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Old 05-03-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
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Too reliant on others.

So let me just begin with the fact that I am an anxious person and I think about things too much.

So my girlfriend (I am a lesbian) and I have been living together for over a year now and dating for 1 1/2 years. We are young and I am still in school for my master's (finishing this May) and she is a teacher for Teach for America. I have had on and off part-time jobs while in school, but my parents are really the ones supporting me. They pay my monthly rent among giving me money to pay bills and groceries and such. She pays for herself because she has a full-time job. I am very reliant on my parents and she is not at all.

Sometimes I feel a bit worthless because I am relying on my parents for support and I am 24 years old. I have been looking for jobs but it has been really difficult. I am applying to go back to school for another master's degree into something I passionately want to do. I do not want my parents to support me financially through this but I don't know how I will be able to work full time and go to school full time. I've never had to do that before.

I feel like I seek the approval of others too much in what I do in my life. ESPECIALLY MY PARENTS. I don't know if it is because I am still attached to them, financially. But, I have made decisions in my life based on other people too many times. I am the youngest child and I have totally been babied and overprotected all of my life. I think it would really help me to loosen the ties with my parents but I need to get myself okay financially.

I don't really know what I am asking for. I am just having a tough time.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Too reliant on others.

Oh my god it could have been me writing this!! I don't have any advice for you because I'm in the same situation and have the same feelings. I'm 25, in school, and completely financially dependent on my parents. Plus I still have years of school because I'll be in grad school. I am also the baby and feel dependent and like there are things I should be able to do for myself at this point that I still can't. I feel behind. I also do NOT know how people can go to grad school full time and also work enough to actually pay rent and everything else to live. I don't know if I'm just spoiled or what but that sounds ridiculously miserable to me? How would you have any time to study or sleep? I have friends with apartments and even babies and I just feel so behind (not that I want babies now..)

Also, my parents control me with money. This is not a good example because I shouldn't be doing drugs anyway (I used to have a drug problem), but I get drug tested by them and I have to comply or I'd be homeless and have no money. I want to be sober, but the idea that I'm 25 and getting drug tested by my parents so I can basically get my "allowance"... it just really bothers me, it's not right.

Sorry if I hijacked your thread and just talked about myself the whole time, but I am in such a similar situation and I don't know the solution either! I feel just like you and it's so frustrating and kind of embarrassing.

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:53 PM   #3
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Re: Too reliant on others.

The opinions of others thing and the financial dependance on your parents are two different things here. First of all, if you dont want to be dependant on your parents, and at 24, I dont think you should be, you need to get a job. You finish your masters this month....GREAT! If you continue at this point, you should do it on your own dime. And if you cant affoard to live AND go to school for yet another masters, then you cut out the schooling until you become in a place where financially you can. That's how the real world works. And I know the job market is tough, my brother has his masters, and didn't so much have a hard time getting a job as much as he had a hard time getting a GOOD job. But that comes with time and experience. Just because you have a degree doesn't necessarily mean you will start out on top. I'm not saying you cant give it a try, but more then likely, you are going to have to fight a little for position just like everybody else. Then, like I said, when you are settled and establishe, that's the time to consider going back to shool PART TIME, because you will be still supporting yourself. And somewhere along the way, you might consider paying your parents back some of what you have takend all of these years.

The looking for others opinions.......I am very much like this. I have to have everybodies advice before I can make a move and without it, I have a tendancy to run to and fro for a while until I boldly make the decision on my own. But since I have become a single mom, more and more the decisions are completely my own and now that I'm getting used to it, I almost resent it when somebody sticks their two cents in without even being asked. You need to learn to trust your instincts and know that even if you make a mistake, and you will make mistakes, that you still did the best you could do. How do you do this? I have no idea! lol. I think the process of becomming completely independant is different for everyone. Some people cant wait for it, and others like you and me are completely terrified of making the unthinkable "wrong" decision. And gee gosh, what will everbody think when that happens! For me, I didn't learn to become more independant until I woke up one day and realized that what everybody else was telling me to do was not what was right for me. Not to mention the fact that I could never seem to please "EVERYBODY". I just got tired of it. I wanted to think for myself, and have my own opinions, and my own experiences that were not dependant on anybody else. So I have no idea how it will happen for you, but I think the fact that you are questioning it is probably the first step in you doing something about it. Good luck.
Melissa

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:09 AM   #4
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Re: Too reliant on others.

I waited until I got a job to go to graduate school because my parents did not pay for it. I waited about 11 years after graduating from undergrad, but I now have a great job with tuition reimbursement as a benefit. I wanted to make sure I picked the right program because I didn't want to get a masters just to say I have one, I wanted it to be in a field I could really use it. I am taking advantage of the tuition reimbursement from work to get my masters and should be done in about 2 years. But I can only take 1 class per quarter because I'm working full time and my job requires a lot of travel.

My point is that you shouldn't expect your parents to pay for school anymore. You're too old to be continuing to take from them anymore. You won't ever learn financial independence if you don't start taking some responsibility. The only way to learn how to do it is by doing it. And your first step is to find a job and start working. Don't apply for that second masters program because you don't need to do that right now. Right now, you need to get a job and start earning your own way.

You"re lucky they paid for 1 of your masters degrees but I don't think you should continue sponging off them to get another one. The only way it's ok for you to be a perpetual student is if you are also self-sufficient and supporting yourself financially. Otherwise you're just taking advantage of your parents at this point for them being overly generous with you up to now.

The only way to learn financial responsibility is to actually go out there and do it. Stop taking handouts and start working to support yourself. I graduated undergrad at 22 and got a full time job with benefits so that my parents could take me off their health insurance and so I could start earning my way in the real world. I didn't want to be one of those people who keeps taking and taking and taking just because my parents offered. It was way more important to me to learn how to take care of myself financially. You're at that point now where you really need to finish this degree and get a job and wait until you have the ability to pay for your own school to go back for a second masters.

Last edited by Kszan; 05-04-2010 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Added something.

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Too reliant on others.

I've never understood this though - why would I work full time at a bad job when I could be going to school to get a job that actually pays money? I have worked before for years and have lived all over the place and I definitely understand how very hard it is and the value of money. But now I live in the same city as my parents and I don't see why I should spend all my time working to pay rent when I can live here for free and go to school to prepare for a job where I'll make more than 7 dollars an hour. I don't feel like I'm just taking and taking because I think they genuinely want to pay for my schooling, and they aren't short on money. Do I just sound really spoiled or entitled?

Again, not trying to hijack the thread - Dodedoo do you agree with what I'm saying or do you feel differently?

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Too reliant on others.

I must be a "mean mom"...because my son is in his second year of college (finishing up this week), and I've pretty much demanded that he get a summer job. Why? Because I no longer receive child support and I just plain can't afford to support him full-time in the summer. Plus, he wants to get an apartment for next school year and he'll need rent money. But the primary reason is that I want him to know how the real world operates. In the real world, he'll have to figure out how to pay for everything on however much money he makes. So why not learn that lesson now?

I've also told him he's welcome to live with me after graduation...but he'll have to pay me rent. No freebies here! Thank God, he's a healthy young man and there's no reason why he can't get a job and pay rent, when he'd have to everywhere else in the country. I'm not going to be around forever and I'd be doing him no favors at all if I coddled him and paid his way, only for me to drop dead leaving him with no clue how to earn and save money, pay bills, live within a budget, etc. My health is not good and there's no guarantee I'll even be around in a few years (heck, no one has that guarantee!) and I feel the best favor I can do him is to let him learn on his own how to take care of himself.

However, there are lots of parents who don't feel this way...I work with someone who has his college degree and a very good-paying job...yet, his parents pay his bills for him, keep him on their car insurance, pay his car registration, etc. He became extremely angry when his dad announced he'd have to start paying his car insurance premiums himself. He actually said "why should I have to pay for that???"...and he was dead serious. The guy makes almost $70,000 a year, but he's gotten so used to Mom and Dad paying for him that he's outraged that they'd actually expect him to pay for something for himself! I think he's spoiled...but that's just my opinion, and that's right for me but not for everyone.

So, if your perception of yourself is that you shouldn't be allowing your parents to pay for everything, how about a part-time job serving coffee or something, so you can at least contribute something to your own expenses? I think it would be a great life lesson.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: Too reliant on others.

Does it maybe seem like a matter of privalage here? Because I grew up poor, and I dont mean that we went without dish-net. I'm talking, so poor we went a year without a refridgerator and kept our food on the bottom step in the basement because it was cooler. So poor that I was 8 before my mother bought us our first wash machine. She did the laundry every day in the bathtub and hung it around the house to dry so she could save what she would have spent at the laundrymat! And I'm only 30, so it's not like there were lots of people washing their clothes by hand. Times got better as we got older, and all were able to chip in more, and my mom and dad got better jobs and worked their way up. But even when I graduated, there wasn't enought money to even put me through college. I had to go on grants, and pay for everything I wanted by myself. I wasn't charged rent though, but by that point, I wasn't really eating at home anymore. Just sleeping and showering there. I cant imagine having my rent paid, bills paid, car paid, education paid.....possibly twice! It just blows my mind that people do that, and that others are willing to take it. Like I said, I would get a job and do it on my own.

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: Too reliant on others.

I think attitude does make somewhat of a difference though. Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better here, but if my parents asked me to start paying rent or something, I wouldn't be angry and I would understand. I feel lucky but I don't feel entitled. I have a friend who has never worked a day in her life at 25 and is only taking two classes cause she doesn't feel she can handle the stress of more classes and she doesn't seem to realize that it's not normal and that her parents don't owe her anything. It's really off-putting and I definitely don't wanna be like that.

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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Re: Too reliant on others.

I think a lot of college aged people are under the mistaken impression that as soon as you graduate and have that piece of paper that says you have a bachelors or masters that you're automatically going to get a good paying job. It doesn't work that way, especially in this economy. Now you're competing with people who not only have the same degree but also work experience, which is worth way a lot more than anything you will ever learn in a textbook. Those people with both a degree AND work experience are going to get the good jobs first and they will also get paid more.

I've learned since I've been in grad school that my work experience has taught me tons and tons more practical info, while everything I'm learning in school is really structured and regimented and not at all realistic for application in a real world situation. I'm going for a masters degree in the actual area in which I've been working for the last 11 years so I already know a lot about it. But so far everything I've learned in school has not been very helpful at all because either it's not current enough with what's happening in the real world outside of academia or it's information that just isn't helpful outside of academia.

So, you're argument about why should you get a crappy job now when you could get a better job after you get a degree doesn't hold any water. That's just not how it works in the real world. You're not going to be making $30k fresh out of college. You'll be lucky if you can find a job that pays $20k per year because like I said, you're competing with people who have the same degree plus experience in the field, which is really worth more than you will ever realize until you get into the situation and realize how little help that degree actually is in the real world.

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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Re: Too reliant on others.

Good point. I am 25 and am still in undergrad due to some mistakes I made along the way - two inpatient rehabs, lots of time off, lots of moving. So I think part of me is just anxious to get on with it. I'll be pushing 30 before I'm even done with grad school!!! Part time work and internships might be a good idea at least.

 
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:08 AM   #11
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Re: Too reliant on others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digmusic View Post
I've never understood this though - why would I work full time at a bad job when I could be going to school to get a job that actually pays money? I have worked before for years and have lived all over the place and I definitely understand how very hard it is and the value of money. But now I live in the same city as my parents and I don't see why I should spend all my time working to pay rent when I can live here for free and go to school to prepare for a job where I'll make more than 7 dollars an hour. I don't feel like I'm just taking and taking because I think they genuinely want to pay for my schooling, and they aren't short on money. Do I just sound really spoiled or entitled?

Again, not trying to hijack the thread - Dodedoo do you agree with what I'm saying or do you feel differently?
So they pay for everything? Do they give you spending money too? What if you want to go to a movie or a concert? Do you have to ask them for money?

It is kind of strange to me not to have any income at all and totally live off your parents in when you are 25. But, I guess it is a sweet deal if you can get it!

 
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:57 PM   #12
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Re: Too reliant on others.

Other people tell me it's a sweet deal so I feel like I sound spoiled and ungrateful when I complain, but I find it really embarrassing. I do pretty much live totally off them right now, but we are thinking of it as temporary while I finish undergrad. 1 year left. I have had many jobs, though only for a few months at a time. They do give me spending money, but that's basically just gas and food. It's not like I go shopping and I try to live like the poor college student that I am. I do feel really behind though and I find myself averting this topic when people ask in person. My parents really spoiled me and now I'm really dependent on other people.

 
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