Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
October 16, 2021, 05:56:06 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, I Am Redeemed, Mutt, Turkish
  Help!   Boards   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Popular books with members
103
Surviving a
Borderline Parent

Emotional Blackmail
Fear, Obligation, and Guilt
When Parents Make
Children Their Partners
Healing the
Shame That Binds You


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Hollow Promises From Parents  (Read 173 times)
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« on: October 04, 2021, 09:24:15 PM »

We had lunch with my ex yesterday: me, D9 and S11. D9 has been focused upon attending NYU for college ever since college week in 1st grade. The "Every kid needs to go to university for whatever major (or can handle it)" is a whole other conversation...

Our daughter has expressed interest in being an engineer (like daddy  Virtual hug (click to insert in post), a fashionista, or an artist. She does have a little talent in art, not passed down by me!

I've been contributing enough to their 529s (American college savings plans similar to Roth retirement accounts: contributions are after tax, but gains are not taxed) for them to attend the local state college if they live at home. Above that, it's on them.

My ex told D9 that she might not even go to college here, but might study abroad, and not to worry about how much it would cost.

I felt like jabbing back, "how did that trip to Hawaii go that you promised your younger brother to pay for if he graduated high school?" That was 9 years ago. No trip.

My buddy termed this kind of thinking as a "hollow promise." I would also add "magical thinking." Like the money would appear due to wishes and wants.

When I was in 4th grade, I was old enough to intuit that my mom wouldn't be able to send me to college, even as cheap as it was three decades ago. I wanted to play the trombone for band. She told me I had to play the baritone, as hardly anyone played it, colleges gave scholarships for players. I hated it and also hated that it looked enough like a tuba that people told me that I played the tuba. Yet I dutifully played well enough not to get kicked out of band.

We moved and I continued to play on 7th and 8th grades. Then I got into high school, and the band already had two baritone players. The teacher had me play the key trombone instead. So my mom was wrong... right? Wrong? So confusing to me as a 13 year old freshman.

It wasn't until I was a junior that I took up the slide trombone (no big deal, the slide positions corresponded to 3 key positions and it wasn't hard to interpolate). By then it was too late to really become good. I was just OK. No scholarships for me.

And my mom sabotaged my junior college experience (my teachers were off so much help directing me to honors classes, academic decathlon and the like), that she kept claiming me as a dependent on her taxes which meant I couldn't get financial aid. And she was zero help for me to get into the local state university. My grades may have been good enough, but there was no money.

I took it upon myself at 17 (how old I was when I graduated) to choose a tech program I thought I could afford by working part time, and a program that had guaranteed employment options. This while my mom was kind of disappointed in my choice though she did drive me 2 hours to my first and only interview. So I'm thankful for that.

I thought about posting this on the co-parenting board, but I thought it might be a good discussion here about disordered parents making hollow promises and how we dealt with them, either as children or adult children?

I suppose my recent one was losing her 5 acres in a tax sale because my mom threw away the will her husband had written to leave that and his 2 acres to me. The back taxes plus probate plus me paying those plus lawyer and court fees plus splitting it with his two living children was easy math for me to conclude: not worth it.

The 2 acres is still in play... another story.
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Notwendy
********
Online Online

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 7472



« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2021, 05:10:23 AM »

It was a shock to realize, as an adult, that my mother lies often- in fact, much of what she tells me is fabricated. Some of it is deliberate and some is also her own version of things, but the deliberate lies were a shock.

She has offered to do things, but doesn't follow through. I have realized it's best to not have any expectations. I also don't know what to believe and if I need to know something, will ask someone else, ie, her medical team if she tells me something about her health.

I was aware of financial issues with my parents and so applied to a lower cost state college as I wasn't sure how much financial help I might get from them. I asked for as little as possible, and worked so I didn't have to rely on them. They sent the golden child in the family to a prestigious private college- BPD mother insisted on that. Sibling wanted to go to state college too, but went with BPD mother's choice.

One thing you might consider, unless you are fine with the cost of NYU, is that it is one of the most expensive universities. It's probably too soon to discuss the actual financial cost of college, but you might want to begin "talking up" the other good and more affordable choices as well. I did feel the impact of going to a lesser prestigious school than my sibling, due to the way people say ooooh at a big name school and how my parents decided my school was lesser. In the long run, I had the more solid career choices. I got an excellent education. When it came to college choices for my kids, we had the up front financial discussions as they chose where to apply. Kids may have "dream schools" based on what they hear from others but don't have a grasp of the costs. Our stance is that there are a lot of solid, good, colleges to choose from other than the "big names".

Another question ( that it is too soon to address in detail at the age of your kids) is graduate school. Educational debt is a real concern. I know of some students who choose to attend an affordable college and save their college fund for graduate school if that is their goal.

And, I know students whose parents could afford NYU and sent their kids there. I know that would have been too much of a stretch for us.

I think it's reasonable to promise college if you have saved for that but unreasonable to say "don't worry about costs". Not considering costs is unrealistic for most people. "Might not go to college here- and go abroad" is also probably unrealistic as college preparation is different in different countries, but a semester or summer abroad is a possibility. Most colleges have study abroad opportunities and students can apply for financial assistance for some of them.

You can't control what her mom says,  but you can offer solid possibilities. At 9, a dream about NYU is just that and it's at the child level. She really has no idea what she's going to choose to do for college or what college she wants to go to. I think it's a good thing that she has her mind set on college- as it can motivate her to do well in school, but there are different kinds of colleges, including technical ones as you did. Junior college is college too. For now, I think encouraging her ( not pressure of course) in school, and broadening her views is realistic. As she gets older, she can visit some colleges, maybe go to events on a campus. As she gets ready to apply to colleges, that is the time to have the realistic financial discussion.

Promising college isn't an empty promise, but promising the choice without considering costs is unrealistic for most families.

Logged
Methuen
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 965


« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 07:46:58 PM »

Turkish it sounds like your mother sabotaged your goals by not respecting your ideas or wants or interests or aptitudes.  Instead she wanted you to do what she liked and wanted.  Classic. Just classic.  She saw you as an extension of herself, and couldn't conceive or accept that you would want something different than her.  Both the trombone/bari and college stories speak about how she was controlling your choices. You were rational and strategizing in what you wanted and why you wanted it, and she ignored all of it and forced you into paths that took you away from opportunities that could have led to many positive outcomes, both personal and financial. The examples you gave speak to her disordered thinking.  The outcomes of this would leave bad memories and scars for anyone.  

My mom operated a little differently.  She always wanted to learn to play piano.  So she bought a cheap piano and took lessons.  I guess learning piano didn't come easy to her, but since I got dragged along to her lessons as she didn't have a babysitter, as a 6 year old I picked it up easily.  She entered me into the music festival, and  I had to play my song 3 times as the adjudicator narrowed down the field from a group of well over 20 kids.  Unfortunately I won.  So mom got her attention vicariously, and after that I had to take lessons, enter competitions, win them, and study music into my post high school education.   I worked hard to please mom.  I did anything to make her happy.  She got scary if I crossed her, so I just practiced my piano.  It wasn't all bad.  It gave me a good memory, and confidence.  I left home to study music at a private conservatory, but quit in the second month, as I figured out quickly I was in the wrong place.  I switched career paths to something of my own choosing.  When my kids were young, they did sports and music.  After a year or two, our son was clearly enjoying sports and hated music. So he stopped the music. That was his choice. Our daughter followed the same path.  I think my mom was terrible at sports.  Hopelessly uncoordinated, with no sense of timing, no aptitude and no desire.  From primary school age I remember her telling me I was like an elephant on my feet (I didn't even weigh 40 lb and in grade 7 only weighed 60 lb), and I could never do sports.  She told me I was too small and short people couldn't do sports. She gave basketball as one of her examples.  Now I know what she was doing.  But back then I just believed everything she told me as fact because she was mother, and I was in grade school.  She trained me to think the only thing I could be good at was music, and made me feel inadequate about school sports days or any athletic attempt.  It was about what she wanted.  So she influenced me and shaped what I did, but I didn't really know what I wanted (and I don't remember her ever asking), so this meant she never denied me the opportunity to do something I wanted. I just always complied and did what she wanted.

I've been contributing enough to their 529s for them to attend the local state college if they live at home. Above that, it's on them.

My ex told D9 that she might not even go to college here, but might study abroad, and not to worry about how much it would cost.

I felt like jabbing back, "how did that trip to Hawaii go that you promised your younger brother to pay for if he graduated high school?" That was 9 years ago. No trip.

My buddy termed this kind of thinking as a "hollow promise." I would also add "magical thinking." Like the money would appear due to wishes and wants.

Magical thinking for sure.  She wanted it, and therefore speaks about it as if it is a fact, setting up daughter for future disappointments.  As an outsider just looking in based on these few short sentences, it strikes me that she could be jealous of you, and what you can offer your daughter.  Most BPD's have self-worthiness issues.  I'm assuming she knows you are saving for daughter's future education.  She probably compares herself to you - since you are both parenting your daughter, her insecurity would lead her to compete and have to one-up you to feel better about herself.  So she says this crazy thing like daughter could study abroad and not worry about what it would cost.  Unless she's swimming in wealth, who can say that?  Does she have a plan?  Who would offer that without a plan?  You did well to bit your tongue on the Hawaii trip for her younger brother.  That would have been really hard to hold back on saying.  Impressive.

One thing that stands out in your story, is that you mentioned you figured out early that you couldn't rely on your mom to help you reach your goals.  As it turned out, your mom sabotaged your plans, and even if the sabotage wasn't done with intent to sabotage, one could say the disease had the effect.  Turkish, your daughter sounds smart.  Since you figured out early that you couldn't rely on your mom, so will she (even if not right now).  When she figures out her mom's promises are empty - you will still be there for her.  Your daughter will learn who she can rely on, if she hasn't already.  

Excerpt
I suppose my recent one was losing her 5 acres in a tax sale because my mom threw away the will her husband had written to leave that and his 2 acres to me. The back taxes plus probate plus me paying those plus lawyer and court fees plus splitting it with his two living children was easy math for me to conclude: not worth it.

I'm so sorry about the 5 acres.  This again speaks to the pain this disease causes and the
hurt placed on loved ones and mess left in the wake.
Logged
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2021, 09:06:19 PM »

That's sad about the piano. You had talent. I've been thinking about getting a nice keyboard for our family.

Your story reminds me of when I won a lot of medals in the tri-county academic decathlon. The one other high school in our county didn't have a team so we competed with two other counties in the mountains.

I remember basking in the glow of my accomplishment. I resented her being there given the past five years of what she put us through. She had nothing to do with it. I would have done even better if I had cared about school. I was on the C-student sub team, yet my absolute scores were higher than many on the B and A team's.

I was happy that my teachers/coaches were proud of me though. Our team thereafter went to state.

I think that was in the same year my mom told me that though everyone thought I was so great, but she knew the real Turkish! What is a 17 year old supposed to make of that? I'm a secret  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) ?
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Methuen
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 965


« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2021, 10:20:06 PM »

I think that was in the same year my mom told me that though everyone thought I was so great, but she knew the real Turkish!
Good grief Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)  Rolling eye emoji needed here.
Logged
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2021, 11:56:36 PM »

Lol, that was a few years after my mom was berating me for <reasons>. My buddy rolled up on dirt bike to ask if I wanted to ride. He was 3 years younger. My mom grabbed his helmet and said, "you're a such a cute boy!" Then turned over her shoulder to tell him/me "unlike A-hole here!" He glanced at me.

35 years later, it's still an inside joke between us.
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Notwendy
********
Online Online

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 7472



« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2021, 06:06:25 AM »

Sadly, it seems your mother projected her own lack of self esteem on to you. She found some self worth through you accomplishments but also, you couldn't be that good if you were projections of her own lacking self worth.

The sabotage is interesting. My parents were focused on the golden child. The golden child wasn't even allowed to choose a college - it was the college that BPD mom wanted- an expensive private high ranked college. Of course it feels good to say "my child attends this prestigious school".

For me though, they didn't care where I went and also I knew my father was struggling financially. I had already learned not to ask for too much because I knew this. I also knew that being able to pay for my own college was a path to becoming independent from my parents. I chose a state college with modest tuition, got jobs and paid for a lot of it. This way, I had some control of my choices.

For GC,  the only way to assert independence was through self sabotage- end up in jobs that were not prestigious. Eventually GC attained employment stability after rejecting our parents' choices.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 06:12:38 AM by Notwendy » Logged
zachira
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Posts: 2271


« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2021, 08:23:37 AM »

Turkish
It sounds like you are grieving how your mother affected your life while at the same time worrying that your children may be affected by some of the things their mother does that are eerily similar to what your mother did to you. Know that having a mother who makes false promises, and uses you to get her own needs met, is a lifelong sorrow and loss. You are a successful person in your own right, both professionally and as a parent, and no amount of personal successes can replace the sadness/anger, we may feel from time to time about having an abusive parent. You frequently write about you concern for how the parenting of the mother of your children affects your children. You are looking for ways to mitigate the negative influences of your children's mother on them, and how to give your children the best chances to grow up to be happy and mature adults. Your children are so lucky to have you as their dad. I believe they know that you truly love and care for them while being confused about their relationship with their mother.
Logged

Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 09:24:33 PM »

Thanks for you kind words zachira.

The dynamic in families with siblings I've always find interesting: GC, scapegoat, etc. My mother was the lost sheep and she only had life long not-quite enmity with her next eldest nether, but got along well with her other brother and older sister. All were physically abused, the girls molested.

I remember from a very young age that my mom shared her lack of self esteem by sharing her "mean girls" story from high school. Yet just last month, one of her classmates reached out to me to reach my mom for their 60th(?) High school reunion. I missed the call and didn't call him back. He didn't remember that I had talked to him a year ago.

I guess I was the GC when I was good and the SG when I was bad (by my mom's view).

My ex was a form of the GC though likely a victim of emotional incest from her Waif mother. It was a kind of freedom to get off that pedestal (her younger sis loves her but also resents her, but moving back in her mid 30s may have taken my ex's place) when she chose to leave me dramatically.

Clinically, detached, I understand why my mom was who she was. In her words, she did the best that she could (was capable of). If I were to judge myself, I know I haven't done the best that I could have, but my kids think so. Here's my realization: the kids don't know any better either way because they're kids.
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Methuen
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 965


« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2021, 10:42:30 PM »

Clinically, detached, I understand why my mom was who she was. In her words, she did the best that she could (was capable of). If I were to judge myself, I know I haven't done the best that I could have, but my kids think so. Here's my realization: the kids don't know any better either way because they're kids.
This is interesting.  Do you think you parented better than your mother?  Why or why not?  (No need to answer here).  
What are the criteria you are using to judge yourself as a parent? Write them out…

How do you measure  parenting sklls?

How do you measure  outcomes, and separate those outcomes from the influences your ex may be having on the children?

I get the sense Turkish that you are putting tremendous wffort into your kids.  There is no such thing as perfect parenting.  Thankfully, kids are resilient despite our goof ups.  There are also sometimes outside influences we may be unaware of, or even outside our control.  We can only do our best, and I get the sense you are doing  that, and also providing more security and guidance than your mother was able to do for you.  

May I gently suggest practicing kindness to yourself when self-judging?  We are our own worst critics….

What things have you done well?  How does this compare to how your mother parented you?  (Again no need to answer here)
Logged
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 11:10:13 PM »

I feel a more mix of old school parent with new school parent. The former being, "let them loose to do their own things" and the latter being over-invloved like "our kids are our friends."

My T asked me years ago, "how do you know how do be a dad since you never had one?" It was rhetorical. He followed up with, "you're inventing." I guess given my upbringing I'm good at that.

I stood up when my ex and her mother failed when D9's uncle may have been molesting her. I feel I did the right thing, but also ashamed when I called my T who I knew was a mandatory reporter who would force me to call the cops.

I was a Lego kid, but I feel guilty that I missed many years not playing with my son so much because it didn't interest me so much. Or last week when my daughter asked to play chess but we (I) didn't get around to it. This week, same thing: take them to school, <pay attention to our dog>, go to work, <dog>, pick up the kids, feed them, talk a little, make sure they bathe, bedtime... a routine. Make a point this weekend to play chess.
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Methuen
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 965


« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 01:00:12 AM »

It sounds like  you regret not spending time playing….You are noticing/observing .  Reflecting.  You can make adjustments.  “Take two” - go again and include some play.  It opens up communication, it’s i nteractive and social, and it builds bonds.  .  

Maybe its never too late to play lego, or if it is, maybe catch or frisbee or shooting some hoops instead?  Still time to make course corrections, right, if that’s what you think you want to do?
Logged
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
Posts: 11164


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 09:23:34 PM »

I bought mitts and a ball a few years ago to play catch with my son. I don't like sports (but appreciate that others like sports). Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies. I love it even not having a dad. My son didn't like catch (the ball rolled up his glove and hit him in the face). I got tips how to catch properly from a buddy.

Lucky I have a "back up" son, little D! They do like Frisbee, D9 being more into it than my son. We played a lot in college, tricks and things, throwing and catching. I showed them how to flick it outside hand to in (reverse of how its normally thrown). It's all in the wrist.

I wonder how much of my lack of interest in sports came from my mom, eschewing most things she viewed as manly. Whatever it was, it's me now.

We had the kids on Brazilian jiu-jitsu before the pandemic. S just phoned it in while D was a little better.
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Notwendy
********
Online Online

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 7472



« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2021, 05:57:41 AM »

Turkish-
I can relate to your "how can I be a parent?" fears as I didn't have a positive role model for a mother when I became a mother. I found myself looking at how other mothers I knew did things- tried them on- but some didn't fit me.

I don't come from a sports oriented family.  I did my share of driving to sport events with the kids, but it turned out they weren't all that interested in them either. I am not much of a "game playing" parent either but there are other things we can do together- go to the park, the zoo, the community pool, the kid's museums.

I honestly think it's more important that you are authentically YOU with your children and that you have interests and passions to share with them. I agree that as they mature and find their interests, it's our job as parents to nurture those interests.

Perhaps you are trying to live up to the image of what kind of dad you wished you had- something we formed from TV or watching other parents as we grew up. I think I imagined a Betty Crocker mom but I don't like housework much. ( I do it anyway as it has to be done), but I bond with my kids in other ways. 

I try to take a spiritual look at this- we don't choose our parents, they are given to us, and this match is divinely
made for reasons we don't know. Likewise, your children were matched to you because you have something unique to offer them. YOU are what they need. You being with them is more important than what is being done. Be you.
Logged
formflier
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 18604



WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 04:11:16 PM »


Turkish,

I wonder if it is reasonable/wise for you to start asking questions when your pwBPD says things like "dont' worry about the cost".

Such as "Oh...who should worry about it." or "Interesting..tell me more."  Obviously you don't want to get in a yes/no battle in front of your kid...but stuff like that needs to be adressed..probably better in the moment.

Best,

FF
Logged

Can You Help Us Stay on the Air in 2021?

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2021 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
12years
alterK
Andi1956
Anondad
Cnvi
doghouse
drained1996
EyesUp
Harri
JD2028
lovenature
Mac5
Methuen
Mommydoc
Mutt
old97
P.F.Change
Skip
snowglobe
Swimmy55
Teno
Turkish
wendydarling

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!