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puporing

Dealing with traditional Chinese parents

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Posted (edited)

I feel like at my wits end and have nobody to talk to about this. I have a very troubled relationship with my parents (they fought alot when I lived with them all throughout my life and treated me like I'm their slave and I suffer from CPTSD as a result). I come from a traditional Chinese culture but I grew up mostly in Canada and do not identify as being Chinese or even Canadian or even human very much for that matter (lol). Long story short I had to move away from this abusive/controlling situation in my early 20s to have a chance at living my own life the way I wanted to. Fast forward I did meet my current partner and we've been together for 5 years. The last couple of years every phone call with my mom she brings up babies and how other people she knows are having them, or complain about why people don't want kids these days (that maybe it's economic insecurity), just subtle or not so subtle ways of pressuring me to have kids. But I don't want them (I wouldn't say never because I try to be open minded) and I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis which gets exacerbated further by their pressuring and invalidation of my existence other than being a womb. I want to be a pianist and have told them about such interest/shared my playing often, but they never ask about it or care and always try to steer me to some other 'job' that pays but don't care about if it has any meaning to my life or how I want to be/contribute in the world. I am in a financially secure position and it's what's allowing me to make this move with career change. 

I guess overall I just wanted to find out how to deal with this incessant pressure to have kids as a woman and only child, the issue is treated like that is their ONLY hope in life (because they really have nothing else going on in their life and latch on to me probably due to boredom). I think it's a source of pride and a sign of success/bragging rights or even immortality. I have no interest in arguing with them on our value differences but I also don't want to cut them off completely from my life. How do you deal with this kind of messaging on a regular basis and not let it affect your mental health while also on the spiritual path? The main thing is just the feeling of being a ' bad person' or I have failed them due to my choices. Meanwhile I've heard stories of women who didn't want to be pregnant but did and killed themselves because they didn't want the baby and it makes me wonder how toxic this collective obsession with babies can be. 

Edit: I know the me that suffers from this is transient and not everlasting or my true nature.. but the me that suffers still takes up a lot of my days and I can't seem to snap out of it quickly. There's definitely more attachment to the story/narrative due to the fact they're my 'biological parents' who sacrificed a lot and I may owe them something.

Edited by puporing

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Posted (edited)

You don't, it's ok to be affected by this. Your parents probably never allowed you to feel like a normal human being with yourself, that's why it affects you. There is a lack of a barrier in you.

Express yourself deeply honestly whenever they make you uncomfortable, really watch and let out all the hidden and insecure, unpleasant feelings i front of them especially.

You will realize after a while in heart, not just with your mind, their words are a waste of time.

Edited by Windappreciator

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I would give the advice to just be more honest about who you are. This honesty will likely create conflict and suffering in the short term until they realize it is useless to push you any further on the issue of having kids. If this is creating the level of suffering you are talking about, politely saying “I don’t feel like having kids” is not being honest. You feel much more strongly about it. It’s probably best to slowly reveal the full truth rather than show the full intensity of your feelings on the subject immediately. 


You mistake my Raja Yoga. 

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20 hours ago, Windappreciator said:

Your parents probably never allowed you to feel like a normal human being with yourself, that's why it affects you. There is a lack of a barrier in you.

This definitely, they've done a number on making me feel this lifelong guilt just for existing and that I owe them stuff/my time/my love even though I don't feel like they've given me anything other than food and shelter.
 

20 hours ago, Windappreciator said:

Express yourself deeply honestly whenever they make you uncomfortable, really watch and let out all the hidden and insecure, unpleasant feelings i front of them especially.

Thanks I'll try that, as opposed to repressing it/letting it go in the moment and become very upset/depressed after the fact.

20 hours ago, BipolarGrowth said:

If this is creating the level of suffering you are talking about, politely saying “I don’t feel like having kids” is not being honest.

Yeah you're right I do feel bit more strongly about it and just have a hard time expressing any opposing opinions from my parents, they're very authoritarian like I can't even express my 'opinion' on taking the covid vaccine as opposed to following their order and not taking it.. 
 

20 hours ago, BipolarGrowth said:

It’s probably best to slowly reveal the full truth rather than show the full intensity of your feelings on the subject immediately. 

Yeah I have many reasons but mainly that I don't have enough loving supportive people in my life while also struggling with depression, other than my partner who works away from home too, not a good environment to bring children into. I guess if I actually said that to them they would get pretty defensive.. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, just be aware they will probably diminish your feelings or gruesomely rationalize.

If so, that doesn't matter. Your authentic expression is of importance even if their minds cannot grasp it.

I really wish you the best.

Edited by Windappreciator

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@Windappreciator Thank you I'll remember that!! I really appreciate your replies, it helped a lot just to be seen/heard/understood. :) 

 

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I know Confucian values are pretty strong with the Chinese, which basically states that your role in society is to, well... Fulfill your role! The Father is the father, the servant is the servant, etc...

This leads to overbearing parenting and a huge emphasis on education, and a totalitarian education culture in Confucian countries.

 


لا إله إلا الله، وليو رسول الله

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Posted (edited)

@Husseinisdoingfine Yeah can't say I know too much about Confucianism but it sounds horribly outdated and is there to maintain power hierarchy.. actually after watching that video it sounds more like a religion.

It's a very collectivist society/culture, you're not allowed to be 'an individual' or have your own ideas of how to live. As well as misogyny where women are treated like servants (serve your husband and parents and rear children and that's your only purpose in life).  

Edited by puporing

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Sounds like you need a nice long vacation away from them and their opinions. 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.


“Everything is honoured, but nothing matters.” — Eckhart Tolle.

"I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside." -- Rumi

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A Finnish actor once mentioned in a podcast a concept called "the murder of the parent", I'm not sure if it exists in other languages/cultures. What is basically refers to is a total cutting of the emotional umbilical cord: for some it is necessary during their adulthood to take 110% responsibility of cutting all emotional dependance (meaning their emotions about YOU won't affect the direction your life is taking the slightest bit) to their parents, as the parents are not mature enough to help you do it in a graceful way. It is referred as "murder" as that is a little bit like how it feels to the parents, that is the "dramatic" or "theatrical" part of it. "Oh, how could our son do this! Oh oh this is sooooo horriblee ;(("

Ask yourself: what do you need to do in order to "murder" them in this way? That WILL include some straight shooting on your part, it will be hard and it will likely be very messy, but it is also very simple:

Which is more important to you: your happiness or your parents happiness? Which can you control?

You need to be 110% honest with yourself and admit it's the first option, and be courageous by living by that, what ever it takes. You have all the wrong motivations and background emotions to have children or to even think about wether to have them or not, throw that idea out of the window. Life is wayy to short to be dealing what what you are suffering through right now: take back control of your life!

Also: 
visit a therapist on a regular basis, talk to him/her about your experiences and feelings about this. A good therapist will help you weed out a lot of bullshit from you emotional system and the way you approach your life

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Posted (edited)

@molosku Thank you! It's pretty weird that even though I know my own happiness trumps that of others, this mixed with being an empath can muddy the waters. I really appreciate the wake-up call and validation towards who's behind the steering wheel of my life (actually feeling like a dark cloud being removed as I'm typing this).

I think a large part of the depression is 'caused by' this back and forth impossibility between trying to satisfy (and fail) the parents and trying to live my life, it has worked maybe till the time I graduated, and then it stopped working coz I wanted to make my own decisions at last from then on, it's one of those unsolvable equations and thank you for making me realize that! 

 

34 minutes ago, molosku said:

A Finnish actor once mentioned in a podcast a concept called "the murder of the parent",

Haha I love the rawness of that. Daniel Mackler (he has a youtube channel) there actually helped me a lot with that and his book on "Breaking from your parents". It's not easy to do solo so I really appreciate when I find people who get it..

34 minutes ago, molosku said:

Also: visit a therapist on a regular basis, talk to him/her about your experiences and feelings about this. A good therapist will help you weed out a lot of bullshit from you emotional system and the way you approach your life

I have visited a few therapists now and unfortunately, all of them have been wishy-washy on whether to side with parents or me and do not validate like you do here - not good and didn't help me very much, not to say I won't keep trying.. still on waiting list for a publicly funded therapist but I'll keep trying. 

Edited by puporing

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42 minutes ago, molosku said:

Life is wayy to short to be dealing what what you are suffering through right now: take back control of your life!

:x Thank you!  There're no guarantees as to how long we'll live either.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, puporing said:

 

I have visited a few therapists now and unfortunately, all of them have been wishy-washy on whether to side with parents or me and do not validate like you do here - not good and didn't help me very much, not to say I won't keep trying.. still on waiting list for a publicly funded therapist but I'll keep trying. 

It should not be that much about which side to take, more like working with you and your feelings, and finding tangible ways to improve the quality of your life, something they cant do for you. It doesn't really help you does it if they just sing the song you would hope they sing with you.

The decicion on how to live your life is 100% on you, so your goal should not be to validate those choices via a therapist, but rather help him/her help you in finding the parts in you that are currently holding you back, all the emotions and tricks and excuses your mind makes that keep you stuck and how your own mind finds ways to validate your misery.

See, all of this is 100% about you. It is very liberating and scary at the same time.

"I think a large part of the depression is 'caused by' this back and forth impossibility between trying to satisfy (and fail) the parents and trying to live my life, it has worked maybe till the time I graduated, and then it stopped working coz I wanted to make my own decisions at last from then on, it's one of those unsolvable equations and thank you for making me realize that!"

You are very much on the right track here. I know I struggle with accepting that sometimes those that "should" love us unconditionally the most instead hurt us the most. I very much have gone through that exact pattern, although in a slighty different flavour of bullshit.

You can do it, take care!

ps. hope you find a therapist that works better for you. It is a common experience of patients to struggle with find a good match, so don't give up.

Edited by molosku

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Posted (edited)

The problem here is not how to deal with your parents, it is how to get them to not affect you at all. it is a difficult issue that you have to resolve. There are two options imo: 1, stop treating them, 2 continue doing it, making the emotional charge that this entails slip off you. I would clearly try 2, it is a difficult challenge but it is an opportunity for evolution, to become someone stronger. You cannot count on them accepting your points of view over time, maybe they will, or that they will continue to reproach you eternally. a tough test! turn the other cheek, love them as much as possible, and above all, not give in a millimeter to their pressures

Edited by Breakingthewall

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Breakingthewall said:

or that they will continue to reproach you eternally. a tough test! turn the other cheek, love them as much as possible, and above all, not give in a millimeter to their pressures

Nicely summed up. It's better to accept that possibility sooner than still holding out that maybe one day they'll approve of me. 
 

5 hours ago, molosku said:

so your goal should not be to validate those choices via a therapist, but rather help him/her help you in finding the parts in you that are currently holding you back, all the emotions and tricks and excuses your mind makes that keep you stuck and how your own mind finds ways to validate your misery.

I get what you mean, there was just a lot of inner work I needed some help with just to grieve and get over the pains from my childhood which I couldn't tell anyone about until my mid 20s as I was literally intimidated/brainwashed into not telling anyone to, I had no siblings or other family members who could've stepped in and interferred. I ran away from home (had to lie about it too to get away) when I first felt capable of doing so as a young adult. I am mostly out of the grieving stage so now I'm more focused on how to manage keeping boundaries and still have some relationship with the parents despite how easily they will trigger me or throw me back to PTSD symptoms. Not everyone start on the same starting line I had a lot of trauma to sort through which was running up against my personal development/spiritual work but things are better for me now despite still having depression/anxiety symptoms, it was much worse couple of years back. But I get it I'm not interested in latching onto this as a part of my identity forever, it affected me but I'm more interested in transformation/metamorphosis. 

Edited by puporing

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2 hours ago, Breakingthewall said:

it is a difficult challenge but it is an opportunity for evolution, to become someone stronger.

Yes absolutely.

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2 hours ago, Breakingthewall said:

The problem here is not how to deal with your parents, it is how to get them to not affect you at all.

Amen.. yeah that's precisely.. I guess more letting go is needed.

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22 hours ago, puporing said:

It's a very collectivist society/culture, you're not allowed to be 'an individual' or have your own ideas of how to live. As well as misogyny where women are treated like servants (serve your husband and parents and rear children and that's your only purpose in life).  

All Confucianism, All BLUE. Of course, Confucianism is a BLUE philosophy. Evolutionary for its' time, but now rather outdated as society.


لا إله إلا الله، وليو رسول الله

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I have met two Chinese girls who were in my country studying, and I saw that what they were really doing was escaping from their family, from the pressure to get married. the problem is that they were also completely materialistic, focusing on money, brands, etc. very lonely people, very demanding with themselves, depressed and on the way to more depression and darkness. How many people like this is China producing? millions? The Chinese must free themselves, they have a hard job to even start doing it

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Posted (edited)

Let's not derail this thread into sociology, you guys.

I think puporing has important emotional work ahead, with which we will all support her.

Edited by Windappreciator

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