I need help on how to not talk to my parents as much
At first I might seem like a bad child for not wanting to talk to my parents, but I assure you that if you knew them you would think differently.
I will not bother you with all the details about their personalities and the reasons why I don't want to talk to them. Instead I will tell you why I shouldn't.
I live in a different country from them, which makes them forget how poorly we got along when we had each other every day.
At the minute, I am an almost-thirty PhD candidate looking to graduate in August. This means I am old and busy, but they do not seem to get that.
Our current routine involves me logging on to Skype every Sunday at 8pm. When I first moved it was at 6pm, but then our appointment progressively moved to 8pm. If I'm even late, it's a big deal, but they are allowed to go about their business and sometimes don't get to a computer until 10pm and I am supposed to stay there waiting for them.
When we started, it used to be an hour to 90 minutes, tops. Now they can keep me up to 4 hours. Our current standard is 3 hours.
If they had at least something to say it would be somewhat bearable, but my mom only complains all the time; about her job, about my dad, about my sisters, etc. You name it, she has something to complain about, and they are always unfounded complaints. For example, she is a teacher and her students are buying her a projector so she can teach better and provide them with more resources. Is she thankful? Of course not! She complains that now she is going to have one more thing to carry around back and forth. When it comes to my dad, he often doesn't have much to say to me, so he will babble for hours about football or beer.
The only reason I even talk to them is to communicate with my sisters (17 and 18), and my parents came with the bundle. With time, my sisters have gotten FB accounts and smart phones which make communication more feasible.
I have been putting up with this for years, which has me fed up, but this last weekend something happened that made me feel the need to stop this from going further. My brother overheard my mom complaining (what a surprise!) to some of her friends about how I could never find time to talk to them during the week. Isn't a standing 3 to 4 hour appointment every week enough?!?!?! Like I don't have better or more important things to do!!!
At the minute, I am writing my dissertation, two scientific papers, and a report for our funding agency. Not to mention studying to defend my thesis. I am really busy!!!
I feel it's time to cut the chord and do what normal people do - talk to their parents once a month or so - I just don't know how.
Yes. Stop referring to yourself as a child.. You are an adult and have your own life.
Start to put some restraints on their demands. TELL them you won't be available EVERY Sunday. Then tell them the dates and times you will call. Make this YOUR decision.
Also, when she starts to complain, say, "Mom,. I will have to hang up now if you are spending our precious time complaining. Tell me something nice about your day or I will let you go talk to someone else.'
Unless you stop being bossed around by your demanding parents, this will NEVER end.
And - get the courage to HANG UP or NOT ANSWER the phone if this gets crazy. What can they do to you hundreds of miles away?
Oh, I have told my mom all she does is complain, so she starts crying. Once I told her she had already told me whatever she was saying, I didn't even say it in a bad tone or anything, and she cried and cried, then SHE hung up on me and then wouldn't talk to any other member of the family for a week. Pretty extreme stuff. I also started doing work while I hear her (because it's never a dialog so there is no talking to her) and she complained I don't pay attention, when SHE is the one who asks me the same thing five weeks in a row.
So she cries - so what? I have a feeling she cries a lot to get her way.
You have a dysfunctional relationship with her. She throws fits and cries, you give in to her with resentment. She runs your life and you feel trapped. You sit there and listen instead of setting healthy boundaries for you and her.
Get assertive and tell her when and where and how long your conversations are. Blame it on the job or school or something, since you can't seem to set limits with her.
PS Is your father there?
Yes, dad is there. He gets his turn on Skype as well. And even though his conversation is just as pointless, it's definitely not as difficult to sit through.
Worst thing is they are both psychologists.
I am aware that my relationship is dysfunctional. And yes, my mom uses crying to get away with what she wants. Always has. And it no longer makes us feel bad about it, but it still makes us not want to deal with it.
The problem is whatever I do, if she cannot take it out on me, she takes it out on the rest of the family.
My brother, who still lives at home (it is normal in my culture), is moving out at the end of the month because he also has boundary issues.
I know that I need to set things straight, but I don't want to cause any trouble to anyone else, and I particularly don't want to not be allowed to talk to my sisters.
You are an adult, on her Own, living on the other side of the world, and you Also are mature enough to make your own decisions when it comes to Anything----even talking to mom and dad "bitch and babble,: if I must say.
Explain to them that your schedule has become Increasingly busy, nearly impossible, and it is starting to consume a lot of your time. Make them Try and understand that if you don't study and do well, you will Not be graduating in August. Simple as that.
Give them ONE HOUR Every Two weeks, and write them on Skype as a text, perhaps Once a week to keep them abreast of what you are doing and how you are. I live in New York, and my parents live Upstate. I try and call once in the week, every other week, and if they don't hear from me, they simply text me to make sure I am okay.
As far as your sisters, make some "secret pact" with them of your own Phone business and feasible Facebook.
With all of this, this will help "cut the chord,' and some of the tension on your end, and Not have to be this "extension chord" hooked at the hip on a set nite, with set hours.
Hi your PHD thesis is top priority !!!!!
You cannot give as much time as you are its not making sense.......
Cut out the skyping to every second week , or just a quick catch up!!! If you mum cries well shut down the computer and do not feel bad ( easier said then done) But this is absurd!!! Break this unhealthy dependency.
Stop feeding it, wean them off .......
Good luck in your phd
Ok, so this is what I decided to do.
For now, to avoid too much confrontation (and the possibility of not being allowed to talk to my sisters anymore) I will take a passive-aggressive approach.
I will come up with things that impede me from talking to them as often, with the hope that our routine will change with time.
If that doesn't work, then I guess put up with it until my youngest sister is 18 and I can confront the situation.
Cecypdel is almost 30!
The mother has an unhealthy obsession with this child. As a psycholgist, she should know better. Now there is an anxiety issue with Cecypdel. There is guilt and shame and exhaustion.
(I am a mother of 4, grandmother of 5. My adult children do not need me smothering them as they try to get through life. I should be there for them as a wise, confident and nurturing mother. Not as a smothering, controlling, needy child-parent who lives life through the child because their own life is a mess.)
Shame on this mother and father who know no boundaries and prevent their child from growing into an adult. The father needs to step up and stop this mother.
My dad is just as bad.
I recently got a job for when I graduate and will be moving to a different state.
When I told my dad he said "Wherever you are, whatever you do, you know where you need to be on Sunday evenings". I told him it had to be within reason since my new job will be too demanding and he said I'll find a way to make time.
The only up side to dad is that he is not as annoying to listen too, but he speaks just as long about things that are just as pointless.
And I absolutely refuse to talk to them more than once a week!!! It already feels like too much.
I would rather send them periodical emails updating them on my life when there is anything worth updating them about. It might even make them pay more attention to me, because when it comes to my mom, she can ask me the same thing 5 weeks in a row and get the same answer every single time and still forget. That is when she gives me enough time to answer because I often can't get more than a few words in before she starts her monologues.
I do understand that your parents are overdemanding and still trying to control you which is very wrong. At some point of time they need to understand that their son has grown big and needs to be more independent.
I think you need to get off skype and a fixed time for talking. Tell them that you are busy and won't be able to make it to skype. Skip a few appointments, make it more erratic. A phone call might be a better choice once or twice a week.
When we were small kids and used to talk nonsense baby stuff, our parents would have given us their time and attention. Life goes a full circle and when parents enter old age while we get busy with our lives, I feel we should atleast try to give them some attention to vent out their thoughts though it may or may not concern us in anyway. Often just the fact that we have heard them out gives them lots of joy. Here the phone helps coz we can do our work simultaneously while speaking on the phone there by not wasting our time but still keeping parents happy that they can talk to us. Sometimes parents indirectly look at their children for confidence and reassuarance. This they do by complaining, getting emotional, crying etc.
I agree with your own solution , I think you have enough to be focused on at the minute ..... your life.... its time you took hold of it.
You should not be carrying around worry over this, rebelling, SEPARATION is a vital part of development.... as psychologist they should be very aware of this.
Its unhealthy , and again parents problems should never ever be put on a kid, unwanted negative emotions and manipulation, I would be frustrated and too I would be worrying if you could not see this a wrong.
Other parents views will be bias.....
Parents love you no matter what ..... not only if you play some pointless game .... It hard I know had it myself but you can do this.
Please do not let this agt in the way of your work all theses years ...... good luck
I think that last post is a little harsh and judgmental..... and coming from their own shit!!!
Calling you uncaring.....
I hope you ignore its not objective or valid,,, sprinkled with their emotions....
I really appreciate everyone's comments. Whether I agree with them or not.
I knew some people would take my parents' side and some mine. That is the nature of things posted on the internet, right?
On my first post, I said I wouldn't bother you with the reasons why I didn't want to talk to my parents. Well, I will now through a few examples. But before I do, I would like to say that all of you are right, to an extent. If it is true that I do not like my parents, I do care for them, otherwise I would not continue talking to them after the things that they have made me go through.
The examples I will give will be chronological and not listed by importance.
When I was 5, my dad was fighting with my mom over how he always had to be "the bad guy" and how she never disciplined us, which was not true, both of them were pretty strict, to the point where in my house (still) we call them Sir and Ma'am. But I'm digressing. So, they were fighting, and what my mom did to prove my dad that she was just as tough on us as he was was wake me up and start hitting me for absolutely no reason at all.
When I was 14, there was a hype of chat rooms and I would stay up late on my computer talking to strangers. Once, my dad caught me. He dragged me from my room all the way to his to tell my mom what I was doing. Once I was in front of both of them, he punched me in the temple so hard he almost blinded me, I even saw sparks. He apologized for hitting me after, but that was the way he always did. Every single time he hit me, before and after this occasion, he would apologize and expect everything to go back to normal.
When I was 15 my mom decided that she was not going to work until my dad was able to support the whole family on his own, so I had to start working to help with food and utilities and those things that not only me but my 14 year old brother and my 4 and 5 year old sisters needed. I started teaching English at the same place my dad did, and because we worked at the same place, he would cash my checks. For years I didn't even know how much money I made.
When I was 18, I had some money saved to file some paperwork that I needed for a scholarship. They stole that for me and I could not apply for the scholarship again for a whole year.
I have managed to get over all these things, and many more. What I will never get over is the way they treat my sisters. So now here are more examples in chronological order of the things they have done to them.
I still remember the last time my mom ever raised her hand at any of us. I was 14, my sisters were 3 and 4. My mom was planning on doing their hair in pig tails and asked them to find matching bows. They found bows that matched in color but not style - and to be honest, even to my teen eyes the differences were pretty difficult to discern - so she got mad at them, she got so mad over their "disobedience" that she started hitting them. I got very upset and started arguing with her. It reached a point where she raised her hand at me, so I grabbed her shoulder and told her that the next time she hit my sisters I would hit her. I am aware that it was wrong, but I needed to protect the babies of the house. And it worked. My mom has never hit any of us ever again.
You might think "well, at least they always put food on the table and a roof over your heads" and you would still be wrong. Like I said, I've had to put money on the table when there hasn't been enough. Once I even had to take my sister to buy school shoes, which were just the equivalent to US$7, because she had been going to school with broken shoes for weeks. Regarding the roof on our heads, every single time my parents found the tiniest little thing wring with the house we were renting, they would stop paying until we got evicted. For the most part they would know the eviction was coming and found something right after, except for the one time they were in denial about the eviction coming and we ended up homeless. The worst part is this image I have in my head of my sister crying her eyes out because she didn't have any milk to drink, because we didn't have enough money to buy milk, while my dad never spent a single day without cigarettes.
So yes, I don't like them, but I still care and often provide for them. For example, two years ago I bought eye glasses for the whole family, at least two pairs each. And I don't make that much money (take into consideration I am still a student), I just don't like them going without things that they need. I even bought the computer they Skyped me with for years.
Any other child who had to go through what I have gone through with my parents would have completely cut off communication. I am not asking for that, I just want a little more room to breathe.
Are they really Psychologist?
It sounds like you have felt responsible for the whole family, you took on a role of protector and provider as what you describe as inadequate care, and abuse, yourself and as a witness at such a young age. Its not your fault it never was. I can see how you felt powerless when you were young and became the dad.
Families are very hard...... sometimes we want to run away as far as we can so we can be free to be who we were denied. You need to take back some of that time, power, for you. Do what is right for you. Do not let them be an obstacle for you, this is your time now. I think the more you are away the more you are getting to see where you came from, do not let it drag you down or back into this place where you feel powerless again (not being able to be direct to them out of fear you cannot protect your sisters) because you are far away.
Don't forget how far you have come in life despite adversity, amazing achievement and be proud. Take the next step, and take control here, I would get some way to contact your sisters, I think that will ease your mind to have that reassurance that they are okay. Once that is in place wean off this obligation and expectation placed on you that you are outgrowing, you are nearly there.