Family Dynamics

I’m going through a bit of a rough time at the moment. It’s nothing new or serious, it’s just an issue that crops up now and again. This is about the relationship I have with my family and the dynamics.

My mum is all around loving and caring at the best of times, but then something comes over her and she will be on at me about my life, my priorities, marriage, etc. It get’s tiring and I wish she’d stop. But at the same time, I know she means well because she just wants what all parents want – for their children to settle down. This is because they think that as soon as that’s done and dusted, I will be happy and they will have fulfilled their duties. However, what I can’t seem to get through to them is that, I am actually happy. Like super happy. I love my life in London and sure, I do sometimes feel like there is something missing in my life, but for the most part, I’m more than content with how my life has planned out thus far.

The reason behind this blog post is to talk about my siblings for a change. I have always thought that I had a good relationship with them. We have a whatsapp group that I basically started a few years back as a way to moan about mum and dad, haha. Now we send each other all sorts of stuff, just like everyone does. However, the more time passes, the more I realise how different we all are.

I’m the second child out of four, and you may call this second child syndrome, but I could not be more different from them if I tried.

My eldest sibling is the golden child – did everything the way my parents wanted. Never really lived a little. Has fulfilled my parents wishes of getting married, having a home and child. Myself on the other hand, I’m the ‘rebel’ apparently. I always pushed the boundaries, always questioned ‘why’, I moved away from home before marriage, I’m ‘wasting’ my money on holidays (therefore not saving for my imaginary wedding)… The list is endless. The younger two on the other hand get away with everything because I’ve basically paved the way for them.

But the fundamental difference between us is that I have a goal and drive to achieve something in my life, that they don’t really seem to have. Their goals are very materialistic. They want the latest trends, fashion, beauty, gadgets, etc. I want to focus on my career and work in an industry that I love, so may not take the most conventional route. They’re happy to settle with whatever job they can get in the town where we grew up. I want to travel and see the world. They want to spend all their money on possessions.

I know that having these differences isn’t a big deal – everyone is different. However, it’s when I realise how different our morals are too, that’s when it really affects me. For example, the way they view other people and cultures is so different to me.

I find it difficult to understand why I’m so different from them despite us having the same upbringing. We were brought up by the same parents, in the same home and town, in the same education system. Yet, I stand out like a sore thumb.

Going home to visit my family feels like a chore now. I really enjoy the first day because I miss them. I miss my parents and their petty arguments, I miss the jokes and banter we all have together, I miss my mums exceptional cooking. But as soon as day 2 comes around, I’m counting down the minutes until I can go back to London. That’s because that fun and jokey side soon fades and their true colours start to show. Don’t get me wrong, my family are generally nice and normal people. I think it’s just me, I’m like the odd one out.

I’ve thought about this long and hard over the last few years and I’ve finally started to realise what it is… I care too much.

I care about my siblings and their future and so I try to make sure they take advantage of all the good opportunities in life. I care about sharing and celebrating all the little successes. I like to communicate and tell them about all the cool and lovely things that are happening in my life. I like to give thoughtful gifts and make a fuss over people to make them feel loved and special.

A few years back, I realised they didn’t care about these things as much as I did. In fact, I was made to feel bad for getting upset or annoyed about this. Like, why was I making this into a big deal?

In the past, I’ve spoken to a few of my close friends about this and they’ve felt sorry for me. That’s because they know what kind of person I am and how much this all means to me. Their conclusion was to not let this get to me and not take it to heart. If only it were that easy. How can someone train themselves to care less?

I don’t even know what to put this down to. Is it culture? Or is it that I’ve adopted the more western way of thinking, of being more supportive and encouraging? Is that such a bad thing? I really don’t know, you tell me.

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5 thoughts on “Family Dynamics

  1. farhana says:

    Im farhana from london. Hi. You completly mirrow my life. I’d love to have a chat with you.

    • Hi Farhana, thanks for your message. I always love hearing from people in similar situations – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one experiencing these things. Drop me an email at cultureclashuk@gmail.com

    • P says:

      Having read your post.. I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Me being the eldest guy in the family, I feel like I am leading the pack and in a way defined the rules of how the children in the house should operate… However, my sister who is 2 years younger is going ahead and “bending” these rules a little

      I truly understand how you feel and how difficult it all is trying to “fit in”. I feel exactly the same… being the eldest, and also being a guy… Cultureclash… you know who I am! 😉

  2. I completely agree with you and find it so refreshing to know I’m not the only one dealing with a imaginary wedding. One where the women in my family have planned every detail except the groom. The one where I’d be seen as a tart if I had short or dyed her by future in laws- many years on I’m still single and have missed out on life because I’ve tried to please everyone else. Don’t make those mistakes

  3. Nazrin says:

    Just read your blogs for 2016. You are not alone sis! I followed and fulfilled my parents dreams, studied, degree, good job. But thats nothing when it comes to “marriage”. Looks matters with a full stop. Nothing more. Im brown skinned and not good looking as my sisters so im “ugly”. Decent likeminded proposals are never given because of how im “classified”. Did myself a favour realised at 26 going 27 i need to do something. Joined a dating site. Got to know someone.

    Following family meet, it killed me as person inside. And now im moulded me into this bitter person full of hate that shows through my eyes. Im already insecure inside because of my looks when compared to my siblings and i always feared proposals.

    So this family meet, the guys father said no. Because im dark. Old. Women age quicker (although his son 6months older). Said my older sis was pretty. Me and his son do not match. His family will look at me in a bad way and i will bring shame to his family. As you can tell it didnt work. Thought i was helping myself but that backfired too.

    28 going 29 in a few months. No progress made… ive been through stages yhrough out the year where i decided to quit my job and sit in my bed in a dark room all day because im made to feel something wrong with me.

    Lost close friends along the way because thats when you realise their true colours. Avoided going to friends weddings. Im the only single one left and i see everyone with their partners, i feel ashamed, dissappointed in myself and embarased. Mainly also as im the eldest of the crew.

    This is a tough journey. May allah swt help and guide us!

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