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I feel so disconnected from my parents' culture...and it has been making me depressed

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi thanks for your reply.

    Yes you are right. I am British. But I like to call myself British, British born and bred, but of Nigerian descent. But the strange thing is people in my family don't want me to identify myself as British, it's seen as a sin, but my parents chose to raise me here :confused: It's strange...but then again they really don't like white people very much because of the slave trade and stuff like that....but my dad has treated my like how the slave masters treated their slaves...

    The thing is I want to embrace the culture and language more. But I guess my problem is I've experienced more of the negatives than the positives.

    I just needed to express myself because this identity issue was one of the reasons I tried to kill myself
    It's important for you to understand your parents are stupid and none of this is in any way your fault.

    Moving away to another city/university and joining a nigerian/african society there will enable you to socialise with young 2nd generation Nigerians such as yourself and remove yourself from such backward, bitter and idiotic examples of nigerian culture. I wish you all the best.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Yeah I agree....I need to get away....as I want to go to uni I will get away through that, even if I stay in London. But I will try to get away from London. A teacher who knows a bit about my situation has told me that I need to leave. I have been told that I need to leave by various people. And I want to.

    I had a job, but I was a temp, so I recently finished. I've been applying constantly for jobs. Also I am doing freelance work.
    that sounds like a good plan, i honestly think you need to get away.. good luck i really hope it all works out! xx
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    (Original post by arbaaz)
    even though you are living in london currently, and have got a place in a uni in london you can still live away from home in halls or in flats.... tons of people in my uni did.

    That's great....I love the uni in London...but I need to go for an interview with the other uni I applied to. I will move out regardless of which uni I go to...but I worry about how I shall afford it seeing as I will only get a loan, no grants or bursaries or scholarships. And it is hard enough getting a job right now in tough economic times.
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    (Original post by Dominic101)
    I know that there are many parts of Nigerian culture I wont be passing on to any future kids I have.
    Same here.
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    (Original post by Aramiss18)
    It's important for you to understand your parents are stupid and none of this is in any way your fault.

    Moving away to another city/university and joining a nigerian/african society there will enable you to socialise with young 2nd generation Nigerians such as yourself and remove yourself from such backward, bitter and idiotic examples of nigerian culture. I wish you all the best.
    Thank you.

    But I worry people will judge me because of the fact that I don't know all of the language...
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    (Original post by Dominic101)
    I know that there are many parts of Nigerian culture I wont be passing on to any future kids I have.
    Would you ever marry a Nigerian?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    That's great....I love the uni in London...but I need to go for an interview with the other uni I applied to. I will move out regardless of which uni I go to...but I worry about how I shall afford it seeing as I will only get a loan, no grants or bursaries or scholarships. And it is hard enough getting a job right now in tough economic times.
    heyyy don't worry lots of people are in your position too. from what i gather a loan will not cover all of the cost of your accomodation so you probably will need a job but the good news is that unis have tons of jobs for those who go to their uni, you just need to go to the student union of the uni and enquire, every week i'm constantly getting emails in in which they tell me that there is x number of jobs and would i be interested in applying. if you cant get a job then it's ok, a lot of people in uni dont have a job, just enquire to your uni about what free money you can get. 99.99 per cent of unis in the uk offer a bursey which is where yu'd get between 300-500 pounds as a lump sum sometimes ,more depending on the uni, for simply going to the uni. and there's always financial hardship grants that every uni will have where you apply for money to buy books and they give you the money and you dont have to pay it back. your uni want to support you, they want you to do well, if someone drops out it is their loss becsuse they will invest a lot in training and teaching you so they will do all they can for you to succeed. dont worry about the money just focus on your studies when you get theie, everyone who goes to uni comes out with a pile of debt so your not alone... just focus on graduating and rolling with the dough


    ooh and one thing i wanted to say about your general situation:
    is this:
    whenever your down in the dumps for whatever reason repeat this statement again and again till you feel better:
    I am whoever I say I am, and if i wasn't then why would I say I am

    Curtsey of Eminem

    what i'm trying to say is that people may label you as a nigerian despite the fact that you identify yourself as british. what they think really doesn't matter, who cares what they think, you are whatever you say you are, if you believe that you are british then you are british not nigerian so what you family thinks it doesnt matter.

    just remember that
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi

    Please keep anon.

    I really don't know how to explain this, so please bear with me. I have had a very turbulent childhood. I was abused from a young age until into my late teens. It's only when I attempted suicide nearly a couple of years ago that the abuse is becoming non-existant but I still suffer with the emotional scars, self-destructive tendancies, dangerous negative feelings and suicidal thoughts. I have written a couple of threads before on my situations:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1514118

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...php?p=30457186

    My problem is I feel so disconnected with my parents' culture sometimes. I know the food we eat, and family values. I understand the language but I can't speak it I was born and brought up in Britain so this is the place I call home but I don't want to lose my roots despite what has happened. I wish my parents had spoken more of the language from a young age rather than speaking English to me most of the time. So I want to know about keeping in touch with my roots? I still consider myself British, but I am made to feel like an outcast because I am not perfect and don't know every single thing about Nigeria and can't speak the language.

    Sometimes I feel negative about the culture, because of the abuse (the abuse is very much linked to the culture, because that's how a lot of families treat their kids where my parents are from, and kids don't have much of a voice or a social standing). Also there is the lack of individuality and lack of freedom of choice. Maybe that's why there is so much negativity inside me, because my parents spent most of my childhood abusing me and not being very encouraging instead of immersing me in the culture (positive aspects) and language a lot more than they did.

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense....but I needed to vent...I am trying to familiarise myself with culture...but I need some advice...

    Thanks
    Sorry, but why would you want to familiarise yourself with a culture that you openly admit reminds you of abuse?
    You still seem to be trying to conform and fit your family's belief system even though it has caused you pain. I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T connect with your roots, but you should focus on connecting with PEOPLE as opposed to a (what I consider) silly notion of culture?


    PS - how were you abused? Under what circumstances?

    I'm sure when you get to university, however, there WILL be an african society. Simply join and you can revel in their culture. food, dress etc. I joined when I was at uni, learned a lot of interesting things, and the food was great! Also, I lived with a nigerian flatmate. Move out of your parents house, and live the life that you want to lead
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    You should be glad you're in the West and not in a shockingly poor, backward African nation where children are left without safeguarding from "traditional" practices of brutal violence.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi

    Please keep anon.

    I really don't know how to explain this, so please bear with me. I have had a very turbulent childhood. I was abused from a young age until into my late teens. It's only when I attempted suicide nearly a couple of years ago that the abuse is becoming non-existant but I still suffer with the emotional scars, self-destructive tendancies, dangerous negative feelings and suicidal thoughts. I have written a couple of threads before on my situations:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1514118

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...php?p=30457186

    My problem is I feel so disconnected with my parents' culture sometimes. I know the food we eat, and family values. I understand the language but I can't speak it I was born and brought up in Britain so this is the place I call home but I don't want to lose my roots despite what has happened. I wish my parents had spoken more of the language from a young age rather than speaking English to me most of the time. So I want to know about keeping in touch with my roots? I still consider myself British, but I am made to feel like an outcast because I am not perfect and don't know every single thing about Nigeria and can't speak the language.

    Sometimes I feel negative about the culture, because of the abuse (the abuse is very much linked to the culture, because that's how a lot of families treat their kids where my parents are from, and kids don't have much of a voice or a social standing). Also there is the lack of individuality and lack of freedom of choice. Maybe that's why there is so much negativity inside me, because my parents spent most of my childhood abusing me and not being very encouraging instead of immersing me in the culture (positive aspects) and language a lot more than they did.

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense....but I needed to vent...I am trying to familiarise myself with culture...but I need some advice...

    Thanks
    share some jaloff rice with fellow nigerians . . .
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Would you ever marry a Nigerian?
    sure as long as they didn't hold to Nigerian values too much
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    (Original post by dgeorge)
    Sorry, but why would you want to familiarise yourself with a culture that you openly admit reminds you of abuse?
    You still seem to be trying to conform and fit your family's belief system even though it has caused you pain. I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T connect with your roots, but you should focus on connecting with PEOPLE as opposed to a (what I consider) silly notion of culture?
    I want to connect with the positive aspects of culture, not with the abuse. I will never forget my roots, and I still consider myself to be British. And I aim to start living my life. It's taking me a while to recover from everything that's happened. I just wish that my parents had spent more time immersing me into the culture so that I could have picked up on more things, rather than finding any excuse to hurt me.


    (Original post by dgeorge)
    PS - how were you abused? Under what circumstances?
    I don't want to go into details because it's so hard and emotionally painful, and might trigger for others on this thread. But I was physically abused by my parents from when I was an infact to the age of 12. For most of my life until I attempted suicide, I was verbally and emotionally abused by my parents and my mum's mum.
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    (Original post by ScheduleII)
    You should be glad you're in the West and not in a shockingly poor, backward African nation where children are left without safeguarding from "traditional" practices of brutal violence.
    Oh don't you worry, I am. If you notice I haven't said anything about wanting to be raised in Nigeria. I am so glad I was raised here, I feel fortunate and lucky about that, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

    And I know what you mean.
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    (Original post by Dominic101)
    sure as long as they didn't hold to Nigerian values too much
    Same here. I wouldn't mind being in a relationship with someone of Nigerian desent like me who didn't have the backward views. But I definately would not marry a guy from there, especially one like my dad. I don't want to sound like I'm generalising too much.

    Or I'd probably marry someone of a different race. My parents are so against interracial marriages, especially with white people, but I wouldn't care so much, especially after what I went through.

    However for me it's all about the personality and views - that's what I am more interested in in a man.
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    (Original post by arbaaz)
    ................

    Hey thanks

    Do you know of any good website for finding accomodation in London?

    Also I'm gonna check halls accomodation with the uni
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    I'm sorry to hear that.

    My mothers side is all East African. I don't get much of a say either. If I stepped out of line, my mother would whip me with her belt - not just lightly, so violently that I had to hide under my duvet to protect myself. She has spat in my face numerous times. This is acceptable in my culture. They are quite backwards, and when I told her that it is child abuse, she would say no it is not because she gave birth to me. She would force religion on me, but I never really cared about it. She wasn't even practicing herself, so that was quite hypocritical too. My mum thought that it was the only way of teaching children manners and discipline. However, now that I'm 16, she's stopped. We do fall out sometimes & she then says, I'm not going to beat you because your too old for that now. I never became suicidal because I was determined to make the most of my life. I want have kids and then prove to my mother that you do not have to beat them to make them well behaved and active members of society. Deep inside I know my mother loves me and would do anything for me. She treats me like a queen and she jokes that the beating has made me who I am - respectful and well behaved. For me, the best part of my childhood was my mother always making fresh tasty meals every evening, going to parties and buying traditional clothes. I love my culture, but I hate the politics, and I try to ignore that as much as possible. She spoke to me in the language despite my father being Thai. I'm so grateful for it and i'm very fluent. I sometimes wonder how two close minded people met each other like my parents and how they even married each other.

    I just went on a tangent telling you my whole life story but oh wells.

    You're not alone. It happens to many people. The only way you can really get to experience the culture without feeling angry and emotional is through friends. I made friends from the same country as me; they started inviting me to dinner, taking me to parties, teaching me funny phrases i never heard of etc. Live out if you go to Uni - it will seriously help a lot. You will forget about your problems at home.
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    (Original post by letsbehonest)
    ..................
    :console:
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    (Original post by letsbehonest)
    ...............
    No matter what, you shouldn't have had to go through that, there is absolutely no excuse for it. I have had to tell people stuff that had been going on at home (teachers, friends, counsellors, doctors, even the social services, child protection officer at my school) because it had a bad effect on me. It drove me to attempt suicide. If you look at one of my previous threads you could see that I am deliberating whether or not I should limit contact or cut my parents out of my life, because those kind of people are toxic, no matter what or who they are.

    :console:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    No matter what, you shouldn't have had to go through that, there is absolutely no excuse for it. I have had to tell people stuff that had been going on at home (teachers, friends, counsellors, doctors, even the social services, child protection officer at my school) because it had a bad effect on me. It drove me to attempt suicide. If you look at one of my previous threads you could see that I am deliberating whether or not I should limit contact or cut my parents out of my life, because those kind of people are toxic, no matter what or who they are.

    :console:
    I guess =[ They were bought up this way - and they managed to survive, so i guess they didn't really know better. In my case the good outweighed the bad - or maybe I'm just making excuses to accept my situation. I feel lucky to be with my family though, I know a girl who had her eyelashes cut off because she wore mascara, her mother left scars on her body, they didn't have much money and when her mother passed away, she was diagnosed with depression, dropped out of secondary school. I really do appreciate my parents regardless of what they have done to me in the past. Looking at other people, I am grateful for what I have.

    I think that if it is still having an emotional effect on you then you should restrict contact with your parents. Suicide is never an option. There are endless opportunities in life. You haven't experienced even half of what there is to come. I live for the future, because things will get brighter.

    :console:
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    (Original post by letsbehonest)
    I guess =[ They were bought up this way - and they managed to survive, so i guess they didn't really know better. In my case the good outweighed the bad - or maybe I'm just making excuses to accept my situation. I feel lucky to be with my family though, I know a girl who had her eyelashes cut off because she wore mascara, her mother left scars on her body, they didn't have much money and when her mother passed away, she was diagnosed with depression, dropped out of secondary school. I really do appreciate my parents regardless of what they have done to me in the past. Looking at other people, I am grateful for what I have.

    I think that if it is still having an emotional effect on you then you should restrict contact with your parents. Suicide is never an option. There are endless opportunities in life. You haven't experienced even half of what there is to come. I live for the future, because things will get brighter.

    :console:
    I guess so, but still it is not an excuse. I stopped making excuses a long time ago, especially after I came out of hospital and thought "What the hell has happened to me?" I look back at all the times when I had breakdowns, self-harmed, and had dangerous negative thoughts, and I know I have been ruined as a human being. In fact sometimes I don't feel like a human being, I feel less than a human. I still have those now mental issues now.

    Omg at what happened to the girl :eek: :eek: :eek: That is so bad. Do you know what has happened to her now? Also this might sound like a dumb question but do eyelashes grow back?

    It doesn't surprise me when people have been through what I've been through (which I've found is quite common) and end up with with many mental, physical and emotional issues to be honest.

    I hope to get to a point one day where I am finally living my life, not existing for the sake of it, and my life being on my own terms. I still have a little bit of hope. Maybe I shall restrict contact in future after all. It doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

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