Family Conflicts

Okay, I have to ask something that has been bothering my sister and myself.   I’ll try to not go too far back, though some of our feelings probably stem from the childhood that we shared.

Our parents are verrrrry right-wing, republicans.  They watch O’reilley, and treat him like a god, etc.  They recently moved from Madison, WI to Arkansas, to retire.  Much of my Dad’s family is down there, and we feel that once they moved down there they got even crazier.   They love the war, everything Bush did, they don’t believe in global warming, and HATE the word “universe”, and LOVE to argue about anything related to anything like this, etc. etc.

We were able to take this for a while and to try to avoid hot-button subjects.  Our parents know we are democrats, and believe almost completely differently than they on most things.  It has gotten to the point where my sister and I want to just back off more and more from them.  On the other hand, our parents have decided they want to communicate (and see us) more and more.   They offer to pay to have us visit, and chastise my kids for not calling them enough, and so on.

It’s gotten uncomfortable to even talk to them, as we feel that some uncomfortable subject will come up, and we are frustrated and don’t know what to do about it.  They’re almost 80 and yet are very healthy, and quite frankly we are frightened for what they’ll be like in 10-20 years as they continue to get more… intense.

I’ve worked with Law of Attraction and seeing them at their best and focusing on good qualities, and even in imagining the visits the way I’d like them to be, etc. and it somewhat works.. but then we continue to feel as if we are walking in mine fields.  My fiance (who I’ve been with for 10 years) feels the same way we do and even though he’s very nice, he also is feeling claustrophobic around them and wants to back away.

I even feel that me carrying my extra weight over the years is a passive aggressive action from me, as I know how much they hate that I’m fat.  In fact, they talk about it ALL the time (my sister is fat as well).  Even though we know that it’s hurting us more than it’s hurting them, we still continue to feel frustrated for how to change it.

If I could afford a therapist, I would love to go to one who could help me with things that could help ME, as I realize that I don’t need to change them.

I’m just wondering if there is anything you can tell us that would help us with this.  We have tried to talk to them about things before and they go ballistic, so we don’t feel confronting them is going to do any good.  We just want something we can do that will help us get control of our lives again in this area, and not feel that we either have to 1) be fake around them just to suffer through the visit, or 2) be totally ourselves and have to listen to a lot of lectures about how we’re not good enough as we are and that we need to go to church and need to lose weight, and need to be republican, etc. etc.