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Is this what adulthood is about?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Nick07, May 21, 2014.

  1. Nick07

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    I have been struggling with this for some time, and I am not able to come up with any answer. Basically, my question is Do you think that being adult means that you deal with your troubles alone?

    My parents never talked about their troubles or worries in front of us, the kids. They never talked about money either. I remember my panic after getting into serious relationship when my partner wanted to make plans about spending and saving money. For me, it felt wrong and dirty to talk about money. I felt like our relationship was doomed from the start.

    And now, many years later, I am facing a similar problem, this time with feelings and emotional support.

    Because some time ago I lost emotional support from my family. One said "we are not going to talk about that, ever." The other one simply distanced themselves and doesn't respond to my emails no matter what they are about.

    And I start to think, maybe this is what adulthood is about. When troubles come, you grit your teeth and deal with it. You don't expect help from the others and it is not mature to ask for it.

    How do you feel about it? Deep down I believe that in an ideal world there should be someone for you, no matter how old you are, but we don't live in an ideal world.

    We shield our kids, or do the best we can to be there for them. Where do you reach to have the strength "to be there for yourself"? It's been going on for several years and I am ready to give up. Is it why there is so many people going to a therapist abroad? Because it's not very common or standard to go to a therapist in my country. Which kind of supports my theory that everyone has to deal with it alone.

    How do you do it?
     
  2. Aaron82

    Aaron82 Guest

    It's not true. Familly should help eachother friends should help eachother. If they don't want to help you to go through something important for you they don't deserve for your love & friends.
    In Poland we have a saying: True friends you meet in poverty.
    This is life in order to help each other.
     
    #2 Aaron82, May 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2014
  3. Melanie

    Melanie Guest

    I've spent a lifetime dealing with issues/problems by myself because I felt the same way that you do here, but I have found that asking for help is easier when I ask for a little help from a number of people AND accept help when its offered.

    I have this tendency to push people away... the people that REALLY care about me! Ive learned to accept support from people and be appreciative even if what they offer isnt exactly what I need, if that makes any sense.
     
  4. greatwhale

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    In this past rather difficult year, I have counted on my friends and my family for help. I like Aaron82's contribution: "true friends you meet in poverty", very true and very profound.

    Adulthood is not about being alone or dealing with your problems alone. This is horrifying to me, but I am not surprised that this is what it appears to mean. True adulthood means being part of a community, and contributing to the strength of that community. Unfortunately, community doesn't mean what it used to mean, people are more isolated than ever, whether due to a strange sense of "freedom", or technology, or the role of the state which has taken over the role of "community" from many other former entities that have disappeared, such as the church.

    Adulthood happens when we are allowed to be adults. That means dealing with mundane issues like money and raising kids. All too often we are infantilized, either by our jobs, our educations, our entertainments, or our dependence on the state. I know very few adults, actually...
     
  5. BookDragon

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    Do you think that being adult means that you deal with your troubles alone?

    NO

    If you like, being an adult means recognizing you have troubles and problems that need dealing with. Being an adult means taking that first step towards fixing them no matter where it leads and keeping going no matter how difficult, but SWEET HOLY FUCK it does NOT mean you do it alone, and anyone who tells you otherwise deserves a slap.

    I don't usually wish bad things on people, but I cannot abide those who tell others that you have to deal with your own problems ALL ON YOUR OWN and that getting help makes you weak. Those people have driven so many people down the dark path...if you need help get it and to hell with them.
     
  6. Interesting topic.

    I remember having a conversation with a friend when I was 18 about the point at which you become a man. Was it when you start shaving? Lose your virginity? Bring a girlfriend home? Move out of the family home?

    I forget what the conclusion of that discussion was now, but I suddenly recalled that conversation shortly after coming out to my parents a decade later. That, for me, was when I finally became a man.

    Looking my homophobic father in the eye and informing him that i'm gay. That my truth is profoundly different to his truth.
     
  7. mangotree

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    Internalising only leads to stress which leads to other complications.
    Men of previous generations often ran into health problems later in life as a result of the culture of the day forcing them to keep their feelings hidden. They were told that talking about their problems was a sign of weakness or a "feminine" thing to do.
    Both of my grandfathers died young - and they didn't go to war.
    I haven't researched any of this by the way, but I think it makes sense.

    We live in a very different world now though where sharing our thoughts and feelings is part of every day life.
    To be honest, it sounds like your family is a bit backward, this might be a great opportunity to "break the mould" so to speak, and get with the 21st century.

    There's always someone somewhere that you can talk to, who will listen and help you through your thoughts. Most countries and major cities have helplines and counselling lines that you can call - often for free. Even ones that are especially for LGBTIQ people (and the counsellors themselves usually have to be LGBTIQ to work there as well).

    If you work for a large-ish company, these days they often have "Employee Assistance Programs" where you and/or your family can get free access to private/professional counsellors. Fully confidential and everything.
    I think they're often put into place because so many employees take "mental health days" these days as well as "sick days".
    Something to look into if you're in that situation anyway.

    I think this post is long enough.

    Peace be with you.
     
  8. StellarJ1

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    I also struggle with this.

    It is tricky business to take on full responsibility as an adult, and also be able to have healthy interdependent relationships (especially with people whom you have unhealthy codependent relationships because of your dishonesty with yourself).

    I tend to isolate and quarantine others off as I try to become more healthy or adult. But in the meantime, I lose that valuable connection, love, and support which is a condition which leads to more trouble and suffering.

    I halt from sharing my troubles because they often feel like they are just an attempt to get someone to take care of me, which makes me feel guilty. So I try to not lie, and that usually means I just don't share anything. I want to keep it honest.

    Full-bore honesty also seems threatening in that I would lose control and would no longer be hiding.. Ultimately, I could get great advice but that would mean I would have to accept myself further. That seems terrifying.

    I am sorry if you have tried to be honest and brave with your family and they have turned their back on you. If that is the case, then you are doing nothing wrong. (*hug*)
     
  9. TheStormInside

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    It's a different thing to shield your children from worries, and to never talk about them at all. It's possible your parents spoke about these things when you were out of earshot. It's also possible they never did, for some people that is just how they deal with things.

    Being an adult is not relying only on yourself. I think part of adulthood is learning when to be self reliant and not burden others but also when to ask for help. There are some things we can handle on our own and there are others that we can't, or shouldn't have to.

    In my life I've gone through long periods where I kept all of my troubles to myself. That's the type of person I am naturally. But I've learned that doing that only leads to isolation and implosion. At times I've gone the opposite way, allowed all my feelings to just spew all out around me to whoever would listen. This is not a good strategy either, and can also end up pushing people away. So, I think it's about a balance, and learning when it's ok to lean on others, and when enough is enough and you have to just handle things on your own. As others have said, when you really need it true friends will stick by you and help you through.
     
  10. Nick07

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    Thank you all for your comments. Some of you really nailed it. (Even though I don't like what you are saying :wink:)

    The problem is, Melanie, that I asked repeatedly. And being turned down (repeatedly) is just so humiliating. It used to work in the past. I asked for a mental hug and I got it. I felt better and it was easier to deal with my problems. I didn't usually need more than to know that I have that back up. That someone watches my back.
    But since I told them what my troubles were, they all build up walls around them or something.

    It feels like telling someone you are suicidal for example, and they are horrified and tell you not talk about such a bad thing. Like if you won't talk about it, things will be the way they used to be before you told them (= great).

    I am sure my parents talked about money when we, the kids, were not around. But I didn't know that.
    I know I would get a lot of support from my son. But it feels wrong to ask for it. I should be there for him. Not show him I have troubles and feel lost. I am supposed to create a safe home for him, not to show him that it's in fact unstable. Showing weakness is all right, but planting insecurities about the future in his head?

    I know that being honest is good and I am doing what my parents did, and it was not good. But still... He doesn't deserve to deal with adult's troubles.

    I never "needed" a community. My extended family was my pillar of strength, my safe world. Now it doesn't feel that way, and also my friend moved away and has a lot of her own problems... and after all those years I feel like that it is supposed to be like that - to fight your own battles.

    Lately, I have been feeling like doing what they want me to do - to keep my mouth shut and pretend (even for myself) that the problem is not there. But it brings a lot of stress and feeling of our own pettiness.

    I just wanted to know if you all had those good friends in your life or supporting families. I hoped there was more people like me. It seems that I screwed up somewhere. Now I need to find my way out of this mess.
     
  11. Jim1454

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    Others have already said: No - you aren't expected to figure everything out on your own.

    Your parents did you a diservice by not ever talking to you about their fears or concerns. My parents did the same thing. So the message that I received was "We don't talk about our problems." So, I never talked about my insecurities in being a chubby kid and being picked on at school. I never talked about how I wasn't really attracted to girls that much. I never talked about sex or masturbation or pornography - instead kept it all a hidden secret. And that messed me up pretty bad.

    It's OK for kids to see their parents experiencing emotions. Because that would allow them to see how their parents coped with challenges or issues. My parents didn't really model any of that for me. So I struggle with it today.

    Yes - lots of people turn to a therapist (me included) to help work through life's challenges. But it is important to open up to people that are close to you as well. A partner or sibling or close friend. Just talking about things can sometimes lighten the load that you're carrying around.
     
  12. Nick07

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    Jim, reading your post I realized it was not only money what my parents didn't talk about. Hmm.

    My sibling and my partner turned me down. I will have to find someone else.
     
  13. Melanie

    Melanie Guest

    What Ive found works (to a certain extent) for me is to be selective about whom I will ask for different types of support. I know that some people will be able/available emotionally to offer support where others may not. Thats why it helps to have a fairly large support network.

    Maybe a year and a half ago I was starting to feel suicidal. I actually broke down and confided in my sister and she was incredibly supportive. I wouldnt confide everything to her because I know she wouldnt be able to be supportive in certain areas based on past conversations.
     
  14. Nick07

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    Thank you, Melanie.