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Does anybody else have to keep secrets from their family because of negativity?

(78 Posts)
EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 17:42:02

I'm hopefully starting an MA in the new year, if I can get the place I want and funding.

I have realised I cannot tell my family, and this makes me so sad, because the reason is they always spoil things with their horrendous response to things simultaneously both super pressured and mean spirited.

I got back into work after a long time off for health reasons. I had had a pretty hard time. My sister has always had a good job and a wide circle of friends but long term jealousy going back to childhood means she resents me anything even if she has far more, she engineered a conversation that would deliberately end in people who do my job being slated, but at the same time making it appear as though she was innocent of that motive and it wasn't her intention. This sorry is actually a minor example of how venomously she behaves towards me whilst trying to hide it and gaslight.

Going back, when I got my first job, my cousins DH first question was really rude and ill mannered, wanting to know what salary I was on hmm I felt forced to answer even though I was young and on the spot.

When learning to drive, I was really struggling, and not sure if I could continue, it was all I ever got asked HOW'S YOUR DRIVING, HOW'S YOUR DRIVING? and I just felt so much pressure.

Again, while off work for ill health my Aunt constantly asked :


And I felt so judged, and pressurized it is still pretty much all she asks about

The MA is over subscribed and at the end only a few people get what they want from it, the occupation is hard to get into but it's something I have always dreamed of. I may not even manage to complete it and I'm ralistic about that.

I'm not asking for advice really. I have decided to not tell any of my family about my MA, because of their form, for either nastiness or pressure.

But this makes me super sad to know I have to keep secrets from them, because they can't be pleaed for me and have to make me feel bad or harp on about things I've told them I'm doing til I feel intensely pressured.

Is anyone in the same boat, and can share stories with me?

Bluntness100 Thu 03-Nov-16 17:47:18

I think you are a little over sensitive to be honest. Maybe because they ask the questions you don't want asking or point out the truth? Sure they are an insensitive bunch , maybe just blunt, but I'm not reading anything over,y awful here or unusual in terms of family questions here, I'm sorry.

Soubriquet Thu 03-Nov-16 17:49:41

I can't tell my family about any misscarriages I have

They will only jump on about the pregnancy. Not the fact that I lost it

Might even hear "well it's lucky you lost it really isn't it? You don't need any more children"

I've only got two children but because I've got "one of each it's enough"

The only one they know about is my first. Before any of my children were born

I've had 3 more and they don't know about any of them.

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 17:51:25


Yes perhaps it doesn't come across, it's in the tones you see and with my sister it's just ENDLESS bitchiness, and digs, such as grabbing my phone out of my hand, refusing to give it back and then throwing it back with "Nothing to see here but a handful of friends and ugly children"

With my Aunt it was she was more concerned about my not having a job and how that reflects on the family than with the fact I was unwell and struggling.

DinosaursRoar Thu 03-Nov-16 17:53:49

For different reasons I limit my parents information about my life. I never tell them about things I'm going to do/doing, occasionally they get told after the event.

It's sad that I don't have the close relationship that a lot of friends have with their parents, and I know I will never go to them for emotional support or advice about anything.

It's good you've recognised not to talk to them about things going on in your life, I just hope with my dcs they never see me as someone who has to be "managed".

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 17:55:47



If I tell them a thing, important things become minor and minor things important.

Like I say, in the OP, I'm not really looking for advice just other people who can't tell their family things because they always spoil it. Like if I don't get the thing I want from it at the end, it will be asked about constantly, as to whether I have yet though I'm realistic about the likeliihood of this

myfriendnigel Thu 03-Nov-16 17:57:00

All the time.whatever I say to my mum, what I've done, what I'm doing, what I plan to do, she will always always immediately have something negative to say. To the point where I know say when she's finished 'and now follow your negative with a positive...' In the same way I do with my very glass half empty dd1, 10, who has unfortunately inherited the trait.
It's annoying and sometimes distressing.ive learnt to ignore it but it has driven a wedge in that I never tel her anything first or ask for advice-as I know she will rubbish any of my plans and because I'm conditioned to it, that will affect how I feel about them iyswim?

Chinnygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 17:58:03

Dad never believes I can do anything and everything bad that happens in my life is my fault. He thanks my DP for being a good person to me and treating me so well. Which sounds nice but the thankful and surprised tone kind of spoils it. So I don't tell him anything.

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 17:58:44

I think for your sanity songbird
You should just keep it to yourself.
I don't think you're being over sensitive at all.
Sometimes it's just easier.
Tell your friends instead.


Myrobalanna Thu 03-Nov-16 17:58:59

Oh yes - I do this. It took me so long to learn to do it, though!
I find I can never quite manage it when they aren't interested - although sometimes they are - it's the inconsistency I can't cope with. So if it's something I'm really excited about or proud of, I don't risk letting myself feel disappointed if they don't get why I feel that way (if that makes sense).

NKFell Thu 03-Nov-16 18:02:23

Songbird families are always difficult and I think there's always something. With yours it's that they can put you down with and without realising. They're shits Songbird, shits. Try not to feel sad about it.

Sou flowers

I never told anyone how abusive my ex was, I just knew half my family would say it was my fault and the other half would say I'm too soft. When I got a split lip and needed stitches we were sat in the hosp and all my sister was saying was "I can't believe you pushed him that're a nutcase". I dreamt of swapping my family.

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 18:03:07

My DM has become the same, as I've had a lot of disappointments along the way, so she now EXPECTS things not to turn out for me :

"I knew this wouldn't happen for you, it never does does it"

and I'm just tired of approaching my life with that mindset.

Oddly, it feels like by keeping this from them all, I'm more likely to succeed?!

wombattoo Thu 03-Nov-16 18:03:33

Songbird it must be really crap having to live with that. My sister has always sneered at things I do, but I know it's because she is jealous. I am now more robust than I was when I was younger. I do my own thing. I wouldn't hide things but I would shut her down pretty quickly if I thought she was trying to get in with snidey digs.
I hope you get the chance to do the MA and best of luck thanks

Soubriquet Thu 03-Nov-16 18:03:44

Fucking hell NK that's awful shock

ImperialBlether Thu 03-Nov-16 18:06:10

OP, how often do you see your family? I don't think I'd see them very often at all and wouldn't tell them anything at all when I did have to see them.

Do you have your own family?

didyoureally Thu 03-Nov-16 18:06:39

Great post! It's something that I wonder about too.
Yes I do keep things back from my parents all the time. They don't mean to be negative (I think!) but they are negative and it is extremely demoralising. They also become overly invested and interested in anything new that I discuss with them. I think that I am probably a bit sensitive and could be easily put off by them. So I would much prefer to settle into a new job/course/hobby etc in my own time and in my own way without having to listen to their input...and then I can choose when/if to talk to them about it in the future. I think it is really important to do the things you want to do with a clear head and seek for advice from people who will be positive and useful. Then tell your family when your plans are all set up, or better still when you have completed your MA grin

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 18:09:02

NK and Sou flowers

Tolstoy had it so right, didn't he?

DM has always been neg about my friends/friendships as well and that impacts those and my self esteem.

"Oh she only pays you any attention because she knows the children will get nice gifts" etc

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 18:13:37


I have very much reduced contact with the family members in question in the last 2 years, much to their chagrin. This of course is all my own fault, and they've done nothing to deserve this. I'd be NC with my sister in a heartbeat if I could, and probably will be when parents die.

No family of my own yet - that's been the subject of many a dig also, one or two so bad they are upsetting to repeat

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 18:14:57


Yes, will invite to ceremony grin

curr78 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:15:19

I have similar issues with my family they can never see the good in anything I do , even down to things we buy slating them like our large family car which was "a waste of money on a irrelevant and poor brand" last year I found my self surprisingly pregnant with baby number 5 and I didn't tell anyone other than my husband and friend anyway I got to 20 weeks and the scan revealed my pregnancy ended at 15 weeks I eventually was admitted into hospital and was in for 9 days trying to have my baby , ended up in theatre my pil knew by this point but not my family and they will never find out from me , I know the response I will get is u have enough children , u can't afford more children etc I feel dismissed all the time so I understand where ur coming from

handslikecowstits Thu 03-Nov-16 18:18:08

I've learnt to keep my mouth shut because my parents are so negative. Every drama is a crisis and every problem is a calamity. They have no faith in me so I limit information.

It's sad but necessary. They live in their own bubble.

EverySongbirdSays Thu 03-Nov-16 18:20:35

curr (and Sou)

Fucking hell the awfulness of knowing you won't get sympathy for your babies dying. I'm not quite in that scenario, or haven't been yet, but I believe I'd get a similar response, genuinely.

flapjackfairy Thu 03-Nov-16 18:21:20

I also am v selective in what i tell my parents as my mother worries a lot and always ends up saying the wrong thing and making me feel a failure!
For example she thinks we live in a bad place because it is working class and not the poshest place in the country. She makes comments such as"of course we would never live in ...... (our town)" or told me the other day that someone told her that the worst area of their town is better than the best of ours!! WHY? Why would you even share that?
So i never tell her anything bad that happens such as local burglaries because she replies with " what do you expect living there? " etc.
I used to get v upset and let it crush me but no more. I dont give her the bullets to shoot me with anymore and only tell her what i want her to know.
But like op it makes me sad that i do not have a mum i can tell everything to who will love and accept me no matter what but it wont change so i choose to let it go .

Bummymummy77 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:29:07

I won't tell my family I'm pregnant (if that ever happens which it probably won't) again.

After the last miscarriage most of them helpfully told me why (too old, was breastfeeding ds still etc etc) and still do.

I also don't say anything about anything to my Mum anymore. She's a vicious person sometimes and will use the tiniest thing against me, anything big and she'd go to town. It's sad I feel I have to hide things but for my sanity I do now.

Bummymummy77 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:31:53

Bullets to shoot me with. That's exactly it.

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