In Misery amid My Parents’ Discord, I Want to Live on My Own After High School

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female high school student. I have been miserable because my parents don’t get along with each other.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been hearing my mother complain about my father. The older she gets, the more her hatred for him grows, and now she gets upset when he simply makes a sound. If he comes into the living room, she says, “Don’t come in here! Go away!” She even becomes violent.

To tell things in this way might only make my mother look bad, but my father, for his part, is self-centered, makes loud noises, looks down on people and isn’t considerate of others. He has even said terrible things to me several times.

I’m afraid of the clashes between my parents, so I always have to be aware of what’s going on. It also bothers me that my sister does not take time to listen to my mother’s griping and spends her time in self-indulgence. Everyone thinks about only themselves.

It’s hard for me to go home from school when the sun goes down. I want to get out of my parents’ house and live on my own after graduating from high school. Please tell me how to have a positive attitude.

H, Kyoto Prefecture

Dear Ms. H:

You have a strong independent spirit. That is a very important character trait for life. Keep dreaming of the day when you will leave your parents’ home, but please hang in there just a little more.

As long as you live with your parents, it is difficult to avoid the impact of their discord completely. But you can physically distance yourself from them with ingenuity.

How about going to a public library after school? Many young people study in the rooms there. It would also be good to talk to a librarian about what books to read. You might have an unexpected encounter with a book that will broaden your horizons. Your parents surely won’t complain if you are at the library.

Do you take part in any club activities? What about taking lessons or doing part-time work?

If you have something to keep you busy, you will have less time to agonize over your parents. I am sure that having your own world, as well as having friends and teachers you can talk to, will be a treasure for you.

According to your letter, it seems you often have to listen to your mother complain. Even if you lend an ear in that situation, don’t voice your opinion. Don’t criticize her or agree with her, either. Passing such things off without getting heavily involved is also a way of getting by.

If parents don’t get along, that is a matter they have to resolve. There is nothing a child can do about it. The best thing to do is to run away from their trouble, so as not to get wrapped up in it.

Hazuki Saisho, writer