so yesterday, everything was going great.. had great laughs at home.. at night, i decided to take out my family (mum, dad and sis - sis and i are single) for a dinner - in a great new (family's first) car to a great restaurant (one that everyone in my family loves)
Now, the last several family dinners have been very miserable - no one talking to each other, tense atmosphere, arguments/fights etc... And such negative atmosphere seems to pop by from nowhere whenever there is such an outing... i almost have a fear of a tense situation bubbling up from nowhere whenever there is such an outing..
so yesterday, i believed it was impossible for anything to spoil the outing- so great was the family atmosphere (a rarity) which preceded the dinner..
i drive the car (actually i m the only one who can drive in the family).. dad takes the front passenger seat.. mom and sister sit at the back... once at the restaurant, i "discover" mom is miserable again.. not talking, not responding to talk, everyone goes silent, to an outsider it would seem someone in my family just died.. i become jealous of other people in the restaurant who are having a good time.. mom tries to lighten up the situation with a fake forced laugh... but it was a horrible state of affairs..
the impossible was made possible.. a perfect day ended up in the USUAL miserable, tense and horrible outing... HOW COULD IT HAPPEN?
once at home again, i exploded in rage at everyone.. for the one thing i wanted was a fun-filled (or at the very least, a peaceful) family dinner, and that couldn't happen.. mom opens up.. she tells she wanted to sit in the front along with me (i.e. her son, for which she dedicated her whole life.. now she can't stand the situation of "my father sitting 'comfortably' in front with me").. i somehow understood her desire to sit in the front even before she disclosed that.. i could have asked dad to sit in the back.. but hey they are grown-ups.. i did not want to baby sit them!
my mom's paranoia with dad sitting in front is explainable.. dad was absent throughout my sister's and mine childhood.. didn't earn enough.. didn't care for mom/children.. was (and is) apathetic and shirked parental responsibilities... mom was a hard-worker.. she raised my sis and i, "alone".. i topped school (while on need-based and merit scholarships) and have a great job today, and owe it to my mom who basically killed her desires and gave my sis/i love and confidence..
so mom's problem was that dad was 'enjoying' sitting in front with me and she was "left behind"... actually i do myself replicate mom's feelings, and i myself do not like to be around my dad alone, unless mom is present..
i couldn't trust my dad, or love him.. and i keep my business with him to the minimum, although i try to be polite with him.. it works somewhat.. and my dad and i seldom have issues with this arrangement, except for one thing.. i love my mom and take care of her and my dad is jealous of that and accuses me of not caring for him.. he demands that i either stop caring for my mom (at least in front of him) or treat him on an equal footing..
feels nice now... i vomited all the poison inside me.. or it would have destroyed me as it has always been destroying me..
HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS BS SITUATION? NOTHING SEEMS TO HELP.. i have tried gentle logical fact-based talks, love, fights and arguments.. i want peace, happiness, prosperity and have all the resources for that.. just need a proper family who can join the fun.. (i dont live in the west - in my country, as in india, children are supposed to look after their parents.. leaving house when 18 is not part of our culture)
oh my this situation sounds extremely childish i mean no offense to your mom and dad but its just a SEAT in a car , its no biggy. your dad has no right to tell you to stop caring for your mom when by the sounds of it shes done a great job of bringing you up and making you a decent human being who has maturity and respects feelings. so i take it your mom and dads relationship is like zero ? why do they even bother if thats the case? anyway back to you...if i was you after all the efforts you have made i would suggest to you to no longer take them out for dinner. stand up to them and tell them straight ''i am not taking any of you out for dinner anymore until you start acting like adults and start acting maturely'' and stick to it. ignore your dads demands you can care for your mom as much as you like and its none of his business he needs to sort this jealousy out as its ridiculous its like hes not making up for lost time its like hes still bringing misery to the family. if you are a caring, loving person then you stay that way, do what you want and don't let your parents try and change you as its not fair and its not right at all. you live your life for you, not for them. your parents need to sort out there differences wether they will or not who knows but you lot can't keep living like this. good luck and hugs x
thank you.. your post helps me feel better... i think i may not have clearly portrayed the situation..
here are quick facts:
1. mom/dad relationship is zero as you said
2. dad, as explained in my previous, has not been helpful.. but that is not the problem.. i have sorted out my relationship with him.. he can't influence me and that is it..
3. the problem is mom's perpetual misery.. nothing makes her happy.. that one day she was happy, and i wasted no time in taking them to dinner.. so that my wish could be satisfied of having a happy peaceful dinner..
4. alas, but my fear was realised.. and misery popped up from nowhere.. as you correctly said, the childish seating thing made mom totally miserable
5. mom's happiness is my objective.. that i cannot attain, no matter what.
6. mom could not or would not take control.. if she wanted the front seat.. she could simply demand.. she didn't.. later she accuses dad of not offering the seat..
7. i have talked to mom regarding this.. and helped her make her mind of what she wanted with dad.. she decided on a virtual divorce.. acting like a couple, but with zero emotional attachment... but she forgets this.. and expects dad to offer the seat!
dad's emotions are like zero, hear nothing feel nothing do nothing.. effectively a dead man.. with just rights and no responsibilities.
8. they are hopeless, purposeless.. if dinner is what they want, i could leverage dinner into making them act like adults.. but there is no such dinner or anything else that they want
9. they are stuck in their old miserable way.. are not happy (or at least the way i define it) and do not want to be happy.
10. irony is, they (or rather just mom) literally destroyed themselves through my childhood into growing me up.. now that i have grown up, and can provide ourselves with all the resources, guess what, they are miserable.. i don't understand them..
11. dad is done with.. no issues... sister is a reasonable person.. no problems with her either... although she has the same problem with the family thing as me.. real problem is the constant love/hate relationship with mom... she is great one moment.. loving caring extraordinary person.. like no other mom on planet.. and totally miserable another moment, reliving past miseries and unable to move on or be happy.. her state of mind drives me crazy
Your father must be willing to change his ways if he is anything like he was in the past. He must earn your respect of you and your mother if that is the case. They being parents have no bearing on this. Your mother must forgive. She may never forget but much work has to go into this. IF you feel it is really worth it for you to sacrifice time and energy (and I understand the importance of family) then you being who you are must be the one to help faciliate this. Also I suggest employing the use of outside resources like councilling (if any are willing) and literature to assist you and feed knowledge to deal with this. All must be done carefully with a hugh slice of love - not easily done. And as all change occurs, it will take a very long time - years and everyone has to be willing and it will have alot of hiccups along the way until it starts getting good. So definately don't put your life on hold while you work this out. Consider it part of your path if you will. Best wishes and hope this helps a little.
It is a hard situation not unlike the one I grew up in. Your family most likely will not change without pressure. The only thing taht ever worked for me was the times I said screw it and quit trying to change others. There is one constant in every person's life. I can only change me I cannot change you. Now I try to live for me and if they want to take part the emotion is real and the times are good. I no longer chase anothers happiness. But when they see you change sometimes that in itself is enough to make them want to change too. Good Luck!