Thursday, November 4, 2010


I’ve been having rather intense nightmares lately—nightmares where my parents and I are screaming at each other.

I obviously have a lot of pent up frustration and anxieties about my relationship with them.

I’m having a difficult time truly feeling loved by them, at least in the way they say.  Their love for me feels so… cheap sometimes. I don’t feel like I belong to them anymore, like I’m their son.

I feel pushed away and abandoned.

I feel like closing the door and walking away.  With my newfound financial independency I’m having to really fight against that temptation.


  1. My advice is to focus on your life right now and less on your parents' feelings for you. I'm not saying you should put a lot of distance between you and them, but I do think that you need to let go of any need to convince them or change their views. They will probably come around in a few years, but right now that's just not where they are. They *are* rejecting you in some significant ways, but here's the thing: even though it feels intensely personal to you (they're your parents!), what's really going on doesn't really have much to do with you. They are squeezed by everything they've been taught their whole lives. Who you are contradicts their view of the world (right now).

    I know this is incredibly painful, but if there's any way you can do this, just let it be. Let them feel the way they do. Do what you can to keep the lines of communication open and participate in the family. And focus on building a life for yourself with work, friends, a relationship, activities, etc. You can build a spectacular, beautiful life.

    P.S. Congratulations on that job!

  2. What MoHoHawaii said.

    Several members of my own family (parents included) are angry with me for making the choices I've made, and that hurts a little bit.

    But it wasn't so long ago when my own Mormon upbringing had me thinking a lot of the same things they are. I've deliberately chosen not to engage them in any serious discussions or to try to convince them of anything. If they're convince-able, their minds will change naturally as I interact with them. If they aren't, all I could ever hope to do in a debate is aggravate their ill feelings and their conviction that I'm doing "wrong".

  3. I think I understand a little. My mom passed away some time ago, and my dad remarried. It has been quite a struggle because he is, shall we say, a little inattentive to his children. He doesn't mean to be. But I realize now how much effort and attention my mom devoted to us.

    Here's what I've learned: It's best to just accept your parents for who and what they are. Like all of us, the are imperfect. As painful as it might be, their relationship with us as their children may well never be what we really want or even need. But nothing good comes of having NO relationship whatsoever. I think the sooner we accept the fact that they are who they are regardless of our personal desires, the sooner we can have the best possible relationship given the limitations.

    One thing more - you are their son, but you do not belong to them in any sense. You are your own man.

  4. Thanks all; it's what I've been trying to do... well, it's what I've been doing (with bits of mistakes that shriek through with my insecurities and fears).

    ControllerOne: I admittedly used the wrong preposition. "belong with" would have more aptly described what I meant.

  5. I hope I didn't come off as smug or condescending. What I meant by my final thought was that you have tremendous value as a person independent of what parents, siblings or friends may say or do.