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Should you deal with or cut off family who don't accept you?
I'm having a hard time dealing with my family because they do not accept me and tell me off because:
I'm not social and don't have friends or a boyfriend, and prefer staying home and studying.
I'm not super skinny: I usually exercise around 4 times a week but I have a BMI around 25 as I can sometimes eat too much.
My part time job isn't good enough for them: The only thing I could get was pushing trolleys which I actually prefer because I don't like dealing with customers, plus despite the fact I'm not skinny I'd say I'm reasonably fit from going to the gym, but because I'm female it's not considered good enough.
What would people recommend? Should I just deal with the fact I'm not good enough for my family (+ any suggestions to learn to do this), or should I try to move out? I'm on ~$400 a week, the lower range of rent is around $300, but I'm not really sure how much I'd need to live by myself. Thanks for any suggestions
Great avatar by the way and an excellent thread topic too!
I understand where you are coming from as I was always critcised when I was young too and it can be a pain
Cutting off contact with parents can sometimes do more harm than good depending on the reason involved
You prefer staying at home and studying....That is a fantastic attitude to have....You are amazing for having the focus to do so....and good on you too!
Pushing trolleys is great....it also saves a fortune in gym memberships too..I did the same in year 12!
Your weight....(no matter what it is)....doesnt define you as a person or the quality of person you are 45987. Only if its okay...can I ask who is making comment about your weight?
I see an amazing proactive person.....Just from what you have posted above....you are an achiever!!
I really hope you can post back when its convenient for you. There are many super kind people that can be here for you....As for a decision.....I wouldnt make one at this time....
The forums are a judgement free and Safe place for you to post. Your privacy and well being is paramount here
my kind thoughts for you
Hello. I see you have made some posts but I still want to welcome you to the forum.
Is there some overriding reason why your family do not accept you? I am certain the reasons you describe are very hurtful but I wonder why they feel they cannot accept you. Is this a new thing? I have to say the reasons you give for not being good enough seem a bit unkind and fairly trivial. What do the rest of your family do? Do you have any siblings?
May I ask how old you are and if you are at school/college/university. I ask because you mention you prefer studying to going out. Are you studying any particular subject? Sorry about all the questions, it's hard to give answers without knowing some background.
Living away from home. You will need to talk to CentreLink about rent assistance if you leave home and possibly about some additional financial assistance. I know you can get rental assistance but how much and how it is calculated I don't know. So some research for you to do. Also check with your local real estate people to see what accommodation is available and the cost.
To work out your weekly living expenses start with groceries. Walk round one of the supermarkets with a list of food you would buy and list the cost. You will need to pay for your phone and electricity (and gas if it's at the property) plus insurance for your personal possessions. What travelling expenses do you have for work and any other regular outing? Ideally you should be setting aside a small amount every week for haircuts, new clothes and any other activities such as going to the gym. You will also need bond money to move into rented accommodation and that's usually about two weeks rent.
So work out your anticipated costs and compare with your income plus anything CentreLink may pay you. Another option is to share accommodation with someone and reduce some of your expenses that way.
Do you think your family believe they are teasing you and have no idea how much they hurt you? Surprisingly this can often be the case. Which family member do you get on best with? Have a chat with this person and see why the the family appear to be upset with you.
OK I think that's enough to start with. If you can give us some family background about these apparent prejudices against you it would be helpful. Do your homework and see what you can afford.
For what it's worth, you sound like am amazing young person. Studious, hard working, smart, fit and very capable. There is just so much to be proud of.
I can't help thinking that something really doesn't make sense with regard to your family's behaviour. Could be that their expectations are simply unrealistic. Or it's possible that your family just don't realise that you are taking their comments to heart.
Have you ever told them how you feel?
Before you make any big lifestyle changes perhaps you could let one or all of them know how upset you are. Perhaps you could talk about ideas for change.
Kind thoughts to you
Thanks for everyone's responses. To clarify what wasn't clear, I'm going into my third year of university (I'm currently 20, 21 in August), but I'm set on doing a masters that will take another 3 years (in a totally different area, because my first choice was definitely a mistake). I initially choose Commerce(Actuarial Studies), because I incorrectly thought it was mainly about maths, and it's super in demand and you don't need to be social to get a job, but it turns out basically the opposite is true, so I'm aiming for engineering now which from what I can tell fits my interests better, has more vacancies and has less pressure to be a social/outgoing person. So I guess it's understandable that I should think about moving out soon, seeing as it's not like I'm still in high school.
I'm an only child, but I have cousins who are doing the usual teenage/young adult thing (Going to the clubs, getting pregnant ect.), which I feel my family would prefer because they're social.
I feel a lot of it comes from older grandparents, and is sexism/their ideals of what a female should be and act like, which I clearly don't fit into. It's also mainly my grandparents making the comments about my weight. My parents are more annoyed I choose the wrong degree and want to keep studying, however I offer to pay board and they don't take me seriously.
Thanks for sharing a little more about yourself. So, I can add insightful, courageous and ambitious to your list of virtues! Good on you. Rest assured you are definitely on a good path and making sound decisions.
If your grandparents are disappointed and can only see a "weight problem" that's their issue, not yours. Try to ignore the comments or reduce your exposure to them or both.
The financial cost of tertiary education is not insignificant for students or families. Depending on your parents situation, they may be legitimately worried about the potential impact of your longer study period on their retirement plans.
Given you are working I think it reasonable you contribute to household costs. You made a good suggestion, so not sure why they haven't taken it up. Perhaps there are other issues at play? Have they explained their reluctance?
Having said all that, given your age, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to move out of the family home. It might be good for you to gain some new independence and spread your wings a bit.
My 20 year old son moved out whilst studying at uni. He enjoyed the freedom and independence but moved home again a year later due to costs.
You might want to consider a shared living arrangement with other students to keep costs down. You will likely need more hours or another part time job as it will be more expensive than you think. But it is do able.
Kind thoughts to you
Welcome back, it's nice to hear from you even if it is because things are not 100% for you at the moment. Come back to talk problems over is a pretty good move.
I guess the first thing I want to say is that finding you are doing the wrong degree early on - just as you have - and then taking action is wise, and a lot more than many students do, who just keep on plugging away at something they are either not good at or will never enjoy.
So switching is sensible, and hopefully you can gain some credits for what you have done already.
A BMI of 25 is at the top end of NORMAL, so a sensible lifestyle to keep it that was is all that is required. If others criticize please try to regard it as a reflection on their limitations.
The fact you have a part time job is great , and if it is not idea it is still a means to an end, we all have to do things we find onerous to meet our goals. Again if others turn their noses up it is their problem.
Parents learn their mistakes on the first (or only) child. This does not mean they learn perfectly, there are many different types of parents each with strengths and weaknesses. I would think the most important thing is do they love you and see you as a person?
Moving out has all sorts of unexpected ramifications and I'd not want to advise you, obviously finances come into it, however how you will feel on your own, and what effect it might have on your relationships with your parents/grandparents are other things to consider.
Basically is this an annoyance, or something deeply destructive? Please bear in mind that anyone with an anxiety condition (as I have too) can see things in a worse light than it often warrants.
With paying family rent/board, if you feel it is fair just do it, leave the money in an appropriate place regularly.
You sound a very sensible, motivated and capable person and your parents (& grandparents) should be proud of you
You've had some great replies.
I thought I'd just rubber stamp many of the vomments already made.
Firstly, I wouldn't cut off your family. Yes it is wrong about the wright comments and judgemental about you job...very inappropriate comments. They had their choices in life at your age, these are your choices now. Pity they dont see the wonder in your efforts that we strangers do.
I also dont blame you for pushing trolleys. Less customer contact is a good thing for many of us.
I would respond to your familys comments firm, direct, calm and with few words as possible.
Eg "you can get a better job than pushing trolleys" answers possible
-arent you proud of me? Why?
-dont you want me to do something I enjoy? Why?
Notice I adk the question that puts the emphasis back on them. Keep asking hard hitting questions so they are accountable.
Say at the end "well I'm proud of myself and that's what matters, I'd love my parents to be also but I'm not hete to live up yo others expectations "
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So, I dont think it is justified in disowning your family, they are irritating but not toxic, they just havent accepted you as an adult.
But moving out? Yep, explore it, maybe board with another female but try to find out her lifestyle before you do. A bungalow/caravan in a backyard would be my choice.
Great to hear from you again. So pleased Croix commented about the BMI. I thought it sounded OK but not entirely certain of how it's worked out. I am losing weight at the moment but it's a huge struggle. Keeping to a reasonable diet and exercise will save lots of heartache and soul-searching in the future. It is hard to be compared with the super-thin girls but I wonder how many health related difficulties they will encounter later in life. If it really concerns you have a chat to your GP but do not beat yourself up about it. Life has more to offer than that.
Leaving home does not necessarily mean disowning the family, or not unless this is how they would view it. You have stayed at home longer than my children who all went to uni away from here or decided to see the world a little. I think moving out may settle a few doubts in your mind. If it works out OK and you do not feel lonely then it's great. Having people around can be an unrecognised benefit, just knowing someone is there. I have to say I enjoy living on my own but I am much older than you and I am on my own because I separated from my husband after the children left. So horses for courses.
When/if your family voice their opinions about you I think it will be more productive to say something "Thank you for your opinion. I have decided to do.... because it works better for me". Getting into an argument about why this or why that can be extremely distressing. No matter what you say they will always want the last word so cutting the conversation immediately can be hugely beneficial for you. If someone tries to insist on talking to you on the subject try to say "This is my decision and I do not want to discuss it further". Walk away.
I have no doubt you will feel a little upset doing this but not nearly as much as listening to constant re-runs. Also you will manage better every time until it no longer causes distress. Hopefully in a very short time.
I feel like a grandma saying this but then I am a grandma so maybe it's OK. When you are able to focus on your own needs you will become more comfortable with your decisions. Having time away from your family may be the very thing you need. Try not to burn your bridges when/if you go. Keeping in contact with your family is generally a good thing. Living apart will give your family a view of you as an adult and your confidence will help you be part of the family when you choose.
Hope this helps.