Family issues - different perceptions
PRAGMASTER - Dec 29 2016 at 21:32
I'm having a disconnect with my family. I am 27 years old, oldest of 4 siblings and my parents are still together. I moved out at 19. My sister is the second to move out and that was just a year ago.
I love my family and I am grateful for them, don't get me wrong. The basic problem is they continuously believe me to be somebody I am not. I guess you could say I am the black sheep of the family. They are almost all conservatives, and I essentially an occultist super hippy. In the time since I moved out I've immersed myself in various philosophical studies and participated in several shamanic events that have totally changed the way I perceive the world. I am simply not the same person as I was even two years ago.
It's impossible to have a creative, flowing conversation with them - sounds strange, but they are just so logical, fearful and closed minded. I have become so tired of my family judging me and patronizing me every time we talk that I've basically stopped caring what comes out of my mouth, sayings lots of stupid things in the process. I never have problems with friends or strangers, but with family I have a really hard time restraining myself from this. Our egos seem to feed off each other. Then they wonder why I never call or hang out unless I need something.
They were recently offended by three things. The first that I didn't invite them to a party I hosted (I didn't want them there). The second that I was an ass on Christmas eve (I was also the only one drinking) and three because they do not believe I am financially responsible yet I am house broke with a mortgage I currently own that was left over to me by a nasty divorce. The divorce does not help either. I am not depressed and I am over it, but they are clearly not. They constantly blame my current behaviors on it and it just upsets me even more. Family counseling may be in order.
Any insight would be appreciated.
Doesn't sound strange in the least.
This isn't about your attitudes and feelings towards them, is it. It's about theirs towards you (as then provokes a lose-your-rag, hurtful *reaction* in you).
Black sheep. Leader by another name (lobbed by the non-leaders to put them off). You must have inherited certain genes as manifest as certain significant traits that in your siblings and parents failed to get activated. If you were to do your family tree you might be able to identify whom exactly you take after (great-great grandma/pa, perhaps?) and appreciate why you're so different from them in such prevalent ways, and more recently - now that your restrainers and trainer-wheels are finally off - even more noticeable ways.
But you don't get to choose your family members, anyway, and variety, including a soupcon of frisson, is absolutely spice. However, if your wavelengths differ to the extent where they're (metaphorically-speaking) singing Opera while you're singing Joni, then that's simply that and you're going to have to (once you're ready) learn to fashion a pidgin. Nobody but NOBODY comes out of something so traumatic and life-altering as a divorce unchanged and un-evolved (and speaking the same language). You need to find your new natives, your 'birds of a feather', when it comes to sharing and gaining mind contents and leave your family as just that - family... all conversation kept on an even, safe keel ("how's gran-gran doing, ooh and did you hear the latest with Trump?").
However, if your feet did 'exasperated and bitter' - which they did...despite I'm sure *someone(s)* at the party might have found them sufficiently on their level, welcome company, if not you yourself - then this isn't just about differing wavelengths producing dissatisfactory or downright incomprehensible dialogue, is it. It's more intrinsic. It's about their not wishing to admit what YOU'VE had to admit - that you were always, now more so, different-shaped to them (even while still halfway-baked). Instead, they're trying to keep denying this (to them) disappointing disillusionment for fear of what it might longer-term mean or produce/remove, by telling themselves - audibly through you in various ways - that if they just bide their time, sooner or later you'll revert back to the you they used to know and could more easily relate and identify to/with. "It's just financial pressure, blah-blah, and that's altogether temporary and reversible".
They don't want to lose Original You. Especially considering you left 'early', physically, meaning, only one half left as it is. Basically. ...She with whom their wavelengths could just about cope. Even if that means fighting and tying/gagging New You your very self to get to and revive 'dying her'. So all of it - all this 'stop thinking/doing/being that' is just this: 'Come back to where you were and help keep the comfy status quo'.
You're NOT 'over it', though, or I'd be typing New *& Improved* You, whereas, what you did was a giant SNUB, nothing remotely like a hippy-happy-chickie tweet-tweeting ("Namaste, chillax, let's just agree to disagree, love yas anyway, mwa!"). You basically kicked them all hard in the shins while shoving Custard Pies in their (at this point) needy faces....not cool. Anyway, these sorts of traumas are fuzzy felt to your velcro-ed trouser legs, collectively sticking to you as you walk along your life path/side paths, meaning, you learn to walk and dance with plus not get (overly) tripped up by it/them as you increasingly adapt. Better to edit that statement to, I'm HANDLING and learning to live with *and* make DeLuxe Lemonade out of my giant lemon. It's automatically, instinctually more credible and convincing and, more to the point, will signal that any attempts to pull you back to where and who you were beforehand would be futile ERGO they had better get to properly know New You.
This is all very flattering, actually, if you think about it. So why upset and alienate them further by insultingly failing to include them at your party even, as I say, for the benefit of any other potentially likeminded guests?
Why do you need their rubber-stamping on New You, anyway, to the point where not getting it winds you up so? Why can't you just sit happily and confidently back with a Mona Lisa smile in the knowledge of being the still-emergent New You ("'n proud!")? Aren't you convinced enough that New You is what you've come out of that tumultuous wash as unless these people accept and rubberstamp it first? Surely only *Old* You would wanted or needed that? Don't you realise it's this giant neediness/approval-seeking that they 'smell' as makes them suspect you must still sufficiently be in 'mere' transition HENCE PULL-BACK-ABLE ("Hhh!, here's our chance before it's too late - quick-quick!!!")...subconsciously using little pieces of humiliation-coloured rope called 'FEEL THE SHAME' (finances) and deflate back to earth (and us), despite they DO KNOW the perfectly legitimate reason behind why you're strapped for cash (who bloody isn't?!) at this juncture? (PS: Do you owe them money? Have they been donating cash as a way to keep a hold on you or your accepting it your way of holding onto them? Never heard of a bank loan?)
And what's the matter with *them* that they likewise can't be more honest and open in just saying, 'DON'T LEAVE US!'?
*It's you* - Mrs Intimidating Indiana Jones... only you don't realise it or that you *are* continually 'saying' I'm Not Quite There Yet (hence pull-back-able into The Safe 'n Conventional Club?). So stop 'saying' it, stop making those mouth and hand-signals. They're mixed messages, meaning, they hear only the half they want to hear. And stop saying 'we need a Low Contact break' with your insulting feet whilst said cheesies are more loudly whispering 'Eff Off the lot of you for your lack of auto-instant acceptance and adaptation!'. Say it more respectfully (i.e. bravely and confidently) above-table with your mouth. Like this, for example: 'Dear All, I can quite plainly see and feel that you're understandably having trouble handling me while I'm all elbows and knees as I make my final emergence from my chrysalis, so for your sakes I'm going to leave you alone for a while, until I'm all the way out, metamorphosis complete...and then we'll see if we can start an altered but pleasing relationship so suit. Nothing personal whatsoever, just don't want to inadvertently or accidentally whack anyone in the face again simply out of their being stood that bit too close-by. That's all I was trying to implement by not inviting you to a party full of 'not your types', but obviously my method backfired as well as misrepresented me and my intentions - very sorry for that'.
Underneath it all, another of their reasons for trying to hold onto your ankles for dear life is this: If *you* can do/be this/that/this "Unconventional, Daring" Thing via lesser-known (and to them, scary) pathways then [wait for it] what possible excuse not to follow suit would that leave them, this obviously habitually competitive yet somewhat stymied pack ("eek, too scary, somebody stop her!")? That they're 'saying' this, is precisely how I know you're secret or dark-horse leader of said pack (not that they'd ever have the humility to out-loud acknowledge or admit it).
If, after that statement or letter, they still won't/daren't release their grips, follow up with something along the (more tactful) lines of, 'Deal with it or don't deal with it, just stop whinging futilely at me or you're only going to end up pushing me away further than necessary, which I'm sure none of us really want'.
But this is all perfectly normal for one on the self-progressions 'staircase'. There are mini-landings after each Nth step, the place for taking a breather and finishing limbering-up for the next little set of steps. Out of Old You's old crowd, some will be on your level and climb up with you, others won't/aren't ready/daren't and will try to hold onto your ankles to keep you down there with them (dread of abandonment). Meanwhile, because it's only a pit-stop and you're not yet a bona fide member of that next set up, you neither suit your Old Crowd nor your pending New Crowd, meaning, stuck in Limbo and mixing with half-and-half, soon-to-parts (mere short-term alliances)...leaving little wonder about why you're still so concerned with your blood pack. Meanwhile, there might or might not be the higher-up crowd offering you an arm, which you might or might not yet spot. Clearly you've not been on the landing long enough to have indeed spotted those, HENCE, I repeat, are still focused too heavily on the old lot 'beneath/behind' you. (It's not about superiority/inferiority, though, just rate and place/station of progression...different timelines and timings, like when one baby starts crawling earlier than his peers yet they all do end up walking, just the same.)
However, you can't ideally ask for things if you're not earning them by pre- or post-paying the club membership fees, it's not fair. Said old club can only offer if they want to and/or see the sense in it. Otherwise - human admission over this animalistic fact or not - every offer of help whether psychological, fiscal or practical just increases a person's emotional investment in you as triggers the animal expectation of (these days, instant) reciprocation. So you're going to have to temporarily depend on said new landing-place friends (or bank) instead. Letting them do things for you as places them in the hand held out position is precisely WHY they felt short-changed when you didn't ask them to your party, 'gave' them your inner drunken a*se, and...well, that's it, actually, because the slur aimed at your fiscal capabilities was them 'helping themselves in taking something back again' as a subconscious ploy.
You just watch that space, though. I wouldn't be at all surprised if at any point in the future you glance back and notice one or more of them quietly, surreptitiously following your very trail. Once that happens - because they saw you do it first and NOT self-combust or flounder on-the-spot - their attitudes from then on will be 'Unleash the *Trail-Blazer and let's see what prickly path she clears for us next'!
*Well, with the sounds of your lot, SOMEONE has to be, don't they! Or they'd all set like actual concrete or start to look a little too much like Miss Haversham, LOL.
(PS: Add psychology if you want more or less the entire holistic, human user manual. Oh, and Neurology. And Physiology & Biology & Geniology & Theology. And Astronomy, actually. In fact, ALL the ologies. Unfortunately, that does also mean, Chemistology. :-))
Short version: "Post-divorce typical!" (you're all normal).