Waltzing Through Life Living With The Parents

by admin on February 2, 2015

I am part of the boomerang generation. In other words, I am part of the generation of youngish people who went to school and moved back in with their parents. I have three other siblings, two of whom are twins and in college, one who is also older and living at home.

My parents were generous and helped me out a LOT in college. They were extremely helpful and pushed me when I needed pushing. As well as being financially helpful, they were just good mentors and really prepared me for life. With their help I was able to graduate and have NO debt whatsoever. As I watch so many friends struggle I really really can’t be thankful enough for that. They have sacrificed a lot for me.

I eventually got a job in another country and moved away for a year. Being bilingual turned out to be a huge plus. But my family was very hurt by my move and it seemed like I would be able to get a job when I moved home, as I was now out of college, had two years of experience in my field and outstanding references and connections. Even though I’m the adventurous sort and kind of wanted to stay and live my independence a bit longer, I wanted to go home too, because I missed everyone. So I did- I came home and I started looking for a job.

And that’s how it’s been for three years. Oh, I’ve been working- I have two jobs at the moment, and I’ve also had three or even four to make ends meet. Both part time employment with no insurance that pay peanuts. I also have a car that’s dying. It’s been really hard… it does nothing for my self esteem to know I went from independence to living with my parents scraping by. They do not charge me rent, (I’ve asked and offered). I help around the house by cleaning and cooking.

One of the things I did upon moving back home was sign up for dance classes. There were a few things I’d wanted to do growing up that I’d asked about but hadn’t been able to do (permission or money-wise) and that was dancing and martial arts. So I barely had any money at all, but taking my change to the bank, I had just enough money to sign up.

Dance has been fun. I have met a mess of people I would never have before. Growing up in a conservative household where everyone was Christian was kind of a bubble. It was a growing process in that I had to learn for the first time what kind of people to avoid and what kind of people to embrace.

I have worked my way up and have been told by the instructor I am one of the best dance follows there. Yay! I still have a lot of ways to go, and I’ve made mistakes this year but I’m happy to have found something I really enjoy. Not to mention great for social interactions and exercise.

Now to the issue at hand… dances take place in the evenings. Which means I am out late. Sometimes it is icy and snowy in the winter, sometimes it is three in the morning and I am just tired and don’t want to drive home. I camp out on couches of friends who live next to the dance studio. In order to improve, which is my goal, I go to as many things as possible. This means Friday, Saturday, Sunday… I am Jitterbugging or waltzing. I dance a lot of weeknights, too. Because of work schedules, sometimes I leave right as my parents get home. I do skip different practices and weekends for family events. Birthdays, obviously holidays, and sometimes, hey, it’s been a long week, I just want to veg on the couch a night in my PJs and watch TV with my brother.

However I am away for most of the weekend. Or I go away at 6pm and don’t return home until 6pm the next day. This has caused outrage from my parents. I think they see me as an irresponsible kid who never comes home, and when she does just is waiting until she can go away again. I think they miss me or feel slighted. My Dad asked me if I think of our house as my home and was very offended by my answer of, “I think this is your home, where you are allowing me to stay.”

Because of my getting home late or coming in the next day (for which I now inform them before hand my plans and have to endure their anger before I leave and then again when I get home) there has been talk of making me pay rent and setting up different house rules of curfews. They also are completely horrified to learn I stay the night on my boyfriend’s couch (he also lives with his family) so I now try to make plans with other dancing girlfriends so that I never have to stay there. It’s a pain but it’s not worth the anger of my parents and I’m not willing to lie about where I am or what I’m doing.

(This seems like I sleep over at peoples houses everyday, I do not. I prefer my house and my bed! It happens once, occasionally twice a week)

I think I could understand this and try to work with them except for one thing. My Brother is an avid hunter. He goes away many weekends and weeks to a hunting cabin in the mountains and also has a job that takes him away. He sometimes stays at hotels or friends houses. We often don’t know where he is until later. Yes, he lives here, but his lifestyle and his hobbies/job take him away.

I guess I feel hurt myself. No, my hobby will not be something I can’t mount on a wall or eat for supper. But when he doesn’t call or come in on time, there’s instant forgiveness. He has a real job and makes real money. But he also doesn’t pay rent and I know they won’t make him even though there’s this talk of making me pay.

So I don’t know what to do. I have tried to find roommates and leave but I am in a financial crunch and can’t really afford to. (Luckily dance classes are now free because the Dance Instructor lets advanced level dancers attend dances for free to help beginners.) When I talk about this from the perspective of, “Hey, I am 25 and I want to move out and be independent someday…”, I am met with hostility.  “So eager to get away from us?!”

Sigh. I just want to dance. In a world where I have applied to over 50 jobs and where I’m praying that my car survives the winter… I just want to be able to do one thing that makes me feel happy and free and alive.

How do I handle this? How can I live in harmony with my family and still be true to my own interests and life. Am I wrong…? I confess… I would like them to come watch my dance, just once. But dances don’t start until 8pm and that’s too late for their tastes. 0112-15

I’m going to be the meanie in my response.   I do not agree with you that your parents “really prepared me (you) for life.”    Their financial assistance with your college education already sets you apart from the vast numbers of young adults who work while going through college and/or have student loans that must be paid.    You left college having no real idea what the personal cost of working for something you really want.  And the fact that your older brother still lives at home paying no rent whatsoever despite having what you refer to as a “real job” with “real money” tells me your parents have no vested interest in pushing a perfectly capable mid-twenties year old male out of the nest to learn how life really is as an independent adult.

I’m the parent of 3 adults in their 20’s and all three have lived at home as adults at one time or another.   We did not require them to pay rent as long as they paid their own cell phone service, car insurance, gasoline, auto repairs, bought their own vehicles, and, this one is crucial, they had to save at least $500.00 per month in a savings account or retirement fund.   They were required to show evidence of this with copies of bank deposit slips or statements.    The other obligation to living in our house was the requirement to be courteous and I’ll expound more on that later.   The only times we ever threatened that rent was to be paid was when there was no evidence of any money being deposited into a savings account.   Whines that they had no money were nearly always a case of the adult kid having spent money foolishly on what we referred to as “toys”, i.e. completely unnecessary items they could not afford or daily/weekly extravagant expenditures for very upscale cosmetics or Starbucks or clothes.

As the parent of three children who lived at home and worked at retail or food service jobs making somewhat similar amounts of money, I can attest to the fact that there was a difference in how each child managed his/her money.   In any group of siblings, it seems one is the “banker” who diligently saves and has more disposable income and on the other end of the spectrum, there is the “shopper” who wastes money on things he/she really does not need and is therefore routinely financially in extremis.  The “banker” of my children was able to save 10K to buy a nearly new vehicle with cash, went on a 16-day trip to New Zealand that cost 5K from saved funds, is planning a London trip later this year, yet also has a generous amount of money saved for a down payment on a house AND an IRA retirement account.   Meanwhile, the “shopper” moved out of the house owning an old clunker, no savings to speak of, and in credit card debt.    And the irony is that the banker made less than the shopper did annually at one point but the difference in how they managed money was light years apart.

You have no college debt, no car payments apparently, you pay no rent and probably little for food, and you have barely two nickels too rub together.  At age 25, you are still eligible to be covered under your parents’ health insurance.   Something isn’t jiving here and I suspect you are not telling me the whole story.   Even working two part-time jobs (and sometimes 3 and 4 as you mentioned) at US minimum wage,  you should be grossing 12-15K per year, most of which is not taxable.   I’ve had two adult kids working minimum wage jobs…I know exactly how much they netted each year.   So, how is it that you have no expenses to speak of yet have no money?

How can you be working “3 and 4 jobs” at times yet have the time to attend dances and dance classes, “Friday, Saturday, Sunday…”,  and, “…a lot of weeknights, too”?  My family loves contra dancing but if one of them were to dance this much per week while claiming to be financially unable to leave the home, there would be some serious discussions about priorities.  If you had to scrape together the money to take dancing lessons, that tells me you are not in a good financial position to pay for the necessities of adult life such as car repairs, and have no long term goal to save money to be able to leave your parents’ home.  I am beginning to suspect, perhaps, why your parents are resistant to watching you dance or taking dance classes….you present the case that your dancing is an obsession at a time when you don’t have the means to afford that kind of luxury.

As for telling your parents where you are going, when you will be back, where you are staying the night, and how you can be reached, this is basic common courtesy everyone should extend to those they live with.   If you were married, your spouse would have a very reasonable expectation that you will relay that information to keep him apprised of your whereabouts.   If you had roommates, this is, again, a courtesy one gives to those one lives with so that they do not needlessly worry about you.  So, no excuses for failing to inform your parents of your plans to be away from the home.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

JWH February 2, 2015 at 9:06 pm

One more niggling thought: Dance. How good is OP?

Thing is, if she’s good enough to “help” with inexperienced dancers at classes, then she ought to get that school should hire her as an instructor (or an assistant instructor) rather than use her for free labor.

If she’s good enough to dance professionally — provided she can a candid evaluation from her instructors — then OP needs to commit to it, practicing day in and day out. She also needs to look for dance-related jobs and gigs so she can build her artistic resume. And, oh yes, she needs to get a real job to pay expenses when she’s not dancing. In the arts, the old saw is, “So, you’re an actor. Where do you wait tables?” So get a job waiting tables.

If she’s not good enough to dance professionally, then she needs get serious about finding a job in her field (or in another field). “Footloose” is a fun scenario, but even Kevin Bacon had to do something to eat.

And, oh yeah, OP’s got to break through whatever block she has about her parents. It’s OK if she bums off friends for A LITTLE WHILE until she can find something away from home. If her parents are upset … well, them’s the breaks. But until OP can get past this, she’s going to be stuck at home, no matter what.

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ImJustSaying February 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm

I think the admin missed the point completely on this one. The OP seemed to be asking how to approach parents that tighten the once loose reins on a child they somewhat asked to come back home from a “good job” overseas.
She came back, offered to pay rent and they refused it.
Time passes she fills her personal time with something she loves while working and looking for new jobs and suddenly rules appear and what SHE originally OFFERED is being used as a threat to her now.
She speaks about moving out to be on her own (whatever her finances) and then she is given a guilt trip for wanting to leave.
how does she navigate parents that won’t allow her to be an adult inside NOR outside of their house?
She’s trying to toe the line of respecting her parents home and rules while also asserting herself as an adult. How do you cut the purse strings if your parents won’t let you have scissors?
If any of your three children were still in house and said they wanted to move out I doubt you would chastise them for wanting to leave.
Also the differing amounts of concern for male children versus female children is a very valid complaint. I too was told to relay every possible detail of my evening to my mother while my brother left and returned as he saw fit without any recourse or speeches about “respecting the home”.
I understand how you would read this as a parent FIRST but you should also take in to account that this is not a whiny teen, This is a 25 year old that wants to be free to be an adult and treated like one.

My personal thought is that she should secure a place to live that she can afford and let her parents know the week before she moves that she is going. The contracts are signed and she is flying the nest to be the fully realized and self sustained adult they want her to be(or at least I hope they do despite their reactions).

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Rosie B. February 3, 2015 at 1:54 am

I agree with this! It seems like the parents are purposely making it an inconvenience for her to live at home, but also laying a guilt trip on her when she brings up the subject of moving out. She’s not a teenager who has a delusional vision of being able to live independently, she’s a college-educated adult who has already proven that she is capable of supporting herself. I’ve heard of parents telling their grown kids that they have to follow a set of strict rules if they want to live at home, but they do that as an incentive to encourage their kids to move out sooner rather than later.

However, depending on what part of the country OP lives in it may not be possible for her to get a place of her own right away. Where I live, there are very few living spaces that one could afford on a minimum-wage job.

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The Elf February 3, 2015 at 8:27 am

“How do you cut the purse strings if your parents won’t let you have scissors?”

You use your own pair. They’ll be upset, but it’s the only way those strings are going to be cut.

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kit February 6, 2015 at 6:15 am

I’d say that anyone who asks “how can I cut purse/apron strings if mommy doesn’t hand me my safety scissors?” probably would do better holding tight to aforementioned strings in the first place.

But I have heard of mommies getting tired of their “little” moochers and cutting those strings eventually themselves, even though kids would prefer to hold on.

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Meegs February 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

Perfectly stated, I agree 100%

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Goldie February 3, 2015 at 10:45 am

“My personal thought is that she should secure a place to live that she can afford and let her parents know the week before she moves that she is going. The contracts are signed and she is flying the nest ”

Amazing coincidence, this is how I left my husband. Woke up Sunday morning, cleaned the whole house, ran everything I could through the laundry, and in the evening, after that was all done, told him that I’d signed a lease on an apartment the day before, and that the kids and I were moving out in five days. He was mad, but at least he knew that I was dead serious and there was no way he could talk me into staying, like it had happened a few times before. Worked like a charm. Been five years last month and he and I are on good terms now.

My only concern in OP’s case is, with her income being as low as it is, would she be able to secure a place of her own? What if the landlord asks for someone to cosign? Hope she has a trustworthy friend who can do so, if things come to that.

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White Lotus February 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

There are many cultures in which the oldest/youngest daughter/son is “elected” to take care of aging parents. Sometimes it is simply the last one left at home who is cast into, all too often, perpetual adolescence. OP, it sounds like you have been selected for this dubious honor, in a place where there are no real jobs for you, barely any part-time jobs, and probably no decent training opportunities, either.
Yet, in another country, you had a good job that you loved. Sounds to me like the hook was baited and you swallowed it, and let yourself be reeled in back to the nest. I suspect you might have been better off staying put, but that is not relevant now. The relevant thing is to change your circumstances NOW.

I see two problems here. The first is recognizing that the issue isn’t learning to live with it but getting out of it. The second is to figure out how to get out of it politely, with no scenes, and no burnt bridges.

So, this is what I’d do. Realize you have to get out. Learning to live with it isn’t working. Cut back on your dancing or make it pay, if necessary, so you can save, save, save. Then start looking for jobs where you used to be or somewhere else where your language skills are an asset. Really put your effort and time into this. I bet if you widened your search geographically, you would get a job that would suit you much better. Don’t tell your parents until you are almost ready to leave, then present it as a wonderful, exciting opportunity that they simply must be thrilled about, and you have to leave in 2 weeks, and need their help selling the car, etc. Do not listen to any negativity. You are doing this, done deal, and it is so great! And then go and don’t look back. I don’t know what your languages are or where you were or might go, but rest assured people dance in every possible way all over the world.

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Ames February 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

Maybe the parents are just mis-communicating their message. Some parents, particularly those with adult children who have done particularly well in life find it difficult to sit down with their children and give direction- especially as in this case, if the child has shown a strong independence from the parents.

Just possibly, the resentment the parents have towards the dancing is based on the fact that OP spent all of her scrounged together savings on it, instead of choosing to stay home and save. Add in other factors like staying out which give the impression of wasting money (even if that is not what OP is doing) and the parents might feel quite resentful that their offer of OP not paying rent has seen her fritter away any money that could be saved. As it is, it is very clear that OP is mismanaging funds to not have any disposable income.

I too was a uni student, living off of the generosity of my parents ($100 a week) and working while 1000km from my family. I racked up $30,000 in debt which I am steadily working off. I live with a partner but earn minimum wage, so between bills and debts, we still manage to have funds left over for savings. In this instance, I am not sure what OP is managing to do with her money. But that is none of my business.

Perhaps the brother is allowed to do his hobby because he has demonstrated to his parents that he is able to save some money. Perhaps if the dancing is now free, OP could show her parents the same thing and I am willing to bet that the issues will decrease.

The problem of the parents essentially threatening OP with rent payments may just be their way of trying to get their daughter to be a bit more financially responsible.

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Hemi February 3, 2015 at 1:01 am

OP, I’m not going to dogpile on you because there seems to be 2 things that everyone is in agreement about:
1. You need to consistently, seriously be looking for a full-time job. Maybe pick up a few extra shifts at your current job(s), if possible. Even if it means cutting back a bit on dancing for awhile.
2. You need to move out of your parents home if you ever expect to be treated as an adult.

I get it- dancing is your escape from your parents constant disapproval and control over your life. It’s the one thing that is yours and it feels like they are trying to take it away. Because you are living in their home, I think you definitely need to extend them the courtesy of telling them if you will not be returning home (sleeping over at a friend’s) and some basic info about who you will be with and where you will be, just in case there is an emergency. (Since dance class gets out late tonight, I am going to stay at Jane’s and I’ll be home mid-morning)

I don’t understand why there is a different set of rules for your brother- why they have no problem with his hunting trips and my husband is a hunter so I know that the trips are pricey, usually several thousand dollars (my husband has checked into trips a couple of times) and some can be tens of thousands of dollars. An out of state hunting trip can easily be $20k, when you add in all the fees. The equipment is not cheap, either. A good deer rifle, just the rifle no extras, can be $1000. You might get really lucky and find one cheaper but not much cheaper. Then they usually buy a scope and the cheapos are $150 and the good, accurate ones *start* at $300 and a Swarkosi (sp?) can be $3000-$4000. Add in camouflage clothing, boots, scent killing products, processing and the hundreds of little things you need for hunting and add in time off from work. We are talking some serious money. If brother can afford all this, why doesn’t he move out? He could spend all that money and get a nice home instead of running around the country killing deer or whatever his animal of choice is.

To me, it seems ludicrous to spend so much money on an education to only to guilt you into coming back home. It’s like they are saying “We paid for your education so you could graduate debt free and now you owe us”. It’s like they are dangling a treat in front of you and saying you can only have it if act a certain way and do XYZ they way they say- you can live in their home rent free and they will help you out, but you have to let them control your every move and do exactly as your told or they will hit you with penalties (rent).

That’s my take on it. You really do need to do some serious job searching and move out. Is there anyway you could find something in dancing? Maybe as a dance instructor? You lived by yourself in a foreign country for a year, presumably handling all your affairs and paying bills- you can do this!

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Daisy February 3, 2015 at 1:32 am

I left home at 18. We were poor and it made things easier for my father. By the time I was 21 I was a single parent. I worked days, nights, weekends, and holidays, paid my own way, and concentrated on giving my child a good life. If you want to be treated like an adult, act like one. Go back to the place where you had a good job and start supporting yourself. It’s more important to stand on your own two feet than to dance on them.

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Rosie B. February 3, 2015 at 1:35 am

I’m going to have to disagree with Admin on this one. Should OP be spending what sounds like all of her disposable income on dance lessons? Perhaps not. But that does not excuse the way her parents have been treating her.

OP said in her letter that she’d offered to pay her parents rent, and they’d declined. If they’d said something like, “You don’t owe us anything, but you have to putting x amount per month into savings,” then that would be one thing, but they didn’t say that. Plus, it’s entirely possible that OP is saving a portion her money. When she said that she didn’t have very much money to spend, she didn’t say she had no money at all. It’s possible that the rest of her money could be going straight into savings or into some other necessary expense that she didn’t mention in the letter. Maybe she really is throwing all her money away, but the letter didn’t say for sure.

OP’s parents also seem like they’re really pressuring her to stay at home. They were “hurt” when she chose to move away to pursue her career, they never want her to be out late, they get defensive and accuse her being eager to get away when she brings up the possibility of moving out…that is not a healthy attitude to have toward a 25-year-old. Of course it’s okay to be sad about an empty nest, but it sounds like they’re taking it a little too far and manipulating her into staying at home. It sounds as though OP really does want to move out but just isn’t able to, and her parents aren’t doing much to encourage her to work for it.

Yes, the parents’ house means the parents’ rules. However, it sounds like OP is informing her parents when she knows she’ll be out of the house for extended period of time, and it doesn’t sound as though she’s causing anyone any inconvenience by being out as often as she is. She is not going out partying or doing anything dangerous. She is not failing to show common courtesy, and she is doing what should be expected of anyone sharing a living space. The fact that her parents allow her brother to be out for long periods of time without repercussion only proves this point further.

To the people saying that OP should just move out and get a better job: easier said than done. I am also a young adult being supported financially by my parents, and while I’d LOVE to be able get a well-paying job and become financially independent it’s just not an option right now. The area I live in has a job market so abysmal that it’s pretty much impossible to get hired anywhere without a personal reference or an extremely impressive resume (and it sounds like OP has a 3-year gap in hers). This is true even for minimum-wage service-industry jobs…there just aren’t any jobs available anywhere. From her letter it sounds like OP is trying to get a job that pays well enough for her to move out, but if there isn’t anywhere that will hire her then there isn’t much she can do about it.

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Rebecca February 3, 2015 at 1:48 am

I’m going against the grain here. I think these parents sound very controlling and manipulative. She moved to work in another country. Instead of being encouraging and glad for her that she was broadening her horizons, they were “hurt.” (Yes, every parent will be sad to see their baby go, but you’d think they’d at least be encouraging). Now she is home, trying her best, working two jobs, doing her share around the house, and has tried to pay rent which was refused…..and they begrudge her the thing that gives her joy and exercise and strengthens her social circle: dancing. They fail to understand that she is 25 and wants to BE 25. When I was 25 I wanted to go out all the time too. It’s normal. I don’t now. I’m nearly 50 and I can’t wait to get home. But OP is 25. What do they want from her? They’ve refused rent, and now they are pulling the “You live here rent-free” card to try and control her. Doesn’t sound as though she is disrupting anyone coming in late at night either, as she stays over at someone’s home if she is going to be late. She tells them her plans so they won’t worry. So they give her grief before and after the outing now. The dead giveaway is the guilt trip when she talks of attaining independence some day. Instead of support and encouragement, she gets a sarcastic, “Oh, you can’t wait to get away from us, can you?” Well they are sure helping the OP along in forming that opinion.. I’d be eager to get away from them too.

Sounds as though she has been a great daughter to them, and all she gets in return is their neediness and guilt-tripping and begrudging every attempt to let go of the apron strings. They should be pleased as punch she has found a healthy activity outside of work that she loves.

When I was struggling, underemployed, poor, and living with my mother as an adult (much to my angst and shame) my weekend hiking club trips were really all I felt I had to uplift me, and it was the one time of the week I forgot all about my worries and returned refreshed and ready to face another week of battling my underemployment. I’m done with that phase of my life now (still love hiking outdoors in nature) but if that had been taken away from me I am not sure what would have been left to keep me in a positive mood.

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cicero February 3, 2015 at 6:09 am

this isn’t about your parents “letting you” become an adult – this is about *you* becoming an adult. you don’t need your parent’s permission or even approval to move out and be on your own.

I understand that dancing is your life etc but hey, part of being an adult is prioritizing and doing the things you need to do to become independent.

I would love love love to spend a few hours every day at the gym. but i can’t. for a lot of financial/logistical/time-related reasons, i do not currently have the resources to do so. instead of whining about it, i am doing what i can to get back on track financially, while doing the best to keep in shape physically, until such time that i can get back to daily visits to the gym. that’s what grownups do.

And your brother isn’t treated differently? yeah, that happens. but again, kvetching about “his gift is better” and “you love him more than me” is something that kids do, not 25 YOs.

sorry if it seems like everyone is dogpiling here, but i really think you need to get a grip on reality.

write down your goals – and make a list of all the steps you need to take. if your goal is to get an apartment – start now by figuring out how much it will cost (rent, utilities, etc), how much you will need if you share an apartment of go in on your own. figure out how much you will need to give first/last month, and start putting those pennies together. If you need another job – then get one, or add hours on one of your current jobs.

you can do this.

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Ant February 3, 2015 at 6:27 am

I only really have questions reading this: IF you don’t pay rent, bills, get plenty of food for free and your main hobby is free… where does the money go? I am presuming by your 2-4 jobs comment that you work ~40 hours a week which means that there should be ~$300 a week coming into your bank. It has to go somewhere. Secondly if you go to an evening dance class and are out at 6pm, when does the class start and finish? something tells me it may start at 7 and finish at 9 at the latest. So what happens until 6 the next day? It sounds to me like you go out party and waste all your earnings and your parents charging rent is to rein you in a bit and not really about the money. The hostility about moving out is probably because they don’t think you a ready/responsible and think you will be coming back to them for help. Yes you lived on your own but that was when you earned more and they were not there to see how you coped. Ultimately I think your parents won’t really see you as an adult until you act like one around them.
Yes it’s tempting to compare yourself to your brother but have you considered if his finances are growing? Yes he seems to be away a lot but you said there is a mixture of business (which will be subsidized) with pleasure. IF he has annual hunting pass and a regular agreement with a cabin owner it’s probably not as expensive as you think, so with this “really money” job I could see him easily be saving at least 5000-10000 a year for a deposit for a house. I’d say your parents are less worried about his life because he seems to be going somewhere and you seem to have got stuck in a rut

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Another Sarah February 3, 2015 at 6:34 am

I actually really sympathise with the OP and I think admin made a few interesting assumptions on this one.
I get it OP, I really do. It is hard to be treated unequally to your brother. It is hard to do something that you thought was making yur family happy and have it blow up in your face leaving you unable to find a job in your field. It is hard to be the returning child and have to chafe under restrictions that you thought you’d put away some time ago.
But you cannot change your parents’ behaviour. You can only change yours.

Assuming you’ve not decided to toe the line and give up your independance, it seems that whatever you do will make your parents unhappy, whether you stay or go.
So you can make them unhappy or make them AND you unhappy by staying in a situation that isn’t working.
What is quite telling on this is that you seem to be working full time and spending at least three evenings/days a week dancing, You say you cook and clean, so understandably need downtime to veg. But honestly, when does you have time to focus on finding a job that will get you out of that house?

Other posters have suggested that you try and find work as a dance teaching assistant. I think this is an excellent idea – suddenly your time spent out of the house is halved because your hobby and your job can intersect.
If you can’t though, the only thing that can give is your dancing – there’s no need to give it up altogether but you can’t keep doing as much as you’re doing and realistically hope to cram finding a better job and making ends meet into the time you have left. You have to reduce it if you want to change your living situation. cut it back to once a week and use the loss of something you’d rather be doing to focus on finding a way to earn more money. Get a night job and do an internship during the day. Look for related jobs around your field. Get a better paid “not my dream job” job.
But the only way to redress the balance with your parents is to stop being beholden to them for a place to live, and you can only do that by being able to afford to move out.

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burgerking February 3, 2015 at 10:26 am

I am of the group that says, you live in your parents house, you live by their rules. The simple answer is to move out, get your own place and do what you want.

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Library Diva February 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

I think that’s true, but only to a point. The parents get to make the rules about the house. They don’t get total control over her life just because she lives there. They can require that she inform them of her plans so that they know whether or not to get worried when it’s 2 AM and she’s not home, and they can even ask that she either be home by a certain hour or not at all so that her coming in late doesn’t wake the household. They can’t hold veto power over her plans. They can make the rule of “no eating outside the dining room.” It’s unfair of them to go into the dining room and criticize OP’s food choices. Etc.

It seems to me like they’re trying to prevent OP from growing all the way up. They want her to be earning money and keeping adult-like hours, but they don’t want to accept that adult-like freedoms are generally a privilege that comes with that stuff. They also don’t want to accept the lessening of dependence and closeness that comes with age. A five-year-old is all about Mom and Dad. A 25-year-old is going to want her own friends, a romantic partner, and interests and a career outside the confines of the home in family in which she was raised.

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kit February 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

I really agree with everything admin wrote, too.

I’m a parent myself, 39 years old, live in our own home with tween children, and whenever I leave home, I tell someone – be it my husband or a child, whoever happens to be nearest – when I go away, where I go (and if necessary, for how long time). Even if it is just “I’ll go get your brother from music school” which takes less than 10 minutes round trip – I’m not going to leave my family wonder when will they see me again, or just suddenly discover I’m gone. When I’m visiting my parents or other relatives and stay with them, naturally I tell them about where I am and when I will be back, and the same goes for them – if my parents (and they are 60+) decide they will stay in summerhouse overnight, they inform me, too. That’s just how a family works, in my opinion. It is not a “child must report to parent” thing, but just a common considerateness towards people you live together with. Leaving for 24 hours without any communication? not something that would be done by a responsible grown-up.

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AnaMaria February 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm

OP, I fully sympathize with not being able to find a full-time job after college. I had a useless B.A. when I graduated (long, complicated story!!) so I couldn’t land a decent paying job, and no minimum-wage jobs would hire me because my B.A. made me “overqualified.” I did find a full-time job (just above minimum wage) in a call center, but I soon realized they were desperate because they mistreated their employees so much, and they would find dumb reasons to fire people after a few months so they wouldn’t have to give them a pay raise.

I finally quit and decided to serve in the Americorps for a year- it was a pay cut (although it also meant I could put my student loans in forbearance and pay off a nice chunk of them when I was done). I also lived with my parents during this time (and it was rough at times, but nothing like what you have described!) and I wasn’t able to save much, but I had enough for gas to drive to work! Some of my teammates made ends meet with government benefits, which I had mixed feelings about, but it was their choice. But Americorps placed me in a site that was specific to my desired career field, so I gained lots of experience and had many networking opportunities. After my service was up, I also went abroad for a year and worked in my career field. Once I returned I applied for graduate school, and even though my undegrad experience hadn’t been the greatest, the Americorps and the international experience combined got me in. I finished my program and finally have my dream career, and, yes, the student loans are a bummer, but I’d rather have to deal with that once a month and love my job (and my independence) than feel trapped and manipulated by my parents. All that to say, there can be alternative pathways to getting where you want to be career wise and financially. Don’t be afraid to look into new opportunities, and, while I envy you for being debt free, don’t make that such a high priority that you are holding back from your own dreams and goals. There’s a huge difference between consumer debt or get-rich-quick schemes and wise investments.

It sounds like you have cultural/religious background that is adding to the pressure to please your parents. I don’t want to disrespect that or tell you the mainstream-way is the right way, but I would urge you to consider if your parents are truly sticking by their beliefs/values or if they are using them to control you. I have encountered these types of people within my own faith, and found that giving in to them just leads to a cycle of manipulation and headaches.

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Lindsay February 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

My mouth is just hanging open. OP, get it together. You live in your parents house, this was their choice, and you have to live by their rules. There is a very “Poor Me” attitude expressed in your writing- I don’t know if that is intentional, but get it together. Apply to Costco. Find a roommate. Prioritize your spending.

You have a college degree. FOR FREE. And quite frankly, the way you are thanking your parents would get my back up too. Obeying their rules is a sign of respect, and not doing so is honestly disrespecting your hosts- Not just your parents. I went to college, racked up $45k in student loan debt, and still managed to purchase a house (With a room I rent out), find a job (Had to work at a few places that were “beneath” my education, but hey, that’s okay, got the bills paid), and took care of my business. You’re not going to get a good job until you can handle your personal life, end of story. If anyone came into my office with a “victim” story like this, I wouldn’t hire them. Take control of your life, and realize that it isn’t anyone’s fault or decisions but yours.

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Anonymous February 6, 2015 at 12:05 am

But Lindsay, the OP probably wouldn’t say all of that to an employer. After all, in a job interview, the answer to “Tell me about yourself” is “I went to Blahblah University and majored in Something, where I learned X, Y, and Z skills, which I feel will be a great asset to Whatsitcorp.” There’s a difference between relaying something anonymously on the Internet, and portraying a “victim mentality” to everyone you meet. I’m sure the OP has been approaching job interviews the way I described, because she’s finished university, and most people learn that by then.

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Annie February 3, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Until I turned 18, I frequently defied or ignored my parents’ rules. The day I turned 18, I started scrupulously following their rules. I was no longer a child who deserved shelter; I was a guest in their house.

My only advice for the OP is to move back to that other country and get your job back if you can. Do whatever it takes to get your own place. Do not worry about hurting your parents’ feelings. Their feelings are not your problem. But as long as you live under their roof, you live by their rules.

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Rebecca February 4, 2015 at 1:58 am

The OP told them (when asked if she considered their home her home), that she considered it their home and they were letting her stay there. And they got offended. I am not so quick to assume the OP is some kid who isn’t respecting her parents.

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Shyla February 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm

I see this partly as a lack of grown-up communication. You and your parents need to set aside an hour alone and talk. You can all agree to listen to each other and not yell. Use lots of I statements. I feel…I would like…I wish. I think you need to truly listen to why your parents are upset and realize that there is truth in there. They should listen to you and try to understand how you feel.

This should be done whether you stay or move out.

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Anonymous February 6, 2015 at 12:09 am

I think the “lack of grown-up communication” is mainly coming from the OP’s parents. I mean, when the OP tells them her plans (especially her plans surrounding dance), they get angry when she leaves, and when she arrives back home. When she doesn’t, they get mad at her for being evasive. It sounds as if the only thing that’d make them happy would be if she stopped dancing altogether, and stayed home all the time. They don’t want her to move out of the house, but they also don’t like it when she engages in outside activities, like dance, and for an adult, that’s controlling. It’s not as if she’s hanging out at a stripclub or a crack den; she’s just dancing.

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Elsie February 4, 2015 at 4:11 am

Sometimes, the best parent-child relationship is one where they aren’t around each other often and maybe just meet for coffee every now and then. And that’s totally okay, if that’s how everyone is happy (or more importantly since we are addressing you, if it makes YOU feel safe). It will be difficult, but you should really take a look at how you manage your money. Admin is spot on with that one. Your parents did not help you prepare for the world.
Seriously, a curfew at 25? Making a hissy-fit with you staying with your boyfriend at 25? They think you’re still 12, kiddo.

I strongly encourage you to pay for as much as your own things, bills, rent, whatever as you can. Push the issue a little harder if you want to pay rent. If they absolutely refuse, so be it. Never let them dangle this over your head, however.

Start a dialogue with them and come to a compromise that leaves everyone happy (note: this is not always possible, and you should consider other options if a healthy compromise just isn’t possible).
In my personal opinion, rules such as “don’t leave a mess”, “warn us before you bring someone home”, “let us know if you’re not coming home tonight”, “try to be quiet at night” are all very reasonable. What is not reasonable is demanding to know “where you’ll be, how long you’ll be there, who you’re with, contact numbers, etc” from another adult. The second shows a massive lack of trust and respect. You’re 25. They would not demand this from a coworker.

Right now, OP, I think you need to seriously scrutinize your life and think about what you want, what you need, what you’re willing to put up with, and what you’ll do to get what you want. You do not need to have everything figured out in your 20’s, but you should be seriously thinking about what will keep you safe and make you happy.

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tasryn February 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

I have to say that stories like this one sometimes annoy me. I completely understand the logistics: tough job market, manipulative parents who don’t really want their adult children to leave home (I have two examples of this in my own family) and a hobby that the person in question really wants to do full time.

The biggest thing that always sticks out to me with adult children who live at home is those like this one who claim not to have the money to leave yet somehow find the money for extras. Those extras could be dance lessons/attire/etc but also seem to include concerts, trips both foreign and domestic, music festivals or even having the reputation in their friends circle for buying super expensive Christmas/Anniversary/Birthday presents that are out of reach ofr many people to be able to buy.

This annoys me because I see a disparity: people who truly don’t have money to live on their own due to low paying jobs or an emergency/crisis also don’t have money to afford all of these extras. Regardless of how manipulative the parents are, the key thing these young adults neesd to own is themselves and their own situation. They have a true gift to live rent free and with limited household expenses. This gift should not be squandered but rather used for training to get a better job, education to get a better job, mortgage payment/rent for their first place, etc. I’m not saying that living at home precludes you from doing a few things throughout the year to enjoy yourself but treating yourself to expensive vacations, hobbies, concerts, etc while crying poor doesn’t jive with me and it shows the person in question doesn’t truly take accountability for their life or their actions.

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Xtina February 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Add me to the group that just doesn’t get why this doesn’t add up. 2, 3, and 4 jobs, and you’re this broke with nothing to your name, even with no bills or loans to pay? All this great previous job experience and it has led absolutely nowhere? It doesn’t sound like OP is really taking employment or saving that seriously–even on absolute crap jobs, you should be able to eke out some kind of life, especially if you had roommates. I apartment-shared with two other girls out of college, had ONE almost full-time job that paid $5.25/hour (low earnings even by 1995 standards), and I still managed all my bills in a medium to high-cost-of-living-city, and had a little extra cash to put towards entertainment without any help from my parents. I think she might need to go back and see where she might be able to change some things about her lifestyle/life plans to accommodate a better chance at independence.

However, I do think her parents are treating her unfairly. I lived with my parents after college for a few months before moving into the aforementioned apartment, and while it was their house and their rules (as it should be expected), the OP’s parents seem especially manipulative in this situation towards their ADULT daughter, who they are definitely not treating as an adult. The comparisons with the older brother aside, and yes, I do think she needs to be more respectful towards them in her comings and goings and some of this is on her, but there’s something not right about the way they treat the OP, either. Sadly, I don’t think there’s a lot of solving other than the OP needs to move out and become independent as soon as she can, and has just realized that it’s true what they say: you can’t go home again.

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JWH February 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Looking at this and other stories, it seems to me if a twenty-something plans to move back home with Mom and Dad, they ought to discuss expectations before moving back in. That discussion, IMO, ought to include the ground rules of their relationship and some level of rent — even a token amount — to signify that the relationship is not between parents and juveniles, or between hosts and guests, but between older adults and a younger adult who has purchased the right to live in the dwelling.

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hakayama February 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Dear OP: You and the rest of us all realize that you would be best helped by a “life coach”, rather than an etiquette column. However, after reading the 100+ responses, I can openly say that this group “has done good” by you. I still would like to add some more strands and leave the additional weaving to you.

Your parents have been my parents, with some variations on the theme, but with the same core. I can most fully sympathize with you. I “got out” because I had the credentials that allowed me a good position in the job market.
I had the pleasure of knowing on a collegial basis, a lovely gal that continued to live in the parental home well beyond the usual, for the US, age. She and her brother were both successful professionals, and could have each moved out waaaaaaaay before I have met her. However, following their family’s Mediterranean custom, they stayed in place since they were unmarried. As it was, the siblings have become an “ossified” in place. I don’t know “how the story ends”, but it’s quite likely that inertial kept them in place even after the parents’ departure.

I used to be impressed when someone said he/she worked 2 or 3 jobs. Silly me! Now I would inquire about the NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED. And if it was less than 35 to 40, I’d suggest “one more job”. Those who need to rely on themselves for ALL of life’s necessities, do not stop when they have the bare minimum to cover the week’s or month’s expenses. I’d be quaking in my boots if I did not have a cushion of some sort… Because “stuff” happens: flu lays you up for a week ( the “shots” are not really that effective), a broken bone takes 6 weeks to heal…

Having lived in NYC, I came across many individuals that would say they were writers, actors, models, artists, dancers …but they had to drive a taxi, wait tables, clean offices to pay for life’s necessities. In the very olden days, I understand that dance halls had “partners for hire”, so I imagine that some people could combine their passion with a job. 😉 [Gives me the heebie jeebies.]

In 20-20 hindsight style, perhaps you should have found a job on home turf before leaving the lovely job in, I presume, Mediterranean. (Been there, done that: quit a good job before finding the next.)
Could it be at all possible to beg and worm your way into a similar situation again? You still could dance your weekends away without agonizing over finances… or parents wringing their hands.

Couch surfing’s fine, but not as a way of life for surfer or host. Some things do get tiring and tiresome…
If you could take a “breather”, and commit it all to paper, making lists, charts, diagrams, etc., your assessment of the PRESENT situation and projections for the FUTURE just might become clearer.
Best wishes and lots of luck.
P.S.: By “future” I do not mean just next week, OK? 😉

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hakayama February 5, 2015 at 7:44 am

Please bear with extra words and letters in my comment. I should have read it thoroughly before pushing the “submit” button.

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MPW1971 February 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

I see a lot of “missing” details too, but a lot of what the OP describes exists in families like mine, where an ethnic/cultural background leads to a huge divide and difference between expectations and realizations for male vs. female children. I come from a working class background – parents worked as labourers in passable union jobs – so there was no wealth or privilege, and my post-secondary education was paid by merit scholarships.
I finished graduate school at 26 and got a job, got engaged, broke up, moved back home at 30, then got a travelling job where I was away for weeks and months at a time, bought a house at 36 and moved out, still single, built a career and now find myself to be completely independent and successful. Of course, being male allowed me to work in a fairly risky and high-travel job without any issues from my parents. I came and went as I pleased and if they had concerns over what I was doing or how I was spending my time, it was never conveyed to me. I have spent my 30’s living and working in some very remote parts of the third world, so it’s not like my parents could check in on where I was or how I was doing.
Cue the story of my sister, 7 years younger. Her talent was artistic (music) and not technical like mine. This was fostered and supported, but my sister is a poor student and not very dedicated. She languished through community college, university, a year of unemployment, and then teacher’s college. Upon graduation, she was unable to get a job locally – compared to others, she was not motivated nor were her grades very high. My parents could not allow her to move away, so she was stuck living with my parents, working part-time as a music teacher. At first the hours were good, but a sagging economy lead to fewer hours and less income. All the time, my parents were quite happy because my sister was home every night and not being in any “danger”, and her “art” was fostered. My sister never worked on weekends, because my parents never worked weekends. She sings in a church choir on Sunday, and this “hobby” consumes several evenings and a Saturday afternoon for practice. By now, my sister is 36, and works 4 to 10 hours a week at near minimum wage. Technically, she works 3 different jobs, but the hours are just not there. My parents pay for her car, cell phone, insurance, internet, and entertainment. (Thankfully she lives in Canada, so health care is free.) In addition to the lack of work, my sister has become an internet gaming addict, and morbidly obese with other health problems. Two years ago she got a job serving coffee, but was let go after 6 weeks – gaming until 3am and going to work at 6am does not make for success. My parents make half-hearted threats to kick her out, but her safety and security is so important that they don’t care what she is doing, as long as she is home.
It doesn’t make any sense. Our family has never experienced any kind of event or trauma which would create this kind of irrational fear. There was no paranoia for me – I was never kept from going to the corner store for fear of “stranger danger”, but my sister was a girl and thus, a “target”, and kept safe. Maybe my mother held out hope that my sister would go to school, find a husband, and be taken care of, but my sister has never dated or been very social. She is naive, easily manipulated by “false friends”, and lacks many life skills. She does not know how to cook, set a budget, or do her own taxes; she does not have a credit card or passport, has never left the country or been on an airplane. If my parents died and left her nothing, she would be broke and homeless within a week. She has no assets in her name, no retirement savings, and no life skills. My parents have turned her into a social invalid,dependent upon them for everything. At age 36, her cousins and childhood friends are now married, raising children, working, living independently, and experiencing normal adulthood. But my sister, despite having no physical or mental infirmity, has been treated like she has a crippling disease where if she is out of my parents’ sight, she would immediately die. It’s baffling, but it’s true, and I live in fear of having to take care of both my parents – as they age and their health fails – but also my “deadbeat” sister, who has, at age 36, never even worked a full 40 hour week in her life.

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C3r3n1ty February 5, 2015 at 10:12 am

It sounds to me like you’re being treated differently than your brother because he is CHOOSING to stay in your parents’ home whereas you HAVE to. By the fact you are forced to remain there because of your financial situation, your perpetuating the traditional parent/child dynamic where you are relying on them for support. As such, they feel like they can continue to treat you like a child. If what you say is true about your parents preparing you for real life, and in their own weird way, I believe you when you say that’s what they were trying to do, then you haven’t really lived up to your end of the bargain. I suspect that if you were able to find a well-paying job and be earning similar money to your brother, they wouldn’t mind the dancing, you coming and going when you please etc because they’d perceive you to be an independent adult despite the fact that you lived in their home. It sounds to me like they are happy for both you and your brother to remain in their house indefinitely as adults, but only if that’s through choice rather than necessity. Weird, but ok. I have no comprehension why a grown adult would choose to live with their parents, or why their parents would want them to, but it does happen and I know people who have lived at home well into their 30s despite earning enough to move out.

As it is, you still have that traditional child/parent dynamic going on because you are being forced to stay there. Again, if you’re parents genuinely are trying to prepare you for the real world, your actions don’t seem like someone who is doing their level best to become financially independent from them. I am assuming that the jobs you have amount to full-time hours i.e. 40 hours a week or similar, and are low wage to the point where you wouldn’t be able to afford rent and bills in a place of your own. If you really are dancing as much as you say you are, where are you finding the time to apply for higher paying jobs in your field? What evidence are you showing your parents that you are living up to what they taught you about living in the real world? I can see their frustration, they are offering you a crazy amount of support and you are taking it for granted. Are you saving any money at all? Where are your wages going if it’s not on rent or bills? I can understand not making enough money to be able to move out, because your current wages wouldn’t cover things, but what are you doing with the money you do make? Because without any outgoings at all, are you spending it on partying with your dance friends or are you saving it so that when you do get a job that will allow you to be financial stronger, you have a head start?

Put yourself in your parents position. Their overall intention has got to be that you are no longer dependent on them regardless of whether you live there or not. Children build lives of their own, usually by moving out, and any parent who doesn’t want their child to be independent is not preparing them for the real world. They can be endlessly understanding and patient with you while you get yourself into a financially stable position, not require you pay rent, give you room and board and generally hope that you feel like their home is your home, but their overall intention has to be that at some point, you will be able to support yourself. If this is an accurate description of how your parents feel then, then I can understand why your Dad would be offended by what you said. You basically told him that you weren’t comfortable in the home they are bending over backwards to make for you, and the fact that the dancing keeps you away from the house most of the time is compounding that.

It seems to me that if the above is the case, they see the dancing as a useless diversion from you becoming independent. And, the reason they are treating it differently to your brother’s situation is, from the sounds of it, he could move out any time he wants, he has the money and a job that pays well. He chooses to stay at home, and your parents let him. That’s a different situation to yours. You HAVE to stay at home because you can’t afford to move out. And, in your parents eyes, you’re wasting all of your time on a hobby that isn’t getting you anywhere closer to being an independent adult.

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whatever February 7, 2015 at 7:31 am

Your assumption that the parents want her to eventually move out may not be true. In fact, it seems the opposite to me: they asked her to quit her job overseas to live with them and they snipe at her when she mentions moving out. It bothers me that so many people, including the admin, are ignoring that angle and calling her, essentially, a bad daughter when she made a big sacrifice at their request.

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hakayama February 5, 2015 at 10:20 am

@MPW: Looks like “lil’ sis” missed the perspiration part of artistic success. Inspiration by itself never was enough for those who succeeded in any field.
I wonder if there is a way in which YOU would make it very clear to EVERYBODY that you will not take charge of the poor gal. Perhaps some “serious geography” might send a message. Could you shift your “home base” by 500-1000 miles? You also might want to arrange for family/individual counseling for the parties involved. Maybe then, sister might realize that she should not feel above accepting some full-time “degrading” work.
It just might be time for some serious “tough love”…

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MPW1971 February 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

@hakayama: I now live in the US, 3000 miles away from my parents. I have no intention of ever moving back to Canada, and my sister cannot simply buy a bus ticket and move in with me permanently – with no income she’d have no health care, and with no residency rights she would not be able to work. (I am in the US on a work visa and I cannot sponsor a relative.) The thing is that people have tried to help – not just me but my extended family. My father has three brothers, all with children, and they are rebuffed at any attempt at suggestion – his reply is that his brothers should not give advice about his child, when some of their own children are underemployed and living with their parents – though not to the extent of my sister.
The biggest problem is my parents’ inability to see how this has made my sister incapable of functioning on her own. She has had everything done for her all of her life – the problem being that my own mother was the youngest of four daughters herself. Her own parents desperately wanted a boy, so even from birth, she and her sisters were disappointments. As a result of her own issues as a child, my mother has swung the pendulum too far the other way. My sister was thus spoiled and protected, never criticized, always praised and nurtured, and above all else, kept safe. It never mattered what my sister did as long as she was home – nobody paid attention to see if she was doing her homework or practicing her music, so she spent a lot of her high school years playing video games, watching television, and talking on the phone. She lacks the skills to interact socially, and it goes back a long way.

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hakayama February 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm

@MPW1971: Looks like the saying about “7th son of the 7th son” also goes for daughters. However, the familial baggage can definitely be made lighter if only one just steps back, and looks at the situation objectively, seeks impartial opinion and counsel, makes projections into the future…
YOU have done what you possibly can, and short of an occasional emergency funding, nobody should rely on you.
Another image comes to mind, usually that regarding addicts: sometimes people need to reach the very bottom of the pit before they decide to scramble and claw their way out. If this is the case with your sister, let’s hope that it happens before she reaches old age.
Blessings and best wishes.

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Enna February 7, 2015 at 7:38 am

I think the op’s parents have been selfish and manipulative here. They were upset when she moved out with a good job. The OP hasn’t mentioned anything about having a change of faith or no faith: if she is having questions on faith and spending more time away form the hosue the parents might be concerend about her sraying. By behaving the way they do they are pushing her away so she is doing more dancing. Or she is unhappy and wants to avoid conflict. Her brother goes out hunting which can be dangerous as he can be alone in an area of no mobie phone signal and have an accident. The OP is always with other people when she dances. Should anything happen she would have others to help her.

We don’t know what she is spending her money on: she might be saving she might not be. But it doesn’t matter how many hours you work on minimum wage in some regions or areas it won’t cover living costs. She offered to pay rent initally and they turned it down. They can’t then use the “you will pay rent card if you don’t do as we say” if the brother isn’t paying rent or for doing a legal activity that they don’t like. When she tells them her plans they get angry so she doesn’t they get angry. That is the parents being unfair on her. They can’t be upset at ther moving out only for her to be upset at her wanting to do something indepentanly. Admin does make a point about the brother not being encouraged to leave so I think the parents to have issues with letting go or engoucaring their children to fly the nest.

I live with my parent and I will go out and soemtime it will be a late night. During the summer holidays at uni I went out on a weekday and my mum said it was hard on my dad as he goes to work early. I took that on bored. But they never once stopped me form going out at the weekends or during the week if it was the cinema. It was called negoicatiation. Sometimes we would have argurmenets and it would not be nice. One time I used the wrong setting on a washing machine and Dad really lost it – it was a strom in a teacup and he said that if I couldn’t follow the rules he would get the books out and charge me rent. I told him flatly that I cannot afford rent in two places so will have to move back to my university town. He went quiet at that because he knew I wasn’t going to take being yelled at and I was serious about moving back if he was going to make life hard for me.

The OP should consider finding a better paying full time job even if that means moving away. She is bilingual and good at dancing – I wonder what she did at colleage? She would make a very good teacher and could teach dance/PE and her language. She does need to talk to her parents. They are all adults and should all behave like adults. Her parents shouldn’t have guilted her into quiting a well paid job. That was selfish. The OP is doing a lot of dancing, maybe she could cut back? It might be that her parents want to spend some family time with her but it must be done in away that doesn’t prevent the OP from having a life outside of the house. Now if she was going out clubbing, doing drugs, getting drunk etc, that would not be on and her parents would have every right to be angry.

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Syn February 8, 2015 at 7:34 am

While I agree the OP could be clearer about her finances – if you don’t pay rent, where does your paycheck go? Your parents don’t ask you for large sums of money to “help with expenses” do they? – I also think the parents are being extremely manipulative. In addition to it sounding like brother is the so called Golden Child who gets more lenient treatment and can do no wrong when OP is punished for doing those same things, parents guilt tripping an adult child for moving out of the country for a good job sounds really skeevy to me. Why would genuinely supportive parents do that? They also react badly when OP mentions wanting to move out, which is a kind of a red flag to me.

OP I suggest you begin looking for jobs abroad again and don’t tell your parents until you have something secured. That way they can’t suddenly start making demands that will limit your options. Also make sure you have all your important documents with you so you can leave easily without them withholding anything from you.

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CaesarBeezer May 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Good Lord. Classic word manipulation. Please reread this letter very carefully. First off, OP says her family was hurt when she moved away. That sounds reasonable to me. What loving parent wouldn’t feel a little down seeing their child move to another country? They missed her, I’m sure, but it is never said that OP was asked to return home. In fact she admits SHE WANTED to come home. Nowhere did OP say her family guilted her into sacrificing her former job and independance to move back. Her choice.
She states she is working 2,3, sometimes even 4 jobs at a time implying that she is doing her utmost best to improve her situation. Interestingly she omits the actual number of hours she works per week which would allow us a clearer picture of what her finances really are. She knows this. I think it is clear that if she could barely scrape together the money for a dance class despite her impressive number of jobs, than she hardly brings home a check at all. Girlfriend is trying to make us believe something that ain’t true. There is NO WAY she should be broke. She doesn’t even try to explain why she still has no money after 3 years of rent free living.
But hey, OP just wants to dance. Innocent enough, right? In what dance studio are classes held until 3am? Give me a break. If class starts at 6pm common sense says it is over by 9pm. That’s 3 hours of dancing. Most classes around my part of the world are 1-1.5 hours max. Hate to break it to you guys but if she’s dancing until 3am than she’s dancing in a nightclub after her class has ended.
I did not buy her story from the word go and the biggest tell here is that she has made herself the undeserving victim throughout this entire sob story, not once taking full responsibility for anything. I don’t need to address the other trumped up issues she presents. At this point she has lost credibility and her parents will probably attest to that. Stop whining and get a job. 40hrs a week will do wonders for that waning self-esteem. You’re 25 years old, educated, healthy, and debt free. There are single mothers working full time while taking classes at night who would kill for a good nap, let alone a night out dancing once in a while. The only person holding you back is yourself.

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