Difficulty in right action

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Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:05 pm

Ok, so basically I have just started flirting with buddhism, literally the first touch. I have had some major breakthroughs in terms of my emotional control but there is certain aspect of my life where I feel consistently distressed about and I do not know what I am supposed to do. Usually they involve my father or mother.

Basically let's just talk about the most recent (about 2 minutes ago since I created this account) I was talking to my father about his lack of respect for me when I ask him for money. Essentially a small problem but something I feel is making me compromise my integrity. All throughout my life, whenever I've asked for money, I've had to beg him, use tactics like stropping about, making threats, blackmailing and holding something he holds dear as a bargaining chip (my father and mother are computer illiterate so I have to do basically everything for them on computer related tasks. By saying I won't help them with this recent task on the computer they will relent) so that I can get money. Also another tactic I employ is asking for money greater than the amount needed because he will always without fail say he doesn't have money equal to what I ask off him.

Anyway I am trying to change my behaviour, at the time I felt entitled to the money I got off him due to the fact my friends parents would give adequate sum of money to them weekly and I never even asked for that much. I would just ask for sums equal to the amount I needed, rarely would I ask for excess. But the problem is that my father would only in very rare occasion give the amount specified. Now I was posed with a dilemma, if I asked for £10 and receive £2 every time which is very unhelpful as say if I had to go the cinema I couldn't go, but if I didn't go he would ask for his money back. I started to ask for amounts greater than what I needed it for, I fabricated school trips, friend's birthdays (he was very keen on displaying generosity, I remember one time seeing him hand over more money to his friends son for his birthday than I had gotten in 5 years), school fees, just a host of lies so I could swindle from him. After a while it made me feel bad because it was all a sham, but I also felt angry why he wouldn't just give me the amount specified. So over the years I started to mix in lies and truths, using both tactics to gain the money I needed. Always I was disappointed by the fact I either had to debase myself or lie (which is debasing yourself as well I guess) to gain something from my father. A mix of anger at myself and him started to take root, I felt like I shouldn't have to lie or argue with my father whenever I asked him for help.

Anyway present day, I am 18 now so I can afford to pay for myself, he asked for my help with something on the computer. As I was helping him he made some comment about the fact one day I will pay for a new computer as his is old (I have my own computer and he wanted mine maybe and his is about 5-6 years old) because he bought it for me when I didn't have my own. This aggravated me as the computer before had been 5 years old and I had pleaded my father for 3 years to buy new one as the screen on the old one was very bad, everything was slow and we used it until it broke. I admitted I had used it but also made the point the computer wasn't wholy for me, everyone in the family used it and it was bad for years and I had to beg before he would buy a new one, so I suggested he should do the same. This annoyed him and he pointed out all the times he spent huge amounts of money on me, I reminded him they were infrequent and that while he had never taken me on holiday (2 day cruise for £70 landing on a place in spain for 2-3 hours when all the shops were closed doesn't count) but he had gone to Japan, China, Sweden and recently planning on going to America.

This sparked something in me because I realised he had always done this throughout my life, rather than mutual respect and honesty he would force me to beg or lie for things off him. Rarely would he ever selflessly give me anything in my life. This is slightly selfish view because even with my upbringing, my older siblings had a worse trade off. But my father portrayed himself as the selfless martyr and I didn't know how to handle it, for years I had treated both my parents with contempt, only recently I am trying to find a way to make warped views to correct it self (I have 2 standards of morality, I am cruel to my parents, I try to be kind and honest with others, I thought that was fine because it was what my parents deserved, but I realised I had just fractured myself into 2 parts and it couldn't be maintained). So anyway I asked my dad why he would always give me less money than I'd ask for and told him how I had seen through it years ago and that it had forced me to sacrifice my values (admittedly, I have recently realised it was my conscious decision that my values were less than the money I received, I am trying to correct this view now that I have seen). He excused himself with the fact he said that he didn't have the money, I called BS on that due to the fact he would normally have less money than I would ask for, most times I asked with a convincing lie or if I argued enough. He said then something that really pissed me off, that I could do it with less money. This made me angry due to the fact I wouldn't even interact with the guy unless it was for money most of my life and I was always specific about how much I needed (unless I lied). So basically he didn't trust or respect me when I asked him for money. I tried to convey this feeling to repair the damages we've had. The guy laughed. That made me lose my cool, I left without helping him on his computer issue (I think he needed the sat nav for his drive tomorrow). He showed some emotion then, he got angry and said I should help him, I asked him why when he doesn't respect me enough to listen to me and I seem to have no obligation to help. So now I am in my dilemma, should I help him and feel like I am being used by a person who doesn't even respect me enough to listen to me unless I threaten his own comfort? Or should I just hold my self back and wait for him to learn to respect me? Acceptance or change?

I have learned over the years they haven't changed. This is the least of most of the problems I have had, but it's the little things which I fight hardest for and I don't know how to give it up or even that I should.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:15 pm

i would help out of kindness. punishing wont teach you anything, kindness will.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:20 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i would help out of kindness. punishing wont teach you anything, kindness will.

But how does helping them teach them to respect me?
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:54 pm

they learn to respect you through your own actions. not by you being an asshole and unthankful child towards them.

you cant just force them to respect you, it happens naturally when they find qualities in you that are noble, thus respectable.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:08 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:they learn to respect you through your own actions. not by you being an asshole and unthankful child towards them.

you cant just force them to respect you, it happens naturally when they find qualities in you that are noble, thus respectable.

I have examples in life how that is wrong, my brother treated my mother like a queen, he ended up being bipolar and now has cut all contacts with both of them. Also unthankful because when I ask for respect they laugh in my face? Also what should be I thankful for? I thought the whole point is that the world is an expression of you and you the expression of the world. Trying to hold greater value for your parents by being thankful without finding the reason is insincere as being unthankful. I am not asking these questions to be annoying, I am just genuinely curious as how a buddhist can claim to live his life in a world where indiscretions take place.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby lobster » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:21 pm

I am reminded of a quote from Mark Twain
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.


:smile:

Parents sure are trouble and often come in pairs. Some parents find young people . . . difficult . . . Both sides are having to deal with dukkha.
You are very fortunate because you are developing the compassion and understanding of dharma, that allows for being kind even to those we find difficult :woohoo:
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Jikan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:22 pm

thesilentsorrow wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:they learn to respect you through your own actions. not by you being an asshole and unthankful child towards them.

you cant just force them to respect you, it happens naturally when they find qualities in you that are noble, thus respectable.

I have examples in life how that is wrong, my brother treated my mother like a queen, he ended up being bipolar and now has cut all contacts with both of them. Also unthankful because when I ask for respect they laugh in my face? Also what should be I thankful for? I thought the whole point is that the world is an expression of you and you the expression of the world. Trying to hold greater value for your parents by being thankful without finding the reason is insincere as being unthankful. I am not asking these questions to be annoying, I am just genuinely curious as how a buddhist can claim to live his life in a world where indiscretions take place.


What should you be thankful for? Well, you are alive and literate now because of the efforts and sacrifices your parents made. You have parents who are still alive. They may view you as a parasite for now, and treat you as one, rightly or not, but the point remains that you have a life because of your parents. Grant them that much and you'll struggle a lot less.

How can one live as a Buddhist while others are committing indiscretions? The most straightforward way is to put your mind on your own issues and not on others' problems. Where to start? I suggest you stop asking your parents for money as soon as possible--cut out any expenses in your life that you can (the cinema, for instance) in order to have fewer "needs." Apply yourself to something constructive instead. Be respectable and you will be respected.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:17 pm

Jikan wrote:
thesilentsorrow wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:they learn to respect you through your own actions. not by you being an asshole and unthankful child towards them.

you cant just force them to respect you, it happens naturally when they find qualities in you that are noble, thus respectable.

I have examples in life how that is wrong, my brother treated my mother like a queen, he ended up being bipolar and now has cut all contacts with both of them. Also unthankful because when I ask for respect they laugh in my face? Also what should be I thankful for? I thought the whole point is that the world is an expression of you and you the expression of the world. Trying to hold greater value for your parents by being thankful without finding the reason is insincere as being unthankful. I am not asking these questions to be annoying, I am just genuinely curious as how a buddhist can claim to live his life in a world where indiscretions take place.


What should you be thankful for? Well, you are alive and literate now because of the efforts and sacrifices your parents made. You have parents who are still alive. They may view you as a parasite for now, and treat you as one, rightly or not, but the point remains that you have a life because of your parents. Grant them that much and you'll struggle a lot less.

How can one live as a Buddhist while others are committing indiscretions? The most straightforward way is to put your mind on your own issues and not on others' problems. Where to start? I suggest you stop asking your parents for money as soon as possible--cut out any expenses in your life that you can (the cinema, for instance) in order to have fewer "needs." Apply yourself to something constructive instead. Be respectable and you will be respected.


Ok I can agree with this, principle is like change your reaction to outside stimulus so that nothing can hurt you? I've twigged a few of these Ideals, I am trying but it's so difficult when it concerns my parents... But I guess growing up in a 3rd world country without much luxury can make them a bit more frugal and their ideas on respect is centered around respecting their parents despite their actions and virtue. But I don't want just my own love, I want to try and change their outlook as well. Is it safe to assume Buddhism is the idea of ultimate compromise? Can I strive for more than that though or just follow my own path rather than try to change others?
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby futerko » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:50 pm

thesilentsorrow wrote:I want to try and change their outlook as well.


They're probably thinking the same about you. My parents are very old school when it comes to money, frugal, and the modern world is a scary place for them with everything changing so fast these days.

The may well want to reproduce their own values by encouraging you to be like them, and it does seem there is already some resentment there. I would say that freeing yourself from that resentment is your first priority, and if they see that you are happy and self-sufficient (and maybe even generous), then that will have more effect on their attitude than trying to tackle the situation head on.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby justsit » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:54 pm

Trying to change others is fruitless and a waste of time.
Change yourself first.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:10 pm

When I was younger I thought that, as their child, my parents had a duty to give me what I wanted, when I wanted. It was only when my dad lost his job and could no longer pay for the things I thought I needed that I realised the value of money. It seems throughout your life you've asked for thingsyou thought you need and were entitled too that Im sure your parents saw as frivolous (sorry no spell check).

Life can sometimes be hard and sometimes we have to make compromises. Think if all the things your parents have done for you, how much money they've given you. Then ask yourself, is it so unreasonable that they ask for something back?

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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:27 pm

futerko wrote:
thesilentsorrow wrote:I want to try and change their outlook as well.


They're probably thinking the same about you. My parents are very old school when it comes to money, frugal, and the modern world is a scary place for them with everything changing so fast these days.

The may well want to reproduce their own values by encouraging you to be like them, and it does seem there is already some resentment there. I would say that freeing yourself from that resentment is your first priority, and if they see that you are happy and self-sufficient (and maybe even generous), then that will have more effect on their attitude than trying to tackle the situation head on.

Ok thank you, that has encouraged me some, I lost my head today and I will go back to trying again.

@ Seishin
I have weighed it up. I think the only aspect I can truly be grateful for at the moment is their hard work, they have allowed me to survive. I took that granted for a while and as such I had a warped view. I had a sense of entitlement for the basic living conditions as we grow up in a society where that is plentiful or at least I grow up in a society where that is plentiful. But don't misunderstand, I haven't learnt many things from them in my life. Emotionally they are the most crippled I have come across bar drug addicts. I was lucky to have my brother who showed me appreciation for the wonders of science and engaged me interesting debates. My sister is the one who is closer to the path I am trying to aim for, she probably has Buddhist ideals but won't acknowledge it as such but I recognise her great sacrifices now and she is the only one who has maintained something of a relationship with our parents. If I was to generalise and say my brother was the "hard" and unforgiving and unstable person I aspire to be intellectually (well remove the unstable), my sister was "soft" and forgiving and emotionally stable person I am at my core (well strive for stability at the moment). They were both valuable teachers and in the past I didn't see how they had protected me and taught me everything there was to know about life. For example, for a while I was abusive and manipulate to my parents and it was my sister who showed me how that wasn't the way. I was trying different ways to cope with the mental torture I was subjugated to and couldn't and still can't find the ability to forgive them at times. Every once in a while I can, but it's so fleeting and still feels so far away before I can just find my stable core. But in terms of my parents you should view the siblings as such, my parents do not know me in most ways or at least they do not show they can comprehend me. (Partially due to the language barrier as they cannot speak completely fluent English and I can hardly speak Nepalese)
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Qing Tian » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:24 am

I mean no disrespect, and I am not trying to be unkind, but it seems to me that your biggest issue is that you are seeing everything as a balance sheet. When your father or mother asks you to do something or pay for something, you do it. Why? Because you love them, nothing more. And you do what you are asked and you let it go like smoke on the breeze. If you can do this for them without being asked, because you see their need, then that is even better. And do not hold on to expectations, as expectation is the harbinger of discontent.

This is a difficult path to walk. At every step there are people and events that deliberately or accidentally become hindrances to your progress. And yet, with each step the beauty and simplicity of it are revealed little by little. Sometimes though, weak humans that we are, there is a need or a desire to sit down to the side of the path for a short while. That's okay too.

And you have friends (here at least) who will try to help you and try to answer your questions and assuage your doubts.

Welcome. :namaste:
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:29 am

thesilentsorrow wrote:@ Seishin
I have weighed it up. I think the only aspect I can truly be grateful for at the moment is their hard work, they have allowed me to survive. I took that granted for a while and as such I had a warped view. I had a sense of entitlement for the basic living conditions as we grow up in a society where that is plentiful or at least I grow up in a society where that is plentiful. But don't misunderstand, I haven't learnt many things from them in my life. Emotionally they are the most crippled I have come across bar drug addicts. I was lucky to have my brother who showed me appreciation for the wonders of science and engaged me interesting debates. My sister is the one who is closer to the path I am trying to aim for, she probably has Buddhist ideals but won't acknowledge it as such but I recognise her great sacrifices now and she is the only one who has maintained something of a relationship with our parents. If I was to generalise and say my brother was the "hard" and unforgiving and unstable person I aspire to be intellectually (well remove the unstable), my sister was "soft" and forgiving and emotionally stable person I am at my core (well strive for stability at the moment). They were both valuable teachers and in the past I didn't see how they had protected me and taught me everything there was to know about life. For example, for a while I was abusive and manipulate to my parents and it was my sister who showed me how that wasn't the way. I was trying different ways to cope with the mental torture I was subjugated to and couldn't and still can't find the ability to forgive them at times. Every once in a while I can, but it's so fleeting and still feels so far away before I can just find my stable core. But in terms of my parents you should view the siblings as such, my parents do not know me in most ways or at least they do not show they can comprehend me. (Partially due to the language barrier as they cannot speak completely fluent English and I can hardly speak Nepalese)


The older you get, the more you'll realise what they've done for you. Not only that, you'll realise just how hard it was, and maybe, that difficulty is what made them the way they are now! We are not perfect beings, this is why we have the Dharma. And I'm not saying that your parents are perfect and you should give into their every whim, (even though you expected them to give into your every whim) what I'm saying is, the moment you start to judge whether a person is "worthy" of your help, you'll go down a very slippery slope indeed. A Bodhisattva helps beings indiscriminately, and this is the ideal that we are trying to emulate in our practice.

As an adult, I changed to the point where I stopped asking my parents for anything, and they noticed. Now they ask me how they can help me, and I make sure that I do not take advantage of their help and show them just how appreciative I am of their help. So my "good" behaviour had a transformative effect on their actions towards me. After all, like others have said, you can only change yourself :)

Gassho,
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:17 pm

Qing Tian wrote:I mean no disrespect, and I am not trying to be unkind, but it seems to me that your biggest issue is that you are seeing everything as a balance sheet. When your father or mother asks you to do something or pay for something, you do it. Why? Because you love them, nothing more. And you do what you are asked and you let it go like smoke on the breeze. If you can do this for them without being asked, because you see their need, then that is even better. And do not hold on to expectations, as expectation is the harbinger of discontent.

This is a difficult path to walk. At every step there are people and events that deliberately or accidentally become hindrances to your progress. And yet, with each step the beauty and simplicity of it are revealed little by little. Sometimes though, weak humans that we are, there is a need or a desire to sit down to the side of the path for a short while. That's okay too.

And you have friends (here at least) who will try to help you and try to answer your questions and assuage your doubts.

Welcome. :namaste:

Thank you for replying back and you do not come off disrespectful or unkind when a person asking for help and you try to. The reasons I am replying like this is because while I know some of the answers you will give, there are evil thoughts seeded in my head and I think it's better to honestly acknowledge those thoughts when you give me an answer. This will hopefully uproot them as I directly tackle each thought as I talk about them and you give me sound and sensible answers.

I think for 8 years I had convinced myself that I feel nothing but hate for my parents though, our interactions even now are nothing more than arguments and fights about studies and me going out. The problem I am having is how I should I treat them, I know they are my parents, but I had already decided to hate them both after this one time I saw my brother so broken up after an argument. I never used to care but after that it felt like something within me snapped and I was suddenly very aggressive and turned sub-human in my treatment of them. So how they are in relation to me, does that effect my treatment of them? Would a Buddhist for example if asked, carry rocks up a mountain? The other person gives no reasons and it has equal chance of being a malicious action. The easily identifiable good like saving someone or being kind is easy to follow, but when I view my parents who I am now sure have mental health issues, not all their advice and instructions are sound. Like for example, my mother calls my brothers girlfriend a whore, just because she isn't a Brahmin class. In what effect should one obey? She tells me to never go to the restaurant where the said girlfriend's family runs the restaurant. My parents also say I shouldn't speak to my friends, should I just stop? Is the point of being Buddhist to obey and take in all the suffering? Because if I had obeyed them in all things all my life, that is all my life would be. Or would I learn a different type of happiness? One that doesn't include friends, never leaving the house, possibly to stop meditations if my parents so deemed it inappropriate as I should be studying.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:29 pm

Recent developments, I asked my parents to sleep on my bed to monitor my studying behaviour. They don't trust me to study, so I said reasonably that they could just watch me for once (while sleeping). They said they didn't care about me studying and that I should do what I like. How am I supposed to react to this deeply ignorant style of life, I ask them to see the world more truly they choose to ignore me and when they see me not studying they shout at me for not studying. I don't understand, they choose to deflect everything with ignorance then hurt me every time I do not live upto their expectations? Do they want me to fail?
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:34 pm

If you're parents truly have mental illnesses there is not a lot that you can do, short of taking them to the doctor. Getting angry with them will only exacerbate the situation.

My mother in-law has some problems, so, even though we were young, my then girlfriend (now wife) moved in together so she could be away from her oppressive mother. It was the best thing we could have done at the time. It didn't change her, and nearly 10 years later she is still the same.

You are 18 and working, so you should be able to support yourself. If you're still studying, continue with a part time job and support yourself as much as possible. Avoid asking for anything. If they kick off, try to let it go over your head. As difficult as it is, it is the best thing you can do.

My teacher once said that harsh words are like water in a jar with a loose lid, when the water spills out you can't take it back! So, you need to choose your words and actions carefully.

I'm sorry I can't be any more help and I wish you the best.

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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby palchi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:46 pm

thesilentsorrow wrote:Recent developments, I asked my parents to sleep on my bed to monitor my studying behaviour. They don't trust me to study, so I said reasonably that they could just watch me for once (while sleeping). They said they didn't care about me studying and that I should do what I like. How am I supposed to react to this deeply ignorant style of life, I ask them to see the world more truly they choose to ignore me and when they see me not studying they shout at me for not studying. I don't understand, they choose to deflect everything with ignorance then hurt me every time I do not live upto their expectations? Do they want me to fail?


Sounds to me like you are hurting each other, not just them hurting you. As others have said, try to develop some kindness towards your parents. Give without expecting anything back. Try to put yourself in their shoes and think about how they see you, how they see the conflicts you are having. I know this is easier said than done - but somebody has to start changing the dynamics. You cannot change anybody else, so you can only start with changing yourself....

:consoling:
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby thesilentsorrow » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:28 pm

Seishin wrote:If you're parents truly have mental illnesses there is not a lot that you can do, short of taking them to the doctor. Getting angry with them will only exacerbate the situation.

My mother in-law has some problems, so, even though we were young, my then girlfriend (now wife) moved in together so she could be away from her oppressive mother. It was the best thing we could have done at the time. It didn't change her, and nearly 10 years later she is still the same.

You are 18 and working, so you should be able to support yourself. If you're still studying, continue with a part time job and support yourself as much as possible. Avoid asking for anything. If they kick off, try to let it go over your head. As difficult as it is, it is the best thing you can do.

My teacher once said that harsh words are like water in a jar with a loose lid, when the water spills out you can't take it back! So, you need to choose your words and actions carefully.

I'm sorry I can't be any more help and I wish you the best.

Gassho
Seishin

Yes, I am planning to go to uni next year, still have a part time job. So I guess the only thing to do is accept they have problems and distance my self? I was hoping there was a more quick fix solution to my problem as I would like to have some sort of relationship with them, but if they are blind to who I am, I can't do much. Also ^ - I will try this, as much kindness as I can possibly muster, they make it difficult but I have started to do it anyway, simple things like a hug or an apology for being angry. They usually shout abuses at me while I do this but there is a certain empowerment when you don't give them the power to make you feel bad or change your core nice behaviour.
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Re: Difficulty in right action

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:36 pm

It reminds me of when my daughter has a tantrum. If I give in, or engage in the tantrum it only continues. However, if I walk away, she stops. :smile:

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