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  • This is the end.

    FOn the surface, you could say my life has been above-average, maybe even perfect; Honors student in high school, double major in Advertising and Chemistry from university, parents and a sister, numerous internships and jobs, lots of great loyal friends, and economic security.

    But behind the walls of my house, my mother has been the most antagonistic and hurtful influence on my life, and she keeps getting worse and worse with every day.

    It really started to accelerate as I was nearing the end of my college days. I had been ecstatic to discover Advertising as my true calling - securing an internship the summer before my graduation was a definite sign for me that this was where I wanted to be. I still liked Chemistry, but not enough to seriously pursue a career or a future in it. I understood that my parents might have been a little disappointed; after all, to the Asian family, a career path is not worth following unless it leads to the "Holy Trinity" of becoming either a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. My mother made sure to voice her "constant disappointment" in me and her "disapproval" of Advertising from being any sort of serious career choice. And, you know, I knew it was a little bit of a shaky time for me, so I willingly continued to work towards getting the Chemistry degree; it could only help.

    So I graduated, began studying for the GMAT (business school was always a future consideration of mine), and began searching for portfolio schools and internships and jobs to further my experience in the advertising field. But the minute I was no longer a student, my mother began to furiously interrogate me as to why I didn't have a job right away and "what the hell" was I going to do with "two worthless degrees."

    Her words. Not mine.

    I have never argued back at her - I attempted to do so once, and all I got in return was a screaming rant at how bad my attitude was and how stupid I was that lasted a good two hours. All I can do when she gets into these moods is sit there; I'm afraid to say anything at all, because she seems to sadistically enjoy twisting every word I say into a personal attack onto her authority.

    And looking back on all the hateful and hurtful things she has said in the past, I realize how hypocritical she is:

    1. A few months after my graduation, I was accepted into Miami Ad School, an incredibly prestigious international portfolio school - it's common knowledge that if you complete their two-year program, you are guaranteed to find an excellent mid-to-high level advertising job. I was extremely excited to finally leave the house and begin seriously pursuing my career path.

    She shot it down immediately and refused to pay for it, convinced that it was some trashy school (even though I showed her websites and periodicals praising it as one of the best). Then a few weeks later, when she discovered that I was looking up loans (like ANY OTHER NORMAL STUDENT MIGHT DO), she became enraged and began criticizing on how that was a horrible choice and that I must be stupid - she pretty "scared" me out of portfolio school. But then a few weeks later, just as the tuition deadline was coming up, she began to interrogate me on why I hadn't been "diligently" searching for housing and why I hadn't been keeping her up to date on my decision to not go (when she had made the decision for me).

    2. I applied and got accepted into a program to teach English overseas, and they paid for housing and airfare and...pretty much everything. They paid pretty nicely, too, and even though it wasn't strictly related to advertising, I knew I could improve my language and communication skills and meet new people.

    She shot it down immediately, saying what a worthless venture it was and how stupid it was to waste a year off in Taiwan when I could be searching for jobs. Now, 4 months later, she's screaming at me about why I'm not looking into overseas opportunities, and cites other families that she knows who have sent their children to work OR TEACH ENGLISH overseas, and she berates me for not having considered investigating such an option.

    3. Thankfully, even without portfolio school or teaching English overseas, I was chosen by an advertising agency to be their creative intern, with the possiblity of a job within a year. I'm pretty happy with this - job experience, networking, getting to work on actual client assignments, and honing my skills while getting paid (it's only a stipend, not a salary, but most advertising internships don't even pay their interns, so this is actually quite a good gig).

    She scoffs immediately at it and begins accusing me of setting my standards too low, wonders why I'm not going to some hotshot agency in New York, and suddenly attacks me for being too stupid to use my Chemistry degree to get into med school. Then she wonders why I'm applying to business school right away (she conveniently neglects the fact that I haven't taken a GMAT yet, nor do I have 2+ years of real work experience), and continues to scream how idiotic I am, and threatens to throw me out of the house.

    These instances are occurring multiple times every day - I'm literally afraid whenever she is in the house, because I know that the smallest insignificant thing can set her off for hours on end.

    I've seriously considered running away at least three times within the last two months; my father tries to keep the peace in the house, and has convinced me not to make the situation worse by running away, but even he can't restrain my mother from her screaming rants. I have a good support group outside the home - I have at least two separate groups of friends willing to let me live with them, should things get unbearable at home. I know that I am still not quite financially-independent, but at this point, I would rather be a little poorer than be miserable in the same house as my mother.

    She doesn't understand that what I want to do in life is not as clear-cut a path as it would be for people pursuing engineering or medical jobs. She refuses to support me whenever I do achieve something, but she is more than willing to verbally abuse and belittle me whenever she thinks I'm not doing what is right in her eyes. She hasn't hit me or physically abused me (yet), but she has started to hit tables and the wall and slam doors and shove chairs more frequently and with more violent intent.

    I'm afraid for my sister and my father, and I'm afraid for myself. I know that the sooner I leave the house, the better, but I am beginning to think that waiting until I can "legitimately" leave is going to hurt me mentally (and perhaps physically) in the long run. And I don't want to leave my sister to the same fate, because I can tell that my mother is starting to try and influence my sister by telling her "don't end up a failure like your big sister, listen to what I tell you to do."

    So...I don't know what to do.

    (I've tried VERY hard to remain impartial in writing this, but it's very hard when all I want to do is say what a terrible person my mother is. Maybe she's just expressing her concern in what is very obviously the WRONG way, but I find it harder and harder to give her any benefit of doubt.)

  • #2
    Re: This is the end.

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard with your story. We certainly empathize with your situation and hope that we can help in some way. It sounds like you are going through a lot right now by the sign of having so much to express in your bulletin. We recognize your efforts to remain impartial with your reaction to a lot of what your mother has been saying about your career choice. We imagine that it must frustrate you to the point of vexation and sense that your patience is running out. Afterall, it is not fair to you to hear such horrible things and have such degrading words thrown at you around the house. You are right in feeling afraid for yourself and your loved ones if the home in which you live is so predictable at this point. Your mother seems very focus on having you live the dream that she sees as a goal that you are supposed to accomplish because of tradition. There is no denying the importance of maintaining certain aspects of tradition but if it is at the expense of losing you for good, then it simply comes down to whether or not you are able to reevaluate what you and likewise your mother really want out of this situation. It is obvious what she wants and what you have already tried to appease her with. It is also obvious what you are seeking here but it looks like everytime you go for something, your mother accuses you later down the road of not going through with it even after you have and when you do not she is suggesting it before you have the chance to get to it. Is it likely that she is not capable of seeing the bigger picture here?

    It must be hard to be under such pressure to be a certain way and it seems that you are searching greatly to forge your own identify. Why do you think you mother is so bent on you living this dream? What caused her to get to this point where she measures you and your sister's worth on this false notion of success? Would she not care if you were not happy even if you are paid millions? The main issues that stood out in this bulletin was the fact that she seem to not care much about the word choices she throws at you. Now, we are not in the position to define what abuse is here but that is something you are welcomed to call us about if you just needed someone to vent to and people to listen to your side of the story. It seems that through it all you still sound like you care for her on some levels because you hold back from speaking your mind about how you really feel about her. You would never be able to satisfy every need your mother has for herself and every expectation of you even if you tried the hardest, which seems to be what you have tried to do. But in the end, the question you have to ask yourself is what you are willing to sacrifice. It sounds like you have a few people to rely on and that is a good thing. What is the possibility of linking up with those individuals to figure out a plan of action? It sounds like you are older than 18, by what you noted in terms of your career, so running away is not simply a matter of later being listed as a runaway with the local police when you are an adult. That only happens if you are a minor and you get listed as a runaway until you return. Since we are assuming that you are older than 18, and please forgive us for assuming, it sounds like that gives you a lot more freedom to do the things that you are capable of doing, such as, moving out and living wherever you choose. Now, if you are dependent on your parents income, it puts you in a different position where your mother probably feels she has more to say about your choices but that still doesn't mean that she has the right to disregard what you are happiest with doing for a career. We want to hear from you and we hope that you call us at our 1800-runaway number to talk about some of these feelings with someone impatial and know that we never judge you here. We are here 24 hours a day and we truly want to help in any way we can to see if you are able to figure out what to do about this situation. If you were to come up with ways to stay distracted more from it all, what are some ideas you have for that? The purpose of the bulletin is to first get a know you but we often find that it helps if you were able to vent in person with a live individual but if writing helps you feel better, we certainly welcome you to write to us again. We hope that you take this time to empower yourself and look forward to hearing from you. Good luck.

    -NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: This is the end.

      Originally posted by Anonymous
      So I graduated, began studying for the GMAT (business school was always a future consideration of mine), and began searching for portfolio schools and internships and jobs to further my experience in the advertising field. But the minute I was no longer a student, my mother began to furiously interrogate me as to why I didn't have a job right away and "what the hell" was I going to do with "two worthless degrees."

      Her words. Not mine.

      I have 2+ years of real work experience), and continues to scream how idiotic I am, and threatens to throw me out of the house.

      These instances are occurring multiple times every day - I'm literally afraid whenever she is in the house, because I know that the smallest insignificant thing can set her off for hours on end.
      I am sorry to hear what you are going through. Thanks for posting! If you have any family that would let you, and you can make an agreement with your mother, maybe you could go and stay with them for a while. I did that tonight and I will be much happier. You are very smart! And you should not b getting put down like that man. Im very sorry that this happens to you a couple times a day.

      Thanks again for posting!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: This is the end.

        Hello,

        Thank you for posting a remark on one of our bulletins. It was very encouraging to see that you were supportive to someone who left a post on our page. We hope that you are able to come away from the bulletins with some insights into what we do in crisis intervention. keep up the good work. Good luck.

        -NRS
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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