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I want to be normal

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  • This topic has 243 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by anita.
Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 245 total)
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  • #391591
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    You are welcome. “The real pollutants are always geographically closer to the poorer populations” – true, but like urine in a corner of a swimming pool, give it some time and it spreads through the whole pool.

    “The caste system in India… There were supposed to 4 main divisions, but lo and behold – we have subcastes within each caste…. Even among the rich, there is a poor guy – poorer rather. He will service the rest…  and we know money is the only value we have in capitalism” –

    – this reminds me of the words of a famous song: “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world… You… You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one” – in some way, you and I can promote equality by (1) treating the individuals in our personal lives as equals: equal to us and equal to each other and by (2) staying away from people who refuse to treat us as equal.

    slavery, casteism. These were all devoid of empathy or unity. They were evil and abusive. A society built on top of such an environment is naturally not ethical…. On top of this, there is no real punishment for exploitation. The rich get away. This is the society our ancestors built. This is our karma. We are suffering the consequences” – well said, and very sad.

    To end this post on a positive note, yesterday was Martin Luther King JR Day in the U.S. Here are two quotes from what he said on April 16, 1963, related to what we’ve been discussing:

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”.

    “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed”, Martin Luther King Jr.

    anita

    #391592
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    I agree, we need to decide what we stand for and act accordingly and you are right, eventually these problems will reach everyone.

    Those quotes are wonderful. Some people speak in a way that just moves you.

    Girija

    #391594
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    When I read: “Some people speak in a way that just moves you“, my automatic thought was: Girija speaks this way, in a way that moves. And then I thought: I wonder if she can put this gift into use, develop it and put it into use (so that it benefits you and others, more than it already does).

    anita

    #391605
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    I just noticed something I missed earlier, and I wanted to ask you about it. Earlier, you mentioned being in situations you don’t want to be in (“I don’t want to be who I am in the situations I’m in. I want a break from this“)- what are these situations that you need to break away from?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by anita.
    #391628
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Girija speaks this way, in a way that moves. – that’s nice of you to say.

    I wonder if she can put this gift into use, develop it and put it into use – for that to happen I need to be significantly less chaotic and detached. Maybe I am in the process of developing it.

    what are these situations that you need to break away from? – the theme of my life is I don’t have safety nets. Like a shelter to rest and refresh. I hate working . I can’t believe I’m saying that knowing how important it is for me to earn, but that is what it is. I don’t have ambitions yet I’m forced to climb these stupid ladders because I can never afford to be unemployed. That stress sucks. I need to factor in the entire family’s retirement fund for me to retire. No breaks allowed, it just sucks. Most people don’t need a break, but I am just weird, not normal.

    People bother me in general. I am uncomfortable around most people. I cannot forgive people at all. When someone at work hurts me I can’t shake it off and move on.

    But this is the main thing I want to highlight – I somehow seem to draw out the bullies in people in the family and at work. And I somehow land up in places with no support. It just so happens that my lead does not lead us at all at work. The pattern repeats. Just like my parents didn’t parent. I can’t bear to simply pass the pressure down to my juniors, so it weighs me down. I know the simple answer would be find a new job. Which I will. But at the same time I am demotivated. I don’t really want to be who I am in all of my “situations” – the daughter that has to earn, the developer that has to do things way above her experience. Atleast with the latter, some people love the challenge, I would too but I stress myself out. I want less stressful situations. Atleast one situation where it’s ok to fall. Atleast one situation where I have support.

    It always feel like me against the world. But it has always been this way. In college, one of my teachers pulled me aside and said you look like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Oddly enough my first manager said it looked like I finally dropped the weight on my shoulders when he was giving me my first promotion – this was because my mom’s health took all my attention and I decided to stop caring about my manager and work. He caught on to that.

    Girija

     

     

    #391643
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    “I need to be significantly less chaotic and detached. Maybe I am in the process of developing it” -. I would like to think that you are indeed in the process of becoming more and more mentally calm, organized, balanced, levelheaded.

    “Most people don’t need a break, but I am just weird, not normal” -it is not true that most people don’t need a break, everyone needs a break. You are not weird or abnormal for needing a break!

    “I don’t have… a shelter to rest and refresh” – I like how you defined a break: a shelter to rest and refresh. Without a shelter to rest and refresh, no wonder you feel chaotic.

    The following is what you shared in this most recent post, mostly your words:

    My parents didn’t support me, and so, I was born into a situation with no support. The pattern repeats as I keep finding myself in situations with no support. In these situations, I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, it’s me against the world.  I don’t want to be the daughter who has to earn and factor my family’s retirement fund for me to retire. I hate being the developer who has to do things way above her experience. I want to have at least one situation where it’s ok to fall.

    For the first time, I think of you as a slave, a slave to your family.

    Global slavery index. org/ India, reads: “The Global Slavery Index estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India... In the 2016 Global Slavery Index, we reported there were 18.3 million people in modern slavery in India. The difference between these two figures reflects changes to counting rules and estimation methods” –

    – the 18.3 million number would be much greater if adult children enslaved by their families, without the threat of physical violence, were counted in, according to a different estimation method. Slavery exacts a heavy mental and emotional toll on those enslaved, like low self-esteem and elevated stress. What do you think?

    anita

    #391650
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    I would like to think that you are indeed in the process of becoming more and more mentally calm, organized, balanced, levelheaded. Yes, me too.

    You are not weird or abnormal for needing a break!- what I mean is most of my colleagues or people around can come back fresh from a vacation. I need a long break. I am tired. A long break at a shelter to rest and refresh.

    I understand where you are coming from. With the way you’ve defined it – I would be a slave. In fact, anybody in India that is middle class or lower, especially with one or more generations that was not able to sustain itself till retirement, is a slave. Had my dad managed to work until he was 60 or earn enough for retirement before that, I wouldn’t have this burden. If I am unable to work or earn enough for myself, I’ll become a burden for my children. This is the economic state of my country. My true deep resentment comes from knowing that my father knew he was incapable of taking care of us – forget financially but even emotionally, and still chose to marry so he has people to fall back on. When my mother was recovering from her surgery in a different city, with me being there with her and my sister going to work, he complained that he was being reduced to a cook, back at our home. He can’t even be a silent spectator at a hospital. No contribution whatsover. I resent that. And my mother for not leaving him and her father for ditching his daughter after her marriage and not empowering her to leave her husband. This is the situation I wish I wasn’t born into. This is the situation I want to break away from. There is nothing there – nothing emotional, financial or spiritual. If anything, it will drain you out with its audacity of calling this abuse traditional or nature and tying you down.

    The 8 or 18 million people, there will definitely be more, are different. The abuse they face, again, that karma will catch up to all of us. It is not just physical violence.

    Girija

     

    #391655
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    You wrote that you too would like to think that you are in the process of becoming more and more mentally calm, organized, levelheaded.

    The word serenity means the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

    The Serenity Prayer suggests how to make it happen: “god, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

    Here is what I suggest at this point: look at your personal life circumstances as they are now, in the context of the bigger society, nationally and globally, and make two lists: (1) the things you cannot change no matter what you do, (2) the things you could change if you had the courage.

    If you choose to make these two lists, do not rush. Do whatever research you need to do and take all the time that you need.

    anita

     

    #391670
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    That’s a great idea. I will figure out what I want exactly. Without taking the past, present and future into account. And then, I’ll separate things into what cannot be changed and what I could change.

    I understand your emphasis on courage. My only concern is flying too high, all alone and getting my wings burnt. I suppose overcoming that is courage.

    Girija

     

    #391673
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    For the purpose of this exercise, imagine that you had no problem with fear and no need for courage. For example, getting your father to leave the house where you live- is it possible for you to make this happen, putting fear and guilt and whatever other emotional hindrance aside?

    You don’t have to answer the above right now, it’s just an example that came up in my mind in regard to the exercise because of what you shared about him yesterday:

    My true deep resentment comes from knowing that my father knew he was incapable of taking care of us – forget financially but even emotionally, and still chose to marry so he has people to fall back on… No contribution whatsoever. I resent that. And my mother for not leaving him… This is the situation I wish I wasn’t born into. This is the situation I want to break away from” –

    – imagine resolving your true deep resentment by kicking him out of the house. imagine doing what your mother should have done long ago, but didn’t…

    anita

    #391675
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Putting feelings aside, I can’t kick my father out of his house. I discussed with my mom and sister about us leaving this house. But, he won’t be able to live on his own. My mom doesn’t want to leave because it is their house and she doesn’t want to lose this asset. We discussed divorce but both people have to agree for it to go through here. My father will not do that. And my mother won’t do it because divorce is a taboo, so she probably thinks no one will want to marry us. She and I can’t bring ourselves to leave him like that knowing he can’t survive. At the same time there are parts of him where he is just selfish, so it is hard to accept him. So if I put my feelings aside, the best I can do is leave the house myself as I can’t change anyone else. I am considering interviewing for jobs in other cities. At the same time, I feel a certain way about leaving my mother behind – I can’t find the right word in English, I don’t know if this is guilt, it feels different , forgive me, I’ll describe the feeling – I feel like if I left her I would be doing something wrong, like, it is wrong to think like that. It bothers me to imagine what it would look like for me once I leave, like I am turning my back on her. She won’t have anyone to take care of her. However, if I was to get married that would be the case anyways. My parents need support unfortunately. If I turn my back on them, they won’t survive. If I were to put my feelings aside, I would look for a job in a different city, which I will anyways, for the money atleast. But I am afraid I won’t be able to live peacefully leaving my mother behind.

    Girija

    #391676
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija: I will read and reply to you in about a couple of hours from now.

    anita

    #391681
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    Putting feelings aside” – true to the tradition in your home. March 2019: “No one cares about emotional needs…My mom was never ‘supportive’. She never took our side… My mother always took care of us, besides emotional stuff… I feel like I have been raised more like a farm animal than a human”.

    Still, March 2019: “They did actually send me to school, and I have a job because of that – but who have I become?” Your answer, almost 3 years later: a person who is “putting (her) feelings aside“, specifically, her hope and desire for a better life for herself.

    Back to 2019: “I once asked her how she felt when she held me for the first time, she said she does not remember much… Is it really possible, that my mother did not feel anything when I was born? If she did not feel love, then – my own mother – what is the point? I am not sure what our relationship really is”. Today, I answer- I think that the relationship between you and your mother is very common: it’s another story of one-sided love and loyalty, a story of unrequited love of an adult-child for her mother.

    Today: “My mom doesn’t want to leave…  she doesn’t want to lose…” – what about what Girija wants? When does Girija gets to be number 1 in her own life???

    “I feel like if I left her, I would be doing something wrong… like I am turning my back on her. She won’t have anyone to take care of her…. If I turn my back on them, they won’t survive” – an unrequited love of an adult-child for her parents, a one-sided loyalty.

    “If I were to put my feelings aside, I would look for a job in a different city, which I will anyways, for the money at least” -your parents do not give you emotional support, nor do they want it from you, best I understand. The financial support that they do want, when they want it- you can give them that from a distance: you can send them money.

    But I am afraid I won’t be able to live peacefully leaving my mother behind” – I think that the closeness you feel to your mother is a one-sided closeness. She will be okay if you move out and live elsewhere, as long as you send her money if and when she needs it. No?

    anita

    #391683
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    When I initially said putting my feelings aside, I meant guilt and fear like you asked me to. If I was being objective what would my options be. But your interpretation is accurate as well. I have been putting aside specifically, her hope and desire for a better life for herself.

    your parents do not give you emotional support, nor do they want it from you, best I understand. – I think this too. What I am afraid I will be taking from them is someone you cares for them. Not just in feeling but action. If my mom gets sick, my dad will not bother, she will have to take herself to the hospital and that scares me. I have thought of a solution for this. I could check in by phone every now and then and I could reach her in a couple of hours. I suppose I’m mainly scared of them having emergencies. I will think of more solutions for this.

    I think that the closeness you feel to your mother is a one-sided closeness. She will be okay if you move out and live elsewhere, as long as you send her money if and when she needs it – As long as her health is good, yes, she will be fine.

    I found the word I was looking for – negligence – that If I left her behind knowing how incompetent my father is, anything that goes wrong would be because of my negligence.

    I do want to put my needs first. But I am the only one not doing that. And to a degree my mom doesn’t either. As I mentioned she does most of the house work, my sister and I help when we can when we aren’t working, but not always in all honesty. If even I were to leave putting myself first, she would still be left in the house doing all the work but no one to look after her. I feel like a villian when I think about doing that.

    I think that the relationship between you and your mother is very common: it’s another story of one-sided love and loyalty, a story of unrequited love of an adult-child for her mother.- The reason it is not so clear with my mother is she is very push and pull. Despite being 26, I still don’t know if she loves me or not. Sometimes I feel like she cares for me and other times I don’t. I do think she has used me though. So it doesn’t matter if she loves me, I can love her too from a distance. I am just scared of causing harm to her. This is why I feel I won’t live peacefully if I leave. Not because of closeness.

    Girija

     

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by samy.
    #391687
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    I feel I won’t live peacefully if I leave. Not because of closeness” -I know that you are not experiencing a close relationship with your mother because a close relationship takes two people.

    In my previous post to you, I wrote: “the closeness you feel to your mother is a one-sided closeness” – notice, I wrote the closeness you feel to her, not the closeness you experience with her. By feeling close to her, I mean that there is, within your mind and heart, a desire for closeness with her. This is a tricky distinction to make, and I will try to explain it best I can:

    When you were a baby and a young child, instinctually and naturally you desired closeness with her. You instinctually and naturally loved her and desired her love. You tried to get her to love you in many, many child-like ways. (There is no way that this was not the case, and that you were the exception to the rule that is true to all humans and all mammals).

    Over the years of trying to get her to love you and be happy that you are in her life, you repeatedly failed, and experienced her detachment and lack of joy about you being in her life (“incredibly unhappy and sad… detached…I once asked her how she felt when she held me for the first time, she said she does not remember much“).

    Having failed, you suppressed and repressed this desire for her love, but the desire did not die. You are still hoping, at 26, that she loves you somewhat, sometimes (“Despite being 26, I still don’t know if she loves me or not. Sometimes I feel like she cares for me and other times I don’t“).

    I will develop the topic further: as a baby and a young child, you repeatedly tried and failed to make her love you. As a result, you believe that you won’t make it at anything, and your motivation therefore, suffered greatly when you were still very young: “My whole life has been a loop of believing I won’t make it… I am a bit concerned that motivation does not work for me… I actually think that part of me died when I was younger – the part that could go after things“.

    In your most recent post, you wrote that you “have been putting aside” your hope and desire for a better life for yourself. Your natural desire for a better life for yourself (almost) died with the desire for her love.

    You agreed with me that regarding emotional support, your parents neither give you that nor do they want it from you. You added that what scares you is that your mother will be sick again, and your father will not bother to take her to the hospital. You also expressed concern about your mother doing too much of the housework. Does this mean that if you were able to pay for an in-home care, someone to live with your mother, do all the housework and drive your mother to the hospital in case of emergency, etc., then you will no longer feel scared of causing her harm, and you will be able to live peacefully away from your mother and father?

    anita

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