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Hello all INFJs and other types veiwing this thread. I think an INFJ's opinion might be just what I need for this post. So here it does...

Should I be resentful of my parents? Yes.

And that's my biggest problem. Please help me convince myself that it's unfair for me to resent them. I hate how much I hate them! :(

My basic problem: My parents are too overprotective.

My parents do it for selfish reasons. I know what you're thinking, your parents protect you because they love you!

But I've learned that the world isn't as perfect as we all wish it was. Parents don't always love their kids like we think they do. Now, I'm not saying my parents don't love me. I'm simply saying that their love for me is completely separate from their need to be stubborn. They enforce rules that are completely irrational. They cannot reconsider decisions because that would be a sign of weakness. Even if the rules they make hurt me in the long run, they hold to them. Is that love? No. That's fear. Irrational fear at that.

The heart of this whole problem is that my dad has PTSD (comes with irrational fears and radical actions to 'protect' yourself and loved ones) What's worse is that my parents are traditional, meaning my dad sets the rules and my mom can't question it.

I wish I could understand PTSD better, but to me it's just confusing. It controls so much about what my dad thinks, says, and does everyday.

Why am I asking for help?

I'm turning 18 in a few weeks. I'm going on a foreign exchange, and I won't see them for an entire year. After that is college. If I'm going to fix how I feel about them, I have to do it now.

In sum...
1. I need to know how to love my parents in full knowledge of their selfish, untrusting natures. My resentment for them is so strong.
2. Is it reasonable to want to work at keeping a relationship that might just harm me in the end? Do you think it's hopeless?
3. If you know anything about PTSD in particular, that would be helpful as well.

Thank-you so much for taking the time to listen to me and type your reply!
 

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You don't have to fix it now.. Hindsight is can be very helpful.. I suspect once you are out on your own and perhaps, once you have children of your own.. You will relate much more to them and how they "treated" you.
You might not understand the investment they have put into you or the 18 years of "me time" they have sacrificed making sure you are healthy.. But you seem intelligent enough that I feel you will.

You know how intelligent you are? Because at 18 you are really discovering your brain and what you can do with it right?
Try to imagine having that brain for 20-30 years and then you might understand why they are certain they know what they are doing.
How much more do you know now than the 10 year old version of yourself? That kind of learning never stops.
They might be wrong, but it's more likely they are being way more open minded that you give them credit for.

Good luck with your future endeavors. :)
 

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You don't have to fix it now.. Hindsight is can be very helpful.. I suspect once you are out on your own and perhaps, once you have children of your own.. You will relate much more to them and how they "treated" you.
You might not understand the investment they have put into you or the 18 years of "me time" they have sacrificed making sure you are healthy.. But you seem intelligent enough that I feel you will.

You know how intelligent you are? Because at 18 you are really discovering your brain and what you can do with it right?
Try to imagine having that brain for 20-30 years and then you might understand why they are certain they know what they are doing.
How much more do you know now than the 10 year old version of yourself? That kind of learning never stops.
They might be wrong, but it's more likely they are being way more open minded that you give them credit for.

Good luck with your future endeavors. :)
Thanks. But it truely is a lonely world for any child who is overprotected as much as I am. It's the silent form of abuse, the one that gets good attention instead of the bad attention it deserves. The problem? Adults think teenagers have a sqewed veiw of what's reasonable and what isn't. I'll admit, most teens do. But there are those like me who have legit suffering from their parents' restraints.

I don't mean to doubt your wisdom and seniority. Please don't take it the wrong way.
 

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Sometimes parents do make selfish, short-sighted decisions. I base this on my experiences with my parents during their divorce, though I try not to blame them. And I base it on the fact that I'm a parent and I know I've done it. I agree with @Arclight that hindsight will be a great help. Having time away from them may help you a lot as well. It's often much harder to see a situation clearly when you're too close to it. It will be much easier to see past their actions/decisions/behaviors that trouble you and to see the things you appreciate, admire and respect once you get some space. Perhaps the time away will do much good for you. I wish I knew anything about PTSD. I know there are several people I came across recently who are coping with it on this site. I'll try to find the thread I was looking at and link it to you. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I think I understand what @Arclight was trying to say now. It never occured to me that space will make the situation better, but I think you're right.
 

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Thanks. But it truely is a lonely world for any child who is overprotected as much as I am. It's the silent form of abuse, the one that gets good attention instead of the bad attention it deserves. The problem? Adults think teenagers have a sqewed veiw of what's reasonable and what isn't. I'll admit, most teens do. But there are those like me who have legit suffering from their parents' restraints.

I don't mean to doubt your wisdom and seniority. Please don't take it the wrong way.
Please.. No offense taken at all.


Perhaps it does not get the "attention it deserves".... Well all adults were once teenagers also. So perhaps it is not a problem in the adult world and thus not payed much attention to, or is considered a "good" thing.. Because once teenagers become adults they "get it"
Does this seem reasonable?
 

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For PTSD I know a couple of veterans who have it, including my best mate's dad. It is a connection between a traumatic event and everyday life. Little things can trigger it - a plane or helicopter flying over, loud bands or things that remind them of the event. It causes uncontrollable shaking and makes even the toughest of people melt into nothing. My mate's dad is a strong ex soldier but he can become highly emotional in the blink of an eye and start crying or become enraged(rarer), or become scared. It is a debilitating condition.
 

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But it truely is a lonely world for any child who is overprotected as much as I am.
What degree of overprotection exactly are we talking about here? At your age, I thought I was being stifled and held back, too, but that greatest ally, hindsight, who has been mentioned several times in this thread already, has shown otherwise. Is it at all possible that you're overreacting to ordinary parenting because your parents aren't letting you live the lifestyle you see on The Jersey Shore?

Please pardon me if I sound hard-edged here. I have a younger brother who still hasn't grown into his age (he'll be 21 soon) who thinks our parents are making his life a nightmare and that they hate him and that they treat him so unfairly because they give him a midnight curfew because they know that if they let him stay out later he'll go out with his idiot fraternity friends and mix alcohol and pot with his bi-polar medication. Sometimes I just want to slap the bastard.

EDIT: I used to resent my dad because he's a stereotypical controlling INTJ whose father psychologically abused him as a child. I always thought he was trying to overcompensate for his childhood by smothering me with attention and guidance, just to stick it to his dead dad. It turns out being chucked out of the house at 18 with no money and nowhere to go, after he reasonably expected his dad to put him through college like he had his two older sisters, taught my dad a lot about the world, and he was trying his very best not only to avoid being his dad, but to pass that knowledge on to me.

EDIT EDIT: The more I think about this post, the worse I feel about it. If your parents are super overprotective and stifling, then I'm genuinely sorry for what I've said. I grew up in privileged white communities, so I have a propensity to distrust teenagers who say that their parents are being unfair to them. I do recognize, though, that abuse exists, and I hope it's not the case in your situation.
 

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Like the others have said, space and time actually will help quite a bit. If you're as sheltered as I was at your age, life is going to be pretty difficult. There are going to be a lot of things that you will enjoy about it, and as you stumble on your own mistakes and improve you'll probably feel a great sense of accomplishment. Sometimes you might think you can't do it, that you were so very ill prepared for how life really is, but you'll get through it and you'll be better for it.

Unfortunately, neither parents nor children get to pick each other. Some get lucky and other struggle. The important part is that you feel that your parents love you, even if they're making it difficult for you not to resent them through some of their parenting choices. Since you'll be an adult who can make your own decisions, the time you spend with them after you move out and begin your own life will be a bit different. There will be some awkward transition as they get used to the idea of you as an independent human being, but that should become easier with time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What degree of overprotection exactly are we talking about here? At your age, I thought I was being stifled and held back, too, but that greatest ally, hindsight, who has been mentioned several times in this thread already, has shown otherwise. Is it at all possible that you're overreacting to ordinary parenting because your parents aren't letting you live the lifestyle you see on The Jersey Shore?

Please pardon me if I sound hard-edged here. I have a younger brother who still hasn't grown into his age (he'll be 21 soon) who thinks our parents are making his life a nightmare and that they hate him and that they treat him so unfairly because they give him a midnight curfew because they know that if they let him stay out later he'll go out with his idiot fraternity friends and mix alcohol and pot with his bi-polar medication. Sometimes I just want to slap the bastard.

EDIT: I used to resent my dad because he's a stereotypical controlling INTJ whose father psychologically abused him as a child. I always thought he was trying to overcompensate for his childhood by smothering me with attention and guidance, just to stick it to his dead dad. It turns out being chucked out of the house at 18 with no money and nowhere to go, after he reasonably expected his dad to put him through college like he had his two older sisters, taught my dad a lot about the world, and he was trying his very best not only to avoid being his dad, but to pass that knowledge on to me.

EDIT EDIT: The more I think about this post, the worse I feel about it. If your parents are super overprotective and stifling, then I'm genuinely sorry for what I've said. I grew up in privileged white communities, so I have a propensity to distrust teenagers who say that their parents are being unfair to them. I do recognize, though, that abuse exists, and I hope it's not the case in your situation.
I'm assuming you don't mean to insult me when you EXPECT that I watch shallow TV shows like Jersey Shore just because I'm a teenage girl?

Fine, here's the truth.
I don't swear. I would never consider breaking the law in any way. I'm respectful of people who are older than I am. I get good grades. I want to make a difference in the world. I'm conservative (I don't mean politically, I mean modest clothes, modest attitude, ect...) I do what my parents tell me to do, and I'm helpful around the house. When I see something that needs to be done, I'll do it to keep peace in my house. I'm considerate of others. I'll hold doors for people. I never litter, and I would NEVER spit my gum out in the street. When my friends do something that I don't approve of, I'll tell them (such as smoking, gossip, stuff like that). I don't lie, and I tell the truth, even when I really don't want to.
How many people my age can say that? Heck, how many adults can say that?
Don't descriminate, generalize, or stereotype. I am my own person, and I'm nothing like the clueless kids my age. Okay sorry. I know you apologized, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Please forgive me for not dishing out specific examples of my parents overprotection.

My past will follow me forever. I just want to learn to let go.
 

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<snip>

Why am I asking for help?

I'm turning 18 in a few weeks. I'm going on a foreign exchange, and I won't see them for an entire year. After that is college. If I'm going to fix how I feel about them, I have to do it now.

In sum...
1. I need to know how to love my parents in full knowledge of their selfish, untrusting natures. My resentment for them is so strong.
2. Is it reasonable to want to work at keeping a relationship that might just harm me in the end? Do you think it's hopeless?
3. If you know anything about PTSD in particular, that would be helpful as well.

Thank-you so much for taking the time to listen to me and type your reply!
No, this doesn't need to be fixed now. It's a work in progress. Most (all?) of us have quite complicated feelings about our parents and these feelings continue to evolve probably til the day we die. The next year away from your parents has the potential to be very good for you - putting physical (and psychological) distance between them and you and you being able to see them from a different perspective.

1. Sometimes we have to make a distinction between the person himself and attributes of the person. Somewhat similar to when Christians say "hate the sin, but love the sinner".

2. Two questions there. Yes to first. no to second.

3. Sorry, i don't know much about PTSD but there've been some responses above on this.

At your sort of age an individual has to negotiate obtaining independence from his/her parents ("becoming your own person") but (ideally) being able to stay on good terms with them. The nature of your relationship with them therefore will (should) change.

It may well be that your parents are too overprotective and this can make your task harder. Very likely they're finding it difficult letting go of you. Also, they may be convinced they know what's best for you and may get frustrated if they see you making the "wrong" decisions. Understand that this is tricky for them. Ideally they have to learn to let you make your own decisions, recognising that you'll probably make some mistakes along the way. And ideally they should be supportive as in "we're right behind you, whatever you decide to do"

Your post evoked some strong feelings in me because my parents were very over-protective, utterly convinced they knew what was best for me, and constantly trying to get me to do what they "knew" i should be doing. Now I look back and see that they were motivated by a love of sorts, but that they lacked wisdom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, this doesn't need to be fixed now. It's a work in progress. Most (all?) of us have quite complicated feelings about our parents and these feelings continue to evolve probably til the day we die. The next year away from your parents has the potential to be very good for you - putting physical (and psychological) distance between them and you and you being able to see them from a different perspective.

1. Sometimes we have to make a distinction between the person himself and attributes of the person. Somewhat similar to when Christians say "hate the sin, but love the sinner".

2. Two questions there. Yes to first. no to second.

3. Sorry, i don't know much about PTSD but there've been some responses above on this.

At your sort of age an individual has to negotiate obtaining independence from his/her parents ("becoming your own person") but (ideally) being able to stay on good terms with them. The nature of your relationship with them therefore will (should) change.

It may well be that your parents are too overprotective and this can make your task harder. Very likely they're finding it difficult letting go of you. Also, they may be convinced they know what's best for you and may get frustrated if they see you making the "wrong" decisions. Understand that this is tricky for them. Ideally they have to learn to let you make your own decisions, recognising that you'll probably make some mistakes along the way. And ideally they should be supportive as in "we're right behind you, whatever you decide to do"

Your post evoked some strong feelings in me because my parents were very over-protective, utterly convinced they knew what was best for me, and constantly trying to get me to do what they "knew" i should be doing. Now I look back and see that they were motivated by a love of sorts, but that they lacked wisdom.
Thank-you so much! It's good to know that someone can relate to me!
 

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I'm assuming you don't mean to insult me when you EXPECT that I watch shallow TV shows like Jersey Shore just because I'm a teenage girl?

Fine, here's the truth.
I don't swear. I would never consider breaking the law in any way. I'm respectful of people who are older than I am. I get good grades. I want to make a difference in the world. I'm conservative (I don't mean politically, I mean modest clothes, modest attitude, ect...) I do what my parents tell me to do, and I'm helpful around the house. When I see something that needs to be done, I'll do it to keep peace in my house. I'm considerate of others. I'll hold doors for people. I never litter, and I would NEVER spit my gum out in the street. When my friends do something that I don't approve of, I'll tell them (such as smoking, gossip, stuff like that). I don't lie, and I tell the truth, even when I really don't want to.
How many people my age can say that? Heck, how many adults can say that?
Don't descriminate, generalize, or stereotype. I am my own person, and I'm nothing like the clueless kids my age. Okay sorry. I know you apologized, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Please forgive me for not dishing out specific examples of my parents overprotection.

My past will follow me forever. I just want to learn to let go.
@KokuroNya What you said here troubles me a little (well, quite a lot).

Firstly I will say that when it comes to choosing "right vs wrong" it's right to choose what is right. And yet......there's somehow a bit more to it than that.

I don't swear.
Do you ever want to swear? Is swearing so terrible? When a person is frustrated or angry swearing can be a helpful release.

I'm conservative (I don't mean politically, I mean modest clothes, modest attitude, ect...)
Do you never feel like wearing something a bit daring? Something that will turn men's heads?

I do what my parents tell me to do
A child does what her parents tell her to do. Of course, living in their house does imply that that sort of power dynamic still applies. But maybe sometimes you can say something like "OK, but i'll do it later"?

When I see something that needs to be done, I'll do it to keep peace in my house.
Why are you so anxious to keep the peace? Is there a possible connection here with your feelings of resentment towards your parents?

I don't lie, and I tell the truth, even when I really don't want to.
I lie sometimes. If a woman asks me "does my bum look big in this?" lieing may be the right response.

You'll have heard of the phrase "teenage rebellion". From the wikipedia article on this:

As part of their development into young adults, humans must develop an identity independent from their parents or family and a capacity for independent decision-making. They may experiment with different roles, behaviours, and ideologies as part of their process of developing an identity.
This is really what i'm talking about. And it's something I didn't go through as a teenager, causing me many problems - and this is probably why i'm motivated to respond to your post.

Another angle: there's a difference between holding a viewpoint on something because it was the norm in your family and holding a viewpoint (possibly the same viewpoint) because you've arrived at it through your own experiences & reflection. Example: you holding the view "I'll never get drunk" because in your family alcohol was viewed with mistrust VS you holding the view "I'll never get drunk [again]" because you've experienced it - being sick, feeling terribly ill etc. In the first case you're probably holding the viewpoint automatically/unconsciously; in the second case you're holding it more consciously.

I hope some of these thoughts help and I'm sure others will post if i've said anything foolish.

Finally, all the best for your 18th! Anything planned for it? And best of luck with your year away! I reckon it will be really good for you, an exciting opportunity.
 
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@KokuroNya What you said here troubles me a little (well, quite a lot).

Firstly I will say that when it comes to choosing "right vs wrong" it's right to choose what is right. And yet......there's somehow a bit more to it than that.

Do you ever want to swear? Is swearing so terrible? When a person is frustrated or angry swearing can be a helpful release.

Do you never feel like wearing something a bit daring? Something that will turn men's heads?

A child does what her parents tell her to do. Of course, living in their house does imply that that sort of power dynamic still applies. But maybe sometimes you can say something like "OK, but i'll do it later"?

Why are you so anxious to keep the peace? Is there a possible connection here with your feelings of resentment towards your parents?

I lie sometimes. If a woman asks me "does my bum look big in this?" lieing may be the right response.

You'll have heard of the phrase "teenage rebellion". From the wikipedia article on this:

This is really what i'm talking about. And it's something I didn't go through as a teenager, causing me many problems - and this is probably why i'm motivated to respond to your post.

Another angle: there's a difference between holding a viewpoint on something because it was the norm in your family and holding a viewpoint (possibly the same viewpoint) because you've arrived at it through your own experiences & reflection. Example: you holding the view "I'll never get drunk" because in your family alcohol was viewed with mistrust VS you holding the view "I'll never get drunk [again]" because you've experienced it - being sick, feeling terribly ill etc. In the first case you're probably holding the viewpoint automatically/unconsciously; in the second case you're holding it more consciously.

I hope some of these thoughts help and I'm sure others will post if i've said anything foolish.

Finally, all the best for your 18th! Anything planned for it? And best of luck with your year away! I reckon it will be really good for you, an exciting opportunity.
Thanks. Some of those were meant to be interpreted loosely. I would lie if my friend asked if I think her nose looks ugly. Because in reality I don't really care much what my friends look like, but it matters to them.

What you said is the exact reason I'm so resentful towards my parents. I want to choose not to do something because I want not to, not because they told me they'd punish me if I did. That way, I can actually learn to stand on my two feet.

Thanks! Nothing much. My family doesn't really celebrate birthdays..... =/ But in all actuality I'm going camping with a bunch of friends to celebrate my graduation/turning 18/ going to Mexico. And then I get to go camping again with another group too :) And then again! :) Finally getting to live my life feels so...legit if that makes sense :)
 
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