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    Vicka
    Participant

    I decided to move in with my parents for a little over 3 months while I prepare for Aliyah. I lived across the country before. I thought it would be good for me financially and for me to see my grandpa more often. He 95, and I feel I wont see him again once I make Aliyah and I havent seen him much when I moved across country. To make a long story short, my parents are very difficult. Its been a week and I am already in tears and Im freaking 33. My whole family is so disrespectful to each other including uncles and cousins. I always had to keep a distance. I even recently told my brother I want nothing to do with him. I’ve lived separate from them since 21. I left and my brother left to get away from them. At that age we made mistakes because we had no foundation. I’m trying now to survive these 3 months with coping skills, looking forward to my new life far away from anyone. Its like Im trying to program my brain to be a certain way that I think would help such as keeping a distance. Most of the issues happened now over the weekend bc they’re home.  I’m  in my room, trying not to step out unless I need something. I feel like Im in a prison like I used to be when I lived with them and I escaped before. It took so much to escape and family was all against me bc Im the bad daughter for not taking care of my parents. I had my freedom. I had lovely apartments and full reign, no one ever yelled at me or put me down. I know its temporary and I should be grateful. And I am but I dont know how Im going to get through these next 3 months.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Hi Vicka, this sounds very hard and I’m sorry you’re going through this. One, As I was reading your post, a module from DBT called Interpersonal relationships came to mind. There’s an acronym called FAST (this is handout #7 in the teens book), which is helpful for keeping and maintaining your self-respect. The F is for being Fair to yourself and the other person. The A is for Apologies; don’t over apologize for something legitimate that you did, such as making a request. The S is for Sticking to your values and opinions. I guess this part would probably help the most. If you feel you’re not being treated with respect and others are mistreating you , you can brainstorm ways of standing up for yourself assertively. In conjunction with this skill, is another one called GIVE (this is handout #3 in the teens book). The G is for being respectful. The I is for Listen and act interested. The V is for Validating. And the E is for easy manner (using humor, smiling…) Putting this all together and practically speaking, I would say to perhaps validate them in a way that doesn’t effect or hinder your self respect. (I’m sure you’re doing this all or something to this effect, but I’m mentioning it to put the entire picture together. Also, I hope this is clear. If it’s not, please PM me and I’ll further clarify it) Second, is there someone you can stay by for even a short amount of time? Can you get out for the most of part of the day and not be around them as much?

    Lastly, remember that they may or may not respond to any of this. Hopefully they will. But either way, remember that you’re doing your very best.

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    Vicka
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi this sounds very interesting. Thank you for sharing. Where can I read this in full? I have a question about the GIVE module based on incident today of emotional abuse from my mother. My parents have an issue with me gaining weight and they bring it up every day. My mom and I had a nice few hours of me teaching her a dish I make with cauliflower. I was excitable so I went to her and I asked if she’d like me to make my stew with sweet potato. I think she got defensive and instead of saying no I dont want or whatever she said ‘dont you eat alot?’, I think she was pushing away my offer due to intimidation (my family is always intimidated by me and try to put me down) or because she doesnt know how to communicate directly (which she doesnt at all). In that moment I felt hurt, I asked ‘why, shouldnt I eat well?’. How would the GIVE model play in that dynamic or can it?

    I did think about being around less during weekend bc this past weekend was very hard for me. Like I want to see my grandpa once a week or so and I think Ill do it over the weekend. Especially my dad is painting this weekend and I want my car looked at. So it will keep me busy Saturday. So Ill keep trying to figure out ways to be gone on weekend as much as possible and stay in my room or walk my dog in evening. Hopefully my job will start soon, Ill be working from home.

    Thank you for your time and information,

    Vicka

     

     

     

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    Chany
    Participant

    hi Vicka, this does sound like a really tough situation. One of the only solaces i can think of immediately is that it is very temporary. The more you can remember this the more bearable i hope it will be. The DBT ideas sound brilliant i just don’t know about it, so if you can implement any part of it can likely help as well. I was also thinking how you mentioned you moms most recent hurtful comment can come from intimidation. It almost sounds like she’s so afraid of getting close to you because it will end in hurt so she tried to push you away before you can hurt her (not that I’m saying you would but in her mind there may be an association that goes something like close with vicka = hurt). Another thought, is she in therapy? I’m assuming you’re speaking to someone but maybe not. i think that both of you individually speaking with someone and getting stronger individually and then working on repairing the relationship from a stronger place can be a great idea. Even though you’re going far away your parents will always be your parents for better or for worse so investing in healing the relationship even while its a long distance and somewhat restrained relationship will help you heal and help you while you move on to other significant relationships down the line. Hope this makes sense and wasn’t taken in any offensive way. i admire your hard work in trying to make something so difficult and painful work.

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    Fern Weis
    Participant

    Vicka, my daughter is almost 29 and made aliyah 8 or 9 years ago.  In our case, we knew that a big of part of that was running away from us and the family dynamic.  (There is a lot of history form when her brother was in trouble as a teen, and the role she took on then.)

    Our situation is not the same as yours, but there are similarities. We love each other to pieces; however, when she comes home to visit, some of us fall into old patterns of behavior and reactions and it can be unpleasant.  It’s gotten better, but for me, there is always a bit of anxiety when she and her dad are struggling to be heard and validated by each other.

    You’ve been given some good suggestions.  Perhaps you can work with a therapist or coach to help you better implement.  It sounds like there are no boundaries in your family, and you are challenged to create them for yourself without inciting a war.  Getting some support could really help.  I’m 63 and only recently learning how to do that.  (I grew up never knowing that you can disagree with people and they could still like you or love you! What a surprise, after all those years of being a super people-pleaser, to know that I can speak my truth and not be rejected!)

    Best to you as you work through this.  And remember that these are skills and mindsets that will help you in all relationships.  I hope you figure it out sooner than I did.  <3

     

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    Vicka
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for your message. And congratulations on building awareness and acceptance over the issues you have with your daughter. My parents would just make excuses like children and parents in history have always disagreed without the understanding that there could be discussion and ways to bring us closer. But at same time in our case, all I want is distance. I cant forgive for the past, some things I can but not the violence which they completely deny. For that I want to be far away.

    It is interesting though, since I wrote by initial post and my dad and I had two fights things have been calm. They might be making more of an effort to be nice and I avoid the previous triggers such as plastic bags. Bc we’re in NYC there’s strict recycling and its different from what Im used in Texas. Im very big into recycling. So I just decided that if any plastic bag touches my hand, Im putting in a separate bag under my desk and taking it in a bin next time Im at Wholefoods. So Im not throwing things out wrong. It would be nice if they would just explain how they want things but my parents were always incapable of that so I rather just go around it for next 3 months. Maybe Ill figure it out over time. But I know if something is done wrong he’ll scream and then that one little mistake will turn into completely bashing me as a person, my looks, everyone says how horrible I am, etc. Dont need that.

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    Chany
    Participant

    Well I’m glad things settled down a bit at least since you had posted. It makes a lot of sense that as an adult you have different ways of managing your life and responsibilities. Your parents as older adults have that too and since its their home they seem to feel keen on letting everyone know that its their way or the highway. I think your making a healthy decision to live in your own home or at least out of their home since your intent on living as an independent adult, and you have that every right at your age. I do believe and hope it will be easier to tolerate the relationship with great distance and i think your doing your best now to be cautious and gentle not to invoke any fights. Its a very difficult way to live and thankfully it’s ever so temporary. I can imagine that 3 months can feel like eternity when your going through this so make sure you are doing things to give yourself a some relief. A walk in the park alone, frequent coffee dates with good friends, a massage, indulging in a good book, gardening… You got this!

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Hey Vicka, I feel your pain annoyance and frustration. It’s so hard when certain dynamics don’t change even though we change and mature. Sometimes when we’re back in a certain place things seem to fall into a rhythm as if we’ve never been gone or moved on etc. So true @fernweis

    Anyways, How are things going? any better or worse? When is your Aliya date? I hope things settled down a bit.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Vicka,

    This sounds so tough!

    I relate to going back to my parents home and feeling overwhelmed. I’ve come to realize that totally  makes sense. I lived in dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors, in that very environment, for many years. It’s only natural to revert to them.

    When I have moments of sanity in that environment, that’s the miracle!

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    Vicka
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for your comment. Things are relatively quiet. Im avoiding items that seemed to trigger my dad. To outsider it may seem ridiculous. It certainly does to me. One trigger was i was i guess placing plastic bags in wrong place and he keeps the clear ones for himself .i recycle as much as possible and have different understanding of recycling than they do. To avoid conflict over something so trivial i decided any plastic bag that touches my hands will go into a bag under my desk and then ill take them to wholefoods dumping bin. Which im currently doing . Survival mode. I guess ill do well in the wilderness alone. Aliyah is in October. Im waiting to get clients right now. Thats primary stressor right now. Shabbat Shalom.

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    Vicka
    Participant
    Topic Author

    I think every time i go back even for few days i learn and understand more about their behavior and how ive internalized it. I think that helps me to become more aware. Maybe i still have a chance at a healthy relationship. I think about that alot. Will everything be different when I Aliyah or will i still stay the same and just as alone as ive been for 33 yrs. If thats the case i can live with that. Ive still done well. With people coming into my life when i need them. If i don’t have a family , it will give me more time and energy to focus on my new career. Which is priority anyway. But what if its all possible .

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Hey, so thankful to hear that things have stabilized a bit. I think its great that you are trying to minimize the triggers no matter how trivial it all seems from an outsider perspective. I think all families/dynamics/ relationships have weird triggers that only make sense in their context. So don’t judge yourself for that!

    As far as your worries about the future, i think you are doing the best you can right now, like you said, survival mode. I believe once you are in new surroundings you can work towards new goals. Theres a jewish saying, that a change of place brings a change of mazal so there’s supporting hope in that too. And yes, it’s hard to believe but i think it is all possible. That is, with hard work! Just like achieving anything we want in life. With the effort and perseverance it is possible. Sometimes the journey is so difficult that we like to believe it’s not possible because that gives us a reason/permission to opt out or quit, but we can’t get fooled by that mind manipulation (speaking to myself here as well :))

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    Vicka
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Besides all the work involved in making Aliyah I also feel the need to safe guard this move from my relatives and some family. I dont have much of a relationship with my brother. Half a year ago my mom in her anxiety told him my plans. I knew she would and kept forgetting to tell her not to. It was too early for anyone else to know plus I dont trust him. He would never be supportive on anything. Only negative bc I feel he is jealous and competitive. Over new years I came to NYC specifically to talk to my parents face to face about my plans. Bc my brother already heard, and I found out from my sister in law who I really dont like. I decided to wait till they left. I had a day alone with my parents. But they didnt want to hear anything. Started yelling stuff. But they’ve done everything I asked and dont yell anymore. My dad doesnt ask much. He’s a person who talks like he knows without getting any actual information. So everything sounds really ridiculous. I asked everyone not to tell my grandfather, didnt want to upset him. But my grandfather is smart and was probing me with questions so I told him. He was very supportive and regrets we didnt go to Israel instead of US. Then there’s my relatives on my mother’s side who possess really negative and yucky energy. I dont like or trust them. Any detail about me would spread like wild fire across relatives and come back around to my mom through someone Ive never spoken to. I asked everyone not to tell them. Since Im also Russian, we absorbed the Russian superstitions. I even this weekend broke contact with my uncle. There have been many behaviors over many years that pissed me and my parents off. Of course my parents fed me alot about them but I see and feel for myself. My uncle likes to call to see how I am and asks questions. So it seems nice. But the mannerism and wording is always like they want me or want to continue believing that Im less than their kids. There was always competition. My brother and I are always compared  to my cousins. They’re better than us bc they have more money and houses, family, etc. My cousin is divorced. They took my grandfather to a cafe to celebrate his birthday ‘all you can eat’ cafe. People who drive luxury cars and are draped in designer clothes. I really dont like their sense of values and morals and I told my uncle I dont want to be associated with that, please dont call me. His wife is horrible. And I made commentaries about that. I want her to stay away from me and my family and not interfere. She grabbed the phone, started yelling, I yelled back. Im sure all this will resurface some day. It has to, we’ll see each other again at some point. But I finally did something to stand up for me and my family, who dont know how to, that is very difficult bc its relatives. Also relatives who sponsored us into the country. She brought that up. Like Im obligated to her now for life and supposed to allow her to do what she wants. I’ve been waiting for a complete change for 33 yrs. Maybe Im worrying too much, maybe its silly. But I do believe in negative energy and its transference.

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    alwaysworried
    Participant

    Yeah! That’s a lot of family drama! I think getting away from negative energy is a real thing and a good thing. Hopefully, it will afford you the chance to connect with yourself, learn more about yourself, and heal. I think and truly believe, you’ve got this!

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    CTab
    Participant

    I hope things have continued to change for the better, Vicka, since you last posted. It’s a tough situation you’re in but even though it’s felt hopeless look how far you’ve come. You’ve endured these last few months without even realizing it.

    I wish you the best on your Aliyah.

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