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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Feeling Horribly Alone

Topic: Feeling Horribly Alone

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. swidjaja11
    swidjaja11 avatar
    1 posts
    10 December 2017
    I am a university student and studying Accounting. I don't hate it but it's not my main passion. My passion is piano and Applied but I can't see myself as a teacher. I see myself as a performer, which is a career that doesn't pay the bills. As for Mathematics, there are not a lot of job prospects. I plan to study Music and get a part time Accounting job after obtaining my Accounting degree but I have a dilemma. I might not maximise my career. If I talk to my parents, it will be the same conversation. Do I love Accounting? Me: Yes (lie). P: Fight for it! If I tell the truth, I will get my dad angry and getting my dad angry and disappointed in me is worse than any failure in exam. I want to talk to my mum but, being the idiot she is since she works in a menial job, can't help me so, I have no choice but to turn to my dad. My dad is smart since he is working for his ph.D however, I had a traumatic experience with him. No abuse whatsoever but he once got extremely cranky just because I couldn't understand a Math question. I remember that he nearly threw a glass to a wall just because I couldn't understand it but I have no choice but to talk to him since he is the smart one. Talking to him feels like being in a hot seat. Despite having provided me with resources and my mum claiming that he loves me, I call bullsh*t. I don't want to have to do anything with him. I just can't wait to cut my entire family off, particularly my dad. Talking to him makes my blood boil. My mum wants me to talk but I don't want to since I feel like that I'm in a hot seat. I prefer to suffer in silence. To exacerbate things, I feel pressured to lose weight because my family members in Indonesia will tease me if I don't. I once ended up wailing to my parents that I don't want to go back to Indonesia because of this. My mum, being the block-head she is, doesn't understand that, more than once, I almost become anorexic. She told me to just ignore them. This just makes me feel horribly alone. I don't know what to do and I just think that death is the best answer. If anyone can give me any advice that will be great.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
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    • Lebanon
    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    11 December 2017 in reply to swidjaja11

    Hi swidjaja11,

    I am really sorry to hear about what you are going through right now.
    Your situation is definitely a difficult and emotional one, it is very reminiscent of many ethnic child/parent relationships where the parents really want to live their life through their child.
    It is the classic multicultural dream...leave so much behind to go start again in another country...want to see the children be doctors and lawyers and such...

    I can tell you, my life was like that too when I was growing up at home and many times I would lock myself in my room in a fit of anxiety and pray for the ground to open up so I can just fall in and disappear.
    Even though it may not seem like it now, but things do improve, they are your parents and they love you no matter what. Fathers always think that their girls will be and stay their little girls, unfortunately that means that they think they will always have control.
    Rather than sit and suffer in silence you need to find a way to have a civil dialogue with your parents about how you are feeling and what you really want, yes, they will be upset at first and then they will dissuade you. You have a plan to study and work in the arts, discuss your plan further with them and see if they agree to compromise and support you.
    Either way, if you feel so strongly about it, you can do it and show them your success of it. As a parent of older children myself, I have had these concerns with my children and I have been very vocal about my disappointment with life and education decisions at times, but then I gave up and saw it from my kid's views.

    Your parent's will understand, it will be difficult at first but then they will accept your decisions even if they don't really like your decisions.
    I think you could also benefit from visiting your GP who may be able to offer you some help so that you are not so stressed and anxious about the situation.
    Don't give up on your parents because they won't give up on you, it will take some time but the first step is to be honest and approach calmly and lovingly for that first conversation, keep trying over time while you are calm. When you are in this calm frame of mind they will be more likely to respond in the same manner and tone.

    Good luck with it, please keep talking to us here so we can see how you are doing and support you.

    Hayfa

    2 people found this helpful
  3. J.M.12345
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    J.M.12345 avatar
    46 posts
    12 December 2017 in reply to swidjaja11

    Hi swidjaja11,

    It sounds like you are feeling very hopeless and I am sorry about that. I am sorry you are in this difficult situation. First and most important thing to address though is that you've mentioned that "death is the best answer". I just wanted to let you know that if you ever feel unsafe or having suicidal thoughts, please, please, please call lifeline on 13 11 14 or 000 if needs be. Your safety is the most important thing. From past experience, I know that sometimes it seems that there is no way out other than death but this is never true and usually those thoughts are due to an underlying mental illness like depression. I recommend talking to your GP to see a psychologist, or perhaps a counsellor at your university, as they would be able to help you decrease that hopelessness, worry about disappointing your parents etc, and it's just good to have someone impartial to talk things through!

    In terms of your parents, I totally understand what it's like for parents to be overbearing! As Hayfa said, it's often a product of them being migrants - they are so desperate to see their daughter achieve their notions of success. I understand it's hard to speak to your dad, but I really do think it would be a good idea to eventually let him know that you don't like accounting and then you can make plans from there. Again, a therapist might be able to help you deal with those fears of disappointment and can help you come up with a more concrete plan of what you'll say and how. Perhaps you might agree together that you will finish the degree for security reasons, then pursue music only. Alternatively, you might agree to completely quit accounting. I think it's worth having a family discussion and hearing his point of view and sharing yours. Ultimately however, it is your life and you are the one studying, not your parents, so the decision is yours to make. Parents can be very overbearing, but ultimately, a parent must love you unconditionally, accounting or not, and it's very possible that your dad will learn to live with the fact that you don't like accounting, and he will eventually give up on trying to force his decisions upon you when he sees your passion and the assertiveness with which you can make your decision clear. Again, a psychologist or friend might be able to help you develop that assertiveness.

    Regarding the weight loss, I believe no woman should have to lose weight, only aim for health. Continued on next post!

    1 person found this helpful
  4. J.M.12345
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    J.M.12345 avatar
    46 posts
    12 December 2017 in reply to swidjaja11

    Continuing the post - sorry there's a character limit!

    I understand your concerns about weight. I often have them myself, and many women and men do, because we live in a society where we're constantly told to look a certain way by people around us and in the media. It's even harder for you because of being teased in Indonesia. I think here it's about learning to ignore that, and it's hard to do alone. Have you got friends you can turn to regarding this? A psychologist again would also help here, especially to prevent you from developing an eating disorder. Another thing I do is follow positive body image bloggers and pages on social media. Have you heard of Taryn Brumfitt's documentary "Embrace"? I would totally give it a watch if I were you. Every time I feel bad about my body I watch this and it always make me feel way better! You can also follow Taryn on social media as she posts really body positive things.

    Finally, in terms of your relationship with your parents and you dad in particular, again I think talking is good. Speaking to mental health professionals will help you take care of yourself, but you can discuss ways to approach your parents and mend some aspects of your relationship. I know this is easier said than done, and it's not something that'll be done overnight, but it may well be worth the effort if it helps.

    So ultimately, I'd say it's about speaking up, not losing your voice, and doing it in a kind but assertive way that is aided by the help of professionals. And take care of yourself, please! Mental health first. You need to be safe and healthy to continue the bravery you have already shown.

    Hope this helps.

    Josette

    2 people found this helpful
  5. op1996
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Vietnam
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    op1996 avatar
    7 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to swidjaja11

    Hi swidjaja11,

    First of all I am sorry that you are in this tough situation. It is extremely tough to make a decision on your future under parental pressure. Do you think that your parents are the way they are (strict) because they want the best for you? I know a lot of 'tiger Asian parents' like yours whom don't understand the concept of positive reinforcement (*not generalising) because they were raised with tough love & that's all they know (:. Would you like to try being persistent with your father & put in a lot of effort to prove that you will make him proud by choosing YOUR career path. It takes time dealing with their doubts (and stubborness). But I believe that if you can prove to them that you will work very hard to become the best you can be studying Music then hopefully they will warm up to you? I wish you the best with your future!! I know it's hard but please stay positive (:

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Hawraa
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    • Lebanon
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    Hawraa avatar
    9 posts
    14 December 2017 in reply to swidjaja11

    Hi Swidjaja11,

    I echo the sentiments of Josette and Hayfa very much and strongly agree/suggest seeking professional help, either a GP or psychologist would be very helpful in this situation. Having a professional that can equip you with the tools to navigate not just your circumstances but also your thoughts and feelings on the situation, can do wonders in the actions you can take to make progress in the right direction, be it tangible progress like making a change in career and degree, or mental and emotional progress in how you cope and manage these relationships.

    A big thing with I've had trouble accepting, is the lack of emotional intellegence our parents can have. I've seen this more prominantly with migrant parents, again it stems from their upbringing and their perspectives on what matters and often mental health, and following one's passions isn't as much of a priority. From what you've described of your parents, whether they have a PhD or work a menial job, it has no relevance to their level of emotional intelligence, which is what is lacking in your conversations. It's difficult to navigate and requires a lot of patience when you're trying to get them to understand your perspective. That's why most of the time you end up having to accept it and make do with the situation. I've had to learn to do what I know is best for my wellbeing and future, and anticipant the reluctance from my parents and be patient as they always eventually come around.

    You're not at all alone in these experiences, despite it feeling like that. Have patience and believe in yourself and what you're capable of. It's easier said than done, but you have nothing to lose by putting yourself first and going for what makes you happy as long as you're not harming yourself or anyone else around you.

    Decide what you want, come up with a solid plan, and go for it! Have a psychologist or a friend that understands your family and situation help you with it.

    Keep us updated!

    Hawraa

    2 people found this helpful

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