My parents are both extreme anti-conventionalists, also firmly convinced that total control is the one factor to ensure domestic happiness in what seems to be a paranoia disorder (total lack of trust).
My father was uninvolved and had anger management problems, with a history of verbal abuse and workaholism alternating with computer addiction.
My mother now has chronic trigeminal neuralgia because he threw earphones at her during a crisis. This past year though there hasn’t been any major crisis and my family generally believes he wants to change, but I still believe he can relapse like he’s done so many times.
My French mother is a socially disconnected individual with emotionally needy and unpractical character traits exacerbated by her contextual mismatch; she shifts from permissive parenting style to authoritarian: she imposes her values on her children, and while she has no expectations for them, she has the one golden standard which is that children should sacrifice their lives in return for their parents to take care of them, for which she will pay any price, including provoking the abusive father into a crisis against his children.
She unschooled her 5 children, but wasn’t involved much once they knew how to read.
My mother has a chronic illness, and she’s terribly homesick for her home country, but she lives like an invalid: a housewife, she does a minimum around the house (mainly laundry and ordering food and clothes online). She expects her children to keep the house up and running, and she never cooks. She also expects her children to do it.
She barely has any duties to fulfill with her family since all her children are teenagers and young adults (she still unschools her tween daughter, but barely works 4 hours a week with her: she’s studying on her own and doing all the homework on her own).
She spends most of her days going from the couch, to her computer, to taking a private lesson at home, to driving to karate class (for her children) or dance class, to the computer, maybe helping out her daughter with something, more computer, 2-3 hours of television, then 1-2 hours of reading or computer, then bed. I realize she’s 55 and with an illness, but I also know she’s taking more responsibilities than she can actually handle, like imposing homeschooling on her children (both I and my younger brother have pleaded to go to public school in order to make sure to graduate on time with enough credits to be admitted at college. She wouldn’t even consider the possibility).
Her ability to manipulate people and her husband and kids has been the cause for my elder brother’s cognitive and emotional retardation (again, he hasn’t been diagnosed because my mother denies this situation, but many people from the outside have noticed something wrong), and my older brother’s choice of a laid back lifestyle that lets him enjoy peace from her, even though he is somewhat conflicted about the fact he was initially a competent person and his choice of life does no credit to his skills (he’s 22, does not have any friends, lives at home, does not have a license, works a job for about 4 hours a week, and takes his college classes online); yet it is the result of listening to his mother in everything. My mother is emotionally unstable because she has chronic health and anxiety issues and wants to protect her illusions one big happy family at the cost of the success of her children, though she does not realize her children could want any form of happiness she wouldn’t want herself. She refuses to let me take enough credits for college and file for financial aid, yet she tells me I have to obey to her choice of credits because I have received no financial aid. The most frustrating aspect of the situation is that she absolutely has no clue of the harm she’s doing, and because she means well, I can receive no help and support from a society that thinks dysfunctional families are taboo. Truth is, one can usually live with a dysfunctional family unscathed when their social involvements puts a distance between them and the control of their family. It is an unusual accord of circumstances and my parent’s weaknesses and bad faith that causes the new generation to suffer from real setbacks in development and in education.
My mother tries to control how her children feel, how they look and act, how they use their time. Yet, also, since she has no real plans or expectations, and since she has fundamentally refused to work with society to follow the model of productive citizens, she’s really preventing us from being individuated and competent individuals in favor of the illusion of a happy family spending a lot of time together. Literally, she has not stopped fighting me until I told her I would not work in the mornings when she sleeps, because she can’t sleep if she knows I’m out of the house and she can’t control what I’ll be doing.
Also, she’s very possessive and wants to keep her children around her as long as possible, she really has problem shifting between pretending we’re all so happy and her children listen to her so well and thinking that if she looses her grip on us, we’ll leave her alone in old age.
It feels like my life doesn’t belong to me anymore: slowly and surely, I am accumulating setbacks and have to sacrifice opportunities because my parents control me financially, and therefore, effectively.
I don’t make any claims as to how bad this is, as dysfunctional families are extremely common and it’s often hard to asses what price the children are actually paying since it depends on how competent they are in the first place. But I can however state that the situation exists, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s making me suffer and it’s slowing down my life in a significant manner.