Several months ago, I left home for college. I know what I want to study, and I know what I want to do as an adult. But I also know that my education is going to take several years and cost a lot of money.
I’ve found a way to make good money that won’t interfere with my studies but I know my parents won’t approve. It’s legal but not something people look upon highly. I was wary at first myself, but I went twice, tried it out and I love it.
How do I tell people what I do when they ask without feeling ashamed or embarrassed? And, more importantly, will this affect my future negatively?
Present and Future
You need to hold your head up high. I don’t know what you want to be, or what you’re doing for money, and I don’t want to guess. But you said that your job is legitimate, so you have nothing to be ashamed of.
And knowing what you want to study and where you want that to lead, at your young age, is admirable and impressive. Follow your path. You have ambition and drive. I have a good feeling you’re going to get where you want to go.
As a child, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. I was and still am high functioning, and all my teachers throughout elementary and high school were very accommodating. I had more trouble in university but found the program and educators best suited for me.
I decided to go into Special Ed teaching myself and have found the perfect fit. But through all of my education, I realize that my mom is also on the spectrum, though undiagnosed. When I try to talk to her about it, she dismisses me and says I’m projecting my life onto her.
I don’t understand because she was my biggest advocate growing up. My dad was unaware and in denial. My mom fought for me, got me the right testing, and used my diagnosis to help me succeed.
Why is she avoiding the topic when it comes to her own well-being?
Good for you! You are accomplished and successful, and you should be proud. I also hear the gratitude in your letter towards your parents.
I can only assume your mom is afraid. I would hazard to guess that once she saw it in you, she started to self-diagnose. Any and all of her issues growing up are probably what pushed her to do everything she could to get you the help you needed, that is, the help she never had.
Don’t push her. Now you have insight and can better understand her. But she’s figured out how to compensate. Keep talking to her, giving her information, but don’t force her to get tested for something she already knows she has.
FEEDBACK In response to your response to my feedback (Mar. 16):
Reader – “Perhaps the word misogynistic was not the word I should have used. It just seemed to me that your response supported a patriarchal attitude that did not support his wife at all.
“I’m not young (67) and I have seen many women adapt their time, work and activity schedules to situations where husbands feel lonely or ignored. Resentment led to many divorces.
“In this case, he withdrew from his gym activities and now sees a change in their mutual life together which is not satisfying to him.
“You should suggest that he find activities/interests in his down time while his wife pursues her Triathlon training. To suggest that he ask “if this is a one-off” is an undervaluing question that I don’t think will be received well. Suggest that he show continued support towards his wife by commenting on her hard work and promising a celebration after her completion of the triathlon.”
Lisi – We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. First of all, in my opinion, 67 is young. Secondly, your first paragraph supports what the original letter-writer is saying, that he feels his “relationship is taking a back seat.”
He didn’t drop his gym membership; he was forced to stop going due to COVID-19, and then didn’t go back. He’s not alone. Many people now choose working out at home, or outdoors, post-pandemic.
Lastly, I still believe it is absolutely healthy to discuss someone’s plans regarding their training. A person who runs for health and fun has different goals and commitments than someone training for a marathon or triathlon.