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Day 45

Am I a terrible daughter for wanting a break?

My parents have been a bit much lately. I have to call them on my way to work in the mornings and then again when I'm on my way home. Otherwise they panic and call everyone asking if I'm alright.

They say I don't spend time with them even though I visit almost every other weekend.

They buy me things even when I tell them we have limited space. Where am I gonna put this entertainment center I have no use for?? The friend they bought it from was selling his furniture, and they sent me the price of his couch he was also selling. The price wasn't bad and was in better condition than our current couch, but we weren't looking to spend that kind of money right now. Our couch is old and tattered, but fine. But my parents were upset that we didn't want to buy it??

I love my parents, and they love me too, but I'm trying to save money. We're trying to keep our home simple. I'm trying to manage my people-pleasing anxiety. I'm trying to make them happy.

Can we use our money for family experiences and collect memories instead of materialistic things?

Show Comments (3)

  • George Smith George Smith
    6 days ago

    You are not terrible at all - only very natural for you to want your own space and time. They need to let go of you and somehow, gently, you need to make this clear to them. It's not fair on you. I'm so sorry. It sounds like it could be very difficult. I feel for you. But please speak your truth. It is your time. xxx

    Advice Rating:

  • Otter Otter
    6 days ago

    It's been so difficult, George. I am an only child and was homeschooled until I left for college, so of course I was very close with my parents growing up, and we would do everything together. "Sharing" me with my boyfriend, friends, and life in general has been so difficult to them, and I understand that they feel they've "lost" me somehow, since I am not with them all the time any more.

    I feel so guilty, because I don't want them to think I don't love them or have forgotten them, but at the same time I want to live my own life. Their lives have revolved around me for so long that my life not revolving around them in return is probably hurtful. I've tried to help them focus on themselves. I've tried to tell them to go out and have their own adventures, but they just say they "don't have money." Then they proceed to force their money on me in forms of gifts or demanding I let them pay for maintenance on my car. This makes me feel guilty, like they can't have fun because "they have to take care of me," even though I never asked for the help and tried to turn it down.

    Why do I feel guilty for wanting my life to not revolve around my parents? How am I supposed to build a family of my own when my mother is constantly telling me she wants me to move back in and live with them forever? How am I supposed to grow when she keeps talking to me in HIGHLY embarrassing baby-talk in public, no matter how many times I've chastised her for it? I've taken on all of my own bills, even though they tried to keep my student loans. It took a lot of debating before they finally handed my debt back to me to pay off on my own. I've done everything I can to remove any burden I could possible be, but they still find ways to try and help me.

    I appreciate it, I really do, but the strings of guilt tied to it all is so exhausting. It's like they feel they need to "buy" my attention now, or that since they did something for me I am obligated to put aside all of my plans for them. They always ask what I'm doing for the weekend. I usually have to make something up, because if I say I don't have plans, they think that means I can't say no if they ask me to visit.

    I hope I can find a way to gently tell them I need space without hurting their feelings so much...

    Advice Rating:

  • George Smith George Smith
    6 days ago

    Wow, Otter, they sound extremely controlling and needy. Their behaviour is not normal. You should be able to say you just want to be with your boyfriend at the weekend and that should be enough. It's not right that you should have to make up excuses. Their love isn't love if it is holding you back. Strange you mother is undermining you by embarrassing you in public. You should tell her that you won't accept that kind of behaviour from her, in public. It sounds like they are tracking you, watching all the time, wanting to stunt your growth into being an independent adult. As a woman you need to make it clear to them that now you need more privacy, space and time on your own, without losing them as your parents. Sounds like they have a bit of development of their own to do. Be strong. I think it will take pain and hurt, and they will use that against you, emotionally blackmailing you. Be clear sighted. You need your freedom to grow and their love should allow that. Don't feel guilty. It's holding you back. You are right. xxx

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