Family Matters

I've been having problems with my family lately and I know that it comes from things that I'm going through in my relationship. My parents haven't changed - they are still the same over-involved parents that they have always been. If they had their way, they would continue to be super involved in my life, there would be no boundaries, and they would be the figures looming largest in my life.

I'm 29 years old, so that's probably not a healthy situation. I know that some people live geographically close to their parents and are really involved with their families in a healthy way, but that's not what it would be like for us. I see how they are with my sister, who lives in the same town. They are really involved with every part of her life, which she doesn't seem to mind. But I could never do that. I've resisted a bit in the past, but now I'm in a state of all-out rebellion because of my relationship. I'm directly challenging my parents because the most important person in my life - the person I go to when I need help or guidance and the one who is in charge of what I do - is now my Owner, not them.

I've been more vocal when they try to encroach on my turf, partly because I know that He sees them as manipulative and controlling and He has encouraged me to push back. Obviously, He has an interest in this change in me: his control is solidified as their control on me is loosened. But I don't think things are as sinister as that for Him. Instead, I think he sees (as my therapist sees) that I'm on the road toward accepting who I really am and that part of that journey involves separating from my parents. It's just causing all of this tension and I've been pulling away. There's so much about my relationship that I can't tell them anyway, but now I sense that they are truly unhappy with the way the situation has turned out.

I don't know where we go from here. I'm trying to assert my independence and eventually get to a place where I don't need their approval, but that's very difficult for me. I'm still terribly hung up on the fact that I've been seeking their approval my whole life. And when I realized this week in therapy that I'll never get it because I'll never be good enough for them, no matter what I do, it practically broke my heart. So that place where I am happy enough with who I am that I no longer need their approval, that place where I can relate to them without feeling torn apart, seems so far off from where I am right now. I hope that we can continue with our relationship in the meantime and make things better, but I see rough times ahead.


Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, kitten. separating is so hard... and it's hard to realize that your parents don't love you for *you,* but for what your presence reflects about themselves. have you ever read a book called "the drama of the gifted child" by alice miller? it's life-changing.

anyway, i just wanted to offer my support. you deserve to be loved for who you are, not loved just because you do what you're supposed to do. when your parents let you get far enough away that they can really see you in focus, maybe you'll be able to have a relationship with them that has more boundaries and is more based in mutual respect and love.

Meta said...

Wow, I can relate to that. Especially the wanting approval all of the time, which I think ties right in to us being submissive. I hope things smooth over.

Kitten said...

persephone: Thank you so much for your support. I ordered the Alice Miller book and look forward to reading it.

Meta: Thanks, and I hope things are going okay with your family too :)


pixiepie said...

Kitten- its a hard realization to recognize the people we love and who should love us back unconditionally are truly harming us. I've faced this before. Your Owner seems well equipped to support you in your growing independence from your parents. Good luck!