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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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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Little Joanna Offline
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...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 9th 2009, 12:02 AM

This is a bit long, sorry... I started rambling

I can't really complain, my parents could be a LOT worse than what they are, but we've never ever been close and they've only shown me affection a few times in my life. I didn't really have much of a childhood as we were in debt, and most of their time was spent going out drink whilst I stayed with whichever random person they stuck me with. :/

Anyway, I guess I'm just getting upset lately because I'm almost 19, no doubt I'll be moving out soon and it just feels like such a shame that my parents and I have never bridged the gap. I'll admit, I'm not easy with them, I've learnt to snap back and have a bad attitude towards them just because it's easier that way. Usually, if I try to join in a conversation or crack a joke they just stare at me blankly as if I'm the stupidest person on the planet. If I seem like I'm in a happy mood when I'm around them they're all, "what's wrong with you? Why are you so happy?" as if it's a bad thing... so I spent most of my time mumbling when they speak to me, only to be yelled at for not speaking up

Anyway, I came downstairs this morning and simply said "hey, it's my birthday in a month!" to which my father replied "don't expect anything." Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from them. We struggle with money so I knew I'd probably just get a card or something. But my dad went on to day I'm "too old" to have a birthday, and it'll just be like another normal day. No cake, no card, no nothing. It's not that I mind not having anything, it's just the way he said it. He could have sat me down and just said "look, we can't do much this year because blah blah blah..." but he just said it as if to make me upset on purpose. I just don't know why he had to be so cruel about it :/ His birthday is a week before mine and I'm sure he'd go mad if I didn't get him a present or anything...

My mum is also being difficult at the moment. I'm currently looking for a job - and I mean genuinely looking for one, I'm trying my hardest. My mum keeps yelling at me to hurry up, which is fair enough - but she makes me feel really unconfident about everything. She yelled at me a few days ago and said "I don't care where you work, apply everywhere, just do SOMETHING." So I have been, and when I told her the various places I'd applied she just laughed in my face and said things like "You applied there? Why would you want to work there? Oh my god how pathetic hahaha etc" It just really throws me off. I actually didn't show up for an interview because of that. It's not as if they're stupid places either, just regular retail stores :/

She's now starting to charge me money for living with them, which again - is fair enough. But it's money that I really don't have. I've got about 100 in my bank account and she's wants 20 a week starting from now. I just wish she'd give me a chance and let me find a job first.. she gets angry if I go out looking for one and don't have one when I return. She seems to think I can just walk into a shop and come back with the job. :/

Blaaah I dunno, I know I'm not perfect either I just wish they'd be a little nicer.. it's tough trying to change my attitude when they're always so cold with me

Any suggestions on how I can get closer to them without them being cruel or mocking me? :/


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Re: ...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 9th 2009, 12:33 AM

Have you tried just sitting down and having a long discussion with them lately? Also, is there still alcohol involved? If there is, they might not be willing or able to listen. If it is just gets to be too much, do you have a friend or close relative you could stay with? Hope you can get closer with them.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Little Joanna Offline
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Re: ...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 9th 2009, 02:05 AM

No, alcohol isn't an issue anymore. My parents stopped binge drinking a few years back now, so at least there's no problem there.

I'm just too frightened to sit down and talk with them, we've tried it before.. my mum can sit and talk things through but my dad is like a stubborn child. Last time we tried to sit and talk I said "I just feel that sometimes you hate me" and he snapped back "yeah well, I do hate you" just very childish as if to score points against me :/

I do have friends to stay with, I just wish I could get closer to my parents
I don't wanna leave home without fixing this :/


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Re: ...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 9th 2009, 09:58 AM

joanna.

i'm just going to say a few, hopefully meaningful words over here. Your parents have shown you affection a few times right, i believe THAT is how they TRULY feel about you. events that happened during the past few years, have blunted their feelings on the outside, but on the inside, their true concern and parental love, never changes.

And what you've to do is bring that side of them out. have a real heart-to-heart talk to them about stuff so that they'll realize how much their behaviour is affecting you. Its never easy to stomach your parents being mean to you.

You've got to bring that side, buried deep down within them up to the surface, and then they'll probably realize that how they were acting, is SERIOUSLY, the last thing they wanna be towards you

make sure to update the thread on how this goes. we wanna see stuff getting better


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Re: ...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 9th 2009, 09:38 PM

Hi Joanna,

It sounds like your situation at home isn't going so well lately. Despite how they act, I do think that your parents care about you and they are capable of talking things through. You are going to be an adult soon, and part of being an adult is having other people talk to you and treat you like one. This is something I think you should explain to your parents. Let them know that if they expect you to get a job right away and pay them rent for living with them, then they need to listen to what you have to say and communicate with you like adults.

Could it be that your father is embarrassed by his financial situation at the moment? Sometimes people snap or lash out at others when they are stressed or embarrassed about something. Maybe when you brought up your birthday, he thought you expected something from him that he just couldn't afford right now. I think that you should let him know that you really aren't expecting anything for your birthday, but you would really appreciate if they acknowledged it.

I think that your mum is being very unfair to you at the moment by expecting you to pay rent without having a job first. She sounds like she's stubborn about it, so I think the best thing to do is to just keep up the job hunt and let her know that you are still doing your best to find a job.

Once you have a job, be sure to keep your eyes open for apartments you could rent and make sure your mom isn't overcharging you to stay at home. If you find a nice place that is cheaper than staying home, and you are able to financially take care of yourself, then moving out will be an option.

Whatever you do, do not let your mum discourage you from getting a job, no matter where it is. There is nothing to be embarrassed about in having a job at a retail store. What really matters is that you get work experience and you get a wage that you are happy with. Some money is better than no money, after all. Give yourself a chance and show up to the interviews. Practice answers to questions you may be asked, and be confident in yourself. Your mom isn't going to be working at the job, so what she thinks about it really doesn't matter.

Stay strong and take care.
Nat.


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Re: ...too old for a birthday!? :( - September 11th 2009, 04:10 PM

Hi Joanna,
Your parents aren't being fair and I'm not surprised you want to repair your relationship with them. It's a very kind, moral thing to do and you appear to be tolerating it calmly, although I have no doubts that you find it frustrating. That's perfectly natural.
To begin with, nobody's ever "too old" for a birthday. Perhaps your dad said that to avoid talking about his debt? It wasn't acceptable of him but there could have been a reason behind it.
How about you go job hunting with a friend, and if your mum says mean things about your efforts, you've got someone to back you up? I can understand that arguing with her will make the situation worse, but please don't let her walk all over you. You've tried to get a job, and if you find one then it doesn't matter what she thinks. It's hypocritical of her to expect such things from you. Negotiate the 20 a week thing and see if she'll reduce the rate until you've got a job.
As for mending your relationship with them...the best way is to talk. I know that's hard and could be frustrating, but if you don't speak up they will take further advantage. I'm sure you're capable of saying sensible, mature, challenging things in response to their attitude. Just remind them how much they mean to you and how hard you're trying. This isn't something you should be expected to tackle on your own; it's a family situation, and you need to involve them. Speak out, make them realise they've upset you, and they should in return regret their behaviour and apologise. Good luck.




   
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