surviving relationships with difficult people
April 4, 2007 9:06 AM   Subscribe

If You Had Controlling Parents. A site providing support and resources for adults raised with unhealthy control and/or Narcissistic parenting. The eight styles of controlling parents.
posted by nickyskye (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
They kind of sound like most parents by these descriptions. (and part of growing up is bulldozing those barriers at least somewhat, otherwise you'd remain a child forever).
posted by jonmc at 9:11 AM on April 4, 2007

Is this just an ad?
posted by pieoverdone at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2007

If it walks like a duck...
posted by -t at 9:22 AM on April 4, 2007

I'm looking over this list of controlling parent styles and not seeing, "Italian" on there, which brings the whole thing into serious doubt.
posted by The Straightener at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm not seeing "Jewish" or "Asian" on there either, but the stereotype for both is Perfectionistic.
posted by mkb at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2007

jonmc writes 'They kind of sound like most parents by these descriptions. '

The comparison chart seems to spell it out more clearly - the descriptions you link look like they should have 'all the time' or 'to a ridiculous degree' tacked on the end of every sentence.
posted by jack_mo at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2007

jack_mo: Yeah, and at least one of my parents qualifies to the point where it's become a family joke about their being 'the boss,' and I recognize some of the symptoms in the 'signs' section in myself, but the whole thing is still vague enough that it can apply to almost any family dynamic.
posted by jonmc at 9:34 AM on April 4, 2007

Gee. Sounds like some Gods I've heard of. Old Testament Judeo-Christian God sounds like about half of those eight styles all rolled up into one super controlling father figure.

No wonder his children turn out so weird.
posted by Broadside Affront at 9:35 AM on April 4, 2007

If only there was a book I could order...
posted by R. Mutt at 9:37 AM on April 4, 2007

Odd that in this section they don't mention the woman who played Dirk Diggler's mom in Boogie Nights which was a perfect portrayal of what's being described. I think I actually physically flinched the first time I watched that scene of here bawling him out.
posted by jonmc at 9:48 AM on April 4, 2007

IhatemyDad Blue.

[this is idiotic]
posted by docpops at 9:49 AM on April 4, 2007

...the whole thing is still vague enough that it can apply to almost any family dynamic.

Possibly excepting the child-rearing techniques of total and utter hippies. I can't really find anything in there that applies to my upbringing, to be honest.

I take your point, though - the site seems to be talking about a pretty wide spectrum of behaviour.

If only there was a book I could order...

posted by jack_mo at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2007

... Whoa. I have the book for this about 10 feet away. It's helpful, but the commenters who noticed that it can apply to every parent are correct. It is VERY hard to determine where the author draws the line between 'strict but fair' and 'controlling'.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:06 AM on April 4, 2007

Let me tell you about my mother...
posted by sluglicker at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Can anyone somehow connect this ad to her profile page? This afternoon is pretty dull and a good mefi self posting rat out thread would make it better.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:52 AM on April 4, 2007

lossens tie...


What a childhood I had.
My mother never breastfed me.
She told me she liked me, as a friend.


My old man never liked me.
He gave me my allowance in traveler's checks.

And on my birthday the old man gave me a bat.
The first day I played with it, it flew away.

I tell ya,

I lived in a tough neighborhood.
They had a children's zoo,
But then the four kids escaped.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:54 AM on April 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

I think this is like p*rnogr*phy - you know it when you see it (or live it). My mother has borderline personality disorder and there is no question that she has many of the features listed here. I don't even have to ponder the nuances.

No one is perfect and surely at one time or another any parent may be over controlling. It's as jack_mo said, tack 'to a ridiculous degree' at the end of each sentence.
posted by Red58 at 10:57 AM on April 4, 2007

My parents were messed up "to a ridiculous degree" and so were most of my friend's parents. I think it was something about that generation.

Just because it's common doesn't mean it's not harmful and quite serious.
posted by django_z at 11:48 AM on April 4, 2007

Somehow, Pie, I don't' think someone with -63- other FPP's and over 2k comments is going to self-link.
posted by FritoKAL at 12:03 PM on April 4, 2007

Can anyone somehow connect this ad to her profile page?

If they can, I'll eat my hat.
posted by jack_mo at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2007

This list seems rather applicable to, say, a spouse. Maybe almost too applicable.
posted by tehloki at 4:48 PM on April 4, 2007

FritoKAL, Thanks for the vote of confidence. No, of course, I wouldn't self-link. The topic of adult children of dysfunctional families interests me and I've recommended the ControllingParents site many times since discovering it in 2000. Never saw it linked here and I thought I'd recommend it for those people who've had to deal with an over-controlling parent, grandparent, relative or spouse for that matter. Or who know people who they might consider being an over-controlling parent.

The research on the site, links and resources is much more than merely an ad for the site owner's book.

Yes, there is a difference between being a regular, emotionally healthy human being, who may occasionally be controlling, difficult, moody, or sometimes a pain in the neck and having a pattern of over-control, over-dependence or over-invasiveness lasting years.
posted by nickyskye at 5:04 PM on April 4, 2007

I read this book last year and it completely clicked with me. It helped put some major life/childhood issues into perspective and has substantially improved my self-esteem and inner critic. I'm not usually into the self-help types of books, but this one brought some "duh, obvious" insight to me that I couldn't perceive before simply by being too close up on the situation. I have recommended it here since.

I always was my own worst detractor, constantly picking myself apart and telling myself I wasn't good enough. I felt I was a defective person that couldn't function as other people did. After I read this book, digested it, and talked it out with my husband, I realized that it wasn't integral to me or my personality to be so down on myself - that it was a pattern of behavior spun out from how I had grown up, how my parents interacted with me. All of a sudden this huge weight fell off my shoulders. I couldn't believe how simple it was and how much sense it made, but that was the key I had been missing all this time, and it was a real breakthrough.

Once I was able to process this I started forgiving myself and my parents, and for the first time in my life I can honestly say I'm moving forward more than looking backward. I can't necessarily say this book is super insightful or especially deep: but I can't stress how much of a difference it made in my life, and how glad I am I came across it.
posted by Melinika at 5:29 PM on April 4, 2007

pieoverdone, Ordinarily I wouldn't look up a commenters previous posts but I was somewhat mystified by the intent of your comment. Perhaps the topic of being a parent, difficult or otherwise, is a hard one for you? In an AskMetaFilter comment this January you said that you had to evict your last boyfriend using the Sheriff's department. I'm wondering why this site about dealing with difficult people isn't something you thought other people, or yourself, might benefit reading?
posted by nickyskye at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2007

ps If it's something you would like to discuss with me, we could talk it to MetaTalk.
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on April 5, 2007

*take it to MetaTalk.
posted by nickyskye at 7:47 AM on April 5, 2007

hey, thanks. i recently checked out the Toxic Parents book, and wasn't satisfied with the characterizations. but this was way closer to my reality.

(i'm fresh from a big crazy family funeral of the matriarch everyone called The General--the source of all this stuff in my family. every time i visit them i get a clearer picture of what all this is about. and then i spend the first hour after returning home in exploding--no matter how detached my assessment of it all is, i can't help but freak when i'm out of the pressure-cooker. spending time with them has always felt like being under water.)

so yeah, thanks for this recommend. it'll come in handy for me.
posted by RedEmma at 1:04 PM on April 6, 2007

"returning home exploding..."
posted by RedEmma at 1:05 PM on April 6, 2007

Hi RedEmma. Glad the site was of use to you, it's packed with really good book recommendations. I loved Toxic Parents, as much as one can love a book about something like that, lol.

After what you've just been though it's no wonder you have intense emotions surfacing. It's probably safe to explode in the haven of your own home.

Condolences for having to have dealt with The General in the first place, the loss of having a matriarch instead of a mother. And condolences for your recent loss on top of your original loss. Though we are complete strangers, please consider accepting my loving thoughts to comfort you.
posted by nickyskye at 9:43 PM on April 6, 2007

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