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Old 07-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by CastingPearls View Post
To the people who say, how could you have let this happen or lived with it--I'll tell you...it doesn't start out in the beginning as complete withdrawal and utter self-absorption. You see some red(ish) flags but you're still navigating the newness of the relationship and you love the person and think, maybe it's me-maybe I need to fix/adjust my own behavior and you try every fucking thing you can think of and nothing changes.
This great post prompts me to add that there is absolutely a learning and experience curve to everything I mentioned in my post. Without doubt! Hindsight really is 20/20, so very often.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #27
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Carrie those were some great thoughts, and it's 100% true that it's just human nature to desire to be coupled.

I should mention that in my case it was an on again/off again thing that went on for years. At one point we did not see each other or speak except for one time. During that time I had three boyfriends, and numerous dates and some (safe!) sexual encounters. If only to myself, I had proof I could find somebody else. In some situations, the person is very manipulative and has a charming, magnetic personality that you believe the person is your "soulmate" or that you are madly in love.

I used to scour the society pages for stories of weddings where the couple had been on and off for years; I was obsessed with stories of couples who had met years ago, each been married/divorced/widowed during the time they knew each other and then they finally got together. Any tale I read about couples breaking up and not seeing each other and then having an unexpected meeting that led them to realize they were *the one* was manna to me. In my case until a few months ago I was so sure we were intended for each other.

Except I was wrong and the person I fell for did not actually exist.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #28
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there seems to be a lot of very sad guys on dims. ...snipped... they find it easy to take up a woman's time without intention even when they know she is actually looking. ...snipped... it makes me wonder of some of them are really attracted at all or its just that they know where to go to get tolerance. is that why so few of them are even willing to date or be in a relationship? is it really about us or just about them? what are your feelings? *rant over*
The taking up time thing...so true. It doesn't happen for me in person so much - because I will rarely hang out with a guy who I'm looking for something romantic and long-term from, if he's not looking for the same thing from me. But I can be guilty of spending WAY too many hours over a period of months chatting with some guy and holding out irrational hope that somehow our love will traverse the continents (I have a soft spot for Indian men, what can I say), instead of doing things that actually nourish my life - like reading, playing music, writing, calling a friend, etc. And sometimes when I want to cut the chat short, because I want to do something more fulfilling, he'll act all sad and beg me to stay, and in the past I would always give in and waste several more hours. But I'm getting better at drawing boundaries with that.

Regarding your last statement, SuperO, I too have wondered if guys who have a lot of social anxiety or trouble relating to women will feel drawn to us because of stereotypes that we are more understanding, or will not call them out on their f-ed up behavior, or are too desperate to care that they can't function in an emotionally healthy way, etc.

But I think it's easy to make this assumption about fat women, because the only experiences most of us have of dating is as fat women...so we can blame things on our fatness that may have nothing to do with it. Lots of other women I know, who aren't fat, have guys act like selfish a**holes with them, or are socially awkward. Is there a higher percentage who try to get with the fat chicks? Eh, I dunno. I'll agree we have a lot - but not sure it's significantly more than other women. Hard to say.

ETA: Just read Carrie's insightful post - and agree that the depth of the dating pool does seem to decrease as size increases, and it does build a feeling of "desperation" that can allow for an overlooking of behaviors in men coming out of that desperate feeling that finding *any* man who will come close to caring about you is like a 4-leafed clover. I'm glad some of us are learning not to let that desperation own us, and working to take care for ourselves.

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:16 AM   #29
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People of all sizes have a responsibility to themselves to decide what is and isn't acceptable treatment, and to act accordingly. If we allow a guy to treat us shabbily more than once - or even once, in a lot of cases - it's on us as individuals. Never mind that ten women before you allowed him to do it. You can't control that, you can't control them or him; you can only control your own values and behavior. You can't blame it on vague "expectations" that FAs have, or on the community or this board or the internets. Whatever a person's expectations are of you, YOU are the person to fulfill or not fulfill them and set them straight. For those of us who do encounter guys who have expectations of our personalities and behavior based on our body shape/size, do you really want to spend a second of your time talking to him? About anything? To me, this is not a person who is in need of education, this is a person who is a fucking moron, regardless of their IQ. Nobody I *want* to know thinks that way.
I didn't quote your entire post but this particular paragraph is very good. It's up to each of us to decide if this is the way we want to be treated. Relationships are a lot of work. I've been in one for almost 11 years and to be honest it gets harder in *some ways*. It's easy to settle into a routine and allow certain behaviors to slip through. Like Casting Pearls mentioned, it doesn't start off with red flags and warning bells. It's subtle and as women (or maybe it's a human being thing) we think it's something we're doing wrong. The hardest thing is being totally honest with yourself.

Each and everyone one of these posts is thought provoking. I'll be going back and repping each one of you ladies (oops I reached my max for the day. I'll get the rest of you soon!)
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:26 AM   #30
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My last boyfriend who I was with for 2 years has a lot of emotional issues. He's not a BHM, but that certainly didn't stop him from laying his issues on me. I've dated guys with emotional issues before, but they've usually become apparent within a few weeks to a month or two, so I end things and move on.

My ex-b/f was better at hiding it. He's a single dad of two young kids, a social worker who is very good at his job, close to his family, and had weathered two awful relationships with two very mixed up women - one of them being his ex-wife. At first, he seemed like a well-rounded person who had been through some bad times and was trying to make the best of it. As our relationship grew and continued, though, the issues started to become apparent.

After about 5 months of dating, he revealed that he suffers from major depression and was taking medication for it. I will say that he kept his depression in check and always kept himself medicated, so I never saw him become imbalanced. But he also suffered from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and that often exacerbated things. Whenever he became anxious about an issue, he would constantly talk about it, sometimes calling me 2 or 3 times a day and repeating his anxieties over and over again. I realized that the act of repetition for him was his way of trying to lessen the anxiety.

I became his therapist, the person he constantly called. It was a long-distance relationship (he lives 300 miles north of me), so a lot of our interactions were on the phone. I got so tired of hearing about his issues about his family, his job and other things going on in his life. He barely left any room for me to talk about my issues, I was so overwhelmed with his. He also claims that he has ADHD, which causes impulse control issues. So sometimes when I'd ask him to give me a breather and give me some time to myself, he'd call me anyway, seemingly unable to control his impulse to pick up the phone.

His impulse control issues also lead him to promise a lot of things that never happened in our relationship. For example, both he and his dad are pilots and know how to fly. His dad owns a small bi-plane, and in our first few weeks of dating, the b/f promised that he'd fly down to see me, instead of doing the 6-7 hour drive one way. But his promise to fly down never happened. After about 5 months of irregular dating, I asked him what happened with that promise and that's when he revealed his major depression and told me that the medication he takes is considered to be a psychotropic med by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), so he actually hadn't been able to renew his pilot's license in over a year. He knew this when he first told me about flying down to see me, but his impulses apparently got the better of him, leading him to promise something he knew he couldn't make a reality. And that was just one of many times he made such promises.

I finally ended things last December, unable to play therapist or deal with his issues any longer. As _LillyBBBW_ wrote, I could see the relationship stagnating and he wasn't growing or changing in positive ways. Neither was I, for that matter, allowing myself to stay in the relationship. And I could see that it had the possibility of becoming toxic, with his constant tendency to impulsively reach out to me and try to pull me back in, and I couldn't allow it to continue.

I've long been aware of my tendency to want to fix things, particularly people. I always feel like "I know better," "I can show you how to do things better." My pedantic streak is wide (among many other wide things about me), and I've long recognized that tendency in myself. That's why I went into education 10 years ago, to find a healthier outlet for that desire. I try not to let it get me into relationships where that becomes the sole focus, the thing that keeps us together. And that's what was happening with the ex-b/f. He was using me up and I was allowing it to continue, thinking that at some point he'd learn to make better choices. I'm glad I finally found the strength to end things and move on before things became more unhealthy.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #31
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I wonder if as BBWs or as women in general that we analyze and come to-- if not accept our perceived flaws, foibles and imperfections, then at least come to terms with them or are working towards that-- that it attracts the type of person who believes in the stereotypes and thinks we would be much more tolerant of their own quirks or self-professed preferences. And to clarify preferences I'm not referring to liking big boobs, BBWs, or intellectuals, I'm referring to using the word as a very broad term they themselves use to identify things they are afraid less tolerant people would understand.

(sincere apologies and aspirin for extreme run-on sentence)
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:13 PM   #32
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I wonder if as BBWs or as women in general that we analyze and come to-- if not accept our perceived flaws, foibles and imperfections, then at least come to terms with them or are working towards that-- that it attracts the type of person who believes in the stereotypes and thinks we would be much more tolerant of their own quirks or self-professed preferences. And to clarify preferences I'm not referring to liking big boobs, BBWs, or intellectuals, I'm referring to using the word as a very broad term they themselves use to identify things they are afraid less tolerant people would understand.

(sincere apologies and aspirin for extreme run-on sentence)
That's possible, though I've encountered that very few times in my experiences. People like that are usually very easy to spot. It's like the bandit in the striped shirt and black eye-mask. Dead giveaway. I hate to sound like I'm glossing things over but I find that illness and toxic behavior is not mutually exclusive to FAs or even men. It crosses all barriers and boundaries and can happen to anyone. Maybe the likelyhood of putting up with it from a partner can increase because of cultural or environmental complications but I don't think it makes BBWs targets moreso than doe eyed size 8 blondes. People will say anything to hold on to or control the object of their desire, whoever it is. I was joking not too long ago with another Dimmer about how flabbergasted we were at some common tactics that some men use to lie or manipulate to get what they want. When comparing notes we found the tactics were so common we wondered if there was a special school out there somewhere that teaches men how to do this.

[insert obligatory statement about how women are also capable of the same kinds of things]
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:14 PM   #33
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Just picking a few things out here that struck me while reading these posts...

On one hand, I want to be a generally understanding, forgiving person. On the other hand, certain things should just not be tolerated. On one hand, I don't want to be anyone's mama, but on the other hand I can see that sometimes people *don't* know better or just have never put 2+2 together the way someone objective can.

I dunno... I want to be careful not to project my preferences on someone else... but the closer they get to me, the more important it is that I can trust them for what I need as well. If a guy says to me that he believes in open relationships, okay, fine... he can be my friend so long as it stays at that level, but I'm not going to participate either as the primary relationship or any of the additional relationships.

So, is it my responsibility to fix people? No. A lot of stuff is not to be fixed, as it's just a matter of preference.

However, sometimes the most loving thing to do is give someone a reality check, tell them of their assholery, even if it means they stop talking to you. If I see someone destroying their own life or relationships or people I love [including myself], and I don't speak up, then I'm helping them perpetuate the cycle. Sometimes people truly are clueless as to how they come across. If they want to change, they can take my words to heart. If they like living how they live, fine. But it's heartbreaking when you see someone doing the relational equivalent of never brushing their teeth and then wondering why no one ever wants to talk to them at a party, you know?

The one thing I can control is saying, "Hey, if you want to be in this relationship with me, friendship or otherwise, this is something I *must* have from you. If I don't get it, then I can love you to pieces... from a distance." They can choose, then, to get on board or not. Of course, fair game says that they may need things from me that I may not be willing to or cannot give. And I'll have to live with that, too.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:21 PM   #34
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But I think it's easy to make this assumption about fat women, because the only experiences most of us have of dating is as fat women...so we can blame things on our fatness that may have nothing to do with it. Lots of other women I know, who aren't fat, have guys act like selfish a**holes with them, or are socially awkward. Is there a higher percentage who try to get with the fat chicks? Eh, I dunno. I'll agree we have a lot - but not sure it's significantly more than other women. Hard to say.
YES. The thing about scrutinizing fat people/(F)FA interactions the way we often do around here is I really have to wonder how healthy it is. Does it make us even more distant and disenfranchised from average sized people, when we view the dating world and relationships between us as such a unique experience? I worry about that. It feels like we are granting a great deal of power, emotional and otherwise, to the almighty FA, when really, he's just a dude like any other that finds (some) fat people attractive. He's not a magic bullet for happiness, he's not a puppy that requires training, he's just. a. guy. And we're just women who happen to be fat. Nothing really that newsworthy going on there.

The first NAAFA convention I went to, I was pretty green in the SA/FA world. I remember sitting there during a fat sex workshop where the topic was oral sex and a few women were saying they didn't care for it because of how vulnerable and exposed it made them feel, and I thought, "That's not specific to fat sex, though, a lot of women feel that way." I have to say, I have the same reaction to a fair amount of the dating/relationship topics we have around here. And that's not to say they're not worthy of discussion, not at all - I just really don't know if we're doing a disservice to ourselves by attributing so much of our lovelife-oriented interactions to teh fatness.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #35
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Except I was wrong and the person I fell for did not actually exist.
This is the worst. I've been there, too.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:51 PM   #36
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THIS

I devoted 8 years of my life to a man who withheld physical affection and I barely noticed for the first five years because I was beset by tragedy after tragedy, deaths and their fallout, family crisis, work drama, etc. ad nauseum and it wasn't until I got deathly ill and was flat on my back for nearly two years that I woke up as from a dream and said WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

To the people who say, how could you have let this happen or lived with it--I'll tell you...it doesn't start out in the beginning as complete withdrawal and utter self-absorption. You see some red(ish) flags but you're still navigating the newness of the relationship and you love the person and think, maybe it's me-maybe I need to fix/adjust my own behavior and you try every fucking thing you can think of and nothing changes. They will do anything to avoid conflict so they'll promise you the world OR spitefully punish you for (or accuse you of) not being sensitive to THEIR issues. Your issues to them are non-existant because they build more walls of issues so they will never be emotionally available to tend to YOUR needs or requests. And your requests and needs are NEVER that--they're demands from a nagging bitch because you're at your wits end and are desperate to be heard and hate how far it's gone and can this wreck be salvaged. And you grieve because you know it can't.

The promises are never ever fulfilled unless it's an occasional grand gesture which is somehow supposed to miraculously make up for years of wondering WTF exactly YOU did wrong and if you're distracted or lack the stamina (due to illness) or focus you don't see your self-esteem being steadily chipped away day by fucking day until you're sitting there crying so hard you feel like you've been physically beaten and are ASHAMED how you USED to be so independent, you USED to be so confident, you USED to never take shit from anyone and now you're being spoonfed it on a daily basis because you love him and believe in your promises and vows even if he never EVER believed in them or intended to keep them himself.

I hold no grudges against anyone who doesn't understand. You will never know unless you're in it. Your own entire family may be fooled, as is mine. I'm the villain. I'm told to make him happy, keep my mouth shut, I could lose the house. FUCK THE HOUSE! Not at the expense of my mind, my happiness, my well-being--everything that screams in me GET THE FUCK OUT. I can't even leave until I have enough resources to do it but I'm actively working on it. I used to not be able to imagine a life without him. Now, I can't imagine a life with him but without love. I'd rather a life without him with peace of mind, even if that means the only love in my life is mine for myself.
I understand what you are saying. Boy, do I understand!! And, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. But, I'm hear for you if you need a friend and you need to talk. *hugs*
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:08 PM   #37
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No, I don't think it's killing me because I've always had a very low tolerance for bullshit. That and I'm a fast learner. Years and years ago I dealt with a woman who would tell lies upon lies, was very manipulative (would try to shame me into keeping her company with sob stories about how she loved me so much and couldn't bear to be without me and how she would self harm because she was so unhappy, yada, yada ). Eventually one day I had enough and I proceeded to rip her a new one - called her on some very hard truths and decided she had to go! Especially before I allowed her to ruin what was good/right with me. I truly felt ill when she was in my life, like she was a major drain on my well being and a complete hinderance in my ability to thrive.

I have to say, dropping her ass like a bad habit has been the best thing for me. Occasionally she'll try to get back in touch, but I know that's out of desperation and being pathetic and there's not anything I can or want to do for her. So, she's on my permanent ignore list. Works well for me.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #38
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Power imbalance in a relationship can be a grueling thing to be a part of, and it affects more than just the two involved, if they have children. I grew up watching my father treat my mother as nothing more than a glorified servant. She would sometimes beg him to love her. I hated HER for that. I didnít know any better Ė to me, she was the weak one, and I despised that weakness. Iíve come to understand that she had some very difficult obstacles, not the least of which was no marketable skills and 5 children to raise. But when she did go back to work, and later to school, and later still to a job that paid her very well, she STILL couldnít leave him Ė not for very long, anyway. Theyíve been married and divorced Ė to each other Ė three times. That wasnít a lot of fun to experience, growing up. The constant turmoil, upheaval, the refusal on both sides to just cut their losses and move on. I grew up believing that dependence on a man was a loathsome quality. That has both served me well and hindered me, as I have a very difficult time with expressing vulnerability and asking for help. But I still donít understand what allows a person to subjugate him/herself to another. Iíd rather starve than be dependent. Iíd rather cry every night, alone, than spend one minute with someone who didnít treat me well. Iím not pretending that Iím the picture of stellar emotional health Ė I have a bit too much of the ďcut off my own nose to spite my faceĒ in me, for starters. My two sisters are exactly the same way. My youngest brother is very like our father and, not surprisingly, married a woman who is just like good old mom. His kids get to watch the never-ending cycle of momís dependence and dadís emotional cruelty.

I donít know what held my mother back from just leaving him for good, after she gained a measurable degree of financial independence, and her children were grown up. He needed her, that was clear. But he didnít respect her, and he didnít love her, and that was also clear. I think that there was a part of her that thrived on the emotional chaos. I often wonder if this is also the case with women who stay with men who clearly do not love or value them. I think that my mother spent her entire life trying , in vain, to make her FATHER love her. She found an emotionally distant man who withheld love and affection in the same unhappy yet predictable pattern that sheíd established with her father. Not only did she fail at that, she raised 5 children who respected her as little as her husband did. It is what we were taught, in myriad ways, both subtly and overtly.
This has been my situation, my whole life. Reliving the relationship with my family through other relationships. I know my subconcious believed (but not anymore) the more I do, the more I give, the more love I show for my family or others they will come to love me and accept me, even though they have rejected me countless times.
But now, I'm like, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it! I'm tired! I've been unloved for so long that it doesn't even bother me anymore. Well, it only bothers me a little, but not enough to go through that same emotional hell, anymore. But, I'm pretty sure some other subconcious, emotional fucked up-ness has taken it's place, like will I ever be able to build connections with others, again? With people who want to be with me? The thing is I'm not sure if they are really serious about wanting me to be in their lives. People are tricky. And, I never, ever again want to go through so much emotional hell of not being able to let go and trying to get them to love me, if they are not really serious.

I'm so sorry you had to grow up living through this hell and still are dealing with it effects. *hugs* I know what you are going through.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:22 PM   #39
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No, I don't think it's killing me because I've always had a very low tolerance for bullshit. That and I'm a fast learner. Years and years ago I dealt with a woman who would tell lies upon lies, was very manipulative (would try to shame me into keeping her company with sob stories about how she loved me so much and couldn't bear to be without me and how she would self harm because she was so unhappy, yada, yada ). Eventually one day I had enough and I proceeded to rip her a new one - called her on some very hard truths and decided she had to go! Especially before I allowed her to ruin what was good/right with me. I truly felt ill when she was in my life, like she was a major drain on my well being and a complete hinderance in my ability to thrive.
I have to say, dropping her ass like a bad habit has been the best thing for me. Occasionally she'll try to get back in touch, but I know that's out of desperation and being pathetic and there's not anything I can or want to do for her. So, she's on my permanent ignore list. Works well for me.
I can relate to this, also. Right now, I feel deathly ill around my family. Like I'm literally ready to be put in the grave. Hopefully, I can hold out until next summer that is when I'm making my big move back home to Florida. And as of now, I just don't have any contact with my sister. She lives right next door, but I'm not trying to have any contact with her. I'm done with her and my nieces and nephews. Which a lot of that is a whole different story.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #40
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This is the worst. I've been there, too.
I've been there millions of times!!! LOL
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #41
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YES. The thing about scrutinizing fat people/(F)FA interactions the way we often do around here is I really have to wonder how healthy it is. Does it make us even more distant and disenfranchised from average sized people, when we view the dating world and relationships between us as such a unique experience? I worry about that. It feels like we are granting a great deal of power, emotional and otherwise, to the almighty FA, when really, he's just a dude like any other that finds (some) fat people attractive. He's not a magic bullet for happiness, he's not a puppy that requires training, he's just. a. guy. And we're just women who happen to be fat. Nothing really that newsworthy going on there.

The first NAAFA convention I went to, I was pretty green in the SA/FA world. I remember sitting there during a fat sex workshop where the topic was oral sex and a few women were saying they didn't care for it because of how vulnerable and exposed it made them feel, and I thought, "That's not specific to fat sex, though, a lot of women feel that way." I have to say, I have the same reaction to a fair amount of the dating/relationship topics we have around here. And that's not to say they're not worthy of discussion, not at all - I just really don't know if we're doing a disservice to ourselves by attributing so much of our lovelife-oriented interactions to teh fatness.
YOU ARE RIGHT!! Most of these things I was going through with lovers was when I weighed 130 lbs. So, society is truly fucked and telling a damn lie when they say we'll have a better social life when we're thin, because no one treats thin people any better. It all has to do with who we chose to have relationships with, what we chose to deal with. Some people have the ability to chose better relationships and kick bullshit to the curb a lot quicker, doesn't matter what size or what they look like.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:34 PM   #42
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I can relate to this, also. Right now, I feel deathly ill around my family. Like I'm literally ready to be put in the grave. Hopefully, I can hold out until next summer that is when I'm making my big move back home to Florida. And as of now, I just don't have any contact with my sister. She lives right next door, but I'm not trying to have any contact with her. I'm done with her and my nieces and nephews. Which a lot of that is a whole different story.
Some members of my family literally make me sick. Sometimes when I absolutely can't avoid them I am sick for days. I tell myself, it's only for a few hours or a day but the toxicity is so horrible that it contaminates everything. I asked one, are you capable of saying one nice thing about or to me and he wouldn't. I was hurt but not surprised; He won't say anything nice about anyone.

Another, an uncle who tried to molest me when I was a child on several occasions --after my mother died he was the only one of her siblings left and I wanted to have some semblance of a familial relationship I asked him if we could let bygones be bygones. He said no. He refused to supposedly forgive me for some imagined slight when I had forgiven him for heinous behavior and turned me away. Good riddance.

God bless anyone who has good supportive family. Most of the good ones in mine have passed over.
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