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Thread: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

  1. #1
    Member MilkMoon's Avatar
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    Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    I am living in place now that I completely hate. There are no good universities nearby, and there is virtually no hope for a future here. Trust me when I tell you that I'm not being biased or negative, that is all just empirical fact. I'm - hopefully - going to study abroad, and work abroad too. My mother and my father are both opposed to this idea. I'm going to give you a brief list of things they've told me/believe, along with my thoughts, and you can tell me what you think based on that.

    1. It's not good for young people to leave their families.

    A: Young people leave their families all the time, for college, marriage, etc. It's a natural part of life, and unrealistic to think that one can be glued to their family forever. Leaving doesn't necessarily = cut off, they're just learning to stand on their own two feet and fend for themselves. How is that bad?

    2. They think I'm religious and want me to conform to that (my father is especially religious).

    A: About a year ago, I finally came to the conclusion that I'm atheist. I think they suspect this, but I haven't told them yet. They will not react well, trust me. And I don't want to have to pretend to be something I'm not, and follow rules that no longer apply to me in the least. Staying here means I will have to do those two things.

    3. They think my career choice is 'stupid'. They want me to be a doctor instead.

    A: I want to be clinical psychologist, how is that stupid? It's like being a doctor, but for mental illnesses instead (in my case, I want to specialize in depression, trauma, or sleeping disorders). And besides, even if I wanted to a musician or dancer, what is the problem here? Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor, and not everyone wants that. Shouldn't parents support their children's dreams - as long as they're not too far out - instead of trying to crush them?

    4. I "owe" them obedience, and should therefore do what they tell me - aka, stay in the country.

    A: They are good parents, I will give them that. In return, I am not rude, whiny, or disrespectful towards them, and they know this. I've told them that me wanting to leave is nothing personal - and that I will visit and call and not forget about them, but that I have to 'chart my own course' so to speak. However, what I really think is that saying that I owe them pisses me off. I didn't ask to be here, they brought me into this world because of their own wants. They wanted me here, and now I have to pay them back for every plate of food they set on my table with a lifetime of servitude? How is that fair?

    You might think I'm not old enough to be saying this but I know who I am, and what I want to be. I want to be independent, and I want to be happy. I am depressed here, and I am scared. I feel like my entire future is dangling on a precipice. I really, really don't want to stay. And the thing that bugs me? Neither do my parents. They're here because of THEIR parents, and I'm assuming that they think I should do the same for them. So am I wrong here? Who's being selfish, me or them? And most importantly… who sacrifices what they want for the other person?


    P.S: I tend to plan ahead, so there are still a couple more years left for things to change. I understand that me leaving is hard for them to accept, but they won't even talk to me about this! I tried to be as calm and reasonable as possible, and asked them for their opinions and explanations, and they wouldn't even give me a chance to hear them out, and forget about hearing me out. If this doesn't change, I think in the end I'm just going to runaway or something…

    Note: I posted this somewhere else, and from the responses I realize that there's something I need to clarify. I'm not in a place where I can up and leave when I turn 18. Where I'm from, no matter my age, I need my father's official signature to leave the country. Without it, I'm screwed.

  2. #2
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    running away doesn't help .

    Convince them in the years you have left with them that you are a capable young person .

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lon's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    For a teenager you appear to have a fair measure of maturity. Your parents are not really selfish, they are just being parents.
    You have a clear vision of what you want to pursue and my question to you is how would this vision be supported financially?
    Would parents financially support your studying abroad, if not, could you do it without their financial support? I empathize with your non religious thinking and are probably wise to keep your thinking to your self and not share with your parents.
    Could you share where you are living?

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    Senior Member rajakrsna's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    MilkMoon,

    I do not know if there is anyone here who were not like you at your age. When I was 18 my brother Jr introduced me to pot & rock music. I wanted to wear clothes he wore. The trend in those days was sporting long hair. Mine was an afro-look because my hair was curly or wavy. After school, my classmates & I get drunk. Go home late. What did my parents think of me doing that? I know they had a plan for me. To become a doctor. My brother Jr went to a rehab instead of a university while I continued to study ( there was still some sense left in me ) even if infected with the hip virus until I graduated in college with a course in BS Medical Technology. I wanted to take the board exams in Med Tech but my parents wanted me to proceed the course in medicine. So, I took up medicine but it did not stop me from smoking pot and drinking alcohol. There were times I would suddenly laugh aloud in psychiatry class. After class I seldom open my books to study. I continue to hang-out with friends in disco bars, etc. Yet despite of everything, I never skip class even if I was high. I get good scores in tests my classmate envy. Maybe I inherited the brain of my father who was my professor in Pathology & Dermatology. My father`s a genius. He could lecture to us for hours without using notes or slides. My father bred cocks for cockfighting. He played golf, tennis, basketball. He was into fishing about just anything. What I learned from my father was that he was the most tolerant person. He knew I was into drugs & alcohol & yet he never said a word to stop me from what I was doing. This was until my sweetheart got pregnant, we eloped & got married in church during my senior clerkship in medicine. This was the turn around I was able to stop my vices. I took the physicians board exams on December 1986 & got my license to practice medicine in January 1987. Did I leave home? Nope. I`m still residing with my wife in a compound where my parents live. You see, there`s nothing like home sweet home. Where our parents are there we ought to be. To care & assist them when they are old. Are my parents selfish? Nope, I guess not.

    Rajakrsna
    Om namo bagavate vasudevaya, " God is the Cause of All causes."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    Nobody is being selfish. I agree with Lon.

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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    You have time, young Milkmoon. You have the internet, so you are not totally cut off from the rest of the world and you can access an enormous amount of material on Clinical Psychology. Also, most Universities will send you reading lists of recommended texts so you know what's worth the time and what is outdated or crackpot.

    So stay with your studies and your dream - and your parents. Who knows what the next few years will bring? And you are far more likely to change their opinion by staying calm and true to your dream like a young adult, and not shouting and screaming and getting upset - because they will associate that with you as a child and disregard it.

    It is much easier for me to give this advice than for you to take it, I know. Sorry!
    The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"
    Lone voice: "I'm not."

  7. #7
    Member MilkMoon's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    For a teenager you appear to have a fair measure of maturity. Your parents are not really selfish, they are just being parents.
    You have a clear vision of what you want to pursue and my question to you is how would this vision be supported financially?
    Would parents financially support your studying abroad, if not, could you do it without their financial support? I empathize with your non religious thinking and are probably wise to keep your thinking to your self and not share with your parents.
    Could you share where you are living?
    I'm not sure. My mother said, and I quote "If you think we would be willing to pay for your education only to have you leave us, then you'd be stupid".

    I'm in Saudi Arabia. Yes, you heard me correctly. Maybe that little tidbit of information can help highlight my situation. I can't tell my parents about my religious position, and though I know they will never hurt me, the country does not take too kindly to atheists. This means that I would have to 'pretend' to pray five times a day, cover my hair, and do other, bigger things that I don't agree with. My parents have both assured me that they will not marry me against my will, but my father has said that marriage is what he expects of me, not a career. I never want to get married, and especially not to any man in this country. I could go on about what women have to go through here as one of the top reasons I want to leave, but that's not quite relevant to your question, and I don't want to rant too much. You are generous enough with your time as it is.


    Right now, I'm being home-schooled with some of my cousins, which works very well for me, as I can study subjects that I want to pursue a career in (namely Psychology, and also Sociology and Biology, as they tie in with that) It looks like I'm going to be studying in the Emirates, which is already a big step for me. The university I'm looking at is in Dubai, and it's called Middlesex. It's one of the two only universities in the Emirates that offer Psychology. From what I understand, I can spend my 3rd-4th year studying in the UK, at the original Middlesex university. That's what I'm hoping for, as well as a chance to stay in the UK, or any other decent, safe country - aka, not the Arab world.

    If I decide do my 3rd and 4th year abroad, I don't think they will support me, financially or otherwise, especially if push comes to shove and I run away. I'm thinking that if that does happen, to support myself, I can do what most students do - take a loan out from the bank, and work part-time jobs.

  8. #8
    Member MilkMoon's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    You have time, young Milkmoon. You have the internet, so you are not totally cut off from the rest of the world and you can access an enormous amount of material on Clinical Psychology.
    Yes, but that's not my point. My point is being able to live somewhere when I can pursue that career choice, as well as study it somewhere I want to.

    And you are far more likely to change their opinion by staying calm and true to your dream like a young adult, and not shouting and screaming and getting upset - because they will associate that with you as a child and disregard it.
    *sighs* I know this. I never shout and scream when making a point. My mother will do that sometimes, but I always rein in my emotions. My father is immovable, and won't even discuss things with me, even when I ask. He just says things like "Maybe", and "We'll see", and "You have lots of time".

    Yes, I have time. But time runs out, and luck favors the prepared. And besides, would it really be so painful to give me a simple "Yes" or "No"?

  9. #9
    Senior Member AnneBoleyn's Avatar
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    A Saudi woman. Maybe we should set up a Sanctuary for you, to enable your freedom. My heart leaps for you.

  10. #10
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    Re: Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

    Register to remove this ad.
    How about psychiatry? You'd be a doctor and you'd still be in the mental health community. Two birds with one stone.

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