I’m turning 45 soon. I see it as, hopefully, the milestone of half my life, given the longer lifespan of healthy seniors.
That marker matters, so that I don’t repeat the relationship mistakes of my past:
1) Growing up as the child of immigrants, I was ashamed of my parents and did everything to be different from them.
2) I married at 20, mostly to leave home. I chose a success-driven guy from the mainstream culture.
I soon learned that he chose me as someone he could dominate, treat as a know-nothing from the wrong side of town, and have affairs. I had no power to stop him nor the confidence to leave.
3) After my divorce at 35, (he left for a woman from “his crowd”) I was ardently pursued by a man I met through work.
By then, I was admired and respected among colleagues/friends. My new man convinced me that he valued me as a full partner.
Within 10 months, we were sleeping apart. He was only interested in winning me, not working at our relationship.
For him, I was too successful, with too many ideas of my own. Fortunately, we hadn’t lived together long.
But the break-up still took a financial toll. My parents insisted on helping out (despite my former mis-judgment of them.) My self-confidence took a huge hit.
What do you advise for me to start afresh toward a positive, emotionally healthy future?
Vital Turning Point
You’ve already started. Now, build up your emotional, physical and mental strengths for greater confidence and the stamina to exercise it.
Wisely, you finally see your parents for whom they always were. I advise your spending some close time with them learning more about your family history.
Physically, a fitness regime of whatever works for you - purposeful walking, stretching exercises and/or yoga etc. - all help in achieving comfort/trust in your body’s well-being.
Mental fitness is helped by the former, but can be enhanced by meditation (start with a guided approach), and breathing exercises.
Professional therapy is an important component of taking charge of your future. Gaining a realistic understanding of those past relationships will put your “new beginning” on a different and confident path.
I’m concerned about the mental well-being of a close relative’s mid-teenager who’s bright, sweet, on the low end of the spectrum.
The family’s children have never been given firm boundaries. Discipline has always been irregular/spotty. “NO” doesn’t mean no. The children have questioned their parents on everything.
Now, during Covid, the teen’s fairly isolated, often doing nothing. S/he reacts poorly to decisions that go against his/her wishes, with discord in the household.
I see the roots of the problem in the child’s upbringing. My advice isn’t wanted. I’m frequently told to “butt out.”
Is there anything I can do?
Continue to be a very caring person in this teen’s life.
But it’s clear that you cannot be on the same level as the parents or their advisers, regarding the child’s condition.
Voicing your opinions makes them dismiss the information. “Butt out” isn’t a nice term but it speaks volumes:
They’re very frustrated themselves over their child’s isolation.
Be a friend/support to this teen whenever you can be. If visiting, join in whatever’s possible - listening to music, say, following whatever interests s/he shows.
That’s more help for the child than stirring up frustration and further isolation for you both.
An acquaintance who repeatedly posts on Facebook daily, sometimes posts/shares incorrect facts that can be easily disproved by credible online sources. Mutual friends have commented on this.
There’ll always be “fake news.” But my acquaintance has a child who identifies as transgender, and I wonder if that’s been influenced by the mother’s social media use.
I know some children identify as transgender and their lives improve immensely by transitioning. But I’m also aware that some trans people are de-transitioning, expressing that social media influenced them to incorrectly believe they were trans.
For the child’s sake, I hope my acquaintance isn’t simply showing unquestioning support, as many of her posts advocate.
Should I tell her the importance of evaluating information critically and resisting the urge to embrace ideas simply to be supportive?
Yes. But don’t tell her how to raise her child. That child’s self-identity is a personal journey in process despite social media errors.
Tip of the day:
Want a personal “fresh start?” Try boosting your physical, emotional and mental health through guided exercise, therapy and growing self-confidence.