Okay, so I've been home less than 24 hours and. . .

(Note: although I am starting this thread in reference to my gripes, I hope that other college-aged Dopers’ll add their own. Who knows, this thread could prevent some in-family homicides ;)).

Okay. So I got home at 11 o’clock last night, and it is now 7 o’clock tonight. In this time, I’ve realized something:

My family has gotten very annoying.

I really didn’t notice it until right now. I mean, I always sorta knew my dad could be a pain in the ass when it came to certain things. And occaisionally, my sister and mom would join in with their own little annoyances. I’m sure, though, that it was never, ever this bad.

Instance the first–my being on the computer right now. There are SEVERAL annoyances that go with this.

First of all, I only have until eight o’clock. This is because my sister wants to play Roller Coaster Tycoon at eight. If she doesn’t, it therefore follows that the Earth will explode, time will come to an abrupt halt, the universe will collapse upon itself, and gasp N’sync will break up. In short, I will be off the computer at eight, or I will die. Normally, I wouldn’t mind this, except for the fact that she was already on for two hours this afternoon, whereas until six fifty-eight this evening, I had yet to touch a keyboard.

But, okay, fine, I can share. Hell, I can go on the other computer—oh WAIT, I can’t. Why not? Well, we just got a cable modem, which is supposed to be great. Is it? No. See, my dad hasn’t hooked up the other computer. And he has already changed my AOL account (which my parents graciously pay for) to BYO ISP. So the other computer can’t access the net without a hefty charge which my parents do not want. So no net access for Gabe. And, of course, my sister can’t play on that computer. :rolleyes:

Now, WHY hasn’t the other computer been hooked up? 'Cause my dad wants me to help. Yeah, me. Gabe. Otherwise known as the girl who once flicked the solder off the soldering iron in physics class because she didn’t realize it was going to be hot. I an NOT someone who is especially good at setting up important things that involve electricity and/or nails (I’m okay with screws, make of that what you will). In fact, I’m someone you want as far away from this sort of thing as possible. At least, you want me as far away as possible if you’re a perfectionist who wants everything done to damn near military standards. So it makes perfect sense that, he, A PERSON WHO IS A FRIGGIN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER AND WHO USED TO INSTALL CABLE FOR A LIVING would wait for me to come home so that he could hook up the computer.

Then, aside from the computer, there are other things. There’s my mom, whom I honestly don’t remember being this snippy. I mean, man, it’s one mean, snide comment after another. Christ. I love my mom, I love her to death, but I wish she would stop. And I also wish that she and my 13 year-old sister would stop fighting all the time. It’s mostly my sister’s fault, but half the time my mom won’t act like a goddamn adult about it, and I end up mediating. They called me on the way to my campus JUST SO I COULD MEDIATE. My God…I don’t want to live with two teenagers.

And my dad. My dad who I want to tell that he might have clinical depression, but who would probably kill me if I did. He’s been kind of sick lately because of stress–he got shingles–so I figure I can cut him some slack. But according to my mom, he’s been coming home early every day and then bitching about how he’s scared he’ll lose his job. Now, I’ve only held one job before, but I know that a key part of staying employed is to NOT LEAVE EARLY EVERY DAY. Additionally, since I’ve been home, he has not left the master bedroom. He lies on the bed all day. He watches TV. He eats. This is not healthy. Today, he didn’t get up until almost 11. Right afterwards, about half an hour after he woke up, my mom, my sister, and I go to my grandma’s (mom’s mom) to visit. We get back about three hours later, and my dad’s PISSED because he wanted to take my mom out to eat. It was like 2 PM when he said this. He gets mad at my mom because of it and slams doors and stuff. He didn’t say anything to her about wanting to take her out…how was she supposed to know. Plus I can tell he hasn’t bathed in a while; I brought this up to my mom and he says that it “hurt too bad.” Bloody hell. I give myself a week before I bring it up, because spending the summer with a passive aggressive, depressed person is certainly not what I want to do.

So that’s it, that’s the basics. I pretty much think that most of it is me; that I’ve been so used to being halfway-autonomous that being at home is a painful adjustment. I just can’t help but think, though, that some of it is them and not me. Additionally, it’s a pain because my dad is working at trying to push me back into my former subservient role, whereas my college friends–one in particular–have been working for a semester to help me to change that.

I wonder if I’m the only one to feel this way about her family. Or if my family is just fucked up. I hope my dad doesn’t lose his job, and I wish I had opted for summer school, 'cause, frankly, being home sucks.

So, what did you do for Mother’s Day?

I’m reading between the lines here … but are you saying you don’t like Roller Coaster Tycoon?

Get thee behind me!

Well, geez, go back to college, willya. What a hardship–you have to share the computer with your sister. And your dad is sick and depressed. And your mom is snippy. Yeah, you’re right, they’re really fucked up, you’d better get some counseling. :rolleyes:

Anybody in your family rob a bank lately? Get busted for manufacturing crystal meth out in the garage? Put pipebombs in people’s mailboxes? Embezzle money from stockholders? Buttfuck any choirboys? No? Then count your blessings, Gabe. Even as we speak, there are fathers molesting their daughters, mothers killing their kids, kids beating their dads to death with hammers. And you think you’ve got problems? Sheesh.

Somebody’s holding a gun to your head, making you stay with these nasty people who are making you take turns with them on their computer? You can’t use your newfound “autonomous” freedom and scarper? Make up an excuse? “I just remembered, I told the National Geographic Society I’d spend the summer with them on an expedition to Patagonia”. Then scram.

Or you can still sign up for summer school.

Who’s paying for your college education, BTW? These unpleasant people?

it’s called the “You Can’t Go Home Again” syndrome–get used to us, 'cause it never stops

Also, the brutal truth is that you don’t live there anymore–so it’s your sister’s computer now, basically. When you come to “visit”, you are “visiting”, and you as the “visitor” shouldn’t expect your “hosts” to change their lifestyle just for you.

Sorry, that’s just the way it works.

So, because the sky isn’t falling down around her ears and the fact that she decided to go to college rather than spend the rest of her life on her parents’ couch immediately disqualify any and all rants/complaints/concerns Angel might have about life back home?

What a lovely sentiment, DDG. I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m depressed or one of my friends is feeling down. “Shut up, bitch, someone somewhere has it worse!”

I’m sure that will be very appreciated. Thank you for helping me see the light.

I dislike hearing home-for-the-summer college kids whining about conditions back home. “It was glorious in college, people treated me like a real adult, but now I’m back in the bosom of my family and suddenly I’m a kid again, and Nobody Understands Me.”

Hey, I’m forty-six, and when I stay overnight at my mom’s house, suddenly I’m a kid again, and Nobody Understands Me. But you don’t hear me whining about it. I’m old enough to understand that as we grow up, our perceptions of the people around us change, and our relationships to them change, and the Godlike Parents suddenly morph into real people with real frailties, and because we want them to extend to us the same courtesy of overlooking our frailties, we overlook theirs.

If it had been a full-blooded rant about truly bad conditions, I would have been more understanding. But if the best she can do is, “My mom is snippy, and my dad is sick, and I have to share the computer with my kid sister”, well, sorry, but my reaction is, “Grow up.”

I see, and being able to vent has no place in the process of growing up? Being able to understand the difference between being Away and being Home isn’t part of growing up? Being rattled by that difference isn’t part of growing up?

Yeah, it sucks that some people have it worse, but it’s not as if empathy is part of a zero-sum game. Being able to spare a little for us wee, poor, spoiled college kids (because college is ALL about the laughs, no work or pain at all) doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly unable to care about the kid getting beaten with a hammer.

Forty-six isn’t that old. Surely you remember that the process of growing up was a lot longer, more painful, and quite a bit more confusing than some people make it out to be.

I see, and being able to vent has no place in the process of growing up? Being able to understand the difference between being Away and being Home isn’t part of growing up? Being rattled by that difference isn’t part of growing up?

Yeah, it sucks that some people have it worse, but it’s not as if empathy is part of a zero-sum game. Being able to spare a little for us wee, poor, spoiled college kids (because college is ALL about the laughs, no work or pain at all) doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly unable to care about the kid getting beaten with a hammer.

Forty-six isn’t that old. Surely you remember that the process of growing up was a lot longer, more painful, and quite a bit more confusing than some people make it out to be.

And being patient while the hamster running the board servers visits family in the Poconos is also part of growing up. Goddammit.

Umm, this is the Pit, and the Judger of Pit Rants has weighed this one in the scales, and has found it wanting.

Duck Duck Goose, you so rock.

is Judger a word?

:: checks to see ::

whew. \Judg"er, n. One who judges. --Sir K. Digby.
-dictionary.com

First of all, I did say that most of it was me. I’m being bitchy here, and I recognize that fact. I guess I was bitching about the adjustments that I have to make.

Not all of it is me though. Every person on this Earth is somewhat annoying when you have to live with them (including me–I’m not even going to start on my odd-kept hours and predisposition for drinking tons of Diet Pepsi). I’m not a total saint.

But to explain where I’m coming from. . .I just got home from college. My roommate suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (she was diagnosed), which, although it massively sucks for her, made my life really difficult. I’ve been burnt out writing a long paper, and extremely frustrated in my writing (yeah, I know, that’s not going to garner a whole lot of sympathy).

So when I went home, I was expecting everything to be. . .better. But no. I have to share the computer (and I did and I didn’t complain to her about it). And, since my sister is thirteen, she is not especially polite about using the computer. But, yes, ok, that was a petty little thing that just gets under my skin.

Then there’s the fact that my sister and my mom fight constantly, and I get pulled into the middle of it every time. Even when I’m not physically present. This is stressful, and my mom–my mom, who is my best friend–has said some really cruel things to my sister. That hurts.

My dad is probably depressed, seriously endangering his job, and blowing up about the littlest things. Now, maybe I haven’t mentioned this here, maybe it was eaten in the great purge, but I was emotionally abused by this man for approximately the first sixteen years of my life. Now, ok, you had no way of knowing this. . .but the fact that he did that makes me have very little patience and sympathy towards him.

I feel like everything’s falling apart. Yeah, I have quite a few petty complaints. But some of the stuff I’m saying is serious. And my writing about it here. . .well, you know, it relieves some of my stress. It makes me feel better, because I don’t want to yell at my family over things that might not be worth it.

As for the guest thing. . .ok, yes, when I’m home for a weekend or a two week break, I conduct myself as a guest. And I expect no more than that. But I’m going to be here for three months, and I am still their daughter. And it’s not as though I’m going to college against their wishes, or that my not going to college was ever an option. I was going to go to college or I was out at 18, and I had damned well better have chosen college. Which I did. I don’t think that terming me a “guest” really does justice to the situation–for all intents and purposes, I am living here right now.

Now, I would totally agree with what you said if I had posted a rant like “My parents won’t let me stay out until 3AM” or “I want to have some of my college friends over for the weekend and they said ‘no’.” My comment about being semi-autonomous was just an attempt to explain part of why I’m so touchy–I’m not used to dealing with my family, and I have to get in the swing of things. But I wasn’t ranting about the way my parents treated me, didn’t say that they treated me like a child, didn’t want to live here the way I did at college. I was (mostly) ranting about the fact that I don’t think things here are as good as they used to be.

As for “who is putting me through college. . .” that would mostly be me. I worked my butt off in high school and got a very nice scholarship. I didn’t go to my first choice college–which accepted me–in order to get this scholarship, to eliminate that which my parents would be paying for it.

There are some serious problems–if my dad hasn’t showered for two weeks or more, is leaving work early, is hanging around the bedroom, eating, living and sleeping in there…if my mom is becoming a bit emotionally abusive…those are valid complaints.

And, yeah, I know that there are a lot of people out there who have it worse. But…that really doesn’t help me feel better, you know. I want things to be better; I think that’s a natural human reaction. And I definately see some areas in which things can get better.
Aside from which. . .it’s better for me to rant here about silly things than make a big deal about them IRL ;).

It was hard to get used to living at home again after spending my freshman year at college. It wasn’t as though I had spent every single night upended over a keg-far from it-but I had gotten blissfully accustomed to coming and going as I pleased without anyone bitching about it. Neither of my parents could be called my best friend, and I had also gotten used to living without a constant stream of nagging.

My solution was summer school.

Okay, everyone, is it just me, or is the Pitt to be used to bitch about anything? Because lately, it seems a lot of people are claiming the boards to be used strictly for “super serious globaly important news” and forgetting that a lot if it is to help waste time and do something fun. DDGoose, your attitude here is attrocious. Here’s someone talking about a serious problem of their’s, and you have to come in and say “What’s wrong in your life isn’t important.” Well fuck you. It’s not like Angel’s bitching about the fact her parent’s don’t want her staying out past eleven, he/she’s going through some serious problems, and it’s not your place to say “you mean nothing to me.” You want to show you don’t care? Don’t finish reading her post and move on.

As for the OP, it’s never the same once you leave because now you’ve got a new perspective on life and suddenly, you’re looking at things from a whole new light. It’s like watching your parents drive. I used to think my parents were the best drivers in the world, but as soon as I got my license, I realized how horrible they are. Now, I absolutely LOATH riding with my folks. Not quite a good annalogy, but it’s kinda along the same route.
Going back home is always tough. The things with your sister and the computer, and even her fights with your mom are kinda typical. Wait till your sister starts passing off her chores on you, then it’s going to get real fun. The big problem is your dad. You should really try and convince your mom to get him some help. I don’t know if a weekend getaway would do any good, but he definitely needs something to take his mind off of things. My dad’s been in that perpetual “I don’t know if I’ll have a job next year” thing for about eight years now, but he still makes it into work and does his best. Your dad’s definitely got something going on, and he needs help. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t offer any real advice, but I can offer my best wishes, so good luck there.
But yeah, going back home is always tough. It’s not necessarily being treated like a kid, it’s that now they don’t know how to treat you. You’re a guest, but you’re living there, and you’re their kid, so you should be able to enjoy the time you spend there, but you need to pull your wieght. Confusing, I know. The best thing for you to do is get a job or go back to classes. Maybe both, keep you out of the house even more. Best of luck to you, I’m going to go now to see if DDG has any insite to my bitch about getting my mother’s day card off late.

I had a second asshole added to my butt when I criticised Guinistasia for a similar rant WAY back when I first joined this board, so I will not be joining in on DDG side in this one.

(Even though I agree with him on most points. Kids whose parents are paying their way thru school with room and board just do not know how lucky they are UNTIL they get into the real world after school and see how hard it is. Then they imagine how hard school would have been had they been forced to live in the “real world” AND complete college at the same time. Fire extinguisher ready…)

Hey - it might be part of growing up to see that your family isn’t quite the warm fuzzy place you thought it was… but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard.

I remember coming home after a couple of terms in college. I’m sure that I was unbearable. Suddenly it wasn’t good enough to watch TV of an evening, they ate their meals at the wrong times and some of their views were stupid.

I realise now that my parents are absolutely the best people on this planet, they can watch TV whenever the hell they want (especially given that actually they are the most active people I know), their mealtimes make a lot more sense than mine and even the very few of their views I don’t agree with have been arrived at for a reason. I appreciate them inordinately more than I did as a kid precisely because I had to confront the fact that they were real people with real frailties. They’ll always be my parents but now they’re my best friends too.

Angel, assuming you’ve just finished your first year, you’ll be home for a total of, what, a couple of months here and there for the next few years until college is over. At that point you can get the job you want, move out and live your own life. So on the one hand every time it gets tough, just keep telling yourself that it’s not for much longer and on the other hand remind yourself every now and then that your childhood is very rapidly coming to a close and you may as well try to enjoy it while it lasts. Being an adult is undoubtly more fun but it’s also a great deal harder.

I’ll close with a comment the kabbess made to me the other day:

“When I was a kid, I didn’t realise how difficult my mum had it. She was putting meals on the table, cleaning, looking after us and never once complained about it. I mean - we would mouth “thanks for the meal mum”, but I don’t think that we ever really meant it. I mean it now.”

pan

DDG, I think you were way out of line.

Even if she was just bitching about petty stuff, she would be totally right in ranting here. And, you know what? She’s not.

Can’t say much to help, Angel, but I know what you’re going through must be hard. Good luck.

You think that’s annoying??? What about my having to deal with…

Sorry :smiley:

AAARRG! Wrong thread, sorry.