December 4, 2018 at 9:31 am #267769
To think that both of my parents just see me as a person, and not their daughter really angers me. I say both parents because my relationship with my dad is pretty much the same however, instead of pushing his problems onto me, he’s just not involved in my life. The only thing he talks about with me and my sister is work, and his view points on certain topics. It’s not about us, it’s about him. Sounds like I have very narcissistic parents and it really upsets me, because I do blame myself for their behavior and disengaged attitudes. To me, it’s crazy that they are so blind to their absence in my life.
Also, I noticed two things. As a child my parents never paid a lot of attention to me, but when they did whatever they said was a critic or judgment. For example,I remember when I was in middle school I was so excited that I had made it into Advanced Drama Class. I went over to my dad to share the good news, and his response was “Yeah, you are a drama queen.” It was the same with my mom, the only time she would pay attention to me was when I needed to fix something about my appearance. She would say things like “Nikkole, sit up straight, you’re slouching.” There’s just a lot of things that my mom would ask that at times seemed inappropriate, and very critical. She never asked me how I felt, what I dreamed of, and when she did she judged me for wanting that or feeling a certain way or just didn’t acknowledge it. If I said, “I’m feeling upset” she would ask why, but then go on to talk about something that bothered her.
The other thing I noticed is I tend to put my issues on whoever my significant other is. I don’t hang out with many friends so I don’t project onto them, mainly because I don’t feel 100% comfortable around them. I’ve noticed this for a while but never understood why I do it, and where it came from, but I see it a little more clearly now. I’ve somehow learned that this is “okay” or think that this is how a relationship should be, just projecting my own issues onto my partner. I also, unfortunately, feel that I see other people as just a person, and not someone who has feelings, dreams, thoughts just as I do. Which kind of scares me, because I don’t want to feel as though other people don’t have feelings and that they are just there. No healthy, deep relationships with anyone can be established if I just see them as someone to lay problems on.December 4, 2018 at 9:46 am #267779
A child needs to be seen before she can see herself or anyone else.
A child feels but needs to see her feelings in the face of her care taker, in her voice, in her touch. For example, the child is sad, and the mother looks at the young Nikkole with a sad face, saying: you look so sad. So young Nikkole now knows what sad looks like, she sees it in her mother’s face.
A child, to feel that her thoughts and feelings matter, needs for her caretaker (usually the mother) to show her that it is so. More of the same example above: the child Nikkole is sad, her mother says: you look so sad. Nikkole feels visible seen and she learns this feeling she is having is called sad. Then the mother asks her: tell me what makes you sad? Or.. what happened in kindergarten today? And when Nikkole answers, her mother validates her sadness, saying something like: we feel sad when our best friend doesn’t pay attention to us anymore and plays with someone else.
So we learn. But without such attention, we are lost, unsure about ourselves, seeking help or rescue from other people, not being able yet to see ourselves or others.
anitaDecember 4, 2018 at 12:40 pm #267803
Yeah, neither of my parents acknowledged my feelings. This would explain why half the time I have no idea what I’m really feeling. To discover all this is frustrating, and I can’t help but blame my parents for being so selfish, because now the burden is on me. I either have to choose to heal myself at this point, which frankly I really don’t know how. Or I keep the cycle of abuse, and hurt going, which at this point is just not an option. I’ve come too far to just give up on myself.
When you said “But without such attention, we, are lost, unsure about ourselves…” is exactly how I feel. I feel like I have no idea who I am, what my interests are, how I feel, etc. I totally blame them for all this work I have to do now, and probably as I grow older. How can one not have resentment towards their parents when they have awareness for what their parents did / didn’t do?
Sorry for the angry tone, I hate feeling like I know nothing about myself, being so disconnected from myself, and it’s because of how I was raised which I can’t go back and change. I’ve always hoped that there was a reason behind having such crappy parents, but I’m not sure.December 4, 2018 at 1:41 pm #267821
You and I have a lot in common.
It is okay to be angry, this is part of healing, to allow yourself to feel anger at your parents. It is an unpleasant feeling but it has a good purpose and a message that is valid and needs attention. When you fully hear that message, the anger will lose its intensity.
Many people feel that they are bad people for feeling angry, I did too. But it is a misunderstanding: everyone feels a angry- good people, bad people and all in between. Allow it, don’t judge it and you can proceed with healing.
Yes, you had/have crappy parents, so did I and so did most adults, this is why the world is in such a sad state.
I want to encourage you to not give up. There are many moments in the process of healing when we get discouraged and feel crappy, but the key is to rest, distract (take a walk, a hot bath, watch a movie, etc.) and then return to healing, persist through the distress and difficulties.
I wanted to ask you regarding what I wrote above, the italicized: what do you think is the message in your anger toward your parents?
One more thing: what did you mean by “I’ve always hoped that there was a reason behind having such crappy parents, but I’m not sure”- what kind of a reason could there be?
I hope to read from you when I am back to the computer in about fifteen hours. Please do your best to be kind to yourself at this time!
anitaDecember 5, 2018 at 11:40 am #267985
I’m not entirely sure what the message may be, but I think it’s to allow my parents to be as they are. Not having their support or involvement in my life has been a hard realization, but because of it I think I am able to learn how to do these things for myself. To love myself, to be compassionate towards myself, and to just build my own support system. Crazy how I’ve been really diving into healing this last week and I noticed today that my dad has acquired a little more awareness of himself. Interesting how it spreads.
As for the reason behind having crappy parents, I always thought it was so I could somehow help others. If I could learn to heal myself, then maybe I could help other people heal too. I just haven’t gotten quit to the point of being able to help others in that way because I still have a lot of healing to do myself. After writing that though, I kind of feel like I’m onto something. Maybe a dream I never fully realized I had. Hmm…December 5, 2018 at 11:55 am #267987
“I’ve been really diving into healing this last week and I noticed today that my dad has acquired a little more awareness of himself. Interesting how it spreads”- do you mean that you shared some of your self awareness with your father and as a result he came into some self awareness himself?
If so, what awareness did he express?
As to the reason you had crappy parents, you mean that it was arranged by some authority above, like a god, that you will have crappy parents so that you will be motivated to help others?
And by helping others, are you thinking about your direction, professionally?
* I will be away from the computer for about fifteen hours. I hope to read from you when I am back.
anitaDecember 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm #267995
I’ve been sharing some of my realizations with him so that might of done it. He expressed noticing that he gets upset at the smallest things. He’s never shared that with me.
And honestly, I think it’s just me having hope that eventually i will discover what I want to do professionally. It’s just frustrating thinking that while I don’t know what to do my options seem very limited. Like choosing to move up in the company I currently work for just for the financial security. It drains my energy.December 6, 2018 at 5:59 am #268091
Regarding your father’s self awareness, that “he gets upset at the smallest things”- this is something he must have been aware of for the longest time, decades, probably. And he probably shared it with others, it is the first time that he shared it with you, that is all. And so, I don’t believe it is true that he acquired new awareness (“my dad has acquired a little more awareness of himself”).
You shared with him and that encouraged him to share something about himself.
Regarding your professional and financial considerations, the limited options and how it drains your energy: this is the reality of adult professional life almost always: limited options. People find themselves trapped in limited options. And trapped, people feel distressed; distressed we get easily and quickly tired, exhausted and frustrated beyond words!
And then, tired and exhausted and frustrated we don’t do our best thinking, so we remain in the trap. The key is to relax before you think, so accept your reality as it is right now, don’t resist it, don’t fight against it with your thoughts and emotions. Figure: this is my life, so be it.
After this kind of acceptance, you can relax. Once relax, you can think better, see outside the box/ the trap, make a plan and realize there is no magical solution, but a thoughtful, executed plan, an adjustable plan (to be re-evaluated), requiring lots of patience and persistence.
anitaDecember 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm #268137
I agree with you when you about accepting my reality for what it is, and to relax, which is exactly what I’ve been currently trying to work on especially through meditating. However, some days I’m okay with my reality and relax, and other days, like today, I am in full panic mode and don’t want to do anything but stare at the ceiling in despair haha. It has been very difficult for me to accept my reality, because I just don’t like where I’m at even though where I currently am (living with dad, working low paying job that I don’t like, not knowing what direction to take, being in the same spot for years) isn’t that bad, but just not where I want to be. So on a very daily basis, I resist it with my thoughts and emotions leaving me almost no room to relax.December 6, 2018 at 1:21 pm #268151
The title of your thread is “Unsure about my direction”- I don’t think we talked much about your professional direction, or lack of. You quit a two year nursing program because you suffered going through it- what about it distressed you so?
When you are rested enough and relaxed, will you share with me some of your educational and work experience so far, including the nature of the low paying job you are currently doing; what were your interests in the past and how did those interests change over time, what were your good experiences, bad experiences at the work place so far, what excited you, what bored you, etc.?
I will soon be away from the computer for about fifteen hours.
December 7, 2018 at 9:30 am #268249
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.
I re-read your posts. I was thinking about what you wrote here: “Ever since I was little I loved making videos, and editing them was my favorite part”- I was thinking how wonderful it would be if I was able to edit the story of my life, take out all the undesirable parts that damaged me, keep the good parts and connect those to make an excellent story!
It would have been a short story though, containing images of me running on the green grass as a child, with that child excitement, eager to see what’s next, feeling that joy that escaped me since. There would be scenes of me running toward the blue water of the sea, looking forward to those waves carrying me up and down, cool, in the hot and humid day… and the warm sand under my feet. And there would be that scene of an uncle asking me questions as if my answers mattered, him wanting to hear me.
Back to you and your search for professional direction. I figure that because you can’t edit out those ugly scenes of your childhood that you described here, there is the option of not working with people at all, or having very little contact with people in the context of a job or career. The war zone you lived in as a child led to intense anger at others turned inwards, like you described, changing from being aggressive to difficulty being assertive. That makes working with people, as you do now in retail, very difficult.
Another factor is your endurance of distress: having grown up in a war zone created such distress that it exhausts you and lowers your ability to endure outside distress without getting overwhelmed. So another consideration is working in a place or environment that is low in stress.
Let’s say you continue with retail, not all retail establishments are the same, different clientele, different merchandise, different locations… different stress levels. I remember working as a waitress in a lobby of a calm hotel, serving coffee here and there, low stress and pleasurable. On the other hand I had one experience as a waitress in a busy restaurant and I forgot who ordered what, was quickly overwhelmed and wasn’t able to perform.
The healing process from the war zone you experienced as a child is a long, long term endeavor. Later, a few years from now I suppose you will be able to endure more distress than you are able now, and you will learn to practice assertiveness effectively, that will make working with people easier.
Maybe do the less stressful jobs and/ or without much contact with people while you heal and re-evaluate later?
anitaDecember 7, 2018 at 11:51 am #268275
I really enjoyed reading what your short story would be if you could edit out all the damaging experiences. That would be something I would enjoy watching.
To answer your questions from the first post: the nursing program was stressful for me because I not only lacked confidence in myself, but the program was Monday – Friday so I was only available to work on the weekends which wasn’t bringing in enough money to pay for the bills that I had at the time. I wasn’t getting much financial or emotional support from either of my parents so this added onto the stress and overwhelming feeling. So, when I failed my first assignment I just lost it. I cried for hours, tried to talk to my parents, but they weren’t really saying anything encouraging. It was a mix of current circumstances not being too great, fear of failing, lack of confidence in myself, and not getting support from family, and also not wanting to touch people haha
I ended up finishing college with an AA degree. I’ve always wanted to continue my education, at least getting a bachelors degree but I have no idea in what.
So, I currently work in retail (grocery store) and I’ve been there for 10 years. I hated customer service so decided to go into the bakery department, which is slightly better because I get to be by myself some times, but not most. My current role is bakery clerk, so my main responsibility is taking care of customers. I want to (and have expressed this to my managers) become a decorator seeing as though I am a creative person and they don’t handle customers as much. I should also mention that my dad, and sister are managers at this company so it has become some sort of family thing which adds on another reason I stay.
What I hate about the job is that I find it boring. I want to learn, but I keep getting told to “be patient”. I also don’t like that the environment can be pretty toxic, not only with customers but with co-workers, and managers as well. This is another reason I would prefer to be alone when working. I also don’t like how busy it can get. I find myself not able to relax, and my mind is in panic mode until the store slows down.
What I like about the job is I know what is expected of me, so I don’t have to worry about whether I’m doing something right or wrong. I like that the job is predictable, pretty much tasks everyday. I also like that I don’t have that much responsibility. I don’t have someone else’s life in my hands. I also like that if I were to become a manager, that I wouldn’t have to worry about money since they make a comfortable amount.
As far as my interest growing up, I remember loving to sing, act, dance, playing outside, and making skits that we (friends, and sister) would perform. As I got older, I remember having a huge interest in psychology, and still liking to make videos, but that stopped because my mom wanted me out of the class so I could take drivers ed. Ever since then the only time I brought it up was as a possible major in college and my mom said “no”. I haven’t touched video recording / editing since (4 years ago). I’ve never really had just one thing I enjoyed or was good at growing up.
As of right now, I would love to work alone. After doing a teacher substituting job for almost a year, I realized that I really want to work alone. Unfortunately, I have not managed to find many jobs that involve working alone. I was lucky enough to have gotten a job offer as a data entry clerk, and I was so happy, but I ended up not getting the job. I’m not trying to sound pessimistic but so far when I try to leave my current job it just never works out, like I get the interview but don’t get hired for whatever reason.
So currently my plan is to stick it out with this retail job, become a decorator, and then go from there. My goal is to at least get full-time and then maybe go back to school. I’m hoping that by then I’ll have a better idea of what I would like to do.
I totally agree with those reasons that you stated, my childhood being a war zone, as to why I have problems with assertiveness and not wanting to be around people. I like your suggestion on finding a less stressful job, without much contact with people in order to heal. I mean if anything at all, there are stores in my area that are slower and quieter that I could transfer to if need be.December 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm #268279
I am looking forward to read and reply to you when I am back to the computer in about fifteen hours from now!
anitaDecember 8, 2018 at 6:37 am #268385
Thank you for your comment on my video editing of my life.
So according to my understanding you are working in the same grocery store for 10 years, not making enough money to be financially independent from your parents. Your father and sister are managers there (not owners or co-owners, but employees), and so they have better salaries than you do. For some reason, you are not a manager there yourself.
* A thought: is it possible that if there were three family members working there, all managers, the company will be accused for nepotism and that concern is what is keeping you in a lower paying, non-managerial position?
You wrote earlier that you are financially dependent on your parents, that it is one reason you can’t consider limiting contact with them. Problem is you are working full time for so long and you are not financially independent and your parents’ financial help was not enough to allow you to do the nursing program- this is why you had to work on the weekends during the grueling Mon-Fri nursing program, an impossibility for any person, I think.
How can anyone do Mon-Fri nursing and work weekends…?
Too little of a financial help from your parents, just enough to keep your life.. not making sense, that is, stuck in a job that doesn’t pay enough. What would be the disadvantage then in moving out of your parents’ and living far away, how can your life be worse?
Looking forward to read your thoughts about what I wrote here.
December 8, 2018 at 11:02 am #268415
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.
I have had opportunities in the past that would have led to management but I turned them down because I was focused on going to college, and just didn’t like the atmosphere of the company. And I still don’t.
As far as the company being accused of nepotism I don’t think they would since the company actually wants families to work there. We’re not the only family that works there. It’s a pretty big company.
Yeah, it was nearly impossible for me to go to nursing school and work. The thing is, is that my dad made enough money to cover my expenses he just didn’t want to. He’s never gone to college or liked school to really support the idea of going, let alone pay for it I guess.
I have honestly really thought about just moving out and starting all over, even moving to a different state, but would that really change anything other than my location? And I’m so comfortable here, which makes it harder to leave. I would really struggle out on my own. I’m really trying to just let go, and have faith that things will work out. But it’s so hard to do when going to work is so stressful, and it seems like it’s never going to end or get better.
Side note: I noticed you said I was full-time, I’m actually still part-time. Full-time is what I’m currently striving for.