Originally Posted by sillysapling
- if your family was abusive and you've found yourself surrounded by abusers, please seek a therapist's help.
My writing could have been more clear and organized, but I was writing a forum post, not an essay for publication, and I was expecting people who can read with enough nuance. Likewise, I was responding to an OP who sounded like she already had clear and healthy boundaries, even to the extent that she was questioning them in a rational, skeptical (of others) way.
I was suggesting a relatively realistic but also positive view of the situation. This is something that can benefit most people, if not all. Survivors are not helped by chronically putting the -most- negative spin on their life conditions, except if the only alternative is false (I don't want to say deluded, but can't think of a better word) positivity. The OP sounded smart and stable enough to take whatever makes sense to her and reject the rest. Likewise, I wasn't telling her that it's her job to fix the home. Contributing some harmony, if one can, in the hope that it will have a positive influence on others, however small, is not the same thing as being blamed or taking responsibility for everything. I also mentioned reaching out and setting up an escape plan a couple times in case the family situation becomes untenable, (in case the situation is more toxic than was clear in the post, or becomes significantly worse) because people, no matter how sensible, tend not to prepare for such a thing--still I think even before then, purely for self-preservation's sake, it is valuable to do what one can to keep the peace before leaving.
As far as the stepmom goes, I will reply to your post point by point to keep it succinct and specific.
- unless I missed something, we don't know that she rushed into the marriage
- we also don't know that she's trying to emotionally manipulate the children, at least no more than many typical people who aren't brilliant at communication and emotional intelligence do when they are trying to affect change and improvement but don't know how to do it especially well... now it may well be that there's a level of toxicity that didn't come across in the OP, it's absolutely possible, but there is no reason to automatically assume it
- their father really messed some things up, but that still doesn't render marrying someone into "dragging a new woman into their life"... he just remarried
- again unless I missed something, we also don't know that the father forced them all to "play house together"... it sounded like the OP -might- have had the choice to stay with her other family members, but she went along with living with her father for the benefit of her brothers
Note, please, how I didn't say anything personal about you, when I wrote this post. I didn't compose straw man arguments. I did not theorize about your past life or history. I didn't tell you what to do. I also, I am pretty sure, did not misinterpret the things you wrote. I could have done all these things, but I chose not to. Personally my view is, if you have an insight to offer the OP, why not just offer it. Responding to disagree with another poster specifically and directly is likely to create internet drama without accomplishing anything. If your insight is useful to the OP then it will be of value, and hopefully that is enough.