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I love my family. But…

November 13, 2012

I love my family BUT….they can be too critical. They can be very impatient. They don’t respect the boundaries of the fortress (well that’s because they don’t know it exists in the first place. It is that way for a reason. More than one reason in fact.) I don’t think they’d respect those boundaries even if they were aware of them, and actually it would be even worse for my privacy if they did know about them. Our mother has a tendency to make assumptions about our abilities based on inadequate information (we can’t or won’t explain fully what’s going on.) For example when I say to her “gee, this math is really hard,” she might say something like “well, you know, nobody is FORCING you to do it, you can do something else!”

This drives us nuts! And what drives us even MORE nuts (and makes us anxious and unable to fully disclose or even halfway disclose all of our struggles) is that when we DO open up about certain difficulties we have, for example going to sleep at a decent time, which we do understand is important, mom says something like “well then maybe you shouldn’t be worrying about college right now.”

That drives us absolutely bonkers.

Here’s another thing that drives us nuts. When we were living at home, and not in school, Mom wanted us out of bed by 8:30 in the morning when we had no reason to be up at that time. She expected us to do this without fail. Then she would give us chores to do. Which wasn’t a problem really as we were living there rent-free. The idea of waking up at a certain time every day in the morning is actually an idea that we can embrace! But the manner in which she finger-wagged and something in her tone made us instantly averse to it.

In fact this has been a common occurrence with our family and our mom in particular. She is often correct in her assertion that we should do things this way or that way, and her advice is not wrong. But the HUGE PROBLEM is with the MANNER IN WHICH she gives said advice. We aren’t sure how much our averseness to it has to do with our particular neurology and how much of it has to do with the parent versus adult child dynamic. Things like tone and body posture and yelling really get in our way of being able to listen to and make proper judgments on the merits of her suggestions. Another major issue is that we cannot articulate in the moment, why we cannot or will not follow her advice, because of all the vibes getting in the way and feeling put under a microscope. It’s very difficult to come up with a concrete example of what we’re talking about here, but if we do manage to come up with one we will write it up in a separate post and link to it.

All that said, we do love our family.

Ivan

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One comment

  1. Hmm.

    Holding someone’s self-image hostage for behavioral demands is a fairly effective tactic, but doesn’t endear the someone to the hostage-taker any. No surprise there.

    I recall having to inform my mother that “Because I’m older” isn’t a valid reason for anything. She will always be older than I am and her age may or may not have anything to do with the situation. Now, if she’s experienced in an area, speaking from that experience may indeed be helpful.

    (Protip: Birthing someone is value-neutral at best. “Because I’m your parent” is likewise not an acceptable reason for anything.)

    As for not having to do X? If it wasn’t for the requirement that one do something in order to generate an income, sure, that would be a valid argument. As it is, one’s supposed to apply oneself to something in order to be “productive” or a “good citizen”, rather than a “moocher”. Even one’s preferred activity can be difficult at times.

    Idea: you might ask your mother whether her career has been difficulty-free from start through now. Somehow, I suspect she’s had the urge to comment on things being really hard, whether academic or professional, from time to time. Everyone does.



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