Tue | Nov 30, 2021

Depressed about accepting parents' money

Published:Wednesday | June 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

My parents love me very much. I did not know what it was like to struggle growing up. My parents provided everything that my brother and I ever needed. They made sure we had everything we needed for school and for our extra-curricular activities, irrespective of the cost. When we were in sixth form, my parents gave us a 'deportee' motorcar to drive to school. During summers, we went, as a family, on trips locally or abroad. I can safely say that I had a good childhood. When the time came for us to attend university, my parents supported us financially. When I completed my tertiary studies, I desperately wanted to be able to survive on my own. However, real life hit hard and fast, and I had to settle for a low-paying job which moved me away from living with my parents and does not allow me a comfortable income. I was distraught when I realised there was no way I could avoid depending on my parents. I couldn't even live without them for three weeks straight. To make matters worse, they have developed some financial challenges, primarily my grandparents falling ill and being admitted to the hospital. These challenges demanded a lot of finances and they are trying to deal with them. They have not fully recovered, but still insist on assisting me in any way they possibly can by giving me the funds which I need monthly. It really pains me to accept the money. I am working on getting a second job, but it is very difficult at the moment in this economy. My brother has a very good job and gives money to his parents. I am in a state of depression as my plans have failed, and I did not expect my life to be like it is now. Is it wrong for me to feel this way? How do I accept what my parents are doing for me, as I don't think I can? I anxiously await your advice.

A: Since your parents are not complaining about helping you financially, then you should quit worrying. It is possible that you do not know the depth of the pocket of your parents. Perhaps they are happy to be able to help you through these difficult days. Some parents offer financial gifts to children not because of need, but as a sign of care and love.

You did mention that your brother has a good job and does not need financial help from your parents and instead helps them. Hopefully, you are not comparing yourself to your brother. You should not feel inferior to your brother because you are not defined by your job function, and your self-worth should not be measured by your bank account. You should instead be happy for your brother, remembering that circumstances can change quickly.

Perhaps you need to examine ways to cut expenses since getting a second job is unlikely. Many persons survive on low-paying jobs so it is possible that you can manage on your salary if you cut expenses. This might be difficult for you since you were pampered in your childhood, including driving yourself to high school. However, please try and cut the fluff from your budget and live a simple life. You could start by looking at your utility bills such as your consumption of electricity, water and use of telephone. Also examine your food bill and go for a balanced diet with cheaper substitutes.

If you are still depressed after these changes, then consult a professional counsellor.

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