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Switch to Forum Live View Can you honor a wicked and ungodly parent
3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 1:18PM #1
Dong
Posts: 26
Without suffering in the process? First off, I think I will probably be stuck with them for at least another year or so but they are constantly yelling at me and trying to dehumanize me. 
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 2:47PM #2
ffb
Posts: 2,129
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 3:54PM #3
NotAnAtheistMama
Posts: 58

Jan 5, 2012 -- 1:18PM, Dong wrote:

Without suffering in the process? First off, I think I will probably be stuck with them for at least another year or so but they are constantly yelling at me and trying to dehumanize me. 


Why are you "stuck" with this parent? If it's a case of a parent who is sick with some form of mental illness and who doesn't know what s/he is doing, then yes, there's an obligation to be caring and considerate of the person, but that doesn't mean you have to bear the burden alone. Hire a professional sitter to stay with your parent and allow yourself a break. You can also check with the United Way to see if there are any charities which help provide in-home nursing or sitting if you can't afford to hire someone yourself.


If, however, it's a matter of your parent being an a-hole on purpose, then I don't see why you need to be "stuck" with him or her at all. Just leave. I don't see any difference between women who are abused verbally and phsyically by their husbands/boyfriends and adult children who are abused by a parent. In either case, the victim needs to leave and sever all ties.


I would consider your actions honorable and respectful if you just quietly walked away.


My mother became possessive and jealous of me when I started dating my husband, and when she took to speaking very negatively about him and making things up in order to make him look bad in my eyes, I moved out of the house and put both emotional and physical distance between us. I didn't yell or get ugly or hostile with her. If she starts in now, I change the subject or cut the call/visit short and keep my distance for a little while. In short, I give her a "time out" for inappropriate behavior.


The longer you are in a negative environment, the more likely you are to become a negative person in return. This may manifest in a loss of self-esteem--so that you become a perpetual victim--or it may manifest as an aggressive response, so that you find yourself bullying others in the way that you're bullied.


And as someone who was in a friendship with a person who was truly a psychic vampire, let me assure you that the longer this goes on, the longer it will take you to get over it after the relationship ends. I spent a year and a half with someone whom I thought of as a sister; after we broke apart, it took me about three years to come to terms with everything and stop being angry and hurt all the time.

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 6:46PM #4
Dong
Posts: 26

Jan 5, 2012 -- 2:47PM, ffb wrote:

here is some light reading


drsorotzkin.com/honoring_abusive_parents...


Thanks for that, I will definitely read it. 

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 10, 2012 - 5:47AM #5
NahumS
Posts: 1,713

Dong -


I read the article and, even with my yeshiva background, it would require a few readings to understand all of its finer points.


Parents are human beings, and thus imperfect. Even good parents make mistakes and often feel overwhelmed by the demands of parenting. When their kids become adolescents, tensions may be further exacerbated. They may not be coping very well.


Without more information, it's hard to see whether your parents are actually abusive or just giving you a hard time. You may also be giving them a hard time, the way that they see it....


I did some snooping around your profile and see that you are undergoing conversion, and my guess is that you are probably fairly young if you are living with your parents. The conversion issue affects the halachic question of your obligation towards your parents. It may also contribute to the tension at home.


You may want to discuss these issues with a rabbi and/or a family counselor, social worker or other professional. First, to be able to see the situation with some perspective. Second, to offer some help in dealing with the difficult situation, and third (the rabbi angle) to give you a Jewish perspective on your obligations and rights.


You don't have to put up with abuse. There may also be ways to make your relationship with your parents a more positive one. Some professional help may be useful. The Jewish Family Service or Federation may offer some help. Speak with the rabbi who is working with you towards conversion and he may have some ideas, or if you are in school, with your guidance counselor.


Nahum

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2012 - 1:39PM #6
Caretta-caretta
Posts: 11

You have to respect them and treat them with dignity, but you also have to respect yourself.  If you are experiencing abuse, you can remove yourself from the situation.  "Honour" also does NOT mean the same thing as "obey".  IMHO the correct course of action is to treat your parent civilly, don't abuse them or try to "get back" at them, don't inflict pain on them but remove yourself from the situation if they cannot, or will not, reciprocate the arrangement.

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