I have a bunch of family drama going on right now.  My parents have decided to cut me off financially (which is fine, I'm 24, and it's not like they were paying my rent or anything - they offered to cover my car insurance while I am in school and I'm a few months behind on my cell phone bill) and essentially emotionally.

I feel like my family just broke up with me.

Didn't run yesterday or today.  I'm sluggish, sad, and I strained part of my right leg anyway.

This feels exactly like when Juan broke up with me all that time ago.  They've totally broken me and I don't know who I am now.


At least I was 133.2 this morning.  Weight loss will be the only good thing to come of this.

To clarify - my mother and I have not been getting along well lately.  Both of us are quite stubborn and don't like to be wrong.  I however, accept that there is more than one point of view in this world and that my parents have different views than I do.  My mother told me yesterday that the thinks I am completely selfish and using my parents.  I was just home for the weekend and she EXPLODED at me on my way out the door when I said that I didn't think it was that cold outside.  She says I contradict everything she says and I am spoiled.  She constantly tells me I need to humble myself.

What this boils down to is my mom, in my entire life, a. is always right, b. never apologizes, and c. never makes an effort to calmly address problems when they are small.  She waits for a whole pile of issue to accrue and then a huge arguments ensues.

Here is the email I sent her, after not contacting her for a few days following Saturday morning's fight because I didn't know what to say:


I am accepting your rejection as your solution to our problem.  I will not try again to contact you.  I feel utterly used by you, as does your father.  You assumed he would pay for and do your oil change and did not even offer to repay him for the cost of the oil etc.  There will no longer be any financial support coming your way.  I am done with sacrificing for your comfort.  I get the $16 haircut to be able to send you money and you get the $50 cut.  Something is wrong here and it will stop.  You are not entitled to anything.  We support you out of love for you, but it's time for tough love.  I will not be paying your car insurance or your phone bill anymore.  If you do not send the $48 or whatever it is each month, we will take your phone off of our account.  You owe us $980 and we expect to be paid.  Installments are fine, but you need to start settling your debt.

If and when you have a change of heart and can humble yourself for once, we can talk.  Otherwise, I really have nothing to say that will change the situation.


I then proceeded to call her to try and figure out what is going on.  As for the issues mentioned in the email, specifically the oil change - I asked my dad how much money I owed him and he said he'd look at the the receipts (mind you he had offered to change it when I came home for Thanksgiving).  He never told me and went to work for two days and I did not see him before I returned to school.  As for the haircut.  My mom has short hair too - she gets her hair cut every 4-6 weeks for $16.  Thats approximately 8 times per year, totaling approximately $130.  I get mine cut every 12-14 weeks even with short hair at $40 a cut.  That's 4 times per year at $160.  I don't really see a huge difference there.  As for the car insurance, my parents offered to pay it while I was in school and I gladly accepted and have been thankful.  My parents lent me half of the money for my security deposit ($980) that I told my mom I would pay back ASAP.  I told her a few weeks ago I would write a check for some of it, and I kind of forgot.  I apologized for not sending it sooner, but I sent them a check yesterday for the whole thing.  I also sent them the voided original check I had written and put in an envelope three days ago.  Anyway, my mom just kept telling me that I am selfish and ungrateful and stubborn and that I am doing all of these things wrong.  The only two things that my mom has any right to be on my case about is that I a. have not found a church to attend down here and b. I do give my family a hard time about their really unhealthy diets.  Most of you know that I am a vegan.  My parents eat really unhealthily and are both very overweight - my older brother who still lives at home, is too.  I have tried to be nice and encouraging in the past, but it doesn't do anything.  I am worried that both of my parents will die due to obesity-related issues and no one seems to care but me.  I tried to explain to her that I don't expect them to financially support me and have been very thankful.  I also don't think that doing nice things for someone gives you the reason to try and control them.  She can't make my choices for me and in general I think I live a life that makes my parents proud.  Then she hung up on me and I sent my dad a flurry of Facebook messages.

I know you told mom that I didn't offer to pay for my oil/filter. That isn't true. I asked you how much and you said you'd look at the receipt and let me know, then you went to work for two days and I didn't hear anything about it. I didn't expect you to change it, you offered. Tell me how much I owe you and I will write you a check. Please try to mail that book today. It's expensive and I do not have the extra money to buy a new one for the library.

I am beyond frustrated with my parents saying that I am ungrateful, spoiled, and have a bad attitude. I was nothing but helpful when I came home for Thanksgiving. Yes, I owe you and mom money, but she said I could pay it in installments and I had a check written and in an envelope. I voided it and am sending the full amount. Additionally, as I have explained to mom many times, I have no problem paying my cell phone bill or car insurance, she offered to pay the insurance and REFUSES to let me know when my bill is due. I gave her a bunch of stuff to sell on ebay over the past year that has covered my bill and she has not mentioned it until today. As soon as I can I will get off the family plan and besides the fact that the car belongs to you and I am still on your health insurance, I will not owe you any more money. I will find out how much the insurance is through my school and get on that or just have you drop me altogether. Mom complains about me being entitled and I think its unfair to offer to help someone and then constantly harp on them or think you can control them. I left in a flurry on Saturday morning because mom was screaming at me, and contrary to what she insists, she told me that I had to leave. Therefore, I left two towels and Lulu's dishes in my room. I'm sorry for leaving them, I forgot as I was rushing out the door. Mom says she has to make sacrifices like haircuts for me. Mom gets her hair cut every 4-6 weeks at $16. I get a $40 hair cut every 14 weeks. She insists that I will never admit that I am wrong, but I don't see how I am here. Every argument turns into this huge melting pot of 100 issues that get dragged up. I can't handle it.

Instead of trying to encourage me in my life, she wants the satisfaction of me admitting my every defeat. I don't think that is a loving attitude. She doesn't remember what she says to me when we argue and insists that I put words in her mouth. The ONLY legitimate argument that she has here is that I haven't found a church yet. And instead of simply asking me about it in a rational way, she drags it into an argument which makes me push back.
As soon as I am physically able, I will be completely financially independent. I won't visit unless I am invited, and you won't have to worry about my personal life whatsoever. Since every decision I make is apparently wrong in your eyes, its not worth discussing.

I am sorry for being such a disappointment.
I was wrong in not paying you back sooner and for not keeping track of my bills.
I was wrong in not giving you the money for the filter.
I was wrong in not finding a church already.

And additionally, I concede that I am wrong in the way I express my disapproval of what you eat. As I tried to explain to mom, to no avail, I have tried to encourage you to eat healthy and no one seems to care. I consider your physical health something that is pretty important. Recently I have been critical, and that isn't good.

 I also need to say that when I am doing something wrong, the time to tell me is when it is happening in a calm way instead of waiting for a ton of stuff to pile up and then explode, which is what mom always does. I can remember a handful of times when mom has threatened to leave our family and not be our mother anymore because she is over the edge. I remember telling Heather Lundon that my mom was going to leave our family and she gave me her lunch money because she thought I would be poor! Instead of waiting for things to get to this point, why can't we just discuss it like adults. Mom never asked if her check was in the mail, which honestly, I sort of forgot about until last week (and I wrote a check when I got home, which you will see when you get it in the mail). Mom never asked me about church until the email she finally wrote me when I didn't speak to her for a month. She never asked me for money for my cell phone, not even once. She says I don't need an expensive phone, and that's fine, but this is the first time I have ever heard her say that. She never said that she's feeling stressed or finds me self-centered and inconsiderate. She never mentioned that is was difficult for her to afford the car insurance (that she offered to pay for, I didn't ask, and I have been very thankful that you were paying it). I do not live an extravagant lifestyle. She just explodes. How am I supposed to react to that? And when she explodes, of course I immediately go into defense mode. Wouldn't you? She says I am never wrong, well we are awfully similar. Are arguments continue because we don't see eye to eye and neither of us believes that we are wrong. The only way I am different is that most of the time, I can at least see where mom is coming from since I understand her strict values. When it comes to all of this stuff, since this is the first I am hearing of it, I do have a hard time validating her anger.

I could care less about being cut off financially. I'll figure it out and it's just part of adult life. That's no big deal. I do care, however, that my parents think I am so manipulative and evil as to "use" them and essentially want to cut me out of their lives emotionally. I disagree that my behavior has ever warranted such a thing. I'm not perfect, but neither are the two of you. I don't know what else I need to apologize for the two of you to be satisfied here. If you want me to admit defeat, I have. My attitude, that mom is so unhappy with, is an attitude of gratitude and hard work. I work hard in school and try to live a good life to please you. I am not ungrateful for what I have and where I am. Me disagreeing about the temperature, trying to get you to eat healthier, and forgetting about my phone bill do not negate that. I am amazed that all of the good things I have done at your daughter apparently mean nothing to you. You have officially wounded me to the core, which I hope was not your intention. I have always taken great comfort in the fact that my family is loving and supportive. Right now, this "tough love" that you cite is not love at all. It is manipulation. You have emotionally broken me. You win. If you want to discuss this further and not let it remain this way, feel free to contact me. I will not be reaching out except to tie up the loose ends of my finances. I cannot handle the emotional stress of this every day.

So now you all have a better idea of what is going on.  It's a total mess.  My mom is just being totally irrational and hurtful.  I feel completely heart broken that my parents think I am so awful and such a disappointment.  And my dad and brother will always back up my mom.  She's never wrong.  The whole thing is just crazy.


Anonymous said...

Hope you can absorb the extra bills you'll be paying on your own now. They didn't tell you why? Or is it just b/c they figure you are old enough? Anyhow hope you feel better.

Clear Girl said...

Oh no! I'm sure your family doesn't want to break up, maybe they're having financial issues? or they see this as a way to force you into further independence? Either way, a phone call and some tea could this out. They're your parents, just tell them how you feel.


Zoie said...

i just found your blog and i love it! cant find the follow button though grrrr. xoxo family drama is a BITCH good luck. P.S. i love your "about me". its charming

Eloise18 said...

I can understand the financial side however how does this equate to emotional disowning? I'm guessing they didn't say that down the phone so what happened to lead to this conclusion? x

Anonymous said...

Oh darling, you poor thing. Please don't lose heart, these terrible situations have a way of slowly becoming more bearable. I can't imagine what you're going through but please know that my heart goes out to you xx

I am only hoping that this slammed door will lead you somehow to a new open one.

All my love and what little comfort I can offer,
Adeline xx

Dumb Brunette said...

I'm sorry you are having problems with your parents. I also have had silly fights like this with my mother. Give it a couple of weeks, she will probably calm down and realizes she misses having her daughter in her life.

I can also relate to your problems with your family's eating. My mother is obese, and my sister is on her way, and I worry about both of them all the time! I love my family and want them to be healthy. But I can't make them eat well, so I've pretty much given up. I try to live by example. Perhaps one day our mothers will have a change of heart. In the meantime, just accept that, while you may love someone, you cannot make them love themselves.

Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

My mums the same, not with financial things - im only 16! - but with always being right and how I'm "ungrateful" so I understand how upsetting it is :/ if you leave it for a while though, I'm sure she will think over it and realise she was unfair :) families have a way of sorting themselves out :)
Lottie x

Claire said...

I know it seems bad right now but this could be a good thing. If you're able to support yourself financially you will have a far less dependent relationship that will allow for the relationship with your parents to heal. I've been through something similar.. I even paid rent when I was living at home but after cutting ties and living separate lives my father am I have developed a nice relationship.
I'm sorry you're hurting, I'm sure your family still loves you, your mother just needs to work out another way to deal and talk to you about her feelings.
Hang in there, it'll take time but your family can heal.
Hope you feel better soon xxx

Cierra said...

I'm sorry this is happening to you, love. You can't pick your family. Fate will bring wonderful people into your life that will be even better than your actual family. Congrats on the 133 :)

miss alisha said...

I read every single word of this. I understand it. I am so compassionate towards you, love. The drama you are experiencing with your family right now is so very similar to what I am going through. You are lucky that you can support yourself financially, though. I do not have that luxury. I have to put up with my parents' crap because I need a place to live and someone to pay my bills.

Your mother is very irrational and I think you responded with great maturity. From what I've read here, you are extremely smart and mature. I'm sure your parents are dumfounded with those messages, although I doubt that they will ever let you know that.

You are not selfish or manipulative. You are being the child of your parents, it's as simple as that. What were they expecting when they had a child? Were they expecting to be able to control every aspect of the child? That's just unreasonable. You said it perfectly: "I also don't think that doing nice things for someone gives you the reason to try and control them."

I think it's best if you stay away from your parents, for now at least. The emotional trauma they are causing you is dangerous. You don't need that. I don't need that, but sadly, I do not have the means to leave home. Until your parents come around, they do not deserve to have you, as their child, in their life. That is my honest opinion. I say that because I feel like your situation mirrors mine.
You'll be okay, love.

K said...

Your story reminded me of home... How sad. Right down to the overweight parents. I moved away for college, and I never looked back. By move away I mean 900 miles. I visit twice a year and that's good enough for me. Try to take things in stride... I don't deal with my moms bull shit because I don't have to. And hopefully you're far enough away you don't have to either. Keep us updated on what your dad says

Jéanne said...

I'm so, so sorry, Sarah. Having gone through this with my own family, I can offer these explanations:

Menopause: a terrible thing if left untreated. It can cause horrific emotional outbursts in women. Your mom is probably about the right age for it!

Jealousy: Many women are jealous of their daughters, especially if they are attractive, successful or living the life that they never had. Many women feel threatened by their daughters and will get the whole family to turn against them.

I think distancing yourself from them is a good idea. You have your own life to live and that's what's important. Thinking of you. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, I'm so sorry to hear (well, read) about all of this. I really hope you and your family are able to work this out some way or another. Stay strong- you clearly are the mature, level-headed one in this. ♥


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