September 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm #170253
@anita Thank you for clarifying to me. I didn’t mention before, but my parents have became more bearable to endure comparing to my school years. Which is why this is complicated for me. They weren’t very understanding when I was a small kid, but since I have expressed my disdain for them at 18 before moving to another country, I think they’ve changed and became more flexible in how they treat me. This is how I feel when I think about this subject. They have treated me badly as a kid, but all because of our culture and what they thought was the right thing, I expressed my feelings to them (I hate this family and I’m moving to a different country), they’ve changed. Seeing this, to me, it means that they’re not bad people. But because they treated me badly in the past, I’m now who I am because of that and I don’t know how to change otherwise, so my solution is to sever all ties.
I can focus on my feelings, but at the same time, I know that they are not bad people and I can’t leave them without feeling like maybe this isn’t justified. If they were bad people, this would have been very easy for me and I wouldn’t have asked for any help, but they’re not bad people and that’s why it’s hard for me. What should I do if focusing on my feelings alone is not enough?September 26, 2017 at 10:10 am #170407
When you expressed your “disdain for them at 18 before moving to another country” and then you left and they followed you and changed their behavior, no longer mistreating you- this in itself does not mean that they are not bad people, it could very well mean that their self-interest was to stay in contact with you. It makes sense to me that they were afraid to lose contact with you (and lose self interest) following your expressed disdain and your move to another country: expressing your independence from them.
Parents mistreat their children when the children (and adult children) are dependent on them, not when the adult children are independent of them.
Not too recently they moved to your house- that may very well be their self interest which is the reason behind no longer mistreating you.
What do you think?
anitaSeptember 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm #170457
@anita I do believe that they don’t want me to hate them, and so they changed their way. What I’ve been taught is that as a child, I have to be grateful to my parents and take care of them in their old age, so they maybe wanting someone to take care of them when they got old. However, they have a lot of money back in our home country. They can just hire people to take care of them. They’re on good terms with my brother so he can take care of them. They moved to this country because they “miss” me and would like “the whole family to stay together”. My brother has a good relationship with them despite being treated the same as I was, so that’s one of the reason why I’m thinking maybe this is all my problem.
Does it sound to you like they’re genuine people? Because since I’m not an outsider, I sometimes may not see the full picture. Everyone around me has been treated this way, my parents were treated this way, and everyone turned out fine (like my brother), It seems that I’m the only one who dwells on these past experiences and I don’t know if it’s my fault.
September 27, 2017 at 6:24 am #170561
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Leocube.
You wrote above that your brother can take care of your parents, but in another thread you wrote that he can’t because he is in college, if I remember correctly, and you felt obligated to have them in your house because he is not able to provide them with such.
You wrote that they have a lot of money in the home country. Well, maybe their money is not enough in the new country and they feel that they need your financial help (such as living in your house, not paying rent or mortgage).
You asked for an outsider’s input, someone who may see the “full picture”. I agree that as an insider you are emotionally invested in seeing a limited picture of reality because the full picture is distressing to see. And we avoid seeing what is very uncomfortable to see.
The full picture means considering other possibilities than those that you considered so far. Here are a list of your possibility vs. other possibilities from your last post alone:
1. Your possibility: “They can just hire people to take care of them”- other possibilities: they may not feel that they can, that… other people in the home country will think badly of them if they have strangers taking care of them instead of their adult children/ They may not want to spend their money if they can get care for free.
2. Your possibility: “They’re on good terms with my brother so he can take care of them”- other possibilities they are not in good terms with him, they just say that they are and they know that he is unable or unwilling to take care of them, they just didn’t share that with you.
3. Your possibility: “They moved to this country because they ‘miss’ me and would like ‘the whole family to stay together'”- other possibilities: they lied and that is the reason you placed quotation marks around their lies.
4. Your possibility: “My brother has a good relationship with them despite being treated the same as I was”- other possibilities: they do not have a good relationship, it only appears to you that way/ their relationship is peaceful enough for as long as he doesn’t take care of them or lives with them and they know it. And he was not treated the same as you.
5. Your possibility: “Everyone around me has been treated this way”- another possibility: in some ways everyone may have been treated the same way (for example, being punished physically), but in other very significant ways everyone was not treated the same.
You asked: “Does it sound to you like they’re genuine people?”
No, it does not sound to me that they are genuine people. Your sharing in your threads is very consistent with them not being genuine people.
It is a shame that you tend to believe that “this is all my problem” and that “it’s my fault” when it seems to me that the problem is that you don’t trust your already existing perception that indeed, your parents are not genuine.
anitaSeptember 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm #170995
@anita Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been busy with work these past few days.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I’ve decided to do some meditation and self reflection like you suggested. I think I’m not very sure myself about letting them go either. I would like to clear my head first and really objectively look at this whole situation and decide what I should do. Cutting ties is a thought that has been in the back of my mind for a very long time, even since I was a little kid. I knew that I wanted them out of my life, but I never wanted it badly enough until now.
I think my parents have many traits of a narcissistic personality. It’s very weird because I can sense that their actions are manipulative, but emotionally, I feel like they’re good people who are just misunderstood. Thank you for your advice and suggestions. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time but now I’m going to actually seriously consider leaving them. I used to ask this question when my urges got too strong, but after a few days, I would tell myself that maybe it’s not necessary. But I can see that this thought keeps popping up and I need to deal with it once and for all. Otherwise, nothing will change.
Also, I believe that my brother genuinely love our parents. I’ve talked to him about me leaving before and he urged me not to do it. He always has nice things to say about them. I would say that my brother and my parents are very alike in many ways. They just seem to get along with each other very well without any effort. Maybe he’s just faking it, that could be true. If he’s faking this, then he’s a really good actor.September 30, 2017 at 5:03 am #171025
I don’t think your brother is faking loving his parents. Young children naturally and automatically love their parents no matter who the parents are, no matter how unloving, manipulative and cruel they may be. When young children grow up, that love, that emotional attachment is still there, imprinted in the brain in many ways. Even when the growing child and adult realizes that the parents are manipulative and even cruel, that emotional attachment… is still there, sending the message: no, no, they are not manipulative, they are loving people underneath… maybe I am misunderstanding.
Your brother loves his/ your parents but that doesn’t mean they deserve his love or that his relationship with them is healthy or good for him. It is also possible that he was treated differently.
Cutting ties or contact with one’s parents is a very difficult thing to do because … people tell you that you shouldn’t, that you are a bad person if you do… The people who tell you that are motivated by their own emotional attachment to their parents and by what other people tell them, what society says, what the bible say (honor thy parents and such).
When you cut ties you go against society and against that emotional attachment which has been established in your own brain.
When I cut ties with my mother a few years ago, for a long time I felt guilty. It was painful. My guilt went from 100% to now, about… 0.5%.
anitaNovember 9, 2017 at 10:53 am #177241manbuddhaParticipant
I hope you’re well. Sorry I’m so late to this thread. I daresay I understand your feelings about your family and I have sometimes found myself thinking similar thoughts about mine. I feel that they have shown themselves to be operating in their self-interest and don’t really care about my future. Even apart from their hurtful behavior in my childhood, they have no interest in caring for me or understanding what I care about doing now, instead they mainly just want me to continue supporting them with money.
I say all this to say I think I understand. But you must realize that we are on this earth to give love, not to collect love. If you focus on others not loving you or understanding you, you will continue wanting to separate yourself from your family and others to eternity.
It is hard, but could you focus on giving them love and showing understanding to them? Do not be a doormat, say no if you need to for your own interest. But please please please try not to completely separate from them, try to love them as much as you can while preserving your own overall happiness and health.
Try not to have any expectations of them, they are imperfect humans, do not expect love or you will be disappointed. But for yourself, try to give them at least a little bit of love and time. Let any love they show you in return be a bonus. With time you may see more bonuses. Remember everybody is evolving slowly through life. They are possibly better people now than they were in your childhood, and hopefully they will continue to improve just as you will.
Lastly, when you speak with them, please make an effort to bring up any thing (current things) they might do to annoy you or hurt you. It helps to bring those things up as soon as they happen and handle them straight on. This is what you were perhaps not able to do as a child, but now you are grown. It is not helpful to keep any feelings of resentment hidden, these feelings lurk and grow.
All the best, Leocube. I wish you love and loving people.