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"Tell Me About Your Father?" GingerSnap burning around the edges!


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Guest GingerSnap

OK, I have patiently listened to my husband's counselor and, well, let's just say others with this "Tell me about your father." I guess this is Freud? This is making me darn glad to be "the mother" but no one asks about the mother. I have seen the relationship with the father blamed for every possible issue that someone might have in their life. Now, I know that isn't right. I do not believe a male suffers sexual problems because he wasn't close to his father. I do not believe that men have sex with other men because they didn't have a good relationship with their father. I, also, do not believe that gays/lesbians are "made" because of some failure in some parental relationship thus one's choice of a sexual or long term relationship partner. This does not compute and to me is a silly theory. Almost all of these "theories" come from looking at a small percentage of the population. You can talk someone anxious for answers into about anything. So, "Tell me about your father." Oh heck, just let me get out my crystal ball and save us both some time. Studies have shown....Yeah, I know. ***Upon thinking about this, I realized that Freud's theory may just be outdated due to the fact that it used to be that the dominant person in a relationship was the father but that just isn't necessarily the case now. So, perhaps the child most close to the dominant parent stands strong and able to take on the world and its problems and the child most close to the submissive parent is less strong and less able to take on the world and its problems? But, then again, say it is in the biological makeup of a child and from the get go, those biological forces cause that child to seek out the favor of the more or less dominant parent or maybe other kids, baby sitters, television, the internet, one of a million other variables or a combination actually cause a person to be the way that they are.

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hi cathy,

Bit confussed, today but. therapists do say "Tell me about your mother" aswell.

infact when I ever meet a therapist its usually one of the first things they ask. But maybe I have just misunderstood this post.

I thought they only asked about my parents coz well,, no matter who you are, your parents have a big influence over your life as you grow into the world. And in many ways they can and do influence the person you become.

Sorry, think ive just got it wrong.

take care

sue

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I don't think it's so much about assessing blame to anyone. I think it's about understanding oneself and one has to look at past relationships to know where one stands today. Early relationships play a vital part in molding the person we are today. So examining and understanding what happened in the past can help you make positives gains in the present. I think the key is being able to take a long, hard look at it and see what can be learned. I don't think it's about judging. It's about learning. It's fascinating in its own way.

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When my son way being assessed by a psychiatric team it was me the mother who was asked to come in for the initial 1 hr consultation. The subsequent report stated details of my demeanor at the meeting. I had asked if they wanted to see my husband as well, but was told that it was not necessary.

I come from a family of 10 children, all brought up the same way. There are 10 different personalities, I firmly believe that the individual personality traits goes a long way to shaping that person.

I have found the same with my 3 children, same parenting, different personality traits.

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I've wondered some about that myself, Goose, and find it interesting. I think the formation of personality is really complex. I do believe that some people are more susceptible to certain traits, such as shyness, and that genetics do play some role in that. But I also believe that all relationships within the family are unique in their own right even when the parents are the same. So I don't feel that the parenting can be exactly the same with different children. So perhaps if something such as a tendency toward shyness is responded to in a certain manner it might effect the development of it to a lesser or greater extent. I have 3 children...2 are outgoing and one is painfully shy to the extreme. So perhaps she was more susceptible to my anxiety than the other two or I was more susceptible to being overprotective with her. It's very complex...

When looking at my own behaviors within relationships, though, I've found that just about everything can be traced back to how I learned to relate and cope within my family unit growing up. That's why it was so interesting looking at my behaviors within my relationship with my therapist. It was a blueprint of sorts of me. I did all of the very same things with him that I do with others. And much of it stemmed from how I developed within my family relationships. Kind of cool really the way humans are a sum of all their experiences.

I just wanted to add that what I've written are just my theories and thoughts about this and are not meant to downplay anyone else's beliefs about the matter. This is a very interesting discussion.

Edited by IrmaJean
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Guest GingerSnap

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Yes, my ex-husband's family had 10 children also and what a variety of personalities. Also, our younger son is adopted so I can speak on what genetics plays in that too. I have known so many people in depth and it has been so interesting. I feel lucky to have known so many people, so many types of people. But, Julian P.: Now maybe I don't get my opinions from a textbook but "It was for the benefit of any readers who may get tripped up by the personal assessment in your post which is based on the very self protectiveness and resistance to change that I speak of. - My "personal assessment" - so, for us plain, not so educated people does that mean "my opinion"? Do you feel that I trip people up with my "personal assessments"? If you feel that way, I suggest that you talk with Mark and have my membership terminated. I am not sure what kind of "expert" you consider yourself in making an evaluation of me personally versus a theory such as "Tell Me About Your Father" or just saying you don't agree with me rather than making a personal judgment about me, ref: "observed that your position in general is extraordinarily self-protective and reflects a resistance to change, which you are perfectly entitled to and which undoubtedly serves its purpose." I have an evaluation of you too!:eek:

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Guest GingerSnap

Existindeath: I sure didn't know all that about Freud. Never took much interest in psychology except for the course in 10th grade, long ago and far away. ***Julian P.: No, I don't consider myself uneducated, actually I was one of the "smart kids" and always picked things up easily, never had to study, need constant "input" and learning, and have some degree of photographic memory. I have always had a lot of contact with all different types of people, attach to them easily, have moved every 2 to 3 years over the last 35. I hold core values and God is number 1 in my life and am not open to a lot of "new" theory and have no intention of "changing" myself. I'm high on life! Mania perhaps? It works for me and I have no problem finding other people to share in my positive, upbeat and genuine concern for others based on the Golden Rule. I have had a wonderful life filled with so many people, places, wonder and just wish I could bottle that and give it to others and sure there have been "speed bumps" but I kept on moving. Overall I feel very blessed. Cathy

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Existenceindeath, JP and Gingersnap,

1. I guess its the teacher in that causes me to want to make corrections if facts are wrong or mistaken. Sorry. Existenceindeath, Freud, today, is not held in high esteem even though I believe he should be for what he gave us. Anyway, I want to correct the factual record about Freud:

Freud: He was a medical doctor, in fact, he was a neurologist. As such, he was studying ways to make surgery pain free. That is where cocaine came in and he did experiment on himself. Before he switched to psychiatry, he came very close to discovering modern anesthesia. Others got the credit for something he discovered. He switched to psychiatry because, as a Jew in Austria, he was discriminated against and could not make a living. He stopped his self experiments with cocaine and never went back to it at all. His work in psychoanaysis was done in a state of complete sobriety. He may have been many things: arrogant, etc, but he was not addicted and did not use cocaine except for that brief period of time.

2. Something is brewing between Ginger and JP. I do not know what but I sense that something in the way of tension and misunderstanding is happening. Perhaps this could be clarified?

Gingersnap and JP, what is happening?

Allan

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Guest GingerSnap

A. Schwartz: Basically this "Tell me about your father", well, after this thread:http://community.mentalhelp.net/showthread.php?t=2654, I just had to inquire about it. :confused: Julian P. and I don't agree on anything in my opinion which is fine but as you can see by his answer where he "evaluates" me and my "personal assessments" that he feels it necessary to constantly reinforce his opinions over mine so I don't lead the masses into destruction. So, now that he has assessed me as "extraordinarily self-protective and reflects a resistance to change"...well, that didn't help matters any. It's great that he is here trying to help and showing compassion to others and when brainstorming an issue, you can't get too many opinions, assessments, etc. Oh, and I left off stubborn and determined in my "assessment" of myself.;)

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Yes, I agree that therapists asking about one's father/mother/parents is mainly to assess what their personalities might have been like/family culture, that sort of thing. Not to demonize or blame anyone, or at least not in the case of a good therapist!!

Okay, I'll tell you about my father! ^_~

My father was a negative sullen creature who seemed to hate life most of the time. He was also in a lot of physical pain and had to work all day standing on his feet. With his handicap he was always in pain. His negativity no doubt stopped him from seeking work where he might have been able to sit down or something... at least that's my theory as an adult.

In any case as a child I didn't know or understand any of it, and he took out a lot of his pain and frustration on us kids. He wanted to be left alone. Of course we blamed ourselves, kids always do.

As an adult I forgive him though. I don't blame him for my problems, but I do know that his negativity and the fact that he was withdrawn contributed to my own negativity and sense of rejection. Knowing where my own negativity and self-hatred comes from helps me a great deal.

I'm a parent too, and I know I won't escape criticism, I get a lot now as it is! But that's life and the whole goal is to become a better, more self-aware person.

Good luck with the therapy!

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