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Advice on a family situation please

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  • This topic has 14 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks ago by avatarPeepee.
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  • #1009283 Reply
    avatarRimsha Sattar

    I am a 20 years old female from an asian family, with 2 elder sisters. My mum has a sight problem and my dad is self-employed. We found out he’d had an affair a few years ago and even fathered a child. My mum was angry but she decided to stay with him. I respect her choice. All my other siblings have a good relationship with him but after two years, i still cant stand to be alone with him. I feel uncomfortable around him, like he’s a stranger. I dont go out with him anywhere ever even with my family. He constantly criticises my anxiety and depression. My mum and my eldest sister do criticise as well but i excuse it.

    My mum and eldest sister are like two peas in a pod. Theyre quite close and im happy for their relationship its nice to see. But, there’s a problem. Since she is the eldest, she has been given responsibility of managing the bills ( she’s not working, only studying at the moment). i am also studying and in the process of looking for a part time job. I and my mum do majority of cleaning and cooking, my eldest does it sometimes too. She sometimes criticses the way i clean, as does my dad, but i ignore it. It takes me a while to clean as we have a big house and i have ocd so i repetitively clean the same spot several times.

    She and I had a disagreement yesterday. she says paying the bills take up majority of her time, alongside studying. But I argued back, which I rarely do (anxiety), that I see her relax and that majority of cooking and cleaning she doesnt do. I accept she is given responsibility of paying the bills. She says she is the only one who manages the paperwork and told my mum to tell me or my other sister to do it. I said they can tell us but she has all the details but she never explains. When i was walking away, my mum whispered that her and my dad dont trust me and my sister to handle bills.

    I dont know what to do. They deem me incapable of doing things its annoying. Just because i have anxiety and depression doesnt mean i cant do anything. I handle all my stuff well, filling forms in ect. im not thick.
    I feel they control me because of my anxiety and depression. They even arranged a marriage for me because they deem me incapable of managing a relationship too. I did argue but i relented in the end. im sick and tired, always criticised. I give them suggestions, they call me dumb in the beginning and later do the exact same suggestion i gave them.

    I dont really get along with any of my family members and feel bit suffocated.

    I know the ‘bills’ situation is petty but it comes up a lot.

    Could you please give me advice, tell me where i’m wrong, what I should do? Another persons view would be nice.

    Thank you for reading, i hope someone replies.

    #1009290 Reply

    Have you sought help for your anxiety, depression, or OCD? I also suffer from all 3, and take meds to function. There’s no reason to not seek treatment. Once you get your illness under control everything else will improve. Or you can decide to move out. Your health should be your top priority.

    #1009291 Reply

    The arranged marriage seems to me the worst in your situation. So are you now married and you still live with your parents? Or is it planned? If you have no interest in this marriage – so young, before studying, before having any autonomy – please find the strength in you to oppose it. I think that you are upset and fed up with your dependence and alienation in your family. Seek the help and support of association for women against forced marriages.
    About the bills: your elder sister acts as the boss and you are the employee. She “pays the bills” and you clean and cook, like the maid. Sure, it takes a while to manage bills but limit your cleaning to the amount of time she gives to the bills. Don’t overdo it. Set up a time limit for each part of the cleaning and stick to it, even if you are not finished.
    But all this energy put in your family about arguing isn’t leading you anywhere. Your energy should be put in becoming financially more independent and in moving out.

    #1009304 Reply

    Hi thankyou for replying back to me. I managed to go to my GP last year for my anxiety and depression. I felt so relieved, my GP understood more than my own family. In asian families, if you have a mental illness youre considered as a ‘mad’ person, and so as a result, you are not treated well by other people. On two occasions, i bought the medication with me home but my mum and sister were against it and threw my meds away and said it would make me go even more crazy. And they are both opposed to counselling too. I think as long as I live in this house, im going to become more mad.
    And also… traditionally… you cant leave the house unless you’re married. i know, its stupid. And as girls in the family, you cant work in any retail or fast food chains ect… (the ‘normal’ jobs ). Its all bull****. While these things might seem as normal things to other people that they can do , its not the case for me: i’ve always wanted to get a ‘normal’ job and have my own space.

    But, I am seeking counselling privately without them knowing, so thats good. And i am trying to find a ‘suitable’ job to gain my own independence.

    If I dont follow what they say, they’ll cut me off and i dont think i can handle that. I need to develop myself slowly, working on my health and becoming financially independent so that, if worse comes to worse, i wont be much affected by whatever they do.

    #1009306 Reply

    Thank you for replying.

    im not married yet, thank god. I’m postponing it for as long as I can. It is planned for next year. I’m trying to find a way to approach the arranged marriage to my parents tactfully. The last time i tried, i couldnt even get a few words in but this time, i will get a few other family members involved.

    You’re right, im so young and i want to study and find my own way in life rather than being trapped in marriage, to a guy i hardly know. I want to eventually meet someone on my own.

    The advice about the cleaning is very helpful, thank you. Unfortunately, my ocd wont allow me to finish cleaning something unless it is all done, but i will focus on a specific task and not take on so much.

    I’m generally a quiet person, i hate arguing. I just want to get on with my own life and just be happy. Hopefully, one day, i will get to that.

    #1009308 Reply

    If I were you, I’d be looking for a job (part- or full-time) that allowed me to make enough money to move out (with roommates if that’s all you can afford).

    I’m glad you found a way to see a therapist without your family knowing and I hope it’s helpful for you. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and you shouldn’t have to put up with family tossing your meds (WTF). Keep getting help, even if it means hiding it for now. Hopefully you can be out on your own soon enough and can live your life more freely.

    #1009321 Reply

    I think that appropriate advice is dependent upon what country you live in. If you live in India, I don’t understand the culture well enough to advise. If you live in the United States or United Kingdom, I think you need to move out. Stay with a friend or in a shelter or with a friend, get a job, save some money, get a shared apartment. Tell the shelter that you want to avoid an arranged marriage.

    #1009322 Reply

    I agree with Ron. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with your options outside of the US – though general advice would be to seek out local organizations that help women escape arranged marriages or abusive households. Maybe start with a call to your doctor’s office. In the US you can call your local women’s shelter and go there to stay, or move in with friends if possible. You can also call 908-481-HOPE to get help through Unchained At Last which helps women escape forced marriage in the USA.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure if there’s a way for you to refuse the arranged marriage, leave your family home, and keep them in your life. At least for a while. So you need to decide which outcome is worse – a marriage you don’t want or your family cutting you off for leaving. I know what I’d choose. You also need to decide how dangerous leaving would be and make your plans to leave accordingly, hopefully with the help of a local aid organization.

    #1009331 Reply

    Thank you for replying. I live in the Uk but the area where I live is very cultured and everyone knows everyone in a way. I’m going to save up and move out of the area by the end of the year secretly.

    #1009332 Reply

    Thankyou for replying.I live in the Uk. Im going to save up and move out in secret. Hopefully everything goes to plan

    #1009333 Reply

    Thankyou for replying and thats exactly what im going to do.

    #1009337 Reply

    Yeah, your family sounds challenging in the extreme. They are about as awful as one can imagine.

    Keep going to therapy —- and if you need meds. HIDE them.

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