting married in May! Besides all the awful that is wedding planning, my fiancé (he/him) and I are excited and happy to celebrate this milestone. His parents had a short, violent relationship that resulted in their divorce and going no-contact with each other when my fiancé was a child. I, … Continue reading #1249: Parents who are no contact (with each other) at our wedding.
Hello lovely readers! Whenever I write about family estrangement, setting boundaries with family members, difficult parents, etc. a) I'm usually answering a bunch of letters in one, if that makes sense, like, there are many of this kind of question so I am picking one to tackle at length and b) immediately afterward I get … Continue reading Family Estrangement and Personal Bandwidth: A Request
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?”
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.