Family - Are these my family?

I’ve experienced a sense of hurt and emotional distance from my family since my early years. Unlike the stereotypical caring family, there has always been an underlying anger within me. Although I’ve grown to be grateful and appreciative, the pain intensifies when comparisons arise, especially with my siblings did worse off yet receive more love than I do. As an independent and resilient woman, I’ve chosen not to rely on financial support from my parents, yet paradoxically, I find myself facing the most restricted freedom in my family dynamic.

These conflicting emotions often leave me questioning the nature of familial love and the dynamics at play within my own family. Why do I feel this disconnect despite my efforts to be self-sufficient? And why does it seem that my independence is met with more stringent limitations rather than the freedom I crave? These questions linger, adding layers to the complexity of my relationship with my family.

I always try to close one eye when they show favouritism to Males in the house. Things got worse when I started tutoring recently and realised that there are so many families out there that love their children, but mine was so so different. I couldnt felt love, I used to chase money. Worked about 40+ hours a week during my Poly days to pay off my school fees and earn sufficient for my allowance.

I am grateful I managed to be grow and be independent and my grades are still above average. As I look at others being loved and cared by their parents, it felt as if there was something tingling in my heart. Now, I watch everyone going for their grad trip, and me not being able to because I am somewhat restricted of my freedom.

What should I actually do to salvage this family relationship that I felt disconnected since Primary School.


I know how you feel @breathing . I have encountered similar emotions and am still in the process of coping with them. Here are a few tips and suggestions that might be helpful to cope with the mixed emotions.

Tip: Identify the reason for feeling a specific emotion
It’s great that you understand that you are angry about something. Try to find the cause for the anger you are feeling. Finding the cause helps you to strategise a way to cope with that emotion.

I guess you are not feeling the connect because your family is not really being sensitive to changes in your emotions. It’s a great thing that you are working to pay off your school fees. I felt a great sense of satisfaction only after my 3 month ITP. It helped me cope with my negative emotions and reduced the nervous energy that I was releasing. I encourage you to continue working part time to help reduce the feelings of loneliness. If possible try to apply for roles that enable you to interact with different people on a daily basis. It might help reduce the disconnect you are feeling.

You might not believe me, but guess what, I am currently in a similar type of scenario. The date of my Prom clashes with the date for my annual vacation! :woman_facepalming: I was actually anticipating this event cos I have missed both my primary and secondary school graduation ceremonies due to some health reasons. Now it just feels like I have to wait for my uni prom… :thinking:

My advice wrt to coping with this is that indulge in sth that might provide you with similar benefits as your grad trip. You can possibly go for a staycation with your friends if you feel that the social aspect of the trip is what you maybe missing out on.

Nothing can actually replace the type of connect you can get from your family. But to counter the impacts of the you can try to indulge in activities that might cumulatively reap similar benefits. If you feel that the social aspect is what matters to you the most, indulge in social activities like going out with your friends, listening to the radio or podcasts.

I would say that the radio is a powerful tool that can help ward away negative emotions. More than just playing songs, listening to the radio enriches listeners with new perspectives from topic discussions initiated by the radio jockeys. They help reduce the feelings of loneliness and might come in handy.

Hope my suggestions may come in handy! :blush:

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Hey @breathing ! Firstly thank you for sharing I could sense that it hasn’t been easy for you and while reading this I felt that there were some parallels with what my dad and uncle went thru with my grandmother favouring my aunt more :people_hugging:

After my grandmother’s passing I could see that their relationship strained further. I would say my reflections after observing these were I feel that there should’ve been better communication between all parties without any blaming and straightforward addressing of the issue.

Not sure if this helps but you can always come back here we are here to listen :otter:

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Hello @breathing,

Thanks for coming on and sharing about your struggles relating to your family dynamics and relationship. It must’ve been really difficult and tiring coping with those thoughts and feelings growing up - nonetheless, your experience is valid given your circumstances. :people_hugging:

First off, I want to commend your self-awareness - for being able to notice within yourself, and realising this underlying anger you’ve been carrying. You’re able to notice when you feel triggered (e.g., thoughts of comparison, placed with limitations to your freedom, favourtisim towards others, etc.). What do you find helpful to help you cope with these distressing feelings? I wonder if it’ll be helpful to express whatever feelings you experience in a helpful manner. And I encourage you to look behind your anger to discover what else it’s trying to send you a message about (whether needs not being met, boundaries crossed, something taken away from you, etc.). :thinking:

Also, regarding your family relationship - this is probably an opportunity for you to decide how you’d like to define it base on your own terms and view on familial love (which comes in many forms and intensity). Consider your values to know what’s really important for you; and let it serve as a guide on how you’d want to live your life by being true to who you are and want to be! :mag: Connection appears to be a big one here so that might look like re-connecting with particular family members with shared (and preferred pleasurable) activities or making ‘new’ connections by starting fresh and honouring your needs by doing things at your comfort level.

Next, I want to commend you on your resilience. I can’t imagine how agonising it was yet you managed to find the drive to be independent and support yourself financially while studying! I’m not sure if all of your conflicting questions in your mind can be addressed but it will help to be kind to yourself and perhaps shifting (to a more helpful) perspective can help in having a different view regarding those thoughts. And if you find your distress being too overwhelming to cope, you can seek out professional support from Family Service Centres. Remember that you deserve and can get the necessary support you need. Until then, take care! :slightly_smiling_face:

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