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Topic : Black Sheep of the Family?

Number of Replies: 213
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Created on : Sunday, September 17, 2006, 11:44:09 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Are you the outcast in your family, the one NO one wants to talk about or even acknowledge? What makes you different or unique, and how does it affect others in your family? Share your story here.

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October 4, 2006, 12:54 pm CDT

White Sheep Here

Quote From: trippkitty

 There is no easy way for me to admit this to myself but,I'm a stereotype black sheep. Middle child in a large family (4 real sibs,9 steps), goth,depressed,self mutilator,satanist trapped in a happy,yuppy,uptight christian family . I never conformed to my family's ideal "perfect child" ,I formed my own ideas and opinions at an early age. Even when my sibs failed to meet the familys standards for living(3 teen moms,3 hardcore drug addicts,2 huge criminal records,and 3 metal hospital commitments), they were still treated better then me (I was kicked out at  ages12,13,14,16, & 18). Now,I work two jobs,go to school,live a drug/alcohol free life,DON'T have a kid but because I "live in sin" with my boyfriend of 7 months,I'm still not worthy of their time/affection/love. Keep in mind I live with him because THEY kicked me out and I had NOWHERE else to go..............Any thoughts on how I could patch up my nonexistant relationship with the family?

Hello,

 

I read your post and felt prompted to reply.  I've got some questions for you and some suggestions....

 

First of all, remember that we all have free agency and make choices (some good choices and some not-so-good choices).  It sounds as though you have reached adulthood after going through a difficult family life.  You are at a point in your life where it's your turn now.  It's your turn to make right, healthy choices.  It's your turn to live a good, clean life.  It's your turn to be an upstanding citizen in our society.  If you have strived to do these things and your family still does not accept your or support you, then seek others who do support you.

 

Next, you mentioned that you live with your boyfriend because "THEY" kicked you out.  I hope that's not the real reason why you’re living with him.  That sounds as if you're giving your family the credit or blame why you choose to co-habitate with your boyfriend.  You have other options.  You can live on your own, you can live with a girl friend, and you can live with co-workers that also could use help with living expenses.

 

You asked about how you could patch up your non-existent relationship with your family.  Ask yourself this.....Do you want to have a relationship with them at this time?  Are you secure enough with yourself to accept their opinions and judgments of you?  Are you willing to own some of the blame for the fracturing of those relationships?

 

I too have a family that has disowned me....but for much different reasons.  I consider myself the white sheep of the family.  I chose to break the pattern of chaos and abuse and I'm living a good life, which doesn't blend well with my family of origin.

 

I wish you the best in your search for some kind of peace of heart and mind.  You deserve to be loved and supported so seek those that can offer that to you...and remember to be your own biggest supporter.

 

Take Care.

 
October 4, 2006, 1:04 pm CDT

Stand Tall

Quote From: shananadreams

You know I feel like I don't know my family anymore. We've had a rough couple of years in my family. I try to be strong, but my strength is faltering. My mother passed away in June of 2005 and before the grief had a chance to settle my sister had her children put into foster care due to drug use. All I ever had was my mom and my sister. I dont have any contact with my dad. I always felt like I had the mother role in my sisters life because my mother had gotten in car accident that forever changed her when we were very young. Now before Ive had a chance to deal with what has happened to my sister and her children another problem has come up in my life. All this has happened in the last year and a half. My uncle, who is also my godfather, has decided to disown me.

 

The reason is because I still speak to his ex-daughter-in-law. His son lives out of town and she called me and told me that my cousin (her ex-husband) had a baby with his new girlfriend. The reason she knew was because my cousin called her to pick up the kids because he was at the hospital waiting for his baby to be born. The whole pregnancy had been kept hush hush. My grandmother had to see that the new girlfriend pregnant before they told her. The baby was born on a Tuesday and on the following Friday I had told my aunt that the baby was born. Well then she told my grandmother. Well my uncle called my grandmother on that Sunday to tell her and well you guessed it . . . she already knew and apparently it was my fault and I had no right to tell her! Apparently they were not sure it was my cousins baby and wanted to go see the baby first before they said anything. He had my grandmother call me and say if I did not stop talking to his ex-daughter-in-law that I would lose him and his family. Well I was so hurt that first he would threaten me like that and secondly he had my grandmother do his talking for him, putting her in the middle!! I told my grandmother that wasnt a big threat since I never heard from him and he never invited us to his gatherings. He wasnt really apart of my life. The only time I really seen him and his family is on holidays. It was the fact that he even threatened me that really made me upset! Now I feel like an outsider. Ive refused to go to any family gatherings and now with the holidays coming up then its already hard because my mom is not there to share it with me, but I dont want to go because I dont want to be around someone who feels like their life is better without me. Why should I got just to feel uncomfortable, but its my family, especially my children that get the short end of the stick. I dont know what to do anymore. Im at my wits end! I open for suggestions.

Hello,

 

If there are others at your family gatherings that you want to visit with and want your children to visit with, then go to them.  Don't allow your uncle to make that choice for you.

 

You have every right to stay in touch with whomever you choose...whether it be an ex in-law or whoever...as long as it's a positive and healthy connection.  You can visit with your cousins ex-wife, but I would stay away from airing the family gossip because it will only hurt your relationship with her.  Stay positive, offer each other support...but allow her and yourself to deal with the family turmoil seperate from your friendship.

 

Take Care.

 
October 5, 2006, 2:25 pm CDT

Why did my mother have me??

I am a married 27 yr old woman who feels like she is somewhat out of place in her life. I was raised by a single mother majority of my life. I pretty much had it made. I had a car at 16, nice clothes, a nice house, but one thing I lacked was emotional connection with my mother. One on one time and love and affection. I made mistakes, who doesn't. I partied when I got older, married twice, dated around but none of that makes me a bad person but to my mother it does. She teamed up with my ex-husband and had him awarded custody of our 2 children. For 2 years now I have only been able to see my kids 2 Saturdays a month and 2 Wednesdays a month. The Saturdays have to be supervised. I did not have the money for an attorney when we went through our custody and everyone says thats why he got what he wanted. Plus I spanked my oldest child and it left a mark so now I am classified as a child abuser. The state I live in stated they do not find any neglect or abuse on my part but that still gave me nothing in the court of law. It all depends on how much money you have and who you have on your side. Even after going to 2 seperate places for volunteer anger management I still got nothing. This is killing me and my kids. I just want to know why on God's green earth does a mother decide to turn her back on her child? I thought that you suppose to love your children and defend them as much as you can regardless of the situation, they are your flesh and blood.

 

Out of Place

 
October 6, 2006, 10:59 am CDT

Black Sheep of the Family?

Quote From: dovebird1

Hello,

 

If there are others at your family gatherings that you want to visit with and want your children to visit with, then go to them.  Don't allow your uncle to make that choice for you.

 

You have every right to stay in touch with whomever you choose...whether it be an ex in-law or whoever...as long as it's a positive and healthy connection.  You can visit with your cousins ex-wife, but I would stay away from airing the family gossip because it will only hurt your relationship with her.  Stay positive, offer each other support...but allow her and yourself to deal with the family turmoil seperate from your friendship.

 

Take Care.

Thank you for the reply. I know I shouldn't let him make that choice for me, but I already feel out of sorts with not having my mother here for family gatherings and to add the feeling that someone feels you're the problem in their life that they're better off without you is overwhelming to me. I stay in touch with his ex-daughter-in-law because her boys and my son love to hang out. If I left their relationship up to him it would be non-existent.

 
October 6, 2006, 4:35 pm CDT

Serious crisis with my family, a crossroads

 

I am having a major crisis right now with my family.  I am 28 years old and the 2nd child of 4.  I have been living away from home most of the time, but we are close and I love to visit whenever I can.  Well, lately I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, and am making a huge effort (after being a waitress for 5 years) to get on track.  This semester, I am doing some remedial work at the university in my hometown, where my family still lives, that I must do before I can even apply to graduate school somewhere else.  I have the potential to go to a great school and get a Ph.D but my parents are very unsupportive, perhaps even scared of higher education (all they have said in regards to my goals is that they hope I don't become an 'educated idiot').

 

My parents didn't want me to live at home, but I really wanted to live with them-- I was just coming out of an abusive relationship and very confusing time in my life, and wanted the moral support of having my family around me.  (I don't have any friends in this town, and don't have much time for a social life now.  Plus, I love my family.)  This was the most important thing, but my parents think I am only living at home to take advantage of them and save money.  It's true that I am saving money-- and could really use that money, as I don't have time to work this semester.  I try to contribute by baking bread, buying my own food, etc., and try not to get in anyone's way (I'm sleeping on the floor in a small room next to the garage) but they still don't like me at home, and still feel used-- and tell me so constantly.

 

I have been living at home now for a few months, it is mid-semester, and I have critical deadlines every week that can affect my future in a big way.  One of my younger brothers (22 years old) who lives at home has been insulting me daily, in front of my parents, who do nothing to stop it (comments criticizing me for studying instead of working, for living at home at my age, etc.)  Now I wish I had not decided to live there, but moving out now would be a huge emotional strain on me, as well as get in the way of academics. 

 

A couple days ago things came to a head because I lost my temper and asked for a family meeting because I wanted my brother to stop insulting me.  I DO have a very bad temper, once my threshold has been crossed, unfortunately -- and so does my mother.  My parents basically told me to shut up about it and stop harrassing my brother.  They also told me they didn't have time to talk to me about the issue, and my dad sarcastically added he would fit into schedule next week, if he has the time (he's retired.)  During the arguments that followed this, I REALLY lost my temper, I told my parents to f--k off (several times) and they accused me of things as ridiculous as that I have been planning to murder my mom since I was a teenager (completely insane and of course, NOT TRUE)-- (my mom has no emotional control and can be very vengeful, she just blurts things like this out-- but some of the things she actually comes to believe, it seems.)

 

There are a lot of deeper issues going on here:  I feel that my parents have forced me to play the role of black sheep in my family since I was a kid, and don't know why.  I have been labelled a liar, a thief, crazy, and told that I am the cause of all the families problems, told that my boyfriends broke up with me because they figured out how horrible I am, kicked out of the house, Im the only child who has been treated this way, for sure.  Besides the verbal abuse (that no other child has to endure) my parents also helped out the other kids more financially, buying them new cars, etc...something I sort of resent, since I've had to work so hard.  But my parents think that I am the most spoiled and ungrateful child.  I also have felt for a long time like I am some kind of pressure guage in my family-- that when there is general stress, it seems like I have usually been the easiest target to take out anger on. 

 

I do not know what to do.  I don't know if my parents are right, if I am being selfish and ungrateful...or if I am being abused and need to cut off ties to them for a few years.  I am afraid that if I cut off contact I will never have a relationship with them again, but I am not willing to keep being treated like this and accused of such horrible things constantly.  I think it has affected my self-esteem in a bad way, yet, my parents act as if my ego is too big.  They also constantly tell me I'm mentally unstable, sick, and in need of a counselor.  When I told my dad I was going to become some kind of psychologist, he snickered something about "imagine that, crazy you, a psychologist?"

 

Yet my parents are completely convinced that they are great parents, I am a horrible and crazy, out of control child, and my parents ARE good people, and my other siblings don't have any problems like this with them.

 

What should I do!!! 

Is it a lost cause?

I am so resentful right now that the last we talked, I pretty much told my parents I was going to have to cut off all ties to them and separate myself from the family.  Now the idea of me going to grad school is just isolting me more (I;ll be the only person in the family with taht much education, if I complete it, and Im not sure if they respect that or not.)

 

 
October 7, 2006, 7:51 pm CDT

Annapolis

Quote From: annapolis47

 

I am having a major crisis right now with my family.  I am 28 years old and the 2nd child of 4.  I have been living away from home most of the time, but we are close and I love to visit whenever I can.  Well, lately I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, and am making a huge effort (after being a waitress for 5 years) to get on track.  This semester, I am doing some remedial work at the university in my hometown, where my family still lives, that I must do before I can even apply to graduate school somewhere else.  I have the potential to go to a great school and get a Ph.D but my parents are very unsupportive, perhaps even scared of higher education (all they have said in regards to my goals is that they hope I don't become an 'educated idiot').

 

My parents didn't want me to live at home, but I really wanted to live with them-- I was just coming out of an abusive relationship and very confusing time in my life, and wanted the moral support of having my family around me.  (I don't have any friends in this town, and don't have much time for a social life now.  Plus, I love my family.)  This was the most important thing, but my parents think I am only living at home to take advantage of them and save money.  It's true that I am saving money-- and could really use that money, as I don't have time to work this semester.  I try to contribute by baking bread, buying my own food, etc., and try not to get in anyone's way (I'm sleeping on the floor in a small room next to the garage) but they still don't like me at home, and still feel used-- and tell me so constantly.

 

I have been living at home now for a few months, it is mid-semester, and I have critical deadlines every week that can affect my future in a big way.  One of my younger brothers (22 years old) who lives at home has been insulting me daily, in front of my parents, who do nothing to stop it (comments criticizing me for studying instead of working, for living at home at my age, etc.)  Now I wish I had not decided to live there, but moving out now would be a huge emotional strain on me, as well as get in the way of academics. 

 

A couple days ago things came to a head because I lost my temper and asked for a family meeting because I wanted my brother to stop insulting me.  I DO have a very bad temper, once my threshold has been crossed, unfortunately -- and so does my mother.  My parents basically told me to shut up about it and stop harrassing my brother.  They also told me they didn't have time to talk to me about the issue, and my dad sarcastically added he would fit into schedule next week, if he has the time (he's retired.)  During the arguments that followed this, I REALLY lost my temper, I told my parents to f--k off (several times) and they accused me of things as ridiculous as that I have been planning to murder my mom since I was a teenager (completely insane and of course, NOT TRUE)-- (my mom has no emotional control and can be very vengeful, she just blurts things like this out-- but some of the things she actually comes to believe, it seems.)

 

There are a lot of deeper issues going on here:  I feel that my parents have forced me to play the role of black sheep in my family since I was a kid, and don't know why.  I have been labelled a liar, a thief, crazy, and told that I am the cause of all the families problems, told that my boyfriends broke up with me because they figured out how horrible I am, kicked out of the house, Im the only child who has been treated this way, for sure.  Besides the verbal abuse (that no other child has to endure) my parents also helped out the other kids more financially, buying them new cars, etc...something I sort of resent, since I've had to work so hard.  But my parents think that I am the most spoiled and ungrateful child.  I also have felt for a long time like I am some kind of pressure guage in my family-- that when there is general stress, it seems like I have usually been the easiest target to take out anger on. 

 

I do not know what to do.  I don't know if my parents are right, if I am being selfish and ungrateful...or if I am being abused and need to cut off ties to them for a few years.  I am afraid that if I cut off contact I will never have a relationship with them again, but I am not willing to keep being treated like this and accused of such horrible things constantly.  I think it has affected my self-esteem in a bad way, yet, my parents act as if my ego is too big.  They also constantly tell me I'm mentally unstable, sick, and in need of a counselor.  When I told my dad I was going to become some kind of psychologist, he snickered something about "imagine that, crazy you, a psychologist?"

 

Yet my parents are completely convinced that they are great parents, I am a horrible and crazy, out of control child, and my parents ARE good people, and my other siblings don't have any problems like this with them.

 

What should I do!!! 

Is it a lost cause?

I am so resentful right now that the last we talked, I pretty much told my parents I was going to have to cut off all ties to them and separate myself from the family.  Now the idea of me going to grad school is just isolting me more (I;ll be the only person in the family with taht much education, if I complete it, and Im not sure if they respect that or not.)

 

Thank you for sharing your story.

 

If you will re-read your post, I think you will answer your own questions.. In the first paragraph you say,   ".......but we are close and I love to visit whenever I can."  The operative word here is VISIT. 

 

Please read "Toxic Parents," by Dr. Susan Forward.  I think this will be a very helpful book for you right now.   

 

Perhaps you need to put the grad school on the back burner and get your own place first.   Your self-esteem is not being helped by the  negativity and denial in your parents' household.  You cannot change them or anyone but yourself.  

 

My own father was/is jealous of our ( kids)  accomplishments. One sister has earned a Masters degree, the first in the extended gene pool, but it is a ho-hum with our father.  He is still an angry man at age 87,  and all the sibs have very limited contact now.  It is sad, but he pushed us all away.  We are healthier mentally and emotionally by keeping our distance.   

 

I wish you all the best in your education and life choices!

 

ssoganty

 

 

 

 

 
October 23, 2006, 11:28 am CDT

I know where you are coming from.

Quote From: pprincess

Why are relationships so damned hard? It's harder when one has Asperger's Syndrome.   One sister says she can't talk now but she will call me back. She never does and I am very cheesed off. I am so sick of excuses. I am so cheesed off that I want to call her and say its NOT OK. If she won't answer, leave a message on her answering machine expressing how really cheesed off I am!   I think it's because Mum and one of my aunts have told her not to.   Mum told me once I never have any good points as all the bad points cancelled them out. I never went home for three years. She said to the above-mentioned sister, "I don't know what I've done to upset her." So I said to my sister that was a load of crap, but my sister didn't want to know back then. [Mum was told the emotional and verbal abuse must stop but she says she's done nothing wrong.   Other rellos refuse to believe Mum is so verbally and emotionally abusive, or they just want to "get into a discussion about your mother".   Isn't social isolation a form of abuse?   I'm just so sick of all this crap but friends said there is nothing I can do about it as my rellos will never change.

Hello there:

 

I say that I can relate in that I am the Black Sheep of the family too. My sister  and mother don't agree with anything I do and feels that I favor my husband's family over them. Well,they  are partially correct because everytime I phone home to my family, they are criticizing me or accusing me of things I never did. Most of these criticisms are about long past events. I have tried to leave the past behind as I think all of us have done hurtful things in the past and we all should take ownership of our parts. My family only focus on me and conveniently forget or deny anything they could have done.  My sister never calls anymore as she has decided to snub me in response to all my alleged, according to her, past hurts. My mother has taken her side and has criticisms of her own. I am planning to go down to visit them in the summer as I want my children to know their Grandma and Aunt. I know I will likely be verbally accosted when we get there but I am taking the unselfish route and being the best daughter and sister that I can be.  I will, however, leave if they choose to make my visit unpleasant and expose my kids to it. I will have no regrets as at least as I did my part. I know I will never have peace with my family as they think they are the best people who are always right and have never done anything wrong. How can you fight that?

 

Another reason I know what you are going through is that I am the mother of a  7 year old son with Asperger's syndrome and ADHD.  I don't know the degree of Asperger's you have but my son is on the mild to moderate level. He is very bright and has a very sweet and passive personality. He is also quick to anger and frustration so it is sometimes difficult to communicate with him when he is in that mode. I usually wait till he has calmed and then we talk. I don't pretend to know you or your challenges with Asperger's because every Aspie has different challenges. I have done an immense amount of reading on the condition as I want to do the best I can for my son. It almost sounds like your family did not take the time to learn about your condition and because they don't understand it, they don't know how to relate to you. Most people I have run into think that Aspergers is cured with a pill but we know that it is the way the brain is wired not a chemical thing. Many people think that you can control your Aspergers but again that is ignorant. Your mother has been very cruel to you in saying you have no good points and only bad points. That is not supportive and I know from experience a mother's criticism and always saying she is the innocent one is very hurtful because a mother should love unconditionally. I have always treated my son as any other and not as having Aspergers as I don't want him to use that as an excuse for certain behaviours. Some things can be learned with parental support and teaching and help from specialists.

 

I am glad that you are fighting back rather than descending in to depression which  Aspies are prone to. I have sought councelling for my troubles as I can't handle my problems alone. I need someone who can stand back and look at the whole situation to give me an idea of what to do next. My husband is great support for me in that he listens and dries my tears when my frustration with my family gets the better of me. Are you married or do you have a good friend to talk to as that will help support you and keep your self esteem from taking a dive.

 

You are a person and you do have feelings. You should have those feelings respected. I live 1500 miles from my family as it is easier to have a better relationship from a distance.  I stay away from conversations with my mother that  bring conflict and therefore it usually keeps the peace.  If they get critical, I sign off with them as I will not expose myself to negative emotion. Negative emotion brings me down and I want a happy life. You just do your part of keeping up communication and if they don't call then that is their unfortunate choice and they will have to live with it. You know you are a good person. You know you have talents and something to offer but if they are blind  to it then ,again, it is their choice and their loss. Live your dreams. Please yourself. Be good to others and you will feel good about yourself. You don't need your family's permission or their approval. They have alot to be ashamed of. Take care and good luck.

 
October 23, 2006, 12:48 pm CDT

It's Ok if you don't like your family

I worry about people when they say that they are the "black sheep."  I worry because that is not fair.  Ok, life isn't fair.

 

I grew up in an alcoholic family, my fater physically abused my mother and my mother baused me both emotionally and physically.  I have come to terms with that but it did take me a long time. 

 

I was an internaitonal fashion model.  My mother got me into modeling because she thought is would help my self esteem...because she just didn't know what else to do with me.  I traveled all over the world and got myself out of that atmosphere.  I helped myself and then came home and fell right into the same old emotional trap.  A couple of years a go I got tired of being controled.  I was thinking, man, I am thirty years old and this just isn't right.  So, last year, as my mother was trying to talk me out of marying my husband, oh yes, right up until my wedding day, I decided to put a stop to it. 

 

I finally put my foot down.  You see, my mother goes to physics.  A psychic had told her that my husband would be "mean" to me, beat me or something, and kick me and my daughter out of the house and we'd have no place to go.  How's that for encouragement? So, I had read Toxic Parents and decided that I would puut some of her advise into play.  After I confronted my mother, in a very long e-mail.  I did that because it is safest to put things in writing with her so she can't twist words, she did anyway.  Well, my mother no longer speaks to me and I'm ok with that.  I am not the only one that she has done this to but the older sister has to set the precident, right?  My two brothers and their wives are starting to tell her no and are taking control of their lives too.  My husband has been great through all of this and he is glad that I am no longer an emotional wreck.  There are no more phone calls to our house late at night.  SHe is not trying to wreck havoc in my life anymore.  I don't love my mother.  I don't hate her.  I really just think of her as another person that I know.  As a mother, she says that she tried her best with what she was given...nice huh? 

 

Another book that I read was Emotional Blackmail.  It was very helpful. 

 

There are drawbacks to finally putting your foot down.  I used to have a pretty close relationship with my brothers.  I think in a way they are angry with me for telling our mother to get a life of her own.  Now she is more involved in their lives.  Although they tell her no, she is pulling the poor me bit on them.  So, until they put their feet down, they will be in the same situation that I was in.  So, until they do what they need to do I think they will be a little peeved at me for a while.  That's ok, though because I still love them and I know they love me.  I do know that their wives are more than pissed off that the mother-in-law has invaded their lives.  I just figure that they are tough cookies, they'll figure it out for themselves.

 

My dad is the only one that hasn't said much to me about it.  He acknowleged for the first time this year that he had a drinking problem when I was growing up and that my mother hit me.  She still denies that she had any part in abuse.  At the end of my email to my mother I asked her for an apology and told her that we could build on that.  She said that I was ungrateful for everything she had done for me and that she hoped that my daughter wouldn't treat me the way that I have treated her.  My mother is sick and there is nothing that I can do.  Believe it or not...I'm ok with that too.

 

My family considers me a black sheep.  I don't.  I stood up for myself and I am living my life.  I love my life, now.  I used to not like my self very much but what I didn't like was what I let people do to me.  I don't let people areound me control my emotions anymore.  I don't let them tell me what kind of person to be.  I like being me and I love the woman I have become and the woman that I am constantly evolving into.  I'm happy and in love with my life and the people that are in my life. 

 

Just remember, you should never give anyone the power to make you feel bad or to control your life.  I can and do look at myself in the mirror everyday.  And you know what?   I like what I see...black sheep or not.

 
October 24, 2006, 3:25 pm CDT

Leave.

Quote From: annapolis47

 

I am having a major crisis right now with my family.  I am 28 years old and the 2nd child of 4.  I have been living away from home most of the time, but we are close and I love to visit whenever I can.  Well, lately I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, and am making a huge effort (after being a waitress for 5 years) to get on track.  This semester, I am doing some remedial work at the university in my hometown, where my family still lives, that I must do before I can even apply to graduate school somewhere else.  I have the potential to go to a great school and get a Ph.D but my parents are very unsupportive, perhaps even scared of higher education (all they have said in regards to my goals is that they hope I don't become an 'educated idiot').

 

My parents didn't want me to live at home, but I really wanted to live with them-- I was just coming out of an abusive relationship and very confusing time in my life, and wanted the moral support of having my family around me.  (I don't have any friends in this town, and don't have much time for a social life now.  Plus, I love my family.)  This was the most important thing, but my parents think I am only living at home to take advantage of them and save money.  It's true that I am saving money-- and could really use that money, as I don't have time to work this semester.  I try to contribute by baking bread, buying my own food, etc., and try not to get in anyone's way (I'm sleeping on the floor in a small room next to the garage) but they still don't like me at home, and still feel used-- and tell me so constantly.

 

I have been living at home now for a few months, it is mid-semester, and I have critical deadlines every week that can affect my future in a big way.  One of my younger brothers (22 years old) who lives at home has been insulting me daily, in front of my parents, who do nothing to stop it (comments criticizing me for studying instead of working, for living at home at my age, etc.)  Now I wish I had not decided to live there, but moving out now would be a huge emotional strain on me, as well as get in the way of academics. 

 

A couple days ago things came to a head because I lost my temper and asked for a family meeting because I wanted my brother to stop insulting me.  I DO have a very bad temper, once my threshold has been crossed, unfortunately -- and so does my mother.  My parents basically told me to shut up about it and stop harrassing my brother.  They also told me they didn't have time to talk to me about the issue, and my dad sarcastically added he would fit into schedule next week, if he has the time (he's retired.)  During the arguments that followed this, I REALLY lost my temper, I told my parents to f--k off (several times) and they accused me of things as ridiculous as that I have been planning to murder my mom since I was a teenager (completely insane and of course, NOT TRUE)-- (my mom has no emotional control and can be very vengeful, she just blurts things like this out-- but some of the things she actually comes to believe, it seems.)

 

There are a lot of deeper issues going on here:  I feel that my parents have forced me to play the role of black sheep in my family since I was a kid, and don't know why.  I have been labelled a liar, a thief, crazy, and told that I am the cause of all the families problems, told that my boyfriends broke up with me because they figured out how horrible I am, kicked out of the house, Im the only child who has been treated this way, for sure.  Besides the verbal abuse (that no other child has to endure) my parents also helped out the other kids more financially, buying them new cars, etc...something I sort of resent, since I've had to work so hard.  But my parents think that I am the most spoiled and ungrateful child.  I also have felt for a long time like I am some kind of pressure guage in my family-- that when there is general stress, it seems like I have usually been the easiest target to take out anger on. 

 

I do not know what to do.  I don't know if my parents are right, if I am being selfish and ungrateful...or if I am being abused and need to cut off ties to them for a few years.  I am afraid that if I cut off contact I will never have a relationship with them again, but I am not willing to keep being treated like this and accused of such horrible things constantly.  I think it has affected my self-esteem in a bad way, yet, my parents act as if my ego is too big.  They also constantly tell me I'm mentally unstable, sick, and in need of a counselor.  When I told my dad I was going to become some kind of psychologist, he snickered something about "imagine that, crazy you, a psychologist?"

 

Yet my parents are completely convinced that they are great parents, I am a horrible and crazy, out of control child, and my parents ARE good people, and my other siblings don't have any problems like this with them.

 

What should I do!!! 

Is it a lost cause?

I am so resentful right now that the last we talked, I pretty much told my parents I was going to have to cut off all ties to them and separate myself from the family.  Now the idea of me going to grad school is just isolting me more (I;ll be the only person in the family with taht much education, if I complete it, and Im not sure if they respect that or not.)

 

I have dealt with  something similar to you.

I met my brother at age 25 after he was put up for adoption (long story), very close to graduating from University. After I graduated it was very hard to find a job and he and his girlfriend started digging it into me that my Math degree was worthless. After having worked for a number of high profile aerospace contractors in Canada before graduating I found myself applying to jobs where the interviewers had no college degree and seemed hell bent that an 'educated idiot' (as you succinctly put it) would not be working for them. My brother has only high school and his gf has a music degree that she pretends does not exist.

I have to say to you that it is easy for people with no education to look upon those who do with derision and hate. Often University grads who cant get jobs begin to curse their educations because they did not get the 'extras' that they thought should come with a college education, ie, pretty spouse, fantastic job, nice house, many friends, move up in class, and now have to deal with those people who are belligerently ignorant. But you still will have the education.

You should distance yourself from your family as much as possible. Find a coffee shop where you can study or a campus room and don't bother telling your family of your plans. Sorry to be so blunt, but you are going to have to exercise upward mobility by refusing to contact your family.

It has been mentioned in many books like The Millionaire Next Door and others that people who are upwardly mobile are more ready to cut social ties that do not benefit them. You may have to as well.
 
October 24, 2006, 10:01 pm CDT

Black Sheep of the Family?

Quote From: annapolis47

 

I am having a major crisis right now with my family.  I am 28 years old and the 2nd child of 4.  I have been living away from home most of the time, but we are close and I love to visit whenever I can.  Well, lately I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, and am making a huge effort (after being a waitress for 5 years) to get on track.  This semester, I am doing some remedial work at the university in my hometown, where my family still lives, that I must do before I can even apply to graduate school somewhere else.  I have the potential to go to a great school and get a Ph.D but my parents are very unsupportive, perhaps even scared of higher education (all they have said in regards to my goals is that they hope I don't become an 'educated idiot').

 

My parents didn't want me to live at home, but I really wanted to live with them-- I was just coming out of an abusive relationship and very confusing time in my life, and wanted the moral support of having my family around me.  (I don't have any friends in this town, and don't have much time for a social life now.  Plus, I love my family.)  This was the most important thing, but my parents think I am only living at home to take advantage of them and save money.  It's true that I am saving money-- and could really use that money, as I don't have time to work this semester.  I try to contribute by baking bread, buying my own food, etc., and try not to get in anyone's way (I'm sleeping on the floor in a small room next to the garage) but they still don't like me at home, and still feel used-- and tell me so constantly.

 

I have been living at home now for a few months, it is mid-semester, and I have critical deadlines every week that can affect my future in a big way.  One of my younger brothers (22 years old) who lives at home has been insulting me daily, in front of my parents, who do nothing to stop it (comments criticizing me for studying instead of working, for living at home at my age, etc.)  Now I wish I had not decided to live there, but moving out now would be a huge emotional strain on me, as well as get in the way of academics. 

 

A couple days ago things came to a head because I lost my temper and asked for a family meeting because I wanted my brother to stop insulting me.  I DO have a very bad temper, once my threshold has been crossed, unfortunately -- and so does my mother.  My parents basically told me to shut up about it and stop harrassing my brother.  They also told me they didn't have time to talk to me about the issue, and my dad sarcastically added he would fit into schedule next week, if he has the time (he's retired.)  During the arguments that followed this, I REALLY lost my temper, I told my parents to f--k off (several times) and they accused me of things as ridiculous as that I have been planning to murder my mom since I was a teenager (completely insane and of course, NOT TRUE)-- (my mom has no emotional control and can be very vengeful, she just blurts things like this out-- but some of the things she actually comes to believe, it seems.)

 

There are a lot of deeper issues going on here:  I feel that my parents have forced me to play the role of black sheep in my family since I was a kid, and don't know why.  I have been labelled a liar, a thief, crazy, and told that I am the cause of all the families problems, told that my boyfriends broke up with me because they figured out how horrible I am, kicked out of the house, Im the only child who has been treated this way, for sure.  Besides the verbal abuse (that no other child has to endure) my parents also helped out the other kids more financially, buying them new cars, etc...something I sort of resent, since I've had to work so hard.  But my parents think that I am the most spoiled and ungrateful child.  I also have felt for a long time like I am some kind of pressure guage in my family-- that when there is general stress, it seems like I have usually been the easiest target to take out anger on. 

 

I do not know what to do.  I don't know if my parents are right, if I am being selfish and ungrateful...or if I am being abused and need to cut off ties to them for a few years.  I am afraid that if I cut off contact I will never have a relationship with them again, but I am not willing to keep being treated like this and accused of such horrible things constantly.  I think it has affected my self-esteem in a bad way, yet, my parents act as if my ego is too big.  They also constantly tell me I'm mentally unstable, sick, and in need of a counselor.  When I told my dad I was going to become some kind of psychologist, he snickered something about "imagine that, crazy you, a psychologist?"

 

Yet my parents are completely convinced that they are great parents, I am a horrible and crazy, out of control child, and my parents ARE good people, and my other siblings don't have any problems like this with them.

 

What should I do!!! 

Is it a lost cause?

I am so resentful right now that the last we talked, I pretty much told my parents I was going to have to cut off all ties to them and separate myself from the family.  Now the idea of me going to grad school is just isolting me more (I;ll be the only person in the family with taht much education, if I complete it, and Im not sure if they respect that or not.)

 

Thankyou  for your advice and for reading this long story...

Well, things over the past few weeks got progressively worse and more and more dysfunctional.  I tried to leave early and return late, and avoid them for the most part, but it doesn't seem to matter what I do, they resent it and find some way to make me sound like a villain.  The interesting thing is that I have felt like such a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders when I realized that, I can't be as bad as they say I am.   I can't really be responsible for "all of the family's problems".  I don't have problems in other relationships in my life-- just them.  I know that I am definitely partly responsible for how bad things got-- I do have a bad temper, and after a certain threshold point, I lost it and yelled at them recently, which I regret.  I just felt like I was at the end of my rope.  Who cares anymore? How much dysfunction can you take before you just lose your control?  I guess I need to work on keeping mine.  And when I do lose it, like I did this last week, then it adds more fuel to their fire and suddenly EVERYthing is my fault again and they have new proof.   It is really tempting for me to take completely and total blame, because i have been told everything is my fault for years-- but when I realized that I am not solely resonpsible for the mess, I have started to feel a lot healthier, in spite of being so sad that I seem to be losing my familiy.  I just really dont think this will ever get straightened out, they refuse to talk to me, and when they do, it is never a real conversation, but a laundry list of all my "evils" -- most of them widely distorted, some outright inventions, a few based on real mistakes I made.  Just yesterday got in a huge argument with them and got kicked out the house.  I am still excited about grad school and plugging away harder than ever, my advisor (a professor who I really respect, and look upon as more of a father figure) has been so supportive, and clearly has been worried about me-- just having that one person who seems to CARE has really helped me get through this.  I am going to find some way to get money for rent and still try to apply to grad schools....I think I can get another loan out.  Then maybe if I work really hard over the summer I can avoid going too much into the hole.  So Im optimistic about my life still...but very hurt about the family...and the fact that they seem to resent my optimism about school, and tell me I'm being selfish.  I can only hope that one day -- maybe after Ive been away for a while-- maybe things will change.  I know the effort is going to have to come from me though, and I dont have energy for it right now.  My parents think that Im making a martyr out of myself.  But it is not a position I want!!!  I sure as heck wish that it didn't have to be this way.

 
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