Family Dysfunction, Sexual Controversy and Random Violence... all in one thread!

I have been lurking on the SDMB for probably 8 years now… I found this site one day when Cecil’s column was the first response to a google I did about some random thing I can no longer remember. I’ve been a bit of an addict ever since, and have regaled friends and family with all sorts of information, to which their standard response is “Where in the hell did you hear about that?”. For example, just today I was able to inform a ‘backed-up’ friend about (I’m pretty sure I found that by following a link from the TMI thread, but I could be mistaken). I’ve been tempted to join up more than once, but usually by the time I’m finished reading a thread that I’m particularily interested in someone else has already made my point, and in such a way that I would feel foolish to try to reiterate in my own clumsy manner. However, something happened to me that I feel the need to share, for reasons that I will attempt to make clear.

Yesterday, while waiting for a taxi-cab at the corner of whatever and where’sit, I was attacked by a transvestite (or possibly transsexual) hooker.

I was not at all really injured, and the whole thing is not something that I’m considering a big deal. But as funny as this sounds now to many people I’ve told (and I’m laughing at it also), yesterday I didn’t find it so humerous.

When I mentioned this episode to my older sister, she asked me if I didn’t think something like this would eventually happen, considering the ‘sort’ that I hang out with.

Now, my sister says stuff like this all the time to me. She doesn’t like my friends, because some of them happen to be gay men who like to dress up like women and lip-sync for charity (maybe she’d be fine with it if they were straight, or if they really sang instead of pretending, I dunno). But for some reason, this time it really pissed me off.

For one thing, this person is not of the ‘sort’ that I hang out with at all. The people that I’m friends with are not drugged-out, filthy dirty prostitutes that will assault a person on the street for either looking at him/her funny and/or not providing said person with cigarettes and money on demand. They are community minded individuals who happen to like having sex with members of the same gender, and also appreciate good beadwork on a nice ball gown.

Secondly, I WAS ASSAULTED! Doesn’t that get something other than derision and blame? I’m her sister for the love of criminy!

I have two sisters and I’m the middle child. We are all very close in age, and we all grew up in some pretty serious dysfunction. I would want to seriously physically injure anyone who ever hurt either one of them. But the truth is that no one else in the world hurts any of us nearly as bad as we hurt each other. We are all master button pushers and know exactly what to say (or how to say it) to get the most violent reaction from each other. I’ve spent quite a lot of time and money in therapy to curb this behaviour in myself, but I think a lot of it is that I’ve grown up and no longer think this is the best way to deal with my family. I still have to bite my tongue sometimes, because it’s almost too easy to ‘go there’.

I’m just so fed up with this sort of thing. She is not interested in looking at this behaviour and trying to change it. I have also been openly ridiculed for the very efforts I have made that have made it possible to ignore her mean-spirited comments about those efforts (the aforementioned therapy).

I’m curious to hear from Dopers who have any similar familial weirdness, and how they cope. I have to go to my nephew’s first birthday in a couple of weeks, and this point I am just so hurt by her comments that I don’t know how I’ll keep my cool around her.

A long time ago, I got divorced and when I did, I found it was better to feel sorry for the ex than hate her. I don’t mean I climbed up on a hill and proclaimed myself better or anything. Just that some of her behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and so on were really misinformed, unenlightened, maladaptive, and so on and I know people with those issues can have a tough time making friends or finding a solid life partner.

About a year later I was attending a church and the minister threw down a challenge: pray for your enemies. He cited Martin Luther King, something to the effect, “I will not hate any man; it is too great a burden to carry.”

I don’t think I’d ever really prayed in my life but I decided I would at least try…and I didn’t just close my eyes: I knelt by the bed and said it out loud and as sincerely as I could. There were long pauses between sentences. It forced me to realize again that she’d had a crazy life long before she met me and that like most of us, she was probably doing the best she could. The act helped me transcend part of it and time took care of the rest.

Hi blilc, and welcome from another long-time lurker, recent newbie.
I understand your relationship with your sisters; it sounds very like the one I have with my siblings, too. Like your family, we went through some stuff together, but instead of pulling us together, it has created some pretty strange and (seemingly) irreconcilable blocks. I’m glad to hear that you have sought therapy to help you deal with it - the counseling sessions that I have participated in helped enormously. Like your family, mine exists on a diet of button-pushing, snarky remarks dressed up as humor, and miniscule arguments that escalate alarmingly into shouting, slamming doors and flouncing off. My younger brother holds an enormous grudge and absolutely cannot take any form of criticism whatsoever. Unfortunately my elder sister thinks that it is her role in life to ‘help’ him and ‘improve’ him, and give him lots of advice. You can probably guess at the usual results!
I am also guilty of seeing the worst in my family - it’s only natural, I think. These are the people that you know best in the world, so of course you are going to notice their flaws. I have to make a real effort to not point them out! I remember reading something that helped me: it was in a novel by Nancy Mitford about an Anglo/French marriage that was on the rocks, and the character says (paraphrasing): “What really matters in a marriage is great gentillement, or niceness. We must afford our loved ones the same politeness and courtesy that we show to the strangers on the street.” I took that as good advice for life! Families are psychotic, everyone knows that, but pouring some of the oil of niceness onto the troubled waters has really made a difference to my dealings with my nearest and dearest. And it gives me smug feeling of superiority that they haven’t dragged me down!

It’s a known fact that people with gay friends are 84% more likely to be assualted by transsexual hookers. You really should keep up on the latest news. :wink:

More seriously though, are you alright?

Do we have a Sampiro-shaped beacon we could shine up in the night sky?

It sounds like you should feel right at home on the Dope.


Antinor01, thanks for the humor… I wish I could have come up with something clever to say (like this) to my sister when she was berating me, but I always just end up saying “OK then, I’ve gotta go!”.

I am actually fine, no physical injury… I think I got away lucky. I probably could have prevented this altogether by removing myself sooner from the situation, but it was all so absurd that I wasn’t taking him/her seriously. I mean… I hang out with drag queens… I’ve seen a lot of the same attitude from them that this one approached me with, just usually not directed at me. I didn’t take into account that this one was almost certainly high on something and obviously living a different life than my friends live.

lobotomyboy63 and Raspberry, NOT Rhubarb, thanks for sharing your experiences and coping methods… useful information. I’m trying to be the bigger person here, not let her drag me down to that level, etc. There are just certain days when it is sooooo hard. And thanks for the welcome!

Tabula Rasa ,I would never deign to believe my family was in the same class as Sampiro’s… I’ve been lurking here a long time, I’m familar with his work :slight_smile:

And I’m a bit humbled that Shodan would show up in my very first thread, even if it was to respond to and welcome someone else :slight_smile:

Liz, is that you?
Your sister sounds like my sister. I’m so sorry. and welcome to the Dope.

Hijack: I read this as “Sampiro-shaped bacon” and didn’t even skip a beat. We seem to have a bit of an obsession here.

blilc, welcome to the Dope. We’re glad to have you here. My family is horribly dysfunctional, but I have no practical advice for you. I just grin and bare it. Happy thoughts to you, though, as you struggle through it.

Well, you may think you express yourself in a clumsy manner, but you don’t. And I got a good laugh out of this:

Anybody that doesn’t appreciate good beadwork on a nice ball gown is no friend of mine!

I have nothing useful to share regarding the topic, but I did want to wish you a warm welcome.

p.s. Shodan’s a noob.

This phrase is delicious in thousands of ways.