February 13, 2014 at 3:01 am #50898
Hello. This is my first post in here, and I am really grateful for this forum.
My name’s Gina, and I’m 24. I’m currently working on my Master’s in Ancient Greek Literature, in a long-term relationship with my partner (who recently moved 100 miles away from me due to his duties as an Air Force officer), but still living at home with my overprotective parents due to the Greek recession. My parents did not allow me to have a job until I finish my Master’s program. Even though they mean well, I’m brewing with anger for many reasons.
First of all, they did not let me move out with my partner, because he lives in a town smaller than mine and “there are less career chances over there”. The thing is my partner will have to remain in that town for at least 8 years. Thank God he is understanding of my predicament, but I do still feel like a teen who has to ask for permission on everything. It’s not like they have that much to spend on me, my Master’s program has no tuition fees.
Moreover, I have many dreams, such as writing articles (I am already writing a book), being a radio broadcaster, forming a band with my partner (I am already teaching myself the bass, he plays the guitar since his childhood), yet my mum tells me to follow my sister’s path and do teaching. Even though I do like teaching, I don’t want to be teaching middle or high schoolers, since the pervasive attitude is all about grades and not true learning. Furthermore, I have really traumatic memories of my teen years, due to being bullied and trying to always have perfect grades to make my mother proud, and all this urged me to rebel a lot (when on holidays I would smoke a lot, but my family doesn’t know about it).
Oh, did I mention my mum picked out my major? That’s right. I wanted to be an English language teacher and translator, but she would just tell me: “you won’t have any chances of finding decent work through this”. Now, not only are translators in demand, but also I am unemployed. My sister had to break a relationship with a boyfriend, because my mum told her his job was not high-paying enough (my sister was unemployed at the time and he was working as a Chief Chemist in the National Chemistry Board, c’mon!). To this day, my sis is 31, unmarried, and at a low-paying gig as a teacher in a tutoring school (tutoring schools are on the rise in Greece, unfortunately).
Even to this day, I have a curfew when going out with my classmates without my partner and mum always tells me not to bring my female friends along with my boyfriend because “single females are thirsty for men and won’t hesitate to do anything to steal them”. However, not one of them has shown any kind of advances towards my partner.
As you can imagine, I can feel the veins in my throat tighten as I write all this. I’m afraid my mum is trying too hard to live her unfulfilled dreams through my sister and me. She is a housewife who abandoned her former job as a secretary in a law firm due to marriage, and my dad is a former accountant (he recently got his pension) and his alcoholism has become even worse. I am praying my partner will marry me one day and get me out of the house in order to experience some decent freedom, but I hate considering him as my crutch.
Sorry for giving all this beackgound info, but I hope it helps you have a more accurate view of my situation. I just want to stop lying to them, live authentically, and fully appreciate my parents. However, I do feel like a failure for staying like this in my age, when I should have been more active and seen more of this world, and I do think my parents don’t trust me and hinder me from becoming the fully independent, responsible person I always dreamt of being. How can I not be angry at them and just think they have good intentions? How can I trust myself in being capable of doing my own thing?
Thank you very, very much in advance for your wisdom, and I hope it was not very long.February 13, 2014 at 8:53 am #50910AikiBenParticipant
It is essential for your own happiness and sense of purpose in life to not let others (no matter who they are) dictate your way in life. This is a personal boundary issue. When we’re children our boundaries are joined with those of our families and that is necessary for growth at first. But the natural (and healthy) evolution of these boundaries is that as the child grows it forms its own bondary, which eventually as you become an adult (I’d say 16ish) buds off forming a separate, independent boundary. This boundary contains all your inner resources (e.g. decision making). What you’re describing is in boundary terms like a child (which is why it feels that way) because it’s as though you haven’t broken off from your parents yet. You are allowing your parents to reach inside your boundary and take control of your decision making.
I know it’s hard but the only way out of this is to assert your boundary, this means learning to say no and to make decisions based on what you feel is right for you.
The thing is, all those decisions that your mum has made for you are based on the logical choice in terms of what would be right for her. The thing is YOU ARE NOT YOUR MUM. So it is very unlikely that it will be right for you too. I know it’s difficult and it’s easy to get angry at them because of this, (I’ve had related things to deal with with my own parents), but the thing to remember is that they are only acting that way out of their own ignorance (we all have things we are ignorant of), they see the world a certain way and BELIEVE that they know what is best for you. They are seeing the world through their own spectacles that are tinted, so won’t understand you if you act differently to this. This is why you would be wasting your time explaining yourself too, they just won’t be able to get there head around it, unless they were to take the spectacles off, but that takes a lot of time and inner work. Read the articles on here and you will see start to get a glimpse of life without the spectacles.
You are keeping yourself prisoner, only you can decide that you are not going to permit your parents to take control of you anymore. Learn what it means to be assertive, study it, practice it. It doesn’t mean you have to be nasty or hurtful. I strongly recommend you read a book called Pulling Your Own Strings by Wayne Dyer, it’s the best book I’ve come across on this subject, and will open your eyes in a big way I think.February 13, 2014 at 9:39 am #50915
First of all, thank you very, very much for your insight, AikiBen.
It does seem like a boundary problem. Which is why I do get upset, for example, when my mother enters my studying space and searches for something. I have also noticed that sometimes, when asleep, she has no hesitation to go through my bag and borrow money from my meager savings without asking me. When I found that out and called her out on it, telling her I wouldn’t do that to her bag in any way, she just tells me “I will return it back soon”. Turns out not only I haven’t seen any of it back, but also she spends it to enable my dad’s alcoholism. Apparently it’s time I realized that I won’t have, despite my tries, that heart-to-heart talk I have always wanted it with my parents, because when I try to speak my piece, they just cut me off, without even listening.
Of course I will be keeping up with the articles over here, and I am thinking of seeking help from the student counselling centre that opened a few months ago in my alma mater, University of Athens. Speaking of this, I may mention that I feel much happier and satisfied in Uni than at home, and I’m very popular with fellow students and professors alike. I wish I was eligible for student housing, but I ain’t. Furthermore, staying at home not only stresses me more, but also makes my food addiction even worse. As for the book, I will try to get my hands on it.
Once again, thank you for your insight and, yeah, I think I have made myself a prisoner since I don’t know when. It was so familiar to me that I wasn’t aware earlier of the harm I was doing to myself, but now I get it.February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm #50971AnnaParticipant
Oh dear Geo, that really sounds like a terrible situation to be in. It sounds like you feel really trapped. How can you change things? Here are two questions for you:
1. Keeping in mind, you cannot change other people… What would be your ideal situation to be in right now? I don’t mean a convenient marriage to get you out of there (unless that is your #1 desire). But how exactly would you like to be living right now?
2. How could you get yourself to this ideal situation?
🙂February 13, 2014 at 11:52 pm #50980
Hi, Anna! Thank you very, very much for your reply. These questions are really crucial.
1. My ideal life would’ve been like this: Writing music, articles and books, being successful through them, becoming a professor, travelling a lot with my partner or alone, being able to see him more than I do now (we only meet once a month), living with him, and not sacrifing my desires again.
2. I am already writing articles for free, in order for my work to be seen, but I am a long way until I reach my ideal life. I think I’ll have to get a job despite my parents wishes.
- This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Geo.