Do I have a legitimate complaint?

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Do I have a legitimate complaint?

Postby SkippyPlanetButter » January 25th, 2018, 6:10 pm

I've always had a huge fear of heights (it might be part of some undiagnosed anxiety, because I get nervous or tense in a lot of situations - but that's another discussion.) Anyway, the fear of heights showed itself at a fairly early age. I think I was five or six when I crawled across a skywalk because being able to see that I was 12-15 feet off the ground terrified me at the time. I've been able to manage it, but it hasn't gone away, of course. I've been afraid of things like high ladders, roller coasters, rocky ledges, etc, pretty consistently throughout my life.

My family obviously knows about my fear, but except for my mother, none of them share it. Something occurred to me a few days ago, though, and it's the reason for this post. I remembered a family trip to a theme park a while back. My father, who loves roller coasters, was trying to persuade me to go on one with him and a few family friends (who were with us.) I didn't want to, because of the fear of heights thing. They eventually went without me, but while they were standing in line and going on the coaster, my mother started trying to convince me to go. I think I remember her saying things like "It would make your father happy" and "We all came to have fun." So, I went on the ride.

Thinking about that now, I'm a bit angry about it, for a couple reasons. Mainly that because I feel like I was pressured into doing something that terrified me, and that my parents knew terrified me. Am I right to feel upset over that? And if so, is it worth raising the issue so long after the fact?
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Re: Do I have a legitimate complaint?

Postby bigeekgirl » January 26th, 2018, 1:40 pm

First of all, Skippy, I love your screen name. I now want peanut butter toast.

What jumps out at me about the roller coaster situation is the "We all came to have fun" because YOU don't have fun on roller coasters. Your parents were disregarding your feelings, especially weird on your mom's part.
I wonder if there is a larger pattern of having your feelings and needs disregarded. I'm guessing yes.
You always have the right to be upset if something upsets you. No justification required.

As for speaking up about it, well, it is an option. It's also an option to simply see the incident with new eyes and be ready to react differently when something similar happens again. I don't think it's "too late" to speak up, assuming your parents are safe people to do that with or, if they aren't, the consequences are worth it to you. That is so personal to your situation, ya know? For me, when I lived with my parents (or my ex-husband), it was never a good idea to bring up something bothering me. It would only lead to more of why I was wrong in the first place. Now, I have healthier people in my life who listen when I share my concerns and do what they can to make it better.
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Re: Do I have a legitimate complaint?

Postby SkippyPlanetButter » January 28th, 2018, 11:52 am

Hi bigeekgirl,

I've been meaning to reply all weekend, but got wrapped up in other things until now. I thought about your post a bit, and yeah, there is a bigger trend of having my needs/feelings - I don't know if "ignored" is the right word. Maybe minimized or downplayed, as if they weren't as significant as I made them out to be. Kind of like, "you're overreacting." Some of that, I think, comes from my family being a traditional "old-world patriarchal" mentality: the husband/father was the head of the household, etc etc.

I don't think I'll bring up the past, because it was so many years ago; however, I will make an effort to react differently in the future.

I'm glad you have surrounded yourself with healthier people. I'm making an effort to do that too: focusing on the people who I care about and who care about me, and gradually severing ties with the ones who don't.
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Re: Do I have a legitimate complaint?

Postby bigeekgirl » January 29th, 2018, 6:11 am

Seeing the patterns is the first step to healing.
Good luck in your journey.
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