My Relationship with my Parents is Ruined

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by BlackholeKG, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. BlackholeKG

    BlackholeKG I saw you making fire

    I got home from work for lunch and they were perfectly friendly, which was like, why does it have to be confusing about where we stand... You must be just as upset with me as you were yesterday, those were longstanding concerns, so why are you acting like there's nothing wrong between us, why are we doing this
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  2. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    You don't "solve" relationships. While @rigorist comes off as an ass, he was making a point you need to try to weave into your thinking. There is no "fault finding" that will help. Yup - your parents are assholes. You can't fix that. Yup, you have serious mental health issues. You can get them some help, over time, eventually.
    These are things that are not " X+Y=0, and 2X / 3Y = 0, so we can solve for X". (I bet that isn't even solvable :) ).

    As Rigs said - what can you do now to make things better? You came up with an idea (clean up a bit).

    That doesn't mean you need to take some blame, ascribe flaws to yourself, and curl up in bed in self-hate because you didn't think of it before - it means you should do the clean up. Do not add "meaning" to it. Just because cleaning will help make the family happy does not mean you are bad for not doing it before, it just means you can cut some of the poop out of your life when you do it.

    If you need a prompt to get up and do stuff that is not mean (you expressed a rebellious attitude to that sort of thing) I saw someplace on the forum a thread for people reminding each other to do stuff.

    Thinking of "who's at fault" is pointless in ALL endeavours (unless you're in the military and need a scapegoat to execute).

    Think of "how to work through it".
    Consider that things you do "naturally" will carry through to when you go to Uni and may need the same kind of prompts and negotiations (that you aren't getting from family) so this will be practice to work with the assholes you'll meet there.
    • Like x 11
  3. keltka

    keltka the green and brown one

    I've been trying to work out the best way to add advice—so basically, I have a Fairly Decent Usually relationship with my parents. This is a Relatively New Thing.

    Back before I left for college, my dad and I did not get along. My mom and I usually got along. When I left for college it helped, a shitton. My dad still sees me as a kid sometimes, but for my mom, who thinks college is the NEXT BIG STAGE, she treated me more like a grown up—the three of us argue a hell of a lot less now.

    But yes, I still get the "why aren't you trying enough, I'm is spending all this money on you" from my dad. He tends to hold money over my head. a lot.

    Lissa's right. "Who's at fault" helps no one but the self-loathing gremlins, and no one wants to help those. they're assholes.
    "How do I work through this?" helps you so so so much.

    I bitch about my dad a lot. But at some point I decided I was done being pissy at him—if he tried any more of that shit, I was going to stop it dead in its tracks. AS A HEADS UP my solution is not one I'd recommend to everyone? but it worked for me, as I was in a ffffairly financially stable place to handle it.

    I'm going for a second degree right now. I'm paying for it—after doing the math, I had enough money to pay for the first year myself, and if I couldn't afford to, I'd take a gap year, work to save up money, then go back for the second and last year. My dad immediately started bitching—you know, this is why I wanted you to work more from the start, why don't you have a second job, etc—never mind the fact that during my "time off", which was summer plus the one semester free I had from finishing college early I'd been working, took an accounting class (at his demand, and mom paid for), and consistently scored well in it, as well as running a wikia and an art/write/etc swap.

    So I told him, yes, I'm going back to college, no, I'm not going back to college where you want me to (he had my whole life planned out—go to college, move into an apartment near grandma's for a little while, most likely while I was working, after that, go back for a master's—in business or accounting, probably), and yes, I'm going to pay for it myself.

    He got pissy.

    Once he got over being pissy, he was trying to take control of things—at one point, he pitched a fit because I'd decided not to live in the dorms (a savings of like 2,000 dollars a year holy shit) and I replied with, you're not paying. him: well I'd pay if you lived in the dorms!!!
    me: I don't want you to pay.

    He even pulled shit like, "Don't go asking your Grandma for help", despite the fact that A) at the time my grandma was in the hospital, B) she's LITERALLY MY FAVORITE GRANDMA, and C) He knows I hate accepting money from people, even on my birthday/at christmas/at chinese new years
    I was pissed.

    So anyway—I ended up standing my ground. When he insisted that he was going to pay, I told him that any money I accepted from him would be a loan. I'd pay it back—maybe not super right away, but eventually. (we agreed on 15 years)

    BASICALLY—fault finding isn't gonna help you, but working out a plan and sticking to it—that might? Map out what you're going to try and do to meet their "requests" (they read as emotionally manipulative demands to me ngl ngl), write it down, and tell them. "You wanted me to do I'm going to try and do this!"
    Honestly, that helps in two ways—if they're actually serious about making things work, then they'll be all for it. If they just want you to feel guilty, they'll make a big stink about how that's not what they asked for, and you'll have a further answer as to how to handle things

    Distance helps. Distance helps a lot. When you're no longer directly with/under someone's...I hesitate to say control, maybe...roof? Basically, when you're not all up in each other's business, it helps. It makes your parents see you as a Separate Entity, not just "Their Kid", and it will make them change the way they handle things because of that.

    I'm super sorry you're going through this shit, and I really hope it works out to your happiness and/or satisfaction
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
    • Like x 5
  4. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    One thing to keep in mind is that this transition time between child and adult is always difficult for everyone. People who tell you, "Oh! It was peaches and cream and all that between my folks and I when I was nineteen!" are goddamn liars.
    • Like x 7
  5. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    It was far from perfect for me (My mom and I were getting on each others nerves a lot before I moved out) But it was a heck of a lot better than how things are going between you and your parents Josie.
    Also my relationship to my mom improved a lot once I moved out, so reiterating that I think distance is the best first step. You can Always still do family counseling later, there is not expiration date.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
    • Like x 3
  6. cantankerousAquarius

    cantankerousAquarius Acrasial Macrology

    My rents are gr9 and I didn't get along with my mom between sophomore year until after a semester and a half of college. I'm still kinda fucked up over shit that went down if I'm being honest.

    Getting away is gonna help loads, if my experiences are anything to go by
    • Like x 3
  7. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    Nuh uh! It was for me! I didn't fib!
    (says the perpetual child that has never been and never will be a responsible 'adult'. )
    • Like x 3
  8. BlackholeKG

    BlackholeKG I saw you making fire

    Here's some thoughts about why this has caused so much trouble; I think a lot of it is rooted in more concern for my not doing stuff for myself rather than not doing stuff for them.

    Because I do do chores for them when they ask me to, the stuff which this has been focused on has been stuff that affects me, such as the state of my room, or my sleeping hours, or the amount of work that I am putting in to earn money for myself. It was the same thing with that year of school, my doing badly there would only affect me.

    And that's what it keeps coming back to, with the whole thing about their worrying about me hurting them whilst I am unconcerned, or whatever they were implying when they were saying that I put them through a hard time (through having an awful time myself, but then I'm not sure they "get" that). What it is is they see me not looking after myself like a non-mentally ill person would, and they're really concerned and worried about me, but then they put that on me for not trying, because from their perspective, I am not.

    I mean, of course that's only one part of the issues they have - there's the whole thing with me being secretive and not spending time with them - but that ties into the whole rudeness thing, and they feel that I am ignoring them and not following good sense, I think. And they are upset because that worries them - the problem is that they don't seem to be thinking about what causes this from my perspective, because as they keep saying, they can't see my perspective, they just see me "taking the mickey". And then they push that frustration onto me. So it comes from a real place of caring and worrying about my well being, only they blame me for not putting enough effort into that, because they can't see how that could not be the case. When I've tried saying that I have a hard time, my mother says things like "I have a hard time too, but I get on with things," and I think they just don't understand the concept of vary mileage. Or, to use a term that I generally don't like to apply to myself but which nonetheless conveys the point, "spoons".

    Of course I am living within my own means and making my own decisions within my own framework about my own things, often contrary to what my parents "tell" me to do (which generally amounts to "do X thing", which is generally a thing that I will want to do in the future but don't want to do immediately, because I am managing my time in my own framework). So from my perspective I'm just exercising my independence and making my own decisions about things based on my own "spoons" or whatever, and from their perspective I am actively ignoring them, affronting them, making bad decisions and being lazy, and they are really worried about that (and hurt more by it then I am because obviously I am just not trying and lazing about and being unconcerned about everything).

    Obviously that's false, but I think it's where a lot of this comes from.

    I am reflecting with this because they just called me into the front room and went through in detail about all the things that they have been buying for me for university, like an itinerary. They were very clear about the fact that it was costing them a lot of money as well (I asked if they wanted to be compensated, they said no, the important thing is that I save my money). And you could see the emphasis on "look at all these things we are doing for you" with the unspoken "now do what we want in return" as being in a sense manipulative, but I think, I don't know... it might be more of a plea? Like, "look, we are doing all these things for you, we are taking care of everything, now please actually do take care of yourself and do uni right!". I feel like they see me "not doing things" and they think that I really am incompetent, and they are worried that I'm not going to take care of myself, and so they are struggling to put in effort to try and make sure that I am right and they are like "just please put effort in also, and don't be so ungrateful because that is rude". My mother said this long thing about how uni would be really great, and a "fresh start" for me, and that I wouldn't be so alone, and that I would really be able to enjoy myself, and I took it as a sort of plea and hope that I would get to uni and pick myself up and stop living in the way that she had observed so she could stop being worried.

    And I mean, to an extent they are right in that I don't properly take care of myself in the ways that they are judging that, but at the same time, that's my life, and I am comfortable with the decisions I am making about it, but from the outside it's probably harder. Also, seeing that is probably why they are so fixated on my being not mature, because to them I am obviously not acting in an adult, put-together way.


    So basically, they really are concerned, they are just really annoyed about the way I am seeming to live my life and how I seem to be snubbing them, because they cannot see my perspective or really understand the causes of my actions, and I am so closed off from them, and they are hurt and concerned and ultimately angry about that.

    And I don't really think that them putting that on me is fair, but then, as my mother said, how could they see it any other way?

    So it's ultimately just a really unfortunate situation, and I'm not sure how it could be resolved without them having more insight into things in my life and stuff like brainweirds and my various other Troubles With Things that they just are not understanding or treating right... can I blame them for not having that information? I'm not sure. I think it is unfair how I am getting treated and viewed in response, but could I expect more from anyone really? What do you guys think? Is it fair to be upset with them about this given that they really do care about me? Am I to blame for not being able to be more communicative? But I suppose we have already said that "blame" or "fault" is not really the best thing to seek for, here. I would like to know if I am justified in feeling upset, hurt and a little bit angry about everything that happened yesterday, though. I would like more input/analysis from anyone who has any insights or anything...

    Hopefully, yeah, uni and distance with resolve a lot of these issues as they won't be up living with me. They do intend to talk to me a lot over the internet, though, and the phone, so I guess that's their way of trying to check up on me. But I will ensure that I am living pretty much independently.
    • Like x 4
  9. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    I would still suggest that you get help with your brain. Seriously, I am beating this dead horse like a drum, but that's how damned important it is to me. Having someone whose explicit duty it is to Listen To You Whine, and who in fact gets paid for it, will help you feel less guilty about imposing on everyone around you.
    • Like x 7
  10. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I read through this really quickly, I think you've gotten a lot of good advice in this thread from lots of people, and that things are going to be okay.

    There are two different conversations happening, one is "Who's fault is this rift in the relationship?" and the second is "How can we proceed from here in the most productive and healthy manner?"

    Those two conversations are often at cross purposes, but they can inform one another.

    The people saying your parents were being poor parents are right, but they're being poor parents in a very predictable manner. They're confused and upset at the whole you becoming an adult thing (a depressed adult no less), and pushing back against you because it seems to them like their distress is coming from you. You're confused and upset at the whole becoming an adult thing (a depressed adult no less), and getting push back from your parents, so you are paralyzed, tired, and acting out by turns. It happens in perfectly functional families a lot, and your one doesn't seem to be functioning all that well at the moment.

    You are, as I mentioned, exhibiting signs of mental illness, which seem to be making your parents upset and uncomfortable. While this is an understandable reaction (that's scary shit) it's also harmful and not the way a Good Parent reacts. They're also reacting to the whole situation by doubling down on "It's not us, it's you" when really it's... all and none of you at the same time. Their reaction to your situation (becoming a depressed adult) shows them being stubborn, ill informed, and selfish, but from how you've described them so far they don't seem totally beyond reason.

    What all of you need to understand is that it's not your fault you're depressed, it's not your parents' fault either. But it's still a thing, and no amount of effort on your part OR their part will magic it away. You need to be in therapy, and maybe on some medication to help you manage the potential imbalance in your brain. That your parents see your mental illness as a moral failing that they can't help you with is only going to make it harder for you to recover, so you going to therapy and them learning about mental illness would both be good ways to move forward.

    Ideally your therapist could recommend family therapy, even if it's just a couple of meetings to sort some communication issues out and make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to information. Coming from your doctor, and not from you, they might respect the idea instead of dismissing it as childish.

    Now, if they are unwilling to get you the medical help you need, or unwilling to listen to your doctors' recommendations, I will be more concerned. I think that dealing with that outcome as it comes would be better than worrying about it right now though. Operating under the assumption that you all love each other and want what's best for each other despite misunderstandings and misinformation would be good.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
    • Like x 9
  11. Ducks

    Ducks 79 Plural Fowl Illuminates The Legendary

    You've gotten a lot of good advice from lots of people here, and most people are largely in agreement. Honestly this situation is reminding me of the first year I lived with my dad (before I was medicated and in therapy). He and my stepmum agonised over my malaise and closed off nature and frequently got frustrated with me- especially dad. he'd respond in the way your parents are because he's coming from the same kind of emotionally closed bootstraps background. He still doesn't really get me, but being able to work on myself and having the space to interact on an adult level with him and my stepmum helps. You have time. Relationships are malleable and things will go as well as they ever can in the messy human interactions as long as you all have the love and will to work on it.
    • Like x 3
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