Why I hate the "matter of fact" talk

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CubsBullsBears
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14 Oct 2021, 2:00 am

A couple months ago, I had posted here shortly after my mom had played the "there's nothing you can do about it, so you need to stop worrying about it" card with me. I had stated how that kind of talk is very condescending and degrading. I am going to state a couple of examples and explain in detail why I am very frusturated with this.

I am going to start out with the case where this all began with me. For those who aren't familiar, 3 years ago I dated a girl who's parents were very strict. Highlights of their strictness included them never letting us text each other unless it was important, making her go to her brothers football game instead of letting her go to the roller rink with me, the mom not letting me go see her while she's staying a weekend at her grandmas house(not just over night. None at all)and getting mad at my girlfriend for inviting me, and never apologizing to me for any of it all. I had posted about this twice here on WP back then and a few people on here had given me the "matter of fact" talk. Stating that the parents are within their rights to keep us away from each other no matter how unfair it is.

I am not going to make being nice to everyone a priority in what I'm going to say next. At this point, I feel like this is the only way I can get people to understand how I'm feeling. Saying those things in those threads made it sound like you were perfectly fine with that happening, with me and my girlfriend getting screwed over like that. Hell, one person even stated "I'm on the parents side". There have been people I know personally who are like this too. One of whom was a psychiatrist I had who had said "you seem to be spending so much energy on being angry at the parents" and in a later appointment said "that is their right" in a very frusturated tone. I am glad she had moved her practice elsewhere and I don't have to see her anymore. Now I'm gonna go off on my own parents. All they did was tell me that there's nothing I could do about it and that I need to move on. What I wish they would've done is be confrontational with the other parents; that they are causing their son so much stress and that they need to let her and I be. Even if that didn't work, I would at the very least be happy that my parents made an effort to do something about that nonsense. But no, keeping the peace is important no matter freaking what.

Them handling the situation like that made me feel like less of a person. The way some people talked to me about it made me feel like less of a person and more like a tool, and that includes people here on Wrong Planet. The memory of that carries with me to this day. Which leads me to a conversation I had with my step mom just a couple hours before I started typing this. We had seen a cat outside our house who is believed to be one of the neighbors'. I had asked why some people just let their cats go outside. What if the cat decided to run away all of a sudden? My stepmoms response:

"It's their choice".

After a little bit, I decided to say to my stepmom directly: "You realize that your response doesn't have to just be that it's their choice, right? You couldn't have stated a reasoning for why some cats get to just roam instead of just stating a legal right of theirs?"

My stepmoms response was basically "you don't have to agree with me".

It's not like I'm not open to hearing a reason for why someone would trust their cat to go outside without supervision. I'm not experienced with cats as I'm sure some other people are. I'm just bothered by my stepmoms response to my question for reasons I have already stated. I know it's such a minor thing compared to the other thing I talked about, but I guess I am much more sensitive to that sort of thing.

Now that I have been more transparent about what's always bothered me in an attempt to fix my mental health, I'll wait and see what type of replies I get from this.



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14 Oct 2021, 2:38 am

To your cat question, in the usa, that basically IS the answer. Letting them out is not considered necessary like it sorta is in the uk. I'd never let mine out because I live off a main thoroughfare, & they'd end up cat pancakes. A good reason out in the country would be so they aren't attacked by wildlife. But in general, the answer really is, "because they can". As you can see, I find it easier to answer the question of "why do you keep them inside?" instead of "why can they go outside."

As for the gf, two years ago you were nineteen, & I imagine she was in the same age range? If she's living at home, even as an adult, it's quite possible she's following their rules for comfort or to enable her to stay at their house (vs moving out) or so they'll pay for college, etc. Parental rules are one of the reasons people move away from home.

As for your parents contacting hers? You're adults, so that really isn't theirs to do either. If she were a minor, I'd still call it inappropriate for your parents to contact hers, as you were an adult then. It isn't simply about "being nice." It's not considered good for parents to step in and tell other parents how to raise their children. Part of growing up is learning where the lines are & how to walk them, cross them, or get away from them.

Sometimes I get upset over things I just can't let go of, even tho I know that being upset & focusing on it isn't helping anyone. Stressing myself out for no real reason occurs, but I'm trying to learn how to "let it go" for my own mental & physical health. At this age, a constantly higher bp from anger just isn't healthy. And I actually get more peeved now at things than I did as a young adult.

EtA: My own example is that I didn't have a curfew until I graduated high school. Then I had a handful of sudden, silly rules. Mom found them reasonable; I did not. It eventually got me to move out a couple years later. And as an adult, even without kids, I now understand her side more clearly.



CubsBullsBears
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14 Oct 2021, 3:54 am

Blue_Star wrote:
As for the gf, two years ago you were nineteen, & I imagine she was in the same age range? If she's living at home, even as an adult, it's quite possible she's following their rules for comfort or to enable her to stay at their house (vs moving out) or so they'll pay for college, etc. Parental rules are one of the reasons people move away from home.

As for your parents contacting hers? You're adults, so that really isn't theirs to do either. If she were a minor, I'd still call it inappropriate for your parents to contact hers, as you were an adult then. It isn't simply about "being nice." It's not considered good for parents to step in and tell other parents how to raise their children. Part of growing up is learning where the lines are & how to walk them, cross them, or get away from them.
When all that happened with that girl, I was 18 and she was 16. I was a senior in HS and she was a junior. Putting aside everything people have said to me, it irritates the hell outta me that the law or whatever allows for parents like those to be so strict with their teenagers. In some ways, 16-17 year olds basically have the same rights as 8 year olds do. Wtf!?!

Anyways, you not being so sure has prompted me to answer a question I’m sure someone is gonna have: what about trying again with her now that she’s an adult? Well, here’s the update on that:

A couple times last year I had asked her if she wanted to hang out. Both times she had accepted, and then backed out, making some obviously BS excuse. Furthermore, her posts on FB in recent months indicate that she has decided to follow her parents influence of being a big believer in god and the Bible. When her and I were together she would talk about how she hated how much her parents were strict and yet she’s now making posts about how awesome they are. Her parents got their wish. I hate it.

So now that she has bullshitted me a few times and presumably has beliefs that don’t match mine, dating her is no longer something I want to do. However, I am still bothered by how much frustration her parents had caused the both of us 3 years ago, how a lot of people weren’t as bothered by it as I was, and how much of a reminder it is that a lot of things could happen in the future that I’ll be forced to endure. THAT is what I’m still having a hard time with.



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14 Oct 2021, 5:12 am

CubsBullsBears wrote:
A couple months ago, I had posted here shortly after my mom had played the "there's nothing you can do about it, so you need to stop worrying about it" card with me. I had stated how that kind of talk is very condescending and degrading. I am going to state a couple of examples and explain in detail why I am very frusturated with this.


It can be condescending and degrading. I think everyone has, at some stage in their life, come up against familial and societal rules that prevent us getting or doing what we want. When you're on the wrong side of them it can be hard to see that they might be there for reasons we haven't fully understood or appreciated. Often, those of us who come to have our own children end up imposing the exact same rules we railed against as kids, because with a different perspective they start to make a lot more sense. I'm not saying they're right, or wise, just that the reasons for them can become more understandable with age.

I think it's worth considering that the 'matter of fact' talk comes from a place of love, even if it feels like a disregard of your opinions and feelings. Of course there are better and worse ways of sending this message as a parent.

What I mean is, you can spend a lot of time and energy being angry and wishing things weren't the way they are, or loudly insisting that things ought to be different and refusing to deal with the world as it is. At best it's a waste of time and if its allowed to persist over time it can develop into mental illness. I don't mean that change isn't possible, or worth fighting for, just that it only exists in the future, not the past. And the only solid foundation for changing things in the future is an acceptance of how things are in the present.

Your parents can see that you are in pain. I can see that you are in pain. And I don't want you to be in pain, as I suspect your parents don't want you to be in pain. You seem to be grieving the loss of this relationship that once held so much promise, but has died because - as you see it - of parental interference. The 'matter of fact' talk isn't so much a defence of the way things are but a (possibly misguided) attempt to accelerate you through the grieving process, to get you to other side so you can be happier and move on to relationships that don't have these constraints.

I hope I haven't been condescending or degrading. I believe the world gets a lot less confusing the more we try to consider things from other people's point of view, even if we don't like them, and accept that we don't have an insight into how their opinions have become formed.

To apply that to the cat question, is it possible that to your stepmum, the reasons why a cat might be allowed to roam (examples: it's natural cat behaviour, most cats will reliably return to their home for food/shelter, some people keep cats for rodent control) or not to roam (examples: people fear the loss of their pet - perhaps they've had a cat that got run over, maybe they don't want to deal with neighbor complaints, the cat has a physical limitation like deafness). There are so many variables that ultimately it does come down to the choice of the owner and they'll make a decision based on a set of circumstances unique to them. Maybe all this is obvious to your stepmum and she assumed that it would also be obvious to you. So her response, "it's their choice," to her seemed sufficient. To you, it seemed like a failure to engage with you on the subject and a fob-off. Again, not saying this is what happpened. But it's a possibility and if you can accept the possibility, I think it becomes easier to forgive your step-mum and understand her as a flawed human being.



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14 Oct 2021, 6:13 am

When you become a parent, you will better understand the parent’s viewpoint.

I was banned once from seeing “the love of my life.” I know how you feel.

I wish you would go to college.



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14 Oct 2021, 10:27 am

I hate the matter of fact talk as well. Sometimes I just want to discuss how we feel about a subject or share opinions irrationally - which I thought that's all NTs do when talking (as often mentioned on WP). Mostly though, NTs who I know do discuss things irrationally, more than Aspies here do.

But my uncle can be very matter of fact and it's annoying. His daughter has a tiny baby, and they have quite a vicious dog too. Personally I don't think babies and vicious dogs should live in the same house, and all the parents do is spend most of their time keeping the dog in another room, which sounds difficult because he's a very strong, heavy dog. But anyway I said to my uncle that I worry about the baby's safety and that I feel they shouldn't really have a vicious dog like that when they have got a baby. But my uncle just said "well, I can't tell them what to do." Um, I wasn't asking him to tell them what to do, I was just wondering how he felt about it and if he worried about it, but he just said the same words "I can't tell them what to do." But as a caring grandparent he could lightly point it out to his daughter about the risks of vicious dogs around babies, because some people are actually quite ignorant when it comes to babies Vs dogs and don't realise how easy it is for a vicious dog to take a disliking to a baby and rip it apart, and if they are strong and wilful they might overpower you one day and run out of the room when you open the door and go straight for the baby.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Oct 2021, 10:39 am

I believe the uncle is afraid of being lambasted by his niece.

I know what you mean about vicious dogs and babies, though.



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14 Oct 2021, 11:53 am

DuckHairback wrote:
CubsBullsBears wrote:
A couple months ago, I had posted here shortly after my mom had played the "there's nothing you can do about it, so you need to stop worrying about it" card with me. I had stated how that kind of talk is very condescending and degrading. I am going to state a couple of examples and explain in detail why I am very frusturated with this.


It can be condescending and degrading. I think everyone has, at some stage in their life, come up against familial and societal rules that prevent us getting or doing what we want. When you're on the wrong side of them it can be hard to see that they might be there for reasons we haven't fully understood or appreciated. Often, those of us who come to have our own children end up imposing the exact same rules we railed against as kids, because with a different perspective they start to make a lot more sense. I'm not saying they're right, or wise, just that the reasons for them can become more understandable with age.

I think it's worth considering that the 'matter of fact' talk comes from a place of love, even if it feels like a disregard of your opinions and feelings. Of course there are better and worse ways of sending this message as a parent.

What I mean is, you can spend a lot of time and energy being angry and wishing things weren't the way they are, or loudly insisting that things ought to be different and refusing to deal with the world as it is. At best it's a waste of time and if its allowed to persist over time it can develop into mental illness. I don't mean that change isn't possible, or worth fighting for, just that it only exists in the future, not the past. And the only solid foundation for changing things in the future is an acceptance of how things are in the present.

Your parents can see that you are in pain. I can see that you are in pain. And I don't want you to be in pain, as I suspect your parents don't want you to be in pain. You seem to be grieving the loss of this relationship that once held so much promise, but has died because - as you see it - of parental interference. The 'matter of fact' talk isn't so much a defence of the way things are but a (possibly misguided) attempt to accelerate you through the grieving process, to get you to other side so you can be happier and move on to relationships that don't have these constraints.

I hope I haven't been condescending or degrading. I believe the world gets a lot less confusing the more we try to consider things from other people's point of view, even if we don't like them, and accept that we don't have an insight into how their opinions have become formed.

To apply that to the cat question, is it possible that to your stepmum, the reasons why a cat might be allowed to roam (examples: it's natural cat behaviour, most cats will reliably return to their home for food/shelter, some people keep cats for rodent control) or not to roam (examples: people fear the loss of their pet - perhaps they've had a cat that got run over, maybe they don't want to deal with neighbor complaints, the cat has a physical limitation like deafness). There are so many variables that ultimately it does come down to the choice of the owner and they'll make a decision based on a set of circumstances unique to them. Maybe all this is obvious to your stepmum and she assumed that it would also be obvious to you. So her response, "it's their choice," to her seemed sufficient. To you, it seemed like a failure to engage with you on the subject and a fob-off. Again, not saying this is what happpened. But it's a possibility and if you can accept the possibility, I think it becomes easier to forgive your step-mum and understand her as a flawed human being.
That’s not condescending at all. It doesn’t fix everything but I’ll take that response. Thank you.



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14 Oct 2021, 12:01 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
When you become a parent, you will better understand the parent’s viewpoint.

I was banned once from seeing “the love of my life.” I know how you feel.

I wish you would go to college.
I certainly won’t heavily restrict my kids with their dating lives. If I had a spouse who decided to be too strict with them, I would leave her. That is, if I ever find another partner to have kids with, but that’s a different subject.

What does this have to do with college, anyway?



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14 Oct 2021, 1:33 pm

You might meet a girl more your speed in college.



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14 Oct 2021, 3:37 pm

Hey cubsbullsbears … I would have and did live my life at that age, not telling my Dad(my Mother died young) of the “personal relationships” side of my life. I’m so glad I did too! Caused him no concern or worry and I had some wonderful times with people who truly mattered and still do.

Your parents were trying to keep you from enjoying time with those who meant something to you, at that age? There’s no way, I would live like that. At 14yrs, I did that and knew that was acceptable. I respected my Dad. I only hope, you go on to make those decisions for yourself in future and that you’re more in control of your life now. You need to be. There’s a reason why we’re meant to carve out a life for ourselves, separate to that of our earlier homelives. Fly, be free :).



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15 Oct 2021, 10:30 pm

If some teenaged boy and/or his parents told me how to parent my hypothetical teenaged daughter I'd pretty much tell them to F off. You nor your parents get a say in how her parents parent her and make decisions. That's life. Maybe they're super protective of their daughter and would treat any date/boyfriend the same, or maybe they just didn't like You and didn't want her dating you for whatever their reason was.. either way, that's life. It's not up to you or your parents and your parents were right not to interfere in the girls' parents' parenting. 100% definitely not worth the fight you think it was, because your parents don't get a say in how her parents raise their child. Period.

As for the cats.. they're animals - sure, they're domesticated, but they've been outside for thousands of years. Cats tend to like going outside and wandering, chasing mice/birds etc and the ones that are indoor/outdoor cats tend to wander around, do their thing, maybe get laid or get in a fight, and then end up back at home for feeding time. A lot of people let their cats wander. They don't usually run off and not return like so many dogs do. Typically if they don't return it means they're roadkill or a coyote ate them.

Some people have indoor only cats that they even have declawed. Those ones won't likely do well outdoors - can't even use claws to defend themselves. Those owners would tend to keep those cats inside. But in general it's really common for people to let cats wander. We have a few that wander by our back yard, sometimes across the top of the back fence etc. No idea who's they are/doesn't really matter - they rarely bother anyone.


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16 Oct 2021, 12:13 am

goldfish21 wrote:
If some teenaged boy and/or his parents told me how to parent my hypothetical teenaged daughter I'd pretty much tell them to F off. You nor your parents get a say in how her parents parent her and make decisions. That's life. Maybe they're super protective of their daughter and would treat any date/boyfriend the same, or maybe they just didn't like You and didn't want her dating you for whatever their reason was.. either way, that's life. It's not up to you or your parents and your parents were right not to interfere in the girls' parents' parenting. 100% definitely not worth the fight you think it was, because your parents don't get a say in how her parents raise their child. Period.
even if it absolutely did not work at all, I would rather the girls parents be resentful of mine than have my parents let the others do whatever they wanted with the relationship between me and my girlfriend at the time without something being said about it to them. Because then at least I could take solace in the fact that my parents stood up for me.

Quite honestly, I can’t help but feel a bit offended when someone implies that they deserve respect, per se. They heartlessly screwed me over. That kind of parenting causes so much stress. It’s not fair for what I’ll call the victims of this kind of parenting because they are being deprived of all the cool things about being a teenager. It wasn’t fair for me and her who had gone through wondering how much better things woulda been if her parents weren’t that way. They are not very bright for thinking that this is a good way of parenting.

And yet thru all that, people just aren’t outraged by it?

Everyone, please forgive me for going off the rails. My world view is in such a negative phase and I at least know that typing all this up is better than bottling it in. And it’s not just the thing with the parents. Eventually I’m gonna make another post in PPR about another subject that is way too political for the haven.



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16 Oct 2021, 4:56 am

I do think the girl's parents were being too overprotective. You've got to give your teen a bit of freedom to experiment with love. Love is a strong thing, and if the OP loves her that much then maybe he didn't want to "share" the girl with her parents. The parents could have let her go on a few dates with the OP. Teenagers are at a stage in their lives where they desire to wander from the nest and meet other people. You are legally allowed to have sex at age 16, although I don't think the OP or the girl were planning on pushing things that far yet.


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16 Oct 2021, 5:12 am

I don’t like that type of upbringing, either.

I’ve been the “victim” of that, too.

But you have to move on from this situation. Go forward, not back. Otherwise, things will not go well for you.

I know from experience.



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16 Oct 2021, 12:59 pm

Can’t control how other people parent even if you disapprove of it.

You’re still into her 3 years later. Is she still into you? She’s an adult now; no longer a teenager obligated to obey her parents’ wishes.

Get jobs, see each other, plan to move out, then do it. Sweet F all overprotective parents can do about their adult children doing grownup things.


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