Question for Betty.

My family believes that college graduates have no personal skills and that street smarts are all that matters.  This is hurtful to me, and I have indicated this to them many times as politely as possible.  I'm beginning to realize that my family offers little in the way of emotional support for me and it may be better if I cut off contact from them altogether as communication with them is typically empty anyways.  Part of me doesn't want to do it, but the other part of me just wants to feel that they are coming to their own and wants to be their own person.  I am the one that offers emotional support to them while I am hard at work with my studies, support that can actually benefit them!  I feel like my family is bad for my mental well-being and try to keep communication with them as brief and ambiguous as possible.  It has been this way for a long time.  Though I wish things were different, I realize they will never be.  I am confused about what to do.  Keep my cell phone off so I don't have to worry about calls?  Send superficial e-mails to them every week and delete their replies without reading them so I know what they know and they know I'm alive?  I find school to be very enjoyable, and wonder if I would be better off with just school as my life.

Betty's Answer.

What a heart felt message.  You are going through individual growth and a degree of seperation, physically and emotionally from your family.  You are realizing that you are different from your family.  As a Star Trek fan, I think of the Borg Collective, and the difficulty in seperating from the "one consciousness".  It is not always easy, but it is important in becoming a unique independent adult. 

The second point is that you can't control your family, but, you can set limits with them.  You don't have to be on a daily email/cell phone connection with them.  It is probably a good idea to connect in some way every week, or every other week. 

The third point is that sometimes it is helpful to discuss these issues with a mental health care provider.  You may want to make an appointment with one of the SHCC Mental Health staff, to have help with resolving your conflicting feelings.