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kittycampbell
03-08-2009, 12:10 AM
Sorry, this is probably going to be a little long and rambling but I'm so confused right now and don't know what to do. I'm fairly new to dancing, had been doing it for two weeks and loving it (and the pay!), and then made the mistake of coming clean and telling my parents. I thought it was better to be honest and we've always had a pretty good relationship so I didn't think it would be a huge issue, but unfortunately it was. A bit of background, I used to have an office job but the stress was driving me nuts (like constantly on the verge of tears I was so frustrated, and after managing my depression fine without meds for years I had to go back on antidepressants recently because I was thinking about suicide on a daily basis), plus I'm going to university starting in September and need extra money to pay my tuition.

Initially I was talking to my mom on the phone (we live pretty far apart so we only see each other a couple times a year but talk on the phone once a week or so) and she wasn't pleased when I told her but she said really that I'm an adult and it's my choice and if me and my husband are both okay with it (and yes, he's okay with it, and very supportive and all-around awesome) then there's not really anything they can do. The next day I got a call from my dad and he goes on to tell me how he's devastated by my decision to work as a stripper and if I needed money for school I should have asked them for help and they have always been willing to help, blah blah blah, they're just concerned for my safety, and so on and so forth. I should mention at this point that I have been married 3 1/2 years and my husband has been a student the whole time and we have had numerous financial difficulties (which I have told them about) to the point where my hubby even had to take a semester off to just work full-time and they have never offered to help before. I had also wanted to go to university but instead had to give up what I wanted to do so I could work full-time and support hubby. He works part-time but what he makes barely pays tuition, I pay all the bills and everything. For a year I was even working a second job to earn extra money to help with tuition but due to health issues I had to quit that. Again, no offers to help that entire time, even when I was working from 8 a.m. to midnight. It just seems kind of suspect that all of a sudden they're willing to help. I didn't do this as a cry for help, I did it because I like dancing. Gah, this isn't making a lot of sense, sorry.

Basically, I don't know what to do now. I feel like my parents are trying to bribe/blackmail me (they have said they will tell the rest of the family, including my grandparents and everyone, that I am a stripper, and they are pretty conservative so I don't want them to know because I know they won't understand). They also brought up that since my husband wants to go into teaching that my dancing could jeopardize his future career (my husband actually wants me to keep dancing and strongly disagrees with them on that point). I feel like I'm stuck in the middle here and I don't know what to do. My relationship with my parents hasn't always been great but we've been getting along well for the last several years, and my mom is like my best friend and I'm afraid to lose that. I don't know what else to do though. The job market here is not great right now and I can't go back to my old job and don't know what else I could possibly do that would even pay the bills. While the pay at my old job wasn't great, it was still a lot better than minimum wage. I also was hoping with the greater flexibility in my schedule that I had from dancing that I would be able to get more into modelling, since I have been modelling for a few months but I have to travel out of town to get any modelling work because there's none in town. Basically I guess I am just lost and confused, and if anyone has the patience to read my ramblings and can offer and words of wisdom or support it would be greatly appreciated.

wish
03-08-2009, 11:16 AM
You have to do what's right for you and your husband. You've given them a chance to "help" you and they didn't so however you help you is none of their business and eventually they'll come back around anyway you're their daughter.

Phil-W
03-08-2009, 03:26 PM
Sorry about your problems. Some thoughts....

(a) Stereotypes

Part of the problem with your parents may be that their perceptions of stripping come from the rather negative stereotypes of stripping that appear in on TV/in the newspapers, etc.

Drug crazed, mentally unstable stripper sells more newspapers than well adjusted girl supporting husband through his studies.

(b) Generational issues

Your parents come from a generation where nudity was more of a taboo. They are applying their moral standards to your present situation - hence they feel you being a dancer is more 'shaming' than you do.

(c) Telling Grandparents

I would gently point out to your parents that if they tell your grandparents, etc that you are a stripper, that the news will inevitably leak out to a yet wider circle and your parents friends/your grandparents friends will get to know what you do. So if your parents spread the news further, they may well find disapproval coming at them from unexpected directions.

(d) What to do?

It's never easy in this situation. One thing I might consider is putting down all your thoughts in a letter to your parents. Tell them that you care for them deeply, that although dancing involves nudity, it is nothing like the stereotype that they may have seen in the media, and that it is something that you see as a temporary expedient in the present economic climate.

I would turn their argument back on them and say that if they're able to help you financially, the need for you to strip would diminish. I would also gently point out that you can only stop dancing when the promised aid has arrived.

If you put it in a letter, then your parents will have time to read and discuss what you say before you make a follow up phone call.

Sorry about your situation.

Phil.

Brooke
03-09-2009, 09:33 AM
They love you and they are scared for you. But they will get used to it and this will be much less of a point of contention when they see that nothing awful has happened to you.

Sometimes parents think they know the "right thing" to do and they will do anything to protect you from what they see as wrong. Unfortunately, it can be bribery, blackmail, emotional manipulation - all the things we see here. But like they said, you are an adult and they cannot do anything. It's the right decision for you and your husband, so what was the question again?

MarvelGirl
03-09-2009, 05:08 PM
Honestly, if they threaten to tell your entire family, I'd just threaten them that I would tell the entire family I was forced to become a stripper because they refused to help during my financial struggles.

It's kind of low, but so is what they're doing. That "telling everybody" bullshit works both ways.

As for your husbands career, your dancing will NOT have an effect. That's bullshit.

sorsi
03-09-2009, 08:09 PM
Honestly, if they threaten to tell your entire family, I'd just threaten them that I would tell the entire family I was forced to become a stripper because they refused to help during my financial struggles.

It's kind of low, but so is what they're doing. That "telling everybody" bullshit works both ways.

As for your husbands career, your dancing will NOT have an effect. That's bullshit.

Exactly. And as Wish said, they had their chance to help you. Instead, they watched you struggle and did nothing. IMHO if a family member is struggling, and you have the means to help and refuse to, that is heartless. "You should able to stand on your own as an adult" is a famously overused excuse by parents who are selfish and don't want to help their own flesh and blood through a hard time. Everyone goes through hard times, and if you can't count on your own family for help, that's sad. What are your parents going to do when they get older and may need your help? /:O

My parents are the same way, and not hating them for it is something I really struggle with spiritually. But at this point, I wouldn't accept help even if they did offer it. They've shown too many times that their "help" comes with major strings attached. :-\

Elvia
03-09-2009, 08:32 PM
Honestly, I very much doubt they really are going to tell the rest of the family. This is likely a bluff, my family tried that too. They don't really want to do that, they just want to scare you. When my father threatened to tell my grandmother, I just calmly told him that I couldn't stop him from doing whatever he wanted to do, but I did think it was unfortunate that he was willing to needlessly stress his own elderly mother just to hurt me. Of course, he didn't tell her.

kittycampbell
03-09-2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice, I appreciate it. Still not sure how it's going to work out but we'll see. Doesn't help that the job market here sucks right now so even if I did want to get a different job I might not be able to...plus why would I want to work harder and make WAAAAY less money? I mean really. That's craziness. I also have ongoing health stuff going on (chronic stomach problems whose cause remains a mystery) and just had an abdominal ultrasound today, so my choice might end up depending on the results of that too...anyway, I appreciate everyone's input :)

Meleania
03-09-2009, 10:51 PM
Honestly, if they threaten to tell your entire family, I'd just threaten them that I would tell the entire family I was forced to become a stripper because they refused to help during my financial struggles.

It's kind of low, but so is what they're doing. That "telling everybody" bullshit works both ways.


I agree. But if you wanna go that extra step, tell them youll stop dancing if they help you, then keep dancing! They wouldnt find out since they live far away anyway;) }:D

Gemini_Syn
03-10-2009, 10:00 AM
Kitty you need to stand you ground with them. Explain to them that you are safe and that it's not what's put on the TV. And it will NOT effect your husband's career. I know of several former dancers that have their doctorates.