My life has been one big mess. My parents divorced when I was young(at the age of 10ish), I’ve never had any real friends, and just recently, my little brother is doing drugs. Now my mother’s remarried, and I’m still in college, despite the fact I’m 21, going on 22 this February. You would think I’d be finishing up by now.
I don’t even have a girlfriend. And this seems like a particularly dangerous moment for me to remain single, cause I know the older I get the harder it’ll be.
My mother thinks I’m crazy, cause she’s in denial my little brother is doing drugs, and I feel horribly stuck, like I’m going nowhere in life.
Then there’s the guy she married. An agnostic, of all people! He’s been trying to convince me lately that religion is nothing more than a form of control. If he wasn’t married to my mother I’d have smacked him a new one right in the face.
Everything just feels like its getting me nowhere.
I am sorry that you have had all of these problems in your family. God must really like you a lot… since he gives his friends a share in His suffering.
This may sound crazy, but if I were you… I would find a Catholic Church and just go sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament. You can bring a book to read… but just spend some time. If you spend enough time with God, the answers will become clearer and you will at least find some peace.
Another idea: Have you ever heard of Matthew Kelly? You can do some searching on the web for him. He is an awesome speaker and very easy to listen to. He started as a high school age kid going to daily mass and then going to adoration at the suggestion of an older friend. He wasn’t a religious finatic or anything, he just felt kind of lost and thought “what is the point?”. I think Lighthouse Catholic Media might have some of his talks at a really cheap price that you can download.
Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. Have confidence in God that when you pray He will give you what you need to make it through.
My junior year was the worst, lots of turmoil in the family, flunked two courses, seemed like I’d been going to school forever and had forever left to go. No girlfriend, very little money left over from my part time job doing menial labor. But I was working towards my goal, and I kept praying.
My sister has always said that men aren’t ‘ripe’ and ready for serious committment until they’re 26. I had a friend who didn’t get married until 40, they have three kids and really happy. He was smart enough not to let anxiety or panic about his age drive him to marry any of the various women he dated who just weren’t compatible long term. Don’t worry about your love life, there’s plenty of time for that after college, trust me.
You will get through this if you choose to. The above advice is great, but if you were my son I would advise you, in addition, to study hard, make some accomplishments, stay out of trouble, and focus on finding a way to make the world a better place.
If you need to, join a gym, keep your body in good shape (another accomplishment).
Eventually opportunities will appear, and try not to worry about what you can’t control or change. At this stage of your life, move forward in a positive way, and love those around you.
This may sound over simplistic, but it will keep you on a good track. Join a club, you will make friends.
I know how you feel. My parents divorced when I was 11. I never had a good father-daughter relationship with my Dad…very depressing. I have seen way too much fighting, yelling, and 911 calls.
Don’t worry about not having a girlfriend. Its not the end of the world. Marriage is not the only vocation out there. Who cares how old you are…I am turning 19 next Monday and guess what…I am still in High School (senior). Hang in there and don’t give up…
You probably feel like you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast, don’t you? I’ve been there and done that.
My advice is this: hang in there, focus on getting your degree, then join the Marines. Try to get into OCS (Officer Candidate School), if you can. But if not, being an enlisted man is good, too. Seriously. They will get you focused on life and give you a high level of discipline and an understanding of service to others, with, which your degree, should help you to be highly successful. Women are very attracted to successful men. Especially if they’re in shape like the Marines would get you! It’s a good deal!
Don’t despair! I didn’t graduate with my undergraduate degree until I was 23 years old.
You are very young.
Pray for your family. I am sorry to hear about your brother and step-father.
You sound like you have a lot on the ball! In college and worried about a little brother on drugs and a step dad with no religion…you are very mature and your heart is in the right place!
I’m sure it would be nice to have a girlfriend. Pray and ask God to widen your social circle to meet other Christians and eventually a Christian girl.
I don’t remember feeling on the ball at your age. Sorry to hear some things are working against you. Move forward with the things you have control over, pray for the things you don’t have control over to get better.
Be assured that Our Lord Jesus Christ has a plan for you! You have been given much good advice here…go to the Lord in peace and trust and talk things over with him. He loves you beyond your imagination! How old is your little brother? When possible be a big brother to him, taking an interest in his life and his need for understanding and love.
Your Mom and the man she married needs our prayers.
Let us hear from you again… Share what is on your heart if you want to.
Dear friend,You have a lot on Your plate right now,but You wrote here,and that is a good start. Things sometimes just go wrong,but even the darkest night ends in a brand new day. I am sorry to hear about Your brother,but I can’t lie,there is very little You can do but praying. And God will help. And so will He help You to. No girlfriend? Well,You have time,there is someone for You somewhere and You will meet if it is Gods will. You are Young,and You have time. Please follow my advice,You are Protestant,well,You can still go and talk to a Catholic priest if You want to. They are there to help off course first Catholics,but they also have time for anyone in need of help,and You need help,not much,just enough to help You trough this time of difficulties You have. Please stay in touch,You can also if You want write me a personal message. I have a lot to do but I promise I will have time and a prayer for You. God bless You son.
We have a rule at our house: No gunny-sacking. Gunny-sacking is when you store all of your problems up in one big sack, and then dump them all out all at once. Big effect, very bad for doing anything about any of them. Gunny-sacking is particularly counter-productive when you have a complaint to raise with another person. Give someone a laundry list, and they’ll give you a lot of defensiveness and counter-accusations but very little willingness to change. Give them two bits of gratitude and one concrete issue that bothers you, and you can get some nice results.
You have a very big gunny sack dumped out, there. Some real problems, yes, but let’s look at those things one thing at a time.
You might just try, “It’s unfortunate you feel that way, but somehow I doubt that you are open to hear an honest defense of religion. How about you show how uncontrolling you are by dropping the subject and leaving me alone about it? I think we’d do Mom a big favor by avoiding pointless quarrels, don’t you? Otherwise, it only seems fair to conclude that you practice your agnosticism just like the very religious practitioners that drive you so nuts.” He probably won’t drop it immediately. Calmly repeat, repeat, and repeat. Don’t let the guy bait you. Think of it as developing a skill that you will find very useful someday, in many different circumstances.
IOW, this is a very good time to keep the pearls out of the pigpen. Pursue a life of virtue and compassion. The time to evangelize your mother’s new husband will come in its own time. In the meantime, pray for him and turn off his attempts to bait you.
There is very little you can do to control fellow family members at any time, but particularly when one person is addicted to or abusing drugs or alcohol. Try Melody Beattie’s “Co-Dependent No More”; they usually have it at the library. You’ll learn how important it is to the health of all involved for you to learn how to step out of this drama. Al-Anon might also help you.
Actually, this is dangerous moment to jump into a romantic relationship: that is, the moment when you’re feeling friendless, disgusted with your immediate family, and pessimistic about your past, present, and future. If you succeed in finding a girlfriend while in this state of desparate neediness, your likelihood of forging a healthy relationship are greatly diminished. You’re more likely to find yourself another co-dependent looking for romance to save her. Do everyone a favor. Do not walk, but run from that, my friend!
Work on getting plain old garden-variety friends, people you socialize with and can learn to care about. Work on feeling more comfortable that you can’t and have no need that serves Heaven to control your family. Work on accepting that you are the survivor of a painful past that cannot be changed, but that, by the work of grace, you have the power to rise from. Look for a girlfriend later.
My husband did not start college until he was 21 and didn’t meet me, his future wife, until he was 31…*while he was still in school! *He’s managed to have a distinguished career in his field, and he isn’t done yet. My college and graduate school classes contained more “late bloomers” than I can count. They’re also having very nice careers, thank you very much. Come to think of it, among the very successful people I know, the ones that shot through college in four years and graduate school in four years and straight to the intended career target that they had identified by the age of 18 or 21 are the exceptions. If I remember correctly, Our Lord was 30 years old and unmarried when he sat down at that wedding reception in Cana. You’ll find in the lives of the saints both straight paths and winding, both very old and very young.
Have you talked to a career counselor at your college? You may need some fresh eyes to look at your academic career so far and to help you decide how best to reach your goals.
You might also talk to your pastor. After all, have you considered what your vocation is? Do you look at your future in terms of what you need to accomplish, or in terms of which direction might best serve God’s intention to make you into a saint? Those things that are according to God’s will are, after all, the only things you’re ever going to put on your own personal resume that is going to last.
*Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. * 1 Cor. 9:24-27
Dear MontChevalier, there are a few things you can do.
A lot of good ideas have already been shared here. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on you and your situation.
First pray. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it’s not. Pray to God for help and guidance. Instead of thinking, “what should I do?” think, “what does God want me to do?” To the extent that you are able to answer that question and then act in accordance with His will, you will be a happier person. Don’t argue with your mother’s husband. Don’t punch him. Demonstrate to him and to your mother and brother, what it means to be a Christian. Love them. Pray for them. Show them the benefits of a healthy and prayerful life. Maybe God has put you here to show them the way? Don’t preach to them. Show them by living your life the best way you can and by always demonstrating your love for them, (even when you don’t feel like loving them).
Second, pray. Pray to God for the guidance to help your younger brother. Talk to him when he is not high and tell him you love him and that it hurts you to see him hurting himself with drugs. Ask him to go to church with you, to read the bible with you, and to pray with and for you.
Don’t be concerned that you don’t have a girlfriend. God will put someone in your life when He decides it is the right time to do so. Don’t go looking. Wait and see what He will do.
Finally, this is for you and you can share it with your brother because it applies to him too. You are at the very beginning of your adult life. You can do anything you want. Live anywhere you want. Have anything you are willing to work for. Finish college. Get your degree because this will open many more doors. But then, go back to my first point. Pray to God for the knowledge and understanding to see what He wants’ you to do with your life.
Could it be that God is asking you to be the glue that holds your family together? This is huge for anyone, especially someone in their 20’s. This will come with many graces that one is\will be showered with. Is God asking you to do something that is not comfortable and well scary?
Find solace in people who love Christ the way you do. Be with them and they will help you lean towards the goal that God has created for you. Your strenght is Christ, rest in Him. Keep posting, we will pray and be their for you. A extended family, if you wish.
Don’t let your anger and hurt get the better of you. It will poison your heart. There’s plenty of time to get married and have a family. I know for someone in their early 20’s the “clock is ticking”…but take it from someone in their 50’s…“that was a long time ago”…
Life will ALWAYS bring heartache and pain…it’s the price of entering this mortality…but there is also joy…“This too shall pass.”…and while I understand some of your family difficulty…you can assist them in their own struggle. It doesn’t sound like good choices are being made by all concerned…so it’s up to you to make the good choices for YOUR life…be a “light” to them…point the way…seek the Lord’s will in the matter…seek His direction and you won’t be disappointed.
But drive the hate from your heart…it will eat you up like a poison.
We have to be very careful, here. Sometimes, one person ends up being the glue that holds a family together, but we should never seek to take on that role single-handedly, particularly when we are not parents and the other family members are not minors. IOW, “glue” is not a cure-all, not if we don’t know when glue holds things together and when glue gums up the works.
If you mean “be the glue” in terms of giving others a way to escape the consequences of their adult choices, that is the way to a co-dependent mess. If you mean “be the glue” in terms of single-handedly absorbing and deflecting family conflicts to achieve peace, same thing. If you mean “be the glue” in terms of making up the gap between their duty and their will to do it by application of your own force of will on them, same thing.
If you mean “be the glue” in terms of being a healthy and mature presence, grounded in faith, living the virtues while the family learns to face difficult times squarely, then by all means, that is a marvelous thing, and a praiseworthy thing. It is easier said than done.
“Being the glue” is something that a 20-something should not attempt to do without the guidance of a mature spiritual advisor. There are many rocks in that channel, and it helps to have old eyes to navigate safely between them.
EasterJoy, I think OP would do well to dwell on your earlier post as it’s full of wisdom and very practical stuff. I too wanted to address what FanofFrancis said about being “the glue of the family”. Somehow that sounds like a terrible idea in most cases, but I’d say on top of that that OP already has more than enough on his plate, as it were.
Publisher said “don’t hate”. It’s a waste of time and takes your mind off what you need to focus on.
What you need to focus on is exactly what other posters have said - yourself. If you finish your schooling and get settled into something, then you will be in a position to help others. You can only do so much for your brother and obviously he is struggling as well. You are focusing on how bad the loss of family is for you, but know that it would have been bad for your parents as well. It’s bad for everyone and noone comes out of it unscathed. So concentrate on building your own life. You know what’s wrong with your broken family, so make sure you are in a position to avoid the same pitfalls in your future. As for your mom’s new husband, well, look on the bright side, be thankful he’s an agnostic and not a full blown atheist!
Don’t even worry about not having a girl friend at 22. Gee, that’s just peer group pressure operating on you. A girlfriend will only distract you from what you must focus on. (Sorry girls, but that’s what girls do to boys! :D) As for not having many friends, don’t worry about that either, because most of the ‘friends’ you will make throughout life will be fair-weather friends. Really good, true friends are as rare as hens teeth. Rarer, maybe!
Scoobyshme suggested joining the Marines. Something along those lines is not a bad idea. You’ll make good friends there and learn the discipline that young men need to get through life as a reliable, dependable and resolute person.
I’d recommend getting a hold of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”. Learn it and understand it, for It contains some wonderful advice for young men.
I think so, too–that is, that the virtue of prudence would probably not lead him in that direction–and I suspect any priest he talks to will say the same thing. Still, I did not want to disqualify what Fan of Francis had to say out of hand. There are cases when the idea does apply. It is the thought of a generous heart, one that comes from a praiseworthy consideration, and I thought it deserved recognition as such.
The attempt to “be glue” could do more harm than good if not exercised in prudence and wisdom, though. There is such a thing as being a fool who rushed in where even an angel would not be asked to tread!
Thank you all for your advice, your prayers and your time.
Currently my life seems to be at ease with itself.
I went out, socialized, might’ve even found a friend. His name happens to oddly be the same as my own. .o.
Either way, the situation with my family hasn’t improved much, but there’s a serious question I come with you all that’s been bothering me for some time, and I’ve been disinclined to ask my parents cause they’re always so busy.
I’m 21, so don’t consider me a kid. I am a kind-of adult. Kind of.
It’s about my father. Not my stepfather.
I haven’t spoken to him in a long time. And the reason was because he had asked me for some money with the promise that he’d pay me back. It went on like that for some time and he never payed me back. When I found out he was taking advantage of not only myself but of my brothers aswell, I spoke to him and told him that I couldn’t trust him no more.
It’s been some six months or more since I’ve spoken to him.
He’s an atheist. And he’s always constantly a bad example of what a good person should be like. (No dishonor, but fact) Sure, I’ll admit, he has his moments. But his methods are usually so very underhanded, and I taught myself to be a man of righteousness and justice. I steer clear of evil things, but my father continues walking that way. How can I be his son with him constantly showing evil behavior?
When I went to him with my brothers drug issue, he reacted as if it was “OK”. I just don’t know what to do with HIM.
I know ya’ll’ve given me great advice, some more defensive than others, but there either way well-appreciated, but this one being a greater problem than most. How can I keep talking to him when he reacts in this untrustworthy behavior? Half the time I don’t even know he’s telling me the truth.
Please, lend me some advice and a bit of your time.