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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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CrusadingAvenger Offline
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Unsettled, and Almost Unsure... - July 30th 2014, 04:41 AM

To anyone who happens to come across this, PLEASE hear me out:

I've been having a pretty difficult time lately, particularly with family...well, to make a long story short, here's a breakdown of it:

It's been almost two months already since I last spoke with my dad, and I haven't said a word to him since then (I live apart from him btw; I only live with my mom, little sister, and grandma). Let me tell you briefly about my dad: he was never there the day that I was born, and he wasn't there 24/7 for me either to watch me grow up to the individual that I am becoming today. He has this narcissistic personality disorder problem that both me and my mom know that he absolutely has this due to the fact that he shows pretty much shows all the symptoms of it, but he refuses to realize that he has a problem. So, what that means is basically, he judges everyone...he never says anything good about anyone, except about himself. Of all the times that I spent with him, attempting to actually have a father-son relationship, I can't ever recall a time that he ever said anything good about me. He would always point out flaws/negatives about me from the past, and then shove them right at my face pretty much every time. This coincides to what happened when we last spoke on the phone. When it came down to me about to graduate from high school, he'd tell me that he wants me to be this million dollar business owner (something like that) when really, all I just want to do is help other people, just like I do on here. Our conversation over the phone turned into an argument, and before he hung up the phone, he told me that he won't show up to my high school graduation...and he never did show up in fact (I wasn't surprised anyways since I saw it coming).

Moving on, my grandma isn't helping either...she always complains that she doesn't have any money, and she always has to pay for bills when really, she does have money, but she just wants to keep saving and saving, and never spending it to actually enjoy life. She sends money to some "family" up in the Philippines, but when it comes to buying necessities like food for instance for me, my mom, and little sister, she doesn't want to even bother doing it. Even when me and my mom ask her for $20 for the food before, she already complains and becomes so tight on the money. She keeps saying to me and my mom that we're always asking her for money when in reality, we actually haven't for a long while...me and my mom have been buying all the necessities that we need at home with our own money, and the thing that upsets me is that my grandma doesn't even say thank you for that, and instead, she takes it for granted. I've stopped talking to my grandma, and me and my mom don't let her use the necessities we buy because she is very negative and makes us feel it's our job to buy the necessities. I even have at times tried to sit down, talk with her, and understand her, but she doesn't want to realize she has a problem because she's basically so stubborn... In my mind, I just think to myself "If you're going to be like this all the time, then I don't want to talk to you or even be around you."

Then, comes my mom. I really appreciate all the things that she's taught me from the simple things to the moral values to even being there to listen to me when I'm feeling down, but I'm just beginning to think that I feel like I'm almost on my own... Today, in the afternoon when I came home from work, we had a talk about my grandma, and then it transitioned to a bit about my dad. She agrees that my dad and grandma will never change the way that they are, and they will always be like that (my dad has had fights with his own family, and my grandma is always asking for pity and being so stubborn and negative at the same time), but she told me that no matter what, they're my dad and my grandma. True, they are, but can I honestly call them that when all they do is pretty much talk negative things about me? I mean, yeah, I've made mistakes before, but not intentionally or on purpose. I've also tried here and there having an actually father-son and grandma-grandson relationship, but no matter how hard I tried to get them to be an actual grandma and dad, they'll never be a true one. To top it off, they hate each other too.

Going back to the conversation with my mom, after we talked about them, she then went on saying that they all (my mom included) just want what's best for me in terms of picking a career that I'll be working at for the rest of my life. However, the only thing that I don't agree with is my mom, dad, and grandma want me to look for a career with the highest salary, not one that I'll actually enjoy doing. I even told my mom that, but she then told me that that's the "reality of it". She basically tells me everything in society is bad right now, and the way that she said it made it sound like they're all afraid, and they have no hope or faith that things will get better; I sensed that and I even told my mom that. She didn't want to accept it, but I told her that is the truth, believe it or not. She got pretty upset with me, and then told me something along the lines of "Okay, well you're going to regret not listening to us, and then you're going to be saying to yourself that you should've later on down the road". Before our conversation ended, my mom told me that it's my decision in the end as to what to do with my life. I agreed with her that it is my decision, no one else's. Then, it ended there.

...I am aware that my family just want what's the best for me, and believe me, I appreciate that. However, at the same time, I feel that my family has no faith in me...if they did, why would they doubt me as to what I plan on doing with my life? Then again, my mom, dad, and grandma grew up in the Philippines, and didn't grow up here in America like I did. My grandma retired from work about 7 months ago, and my dad and mom have no job.

My family fears that everything in society will just get worser, and not better, but I personally don't believe that. I'm the type of person that has a great outlook on life, and believes that things will get better; I always have believed in that, and always will no matter what. For what feels like a really long time, I've been the only one that believes in myself that I will do many great things in my life, and become successful in whatever I choose to do. I was even told by one of my best friends' mom that she told me to do what I want to do, and enjoy doing. She told me to not just solely look at the numbers (the salary), and not worry about my family's fears/doubts. I believed her when she said this, and all my friends, teachers, and people who aren't related to me have told me something similar to this, but I'm just almost not sure how to go about doing these great things and achieve great success in the long run when my family life is pretty much almost a drag right now... I know no one's family is perfect, but mine isn't almost close to not good. They're almost always at each other's throats.

I know it within my heart that I am going to become all that I wish to be and do great things, but I just find it difficult when my own family has no hope and faith in me...

I'm not asking for pity here, but more like someone who understands where I'm coming from with all this. To anyone who leaves me advice, I will be grateful and appreciative for it.




“The main thing is realizing that even if you feel terrible for a while, that’s not how you’re going to feel the whole time. . . . Things change if you just keep moving.” - Gary Vaynerchuk

Last edited by CrusadingAvenger; July 30th 2014 at 05:35 AM.
   
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Re: Unsettled, and Almost Unsure... - July 30th 2014, 10:14 PM

Hey, Mark!

I can see both sides of the situation. On one hand, I can understand why so many of your family members would push for you to get a job with a good salary. Some family members' reasons may be more selfish or narcissistic in nature, but it's clear that other family members just want you to be happy and successful. Of course, being "rich" doesn't necessarily mean you'll be happy and successful... but it's important to understand how generational and cultural differences change people's ways of viewing life.

On the other hand, you're absolutely right about needing to do something that you're passionate about, and I can understand why you'd feel frustrated about family members not being more supportive in that regard. I'm in a "helping" profession which doesn't always offer high-paying jobs, and since my father has a VERY different way of viewing life, I constantly face pressure to be successful as HE would define it. The ironic thing is that I've discovered it'll never be enough for him... and I doubt it'll ever be enough for some of your family members, too. You could make $100,000 per year, and they would want to know what you're doing to increase that to $125,000 per year. You could be a millionaire, and they would want to know how you're investing that money to ensure you'll become a multimillionaire.

You're 18, so right now is the time when you'll be feeling pressure to "make something of yourself." It's going to take some time to find a balance between having a job you're passionate about while also being able to set aside money for things you'll need or want. You don't have to have all of the answers right now, and as long as you're moving forward/not being passive, I don't think there's anything wrong with exploring different job opportunities.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your family members be more supportive. I wish I could do that for my own family members, too. I can't do that, though, so what I've had to accept is that I need to be my own biggest supporter. I made a point of surrounding myself with people who admire and reassure me when I have doubts about my abilities. I want to encourage you to do the same thing. You have TeenHelp, but start thinking about people you can spend more time with in "real life," too... people who will counter what your family members are saying. If your family members aren't setting you up for happiness and success as you define it, then you need to set yourself up for those things, no matter how challenging it may be at times.

Feel free to keep in touch as you continue on this journey.






   
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Re: Unsettled, and Almost Unsure... - July 31st 2014, 07:14 AM

Hey Robin, thank you for replying!

Yeah, it's just that my family is the type that wants to make a lot of money, but doesn't actually make a lot of money. I understand where they're coming from, but it just really upsets me when I told my mom about how taking up a career that pays really high, but not something I'm passionate about is just not something I want to do, she tells me that "that's the reality of it". Heck, my mom and grandma wanted me to become a doctor, but it's not something that I'm passionate about because it doesn't spark any interest within me. However, they always keep putting it in my face that they make a lot of good money, but see, my family just only wants me to get a career that has a really high salary, not something that I'll be passionate about and actually enjoy doing pretty much everyday for the rest of my life. To them, money only equals happiness because not only they'll be able to be more than stable, but they can become almost luxurious as well. If I give in and take up the career that they want me to do, I'm only going to regret it down the road because while I may be making a lot of money, being stable and having all these really expensive things, I won't find any meaning or enjoyment out of my career you know? I'll only just feel emptiness, and even sadness down the road.

It is true, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times that I've gotten frustrated about having this talk with them because my family members just don't get it, and I believe they never will. Sounds pretty much like how my own dad is with me. Then again, I understand that this is where generational and cultural differences come into play to changing people's way of viewing life. On one hand, my family believes that society will not get better, and things will only just get worser down the road, especially with the economy. Me, on the other hand, I have this great outlook on life and view it as a very beautiful place despite the flaws it has. Like I've said, I'm just a believer that everything gets better down the road, and I've learned that from others outside my family. I know that this world isn't perfect and at its best right now, but that doesn't mean that it's going to stay like that forever and get worser down the road. I will always believe that everything will get better, no matter how hard it may sem right now. Anyways, that pretty much sounds like how they would do that to me if I were to get that kind of career with that kind of salary.

Well, I know that my heart is set in helping people with their social problems, and just from learning and experiencing helping others both on TeenHelp and the "real life", I found that I have this gift of doing it so well. Plus, it makes me feel good to know that I do such a good deed out of the kindness of my own heart, not because I have to, but because I choose to. You're right that there's nothing wrong with exploring different job opportunities, but pretty much, what I just previously said a few sentences back, that's what I want to do with my life, and I believe that I can make a difference in that kind of career. Also, there's other things that I could do. For instance, I'm thinking about starting up a little private business of my own where I'd dress up as a character (superhero to be exact, particularly Captain America or Batman), show up to a birthday party, and spend a few hours there to get paid in the end while entertaining the kids. So, I'm keeping my options open.

Unfortunately, that won't ever happen. Sounds very much like what I've been doing already. The only difference is that I find it hard sometimes to be my own biggest supporter because I want to believe that maybe there'll be a way for my family to be pleased and proud of me for what I'm about to become; that won't happen though, and I know that now. I do have people who do admire and reassure me just like you do, and it's time that I only start bringing those people closer to my life rather than keep them apart from it. Me and my family members do have a different way of defining happiness and success, and you know what: I'm going to find a way to set myself up to become successful, and experience joy in the end. All my friends and other people who aren't related to me know that I will become successful in whatever I choose to do, and I do have a bright future ahead of me. So, I'll make it happen, no matter what it takes, and no matter how difficult it may get. I only know that once I do make it all happen, it'll be worth it in the end.

Once again, thank you so much for your advice Robin; I really appreciate it. Reading your words only helped inspire me to continue on to be strong and stand up for what I believe in, and fight to keep my life precious. For what it's worth, I can't thank you enough.

I'll definitely keep that in mind to keep in touch, and I hope that everything in your life is going well for you.




“The main thing is realizing that even if you feel terrible for a while, that’s not how you’re going to feel the whole time. . . . Things change if you just keep moving.” - Gary Vaynerchuk
   
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