I have a hard time communicating with my parents. I’m pretty sure the majority of people my age feel the same way, but it’s particularly difficult with me since I’m adopted. I work in a white-collar / upper middle-class occupation and my parents grew up decidedly blue-collar. I’ve finished graduate school and then some, and they graduated high school and my sister barely finished seventh grade. When I go home, there’s such a divide between what I think is important and what they think is important or are even able to comprehend.
I’m in a liminal zone between my family and my friends (who are much better able to understand me) but suffer under the yoke of “we’ve done so much for you, why can’t you be grateful?”. I do appreciate what they’ve done for me, but it’s nevertheless hard to spend time with them just because it’s so dissatisfying. I was watching a TED talk by Eric Whitacre about a virtual choir of Youtube singers, and was profoundly moved by the beauty of such a disparate group of people spread out through the world. I wanted my father to experience it but within seconds of the performance starting, he was making comments like “he’s a real new agey kind of composer” and “they can’t show everyone’s face because there are so many contributors.” It kind of comes down to the fact that he likes to hear himself talk. It kind of ruined it for me, and I became frustrated that I couldn’t share this seemingly simple thing (after all, who doesn’t like a well-performed song?).
I’m on a personal development quest to rid myself of judgment, recognizing that I am very critical of myself and by extension, of other people, but it’s such a challenge when I come home, I’m not sure I can do it.