I Feel Worn out Around My Parents Because Their Words Sting Me

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m an office worker in my late 20s. At work, I try to be a nice person, hiding my feelings. At home, where I live with my parents, I feel stressed and weary.

As I grow older as an adult, I’ve felt like my parents are not as perfect as I thought them to be. They are always negative, criticizing the appearances of others or putting themselves down.

I know it’s not good to think about my own parents like this, but I don’t know how I should interact with them.

Because I’m always on edge at my job from working hard, I try to unwind and recover at home as much as possible. But my parents chide me whenever I wake up late. If I take a day off, they say I’m skipping work.

Their remarks irk me, and I sometimes explode from all my pent-up anger.

I dislike how neurotic and ugly-minded I am. In recent years, I wish I could quit being this kind of animal.

U, Aichi Prefecture

Dear Ms. U:

Having read your letter, I believe there are many people who would strongly sympathize with you and the situation you are in — I’m one of them.

Your daily life is like being forced to sit on a bed of needles; each careless word from your parents must pierce like a thorn, and you never feel at ease, even for just a moment.

It’s only natural that as children grow, their parents, whom they had always looked up to, appear to become smaller.

Even for a mama’s girl to an extreme degree like myself, after I turned 30 years old, there were many moments where I disagreed with my mother’s words and deeds.

But fortunately, my mother and I had shared good chemistry since I was born. While we recognized each other’s faults, we did not do so out of spite. If anything, we laughed off our respective faults as butts of jokes in our relationship.

It is not because of our personalities or efforts, but purely by luck.

Regrettably, the chemistry between you and your parents does not seem to be good. Every word from them is hurtful and upsetting you, driving you into self-loathing.

The only solution is to distance yourself from them. If it is financially difficult to move out, I recommend you spend time outside home, perhaps staying in an inexpensive hotel, at least once a week.

I believe what is best for you right now is to spend less time with your parents.

Eiko Yamaguchi, writer