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  1. #1
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    Anxiety when it comes to parents

    First and foremost, I'm new here, so I am not sure if what I'm posting is appropriate, nor if I am posting it in the right forum.

    I am writing with some urge, so my post might not make much sense or will probably be disorganized.

    Me and my husband (recently married) spent the weekend at my parents home just now. Now, at our own home, after I received a phone call from my mother this morning, I feel anxious and afraid.

    My mother's phone call consisted in her telling me that I should come visit again next weekend, because my sister arrives on the 15th (from the US) and I have to pick up the things she is bringing me. My mother knows my husband and I are attending a lunch with his parents that same weekend. My parents were invited to this lunch, but they declined since they do not accept my sister's reconciliation with my husband's brother (long story short, they were together for a few years and broke up a few months ago, now back together. Most don't think it's the best decision, but that's for them to decide) and they are also invited.

    The other thing that happened and has built up inside me, is that my father told me to get some new clothes for my husband during our holiday trip, because he is a poor dresser (for special occasions at my parents' side, he wears what he always wears)

    These two tiny things can make me feel pretty bad. Bad enough to seek out this forum and post for help.

    My history with my parents isn't too smooth. This scenario I've described happens often, despite my efforts not to feel guilty, anxious, etc. to jump at every little thing they ask or say.

    I'm not being very successful. A few times I've been able not feel as bad, but it's with a lot of effort and energy. Maybe I'm getting tired and can't stand my ground as firmly as before. I've worked very hard these past couple of years to set new boundaries between me and my parents. I felt like I was doing great progress a year ago....now, not so much.

    They request small things, make attempts at controlling my life from time to time, lots of questions. The thing is, they don't have to do much to affect me. And I have no idea how to stop it. Am I too sensitive? Something chemical? These are things that would happen normally in other families and they wouldn't mean much to most people I think...but to me, it turns into a huge battle.

    I feel invaded. I feel sad and angry at the same time...I also get confused easily in regards to who is in the wrong. If I think about it and try to rationalize it, it gets to a point where all the possibilities are open, so it's a mental mess and I find myself stagnant.

    any ideas, please?

  2. #2
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    Re: anxiety when it comes to parents

    Hi Magenta

    First of all I want to say Hello and Welcome to Psychlinks

    As for your post, it sure is appropriate and in the right section so no worries there. With respect to your situation with your parents, I have to say that I am probably not the best person to be posting a response to this as I am also in a tangled web with my own parents and have trouble with many of the same issues that you describe. I know for myself though that it does take a lot of effort on my part to keep reminding myself that I am an "adult" and able to make my own decisions without their input. I know that may sound odd to some people but just reminding myself of that is hard because of the habit of falling into the same pattern over and over is quite easy for me.

    Anyway Magenta, although I do not have a lot of great, insight suggestions or thoughts on the situation I am quite confident that given a little time that others will post some good, helpful information and experiences that may help.

    I hope to see you around

    Take care

  3. #3
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    Re: Anxiety when it comes to parents

    Welcome to Psychlinks, magenta! We're glad you're here!

    Dealing with parents once we, ourselves, are adults and out on our own is often problematic. I'd venture to say there are very few people who haven't had to put up with similar situations to yours. Some people seem to handle it with less difficulty than others, but practically everybody has to deal with it at one time or another.

    That said, how you deal with it has to suit your own personality. For me, it came to a point where I had to stand up and say: "Wait a minute! This is my life and I'm living it the way I see right for me! While I appreciate your interest, and your caring, I don't appreciate interference, so let's just allow one another to live life in the way that suits each of us." It took awhile, and it took several confrontations, but the message finally got through.

    That's not to say that my mother, and my grandmother, don't still try to influence my thinking and actions from time to time. They do. If it's something small, I'll let it pass over and won't give it much thought. I'll acknowledge their suggestions and do what's right for me. If it's something big, I'll let it be known that I'm going to make the decisions for my life. Then, I just do what I know is best and any comments they have to make are met with a polite "No, thanks. I'm doing this my way." I refuse to argue about it, and I refuse to let it influence my day-to-day living.

    Getting to that point takes committment and practice. Just keep being assertive with your wishes for your own life and don't let their comments/demands get you down. If it's really hard for you to do, some assertiveness training with a competent therapist might be in order.

  4. #4
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    Re: Anxiety when it comes to parents

    Hi Magenta.. and welcome to the forum

    These two tiny things can make me feel pretty bad. Bad enough to seek out this forum and post for help.
    I d say it's not these two tiny things as you call them that are causing you do much distress, these are just the two that are the icing on the cake of continous little jibes or hints etc.. that your parents seem to make whenever they see fit. it's not easy to stand up when you are feeling so distressed and maybe even demoralised by your parents.
    I agree with what ThatLady has said, You have to rememebr that YOU are an adult and have your own way of living.
    as for your dad telling you to buy your hubby some new clothes.. next time ask your dad to say it to your hubby himself.. in a nice way of course.. that'll prob knock the power out of his comments.

    I have a cpl of adult children and i know it can be hard to let them do their own thing.. live their own lives and learn from their own mistakes. I learned a lot from the relationship i had\stilll have with my own mother.. (can be difficult at times.)
    take back your own power by figuring out who has the problem here.. you or your parents and from what you have written it seems to me like your parents have the problem of not letting you go. You also have to let them go in a way.. by letting their problem with your life as you live it.. be their problem, not yours and try not to take their jibes and critisms on board. but it is easier said than done.
    and has been suggested an asserttiveness course may not go astray if you feel you need to learn how to be more assertive while at the same time keeping your relationship with your parents on a level that is comfortable for you.

    all the best.

  5. #5
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    Re: Anxiety when it comes to parents

    hello magenta, welcome to the forum!

    it sounds to me like your parents haven't recognized the fact that you are an adult now, a married woman in fact who is able to make decisions for herself. if you don't mind me asking, how old are you? how long have you and your husband been together?
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

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