October 22, 2023 at 5:26 pm #423632ZariahParticipant
To provide some context, I (28F) am recently divorced, moved back in with my parents, my father is a classic overt narcissist but has calmed down with age (we don’t speak), I have a dog, a full-time job in a field I really like, and I am pursuing a master’s degree. I told myself that I will graduate with my degree Spring 2024 but that would require me to complete 1 class, 1 practicum (that is like a part-time job), work at my full-time job that I don’t want to give up and take care of my dog. I really think that with all these new responsibilities and also navigating my very hectic life I should push off my practicum to Summer 2024. The reason I don’t want to do this is because I feel like I am a failure for doing this. However, if I don’t I would be losing things that are very important to me and I just don’t want to deal with that much loss anymore. I know it is probably going to be the best for me to just push it off for one semester and graduate in Summer 2024 instead of trying to hustle through and burn out. I also know my team wants me to grow and work with them. I don’t want to jeopardize that at all. If I can’t find any virtual practicum opportunities then I am not really sure if it will be feasible and I don’t want to burn out. I just can’t shake this feeling of being a failure, or that my work people will judge me or other people would (my mom and sister’s would definitely not judge me). I just need some advice.October 23, 2023 at 9:57 am #423648anitaParticipant
A walk on memory lane (quotes taken from your previous & current threads, the boldface feature is added by me):
May 2016: “When I was younger I had a lot of family issues, parents fighting, bullying, emotional and physical abuse… I still sometimes put a lot of importance into other people (acquaintances, people I rarely know). Their thoughts and feelings towards me becomes a priority for me… How do you quiet down your crazy thoughts and be a little bit more content everyday?”
November 2016: “A while ago I had a mental breakdown of sorts… I’m slowly putting things back together. For example, I’m mending a relationship with a parent and also discovering how to feel less alone in the world”.
July 2018: “My parents are emotionally abusive. After I got let go, I went to a friends house later that week and came back home later. My mom was furious about this and started saying things like ‘I deserve this'(I deserve not having a job)…. My father is manipulative and only talks to me when he wants me to do something for him. If I tell him I will not do it, he simply says other children are so much better and he has to deal with his kids. He has always been this way and was violent with my sisters and I when we were younger. I feel guilty saying this but I sincerely want him to move somewhere and never come back. It’s funny that I actually want my father to abandon me because that’s easier to deal with. They both hurt us emotionally and physically before this and I don’t have great memories from them. I just can’t remember the good times at all… how can I maintain positivity until I land a job when I’m in this environment?.. I’m unable to move out. I don’t seek their input, advice, share my problems, and I do minimize my interactions with them… I just want to find a better way to cope without feeling this depressed every time they get into a fight with me. It’s hard as it is but I would appreciate it if they didn’t actively try to break me down”.
June 2019: “Fast forward to now, I wanted to piece my life back together. I finally submitted an application to grad school and the anxiety of waiting to hear a response is absolutely sickening. The worse part is I compare myself at times to others“.
October 2023: “I (28F) am recently divorced, moved back in with my parents, my father is a classic overt narcissist but has calmed down with age (we don’t speak)… I am pursuing a master’s degree… I just can’t shake this feeling of being a failure, or that my work people will judge me or other people would (my mom and sister’s would definitely not judge me)”-
– My input today: “he (your father) simply says other children are so much better”=>”I still sometimes put a lot of importance into other people (acquaintances, people I rarely know). Their thoughts and feelings towards me becomes a priority for me… I compare myself at times to others.. I just can’t shake this feeling of being a failure, or that my work people will judge me or other people would“-
Isn’t it amazing how powerful the words of a father are to a child? A child puts a lot of importance into what her father (and mother) says. The thoughts and feelings of her father (and mother) toward the child are the highest priority to the child.
When you were a child, he repeatedly compared you unfavorably to children of other parents=> As an adult, you repeatedly compare yourself unfavorably to other adults.
You currently don’t speak to your father (“we don’t speak”), but you are still “hearing” his words, words that compare you unfavorably to others, suggesting that you are a failure in comparison. Only you “hear” his words through other people, acquaintances, people you hardly know, people at your work, imagining that they are thinking what he has said to you.
It is very common to inaccurately project an abusive parent into other people.
As far as your current practical dilemma, you pointed out all the positives in postponing your graduation from Spring to Summer of next year, and your reasoning reads rational and wise to me. The problem is that you are still hearing your father’s words and his words are still making you anxious.. even when he doesn’t currently say anything.
What do you think/ feel about my input today?