Upon finishing my MA in English and teacher certification courses this past year, I collected information about doctoral programs in my area. I wasn't all that serious, but the idea has always intrigued me. So while applying for jobs in January and February, I dashed off a few applications and just sat back. All was forgotten as soon as I took a new job in April.
That was until yesterday. I received a letter in the mail that I have been accepted into a program near my home. Most of the courses can be taken online and they even have part-time options. My husband is very supportive and has voiced his desire that I pursue this option. I was all excited about it and made a post of my facebook page that I had decided to do it.
I didn't realize what a mistake that was with my family and friends on Facebook. All afternoon and evening I have been receiving e-mails and texts that I am being selfish. They tell me that I should be thinking about having a baby with my husband and providing my parents with grandchildren. Nevermind that we don't want kids and I couldn't have them anyway. I deleted the post on Facebook, thinking that would solve the problem. Oh no, it hasn't.
I turned to my one cousin I thought I could trust. She always seemed level headed. Her response...I must be looking for validation (my word, not hers) by posting that. She said that our aunts, uncles, and cousins were too busy with their own lives to worry about what stupid thing I decided to do with my life next.
No, I don't think that I'm supposed to be the center of attention. However, I did want to share the news that I was accepted with my family and friends. I never thought they would react the way they have at this point. My friends seem horrified that I come from a family like this. I'm embarrassed that they are showing out like this and deflated over their reactions.
While I can get through this, I'm questioning my role in my family at this point. My parents see no problem with the way their siblings and others treat me. This isn't the first time that I've been called selfish over the no child thing. I am starting to think that the best solution is for me to break off ties with these family members. I love my parents deeply, but I cannot keep going to family reunions, holiday parties, birthday celebrations, etc. when I know these people dislike me as much as they seem to right now.
What do you think? Am I overreacting? Have any of you been able to cut ties with family?