Author Topic: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29  (Read 31674 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #105 on: March 06, 2013, 10:34:55 PM »
Someone asked upthread about whether we have experienced the opposite - where we realize that our parents don't know everything. Sadly, I realized that my parents were horribly out of touch with my reality when I was still in grade school. Things had changed so much from when they were kids that much of their knowledge was outdated, sometimes literally: my dad couldn't help me with my homework. I think both he and I thank deity that I was a naturally bright student. ::)

The hardest lesson I had to learn I am still learning: how to live as an independent adult. My father spoiled and sheltered me, to my detriment. He did not let me stumble, struggle or fail. He did not let me try things on my own. Convrsly, he also was under the mistaken assumption that I would magically know what I needed to know to make it in the world...perhaps through osmosis? ??? ::) He claims now that I "wasn't interested in learning." My retort to that is a) why would I have any interest in learning to do something after he had made it clear he would do it for me anyway (an awesome combo of both enabling and showing lack of faith in my abilities) and b) he wasn't a good teacher.

I have three brothers. Out of the four of us, I think I am in the best place emotionally (the one place I learned my hard lessons was in a counselors office :P). My middle older brother is the most self-sufficient. My mom kicked all three out of the house as they turned 18 - she took a page from the fairy tales and gave them each a certain amount of $$ and let them "seek their fortune." The eldest can't take care of himself because of health issues. The youngest was bailed out by mom every time he needed it, and by grandma when mom wouldn't do it. He will never learn a lesson. Ever. Learning life lessons requires a level of self awareness and humility that he isn't capable of - all he can do is blame everyone around him when things don't go the way he wants.

One of the most painful things about my mother's death is that she is not here to see what I have learned since - I think she would be proud. I think she would even be happy to learn some new things from me. I have to wonder if I could have learned what I have if she hadn't left - I like to think so, but if not it is officially the hardest, cruelest, most painful lesson of all that we all must eventually learn: that we can survive after we lose the ones we love. :(
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
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Calistoga

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #106 on: March 07, 2013, 10:26:56 AM »
Quote
My question is: Do others have similar stories to share about young adults having to learn what to do and how to behave through experience?

Many!

My DH and I got married when I was 19, and both of us were on our own for the first time...so...yeah, our entire first year of marriage was spent figuring things out on our own.

But in direct relation to the first post, I saw about the same thing happen first hand in a court room.

DH and I had a no-insurance ticket we had to argue (We were driving a fleet car that was covered with fleet insurance so long as our personal car was insured, but the officer didn't believe us, so we had to go tell a judge the same story). Anyone who hasn't been to traffic court may not understand that it's usually a group thing. There were 20 other people who had to have their minor cases judged. One of them was a 17-18 year old boy. Most of the people in the court room had made an effort to dress nicely, and so had this kid- he put a tie on over his non-collared tee shirt. When he went up to see the judge, the judge told him in no uncertain terms that he looked foolish like that. He wasn't any harsher on his sentence, but the kid was embarrassed.

dawnfire

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #107 on: March 10, 2013, 10:14:27 PM »
Quote
My question is: Do others have similar stories to share about young adults having to learn what to do and how to behave through experience?

Many!

My DH and I got married when I was 19, and both of us were on our own for the first time...so...yeah, our entire first year of marriage was spent figuring things out on our own.

But in direct relation to the first post, I saw about the same thing happen first hand in a court room.

DH and I had a no-insurance ticket we had to argue (We were driving a fleet car that was covered with fleet insurance so long as our personal car was insured, but the officer didn't believe us, so we had to go tell a judge the same story). Anyone who hasn't been to traffic court may not understand that it's usually a group thing. There were 20 other people who had to have their minor cases judged. One of them was a 17-18 year old boy. Most of the people in the court room had made an effort to dress nicely, and so had this kid- he put a tie on over his non-collared tee shirt. When he went up to see the judge, the judge told him in no uncertain terms that he looked foolish like that. He wasn't any harsher on his sentence, but the kid was embarrassed.

he was probably given the advice to wear a tie to court (the advice giver assuming he's wearing a collared shirt)

Cami

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #108 on: March 11, 2013, 11:35:45 AM »
Someone asked upthread about whether we have experienced the opposite - where we realize that our parents don't know everything. Sadly, I realized that my parents were horribly out of touch with my reality when I was still in grade school. Things had changed so much from when they were kids that much of their knowledge was outdated, sometimes literally: my dad couldn't help me with my homework. I think both he and I thank deity that I was a naturally bright student. ::)


I learned the lesson that my parents were out of touch with reality and didnn't know everything at the age of 5. In my father's case it was because he was terminally self-absorbed and assumed his reality and experiences were universal and current. Any attempt to convince him that anything had changed or people had different experiences was met with stonewalling and denial. That became clear to me in kindergarten when I had an absolutely heinous teacher and my parents refused to believe me when I told them of her behavior. They'd both had wonderful teachers their entire way through school so, ipso facto, ALL teachers are wonderful and I must be lying. My mother finally believed me when the principal called her after an incident in which the teacher's behavior caused me a great deal of physical pain and I started screaming for help and ended up in her office for disrupting the class.  My father still denied the reality of the incident and as a result, I was still kept in that class when I should have been removed ASAP.

When I was about 10 or so, I realized my parents were idiots about money. Unfortunately for them, they never DID learn the hard way and if they  had not died young, I honestly do not know what would have become of them when they were too old to work.  (I currently have another family member who has spent the entirety of her adult life being stupid about money and she's now older than my parents and I am watching curiously from afar to see what's going to happen.)

Piratelvr1121

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #109 on: March 11, 2013, 12:30:19 PM »
That's awful!   My parents were both popular or at least well liked to avoid bullying in their respective schools, and it didn't hurt that my dad supposedly reached his adult height of 5'11 by 8th grade.  So when I was bullied and picked on in elementary and middle school, their advice was absolutely worthless.  "Ignore them, they'll leave you alone!" or "If you'd stop being you they wouldn't bully you!" Okay they didn't say that but the message was the same.  Change who you are as a person (bookworm, shy, dreamer, pathetic at contact sports) and they'll like you!!  ::)

In contrast I keep telling my kids to not change who they are cause anyone who doesn't like you for who you are just isn't worth trying to impress.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

siamesecat2965

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #110 on: March 12, 2013, 12:20:39 PM »
That's awful!   My parents were both popular or at least well liked to avoid bullying in their respective schools, and it didn't hurt that my dad supposedly reached his adult height of 5'11 by 8th grade.  So when I was bullied and picked on in elementary and middle school, their advice was absolutely worthless.  "Ignore them, they'll leave you alone!" or "If you'd stop being you they wouldn't bully you!" Okay they didn't say that but the message was the same.  Change who you are as a person (bookworm, shy, dreamer, pathetic at contact sports) and they'll like you!!  ::)

In contrast I keep telling my kids to not change who they are cause anyone who doesn't like you for who you are just isn't worth trying to impress.

I had some of the same issues. Although my parents, really just my mom, I don't think quite got how bad things were or how miserable I was. I was the same as you, although add to that big, giant coke bottle BIFOCALS from age 5 on, and moving the summer before 4th grade. My mom felt badly for me, and I don't think she quite knew how to deal with it. She'd tell me to try and be "nicer" and so on. I think she really meant well, but now as adults I think she finally gets that kids that age are just mean sometimes, and will find something about someone that's different, and run with it.  And that nothing I could have done would have changed thigns.


ladyknight1

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #111 on: March 12, 2013, 02:29:17 PM »
I was colorblind (as far as race goes) as a child in the 70's and that was unheard of! When I would play with children of another ethnicity during recess, I was scolded and notes were sent home to my family. I didn't understand why playing with everyone was a bad thing, and I refused to stop.

When I couldn't read the board at school, and my parents were finally convinced by the school nurse that I needed glasses, at age 12, I was taken to the mall and bought whichever discount frames and the cheapest lenses. I didn't care, because I could finally see!

When my parents signed me up for college, drove me out of state, and left me without a job or funds to support myself, I learned the hard way that I needed to look out for myself, that my parents weren't there for me anymore.

All of those lessons helped me be who I am today.

Softly Spoken

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #112 on: March 12, 2013, 02:55:01 PM »
That's awful!   My parents were both popular or at least well liked to avoid bullying in their respective schools, and it didn't hurt that my dad supposedly reached his adult height of 5'11 by 8th grade.  So when I was bullied and picked on in elementary and middle school, their advice was absolutely worthless.  "Ignore them, they'll leave you alone!" or "If you'd stop being you they wouldn't bully you!" Okay they didn't say that but the message was the same.  Change who you are as a person (bookworm, shy, dreamer, pathetic at contact sports) and they'll like you!!  ::)

In contrast I keep telling my kids to not change who they are cause anyone who doesn't like you for who you are just isn't worth trying to impress.

I had some of the same issues. Although my parents, really just my mom, I don't think quite got how bad things were or how miserable I was. I was the same as you, although add to that big, giant coke bottle BIFOCALS from age 5 on, and moving the summer before 4th grade. My mom felt badly for me, and I don't think she quite knew how to deal with it. She'd tell me to try and be "nicer" and so on. I think she really meant well, but now as adults I think she finally gets that kids that age are just mean sometimes, and will find something about someone that's different, and run with it.  And that nothing I could have done would have changed thigns.
My parents were similarly clueless and helpless when it came to my being bullied and ostracized in school. The worst part was no one, including the teachers said what I needed to hear: Its. NOT. okay. They are not just "being kids." I deserved a safe place. I deserved to be respected, and I should have been protected.
I once complained to my dad when he picked me up that a boy had been teasing me. His response? "Oh, that just means he likes you." I didn't respond at the time but deep in my brain my logic centers were screaming "steer pucky!" >:( If I had taken that advice to heart I probably would have ended up in an abusive relationship, because I would have learned that people only mistreat us in a misguided attempt to show how much they care. ::) >:(

Bullying, rudeness, snowflakiness...the biggest life lesson I've learned it that people will do whatever we let them get away with.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

siamesecat2965

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2013, 03:02:09 PM »
That's awful!   My parents were both popular or at least well liked to avoid bullying in their respective schools, and it didn't hurt that my dad supposedly reached his adult height of 5'11 by 8th grade.  So when I was bullied and picked on in elementary and middle school, their advice was absolutely worthless.  "Ignore them, they'll leave you alone!" or "If you'd stop being you they wouldn't bully you!" Okay they didn't say that but the message was the same.  Change who you are as a person (bookworm, shy, dreamer, pathetic at contact sports) and they'll like you!!  ::)

In contrast I keep telling my kids to not change who they are cause anyone who doesn't like you for who you are just isn't worth trying to impress.

I had some of the same issues. Although my parents, really just my mom, I don't think quite got how bad things were or how miserable I was. I was the same as you, although add to that big, giant coke bottle BIFOCALS from age 5 on, and moving the summer before 4th grade. My mom felt badly for me, and I don't think she quite knew how to deal with it. She'd tell me to try and be "nicer" and so on. I think she really meant well, but now as adults I think she finally gets that kids that age are just mean sometimes, and will find something about someone that's different, and run with it.  And that nothing I could have done would have changed thigns.
My parents were similarly clueless and helpless when it came to my being bullied and ostracized in school. The worst part was no one, including the teachers said what I needed to hear: Its. NOT. okay. They are not just "being kids." I deserved a safe place. I deserved to be respected, and I should have been protected.
I once complained to my dad when he picked me up that a boy had been teasing me. His response? "Oh, that just means he likes you." I didn't respond at the time but deep in my brain my logic centers were screaming "steer pucky!" >:( If I had taken that advice to heart I probably would have ended up in an abusive relationship, because I would have learned that people only mistreat us in a misguided attempt to show how much they care. ::) >:(

Bullying, rudeness, snowflakiness...the biggest life lesson I've learned it that people will do whatever we let them get away with.

I will say this, and not that I condone it, but back when I was in school, teasing and picking on kids wasn't really considered bullying, like it is now. At least not in my school. I think the mentality WAS its just kids being kids, and as a result, there weren't really consequences. Back then, bullying was actual physical contact, beating up smaller kids etc.  But verbal "bullying" I don't think was really on the radar.

I think today, with everything we see in the media, and what happens to kids are bully and are bullied, there's a lot more awareness, and a lot less tolerance of it.

CakeBeret

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #114 on: March 12, 2013, 03:38:17 PM »
My parents were similarly clueless and helpless when it came to my being bullied and ostracized in school. The worst part was no one, including the teachers said what I needed to hear: Its. NOT. okay. They are not just "being kids." I deserved a safe place. I deserved to be respected, and I should have been protected.
I once complained to my dad when he picked me up that a boy had been teasing me. His response? "Oh, that just means he likes you." I didn't respond at the time but deep in my brain my logic centers were screaming "steer pucky!" >:( If I had taken that advice to heart I probably would have ended up in an abusive relationship, because I would have learned that people only mistreat us in a misguided attempt to show how much they care. ::) >:(

Bullying, rudeness, snowflakiness...the biggest life lesson I've learned it that people will do whatever we let them get away with.

Yes, I went through the same. If a boy was teasing me, "he must like you". If a girl was teasing me, "she's just jealous". Or perhaps I "misunderstood". Unfortunately my parent figures (mom and older sister) NEVER gave me the support I needed, and as a child I was never able to learn or grow from the experiences. As an adult I've come to realize that by sweeping my concerns under the rug, my parents' lack of caring did as much harm as the bullies.

It's interesting, as I learn more about myself and my feelings, I keep uncovering these little nuggets of "well THAT experience did more harm than good!"
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #115 on: March 12, 2013, 03:57:44 PM »
I remember hearing that "That's just teasing to get your attention. They probably like you and don't know any better way to show it without risking rejection!"  And I always thought "No thanks, if that's the only way they know how to show attraction, by hurting someone's feelings, I'm not interested."

I was rather picky through adolescence and that's probably why I didn't have a boyfriend till I was 19. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

violinp

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #116 on: March 12, 2013, 04:16:51 PM »
I remember hearing that "That's just teasing to get your attention. They probably like you and don't know any better way to show it without risking rejection!"  And I always thought "No thanks, if that's the only way they know how to show attraction, by hurting someone's feelings, I'm not interested."

I was rather picky through adolescence and that's probably why I didn't have a boyfriend till I was 19.

Yeah, boys would ask me out as a joke (trust me, when you and all your friends are laughing, I know it's a joke), and I would turn them down. The boy's friends would always say, "Ohhh! You got turned down by violinp!" because clearly, I'm such a horrible, desperate loser that my standards should be "is showing signs of life." Um, no thanks; I'd rather date a guy who wants to be with me and doesn't treat me like a punchline.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Softly Spoken

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #117 on: March 12, 2013, 04:26:45 PM »
I remember hearing that "That's just teasing to get your attention. They probably like you and don't know any better way to show it without risking rejection!"  And I always thought "No thanks, if that's the only way they know how to show attraction, by hurting someone's feelings, I'm not interested."

I was rather picky through adolescence and that's probably why I didn't have a boyfriend till I was 19.

Yeah, boys would ask me out as a joke (trust me, when you and all your friends are laughing, I know it's a joke), and I would turn them down. The boy's friends would always say, "Ohhh! You got turned down by violinp!" because clearly, I'm such a horrible, desperate loser that my standards should be "is showing signs of life." Um, no thanks; I'd rather date a guy who wants to be with me and doesn't treat me like a punchline.

Ah yes, the good old "let's be nice to the outcast as a joke" technique. All too familiar with being on the receiving end of that one. That is how you learn the hard way not to take anything anyone says at face value. :-\ ...some things really suck to learn the hard way. :(
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #118 on: March 12, 2013, 04:32:26 PM »
I cannot and will not discuss job-hunting difficulties of any kind with my father.  He LOVES to repeat the story of how, when he got his first job, he applied at a shop that told him they weren't hiring.  So he went back and asked again the next day, and the next day, and the next, ad nauseum.  Then one day it snowed, so he showed up and instead of asking "Are you hiring now?" he asked, "Where's your snow shovel?"  And what do you know, they hired him on the spot because he was showing his determination and willingness to work.

I tell him that these days, pulling a stunt like that is likely to do nothing but get you firmly escorted from the property, if not cited for harassment, but he thinks this is a perfectly legit way to go about getting hired.
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ladyknight1

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Re: young adults learning the hard way - update post #29
« Reply #119 on: March 12, 2013, 04:46:15 PM »
Carrie of Mythbusters got her job much the same way. She showed up all the time, and they hired her.