Salsa > Parental disapproval

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by thespina13, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Ok. i turn 30 tomorrow (well, today for most of you.. the 3rd), and I'm still deeply affected by my parents' view of salsa. While my mom is totally supportive, she has hinted at her stress about the congress. (I'm temporarily living under her roof with my family, currently). Her stress and slight passive-aggressive resentment of this adventure of mine, is pretty deflating. But the bog doozie is my dad, who openly disapproves of this. Add to this that I'm sharing a room with a male friend, doing this whole thing alone, leaving my kids and husband for four days AND spent money on a plane ticket to do this dirty and lascivious thing called salsa.. WELL. I'm sure you can guess. And right at this moment when I'm gearing up, getting excited because it's on Thursday and I get to be my own woman for the first time in ages, he threatens to pop my balloon. It's hard. Because it plays on my already-present feelings of ambivalence... is this the right thing to do? Am I being indulgent? Am I stressing out my family too much? Am I leaning on them too much while I pursue my own thing?

    And it's at these times, specifically, that I realize that NO. There is a resounding voice nside me that says HERE is how you create your own life, your own proficiency, your own identity, your own passion. This is how I find my wild woman, how I know myself, how I seize my health and able-bodied beauty while I have it, how I recover my own voice that tends to get lost in a sea of exhaustion, self-doubt and frustration. This is when I get to relish connection, work myself without outside limit, study and celebrate and drink in the chance to further the ME that I give every day to my family. My husband gets to go on business trips and conferences. My dad is never home, doing the very same thing. My mom would like to but she hasn't found the hard-headed enlightened selfishness to just go ahead and railroad herself into it. Because mine is sensuous and social and fun, it is looked upon with mistrust and a certain suspicion. Like this is a big luxury. And I suppose it is, under some lights. But definitely not the main spotlight. The main light illuminates this as a god-given chance to shine. And I will. I have to welcome the chance to seize something like this on the deeper level, and not be afraid of its lighter level either. I hope everyone comes to realize this and enjoy what I'm trying to accomplish. But that's not my main goal ;)
  2. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    As long as your husband and children agree to what you're doing (assuming your family are your priority), then just go ahead. Parents are from a different generation, so I believe it's important to be nice to them, but they will always find something to disapprove of in your behaviour, so try to just let it pass.
  3. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    If you are 30 I presume you've spent years away from your parents. They are worrying because they don't know you like you do and they want to protect their little girl from messing up. They don't know that you can handle yourself because it only seems like a couple years back they were comforting you when you dropped your candy or scraped your knee.

    Maybe there's other stuff going on that you rightly don't want to share here, and that your parents think that time spent away from your family is unhealthy. However in this day and age we are no longer confined to cookie-cutter marriages with stay-at-home moms and breadwinning dads. All sorts of things our parents would never believe could work can and do work.

    So... if YOU understand what effects, if any, your actions are having on you and your family, (it sounds like your salsa habit is making you a stronger person, which must be good!) ... and you are happy with them, then go for it and remember your folks probably love you more than they understand you!

    And move out as soon as you can!
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Can so identify with this, my mother ( long passed ) even after multi yrs of teaching, would say, to the effect, when are you going to get a real job? !-- it,s extremely difficult for those not involved in "our world " , to understand the desire and passion for dance, more their loss . One should never feel guilt for pursuing a dream .
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I hear you. My parents are still giving me grief. It kills me, because I've always been close to them. But since I've started dancing, my relationship with them has become very strained, because the best thing that's happened to me since DH came into my life is something they don't approve of and I can't share that part of my life with them. It makes me sad and angry ever time I think about it. So, I don't know what to tell you.

    The only thing I can say is that the person you need to be most concerned with is your husband. If HE has some issues with you spending that time away, and rooming with another guy, and...whatever...then that's when you need to stop and consider and re-think. Also, think about your kids--are they getting enough of you. But, from what I've read of your posts, it doesn't seem like you're short-changing your kids or your DH. So, really, that's all you need to concern yourself with.

    I finally lashed out at my parents, and got really ticked and toke them that their comments weren't acceptable and i wasn't going to listen to them anymore. It didn't stop them, but they're much more circumspect about it. And, I let them know in no uncertain terms that things were find between DH and I, and that he was supportive. It was more info than they had a right to know (the relationship between DH and I is none of their business, really), but it seemed appropriate at the time.

    Good luck to you.
  6. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I guess it's always difficult for parents to "let go" of their adult children. thespina, I don't know what circumstances you grew up in, but I think from personal experience that it's especially true in cases where there was some problem or conflict during the childrens' childhood that minimized the involvement of the parents (divorce, alcoholism, drug abuse, medical problems, etc.) The parents get wrapped up in their own circumstances, and then suddenly one day they realize that Junior has graduated from school and has a job in another city and is moving out. And they want to try to reach back and reclaim the lost years, and it just isn't possible.

    In my own case, I had to move far away for a few years (I'll spare you the boring details). When I came back, things were a lot better. That's not to say that my parents approve of every single thing I do, but now we can talk about it adult-to-adult rather than parent-to-child. And I'll have to admit that as much as I value my adulthood and independence, there are those rare occasions when it's still nice to have parents to fall back on. When I divorced my first wife, my mom, stepfather, dad, and stepmother were all a great help -- not in terms of money, which I didn't want or need, but in terms of emotional support and helping me think clearly about the situation.

    I'm fortunate in that my parents used to dance, so they understand how it works. My mom is all for it, and I've actually danced with her a time or two. My dad is a bit bemused by the whole situation. There's a man he used to work with who comes to our studio, whom I'll call Mr. Y, and he's a bit of a character. Dad told me once, "I have to admit that Mr. Y is the absolute last person in the world that I would have suspected of being a dancer!" :D

    btw, thespina, I didn't realize you are 30! You look younger in your avatar photos.
  7. I agree with what some of the others said. As long as your husband is fine with your decision and this does not put a rift into your marriage, you should go. However, if I were you I would NOT room with a male friend although he really only might be a friend. I do not think that this is appropriate and it does not show much respect for your husband. I wouldn't feel respected if my husband roomed with another woman. When you are single it is a different story. You do what like.

    I have been in the salsa scene for about 15 years (has it really been sooo long??? The good old days seem like yesterday...) and I have seen many relationship breakups because one partner loves dancing and the other does not share this hobby. There is really nothing wrong with pursuing your hobby and passion by yourself but you have to put up "relationship guards" for your own und your marriage's sake. It is easy to get in trouble and lose control over the situation in such a "hot" environment where people dance and have fun and have physical contact and flirt etc. All great but also dangerous for a relationship when pursuing this passion without your SO. As much as I love salsa, if I were you I would not jeapardize my relationship with my husband (I am fortunate because my husband shares my passion). You might have gotten married young and might not realize how much you really appreciate your family. It would not be fair to them if the relationship breaks up because you pursue your hobby at their expense. They do not deserve it. They should always come first. Treasure them while you have them! Being single is not that pretty!

    We do not always agree with our parents. You are old enough to do what you think is right for you. You do not need to listen to your parents. My parents like dancing and still go out dancing sometimes. They understand the joy that comes from this hobby. But many people don't and that is their loss. Nothing you can do about it. Move out as soon as you can!
  8. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    If I was able to understand why so many parents like to discourage their kids and hurt them in that way, then I wouldn't be a lost adult-teen-woman trying to find her way. I'd probably have written a book, too. Many have said to me "but you're 18, you're too young, it's only natural for them to act the way they do". Thespina's and countless others' cases prove that it's got nothing to do with age.
    Be strong, baby. Your husband and kids love you and support you. (As do we. :friend:)

  9. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    LoL... I should clarify that the male friend is of a different generation, my husband has met, spent time with, and adjusted him in clinic and he has a relationship with my immediate family. I would not share a room with just anyone out of respect for my husband. I've told him I'm sharing a room with this friend and there don't seem to be any worries on his part. This is simply a cost-sharing situation, to make the congress acessible for both of us. But yeah, that's definitely something that makes the average outsider AND my dad a little skeevy, of course.

    As for my hubby, he is very supportive and trusts me implicitly. I have given them explicit power of veto, and if they ever feel strained or feeling like I'm not around enough, or that they don't want me to do something, I would drop it in an instant. If they told me today that they want me to stay here, I would instantly forget about the congress and give them whatever time they needed. That said, they know this is important to me, and would only ask if what they needed were of utmost importance. That's why I wouldn't think twice about the money I've spent on this trip already or anything. They get my honour and commitment, and I think they know that. if they felt that I'm spending too man hours in a week on my dancing, all they have to do is say they want me at home and I wouldn't be at all unhappy to turn right around and play with them all night long. I try not to push things to a point where they HAVE to say that, but sometimes I can lose track of my enthusiasm if I'm making exciting progress. I appreciate the help in keeping me at an even keel.

    My dad is worrying about my integrity and doesn't trust my motivation. And there's nothing i can do to "prove myself" to him, nor should I. All I can do is keep living a good life and try to prove by the results, over time, that I'm not harming anyone.

    as for moving out, that's coming!!!! I lived in the states for four years with my family, cornutt, far far away from home. Coming back here to my parents' house is a temporary thing while we become a professional family and have an income capable of supporting ourselves. THat's coming in about four months. This is not a case of being too close and not having made the break from the nest. I've been on my own for 11 years now, and it;s stressful, as many of you well know, coming back into a situation where you have to make things work with your parents again. It's never a simple living situation, because all those same dynamics you had as a child still exist. Soemtimes it takes enormous emotional and mental effort to stand up under them and maintain your own adult sense of self. I have no doubt I'll do the same thing to my boys when they grow up, although I pray God graces me with a little less dominance and a little more trust when they reach manhood.

    Thanks for the support, all. It's tough, when you're a married woman and a mother, to have a passion like this, totally independant of your regular life and everyone in it. And perhaps that's one reason I love it so much.
  10. englezul

    englezul New Member

    Why don't you transform this into a family trip. You go to the congress and your husband can take the kids to the Canada's Wonderland fearfest. The first fearfest weekend is this week, and they changed the whole park around.
  11. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Man, I'd love that. Except we don't have the money to fly five people across the country. My husband has a flight he has to make to Ontario in November still, and we have to get down to iowa again for his grad later this month together. No, while I'm going, he'll take the kids to his parents' for Thanksgiving and they'll have a great time down at the farm. I'm reallyl ooking forward to his grad, where he and I get to share a room together. Alone. No kids. No parents. Finally. Ahhh.
  12. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Hahah, thank you! If you saw the white hair and slowly emerging crow's feet you'd see it, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to my thirties, though. I'll be happy to leave my 20s behind.
  13. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i'm glad you have an activity that's yours. too few mothers/wives do.
  14. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    My apologies; I didn't mean to imply that it was. I knew you have moved recently, but I wasn't up on the particulars.

    A curiousity question: do you have any younger siblings that are still at home? I wonder how much difference that makes. It seems that as long as there is still a child in the house, the temptation is for the parents to treat all the children, including the grown ones, as still being children. My mom told me something interesting a few years ago: after my brother went away to college, and there was only her and my stepfather left in the house, the two of them had to face some issues that the responsibilities of parenting had allowed them to ignore for years. The short version of the story is that they started to view each other as adults again rather than "mother" and "father". And I think that made a big difference in how they view their now-adult offspring.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Amen to that. As much as I'd love it if my husband danced, I love having an activity that is entirely mine, and having something of an identity (with other dance people) that does not involve DH at all. After 8 years of being half of DH & Peaches, or DH's Girlfriend/Fiance/Wife, it's nice to just be Peaches. I'd
    forgotten how important that is.

    (Um...this was in response to Alemana's post...)
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    The funny thing about the parent/child v. adult/adult relationship with regards to your dancing and their attitude is that I'm not sure it will change when you move out. Speaking purely from my own experience...YMMV.

    My parents had been extremely good about our relationship since I'd gotten married and moved out. Very, very good--it was impressive. But since I've been dancing I very much feel like they've tried to re-assert themselves as parents. At least when it comes to dancing, and anything vaguely related. Odd. And annoying. And i'm still out of the house.
  17. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Peaches, it's the same thing here. And I think iit may be because it's so totally outside their realm of experience. They do' tknow the atmosphere, the people, the activity, just that it excites a great deal of passion and dedication. And because of its social nature, and the fact that it's independantly MINE, it makes them nervous. I think a parent takes a husband into their understanding of their child... husband and wife are son and daughter to them, qand they understand it and can see it and saction it completely. Salsa is outside their sphere of influence and understanding.

    Cornutt, I'm 30 and my brother is out of the house and 28. WE haven't been children for a long time. But my dad is a perenially loving and poetic and philosophical and protective and sometimes bossy Greek daddy. I'm not only his first-born, but his daughter. And I'm the first in the family to have children.. his first and only grandkids. His mother was the consummate devoted matriarch and got them through extreme poverty, loneliness and hardship. She was unmatched in devotion, strength, skill and purity. She pretty much raised me through my childhood years, and I am her namesake. I think that's enough to understand what's going on here, and the more I write about it, the more I understand it myself. I think, though, that my yia-yia, God rest her soul, is liking that I'm pushing myself to excellence in something like this. Her whole identity was being th best at what she did. And having the best family. Her ego was purely HUGE. And totally honest. As long as I stay the wolf-woman she was... fiercely devoted and totally strong, I'll stay on the right path. I want to be healthy and happy on my own terms, not theirs... I have good role models. I think it takes my imaginitive dad some time to adjust, and I don't know if he ever will, because the ways I express the strengths I've inherited from the women in my family are so much different than that environments they created for themselves and their families. it's a whole different ball of wax from the outside, but the wax itself is the same stuff. I'm made of the same stuff and find the same things important. I hope that he can see that.
  18. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    I'm not going to be 60 and completely lost... I'm glad for this too and wish more women of my parents' generation, even MY generation, have the guts to seize their own art.
  19. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Since I have started dancing competitively, I have felt some mixed vibes from my parents. It is as if they're proud and get to have some bragging rights on me yet again without having to lift a finger, but at the same time it is so foreign to them they do not understand why I am doing this. Or maybe they feel slightly guilty that they pushed me into piano lessons which I hated instead of letting me try other things like dance. They became very defensive when I said something like "I would have been so much better at it if I started dancing as a child".
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    OH YEAH with the mixed vibes. They talk about being very happy for me, and are supportive, and they're proud of me, and my mom is always asking me to show her something and dance with her.

    But then they say these odd things like "they don't like me driving by myself to dances when it's dark," and "just make sure you don't stay out too late." Seriously. Those 2 just about floored me--I'm 28 and out of the house and they're talking to me like I'm 16, at home, with a curfew. They've gone so far as to suggest that DH drive me to dances--even though they know he doesn't dance, and even if he just "sits in the car and waits" for me.

    That's about when I lost it and told them they were out of line. Now, I just keep telling them "I'm not having this discussion again." *sigh*

    I keep trying to get them to come to a social dance with me. There's one nearby that would be perfect. Just so that they can SEE exactly what is and is not going on at socials, and understand the harmless atmosphere of it all. No such luck.

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