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choralcrusader8613

Safe at Home 2: The Continuing Adventures of The Arndts

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Million Children For Jesus

@Red Hair, Black Dress

Sabotage.

They used to work. My mom would call their supervisors at work when she was "worried" about them. (When they wouldn't talk to her.) My mom basically humiliated them into not working. 

I can see why the Arndts work for the family business. It's safer. They can monitor their mom and not worry about being humiliated in public. Going back to the comment upthread about Cathy being a snappy tyrant. I completely believe that. That's a compelling reason to isolate. 

As far as education...

Somehow, nearly everyone on both sides of my family went to college, except my mom and my aunt. One of my mom's brothers is a doctor, and all of his kids have, or are working on, advanced degrees. (The Arndts also have normal cousins.)

My boy cousins were told they couldn't afford college, and since they have profound cases of scarcity mindset, they will forever believe this is true. (The Arndts probably have scarcity mindset as well.)

At the same time, my cousins have passports and travel together. Yet, they're convinced they can't afford to move out or go to school. I know. It doesn't make sense. Although... who doesn't love vacation? I guess one of the perks of not having kids and living at home (although they financially contribute), is having extra money for vacation. That isn't terrible. 

I think going back to school in your 40's is worth it, but not everybody will agree with me, and I think all of my cousins are afraid of the evil student loan. 

I really don't know the backstory on why my brothers didn't go to college. I know my dad would have never paid for it, even though he could afford it, and my parents wouldn't have been supportive, but lots of people have those circumstances and still go. Both of my parents are opposed to educating women, but I don't think they're against educating men. I could be wrong. Most likely, my mom just wouldn't want them to be educated or to succeed at anything because then they could leave. My brothers were showing signs of emotional shutdown while they were still in high school, so possibly they didn't have the resolve to fight for an education. Maybe they didn't want one? I never asked.

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Million Children For Jesus
5 hours ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

And I have to ask this -- are you from the South? Because seriously this sounds so much like the crazy things that happen in southern towns.

Not from the South, but I recently watched a reality tv show based in Charleston called Southern Charm and thought... I would like it there. Have you seen it? One woman has a butler. She's basically my spirit animal. I've always wanted a butler. She didn't want to make her own Manhattan when the butler was on vacation and I felt her pain. My ex-husband made all of my cocktails. After my divorce, I never had another cocktail because nobody brought me one and making my own feels sad and tacky. I don't want to get married again just to get a drink. That's why I need a butler. Somewhere in the South, I sense there are people who will agree with this logic. 

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Flossie

I saw a TV show years ago that had an episode where a young man (mid 20's maybe) had lived with his mother all his life.  He went to work and came home.  If he ever wanted to do something that she didn't like, she'd go put her head in the oven and turn on the gas, moaning about his ingratitude and how upset she was.  One day he met a girl and the relationship went well at first, mostly I think because he hid it from his mom.  But she eventually found out and pressured the guy to end things with the girl.  By the end of the episode, the show's protagonist (Michael Landon, I think) gave the young man some good advice and he renewed his relationship with the girl.  In the last scene he told his mother that he was getting married and left as she was putting her head in the oven.  When he didn't change his mind and return, she reached up and turned off the gas, sighing "Oh well."

The point is, I wonder what kind of theatrics, threats, and guilt-trips these real life parents use to keep their kids right where they want them.  Religion is key for a lot of them, but I always feel there's more to it than that.

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Million Children For Jesus
4 hours ago, Flossie said:

The point is, I wonder what kind of theatrics, threats, and guilt-trips these real life parents use to keep their kids right where they want them.  Religion is key for a lot of them, but I always feel there's more to it than that.

A lot of theatrics. An endless stream. 

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nastyhobbitses
4 hours ago, Flossie said:

I saw a TV show years ago that had an episode where a young man (mid 20's maybe) had lived with his mother all his life.  He went to work and came home.  If he ever wanted to do something that she didn't like, she'd go put her head in the oven and turn on the gas, moaning about his ingratitude and how upset she was.  One day he met a girl and the relationship went well at first, mostly I think because he hid it from his mom.  But she eventually found out and pressured the guy to end things with the girl.  By the end of the episode, the show's protagonist (Michael Landon, I think) gave the young man some good advice and he renewed his relationship with the girl.  In the last scene he told his mother that he was getting married and left as she was putting her head in the oven.  When he didn't change his mind and return, she reached up and turned off the gas, sighing "Oh well."

The point is, I wonder what kind of theatrics, threats, and guilt-trips these real life parents use to keep their kids right where they want them.  Religion is key for a lot of them, but I always feel there's more to it than that.

If you read the subreddit Just No MIL, there's a LOT to it. Control, mostly. Your children are basically at your mercy for 18+ years, and some people don't like the idea of losing that incredibly tight control. I think for others, especially in these sorts of mother-son relationships like you described in that show, a mother might start making her emotional relationship with her son more like a husband-wife dynamic (emotional incest), and feel that her son is "abandoning" or "cheating" on her by living independently and dating/marrying another woman. Again, it's all about control and power.

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Red Hair, Black Dress

This is a long story.

Parents can do a lot of things to eff up and control their children. The problem is when they do it on purpose and enjoy the havoc they create.

 I personally know of 2 women who kept their daughters completely under their thumbs. One was a friend of my mother who made her daughter her companion and BFF.  The husband traveled a lot for work and the oldest child -- a boy -- was about 11 years older than "Jane" the daughter.  Jane and the mom went everywhere together.

During high school Jane was not allowed to date - ever, or to go out in groups of friends that included boys. The mom could be pretty ruthless about running off anyone interested in Jane -- all the while being so sweet and nice about it -- just pointing out why so and so was unsuitable for her precious girl.

Jane went to the local all girl college while living at home.  She continued living at home after graduation and getting a job,  She was still forbidden to date, because mom got so anxious when she was alone. The stress was likely to bring on her heart palpitation and angina attackss.  Jane had to include her mom on any outings with her girlfriends because of that. Time marches on. Girlfriends got married, had families, etc. so it became just Jane and the mom,  The dad died right after he retired and of course the mom ramped up the 'oh woe now I'm all alone' -- so Jane continued to live at home.

This went on and on and on for years.  Eventually the mom developed Alzheimer's so Jane's life shrunk to work and then going home to relieve the day nurse and take care of mom. Everyone thought this was so, so wonderful. What a devoted daughter.  They could only hope that their daughters would be so loving and devoted.

The mom lingered for 10 or so years and finally died.  Now Jane is a woman facing retirement -- no friends, no family (brother married and moved away), never been on a date, never been kissed, probably never even held hands. She is still living in the family home.

Did I mention that up until Jane was about 40 or so everyone thought it was so sweet that she was so devoted to her mom. After that people began to wonder, but figured that Jane was just one of those unfortunate women who are born spinsters. Now that the mom is dead the consensus is that poor Jane is getting a little odd as she just doesn't know what to do with herself after being "so devoted" to her mother all those years.

The other woman I know of (my mother's BFF's MIL) did pretty much the same thing to her daughter. The difference was they were really rich and MIL used the daughter as her traveling companion so the poor girl didn't even have a job to escape to.  The daughter finally married at 47 after her mother died.  She had a secret boyfriend for about the last 2 years of her mom's life. I think they were married within 2 months of the mom's death -- right after the will was probated.  The daughter's revenge was that she opened an antique shop with all the antiques her mother had carefully collected during the years and years of their travels together.

 

Edited by Red Hair, Black Dress

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Million Children For Jesus
2 hours ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

The dad died right after he retired

My dad still works. He has tried to retire, but staying home with my mom makes him physically sick. Literally. His blood pressure goes up to dangerous levels, so he has to go back to work. 

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Happy
PennySycamore

@Million Children For Jesus,  so you're a Southern Charm fan too? It is a Southern train wreck!  I think the new season starts this week.

Patricia may not be on the upcoming season quite as much as she has been in the past, because Whitley is no longer a member of the main cast.  He's in the recurring cast.  Patricia and Cameran are my favorites though.  They're straight shooters and tell it like it is.  I love Patricia's stove too!  It's my dream stove.  

@Flossie, the mom sticking her head into the oven was also part of the plot of the musical Bye Bye Birdie.  Albert's mother threatens Albert like that when he seems to get serious about his girlfriend Rosie.  Finally she meets a nice widower and everything is ok.

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Million Children For Jesus

@PennySycamore Cameran is really personable and poised, but I had nothing but snark for her when she didn't know how to prepare for, or host, a dinner party. I don't mess around when it comes to entertaining. I'm no Patricia, but... #lifegoals 

I was shocked that Kathryn came from such a prominent family. Her behavior is so uncouth! 

Edited by Million Children For Jesus

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lawfulevil

There but for the grace of my mother's relative lack of fecundity go I.

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December
On 4/2/2017 at 4:26 AM, Flossie said:

I wonder what kind of theatrics, threats, and guilt-trips these real life parents use to keep their kids right where they want them.  Religion is key for a lot of them, but I always feel there's more to it than that.

 

I've always wondered about that sort of thing, too. But plenty of people manage to produce similar results without the religion so there's probably some crossover... 

Unfortunately, like in the story you mention, sometimes the only way is to give people consequences and call their bluff because they won't ever choose to be rational and mature. 

22 hours ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

She had a secret boyfriend for about the last 2 years of her mom's life. I think they were married within 2 months of the mom's death -- right after the will was probated.  The daughter's revenge was that she opened an antique shop with all the antiques her mother had carefully collected during the years and years of their travels together.

 

That sounds like something out of a movie! It's so sad that some people would put up roadblocks / outright prevent their child from forming meaningful adult relationships outside the family. It's unbelievably selfish, and even when people feel able to live their own lives after the parents are gone, they still missed out on it for X number of years. Of course, there are some people who wish to remain single and/or celibate their whole lives, but it should be a choice people are free to make, not something they are shunted into.

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JermajestyDuggar

I know of identical twins that lived at home their whole lives and their father drove away any boyfriends they had. After their parents died they were close to 60 so they weren't going to marry by that time. They just had each other. They were practically the same person so even if one had wanted to marry, she would have had a very hard time leaving the twin behind. They were lovely ladies and I think what their parents did to them was horrible. 

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JesusPony
On 4/2/2017 at 3:30 AM, Million Children For Jesus said:

@Red Hair, Black Dress

Sabotage.

They used to work. My mom would call their supervisors at work when she was "worried" about them. (When they wouldn't talk to her.) My mom basically humiliated them into not working. 

I can see why the Arndts work for the family business. It's safer. They can monitor their mom and not worry about being humiliated in public. Going back to the comment upthread about Cathy being a snappy tyrant. I completely believe that. That's a compelling reason to isolate. 

As far as education...

 

 

This aspect reminds me of this recent story on the Ask A Manager blog: http://www.askamanager.org/2017/02/my-aunt-and-uncle-are-extreme-helicopter-parents-and-i-work-with-their-son.html

2 adult cousins work at the same company and one of them has crazy overbearing parents who call and show up at the office to yell at the boss. The aunt and uncle drive their son around, won't let him ride the danged bus by himself because he's not ready, etc.

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Suz8710

The boys are revamping their look ;). Do we have an Arndts gone wild video to look out for?!

IMG_9517.JPG

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Gobsmacked

Sadly we knew a family (when our boys were much younger), who helicoptered their only son. The son briefly attended the same primary school as ours. He was taken out of school after a term and home schooled because the Headmasters garden shed (attached to the school) had a nail sticking out from the door!!!

The garage was completely off limits to everyone. Not even near the school playground. Their son had never heard the word no at home. He climbed over the fence to play in the restricted area. They didn't believe in saying no as it stunted his development!!!. 

He was briefly sent to a private school but they didn't feel he was safe there either. They then moved away. He will be late teens now. 

I would love to know how what he is like now.

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Million Children For Jesus
3 hours ago, Suz8710 said:

The boys are revamping their look . Do we have an Arndts gone wild video to look out for?!

IMG_9517.JPG

Nooooooooo. I don't want to know about this. TBT Halloween? No. Don't tell me. I just can't. 

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kassie

My husband graduated from Cambridge at 19. He has two masters degrees and a PhD. Yet, I still ended up climbing a tree near our property because he lost his quadcopter at the top of it and was too scared to climb the tree after it.....

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nastyhobbitses
On 4/2/2017 at 2:10 PM, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

This is a long story.

Parents can do a lot of things to eff up and control their children. The problem is when they do it on purpose and enjoy the havoc they create.

 I personally know of 2 women who kept their daughters completely under their thumbs. One was a friend of my mother who made her daughter her companion and BFF.  The husband traveled a lot for work and the oldest child -- a boy -- was about 11 years older than "Jane" the daughter.  Jane and the mom went everywhere together.

During high school Jane was not allowed to date - ever, or to go out in groups of friends that included boys. The mom could be pretty ruthless about running off anyone interested in Jane -- all the while being so sweet and nice about it -- just pointing out why so and so was unsuitable for her precious girl.

Jane went to the local all girl college while living at home.  She continued living at home after graduation and getting a job,  She was still forbidden to date, because mom got so anxious when she was alone. The stress was likely to bring on her heart palpitation and angina attackss.  Jane had to include her mom on any outings with her girlfriends because of that. Time marches on. Girlfriends got married, had families, etc. so it became just Jane and the mom,  The dad died right after he retired and of course the mom ramped up the 'oh woe now I'm all alone' -- so Jane continued to live at home.

This went on and on and on for years.  Eventually the mom developed Alzheimer's so Jane's life shrunk to work and then going home to relieve the day nurse and take care of mom. Everyone thought this was so, so wonderful. What a devoted daughter.  They could only hope that their daughters would be so loving and devoted.

The mom lingered for 10 or so years and finally died.  Now Jane is a woman facing retirement -- no friends, no family (brother married and moved away), never been on a date, never been kissed, probably never even held hands. She is still living in the family home.

Did I mention that up until Jane was about 40 or so everyone thought it was so sweet that she was so devoted to her mom. After that people began to wonder, but figured that Jane was just one of those unfortunate women who are born spinsters. Now that the mom is dead the consensus is that poor Jane is getting a little odd as she just doesn't know what to do with herself after being "so devoted" to her mother all those years.

The other woman I know of (my mother's BFF's MIL) did pretty much the same thing to her daughter. The difference was they were really rich and MIL used the daughter as her traveling companion so the poor girl didn't even have a job to escape to.  The daughter finally married at 47 after her mother died.  She had a secret boyfriend for about the last 2 years of her mom's life. I think they were married within 2 months of the mom's death -- right after the will was probated.  The daughter's revenge was that she opened an antique shop with all the antiques her mother had carefully collected during the years and years of their travels together.

 

I'm really happy for the second woman; I feel horrible for both, obviously, but really, poor Jane.

I think in both of these cases, the mothers made their children responsible for the mothers' emotional well-being. It's one thing to derive happiness from motherhood (I hope most or all mothers do). It's one thing to want a close relationship with your children. But if you're forcing your child to adopt the role of a spouse, parent, or friend, that's messed up. I think that these mothers forced their daughters to become surrogate spouses/best friends. And I think that a part of that (but it doesn't excuse the emotional abuse that this is), besides a need to control, is that we put so much emphasis on motherhood as this all-encompassing identity. You're not Ruth (chose a random name); you're Jane's Mom. People constantly talk about how being a mom is the most important thing ever (it IS important, but it's not the sum of your identity). If your children aren't super close to you, you failed. So without a social network, without an identity beyond "Jane's Mom", I'm sure that these women thought, at least subconsciously beneath "must control, must control", "Jane's all I have, Jane's all I am".

So to sum up, those mothers were abusive assholes who stunted their children out of selfishness. Society to blame a little bit.

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Carm_88
8 hours ago, Suz8710 said:

The boys are revamping their look ;). Do we have an Arndts gone wild video to look out for?!

IMG_9517.JPG

Please tell me this is for Vine Valley, that would make it so much more interesting! 

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Meridae

My mother has always told me that a parent's job is to let their child go. Her mom gave her that advice when I was born, it's helped shape her parenting and reminds her (and my dad) what needs to be done to allow me a successful life.

It makes me so sad when I see parents who have intentionally shirked their duty to their children.

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JermajestyDuggar
6 minutes ago, Meridae said:

My mother has always told me that a parent's job is to let their child go. Her mom gave her that advice when I was born, it's helped shape her parenting and reminds her (and my dad) what needs to be done to allow me a successful life.

It makes me so sad when I see parents who have intentionally shirked their duty to their children.

That's how I've always viewed parenting. As progressively helping them become more and more independent over the years until they are able to function on their own without much help in adulthood. I'm sure I'll still help them as adults but I probably wouldn't help them any more than I would help any other loved one. 

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Red Hair, Black Dress

Oh definitely Jane's mother made her her BFF. Interestingly Mrs Jane's Mom had a circle of women friends (including my mother) who all did things together.  So you had this group of middle-aged women and teenage Jane out to lunch and shopping on Saturdays or whatever else the group did.

You only very, very rarely saw Jane out with her girlfriends. Mostly she was glued to her mother's side. Jane is older than I so I observed all this from elementary school while Jane was in high school/college.

I was also a shameless eavesdropper whenever the ladies were over and Mrs. Jane's Mom wasn't there.  The consensus of the group was that Mrs JM might hold on a little too tight, but wasn't it so so wonderful how utterly devoted Jane was to her mother.  And they all hoped that their daughters would be so devoted to them. 

As someone said above, it was smothering, not mothering, 

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Wine time!
nokidsmom

Catching up on this thread and @Million Children For Jesus, I have to say thanks for your "rant".  It's good to know that I am not the only "bad daughter" out there, I earned that title when I moved out shortly after graduating college.  There are many similarities between your mother / aunt to my parents (my dad was just as complicit as my mom), though not as extreme in some ways but very spot on in others.    My two younger sisters were the "two nice young women" who stayed home to help out their "nice parents".   To everyone on the outside, it looked to be such a nice loving family when the reality was that my sisters were too scared to go out and live their lives because they were afraid to upset Mom and Dad, they didn't want to "break up the family" as I did when I left home.    

Mom and Dad were their focus, my sisters didn't give over any earnings but did spend hard earned money on them never mind that both parents worked decent jobs and didn't need for anything, money that my sisters could have used in building their own lives.   Mom and Dad were reliant on my sisters' household support, my Mom stating she needed the "help" which was really just a way to maintain control plus it fed into my parents' need to be loved and needed thus perpetuating a family dynamic that wasn't healthy for any of them.   

While both sisters did eventually leave and got married, my parents continued to exert control in their lives.  It caused issues in both of their marriages, both are still married but parental priority has definitely caused some problems.  Though my Mom has passed, the toxic family dynamics continue with my Dad and my sisters are seriously feeling the brunt of catering to his needs not because he is elderly and needs help but because they have done this for decades.    

I could go on and on but don't want to derail.  Just wanted to say that a lot of what you posted resonated with me.

Edited by nokidsmom
Riffle

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Four is Enough

I don't know what the dynamic was, but my great grandmother/father had five sons and two daughters. One daughter committed suicide; one married and died young. That was my grandmother. My mother was subsequently raised in the house by her grandmother. She always said her grandmother, although the five uncles and her grandfather lived there, too. 

Great grandmother died about a year after my mother graduated from high school.  By her second year after graduation, my mother was married, too. Within another year, all five uncles had gotten married.  By then they were all nearing or in their 40s. No longer a servant at home to cater to their every whim, I suppose.

GGMa never talked about the daughter who died, but rumor has it her brothers kept her from the man she loved, and she jumped into the Potomac River. My grandmother married a "ne'er do well" (He DID run rum during Prohibition, but he did make steady money) and the uncles TRIED to keep them and my parents apart. My mother and dad sneaked around... nothing hanky panky, but never went to the movies "together" wink wink nudge nudge and so on.. 

 

So even in the 40s, that sort of thing did happen.

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PennySycamore

@Million Children For Jesus,  you nailed it with Kathryn being uncouth!

It sounds like that Cameran might need some lessons about throwing parties, soirees and such from Patricia.

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