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Alycat
03-13-2012, 01:18 AM
I had a conversation with my parents last weekend, where they basically said that they don't have time for me. I live away from them, but I've always gone over on Saturdays, but they're saying that they like the time to do other stuff.
Initially when they mentioned this to me I'd thought they were going to say they didn't always have time, so come over every other week or something, but it was just a 'we don't have time' full stop.
I'd been a low priority for years because I have a younger (adult) brother who has had mental health issues. I sacrificed a lot because I always knew his needs would be before mine, and I accepted that. He's finally getting better, and I'd been hopeful I'd start to be a bigger priority. Now that hope is crushed.
I just feel so scared and sad and angry. My parents are pushing me away from them. I've put up with a lot of shitty things in my life and coped, but now it's all that I can think about, and the only time I don't think about it is when I think 'well maybe I could go back to the ED'.

mollyo
03-13-2012, 07:54 AM
Hi Alycat,
That sounds really hard to hear.
Is there a way you could talk to your parents about how this makes you feel, what led to this, and what you would like (do you want a standing 'date' to see them every so often?) maybe they're exhausted.
What else is going on in your relationship or in either of your lives that might relate to this?

I remember hearing about your brother before and the difficulties it brings to your relationship with your parents. Sorry it's still hard.I understand being scared and sad and angry about this. I am wondering if they are pushing you to do other things or meet other people on your Saturday's.

sflathinker
03-13-2012, 10:02 AM
You are important. They know you have work and a boyfriend. They likely do not know you still depend on them for those visits as many adults find they don't have enough time in the week for socializing (as it sounds like for them). Can you communicate before jumping to conclusions? You may bot be able to expect weekly visits right now, but perhaps bi weekly or monthly and express how much you enjoy spending time with them. There are times I'm swamped and need personal time. Maybe rhey need time as a couple, they are still two people who need that. What else can you do on saturdays? They aren't abandoning you.

sunshinepoppy
03-13-2012, 10:24 AM
I understand rejection... I think we all do. I'm sorry it seems like your parents are pushing you away. It sounds very painful. :sad

I am wondering, though, how long you usually visit on Saturdays? If you visit for an hour and your parents don't even have that much time for you, that would be pretty hurtful. But if you go over and hang out most of the day, things might be more understandable.

Either way, it must really hurt.

You know ED behaviors won't really help. That's an illusion, don't fall for it.

Take good care of yourself, you deserve it even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

:gimmehug

nc
03-13-2012, 01:32 PM
I know this had to be hurtful to hear and I understand your feeling rejected but I am wondering the samething as sunshinepoppy. Are you spending all day there perhaps to the point where they change their plans or don't do things they want to do because of your visits?

As a parent of adult children I can tell you that as much as I love seeing my kids my husband and I relish our freedom, something we did not have for over twenty years. Since we were young (me eighteen and my husband twenty-one) we spent our lives dedicated to our children and now spend much of it dedicted to our children and grandchildren but having the freedom to come and go as we please is something that we cherish now.

Also, is there a chance that your parents are trying to push to be more independent and rely less on them for companionship?

Again, I understand your finding this hurtful but it may have nothing to do with how much or little they care about you and everything to do with them wanting to move into a new stage of their lives.

Alycat
03-14-2012, 01:02 AM
Hi Alycat,
That sounds really hard to hear.
Is there a way you could talk to your parents about how this makes you feel, what led to this, and what you would like (do you want a standing 'date' to see them every so often?) maybe they're exhausted. I tried to express my feelings when I talked about it. I can't ask for a standing date every so often, because I couldn't go round there unless I was wanted. It scares me that I'm not.

What else is going on in your relationship or in either of your lives that might relate to this? I don't know. Actually their lives are getting better, since my brother is getting better.

I remember hearing about your brother before and the difficulties it brings to your relationship with your parents. Sorry it's still hard.I understand being scared and sad and angry about this. I am wondering if they are pushing you to do other things or meet other people on your Saturday's. It's the brother bit that makes me even more angry about it. When he was sick and they wanted someone to look after him they were asking me to come over every day (I even didn't work and they just paid a bit of money towards me buying food) so I could look after him. Now he's better suddenly it's 'thanks all the same but go away'.

You are important. They know you have work and a boyfriend. They likely do not know you still depend on them for those visits as many adults find they don't have enough time in the week for socializing (as it sounds like for them). Can you communicate before jumping to conclusions? You may bot be able to expect weekly visits right now, but perhaps bi weekly or monthly and express how much you enjoy spending time with them. There are times I'm swamped and need personal time. Maybe rhey need time as a couple, they are still two people who need that. What else can you do on saturdays? They aren't abandoning you. I did the communication thing with them. Dad had suggested this plan a few weeks ago and I'd been really upset, but my T suggested maybe I'd misunderstood and they just wanted to cut it down to seeing me every other weekend or something. Turns out I hadn't misunderstood. They were very clear the next time we spoke.
Since I've been pretty depressed the past few weeks, chances are I'll be spending my Saturdays curling in a ball and waiting for it to end.
And yes, they are abandoning me. They are saying they no longer want to spend time with me.

I understand rejection... I think we all do. I'm sorry it seems like your parents are pushing you away. It sounds very painful. :sad

I am wondering, though, how long you usually visit on Saturdays? If you visit for an hour and your parents don't even have that much time for you, that would be pretty hurtful. But if you go over and hang out most of the day, things might be more understandable.

Either way, it must really hurt.

You know ED behaviors won't really help. That's an illusion, don't fall for it.

Take good care of yourself, you deserve it even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

:gimmehug I had initially been going over for lunch and staying until about seven or eight in the evening, but this got extended because mum wanted company to go swimming in the morning (at half seven).
The thing is with the ED, once I get past a certain point of miserableness in my life, the ED does help in that it gives me something to hold on to. I don't know if I'm at that point right now.

I know this had to be hurtful to hear and I understand your feeling rejected but I am wondering the samething as sunshinepoppy. Are you spending all day there perhaps to the point where they change their plans or don't do things they want to do because of your visits? They've never changed their plans. If they've wanted to do something I've either gone along with it or I've said 'okay' and sat and watched TV whilst they did whatever.

As a parent of adult children I can tell you that as much as I love seeing my kids my husband and I relish our freedom, something we did not have for over twenty years. Since we were young (me eighteen and my husband twenty-one) we spent our lives dedicated to our children and now spend much of it dedicted to our children and grandchildren but having the freedom to come and go as we please is something that we cherish now. I do get that. They'd never be able to do that because my brother still lives at home and demands a lot of their attention, so me being there or not wont change that.

Also, is there a chance that your parents are trying to push to be more independent and rely less on them for companionship?

Again, I understand your finding this hurtful but it may have nothing to do with how much or little they care about you and everything to do with them wanting to move into a new stage of their lives. I am fairly independant. I live away from them, I pay my own bills (even though that barely leaves me with any money) I have a job, I have another job, I have a third job, I do volunteer work, I belong to sports groups. I've been the outsider for so long with my brother living at home still, as they will all go off on holiday together as a 'family' and stuff, and in family counselling (which I'm only invited to every so often due to the counsellors suggesting it'd be good) they even talked about me having the 'outside perspective' on him. Now they're trying to erase me completely.

rafferty
03-14-2012, 03:17 AM
My family is very close.... and we always spent time together. On Saturdays my sisters and I would go round to mum's place after our sports training - and initially it was just for lunch.... then it extended to late afternoon - and eventually one of my sisters was staying until seven or eight. After a while my mum said - "I love you all - but I need my weekend back!! I need time to do my own stuff around the house... I need time to go out and do stuff out of the house... and I need MY SPACE!!"

We didn't see how much time we were taking out of her weekend. It was Mum... of course she's love having us all there at home for the day. And she did... but when it was every weekend for hours and hours on end... when we didn't take the hint that it would be good to go home earlier... she had to flat out tell us.

She doesn't love us any less... and she wasn't abandoning us.... she just needed her own space.

Your parents aren't trying to erase you. They aren't abandoning you. They are just asking for some time to themselves. You are reading the worse case scenario into this. You are looking at it in the blackest of black and white ways. I know that in the past you've struggled with seeing shades of grey and understanding social nuances. And I think this is one of those situations. You are hearing - can you not come over on Saturdays as 'we don't want you as our daughter any more' And that's just not the case.

:love

sflathinker
03-14-2012, 06:37 AM
Your brother can't be independent but you can and your parents can get other things accomplished while he is home, because that's his home and they are used to running their errands with his there. When you come over they want to spend time together and all they are saying is that weekly visits for seven hours are too much. Perhaps they also want you to branch out and fill that time with friends of your own. Over the years I see my mom less and less but we talk more. She leads a busier life now that she's retired. She has new friends and hobbies and she enjoys her freedom. She doesn't love me less. Why do you associate spending time together with love or not spending time together as abandonment?

mollyo
03-14-2012, 07:30 AM
Sounds like this request and your feelings around it would make an excellent topic for family therapy.
Can you tell your parents you would like to have a family therapy session, either with your T or theirs?

It might help everyone understand each other. You might understand their motives more, it might help them see how you feel, or if they do say something about why they want you not there all day Saturday, that would be beneficial for you too.

You said your brother was getting better, maybe they are taking that opportunity to get time alone, away from both children, that they couldn't when he was worse.

I"m sorry about the family vacations. I would be hurt by that too.

How is your social life?

sunshinepoppy
03-14-2012, 07:35 AM
In the short term, dealing with this particular problem... I believe Rafferty is astute in her observations about black and white thinking. We have no control over how we feel, our feelings are our feelings. So I understand feeling "erased." That sounds incredibly hurtful and painful. BUT our thinking does influence how we feel. Changing how one views things changes our emotional reaction. What can you do to re-frame your interpretation of this situation? What can you do to find the shades of grey in this situation?

The thing is with the ED, once I get past a certain point of miserableness in my life, the ED does help in that it gives me something to hold on to.

I totally understand this. My ED works too--- to a certain extent. But it is an illusion. It may solve things in the short term, but the problems it creates in the long term are so much worse. I am trying to figure out what to do to take care of myself that doesn't involve food or ED behaviors. I have a lot of time on my hands, but it sounds like you are very busy, so that doesn't seem to be a problem.

What does your life lack? What do you want to feel about your life, that you don't feel now?

Don't think I am getting distracted, your problem right now is coping with your family. But coping with your family will be easier if your life is not just busy, but fulfilling.

Do try to take care of yourself.

:gimmehug

bellydancer
03-14-2012, 08:43 AM
Hi Aly,

I don't read what you've written as your parents don't want to spend time with you. They are saying that they would like a little space. A seven to twelve hour visit once a week, would be a bit much for a lot of people. Even if you are a chill house guest, it can still be stressful to have someone in your space when you just want some alone time. I know that it might seem frustrating because your brother is there, but that might be all the more reason why they feel the need to have a little space.

If you're working three jobs, then spending your whole Saturday with your parents is likely a significant chunk of your downtime. If I had a child your age, who spent that much time with me, I would be concerned that they a) are still too dependent on me and b) that they aren't developing their own interests.

Could you look at this through another filter? If you had a friend or a relative that came over for their entire Saturday every week and hung out at your house, and you said "Hey, I enjoy spending time with you, but could we change the visit schedule a little?" Would you consider that to be a rejection of that friend?

nc
03-14-2012, 11:19 AM
I think you are seeing this in the worst possible light when I don't think that is necessarily the case. I get that what you are writing is what you heard but I wonder if it was really what was said.

I am going to go back to me life as an example as I can speak more from the stage of life your parents are in. We own a house in one city but currently rent an apartment and live in another city due to my husband's work. My youngest son, his wife and their six year old live in our house and take care of things for us. It works well for everyone as my daugher-in-law just finished nursing school, my son got laid off and went back to college to finish his degree so it is a win-win situation for all involved.

All of our furniture is there, we have clothes in the closet and the master suit is only occupied by us. When we are there things are very relaxed because we are used to our own routines, we have a rythm. If I want space and want to spend the day in my room on the computer and such I can and do.

Now when my other son, his wife and kids come over it is very different. I can't spend my day doing what I want as I have to make sure I am giving them my attention.

It is not about favorites or wanting to be around one more than another, it is just about being able to relax.

It sounds like your parents have a pretty full plate dealing with your brother and it makes sense they would attend therapy together since they are the ones responsible for his care. And since you do not live there it would make sense that you would only attend a session every now and then at the therapists suggestion. It also sounds like they will have the burden of care for your brother for much of their lives. At what point are they allowed to ask that their needs be met, at what point are they allowed to take time for themselves without their love being questioned?

I think you are so sensitive to the belief that your parents love your brother more than you that you can't wrap your mind around the fact that this likely has nothing to do with you and more about your parents simply wanting some more down time.

As an independent, adult woman what other things can you do with your Saturdays other than spend them with your parents? How about inviting friends do to things? Going out and enjoying time with single people your age instead of your parents?