can cutting family out of your life ever be a good decision?
Empirical evidence would suggest that at this stage in my life (19), I would emotionally and academically benefit from living away from my family. By evidence, I mean that family time is almost conducive to misery; that which pervades through every facet of my life. At it’s height I was forced to drop all my courses last semester and move cities. Me being a guy I’m sure you could guess which parent is the problem. In spite of all this my mother still insists that I maintain a relationship with my father and that I will “soon learn the importance of giving in life”. It is without doubt a value to forgive and forget, but when someones presence in your life has but only abject consequences, is there any point? When the mere thought of this person can literally ruin my entire day, is there any point?
Someone is bound to suggest that “I have problems in my life and that I cannot simply just run away from them”. But it is exactly these old adages, like the one above from my mother, that adds weight to the other side of the scale. Even though these are terribly cliche, one cannot help but think that their societal persistence reflects the many regrets of the elderly in generations gone by.
The explicit benefits in going it alone are apparent to me, but I do fear that in time, an aphorism or two may come back to haunt me.
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Remember, parents are nothing special. Just other humans trying to figure out this mess we call life too. So if it is truly miserable to be around your father, just stop being around him. Nothing really fixes a relationship better than to allow time apart and grow. Maybe at this point in life you two don’t need each other to evolve as a person so just let it be.
Also remember though that when you incarnated on this planet you chose your parents for a REASON, so maybe try and see what you saw in your dad when you were still in the ether and it might click.
Hope this helps!
Wishing you peace, brother
@evariste, Sounds a little bit short sighted that empirical evidence suggest that at the age of 19 you should be living away from your family?
I am residing in a country right now where people live with their families even in their late twenties, and sometimes throughout their whole lives. I can assure you that these people are not less happy.
What you are doing is finding EXTERNAL excuses for YOUR OWN failure. This is YOUR problem.
If you feel that the situation in which you find yourself in does not suit you than YOU have to change it. Looking for excuses and externalizing your problems will not help you mate.
Grab your shit together and act as a grown up, since you present yourself as being one.
Yeah, that sucks. I came to a similar realization recently and I’ve decided to take a break from college as well. I’ve had to live at home for most of college for financial reasons but sanity doesn’t have a price haha. I love my family; brother, sisters, mom and dad but I hate being around them for a ton of reasons at this point. I’m making a break for it, so to speak, i’m going to try to live abroad as long as I can and if I figure out a way to make it work I’m hoping it’s permanent. So I applaud and support you brother, fucking do you, life is too short to try and tip toe around problems waiting for other people to get their shit right.
BUT, be careful on what terms you leave. Even if you have serious problems with pops, just say whatever you gotta say, or do whatever you gotta do, even if it’s a solid punch to the face for good measure(just kidding, sort of). Try as hard as you can to resolve as much as you can, as peacefully and MATURELY as you can. Understanding the relationship with your parents isn’t healthy is mature, so act maturely in how you resolve it. I agree with @whiterabbit, we can’t choose our inherent relationships, but they have such a profound effect on our psychology and well-being you have to deal with it anyway. The old adage of “running away” from these problems is true unless you do the best ON YOUR PART to solve them(but moms saying you have to forgive and forget might be bullshit, relationships are a two-way street). The fact that that the “mere thought of this person can literally ruin my entire day” is evidence enough that you’ve gotta sort some shit out. I’ve had to understand that my dad is basically a manchild to deal maturely with our relationship, so maybe your dads a similar case. Always try to be the adult haha.
Having said that, though, I have no idea what your situation is with your family or dad and I can only give my personal experience and advice. Wish you the best son!
@filipek, yeah, but that’s pretty a pretty narrow view of parent-child relationships. you assume his family/parents are “grown up” and that is sure as shit not always the case.
maybe your culture is different and families have their shit together more but that is a luxury haha.
But, you definitely raise a legit point. @evariste, have you talked to others? psychiatrist, therapist, sympathetic siblings, etc.?
@stevenglansberg, I am not assuming anything mate, I am just presenting some facts.
I have been residing within many different cultures, so I have some comparison material, and I am not here to discuss and debate my life situation, it is not relevant for the purposes of this topic.
Point is, that the TS should take responsibilities for his own actions, his own behavior and his own choices, period. He is a grown up, an adult, so if he is not satisfied with his life, he should do something to change it.
Maybe you cannot always change the external circumstances, but you sure can change the way how you deal with it, therefore you can ALWAYS make a change whenever you want it.
@evariste, I had a similar experience happen to me. My father was just a load of problems for my family..a constant bad vibe whenever he was around. He was hurting my mother(emotionally) it was destroying her so it was destroying me. He finally left and the house is much calmer now. Even though hes gone hes still a part of me so i dont think you can ever really “get away” from your family
@filipek, I completely agree, I think. Not sure what TS means? Does it mean topic starter??? If that’s the case you’re right on. Responsibility falls on him to sort his shit out and that’s what I was saying, but I think he was just referring to his own “empirical evidence,” not facts. Sounds like he’s right there with you.
Sounded like you were discounting his first hand experience and presenting other evidence about families living together that I didn’t understand or notice at the time. If there’s “comparison material” I didn’t see it. So my bad if I misinterpreted the information you were throwing out there. Same team! haha
@stevenglansberg, Yes, TS is short for topic starter. Whether the empirical evidence was based on himself, or his surroundings, or the society he lives in, I do not know, but I just noticed lately how many people are whining and complaining about simple things that can be changed, while I see misery, pain and poverty around me, where people have to fight to survive, struggle to have a daily meal and cannot afford to even buy new clothes. A lot of them have smiles on their faces, appreciating the little things in life, appreciating when they get a strawberry from a passing stranger, or a penny because that is an extra step for them in getting their daily meal, not having relatives because they died out of poverty, gangwars, or simple sicknesses which can be cured by simple penicillin, but which they cannot afford.
And then we, spoiled motherfuckers in the west are bitching about fights with our parents, miscommunications and other unsignificanties? Be fucking grateful for what you have rather than complaining and craving for more and more!
And then we are acting like spoiled little ignorant babies because somebody refused us a cookie? Get your fucking shit together! That is my advise to all the complainers, whiners and bitchers. YOU are the creator of your own life, YOU are the change you want to see, take some fucking responsibility and do something with your life!
Now I do not want to sound like a bad motherfucker so I will end my reply by wishing you all a lot of wisdom to find the path you are looking for, get over the struggles you are fighting with, and find your happiness within.
NEVER give up, fight for what you want, do not lose hope and believe that you will ALWAYS MAKE IT!! There are absolutely NO reasons to doubt your own capabilities! We all are different, true, but we all are equal in the way that we can consciously choose how to deal with each and every moment in life!
Bless you all!
@filipek, ahh, ok, now that I know what Ts means i feel better.
Seeing pain, poverty and hardship around you, I can’t imagine how difficult it is to see people with unfair advantages over the truly ridiculous circumstances we(Western, white, over-privileged fools) have above everyone else. I grew up in a suburb of Pennsylvania, my high school was very “diverse” as whitey likes to call it haha. And if nothing else I learned there’s no differences between people other than culture! Copping out and calling everyone “spoiled bitches” is just lazy. Sorry bro, I would have used the same insult a while ago. Until I realized lazy bitches is just a scam and shit.
Fuck it, too drunkl.
@filipek, I agree with you in principle. It is up to every individual to make their own way, fuel their own fire, and blah blah blah. My memory isn’t that good tho man if they
@evariste, I thought at first you might have been speaking out of anger and not rationale. It wouldn’t be wise to make such a decision then. I think, though, it would still be a better option to tell your family to allow you some space rather than cut them off. Despite what others might say about family being just another group fo individuals, there might come a time when you really do want to reconnect. If you can, distance yourself without severing all lines of communication. That’s what I would do. In the end, it’s your call.
@evariste, hey man, when I was 19, and I’m 20 now, I moved out away from home to my college town for the exact same reason. Father, parents, were a part of my life that I didn’t need to depend on anymore or be surrounded by. To be honest moving out has been one of the best decisions. Sometimes you need to make decisions for yourself. You’ll find when you start making decisions that affect you you’ll feel much more confident in the path you create for your existence. Not to mention, moving out has had a huge impact on the relationship between my parents and I. We treat each other as adults, and the difference it’s made on my life is wonderful.
I wouldn’t cut them completely out. But for the most part, live your own life separate from theirs. I don’t think it would be a big deal to see them a handful of times each year for birthdays, Christmas, events, etc. Also, you’re 19. Once you break out on your own, you’ll find that spending time with the family isn’t so bad when you don’t have to live with them 24/7. It actually helps greatly.
I completely understand. My family are Italian immigrants (I am the first Canadian born generation in my family) so thus they have completely different values and ways of living. As children, and pretty much until I moved out when I was 18, my brother and I were beaten emotionally & physically by my father, and I don’t know if he ever touched my mother but he’s definitely emotionally affected her. He was extremely strict (especially with me, my brother was more allowed to be free), he would have extreme bouts of anger where he’d throw dishes and chairs and whatever was in front of him at the walls and at us. I’m now almost 21 and whenever I come home for visits or for the holidays he still treats me like a child in this sense. He thankfully doesn’t get physical anymore, but he’s still a lot to handle. He doesn’t accept the fact that I am an adult now who does my own thing. I get “in trouble” if I decide to hang out with my boyfriend for a few hours when I’m at home and he’ll make me feel bad for it. He’s extremely insecure and although no longer violent, he is very difficult to live with as he still puts rules on me even though I’ve been living away from home for about 3 years now.
@filipek , I can’t help but notice you putting the TS under the category of a “little bitch”, and although you stated that you weren’t trying to be rude or anything I still find your judgement to be a little harsh. I assure you, even though us “spoiled Westerners” may not have it as bad as others, we still suffer from our own degree of problems here. Other people may have it WAY worse but honestly, I (or most people here for that matter) will probably never understand poverty or not having enough food because yes, I come from an upper-middle class family and I make my own money so I probably wont suffer. It’s kind of like saying “people with depression should just cheer up, you can make yourself get past anything”, when in fact depression is an illness that cannot be fixed so easily. I certainly don’t think the physical abuse I experienced was something I could get up and change for myself. If I could have changed things at home, I would have. It’s difficult when it comes to your own family, and in my situation when your father says “do this or I’ll rip your hair out” you probably aren’t going to fight back. I do agree that you must change things if you want them changed, but you can’t change people unless they want to. I’m not trying to get confrontational here because yes I do agree that if you want something fixed, you must change it but I believe this is a completely different situation.
@evariste all in all, my conclusion would be to NOT cut him out of your life, although I know that’s what you want to do right now. The thing is is that usually your parents still really love you no matter how shitty the relationship is. It’s important to have family because really, in the end they’re the only people you know will be there for you (in my opinion). If possible (this wouldn’t be possible with my father so maybe it is for you) talk to him about how you feel and that you want to have a better relationship with him. Maybe once he knows that you’re feeling hurt he’ll open his eyes, even if only a little.
Let’s just say that if you don’t think about cutting your family out, but about the reasons to make it on your own, there won’t be any problem. If you have family issues, solve them, it has nothing to do with living without the need of your family.
Simple. Good luck.
I have been there thought those thoughts felt those feelings. What you have to remember is that everything you have or own or developed is because of these people (your parents). Don’t ever forget that; it will serve you incredibly well.
Other than that I think what @filipek, said first is spot on. Figure out what you want to do and then do it. Clearly your mom wants you to do well so use that love as a spring board to achieve your dreams. Good Luck!
@nikkif, I agree that I could have used a more polite language, but it would not change the content of my message. I am a spoiled Westerner myself, and as a Psychologist and sufferer of depression, according to DSM-IV, myself, I know what I am talking about, not only because of my theoretical knowledge, but more even due to my experiential knowledge.
I have been in the same position, complaining about everything, putting the blame on external factors, victimizing myself as if the whole world was spinning around me, but nevertheless I kept fighting, searching for ways to get out of the downward spiral I found myself in.
Yes, we suffer from our own problems in the Western world, and I am not saying one problem is different as in better/worse than other problems, but that does not change the fact that YOU are your own creator, YOU at every moment in time can make the decision to change your perspective towards these problems.
In fact, problems do not exist, there are only objective situations, and we by our perspective and views create problems out of those situations.
The problem with classifying depression as depression, as in with many other trending syndromes like ADHD, is that we classify these problems too quickly. I mean, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy at times, people who in fact are going through natural development stages, are being classified and victimized as being depressed, and especially children will start believing in these kind of things because they have no clue, and instead believe in what they are ‘indoctrinated’.
I will not deny that physical and verbal abuse is extremely difficult to deal with, especially as a child, but we are not children anymore are we? The TS is 19, you are 21, both adults as acknowledged by law. I am not talking about the past here, I am talking about what you can do RIGHT NOW.
If I would be speaking to a child, I would change my tone obviously, using a different approach, but since I speak to adults I am straightforward and direct in what I am saying. Moreover, since this is an internet forum, I cannot judge what type of person you are, therefore I use similar approaches to everybody stating similar problems.
Of course you cannot change people if they do not want to change, but why would you? As long as you change your perspective, as long as you change what you want to change within yourself, you will see the world around you changing! When you walk around on the streets, smiling all the time, you will see people smiling back. When you walk around on the streets, with a frowned and angry face, you will see the same faces as reflections of your own attitude. We see the things not as they are, we see the things as we are, that is the truth.
Let me give some on demand advise here for the TS:
Move out of your house, find a job, study or whatever, become independent so nobody will have to tell you what to do. Make your own choices, as you believe is right, as you think will make you happy. Listen to other people their advise, but always form your own opinion. No matter if it is family or friends or strangers, if they cannot appreciate you for who you are, it is their problem. Why living up to other people their expectations and/or trying to be somebody else than you really are? What is the point in that? You are who you are, change what you can change and what you want to change, and accept what you cannot change.
Getting out of your parental environment will let you grow as a person, cultivating and developing your own beliefs, values and norms and after a while you will see the family you have been complaining so much about, is actually a lovely family, each and everybody with their own flaws and benefits. You will start loving them as they are, seeing through their flaws, accepting them with all the good and bad things. You will see that you do not have to change anybody, everybody is perfect in his/her own way, as long as you respect and accept that, you will be happy.
You will also start seeing which traits and personality characteristics are yours, which are not, which you have been taking over, consciously or unconsciously, and you will be able to form your identity more and more. It is a life long learning path, and if you want to progress in your life, you have to acknowledge and accept the fact that life is not easy! Nobody every said life was easy, life is a struggle, but that is what makes life beautiful. Just like death makes life beautiful, difficulties make life beautiful as well, because you can see and appreciate the beauty of life more.
Never give up, never lose hope, and always keep fighting. Make yourself better, in the same time making the world a better place, not only for yourself, but for all other beings as well.
@evariste, Without reading responses, I am outcast from my immediate family for my spiritual beliefs. I was raised one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and at age 18 moved out, opened my mind, and started thinking for myself.
After a few nice emails they told me that communication hurts too much, as it only reminds them of my choice to leave.
I have made peace with this, as a necessary price for my own confidence of character, but the moral for me is still to treasure the time you do get with your parents, try to understand their motives in life, because one day they will no longer be present or willing to receive your affection.
Good luck, my friend. :)
I could have a field day with the misassumptions posted by some users, but it would be more prudent of me to mention the ideas which I have found helpful.
@filipek, Even though you will undoubtedly come across as rude to those who read your posts, I can appreciate the necessity of being firm with people who have problems such as mine. I realise that people in my position often yield to a “victim mentality” which consequently acts as an excuse for any personal failure to come. I will admit that I have stopped trying to mend the relationship because I have deemed it unfixable, and this has most probably exacerbated the problem. All in all what I will remember from your post is that “I” have to take complete control of my own perspectives, actions and therein my life. I cannot look for excuses for the failures in my life, no matter how tempting or justified it may seem to the majority; it just doesn’t do me any good.
But I feel selfish only taking good advice and not giving any. To that end…You need to treat everyone as an individual; and that means respecting that we all have our “own” problems who’s degree can only be judged in comparison to the life we live, not that of anyone else’s (as mentioned by nikkif). It does absolutely no good to think of how the less fortunate manage to be happy with so little. In fact it just makes us feel shitty that we even consider our problems to “be” problems. Thoroughly unhelpful.
Thanks for your posts, I’ll soon get my shit together. =]
@nikkif, Our dad’s should live together, at least they won’t need a mirror.
For those curious, I did not post this topic in the heat of emotion, but actually deliberated on it for quite some time. It was this coolheadedness that made severing all ties quite a real possibility. But the prevailing opinion has been for me to go it alone and maintain a decent relationship. I’ll do my best. Thanks all.