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I don't know what to do anymore...
November 30, 2005
1:36 pm
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another_anonymous_poster
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Hi everyone...

Found think through google - and it is really an eye-opener...

A little about myself - I am a 34 year old single male who lives at home with his parents.
I also until recently was unemployed for about 4 years due to inability to find work in my field.

I recently started to work at a new company and the people here are really great - they are friendly, helpful and more... It seems like a perfect place, even though I admit I am a little bored because I don't know really how to contribute to this environment since most of the infrastructure issues are over my head. I mean that, I understand the environment, but I don't understand the underlying issues that prompted my boss to hire me.

That's one problem, but the real reason why I am here is because 1) because of this lack of "knowledge" I am afraid that I will be let go (I have had my fair share of jerk bosses in the past who have screwed me over and I don't want it to happen again) and 2) every couple of weeks, my parents get into a fight about something really inane like last night where my mother decided at MIDNIGHT to tell me that a shirt that I ironed for the next day was not ironed properly and because of this I would be fired. She then proceeded to tell my father that I am a stupid-head and threw every name in the book at me TO HIM.

I told her that if she didn't like how I did it, then she should fix it herself to meet HER standards, but she balked saying she was tired... These sorts of arguments end up with my parents telling me to "move out of the house" which in theory I agree with, but am concerned about my job and how long it will last (I was told when I was hired that this would be a long term contract, but who knows if that is true or not).

I am frightened and confused why she would do this to me, my sister and my father - as we often have such stupid arguments over nothing which cause me to have problems at work. I blame my mother for this (maybe I should blame myself... but still...)

Anyways, I am rambling - to make a long story short, how do I get on with my life so I can have normal relationships with them (if possible) or even get on with my life...

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I would be happy to provide any additional information about this dysfunctional relationship to anyone who cares to read.

November 30, 2005
1:44 pm
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Anonymous
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Okay, first of all - you are at an age when you should be old enough to live on your own.

That's a judgement on my part. And I base it on the premise that it's important to learn to stand on your own two feet, AS WELL AS having space of your own. As well as the responsibility issue.

I think that your mom still sees you as a young child - so she is still in "mothering" roll.

I think that perhaps they want their own space, want you to move out, but don't want to kick you out in the cold. And mom sees a messy shirt as a way to get fired, thus, no income, thus, you don't move.

I think your mom wants you to succeed and worries that little things like a messy shirt will make a difference - some mom's from a certain generation insist on perfect ironing.

I think that as long as you live with them - you won't have your own life or normal relationship with them...there comes a time where "cutting the apron strings" is critical to establishing your own identity and your own life.

Sounds like you guys are all frustrated with your situation and all of you need space apart.

And if it's that important to you, I would start looking at options - either a roommate situation, or a small efficiency apartment or studio apartment, or something...some places rent cottages in exchange for handyman work, if you are up for that kind of thing. Find something that may not be "pretty" but affordable, should you not last at this job, and have to take a cut in pay at a new job. Always keep your eye out for new positions, so you don't end up unemployed for a longer period of time...and save your money for the days you don't work.

I don't know that you are in a dysfunctional relationship as much as you are just "too close" to home.

November 30, 2005
2:18 pm
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another_anonymous_poster
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Thanks for the reply.

While I am not disputing the fact that I should move out (I proably should have done that a long time ago, but didn't for a variety of reasons), I am trying to figure out a way to get off this treadmill which seems to happen every time:

1. Start job - do well at job
2. Parents start to plant stupid thoughts in my head (like the one above) and try (consciously or subconsiously) to sabotage my success.
3. After many attempts, they succeed and I end up having problems with co-workers, management etc -- I become very nervous, paranoid and tired.
4. Eventually I either quit or am asked to leave because of the fact that I can't deal with the stress.

Is there any way that I can stop this? In recent years it has got worse and worse... My mother likes to attack everyone around her, thinking she is the pinnacle of perfection. She chooses to remember esoteric details like people get fired for being fat (I was sick recently and gained some weight -- trying to lose it -- even though overall I lost over 50 pounds).

It is not like I want her approval anymore, I just want her to back off - and moving out is not going to cure that no matter how much I wish it would.

Thanks!

November 30, 2005
2:20 pm
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CAMER
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start saving money, and get a place of your own...then you won't have to listen to them bicker.

Your mom is your mom and will act the way she wants, and seems like she is treating you like a child and trying to fix you, and make you iron your shirt the way she it.....you can't stop your parents from fighting, that is THIER issue, but to get out of all the fights, start saving money for a place of your own, then you can have
your own responsibilites, and place to call home, and some peace and quiet too!

(((camer)))

November 30, 2005
2:34 pm
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Anonymous
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Yeah, moving out WOULD cure it cuz you could control how much time you spend exposed to her manipulation. If you have your own place, you can not answer the phone, not answer the door, not see her - you get the idea.

As long as you are there, in her house, you are subject to her treatment of you - and there is NO AVOIDING IT - short of closing your door and avoiding her at all costs...which is probably impossible.

So - the only thing you have left to do is work on "tuning her out" - and not letting her words get your mind going. This means working on your esteem and confidence, so that when she starts with her onslaught of arguments about getting fired cuz of your weight, you can kindly say "thanks for your input mom" and walk away, not engaging in defending yourself and an argument and not letting it hurt your ego and make you doubt your own abilities.

What is happening here is you let her into your brain and do your thinking for you - instead, you got to learn to think for yourself, believe IN YOURSELF, and succeed at whatever you do.

I think any book on building esteem and confidence should help here, as well as a good therapist. Although, my experience is that most therapists will work on you moving out, so you can feel more independent and confident and responsible.

November 30, 2005
2:47 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi a_a_p,

I can relate to the way you're feeling...

In my case, I hated my entanglement with the family unit. But, I thought I needed them for survival and safety.

Turns out I didn't! Leaving home helped to strenghten the relationship with my mom into an indestructable bond.

If moving out is a real option, consider it. You might actually be surprised by how much quieter her voice gets (in your life) when you have your own space.

November 30, 2005
2:49 pm
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Notsure
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Sorry AAP, but you need to move out. Simple as that. You are being treated like a child, are being sabotaged and you succumb to the manipulation. You already recognize this. There is no coping skills needed here only breaking a pattern will rectify the situation and the only way to break the pattern is to move out on your own. Scary? Sure. But many of us have had to do so, though likely at a younger age. So now it is your turn. If you don't do it you will likely be living at home 20 years from now and will still be living by your Mother's rules until she dies. Your are running out of chances if you haven't worked for a while and as you get older, so you don't want to let this opportunity get away. Look for a place, most landlords are reasonable and will accept the fact that you have lived at home as a reason that you haven't rented. Your bank can be used as a financial reference if you have some savings or have been there as a customer for a period of time (even if not working). Good luck. Regards. Notsure.

November 30, 2005
2:53 pm
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Anonymous
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and your job may LAST if you move out - as you already said they don't last cuz of the stress at home.

so remove yourself from the stress, and your job should, theoretically, last longer than in the past - assuring your financial stability and your ability to afford a rent.

December 2, 2005
2:55 pm
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Jodi
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I agree with all the post above, I just wanted to add that an herbal supplement may help with your stress, do some research or visit a Health food store.

December 2, 2005
3:17 pm
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kathygy
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AAP,

The priority as I see it is to remove yourself from the abuse and dis-respect you get from your mother. She is treating you like you were a piece of trash. She is also destructive to your life. You end up loosing jobs because she brings you down.

You do not deserve one ounce of this treatment. I suspect your mother's treatment of you is based on her own childhood wounds and is really not personal but a script she learned to follow in intimate relationships.

This is damaging to your self-esteem. Give priority to loving yourself enough to move out asp. Without your mother on your back your more likely to hold on to your jobs.

After you do move out then put some major boundaries on the amount of contact you have with your mother. Even though she is your mother she sounds very toxic to you. I think you need to separate from her asp.

December 2, 2005
7:13 pm
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gazelle
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Remember: your parents' behaviour reflects THEIR issues. Is your mother the perfect weight? Does / did she have a glittering, successful career herself? Are your parents setting the bar so high for you because they expect you to follow in their footsteps in order to 'repay' them ... to prove your worth to them?

Or could they have self-esteem issues of their own maybe? And be offloading their own issues, disappointments etc onto you by proxy, so as to avoid facing their own inadequacies?

I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but these points are worth considering. Usually, if someone is extremely critical / perfectionist about others, it is because they doubt their own worth deep down, and are simply projecting their subconscious, unacknowledged self-criticism outwards.

Anyway, I agree with everyone above: you do really need to take the steering wheel of your own life. Start by imagining out the ideal (but realistic!) life you want to aim for. Then write out a list of the things you need to do next to activate your new plans.

This project could be an exciting, inspiring New Start & New Life of confidence & autonomy for your New Year! Best of luck to you!

Blessings - gazelle.

December 2, 2005
8:27 pm
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gazelle
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Just remembered you have lost 50 lbs! WOW! Congratulations! That is quite some achievement. It shows a lot of willpower & ability to tackle problems and SUCCEED! I hope you feel proud of yourself and energised to use all that personal determination & iron will to carry your life forward into mlore independent & happier times.

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