I Tried to Improve My Relationship With My Parents – But They're Not Listening

My parents want the best for me and that’s a certainty. I believe that whole-heartedly. But sometimes A + B doesn’t add up to them as it does to me. And other times, me + an opinion is a goddamn crime. Mom, Dad, I love you, but please let me breathe. I’ve done everything you’ve ever wanted me to do for the past 16 years. I’ve done the work you forced me to flawlessly, I’ve studied, I’ve aced my classes, I’ve cleaned, I’ve done chores, I babysat my sister for you. All of that time and time again, yet you still call me selfish.

Mom, Dad, our relationship isn’t the best, in fact it’s a horrible one! We don’t talk because you don’t listen to me, you don’t give me the capacity. I don’t sit with you because I feel uncomfortable just sitting around you. There is no communication between us and the only thing that literally links us is the fact that you made me; if you were somebody else I would have never allowed us to cross paths. I’m sorry.

But let me try to be the good guy and clean shit up, right? Because you’re never wrong. How can I improve this relationship and how can every other teen do so too?

Well, I’ve been sitting on the fence for a while trying to make up a story that adds up without paradox. Maybe we do have it wrong all along and it’s just some miscommunication. I’ve had this massive argument with my mum a couple of days back (which always happens btw) but this time, the night after she came to me. Soft voice, warm smile, and eyes pleading, “I just want to talk.” So let’s do that- allow one another mental capacity and safe space to just talk; focus on the incoherent sounds too. They say it’s the most painful of speeches.

Maybe learn to compromise or leave. Drop the conversation when it starts to tense up, learn to stop gritting your teeth to everything you hear- scratch that, everything you keep blocking to stop hearing. Stop holding so much tension on your shoulders all the bloody time. It’s tiring and draining more to you than to your parents; it’s even more painful for them having to watch that and feeling unable to do anything about it.

Ask for advice: go back to them. Re-read that. Go back to them, please. They’re dying for that and I know for a fact. They’re dying to aid and help you flourish into something beautiful. To see their baby grow into a successful human. And it breaks their hearts seeing you go back to a “stranger” rather than them because they nurture and build you.

Tone down your voice. Tone it way down, you’re only making matters worse for both you and them. And I know it sometimes feels better or it feels like you’re getting your point across for once, but I’m starting to realize it’s not the case at all. But I do get you, because as women especially, we’re always oppressed, manhandled, and second-guessed which is all bullshit. The loud “Arab” voice is nothing but a coping mechanism to us. Despite all that, try to just catch yourself mid scream and remind yourself that this clearly isn’t worth it. It’ll result in more anger and more yelling which we are so tired of.

Learn to let shit go. I said this before and I will say it again. None of this is important and it won’t matter in a year because shit changes. For better or for worse- IT DOES. I’ve heard this before somewhere and it’s beautifully romanticized in a way that has left me in deep awe, “but I’ll soon forget the colour of your eyes and you’ll forget mine.” Who knows? Maybe that’ll be the case in the very near future for you and for them and while that may seem tragic for most, it isn’t for us. Our parents have heart us in unspeakable ways that no one can understand the hurt’s depth.

You’re going to have to save yourself sometimes and that’s okay, but it’s never all tragedy no matter who you are or what you think. There’s a light, love, and life hidden for you somewhere and I hope you stop feeling restless.

With all the love that I can possibly give out,

I choose to stay anonymous. 

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