January 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm #72165blackageParticipant
After 10+ years of living on my own, in a different city, I now find myself back at my parents house – single, over 30, and unemployed. Hurray. If this isn’t bad enough, I never really had a great relationship with my family either: they’ve always criticized me, my friends, my partners and my lifestyle, and often used me in the past as a scapegoat for their marital problems and their psychological issues. Altho they initially encouraged my career in the ‘art field’ – which is something they wanted for themselves and never pursued, they then proceeded to give me tons of shit once said career turned out to be a not very rewarding one, at least for me, at least so far. I even got a degree out of it (which meant more to them than to me tbh), but that wasn’t enough even back then, whatever I do is worthless in their eyes.
My brother, younger than me, managed to get to work for the government instead, after a brief unsuccessful attempt at studying, and now he’s dutifully doing this thing and earning enough money to earn my parents’ admiration and respect as well. To them, it’s as if I were his perfect nemesis, the faulty mirror image, as night is to day. Even all his girlfriends (past, present and future ones) are the embodiment of angelic perfection, compared to the nobodies my exs were and the massive failure I represent for them (their words).
Now, for instance, we just had an ‘argument’ over something terribly stupid. They let me know that I’ve been invited to ‘come along’ for lunch at my brother’s place, so that he can introduce me to his new gf. Let’s overlook the fact he hasn’t even asked me personally, in advance, if I was ok with that on that specific day (tomorrow – which also makes it a bit of a last minute booty call). I bit my tongue over the point of me being an adult who might have other plans, but hey I’m unemployed and living under their roof, so let’s all just assume I’ve got nothing better to do. Well, I ‘dared’ asking one simple question: ‘could we make it back home by 4-5pm, or do you intend to spend all day there?’. Jeez, I wish I didn’t. I’ve been called egoistic, unrespectful, ungrateful. I’ve been accused of spitting on my brother’s hospitality and kindness, and it all ended up with the classic my house, my rules thing. Not to mention – as an overly dramatic finale – they threatened to deprive me of internet connection if I kept going to bed so late at night (!). I really wish this was all just teenage drama waiting to be washed off by hormonal balancing. But it’s not. I’m past my 30s, I don’t even scream nor slam doors nor do any of that emo stuff. But I keep being shouted at, and this is ridiculous.
Mind you, my social life has been reduced to a perfectly round zero since I moved back here, and I don’t even dream of dating anymore, as long as this is the situation I’m in. For the last 6 months I’ve found it very hard to dream about anything at all actually, and it’s only through reading and personal passions that I’m trying to find some glimpse of hope, and to leave and let go of whatever I left broken, failed and undone behind me. Yeah I had big dreams back then, something they’ll never know about and that they would probably disapprove of – because it’s not the kind of stuff you can buy houses or fill your bank account with – not in the world of realistic people, at least.
Anyways, I’m very respectful of their spaces and I even try to spend as much time as I can in my room, wearing headphones, and minding my own shit most of the time – when I’m not helping around the house. I frankly don’t see what’s the ‘respect’ problem apparently stirred up by my simple basic request. I don’t drive, and it really does feel like a chore – and a huge test of my zen patience – being stuck in a car with them for any amount of time. Figure out having to depend on them when going places. I just feel totally stripped of my freedom and independence as an individual.
Has anyone of you been through something similar? How did you cope? How did you ‘retain a sense of human’? How did you get out of this?February 1, 2015 at 6:57 am #72178AnonymousInactive
My husband and I had to move in with his parents last year. I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. They’re very polite towards me, but they treat him like a teenager still. There’s no mature discussion they can have with their son, they don’t talk to him with respect and they don’t listen to him. They make all kinds of ridiculous rules to try and control his “behavior” just like your parents turning off the internet because they don’t like your bedtime??? It’s insane. It’s like having their child move back in sent them decades back in maturity and now they’re acting like the control freaks they once had to be. (Meanwhile his sister has been living at home her whole life and she’s still their spoiled princess)
I focus on the finish line. We both get degrees in one year and we will be gone then no matter what. ( When I’m really upset I tell myself I’m never going to let them see their grandchildren lol )
For you, blackage, I think the most important thing is making a social life for yourself. If you had friends to talk to, spend time with once in a while, I think you can handle your living situation. I’ve never tried it, but I heard meetup.com is a great way to meet people in your area.
And when you’re feeling super frustrated with your parents, try and focus all that energy on getting out of there aka getting a job. Even if you got a part time job in the meanwhile it would get you out of the house and away from your parents, and give you some spending money for your independence :), you’d meet people… hope that helps good luck! stay positive and just never give up improving yourself. look to the futureFebruary 1, 2015 at 8:03 am #72179losp33dParticipant
Try this on for size. After many years of having your house to yourself, you are faced with the difficult choice of opening up your home to your adult child who resents you and blames you for all of their failures. Rather than expressing any kind of gratitude, your adult child instead grudgingly complies with your requests and wishes because in their mind you owe this to them.February 1, 2015 at 8:39 am #72180MochaBParticipant
I am in a similar situation. Separated from spouse, who made it clear that I was not wanted at my home. I fought leaving my marital home, bec I knew my Mom wasn’t thrilled at the idea of me coming back. She’s pretty independent and had the house to herself. However, I realized that my living situation was doing more harm than good to my well being. So I moved out and filed for divorce.
Coming back to my childhood home takes a lot of inner strength. You may resent your situation, yourself, and b3eing at home is often a constant reminder of who you once were. It feels like your dreams (or failure to achieve them) are being thrown back in your face. I felt trapped, depressed, and stuck. That’s the worse feeling ever. Here’s what I did to help myself.
1) I got out of it by having an “attitude of gratitude.” I know it sounds cliche, but every morning I began to think of three things I’m grateful for. They weren’t deep, and sometimes it was a struggle. But I had a place to lay my head, I wasn’t on the street, my dog was safe with me, and I was in good health. Sometimes I thanked God for a candy bar or for finding a dollar in a coat pocket. These gratitude items are literally my saving grace. When the world sucks and I feel moody and lonely, I allow myself to be in that mood for a short while, but I remind myself of new things to appreciate-the moon, good tea, a good book on my kindle, etc.
2) Also, I try to focus on the outcome I want, rather than the negative situation I’m in. Putting energy towards what you want will bring you closer to your desires. Focusing on what you hate will only increase your dissatisfaction, because you’re feeding the problem, rather than a solution.
These are methods that have helped me out. I hope they help you too.February 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm #72194blackageParticipant
Thank you all for your answers. As both anmarschel and mochabelle said, I’ll try and focus solely on the outcome, on feeling grateful, and overall on thinking positive thoughts. It would be indeed vital to find new friends in this area. I tried to rekindle (the few) old high-school ‘acquaintances’ I had, but it didn’t work out, mainly cause I left this town when I was 18 and most of them either don’t live here anymore or they’re so wrapped up into marriages or whatever it’s going on in their lives, that they probably don’t have time nor energy for ‘new’ friends. I just have to build everything back from scratch.
About the ‘gratitude’ thing tho (and this is for losp33d), I haven’t mentioned it in the original post, but I remain grateful for the fact of having a roof over my head and someone who still cares enough to share their food with me, and I always thank my parents also verbally for whatever they do to help me out. It’s not like they’re this kind of horrible, heartless, monster. But you probably need to have experienced ‘controlling parents’ first hand to know what I’m talking about. They haven’t totally changed their attitude towards me, if I have to compare how I’ve been treated back when I was a child or a teenager: yes, maybe I managed to soften the ‘control-freak’ bit around the edges through years and years of living far from home and trying to make them reason, to talk to them in an adult way, to show them I’m a responsible person. It’s not as bad as it was in those years. But believe me, some behaviours hardly change – because it can’t be always you, you know. Sometimes, sadly, it’s just them. And you can’t do anything about it, it’s not in your power to change certain thinking patterns in others, apart from accepting reality for what it is and move on mentally.
In anmarschel’s boyfriend example, there’s probably some old-fashioned belief on his parents’ side for which the man has got to be the ‘bread-winner’, and ‘earn’ his place in society (thus earning his parents respect too, being the family strongly connected and concerned about formal ‘society rules’, in their minds), while for a woman is perfectly acceptable to stay at home and be a ‘spoiled princess’. Therefore they project on him all their frustration for seeing this ‘rule’ suddenly disrupted. In this case, a person perceives their parents’ love as ‘conditional’, meaning it’s subjected to the satisfaction of certain ‘rules’ or expectation the parent created in their minds. And this simply makes us sad, as sons and daughters of such parents. Like she said, It’s like having their child move back in sent them decades back in maturity and now they’re acting like the control freaks they once had to be.
Thus said, I just wanted to know how other people in a similar situation managed to get through it, mainly to know there are other people who’ve been there and actually got to ‘the other side’, which makes me hopeful. And yes, I’m grateful for all your answers.February 1, 2015 at 8:30 pm #72222trusttheflowParticipant
This environment is extremely toxic for you, obviously. Let their attitudes remind you of all the things you never want to do to your own children or family, remember these things. Every experience is a learning opportunity…. Of course you know that. You are there right now for a reason- you have to find it. Find the reason and move on. Your job from now ON is to get the hell out of that place and do what YOU want with your life. Not what THEY want. Crowd pleasing is going to make you a bitter and ugly person if you let them control you any longer. If they’re threatening your internet usage- which is almost threatening your life, future, and well being(your only escape from their hell and ABUSE). I can tell you right now, you’d receive more love, compassion, and encouragement by living in a homeless shelter. Im not joking you. This kind of life you have dealt with has gone on too long. In all actuality… I dont see them as “help”ing you anyways. Cut the cord and get away from them. Sad to say.. they are the toxic influences Im sure they once warned you about. Im wondering where you live… what state? Im guessing Ca or somewhere that is really hard to get ahead or stay afloat(ca is where im from orig I moved out of state for a better life). Either way… I wish you the best. I hope you get out of there before they can dig their claws any deeper into your self esteem etc. This situation is like you drinking poison. You might survive a little while but you sure wont thrive. Shut them out. Shut them down. Im so sorry you were given parents like these. I have family who makes me feel like a big piece of garbage too. They also were mean, ugly, hateful people-still are. The quality of person I have become has far exceeded any dream they could dream. I know who I am. I know what I am worth. And, their opinions dont measure my worth. I know this sounds somewhat immature but they can eat shit. I love myself and what I have to offer. Not everyone will, but as long as I like myself.. Ill be alright. (:February 2, 2015 at 2:14 am #72235HelenParticipant
Wow, I don’t think I could ever move back in with my mother or father (they are divorced). It’s just too difficult. I am 24 and finally my own person, I could never live with her and feel like a child again. I think if you’re really in an existential crisis, then okay. But for me, it would only be an option if I was otherwise homeless. Until then, I would so not do that. Living with your parents as an adult is stressful for both: you are grown-up and don’t want their opinions or even rules about some things. They have you back and automatically fall back into a parent-child-dynamic, which leads to confrontation because you’re not a child anymore but you’ll always be THEIR child. You know what I mean?
Well dear, go look for your own place, because staying too long could strain your relationship in an unnecessary way. I’m sure they love you, so the only thing you can do is be your true self and be an adult by telling them: “Look, I like my life, I like that it’s not organized, that I’m not perfect. Please respect that.” If they don’t want to hear that, leave.
And that way you could still salvage that relationship.