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  1. #1
    Silver Member xmrth's Avatar
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    I feel like I was not raised right

    This has been something on my mind for so long. It's brought me to tears so many times-- today included.

    Simply put: I don't feel as though my parents raised me right.

    Maybe I wasn't raised right for ME? I don't think it's me in general... I really just don't.

    I feel like my relatives see it, too. Somehow, seen in their comments. Not on me, but my family in general. We are normal people-- not psycho and dysfunctional. Not REALLY dysfunctional-- we could get along one hell of a lot better than we do, but we do get along. We live in a nice house, a nice quiet neighborhood.

    I'm not understanding this. I've seen, met, and known people who have been so sheltered. Far more than me. But they are not living in a shell around their parents as I am. I feel, and know, that I can't say certain words around them, or show that I know about this thing or that thing. I don't "want" to swear (I do, and try to be "myself" outside of the home, but my life and everything is just too heavily influenced by how I've been raised and living in here in general), I mean whatever, but the best example I can give is that I don't feel comfortable with them even hearing the word "hell" come from my mouth. (again-- not about swearing, but just as an example) So these people I've known and friends and all of that, so much more sheltered, but so much more open. Like they've taken their parents along for this wild ride but they're so comfortable doing it. I'm talking about much bigger things, too. But here's just an example of things not being able to be said. (both 'physically' and comfortably')

    I feel as though I have been so sheltered from everything. Could never go anywhere when I was younger... couldn't go to the library with friends, and if a boy was there forget it-- I couldn't EVER let them know. Not because they'd get mad, or maybe they would. But they raised me in such a way that I felt like I couldn't, like I was too embarrassed.

    They kept alcohol out of my sight, which I'm not saying is a bad thing, but I was so sheltered from that, and was made to think it was such a horrible thing. I was so confused to see that my boyfriend's parents and aunt got alcoholic beverages when I went out to dinner with them. I was so confused. People did this? Then I started noticing it around in restaurants at other tables-- parent's getting drinks and their kids right there. Things like that.

    And another one which is still going on are "put downs," which aren't really put downs at the same time. But it's like so many things I've liked are stupid, tacky, and things like that. My mother will raise her upper lip and say in a nasal voice "are you sure?" to SO many things. And we're not snooty people by any means, but it's like everything is stupid and tacky... we got these home magazines in the mail because we won some thing, and it's nice magazines. How to do this or that, do family kind of things. My mother laughs "yeah I'll try not to read that."
    So I've just been so out of everything-- things that feel normal, things that people enjoy-- things that should be OKAY to enjoy.
    This is a hard to explain example. But things like that.
    My parents are supportive and are proud of my accomplishments. But my mother is the one who says things like that from time to time about things. Just things being bad, or being tacky, or stupid. Not even necessarily about things I like. That's so hard to explain without them looking awful in that aspect.

    It goes into so much more, but things LIKE those couple of examples. Those are the best ones I can think of, and I completely understand them sounding stupid. But when it's just all these things, I know nobody's going to go through ALL of it, so those are examples of "areas."

    I feel like now that I'm older of course, I should be able to break away, do whatever. I can to an extent, but I'm so uncomfortable and still feel restricted in many ways. I feel like my attitude and behavior has been heavily influenced by them, and I feel like I'm not normal. EVERYTHING is wrong and foreign to me it seems. I feel ways about things that I shouldn't feel... I feel stupid. I feel like I know nothing. I feel like I can't let them know what I know and I still feel like I'm not supposed to.

    I have friends over... parents in the room... I suddenly have nothing to say. Everything is wrong and uncomfortable.

    Thoughts or... anyone know what I'm saying here? Were to begin, what to do... I don't know. Feel free to ask me any questions on it-- I feel like maybe there's better points that could be said. Like well do they do this, this, that? etc. that might clarify other things.

    /
    Last edited by xmrth; 04-22-2006 at 03:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member Lunabelle's Avatar
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    I think this is common for young people to re-examine their feelings and attitudes about their parents. This is a natural part of maturing, some people never go through this at all!

    My best advice (my opinion only) is to try to see your parents as people with feelings and a life of their own completely separate from their parental roles in your life.

    Do you think your parents actually set out to screw you up? It's possible, but you'd have to work harder at proving it to me.

    Don't you think they did the best they could, considering their own upbringing, their own experiences, and whatever else was going on in their life during the time you were a child?

    Give them a break. In my opinion, nobody has the childhood they think they should've had. Every thinking person, at some point, wishes something had been different.

    Now you are a young adult -- you can view things differently.

    Example: when I was a child, around 10 years old, my dad built a step so I could reach the controls on the clothes washer. So I could help my mom do the laundry, my three brothers' laundry. While dad and all the boys went off fishing and motorcycling.

    As a child, I was thrilled with this new responsibility, this opportunity to help my mom. As an adult, I'm horrified by this. Why in the world couldn't these people do their own laundry? If they were old enough to go ride motorcycles, more than likely they could learn to operate a washer!

    But it does me no good now to walk around being upset about this. How do I deal with these conflicts? Simple. My sons, age almost 12 and almost 14, know how to do their own laundry. They can wash their own baseball uniforms. Now I don't make them do this all the time during the school year, but in fact I reminded them this morning that as soon as school is out, in six weeks, they'll be doing their own laundry this summer.

    It's okay to explore these feelings. Just don't let it ruin you. Maybe ask your own parents about their own feelings about their own parents and upbringing. I was a bit shocked to finally hear how angry my mom was at her own mom due to childhood stuff like this, didn't learn this until I was an adult. And it might have really helped me to hear, as a child, how normal and appropriate it is for a child to feel hurt and angry feelings towards their parents.
    "Nothing is worth more than this day" --Goethe

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Lunabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmrth
    I feel ways about things that I shouldn't feel... I feel stupid. I feel like I know nothing. I feel like I can't let them know what I know and I still feel like I'm not supposed to.
    These are normal feelings! Stop beating yourself up. You are trying to protect your parents from your feelings, truly this is a sign of maturity, an awareness of their feelings.

    It's okay to be confused for a while.

    However, the put-downs bother me. Do you have the courage to gently say something like, that hurts my feelings when you dismiss my interests like that. And leave it at that. Don't expect some big apology. If you've never stood up for yourself before, they'll be surprised. But you don't have to make a big deal about it. Just tell them about the hurt. They may choose to stop doing it. Or they may not.

    Or, if you are feeling more assertive, something like, gee, thanks, I'll let you know next time I need your evaluation of my ________ (fill in the blank). Just try not to be nasty about it.

    Remember that they are also learning how to parent you as a young adult. They may need to adjust too.
    Last edited by Lunabelle; 04-22-2006 at 03:20 PM.
    "Nothing is worth more than this day" --Goethe

  4. #4
    Silver Member xmrth's Avatar
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    I think that's true, I can definitely see they have tried and that they hadn't done anything on purpose. Little things I can piece together from their own upbringing as well. I almost feel like they made it so that I wouldn't be raised as they were.
    My father was able to do whatever he wanted, and my mother's parents-- my grandparents-- sheltered them so much from certain things but I'm not sure what. I just know things they did here and there that were unfair in a sheltering way.

    It makes me think of how I feel they raised me different from how they were, and how determined I am to one day raise my own children differently as well.

    I think the biggest problem it's left me is having to understand a lot of the world a lot later than everyone else, and also not being able to talk to them. I just can't talk to them about a lot of things. It's either this to them, that to them, anything. And it makes me feel bad because I honestly think they wonder why I won't. It just makes me want to scream "because you didn't bring me up in a way that I could feel comfortable to."

    ahh you said more things-- I'll update this with my response to that in a sec.
    --

    I think that's a really interesting point I have never thought of before. About them learning to bring me up as an adult. I'm not a person 100% different from always, but have developed myself as a person and adult gradually... but I could understand in a way with other things to come.

    With the 'put-downish' comments, the most recent made me say something to my mother. It wasn't anything bad but an opinion that could have been said nicer but it was the last straw with me almost.
    And I proceeded to say "you say all these things about things I like" and so on and so forth. And if I look really nice, it's bad, and "are you sure?" is what you say. And how we were at a clothing store together and I pinched at a shirt I thought was cute, to turn around and see a face being made by her.

    It's not an all the time thing, though. I would say once a month, maybe less-- but my whole life. More often during a certain thing going on and whatnot.
    I wonder if it's a particular hate for things that are fashionable or nice. I remember when I was 12 I thought all kinds of nasty things about the pretty fashionable girls, but then realized so what, and judged people as they are people and not because they dress fashionably. And it's been a lot of comments from her about things that are nice, fashionable (be it clothing, magazines, or a place a lot of people like to go to) as if she doesn't want to be a part of something that a wide range of people like...

    /
    Last edited by xmrth; 04-22-2006 at 03:36 PM.

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  6. #5
    Bronze Member Lunabelle's Avatar
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    In my opinion, because of your sheltering, you are going to have to practice your assertiveness, so that you can stand up for yourself when you need to. You might find you also have difficulty standing up for yourself in other situations, like a work situation. The process of maturing and separating from our parents, mentally and physically, lets us practice these skills in a safe way. Hopefully your parents will recognize this.
    "Nothing is worth more than this day" --Goethe

  7. #6
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    I think we have a lot in common. my dad died about 15 years ago, and my mom and I have a horrible relationship. all she ever does is critisize me - I'm too fat, too skinny, she hates my clothes. She'll tell me I'm too fat, and 10 minutes later, bring me a box of chocolates. My therapist and I decided that she's the root of a lot of my anxiety issues. So many conflicting messages growing up.

    i don't talk to my mom anymore. too difficult. I don't like being put down all the time.

    *sigh* I don't know what to tell you. maybe it will get better with time?
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1.



  8. #7
    Bronze Member Lunabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmrth
    And it's been a lot of comments from her about things that are nice, fashionable (be it clothing, magazines, or a place a lot of people like to go to) as if she doesn't want to be a part of something that a wide range of people like...
    Dear, those are her OWN insecurities poking their ugly head up......let her be. Let her feel differently than you do. Let her have her own feelings. It's okay. It doesn't diminish yours in any way.

    One thing I have learned, unfortunately only since I've hit my 40's (!!) is that I can't control what people say or do. I can only control my reaction to what they say or do. I can decide, all by myself, to "let" them hurt me, or to let go of what they said.

    In another post & thread, I used this analogy, of the verbal comments like water off a duck's back. If the water stays on the duck's back, it'll drown the duck. Don't let her feelings, opinions and attitudes drown you. Accept that they are different from yours -- of course they are!

    Just teach yourself (it will take practice) to not internalize them. Just because, as a child, you took everything your parents said as truth, as law, as gospel, doesn't mean you have to do that now! In fact, you shouldn't in my opinion.

    Learn to control what you can (your reaction) and let go of what you can't (someone else's behavior & speech).

    Another thing that has been successful for me, is to say, "I would prefer you _______________ (fill in the blank). I have used this to some effect with my children and have overheard them use the exact same line. It establishes your feelings about what's going on without placing blame or labeling their behavior as bad or wrong. Then the other person can choose to respect your preference, or not, but at least you have been open and honest and they know how you feel. And you can retain some self-respect because you were able to express, in a pleasant way, your preference for them to say or do something else.
    Last edited by Lunabelle; 04-22-2006 at 03:48 PM.
    "Nothing is worth more than this day" --Goethe

  9. 04-22-2006, 03:46 PM
    Reason
    updating comment

  10. #8
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    I had a similiar relationship with my parents, although not so extreme. When I was growing up, my parents taught me not to swear. I remember my dad getting kind of upset when I said, "Crap." one time. This was in High School. Since I've moved to college, I've developed a vocabulary amoung my roommates that would surely make my parents' jaws drop if they ever overheard us.

    A couple years back, my parents came to visit our apartment and I slipped. I was commenting on the messy state of our kitchen and I said something along the lines of, "Yeah, there's **** [starts with an 's', synonym for poop] everywhere." She seemed a little taken aback, but was upset or anything.

    Since then, I think I might of slipped a couple times. They seem to have accepted it, along with all the other ways I've chosen to live my life that contradict how they taught me.

    So I guess my advice is to begin to show them the "real you", little by little, and hope that they are willing to accept who you really are.

    As for your feeling that everything feels wrong and foreign, I think that will all change if you move out (I gather that you're living with your parents). Whether you go to college or just go somewhere else to live on your own, you'll immerse in other people and they will, in a sense, "raise" you again. After a few years this life will begin to feel normal and you'll begin to fit into it comfortably. Hopefully at this point your parents will be able to understand that you are different than them in many ways and will be willing to accept that.

  11. #9
    Silver Member xmrth's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry about your dad and your own relationship with your mother, Annie.
    With your anxiety issues as well as my own, I have thought of her being a part of mine as well. In my own case I think a lot of her and what her handling of intense situations have been was a bad influence on me. Sometimes I find myself loosing my head like she does.
    And also in other ways I find myself having her opinions or questioning my own which have been influenced by her.
    But then I say to myself no no I'm not like that. But I don't know.

    Over time I hope it will be different... I'm kind of afraid of what way that it will turn, though. I wonder a lot if people become more 'friends' with their parents, or if they're always 'parents' even while on their own.

    ~~~

    Thanks so much for those words, Lunabelle. Sometimes it's as though, because they are my parents, it means they are right. But if it's someone else's opinion, it doesn't bother me and I go on enjoying what I want to enjoy. I think a lot of it is because I feel like I can dismiss the person and their negativity because they're not my blood, my family, my parents.

    But with them, it's really hard. Particularly my mother. That's very true too about what she says seeming like it's the truth and law. It's so funny because I've never talked to anyone about this before, and everything is making so much more sense. Like things don't feel horrible to have my own opinions from them, and not just from others.

    ~~~

    Energismus, that was something I considered too was moving out. But long story short, it wouldn't work out for me with concerning money and this and that. But it would definitely help. I kind of look forward to it and rely a little bit on it to help, too.

    That is what is so hard is allowing other things to be absorbed into my own opinions and life. So many things still feel so wrong, and sometimes my parents will see an influence and I think it almost hurts them. So on top of it being awkward to let 'myself' shine through when I'm around them, I feel like I'm being told it's still wrong by the way they act. And then I go back to what Lunabelle was saying about how they aren't law and truth and what I basically have to abide to. I feel like that will fix itself when I'm on my own more and can accept myself in the context of being around them. I think that is what I'll work on is keeping 'myself' prominent and maybe keep the influence from them in the back of my mind, and not anymore like it's the way it HAS to be as I've thought for so long.

    And then sometimes they say how they're my parents and to listen to them. Even if they're talking about how I'll find my job after college and things like that, sometimes I keep thinking they're right about their opinions too. It's hard to sort it out.

  12. #10
    Bronze Member Lunabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmrth
    I think that's a really interesting point I have never thought of before. About them learning to bring me up as an adult.
    Yep, just about the time we figure out how to parent an infant, they turn into toddlers....you get the picture.

    In my opinion this is exactly why people claim parenting as one of the biggest challenges in their lives....it never stays the same, the goals always change...the cheese always moves.

    As a parent it feels like one minute you're potty training and the next day you're teaching them to drive....
    "Nothing is worth more than this day" --Goethe

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