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How can I resolve these emotions with my parents?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (9 April 2019) 6 Answers - (Newest, 14 April 2019)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

How can I put this bad episode in my life past me?

I am in my early thirties and am living at home hiding my life from my family and everyone around me . I grew up in an old school Italian family where appearance was everything . My parents paid for me financially but emotionally they were very abusice and manipulative - didn’t matter what I felt or needed as long as I was educated - straight - skinny and pretty. I moved back Bevause my best friend got into an accident and I am aiding - I am committed to her recovery and am acting as the guardian (she was a foster child) . My parents are aware of this and call me a looser and mock me and say “you should get married. “ your time is running up and stop worrying about friends”

My friend is the same woman who helped me from a Xanax addiction and abusive men - two things my parents overlooked Bevause I was still working and on the outside I looked presentable

I plan on the next couple of month completely cutting them off but I hold so mucy anger - how can I let this go? I can’t believe the greed and negligence I am witnessing . It almost appears that nothing I do is important unless I follow their formula - a great example is my sister coming out - they never acknowledged that either - complete disregard

I am eventually going to move out since recovery for my friend is near but I can’t get over the pain and the vail that has been lifted .. I can’t view my parents the same way anymore - this was a big moment in my life - a moment where I stepped up and fought for someoen and they mocked me can I move past this emotionally ?

Note I have stopped sharing details about my life with them - at them moment I am just using them for a place to crash

View related questions: best friend, living at home

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 April 2019):

One of the greatest educational achievements in life is what you possess Compassion, don't loose it in bitterness.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada +, writes (9 April 2019):

janniepeg agony auntYour parents may not want to hear about your struggles, and you don't feel safe telling them. I bet your emotional struggles are what preventing you from forming relationships with men. I am betting your parents are worried that you may have a romantic relations with your friend since your sister is gay. In their mind, they could be thinking, "Oh no, not this one too!" So they are urging you to get married, whether you are ready or not.

When you live with your parents for too long, you do not know what's right or wrong for you. It's good that you realize your upbringing was abusive. A lot of people just accepted and took it as normal.

You can only be your own person if you live on your own, which could be a challenge. If they are old schooled, they might only agree if you move out to get married.

It is tough when you live in the states but you still have to follow old traditions because chances are, there are very few men who still do. It's not like you could arrange to meet a decent guy then fall in love. But that's not to say, you don't try. You can keep your friend but at the same time look for men too. Don't be looking for a man for the intention of breaking away from family. Discover a part of yourself that has a curiosity and passion for the opposite sex.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (9 April 2019):

mystiquek agony auntI have a similar history with my mother. Years and years of never feeling good enough no matter what, being mocked, scolded and shamed in front of friends, husbands and children. I had to let go. I had to accept that sadly that was who my mother was and she wasn't going to change. I could not deal with the hurt any longer. Some people are just too damaged and actually shouldn't be parents but they are sadly. My mom is one of those people. Her father was an abusive alcoholic and she didn't have a happy childhood, she was in love with a married man, she couldn't marry him so she married my father but she never loved him...I could go on and on but you get the idea. A very unhappy woman and sadly she took her frustration out on her family.

Try and make peace with who your parents are and stop blaming yourself and trying to make things ok because sometimes you just can't. I have minimal contact with my mother and never tell her anything really important about my life so that it can be thrown back in my face.

I do love my mother and I try to understand that she won't seek help, probably has bi-polar problems and at 84, she isn't going to change. I just can't take the hurt anymore so I don't let her be close enough to hurt me. She is who she is.

I hope you find a way to cope. Its hard when you want to love your parent but you realize that you don't like them very much. Good luck sweetie.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 April 2019):


Typo Corrections:

"You have extraordinary compassion and appreciate kindness; and didn't hesitate to standby your friend through the worst ordeal in her life."

"If they gave you a good education and put pressure on you to keep-up your appearance, and make you marketable as a wife and employee. That's their duty."


Remember, you are a product of their parenting. They only care about how you represent the family-image and carry the family-name. It's just how old-school traditional-parents are. Strict, relentless, and sometimes they seem to be bullies. The more rebellious and resistant the child; sometimes the tougher a parent has to be. No way of knowing if that's the case for you, but sometimes it is for some OP's. We don't get many OP's who are usually that quick to admit it.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 April 2019):

Your parents are old-school, but that doesn't justify the abuse and mockery. We are supposed to honor our parents; but by the same token, they are supposed to love us and treat us with kindness and respect. Consider the generation-gap!

You can't honor people who mistreat and mock you! They forget, they're getting older and you're a kind and giving person. You have extraordinary compassion and appreciate kindness; and didn't hesitate to standby your friend through the worst ordeal in her live. It's sad they don't see how good of a person you've turned out to be! Someday when they're old and feeble, they'll be at your mercy! A choice between being with you, or in a nursing home! Whether you have siblings or not, they don't know which of you will be there for them. Those who are married and with kids are the last to come to their rescue!

Now if you have a history of drug-abuse; you put your family through it as well. Don't have a short-memory about that. If they gave you tough-love, it was part of your recovery; even if you want to give all the credit to somebody else. That's the reason they were tough on you. They had a right to show their disapproval, you weren't raised that way. You may not have fond memories; but often ungrateful kids only remember what they want to remember. Especially disciplinary action and coaching necessary as part of their upbringing. Two-sides to that story! You get to tell your side! They don't!

Please, try and be forgiving and tolerant in spite of their lack of appreciation. You realize old-fashioned traditional parents of all cultures pressure their children to marry and have children.

They worry about their image as parents to other relatives, their friends, and neighbors. As your parents, they are overly-conscious of your sexual-orientation; when they don't see you aiming for the goals "they've set" for your life. They are turning-up the pressure; because the loyalty and compassion for your friend is raising questions about the nature of this strong concern and compassion. They don't share it; so they don't understand it.

Perhaps they won't come right-out and say it; but they're picking at it. They suspect something, and want to let you know how awful life might be if their suspicions are confirmed. It's somewhat of a threat. They don't want you to get too comfortable either. They pushed you out of the nest long ago! They want you to prove you've fully recovered!

It is best to love from a distance, when close proximity is toxic. Never stop loving the people who gave you life. If they gave you a good education and put pressure on you to keep-up your appearance and make you marketable as wife and employee; that's their duty.

Some parents get over-zealous; because they are vicariously living through you for all their failures and missed-opportunities as they were up and coming. The cruelty and abuse comes from a bad place; but they think they can still use the same tactics they used on a girl on a woman. That's where they're dead wrong! You can push back! Not without respect while living under their roof, however!

For now, like it or not, you're using them. You didn't go any place else while you helped your friend; but you turned to your parents. They took you in. If they were rotten to the core, they would have refused. You open-up your life to your parents when you return home to live. You push their parenting buttons when you turn to them for help. So try and tolerate it as best you can; until you're back on your feet.

I know you want to retaliate somehow; that's only human. The difference now, is that when you were a kid; they could easily bully you. Now you're an adult; and you should be able to take whatever they throw at you. Yes, they are going to bully you; because they feel they have the right to be your parents until the end of their lives. Unfortunately, they've adopted a tough style of parenting.

If they were so totally awful, why did you even consider moving back home? You know how they are!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (9 April 2019):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntI am so sorry you are going through this.

I can only share with you what MY turning point was with my own mother. A bit like your parents, her love was always conditional - conditional on me achieving good grades at school, performing well in concerts, looking happy in front of her friends, dressing as she wanted, being polite to "the people who mattered", etc, etc. Up to about the age of 16, I buckled under and tried my best to please her as I was afraid of her temper and found the verbal, emotional and physical abuse hard to handle if I was deemed to have stepped out of line.

At 16, in common with most teenagers, I started to rebel and kick back against the constraints imposed on me. This was when the name calling started. I was called a whore if I stayed out later than my allotted time or if I was spotted even talking to boys. I was called ungrateful and evil and told she wished I'd never been born. There were many many other things but I won't bore you with the details and I am sure you can imagine for yourself, being in a similar situation.

My mother was brought up in a different country with different culture. It was only when my aunt (her sister) came to stay for a holiday and we got talking that I learned what sort of childhood THEY had endured. Strict and bad as I felt mine to be, theirs was much much worse. It was only then I realized that my mother was damaged herself and was doing her best, through her own pain and feelings of inadequacy.

You are now an adult so you are entitled to have as much or as little contact with your parents are you want. Sometimes, for out own health, we need to distance ourselves from people who drag us down. It may be that this is what you need to do.

Staying angry with them will only hurt you further. For your own sake, you need to find a way to rise above the anger and start to build your life as YOU want it to be, with the friends YOU choose. Envisage true friends as your "chosen family". Your parents only have as much effect on your adult life as you choose to allow them. Is it possible you are, at least in some small part, angry with yourself that you still need your parents at your age (in this instance, for a roof over your head)? If so, work at remedying that so you can separate yourself as much as you need to.

Stay strong. You CAN do this. You are an adult and have survived difficulties already. You can sort this too.

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