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My father's wrong...

frisas45

frisas45

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Mar 22, 2019
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736
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South Korea
Read these two situations I went thorugh:


"I'm gonna sound foolish, but I am suffering from this awful mindset for years.

"Life is hard," people say. It has a lot of obstacles and just hardships. When I was little, I thought life was like a wave. You have ups and downs. Bad things and good things. Some have greater amount of amplitude than others. But as time passes by, I realize that it is more like an exponent. Life goes exponentially harder to an unbearable level and never stops. This is why a lot of people commit suicide nowadays. They just can't bear it; even Stoic philosophers declare that suffering is unbearable!

But what make me angry is my method of dealing with it. Just suck it up and push hard. Work hard to endure it. You know, toughen up. How? Using unhealthy ways:

-Don't show and express your emotions.
-Work your ass off to the brink of exhaustion. Without rest. Until death.
-Be self-critical and berate yourself to every mistakes
-Drive yourself to perfection. No one is perfect, but you must perform perfectly.
-Quit doing you enjoy. Do not receive comforts of pleasure. Instead, focus on what you need to survive. Read more books on success; essential to survival.
-Do not ask people to emotionally support you. That's a sign of weakness.
-If you suffer from any mental illness, do not take therapy/treatment. Go to the military.
-Do not forgive yourself if you fail. Finding a reason of your failure is a pathetic excuse.
-Focus on what the nasty critics think of you. Pretend that they're building you up.
-Hang around with demanding, hard people. They're your mentors.
-Do not reward yourself. Pleasure is a sinful sign of weakness.

You just have to be the best. Like the movie Whiplash. You have to push so hard that you break. When you succeed, you can somewhat be guaranteed to survive.

And my mind pressures me to be like this. And it drove me like this when I was a teen. I had a severe bipolar disorder, and I was about to have a mental breakdown. Despite all that, I did my homework. Finished it on time. At the cost of my mental health.

From my adult years, I went through hardships. I faced even more anxiety symptoms and unemployment. Now, I live in a different country. These people here demand that unhealthy and dangerous mindset in order for me to survive. And I don't think I can stand the pressure; trying this caused me to have a mental breakdown...

I think this mindset is so idiotic, but I have no other choice if I have to stay in Korea, everybody goes through that..."



"Have you heard of this concept? The fact that you have to lose something important to survive?

That's what I was forced to.

Like everyone else, I had dreams. Ambitions. But my father told me to stop doing these things. Instead, I should spend countless hours on how to be sociallybup to standards and being successful on what you don't want. And I was forced to perform well, and was put under high stress like the movie Whiplash. Always focus on what other people think, especially the toxic, abusive, demanding fuckers. They might be harmful at first, but they will build you up, like drill instructors at some darned boot camp.

"Life is hard," he says. And he told me that I should toughen up. This is the way to do it. Stop taking pills, stop seeing shrinks, just suck it up. Stop being a baby and do what you want. Give your dreams up for something important.

I know this bullshit is wrong. But these are hard times now. (Before COVID-19)

I feel like he is right. If I listened to him, I would've thrived. But I tried to chase my dreams in vain and chill out.

I'm screwed up in a foreign country depending on my family to survive. Had to look after them and I almost lost my sanity. College in this place sucks. Intimidating professors are prevalent. They straight out bully students, while the students goof around.

My father DID say that I will realize that he is right. And I sort of did! However, I have no regrets. Only contempt.

You see, life is short. Too damned short to half-ass around doing what my father demands. There a ton of shit I want to do, and I don't want to waste my life working my back off to survive. I wasted my 30 years fucking like this!

But I don't have a choice if I want to survive. Otherwise, things will end up in disaster. I might end up homeless and half-crazed. I might go to jail. Some countries don't just lock up people who made wrong choices. Some target mentally ill people and people in debt. And they get incarcerated.

Hell, I'm pissed. Being forced to survive one day after another...

Some say "Life's hard" and "toughen up". And this gives me the ass. Why? I fear that they're just being like my father again. And a lot of other people around him.

Looks like I have a misunderstanding on how to toughen up or deal with issues in life.

But some assholes say that I'm right..."


My unhealthy mindset is based on my father's demands, and they are disturbingly similar. Some say to silence the inner critic, but I feel like the times are so hard that it is needed to survive. Nevertheless, I suffer from Bipolar I disorder, and I'd have a mental breakdown if I get up to his standards, which the inner critic wants. But few say these unhealthy mindsets are somewhat right because too many millennials are receiving too much pleasure that they ain't strong enough to take the difficulties of life...

However,' I went through crap all my life. I don't want any more of this horseshit... :(
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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Your dad sounds massively toxic like mine, mine's like "no matter what you do its not good enough cause your a girl and girls are useless" :hug:

I had to kick my own dad out of my life forever with no appeal for my own sanity :hug:
 
frisas45

frisas45

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South Korea
Your dad sounds massively toxic like mine, mine's like "no matter what you do its not good enough cause your a girl and girls are useless" :hug:

I had to kick my own dad out of my life forever with no appeal for my own sanity :hug:
It's not his fault. He grew up like that to survive. He was dirt poor when he was little. I don't blame him, but this mindset pisses me off.
 
frisas45

frisas45

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South Korea
It's not his fault. He grew up like that to survive. He was dirt poor when he was little. I don't blame him, but this mindset pisses me off.
I'm talking about my father, not yours. Damn! That's horrible!
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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I'm talking about my father, not yours. Damn! That's horrible!
i know you was talking about yours, i was describing mine cause both of us sound to have toxic fathers :hug:

Even if your dad grew up learning that mindset, he can learn new ways of thinking :hug:
 
frisas45

frisas45

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South Korea
i know you was talking about yours, i was describing mine cause both of us sound to have toxic fathers :hug:

Even if your dad grew up learning that mindset, he can learn new ways of thinking :hug:
Well, despite him being messed up, he still loves me. I'm way past 18 and he still gives me financial aid. It's a sheer disappointment that he didn't teach me how to be independent. He believed that success is better than being independent.
 
ReverieAnxiety

ReverieAnxiety

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Hi frisas!

I'm sorry, I had to skim through your post for now, but I still want to respond. It seems like this mindset you have for yourself and that others have for you does not suit you no matter how much you try to survive with that mindset. Unfortunately, we can not change how others act, but we can darn well try to change how we react to life circumstance. *hugs*
 
N

Nukelavee

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I'm not saying your father is right, but - have you considered that "your" Korea is likely a lot different than the Korea he grew up in?

I don't know a ton of Korean history, but I know it was a lot harsher regime 30 or 40 years ago. your father grew up in a time when keeping your head down, and not making waves, was a smart thing to do.

It's like the attitudes of my older relatives were shaped by WW2 and teh great Depression - if you kept that in mind, some of their behaviour made a ton of sense.

I guess what I'm saying is keeping that in mind might help you bridge the gap between your views, and his.
 
frisas45

frisas45

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Joined
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Messages
736
Location
South Korea
I'm not saying your father is right, but - have you considered that "your" Korea is likely a lot different than the Korea he grew up in?

I don't know a ton of Korean history, but I know it was a lot harsher regime 30 or 40 years ago. your father grew up in a time when keeping your head down, and not making waves, was a smart thing to do.

It's like the attitudes of my older relatives were shaped by WW2 and teh great Depression - if you kept that in mind, some of their behaviour made a ton of sense.

I guess what I'm saying is keeping that in mind might help you bridge the gap between your views, and his.
Yep. There are a bunch of Koreans that are still like that today. In fact, people around my father were like that also. So yeah, it was tough trying to meet the expectations.
 
B

BipolarCoder

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I'm a 45 y/o lifelong high-functioning bipolar, not diagnosed until my late 30s.

A few things that seem true for me along the way...

1. Achievement does not bring happiness -- happiness comes from within. I'm a very successful self-made technology entrepreneur. I retired young, and yet after I had enough money i no longer needed to work, my anxiety and bipolar swings only increased and things got worse. I know it's cliche, but I saw first hand that "money doesn't bring happiness". For me, finding presence and finding (some) awareness and control over internal emotional states brought happiness. Those swings inside us are not "us", they are just a part of us, and the more we learn to observe them as a distinct thing inside us, the more we learn to moderate and weather them.

2. Happiness does not bring achievement, achievement brings achievement. - My statement in #1 should not be seen as advocating for walking away from the "hard work" of becoming successful. The two are almost completely independent. If one sits on a rock and finds enlightenment, the world won't suddenly open up and drop riches from the sky. We can learn how to derive value from within, and we can better accept any situation we are in. However, we still might prefer one with convenience and stability and prosperity, and that comes from putting effort into achieving stability and prosperity.

Another thing that seems very true to me... is that these uncomfortable pressures you relate seem to be written to villainize your father by creating an implied good/bad distinction. Such as "don't show and express your emotions" seeming bad and repressive, and "show and express your emotions" seeming good and healthy. I don't see truth in this worldview.

I challenge you to think about these non-good/bad views.

- What are emotions? I see them as physical feelings in the body. So how could one "show" an emotion, when it is a feeling in our own body? Instead I strive to "feel" and "understand" my emotions. Whether I choose to share them at any point in time is a complex choice I make based on the situation.

- Working hard, and being exhausted, can be sometimes very wonderful sensations. As can being peaceful and over-rested. Rest is an extremely important part of our human cycle, but being under-rested can also be rewarding. Experience everything in moderation, and learn when and how you'd like to use your own states and control over your life to get the outcomes you choose.. rather than letting those outcomes choose you. (and of course we do everything we do "until death", because what else do we have?)

- Part of being self-aware is being realistically self-critical and self-praising in the right amounts to bring about the habits and behaviors we choose. I like to think of the "self" as two major parts (I think the Buddists break it down into even more parts). My "habitual animal" executes learned habits, and communication, and work, and all the things i've been trained to do. My "conscious self" gets to observe that animal, and give it praise or critique to wrestle control of teaching the animal from the world (which teaches us from birth) to myself, so I can be the writer of my own destiny, instead of a passive participant as my animal is pushed about by the world.

- There is no such thing as perfection. For in order to have perfection one must establish a meter-stick to measure against, and there is no such measurement that is universal. Instead, I think of this as driving myself to choose the outcome I want for myself, and get better at achieving those outcomes I choose, rather than watching myself get whatever outcomes the world lands at my feet. Perfect then, is being able to predict how to get an outcome, and be right. For then all one has to do is choose and outcome and it would be made real.

- What is pleasure? It's an illusory concept. I view it as base animal chemical reactions that allow the external world to train us. I find it enjoyable to experience pleasure, but I also find it important to make sure the "conscious self" is the one choosing when to administer pleasure to the inner-animal, and when not to. For this is one of the best training mechanisms we have to create the habits we choose. However, beware, as the inner-animal is happy to execute endless cyclic habits of pleasure seeking. When it happens without self-awareness, it's called addiction.

- Do not learn to let others change our emotional states, for then we are dependent on others to change our emotional states... much like pleasure and addiction. In fact, thinking someone else can change our emotional state is an illusion anyway, because those states exist only in our mind-and-body, and thus are created only with the willingness of our self. Nobody else can reach into our minds and change our emotions, they only change our emotions because we allow them to. Find others who know not to manipulate our emotions, and who will help us learn to be self-aware and control them ourselves, these people are the ones truly supporting us.

- Mental illness diagnostic terms are a language tool we use to quickly explain context and shared experience, but they are not "us". Similarly, only we have responsibility for ourselves, and how we would like to progress in the world. If we wish to use therapy to achieve something, then try therapy, but do not expect the therapist to change us, only we can change us. If we wish to use the military to achieve something, then try the military, but do not expect the military to change us, only we can change us.

- "Forgiving or not-forgiving failure" is a bit irrelevant, as it doesn't change anything. Better to simply stop torturing ourselves with the concept. Of course if we set out a very concrete goal, such as eating lunch at noon, we can evaluate whether we did or did not do the goal. However, failure itself is abstract and complex and hard for anyone to judge. Instead I find it better to realize the only thing we truly have control over is ourself and our choices right now in this moment. Understanding how our choices of the past led us here is helpful to learning to predict how future choices will lead to future outcomes. However, forgiving or not forgiving is moving into an irrelevant space that doesn't achieve anything.

- Remember, the only thing in this world we can control is ourselves, and we should not give that control away to someone merely because they choose to use the communication technique of being nasty to ignite us. Communication is complex and multi-layered, and we can be better at it by seeing multiple levels of the communication, not just the emotional context of whether someone is being "nasty" or not. If someone says something that sounds nasty, remember that some of that nasty interpretation can come from inside ourselves, and not from the speaker. Why is that? If it does come from the speaker, what is their emotional state? What has led them to that emotional state? Why do they feel being nasty with us will achieve some goal? And what is that goal? And is it something we wish to choose to lean towards, or away from.

- It is easier to choose to be around different people, than it is to choose to be different around people. Hang around people who we would like to be more like, because we will become more like whoever we hang around.

- The "concious self" does not experience pleasure, only the inner animal. Allowing the inner-animal's pleasure seeking to turn our life into a live of habitual pleasure seeking is merely choosing to be asleep our entire lives. And the only one who has the right and ability to make that choice is the inner concious self, so choose whatever you wish.
 
frisas45

frisas45

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South Korea
Hi frisas!

I'm sorry, I had to skim through your post for now, but I still want to respond. It seems like this mindset you have for yourself and that others have for you does not suit you no matter how much you try to survive with that mindset. Unfortunately, we can not change how others act, but we can darn well try to change how we react to life circumstance. *hugs*
I know, but how are we suppose to change the circumstances when times are hard? It seems like your inner critic is torturing you, but it is sort of helping you survive. At the cost of what? Your health? Since times are hard, do we have to sacrifice your health to survive? Awful and makes no sense. :(
 
B

BipolarCoder

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@frisas45 - The best relief I've found for this is to learn to turn off the inner voice, and with it, the inner critic.

Without the constant chatter of my mind writing a "story" about how I feel, those feeling become more apparently physical and physiological, rather than part of some fake-news rationlization about a causal chain that doesn't exist. It makes it much easier for me to "feel down or lethargic" without actually thinking things are bad.

As for how to turn off the inner-voice.... that's a bit like wiggling your nose. Nobody can tell you how to do it. All I can tell you is that I know you can do it, and I can tell you how I did it, but in the end you need to experiment and find it yourself. For me, two of the best guides were the books "The Mind Illuminated" and "Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma", though I read many other vaguely buddhist books on letting go and meditating and the self that all probably helped.

...And I cried *alot* without thinking about what it meant or trying to figure out what it was from... just letting out all that trapped stress. In fact, once I realized how powerful letting out the bad emotional stress was... I asked my psychiatrist to stop asking my why I was crying or what it was bringing up. I asked him to help me find the crying, but when it came, to just let it happen and not ask me about it. That was the beginning of getting to the other (better) side for me. Talking about why we cry, in my opinion, is just a bunch of damaging re-traumitization.
 
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