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Family Difficulties
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July 12, 2011
1:17 am
vampyremage
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I am interested to know if anyone has had any similar experiences and, if so, how they've dealt with them.

 

First, a little background from myself.  I am 26 years old and, aside from a few months about 2 years ago, have been living on my own away from my father since I was 19.  I began getting modded a few months before I moved away from home, my first mod being a dragon tattoo on my back.  This first tattoo I hid from my father for years, long after I was out of the house and long after he was actually aware of the fact that I was getting tattooed and pierced.  Its not something I'm terribly proud of, but I was young (I guess some would say I still am) and it just wasn't my brightest move.  Nevertheless, it has been years since I have hidden my mods from him.  While I won't always say something directly when I get a new mod, I don't actively hide them either. 

 

For the most part my father and I have a pretty good relationship.  We've had our ups and downs of course, as most family units have, but we don't have too many issues, except for one big one, which is my mods.   I have known from the beginning that he disapproved of them and right from the time when I began getting pierced and tattooed it has been an issue.  It seems like every time I come back with another type of mod it results in anger, frustration and hurt from him.  I try to explain what they mean to me and why I feel it is such an important piece of my personal identity, but no matter how I put it, no matter which words I use, he seems incapable of understanding.  He sees it as mutilation and doesn’t understand why I can’t just let it go and stop doing these things to myself.

 

As with many here, I’m sure, modifying my body is of very significant import to me.  I have described it as helping my outer self reflect everything that I feel on the inside.  To date I have quite a few piercings and tattoo and recently got a pair of subdermal horns, which I think are my most significant and meaningful mod to date.  Its not something that I can easily stop and has given me such a sense of self empowerment that I can’t imagine why I should.  Although I have never had any major issues with my body in the past, for the first time my body is finally starting to truly feel like my body, its finally starting to feel how it should feel.  I’m sorry, its something that’s difficult to put into words.  I don’t understand why I should simply “be happy” with the body I was born with.  Why should I accept some random fluke of genetics when I can truly take control of my own body and sculpt it to be everything that I’ve always wanted it to be?  

 

There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the way that I see my body and the way that my father sees my body and, by extension, bodies in general.  Where I see myself taking control of my body in order to change it to the body I’ve always wanted, he sees it as, in some way, buying into some sort of outside influence that has “convinced” me that my body is somehow imperfect and I need to conform it to some more ideal image.  Well, I am changing it to fit a more ideal image but the important thing is that it is MY ideal image and no one else’s.  It is so frustrating for me trying to get across everything that body modification means to me and all the myriad of reasons why I am not going to stop, for him or for anyone else when he simply does not get it, no matter how many different ways I try to explain it, and that hurts me because I want him to understand, at least a little bit, of what it does mean to me. It makes it even worse knowing that he is only reacting the way he does because I know he cares for me and wants the best for me, he just can’t see that this IS what is best for me.

 

Why can’t my personal happiness be enough?  I have built myself a pretty good life, modifications and all.  I have a good job, pay my rent and food without issue, have a handful of spending money and am even starting to get myself a nice little savings. Sure I’ll never be rich, but that’s never been my goal anyway.  I am at such a loss right now about what to do.  Sorry, this was more than a little long and rambling but I’m just wondering if there is anyone out there that has been through similar situations and how those were dealt with or any advice that anyone might be able to offer.

July 28, 2011
12:17 pm
Vamp
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Have you spoken to your father about that? If he is easy to talk to in general I think you should sit down with him and explain it to him as you explained it to us.

My mother took me to get my first piercing but she never expected me to take it further.She sees im responsible enough to live my life normally with my mods and once said to someone she doesnt mind the choices I make in my mods as long as im not out in the street doing drugs etc.She was more worried about the stereotypes I would recieve with having these mods.After awhile she just started liking each new one I got.I think it was kind of funny when I ran into the house one day and showed her my neck tattoo.I thought she was going to flip out but she just shook her head and started laughing when i showed her i was able to wear a button up shirt to hide it when needed. btw where do you work? Im in a hospital now and I been waiting for the day I can modify myself more without worrying bout the workplace having a problem with it.

"the mind is a place of its own and in itself can make a heaven of hell and so forth…"
July 28, 2011
12:18 pm
Vamp
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btw sorry if i have a typos.this computer at work tends to cut off the message box.

"the mind is a place of its own and in itself can make a heaven of hell and so forth…"
July 28, 2011
10:02 pm
vampyremage
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I have definately spoken to my father about this but unfortunately it doesn't seem to help all that much.  He's one of those individuals who is very stubborn and thinks that what he believes and feels must be the "right" way and eveything else is the "wrong" way.  It can be extremely difficult to get through to an individual with that sort of mindset.

 

With that said, I suppose it isn't as bad as it could be.  Although he plainly disapproves and sometimes causes me grief over my body modification decisions, I know that I don't ever have to worry about him disowning me or anything like that, which I know is a very real fear for some.  Misguided though it is, I know the reason he reacts the way he does is because he cares about me.  Sometimes I just wish it was easier to get across the fact that this is my body and my life and I'm doing my best to live it.  What makes one person hapy will not necessarily make another happy and as much as I love my mods, I would never try to force them upon anyone else. 

 

My frustration stems from, in part, the question of why someone who does not have mods should so harshly judge someone who does simply for the mods?  Especially when the opposite is rarely true.

August 4, 2011
12:17 am
gaugingbeauty
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Dear Vamp,

I really think it's a ball of confusion, the non modded have a difficult time understanding how/why we could like/ find beauty in mods. I've had so many friends and fam try to dissuade me from getting things that I want, and saying "it will make you ugly" is the leading reason. If people could simply say what needs n concerns they had, I think the outcome could result in understanding, maybe even appreciation.
But I'm not going to wait for it.

August 5, 2011
10:11 pm
jwestpsk
Arkansas
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My family and co workers are the same way….very close minded.  They just dont understand and look very negatively on any form of body modification.  My wife (who will be a nurse practioner in December), my brother (who is in his third year of radiology residency) and myself (I have masters degree in instrumental conducting) all have tattoos and I want some piercings. 

My coworkers and parents say tattoos and piercings look trashy and unprofessional.  However I disagree, I look at them as artwork, I know the history behind tattoos and piercings, I think a good tattoo is beautiful!

I don't listen to them, they love me for me or not.

August 6, 2011
4:46 am
Oakbear
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I think gaugingbeauty makes a key point, which is that people are often simply expressing concern for someone (you!) they care about.

Most people do not have a clear relationship with their own body, identity or spirituality, let alone all three. These things are rarely given room in Western culture so it's no surprise few will understand these perspectives.

When you also consider that we are causing physical pain to ourselves, run risk or further injury or illness, become visibly an outsider to mainstream culture or unattractive to some with this view, and cause ourselves to be subject to the risk of discrimination and reduced career prospects, is it any wonder that people who care struggle with this behaviour?

I have found that understanding their concerns, and simply accepting that they may not 'get it', whilst explaining how it benefits you helps. Answer questions with patience and compassion, and try an allievate their worst fears with a bit of education.

If they love you hopefully they may understand it's important to you, even if they don't understand why.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
August 6, 2011
12:25 pm
Gillian
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My mom is exactly the same way. In her case, she always assumed I was doing it TO HER instead of FOR MYSELF. I'm almost 25 and started getting pierced with I was 16. It's been a huge problem for the past 9 years and honestly……. it hasn't really gotten better. My mother and I have gotten to a point where we just don't even talk about it anymore. She still tries to pull things over on me though… such as trying to tell me that if I get any more piercings or tattoos, she'll stop helping me pay for school. Or not giving me money that she owes me if she thinks I'm trying to use it on a mod. She still doesn't understand that she doesn't have any right to stop me.

The only thing that has helped us even have a relationship is a conversation where we basically agreed to disagree and not talk about it again. Maybe that will help with your Dad… tell him that you're sorry that he doesn't understand your motivation, but as it's clearly not having a negative impact on your life, you're no longer going to allow it to be a topic of conversation. And if he brings it up, tell him you're not going to talk about it and walk away. It'll be an adjustment… but eventually it will even out a little.

August 8, 2011
7:21 pm
Charm
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I kinda had the same problem with my Dad being against my piercings, coloring my hair and so forth. But I think I am luckier then some in that though he disapproves our family{my Brother, Dad and myself} kinda holds a once and done rule. We fight over it, then we talk it out, eventually its settled and life moves forward. I think most of this is due to the fact my Dad raised us to be smart and to do what was right and made us happy. Its not even a question, I know any time he gets mad at me is out of concern{us kids all do stupid things now and again}. But he also realizes that I am grown up now and I need to live my life; so at the end of the day pierced or not, it doesn't effect my family.

 

Now to take the other side of the equasion my mother{the control freak of our family} flipped out at me many times over how I choose to be.  My half sister once had a eyebrow piercing that my mother ripped out. When I got my tongue pierced she ranted and raved how it was dirty. She disowned me for my 'behavior' when I was 17, then tried to take it back when my father sided with me over her; I told her there was no need.  The disowning is funny because she tried again when I was 21.  When she told me again I told her I was already and besides there was nothing I ever wanted from her, she got mad. I haven't spoken with her for over 4 years now, though she tries to call me on occasion. At the end of the day I am just happier without the drama factor in my life.

 

I guess I ended up with like the yin and yang of parents

"There is nothing quite so thrilling as treading in the darkness on a step that isn't there"
August 11, 2011
12:18 am
DutchessOfNill
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I'm so sorry to hear of the turmoil that is going on between you and your father.  It's always difficult to explain to outsiders what it means to someone who feels deeply about body-mod.

 

I got my first piercing when I was 12 years old.  I had a friend do it when my father was at work and I stayed in my room all night after we had done it to avoid him seeing it and then swiftly ran out the door the next morning to further delay his foreseeable angry reaction reaction.  When he finally saw it, he freaked out.  His reaction was a combination of disbelief that I had gone behind his back and hid it despite his vocal disapproval when I asked him permission to do it prior to taking things into my own hands, and anger that I had 'mutilated' my body.  He concluded that I must be rebelling early, and that it was only a phase.  I was lectured about the importance of respecting my body and how my outward appearance would determine my fate in the future.  Unbeknownst to him, even as a child, I knew that I was meant to be modified.  I was drawn to it, for reasons I have yet to determine, and it has never stopped.  I kept popping up with random piercings, and eventually in my teens a few tattoos and he kept telling me I was disgracing myself and choosing a ill fate for my future.

 

To date I have had dozens of various piercings, 30+ hours of ink on my body in mostly very visible areas, I openly participate in pulls and suspension and he hates it all.  I have come to learn, however that it's not me or my body that is the issue.  In my particular situation my father's issue is that he fears other's will judge him because of the way I look.  He is a business owner in a moderately small, primarily Republican town.  It's not that he is embarrassed by me, I have made him proud in terms of education and choice of occupation, it's that he comes from a different time and different place, and he simply does not understand. Most likely, he will never understand.  But all that really matters is that I do understand.  I know why I do what I do and I know why he is feels the way he does.

 

Over the past 15 or so years we have come to a understanding.  I have sat down and told him that my body belongs to me, and no one can tell what to do with my body.  I explained to him that it is not selfmutilation and we have discussed the art, various cultural significances and symbolism that is involved.  He of course didn't see my point entirely, but agreed that it was my body to do as I please, and we have left it at that.  He occasionally makes comments (mostly about my septum piercing.  He particularly hates that one for some reason.) and I remind him that he's old, balding and turning gray and it has evolved into a game of tit-for-tat that that I actually enjoy now and find rather amusing.

 

I truly hope you and your father can come to a place of peace on the subject as me and mine have, but it takes time, as with all things, and if you both can agree to disagree, it will only make things easier.  Good luck!

August 11, 2011
4:29 pm
vampyremage
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Charm said:

I kinda had the same problem with my Dad being against my piercings, coloring my hair and so forth. But I think I am luckier then some in that though he disapproves our family{my Brother, Dad and myself} kinda holds a once and done rule. We fight over it, then we talk it out, eventually its settled and life moves forward. I think most of this is due to the fact my Dad raised us to be smart and to do what was right and made us happy. Its not even a question, I know any time he gets mad at me is out of concern{us kids all do stupid things now and again}. But he also realizes that I am grown up now and I need to live my life; so at the end of the day pierced or not, it doesn't effect my family.

 

Now to take the other side of the equasion my mother{the control freak of our family} flipped out at me many times over how I choose to be.  My half sister once had a eyebrow piercing that my mother ripped out. When I got my tongue pierced she ranted and raved how it was dirty. She disowned me for my 'behavior' when I was 17, then tried to take it back when my father sided with me over her; I told her there was no need.  The disowning is funny because she tried again when I was 21.  When she told me again I told her I was already and besides there was nothing I ever wanted from her, she got mad. I haven't spoken with her for over 4 years now, though she tries to call me on occasion. At the end of the day I am just happier without the drama factor in my life.

 

I guess I ended up with like the yin and yang of parents


Actually I'm not in much of a different situation, as these things go.  I have found, with my father, that there are things just better off not discussed.  That isn't to say that we have a bad relationship, but there are a few topics (and not really all that many but they do exist) that almost always result in arguments if they are brought up, so usually we just try not to bring them up.

 

This issues that we do have, seem to just sort of crop up a couple times a year, there will be some fighting and then it'll be dropped until the next time its brought up.  I originally posted this thread in one of those times, although things are better now.  I don't think its as bad as it sounds since it usually dies down in not too long, but when it is brought up it does tend to bring stress with it, probably for the both of us.

August 12, 2011
2:33 pm
Skully
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My mom took me to get my first piercing (belly button).

I have been fighting with the way my body looks since I was young. When I get a new piercing and/or tattoo, I feel beautiful. Sadly enough, it only last a month or so.

My mom thinks I looked better without piercings and tattoos, we actually argue about it. It hurts because I dont like arguing about something I love. She knows I wont stop for her. Now that I have being modifing myself for several yrs she has stopped bringing the topic up. Sometimes she can see the new addition but thankfully she doesnt mention them. I always feel like she acts better then me and she doesnt understand.

 

I hope one day everyone that looks down on us, starts to understand!

August 12, 2011
11:28 pm
Charm
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vampyremage said:

Actually I'm not in much of a different situation, as these things go.  I have found, with my father, that there are things just better off not discussed.  That isn't to say that we have a bad relationship, but there are a few topics (and not really all that many but they do exist) that almost always result in arguments if they are brought up, so usually we just try not to bring them up.
 

This issues that we do have, seem to just sort of crop up a couple times a year, there will be some fighting and then it'll be dropped until the next time its brought up.  I originally posted this thread in one of those times, although things are better now.  I don't think its as bad as it sounds since it usually dies down in not too long, but when it is brought up it does tend to bring stress with it, probably for the both of us.


No I mean that though I have gone through the long argument of a pretty
religious father telling me about how piercings are simply a sign of
slavery and tattoos are mostly that and part of the occult{I really got
to admire good old christian values on this, it makes me laugh} And I
was able to give him a less slanted view of history of piercings and
tattoos. Adding in at the end of the day that just because there is an
association doesn't mean that is the reason why I would do it.

That
is in essence the fight we had, its been resolved so in my family there
was no need to speak of it further{the lucky part of not having to hash
up the same fights over and over again}. When I bring up topics of
tattoos or piercings it doesn't start fights, he actually enjoys some of
my stories about the work I have gotten done Such as people realizing I
have a surface nape piercing and people wonder how its connected so I
push on the tygon to make it slide out some {that bothers a lot of
people for some reason}.

 

Riss said:

My mom took me to get my first piercing (belly button).

I have been fighting with the way my body looks since I was young. When I get a new piercing and/or tattoo, I feel beautiful. Sadly enough, it only last a month or so.

My mom thinks I looked better without piercings and tattoos, we actually argue about it. It hurts because I dont like arguing about something I love. She knows I wont stop for her. Now that I have being modifing myself for several yrs she has stopped bringing the topic up. Sometimes she can see the new addition but thankfully she doesnt mention them. I always feel like she acts better then me and she doesnt understand.

 

I hope one day everyone that looks down on us, starts to understand!


I don't know if saying this will matter, but from what you said it seems

like you end up growing unhappy with your mods to a degree. In that it
might be
advisable for you to plan out your mods a little better.  Any changes I
have made over the years I have never regretted, I do find them
beautiful{I think I  love my vertical philtrum the most} But nothing I
have ever done I have ever stopped feeling beautiful from, be it 2 years
or 10. Oddly I even like the scaring on my chest from the 3 surface
bars that I ended up taking out.

Sort of a
worry about quality then the quantity view. I think doing this may help
you in the long run, if that makes logic. @}~;~

"There is nothing quite so thrilling as treading in the darkness on a step that isn't there"
August 16, 2011
4:37 am
Oakbear
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Charm, i don't think you can judge whether or not Riss may regret any mods. I certainly don't read that her reasons are poor or transient.

We get modified for many different reasons.

One of my many reasons is body image, and living in a culture that tells you how to be and what is ideal. By modifying myself i can decide for myself and take control and ownership of my body. That can be a very healing and permenant process in beginning to realise you are beautiful in your own way for yourself.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
August 17, 2011
12:10 am
kreniac1968
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my parents dont approve of my art either.they didnt like it when i had bright pink hair or screaming red hair.they dont complain as much as they used to .my mother did tell me once that if i kept doing things to myself like this , id never find a man who'd love me.i responded  with an "oh well thatd be his loss.if a man cant love me for me then i dont want him"she wasnt happy with that but at least had  the sense not to say more. lol.also they dont like that both of my kids now have ink and lip piercings.

August 17, 2011
8:07 pm
Charm
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Oakbear said:

Charm, i don't think you can judge whether or not Riss may regret any mods. I certainly don't read that her reasons are poor or transient.

We get modified for many different reasons.

One of my many reasons is body image, and living in a culture that tells you how to be and what is ideal. By modifying myself i can decide for myself and take control and ownership of my body. That can be a very healing and permenant process in beginning to realise you are beautiful in your own way for yourself.


As this is the internet and we are not able to properly read tones or
not I may be misreading her words and likewise others may have the same
problem with me. In context or outside this statement is what I wrote on
more then anything:

"When I get a new piercing and/or tattoo, I feel beautiful. Sadly enough, it only last a month or so."

My intent in posting wasn't as a judgment but merely a hypothesis. That
statement leaves me with impression that for Riss something isn't right
at the end of the day. My post was more a question of that statement and
I threw out the thoughts on my mind at the time. As I said in the other
thread people are free to use up the real estate they have. But if she
is feeling like this I didn't think it was in poor taste to suggest
taking a step back and look at the total picture.

If this is not the case then I misread a post on the internet, my bad. I
didn't say that her tattoos are a idle whim or in bad taste. But I know
for myself that the art I want done, I would never really be happy with
it if its not on me right. And that is a very real side to modifying
yourself. I am actually done drafting out the first of the 4 main pieces
I wanted now and I have given it to my friend who can put it out into a
proper tattoo. For me the right artist is just as important as the ink
and the art. I am not saying that anything is indeed right or wrong
that's a personal decision, but I know it never hurts to take count and
focus in your life.

These are my thoughts on the matter, and only Riss can answer back to properly clarify the situation.

"There is nothing quite so thrilling as treading in the darkness on a step that isn't there"
August 18, 2011
4:20 am
Oakbear
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True enough Charm, i may have misread Riss or your posts too, as i read your question as more of a statement. As you say it's for Riss to know, and there's no harm in questioning. I hope i haven't caused any offence.Smile

I'm sure plenty of people will regret their mods, for reasons good and bad, and sometimes the things our parents say might carry some truth or wisdom.

It's the beauty of each individual journey to explore and discover our own truth.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
August 19, 2011
11:49 pm
vampyremage
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After yet another discussion/argument with my father which originated from a comment I made on facebook about stretching my labret (just went from a 14 gauge to a 12 gauge yay), I find myself more frsutrated than ever.  Every single time this comes up, its the same thing over and over again and its both frustrating and hurtful.

 

How do I get across the fact that what I do is not body mutilation or am I in some manner trying to punish my father?  I don't even know what I'd be trying to punish him for even if it was some misguided punishment attempt.  How do I make him see just how important this is to me, to my self identity and to my spiritual identity?  I don't expect him to embrace it in the same way that I do, I just wish he could accept it and drop it.

 

The one thing that causes conflict in our relationship is the one thing that I cannot compromise on.  He takes it as if I don't care about him or hurting him when I choose to modify myself.  How do I make him see that its not about him at all, but about me?  I am not going to make choices about what I do with my body because it bothers someone else, even someone I care about.  I wish it wasn't an issue, but the fact that it is isn't going to make me stop.  I don't understand his point of view and he doesn't understand mine.  Its difficult and frustrating and I just wish there was something more that I could do, something that I could say to make him understand, just a little bit, what it all means to me.

 

Because I have tried to explain, I've tried to explain again and again.  Sometimes it even almost seems like he's starting to get it, but then we have another conversation like the one earlier tonight and we're right back where we started, with his views that I'm mutilating myself, that I must hate myself (despite trying to explain otherwise) and/or that I must somehow hate him and I'm doing this to somehow get back at him.

 

I'm sorry this is kind of long and rambling.  I'm not even really sure what my point of writing all this out is.  I guess just to get out a bit of my frustration and hurt at this whole situation.

August 20, 2011
10:20 am
Charm
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Take 2

OK your father has taken to saying how you are trying to conform to
something and that you will be viewed poorly for it and that it is an
attempt to hurt him by hurting yourself. I would start pulling on its
not so much his beliefs but that he cannot trust the words of his own
daughter. You have no reason to lie to him, and you are being as mature
as you can be with him about this. Make him understand that by
automatically disproving your reasons without bothering to consider your
point that he is calling you a liar, and are unable to make your own
decisions. Ask him if he is proud that you have a stable life and have
your ducks in a row. Use that to show that religion{yours or his} and
conventions{yours or his} aside what you do is having no negative effect
in your business.

Explain that its becoming an issue between the two of you and that you
are not going to stop what you are doing, and that if this problem
continues there is going to be a unsolvable gap between the two of you.
Tell him you realize that he loves you but you also know that parents
are not always right. Let him know what he is doing is hurting you more
then tattoos or piercings ever could.Make it clear to him that if living
how you want to be means getting away from him badgering you about it
then you have to do what will lessen your stress. You can tell him that
your sorry he doesn't understand but refusing to try will not change how
things are. It just makes everything worse, it goes back to the old
saying each man has two wallets. The first he keeps in his front pocket
these contain the faults of others because they are always in front of
him. The second wallet in his back pocket contains his own faults, and
because they are behind him he rarely realizes them. Ask him to look at
his own faults before condemning your actions.

These were some of the things I used to hash out with my Dad.  Hes in
his 60's now and uber Christian{Reading and cross referencing the bible
all the time, not a day goes by without me hearing the phrase "its the
sign of the times"} so I would be lying to say when we had our spat it
was a pure and clean one. It was a good few months total doing a back
and forth argument before we got our resolution. But as I said before I
am lucky that despite these factors we are extremely close and that my
Dad has come to defer to us kids as he has gotten older. Anymore our
only real argument is that "us kids" should put him in a home if he gets
to be a bother and i just strait out tell him No we are not putting him
in a home, and that the only home he is dying in is his. He grumbles
but drops it, he is a stubborn old man but his logic makes me laugh.

For you a lot is going to depend on how good your relationship truly is
with your father. Besides for that your negotiating skills and ability
to patch things up so that there is no bad blood left are going to be
key. If your arguments also always seem to take the same flow try and
make strong counterpoints against his rebuttals. Having down pat what
you really want to get across is key. Talking about your beliefs in
general terms without getting into the deep grit will probably not solve
the problem. Maybe try writing out all you want to say and if the fight
goes bad just hand the book to your dad and tell him if he honestly
cares how you feel as a person to read it.

GL :~}

And Oakbear,

No harm, it would probably help if i actually proper punctuation which I
never truly learned to do. Yaaaah Public American Education System!.
Also as a side note its rare to see me use a question mark; I don't
really like them so unless I am doing up some old school
ascii…….probably not going to use it.

   /\ /\

< ^.^ >

  ( |, |,)?

"There is nothing quite so thrilling as treading in the darkness on a step that isn't there"
August 22, 2011
3:19 am
Oakbear
UK
Minister
Forum Posts: 886
Member Since:
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vampyremage – I wonder if you are still wanting understanding which might not be forthcoming? Many people are not in a place to understand spirituality, let alone a path so unusual in western culture, and have to take their own time.

Just tell him you aren't trying to hurt him, and are sorry if you have. Tell him it's important to you, and you don't hate yourself.

You don't have to explain any more than that, and he doesn't have to believe you. Show him through your actions.

I wonder if any more discussion is causing arguements, and this doesn't sound helpful.

If he wants to know more he can ask in time, when he's ready to talk.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
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