Should I go? Can I not?
Hello, I am eighteen and I still live at home. I am going to be going to university in the winter. During the rest of the summer and the fall until January, I will be living at home. Living at home has always been very stressful. My parents are bad with money, drink excessively and are very emotional people. Of course I still love them, but they can be very stressful to be around.
I don't fit my family's ideals at all. I am very reserved/introverted and spend most of my time reading books. My family likes people who are outgoing and in fact our values are also very different. They boast a lot to anyone who listens about their money, even their looks. My dad yells at me and my siblings because we don't want to take pictures with him, or because we don't want to go with him to dinner. I have three siblings and we all feel this way about our parents. We avoid them as much as possible and it's really sad. My brother is in university and is so stressed, but he refuses to tell my parents or think about taking some time off because he would have to talk with my parents again.
But my problem is that my mother my grandfather have decided they want to take me to France. I was very grateful- it would be a really interesting trip probably but recently, I have started to regret the idea and I want to get out of it. For one thing, I was offered a job researching in a field I'm very interested in. I could use this as my excuse. They would be angry, but I don't really mind. And also, I thought that it's not my last opportunity to see France. I can go without them when I'm able to pay for it myself.
The main reason I don't want to go is because I'm not sure I could last on the trip. I have very guilty feelings towards them for offering to pay for me, so I don't think I can turn them down, but I don't want to be so weak. I am gay, although I haven't come out to anyone, and they are both very anti-gay. My mom makes a lot of horrible jokes/statements about gay people and my grandfather is a Catholic who believes gay people should be confined to a mental hospital and preferably die early as possible.
This doesn't bother me entirely. I feel like I am not someone they will enjoy traveling with. I can't force myself to smile easily, and I think traveling with them will be very stressful. I am already very stressed, and possibly I think I might be depressed as well. I stay in my room as much as possible because I don't want to see my family. I know it's cowardly, but I can't think of a better alternative. If I act angry towards them or try to be honest, I feel guilty immediately and have to take back everything that I said.
We would also be meeting other relatives who live in France and I have become physically sick thinking about it. I thought it would be alright, but when I started to imagine what it would be like, I can't take the idea anymore. I told my mom I might want to stay home and she got really angry. I feel like a weak person and I don't know what to do. Everyone will be disappointed whether I go or stay. I'm really at a loss of what to do. Please if you have advice for me, I would appreciate it.
Thank you very much.
If you could figure out a way to not spend much time with your parents on this trip, would you consider going?
When you get to France, tell them you're going to a gay bar. Then tell them you've hooked up with a gay woman, and you won't be seeing them for much of the trip.
You do sound divided. It's about like I was at that age, probably, I didn't like to do a whole lot of stuff, but when people might offer me some help or advice, I would probably turn it down and then probably say, "there's nothing to do." And I couldn't understand that myself.
You might be inbetween being your parents’ person as a child, and being your own person as an upcoming adult. You present such a 50 -50 situation. I’m 50-50 on most issues. I see them both equally. When I was depressed as a 40 year old, I rem. thinking about going on a 125 mile trip. I rem. thinking, “I don’t want to go, and I don’t not what to go.”
Maybe I was thinking, “neither one will make me happy. I’m not happy being depressed here, and I won’t be happy being depressed there.” I would get in the car, go 10 miles toward the destination, then think about, “I don’t want to go,” then turn around and drive some miles back, and then maybe think that I should go.” I was also having anxiety attacks, and I was worried about having one of those.
On a certain level, I knew I was depressed, I didn’t know what to do about it. Maybe you’re depressed. If all you want to do is sit in your room and read, maybe you’re depressed. If you’re introverted as you say, maybe you’re just introverted.
Maybe you’re thinking, “All I do is sit here and read. France might be more interesting than that, and it is free, and they are going to be holler at me, and I don’t want to disappoint them, and I don’t want to disappoint me,” type of circular, 50-50 thinking.
Have you considered contemplating your naval in lieu of the trip? Have you considered going to france and contemplating your naval at $300 a night?
You say, “but recently, I have started to regret the idea and I want to get out of it. For one thing, I was offered a job researching in a field I'm very interested in. I could use this as my excuse. They would be angry, but I don't really mind. And also, I thought that it's not my last opportunity to see France. I can go without them when I'm able to pay for it myself.”
I’ve been thinking of some trips I’ve taken. One, I was 18, just like you. Just out of high school, just before going to college. My parents wanted to take my older sister on a trip to the beach about 200 miles away. I didn’t mind going.
The beach compared to sitting at home? Yeah. My older sister is introverted, I’m about half and half, but she went also. Also this was going to be our last trip as a growing up family. Yeah, we wanted to go. And we had a good time.
As an in-between person, I have been urged into going on trips that were not good for me, and they were disastrous. So I can’t suggest either way. Are you depressed? Is this just your personality? I went to a party at about 40 one time. I thought, I can go to a party. I shouldn’t have gone to the party. I was depressed, and I am introverted in social situations. I don’t do the back and forth talk very well, and I never have, even as a kid. One on one, I do OK.
So, I’m going to say, if you don’t want to go, don’t go. If you go on this trip, they may line up another trip for you. It may never stop. Sooner or later you’re going to have to stand up for yourself. And stand up to yourself.
You’re going to have to say to yourself, I don’t want to go, and now I’m going to inform them.
Have your excuses lined up, the job thing, the this, the that. Why can’t one of your other siblings go? Why is it always you? They apparently stand up to your parents. Are you the youngest? I was, and I got picked on a lot because of that.
I didn’t have ego strength either, and other people’s egos would take over for mine. I could be put into dangerous situations, people would say, do this, and I would do it, and many times at a cost. Write it in a letter to your mother, and give it to her. Sign up for your job thing first, then inform her of that. Be your own person.
Thank you for reading! I was amazed that people read it... It was so long...
SUSIEDQQQ: I hadn't thought of this, but it's true that even when we're together with more family members for a dinner or something, it's fine for me to wander out of the room and even out of the house. No one minds as long as they see me at the beginning. Once I even left after five minutes and no one said anything about it afterward. It might be different, but they don't mind if I wander off, so this is a good point. I could do that... Thanks for your response :) It's a good point!
PJVL9: After reading your response, I felt a lot better. Thanks so much for taking the time. I think the 50-50 mindset you were describing is very accurate to what my mindset is right now. And it's true that it's only a matter of time before they are pressuring me about something really serious.
In these terms actually, they tried really hard to get me to go to a university that I really didn't want to attend, but I was admitted. This was something I couldn't just accept, so I had to say I'm going somewhere else. Their response was more or less calm after a few days but I felt really guilty for almost two months afterward.
I think I'm going to go. It will probably be fun at least half the time and in the worst case, it's not a very long trip. Because I do want to go (at least 50%). My cousins live there and they're still really young. I want to see them before they grow up more.
My other siblings couldn't go because they're all in school or working at that time. I feel bad because they would actually really want to go if they could ... hahaha
In any case, your response is hugely appreciated. You make a lot of good points and you seem like a cool person. I hope you have a really good day :)