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How to deal with own parents?

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bookworm21

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
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1,007
Okay, this is going to be one long rant....

My bf of 11 years and I are going through a break up right now. And I''m the type of person who''s always been more of a loner than anything, and I prefer to keep to myself when I''m really hurting. I moved out of my parents'' house when I was 18, and it''s been 8 years since I''ve lived with them. We did not get along well at all when I was under their roof, which is why I moved out the first chance I got. Now, my parents have gotten really clingy, almost like they''re trying to make up for the earlier years, when they were mean to me. (Yes, my mom admitted that she was afraid that I still blamed her for being mean to me when I was younger.)

The thing is, the way they brought me up is what made me who I am today. I''m not comfortable with open affection. I don''t hug my parents, I don''t kiss them. I love them, and I know they love me, I''m just not the type to express affection openly. Right now, my mom keeps calling my sister (who lives in another city) and crying that we don''t care about her anymore. My sister then turns around and blames me. I feel guilty because I have most definitely been avoiding my parents, but it''s mainly because I can''t baby them right now; not when I need some babying myself. I have never turned to them for comfort or advice. When I was younger, they were very much the "old school" type of Chinese parenting, meaning: get good grades or you''ll be in trouble. I couldn''t approach them for advice about anything. I rarely turned to them for comfort.

They are also in denial that my bf and I are breaking up, mainly because they''re hoping it''s not true. My mom''s too ashamed to tell her friends about the break up, because she''s afraid of losing face, like "the guy''s been dating your daughter for HOW long and he''s not marrying her, but dumping her instead?" How can I turn to parents for support if that''s the foremost concern in their minds? That''s another reason why I''m not moving back in with them. I don''t want to deal with questions from them OR their friends. I''m liable to snap. My poor sister is caught in the middle. She''s the buffer between me and my parents, because she''s always understood that my relationship with them wasn''t the best. Now, my parents are putting pressure on her to get me to talk to them, and I can''t. I know I''ll snap, and when I do, I''m going to say things I''ll regret.

I''m too emotionally unstable right now, and I hide it well. My mom doesn''t believe we''re breaking up because the two times I HAVE talked to her, she said I sounded too cheerful. My friends say I''m handling it really well. Well, the truth is, I''m not. I''m scared, I don''t know what to do, and I don''t want to baby my parents and watch what I say in order to spare their feelings. I''m keeping myself busy with finding a place to stay, trying to find a job, and other details involved in a break up. That''s how I avoid thinking about it.

And the sad thing is, perhaps I do still blame my mom for how she treated me when I was a kid. My mother''s always been the selfish type, the type where appearances mean a lot to her. She was more proud than I was whenever I received a new piece of jewelry as a gift, bragging about it, etc. One example of our relationship was when I was a kid; I loved mangoes, and my dad would peel and cut them into chunks for my mom, who also loved them. I would get the seed. The seed, and perhaps two chunks, if I was lucky. And that''s just a small bit of it. When I met my former bf''s mom, she saved me the best parts of a chicken, and ate the less desirable parts herself. I was surprised, because I grew up thinking that the elders deserved the best parts for themselves and we young uns should be happy with the leftovers. Is it that surprising that I don''t consider my mom a confidante? That''s just one example. there are countless others, and I just don''t want to bring them up, because it would take much too long to type everything out there.

*Big breath*

So, how do I get my parents to get off my back for now without hurting them? I asked my sister to talk to them. Sad thing is, they don''t know me well at all. My sister knows that I''m the type to closes in on myself when I''m really hurting, and she knows to leave me alone then. My parents don''t know me at all, and have no idea that''s how I deal. And if I talk to them, I''m probably going to start crying, and I HATE crying in front of people. Silly, I know, because they''re my parents, but our relationship hasn''t been the best or most understanding one.

Sorry for the long post. I think I''m done for now.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
Ooof. I am SO SORRY you''re going through this right now!!! The first thing to do IMO is find someone you CAN confide in ... someone that doesn''t come with a lot of emotional baggage/history. If you don''t have a friend close by or feel distanced from your friends due to your relationship ... I REALLY REALLY REALLY recommend seeking out a Clinical Social Worker or Therapist ... at least temporarily! Just to help you get through the worst parts & keep you focused on all the positive things that can & will happen in your future! You need someone in your court ASAP!

After THIS situation is resolved & you''re comfortably into your new life, THEN you can work on other stuff, family stuff, rekindling or finding new friendships ... figuring out what qualities you''re looking for in your NEXT relationship (and there WILL be a next one!
)

Please don''t let your guilt or stress or whatever trap you into working on stuff with them right now when you''re likely to be vulnerable & easily overwhelmed. It''s not a fair playing field!

One thing at a time.

Even though you''d WISH to have a nurturing mother in whom you can confide in right now -- be honest with yourself that that isn''t true & isn''t magically gonna happen. Which is why a Therapist or outside source of help is an excellent substitute ... at least for this initial "crisis".

HUGS!!!!!!
 

Allisonfaye

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
Messages
1,455
I am not sure you CAN get your parents off your back without hurting them. Maybe on some level, you WANT them to know how much they hurt you when growing up. It is understandable. I think some counseling is probably in order for you to learn how best to deal with the situation and at the same time, work through your feelings about the breakup. Good luck.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
i am very impressed with your post: you have a good grasp of the situation, you know your limits, you have a priority to your own well being, recognize your own current fragility and that you could say somethings you would regret, and you are still caring about how to deal with your parents. this is very very adult reasoning....without denying your own feelings.

write a letter: be frank and honest....but not unnecesarily angry, hurtful, or bitter. i think your post was very well written and that you could pull from it for your text. ask them to refrain from getting your sister involved. reassure them that you love them [which you do despite the past]. tell them as you did us that you are hurting and while it looks like you''re coping well, you need all your energy to get through this time. thank them for their understanding and tell them that it hurts too much to talk to them in person regarding the breakup. tell them you will call or visit each week ....or whatever is comfortable for you....but if you feel pressured to talk about the breakup you will have to end the conversation and/or leave. do not put yourself in a position that you''re not comfortable in. as you''ve already stated, you need your personal resources to get you through this. but end with a reaffirmation of your love for them as your parents.

i''m sorry the relationship with the bf has ended. you are a very strong woman. i have faith that anyone that can write a post as clear and concise as you have written will find the strength and way to start a new life and a new communication with your family.


movie zombie
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,365
Cinderella,

I understand what you mean about the traditional Chinese upbringing so I can emphatise (did I spell that correctly) with you. I have seen it first hand and experienced it myself, but fortunately on a lesser extent. Have your parents changed enough to want to listen to you? How open minded are they now? If nothing has really changed, unfortunately, I don''t think writing a letter and such will do much for your relationship with your parents.

The past cannot be changed and the blame game does not solve anything. I can sense that you are level headed but need support right now. This is where a good friend or close relative comes into the picture; is there anyone you can confide in? Just sharing that load with someone can help ease the troubles you are experiencing. I recommend not confiding any personal information to your parents until you feel that they understand you. This is going to take a long time and it may not happen after all.

Sorry I am of no help...
 

bookworm21

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
1,007
LOL, Chrono, you are helpful just because you understand my situation and can emphathize


As for writing a letter, I''m afraid that''s not an option, simply because my parents are unable to read or write English, and can barely understand the language itself. And I can''t read or write Chinese, but can speak it fluently. So unfortunately, I''m stuck in that regard, although letter writing would''ve been the communication medium that I prefer. And I don''t believe I want to hurt my parents back for their treatment of me when I was younger. It''s been long enough for me to get over that. I''ve thought about it because I wondered whether that was true, but it''s not. It''s more that I''ve become a person who closes herself off from people, especially my parents, due to the lack of communication when I was a child.

Counseling sounds like a good idea, but I am a bit apprehensive sharing stuff with a stranger. Like I said, I don''t open up easily and can''t see myself doing so with a complete stranger who doesn''t even know me. I suppose I''ll have to give myself time and think about this a bit more before I''m able to really commit to doing anything.

Thanks all for your suggestions and support.
 
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