34 and still feel like a child

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34andNewLife

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34 and still feel like a child
« on: September 16, 2015, 05:00:52 PM »
My husband and I are trying to buy a house. We made an offer on one we really liked. My parents started calling and texting that they had doubts about the house and wanted us to withdraw the offer. We said we really liked it and had researched the house accordingly. They did not stop. They told me to call another realtor since husband's realtor was obviously biased.

We sent them an e-mail on Monday saying stop trying to control the situation and that we are adults that can make an informed decision. And now the silent treatment.

When we sent that e-mail, I was TERRIFIED of what would happen. The yelling, the criticizing, and the cruel comments. Even now, I'm scared they will come to our current residence and yell at me.

Why do I feel like I can't make my own decisions? Why am I so scared of how they will react and what they will do?

I feel ashamed of being 34 and still feeling like a child, desperate for their approval and attention.

Thank you for reading, and I'm so thankful to have found this site.

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Latchkey

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2015, 12:03:20 AM »
Hi 34andNewLife and welcome to OOTF,

I am glad you took the first step and posted. I am not sure what is going on with your parents but it sounds like you and your H are doing the right things. Make sure you get a home inspection and check out the neighborhood on your own. This is a major purchase and while it is worth listening to their concerns, it is not worth sabotaging your happiness.

I see you have already started posting on our boards below. Check out the Toolbox above and also the Book Review section for books and readings and more ways to learn better coping skills. Your parents won't change but you can learn about Boundaries and Medium Chill and other ways to thrive when you have PD parents.

Please keep telling more of your story as you will find others here going through the same things or who have been through it already. I went NC (no contact) at 30 with my NPD Step Mom and it was hard but your early 30's is often when this stuff hits the hardest. If you can get into a good supportive therapist that would be good for you too.

 :bighug:

Latchkey

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When we have the courage to do what we need to do, we unleash mighty forces that come to our aid.

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34andNewLife

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2015, 09:17:37 PM »
Latchkey,

This is all so new for me since the "showdown" (my husband sending NPD mom an e-mail to stop manipulating us) only happened early this week. But I have been taking notes on the behaviors over the years and here are a few that seem "off" to me:

H sent an e-mail to M and I was TERRIFIED that both parents would come to my house to yell at me. I'm still anxious they will do this.
Parents never came to my sporting events or concerts growing up. I didn't ask them to because they never seemed interested.
Always got yelled at by both parents that I was selfish, a princess, and lazy. Learned that pleasing them presented the verbal tirades.
They were never interested in my friends, never visited me at college or when I moved across the country.
When I did move across the country, NPD mom said "I can't believe you are leaving me alone with him." (referring to dad)
Always inviting us to do things with them, but afterwards I always felt empty, alone and rejected, and didn't know why.
No respect for boundaries. Don't care what is going on, if they have an emotional need, I must meet it ASAP.
Felt on call to M texts and phone calls. H said just don't answer, I didn't know how.
They want me to be forever thanking them and grateful. What for? Not sure.
Always offering money to us. I won't be taking it ever again.
M got into fight with her sister, she never spoke to sister again. I know she would cut me out of her life in a heartbeat if I crossed her.
M and D encourage younger B to laugh at me and ridicule me for being too sensitive.
Both parents vacillate between engulfing and ignoring. Never know what I will get.

I wonder what it is about the 30's that the tactics start to become apparent?

Thank you for reaching out and for listening. This forum has gotten me through this very emotional week.  :stars:

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solospaghetti

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2015, 09:21:57 PM »
I actually agree with your parents. Withdraw your offer.


And then buy one a long, long, long way away from them.


I bought one 12000 miles from mine. Bliss.

Though, if you are already a long long way from them, let them cry over the apron strings. You're a married woman. You and your husband can buy whatever mansion or collapsing shack you like.
FYI, I'm 32. And my house is perfect for me. And I researched, paid for, and bought it all by my little lonesome.


Power to you.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 09:35:13 PM by solospaghetti »
"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks." - Forrest Gump

"Every day is a new life to a wise man" - Anonymous.

Don't forget - they aren't defined by their PD. They are adults,  able to make choices. They can be held responsible for them.

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34andNewLife

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2015, 09:38:45 PM »
Solospaghetti,

Currently back in the same state and about to be in the same big city. It's because H's job is there.  :'(
Trust me, H and I fantasize about moving VERY far away again...some day we will. Alaska perhaps??

BTW didn't get the house.  >:( Haven't told parents, but I'm sure they would delight in knowing that. 

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Bloomie

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2015, 09:50:56 PM »
Hi there and welcome! I am glad you have made your way here. If ever you were looking for support and cheerleaders who absolutely get it and have been in very similar circumstances... you are in the right place! It sounds like you have fabulous partner who is not afraid to stand with you in breaking free from this. Bravo to you both for speaking up and for having each other's backs!  :applause:

You mentioned in both of your responses you are "terrified" of their behavior and responses - that they will come to your home and yell at you. I don't blame you for being frightened if this is the response to you and your H doing healthy, normal things like choosing your own home and asking for problematic and hurtful behaviors to stop. I think the 30's are significant because we do usually make those important and independent decisions that threaten our PD parent's control and often changes our availability to them, and that is a huge threat that is often interpreted as betrayal, cruelty, selfishness, abandonment in a unhealthy, enmeshed family system.

A great place to start for me was to begin to recognize my feelings related to how my PD parents treated me and my H and begin to recognize and honor my needs - which had never even been a factor in my FOO, and act on them. I was scared of their cruelty and I was ashamed too. I can really connect with what you write here. Another thing that I began to learn about is Boundaries which I find foundational to separating and reclaiming my life. You will hear a lot of chatter here on the forum about boundaries and you can search using the search feature at the top right hand corner and find some great posts and discussions about boundaries.

It is an emotionally difficult time for sure and a start of a new family paradigm that you are establishing with your family of choice (FOC) which is the core connection and the most important relationship in your life and one that needs to be firm established and fiercely protected from harmful behaviors from others. This is an opportunity for your parents to begin to adjust their behaviors and manage themselves in ways that build up your connections with them instead of tearing them down. You have no control over their choices and it is possible to find a way to a peaceful heart no matter the choices they make. This is a new journey and you are not alone in it. We are here for you! Look forward to supporting you! :hug: 
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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solospaghetti

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2015, 10:19:37 PM »
Solospaghetti,

Currently back in the same state and about to be in the same big city. It's because H's job is there.  :'(
Trust me, H and I fantasize about moving VERY far away again...some day we will. Alaska perhaps??

BTW didn't get the house.  >:( Haven't told parents, but I'm sure they would delight in knowing that.

Bummer.

Tho, seems like you and DH have a fabulous supportive relationship and are clear about your future path - even if his job location is a major PITA.

Try not to feel down about feeling controlled. You can see the game. They want you to JADE. That's what's driving your feelings of needing to defend your corner? Justify yourself?

Medium Chill and no JADE is simply marvellous...
"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks." - Forrest Gump

"Every day is a new life to a wise man" - Anonymous.

Don't forget - they aren't defined by their PD. They are adults,  able to make choices. They can be held responsible for them.

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34andNewLife

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2015, 01:06:37 PM »
Solospaghetti,

I DO see the game now and because I won't play, now I don't exist...

And yes, DH is awesome. He didn't fully see it until the house fiasco. Now he sees it clearly, maybe even more clearly than I do since I still feel doubt like, maybe I am being mean, maybe they were just trying to help, maybe they didn't get the e-mail...

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Bloomie

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 01:09:24 PM »
34andNewLife - I'm sorry you didn't get the house! So thankful the lightbulbs are coming on nice and bright right where you live!! :hug:
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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SunnyandBright

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 04:54:46 PM »
I think we start catching on in our 30's, because typically we get married --- or at least have a partner -- and they start catching on, too.   Sometimes we even go into denial with our partner -- and then we end up in the middle.  We start realizing that our partner is correct - our parents are asking and expecting way too much of us (even if it's just our time, or insisting we take their advice) I remember the day I started refusing to be in the middle anymore --- I told my mother flat out, you are asking me to take sides, and guess what?   He is always going to win.   I live and share my life with him - he wins.   
The other thing that helps us catch on is having kids of our own.   For one thing - we have way less time for their BS.   And for another - it really wakes us up to the fact that we LOVE our kids so much, we'd NEVER do to them what our parents do to us.   

I also think being in this situation is a perfect storm.  We get these selfish, self centered, dysfuntional parents --- and we were also born people pleasers, and raised to satisfy them.   If they had been normal - no problem.   If WE had been normal, no problem either.  Because if we were normal, we'd be like my kid --- if my expectations are too high (he's an adult) he's just not going to listen.   If I want to try to be more insistant - he'll laugh right in my face, and carry on with his life.   That is what a normal adult does - nobody gets to tell an adult what to do.   (other than requirements for living back in my house, which he does)   
He didn't finish college and he didn't take a whole lot of other advice I dished out along the way, but he's got 3 jobs, lots of hobbies and interests, friends, and a full life.   I am so proud of him -- and mostly for living life by his own terms.   It wasn't what I would have chosen for him --- but guess what?  It's not my life.   
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 04:56:48 PM by SunnyandBright »

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34andNewLife

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2015, 05:53:21 PM »
Bloomie - thank you, we will find another nice house. :)

SunnyandBright - It's funny, because now I am realizing that my ex-H was just as abusive and manipulating. But my DH now is amazing, and is supportive in a non-controlling way. I think having a happy marriage that is open and safe has made interactions with my parents (possibly both NPD) seem toxic. I think time with DH over the years has taught me about real love with no strings attached.

It makes me crazy angry to think that I have been taken advantage of all these years because I am nice and I am a people pleaser, and in the back of mind, I always thought, well if I try a little harder...they will support me. That never happened and now I see why. I'm enjoying the ST from both parents. But it does hurt. They don't really care about me, only about what I can give them.

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arianna

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Re: 34 and still feel like a child
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2015, 05:22:13 PM »
No one likes to be treated with disrespect so it would make sense to be afraid of that. Who wants to be yelled at?

And since they obviously haven't been great and helping you become an adult you're now trying to do it yourself and having them around is a distraction.  They didn't do their job so you're trying to move on and so it yourself because you are a grown up and they are tripping you up. They should be apologizing and trying to fix things but instead they make it worse.

Your reaction makes sense and you're not a child. Yore a grown up remembering what it felt like to be a child.