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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011/02/03

tough love

Having read a previous question by a lady who seems distressed by her daughter''s " acting out"  and seeing your response - " Tough Love" , it made me wish my parents had the foresight to ''administer'' a little tough love to me.

I''m 26. My father ''bought'' me an education - including university. He bought me a car - which I sold - he made up the R45K balance for a new one. My father bought me an apartment (in my name). My father has virtually fully equipped me (professionally) for my chosen career. I receive R12K monthly allowance from him for anything and everything I might need (incl. doctor''s, groceries, clothes, entertainment etc.) If I want more, I get it. I have a petrol card for which he pays. Last year he paid in full for a two-week holiday overseas for the whole family (other than himself).

I am supposed to run my own business, but I seldom ever charge for any work done. And any work I do, I only accept rarely. I struggle with the idea that my work is not good enough to charge for and therefore I do not bother making a business out of it. I spend the majority of my days at home.
I live in a perpetual state of guilt for it.

I had attempted to give up the material stuff - the house, the car and the allowance for a far more modest lifestyle, but I clearly was not strong-willed enough as I lasted just less than two months before I gathered up again all that I ''gave'' away.

I am too comfortable. Admittedly, i generally avoid asking for much on a regular basis, but I know I can have anything whenever I want without working for it.

I have never had to work for anything my entire life. As a child even good grades and sporting success came with no effort or goal-setting for me. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to understand or able to work to achieve financially, things began to change financially for my father and the family...

Strangely enough, it was not until my mid-teens that we, as a family, had money readily available. We had always previously struggled to make ends meet. Money for me as a child was a reason for permanent anxiety. It was always hand-me0downs and beans-on-toast. Never the best stuff. Never opulence. We regularly ran out of petrol or " couldn''t afford new shoes"  . Lack of money was seemingly the cause for many a blow-out between the parents etc. etc...

But now things are different and I obviously never learned about making one''s own ends meet.
Physically, my life is perfect in every way. But I hate my life simply because I hate that I''ve had no hand in it and am so fearful of the world.

The outside world has become a place to be feared. I struggle with bizarre anxieties about people. I''ve never been in a relationship and I barely see the people I call friends. I have lost all self-esteem and sense of reality. It''s a scarily comfortable place where I just CANNOT connect with another human being anymore.

Advice might seem as simple as: " Just go out and DO something to change it..."  But I''ve attempted it many times, but I have no backbone of my own. Fear engulfs me.
I''ve seen a psychologist, but I fear I might be cheating her too. It''s not so much a psychologist I need, but a swift kick up the rear.

So, ultimately that is my question. Where does one find a little (or a lot of) tough love and/or a kick up the rear? (since one''s parents refuse to give any) OR how does one go about giving it to herself?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not aware of any of my colleagues who provide a swift kick up the rear in any literal sense. And I agree that toom many would take a namby-pamby sweety approach that might not be as realistic and confrontational as you need. But some should indeed provide something approach Tough Love. To my mind, if a therapist isn't challenging, if they try too hard to be loved than useful, they should be sacked promptly.
You might also try spending some of the excessive amount of free time you have, working for several charities and NGO's, volunteering and working with people who lack the spoiling privileges you had, to get to know reality, to learn to admire how many people cope with so much less, and to be genuinely useful for a change. And no just the fashionable AIDS and KIDS charities, but old folks, and the disabled - people less obviously attractive and appealing.
I like Phil's Secret Millionaire suggestion, to. DOn't throw money around, that's far too easy. WORK for it, not telling anyone that you are well off, and maybe you'll find some causes you'd like to support with money, too.
Oh, and actually, I really enjoy beans on toast.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Outsider | 2011/02/05

Hi Anon,

That sounds really wonderful re: the paramedics qualification, I would have loved to have done something like that - the mere fact that I would be helping someone in need would be the greatest gratitude.

Perhaps you should consider, helping people as " CS"  suggested the aged and even animals, in my opinion the aged and animals are the least focused on.

Hope you are lucky enough to find a paramedic post or if you decide to venture out into volunteering etc that you find something you are happy doing.

Enjoy and take it all in as an experience.

Reply to Outsider
Posted by: Anon | 2011/02/03

sheesh. I cannot believe that all most of you got out of this post was an issue with ''beans on toast''!! And that''s the last I''m going to say about it because clearly it has offended a lot of you in the most peculiar way...
So, thank you to those who gave a little more constructive advice - some of it in a rather harsh manner, but then again I asked for it.
Not so long ago, I got myself a paramedics qualification so that I might be able to do something along the lines of what most of you are suggesting I do. Unfortunately, when it came down to actually finding a spot on an ambulance, I was denied, even as a volunteer, on the grounds that they were full and I was inexperienced! Too bad. But perhaps I should again see if I could put that training to good use.
cheers

Reply to Anon
Posted by: getting by | 2011/02/03

You need to GROW UP. There are peole in the big wide world with REAL problems like living on the streets, dying of cancer, aids etc, no jobs to feed their childresn the list is endless... So your daddy gives you everything your little heart desires, and you struggled financially as a child WOOPDIDOO... Look at what you have and live and stop moaning...

Reply to getting by
Posted by: Liza | 2011/02/03

You admit that you have a problem - that is the biggest and most important step. You have a comfortable life and there is no use in giving up what you have. What you can however do, is to give back to others. Like Phil said - you can help out at charities, even just going to an old-age home and visiting with some residents - believe me they will be thrilled if someone just comes to visit for a chat. Perhaps even taking some of them to the shops - they will truly appreciate it and their appreciation will make you feel good.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: roto | 2011/02/03

You guys still eat beans on toast lucky you.

Reply to roto
Posted by: Phil | 2011/02/03

You know what  I don''t actually know what to tell you. But, a thought crossed my mind. Have you ever watched the Secret Millionaire? Thie idea is the same, you need to connect back to reality. I would suggest you try and join a charity, helping with children. That will give you your self worth back, and gradually bring you back into reality. I persoanlly think this is what you need, since it was an idea that came from nowhere the moment I read your psot. Like a message.???

Reply to Phil
Posted by: LP | 2011/02/03

I earn a good salary and eat beans on toast quite often. Love the taste and beans are one of the healthier foods out there.

Reply to LP
Posted by: anna | 2011/02/03

I''m not sure why " beans-on-toast"  is an example of horror and suffering to either of you - in the UK even people with money eat beans on toast. Poor is when you can''t afford bread to make toast - I wonder if South Africans aren''t starting to lose their connection with reality altogether. Kind of scary, really.

Reply to anna
Posted by: PenPal | 2011/02/03

Yes, agree pretty nasty " beans &  toast" . The thing is when a person acquires this lifestyle it becomes a part of who you are and if there is no need to go back to how things were re: the beans &  toast. Then why should you.

However, should the current lifestyle become " unpredictable"  then sure a person would have no choice but to adapt to the changes.

Reply to PenPal
Posted by: Willing | 2011/02/03

No need to be nasty ABC - I agree life is unpredictable but you didnt need to mention" go back to teh beans on toast things" .

Reply to Willing
Posted by: ABC | 2011/02/03

Keep in mind that something can always happen. Like you and your family could lose all the money somehow. Life''s unpredictable. What will you do then? Go back to the beans on toast things?

Reply to ABC
Posted by: PenPal | 2011/02/03

Hi ToughLove, sounds like you have loads of emotions running through your mind/heart etc. Have you considered a pen pal friendship where you can vent your frustrations, joys, issues etc. if you would like to my add is tvn at ananzimail dot co dot za.

It''s not something I do, but when reading your message with me it''s just about been the total opposite and maybe will be good to chat to people who can encourage etc. etc.

PenPal

Reply to PenPal
Posted by: Willing | 2011/02/03

Sorry still asleep - i meant assist.

Reply to Willing
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/02/03

I'm not aware of any of my colleagues who provide a swift kick up the rear in any literal sense. And I agree that toom many would take a namby-pamby sweety approach that might not be as realistic and confrontational as you need. But some should indeed provide something approach Tough Love. To my mind, if a therapist isn't challenging, if they try too hard to be loved than useful, they should be sacked promptly.
You might also try spending some of the excessive amount of free time you have, working for several charities and NGO's, volunteering and working with people who lack the spoiling privileges you had, to get to know reality, to learn to admire how many people cope with so much less, and to be genuinely useful for a change. And no just the fashionable AIDS and KIDS charities, but old folks, and the disabled - people less obviously attractive and appealing.
I like Phil's Secret Millionaire suggestion, to. DOn't throw money around, that's far too easy. WORK for it, not telling anyone that you are well off, and maybe you'll find some causes you'd like to support with money, too.
Oh, and actually, I really enjoy beans on toast.

Reply to cybershrink

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