I’m ashamed of my home. I’m not ashamed of how my house looks, or the size of it. I’m ashamed of the type of environment my family has made it into.
My grandparents weren’t initially supposed to move in with us, they actually wanted to move away from my mom. Now that they live with us, they force my dog to only stay in one room of the house. Because of this, it’s extremely hard to get my dog socialized with new guests. Not to mention, they are very superstitious. They don’t know the difference between religion and superstition and still believe in casteism. This means when most people come to my house, they aren’t allowed in the kitchen or near food because they are “untouchable” and “inferior” according to my grandparents.
I’m just a kid who wants to come home to a ‘regular’ functioning family. I just want to be able to bring friends over without my grandparents discriminating anyone. I want my dog to be able to live his life without being stuck in that room. I want to never have to see my mom cry because of my grandparents being rude to her. I just want to be able to live one day where I’m not embarrassed to come home. I understand that my grandparents have no where else to go, but I don’t know how much longer I can deal with staying in this house when this is my home life. It’s very mentally draining to have to avoid doing sports, and hobbies and even avoid being friends with my neighbors because of the fact that I’m ashamed that they might come over and see how I live and be discriminated by my grandparents
- Thank you for writing in to the TC community. I know it is sometimes hard to share feelings but you show strength by doing so. Use this strength to help solve your problems at home!!
- Do you think it’s possible to ask your mom to go for a walk or talk somewhere private about your feelings? This may serve a dual purpose, you can 1) get the dog out on the walk with you and 2) Maybe your mom is having some of the same thoughts and maybe you and she can work together to find a solution that will work for the whole family. Grandparents often see the world very differently and sometimes may just need a reminder that it’s not the world they grew up in and they need to be aware of your feelings also. However, this may be part of a larger discussion with your family including your grandparents on culture. If your family was culturally raised believing in a type of caste system, it may have been ingrained in them as they grew up. This is not so say that you should not have the discussion but rather, to consider that culture is slow to change and it takes ongoing facts, awareness/acceptance, communication, and time/trust. Try talking about their history and understanding where they are coming from while also adding in your feelings. Try discussing with your family what it means to be family and what we do for one another. You may not have all the information and it is not always the business of children to know all the problems of adults. Also, try to avoid getting caught in the trap of “mind reading” what others will say or do. Give them the opportunity to have the discussion before you make statements that they will, “be discriminated by my grandparents”. We understand that this is uncomfortable for you, try expressing your feelings as you speak to your mother.
- If you think it’s too much to ask mom, do you have another trusted adult to talk to? A relative, school counselor, teacher, or someone else safe to share your feelings with? Again, together you can come up with a strategy to co-exist with your grandparents in a much healthier way.
- I would suggest that you get involved in as many activities outside of the house as you can. Join a club at school or join a sport. Volunteer to help an organization that you feel passion for. You can have friends outside the home. Once you feel comfortable with your friends you can explain that your grandparents grew up differently and have different views on things. I’m sure your friends will understand and you won’t have to feel ashamed. Also consider the self defeating nature of not going to your activities/sports. No one did this “to you”, you are doing this to yourself by avoiding your peers outside of the home. Does this work for you? Only you can find that answer.
- Take care of yourself first. Make sure that the worry and stress your dealing with doesn’t become too much. Again, stay involved with friends. Practice self care through art, journaling, exercise, music to name a few. Find what helps you to de-stress and make sure you take time to do it!!!
- Please take time to take a look at some of the tips on the TC website. You may find things that may be helpful for you to deal with this situation. If needed, ask your school for some professional counseling. A therapist is trained to help kids like yourself deal with stressors like this. I truly believe that with some guidance, you can work on things at home and things will get better!! Keep trying and seek help. You can do this!!!!!!