April 27, 2013 at 10:57 am #34856green77Participant
I need some insight about my parents. My father and mother drive each other crazy. My father has a short temper and whenever I look at either of them, I start feeling nervous and sad. My father constantly comes to me and wants to “talk serious” about separation and moving away from my mother. However, they both need each other financially and I know my father cannot live alone. They always come to me and want to talk about their problems with the other party. But honestly, I feel anxiety and just want to run away. I do not like the feeling of my dad saying mean and negative things about my mom. And I don’t like it when she unloads all her feelings about him onto me either. But I really don’t think they see how negatively those words affect me. I can’t help my parents. They do not seek professional help. I sometimes feel like they almost subconsciously revel in hating each other. But it makes me so depressed…some days I want nothing more than have loving parents that cannot look past each other’s flaws and accept each other.
Another thing that worries me is that I will become like them one day. Although they both have positive attributes and are great people in many ways, I can tell they both have very deep seated emotional and maybe psychological issues. It breaks my heart when I see them the way they are sometimes.
I have started to meditate about a year ago, and I really think it has allowed me to step back on my situation and let myself become calmer and more accepting. I realized a few months ago, it’s not my responsibility for them to have a good relationship. Also meditation has taught me to realize my destiny and my emotions are in my own hands. I see in my parents a lack of control, a real loss of freedom. And all I can do is be supportive but at the same time distance myself from their negativity. I also feel like this is one of the things holding me back from truly being able to let go. I can’t let go of this idea that my family is so dysfunctional and I will one day inevitably become like that.
I think just writing this has helped me feel a lot better, but I would really like some perspective from others on how I should approach this difficult situation. Thank you very much in advance.April 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm #34920Marilyn Briant-RockmoreParticipant
Hello, I think it is so wonderful you have discovered meditation and feel calmer as a result and as a writer, I agree it so helps to write stuff down. I feel strongly that since you already know you are responsible for yourself and your emotions and are taking steps towards self-awareness, you will not follow in your parents footsteps. It is unfortunate that they are using you to vent about their problems, but you have the ability to try and stop this. You are already very clear about your own feelings, so why not say them? Since your parents seem to have no boundaries and you have not yet developed your own, why not put some in place now? It is as simple as saying “I love you and I know you are a great person, but I feel nervous and sad when you xxxxxx. Please respect my feelings and don’t xxxxxx with me anymore. Honestly I feel anxiety and just want to run away when you say negative and mean things to me about mom/dad.” There is a great assertiveness tool that I learned years ago, which so helped me with setting boundaries, called “broken record” which means you say what you feel like one of the above sentences, and when the other person comes back with a “yes, but I really need to share this with you” You reply, I understand, and repeat your original statement…eventually they get the message. You keep on reinforcing the boundary by repeating what you want…
I truly hope this helps.
Love and peace,
MarilynApril 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm #34955MaiParticipant
I found the title of this post very eye-catching because I related to it immediatley. After reading it, I couldn’t stop myself from registering in the website to answer to it.
So here I go.
I know what you’re going through. I know what it feels like to hear your parents saying dreadful words about each other, and I also share the fear of becoming one of them someday – hopefully I’ll learn to let go of it.
I think it’s great you’ve learned how to medidate, and to me it’s very clear you have your own perspective of the situation. You know how you feel about that, you’re not confused. I guess that’s the first step, which you’ve already taken maybe without even realizing you were doing so.
Now you should let them know how you feel. Keeping those feelings isn’t fair to yourself; besides, if you don’t let them know their behavior bothers you, they’ll never find out as they are too busy with their own problems.
Having said that, I should also say it won’t be easy. You don’t want to hurt their feelings, you might feel guilty, you don’t want to sound ungrateful. However, try to keep in mind you’re doing that not only for yourself, but for them as well. Maybe it’ll help them realize how they’re living, maybe they’ll even seek professional help afterwards. Maybe not. But if you don’t talk to them, not only will you become more and more anxious, you’ll also do your best to keep distance from them – which isn’t that good either. So go ahead and talk to them. You can do it! 🙂
Last but not least, I truly believe we won’t become like that, we can choose our own path, we can work on what bothers us. And we can learn from our family’s mistakes. I’m sure one day you’ll start to believe that and will finally let go of the idea of becoming one of them. 🙂