|03-14-2011, 06:19 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
Is it neccessary to be close to my codependent family member?
I live with my family. My mom, dad, and bro. Plus my bro's girlfriend who frequently stays over. We are Chinese in ethnicity.
My mom is a very negative person. I feel that she is mean to me. She likes to criticise me, complains about me and make sarcastic remarks. She sees me as an extension of herself and tries to live her life through me.
It took me 2+ years of counselling and life coaching to build up the self esteem that she destroyed. Even when I broke up with my ex-husband, all she was concerned about was the shame that I brought to the family, and embarassed and apologetic to my ex husband that i was the "guilty" one who walked out on him. She was not able to be on my side.
I have learned to stand up for myself, such that my mom no longer freely bosses me around, nor tries to mother me. She's stopped talking to me, because now that I do not allow her to use me as her emotional punchbag, she finds that she has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to talk about with me. But if she sees an opportunity to put me down or be sarcastic, she would still do it.
I notice that as I become more independent and assert myself, she starts to play power struggle game with me in new ways. It appears to me that she is withdrawing her support in our relationship. She stops cooking my favourite dishes. She starts to complain that i have too many shoes in the house, She insists that I should only hang my laundry on certain days. She seems to be trying to corner me in the house. In fact, when I asserted myself about my shoes, she said, "if this is your own home, you do what you like with your shoes."
For the first time in my life, I begin to feel like I am an outsider in the home now. Where formerly she used to consider me an embarassement for living outside the family and begged me to go home, now she seems to now look upon me as being an invasion in her space. I feel as if I'm being pushed out of the home.
I feel sad about the state of the relationship. I used to be "close" to her, when I was her pliant daughter. She "doted" on me, but in the codependent way. But now we are so distant.
Still I cannot bring myself to be "close" to her. I don't understand how I can be close to a woman who is so cold and negative, and who treats me with no respect. My brother is close to her. My mom expresses concern to him via worrying and babying him and he accepts it. My dad is close to her, but she also constantly criticise him and put him down. He accepts it. I feel that she does not respect Dad. I vowed to myself to never behave like that to my partner.
I feel closer to dad and bro. But dad is a traditional chinese man who does not talk much. Bro's ok, but he's now very attached to girlfriend.
Is it neccessary for me to be build relationship with mom?
People often says, "blood is thicker than water" uyadayada, "Your family is the most important things in the world..." yada ... The oriental confucianistic society expects the family to be close-knitted. In fact, the government here has just implemented a law to punish adult children who do not feed/house their aged parents.
But I am not sure what is to benefit from any attempt to be close to them.
I do not really want to be close to them. That is contrary to social norm.
I intend to move out once I have my finances in order. That is contrary to social norm. Society will look upon me strangely. "wat's wrong with you? how come u don't live with your parents? can't get along with your parents? don't u respect your parents? what? you prefer freedom? ISn't that selfish of you ? "
But I think my personal freedom and self respect are more important. so i will move out.
I hope my future partner can understand why I am not close to my family. I feel embrassed that I have problem talking to my family, esp mom.
Am I making the right choice, or am I being unneccessarily judging on my family members?
|03-15-2011, 05:38 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
Do you also feel like me, that as you assert your individuality , your mother starts to withdraw or reject you?
|03-15-2011, 11:18 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I can't have a relationship with someone like her. For me, I need to be in relationships with people who are at least willing to be honest with themselves and me and who will show me that much respect to be honest with me, instead of lying which creates distrust, which is what both my parents have created.
I can't be in a relationship with a person who rifles through and reads my personal journals and then lies to me about how it happened, and then blames ME for "damaging the relationship" for being open and honest with them.
Relationships are a two way street, and when one person is willing to work on it and the other isn't...then it ain't gonna work. Both have to be willing to look at where they are contributing to the breakdown and commit to work towards something better. When parents are in denial about their own behavior (which they usually are) it makes it VERY difficult indeed to want to be close to them. Just because they brought you into the world does not give them license to behave like ******** to their kids, and think they can get away with it and still have the kids on a leash as adults.
It must be doubly hard with the chinese ethos hanging over you. The way your society is structured is so that the kids take care of all the family regardless of what they personally want, so I commend you for taking the road less travelled. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting to have a life free from this crap. Be selfish.
Last edited by elucidate; 03-15-2011 at 11:20 AM.
|03-16-2011, 12:38 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
I can understand what you're going through. I'm Chinese as well, my parents being old fashioned.
They criticize and expect me to follow every one their orders. When I question it, they tell me that "it's for your own good." Or, "If I didn't care about you, I wouldn't be giving you advice."
Very hard to deal with, for sure. Individualism is frowned upon.
|03-16-2011, 02:59 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
i am turning 35 later this year, and so will be legally of age to buy an apartment.
I believe I can rent out a room, and use the rental to service the monthly house loan.
If all goes well, i will move out by next year.
|03-20-2011, 10:06 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2009
I have several friends who have very traditional Chinese families (although they are in the US right now), and I've gotten the impression that this family structure/culture you're experiencing is VERY common in Chinese culture--and that you have two options: submit or get out.
Obviously you've chosen to get out, and I think that will definitely serve you best. I know respecting family is extremely important in Chinese culture, and that's a great philosophy--to a point. You have to respect yourself too (as you said), and you do not need to put up with an abusive person, even if that person is your mother.
So my opinion? Yes, you're making the right choice. No, you're not being unnecessarily judging. And no, you do not need to build a relationship with your mother. You can try to when you have distance if that's important to you, but my experience with Chinese families tells me that it's unlikely you'll be able to have a good relationship with her.
I assume based on what you've said that you're living in China? That could definitely make things hard on you, because of the culture, but it's entirely possible to attract a partner who is like-minded and values freedom and self-respect like you do.
|03-20-2011, 10:20 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
thx for the reply. it's kinda comfrotng to know that i'm not alone in this. there are others like me, even chinese in usa.
Last edited by BellyGirl; 03-20-2011 at 10:24 AM.
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