adult family dynamics

I don’t know what I did wrong: What should I do?

It’s confusing and hurtful, to say the least. But we’ve all been left with self-esteem issues, too — worried that we’re capable of causing incredible damage to our loved ones, without even knowing it.

I suppose there’s not much to be done, other than to discuss it amongst ourselves and go to therapy. But if anybody has a great idea for helping us make peace when you don’t know what you did wrong, I’d definitely appreciate it.

Supporting a transitioning family member, when there’s an un-supportive family

My husband’s sister is transitioning from female to a male. While we’re supporive, my husband’s family still thinks this is a phase, and Moe* (not their real name) will just go back to being “herself” again when this gets old.

They aren’t considering the fact that Moe has already started testosterone injections, and seems very set about this decision…

I have a mother with a personality disorder

I know many people can relate to the guilt, anger and destroyed self-esteem that can resulted from a parents’ manipulative behaviors through-out childhood, without me even having to rant about the exact ways my mother’s personality disorder attempted to destroy her kids. There are as many ways to deal with someone like my mom as there are unhealthy relationships. I would like to share my experience with a mother with a personality disorder, in the hopes that it might resonate with someone.

Keep in mind, I am not an expert. But here is how a bruised kid somehow grew into a happy, confident adult…

Mothering without a mom: I worry that my mom abandoning me will negatively affect me as a mom

There seems to be a lack of discussion in the world around women who are disowned or cut off from their mothers. The only literature I can find is surrounding the death of a parent and, this is so so different…

I have a mom. She is alive and well. She doesn’t live far from me. But she considers me to be “dead,” and wishes I could just forget she ever existed.

Now I’m pregnant, and the “mom stuff,” as I call it, comes up frequently…

Learning to cope with a parent in prison

My mom went to prison for drugs, the first time, when I was seven years old. When my mom was arrested again, five weeks before my wedding, everything came crashing down on me.

I feel like it’s something that’s so taboo to talk about, even though (according to the US Bureau of Justice) over 2.2 million people were incarcerated in 2013. That’s a big, big number for something that isn’t regularly being talked about…

Telling my Facebook-obsessed family I don’t want photos of my kid online

As I consider having a kid, one thing I feel very strongly about is not blasting photos of them all over social media. Preserving my future child’s privacy and right to choose is something I feel strongly about. But, I don’t even think something like that crosses my share-everything-on-Facebook family members’ minds. Any advice on how, or when, to broach this subject? I don’t want to become that mom who bites anyone’s head off who posts a photo of my kid on the internet. But I also want people to think before they post.

How do you deal with a parent with severe anxiety?

I love my mother. Which is why her anxiety disorder is so awful for me. She’s been like this for years– doing things like suggesting that everything I do will kill or harm my baby. But now her anxiety over everything is giving ME anxiety over everything. Does anyone have tips for dealing with a parent with severe anxiety?

How do you deal with an adult bully in the family?

For about a decade, I’ve been handling a cycle of bullying from an in-law. It’s not exactly like a workplace bully — I can’t just quit my family. But I’d like to be able to not focus on this person while at family gatherings and somehow enjoy myself with the people there that I love. Anyone got any advice for this?