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In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue talking through the personal story of Antonia actually attempting to make peace with her parents.

In this podcast you’ll find:

 In this episode Joel and Antonia continue talking through the personal story of Antonia actually attempting to make peace with her parents. #podcast #Parents #relationships

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  • Ann Marie
    • Ann Marie
    • October 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    As all have said, thanks so much for sharing this experience — and in the format that you did.

    From my perspective, it turned out better than I had expected — especially after hearing you say in the beginning that it did not go very well.

    For me, “did not go well” would have meant going away with nothing determined, settled, definitive, or conclusive. I imagined an ending where your parents were pre-occupied, flustered, busy with medical details, non-attentive to your presence — and you walking away pretty much at the same point that you had come into this.

    It’s interesting that, in the beginning, you said that the way it played out was not cinematic. As the story unfolded, I found it to be intense, so real, and profound — “cinematic” to me. I come into this with much intrigue as to the hold that belief systems can have on people. Knowing the backstory — and especially the life stage (age) of your parents — there is no way that your parents could “receive” you. I see similar issues with my mother’s relationship to her religion — though she is not required to shun non-believing family members (although she definitely would if she believed/was told that was what her God expected).

    I, personally, am so “happy” that there was closure — I think that is huge. It is so profound to grasp that your parents cannot be at peace as long as they see a lovely daughter (and granddaughter) in front of them. It goes against their natural, human feeling and thinking — they cannot reconcile what is in front of them/what they are truly experiencing with you with what their religion tells them about you, your fate, and their fates. Basically, the better a person you are, the worse it is for them. I’m guessing that it is much more painful for them to “lose” you than for you to lose them - if only because you understand (in a cognitive way) why they are doing as they are -- whereas they don’t fully know/are afraid to go there.

    When I got into my mom’s head (who is at the same stage of life as your parents) and thought about how painful it would be to think that things she has believed in her whole life and has been so invested in may not be true, I realized how cruel it was for me to try to get her to see “the truth”. I realized that any pains that are caused by her holding on to her beliefs to the end are far less than the anguish that would result from her thinking that her beliefs could possibly be untrue.

    This is where I do get angry at religions/belief systems for “causing” such pain — but, at the same time, I realize that people — due to their personality types and (early) life experiences — can be prone to indoctrination and/or find that such systems meet their “needs”.

    I think about how meaningful it was/is for your dad to have that long hug and last good-bye — which then makes me think…it’s because you’re such a good person that this is so painful for them. If they didn’t like you so much as a person, it wouldn’t be so painful :/

    For anyone interested as I am, I read two books in which the authors’ fathers had a similar moment (or moments) of doubt as Antonia’s father - “What if all of this is not true?” One is Carl Jung’s book, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”, in which Jung witnesses his devoutly religious father silently struggling in anguish with his beliefs. The other is a “lighter” - even often humorous — book by Frank Schaeffer, son of Frances Schaeffer (a very influential figure in the evangelical Christian community from the 1950’s to the 1980’s). In the book, “Crazy for God” (and/or the follow-up, “Sex, Mom, and God”), the author describes moments in which his father seems to be internally struggling with his beliefs — again, in a silent, anguished way, afraid to really let his mind go there.

  • Isi
    • Isi
    • October 6, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you very much

  • Kelly M
    • Kelly M
    • October 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Antonia. I’m disappointed you did not have a happier outcome, but I’m relieved that you do have that valuable closure. You know what the most helpful component of this podcast was for me? Your explanation of how you dealt with your emotions afterwards as a Thinking woman. I know we’re supposed to deal with hurt feelings for long term emotional health, but truly, how to do that is foreign to me, an INTJ female. I see how your process could be helpful as opposed to pushing the feelings aside, pretending they don’t exist, and avoiding anything that could possibly trigger them to bubble back up (my MO).

    PS: Podcast recommendation — how to process feelings when you’re a Thinker. (It might already be out there — I’m still working my way through past episodes.)

  • Michi
    • Michi
    • October 3, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Dear Antonia,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. In a very odd way, I gained confidence to face troubling relationships in my life by hearing how your experience went. I hope this story can give you some silver lining to this heartbreaking process with your own family.

    I have never had a good relationship with my sister. To geek out on mbti, I am an INFJ and my best guess on my sister is an ESTJ. My best guess on my other family members is ENFP (dad), ISTP (mom), and INFP (brother). So she was outnumbered her whole childhood one way or another by the introverts, feelers, and intuitives. My childhood was very free-spirited, but what was fulfilling for my brother and me, was disrupting for her. I’ve spent years trying to connect, being mad she wasn’t connecting, getting chewed out by her for not connecting, and just about anything else you would guess about an ESTJ and an INFJ being forced together.

    Lately she has been going through huge personal transitions. She did not want anyone to know what she was going through, but her husband(INFJ) broke that secret. I was terribly frustrated trying to keep a secret of us knowing her secret, and everything I had learned about ESTJ’s told me she would want to know. While everyone else in my family felt we needed to protect her from her feelings and try to keep the facade that she could come out when she wanted. Listening to your own story about how badly family could react, I took courage that even if it was this bad, I could face that over continuing to ignore the elephant in the room.

    I crafted a conversation for her, trying very hard to look at what needed to be conveyed and translated the best I could into her mind-frame. I stated what I thought she should do first, explained why concisely, and did not spell every detail out. I had the most calm, respectful, and cogent conversation with my sister. I am sure in the days to come, life for all of us will be harder because we will have to face the elephant in the room. My parents may be terribly upset with me going against their wishes. I may have no relationship with my brother-in-law. But for the first time, I can see an adult relationship with my sister.

    Thank you,

  • Nicole Harrison
    • Nicole Harrison
    • October 2, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    That was absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful Antonia. Thank you so much for sharing and being so vulnerable to even share with us something didn’t end how you wanted it to. I have been listening to you guys for years and have never commented, but I have to say that what you didn’t deserves every bit of recognition possible. I’m not just talking about facing your demons in the first place but also being willing to put your soul on the line and share it with all of us. I hope you know that there were thousands of people out there crying with you. You are amazing.

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