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Author Topic: really scared
skylar
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 01:25      Profile for skylar     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi everyone, I'm having a bit of a hard time at the moment, and I can't seem to get my mind off it, ever... so I'm going to vent here, and you can read it if you want, but you don't have to. I just need to word-vomit a little [Wink] .

As some of you know, my boyfriend and I have decided to move to Berlin in January. My original plans for this current academic year and beyond were to do a PhD, but a few months ago I decided that that wasn't what I wanted, and that travel and life-experience rather than continued study were more important to me.

The trouble is, as others among you also know, that I have Muslim parents. They're not even the strictest of Muslim parents - they let me leave home to go to university, they let me wear what I want, they haven't made me get married (yet). They're really good people despite the Muslimness, and we're a very close family.

But my parents have certain expectations of me. They have wanted me to do a PhD for so long, would be so proud of me if I did one. Furthermore, if they knew I had a boyfriend, they would pretty much disown me. No relationships before marriage, simple as that. Their plan was to start looking for a husband for me while I was studying, and then marry me off to someone in an arranged marriage after I was finished. I would have the right to pick and choose between candidates they presented to me, but the choice would ultimately be theirs.

Of course, this isn't the way I envisage things happening. For starters, the PhD is out the window. And I'm not a Muslim - I categorically do NOT want to have an arranged marriage, and never will.

I told my parents the other day that I'm not doing a PhD anymore. My dad took it reasonably well, but my mum was very upset. She couldn't understand why I couldn't come to them and talk about it before I made my decision. Little does she know that I haven't been able to talk to them about anything that actually matters for the past six years [Frown] ... they love me so much, but the person they love isn't really who I am. The person I really am would be disowned. The cultural values of Pakistani Muslim society are such that the most important thing is the family's 'honour' and it's standing in the community. A father would rather disown his beloved daughter than be seen to be compliant with her heathen wishes.

Tonight, I have to call my parents and tell them about my plans to go to Germany. I am so so frightened I can barely concentrate on anything else. They will be incredibly angry that I made a decision of this magnitude on my own. They won't want me to be abroad on my own - that's too much freedom to give a child before she has been married off. I'm frightened even that they might try to come after me and physically stop me.

As for not wanting an arranged marriage, I know that if I tell them that I will lose them forever... not even be able to see my kid sister again... so I'm leaving that out for now. It's going to take a lot more time to build up to that...

So that's that... vent over, but thanks for reading if you did... and wish me luck - hopefully I'll still be in one piece when tomorrow rolls around.

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"arm, aber geeky"

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 01:38      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have found the best way to break things to my mother was to warn her first and then tell. I mean have a talk with your parents, bring up that there is the slight possibility that you might be going to germany sometime in the future. Wait sometime until they have that idea in thier heads and then tell them in a later conversation that you are definately going.

Ideally you should have more time to do this.

This is how I told my mother, a die hard republican,that I didn't like the USA and was emmigrating.

May the force be with you.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 02:37      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
skylar _______________________ WOW that is a tough one. Family pressures can be tough, now add culture and religon. I have to agree with Ashitaka do not drop all of this on them at once. Parents that truly love their children will slowly come arround. In a way you must feel like a caged bird that found the bird cage door open, now do you want the safety and food in the cage?

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 04:42      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
O what a brave soul you are! Good luck.

One piece of advice? Before you drop this on them maybe tell them something along the lines of this.

I want you to know that no matter what words are said in anger the next moments days or months and no matter what silence follows that I know you love me and I want you to know that I love you always no matter what.

Hmm, maybe if possible reassure them that their love and strong commitment to raising you will help you move about in the world and enjoy the opportunities with the ability and moral compass to avoid the downside?

Also possibly explain/underline that Phd is not off the table that in the future anything is possible?

Good luck.

Oh, one more thing. No matter how angry your parents make you with their reaction remember that the script they have had in their head since you were only a littly babybump in your mom is now being rewritten. Hard to adjust and give up your assumptions and dreams of what your life was going to be. All parents face this in one shape or another, throw in religion and a different culture? ouch. I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter how heated or angry it gets, try to be gentle with them no matter what. Not gentle like a roll-over pansy, but gentle as in ..shoot, i dont know what words. damn. maybe someone else knows what I am trying to say.

Good luck.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 04:55      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aww, Skylar. Not only do you have to deal with the whole parent issue, but your parents are Muslim, and that adds a whole nother set of issues. I recently read Miracle of Miracles by Mina Nevisa, a former Iranian Muslim. Granted, you aren't dropping a bomb on your parents as big as she did (she became a Christian), but from reading her story, I can understand why you're scared.

I can't offer you any advice about dealing with the Muslim side of things, but I am experienced with parents who don't understand me. I learned that the best way to make decisions about my own life was to live somewhere other than my mom's house. That way she couldn't rule over me. I was my own person. It afforded me some safety when I told her things she didn't necessarily like.

Remind me again why you're going to Germany? How long will you be there? Could you call your parents from Germany to tell them after the fact that you moved there? Will your sojourn in Germany be educational? Maybe you could couch your reasons for going there in those terms. Maybe leave the boyfriend out of it?

I'm not advocating lying to your parents, but as you've discovered, sometimes ignorance is bliss when it comes to how much they know about your life.

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 09:54      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skylar: Check you pm

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(!) (T) = 8-D

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 12:20      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skylar: My advice is to continue being independent and doing what you want to do. You shouldn't have to compromise your life for your parents.

Your parents will love you no matter what - don't let your parents live your life.

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Comic Book Guy: There is no emoticon for what i'm feeling.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 12:52      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skylar - best of luck.

I do not want to be a harbinger of doom, but I cannot see how this will go well. Your parents probably think they have been modern and liberal by "allowing" you so much freedom. I suspect they may want you to show your gratitude by leaving your youthful freedoms behind and "doing the right thing by the family". When you do not, they will be hurt and offended.

But you must stick to what you believe in, and steer your own course through life. If they choose not to be with you on your journey (and it IS a choice they have, although they will deny it) then you must move on without them and be true to yourself.

If, as I fear, there will soon be a parting of the ways, I hope your fella can provide the emotional support you will need. You may have some tough times ahead, but you will be showered with blessings from the GC'ers, that's for sure.

If you make all your choices out of love and respect for yourself, and not out of blind duty, I am sure you will find the courage you need.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 12:54      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No advice here. Good luck.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 15:05      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sxeptomaniac ____________________ Again your Sig. file says legions. We all have within us the answers that we desperately seek its just we do not often trust ourselves.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 18:41      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dear Skylar

Likewise I have no advice. I would not presume to tell you how to handle your parents, and this potentially explosive situation. All I can say is that I, like most sensible people here, think that you are a wonderful girl, and that we all wish the very best for you. You are a very brave girl. I hope your parents realise what a very special girl they have been blessed with.

Good luck.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Bob Danzig
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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 19:38      Profile for Bob Danzig     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish you good luck as well skylar
Posts: 3 | From: hollywood | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted December 14, 2007 19:43      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's lots of nice and somewhat comforting advice here so I'm going to take a slightly different tone, I'm afraid.

You've made a lot of this problem yourself by letting small deceptions continue for years on end. Instead of lots of little things that your parents could adjust to gradually over the six years, now you're going to have to hit them with a lot in a very short period of time and it's going to suck and there's no way to make it not suck.

Your parents do love you, however, or they would never have done all that they have for you. They may be very angry with you, particularly when they find out you've been lying for six years, but anger doesn't last forever and most of their trust in you can be regained. While things may never be the same, they can be close if you really try.

That said, you should not try to keep up the lies because they will eventually come out unless you stop talking to your parents all together, which doesn't seem like something you want to do. Putting it off will just make it worse. You should also not hit them with everything at once, either, as that's going to make it a lot harder for them to accept and understand.

Other than what little advice there is in all that, all I can do is wish you the best of luck.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted December 15, 2007 01:00      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well,it is Saturday, are you ok, are you still going?

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted December 15, 2007 12:11      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just checking to see if you are okay. I know this will be hard for everyone. You are in my thoughts.
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spungo
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Icon 1 posted December 15, 2007 15:17      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We're all here for you, Skylie. [Smile]

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Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

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skylar
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Icon 1 posted December 16, 2007 10:53      Profile for skylar     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks so much for the kind words, advice and encouragement, everyone. I often turn to you guys to try and get perspective on the things happening in my life that I might not be able to step back from and look at frankly. GC-ers haven't let me down yet [Smile] .

The last couple of days have been extremely difficult. My dad called me unexpectedly in the middle of the day to talk about my future and I just ended up blurting everything out to him. It's funny, you can plan and plan but all the plans are for nothing when it comes to the moment and you just have to say what you feel [ohwell] ... At first, he just said "No, you're not going to Germany. You're not allowed." By the time I made it clear that I wanted to go regardless, he told me that if I went, all ties between us would be permanently severed. I wasn't expecting such a harsh reality quite so soon. He hung up on me shortly after. Later that day, my mum called me, in floods of tears, before angrily declaring that I was dead to her [Frown] .

I won't go into how that made me feel. I'm sure you can all imagine.

Thankfully, my parents called back shortly after, and asked me to go up to see them so we could discuss things. This I did, on Saturday. It was a long, hard, horrible day. Everyone was crying. It's horrible seeing your dad break down in tears because you've hurt him so much [Frown] ... I've never felt like such a bad person in my life.

However, they decided not to break off all contact with me. No words can express what a relief that is. They're going to let me go - not exactly with their blessing, but they'll keep in touch and I'm welcome in the family home. They're still very hurt and cold with me - they just can't understand how I could make this decision entirely on my own without asking their permission. I do feel bad. I haven't handled this whole thing perfectly, that's for sure.

But... hopefully... bridges will mend. It will take a lot of time and effort, and no doubt they will crumble again when they find out that I don't want an arranged marriage. But I'm too frightened to think about that now... I'm just going to rest my head a little while an appreciate that I get to go off and explore the world, and, for now, at least, my family are still with me.

--------------------
"arm, aber geeky"

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted December 16, 2007 11:44      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
skylar ____________________________ Wow you dumped the whole load on them at once. Well now every option is out in the open and there aren't as many secrets hidden, however you may have spoiled things for your sister lets hope not. I must confess that I do not know much about your culture except when it becomes news worthy, not a very good method to learn of other peoples lives. This I do know of mountain peoples they tend to not trust the flat landers, and are pretty much self sufficent and don't take to being told what to do. Mostly leave us alone.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted December 16, 2007 12:00      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
skylar, you are a very brave woman and I am very proud of you.

I know, in time, your parents will be proud of you and your decisions too. Right now they are just caught up in irrational fear, but one day they will realize that for you to be thinking for yourself means that they did their job as parents right.

Go out there and take on the world!

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted December 16, 2007 13:23      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. That is a pretty good out come, all things considered. You must feel some relief getting that off you chest and obviously they love you very much given the concessions they made. I'm happy for you.

[Applause]

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted December 17, 2007 06:35      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Skylar, I am so happy for you. I know it is hard for both of you. Your parents probably view themselves as being very progressive by community standards. And you need more.

Keep those lines of communication open. It makes it easier. Hang in there. I'm glad step one went as well as it did. Hugs.

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zorgon
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Icon 5 posted December 17, 2007 10:17      Profile for zorgon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wait, which Berlin? New Hampshire, or Deutschland?

Not that it makes any difference, I just got hung up on that.

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zorgon
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Icon 1 posted December 17, 2007 10:21      Profile for zorgon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by zorgon:
Wait, which Berlin? New Hampshire, or Deutschland?

Not that it makes any difference, I just got hung up on that.

Oh wait, never mind.

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cogito ergo something.

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Shadow
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Icon 1 posted December 17, 2007 10:49      Profile for Shadow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a pretty scary thing to go through but I am glad things worked out so well for you Skylar. I hope Germany will end up being a wonderful experience! May the source continue to be with you!

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I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me. - Benvolio (Romeo & Juliet)

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