How to stay friends with a friend

46 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

Interesting. This is something I've never witnessed among the Germans that I know. Of course it happens. Normally, they seem very close to their families and have many obligations in that realm. Not to mention that kids may live at home until in their 30's without paying rent.

 

Try inviting a German to do something on Sunday. :)

My partner has seen this a lot amongst his friends and he, too, broke off all contact with his mother.

 

We conclude it is because the parents growing up during the war or just after had many traumatic experiences and that affected their parenting style later. It’s not something I’ve ever seen in the UK but amongst my relatively small circle of Germans here I know 4 who have nothing more to do with their oarent(s)

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Doh! Now that you mention it, Himself's younger brother did the same thing. Yes, I believe it was because of how screwed up their father was after the war.

 

Do you think this happens often these days? A generation or two later?

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I don't think you need a war to have bad parents

 

of the two Germans I know who were estranged from family members, one had a mother who abandoned half the kids (she took the other two) when they were quite small, then came back and wanted to be mom again, and the other had an alcoholic bastard of a dad.  Neither had war-damaged parents.

 

I find it really strange that anyone would assume people cut out family members for frivolous reasons when in fact there are a lot of crap parents, siblings, whatever out there.  Most people who have survived dysfunction don't really advertise it so I don't even know how you could qualify a statement like the one above.  

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4 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

I don't think you need a war to have bad parents

 

Well, of course. That has always been the case and always will be. I just wonder if it is as prevalent now that the war generation is gone or dying off.

 

ETA, having said that, abuse begets abuse. 

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1 hour ago, Auntie Helen said:

My partner has seen this a lot amongst his friends and he, too, broke off all contact with his mother.

 

We conclude it is because the parents growing up during the war or just after had many traumatic experiences and that affected their parenting style later. It’s not something I’ve ever seen in the UK but amongst my relatively small circle of Germans here I know 4 who have nothing more to do with their oarent(s)

..and there are others who felt ignored by their parents emotionally and left home. So I took my sensitive Cancerian self elsewhere and started travelling at a young age. I wrote postcards from here and there and never got an answer.

And, in a way, I am still somewhere else...

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

Yes, I believe it was because of how screwed up their father was after the war.

 

Do you think this happens often these days? A generation or two later?

These things don´t die out easily but are handed down from generation to generation. The war trauma my mother suffered as a child had a severe impact on her throughout her life. And therefore on us kids because it´s shitty for kids if your mom is depressed all the time. And this affected our personalities and thereby our lives (and to some extent even those of my children) probably to this day

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2 hours ago, Auntie Helen said:

My partner has seen this a lot amongst his friends and he, too, broke off all contact with his mother.

 

We conclude it is because the parents growing up during the war or just after had many traumatic experiences and that affected their parenting style later. It’s not something I’ve ever seen in the UK but amongst my relatively small circle of Germans here I know 4 who have nothing more to do with their parent(s)

 

My parents (and my grandparents) were traumatized by war, and it impacted their parenting terribly. Sort of a flip flop between helicoptering (or rather, imprisonment) and negligence... throw in violence and spice it up with lies, and the perfect insane soup was ready.

 

It took a lot of effort on my side not to propagate the terrible mistakes of my parents, and not to hurt others. The Buddhist belief in reincarnation, earlier actions impacting the next life, and breaking free of the cycle was an excellent metaphor that helped me understand and get out of the craziness being passed down through the generations. (As in leave, and consciously live a different life.)

Unlike some relatives, if I dare say...

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12 hours ago, Metall said:

...a flip flop between helicoptering (or rather, imprisonment) and negligence... throw in violence and spice it up with lies, and the perfect insane soup was ready.

Nice description of what I have observed in some quarters. Don't forget the wall of silence just for good measure.

Can't help wondering though how much of that behaviour was already present before the (which one?) war.

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12 hours ago, katheliz said:

... a phantom friendship keeps us happy.

You are part of each other's past and shared experience at a crucial time in both your lives. You are the only ones left with those shared memories. I think that makes you friends.

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16 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Do you think this happens often these days?

When one makes a plan that includes another individual, it is not sufficient that one likes the plan. The old "it takes two to tango" thing.

 

There are people who just don't grasp what it means when somebody says "No" and repeat the same stuff over and over, not letting lose. The only way to get out of that madness is to stay far away from those people.

 

This absolutely annoying behaviour is part of our society, and yes, some mothers do that with their adult children, until the adult children cut of contact.

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When I was pregnant I read two philosophical bits of sage advice that have stuck.

 

Good parents gradually move out of their children's lives. (The second part of the poetic image of giving our children roots to anchor them and wings to fly.)

 

Then the one that says our children come through us, and are of us, but they are not ours.

 

By extension it applies to other poeple. You have to give them a long leash and sometimes let go for them to be happy. (Easily said, painfully done.) You never own someone. Certainly not when married or even if they are flesh and blood. This comes as news to some people.

 

Relationships are elastic. Sometimes you move in, sometimes there is distance. Doesn't mean the relationship is dead, just dynamic. But not everyone can cope with that thought.

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On 6.12.2019, 18:55:13, fraufruit said:

Doh! Now that you mention it, Himself's younger brother did the same thing. Yes, I believe it was because of how screwed up their father was after the war.

 

Do you think this happens often these days? A generation or two later?

 

Most Germans I've had any type of discussion with about parents have said they try to support their parents. One co-worker told me he has no relationship with his father because his father had not treated him well. He actually referred to him as his Erzeuger. I guess just an average deadbeat dad. You don't need to be German for that.

 

I know another family where I know the son and the parents well. His sister stopped talking to their parents but I think it's because of her own issues, not something the parents did.

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8 hours ago, optimista said:

Relationships are elastic. 

All relationships come with invisible expiration dates. Some are especially elastic, and their duration is dependent on cultivation. Some are weak, but durable; others are intense, but too hot not to cool down.

There are relationships that can last a lifetime.  Hemingway said in his book Death in the Afternoon that there is no story so sad as that of a happy marriage, which of necessity ends in the death of one of the partners.

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Basically, I agree with you, dear katheliz, with one exception- the death of one’s child. That would be unbearable.

I am so happy when my daughter sends pictures of her latest escapades - today, for example, visiting Munich.. complete with her picture.

 

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37 minutes ago, john g. said:

Basically, I agree with you, dear katheliz, with one exception- the death of one’s child. That would be unbearable.

But this almost was the norm only a century ago. My grandfather´s girlfriend had 10 siblings 5 of whom didn´t make it to adulthood. We forget how lucky we are to live nowadays.

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43 minutes ago, john g. said:

Basically, I agree with you, dear katheliz, with one exception- the death of one’s child. That would be unbearable.

I can't conceive of the pain from a child's death, though as each of my children passed through the teen years I often planned funerals while sitting on the couch late at night waiting waiting waiting for them to come home.
 

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It was indeed the norm, jeba! My mum’s parents had, I think , 15 children. 6 of them died in a fire. My Auntie Alwyn , 85 , is the last survivor.

BUT the question still remains- how to cope with the premature death of one’s own child?

Medical advances - yes. But the death of one’s own child?

Who can dance through life if that happens? 

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