I am treated like a child

doubtingthomas

Jr. Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Denver, CO
I have a problem, and although my parents are not Orthodox (I realize the title of the sub-category is Orthodox parenting!) I do not know who to turn to about this for advice as my friends are all biased on the issue.

I'll start by simply saying that I am 22, college graduate, etc. but I am unemployed and living at home and my parents still treat me like a child. It's in their tone of voice, word choice, and content of conversation.

I had always seen them as over-protective growing up, but the way I dealt with it was to become a quite passive person who is not able to make up his own mind on many things.

Now, however I cannot take it. It's driving me up a wall. Even simple requests such as knocking before entering my room are denied, the freedom to go to bed at a time I choose is denied (it's not as if I make a ruckus either). I have confronted them about this and they say that it's best I don't make my own decisions because "I'm not as wise as them, and they certainly know better. You may think you're smart with you're new diploma but you don't have any life experience." This is the weapon they use against any idea or point I have: they cut me down by using an age/wisdom trump card and talk down to me.

They have said that we will start treating you like an adult when you act like one: get a job, a car, a home. I find this highly offensive to my intelligence and autonomy. Being an adult isn't something that is earned. It's a state of physical and emotional maturity. I have proven I have that time and again, but that's just not good enough.

Deep down I think they don't want me to be independent or 'grow up'. My mom especially has reservations and deep insecurities about this. She has admitted that her worst fear is losing one of her children. What she doesn't realize is that she's making that fear come true by pushing me farther away from any kind of adult relationship with her every time she treats me small.

My life is that line from Matilda: "I'm smart, you're dumb; I'm big, you're little; I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it."

How should I handle this?
 

KBN1

High Elder
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
888
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Minneapolis
As infuriating as it is, your parents have created a situation where you probably won't be able to convince them that they might be wrong.  Maybe you could just pretend that your parents are old and senile and for their good you had them move into your house.  ;) 
 

JLatimer

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
1,202
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I lived with my parents for several months after college. They were not nearly as stifling as it sounds like your parents are (them telling you when to go to bed is waaaaay uncool); they treated me very respectfully, but still it is hard to be your own man, so to speak, when you live with your parents. I realized the best thing for me and them was for me to get out of there. So I just packed up and moved to the other side of the country and got a job and a room. At the very least you've got to get a job (yes, I know they can be hard to find, but the sense of independence is really worth it, even if it's a crappy job like mine).

My advice would be first to pray, pray, pray. The intercessions of St Xenia, in my experience, are very helpful with job issues, as well as family issues, so I would enlist her help.

Next, try to find a job and affordable place. It can be discouraging but keep trying.

Try not to let yourself get angry with your parents and pray for them too.

KBN is right that the situation your parents have created is sort of setting you up/self-fulfilling prophecy thing, so it's gonna be tough. But with God's help you can overcome.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

Taxiarches
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
7,220
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
The Ozark Mountains
Allow me to take the Devils' advocate for a moment and point out some things from their point of view.  No disrespect, but if you ain't got a job, transportation, or home of your own, you don't have autonomy.  Period.  Your folks should respect you, but they don't owe you anything.  They've already shown that they love you by letting you move back in with them.  Have you thought what a burden (both financial and emotional) that is for them?  If you don't have a job, then who is paying your bills (food, clothes, etc...)?  I'll assume you're helping out around the house, but if not, you might wanna start there- do the dishes, mop the floor, cut the grass, put some clean on the bathroom floor and toilet, run the sweeper...  Also, are you trying to get a job?  Again, I'll assume you are but if you're not, then your job is to get a job.  Pronto.  I'm not trying to be insensitive, but respect IS earned, even between parents and adult children.  Praying for you and your family.  :)
 

doubtingthomas

Jr. Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Denver, CO
It's just frustrating to me what you just said because I hear that all the time from them, but they never listen to what I have to say haha

I buy my own clothes and a lot of my own food though since I still have my own money (not enough to move out, though).

These encroachments on my autonomy are becoming more offensive over time. My parents are now trying to tell me how I need to not see my friends here in town (friends from high school they and I have known for years). The other day my mom even said in all seriousness that I "should just accept the fact that I'm going to be living at home the rest of my life".

And I agree that respect is earned, but being treated like a regular adult is not. You don't walk into a room and treat other adults like toddlers until they earn adulthood in your eyes, right?

I wish more than anything that I could move away to a new city and find a job, but I have no funds and my parents won't help me, I've talked to them about that. Partly because they can't financially, and mostly, in my opinion, because they won't. Like I said, I think they really want me to be dependent on them still.

The situation makes me feel hopeless, that's why I'm getting advice on this.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

Taxiarches
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
7,220
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
The Ozark Mountains
doubtingthomas said:
You don't walk into a room and treat other adults like toddlers until they earn adulthood in your eyes, right?
You're right.  Why don't you bring your girlfriend over and make them regret barging in on you?  J/K... That might make things worse.  You could get a prop-up lock while you're in your room.  That'd work. 

doubtingthomas said:
I wish more than anything that I could move away to a new city and find a job,...
What about a temporary, menial job such as Mickey D's or the like?

doubtingthomas said:
The situation makes me feel hopeless, that's why I'm getting advice on this.
It might feel hopeless, but it really isn't.  We always have choices.  We might not like the choices, but they are there.  Here's a story from my past that might help you appreciate your situation a little bit more.  Once when I was in college, one of my housemates decided he wanted to move back home and so he moved out.  This made things difficult for myself and my other housemate, but we could've made it work.  But he decided it was too much and so he moved out and back home.  I met with my dad and asked if I could move back in with them for a few weeks until I found another place.  He phoned me the next day and said that I'd best hurry and find my own place or I'd be living in a cardboard box in the street.  So yeah, life is difficult and rarely goes the way we want it to go.  Just know that there are always options.  Still praying for you...
 

Alveus Lacuna

Taxiarches
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,416
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Missouri, USA
If it's bad enough you should take any job to get out of there, and there are plenty of those jobs available, despite what others say.
 

FatherGiryus

Protokentarchos
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
4,195
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Do what I did: enlist.

doubtingthomas said:
I have a problem, and although my parents are not Orthodox (I realize the title of the sub-category is Orthodox parenting!) I do not know who to turn to about this for advice as my friends are all biased on the issue.

I'll start by simply saying that I am 22, college graduate, etc. but I am unemployed and living at home and my parents still treat me like a child. It's in their tone of voice, word choice, and content of conversation.

I had always seen them as over-protective growing up, but the way I dealt with it was to become a quite passive person who is not able to make up his own mind on many things.

Now, however I cannot take it. It's driving me up a wall. Even simple requests such as knocking before entering my room are denied, the freedom to go to bed at a time I choose is denied (it's not as if I make a ruckus either). I have confronted them about this and they say that it's best I don't make my own decisions because "I'm not as wise as them, and they certainly know better. You may think you're smart with you're new diploma but you don't have any life experience." This is the weapon they use against any idea or point I have: they cut me down by using an age/wisdom trump card and talk down to me.

They have said that we will start treating you like an adult when you act like one: get a job, a car, a home. I find this highly offensive to my intelligence and autonomy. Being an adult isn't something that is earned. It's a state of physical and emotional maturity. I have proven I have that time and again, but that's just not good enough.

Deep down I think they don't want me to be independent or 'grow up'. My mom especially has reservations and deep insecurities about this. She has admitted that her worst fear is losing one of her children. What she doesn't realize is that she's making that fear come true by pushing me farther away from any kind of adult relationship with her every time she treats me small.

My life is that line from Matilda: "I'm smart, you're dumb; I'm big, you're little; I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it."

How should I handle this?
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
23,164
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Age
47
Website
archiveofourown.org
Is it possible you could take on a part-time job and stay with a friend? Roommates can take some getting used to, but they do cut down on your expenses.
 

doubtingthomas

Jr. Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
73
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Denver, CO
To address some replies:

First, I have been applying for jobs like: McDonald's, Walmart, meat cutting with the Somali refugees at the slaughter house.
I have never heard back from any of these places and I think it's just because having a college degree would make me overqualified, and even maybe more qualified than the foreman/supervisor/manager?

Second, I did try to enlist, I don't qualify for the military, enlisted or officer (long story short).

Third, this thread wasn't really a discussion on employment to begin with, however the individuals around my parents' age seemed to get caught up on that one unemployment detail....why is that? I'm searching high and low for a job, the issue is autonomy, not employment.

As much as corporations might have brainwashed you to believe it, the rights of a person are not dependent on whether or not they're employed lol

(Yes, I realize those comments are immature, sassy, and I will regret them later, but for now I'm feeling bratty, so I'll take my moment lol)
 

McB

Jr. Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Points
0
doubtingthomas said:
To address some replies:

First, I have been applying for jobs like: McDonald's, Walmart, meat cutting with the Somali refugees at the slaughter house.
I have never heard back from any of these places and I think it's just because having a college degree would make me overqualified, and even maybe more qualified than the foreman/supervisor/manager?

Second, I did try to enlist, I don't qualify for the military, enlisted or officer (long story short).

Third, this thread wasn't really a discussion on employment to begin with, however the individuals around my parents' age seemed to get caught up on that one unemployment detail....why is that? I'm searching high and low for a job, the issue is autonomy, not employment.

As much as corporations might have brainwashed you to believe it, the rights of a person are not dependent on whether or not they're employed lol

(Yes, I realize those comments are immature, sassy, and I will regret them later, but for now I'm feeling bratty, so I'll take my moment lol)
Yeah, you are not exactly bolstering your argument here.

Just out of purest whimsical curiosity, where do you imagine your "right to autonomy" comes from?
 

brandb

Sr. Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I'm going through something very similar (you can find some posts about that here on oc.net). :-\  I have managed to get a job, but I'm also working through the not having a car/needing to move out and be autonomous part.

Also: don't start arguments, that makes things a million times worse. Yes, I know it probably kills you that they're not acknowledging the ways they hurt you, but as much as you can help it, don't go there. They're set in their ways and you cannot prove anything to them (unfortunately). So do something for you. Find a hobby that you like that can take your mind off your situation or help you work through it on the mental/emotional side of things, since you're unable to work. For example, I've taken up running- best thing ever. If you can find ways express yourself in something that you really enjoy, it will help you cope with not being able to be as autonomous as you'd like, and it will relieve a lot of stress.
 

brandb

Sr. Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Points
0
McB said:
doubtingthomas said:
To address some replies:

First, I have been applying for jobs like: McDonald's, Walmart, meat cutting with the Somali refugees at the slaughter house.
I have never heard back from any of these places and I think it's just because having a college degree would make me overqualified, and even maybe more qualified than the foreman/supervisor/manager?

Second, I did try to enlist, I don't qualify for the military, enlisted or officer (long story short).

Third, this thread wasn't really a discussion on employment to begin with, however the individuals around my parents' age seemed to get caught up on that one unemployment detail....why is that? I'm searching high and low for a job, the issue is autonomy, not employment.

As much as corporations might have brainwashed you to believe it, the rights of a person are not dependent on whether or not they're employed lol

(Yes, I realize those comments are immature, sassy, and I will regret them later, but for now I'm feeling bratty, so I'll take my moment lol)
Yeah, you are not exactly bolstering your argument here.

Just out of purest whimsical curiosity, where do you imagine your "right to autonomy" comes from?
It's called independence. Freedom, liberty, respect or whatever you choose to call it. What exactly is your "purest whimsical curiosity" (which is anything but pure just so we're clear on that.) implying? That a parent has to the right to shackle & bolt their child in their home and control every aspect of their life- which is pretty close to what's happening here? Because where I come from that's called abuse. Of course, living in a parents' home one should adhere to their rules, but there should be boundaries, and when a parent forces their ADULT child out of their boundaries, that's called control.

Yes, Doubtingthomas had a moment. Let him have his moment now, give him a dose of reality later. Take your banter elsewhere, please and thank you.
 

FormerReformer

Archon
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
2,759
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
40
Location
Santa Fe, NM
Website
mcommini2.blogspot.com
doubtingthomas said:
To address some replies:

First, I have been applying for jobs like: McDonald's, Walmart, meat cutting with the Somali refugees at the slaughter house.
I have never heard back from any of these places and I think it's just because having a college degree would make me overqualified, and even maybe more qualified than the foreman/supervisor/manager?
It might not even be that you're over-qualified. The job market right now is horrible. McDonald's has more applicants than jobs available (and when it's like that for McDonald's it's even worse all around!). I've been trying for the past two years to get a job, and my experience doesn't qualify me for more than some form of sales clerk position. This is two years of searching in several different cities and states. Horrible job market, I can only imagine how much more frustrating it would be for a college grad.

If you don't mind my asking what'd you major in?
 

Alveus Lacuna

Taxiarches
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,416
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Missouri, USA
If you're applying at a place like McDonald's then NEVER put a college degree on your application unless you are applying for a manager's position.
 

McB

Jr. Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Points
0
brandb said:
McB said:
doubtingthomas said:
To address some replies:

First, I have been applying for jobs like: McDonald's, Walmart, meat cutting with the Somali refugees at the slaughter house.
I have never heard back from any of these places and I think it's just because having a college degree would make me overqualified, and even maybe more qualified than the foreman/supervisor/manager?

Second, I did try to enlist, I don't qualify for the military, enlisted or officer (long story short).

Third, this thread wasn't really a discussion on employment to begin with, however the individuals around my parents' age seemed to get caught up on that one unemployment detail....why is that? I'm searching high and low for a job, the issue is autonomy, not employment.

As much as corporations might have brainwashed you to believe it, the rights of a person are not dependent on whether or not they're employed lol

(Yes, I realize those comments are immature, sassy, and I will regret them later, but for now I'm feeling bratty, so I'll take my moment lol)
Yeah, you are not exactly bolstering your argument here.

Just out of purest whimsical curiosity, where do you imagine your "right to autonomy" comes from?
It's called independence. Freedom, liberty, respect or whatever you choose to call it. What exactly is your "purest whimsical curiosity" (which is anything but pure just so we're clear on that.) implying? That a parent has to the right to shackle & bolt their child in their home and control every aspect of their life- which is pretty close to what's happening here? Because where I come from that's called abuse. Of course, living in a parents' home one should adhere to their rules, but there should be boundaries, and when a parent forces their ADULT child out of their boundaries, that's called control.

Yes, Doubtingthomas had a moment. Let him have his moment now, give him a dose of reality later. Take your banter elsewhere, please and thank you.
Brandb, I know from reading your posts elsewhere that you are going through some similar issues, and clearly that has affected your response, which I won't take personally.

I am not implying that I in any way feel that the behavior of the OP's parents is appropriate.  In fact, i think it is, as described, quite inappropriate.  But my question wasn't about the behavior of the parents, nor did it imply anything about their behavior or my opinion of it.

I frankly don't know where this supposed right to autonomy comes from and, even if it exists, how it is being violated in this case.  That's why I asked.




 
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
3,125
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Sydney, Australia
My best friend was in a very similar position to yours for many years. One day, he just packed his bags and got on a plane to Tokyo, remaining there to this day.

I told his mother this is what would happen, but ... Parents can blather all they want about "my house, my rules": it is my sincere hope that they don't end up pushing away what they so desperately want to keep in their own lives.
 

Quinault

Protokentarchos
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
4,979
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
42
Location
Seattle, WA
If it makes you feel any better my mother treats me like a child still. I have been married for almost 15 years, I haven't lived at home since the day I wed, I have 4 (soon to be 5) children and she only raised 3, and I have never asked her for a dime (in fact she has asked ME for money).

Sometimes parents just can't accept that their baby is an adult. There really isn't anything you can do while you live at home. I am sorry, I wish I could give you helpful advice. From my experience it won't get better. Your only hope is to get out of the house and away from it.
 

Ebor

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
6,492
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
64
Location
Maryland
doubtingthomas said:
Second, I did try to enlist, I don't qualify for the military, enlisted or officer (long story short).
Do you have some kind of health condition that this occurred?  A young man I know was told that he had to be asthma free for a year before he could enlist, for example.

Third, this thread wasn't really a discussion on employment to begin with, however the individuals around my parents' age seemed to get caught up on that one unemployment detail....why is that? I'm searching high and low for a job, the issue is autonomy, not employment.

As much as corporations might have brainwashed you to believe it, the rights of a person are not dependent on whether or not they're employed lol
Well, not to be difficult here, but some questions:

What does "autonomy" mean to you?

How does a person become "autonomous" without either a job or some other means to continue living (food, shelter etc)?  

What do you mean by "rights"?  An adult in American has the right to vote, for example, as long as he/she registers and doesn't have some kinds of convictions whether they have a job or not.  What other rights do you think that there are that apply please?  I'm trying to understand your ideas more clearly.

We had a young man living in our house for a whille.  He had a job and then just quit.  He told me that he was "taking care" of himself without it.  I pointed out to him that he wasn't, in fact, but that his food, shelter, water, electricity, heat and medical care and even his bike repairs were being taken care of by the work of other people (us and his relatives).

You wrote that you have money for your own food and clothing. Is this savings that you're using?  

I'm not "siding" with your parents here, I assure you.  I'm one myself but I can't see myself telling any of my kids that they should just realize that they'll be here all their lives.  Otoh, when the 18 y.o. is home from college if it's 2 AM and I may very well tell him to go to bed for goodness' sake. But I certainly don't treat him like we do his little brother who needs to go to bed much earlier.

With respect,

Ebor

Full disclosure:  I'm a parent of three including one 18 y.o. in college.
 

Quinault

Protokentarchos
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
4,979
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
42
Location
Seattle, WA
To give an example of how my mother views me:

I recently told her that she was going to have another grandchild. She thought she had the right to tell me to stop having children, no demand that I stop having children. I decided not to call her for a couple months because I didn't want to listen to the berating. I told her in the last conversation that we had that I wanted to be treated with the same respect and kindness that she would treat any of her friends (or my step siblings). My mother believes that being a parent means that you can treat your child any way you like. I allowed my eldest to call her whenever she wanted, but I didn't call her myself. Eventually when she reached out to talk to me I spoke to her. I wasn't avoiding her, I just chose not to initiate contact. In the past when I have miscarried she has been happy I did, and blamed the losses on my "angry unforgiving spirit."

I could by all accounts not speak to her based upon the 33 years of treatment I have received. In fact our priest has said that I should consider completely cutting her out of my life. (this is based on how she treats not only myself by my children and my husband) The key is to maintain respect and kindness even when you aren't getting along. Even though I didn't speak to her for months, I made sure I wasn't doing so because I was angry. I love my mother, but that doesn't mean that I have to allow her to treat me any way she would like to.

If you really put your mind to it, you will be able to find a way to get out of your parents home. This isn't about being a jobless slacker, it is about moving out and away. As long as you are at home you simply won't stand a chance of being treated like an adult. Crash on couches, do whatever you can. But don't ever ever ever EVER ask your parents for money unless you are in danger of dying. Donate plasma, sell whatever you can- but don't ask for money and move out before the new year. My husband and I have been almost penniless before. I would sell every item I possibly could before I would move back in my my parents or my in-laws. Owning just the clothes on your back with some self respect if better than having all the gadgets and being too poor to move out from under your parents roof.
 
Top