How do you overcome failure from parentification?

Postby TRlight » Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:57 pm

How do you deal with parentification? How do you recover from exhaustion of being overly responsible for parental duty in a young age?

Hi. I grew up with a single mom. My dad is an elder foreigner. They met in the 90s when my mom was at her most vulnerable place. She grew up very harshly. Bullied by my grandma. Forced marriage, forced abortion and public humiliation as a child. Now, she’s broken. No goals, money, motivation, or any direction in life. That became problems.

She had me when they were not ready. My dad got defrauded and bankrupt. My mom married him because of money, didn’t know what was going on. So, it made us poor growing up. Poverty put a lot of stress on a child. Hunger, survival, powerlessness, and being bullied. On top of that I’m gay. My mom was forced by my dad to not work and became a housewife. I tried to work with minimum wage of $1.3 an hour. (I live in a developing country). I’ve become a very ambitious person. With all those setbacks, I got into top school, top university, and many roles in academia. (I used to ask my mom for doing hobbies but she never approved. Not approved to have friends or relationship either. Just blindly study. Mainly due to money shortage). This scenario put so much pressure on me that I constantly having mental breakdown. Screaming, crying, being extremely agitated and violent. Almost didn’t graduate from high school.

But then, I got into the university after a gap year of healing mental issue. We thought we were going to lift our lives up from dirt and sorrow. I found out that my dad never registered me as a child. And I was born out of wedlock. I lost my dad’s nationality, inheritance, and paternity status. Although, when I was younger I asked him and my mom to review legal understanding of this matter. They ignored my advice. Only way I can get them back is by naturalizing and immigration. I was forced to study even harder to get good grades, learn language in one year, test preps, recommendations, scholarship application, and extracurricular. All to transfer university. I didn’t sleep. I was bullied a long that time too. Money stress as well. Then, I snapped. I fell back to psychiatric hospital. Pausing my studies and eventually dropped out just before Covid began.

Now, I’m home feeling suicidal before sleep and throughout the day. Feeling angry of the lack of support from my family. Getting so close to the door out of hell. But never survive. People might think why wouldn’t I leave my family? In my culture, I would get shunned by society and relatives if leaving the “poor” and “loving” parents that raised you. Basically, getting canceled from social, economic activities. People or even my therapist say I’m ungrateful. My psychiatrist always gaslight me saying I should be grateful and compassionate to my mom. Are you serious? After all of this? (But I get it. My mom made me lie to my therapist about the situation at home). It’s so weird that my culture seems to value parentification in children but then get surprised that they’re all depressed, suicidal, and hate their families.

I think I’ve done enough to save my family. While they were sleeping, spending spree, traveling, and neglecting my life as a minor. (No legal power to do anything on my own such as, registering birth, naturalization, and working legally.) It made me hate my own culture since childhood. Wanting to leave this world or this country. That’s why I studied hard. To get me out of here. But now my parent’s trap really did derail my success. I have nothing to pursue anymore. I lost all my endurance, mental power, will to live, and interest due to a long and continuous stress of at least 15 years.

I’m here to ask how can I get them all back? Not the nationality, degree, or money. But how can I force myself to want to work again? How can I force myself to want to socialize? How can I want to study again? How can I make myself want to do business? How can I start a relationship? How can I operate as an adult properly and happily? How can I not get overwhelmed by all these things? I’ve been teaching my mom how to save money, invest, selling real estate, negotiating with my dad and grandma, and how to deal with her childhood traumas since before high school. But I seem to drown underneath these tsunami of duties.

Please guys have mercy on me. If you can answer just one of these questions or having any advice please share. I’m lost. I still have little hope to not die. Thanks.
TRlight
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:31 pm

TRlight wrote: How can I operate as an adult properly and happily?


It starts by declaring, to yourself, what you truly want. Which is more important to you, to live in another country, or to become naturalized and accepted by your local community? This is not a trivial question.

Much of what you typed signals a young adult in the midst of an existential crisis. It is a young adult, struggling to establish the pillars or anchors that will define their future existence, e.g. career, relationships, community, etc.

For instance, you mention that you are gay. For most people, intimacy is a pillar of life. Therefore, to have an intimate relationship is a reasonable goal, but I don't know your culture. Will your family be accepting, what about your community?

And what did you study in university? You must have some idea of the career path you are wanting to pursue.

That is three major pillars; where you want to live, what type of relationship, and the career you wish to pursue. Once you have the pillars defined, you can begin to gain clarity on how you might make your way forward.
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#2

Postby TRlight » Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:46 pm

Hi Richard. Thank you for the reply. Warning: negativity and bitterness regarding family.

I’ve always wanting to live abroad since as far as I can remember because I saw a disaster coming my way since junior high school being in this family. When I got into university I chose international relations and political economy. Since, I like world matters, geography, economy, monetary policy. I liked it. But there was that family drama that derailed me. Now, I can’t go back to the same place. My friends and enemies are going for graduate degree or having a career now. I have mental illness and no degree :) This is so humiliating for Asian culture. (At least for my country)

I felt that my life wasn’t ruined by enemies but by a weak foundation of my family. So, my career path imploded. I have to do business. Which scares me. Without a degree here I’ll earn so little that I can’t have my own freedom. But I’m lost of how to do business. I want to get out of here in seconds. Always felt alienated since a young age. Whether it’s my gender or socio-economic status or simply “being a child” to their eyes. And doing business is going to take years to grow enough money for me to emigrate.

I really need therapy. I still feel angry of my parents for not following the law correctly resulting in me losing everything. I’m angry that if there was just one correct thing they did, it would have avoided disaster. Like, the law gave them 20 years to file for child nationality and acknowledgement. (Another Asian but rich country). Which they ignored my advice then let me know that they messed up when I was already 21. My mom not working at all the past 23 years waiting for a piece of my dad’s elder welfare money. Which made her in debt massively to my relatives.

My mom can only communicate some words with my dad. Huge language barrier that resulted in documents misunderstanding until we miss the deadline. Now, we have to pay millions. She said she stopped learning language since she was pregnant. I don’t know why she didn’t continue after. She made her life decisions by following every advice of friends, relatives, husband. Anyone but me. Whether to not buy property or not pressuring my dad to do legal work, or not to work, not to invest, moving into bad areas, sending me to bad school, registering to a corrupt clinic for healthcare.

I think because she put her life in someone else’s hand, so it’s exposed to jealous and shady people fueling her wrong decision to ruin our family. What if she could just think for herself, make her own money, and own her freedom and duties. I would have been less stressed. But she put all of that in my hands. Like I don’t care being born poor but I hate irresponsible parents with defeating mentality. I know she has her problems. But I could never dragged her to get help from psychiatrist. She’s embarrassed. I had to be her therapist. I want to heal the past mental fatigue from pushing through academia with family baggage on my mind.

I’m really sorry for ranting. I can’t give a straight idea of what I want since my mind is very clouded by my family hell lot of karma. I still deal with my resentment. It’s so painful to be told as the hero of the family to save their lives but them dragging my progress a long my way to success. Putting traps for me to fail. Now, I’m dependent on them forever. I’m just here to try to set myself free. I’m sorry if I sound too negative or vain. I just want you to understand my thought process. I know I’m not a perfect human being. I just feel that my life is a punishment. But I couldn’t voice this criticism to anyone from where I am.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:44 pm

TRlight wrote: I can’t give a straight idea of what I want...


Not knowing what you want or where you want to go is a problem. How do you plan to fix that problem?

No one can fix it for you. Only you can decide what you actually want.

And I'm not talking about what your family expects, or society expects. I'm talking about what you want that you think you can reasonably obtain. In other words, I might want to be a fighter pilot, but in my case that is entirely unreasonable.

In addition, I'm not necessarily talking about some grand, huge, big "want" that will require an immense amount of effort. I think this might be one of the issues you are facing. Most of what you have written is about high level, complex issues that involve goals that often require years to accomplish.

Instead, start with establishing a few things that you want and that are reasonable for you to be able to obtain. Start with some smaller goals. Focus on things you want that you can obtain in the next two to four weeks.
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#4

Postby TRlight » Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:25 am

In case of 2-4 weeks, would be to list my mom’s house and property on sell so we can move city. I’m still very lost on what to do for myself even on daily basis. I’m not sure if I’ve become depressed or not. But we have to get out of here. That’s what I and my mom agreed on. To be away from this house, city, and relatives. Back story is she was always scared of her mom. So, I’ve negotiated my mom to sell her property since high school because we were running out of cash flow. And She’d also like to have the fund to start a food business. But my grandma always objected even it’s not in her name. Because she thought we could sell the land for 10 million but actually it’s 700k on average in that area. Very unrealistic I know. And that kept my mom borrowing money from my grandma for years.

My mom is just too scared to let her mom down. But few days ago my grandma told her to stop borrowing money from her and my uncle. So now, my mom gets it. She’s listening to me now after 10 years. We’ll have to do it no matter what. To runaway and start a new life. Where she can work without any shame from neighbors and relatives.

And I can hide myself from relatives as well. Because nobody knows what happened. And my mom is scared to be disowned second time in her life.
So, we made a decision to never go back unless we become multimillionaire or I get out of this country whether by saving money, having successful career, or marriage.

It’s dramatic I know. I wished to never have to be this serious with life too lol. And being a silly kid like my friends. But I can’t help it. Most of my family members are farmers only fews in bureaucracy with enormous ego to climb out of poverty. Jealousy and competition is fierce in my mom’s hometown.

Btw, I think probably changing environment might lighten me up and I can figure out what I want. Since, this house is full of dramas. Too cloudy for good judgment or unhealthy for mental health. By being near a beach surrounded by tons of tourists (after they open from lockdown) would definitely rejuvenate my liveliness. And I can help with my mom’s business as well if she has actually decided to turn her life around for good. But in short term, I think I can list the properties on sell. That’s what I want and got permission from my mom.
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