Thanks, But No Thanks!
June 19, 2012 8:46 PM   Subscribe

How do I stop feeling so confined by other people's expectations? Personal details inside.

Today, my dad mentioned the idea of me moving back to their place since I have decided to spend an extra two years in school because I have had the opportunity to pursue a second degree in something else that I'm also interested in.

He told me that he thinks I should move back to my hometown so I can pursue the same program at a university close to their place. My sister later explained that they wanted to finish up the basement so that they could 'propose' the idea of me moving back to their place.

I wasn't aware of this information until my sister told me. I told my dad that this would not be in my best interest and that I enjoy living on my own and providing for myself. I'm fairly certain that they know of how terrible I felt while living with them and it just feels like such a ridiculous question considering that my mother has severe control issues and was abusive and my dad is an alcoholic (although he has stopped drinking to such an extent). We have never addressed this, but I guess, perhaps that's besides the point?

I don't understand why my parents keep trying to force me into fitting into their mould even though I have explained time and time again that there is no right or wrong, but what's right for someone and that my way of life works for me and is right for me. But, it's reaching a point where I feel so overwhelmed and confined that I feel terrible for a few days in a row after someone mentions something that does not coincide with my lifestyle or beliefs.

I fear that the older I become, the more controlling they become despite the distance that I have tried to create between myself and the rest of my family (both geographically and emotionally). I remind myself that I am legally an adult and can do whatever I want. But, I still feel so trapped...I cried for two hours straight on my back home tonight because of how terrible I felt. I still feel confined even though it's been hours from when the question was asked. It feels like no matter where I am, I can't escape the confines that exist. Often times, it feels like this world isn't even big enough for me because I feel so trapped. I have shared these thoughts with mental health professionals.

The first therapist that I worked with and I discussed this last year and even she told me that if they ever proposed such a question then for me to not move back because she agreed that it would worsen my mental health. I sometimes question whether or not I'd even be around if I had to live with my parents for such a long time or went along with their expectations. I am truly lucky that I was able to move out when I did. But, it's increasingly difficult when I'm very different from the rest of my family. I guess you can say that I'm the one that defies all of their plans and deviates away from many of their accepted ideologies as well.

I've been trying so hard to respect that their way is different from mine. For instance, my three siblings were also born in Canada and yet still live with my parents. My three siblings are 30, 28, and 20 years old. My two older siblings are financially well-off, my brother owns a house in a rich neighborhood and my sister owns a condo. They also have great cars and travel frequently to various places world-wide. I've yet to understand why they still live with my parents, but I think "to each their own" because it's their life and they should do whatever makes them happy.

I have taken care of all of my financial expenses except for rent for the last three years, but I will also be taking care of rent in September, but I know that money isn't the issue here. It's my refusal to not live with them again that is so upsetting to them.

Sorry about this question and the lack of coherency. Please feel free to ask more questions and I'll follow up.

I just want to know about techniques that I can use to stop feeling so confined by other people's expectations. I know that legally I'm an adult and can do whatever I want, but that doesn't change how I feel because I still feel confined and emotionally overwhelmed.

If you are also familiar with this type of situation or if you are a parent and can explain this from a different perspective then that would be appreciated as well. I just want some insight into WHY they have repeatedly tried to get me to move back even though they know the answer will always be no.
posted by livinglearning to Human Relations (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Has your Dad been bugging you to move back in, or was it just the one request? I'm sure that your distress is real, but the way you've phrased this question, it sounds like they have their reasons for asking you to move in (they like having you there, your siblings are there, maybe they think it would help you financially?) and you're piling on a ton of other motivations on your own.

This could be the question, which is something that I tend to do, as someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder and has been in therapy for it for quite a long time. In order to change the way you think about other people's motivations and how they affect your life, you have to change the way you think, which is something that therapy and/or medication can help with.

If nothing else, try telling yourself that you can't live up to others' expectations because you can't fully comprehend every motivation behind their expectations and ultimately you have to live for yourself.
posted by xingcat at 8:54 PM on June 19, 2012

Just to clarify - your parents have been paying your rent for the past 3 years? You are how old?
posted by dg at 9:00 PM on June 19, 2012

Response by poster: This has been going on for more than four years now...

I am 21 years old. I have tried giving my parents money for rent although they have refused to take it.
posted by livinglearning at 9:03 PM on June 19, 2012

"I don't understand why my parents keep trying to force me into fitting into their mould …"

Then don't try to understand it.

Sounds trite, I know, but it's the heart of the solution. Your parents can't understand your choice not to live with them, so they "keep trying to force [you] into fitting into their mould". You can't understand why they're doing that, so you "feel confined and emotionally overwhelmed".

It's the need to understand "why?" that's at the heart of both your and your parent's problems. Take away the need - accept that some things, particularly people, can't be understood - and the problem disappears.

You can't do that for them, but you can do it for yourself.

(As someone who long had a driving need to understand everything, I don't know how you do that - I just figured out the root of the problem for myself, then the answer was clear. Therapy can certainly help with the figuring, but I think the mechanism for the change of mind required has to come from within you…)
posted by Pinback at 9:18 PM on June 19, 2012 [8 favorites]

Is it possible that they are either no longer prepared to or able to pay your rent?

At 21 and as someone self-described as 'legally I'm an adult and can do whatever I want', it doesn't seem all that unreasonable for your parents to not be prepared to continue paying rent on your terms. If you are serious about living independently, maybe you should cut the apron strings completely, even if it means changing or cancelling your study plans. It sounds like it's a good thing for you that you are able to live away from them, but you are still obligated to some extent because they are still supporting you.
posted by dg at 9:20 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think what you are seeing from your parents is FEAR. They are used to being in control, and having their children conform to their wishes--you see this with your siblings still living at home. If I'm reading your post right, they have also provided some financial support for you in the last few years, which may have provided them with either a real or perceived (on their end) measure of control over you. So in a way, money IS the issue here. They desperately need this control to feel that you are obligated, not to live up to their expectations, but to love them. I think that especially with parents who are abusive or alcoholic, you see a very real fear motivating that control--they think, 'oh god--I have behaved so horribly to my child. how could they possibly love me by their own choice?'. So they don't give you that choice--they believe that by controlling your actions (by paying rent or withholding it, or offering 'gifts' as in the finished basement) they also control your love.

So I think this recent activity to get you to move home is a last-ditch effort on their part to reaffirm some of the (fear-based) control they have asserted over you in the past, which is now in very real danger of being lost (when you can finally pay your own rent in September). They can tell that you are not like your siblings, that you are willing to be generous and fair but ALSO and most importantly, that you are independent AND capable of and willing to set boundaries to protect your mental health and well-being. This scares the shit out of them. And perhaps rightly so.

I think growing up in your situation means that you are always going to have to make a conscious effort to keep doing what you're doing--set boundaries, be firm but fair, make sure your parents know that you love them but that you're going to keep doing what is right for you. There is a lot online about "adult children of alcoholics" that might be helpful to you as you figure out how to navigate this and other relationships that have unbalanced locuses of control. Guilt and obligation are big ones, and that's certainly coming into play here.

I believe that this situation is as dire as you say it is. You're doing great. Keep going to therapy, keep setting boundaries, keep sticking up for yourself, and spend some time thinking about what your relationship with your family looks like going forward. If you would choose to spend time with them and still love them without their controlling the agenda, tell them that. They are scared as shit that they are going to lose you forever and if you can honestly tell them they won't, it might help alleviate some of the pressure.
posted by stellaluna at 9:22 PM on June 19, 2012 [11 favorites]

Yeah, their motivations are NONE of your business - so skip that.

It'll take a bit of research to find someone affordable who isn't a quack, but let me suggest hypnotherapy here - 2 to 3 sessions should do you. Heck, one session coupled with a program of guided meditation you take up on your own (down load meditations to your smart phone or other device) WILL shore up your confidence in your ability to remain independent.

Lastly, cut the cord!

No, really. Whenever they annoy you, do a silent visualization where you cut the "dependency cord." I know it sounds cheesy, but just do it. Trust me.

Because of the abuse and alcoholism, you'll likely never change them, but you can change your reaction to their actions.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 9:36 PM on June 19, 2012

I have similar problems with my parents. I think it's a boundaries issue. My parents, and it sounds like yours as well, have always had very fuzzy to non-existent boundaries and often ignored mine. When I started deciding and enforcing boundaries I was comfortable with, a lot of my anxiety with my family decreased.

This could be about anything, but a place to start would be decide how often you want to speak/see your family, for what duration, and then stick with it. If you are finding you can't, that they are controlling your time and ignoring your boundaries then you should discuss it with a therapist to learn how to be assertive. They might threaten to cut you off, which is partly why people are recommending you go full independence. Nothing to threaten you with, they HAVE to play nice.

I've had better luck with some relatives more then others, but there's definitely a feeling of solid ground that I didn't have before.
posted by Dynex at 9:58 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm fairly certain that they know of how terrible I felt while living with them and it just feels like such a ridiculous question considering that my mother has severe control issues and was abusive and my dad is an alcoholic (although he has stopped drinking to such an extent). We have never addressed this, but I guess, perhaps that's besides the point?

Well it isn't beside the point really, not for you, at least.

From your post it seems you've taken a very "live and let live" approach to all that and you're upset because they're not doing the same to you.

Well, if you felt terrible living with them and you recognise all those issues, maybe you are also angry at them for all those terrible feelings you had - and maybe you're also a little angry at your siblings for not supporting you or validating those feelings - and need to express and address that anger somehow? Not to them, necessarily, but, to yourself, in therapy, or writing it all down then discussing it in therapy, that kind of thing.

There is nothing wrong with anger, except when it's repressed, when you put a lid on it, because you're afraid of it or think it's wrong or want to be forgiving and move on. You can and should be forgiving and move on, it is your family and it's a great thing that you want to be more mature than them, but first you need to feel completely free within your mind to feel all that resentment, and have it validated, and know that you have a right to feel it.

It's difficult to navigate these feelings when it's about your own parents and there has been some level of emotional abuse and control issues and all that. No wonder you feel trapped and overwhelmed and oversensitive to disapproval, when you're trying to live your own life and be an adult, and overcome heavier emotional burdens you may have inherited from the environment you grew up in. Talk as freely as you can about it to your therapist and never feel guilty about anything you feel.

Healthy loving parents want you to move out and live your own life and are happy when you are able to do it. Your parents may love you but have had a less than healthy way of doing it, and they may have never acknowledged it themselves, and you have a right to be upset about all that. You cannot expect them to ever understand or admit to anything. Parents who screwed up with their children (even unintentionally, even just a little, no one is perfect!) are brilliant at denial, it's one of the things they do best! and they carry on doing it even if you've moved out and built your own life and got married and had kids and grandkids - really, do not expect that to change on their part for the rest of your life. You will have to do all the emotional work of reconciling yourself with your less than healthy upbringing and it's hard, but it's worth it. It's your family and your parents are only human themselves, surely they must have done something good too, and you will be more capable of appreciating that once you've let out the anger and resentment and hurt.

I once came across this article from a therapist, it's about dealing with elderly parents but they way it sums up the steps to forgiving and its psychological benefits is very neat and may resonate already if you're doing therapy. It does lay out very neatly why is it that you feel 'trapped'. Pay attention to step 1.

I wish you all the best!
posted by bitteschoen at 3:56 AM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've been trying so hard to respect that their way is different from mine.

But they are not trying to respect that your way is different from theirs. They probably can't even see that you have a way at all. This creates a non-negotiable demand as to the content of consensus reality. It feels like you have to have no relationship at all with them unless you submit. You need to figure out how to create a relationship with them in a new logical space that isn't about either accepting or opposing their wishes.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:31 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

This isn't financial advice in any form? As in, you'd have free room & board and go to a cheaper school for a comparable program? It's at least worth a thought
posted by MangyCarface at 6:15 AM on June 20, 2012

No it's absolutely not worth a thought to go back living with your parents when they are too controlling and you were so unhappy there, and you're only 21 and have moved out three years ago, and even your therapist is telling you not to go back because it would worsen your mental health.

Do not even consider any financial aspects of this, your emotional wellbeing is far more important than saving money. You say money is not a problem for your parents, then you don't even have to think about it.

It's true that for your own psychological independence, things will get better when you can fully support yourself - your financial autonomy will translate into a stronger feeling of overall personal, emotional autonomy. But you're only 21 and you do want to study, and if they can and want to pay your rent to help you do what you do what you want to do, take that with gratitude, as long as they are offering. The strings attached of them pressuring you to go back are not attached to the money itself,, sounds like they are attached to every interaction you have with them, so that won't make a big difference.

(I assume their behaviour has not been horrible enough to want to cut off all contact)

Do they know you're in therapy? if that's not an issue or a controversial topic in itself, then by all means next time they try and convince you to go back you could indeed mention that even your therapist recommends your own wellbeing that you keep living on your own - and that every therapist in the world would say the same thing. I know it can suck to refer to an external "authority" because they're not taking your own boundaries seriously, but even the most controlling parents have no counterargument to offer when you use the words "my therapist says".
posted by bitteschoen at 6:42 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think this sounds like a cultural thing , in your parent's culture is there an expectation that extended family live together? Rather than negative "they want to control me" motivations they may genuinely want to be with you and help you.

Since they have been financially supporting you they are not going to view you as an adult or equal. When you go to school in September are you relying on loans? Because they won't look at that as being independent either (especially if they have to submit any financial documents/co-sign). When you finish school will you be working in a well-paid profession or one that implies you will need someone (a partner or parent) as a back-up financial plan? (I'm thinking something like creative work, or non-profits, or a lot of female-dominated professions). If you aren't letting your parents know now how you are going to support yourself and be successful then you may want to share a definite life plan with them. To have them treat you like the adult you want to be you have to act as an adult, do not rely on them for anything and maybe not even return home for holidays as expected. It seems you have trouble setting boundaries with them so you may need to go to the other extreme to combat what you feel is them not respecting your boundaries.
posted by saucysault at 7:02 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

"I fear that the older I become, the more controlling they become despite the distance that I have tried to create between myself and the rest of my family (both geographically and emotionally). I remind myself that I am legally an adult and can do whatever I want. But, I still feel so trapped..."

You also say that your mother is abusive with "severe control issues," and your dad is an alcoholic. All of your other siblings live at home.

Ooooh! I know all about this! First off, this has nothing to do with you - it's all about control. Dysfunctional families need constant energy input to keep the dysfunction going. Everyone has a role in the toxic machinery, reinforcing the "rules" of the dysfunction. It's almost as if the bad dynamic is an organism, and the people are just the cells within it. Your parent's refusal to accept rent from you was a power play - they wanted to keep you tied to the family. Having you move back in is the endgame of that power play.

I think it's admirable that you are keeping such an open mind about your family's "life choices," but I also think that in some ways it's a defense mechanism on your part. Once you start acknowledging the truly sick ways you've been manipulated, you're going to get really angry. The reason you're so upset right now is that the anger is already there - but you really don't want to deal with it right now.

I know it sounds like I'm making a lot of assumptions about you and your family, but please realize that dysfunction in families, especially where violence (emotional or otherwise) and substance abuse come in, are incredibly similar. It's about control and conforming to your role. Refusing to conform to the role is going to get you a lot of pressure and manipulation from the people who want you to play along - because they NEED it. I recommend you get some physical, financial and emotional distance from these people - it's the only way to really understand how you feel and what you need.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:45 AM on June 20, 2012 [7 favorites]

I'm going to nth not letting them pay your rent any more. You need to be 100% in charge of your finances to be independent. If you take any money from them at all, you're giving them a vote in how you spend it.

Also, you might want to explore why you get so upset about disappointing your parents. It sounds out of proportion the way you describe it.

It's not like you've run off to be a circus clown, you're persuing a degree and you're footing the bill for it. There's nothing to be ashamed of there.

Parents will forever be offering you unsolicited advice, pressuring you to do things that please them and in general trying to run your life for you. That's the nature of the beast. The whole point of adolocence is to break away from their control and to exert your own desires. Your siblings didn't make it out. Too bad for them. You did. Good on you!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:48 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

What is your family's cultural background?
posted by DarlingBri at 8:10 AM on June 20, 2012

Please do not move back in with your parents! It sounds to me like your therapist is right - it would not help your mental health. Surely you are going to Graduate School because you are interested in completing the program and maybe working in that field - in which case you need to study, to concentrate under good conditions. Even if you have lived with your parents for decades and learned to cope with them, you would surely still do better in your program if you didn't live there, but instead lived independently.

It sounds like your parents keep asking because
a) they are abusive, and abusive people classically have poor boundaries and do not respect assertive behaviour. That to me is a red flag and makes me wonder how they will treat you if you move in. In this case the money might be a means of control.
b) they are not aware/not interested in realising how difficult they are to live with. Meanwhile you are good to them. So your relationship is a bit one sided - you give, they get. They want to continue what is (to them) a good thing.
c) all your other siblings did it, they think it is normal, and your parents randomly thought "hey, maybe s/he'd like that basement to live in." They didn't think it over very hard and temporarily forgot about the numerous times you've said no already.

Only you can say which option is most likely.

My experience of moving back in with controlling (but not alcoholic) parents, was that I really regretted it because I had, in my head, remembered them as being a bit better than reality...I think deep down I hoped that it was me who had caused them to treat me badly, or that I was misinterpreting them somehow, and that now, as I'm a grownup, relations would be better. They weren't. If anything the maturity made it seem even more obvious that these people were not right for me.

It has taken me some time to accept that my parents really are not helpful or healthy, even when they seem that way it is only a hook/temporary. I still feel hurt by them and confined by their expectations sometimes. The way I've dealt with it is to minimize contact, and to get a sense of 'normal' from the world around me, and to give myself the unconditional approval that they used to use against me.

Good luck and well done for having the courage to face these things at age 21 and with a therapist.
posted by EatMyHat at 10:36 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't understand why my parents keep trying to force me into fitting into their mould even though I have explained time and time again that there is no right or wrong, but what's right for someone and that my way of life works for me and is right for me.

The Light Fantastic describes it very well. The maintenance of a dysfunctional family system comes with a price, chiefly the individuality of all members who sacrifice their identity for their assigned role in that dysfunctional family constellation. Your explanations offer them nothing in the way of helping to maintain that constellation (that set of roles) or the dynamics that rigidly keep those roles fixed. It could also be that one of your siblings is also trying to maneuver themselves free of their role, which causes the family system to shift its focus onto other members who can step up and fill in the gap.

I'm fairly certain that they know of how terrible I felt while living with them...

I wouldn't count on it. This knowledge would disrupt the system, and your parents would have to take responsibility for how their actions actually, really impact others.

It's my refusal to not live with them again that is so upsetting to them.

IME dysfunctional parents have a really hard time going without their kids or someone around to absorb the toxicity of their behavior. A child not living with them means they bear more of the toxic load resulting from their unchecked behaviors. Having a child around often means that child will own the guilt the parents should feel for how they treat those around them, which makes it much easier for the parents to carry on unchanging and without remorse.

I fear that the older I become, the more controlling they become...I cried for two hours straight on my back home tonight because of how terrible I felt...It feels like no matter where I am, I can't escape the confines that exist. Often times, it feels like this world isn't even big enough for me because I feel so trapped.

Do yourself a HUGE favour and become your own expert in dysfunctional family dynamics. IANAT, but what you're describing sounds very typical (to me). Even though you've left, you're carrying the legacy of your parents' harmful/disrespectful/negligent behaviors in your head.

From John Bradshaw: "When shame has become internalized, images are often triggered and send shame-based people into spirals... Auditory shame spirals result from introjected parental voices which were originally the actual voices of our shaming caretakers... It is estimated we all have ~25,000 hours of these recordings internalized."

In other words, there's literally thousands of hours of old recordings that captured your parents' voices still running in your head, even when you're hundreds of miles away from them. Try journalling when you find yourself feeling this way. Listen to your thoughts. Start picking out the thought patterns that are their voices and then start re-writing them. For every negative thought you absorbed from your parents about you, re-write it as an affirmation 100X. Let it be exactly what you needed to hear as a child. Set yourself free from the cage your parents set up inside your head when you were vulnerable and needed them for love and support.

Also, practice with your therapist asserting your boundaries AND how to manage toxic guilt from your parents. Read up on Toxic Parents, Adult Children of Alcoholics, the rage/shame/guilt cycle, etc. If you want any reading recommendations, feel free to message me (clearly I could go on). But I think you are doing very well for yourself and you deserve to feel that way. Best of luck!
posted by human ecologist at 11:35 AM on June 20, 2012 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Do they know you're in therapy?
My younger sister knows, but doesn’t have any specific details. It is possible that everyone else knows that I’m in therapy because word travels fast, although I’d like to avoid disclosing this information to anyone else because I fear that it would create even more of a power imbalance. I also don’t feel like sharing this information would be emotionally safe for me or in my best interests to share because it might be used against me. That's why I have also denied getting therapy with my mother. I need nearly my entire family to be at a safe distance.

I think this sounds like a cultural thing , in your parent's culture is there an expectation that extended family live together? Rather than negative "they want to control me" motivations they may genuinely want to be with you and help you.

Part of this seems to be cultural because all of the families on my dad's side have adult children that are still living at their parents places...

But, I wouldn’t say that it’s all cultural, especially not with my background and the parents that I have.

In regards to the money issue,
It's clear now that money is a huge issue despite finances not being a concern for my parents. They are financially well-off, but I have always questioned the role of money in our relationship which is why I have taken care of everything except for rent. But, I have been wanting to 'cut the cord' financially so that I am in complete control.
posted by livinglearning at 12:10 PM on June 20, 2012

Response by poster: What is your family's cultural background?

My parents are middle eastern, but they have lived in Canada for 30 years...
posted by livinglearning at 12:11 PM on June 20, 2012

I wouldn't discount your family's background just because your parents moved 30 years ago. Think about how hard it is for you to move past the first 20 years of your life, it's what forms you and creates your foundation.

This does sound like it's coming partly from a generational cultural conflict. Asking for advice from people whose parents immigrated from the middle east would be warranted.
posted by Dynex at 1:06 PM on June 20, 2012

My parents moved to Canada from China when they were in their mid-teens. When I was your age, my parents had both been in Canada for more than 35 years. The type of dysfunction you describe sounds almost identical to the dynamic I grew up with, right down to the crazy controlling mother and alcoholic father, and I feel that it was very much a cultural thing in my family. Especially the guilt tripping, the myriad familial obligations, and the way money was used as bait/leverage... I bring these things up with my asian friends and they're all like, "OMG, yes!! My parents did that too!"

I agree that the only way out of this is to become 100% financially independent (this is the easy part), and to separate all of your parents' toxic influences from who you are as a person (this is the really hard part). Like The Light Fantastic said, it's going to hurt like hell, and you're going to feel really angry for a while. I know I did. I relapsed into severe depression and I probably should have seen a therapist. Instead, I did as human ecologist suggested and journaled like mad. Eventually, I managed to get all of my parents' "voices" out of my head. I know it sounds really weird, but I think you'll understand exactly what that means once you get there.

Now when I do visit my parents at home, if they start falling into the comfortable old dynamic, I recognize it straight away and disengage. And because I don't depend on them financially anymore, they know that the only way to keep me in their lives is to be kind and supportive. My relationship with my parents will never be ideal, but it has gotten about a million times more tolerable than it was before, and that is plenty good enough for me.
posted by keep it under cover at 2:35 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

It might make you feel better to look at their actions in a more positive light - they're not actually trying to upset you by asking you to return, they love you and want you to be closer to them. As you have said, you aren't much like them, or the rest of your family, because of this, it's probably really hard for them to see that your needs and feelings are different from theirs. They are probably putting themselves in your shoes and thinking, "if it were me, I'd be happier living with my family and having everyone close to me" because that is what would make them happy. What actually makes you happy is having your own space and autonomy - but they can't even imagine what that is like! As people get older, they get more set in their ways, and more committed to their view on life, and it becomes the job of the younger people to have a little understanding of their ways. So when you say to yourself "don't they understand?" the answer is no, they don't, they are different from you, and they clearly are having trouble sorting out their own issues. The trick is to be able to accept that, and also to realize that it's not from actual ill-will that they're upsetting you - they're doing what they think is the thing that caring parents do, it's just totally backfiring. I think it's great that you'll be paying your own rent soon - there is an amazing feeling of freedom that comes from being self-sufficient. Hang in there, and remind yourself that they're not doing all these things to hurt you, they just aren't getting you. The longer you hold to your own style of life, and the longer they get to see that it works for you, then they'll hopefully eventually see that you knew what you were doing all along.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:26 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

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