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HelloCustomer– and thanks for visiting.
People behave the way they do, because they get something out of it – a reward of some kind. If you use a particular form of behaviour, and it gets results for you, you will tend to repeat that behaviour.
So what do you whink your father and mother may be getting out of this?
Could it be a feeling that you are still under their control, although you’re 29?
Could they do it to get a reaction from you, to make sure you have their full attention, or just to exercise power.
It’s almost certainly not related to your going to university , since it has been happening for 29 years!
As long as they get the results that they want, they will not change their behavior – why should they, it works for them. And that is precisely the lever you need to get them to change.
I’m guessing, of course, but it think it likely that you respond to these outbursts now in much the same way as you did even a couple of years ago.
Now it is time to change your reaction, and give them reason to rethink what they are doing.
I’d like you to review this document:
The Bill of Riqhts.
This Bill of Rights was one of the tools used by Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist. Containing some really basic psychological rights belonging to every person, it really helps to identify and deal with areas in which we have problems.
Read the statements. Note down any immediate thoughts or feelings that come to you and discuss with your therapist.
Look at yourself in a mirror and read it out loud to yourself. Listen to your voice grow in strength and volume so that you can really start to feel it inside. In the beginning, you may feel silly or embarrassed. You may hear the inner voice say, "That's not the truth". Just hang in there and keep doing it - you'll notice the change within six weeks, if you do it regularly.
1. I do not have to feel guilty just because someone else does not like what I do, say, think or feel.
2. It is O. K. for me to feel angry and to express it in responsible ways.
3. I do not have to assume full responsibility for making decisions, particularly where others share responsibility for making the decisions.
4. I have the right to say "I don't understand" without feeling stupid or guilty.
5. I have the right to say NO.
6. I have the right to say No without feeling guilty.
7. I do not have to apologise or give reasons when I say NO.
8. I have the right to refuse requests which others make of me.
9. I have the right to tell others when I think they are manipulating, conning, or treating me unfairly.
10. I have the right to refuse additional responsibilities without feeling guilty.
11. I have a right to tell others when their behaviour annoys me.
12. I do not have to compromise my personal integrity.
13. I have a right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. I have a right to be wrong.
14. I do not have to be liked, admired, or respected by everyone for everything I do.
Look particularly at 1,2,6,9 and 11!
Finally, I think you need a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – it would help you greatly in dealing with your parents.
Hi Norman M,
Oh, my parents are definitely getting something out of mentally abusing me, why they don't do this to my brother, I'll never know. It seems so unfair. He can't even pay his mortgage every month because as a self-employed person his tech customers pay him every 45 days and his mortgage is due every month. So my mom pays his mortgage so he and my nephew will have a house to live in. Otherwise, my mom says that they would be living with my parents - which she doesn't want. But my brother is taking her retirement money and she doesn't even get mad at that. Well, she does get mad but she takes it out on me. In fact, all of the world's problems seem to be my fault.
Regarding my education, my dad got very silent when I said that I could get into graduate school this fall 2009 with only a 3 year degree. He didn't even seem impressed or happy for me that I figured out a quicker way to get a master's and earn a $50, 000 per year salary. To him, I am his competition and no woman will that he knows; especially his own daughter will ever surpass him. It is all about power and control. I know that. It is just so hard to take everyday. I am applying for jobs outside of my province just to get away from both of them. Geography separation seems to be the best answer always because this problem of their abuse never stops, never gets any better it only gets worse the older they get. But I find when I am away from home I tend to get lonely and then I come back for a visit with my new found independence and they are just shunning me and everything that I have learned and the new people I meet and so forth. Actually, when my dad is really mad at me and when I have challenged his statement or disagreed with him he says, "you don't know sh_t"! I hate that when he does that to me. I have learned so much and gone to university in Canada and the United States and met so many different people - rich people, poor people, super extra smart people, extremely nice and generous people. But when I share what I have learned and the people I met and the things about the city that I was living in. My parents - especially my dad - don't think I have learned anything. My mom was offended that I said the next generation in any family is always smarter than the last one. And even when I said my nephew is and/or will be smarter than me someday - and now in some ways - she didn't even appreciate that point. She just got offended thinking that I was calling her stupid.
It's as though they are afraid to "pass the baton" down in the family just as you would a race. It offends them that I know so much more because of school and travel - that I couldn't possibly know more than they could. In their generation, the older people are the smartest ones - period - that's it. To suggest anything else is offensive and disrespectful.
So many of my other friends have an equality sort of relationship with their parents at this age of 44. But not me. My parent's treat me as though I am 10 because that's the way that they want it and because I don't have the sort of money that they have amassed and so I technically would have trouble just paying the bills let alone paying for university and tech college classes so that I can get ahead.
I should probably mention to that I have had epilepsy since I was 7 and there just seems to be such a disconnect. My mom still talks about the day I was diagnosed. It's as though they have never forgiven me for having a disability that is permanent and will never go away. And also, I can't run the typical "rat race" that everyone else can - go to high school, work 30 hours per week, get good grades, then go to university, work 20 hours per week during the school year and work full time - if you can get full time - in the summer - then go back to university in the fall without a holiday or a break.
I could never run this race. I tried to work while going to university. I was so sick all the time. I would work Wed. eve, Thurs. eve, Sat. day and Sun. day and then be exhausted and then I was suppose to study 4 classes. I wasn't smart enough to ignore my dad's advice when I was younger and tried university out then.
He said psychology is just for crazy people - so don't take those sorts classes. Take math and science - that will get you somewhere. And when I said I was taking 3 classes because that is all that I could handle when I was working - he said only real university students take 4 classes - so your not a real student if you're in 3 classes.
What an idiot - but I believed him and took 4 classes of math, science, advanced English and did terrible. I even failed intro Psychology 100 back then. And my university asked me to leave because I was such a terrible student.
If I take my dad's advice - I fail. If I ignore him, I feel so alone and alienated. I can succeed in the world and I have written model essays in Canada and the U.S. - but it is so lonely when no one in my family is proud of me.
And I am taking a little bit longer to do my degree and my dad says that I will be too old to get a job by the time that I am done. He is such an idiot.
One of his high classmates - convocated with her Ph.D. in Audiology and Speech Pathology at age 54 and she has her own clinic. But somehow I am not worthy enough to be graduating when I am older. It is so disheartening to feel left out of my dad's good graces. I'll never please him. And that is such a lonely feeling. The fact is he has set me up for such failure and even when I do well such as a 98.6% GPA in a semester he isn't even happy for me - he just criticizes the classes that I took because they must have been easy classes if I maintained that GPA. There is just no winning with him or my mom for that matter.
It is so draining. One day, when I am successful, I will never be speaking to them again. It is so hurtful to hear this stuff over and over again. My dad takes such pleasure in hurting me and every other relative and people we know. And no one ever tells him off. So he doesn't have to change. He is just like his Hitler mother who was awful and criticized everyone for everything - even if the sun rose that day and it was bright and shiny - there would be something wrong with the day - to her. My grandmother had way of just sucking the life out of everyone she came into contact with for 94 years - and it didn't matter to her - how she made other people feel - or that she was a failure in her own right. She was there to criticize my mom, me, her neighbours, other relatives, and everyone else on the planet.
My dad is exactly like that - only he and my drink alcohol - everyday - 2 or 4 drinks per day. My parents drink more than 2 of my friend's parents would drink in an entire year.
And you can always tell what people are doing with their time - drinking - even in moderation - in my family - just means more fighting, my mother getting more depressed and more angry the next day because she has a headache when she woke up that day. She has a lot of headaches.
It's pretty much a no win situation. I feel so trapped. I only have a few people that really understand the situation. But our relatives just turn a blind eye to my parent's behavior. And no one ever confronts my dad and his idiot behavior. But his behavior is killing me and destroying me inside. Some days, I don't even want to be here.
I hope one of these jobs actually works out - in another province - because there is no point in me being in the same city as my parents and certainly my dad. This city is not big enough for both of us. He is an idiot. He has destroyed me. I am so broken. I am probably going to need regular counselling that it is getting so bad.
If you tell my parent's that they dring too much they get so angry and tell me that I don't know sh_t! Because I don't even drink. My mom will say well we don't have any other pleasures in our life. That is so idiotic. Since when is drinking the only pleasure that people have in their lives?
But there is no reasoning with unreasonable people and chaotic people. This has affected my homework for years when ever I am around them. I need my own city, my own apartment - to be free of their negativity and sabotaging behavior toward me.
This recession is so damaging to people like me. I need to get out of their house but I also need a job to pay for rent - probably in a more expensive city than I am already living in. But I will go where the jobs are. And where my parents are not.
It won't come soon enough.