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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)
    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.
    They grew back within a month or so. Her mother used to physically abuse her - she's African too and her mother was pretty stable. She dropped out of school in year 10, because she couldn't cope anymore. What saddens me even more is that she was one of the smartest pupils :') She got pregnant, gave the baby away for adoption, she cut her hair really short - all in less than 2 years. I met her a few months ago, she started school, her aunt took her in - things are getting better for her but shes been left scarred. When we spoke, she made me realise that I do have a lot more than some and that I have to appreciate it.
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    (Original post by letsbehonest)
    They grew back within a month or so. Her mother used to physically abuse her - she's African too and her mother was pretty stable. She dropped out of school in year 10, because she couldn't cope anymore. What saddens me even more is that she was one of the smartest pupils :') She got pregnant, gave the baby away for adoption, she cut her hair really short - all in less than 2 years. I met her a few months ago, she started school, her aunt took her in - things are getting better for her but shes been left scarred. When we spoke, she made me realise that I do have a lot more than some and that I have to appreciate it.
    Aww sad

    She could always get help....like psychological help.

    Anyway it's good she's getting her life back on track...which is what I am trying to do.
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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
    I feel your pain I'm British Nigerian as well, my mum tries her hardest to make sure I don't forget where I'm originally from.
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    (Original post by Kruz)
    I feel your pain I'm British Nigerian as well, my mum tries her hardest to make sure I don't forget where I'm originally from.
    I don't mind keeping in touch with my roots, but I don't like people being negative towards me about it and imposing the negative aspects of it. I like to be taught well.
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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.
    This is great, after all there are all sorts of people at uni and some like me. But there are some 2nd generations who believe in this kind of stuff and it is sad. :sad: Some joke about it like it is a good thing. Everytime sometimes talks about it it sends a trigger in my mind of the abuse :cry2:

    Oh well........
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    The other thing that has occured to me from these responses is this....if I stranger was hurting me and treating me in the way I described in my original post, then it just simply wouldn't be acceptable, so why should it be acceptable with my parents? They shouldn't be the exception to the rule or above the law or entitled just because of their culture...

    Anyway I need to (gradually) turn my life around.......it's gonna take time, and I really need the strength, bravery and courage to do so. Easier said than done :erm:
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    (Original post by arbaaz)
    ................


    Hey I just want to ask something.

    Maybe this is a dumb question but, I know I can go for private accomodation but anyway, do you think that maybe if I chose to go to the uni in London that maybe I could contact the halls of residence and ask them to give me priority to live in halls as a result of my situation? I don't know if that would be a good idea, I don't want to come across as a charity case. Also I don't want to let my guard down and tell random strangers such personal things.

    :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)


    Hey I just want to ask something.

    Maybe this is a dumb question but, I know I can go for private accomodation but anyway, do you think that maybe if I chose to go to the uni in London that maybe I could contact the halls of residence and ask them to give me priority to live in halls as a result of my situation? I don't know if that would be a good idea, I don't want to come across as a charity case. Also I don't want to let my guard down and tell random strangers such personal things.

    :dontknow:
    I symphathise with your situation.. it really is a crap position to be in there is no harm in phoning them up and telling them your situation, they may listen it is possible. don't worry just tell them over the phone it'll be easier than telling someone this kind of stuff in person . think about it this way phone the uni up and tell them your situation, and see what they say. your probably never gonna see this person who your talking to on the phone in real life so don't feel worried about telling them personal stuff. just say it. plus what is the worst that can happen? they say no. in that case, what you can do is ask them to inform you or put you on a list and tell you as soon as someone drops out in the first few weeks of the first year as tons of people do and then you can move in. plus some unis (mine did) have an allocated number for local students so you ask them about that. just reinforce your situation to them and hopefully they'll understand btw, your not a charity case, its just an unfortunate position to be stuck in, its really not your fault. x
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    (Original post by arbaaz)
    I symphathise with your situation.. it really is a crap position to be in there is no harm in phoning them up and telling them your situation, they may listen it is possible. don't worry just tell them over the phone it'll be easier than telling someone this kind of stuff in person . think about it this way phone the uni up and tell them your situation, and see what they say. your probably never gonna see this person who your talking to on the phone in real life so don't feel worried about telling them personal stuff. just say it. plus what is the worst that can happen? they say no. in that case, what you can do is ask them to inform you or put you on a list and tell you as soon as someone drops out in the first few weeks of the first year as tons of people do and then you can move in. plus some unis (mine did) have an allocated number for local students so you ask them about that. just reinforce your situation to them and hopefully they'll understand btw, your not a charity case, its just an unfortunate position to be stuck in, its really not your fault. x
    Ok thank you
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    One of the reasons why I asked this question is because very recently my dad has started pushing me to learn the language.

    Now I don't mind learning the language (I understand it but I don't speak much of it). The only problem is my dad is a very negative person who has always expected myself and my siblings to be perfect children and never to make mistakes. I really don't want him to teach me because he's just so negative and aggressive. He's also one of those people who picks on every little thing no matter how good we try to be, and I will never be good enough for him. There is always gonna be that level of (unrealistic) expectation that I will not be able to reach. I isolate myself and keep myself away from him. I don't talk to him and I am not close to him. the only time he wants to talk to me is to say something negative or to speak in a negative tone. He is also the type of person to constantly chip away at your self-esteem.

    I will be moving out for university as it seems to be the best option, and I will try to limit contact. But what else do I do? I worry that he will be this shadowy figure that will always be cowering over my shoulder for the rest of my life, treating me as some sort of clone, commodity and investment. I have never been loved by him, and I certainly don't love him. Everyday I feel I am constantly dying inside because of the way he is. He should never have had kids.

    What do I do?

    :cry2:
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    Anyone?
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    In response to my previous post, I do find myself wondering, why didn't my parents teach me the language properly from when I was young..........? Why impose it on me now?
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    (Original post by Kruz)
    I feel your pain I'm British Nigerian as well, my mum tries her hardest to make sure I don't forget where I'm originally from.
    Do you ever feel as though they are being negative in the way she is trying to teach you? Because I find that it's all sudden, abrupt and negative and a chore rather than something positive or encouraging.

    If that makes any sense
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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
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    (Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
    :confused:
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    (Original post by Bellissima)
    that sounds like a good plan, i honestly think you need to get away.. good luck i really hope it all works out! xx
    Hi

    I really hope to get away and I shall do this, but I'm so worried and anxious right now. :sad:

    One thing I like about the West is the individuality and freedom of choice we get. But in my family, those things are never really taken into consideration.

    But I feel as though no matter what, my parents will always be there, constantly looking over my shoulder and trying to control me. I remember telling me counsellor once that I feel as though there will still be problems, they will still want to mould me into something I'm not, and they will put expectations on me. He managed to figure this out, through things like relationships, career, kids, etc.

    All my life I have always been expected to be something I'm not. Whether it was at school or my own parents. And I don't think I can take this anymore. I want my life to be my own, but I don't believe it ever will be. I feel like I am constantly fighting a battle, I feel like I'm in prison, and I feel as though I am suffocating every single day to the point where I want to kill myself. I wish I had never been born into this family and this world. I feel so sick right now, and so sick of everything. When can I ever be me and not feel ashamed? It's hard when people make you feel ashmed for not fitting into the 'norm' and then you are shunned, like I have done throughout my life. I guess they expect me to be conditioned into a particular way of thinking and being. Sometimes I wish I had succeeded at my suicide attempt. Sure it would have been so devastating to my friends but at least I'd be free. I feel so oppressed. :cry2:

    I say all this because recently I've been very upset and uncomfortable with things my parents have been saying on things like race. They make such racist comments about mixed marriages, mixed race people, people that we know who are in mixed relationships, believing that people should stick to their own, annd the whole awful idea of being British, and the whole idea of multicultralism. I know people are entitled to their opinion but quite frankly I'm sick of it, my siblings and I find it so uncomfortable.

    For example, there is a guy at my church who I've known for years. He is currently going out with a white girl. My mum started making comments about it, saying that it is wrong, saying that he hasn't been raised well, if they were to have kids they wouldn't belong anywhere (isn't that ironic, considering I don't know where to belong sometimes and feeling like I have a complete loss of identity, sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who the hell I am and how my life got to this point) and saying that the guy is stupid (to be honest he is quite smart and very hardworking) an that his whole family think they are white people (they are black btw). I said that I didn't really give a damn about what he does (as in who he dates), and my mum said that I should give a damn.

    My dad in particular is so aggressive and negative about everything including this that it is disgusting. But then again, my dad has always been negative, abusive and aggressive and that has had a negative impact on me. I can't be different otherwise it is the worst thing in the world for him, everyone in the family should think like he doesn't. His way of thinking or no way of thinking. The ironic thing about this is that one of my brothers has had a girlfriend who is white, but obviously he had to keep it a secret.

    Why on earth did my parents come here, stay here, and raise their kids here, especially in London? I know they say that they are planning on building a house in Nigeria to live in where they will live when they return to Nigeria. I think I might have to start planning on cutting my parents out of my life. How could they treat me like this? They make such horrible comments. Now don't get me wrong. I understand how this world is. I understand race issues totally. I am not naive and I am not stupid. I have always been suspicious of humans and the human race, hence growing scepticism (and even a bit of cynicism) over the years. But some of what my parents say is totally unacceptable, it's embarrasing to call them parents (which they don't deserve to be).

    Another issue is this - I believe I am on the verge of becoming agnostic (my family are Christians). I would like to explore all religions entirely, before seeing how I feel myself. It's a long story but my family wouldn't accept me being religious. Anyway from a young age I have always questioned god, but going through what I went through as a child damaged my self-esteem, faith and trust in god and faith in humanity. I feel as though (if god exists) the He put me in the wrong body, wrong family, and wrong way fo life.

    I know it seems like I'm ranting on, but I had to let this all out, I feel like a ticking time bomb. I can sense another nervous breaking coming in the next few months or years.

    Now what do I do? I'm at a loss here, I don't have the strength to live or cope anymore. This question is not only open to just you, but to others. I am sorry this is long, but I can't take this anymore. Sometimes I feel like running away and never coming back every again.

    :cry2: :cry2: :cry2:
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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
    You shouldn't feel so down - I'm half Nigerian but because my relationship with my father is non-existent, I don't speak a word of his native language. It's nothing to feel down about. Sometimes you might feel intimidated because your friends can speak their parents language but actually you will find that no-one gives a crap.

    Things like the language can be learnt or found out on the internet - if you want and maybe when you get a better relationship with your family, that sort of thing will fall into place.

    Have you ever spoken to someone about how you feel or your family situation?
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    (Original post by natty_d)
    You shouldn't feel so down - I'm half Nigerian but because my relationship with my father is non-existent, I don't speak a word of his native language. It's nothing to feel down about. Sometimes you might feel intimidated because your friends can speak their parents language but actually you will find that no-one gives a crap.

    Things like the language can be learnt or found out on the internet - if you want and maybe when you get a better relationship with your family, that sort of thing will fall into place.


    Have you ever spoken to someone about how you feel or your family situation?
    What do mean the family situation? If you mean about speaking the language and remember bits of the culture like the food and stuff, then no.

    But if you mean about the abuse and suicide, then yes, I have told people and trying to seek help. I am trying to change my life for the better but if you look at the above post as well as the original post you'll notice how hard that is, even just to be myself. I know on this thread it might seem as though I've been going around in circles, but I am so on edge about everything, I feel as though I am suffocating :cry2:

    I want to be nosy but why is your relationship with your family non-existent? Is it to do with some of the things I've said? (You don't have to tell me). Also, are you aware of the nigerian culture, customs and traditions?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    What do mean the family situation? If you mean about speaking the language and remember bits of the culture like the food and stuff, then no.

    But if you mean about the abuse and suicide, then yes, I have told people and trying to seek help. I am trying to change my life for the better but if you look at the above post as well as the original post you'll notice how hard that is, even just to be myself. I know on this thread it might seem as though I've been going around in circles, but I am so on edge about everything, I feel as though I am suffocating :cry2:

    I want to be nosy but why is your relationship with your family non-existent? Is it to do with some of the things I've said? (You don't have to tell me). Also, are you aware of the nigerian culture, customs and traditions?
    I was referring to the abuse and the suicide. I'm glad you're getting help. The hardest step is reaching out so you've done the hard part, now it's just to get better

    Well my father left when I was quite young so I don't really know him as such, he comes and goes a lot, as for my mother (she's not nigerian, but south american), she has some quite odd tendencies and as such I suffered a lot under them. I only finished therapy a couple months ago because of it. I am aware of nigerian culture and customs - we have family and friends who are nigerian so I got to pick up some of those. I don't necessarily feel a need so much to be Nigerian or Guyanese as I can be who I want to be now and I can fuse all the cultures that I've been brought up with and make something even better. My one hope is that my relationship with my parents gets better so that my kids could have "traditional" grandparents.

    Give me a PM if you like
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    (Original post by natty_d)
    I was referring to the abuse and the suicide. I'm glad you're getting help. The hardest step is reaching out so you've done the hard part, now it's just to get better

    Well my father left when I was quite young so I don't really know him as such, he comes and goes a lot, as for my mother (she's not nigerian, but south american), she has some quite odd tendencies and as such I suffered a lot under them. I only finished therapy a couple months ago because of it. I am aware of nigerian culture and customs - we have family and friends who are nigerian so I got to pick up some of those. I don't necessarily feel a need so much to be Nigerian or Guyanese as I can be who I want to be now and I can fuse all the cultures that I've been brought up with and make something even better. My one hope is that my relationship with my parents gets better so that my kids could have "traditional" grandparents.

    Give me a PM if you like
    :console:

    I might PM you, but I'm not sure yet. It's nothing personal, it's nice that you can relate in some way, but I don't usually tell many people on TSR about this sort of thing.

    I will probably end up having therapy, I would like to - I've been referred for CBT.

    I don't believe my relationship with my dad will ever get better with him. He's so toxic and parasitic. And no matter what, my mum will always be on his side. In fact I would like to limit contact as I said in my previous threads. Now I am considering cutting them out...:erm: though I am not sure if I should do this and how I would go about doing this myself. I would like to just be able to get on with them so that if I had kids, they could have more of a (positive) Nigerian influence, but there is a chance that my parents could disown me in the future if I step out of line so to speak (see my posts, you might get what I mean). For example, if I ended up being gay, or in a mixed relationship, my dad would never talk to me again without a doubt. Did you read my post above your response? What do you think I am at my wits end :sad:

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