View Full Version : Going back to school and family drama - need advice

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06-28-2010, 02:34 AM
Thanks for responding.

Yeah, the immigrant thing can be tricky too. My father was eventually accepted by the Mom's family as "not a bad guy for a non-Italian". LOL. I've been with MrBG for a decade, but recently while discussing a cousin's marriage to another Asian from a different country, my MIL said right in front of me "well, at least she's not American". She went on to explain "You know. Asians just value family" like it's an accepted fact that every other race treats our family like dogs. LOL I just had to laugh and shake it off. I know she loves me and sometimes, people can cling to prejudices despite living without them.

06-28-2010, 02:36 AM
The PhD acceptance is exciting.

I have never understood why everyone is suppose to be exactly the same. I have children. That is the path I chose. I have grandchildren. That is the path my daughter chose. If she had chosen not to have children, that would have been OK too. She is my daughter, but it is her life. Neither son knows what they want right now, that is OK too.

The most ludicrous comment came from my mother-in-law. When told that someone didn't plan to have children, she said "How selfish, who is going to take care of them when they get old". Yeah, selfish

06-28-2010, 07:20 AM
My mother's siblings and their families are or have the appearance of being close. They get together frequently and call constantly. I've been on the fringes of that since I was in my late teens/early 20s. While I am happy with my life choices, it always hurts some when a large group (8 aunts and uncles 30-plus other relatives) treat you as an outcast for things like going to college, not marrying the first guy I ever dated, not having children, living in different cities, traveling somewhere other than the beach, having a career and not working as a cashier or garbage truck driver, etc.

I too am sorry that they reacted the way they did to your announcement.

I have seen similar things happen to people I went to school with, most of whom were the first in their families to get as far in school as they did. I think sometimes this reaction happens because the people acting this way know that a lot of the rest of the world values things they don't, or values things they aren't, and they resent how that makes them feel like second-class citizens. So the "don't get above your raising" attack on someone in their family who they think is acting like the rest of the world, and might then look down on them in the future, makes them feel a little more secure about what they are and what they have accomplished (if that makes sense).

That's not to excuse what they did. But if they persist in feeling this way, in the future you might have to put up with the "oh, listen to her, miss smarty pants, is that what they teach in that university of yours"-type comments every time you open your mouth in front of them. No matter what it is you actually say or do, and I'm very sure you are not the sort of person who would be snobby about being in a Ph.D. program while they are driving trucks or ringing up groceries. So I think the advice about limiting your contact with them, or the information you share with them, is very well taken.

06-28-2010, 07:37 AM
I made the post to respond to two things.

1. Some professors and former co-workers who were aware of my plans had been posting questions on my page about if I had been accepted or encouraging me. They were vague things so I knew I needed to respond so I'd stop getting e-mails asking what was going on.

2. My friends, supporters, etc. are spread wide and far around the world. I thought FB would be a good way to make the announcement and hit all of them at the same time. I know now I should have just e-mailed those who were in the know, but we live and learn.

It's sad that you feel like you should have made your announcement in another way. Facebook is such a great place for sharing news, and especially good news. I hope you don't censor yourself in the future...if there's anything to be learned from this, it's to either de-friend your extended family or change their settings so they can't post on your wall.

It's great that your husband and your parents are supportive, though. I understand why, if your parents are close with the various aunts/uncles/etc that they are not willing to take a big stand over their terrible behavior, but at least they support what you are doing :)