Dealing with parental pressures to find a job
June 18, 2014 12:43 AM Subscribe
I recently graduated, but I'm already feeling pressure to find a job now or else be bombarded with my mom's criticism. How should I deal with this until I get work?
posted by bluekazoo to Human Relations (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Last Saturday, I went to commencement for my Statistics degree. I'd ideally have secured a position as an actuary at some big insurance company, but that didn't happen so I'm living with my parents and younger sister for a while.
I've already sent out about 18 job applications since then and have been learning some admin skills that would help me in my profession (VBA and Access). I've also been studying a bit for exams which I need to advance in my career later on. However, I still am worried about how I come off to my parents while I'm still unemployed.
I also have anxiety and depressive issues since I have a tendency to ruminate on my "failures" and discount my positive traits or successes. I've felt this way since I was in elementary school, and haven't managed to find a good way to distance myself from these destructive thought patterns to this day. I couldn't even enjoy my commencement because I kept thinking about how my grades could've been better and how my roommate situation could've been happier if I had just tried harder or been a better person or something.
The main problem:
My mom tends to be very critical of me. My dad assures me that she's really proud of me for my achievements (getting a good degree at a good college in 3 years instead of 4) but she's terrible at showing it. Maybe it's because she grew up in much less favorable circumstances as an immigrant, but Since I wasn't happy at my commencement, she bombarded me the next day with how selfish I was then and how I should've worked harder so that I could've become more like the people who got 4.0's in two majors and completed research, and such. She's also really critical of my weight and tells me I won't get hired because my interviewer (should I get any) don't like fat people. She also expressed anger that I couldn't put away my feelings of sadness and disappointment in myself and considered it selfish that I didn't (actually couldn't) do it. She seems disappointed that I have these mental problems and seems to be at least somewhat ashamed of me for it. It's like she had believed she failed me in some basic way. I feel both trapped in a cycle of disappointing her since she constantly belittles my achievements compared to her own and that I am have little identity beyond her wants and desires for me as long as I remain dependent on her.
I think the worst part of this is that I have the sense that If I call her out on this behavior, she'll just cite that she's just trying to push me to do better in life or accuse me of being in denial of my problems. For example, I've tried to get her off of my case about my weight, but she just says that people will judge me anyways and I'll get of diabetes even if I love the way I am, not to mention that she has flawed views on how weight loss actually works. I got similar results in high school when I wanted her to stop criticizing me for getting maybe 92% on a test rather than 95-100%. I've tried to enlist my dad's help too, but he just tells me it's "just something you're going to have to deal with." My best friend really wants me to confront her, and show her articles on how to help people with depression, but I can't help but feel like she wouldn't take it well.
I know with certainty that I have a decent skill set that can get me above average work, but since I don't have the ideal resume, I'll probably have to wait a month or two at the very least before I get work. I know I'll almost definitely need a therapist for as long as I still have student insurance. However, I am under the impression I might run into problems justifying the costs and dealing with her feelings of shame relating to me needing a therapist in the first place. I am also trying to help out with house keeping to seem like less of a financial burden, and I'm contemplating restarting my 5K routine again.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this situation with grace? If I don't get a job in 6 months or less, how do I deal with the shame of my parents taking on my student loans (especially since I'll have no insurance and no way to afford therapy by then)? How do I justify to my parents taking leisure time when I don't have a job?