FEEDBACK Regarding the mother’s concern about her daughter jointly attending a concert she’d previously gifted her abusive ex-boyfriend (July 29), here are opposing views:
Reader – “She should maintain No Contact with him.
“Verbal abuse is a sign of disrespect towards her. Coming back for more means she’s okay with being treated badly.
“I know this because my own verbal/emotional abuser said to my face: "You're drawn to relationships where you're treated badly, aren't you?"
“I said that's victim-blaming, but talk does nothing to convince abusers if you keep coming back to them.
“When still together, my abuser also had a gift concert he had to attend with the friend who gave it to him months before.
“He decided to attend with her.
“Since he'd be unavailable that weekend, I chose to make a quick trip back home to visit my family.
“After the concert, my abuser revealed that the "friend" was his ex, a woman with whom he had (has?) an on-again/off-again relationship for years. He still sees her socially.
“Since I was away anyway, he said, it worked out that he was free to go.
“This same ex persona cropped up in other ways during the abusive relationship. I recognized his "triangulation," which I attributed to his own insecurities and low self-esteem.
(Ellie - Triangulation is a psychological manipulation tactic where an outside person is drawn into a conflict between two others in a relationship.)
“However, she was also named as the partner with whom he'd "forgotten" he'd had sex with, more recently than he originally stated during an STD (sexually transmitted diseases) discussion.
“A disrespectful partner doesn't need to tell the truth when using people.
“This girl’s ex could be using her presence in his life to triangulate his current partners and besmirch her good name in playing up his desirability to others (as in "See all these texts? She hasn’t gotten over me").
“As long as she maintains No Contact, she can't be used by her verbally abusive ex.”
Reader #2 – “Mine is a psychologist’s perspective. Her daughter is an adult who has the right to make her own decision about what events she attends, and with whom.
“While I can understand that her mother is worried about her daughter and doesn't want her to be at risk of getting re-involved with someone who hurt her in the past, for the mother to insert herself in her daughter's decisions is inappropriate.
“It gives the message that Mom knows better than daughter what is good for her, and that Mom has to protect her poor deluded little girl from herself.
“I often work with my clients with adult-age children to help them make the transition from parent-who-is-in-charge-of-decisions to loved-one-whose-job-is-to-trust-another-adult-to-make-their-own-decisions.
“It's a tricky transition, on both sides.
“But it’s crucial for a parent to respect a daughter's ability to decide with whom, and how, she spends her time.
“A parent must also trust that they’ve given their child the tools to go out and live their life, which includes potentially making mistakes from which they’ll learn.
“In my own life, there are some ex-boyfriends with whom I am friends and I enjoy activities with them, as I do with all of my friends.
“And there are ex-boyfriends with whom I wouldn't even want to exchange greetings.
“I’m able to make that distinction. This young woman needs to be allowed to learn how to trust her own judgement in these situations.”
I’m 15, the shyest, quietest girl ever. I don't have any school friends. My only church friend is my cousin.
I try to make friends but they just talk to me when they have NO ONE else.
I'm there pretending to laugh when I'm dying inside.
There's one girl at church with whom I text. We have deep conversations. But I feel SO jealous and left out when she hangs out with her friends and not me.
She's so funny and pretty that I’m obsessed with her.
Shyness leaves you lonely if you let it rule you.
Join any church or school groups about your own interests – books, photography, music, science, etc. You’ll find it much easier to connect to like-minded people.
The girl you obsess about is a text-friend but seeks the center of attention when she’s out.
When you meet friends with shared interests, they won’t be false in public and you’ll gain confidence.
Tip of the day:
You don’t need Mom to tell you what to do, once you’re rid of a past abuser of any kind.