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Should a “Cheating” Girlfriend be forgiven over a technicality?

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  • This topic has 165 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by Tee.
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  • #431953
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    What makes her actions even more pointless is that the church still did NOTHING other than tell my parents, despite telling her that my OWN PARENTS are the cause of my suffering. So really, the best thing she could have done was to keep her mouth shut.

    Yes, that’s a tragedy that nothing happened afterwards, that basically the ADULTS at the Church have covered it up. But she, your teenage friend, did well: she did tell her parents that you attempted suicide because of your parents. But that key piece of information got lost, and no one made an attempt to investigate and see what really happened. And to get you a psychologist.

    That was a serious omission by the Church leadership, not by your friend. Your friend did well – she didn’t know what would happen afterwards.

    Tee, it was literally a 10 minute conversation that happened like one time. There is not enough information about me for her to assume that I would indeed kill myself when I CLEARLY STATED THAT I WOULDN’T

    She was just a teen, Paradoxy. As I said, it was too big of a secret to keep. It would have been for anyone, not just for a teen. And she did tell her parents the full truth: that you did it because of your parents. Someone else (most probably the Church leadership) messed up here, not your friend.

    A lot of people randomly state crazy things, even as jokes. Do you see people reporting them all the time for these random claims?

    You actually attempted suicide. It wasn’t just a random statement or a joke.

    Based on her logic, if I had joked about bombing the school or something, she would have probably called the swat team on me before the end of the day.

    Well, if you had been repeatedly saying that you’d bomb the school, and if you showed some other suspicious behavior, then she would have had the right to warn someone. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I am back at my parents’ place, and it has not even been one week yet and my dad is already pissing me off. Shutting down all my attempts to express my issues, telling me to suck it up and be a man. Saying that I never learn my lesson and I am a pig because no matter how many times you bathe a pig, they will run right back into the mud.

    That’s awful how your father is treating you! Is this what he was telling you when your neighbors threatened to call the social services? Throwing at you insults like these?

    Fortunately I am going back to college tomorrow but I still have to endure an hour long call every single day.

    I can imagine how “pleasant” those talks might feel :\

    Everyone has shoved me into this small corner and then they wonder why I am stuck in this corner. Don’t even have the courage to ask a girl out cause of the constant reminder that she is better off without a loser like me, even if she answered yes.

    I am glad that you are becoming aware of who the main culprit is: your parents, and I guess your father being culprit No1. I am glad you are awakening to this.

    Unfortunately, having been treated awfully your entire life made you adopt that false image of yourself: that you are a loser. That you cause people pain.

    Not only are you hearing the same toxic litany about yourself every day, for an entire hour (when your father calls you), but your own inner critic is telling you the same. So you have an outer bully (actually more of them: B included) and your own internal bully, who is telling you horrible things about yourself.

    The task now would be to be aware that these bullies (both outer and inner) are lying. That they are falsely accusing you. Just like B was/is falsely accusing you. That those are all lies and fabrications. Unfair, unjust claims.

    And so, the task at this point would be to simply acknowledge that what they’re saying is not true. The large majority of those claims is simply not true.

    In other words, you would need to recognize that you have external critics (your parents and B), and the inner critic. These critics are lying. They are falsely accusing you. They are pretty merciless too. They have zero empathy and understanding for you.

    I am not sure how I can find people who have some empathy for me when they all push me away anyway.

    Those who are pushing you away are primarily your bullies, your critics: Your parents, B, and your own inner critic.

    Many other people are not pushing you away, e.g. your high school crush, who wanted you to cook for her.

    Even the people you think are against you (like your school friend who informed her parents) are actually NOT against you. They try to help, but you see it as an attack because you are afraid of the bully’s reaction.

    So far (specially in the beginning of this thread) you had endless understanding for B, as well as your parents, and very little understanding for your school friend and for yourself. Your empathy was with the bully, not with the victim (yourself) or those who tried to help you.

    It is time to turn that around, Paradoxy. Give your compassion and understanding to those who deserve it (yourself, people who try to help you), and withdraw it from those who want to hurt you. That’s when your healing can begin.

     

    #431961
    ParadoxMusic
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    “And since you’ve never met the guy (you saw him only on the photo she posted on social media, right?), it’s safe to say that you know almost nothing about him.” We have had indirect interactions where I talk to him through B, cause B often asks me about how to deal with the guy’s antics. His pettiness and childish behavior says a lot about him.

    After the incident at the resort, she told me she realized how I felt with the way she treated me. Bunch of bs cause she kept doing the same childish behavior despite saying she learnt her lesson.

    I don’t see how that makes her stories bogus though. Cause based on my indirect interactions with him, the guy seems like an ass to me. He didin’t exactly falsely accuse B. It was an altercation with his friends (females) and B but the guy chose to believe his female friends over B (B is the youngest while the other girls are basically adults and they work together on businesses) and the way B described the incident makes it appear as if B is in the right but I am starting to get suspicious about that now since I know how she likes to behave in certain situations. But I won’t be amazed if B is actually in the right because the type of behavior she described from the girls are quite common and to be expected of females here (This is not a stereotype). But I won’t jump to conclusions without enough evidence.

    “Well, he definitely was involved in your story with B, because you confided in him, you talked about it a lot with him” Well you could say he was the silent partner, someone who doesn’t actively get himself involved, just a listener.

    “So maybe he called her to “justify” himself?” Hell no. The sequence of events occurred in such a way that he could not have cared about justifying himself, cause even if the chat is exported, he doesn’t know whether I delete stuff or not. He doesn’t know how much information B would have access to. And there were no allegations that could have incited him into calling B to justify himself, cause most of the fights are between me and her, not him. He wouldn’t be aware of what he should be justifying.

    “As for the incident when you were sleeping and she contacted him, asking if you were cheating, it seems to me he pretended to be indifferent, kind of saying “don’t know, maybe he is (cheating).” Yes that is exactly what he did, but to be dumb enough to say I COULD BE CHEATING, when he knows that there is no one else more strict on morals than me and he knows how it eats me up inside when I break my morals. So to say that I COULD BE CHEATING is bs cause he is 100% certain that I wouldn’t cheat. We have known each other for 4+ years, there is no way he would not know that. And B with her overthinking self took that one “could be” circumstance to accuse me of cheating. Should have made the break up permanent then but I couldn’t bear to see her crying, especially cause I put myself in her shoes and felt that it would be unfair if a girl did that to me, so I forgave her, but I am right back at square one.

    “It seems to me like an excuse – as if he didn’t want to admit to you that he doesn’t like her and that he did this to piss her off.” Yes it sounded like an excuse too, but I still don’t think he disliked her cause he would have told me a long time ago, instead he kept saying that he thought we would last for years. I know he would tell me cause I told him about the girl that inspired me to make a song and he misunderstood what I was saying and assumed I had feelings for her and he instantly told me that he did not like her vibe and etc. I do admit she has caught my attention and I am not amazed that he misunderstood cause the name of the song I made is called “The Search for Love”. This is also the same misunderstanding that convinced B that I was cheating (even thought we had broken up) and my guy friend’s misunderstanding also fueled it since they had the call in which she tried to confirm it. But the point is that he would have told me if he disliked B. And he kept saying that he expected us to stay together even before his first intervention, so he cannot just be being diplomatic. Maybe he lied as to not hurt me, but it seems unlikely and the truth is cloudy right now.

    “That’s typical of her: calling you a psychopath when she was doing exactly the same: messaging your guy friend to ask if you were cheating.” That is the thing, the guy friend is also her “friend” through me cause all three of us went to classes together and we have had enough interactions for her to consider him as her friend in a way, while her friends are people I barely know. So that makes it okay for her to message my guy friend but I cannot message her female friend.

    “So it’s her typical hypocrisy: lying and then accusing you of lying, hiding an ex in her house and then accusing you that you might be doing the same, stealing a private conversation and harassing your friend and then accusing you of being a psychopath!” The problem is that I have lied more than her, but the difference is that I only have small lies that were not meant to jeopardize the relationship (like telling the truth to my guy friend while telling her that I didn’t tell him), while her lies are quite large and had a very large effect on the relationship. So now she thinks the scale is balanced/more in her favor cause I had more lies and cause my lies have been more recent than her lies (but keep in mind that we had broken up already before these lies came into effect).

    “Perhaps only because you went home, and she has your laptop anyway, so no reason to torture you?” Or maybe cause I was not in the environment to be entertaining her arguments and false accusations. I can’t keep fighting anyway since I have exams again.

    “But she, your teenage friend, did well: she did tell her parents that you attempted suicide because of your parents.” Yeah no, I will always remember what she did. She may have had good intentions but the results of her actions are permanent. Now the members of church still look at me like I am a 5 year old victim child without even the slightest idea of what my experience is. I do not want to be remembered as the suicidal kid. If you are a friend but you still need adults to deal with friendship issues for you, then you are no friend. A real friend would try to understand instead of simply throwing the issues for adults to deal with. The fact that she just told the church people without trying to understand the situation first, ESPECIALLY AFTER TELLING HER NOT TO, just shows that she was just doing what is right, not cause of kindness. There is a huge difference. Especially since she failed to understand that it was just a FEELING, and not something that I would act upon.

    Let me give you an example. If a friend says that he/she is going to steal their parent’s car and go on the road and ram the car into a wall to kill themself, she is the type of person to call the cops and have her “friend” arrested for “stealing” a car instead of focusing on the suicidal aspect. Did she do the right thing? Yes. But now her so-called friend is in prison, hating her and wishing for death more than ever. A real friend would try to understand first. I know that her intentions were good. But the outcome of her intentions are unforgettable and has left me with a permanent mental scar. I am never forgetting that. Even in my guy friend’s case, he may have had good intentions and I forgive him for what he did, but I am going to think thrice before I open up to him again.

    “She was just a teen, Paradoxy. As I said, it was too big of a secret to keep.” Tee please. We have been teenagers at one point. We have hid much bigger things than just depression from our parents. She should not even be telling her parents this. She wouldn’t even tell her parents about her own secrets that only us kids knew. So what gives her the right for her to share my secrets? I understand that she had good intentions, but that does not excuse her behavior, cause even if the church provided me with the “right type” of support, I would still be pretty pissed that she can’t hold a secret.

    “You actually attempted suicide. It wasn’t just a random statement or a joke.” A MISTAKE WHICH I ADMITTED AND I TOLD HER I WAS NOT GOING TO DO IT AGAIN CAUSE I LEARNT MY LESSON. If someone who has been close to death tells you that they regret ever trying to get close to death, they definitely mean what they say. I just told her that I was depressed and just wished I didn’t exist, but I am not going to act on that desire cause I know how it feels. I just wished I didn’t exist anymore. Like the person Godwin never existed in the entire timeline. Like no one knows that there was once a kid by the name of Godwin EXISTING. I wanted to be erased from everyone’s memories. I wanted to be invisible so that people wouldn’t see me as a burden. If she actually cared, she would have understood that death was not my ultimate desire. My death won’t change what has already happened. I have pride too, I wouldn’t just kill myself like that cause I would lose whatever respect I had left from others.

    “Well, if you had been repeatedly saying that you’d bomb the school, and if you showed some other suspicious behavior, then she would have had the right to warn someone” The point is that I DIDN’T repeatedly say that I was going to kill myself. I expressed that it was a feeling because I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. It was a 10 MINUTE CONVERSATION that happened ONE TIME. LITERALLY ONE TIME. I know her intentions, but if she cared, she would have found out more about the situation before jumping to stupid conclusions.

    “Is this what he was telling you when your neighbors threatened to call the social services?” No, at that time they pointed out that if they got taken away by social services, I would essentially be an orphan, and my little sister would be an orphan too and we might have to go through even worse treatment, especially since my pain was essentially emotional and mental, not physical. My parents did everything right, except understanding emotional and mental health. There was no real physical abuse or any other form of horrible treatment. So far, my rebellious self had to find out the hard way that my parents were right about most things. But the things they are still wrong about is mental and emotional understanding etc. Everything related to emotions essentially because they cannot understand it.

    “I am glad that you are becoming aware of who the main culprit is: your parents, and I guess your father being culprit No1. I am glad you are awakening to this.” Yes, I am the way I am cause of my parents. But this is the same case as where intentions do not match actions. My parents had good intentions, but their actions were wrong. So why is it that I should forgive the girl who betrayed me but I shouldn’t forgive my parents for what they did? I already know that my parents are just trying to be overprotective of me, but their methods are harsh and wrong. And this is NORMAL in our community. I am not the first kid to be going through this kind of experience in our community. In fact I might be one of the kids that were treated the best. One perfect example is the family that lived next to us. They had a daughter and a son, and their father was the type to use his belt to discipline them. One such incident was when the father used his belt on the son for listening to rap music which contained a lot of swear words. Compared to that kind of treatment, my pain would be considered nothing. You may call it physical abuse, but that same kid is now one of the best neurosurgeons in America, so good to the point that his hospital created an entire new department just to accommodate him and made him the leader, and now he is married to the girl who helped him invent a new kitchen safety equipment that is used worldwide. In fact this guy is the exact reason why I am stuck doing med right now. So don’t get it confused. My issue with my parents is that they don’t understand emotions nor mental health. That is why my parents are always fighting each other, because they are unable to understand each other’s emotional and mental states. But their intentions were good. They only wanted what was best for me. They just don’t know the right method to help me, so they just do what they feel is the right method, even if it is the wrong method. I forgive them, but I will forever hate them.

    “And so, the task at this point would be to simply acknowledge that what they’re saying is not true. The large majority of those claims is simply not true.” I need proof that they are not speaking the truth. Cause my dad kept pointing out how my scores are so bad and how I am literally the lowest scoring person in my class, barely over the passing mark. I can’t deny that. So with evidence like that, obviously I would believe him. As for B, she accused me of cheating, but now I feel like maybe she is right. Maybe I slowly fell out of love with her ever since I found out about her sleeping with another guy. Maybe the reason why I got inspired by the girl to make the song is cause of some unconscious desire/infatuation for her. If that is the case, then wouldn’t it be considered cheating? But the only difference is that I started paying more attention to her a month AFTER B and I broke up, and I got inspired to make the song a month AFTER B and I broke up, so that is the only thing keeping me sane right now, but I still have the doubts.

    “Many other people are not pushing you away, e.g. your high school crush, who wanted you to cook for her.” Lol she ignored my messages and blocked me. (I only messaged her cause we had made a bet to talk again when she entered second year of college) and the girl I asked for help with the music software also blocked me, and when I tried to reach out to my old friends (those who showed me empathy at one point), they also ignored me/blocked me. My own classmates ignore me when I asked them for help with med studying. Another classmate thinks I am useless and does no work, and the others doesn’t even want to interact with me cause I always score the lowest of them all, so now I am basically too dumb to be their friend. Even the girl who inspired me to make the stupid song ignores me. If that doesn’t convince you, Idk what will but the list goes longer.

    “Even the people you think are against you (like your school friend who informed her parents) are actually NOT against you.” Her intention were good, so I will forgive her, but I don’t want her as my friend anymore. Friends should be people I am comfortable opening up to, not people I have to constantly worry about spilling my secrets. Same goes for my guy friend, his intention might be good, so I will forgive him, but the next time I am going through something, I will think thrice before telling him anything. But even he has become hostile to me now since I found out about him contacting B. Unfortunately actions speak louder than words.

    My empathy for my abusers does not affect the way I feel or act towards them. I understand my parents and their intentions, but I will hate them forever, but that will not stop me from doing my duties as their son. I understand B’s (twisted form of) pain and suffering, but I will never take her back or ever consider giving her another chance but I will still give the same basic level of care as I would give any other patient of mine (as for my laptop and stuff, I just don’t have time to waste my energy on getting my stuff back so I will deal with that after exams). I understood the church girl’s intention, but I am never forgetting what she did, nor giving her another chance to show her trustworthiness, and I understand my guy friend’s intentions, but I will still think multiple times before I tell him anything ever again. If you still think that I am giving my compassion and understanding to the wrong people, that means u didn’t understand a thing about me. But I will still work on myself.

    Paradoxy

    #431988
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    If you still think that I am giving my compassion and understanding to the wrong people, that means u didn’t understand a thing about me

    Well, when you say that your parents did everything right (except some minor stuff), it tells me you don’t really understand how badly they’ve harmed you:

    My parents did everything right, except understanding emotional and mental health. There was no real physical abuse or any other form of horrible treatment. So far, my rebellious self had to find out the hard way that my parents were right about most things. But the things they are still wrong about is mental and emotional understanding etc. Everything related to emotions essentially because they cannot understand it.

    Mental and emotional health are key for us humans. We are not robots. They abused you so severely that you ended up attempting to commit suicide. But after all of that, you claim they did everything right?

    What did they do right? If they harmed a budding human spirit to the point of you wanting to obliterate your existence?

    What is right in not harming your body if they crushed your soul?

    My parents had good intentions, but their actions were wrong

    It seems to me that their intention was to raise a slave, whom they will own and command what to do. Their intention was not to raise a free-thinking individual, who will be in charge of their own happiness.

    So, dear Paradoxy, neither their intentions nor their methods were right.

     

    #431992
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    I forgive them, but I will forever hate them.

    This is a contradiction in itself. If you forgive someone, you cannot hate them.

    It’s okay to forgive your parents, but before you do that, you would need to acknowledge how they have actually harmed you, and what emotional needs they’ve failed to meet.

    I think it is safe to say that they’ve failed to meet all of your basic emotional needs, and if you want to heal, you’d need to work on meeting those needs now, in your adulthood.

    There was no real physical abuse or any other form of horrible treatment.

    There was a lot of horrible treatment, but it didn’t involve physical, corporal punishment. Telling you that you are a pig and will forever stay a pig is quite a horrible treatment.

    Physical body heals after abuse (in most cases), but the emotional wounds don’t heal on their own. Emotional wounds are the ones that stay forever, and that have the potential to destroy our life, unless we do something about them.

    If you heal those wounds, you will be able to stop hating your parents, but you will also be able to protect yourself from their abuse.

    I will hate them forever, but that will not stop me from doing my duties as their son.

    The goal is not to keep hating your parents till the rest of your life. The goal is to heal, so you can love – starting with loving yourself. And another goal is to protect yourself from your parents’ abuse and toxicity (which they are still practicing today).

     

    #432030
    ParadoxMusic
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    “Well, when you say that your parents did everything right (except some minor stuff), it tells me you don’t really understand how badly they’ve harmed you” The key phrase is “everything right, except”.

    “But after all of that, you claim they did everything right?” THE KEY WORD IS “EXCEPT”. I was obviously speaking in general. I know that emotional and mental health is very large and important area of life, but I am saying that except that VERY LARGE AND IMPORTANT AREA, they did everything else right.

    “What did they do right? If they harmed a budding human spirit to the point of you wanting to obliterate your existence? What is right in not harming your body if they crushed your soul?” You are basically agreeing with me. You are responding as if I did not admit that they failed in the emotional and mental health area. You are responding as if I am going back to them and loving them and allowing myself to be hurt by their abuse. I literally said I hate them and I am never going to forget what they did. So why are you responding as if you are not reading?

    “It seems to me that their intention was to raise a slave, whom they will own and command what to do. Their intention was not to raise a free-thinking individual, who will be in charge of their own happiness.” To you, maybe. But this is how most of us grew up, and this is normal for us. No matter how cruel u think this may be, this is normal for us, as shown by the neurosurgeon I mentioned earlier, which is why I am able to understand that my parents had good intentions even though their actions are stupid and cruel. Because the lifestyle that you grew up with is different from ours, you will see it as their intention to raise a slave, even though their real intention/ultimate goal was good.

    “If you forgive someone, you cannot hate them.” Let me rephrase it for you to understand better. By forgive, I meant that I understand their intentions, but I will forever hate them for what they have done. I will always remember the things they have done. I will have their cruel words etched into my heart. But I am aware of their ultimate goal and I understand that they meant only good for me. There are multiple paths to achieve the same good result. However, my parents chose the cruel and painful path to push me through. I hate them for driving me down this path, but I understand their ultimate goal. That is the difference you fail to recognize.

    “It’s okay to forgive your parents, but before you do that, you would need to acknowledge how they have actually harmed you, and what emotional needs they’ve failed to meet.” Are you not reading? I literally just expressed that I acknowledge how they harmed me and the emotional needs that they have failed to meet. And for that, I will hate them for life. But I will still carry out my duties as their son. It is a DUTY, it is not based on whether they DESERVE it or not. I UNDERSTAND their motive, but I will hate them for what they have done.

    “Telling you that you are a pig and will forever stay a pig is quite a horrible treatment.” Turns out he was right. I told my guy friend what my dad said and he pointed out that technically I am still a pig cause I am still talking to B despite everything she did, cause she is the mud that I should be staying away from.

    “And another goal is to protect yourself from your parents’ abuse and toxicity (which they are still practicing today).” I already have myself protected. I laugh when they say the things they say, to the point they get pissed at how I am laughing every time they try to hurt me. They cannot hurt me anymore, so don’t misunderstand.

    You are misreading/misunderstanding the things I am saying and latching on to the wrong points here, to the extent that you don’t even realize that you are essentially agreeing with me.

    Paradoxy

    #432039
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    What I am saying that except that VERY LARGE AND IMPORTANT AREA, they did everything else right.

    You mean they gave you food and shelter? Sent you to school? Sent you to college? In other words, provided for your physical needs?

    There was no real physical abuse or any other form of horrible treatment.

    There were other forms of horrible treatment: emotional abuse. But you don’t see it as horrible, that’s what I am reacting to. You are relativizing it, saying that at least they haven’t beaten you up:

    I am not the first kid to be going through this kind of experience in our community. In fact I might be one of the kids that were treated the best. One perfect example is the family that lived next to us. They had a daughter and a son, and their father was the type to use his belt to discipline them. One such incident was when the father used his belt on the son for listening to rap music which contained a lot of swear words. Compared to that kind of treatment, my pain would be considered nothing.

    This is to what I am reacting: you believing that the emotional abuse you suffered is minor compared to the abuse suffered by other children in your community.

    Whereas that might be true in the relative sense, the emotional abuse that you have suffered was indeed SEVERE. It was very damaging to your emotional health and well-being, and it is affecting your ability to find happiness in your adult life as well.

    When you say you had it easy compared to others, you are in fact minimizing your own pain and finding excuses for your parents.

    Because the lifestyle that you grew up with is different from ours, you will see it as their intention to raise a slave, even though their real intention/ultimate goal was good.

    Their intention was that you should follow their will. That you should live your life according to their will. They believed they owed you, and have the right to force you to do what they believe is right. They never cared about your emotional well-being and happiness, it wasn’t an issue for them.

    So this is what I see as their intention: not that you be happy, but that you obey and do as they say.

    This might be the intention of every parent is your religious community: to impose their will on their children and dictate their lives, at all costs (even if it causes their children to have a mental breakdown).

    But should we have understanding for those parents? Should we think they wanted the best for their children?

    Your parents knew there is something wrong with how they were treating you, and that they might qualify to be sanctioned, if the authorities get involved:

    at that time they pointed out that if they got taken away by social services, I would essentially be an orphan, and my little sister would be an orphan too and we might have to go through even worse treatment,

    But instead of changing their ways, they continued to treat you the same. They chose their ways as superior, even though they knew it was considered abuse. You said they are old school and against “modern society”. I wonder if they actually believe that a more loving upbringing, which takes into account children’s emotional needs, belongs to the “vices” of the modern society?

    There are multiple paths to achieve the same good result. However, my parents chose the cruel and painful path to push me through. I hate them for driving me down this path, but I understand their ultimate goal. That is the difference you fail to recognize.

    No, your parents’ methods cannot produce a good result. They cannot produce a happy and fulfilled person. Maybe they can produce a good expert, e.g. a good doctor (like in the example you gave). But even that is very questionable because an emotionally abused person cannot be a good, compassionate doctor. Or maybe they can – maybe they have empathy and understanding for their patients, but they don’t have love for themselves, and sooner or later they will burn out and get sick.

    And for that, I will hate them for life. But I will still carry out my duties as their son.

    What are your duties as their son?

    I already have myself protected. I laugh when they say the things they say, to the point they get pissed at how I am laughing every time they try to hurt me. They cannot hurt me anymore, so don’t misunderstand.

    Oh really? Because you said you have tried to talked to your dad and he shut you down:

    I am back at my parents’ place, and it has not even been one week yet and my dad is already pissing me off. Shutting down all my attempts to express my issues, telling me to suck it up and be a man.

    And you have to endure an hour-long phone call with him every day. I don’t see how that is protecting yourself from his abuse?

    I will hate them forever, but that will not stop me from doing my duties as their son

    I am trying to explain to you that “hating forever” is not good for your mental and emotional health. It would be the same as your father’s motto: “suck it up and do your duty”. It would be exactly the same reaction to trauma like your father had to his. Disregarding his emotions and becoming this cold, cruel, “logical” guy, who is unable to empathize with people but is adamant on forcing his will (and opinion) on others.

    If you don’t want to become the same or similar as your father, you’d need to change how you look at this whole thing.

     

    #432048
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    A correction to my last sentence. I don’t think you’d become similar to your father, because he is a bully. I think you would be become a perpetual victim, getting stuck in a relationship with a bully (someone like B), who would abuse you, and you would keep finding excuses for her while believing her accusations that you are actually a bad guy.

    What you need is a different relationship with yourself. You need to start loving yourself and empathizing with your pain. You cannot keep believing your father when he tells you that you are a pig:

    Turns out he was right. I told my guy friend what my dad said and he pointed out that technically I am still a pig cause I am still talking to B despite everything she did, cause she is the mud that I should be staying away from.

    I need proof that they are not speaking the truth. Cause my dad kept pointing out how my scores are so bad and how I am literally the lowest scoring person in my class, barely over the passing mark. I can’t deny that. So with evidence like that, obviously I would believe him.

    In both of those cases, it is what your inner critic is telling you: that you are a pig because you are weak for not being able to cut B off. And that you are a pig (or a loser or whatever other attribute) because you are not getting good grades, studying something you never wanted.

    Your inner critic (which is the internalized voice of your father) is dominating your inner life. Unfortunately, it’s the strongest voice in your head at the moment. It is actually your internal bully, who is terrorizing you.

    If you want to start healing and stop being a victim, you would need to find another voice beside the bully: a compassionate voice. A voice of a good, loving parent.

    If you believe in Jesus, he can be such a compassionate, loving presence in your mind (and heart). In fact, praying to Jesus and asking him to show me his love is what helped me to feel loved for the first time in my life. It was what helped me keep my inner critic at bay, because I suddenly had another voice: the voice of compassion, which could counter-balance the harsh voice of my inner critic.

    Whatever method you choose, I think starting to develop self-love and self-compassion is the path forward.

     

    #432056
    ParadoxMusic
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    “You mean they gave you food and shelter? Sent you to school? Sent you to college? In other words, provided for your physical needs?” Essentially yes, and more.

    “There were other forms of horrible treatment: emotional abuse.” I literally just said that.

    “This is to what I am reacting: you believing that the emotional abuse you suffered is minor compared to the abuse suffered by other children in your community.” No the example I used was to just give an idea of what is normal. Obviously I won’t know the emotional abuse that he is going through because only the guy himself would know of that. The event I described is just an example to give you an idea of what is normal. If he is receiving physical abuse, the odds are also high that he probably had to go through some emotional abuse as well.

    “Their intention was that you should follow their will. That you should live your life according to their will. They believed they owed you, and have the right to force you to do what they believe is right. They never cared about your emotional well-being and happiness, it wasn’t an issue for them.” You are partially wrong. Their intention was for me to follow their will, live my life according to their wishes, but not because they owed me and not cause they didn’t care about my well being and happiness, but they thought that what is right to them, is also what is right to me, and so they forced me to do what THEY believe is right, but with the end goal of making sure I was living a successful life.

    “So this is what I see as their intention: not that you be happy, but that you obey and do as they say.” No their intention was to make me happy in the way they believed was the only way to happiness. So they made me believe that I won’t be happy if I chose any other path. But I was aware but I still chose to obey them because if I did choose my own path and they ended up being right, they will hold it over my head for the rest of my life, and I did not want that.

    “This might be the intention of every parent is your religious community: to impose their will on their children and dictate their lives, at all costs (even if it causes their children to have a mental breakdown).” Exactly, because they believe that even if the child has a mental breakdown, they believe that the child will eventually become successful and appreciate the abuse they are put through.

    “But should we have understanding for those parents? Should we think they wanted the best for their children?” Their methods were wrong, but that doesn’t change what their intentions were. It is just like what the church girl did, she thought telling adults was the right course of action and she followed through, and her intention was to help me, but instead, it led me to suffer even more. In the same way, my parents and others in the community thought that the physical and emotional abuse we went through was making us stronger and that it would motivate us to become successful, so they believed the abuse was the right course of action because they do not even realize it is abuse and that our emotional health was deteriorating and unfortunately the results encouraged them to continue their abuse because we were all scoring very high in exams and getting into prestigious colleges and getting high salary jobs. Even I was one of the top students in the country at one point, and so are others from our community. Each year, there is at least one top student that is from our “emotional abuse” community. So when these kinds of results show up, it encourages the parents to believe that the emotional abuse they put their children through is good for them, resulting in them continuing with the “abuse”.

    “They chose their ways as superior, even though they knew it was considered abuse” That is the issue. They do not categorize it as abuse. They categorize it as character building and encouragement to achieve “great things”.

    ” I wonder if they actually believe that a more loving upbringing, which takes into account children’s emotional needs, belongs to the “vices” of the modern society?” They believe their love lies in their duties as a parent, they focus on the physical aspects and do not care about the emotional love that most of us lack, especially since we bear the fruit they wanted despite their method being wrong.

    “No, your parents’ methods cannot produce a good result.” Unfortunately their methods produced the “good” result they wanted, so they don’t care about the emotional and mental deterioration because at the end of the day, we were top students getting into colleges to become doctors and aeronautical engineers and chartered accountants and etc, which was enough motivation for them to continue their “emotional abuse” because they think that it is their “abuse” that drove us to our “success”. If that doesn’t show you how oblivious they are to the effects of their actions, Idk what will. Essentially their ultimate goal is to help us kids become successful and lead a “good” life but their method is just based on emotional cruelty, which they are unaware of.

    “Or maybe they can – maybe they have empathy and understanding for their patients, but they don’t have love for themselves, and sooner or later they will burn out and get sick.” Yes that is precisely what would happen to me, but I will ensure not to let it get to me, but at the end of the day, I am still a doctor, even if it is the most emotionally and mentally broken doctor, and that is all my parents care about because they think having a successful career is the only aspect that they need to worry about. Because they cannot physically see or understand emotional and mental deterioration, they will continue with their “emotional abuse” because it bears the fruit that THEY WANTED, and they will never be aware of the suffering that we go through.

    “What are your duties as their son?” Take care of them as they age, especially their physical needs, cause I don’t give a damn about their emotional needs. Let them have a taste of their own medicine.

    “Oh really? Because you said you have tried to talked to your dad and he shut you down” Yea I tried to express myself first when he asked how my college life was, but when he started telling me to suck it up, I stopped and started laughing cause of how pointless it is to try to make him understand. So no, I was not hurt because I know how they behave and I expected it. I was simply annoyed at myself for even trying to open up despite knowing how they behave.

    “And you have to endure an hour-long phone call with him every day. I don’t see how that is protecting yourself from his abuse?” All I have to say is “Yes” and “Ok” and “Good” and “I’m fine” and “Nothing special happened” and etc and then I can just go back to minding my own business. Been doing this for 2 years now and I barely have to go through any actual emotional abuse through the calls cause all I have to do is pretend to agree and then they leave me alone. It just gets annoying sometimes since I feel the urge to correct them when they say something wrong but other than that, I am completely fine. I am protecting myself by avoiding confrontation.

     “I am trying to explain to you that “hating forever” is not good for your mental and emotional health. It would be the same as your father’s motto: “suck it up and do your duty”. It would be exactly the same reaction to trauma like your father had to his. Disregarding his emotions and becoming this cold, cruel, “logical” guy, who is unable to empathize with people but is adamant on forcing his will (and opinion) on others.” That is the thing, I do not allow my hate towards my parents affect the way I treat anyone else. My hate is only for them and them alone. I will continue to be kind to others but I will never forget what my parents put me through. I will never be like my father. Yes I tried to make B understand, but that was not because my parents didn’t understand me. I tried to make B understand because I had hoped that she was the love of my life, the woman I would spend the rest of my life with and if I am going to do that, we are going to need to be able to understand each other. Besides I had pride when dealing with B, which I didn’t have for my parents, because they are a waste of my time. So, the way they treated me did not affect the way I treated others.

    “I think you would be become a perpetual victim, getting stuck in a relationship with a bully (someone like B), who would abuse you, and you would keep finding excuses for her while believing her accusations that you are actually a bad guy.” It’s my first relationship, obviously I wouldn’t be aware of what toxicity is. You still see it as if I haven’t learnt my lesson. I put up with B’s abuse because I was taught to love one person and one person only, not because I got attached to my bully. It is that moral that makes me one of the most loyal and most trusted persons around here. And the fact that she is my first real love makes it even harder for me to detach because it is the first time my love has been reciprocated in real life and I had invested too much into the relationship for me to just throw away.

    “Your inner critic (which is the internalized voice of your father) is dominating your inner life. Unfortunately, it’s the strongest voice in your head at the moment. It is actually your internal bully, who is terrorizing you.” It goes deeper than that actually. I have realized that even if I was raised by a different parent, the outcome would essentially be the same. For example, even if I started dating another (ideal) girl or got married or something, I would still not be the son-in-law that my wife/gf’s father would want, which is why I don’t feel good enough to ask out any girl now. And that is not based on my parents at all, it is based on my own observations and my application of psychology to various situations. So essentially there is a degree of truth to what my inner critic says. If I was as terrorized as you describe me to be, I would not have even tried to start working on my music, nor would I be rebellious to my parents by dating B, nor even consider the possibility of quitting med and etc. But I have started to work on myself.

    Paradoxy

    #432069
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    Exactly, because they believe that even if the child has a mental breakdown, they believe that the child will eventually become successful and appreciate the abuse they are put through.

    They do not categorize it as abuse.

    So let’s assume there is a tribe deep in the jungle who believes that cutting off their child’s ear will help them achieve great success in life. Would you say they are good parents, who care about their child’s happiness?

    And that it makes sense to justify the practice of ear-cutting, because children from that tribe all achieve a great success?

    All I have to say is “Yes” and “Ok” and “Good” and “I’m fine” and “Nothing special happened” and etc and then I can just go back to minding my own business. Been doing this for 2 years now and I barely have to go through any actual emotional abuse through the calls cause all I have to do is pretend to agree and then they leave me alone. It just gets annoying sometimes since I feel the urge to correct them when they say something wrong but other than that, I am completely fine. I am protecting myself by avoiding confrontation.

    Yes exactly, that’s called fawning, as I’ve already explained. It is appeasing the bully. You are protecting yourself from his even greater wrath, not from his abuse, because you are still exposing yourself to his abuse, every single day. You’re still listening to your father’s lies and insults, him calling you a pig etc. But you suck it up, because if you resisted, you would encounter an even greater wrath.

    That’s not protecting yourself from abuse, Paradoxy. That’s appeasing the bully, so they wouldn’t hurt you even more. And staying firmly in the grip of abuse.

    Yes I tried to make B understand, but that was not because my parents didn’t understand me. I tried to make B understand because I had hoped that she was the love of my life, the woman I would spend the rest of my life with and if I am going to do that, we are going to need to be able to understand each other.

    I’ve explained in great detail how you transferred your longing to be seen and understood from your parents to B (check my post No 431900). She clearly had no empathy or understanding for you, she didn’t care that she was hurting you, and yet you were trying and trying to explain to her why she is hurting and why she should stop doing it. You were speaking to a brick wall, indeed. But the longing (of your inner child) was so strong that you couldn’t let it go.

    If you now want to deny that this is behind your attachment to her, well, it is your right. You can find an alternative explanation for your obsession with B, but it is clear to me that it has everything to do with your unmet emotional needs from childhood.

    You still see it as if I haven’t learnt my lesson. I put up with B’s abuse because I was taught to love one person and one person only, not because I got attached to my bully. It is that moral that makes me one of the most loyal and most trusted persons around here

    Unfortunately it does seem you haven’t learned your lesson, because you are denying the main reason for your attachment to her. The main psychological mechanism behind it. And the problem is that if you keep denying it, you are bound to repeat the same mistakes with another girl, in another romantic relationship.

    And the fact that she is my first real love makes it even harder for me to detach because it is the first time my love has been reciprocated in real life and I had invested too much into the relationship for me to just throw away.

    Yeah it was seemingly reciprocated – she in fact worked hard to catch you in the beginning – but after a mere few days the troubles started. And everything after that was arguments and her lies and excuses and then more arguments, and even bigger lies and secrets coming to surface etc etc. Your love wasn’t reciprocated, even when she pretended to ask for an apology. Because the very next day she would be off, doing her thing, in a resort with suspicious men.

    But none of that was enough to make you see how she is exploiting you and manipulating you. You found an excuse for everything, and not only that, but you believed that you are to blame. Exactly the same thing you are doing with your parents – excusing even the most egregious behavior.

    I have realized that even if I was raised by a different parent, the outcome would essentially be the same. For example, even if I started dating another (ideal) girl or got married or something, I would still not be the son-in-law that my wife/gf’s father would want, which is why I don’t feel good enough to ask out any girl now. And that is not based on my parents at all, it is based on my own observations and my application of psychology to various situations. So essentially there is a degree of truth to what my inner critic says.

    Well of course, having critical and abusive parents influences us in negative ways, e.g. it may influence the person to become an addict. And then they are beating themselves up, believing they are a loser and a nobody, not realizing that the very reason they became an addict is to numb the pain caused by their parents’ upbringing. Just like you wanted to harm yourself. But that’s the consequence, i.e. the result of your parents’ harmful parenting style. Not something you would have done on your own, had they raised you in a loving manner.

    If I was as terrorized as you describe me to be, I would not have even tried to start working on my music, nor would I be rebellious to my parents by dating B, nor even consider the possibility of quitting med and etc. But I have started to work on myself.

    Even if you started dating a girl outside of your religious community, she still was/is a bully, similar to your parents. And so you fell right back into their trap, i.e. in the trap of their parenting.

    Good to hear you are working on your music though.

    nor even consider the possibility of quitting med and etc.

    Does that mean you are considering quitting medicine?

    Take care of them as they age, especially their physical needs

    Well, you can do that without enduring their abuse and without even studying medicine. What you need is to get a decently paid job, in a field that you like and that fits your interests.

     

    #432085
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    My parents and others in the community thought that the physical and emotional abuse we went through was making us stronger and that it would motivate us to become successful, so they believed the abuse was the right course of action because they do not even realize it is abuse and that our emotional health was deteriorating

    they think that it is their “abuse” that drove us to our “success”. If that doesn’t show you how oblivious they are to the effects of their actions, Idk what will

    Dear Paradoxy, your parents must have suspected that your mental health was deteriorating, if not earlier then when you attempted suicide. They knew you were suffering. But what did your father tell you? That you are stupid for being so weak and sensitive. That you should be tougher.

    So he knew that you were suffering, but he believed it was your fault. Because in his eyes, you were not tough enough.

    Essentially their ultimate goal is to help us kids become successful and lead a “good” life but their method is just based on emotional cruelty, which they are unaware of.

    As I said above, that’s not true. They are aware, perhaps not that they are cruel (because they don’t want to admit it, they rather say that you are weak). But they are aware that you are suffering. You showed it to them. But they don’t care.

    Unfortunately, they live in the 21st century, but reject even the most basic findings of the science of human psyche (psychology), which started developing over 150 years ago.

    They purposely reject the whole area of mental health – not because they’ve never heard of it, but because they believe it’s bs.

    So I am afraid you can’t really call your parents oblivious. It’s more that they purposely ignore your suffering, because they don’t find it important.

    the results encouraged them to continue their abuse because we were all scoring very high in exams and getting into prestigious colleges and getting high salary jobs

    So that’s their main goal: getting their children into prestigious colleges, which will result in them getting high salary jobs. For them, that’s all that matters. Well, frankly, those are pretty materialistic goals. They put those above love, care, compassion, mercy – the values that Jesus proclaimed.

    Jesus was all about love. His most important command was to love:

    A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.<sup> </sup>By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

    Where is your parents’ love and compassion for you, their own child?

    Where is the focus on character development (i.e. treasures stored in heaven), which cannot be developed in an atmosphere of emotional abuse?

    Psychological health is equivalent to soul health. But your parents completely disregard that part. And yet, they claim to be deeply religious. Where is the “logic” in that? (this would be a question for your father)

     

    #432093
    ParadoxMusic
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    “So let’s assume there is a tribe deep in the jungle who believes that cutting off their child’s ear will help them achieve great success in life. Would you say they are good parents, who care about their child’s happiness?” No, but you wouldn’t blame them for their lack of knowledge. And you would try to correct them too. Trying to correct my parents is a waste of my time. So I understand that they are doing what they think is right, but I will not tolerate the things they do.

    “Yes exactly, that’s called fawning, as I’ve already explained.” I know it is fawning, but I am not affected by the things he say though. I am not LISTENING to his lies and insults, I am HEARING them. I let them enter one ear and leave the other ear. Besides it is not like I have a choice other than to avoid them, so I am protecting myself by not caring about the things they say and focusing on my priorities. They HAD me in the grasp of their abuse, but no more.

    “I’ve explained in great detail how you transferred your longing to be seen and understood from your parents to B” And I am saying that I DIDN’T transfer my longing to be seen and understood from my parents to B. I expected basic friendship, loyalty and respect from her, and because I wanted her to be my future wife, I wasted my time hoping that I could get her to fix herself. It was my desire for her to be my one and only partner that made me keep trying to make her understand me. I may have had unmet emotional needs, but I did not force that on B. I just cannot simply leave someone over a mistake that could be corrected and fixed and I had hoped that I could help her be better. I do not want to be dating multiple girls before I find the right person. If I am going to date, I want to be absolutely certain that the girl is the right person for me. I want to make sure that whoever is destined to be my wife, should feel like the only special person for me. But because B is my first real relationship, despite what my aim was, I was too blind to see that B was not the right person for me, but my desire to love one person only caused me to try to help her become the right person for me, which was a mistake that I now regret and have learnt from. That desire did not stem from my unmet emotional needs. That desire came from my morals.

    “Unfortunately it does seem you haven’t learned your lesson, because you are denying the main reason for your attachment to her.” And what are the odds that you are wrong about the main reason for my attachment? Your advice is based on a third person’s perspective, which means you won’t be able to understand certain things that are hard to describe through words. Some experiences and feelings that I had are too complex to simply give a verbal description detailed enough to make you understand. Sometimes you have to trust the speaker. Especially since it is my life that I am describing. That doesn’t mean that I am completely rejecting your advice.

    I have agreed with you that my parents are cruel people that have emotionally abused me. So why are you arguing with my decision to forgive them for not realizing that what they are doing is wrong? God himself forgave us for our sins due to our lack of knowledge, so why is it wrong for me to forgive my parents for their lack of knowledge? Why is it that you cannot acknowledge that my parents’ ultimate aim was to ensure I have a successful career instead of being a slave? Why do you think that I am making excuses for those who have hurt me? I have every reason to hate them so why do you still think I am making excuses? Even before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham asked him if he would spare the cities if there were at least 10 good people in those cities, to which God agreed. So why is it wrong for me to look for the good in people? What makes you think that I am eager to be making excuses to justify the cruelty that others have put me through? I lived under my parents’ roof for 17 years. I have experienced life with them for 17 years, long enough for me to decide whether they are actually the cruel people you describe them to be or actually people who mistakenly believe that they are doing the right thing. So what makes you think my understanding of their intentions are wrong? You can only understand the words that I am writing to you. You cannot understand the actual experiences that I have been through, experiences that led me to realize their real intentions.

    “Well of course, having critical and abusive parents influences us in negative ways, e.g. it may influence the person to become an addict.” Did you not read the part where I said “observations and my application of psychology to various situations”? I am trying to say that I realized that I would still not be the ideal son-in-law because I know what other fathers want in their sons, because I OBSERVED and applied PSYCHOLOGY on OTHER fathers. This is because I REBELLED against my parents’ “harmful parenting style”. I am not mature enough to be proactive and take responsibility and be the man of the house, and I know this because I know what other fathers are expecting of their son-in-law. It has nothing to do with my parents’ parenting style being “harmful”. That is why I said even if I grew up with DIFFERENT parents, the outcome would STILL BE THE SAME.

    “Even if you started dating a girl outside of your religious community, she still was/is a bully, similar to your parents.” I did not fall in love with B because she was similar to my parents. I fell in love with her because I saw her as DIFFERENT from my parents. Someone would had the capability to understand better than my parents. Someone who could empathize with me since B herself was abused by her own parents. I thought we could heal together. At the beginning of the relationship, I felt a form of emotional connection with her. That is why I fell in love with her. She just started to behave like my parents OVER TIME. And my dumbass self thought I could fix that because she normally does not behave like my parents.

    “Does that mean you are considering quitting medicine?” Not sure yet, I am planning to continue for now until my music career buds.

    “Well, you can do that without enduring their abuse and without even studying medicine.” Hell no, how is that even possible? They pay for everything that I have, and I am almost out of the money that I earned over the years. If I don’t accept their calls, they will just assume that I am in danger and call administrators to see if I am okay, and I can’t quit med cause then they would want me to come back home to them, so I need an excuse to stay here. And there is no decently paid jobs here as even B struggled to find one. So I am going to wait until my music gets better.

    “Dear Paradoxy, your parents must have suspected that your mental health was deteriorating, if not earlier then when you attempted suicide. They knew you were suffering. But what did your father tell you? That you are stupid for being so weak and sensitive. That you should be tougher.” They don’t know that I am suffering, they just know that SOMETHING is up. That’s it. That is why they even had other parents try to lecture me. They all say the same thing because THEY ALL think that what they are suggesting is actually what is good for me. They don’t know that I am suffering. They never will cause they cannot understand the form of suffering that I am going through, because IT IS NORMAL to them.

    “They purposely reject the whole area of mental health – not because they’ve never heard of it, but because they believe it’s bs.” Precisely, they consider emotional and mental health deterioration to be nothing important, which is why they are oblivious to my suffering because it is primarily emotional and mental suffering. They PURPOSEFULLY ignore my suffering because they are OBLIVIOUS to the fact that IT IS SUFFERING. They don’t even CATEGORIZE it as suffering at all. That is the issue.

    “So that’s their main goal: getting their children into prestigious colleges, which will result in them getting high salary jobs. For them, that’s all that matters. Well, frankly, those are pretty materialistic goals.” YES because during the time they grew up, only these things were considered important because it ensures you live a peaceful life in the physical aspect of things. Nobody cared about their emotional and mental well-being. Achieving these materialistic goals are what was normalized and considered important because without money, there is no point in complaining about your mental and emotional health.

    “They put those above love, care, compassion, mercy – the values that Jesus proclaimed.” They are aware of these values. But they express these values of love, care, compassion and mercy through strict discipline and materials. They will always be available to love, care and show compassion for you in most situations except the situations that require therapeutical caring. That is the difference.

    “Where is your parents’ love and compassion for you, their own child?” What you don’t realize is that they do love and care for me, but they do not provide therapeutical love and caring. It is like loving someone because it is their DUTY to love instead of loving someone because they WANT to love.

    “Psychological health is equivalent to soul health. But your parents completely disregard that part. And yet, they claim to be deeply religious. Where is the “logic” in that?” There may be no logic in it to you, but they can see the logic in it, especially since they are getting the results they wanted, and because other parents support their actions too. So in a situation where they are being encouraged to ignore emotional and mental health, they will obviously continue with their cruelty, because to them, it is not cruelty. I hope you understand.

    Paradoxy

     

    #432096
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    What you don’t realize is that they do love and care for me, but they do not provide therapeutical love and caring.

    They don’t love and care for your emotional well-being, for your desires, for your goals and dreams. They don’t care about you as a complete person, who has greater needs than just having a super high paying job. They don’t love and care for your overall well-being, which is more than just your material wealth.

    I am sorry, but their version of “love” is not love. Love is not oppression, lack of understanding, lack of empathy, humiliation, coercing the person to do their will.

    You define their parenting as love. Whereas it is the opposite of love. Love cannot be abusive and still be called love.

    They PURPOSEFULLY ignore my suffering because they are OBLIVIOUS to the fact that IT IS SUFFERING. They don’t even CATEGORIZE it as suffering at all.

    They don’t know that I am suffering, they just know that SOMETHING is up

    Splendid. So an attempted suicide is a sign for them that you are having the time of your life? That everything is great in your life? That you are just bored and don’t have a better thing to do? Clearly, for them it was a sign of disobedience, or stupidity, not a cry for help. And they certainly didn’t see themselves responsible even in the slightest.

    But they express these values of love, care, compassion and mercy through strict discipline and materials. They will always be available to love, care and show compassion for you in most situations except the situations that require therapeutical caring.

    No, they expressed the opposite of values of love, care, compassion and mercy in your upbringing. You are convincing yourself that abuse is love. No, it is not.

    YES because during the time they grew up, only these things were considered important because it ensures you live a peaceful life in the physical aspect of things. Achieving these materialistic goals are what was normalized and considered important because without money, there is no point in complaining about your mental and emotional health.

    Sure, 100 years ago it was all about survival. Nobody cared about mental health. But it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true today either that one needs to be getting the highest paying jobs to be materially secured. That you need to study medicine to ensure a decent existence. So their forcing their will on you, pushing you to choose a career with highest salaries – is a bit more than a “survival response”. I am sorry, but to me it’s already greed. It is having their eyes only on the material, while disregarding anything else.

    And how ironical that they should be worried about gold diggers and wicked women who want to take the man’s wealth. In fact, it’s not strange, because they are fixated on wealth (even if they want to accumulate it by honest means and hard work), and of course they are afraid of those who would want to take it away from them.

     

    I am trying to say that I realized that I would still not be the ideal son-in-law because I know what other fathers want in their sons

    You mean what other men in your religious community expect from their son-in-law?

    It has nothing to do with my parents’ parenting style being “harmful”. That is why I said even if I grew up with DIFFERENT parents, the outcome would STILL BE THE SAME.

    they even had other parents try to lecture me. They all say the same thing because THEY ALL think that what they are suggesting is actually what is good for me.

    Other men in your religious community are obviously very similar to your father, so I guess you would get the same or similar abuse that you got from your father. But that still doesn’t mean that you are the core problem, that you have some inherent lacks and deficiencies. Rather, it means that this kind of abusive parenting is harmful for the child’s psyche.

     

    I did not fall in love with B because she was similar to my parents. I fell in love with her because I saw her as DIFFERENT from my parents.

    Yeah, she encouraged your music development, i.e. your hobbies, which your parents probably thought was bs. But that’s the trick: we often fall in love with someone who is different than our parents in one area, but very similar in another.

    In fact, I think you fell in love because she seemed different (and she was different in some aspects). But you stayed for so long (and got so attached) because she was the same as your parents. You tried to get empathy and understanding from her, who is essentially unable to provide it, just like your parents.

     I expected basic friendship, loyalty and respect from her,

    I was too blind to see that B was not the right person for me, but my desire to love one person only caused me to try to help her become the right person for me, which was a mistake that I now regret and have learnt from. That desire did not stem from my unmet emotional needs. That desire came from my morals.

    By your morals, do you mean that the first girl you date should be your future wife? Because that “rule” too is something you learned from your father. It’s an invented rule.

    But as I said, your attempts to make her understand you and your needs – even though she was totally unresponsive – prove that it was an unmet need. You couldn’t just let go.

    And in fact, you admitted it yourself:

    She is the only person that I wanted to correct. The only person I wanted to understand. I don’t care about anyone else, my parents, family, friend etc. SHE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO I WANTED TO UNDERSTAND HER MISTAKES SO SHE CAN CORRECT THEM BECAUSE I WANTED TO LOVE HER WITHOUT HER CAUSING ME MORE PAIN.

    You didn’t need your parents to understand you, but you needed her to understand you. It is very clear from your words (and from your inability to let her go) that you were trying to meet an unmet childhood need through her.

     

    I have agreed with you that my parents are cruel people that have emotionally abused me. So why are you arguing with my decision to forgive them for not realizing that what they are doing is wrong?

    I am not arguing your decision to forgive them. However, I have an issue with you claiming they loved you and cared for you (they do love and care for me, but they do not provide therapeutical love and caring.). Because what they did is not love and care. It was cruelty. Even if they didn’t understand it.

    I am also stressing it because you seem to believe that their parenting style didn’t affect the way you are today. That you would be the same “deficient” person, even if you were born to other parents:

    It has nothing to do with my parents’ parenting style being “harmful”. That is why I said even if I grew up with DIFFERENT parents, the outcome would STILL BE THE SAME.

    This again is freeing them from all responsibility and blaming yourself for having certain deficiencies. As if their lack of love and empathy didn’t leave any trace on you – as if it’s all you and your “badness.” At least this is how it reads to me, and I would like to point out that it’s not the case. Because parenting does affect us immensely.

    Of course it depends on the individual too, because not every child will react the same to the same parental treatment. However, our personality is formed in our childhood, and the way we were parented has a decisive impact on our adult personality. In your latest posts you seem to deny it, claiming that their parenting didn’t really affect you negatively.

    And what are the odds that you are wrong about the main reason for my attachment? Your advice is based on a third person’s perspective, which means you won’t be able to understand certain things that are hard to describe through words. Some experiences and feelings that I had are too complex to simply give a verbal description detailed enough to make you understand. Sometimes you have to trust the speaker. Especially since it is my life that I am describing.

    This is your ego trying to reject my advice, because it doesn’t want to look at certain things. You’ve shared a lot here, certainly enough that I could form a picture of what was going on. Even your own words – the way you phrased things – confirm my assumptions (e.g. that B was the only person you wanted to understand you. And you spoke earlier about the inability of your parents to understand you.)

    But you seem to reject it, because you don’t want to make the link between your psychological issues today and your childhood. It seems you want to blame yourself for how you are today and exculpate your parents. That’s a defense mechanism too, because the child never wants to blame the parents. The child always blames themselves.

    So you saying that your current problems don’t have anything to do with your childhood is an attempt of the inner child to preserve the “goodness” of your parents, the image of that “goodness”. That’s a survival mechanism for the inner child.

    I am not saying you should hate your parents. You said it, and I actually told you it wouldn’t be good. It wouldn’t be a sign of healing. But you need to attribute responsibility where it is due. You cannot solve the problem if you don’t know what caused it.

     

    #432145
    ParadoxMusic
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    “They don’t love and care for your emotional well-being, for your desires, for your goals and dreams.” Yea they do love and care for my emotional well-being lol. But in their own twisted way. That is the part that you don’t get. Like how children go to a flower garden, and pick the most beautiful flower, not with the intention of destroying it, but with the intention of keeping it safe and close to them due to its beauty and the child’s desire to preserve and protect it, but the child doesn’t realize that picking the flower would be the cause of its destruction. Did the child not love the flower? Obviously the child did love the flower, it just didn’t know how to take care of it. I know my parents are grown adults, but they know nothing about how to be a parent, especially since I am literally the oldest child among all my cousins and siblings by several years.

    “So an attempted suicide is a sign for them that you are having the time of your life? That everything is great in your life? That you are just bored and don’t have a better thing to do?” Precisely. My dad already has the predetermined ideology that suicidal people are idiots, so he believed that there was no way in hell that his own kid would be suicidal. Besides, it’s not like they can see me in pain. They have to see me suffer in order for them to feel like I need help. I have never shown them my suffering, I kept it bottled. So to them, it appears as if I am living my life fine. They think that everything is normal and I am happy, cause that is what I show them. So obviously they won’t think they are responsible for any sort of suffering.

    “No, they expressed the opposite of values of love, care, compassion and mercy in your upbringing. You are convincing yourself that abuse is love. No, it is not.” If you ask them for help, they will obviously help. But as long as the suffering is not obvious enough for them to understand, they won’t offer those values of love and compassion etc.

    “Sure, 100 years ago it was all about survival. Nobody cared about mental health. But it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true today either that one needs to be getting the highest paying jobs to be materially secured. That you need to study medicine to ensure a decent existence. So their forcing their will on you, pushing you to choose a career with highest salaries – is a bit more than a “survival response”. I am sorry, but to me it’s already greed. It is having their eyes only on the material, while disregarding anything else.” Let me make this more clear: My parents are ASIAN. It is commonly known how Asian parents are. Always comparing the kids to other kids. Always getting disappointed when their child doesn’t bring home an A+. Always planning to make their child become a doctor or a software engineer or a lawyer etc even before they are even born. Hammering in the foundations of mathematics into their head when they are a mere child to ensure that they do well in school. That is not greed. That is like a traditional thing and almost every Asian family does this same thing. That is why it is known as the Asian stereotype, which most people are aware of. This is NORMAL for us. So obviously they won’t prioritize mental health because they are oblivious to the impact of mental health.

    “And how ironical that they should be worried about gold diggers and wicked women who want to take the man’s wealth. In fact, it’s not strange, because they are fixated on wealth (even if they want to accumulate it by honest means and hard work), and of course they are afraid of those who would want to take it away from them” That is a huge misunderstanding. My parents are not greedy. If they were greedy, I would have found a way to get out of this mess. It is cause they prioritize family and tradition and culture that I am stuck in this mess. Greed would have been so much easier for me to handle, cause there are so many ways I could have made enough money to satisfy their greed but unfortunately, their aim was not wealth. That is something you won’t understand until you experience this life. It is too complicated for me to simply express in words, especially since even I don’t understand why my parents are so stubborn no matter how many different examples with exceptions I suggested to them.

    “You mean what other men in your religious community expect from their son-in-law?” No in general. B’s father was also the same and the fathers in the church community are also the same.

    “Other men in your religious community are obviously very similar to your father, so I guess you would get the same or similar abuse that you got from your father.” But that is the thing, it is not other fathers in our religious community, it is outsiders too, even my own school teachers said the same thing when my mom enquired them about me on parent teacher conference days. EVEN THE CHURCH MEN SAID IT TOO, and we go to a Greek Church so you definitely know they are not anywhere near of our “religious” community.

    “Yeah, she encouraged your music development, i.e. your hobbies, which your parents probably thought was bs. But that’s the trick: we often fall in love with someone who is different than our parents in one area, but very similar in another.” Can’t you ever consider the possibility that you could be wrong? B’s encouragement and etc were just a brief scratch on the surface examples of what made her different. She was there for me whenever I had to deal with my parents’ hour long calls that I had endure. She provided me with the emotional support I needed to endure my parents. She helped me plan for a future together, where she studies to become a nurse while I study med and etc. Idk if she was lying but she also agreed to help me quit med if necessary after she becomes a nurse and fund my education for music or computers once I am ready. She made me feel valued. She made me feel like I had a good friend. Someone that I could go on adventures with. Someone who was willing to risk their happiness and make sacrifices to help build me up from my lowest point. In the beginning of our relationship, she did provide these things, even with the issues that led to our multiple break ups. Even if all of this was fake, it doesn’t change the fact that my reasons for loving her were not cause she was similar to my parents. But the annoying thing is that you will use these same examples to say that I was using her to meet my unmet childhood needs that I expected from my parents, which is completely wrong.

    “By your morals, do you mean that the first girl you date should be your future wife? Because that “rule” too is something you learned from your father. It’s an invented rule.” No, my moral is that only one girl deserves special treatment. Only one girl deserves to be treated like the queen in a boy’s life. I do not want to be in multiple relationships, and end up loving each girl and breaking up until I find the right girl. I want to be able to make the right girl feel special. To know that I patiently waited until I could find her. To make her feel like every other girl are just normal classmates or colleagues but this one girl means so much more to me. To make her feel like every other girl is worthless compared to her. To make her feel like I would never cheat on her or find interest in another girl, because she is the most amazing woman in my life. I want my gf/wife to feel as if no one else deserves the honor/privilege of being my partner, and I should feel the same way too towards my partner, therefore making each of us that special person in each other’s life .

    It is like the issue with body count. A typical man do not like women with high body count, and that goes both ways, cause if your partner slept with 30 guys/girls before they met you, you are no longer that special to your partner, especially sex wise, because he/she got the same pleasure from other people and therefore you become just another guy/girl that can sexually satisfy them; you are not that special.

    “But as I said, your attempts to make her understand you and your needs – even though she was totally unresponsive – prove that it was an unmet need. You couldn’t just let go.” Again I say to you, I didn’t let go of her cause of my moral, not cause of my unmet need. I wanted to turn her into that special person in my life. Someone I could pour out 120% of my love into and never regret it. I didn’t want to hesitate when it came to loving her. Obviously I was wasting my time, but I didn’t realize it when I was fighting for the relationship. I just thought that everyone had flaws, and so if I could help her fix her flaws, she would become the perfect woman for me.

    “It is very clear from your words (and from your inability to let her go) that you were trying to meet an unmet childhood need through her.” This is becoming foolish now. I wasn’t expecting compassion or pity from her. I just wanted her to understand HER FLAWS. Not understand MY ISSUES. I wanted her to FIX HERSELF. I wanted HER to IMPROVE, so that she would become the PERFECT WOMAN for me. That is completely unrelated to my unmet need because if that was the case, I would be trying to make her understand MY ISSUES and sympathize with ME. Instead I tried to CORRECT HER. I wanted to FIX HER.  I wanted to sympathize with HER and keep correcting her when she misunderstands things about me like assuming that I was cheating and etc, cause these misunderstandings were the core reasoning behind her foolish decisions.

    “Because what they did is not love and care. It was cruelty. Even if they didn’t understand it.” YESSSS what they did is CRUELTY. But it STILL DOESN”T CHANGE the fact that THEIR INTENTION was to show LOVE AND CARING. They didn’t hurt me with the INTENTION of hurting me. They hurt me with the INTENTION of helping me. It is similar to how a child gets a beating or another form of punishment from their parent when they do something wrong. Technically, the physical beating harms the child and causes the child pain, but the parents did it to teach the child a lesson, to teach them to not repeat the mistake.

    “I am also stressing it because you seem to believe that their parenting style didn’t affect the way you are today.” You clearly misunderstood, cause I am saying that their parenting style DID affect the way I am today. But it doesn’t change the fact that growing up with different parents would STILL result in the SAME “deficient” personality because the parenting method might differ but their intentions, priorities, aims etc would still be the SAME so they will still be driving that same hammer into my head.

    “This again is freeing them from all responsibility and blaming yourself for having certain deficiencies. As if their lack of love and empathy didn’t leave any trace on you – as if it’s all you and your “badness.” That is why I keep telling you that you are misunderstanding me. I am not freeing them from the responsibility of making me the way I am. I am not freeing them from the blame of making me this way. I am NOT saying that their lack of love and empathy didn’t leave any trace on me. It is THEIR CRUELTY that drove me to this point. BUT IT STILL DOESN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT OTHER PARENTS SHARED THE SAME GOAL AS THEM. That is why EVEN IF I GREW UP IN A DIFFERENT HOUSE, I would STILL HAVE THE SAME HAMMER DRIVEN INTO MY HEAD. Cause their GOALS are the SAME. That is why most of us just want to get away from them. Obviously the amount of mental and emotional health deterioration would differ, but the outcome would still be the same.

    “In your latest posts you seem to deny it, claiming that their parenting didn’t really affect you negatively.” No, their parenting style did harm me, but not because the parenting style was harmful, but because of the individuals using the parenting style. Another parent can use the same parenting style, even be cruel to a certain point, but if they had just realized the mental and emotional deterioration that was happening, they could have helped with the healing while maintaining the parenting style. They could still drive me into doing med and not pursuing music and etc, but if they had just given me the encouragement I needed, the understanding that I expected from them, helping me go through this process TOGETHER instead of all by myself, my mental and emotional health would have been so much better.

    “You’ve shared a lot here, certainly enough that I could form a picture of what was going on.” Clearly not enough, because you still misunderstood.

    “Even your own words – the way you phrased things – confirm my assumptions “ EXACTLY. Some experiences are TOO COMPLEX to be described through simple words, you have to actually experience them to understand. That is why you think I confirmed your assumptions based on “the way I phrased things”. I wanted B to understand HER MISTAKES and how to fix them, but for my parents, I wanted them to understand MY ISSUES and how to fix them. That is the part you still do not understand. I am not trying to preserve the goodness of my parents. I want you to feel what I felt but that is impossible.

    I will restate a simplified version of everything so you understand better:

    My parents are cruel, but their intentions were good. Due to their lack of understanding, I forgive them. But I will not waste my time trying to make them understand my issues.

    I loved B because she was different from my parents. She understood me to a certain point, until she started the downward spiral after I told her about what my parents said about modern women. Because she had the misunderstanding as the core of her beliefs, every other argument we had all spiraled from that misunderstanding, for example the argument where she called my parents racists, and the argument over what my type was, and the argument regarding my conversation with my high school crush etc. I tried to make her understand so she could fix her misunderstanding and become a better woman, but that failed.

    I am not fit to be a son-in-law because most fathers want a son that is mature and man enough to handle the responsibility of being the man of the house. And that is a huge responsibility, and requires leadership skills, which I definitely lack due to my lack of confidence due to my poor mental and emotional health. I need a certain level of wisdom to understand how to handle the responsibilities of being the man of the house. Being the man of the house also requires me to ignore my emotions when taking responsibilities. That is why even if I grew up under a different parent, when I am taught to take up these responsibilities, I would still be forced to bottle up my emotions. And if I am not able to carry out these basic responsibilities, there would be another emotionally deteriorating experience waiting for me when the parent becomes disappointed in me. I have been observing this in 39 families now, and it is the same thing in each of them, that is how I know that this thing is normal and the outcome will still be the same.

    I am trying to make it as simple as I can so you can understand but I have a feeling that you would still not understand what I am trying to say. I wish I could explain this better.

    Paradoxy

    #432172
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    My dad already has the predetermined ideology that suicidal people are idiots, so he believed that there was no way in hell that his own kid would be suicidal. Besides, it’s not like they can see me in pain. They have to see me suffer in order for them to feel like I need help. I have never shown them my suffering, I kept it bottled.

    So you never told them what was bothering you? Have you ever tried telling them?

    But you did tell it to your school/church friend, didn’t you? Because you told her that you attempted suicide because of your parents. Did you tell her what you didn’t like about your parents’ behavior?

    they even had other parents try to lecture me. They all say the same thing because THEY ALL think that what they are suggesting is actually what is good for me. They don’t know that I am suffering.

    So after your suicide attempt, they had other parents lecture you. What did those other parents tell you?

    it is not other fathers in our religious community, it is outsiders too, even my own school teachers said the same thing when my mom enquired them about me on parent teacher conference days. EVEN THE CHURCH MEN SAID IT TOO, and we go to a Greek Church so you definitely know they are not anywhere near of our “religious” community.

    What did your school teachers say about you? What did the Church men say?

    No, their parenting style did harm me, but not because the parenting style was harmful, but because of the individuals using the parenting style. Another parent can use the same parenting style, even be cruel to a certain point, but if they had just realized the mental and emotional deterioration that was happening, they could have helped with the healing while maintaining the parenting style. They could still drive me into doing med and not pursuing music and etc, but if they had just given me the encouragement I needed, the understanding that I expected from them, helping me go through this process TOGETHER instead of all by myself, my mental and emotional health would have been so much better.

    So you are saying your parents still have impacted your emotional and mental health, because they haven’t realized the mental and emotional deterioration that was happening, they haven’t given you the encouragement you needed and the understanding that you expected from them. And they let you go through this process ALONE, all by yourself.

    But if you had parents who did the above, then your mental and emotional health would be so much better.

    So you are basically saying that your parents’ treatment did affect your emotional and mental health. That there was something they failed to do: they failed to realize your mental and emotional deterioration, i.e. your suffering. And they failed you give you encouragement and understanding you needed, which left you feeling all alone.

    You are saying that their failure to provide those things left a mark on your mental and emotional health. Which means you are basically agreeing with me, because I have been saying the same.

     

    I am not fit to be a son-in-law because most fathers want a son that is mature and man enough to handle the responsibility of being the man of the house. And that is a huge responsibility, and requires leadership skills, which I definitely lack due to my lack of confidence due to my poor mental and emotional health. I need a certain level of wisdom to understand how to handle the responsibilities of being the man of the house. Being the man of the house also requires me to ignore my emotions when taking responsibilities.

    I have been observing this in 39 families now, and it is the same thing in each of them, that is how I know that this thing is normal and the outcome will still be the same.

    You are describing a set of expectations that are put on men in your religious community: you need to be “the man in the house”. Which means that you need to be the sole decision maker in the family. For that, you need to have a certain level of wisdom and leadership skills to “lead” your wife (and your children) in a wise manner. When making decisions, you need to ignore your emotions and use only “logic”. And whenever you feel pain or discomfort about something, you need to “suck it up” and do your duty.

    This is the image of a “perfect” man and husband that you grew up with, or better say, that you were indoctrinated with.

    This image is bs, if I may say so. It has nothing to do with how a good, strong and yet compassionate man should behave. The very fact that you are supposed to ignore your emotions and your heart cannot lead to wise decisions. You cannot be wise and at the same time ignore and suppress your emotions.

    Also the idea that you need to “lead” your wife – who supposedly is not too smart and needs your guidance – is super misogynist. A healthy relationship is about both partners being equal, and both agreeing on the best path forward in their life. It can be that some men are better in finances, and so they make financial  decisions. But sometimes the woman is better with finances, or uses her intuition to e.g. decide what property to buy. So it’s okay to let the woman decide too, specially if she has better skills than the man in some areas.

    This whole idea of man wearing the pants and making all important decisions in the family is bs. It puts a lot of pressure on you as a man. And it would on any guy who is not a stuck-up male chauvinist who believes women are stupid and should focus on what they know to do best: child rearing and household.

    If you believe you need to be that kind of man – the kind of man your father taught you to be and that he himself is – then I am sorry, I cannot help you. Because it would require you to turn yourself into something you are not, within a family system that is in itself distorted. But if you want to grow out of that toxic and outdated system, then we can talk about it some more.

     

    #432173
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Paradoxy,

    My parents are ASIAN. It is commonly known how Asian parents are. Always comparing the kids to other kids. Always getting disappointed when their child doesn’t bring home an A+. Always planning to make their child become a doctor or a software engineer or a lawyer etc even before they are even born. Hammering in the foundations of mathematics into their head when they are a mere child to ensure that they do well in school. That is not greed. That is like a traditional thing and almost every Asian family does this same thing. That is why it is known as the Asian stereotype, which most people are aware of. This is NORMAL for us. So obviously they won’t prioritize mental health because they are oblivious to the impact of mental health.

    I understand that about Asian parents. But you said you wanted to be an engineer (computer engineer, if I understood well). That should be acceptable enough for Asian parents. But they still wanted you to study medicine. That’s what I was reacting to. Because you can earn a decent salary with computer engineering as well.

    But that wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted you to study medicine, even though medicine requires enormous dedication, and if someone isn’t really into it, it can make their life miserable. Actually I think it’s counter-productive.

    But still, they forced you to study medicine. That’s why I believe it’s a significantly greater pressure and expectation than what typical Asian parents expect from their child.

     

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