Depression & conservative misunderstanding parents

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Micheal J
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/17/2009 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys!

First of all, let me thank all of you who are willing to take their time off to read this and make an attempt to help me in the process.

I am in a great depression here. Let me tell you in short about my background. I am an only child to my parents, and they are very conservative. Being a part of the Indian society and culture isn’t helping either. I am a 23 year old guy, finished my graduation and am working full time.

The problem started when I was halfway through college. Due to some financial reasons, I had to take up a part time job during my studies, and I used to work at least 6 hours a day, with 8-10 hours extra spent on studies. For those who are familiar with this type of schedule will agree that we don’t get much of a life. Well, I was more or less happy that our financial situation was improving and that I finally get to graduate with a good professional degree in engineering, and a prospect of a good job and good life.

I was one of the fun loving guys at college, and all of a sudden, my life turned into lonesome and boring. I didn’t get much chance at partying, going out with friends, and the sort. But I hoped that once I graduated, things will turn out for good.

However, after graduation, things got worse. My parents weren’t too interested in sending me off to someplace to pursue my career. Their thoughts were like “You don’t have to build a palace and rule a kingdom, do some work at home, earn money and live normally”. For them, the meaning of normal was living secluded, meeting with close relatives (and spending some time with them), get into a small debt and pay it for the rest of your life, having an arranged marriage and have some children, etc.

But I didn’t mind any of this for some time and still don’t. It is now a whole year since I graduated and I have been working flat out for 3 years at a stretch. And oh, I am working alone in my home office, so no acquaintances, or anyone. I haven’t taken any time out, I don’t spend money on booze, drugs, cigars, or even partying, my work life is like 15 hours per day, 7 days a week, and I don’t spend time with any friends or family. Well, there is a reason to do this. Our financial situation was very bad that it felt we were going to go bankrupt and would probably hit the streets. Even if we are not at that verge now, still, I need to work extra hard for the next 5-6 years before we can say that we have steadied the ship.

Now, this has led me to a deep depression, and this is directly affecting my creativity as well as productivity. This is being evident in my work, and my partners/employers are worried. I guess this might cost me my job, and my only source of income. I tried talking to my parents about this, but they think I am joking. The worst part is; they actually blame me for not putting in extra effort and for not being nice to them. They want me to ignore my problems (I am just a kid, I won’t (and shouldn’t) have any problems, and if I have, then there is something wrong with me due to something that I have done). I just can’t understand their part of the argument, and more so, they want me to act happy as if nothing is wrong. I am NOT supposed to bring negative feelings into the house, and I shouldn’t complain. In fact, I am supposed to keep them happy (Which I am willing and more than happy to do for the rest of my life).

“All the other guys and even girls are working, so what the hell is wrong with you? They are also earning and giving money to their parents, so why don’t you? There is nothing wrong with working alone! Make sure our wishes are fulfilled. Just give us a hand with the household chores, your job can wait, and you can always finish it late into the night. Don’t you think about breaking away and getting lost with a ***** (Sorry people)!” This is what I hear on a periodic basis.

Things are getting rapidly out of my hand. I am not the guy who considers suicide is the answer, and I believe I love challenges. But a secluded life (or without a life), without friends, entertainment, suppressed feelings, and god knows what else is driving me mad.

My parents love me, I know that, but they are way too conservative and old fashioned to keep up with the advancements in time.

I really don’t know what to do. I always thought of getting a girl friend, but that is way beyond the scope of our society, even now. It will only complicate things. I cannot trust my relatives, as they are looking for a chance to oust us. I practically have no ears to listen to my troubles and on top, if I get stuck with unemployment; it is going to be the last straw. I will have to take the blame for not earning as well.

Can anyone give me a good piece of advice? Once again, thank you for your time, I appreciate it.

Micheal J
Hello Michael,  I removed your email from the open board to protect your privace.  If you would like to put it in your profile that would be great. 
Thank you
Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/18/2009 8:02:10 AM (GMT-6)


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/17/2009 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow. What a problem. I'm guessing you're feeling both trapped and overwhelmed?

You said that:

"For them, the meaning of normal was living secluded, meeting with close relatives (and spending some time with them), get into a small debt and pay it for the rest of your life, having an arranged marriage and have some children, etc."

Can you please tell me what the cultural norm is in your part of India? In other words, if you defy them and start building a life on your own terms, would you be going against them only, or would you be going against your whole culture?

I'm just trying to get a clearer idea of what you're dealing with...
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's


Micheal J
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/18/2009 12:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

Thank you for the quick response.

As to your question, sure, I understand.

Well, getting a life alone and moving out (getting a life on my own) is considred to be audacious, irresponsible, well, all the bad things that I can't even think of. If you move out of your house, then you are out of the society, and it is forever. I can of course come back home, but it will do irrepairable damage to both myself as well as my family.

The reason I am not doing this is not because I fear the society for me, but I really want to help my parents, and get them a good name. As it stands, I have earned a good name for myself, and for my family, in the society, because I work and earn well (which most of the young guys in our society don't), I am not into drugs, liquor, or other bad habits, and I am really quite and respectful of my surroundings.

But I can't really seem to convey my problems to anyone, since, these problems will actually stip off my good name, I am clueless as to why this is.

I hope you are getting the picture. Thank you once again.

Micheal

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/18/2009 12:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I *am* getting the picture. Thank you for sharing that with me.

That really is incredibly hard. Is there anything that you *would* be permitted to do? Would they allow you to join a gym, for instance, so that you can keep yourself healthy? Or would you be allowed to go to out, even if just to the movies (or whatever), with a relative?

You have us for company; I hope it helps you to know that.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's


Micheal J
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/18/2009 6:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Ivy,

I used to visit the gym, but movies either with friends or even relatives is a strict NO. Well, gym is now out of the question, since I really have to work really late into the night, and I probably get around 6 hours of sleep a day if I am lucky.

If I am to do anything, I have the permission to do it with my family looking over me. Going on a long journey, or a movie should be with my parents. In effect, I am clueless as to how I will stand up for myself down the road.

Well, it is a consolation to think that atleast someone is listening to my troubles. Thank your for your concern.

Is there anything that I can do to get out of my situation?

Thanks,

Micheal

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 7/18/2009 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Michael,

I am so sorry for your troubles. I can tell you are suffering, and I am not sure what to suggest that will be acceptable within the realm of your cultural boundaries. Is counseling out of the question for you? I'm guessing it might be, but I feel strongly that you would benefit from some advice and support from someone. What about a religious leader in your place of worship? Is there anyone along those lines that could advise you?

It seems like you are under a great deal of pressure. I would hate for this to affect your health, and certainly it would be detrimental to your career, as well, which you have already mentioned. If you need to have some freedom in your life in order to maintain your mental health and your job, and your family needs the money, then they may have to relax their constraints in order to survive. That is my initial view on things. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.....you are really in a quandary here.

You have my thoughts and my prayers, Michael. I hope you will keep posting with us so that we can at least be here to listen and offer comfort to you.
 
Moderator, Depression Forum
 
“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.”  ~Pliny the Elder

 

 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Michael and welcome to HealingWell and the Depression Forum.

I am sorry you are feeling so down and depressed.  Is there a chance you could make a list of things you would like to do and also a list of all the things you do all day long now?  Taking the two lists, can you find a place where you could cut some work time out and use it just for you?  If the cost of entertainment is to much, how about a walk in a park, a visit to the library, muesum, or just meeting someone for coffee for 30 minutes.

I believe we all must have something to look forward to each day.  Perhaps playing a game or reading a good book.  Please do find something that will make you feel good about yourself. 

If you allow the depression to overwhelm you then work will end up falling by the wayside and your parents will not benefit from your ability to contribute to helping out the household.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kitt 


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


Micheal J
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/18/2009 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

Thank you ivy, raniah and skitt for your kind and comforting words. Well, I do love one thing, going on a drive, and I simply love cars. Well, to be precise, I love engines on four wheels, racing, and driving. But then again, there is a restriction, I must take my parents out everytime I get my car out, and well, I haven't taken the poor thing out of my garage for some amount of time now.

I used to love watching an F1 race, but nowadays, our service provider has cut the channel. Just my time I guess.

But yes, I understand that things are going to be tough. I am just hoping to sort things out before things drive me mad.

Thanks,

Micheal

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2009 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   

Michael,

Can you pick up the races on your computer?  Also, get that car out and go for a drive..............what are your parents going to do to you, take away your birthday?  It is OK to be a little selfish and take yourself for a drive. 

I am not trying to belittle your parents in anyway but your in a fight for your mental health well being here and you must take care of you.  You cannot live your life for others and be happy.  Yes you can live your life with your family but you are only one person in the whole family and I would guess that other members in this family are finding happiness for themselves so you need to take a leap of faith and do something for you.

Give yourself permission to take a spin in the car all alone.

Take care

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 7/18/2009 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

I just wanted to say that I read your post and I really feel for you. Did your parents take care of your grandparents like you are them? I know that it is your culture and I am sorry that you are so unhappy.

I am also sorry about the arranged marraige thing. That must be very hard for you. You are living in an age where people do have to do good things for themselves, but as I said, your culture is different. I hope that you can find some happiness in your life.

Best wishes for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Micheal J
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/19/2009 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

Thank you all for your kind words.

Well, things are falling apart. For the past two days, I tried to keep my mouth shut as I didn't want to upset my parents with any bad feelings. Well, to start off with, I lost my job. Yeah, I knew it was long time coming, but well, that is it. I am staring up at a blank wall with no idea whatsoever.

Next, my parents are very angry at my current behavior. They think that I am taking revenge against them for bringing me up. I haven't told them that I have lost my job yet. I am worried as to what they are going to think about that. On top, I am afraid I don't have any money in savings. I have earned well, but I just had enough to finish off 1/10th of our debt. On top, I have around 5 loans to pay off and I am really in a weak spot.

......

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 7/19/2009 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Michael,

Try not to beat yourself up over this. There will be other jobs, maybe one where you can work out somewhere. This might be a blessing in disguise. You never know. You need to be able to live your life. You need to be able to get out of the house without your parents going with you all of the time. So maybe this is a good thing that will work out for you.

I hope that this doesn't depress you too much. Start looking for work elsewhere. See what comes up.

Take care my friend. Things will get better for you, I can feel it.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 7/19/2009 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Michael,

I hope you don’t mind, but I consulted with a friend of mine who is also Indian and is currently living and working in India. I wanted to speak to him about your situation, because I thought he would have a better perspective on the cultural influences and family difficulties you are experiencing.

His suggestions and comments are as follows. I hope this will be of some help to you.

First of all, it is very important that you find an outlet for your feelings. You need to talk to people, and develop some friendships outside of your family. You deserve that kind of support with all that you are dealing with.

Secondly, you should really consider having a polite but firm discussion with your parents, and tell them that you have a life to build, and your career is being seriously affected by the current situation. (Obviously, this was prior to my reading of your last post…..and I am truly sorry for the loss of your job.) If you are ever able to settle down and have a life for yourself, you must be able to develop some success in your career, and that is not happening with your present situation and all of the parental pressures.

Finally, working outside the home, in a proper office atmosphere, will give you the opportunity to make friends and have some space (mental and physical) from your parents. It doesn’t mean you are not a loving and caring son, but your parents obviously love you, too, and they should want to help you to build your career and your chances for a successful life.

My friend says he has seen in his own family how having a home office can be disruptive, when relatives are visiting and they expect you to leave your work and sit with them, even during your normal office hours. Once a separate office was established, many of these difficulties were resolved.

I hope this has been helpful to you, Michael. Since you have had the sad misfortune of losing your job, perhaps this will provide you with an opportunity to look for work outside of your home, in a setting where you could socialize with others and develop your creativity and productivity. Whatever you decide to do, know that we are here for you and will support you in whatever way that we can.
 
Moderator, Depression Forum
 
“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.”  ~Pliny the Elder

 

 

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