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Confused About My Future

by Push
(India, Tamil Nadu)

I am an Indian girl from an orthodox family. As is well known, Indians are more restricted by cast, as are my family members.

When I was 19 yrs old, I liked a boy who does not belong to my cast. We fell in love with each other. I don't have belief in cast. My parents are very caring and they have done all good to me. When they came to know about my love, they started to scold and told me not to talk with that boy forever. I agreed to this, and also told them that I won't be able to marry any other person.

But I wasn't able to withhold my feelings, so I started talking to him and maintained in my home to my parents that I was not talking with him.

Now years have passed and I am 22 years old. My parents are seeing an alliance for me, and they are forcing me to marry another boy.

I told them that I had not talked to that boy as they had instructed. I also said that now they are asking me to marry someone even after I refused this 3 years prior. (I lied to them, to avoid hurting them in any way).

Now my parents are very angry towards me, and show their anger by cursing me daily. I work in a private company where the situation in the company is also not so good. I am unable to find a trustworthy friend, with whom I can share my feelings comfortably.

The boy who I am loving is in search of a job, as he just recently completed his PG. His parents are quite happy and have agreed to marry me to him once he is quite settled in his life.

I get depressed sometimes as to why I am troubling all of the people who are around me. I don't want to leave my parents and marry that boy, or leave him and marry whom my parents have chosen. I don't know if what I am doing is right or wrong. I have been with my parents since my childhood and don't know how to live alone--I am scared.

I want your help in this regard. Thank you. Awaiting for your response.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Push. Thank you so much for sharing your touching and powerful story on this site. Before I respond to your dilemma and your request for help, I want to tell you about the impression you have made here with your story.

While I understand that English is not your first language, I want you to know that you express yourself beautifully. Your use of words to convey your feelings is artful in an innocent and pure way. As a result, I am very moved by your story, and I will do my best to help you in any way I can.

It is clear that you have no easy choices here. The consequences of any decision you make are tremendous and far-reaching.

To follow your heart and be with the boy you love means to go against the wishes of your parents and possibly lose your connection with them entirely. While I realize that may not happen, I do know it can happen in these cases. Loyalty to parents is a powerful force, which goes deep into your psyche.

And yet, your choice of the boy you love is a reflection of your individuality and the autonomy of your self. In some schools of thought, this is sacred and must be honored in order to live a full and satisfying life. To have to pay the price of facing your parents' wrath for this choice is painful, to say the least.

Only you can make such a decision. Only you will have to live with the consequences. Your choice will affect your entire life, as you know.

To turn away from your love and honor your parents' wishes will have the benefit of stopping their anger and cursing of you, and possibly put you back in their good graces. The price you pay for this choice is the denial of your heart, and your personal freedom to make one of the most important decisions of your life. That is a very high price to pay.

The most important focus for you here, Push, is to believe in yourself. You said you don't know what is right or wrong at this point, and that is understandable. I encourage you to take some time, listen to your heart and do some journaling.

In your journaling process, try these exercises:

1) Write the story of your life as you imagine it, following your decision to honor your parents' wishes. Imagine your entire life, marriage and experience following that decision. Allow your imagination to guide you, and trust it.

2) Next, write the story of your life as you imagine it following your choice to be with the boy you have chosen in your heart. Write the entire story as your imagination lays it out before you.

3) Notice how you feel with both stories. Consider that your feelings are extremely important, as they affect your body, mind and spirit.

4) Also do the journaling exercises you will find on this page. This will help you get more deeply in touch with your feelings, and it will help you to make the right decision for yourself.

You have the answer, deep in your heart and soul, Push. Spend some quiet, focused time alone in order to listen to your own inner wisdom. Their is guidance that will come from inside you, and it will lead you in the best possible direction for you.

And, consider the possibility that things are not as bad as they seem. Look for and expect some surprising new alternative to arise, that will make your decision easier and less painful for you and others.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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