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Can't hug them, can't kiss them, can't touch them or let them touch me... can't look in their eyes, can't receive their presents, can't get their affections or advises. All their red tainted black once brushed on me. That's how it always has been and still ongoing.

I'm open by now to the idea of trying and let them in and regain that ability I long forgotten; but the problem is they never make the effort to show me they are really 'worthy' of it. You see, nothing much changed since my childhood. While they are still the caring, protective, spoiling parents who will give me the world... they are also still the parents who couldn't care less about seeing me truly and neglect my feelings and diminish my behaviour. They raise a doll, not a person.

When my feelings come up to the surface, it's too much for them to handle. They don't want to handle with it, at all. That's how my mom usually says; 'You're too much for me... *sigh*'. And I can feel that, oh do I feel it... I'm a burden to them in that aspect. 'Why can't you be like your two normal brothers? Why everything is always so difficult with you?' These are things they tell me every now and then. When it becomes too complex for them, they become defensive and withdraw or just take a ridiculous stand with no connection whatsoever to what I have said. How can a parent be so oblivious to their son's existence... even with mbti/enneagram I can't explain it.

I still feel like a tourist in my own house. It's as if... I'm their son but it's only a default state with no where to progress further. They treat me in an animalistic way; as an offspring, a fact and a constant; not as an individualistic human-being with a voice. They have no clue who I really am, and I say it on the most objectively way possible. Even the food I dislike they don't bother remembering, while both of them are constantly around this subject of nourishment.

When I react, they are the ones to take offence eventually and make me feel terrible for doing so. It's absurd! I'm the stricken one! Not only they won't learn and open up to my reality, if I open up myself they will interpret it as an insult and a bad behaviour rather than hearing my internal screaming. How awful.

That's really in a nutshell. Even though the thread's title is written in present simple, I'm really interested in your experiences and whether any of you went through this and managed to overcome. It's not yet another wallowing thread... I seek answers and different directions, since mine has failed me thus far and I'm literally sick of this situation. I don't have any real love in my life as it is, and as days go by I feel the burden of my parents is just too much to handle. Things must change.
 

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I'm a very affectionate person. I love hugs and kisses as well as holding hands. I dont have this problem with my mother, but my father is a tough cell with me, so I guess it depends on the person..?
 

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I'm a very affectionate person. I love hugs and kisses as well as holding hands. I dont have this problem with my mother, but my father is a tough cell with me, so I guess it depends on the person..?
The case with my parents is the extreme opposite of how I act around other people. To compensate for my relationship with them, I put more emphasis on the things mentioned when interacting with others. When I talk to someone, for instance, I don't drop my eyes off of their's for one second. I have always loved physical touch, as long as I feel comfortable with the person and there's a good chemistry. With my parents I just feel a strong energy pushing me/them away... it feels unnatural to come in contact with them. My mom is a big kissing/hugging lover... and she even tries to give me shoulder massage sometimes (lol), but I just feel like I can't receive this affection. I can't. Not because of the act itself, but because it's coming from them. I think something inside of me tells me that receiving their love = forgiving them and accepting them.

It depends on the person, definitely... from what I've observed thus far in the forums, it doesn't seem like many around here have bold issues with their parents; or better yet bold enough issues to discuss about them. Could be other reasons. It's not the first time I mention them in my posts, and that's because it's a very cracked foundation in my life I wish to rebuild, and I realize it's totally up to me.
 

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Hey. I know what it's like. No part of me is as wounded as child me.

What you've been describing is something I can relate to a lot and if I would've found this forum some five or six years ago, I would probably have written something similar to this. I was so deeply disappointed with my parents in all ways possible and I felt that I had completely lost my respect for them, and my faith in a working relationship between us. I am still in conflict with my feelings towards them. I can recall a lot of recent scenarios where I've been falling into these bouts of martyrdom. Hugging my mom, who is very kind and warm, and acknowledging a deep love coming from her, but not letting it in; pushing it away as a sort of intrinsic defense mechanism. I do this because I can't accept her love fully yet, as I somehow feel like I am too wounded still. I can still remember. Echoes of past emotions are still audible.

But here's the thing: it is better now. I am not by far as tortured. When I look at myself as a child, and then at my mom, I see a broken relationship. My parents weren't able to give me the affection and the attention I needed, which left me feeling misunderstood, lonely and inappropriate. And here we are now. They show me signs of being ready to be close to me, close to get to know me. And time after time I push them away because I don't feel like they respect me enough, their love is not full like mine, they don't care to love the "real" me. They weren't there when I needed them, so they can't give me what I need now either.

This has left me thinking. Yes, my relationship with them left me feeling very hurt and messed up. I, very conscious of my emotions, have tried to explain to them how I've felt throughout the years. I've tried so hard to make them understand how bad I've been feeling. But they wouldn't understand.

So, what do I do? How do I fix this? Are we doomed? Will this ever work out?

When you say that you are open to the idea of letting your parents in, you are taking an important step for the relationships sake. What is important for you to understand here is that you, as a 4 and an introverted feeler, have a very particular way of dealing with your emotions. You feel a great, great need of being loved and respected by your parents, but you are at the same time so critical of them that any sign of love they will show you, you reject as them treating you as an offspring rather than a human. You think that, because their way of loving and caring is so inherently different from yours, that they are not making themselves "worthy" of your love. But really, how are they supposed to be? Think about it. Your way of showing love is different to theirs. When you say that they "would give you the world" and that they are showing you love, accept that love. It's what they can give you.

Maybe you can't get everything you need from your parents. Yes, they are the ones who brought you to this world. Yes, they play an important part of your past. But that doesn't mean that they will and should be the ones to give you everything in life. Unfortunately. But this is what it's like for most people. Their parents doesn't know them inside-out, nor do they know they parents that well. Heck, most people doesn't even care to truly know each other that way. This is one of the characteristics of a 4: needing deep, deep bonds, bonds that one can't have with everyone one meets. And then we have the rest of the world. Everyone isn't like a 4, and, more importantly: not everyone understands a 4.

I can imagine you wanting your parents to show it to you in another way, in a deeper, more authentic way, because that's how you experience love. You want to be affirmed that they love you no matter what, no matter how you act or how you feel, that they will always be there for you, that you are never too much for them and that you are perfect and lovable the way you are. I understand that.

But they aren't like you. Try to see it from their angle. Every time they try to be close to you, you push them away. Then you explode on them, telling them about how they make you feel. They get confused, or even offended, because they doesn't understand what you are trying to tell them. But remember. They are doing as much as they can. Understanding and being a parent to a 4 child is not easy. Try to work with them instead of against them.
 

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Arienette said:
You see, nothing much changed since my childhood. While they are still the caring, protective, spoiling parents who will give me the world... they are also still the parents who couldn't care less about seeing me truly and neglect my feelings and diminish my behaviour. They raise a doll, not a person.
This is scarily accurate for me. I've always felt like my parents loved the image of me that they wished I was, but not the actual me. It kills me every day to see it, but the rare times I have dared to act like myself, and showed my REAL thoughts and feelings instead of mirroring theirs, I was rejected, BIG TIME.

I won't get into details, but trying to be myself has led to horrible outcomes, so I guess I stopped trying after a while.

So to answer your question, no I don't reject their love - because I don't think you can reject something you never had in the first place. *dramatic four-ness ftw*
 

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@pneuma, thank you so much for sharing! Terrific read. Can't emphasize enough how accurate you were with your words; and I empathize and sympathize with you for going through a similar fissured road.

While writing this post, my mom called. She's at the grocery store, asking me if I need anything. Further asked me if I want to order a pizza when she arrives. She's such a caring mother… always checking in with me and trying to make me feel better. And me, all I can do in return is listening to my awful feelings, incapable of inhaling her affection. I'm glad I opened this thread, and I'm glad you replied to it. I already feel something has changed in my approach in that single phone call, but time will tell. My feelings are very unstable in this regard.

You gave lot of interesting points; some of which I was contemplating about for the past 2 hours. One of the conclusions I came up with is that I should stop putting all this weight on them. Expecting to get much more than they can give. You are correct, they are not like me and they have a different perspective and way of giving/showing their love. I crave for something they may never be able to give me, and so the choices I have are either to keep suffering and wallow in my personal hell when interacting with them, or open up to them and receive it as much as they are capable of giving. After all, they do want to connect with me; they are just doing it horribly wrong. Maybe this kind of attitude will also change my overall idealistic approach towards the concept of love -- learning to live in the constraints of reality.
 
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I understand where you're coming from, but obviously there are variations in my story.

Almost everything you had touched on, I had felt and been there, except well, I have a weird sister (as the rest of the world do not know how to use the word AWESOME, they go with weird) and so we support and encourage each other through thick and thin. My younger brother is yet to really be what he's going to be, but as MBTI enthusiasts, us older siblings watch with bated breath lol.

I know the folks love me, and I know that they do what they can as responsible, stressed out parents, but you just can't help but wonder if they will listen when you 'truly' speak. Because now, I use the words, sentences and statements that they are comfortable with me using. I use this so that I'm not scolded or reprimanded or lectured. They raised me well, yes, but I'd grown to take the path they had not walked. I walk my own path. My own footprints are in the sand, I wish not to walk in theirs. I just hope that one day, they will nod approvingly as I make my way to a somewhere they've never ventured.

I can also honestly tell you that I hug my friends more than I do my parents. In fact, I hug them willingly and at the right times. With my parents though, it feels a bit forced heh. Especially with dad, when he hugs me. It feels awkward. Mom's okay and all but man... Sometimes her ESFPness get's annoying -_- lol. Dad's an ENTJ and woooo, it's all I did it MY way with him, which makes it harder to be myself or share my thoughts without being judged almost immediately. So I don't. I only do when it's 'safe' lol.

I never give up on trying though. I'm freggin' me and I want them to know what exactly 'me' is. And they will with time. The idea is to give and take. Compromise and compromise. It's good to think of what they're going through, but this may lead to some pain on your part later on though. However, it's a learning process. Looking at your parents as people out of that role of parenting helps. You paint a picture of them out of that role and see them for who they are and then adapt to them as they do to you. It's just like meeting a new person for the first time. You study them bit by bit and put in the pieces that fit. Figuring out their MBTI also helped me.

Well, no point in repeating what everyone else has written on, that's all the originality I've got on my part lol.

Thank you for making this thread. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. I always wondered if it was just me being spoilt and ungrateful when something did not feel right with our parent-child relationship. That is, until I found out I'm different than they are and that it's not all that bad when you really think about it.
 

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I feel like that sometimes about my parents. I'm in my mid-twenties and it's only less than a year ago that I could make myself start to accept that perhaps they really loved me, but just not in the way I wanted it. Even to this day I still can't integrate this belief into my inner self.

It is strange and is a very discordant thought in me. I had a normal childhood (so to speak), and my parents did everything that I recognize as their way of showing their love for me, but of course for the longest time I thought it was just..I don't know, it was just them making my life miserable, not wanting me to have freedom or fun. But the thing is that I ALWAYS knew it, but somehow, for some really weird, difficult, inexplicable reason, I cannot for the life of me make my SELF believe that. There was a huge, huge gap in our understanding.

I also took it very personally that my parents had more kids (I'm the oldest), I saw it as a sign of their rejection of me, that somehow I wasn't good enough or was in some way so inadequate that they felt that it was worth it to take a gamble by having more children, even though I was barely even 2 years old when my brother was born. It's inconceivable to me now how a 2 year old can do something so terrible that their parents could reject and abandon them, but this is the belief that I carried with me for almost all my life and even until now I cannot completely shed. Needless to say I was deathly afraid of being abandoned and did everything I, as a small child, thought would win back their love. This include regressing (my brother was helpless and my parents fussed and doted over him so i thought that if I made self helpless, my parents would do the same for me too), and being the top of my class in every subject.

I...I don't know...really. I think that after a while, I realized that no matter what I do, things are never going to get any 'better', so I got myself two rabbits whom I adopted as my brother and sister, to whom I poured all my love and my heart to and started shutting down to a degree towards my parents and adopted this, 'nevermind, it doesn't matter' attitude because I don't know, I feel like I get hurt and am more sensitive than is normal (what I think of as 'normal'). Even to this day I am intensely uncomfortable of the thought of hugging or whatever my parents, and vice versa.

The belief that I am unloved by my parents has repercussions as I grew up; as a teenager I stay in relationships where I wasn't treated with the respect that I would ideally like, or would get together with men not because I actually like them but only because they showed interest and showered me with attention, and I terribly craved to receive the love and attention I believe I never got as a child and I so very much wanted to be 'special' to somebody. I was pretty much grasping at straws: even a little attention is better than nothing and it didn't matter how badly they treated me, because I never felt like I was worth very much in the first place (In my mind, if I did, why would my parents have more kids? See, this is all tied together).
 

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I'm sorry you are feeling this way and how everything has unraveled to this point. I do think things will get better as someone said as all things do if you just have enough belief coupled with effort.

A deep part of me wants to blame my parents for a lot of things but you have to see that not everyone can cater to your needs simply because they don't have the ability most of the time or haven't honed in on that ability and most won't. So I see it as, you can either continue to feel hurt by it or come to accept the fact that our flaws are all tied up in one another. I'm not sure how that's supposed to help.. but being realistic about communicating what you think your parents could potentially meet is a start. The rejecting their love thing is painful because at the same time you desperately yearn for it but I think that it goes back to the start of all the pain that has built up in childhood...So if they neglected that part, then a part of you feels like the love they *do* give is in the false direction or something. So you feel you can't accept it because the real bridge was burnt and you feel spiteful so you refuse to reach out to the middle to receive what they're trying to give now. Of course I'm not saying how *you* feel, but how I felt and how I think it is in general for 4s. It sounds ridiculous to say but I often don't want the love of my relatives or family members because I sometimes don't feel it's love for actually who I am, rather what they want to project on me. I still have problems with what this thread is regarding, although I'm trying to do what I can with it. People show their affection in many different ways and so I try to look for the positive in that. If your parents can't give the sort of attention or affection you want, then seek it elsewhere, because I can attest that this very specific feeling you desire will never be met if it wasn't adequately met throughout the years or however long because it changes and builds also, requiring more that some people will never catch up to. And you know, parents have their own shit. Family doesn't mean filling up every part in your growth; it's only the start and then we all slowly have to branch out elsewhere to get what we need. I think this hole in the pit of our stomachs has be to filled with self-love first in order to accept things easier. Hopefully I'm right and hopefully we, being independent in our nature already, can learn to be even more independent on a mature scale to deal with the external things.
 

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I'd personally feel uncomfortable discussing this subject openly with my parents, even I were directly interacting with them at this point (obviously they didn't treat me in a way I felt loving). That said, there are books like The Five Love Languages that can help different types improve how they give and receive love.
 

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I always thought showing my emotions and affections to people was awkward and irritating, so I never really showed any to my mom. Receiving affection from her soon became a weird concept to me, she's never really home. I feel like she treats my sister better.
On the outside (even to her), it seems like I'm rejecting her love, but on the inside, I really want her to care for me.

I feel like I'm wavering on feeling deep hate and deep love for her though.

I hate this part of me the most. I wish to kill it but I feel like that it's going to take centuries.
 
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