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I don't think I'm a great auntie :(

Posted by wildnfree , 05 August 2014 · 225 views

I could use some advice. My niece (14) is staying with my family this week and things aren't going well. Things are tense at home, and adding my niece to the mix didn't help. My mom makes my niece wake up at 5am to exercise and work all day. Plus her parents put her on a strict diet so she's very unhappy sometimes. Trying to be there for my niece while barely getting along with my parents isn't easy. 

*TW* Also, idk how to deal with my niece when she talks about sex and guys.She gushes about cute guys on fb, constantly sings sexual songs, and humps the floor when she's excited. She doesn't understand why I don't fangirl over the boys she thinks are cute. I'm 22, so I'm attracted to men, not boys! Also, she wrote a short story about a young, hot male teacher hitting on his students. She doesn't get why it's not okay for teachers (even if he/she is young) to have romantic/sexual relationships with their students. She thinks it's cute. Im trying my best to be a good aunt, but her story was triggering and her carefree attitude reminds me of who I was before SA.



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nightechoes
Aug 05 2014 06:17 PM

You sound like a very caring Auntie to me. Unfortunately it sounds like your niece doesn't have a clear grasp of boundaries which is disturbing and that isn't helpful when it is triggering for you.

 

Ultimately, you are not your niece's keeper and your health and sanity have to be paramount for you. I would suggest trying to simply model healthy behavior for her without trying to be her pal. It's hard sometimes to be a young adult relating to a teen because they want you to be a friend but that's not necessarily what they need.

 

If you are able to offer insight on keeping herself safe on FB and cultivating healthy boundaries, it sounds like she could use it BUT if you can't interact much with her b/c it's hard for you, then you need to come first. You can be warm and loving without being drawn into her teen drama.

 

I'm not sure how much sense (if any) that makes but I hope it made a little and is at least remotely helpful. Good luck to you.

Hi Wildnfree! I can offer a suggestion that you're free to take or leave as you wish. At her age she could probably use a person who doesn't mind listening to her interests, unless that would be triggering for you to do. You don't need to share her interests at all. Additionally, you might try reflecting what you think that she is communicating to you. " It sounds like you think that boy is really cute! If this is something possible for you to do, I think it would go a long way in making you into an auntie that you could really proud of. Best wishes! Love, Salemkitty. :)
Thanks for the advice. Things have gotten better with my niece. One of my aunts sat down with my her and talked to her about boys. They had a really deep, open conversation about dating, boys and sex. My niece asked questions and my aunt gave her honest answers and advice. So she's calmed down about the boys for now. And I'm less triggered since my aunt stepped in to help.

Unfortunately, my mom (her grandma) has made things very difficult for her. She picks on my niece about her weight, blames her for their strained relationship, doesn't want her reaching out other family members, and is very toxic towards her dad (my brother). So, I'm doing my best to support her.

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