as a college student in 2020-2021, I am stuck at my parents’ house with two of my three siblings. the whole pandemic, i’ve taken safety measures way more serious than they have, not only because i’m scared of getting covid, but because i don’t want to spread it to anyone. my family thinks they’re being careful, but my sister still does sports and my brother travels across state lines to visit his girlfriend every few weeks and my mom goes to the gym etc etc while all i do is go to my girlfriend’s house, where I know where everyone has been and i have no fear of contracting covid from. my girlfriend’s level of caution is the same or even higher than my own. but i cannot stand up to my family whatsoever.
i feel so pathetic. i should be able to talk to them and explain myself and explain why everything they’re doing is wrong. every time i voice my opinions, i get shot down because i’m “too cautious” and i need to “live a little” etc etc. i’ve never been the favorite child, but it’s a new low.
i’ve gotten to the point where i hate them. to the point where speaking my mind to them makes me freeze up and i can’t get any of the words out.
to make matters worse, my girlfriend says she doesn’t want to associate with people like them. she threatens to confront them herself. as much as she loves me, she doesn’t want to be with someone who lets others walk all over them. she doesn’t want to associate with people that put my life in danger, who put her at risk of spreading covid to her grandparents that rely on her for groceries and medication etc and you know what? i can’t blame her. i don’t. but the idea of her confronting them or me confronting them makes me feel like i could ruin my already tarnished relationship with my family forever.
i go to my girlfriend’s house more as an escape at this point. i feel trapped when i’m home. i don’t want to lose my girlfriend, and i absolutely don’t want to choose my family over her. life has been pretty rough lately, mentally, and i feel like i’m going to crack under all this pressure.
why can’t i stand up for myself? for others? this is eating away at me and i’m afraid it could lead me to losing my relationship with my girlfriend, my only escape, my only coping mechanism.
You can’t control others’ actions. Thank God we have the vaccine. Praying it can ease the situation. It is good that you care for others. The vulnerable are the ones got to be protected the most. I wish we can all wear hazmat suits, everything is open, and we can still be safe. But that just an idea won’t happen. Your girlfriend is not an escape or a coping mechanism. She is a human being who wants to be loved and needs love. Just like you. Standing up for yourself is something this community relates to. Remind yourself you should not let others dictate your life. Don’t hate your family. It is going to make you worse. Forgive them and love them. The season you are in will be over soon. Be patient. I hope you are having a peaceful night. Thank you for sharing. God loves you.
If someone would have told us that one day we’d have to wear masks and apply social distancing, we’d probably didn’t believe them. All of this, whether it was predictable or not, was mostly unexpected and we all had to learn new ways to deal with the situation. And those ways can be very different from one person to another. You’re definitely not pathetic for being cautious and having at heart to respect the safety measures carefully. Maybe it’s too extreme for your family, and maybe what they do isn’t strict enough from your own perspective, but in any case, you are not wrong for protecting yourself and the people you love. What matters is that it doesn’t become too crippling to you, as the situation itself can create a lot of anxiety.
I’m also sorry that you’re in the middle of this disagreement between your family and your girlfriend. She has valid reasons to think this way and defend her position, but I hope, for the sake of keeping some peace in your family, that you’ll all manage to find a way to communicate and understand each other. We’re living in a time when we need to be patient with each other, even if it’s difficult. There’s a lot of pressure that surrounds the current situation and, ultimately, we’re all humans and trying to navigate in something new for everyone.
You asked: “why can’t I stand up for myself?”, and I’d like to ask in return: did you have the possibility to have a calm conversation with your family? It sounds that they rejected what you said previously by criticizing yourself and imply that it would be a “you” problem. But unfortunately, this kind of conversation is not conductive to a mutual understanding. At some point, when there’s a disagreement there’s only so much you can do. It’s still up to them to decide whether they’re willing to change their mind or not, which doesn’t mean you didn’t defend your opinion. It just doesn’t always have the result expected. It’s not about you, friend. It’s just two different perspectives, and unless people are ready to understand each other, to work together and find a common ground, there’s a limit to admit when you can’t do more.
I hear all the pressure you’re going through right now, and I hope you keep in mind that none of this is your fault. It’s just a very, very complex time that we’re all going through right now. It is obvious that you are doing your best, in a caring and respectful way. Nothing to be ashamed of.