- 5 years ago
I love my family. I just need to figure out how to disconnect or cut the cord, I guess, because I am always sad and anxious about something to do with them. I am having trouble with this and figured someone on the boards might have experience.
Some background. I grew up in what outsiders would call a nice, respectable family. My mother is a self centered person and was an emotionally unstable parent. I felt her disdain for me… my entire life. My father and I are close but he is a perfectionist and a control freak. He has always been hard on my siblings and I. At 30 I still feed I need his approval about everything, which is pathetic but a surprisingly difficult bad habit to break.
I have, as I realize now that I am older, spent half of my life rebelling against them and then the last several years desperate to make them proud and to prove myself worthy of their love. My mother has “disowned” me at least 20 times over the years. It would take a month to type out this woman’s antics. She reminds me of an 18 year old in a late 50’s shell. Her and my father are so co-dependent if I am arguing with her, he becomes a part of it.
Throughout my 20’s I was in a few bad relationships and I moved around a lot. My father helped me a couple times to come up with a security deposit for whatever shitty apartment I was renting at the time, and he bailed me out a couple times when money was tight, but otherwise I struggled my way through it. When my sister was ready to move out…. they bought her a house. That was very tough for me to swallow, when I looked back at the times I slept in an apartment in a rough neighborhood, or scrambled to find a place when my lease was up, I got really pissed off that they never helped me out like they helped her. Eventually, I got over it, but I never fully understood it.
Now I am dating a guy from my past (dated in early 20’s) they don’t approve of, although they invited us over a couple times and pretended to like him to keep up appearances. Ever since he and I went public with our relationship, my mother stopped inviting me to family outings, my sisters and I hang out less and my father is uncomfortably quiet. I know I can’t make anyone like him and I have to accept their opinion for what it is… but the lack of support definitely makes me uncomfortable. Especially since he and I are working hard, paying bills and minding our own business… just trying to do the best we can at this stage in life. I don’t know how to “prove” this to everyone, nor why I should feel I have to.
I have heard my family trash talk my cousin and her husband for hours at family gatherings and then when they walk in, hug and kiss them and act like everything is fine. My mother trash talks my aunt on a daily basis and then they hang out like the best of friends. It sickens me because I can picture my family talking badly about me, not just amongst themselves, but in front of extended family. Anytime I leave a family function I leave feeling drained emotionally, or anxious.
It is time for me to make some tough choices, with the holidays coming up in a few months, with my new relationship and my hopes and plans for my future. I know I need to stop seeking approval and draw some serious boundary lines but we have always been so “tight knit” (or… co-dependent) and I would love some tips on how to break free from the family shackles and start owning my choices and taking back a little bit of my own identity. Also, I am trying to figure out how to politely opt out family gatherings that I am not comfortable going to, without causing an uproar.
Any wisdom thrown my way is appreciated. -Xo
- This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by devi514.