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Behind a cut for emotional abuse, misogyny, and discussion of these things as specifically related to recent gun violence and the possibility thereof, which is not what the Letter Writer asked, but definitely something I saw in the question.

I did a giant dump of cat photos for patrons if you need to click on over that way. ❤

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Chess game from Bergman's The Seventh Seal

I would rather play Death Chess.

Captain Awkward,

I’m having a family issue I’m not even sure how to approach. I don’t know if this is a legitimate problem, just me overreacting, or a combination thereof, but I’d appreciate any advice you and your wonderful commentariat might have to offer.

Right now, I’m a twenty-year-old college student living at home for the summer. I move onto campus in two months, and I have plans to never live at home again. This is because of a myriad number of issues I have with members of my family, and I’ve come to realize that the only healthy exposure I can stand is obligatory holiday gatherings. For now, though, I’m stuck.

The incident that triggered this letter happened earlier tonight during a visit with my grandparents (who are saints and removed from the cycle of abuse). My mother and younger sister have this game they like to play where they insult me and make an endless string of jokes at my expense. Anything is fair game: My work ethic, my intelligence, my looks, my major, etc. The goal is to see how quickly they can get me to cry, which is quite easy to do because I’m an emotional person who cries at the extreme of any emotion. When I inevitably get upset, they tell me to lighten up and that if I didn’t react, they wouldn’t try to goad me. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels that this is worlds of victim blaming?

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OMG it's Darth Vader + a wedding dress.

This perfect image is from a book by a man who decided to repurpose his ex-wife’s wedding dress in 101 ways. Click the photo to learn more about anger + recycling.

Ahoy, Team Awkward,

I have found myself in a weird Darth Vader situation, and I’m not sure how to handle it while still maintaining my own principles and values. I’m fully prepared for, “Just stay out of it,” but in the hopes that there’s different or more comprehensive advice, I figured I’d ask.

My partner and I are in our late twenties, and are excited about moving in together soon. He is very close with his family, both immediate (parents and two brothers) and extended, and he spends a lot of time with them, at least compared to what I consider normal. It doesn’t bother me, and I’ve really enjoyed spending lots of time with his family, getting to know them. We’re crazy about each other, and see this as the forever-relationship, and so becoming part of each other’s families is important to us.

One of his brothers, however, is engaged to Darth Vader.

Her Dark Side of the Force behaviors that are most obvious are that she is very controlling, she isolates him from his family, and she verbally berates him–even in public. To elaborate:
– She often speaks for him when people talk to him, and will even “correct” him (e.g. “No, he won’t have any dessert,” even if he originally said he wanted it)
– She likes doing everything together, but doesn’t like spending as much time with his family (understandable, since they don’t like her), and so he won’t come to family gatherings very often
– She has put him down in front of friends and family for very unimportant things, such as his driving abilities. Sometimes, she yells at him–again, in front of people. It’s not affectionate or joke-y in any way

The family has disliked her for a long time, and I think they were hoping that the brother would end the relationship before it got to this point. I know that the brother has some idea of the dislike; he does not confide in his brothers or parents about his relationship. The family is already too afraid of losing him to voice any of their concerns.

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