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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » a question on appearing weak

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Author Topic: a question on appearing weak
Meryl Anne
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Hello again! I've posted here before in the 'Relationships' thread. My last post was about 5 days ago. In a few hours, I will be 2 weeks into my breakup.

I've been using the time to reflect upon myself and the decisions I've made. Today I realized that part of me feels inferior to others because I lived a sheltered life growing up. I've always wanted to shake this impression of myself because I think it makes me look weak. I blame my experience of being bullied on it. Try as I might, I can't seem to shake it off entirely. While it is not as intense as it used to be, it can really get under my skin.

I want to know if it's a sign of weakness that I simply cannot bring myself to do as many of my peers do and spend entire nights out of the house (I'm 23 years old but live with my family; something common here in my country as all members of the household are expected to have a responsibility towards their family until they get married.) I used to want to do this and used to push my limits as well, but one day my mother talked to me and made me realize I was making them worry and appearing unavailable to my younger siblings because of my choices. Does this make me sheltered and weak?

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Robin Lee
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If it's a choice you make of your own free will, knowing the alternatives, than it sounds like it's perfectly okay.

There is this idea that all young people, in their teens and early twenties, rebel by being out at all hours with their friends. The reality is that there are all kinds of people who like to do all kinds of things. I would venture to say that even among the people who go out all the time there are folks who really aren't into it but do it beause they think they're supposed to.

So, how do *you* feel about staying home with your family?

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Robin

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coralee
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Hi Meryl Anne. What "appears weak" is different not just between different cultures, but different individuals as well. I think what matters is not whether someone else thinks you are "weak", but that you learn to step outside your comfort zone and do things that may scare you, but that you feel are important.

In your example with not leaving the house overnight- yes most (but not all) 23 year olds I know would be comfortable doing this, but it sounds like your mother's conversation with you is part of what stops you from pushing yourself to try it. And again, maybe your situation is unusual for 23 year olds in America, but maybe not quite as unusual for 23 years olds in other countries or cultures. Maybe you could tell your mom you would really like to visit a friend or relative overnight, schedule it far in advance so that she and your siblings are aware you will be gone that night and won't be worried. Then when you get to your friend's house, call your mom so she knows you got there safely.

Or maybe there are other things you have anxiety about but would like to try... make a list of them and start with the one that seems the most manageable.

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Meryl Anne
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Robin Lee - Part of me is satisfied with the choice because it erases any guilty feelings I might have had about being away or causing worry. And I am able to enjoy my family's company so it's not like I'm bored to death at home.

However, part of me also feels like I'm missing out. I'd like to live a carefree life at some point. I realize that there are some things I take for granted when I say 'carefree', but I don't see the weight of this responsibility going away anytime soon (I'm on my way to med school in a few weeks.) I'd like to expand my horizons.

coralee - I have learned to tell my mom and dad in advance, that tends to work out fine. It just isn't always to the extent that I want it to.

I like your suggestion about making a list. Writing helps me clarify my thoughts. Thanks for responding!

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copper86
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Anything you want to do and feel comfortable with does not make you weak at all! What is right for you might not be right for someone else. Try not to judge yourself by others' standards, or by what others do that you don't (though I certainly fall victim to this mindset, too).

I'm so sorry to hear about your break-up. I was kind of bullied when I was little - not a lot, but still bullied somewhat - and wasn't popular in high school but still had friends, so I can see what you mean by kind of being sheltered. I don't go out every night; and sometimes it does bother me, like it does for you at times. I also live at home and I just turned 23; so I understand how you feel! But I love my family and also hang out with them at home like you do. And just because you are living at home now, doesn't mean you won't be freer later! [Smile]

But I don't think you are weak. You are never weak for having feelings or opinions. If they aren't congruent with someone else's; then that's their problem to deal with. You are allowed to be who you want to be! [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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