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My older daughter (phantomdaughter1, or PD1) graduated from high school on Saturday. My mother wanted to come, so of course we invited her. Things went pretty well, considering. But I'm still feeling ill at ease and hope you can lend me an ear, or an eye, or something cyberly helpful. First, I need to brag, and I thank you all in advance for listening to a proud mom.

PD1 is an exceptionally capable student. She also has a very active social and extracurricular schedule. She ended up with a 4.0 average at her high school, which is a magnet school for math and science that draws from four counties in northern Virginia -- about 15% of the applicants get in (PS1 didn't but PD2 did). She is a National Merit Finalist. She has taken five AP exams; of the three whose results we know (because she took them junior year and earlier), she got two 5s and a 4. (It's on a scale from 1 to 5.) She was accepted early action at a very competitive university. She is also fluent in French.

At her high school, she's pretty average. Of the graduating class of 392, 153 were National Merit Finalists (the most in the country for any high school for ten of the last 11 years, not adjusted for size of high school, so we compete with very large schools).

Without exception, every graduate is going to college. Seven of them are going to Harvard. About a quarter of them are going to the University of Virginia, which is one of the best state universities in the country and very hard for northern Virginians to get into, because we have a lot of highly-qualified students and the university understandably wants some geographical diversity. A sizable contingent is going to William and Mary, ditto.

The average number of AP exams taken per graduating senior is 6. (The average nationally is less than 1.) To graduate, you have to take 27 credits, including calculus and four years of science. (PD2 has a classmate who entered 9th grade having already taken calculus through an independent program.) The students have seven academic periods a day plus a sort of activity period. They are in school eight hours a day when they don't have afterschool activities, which rarely happens.

And these kids are not complete geeks. Okay, their football team stinks -- as PD1 says, this school does not breed for football. :-) They do very well in track and of course at the Intel competition, whatever it is, and that kind of thing. Their choirs are stellar even by my horrifically high standards. They have amazing school spirit -- they'll do anything for that school. They volunteer all over the place.

So there I was bragging about PD1 and her school, because I keep hoping against hope that my mother will be proud of her, too, and my mother kept talking about my sister's son and his school. (He just graduated the previous week and she traveled many miles to see him.) My nephew is by many accounts an indifferent student but an accomplished athlete and a loving son. I hardly know him, because I don't enjoy contact with my sister, but my mother thinks he's the greatest kid in the world with the possible exception of my brother's kids. My nephew is going to the University of Hawaii to play on their baseball team. I don't think it's any great shakes of a baseball power, and he didn't get any scholarship money. (Neither did PD1. Her alma mater-to-be doesn't give merit aid, and she has no financial need.)

I think my mother feels defensive because her high school was an average one and she went to an average college. You'd think she'd be proud that her granddaughter surpasses her, wouldn't you? But she doesn't seem to know how to do that. After the millionth time that she was going on and on about my nephew and his graduation, I finally turned to her and said, "Mother, I'm afraid that today I really don't care about my nephew. It's PD1's day." She was taken aback and said, "Well, that was the last graduation I went to. I'm just comparing the two." I let it go.

She was very pleased when the keynote speaker said that the guy who graduated at the bottom of his college class is now a multi-millionaire. She said quietly to me, "It's a good thing these kids are hearing that their future bosses may have C averages." I tried to keep my cool; I said, "I guess so -- but I don't see why they have to hear that kind of crap on the day they graduate. This should be a day when they hear how great they are." She wasn't crazy about that, either.

I find it easier to take her lack of motherly and grandmotherly behavior when I think of her as an elderly woman who is no relation but feels a connection to us for some unfathomable reason -- but it's hard to keep that up for hours on end, especially at a family event.

Oh, well, I'm just venting. Thanks for listening.

phantomdiver
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Oh, well, I'm just venting. Thanks for listening.
As far as I'm concerned everyone has a right to vent and I will always listen.

I'm not sure I know what to say, but I'll let you know what thoughts came into my head as I read your post...

I have a step-father who never graduated high school (my biological father graduated with honors from a prestigious law school). It took me years to realize that every time I came home from school so proud of my accomplishments and wanting to share it with him, that he took it as an insult, a slap in the face. I knew he didn't graduate from high school, why was I rubbing it in his face? I didn't realize I was. I really wasn't, but that's how he took it.

His mother got him a job as a janitor of IBM when he was 16 years old because he got his high school girlfriend pregnant and his mother wanted him to marry her. He married her and took the job. He eventually divorced this highschool girlfriend, but he kept the job as he kept getting promoted, as long as he would agree to keep moving (IBM = I've Been Moved). Eventually he made his was up to an "engineer" and that's when things started to get hard for him. Oh, he could still do his job, better than just about everyone because he had done it his whole life. The problem was that IBM started hiring college graduates to work under him.

One night he came home from work real upset. I was excited because the day before he brought home a PC for me to play on (the first one I had ever seen) and I wrote a simple basic program. I showed him my program and he left the room. I followed him and he said, "They're going to fire me as soon as they find out I can't even do what a stupid high school freshman can do and how am I suppose to support my family when I don't even have a high school diploma?". That "stupid high school freshman" he was referring to was me.

That's when I realized I wasn't the one with the problem, but I'm the only one that could show him the solution. Ever since then I have tried, as hard as it may be, to show him what he knows, that I don't. I ask him questions about real life, common sense, the "normal" perspective. I try to show him that his knowledge based may not have a piece of paper associated with it, but it is still valuable.

I hope some of this rambling helps.

e

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Congrats to you, and your daughter, and the whole family. I'm sorry that your mother can't appreciate how terrific PD1 is (and I'll bet all the PD family, since I've met three of you already). I remember my mother calling my neighbor's child her "favorite grandchild" when her own granddaughter (my own terrific daughter) was in the same room.

I hope your mother's behavior and comments won't take precedence over what's really important. I know how hard it can be when negativity rears its ugly head.

Congratulations again!

~~ Alison
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PD -

I'm responding here instead on at your link on GOLP. (Hi Everybody!) I'm not a parent yet, but I am a G/T kid.

Wow! It sounds like your daughter has accomplished a lot in her HS career. I know it takes a lot of family support on top of brains for that to happen. Good work on your part!

For whatever reason, it sounds like your mom doesn't value what PD1 has succeeded in. It's sad that she can't get out of her own head to really enjoy another person, but don't let that take away from you or your day.

It's also telling that she feels that smart kids need to know that their future bosses may be C students. My mom grew up in a family and town that believed that a kid who could be proud of his/her accomplishments was spoiled. Therefore, you never praised success. You never let a kid get above themselves. Does your mom resent the pride your daughter gets because she didn't get it? (Also, it was far more common to build boys up and tear girls down...)

I'm sorry for you, and I'm sorry for both your daughter and your mom. But don't let other people's issues take away from your joy and pride.

{{{{{{{PD}}}}}}}}

- KK

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PD,
Congrats to you and your daughter!!!! What a list of accomplishments! (Big hugs and pats on backs!)

Just a thought...you might be jumping to conclusions regarding your mother. She may be rather proud of PD1, but she may not be able to fully understand PD1's accomplishments. When I told my mother that my son was going into the Math Olympiads, her response was "So, we already know he's good at math, is this something new?" While you don't enjoy your sister's company, your mother obviously *does* enjoy your nephew, and part of it might be that she *can* understand his accomplishments. You said that your mother thinks he's the greatest kid in the world, so why is it a surprise that she was talking about him at graduation? I would think that her response indicated that she was unaware of doing anything wrong.

I can really relate, though. I've got one sister with whom I will not associate. (Fortunately, the other sister and the brother are both gems.) My mother absolutely *adores* my sister's daughter, and has to struggle to avoid bringing her up constantly. In this case, it's just a "girl" thing, because Mother absolutely adores "girl stuff"...decorating, sewing, flowers, new clothes, etc, and my niece is a very willing participant. Every now and then, Mother gets snippy and announces "I know you don't want to hear about anything to do with your sister, but MY grandaughter is important to ME!" and goes on about hair ribbons and gymnastics.

While she also dotes on my soon-to-be-nine son (Who could resist those shining brown eyes, that sweet smile, those wonderful manners?), many of the same things that gave her problems with me are causing her problems with my son. She's forever shaking her head at the both of us: "Whatever possessed you to try _______?" She's ultra-conventional, and she gets nervous and worried about our well-being. So, my compromise is to avoid telling her about our adventures until we're back safe and sound. (Oh, please let there be sun in the NorthEast...I want to introduce my son to the joys of rafting!) Her compromise is to not ask questions to which she doesn't want the answer, usually. OK, during our last trip to VT my Weather Channel-watching mother left a message: "Please tell me you didn't go out in that blizzard." I called her to say we were all safe and sound. She just tersely noted that I hadn't answered her question, and commented that my husband probably had enough sense to stay inside. (LOL: Husband is a novice skiier who is over 50...2 flakes of snow have him scurrying for the lounge, an Irish Coffee, and a good sports game on TV.) I fessed up....the conditions when we got there were icy. So, with gale winds whipping around, all my son and I did was to ride the gondola a few times to check out the conditions....and then we rode it back down. But, she was right to suspect that a simple blizzard wouldn't keep us inside....and I never mentioned that if there'd been enough powder, we'd have skiid down! Her concern came from not being able to figure out what we might do under what conditions....since she doesn't ski, she doesn't know that *ice* will send me to the lodge a lot faster than wind or snow!

A large part of what my mother adores about my niece and finds disconcerting about us is just *predictability*. My niece has it...we don't.

And of course, this all may just be rambling, and G/T may indeed intimidate your mom. (Doesn't sound like it from your post, tho.) My joy is that my mother is a vibrant part of our lives, and she and my son adore each other. Our sorrow is that my husband's mother hasn't seen us since Chris was 4 months old. She just can't cope with me....it's a double whammy, and I'm not sure which side really set her off. Part of it is my g/t side...when she hit me with old wife's tales, I thanked her for her advice, presented the results of my research, and continued the way I had been going. (We got calls from all the inlaws: "Your wife *ignored* mama's advice?????") But, I'm guessing that what really set her off was the area in which I grew up. She had it set in her head that anybody who grew up "there" just HAS to be a snob. (SIGH)

Rambling, but hopefully food for thought,
Profit Searcher
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FWIW, my MIL is about the same way. She travels all over the country to visit other members of her family, but has only been to our place three times total, and one of those was for our wedding. She travels from Florida to New Hampshire to see son #2's family every year (whose children are grown), but will not come to see us in Atlanta. Our children are still small (2yo & 4yo) and do not understand why their grandmother will not come see them. I get rather upset because she is not part of my children's lives, but I'm getting over it quickly as she tells us how we are "scarring" the children.
I guess what I'm saying is that: A. You are not alone, and B. They will pay for it when the kids don't care about them. I truly believe "what goes around, comes around."
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Ever since then I have tried, as hard as it may be, to show him what he knows, that I don't. I ask him questions about real life, common sense, the "normal" perspective. I try to show him that his knowledge based may not have a piece of paper associated with it, but it is still valuable.

I do try to do this, but on an occasion when my mother is not the focus, she seems to need more stroking.

I think she never got enough love and praise from her own parents and so she can't give it to her children or grandchildren. It isn't that she doesn't love my kids. She does. It's more that they either threaten her or she can't rejoice in their uniqueness around them, only around others. And I'm sure she finds it easier to identify with my academically lackluster nephew than with my kids.

It's gotta be heard to be her. But it's hard to be me with her as a mother, too. I keep expecting her to behave like a normal mother or grandmother, and she keeps drawing the focus back to herself. I am trying to learn how to give up; it must be easier than this constant disappointment.

phantomdiver
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Congrats to you, and your daughter, and the whole family. I'm sorry that your mother can't appreciate how terrific PD1 is (and I'll bet all the PD family, since I've met three of you already). I remember my mother calling my neighbor's child her "favorite grandchild" when her own granddaughter (my own terrific daughter) was in the same room.

I hope your mother's behavior and comments won't take precedence over what's really important. I know how hard it can be when negativity rears its ugly head.


You are such a sweetie, Alison -- thank you very much!

I wonder if my mother brags about my kids when she visits my siblings? Wouldn't surprise me. She really wants me to have more contact with them, so maybe that's part of what she is trying to do when she extols their glories to me.

phantomdiver
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I'm not a parent yet, but I am a G/T kid.

That works. I think all of us GT parents can learn a lot from GT kids, adult and child alike.

Wow! It sounds like your daughter has accomplished a lot in her HS career. I know it takes a lot of family support on top of brains for that to happen. Good work on your part!

<blush> Thanks, KK!

See, that's some of what I was hoping for from my mother. But . . . oh, well.

For whatever reason, it sounds like your mom doesn't value what PD1 has succeeded in. It's sad that she can't get out of her own head to really enjoy another person, but don't let that take away from you or your day.

Either that or she's threatened by PD1's abilities. She keeps talking about how she got a wonderful education at her one-room schoolhouse, backwater high school, and undistinguished college. You'd think she'd be happy that her grandchildren have better opportunities than she did, but no.

It's also telling that she feels that smart kids need to know that their future bosses may be C students. My mom grew up in a family and town that believed that a kid who could be proud of his/her accomplishments was spoiled. Therefore, you never praised success. You never let a kid get above themselves. Does your mom resent the pride your daughter gets because she didn't get it? (Also, it was far more common to build boys up and tear girls down...)

I think you have hit the nail right on the nose, as it were. It stinks, doesn't it?

I'm sorry for you, and I'm sorry for both your daughter and your mom. But don't let other people's issues take away from your joy and pride.

Exactly what I have been saying to myself. Thanks so much for saying it!

phantomdiver
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Congrats to you and your daughter!!!! What a list of accomplishments! (Big hugs and pats on backs!)

Thanks very much, Profit Searcher!

Just a thought...you might be jumping to conclusions regarding your mother. She may be rather proud of PD1, but she may not be able to fully understand PD1's accomplishments.

That's possible -- though we had National Merit and AP exams when I was in high school, too. But maybe she didn't understand them then, either.

When I told my mother that my son was going into the Math Olympiads,

Woo hoo for your son! I've never heard of this -- though I should have -- and it sounds like Very Hot Stuff. How'd it go? When was this?

You said that your mother thinks he's the greatest kid in the world, so why is it a surprise that she was talking about him at graduation? I would think that her response indicated that she was unaware of doing anything wrong.

I think that it isn't so much as she thinks he's the greatest kid in the world as that she wishes that my family had more to do with him. This is her way of making us want to know him. Needless to say, it doesn't work!

My sister and I just don't get along. I don't see any reason to go out of my way to see her or her son. We manage just fine without each other. My mother can't understand that, though two of her sisters were the same way for years.

I can really relate, though. I've got one sister with whom I will not associate. (Fortunately, the other sister and the brother are both gems.) My mother absolutely *adores* my sister's daughter, and has to struggle to avoid bringing her up constantly.

At least she does struggle -- but what a pain for you!

A large part of what my mother adores about my niece and finds disconcerting about us is just *predictability*. My niece has it...we don't.

Sounds like another piece of my mom's puzzle. Thanks!

And of course, this all may just be rambling, and G/T may indeed intimidate your mom. (Doesn't sound like it from your post, tho.)

I think it does. She's very defensive about her own education and was never careful to make sure I had a good educational experience, as I have done with my kids.

Our sorrow is that my husband's mother hasn't seen us since Chris was 4 months old. She just can't cope with me....it's a double whammy, and I'm not sure which side really set her off.

Oh, dear. That is too bad. I feel for you.

She had it set in her head that anybody who grew up "there" just HAS to be a snob. (SIGH)

<groan> Not much you can do about people who persist in hanging onto their own preconceptions!

Thanks so much for posting. It was very valuable.

phantomdiver
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They will pay for it when the kids don't care about them. I truly believe "what goes around, comes around."

Maybe. I'm worried about something else. I protected my kids from my parents when they were very little -- wouldn't visit much (still don't, for different reasons), wouldn't leave them alone with their grandparents, etc. My dad was an abusive alcoholic and my mother has a nasty stinging tongue sometimes.

So now that I've raised my kids without their grandparents, maybe they'll feel that they won't need us for their own kids. We'll see -- but I really did have to make sure that my own kids were safe . . .

phantomdiver
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So now that I've raised my kids without their grandparents, maybe they'll feel that they won't need us for their own kids. We'll see -- but I really did have to make sure that my own kids were safe . . .

We're in the same boat, we are not close to any of our relatives except my mom. I don't think it has to do with how close the kids are to other relatives, but how close they are to you. We are an extremely tight knit little crew (I've even been told this by others), and I have no worries because of this.
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BTW, I can really understand about not getting along with your sister. I haven't spoken to my sister in years, and have no desire to. She has told my niece that she wants to "have a word" with me when I go up to visit my niece. She plans on chewing me out and trying to embarass me in front of my family. Oh well.
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KK:
I've read that G/T educators are beginning to broaden their expectation of G/T behavior to include social interactions and care giving, since minority children, and especially girls, who are gifted often end up in care-giving roles.

I know that educators *here* do pay quite a bit of attention to social interaction...and I've had to pull back on their reins when they've gotten a little *too* politically correct. While there is a gender bias for girls to end up in care-giving roles in general, I'm not sure how this relates specifically to g/t girls. I've found that some "social interaction" work is definitely needed with my son: a number of kids have the "Whatever posessed you to ________???" reaction to some of his hijinks. Not surprisingly, the less the school bores him, the fewer stunts he pulls, but still, he needs to stay more within the boundaries. However, I think it would be much less likely to see this sort of goofy behavior in a girl, gifted or not. Perhaps you meant that g/t girls were more likely to be withdrawn? (That's a topic I know *NOTHING* about! (LOL))

Phantom,
It sounds as if you have a pretty good handle on what is motivating your mother, but it looks a little bit as if both you and your mother are indulging in the "OK, I'll do the same thing, but get different results" fallacy. You keep telling your mother the same things and expect her to react differently from the way she always has. Don't drop your mom, but you might consider dropping the expectations. It sounds as if your mother keeps hoping that she can entice you into wanting to be more involved with your sister's family. That's a large part of my mother's motivation also. I don't expect Mother to change her hopes, but I can get her to keep it to a dull roar. Part of the problem here is that Mother hopes that, with time, we'll both forget about the major blow-up a few years ago. What I cannot get across to her is that it isn't one particular incident. Self-serving and manipulative behavior are such an integral part of my sister's nature that I have zero confidence in her ability to stay within boundaries. So, when Mother starts talking about my sister or her family, my response is "Next subject?", and she moves on. Not worth getting ruffled about.

Phantom,
So now that I've raised my kids without their grandparents, maybe they'll feel that they won't need us for their own kids. We'll see -- but I really did have to make sure that my own kids were safe.

You did the right thing, the only thing you could do. If we were still in contact with my MIL, I'd never, ever, have left my son alone with her. During our last visit, it was perfectly clear that she didn't understand what could happen to a kid with his level of energy. Story: When he was 4 months old, I went into her bedroom, put a pad on the floor, and started changing his diaper. MIL followed me in and told me that I could change him on her bed, he'd be more comfortable there. I thanked her, and told her that I would continue to change him on the floor because he wouldn't get hurt in a fall if I ever lost my grip on him. Well! "I changed all five of my children on that bed. It was good enough for them, and he'll be more comfortable there." (SIGH) Nope, I didn't back down, and it didn't happen that day, but he did manage to squirm off the pad several times. (Taking clothes off him was fine....but he spent years trying to escape having them put *on*) Underestimating his energy and creativity could have resulted in serious harm to him, so I just wouldn't have taken the risk. (She lived in a 9th fl apartment...with a door leading to a balcony. (YIKES!!!!!) I don't care if it has a 4' high railing...this kid tried to get over an 6' privacy fence when he was less than 2 years old.))

On a much brighter note, I'm thrilled that my son has hit the age where I can put him on a direct flight to FL to visit with my Mother. We're now making plans for August...and it's hard to tell who is the most excited about it!

Speaking of the little devil, time to go pick him up,
C-ya,
Profit Searcher
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Me: I've read that G/T educators are beginning to broaden their expectation of G/T behavior to include social interactions and care giving, since minority children, and especially girls, who are gifted often end up in care-giving roles.

Profit Searcher: I know that educators *here* do pay quite a bit of attention to social interaction...While there is a gender bias for girls to end up in care-giving roles in general, I'm not sure how this relates specifically to g/t girls.


I think the idea was that a -- for example -- hispanic girl who might not be doing so well in school, but who is constantly caring for smaller children on the playground, or who is out of school caring for siblings, should be given a second look by her teachers. It may be that she is trusted with children because of her intellegence, which could well benefit from being nurtured and challenged in academic ways.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this... I don't think I have a specific question... but I'm interested in hearing you and other folks on the board interact with the idea.

- KK
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It sounds as if you have a pretty good handle on what is motivating your mother, but it looks a little bit as if both you and your mother are indulging in the "OK, I'll do the same thing, but get different results" fallacy.

Jeepers, you are so right, but I needed somebody else to tell me! <hits head -- I coulda had a V-8!>

Part of the problem here is that Mother hopes that, with time, we'll both forget about the major blow-up a few years ago. What I cannot get across to her is that it isn't one particular incident. Self-serving and manipulative behavior are such an integral part of my sister's nature that I have zero confidence in her ability to stay within boundaries.

Wait -- I thought I had only one sister -- but you must be my long-lost phantom sister! Yours sounds just like mine -- there surely couldn't be two such harpies!

You did the right thing, the only thing you could do.

Unfortunately, nobody else but me, DH, and PS1 understands this. My kids have had such carefully minimized exposure to my parents that three of the four think their grandparents are lovely people. <sigh> And of course my brother and sister bring their kids around all the time. But then they are seven and eight years older than I am. Maybe my parents weren't as caustic in my siblings' youth.

Thanks very much for the pat on the back!

During our last visit, it was perfectly clear that she didn't understand what could happen to a kid with his level of energy. Story:

Yep. Good thing you know your kid -- and what a surprise that you do!

My late MIL thought that PS1 would be fine with books at the age of 2. He ripped them up. We told her he would. It's too bad that he ripped up a valuable one, but it wasn't our fault. She also thought that a split-rail fence kept children and pets inside it. We didn't trust her on that one, and a good thing it was, too.

On a somewhat related note, my mother once said that she didn't understand all this fuss about carseats. "You kids never had them, and you turned out fine." Yes. She really did say that.

<sigh> Enough! Gotta work!

phantomdiver
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Self-serving and manipulative behavior are such an integral part of my sister's nature that I have zero confidence in her ability to stay within boundaries.<

Do we have the same sister?
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Self-serving and manipulative behavior are such an integral part of my sister's nature that I have zero confidence in her ability to stay within boundaries.

Do we have the same sister?

Ohmygosh! We all have the same sister! I have two nice sisters out there I didn't know about! zsimpson, ProfitSearcher -- group hug!

phantomdiver
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: a number of kids have the "Whatever posessed you to ________???" reaction to some of his hijinks. Not surprisingly, the less the school bores him, the fewer stunts he pulls, but still, he needs to stay more within the boundaries. However, I think it would be much less likely to see this sort of goofy behavior in a girl, gifted or not. Perhaps you meant that g/t girls were more likely to be withdrawn? (That's a topic I know *NOTHING* about!(LOL))

Trust me, as a former G/T little girl, girls do the "goofy" behaviour just as much and sometimes even more. Nobody believes the girls are as capable of causing trouble as the boys, so we get away with a lot more. When I was a kid, I actually scared some of the guys I knew with the stunts I would pull. One that comes to mind was flushing cherry bombs down the toilet at school. Another was jumping out second and third floor windows on a regular basis. Trust me, girls can be every bit as nutso as boys.
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Ohmygosh! We all have the same sister! I have two nice sisters out there I didn't know about! zsimpson, ProfitSearcher -- group hug!

Hug, Hug!! I don't have the two nice sisters, though. My other sister is not as bad, but not too terribly far off.
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Hugs back! Hey, if the geography permits, we really should try for a "girls" night out! (I'm in southern CT, got family in MD and FL) I just have to make sure my husband doesn't see Z's posts...I'm not sure he'd trust us on the loose together!

There are three of them out there! Egads!!! Hmmm, are yours also as bright as one can be without crossing over to G/T and slightly younger? Maybe even fat as kids? Could we all be looking at green harpies? BTW, one of the major reasons I don't put up with my sister's manipulations is that *I* can see right through them. It is, however, a source of great frustration that her justifications do fly with the rest of the family....and that dratted "I'm just a poor single mother doing the best I can" routine gets them everytime (ARG).

Z,
My experience is that girls like you and me are in the minority...a very tiny minority. As far as jumping goes, the night before the PSATs, I went out my bedroom window (2nd floor), pushed my dad's sports car down the driveway, and picked up a few buddies. Then, of course, there were airplanes and quarry cliffs. However, I was always careful not to be destructive. No cherry bombs for me (she said with her nose held high)....I slipped a smoke bomb into the Coke machine and got the school evacuated right before my least favorite class. (Talk about getting one's back patted! "Do it again! Do it again! (LOL))

While I didn't appreciate my Mother at the time, I sure do now!! Marvelously, I get to send my son down to her....and I won't lose a second of sleep to worry. Hey, she got me to adulthood without a serious injury, so I've got complete faith in her ability to stay one step ahead of him. We'll also be visiting my "little" sister and her husband...and they can run off with him any time they want. They work with the understanding that this little nut didn't fall far from my tree, so they tag team him, and keep him so busy that he hasn't got the *time* to dream up anything.

GCTA,
Profit Searcher
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I don't have the two nice sisters, though.

You and ProfitSearcher are my two nice sisters, silly! So if you think ProfitSearcher and I are nice, then you can have two nice sisters, too! :-)

phantomdiver
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There are three of them out there! Egads!!! Hmmm, are yours also as bright as one can be without crossing over to G/T and slightly younger? Maybe even fat as kids? Could we all be looking at green harpies? <snip> ....and that dratted "I'm just a poor single mother doing the best I can" routine gets them everytime (ARG).

Ohmygosh, there are at least two of them, because my sister is very bright (maybe GT, I dunno) and fat as a kid and a single mother too! But she was born in 1947, so maybe that's too old for y'all.

And I'm in northern VA. What about you, Z?

phantomdiver
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My experience is that girls like you and me are in the minority...a very tiny minority.

I wanted to be like you, really, I did! But life at home was a bit too risky already to be taking chances outside of home. I mean, if your folks will leave you behind when you're being good, what's to say they'll come and get you if you do something bad?

;-)

- KK
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And I'm in northern VA. What about you, Z?

I'm in Georgia, the Land o' Dixie. The only thing my sister gifted or talented at is snowing people. She's on husband #6. My mom said to me, "He's a really nice guy, you should meet him." I told her, "First of all, I have no desire to ever see Susan again. Second, I have no respect for any man stupid enough to marry a woman that's already had five husbands."
The family actually had bets running on how long the marriage would last. I already lost. Oh well.
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But life at home was a bit too risky already to be taking chances outside of home. I mean, if your folks will leave you behind when you're being good, what's to say they'll come and get you if you do something bad?

Mine just shipped me off to another relative every time I acted up. I lived in four different states in about five years.
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KK & Z,
My heart goes out to you both. (BIG HUGS!) While it's only intellectual for me, I know what my husband and his siblings went through. He also was too scared to make a peep, and he disappeared into the background. Now that he's living in a household with just us g/t, he's finally starting to blossom. What is absolutely wonderful with you two and with my husband is the absolute determination to make sure the abuse doesn't get passed down the line.

Growing up, I never knew what a truly safe and secure environment I had. The worst that happened to me is that my mother and I fought like cats and dogs because she said "Thou Shall" or Thou Shall Not" instead of explaining that she was imposing basic safety regulations.

One biggie when she wouldn't let me out the door the night of "The Keg Party". A kid was buying votes for junior year high school president, the parents weren't home & the kid's plan was to hire a band and to just keep tapping kegs as long as students showed up. Word got into the parental grapevine about the event. I tried every trick in the book to get out the door, but she had her guard up. Good grief, I think I even resorted to shrieking about a deprived childhood (Shows what I knew at the time.)

While I resented it then, thanks to that upbringing, it's second nature to me to stick to my ground when safety is questionable. It's neat that I can add the G/T to G/T bonus....I TELL my son when concern for his well being is the reason behind a "no". I expect that many of us will hit points where our kids just don't understand how much we're doing for them...but from the posts, I think we've all got what it takes to keep going, the same way my mother did.

Z,
BTW, my mother also hit me with the line that my sister was dating a "very nice man". "Right. I'm not interested hearing about anyone dumb enough to get involved with her." "But you have to understand, your sister is a saint compared to the woman he just divorced." "Uh, Mother, you just said a mouthful, but I don't think you understand it." (It's three years later...and they're still "dating".)

Also, it looks as if the creeps who migrated to the MF KDE board from the Yahoo KDE board have gotten bored and left, so I can let my guard down a bit.

Maybe, when you hear the name Susan you can think of me, rather than your sister! ;>

Profit Searcher

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Phantom,
Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake. The sister that your mom is promoting is also a single mom? (I've got two sisters, one is a gem, married to a wonderful man, but they don't have kids...and then there is the other.) I'm not dissing single moms in general. In fact, I've got quite a deal of respect for women who have the guts to go out on their own, rather than to keep their kids in a bad relationship. But, in my sister's case, I think she's a single mom because she has very little ability to sustain any sort of equal long term relationship.

This actually may be another G/T trait, and I think I'm starting to see it in my son. While I've got numerous acquantances that I'll chat with when I see them in the stores or the parks, I don't have many *casual friends*. Aside from my neighbors, there aren't any that I would see for dinner or a party, but not much else. Most of my relationships with people are *strong* friendships....we're there for each other for better or worse. We entrust each other with our kids, our cars, our houses, our pets and our secrets. We can't get through an evening without discussing *something* of importance...whether it be the feelings about a new job, a bump in the marital road, or whatever.

I can't tolerate one sister because she hasn't the slightest notion of how to be a friend. Theme here, maybe?

Profit Searcher
(P.S. I've got excess PC time because husband is stuck at work and son has been glued to dad's computer playing some Disney internet game....If this conversation keeps up, I may just be tempted to try to sneak in some post time from work! (LOL))
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I wanted to be like you, really, I did! But life at home was a bit too risky already to be taking chances outside of home. I mean, if your folks will leave you behind when you're being good, what's to say they'll come and get you if you do something bad?

Poor baby. {{{{{{KK}}}}}}

phantomdiver
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Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake. The sister that your mom is promoting is also a single mom? <snip> I'm not dissing single moms in general. In fact, I've got quite a deal of respect for women who have the guts to go out on their own, rather than to keep their kids in a bad relationship. But, in my sister's case, I think she's a single mom because she has very little ability to sustain any sort of equal long term relationship.

My sister is a single mom because she wasn't married when she got pregnant and still isn't. My nephew's father was married at the time, though. I hear he has a different wife now. My mother adores him. He visits her, and his parents get along with her.

Mind you, this is not why I don't get along with my sister, though it seems symptomatic of her character. This will probably sound familiar -- she hurt me once really, really badly, and I realized all the other times she hurt me were not me being too sensitive but her hurting me. I decided not to let myself in for that any more. Also, after she pulled out her machete that one famous time, I was too hurt to be around her anyway.

This actually may be another G/T trait, and I think I'm starting to see it in my son. While I've got numerous acquantances that I'll chat with when I see them in the stores or the parks, I don't have many *casual friends*. Aside from my neighbors, there aren't any that I would see for dinner or a party, but not much else. Most of my relationships with people are *strong* friendships....we're there for each other for better or worse. We entrust each other with our kids, our cars, our houses, our pets and our secrets. We can't get through an evening without discussing *something* of importance...whether it be the feelings about a new job, a bump in the marital road, or whatever.

I dunno about this. I know that I leave friends easily, but I always thought that was a military brat thing. I *never* have people over, and neither does my husband. However, my two daughters are enormously social. <shrug>

phantomdiver
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The only thing my sister gifted or talented at is snowing people. She's on husband #6. My mom said to me, "He's a really nice guy, you should meet him." I told her, "First of all, I have no desire to ever see Susan again. Second, I have no respect for any man stupid enough to marry a woman that's already had five husbands."

Has she ever been on Jerry Springer?


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Has she ever been on Jerry Springer?

No, but she should be.
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pd,

Sounds like you "broke the cycle" of bad parenting in your family. Congratulations - that is not an easy thing to do. And congratulations on having four great kids - that's a monumental accomplishment.

As for your mother, you can't change her. It doesn't matter what you say, how you say it, or how many times you say it - she'll never get it. Your anger at your mother is justified because she is not meeting your expectations. She's not doing much of what you would like her to do, but she is "doing the best she can."

But she doesn't seem to know how to do that. You are able to recognize that her abilities are limited, maybe someday you'll be able to accept her inadequacies as a parent/grandparent and love her and her faults. (Being able to love unconditionally is a gift I hope to have someday - Oh, to be as good at it as my dogs!!)

I have read that depression is "unexpressed anger" and you certainly seem to be filled with anger and resentment toward your mother. Resentment, I am told, is a poison *we* drink hoping the object of our resentment will die. The other person is generally completely unaware of our resentment. What to do with it? I've found for me, that mentally putting it in a box, wrapping it in pretty paper with ribbons and bows and giving it to "God" helps me get on with my life. I then pray to him to turn it into something I can deal with and to give it back to me when he feels I am ready. "I can't, He can, He will if I let him." That's my way of turning over to God any problem that I have no control over. I am learning to accept the fact that I have no control over other people, I can only change myself.

This is a lot longer than I thought it would be, please excuse me if I rambled. I connected with many of the feelings you expressed in your post and I hope something I said will help.

shajoy
remember to "Take what you like and leave the rest"

{{{{{{{{{{phantomdiver}}}}}}}}}}
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Also, it looks as if the creeps who migrated to the MF KDE board from the Yahoo KDE board have gotten bored and left, so I can let my guard down a bit.

KDE? I love KDE! Maybe it's a little bit of reliving my childhood... no, actually, that's a lot of it!

;-)

- KK

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But she doesn't seem to know how to do that. You are able to recognize that her abilities are limited, maybe someday you'll be able to accept her inadequacies as a parent/grandparent and love her and her faults. (Being able to love unconditionally is a gift I hope to have someday - Oh, to be as good at it as my dogs!!)

I really would like to be able to do that, and I know what you mean about dogs! But it's very, very hard for me to forgive her and move on. I've been working on it for years.

I have read that depression is "unexpressed anger" and you certainly seem to be filled with anger and resentment toward your mother. Resentment, I am told, is a poison *we* drink hoping the object of our resentment will die. The other person is generally completely unaware of our resentment. What to do with it? I've found for me, that mentally putting it in a box, wrapping it in pretty paper with ribbons and bows and giving it to "God" helps me get on with my life. I then pray to him to turn it into something I can deal with and to give it back to me when he feels I am ready. "I can't, He can, He will if I let him." That's my way of turning over to God any problem that I have no control over. I am learning to accept the fact that I have no control over other people, I can only change myself.

I am taking what I can from this and leaving the rest, as you suggested. It's very good to hear this stuff. Thanks, shajoy!

phantomdiver
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I really would like to be able to do that, and I know what you mean about dogs! But it's very, very hard for me to forgive her and move on. I've been working on it for years.

I came to the realization years ago that I could never forgive my sister. Sorry, she has done too many really rotten things that she has been forgiven for. Instead of letting it eat at me though, I laugh about what a jerk she is, and have very little dealings with her. I won't let her own me.
The very little dealings may not be possible with your mom, but the laugh about it part is. Also, is she really worth it? Is she worth you being so upset? She's acting like a jerk (sorry, but I won't beat around the bush), and if you let her get you upset, you are giving value to her rudeness. Basically you have your choice, either confront her with all of this or give it up.
Always remember, if you are angry about it, then the bast&*ds have won. That saying did wonders for my attitude. <grin>
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