Is moving out just an escape?
January 17, 2013 8:00 PM Subscribe
Is it better to approach family issues from within, or wait until you can gain an outside perspective?
posted by cucumber patch to Human Relations (31 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Hi everyone - on preview, this question has similar aspects to one that was just posted today. However my question is a bit different, I hope, and relates to moving out in the context of solving family issues.
I've been talking to my therapist about my family situation at home (mostly to do with me feeling guilty when things aren't my fault, and feeling unable to assert myself when the parents do something I don't like), and he seems pretty firm in the idea that I should try and improve the situation for myself while still living at home, rather than running away by moving out. I think his reasoning is that the model for my relationships with other people is based on the relationships I have at home, and that that won't improve unless I change (or at least try to change) the situation at home. In contrast, from what I've seen on AskMeFi, the general advice seems to be that if you have an unhappy family situation, the best thing is to move out as soon as possible.
I tend to think that it would be easier to approach the situation once I've moved out, because I'll be able to approach my parents as more of an adult (in their view), and I'll have developed a firmer sense of self to guide me through it. But I can't deny that 'running away' is probably a big part of it, because trying to change the status quo is *hard*, and assertiveness is scary when you don't even know what your boundaries are.
I'd like to know what everyone thinks. I'm oscillating between: 1) moving out is a pretty big thing and maybe it's better to stay at home just for financial reasons (plus some unexamined guilt that I should be looking after one of my parents, who is currently high-functioning but stands to deteriorate within the next few years), and 2) I'm 23 now, I won't finish my degree until I'm 26-27, and if I stay at home until then, I'm worried about missing a whole chunk of my youth that I could've spent independent and growing and learning about myself. Do you think my therapist is right - should I stick with my family and try and do what I can now, or wait until I move out to improve my relationships? Advice and suggestions are all welcome. And sorry for the run-on sentences.