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growing up – becoming adul / procrastination – in connection to childhood trauma

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  • #432713
    Robi1992
    Participant

    I got lost for a while reading my old posts on this forum. So many things happened! So many things changed. Many haven’t changed.. but If I think about it there aren’t many things that haven’t been upgraded in some way. I remember when I wrote the first post.. the very, very long post. I was in Cluj, in a room I was renting there – my girlfriend at the time was away visiting her family in Germany and I took advantage of a few days on my own to try to shed some light into my blurry and anxious life. I was suffering soo deeply back then – and I had no tools to work with myself. My relationship wasn’t great.. although I was trying to convince myself it was. Also I was hurting so much and I just didn’t know why – I was looking for answers but didn’t have clarity.

    Fast forward what.. 5..6 years? I’m in a room I’m renting in Spain – girlfriend back in Poland. Laying in bed listening to some very relaxing and grounding stuff. ( Pave the way ( 1hr ) – Organic Downtempo Nature Improvisation w/ Mose & Natan Rabin ). Well – I am certainly more grounded now. I’ve certainly found my way to connect, relax and focus. Doing sports,  meditating, breath work and yoga have been the fuel for my cleansing process. I sometimes look at my morning ritual I can’t believe Its really me doing all these things. Back in 2018 that would’ve been impossible. But let’s set aside the yogi stuff.

    Isn’t it a little similar?

    As I said. Many things have changed but some still haven’t really. I am still unsure of many things and ( now ) I’m partially relying on my family for financial support. ( back then I had no income of my own ). This time, my relationship couldn’t be more different than the previous one. I do sometimes have doubts about my ability to have a healthy relationship.. sometimes I feel like I’m struggling but I found that communication works miracles. This time I have the awareness to at least spot when I get triggered.. to feel when I’m acting from my ego ( mask ) / wounded child.  I also recently realised that I was able to work for 3 years online, making a decent income – indeed in a very comfy manner which worked for me really well and made everything easier. Now, recently I was working 2 jobs ( both of them quite uncomfortable in many ways ) – I managed to handle both of them well without feeling too anxious. I did feel anxious at first – but quickly I started feeling a lot more confident. ( until the headaches started… and then I just feel like sh*t  – but what can I do? nobody likes a headache ).

    S0.. although most things have changed, again I see myself reliving the same situation – relying on my parents financial support and not fully standing on my own feet. I see something is still holding me back. Not long after I’ve had my second job and I had the prospect of being fully independent again I seem to fall back on my armchair. Might not even be my armchair. I’m a very fit and active guy and I surely don’t like sitting. When I was doing the online job I was often working on a standing desk.

    This is something I’d like to solve. I am very grateful for being in a position where I can ask for financial help If I need it – I am very much aware many don’t. But I am also aware that this ”connection” keeps me stuck and doesn’t allow me to grow further.

    Now.. part of me thinks I should stay here in Alicante and do whatever it takes to have a job – any job to be able to maintain my financial independence. And in many ways that might as well be the right thing to do. But it doesn’t feel right either. The more work I have the less I have time to visit my girlfriend. So then.. our relationship would suffer a lot. Ideally I should do this same thing ( working on my financial independence ) wherever she is.

    I seem to miss Warsaw a lot, you know that already – but I also have doubts.. I would have to live with my girlfriend and her mother ( again ) . ( until I have a decent income and afford renting something ). Also, If I don’t find work right away, I’m thinking of going to Romania for a while until I find something in Warsaw and then move. What you said really resonated with me.

    Going “home”.. better get more clarity about your purpose there: what would it be? Better not be motivated by nostalgia alone (selective memory, remembering the good; forgetting the bad). Looking at the title of your thread: better you don’t procrastinate- or press the Pause feature on-  becoming an adult, by going back “home”.

    Well – nostalgia there is of course. There are many things I love there. There are beautiful hills and forests I know like the back of my hand. I like walking around such places, running, connecting to the nature. This is very important for me. Also, there are nice twisty roads I also happen to know really well. Not sure you know, but I’m a lot into cars – fast ones especially. Driving a car to its absolute limit has been my ”drug” for years – that has been my escape. Also the nice food, we live in the countryside so we get fresh eggs from our neighbours, cheese etc. My dad makes home made wine and my mother cooks delicious foods. These things I miss, yes.

    I don’t miss being controlled and observed by my parents all the time though. But does it have to be like that? I suppose I’ve learned a couple of things lately. I believe my defence systems also evolved in the last years – I think I can set my boundaries better now. I’d like to be able to go back to what I believe is partly my house, to the country I grew up in, without being afraid of becoming a trapped kid again. I don’t want to be avoiding going there – that place should be a place where I can feel at home and I don’t want to run away from it. I’ve done that already so many times – always with tears in my eyes. Maybe I don’t want to do that anymore. I might not want to live there but I also don’t want to run away from it. I am here to heal my wounds and find my voice.  I’m not going to settle for anything that keeps me away from doing the inner work I need to do. This is what REALLY matters so it should be a priority. I know so many people who I see and feel – they are struggling, suffering, having very difficult pasts which they don’t deal with at all. They work 12 hours a day instead.. very often jobs they don’t enjoy – and when they don’t, they drink / smoke / scroll their Tiktock – Tiktok – how tfck do you write that anyways?!

    There has to be a way to do this. There has to be a way to find my financial independence, become a more responsible adult and be OKAY with my past. I don’t want to keep running away from the place that wounded me. The place hasn’t done a thing to me anyways.

    I’m finding that way. I’m just a bit confused.. as one should be. Times are confusing and everything is moving so fast. I hope all I wrote makes some sense..

    What do you think Anita?

    I am very surprised and happy to know you are as well Romanian! I am also only half Romanian, my father is from Hungarian descent. Such small world indeed. Sending you all the best!!! 🙂

    Robi

     

     

     

     

    #432732
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi: I started my reply to you a few hours ago, then took a break and will continue later. It’s taking me more time than usual because I am reading that long post of long ago (in the other thread).

    anita

    #432744
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    It will soon be 10 pm in Alicante. I am guessing you are not asleep yet. I read your recent post and there is so much in it,  that I indeed need a few hours to re-read and think before I can submit a reply to you. It is early afternoon here, and I will need to get back to you tomorrow morning (my time). For now, my thoughts about going back to the beautiful country side where you grew up, the beautiful hills and forests, the twisted road, the neighbors’ fresh eggs and home-made cheese.. I can feel your nostalgia as if it was my own, and I feel like saying: yes! Go back there!

    I don’t want to keep running away from the place that wounded me. The place hasn’t done a thing to me anyways“- it’s not the place that wounded you, but if you go back to the place where the people who wounded you are still living, back to living with them, then.. the beautiful hills and forests, and fresh eggs and cheese will do you as much good as they did for you back then, when you were growing up.

    – More tomorrow.

    anita

    #432752
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robbie:

    I didn’t yet read much from your first thread, and will tomorrow morning. But I had a few thoughts earlier today about your nostalgia, about you being in location A (ex., Poland) and seeing the grass as greener in location B (Spain). You go to B and miss A. You then arrange to go back to A, and already regret it before even leaving B.

    In June 8, 2018, you shared that about school, “I just wanted time to pass“. About waiting for your parents at their workplace: “I was basically waiting. idling. (well… I’m not so surprised not that much changed now)“- lots of waiting, putting your life on hold until time and circumstance are favorable to really live.

    Seems like you have been looking for the right time, the right place, the right circumstance to .. sort of catch up with life, to close the waiting/ idling gap.

    What you missed growing up while waiting and idling.. what I missed growing up anxious and depressed, I cannot get back no matter the time, place and circumstance, because I can never again be a real-life child with the hopes and dreams only children have; the glorious, magical kind of make-believe ideas children experience.

    It may be, Robi, that you are attached to those glorious, magical kind of make-believe life children believe in, because this part was put on hold while you waited, idling, as a child and teenager. It may be that the green on the other side (another location in the world, another time, another circumstance) can never be the green you had in mind while waiting and waiting. Not in location A, or B, or C.

    Back to you tomorrow.

    anita

    #432783
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    May 16, 2024 (31): “I remember when I wrote the first post.. the very, very long post. I was in Cluj, in a room I was renting there… I was suffering soo deeply back then… I was hurting so much and I just didn’t know why – I was looking for answers but didn’t have clarity”.

    June 2018 (25): “Hello ! I’m about to tell you a story… I am not doing anything at all in general and I guess I’ve been pretty much always like this… In school I was never interested in much of the subjects and I just wanted time to pass… when I was really young (kindergarten young), I used to cry every time they took me there, and I used to love spending a lot of time with them, but I guess things changed on the way… I wasn’t really doing anything but existing… waiting. idling… not that much changed now… Overwhelmed by options.. Overwhelmed by life…  I also hated them for not having my own room…  It had a door basically made of glass… They used to also come in whenever they needed something from there… I never had my own space… I used to minimize whatever was happening on my computer every time they were entering the room… Maybe I was trying to keep something for myself… They could almost see me through that glass door. Also hear me…  Indeed I think I am in the habit of waiting… I feel like I need to wake up in the morning and go somewhere with a purpose, and have a routine that keeps me alive… I keep feeling like I should just disappear. Go somewhere new and just start a new life. Just leave everything behind… I’m so tired of waiting..”.

    May 17, 2024: “I’m in a room I’m renting in Spain – girlfriend back in Poland…  I am certainly more grounded now. I’ve certainly found my way to connect, relax and focus. Doing sports,  meditating, breath work and yoga have been the fuel for my cleansing process. I sometimes look at my morning ritual I can’t believe Its really me doing all these things… This time, my relationship couldn’t be more different than the previous one…. I found that communication works miracles. This time I have the awareness to at least spot when I get triggered… (I) realised that I was able to work for 3 years online, making a decent income… recently I was working 2 jobs ( both of them quite uncomfortable in many ways ) – I managed to handle both of them well without feeling too anxious”.

    “Now.. part of me thinks I should stay here in Alicante and do whatever it takes to have a job… I seem to miss Warsaw a lot… but I also have doubts.. I would have to live with my girlfriend and her mother (again) until I have a decent income and afford renting something ). Also, If I don’t find work right away, I’m thinking of going to Romania for a while until I find something in Warsaw and then move… There are many things I love there (Romania). There are beautiful hills and forests… My dad makes home made wine and my mother cooks delicious foods. These things I miss, yes. I don’t miss being controlled and observed by my parents all the time though. But does it have to be like that?… I think I can set my boundaries better now. I’d like to be able to go back to what I believe is partly my house, to the country I grew up in, without being afraid of becoming a trapped kid again… There has to be a way to find my financial independence, become a more responsible adult and be OKAY with my past. I don’t want to keep running away from the place that wounded me. The place hasn’t done a thing to me anyways….What do you think Anita?”-

    – I am glad you asked what I think (I was going to tell you anyway, lol): you have been growing up and adulting since you left home (Romania), I am impressed!                              C o N g R a T u L a T i O n S    !    !    !

    I think that the function of you staying with your parents in Romania (or with them anywhere else) is the undoing of the adulting you achieved so far, or worse (the extent of the damage depends on how long you stay with your parents, and on your connection with people other than your parents while there). I believe this to be true not because of a weakness special to you, but because of how very powerful one’s childhood experience with one’s parents is over the development of a one’s brain.

    Your childhood experience: “I used to minimize whatever was happening on my computer every time they were entering the room“. You minimized your computer and you minimized yourself: your interests, and your feeling alive and being active in the here-and-now (“I was never interested in much of the subjects… wanted time to pass… I wasn’t really doing anything but existing… waiting, idling”). You had enough space to exist, but not to live. You were depersonalized, (as you mentioned before).

    You wrote back in June 2018: “I feel like I need to wake up in the morning and go somewhere with a purpose, and have a routine that keeps me alive… I keep feeling like I should just disappear. Go somewhere new and just start a new life. Just leave everything behind… I’m so tired of waiting..“- I think that if you stay with your parents, you will disappear again, more so the longer you stay with them. The reason- your brain developed with this reality: your parents presence in your life= minimized you.

    I think that your father’s home-made wine, your mother’s delicious food, beautiful hills and forests and driving on twisty roads will be fun until.. you find yourself a minimized, trapped kid yet again.

    I think that working and living close to, or with your girlfriend in Poland, in your own place (not with her parents) is a good plan for you.

    anita

    #432805
    Robi1992
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’ve been thinking about what you said.. Of course, it did cross my mind many times before.. and also recently. Very often I told myself I don’t want to go back there ( Romania ) because I feel afraid of falling back on the old programming / on the old patterns etc. In the last 4 years, I’ve spent about 2 to 3 months a year living there. It didn’t really feel like I was disappearing again but I often felt uncomfortable around my parents and very often I realised we don’t really have that much to talk about. We don’t actually talk that much when I’m there because it appears that there isn’t much to talk about. Also, we didn’t really talk that much before, since they were too curious about everything and as a result I was too secretive. So that hasn’t really changed that much.

    Also, in the last years I was working online so I’ve had my own source of income – although they didn’t really let me pay for many things and always insisted on paying for everything –  treating me like a guest. ( something I should be used to as I grew up in their storage room ).  Now I’m thinking it would be different if I was there unemployed, knowing I have to depend of their support for every step I want to take. But then again after the work with the school here ends – my situation wouldn’t be any different.. except for the fact I am abroad and not there in their presence. I would still be supported by them financially unless something else comes up in the next 10 days or so.

    I have to decide what to do now… Since I bought the ticket I feel quite stressed – getting more and more headaches now. If I stay here I won’t be spending time with my girlfriend –  and I understand that her company is the kind of company I want around me. I feel lonely without her, and I miss the time we used to spend together. I have a couple of friends here too which I meet and talk to sometimes, and I’m lucky enough to have a few globally which I can connect to via phone. But I’d like to spend time with my partner.. and right now she won’t be able to come here. So maybe it just makes total sense for me to go there again and try. Maybe this time I manage to find more work and establish myself there. I just don’t quite know what to do if that doesn’t work right away. It might! But what if it doesn’t? In order for me to be there ( without work ) I would have to be supported by my family. I was thinking it would make more sense for me to go there for the period of searching for a job rather than depending on them financially while abroad. I would save money by being there and in many ways it makes more sense.. No?

    These days have been sooo stressful. I’m so tired of those f*cking courses too… In many ways it feels like I took the first way out the moment things started to fall apart. ( losing the bar job and finding out the courses will end quite soon ) But it did feel like the right thing to do. Did I act upon my fear of the challenge of having to find more work / facing the difficulties of losing my jobs ? Or maybe I just saw the opportunity to take action and go back and be close to my girlfriend. I’ve been trying to clarify this these last days.. for some reason I’d like to know why I do the things I do. It’s part of both my healthy introspection and my not so healthy overthinking.

    My parents keep calling me these days encouraging me to find more work here. I told them I’ve lost the bar job and the school is also running out. I didn’t tell them that I have a ticket to Warsaw yet. I know I’d have to face a big wave of their disappointment. I’ll do it these days… It doesn’t really change anything if they know or not but right now I just didn’t feel like it. Having their words of disappointment and discouragement is quite literally the last thing I need right now.

    Ideally I’d go to Warsaw and find work right away.. that would probably be the best way things could play out.

    You know.. it bothers me a lot that there’s a risk of me falling back on my old patterns If I go to Romania. It really sucks.. because I do know that my brain developed a very difficult reality because of the way my parents treated me but I was hoping things could be in some way healed. It really sucks knowing that my parents are in a way, a threat to me. But then again.. that has been very often the case in the past.

    Or maybe until I build a more solid foundation and stronger boundaries I’d have to steer away from them?

    Thank you Anita! Reading all those things I’ve said in the past put together by you hasn’t been a light read.. but it shows so much.

    Robi

     

     

     

     

    #432810
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    I will reply further in the morning (it’s Sat evening here), but for now, in regard to “I didn’t tell them that I have a ticket to Warsaw yet. I know I’d have to face a big wave of their disappointment“- please keep in mind that they were the adult parents who failed and disappointed their child, their son Robi. You haven’t failed them; they have failed you (unintentionally, I understand, as so many parents do). You are doing very well, considering.

    anita

    #432824
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    * I am adding this comment after having completed typing what follows. I realize that In asked you more than 10 questions, and it may distress you to be asked so many questions (last you posted you were already quite stressed!) So, please feel comfortable to answer or not answer, read or not read. I would like you to be as calm as possible during this one more transitional time.

    You are very welcome, and thank you for your appreciation!

    Recently. Very often I told myself I don’t want to go back there (Romania) because I feel afraid of falling back on the old programming/ on the old patterns etc. In the last 4 years, I’ve spent about 2 to 3 months a year living there. It didn’t really feel like I was disappearing again, but I often felt uncomfortable around my parents“- I didn’t know that you spent 2-3 months straight with them every year. You say it felt uncomfortable, but it didn’t feel terrible? Those 2-3 months per year didn’t hurt your quest of “growing up- becoming adult” (title of your thread)?

    Or perhaps the 2-3 months per year felt worse than uncomfortable, but you let the worse slide off from your awareness (just as you let the t slide off from the adult, in the title of your thread, lol)?

    Having their words of disappointment and discouragement is quite literally the last thing I need right now“- What words of disappointment and discouragement have they said to you during the 2-3 months you’ve spent with them in the last 4 years? How did you feel hearing them?

    “If I stay here, I won’t be spending time with my girlfriend–  and I understand that her company is the kind of company I want around me. I feel lonely without her“- again, seems to me that living close to, or with your girlfriend is the right thing for you.

    … In order for me to be there (without work) I would have to be supported by my family. I was thinking it would make more sense for me to go there for the period of searching for a job rather than depending on them financially while abroad. I would save money by being there and in many ways it makes more sense.. No?“- you are thinking about going to Warsaw (beginning of June) to look for work, and then to Romania to live with your parents while waiting for a job in Warsaw to materialize?

    And your reason is that living with your parents, they will not need to pay your rent in Warsaw before you can pay it yourself?

    Are your parents able to pay your rent in Warsaw, and if so, for how long?

    I read that it’s 4 days by train to get from Transylvania to Warsaw, so that doesn’t sound realistic. I suppose it’d be your parents paying for you to fly to Warsaw from Transylvania by plane? Repeatedly? I wonder they’ll pay more on air travel for you than they’d pay for rent for you in Warsaw.

    Or maybe I just saw the opportunity to take action and go back and be close to my girlfriend“- seems like it to me.

    Ideally I’d go to Warsaw and find work right away.. that would probably be the best way things could play out“- I think so.

    It really sucks knowing that my parents are in a way, a threat to me. But then again.. that has been very often the case in the past“- it’s the sad case for millions of people, parents being a threat. Amazing, isn’t it. An emotional threat, most often.

    Or maybe until I build a more solid foundation and stronger boundaries I’d have to steer away from them?“- I think so. When you have a more solid foundation, you probably wouldn’t want it destroyed.

    anita

    #432837
    Robi1992
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I didn’t know that you spent 2-3 months straight with them every year. You say it felt uncomfortable, but it didn’t feel terrible? Those 2-3 months per year didn’t hurt your quest of “growing up- becoming adult” (title of your thread)? 

    Well, it didn’t feel terrible.. I was working from home, very often in the garden and in my free time I was doing my workouts and spend a lot of time in the nature. I was be mostly on my own when I was there.  They live in a much bigger house now, where I finally have my own room and a separate entrance –  so in that respect I do get a lot more privacy. The worst part was the fact that we don’t really talk much when I’m there.. There isn’t that much to talk about.. so they watch a lot of tv and just go on with their day. I do my things.

    Or perhaps the 2-3 months per year felt worse than uncomfortable, but you let the worse slide off from your awareness (just as you let the t slide off from the adult, in the title of your thread, lol)?

    I mean… I don’t hate them. I might’ve hated them as a child but right now I don’t. Although they hurt me a lot while I was a child I right now understand that they themselves haven’t had healthy childhood experiences.. they also have been traumatised by their parents –  especially my mother. I don’t think they treated me right.. absolutely not.. but I see them. I know they didn’t want to hurt me and they acted upon their own fears and inability to do any better. They weren’t able to be nurturing parents for me because they haven’t been exposed to that themselves. Of course things would’ve been different if they did treat me differently. What if they themselves would’ve been treated better as children? They didn’t have access to the information I have now and they also didn’t have the opportunity or the courage to dig deeper / travel / spend time alone and introspect etc. Communist Romania wasn’t what you’d call the land of opportunity. They rushed out of their difficult childhoods into studies still under the communist regime where they were basically taught by frustrated teachers who took it out on them sometimes not only verbally.  Right after that they landed  jobs. ( in Communist Romania everyone had to work or they’d be imprisoned ). What’s left then? Getting married and having kids – like 99% of people there. And that’s what they did. They still work there now – nothing has changed.

    They didn’t deal with any of the shit their parents had done to them. They must’ve blocked it all and got bottled up. They took it out on me – and had no idea where all that came from – and neither did I ( at least not until recently ).

    Don’t get me wrong.. I’m not trying to defend them.. there is no point. But knowing these things and seeing them the way I do I find it hard to bock them completely. I still believe healing is possible, even if not completely. I do believe there are ways for us to heal and accept each other more. They have no one else but me. Their parents died years ago, there are no more uncles, aunts, cousins who are in close contact with them. They also don’t have any friends. They only have each other… and me. I see they are suffering on a daily basis..  my mother is stuck on her phone almost non stop scrolling social media – she’s heavily addicted. She cannot listen to more than 10 seconds of any of my stories without getting distracted and tuning out. At the end of my conversation there will usually be no reaction from her.. she just has no idea what I’ve said to her. There are also many physical conditions which are very severe.. which she doesn’t seem to want to improve. Her body shows her all the pain she hasn’t worked on. My father is a lot healthier physically and mentally- he also had a much ”lighter” version of the let’s call it communist childhood. Similarly he likes to scroll his phone too.. quite a lot. There is no day without alcohol ( not getting drunk but just lubricating his reality a little ), he like buying useless shit in hope to make himself feel better. He doesn’t. Both of them feel miserable most of the time. I clearly see that and I feel sorry for them.. I really do. They often say they love me very much and I’m the most important to them. ( I know.. I don’t much competition do I :)) ? ) Maybe that is true.. or maybe not. Maybe they are not capable of loving me in an authentic way really. But you know what.. I don’t want to completely cut them off – I still think we can be a family.. as much as we can and know so far.

    However, I think cutting them off financially speaking is an absolute must. Although it has been very difficult to break free from it I think this disconnection is needed in order to heal further and have a better relationship. 

    Indeed, that means growing, adulting. Yes – an adult will be financially independent from his parents. Also I believe trying to understand and showing genuine interest in where they came from and what their experiences have been –  this as well is a sign of adulting ( at least in my book ). Having reached a point where I see things with more clarity and not only forgive but also be willing to compassionately understand instead of punishing. Shouldn’t this as well be a sign of adulting? I feel it it might be.

    What words of disappointment and discouragement have they said to you during the 2-3 months you’ve spent with them in the last 4 years? How did you feel hearing them?

    Well.. they would say all sorts of things to me. Some more supple some less. Very often they would criticise my old job and try to steer me towards a different career, even offered to pay for my studies ( if I decided a change of career ). They wanted me to make more money and ”have something more stable ”. Also trying to persuade me and my girlfriend into having kids or getting married. We never took these remarks seriously and didn’t give much energy to them. I guess sometimes u have to see things for that they are.

    I think they would feel disappointed if I left Spain. While I lived in Poland they encouraged me to move back to Spain because I speak the language and It’ll be a lot easier to find work there ( here ). They would often point out that the fact I don’t speak polish makes things very difficult when finding a job. – which I agree. Also they don’t seem to realise that people work in English these days quite a lot.

    Now.. about me going to Warsaw and from there to Romania. I don’t know. Ideally I would stay there. Since I haven’t managed to build a good financial foundation since I came here.. my savings will run out rather sooner than later. If I stayed there for long looking for work I would run out. That’s why going to Romania makes more sense financially, since I would spend a lot less money there –  but then again also traveling there will add some costs. It wouldn’t be my parents paying for my travels though. What I’d like to avoid is being in Warsaw with no source of income or savings – in case I don’t find work right away. This is still something I have to think of.

    These days I keep questioning if leaving Alicante is actually the right thing to do or not.. I’m so tired, stressed and foggy lately and I don’t seem to know how to choose anymore.

    I see you are pointing to me that my parents still have a big influence in my functioning . That’s true,  I haven’t ”adulted” as much as I’d like and it doesn’t feel great. I think I’m doing the best I can, the best I’ve learned so far. I might be doing it the wrong way.. maybe healing the past means cutting off everything. I haven’t come to that conclusion yet though. The more I learn – the more I see how little I understand. That’s ridiculous.

    Thank you Anita,

    Have a good day / night ahead!

    Robi

     

     

     

     

    #432851
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi: I will read and reply in about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    #432862
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    They live in a much bigger house now, where I finally have my own room and a separate entrance –  so in that respect I do get a lot more privacy… they watch a lot of tv and just go on with their day. I do my things“- I am glad they live in a much bigger house and that when you’re there, you have your own room and a separate entrance!

    I don’t hate them… they themselves haven’t had healthy childhood experiences… Communist Romania wasn’t what you’d call the land of opportunity“- my empathy is with them and with you.

    They have no one else but me. Their parents died years ago, there are no more uncles, aunts, cousins who are in close contact with them. They also don’t have any friends. They only have each other… and me“- I am guessing that there are people with the same background as your parents, same age, same location, same Communist Romania history who do have close contact with uncles, aunts, cousins and friends?

    Why don’t they?

    And why don’t they have close contact with their own son (“The worst part was the fact that we don’t really talk much when I’m there.. There isn’t that much to talk about.. so they watch a lot of tv and just go on with their day. I do my things“)?

    I am not blaming them, as in suggesting that they are bad people. I think instead, that they are incapable people, incapable of close contact: true to your mother, more than your father perhaps.

    I do believe there are ways for us to heal and accept each other more“- the extreme lack of close contact between you and your parents for 3 decades, is not promising in regard to creating close contact/ healing between the three of you. But I can’t say it is impossible, I can’t predict the future. Miracles (rarely) happen.

    I see they are suffering on a daily basis..  my mother is stuck on her phone almost non stop scrolling social media – she’s heavily addicted. She cannot listen to more than 10 seconds of any of my stories without getting distracted and tuning out. At the end of my conversation there will usually be no reaction from her.. she just has no idea what I’ve said to her…  My father… likes to scroll his phone too.. quite a lot… Both of them feel miserable most of the time. I clearly see that and I feel sorry for them.. I really do“- there is no close contact between the two of them either. I too feel sorry for them.

    I don’t want to completely cut them off – I still think we can be a family.. as much as we can and know so far“- yes, you can continue to be a family of no close contact, just like it’s been so far. From your description of your mother, it reads like she is truly incapable of close contact with another human being. I remember now that I suggested this to you some time ago, now edited: that your mother offering you money has been her way to express love that she is generally unable to feel or express.

    I believe trying to understand and showing genuine interest in where they came from and what their experiences have been –  this as well is a sign of adulting… Shouldn’t this as well be a sign of adulting?“- I wonder how many, if any, of the uncles, aunts, cousins and others who expressed genuine interest in your parents, were met with your mother’s/ parents’ inability to reciprocate.. and unreciprocated, their interest evaporated.

    Think of your past efforts to show genuine interest in your parents. What were their reactions? If they reacted in ways that were harmful to you (made you feel acutely alone, perhaps), then adulting would be to no longer show genuine interest in them (even if you still feel it).

    Going to Romania makes more sense financially, since I would spend a lot less money there“- I understand this point.

    These days I keep questioning if leaving Alicante is actually the right thing to do or not.. I’m so tired, stressed and foggy lately and I don’t seem to know how to choose anymore… I haven’t ‘adulted’ as much as I’d like and it doesn’t feel great. I think I’m doing the best I can, the best I’ve learned so far… The more I learn – the more I see how little I understand. That’s ridiculous“- this is indeed the nature of true learning: the more you learn, the more there is to learn. It is when a person believes they know all that there is to know, that they are.. not learning anymore.

    Your indecisiveness, your doubts, it’s a habit of your mind, that’s where your brain habitually goes when you make this or that decision, or soon after, and this is what’s happening now. When you feel foggy, your brain being fried under the influence of doubt, so to speak, repeat to yourself: I made the right decision. And shake the doubts off from your brain, hush them. When the doubts return, repeat.

    anita

     

    #432894
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    As I read, yet again, and more thoroughly this morning, through your first 2 threads and parts of your third, my challenge was  to copy and paste as little as possible from all your massive writings, so to not be distracted, so to create a clear, focused picture in my mind.  And indeed, following 5 hours of reading and studying, I see something major that I didn’t see before. First the quotes, then my comments:

    “I still feel uncomfortable around them and I still don’t feel connection.. I was very attached to them as child (very young  barely remember something)… About one thing I am sure. They never gave me privacy or the feeling of freedom…  I never had my own space… I felt controlled… Being a big part of my childhood trapped in their workplace (June 8-10, 2018).

    “If I stay here I will always be helped by my parents and I will always feel controlled… I would describe both of them as being anxious and disconnected. My father never makes eye contact with me… my parents never had fun, never really had a social life.. inactive” (Dec 7, 2018).

    “I finally made it back to Spain.  For the last week while still home, I felt really anxious and unsure about coming here. I was starting to even consider possibilities like becoming a police officer in my home town… But I left anyway on the 5th of February. My mom took me to the airport, I flew and I was here again. I was very tired from the long trip and I felt extremely anxious and unsure… I arrived few hours ago and I was already thinking about going back. Everything looked so intimidating… I am too anxious to be here. I wanted to call them and tell them I am going to come home” (Feb 8, 2019).

    “Up until the age of 29 I was basically fully and later partially supported by my parents. I have to admit, although comfortable, there was a lot of frustration in me because of that. I wanted my independence… During the period when I was fully independent, every time we talked on the phone they would offer to help me financially If I needed it. They would even insist… It’s Christmas!.. We went to spend a couple of weeks with my parents… I wanted to ask my parents for their financial support in order for me to become a Personal Trainer… At first, my mother was thrilled – ‘oh, finally! you’re doing something! we were worried about you. why didn’t you tell us earlier? I give you the money right now if you want!’.  That felt good! It felt like a welcoming hug… She cornered me and started a fight – told me I didn’t care about them and I only cared about myself… she said to me – ‘You’re living in 3 days. From that point, you’re on your own’ She didn’t talk to us for the next days…  I called my mother 10 days after we left… I ended up listening to a 40 minutes monologue – her telling me how bad many things I’ve done as a kid and that I deserved to be hit. And she was joking when she told me I’d be placed into foster care” (Feb 18-19, 2024).

    “Very often I’ve heard from them (actually my mother mostly) things like: ‘please don’t forget us’, ‘keep calling us’ , ‘don’t leave us’… Me being financially supported by them does keep us connected– so I see indeed a good reason there to keep the status quo… As for my mother, your description is perfect. ‘crazy – not sensible or reasonable. She seems bitter, angry, chronically stressed, perhaps, unaware/ having no insight into herself or into others.. unpredictable, impulsive’… Her traumas are showing in her body, but she doesn’t hear it. I am very often worried, and I find it hard to live my own life knowing she needs so much help” (Feb 20, 2024).

    “I don’t miss being controlled and observed by my parents all the time though. But does it have to be like that?… I think I can set my boundaries better now. I’d like to be able to go back to what I believe is partly my house, to the country I grew up in, without being afraid of becoming a trapped kid again. I don’t want to be avoiding going there – that place should be a place where I can feel at home and I don’t want to run away from it” (May 16, 2024).

    “In the last 4 years, I’ve spent about 2 to 3 months a year living there… I often felt uncomfortable around my parents… we don’t really have that much to talk about… in the last years I was working online so I’ve had my own source of income – although they didn’t really let me pay for many things and always insisted on paying for everything –  treating me like a guest…  Having their words of disappointment and discouragement is quite literally the last thing I need right now” (May 18, 2024).

    “I was working from home, very often in the garden and in my free time I was doing my workouts and spend a lot of time in the nature. I was be mostly on my own when I was there.  They live in a much bigger house now, where I finally have my own room and a separate entrance –  so in that respect I do get a lot more privacy. The worst part was the fact that we don’t really talk much when I’m there.. There isn’t that much to talk about.. so they watch a lot of tv and just go on with their day. I do my thing… I do believe there are ways for us to heal and accept each other more. They have no one else but me… I see they are suffering on a daily basis..  my mother is stuck on her phone almost non stop scrolling social media – she’s heavily addicted. She cannot listen to more than 10 seconds of any of my stories without getting distracted and tuning out. At the end of my conversation there will usually be no reaction from her.. she just has no idea what I’ve said to her…. Her body shows her all the pain she hasn’t worked on…  Both of them feel miserable most of the time. I clearly see that and I feel sorry for them.. I really do. They often say they love me very much and I’m the most important to them. (I know.. I don’t much competition do I ?)…I still think we can be a family…I think they would feel disappointed if I left Spain. While I lived in Poland they encouraged me to move back to Spain” (May 19, 2024).

    My comments/ the picture I see: at the edge of the picture, I see that financial independence on your part will not change the ways your parents behave toward you. They will not treat you like an adult when you are financially independent from them.

    At the center of the picture, I see that what stands between you and further adulting is, not your financial independence, but your excessive emotional attachment to your parents. This part is a surprise to me. Your early-on and many shares about how disconnected it’s been in your home growing up and still, how uncomfortable you feel around them, how you don’t like them, or hate them, etc., I didn’t think that you were emotionally attached to them (not since you were in kindergarten, that is, as you shared).

    But I was wrong. Notice what you shared above, on Feb 8, 2019, it clearly shows intense attachment to your parents, excessive, for an adult. Notice how their offer of money during Christmas of last year felt like a “welcoming hug”. And most recently, on May 19, 2024, your strong attachment to them is evident, still wanting to be a family after all these years of disconnectedness.

    And the strangest thing that I see today, strangest because it didn’t occur to me before, is that your parents are way less attached to you than you are to them: both have been miserable while you lived there with them, your father doesn’t create eye contact with you, was never  involved in your life, neither was your mother, neither listens or talks with you about matters that interest you; your mother having threatened to send you away to foster care, and during Christmas of last year, she told you that in 3 days after the visit with her, you’d be on your own. And notice how encouraging they have been for you to live away from them,  in Spain. Most recently you were afraid to tell them that you are leaving Spain and heading.. their way, afraid that it will disappoint them.

    I think that your parents are and have been just too.. stressed to be attached to you, too stressed to invest in a relationship with you. Just like she expressed to you last Christmas, paraphrased: it’s been too stressful, too difficult for her to be a mother.

    If you consider what I wrote here, if you find it to be true, it may weaken your attachment to them, motivate you to not try to connect with them (that’s likely to increase their stress), and make you able, emotionally to make a life for yourself, your own life, your own way! It doesn’t mean that you need to cut contact with them.. just not live with them, and limit the length of visits.

    anita

    #433008
    Robi1992
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you so much for the time you spent on my childhood puzzle. I read your reply today and I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. Like always, I think you’re on to something. I agree there is some attachment issue I need to look into and you are not the first person to point me there. I see 🙂

    I’m now in the middle of my English class so I’ll get back to you tomorrow 🙂

    Just wanted to say Thank You!

    Robi

    #433010
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Robi:

    You are very welcome. Thank you for taking the time from the middle of your English class to send me this note. You’ve often expressed appreciation for my time and efforts, sending a positive sentiment my way: it shows me that you are an empathetic person.

    anita

    #433118
    Robi1992
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    These days I’ve felt so foggy I didn’t manage to sit down and write anything… A few days ago I talked to my parents and I told them I don’t feel that good here and I’m considering going back to Warsaw. As expected they were not supportive at all and they kept telling me over and over that I should stay here because there are more and better opportunities for me here – reminding me how I used to complain about living in Warsaw ( with my girlfriends mother, the flat, the weather, etc. ). The days that followed I kept thinking and rethinking.. not really being able to fully decide anything. Since I bought that ticket 2 weeks ago I keep feeling like this… Before I bought it I felt like I wanted to go to Warsaw.

    My girlfriend will be here in 2 days.. and after a week of being here together we are supposed to go to Warsaw together. I told the school and the landlord I’m leaving already. But still, I don’t feel like I fully decided. Maybe I’ve been thinking about this for too long… I’ve been really stressed about these things and I feel like I need a break from this subject.. I feel like I need to focus on something else.

    Also… if I go to Warsaw, for a while I would have to live with her mother… and that doesn’t feel great.. also knowing she’s not very comfortable I’ll be back there – she felt quite offended by my behaviour ( not liking it there and knowing she was the reason ). I don’t really have another option at the moment. Whenever I manage to have an income there we’ll try to find a better solution.

    What a mess all this is… 🙁 I’m so damn tired these days…

    I hope you are doing fine and having a good day 🙂

    Robi

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