April 11, 2014 - submitted by Cristine, Brazil

I have been listening to Coldplay since 2006, which is the year when my godfather (who was also my uncle and someone I used to consider my father) passed away. I was only 12. Since he died, I have developed a strange sense that I should be responsible for myself as much as possible, and give my parents the least trouble as I can, to help them. But I am really tired of not asking for what I want and not being free and irresponsible even if just for a bit. What should I do?

The Oracle replies:

20 years old is probably an age where many people feel the pressure to grow up and act responsibly yet here you are having already spent the last 8 years doing that.
Your uncle's death led to you relinquishing your role of child within your family unit. There's nothing wrong with being easy to live with by the way, I'm sure your parents are grateful for the dignified way you grew up but you will always be your parents' child & are entitled to their attention and to have your needs met.
I will assume you haven't discussed your feelings with your parents but you don't have to protect them - they're supposed to protect you. If it's possible, explain how the last 8 years have been for you and the profound affect your Uncle's death had.

Don't be afraid to ask for support or help, as it may be that you didn't properly grieve for your godfather uncle.
I think you need to let your hair down, have some fun and stop being so hard on yourself. It may be hard to break the chain but free yourself - in moderation of course, there's a danger you'll go off the rails and we don't want that, do we? ;-)
Over to you.

I can understand that you're now in a difficult situation. I think it's huge what you've been doing all those years - helping parents as much as you can. Giving love is the only think that can make people happy.
But don't forget being nice isn't about not living your own life. You're coming to the age when you need to start it on your own sort of (i mean - not being always with your parents). I think all these years you've been pushing it deeper and deeper into yourself - and now it wants to strike out.
What to do? Let it stream. Ask for what you want. However, not the rude way. You should be still responsible and helpful to your parents. But responsibility isn't about always not affording anything that you like and want. It's about using these things in a proper amount: the amount that doesn't destroy you. Just go out and hang around with your friends. Your parents will be glad to see you happy outside. First I should recommend talking to your parents a bit about it.
But do not forget - there's no way letting go all the good things that you've done for years. Do not forget to love your parents still. You'll just start to love them a different way. Good luck to you! Patrik.

You should do what you can to please your parents, and it's great that you think of your parents & what will make them happy. But you also have to think of yourself, and what suits you. You need to live your life to the fullest and do what you want. A little rebellion and danger is good; healthy even. But, do still take care of yourself and be mindful of your decisions. It's your life; make it count. Ally. NC.

Part of being independent and responsible is allowing for self-care. It is not a sign of weakness to communicate to others the support that you want and need. Tell your family and friends what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Journal your frustrations, hopes, goals, and your gratitude. If you want to talk to a counselor or a mentor, ask for help finding those resources. It is a sign of strength and independence to advocate for yourself.
Do not feel guilty for asking for support or for receiving what you want and need. Be willing to receive the support and love you wish for without judging yourself harshly. We are all in this life together and it is our responsibility to nurture and care for others. Ask trusted family, friends, clergy to listen to your feelings and thoughts and to respond to you with love and support.
Best wishes, Elise J.

In truth we should all be responsible for our selves. The fact that you have developed a sense of responsibility is a good thing. Being kind and helpful to anyone - be it your parents or a complete stranger - is also a great thing. Never be frightened to ask for what you want though. You may not get it, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask.

Being free, doesn't mean being irresponsible, it means feeling free. Maybe free to express yourself; your taste in clothes, in dancing or whatever it may be. It's not so much that other people make us feel trapped, but rather we make ourselves feel trapped. Normally by the way we think about things.
Personally the most important thing that i have learned in this life is to be myself. Helpful where I can be, kind and considerate, but always myself. That is not always easy, as sometimes you feel you may upset somebody because of your own wants or needs. But you cannot put your own life on hold for others. Life is to be shared between us all. It does not belong to anyone one person.
It's normal Cristine to start wanting to make your own life. And I am sure you will. And when you do the people that matter won't mind, and the people that mind, won't matter.
Be well, Brio.

You have to learn to be responsible for your own sake and that of your family. You have to respect people who love you so you can live in harmony. Do not disrespect your elders. God bless you. Rolando.

I'm 19 and currently going through the same issue of not wanting to bother my parents for things. I recently graduated from film school and I'm in the in between of college grad and employed adult. I feel like because I'm graduated I shouldn't bother them for anything anymore, even though I'm still young (US students generally graduate around 22-23). Eventually, we discussed the issue. What they explained to me is sometimes we need to admit we need help. Sure, you want to be independent, but you also need to admit that sometimes we aren't able to provide certain things for ourselves that we need. Sometimes, we need help, and we need to be able to admit that. Also, your parents (like mine) might very well want to help you out. If they love and care about you, they'll want you to be happy and won't mind giving you what you ask for every once and awhile. Basically, level with them and with yourself. Admit there are some things you can't handle yet and ask for help. Don't be too proud. Be happy. J.D.

First of all, I think you should be proud of yourself taking your own responsibilities. I agree that you should indeed take your own responsibilities, but that doesn't mean you don't have permission to ask anything. Try to find a balance. Be responsible, but also try to ask things from others. It might sound strange, but it might be hard the first times you ask things. But I'm also pretty sure you can do it, because you learned to take your own responsibility. Now you have the responsibility to learn others about responsibility, by asking things.

There is nothing wrong with being self reliant. But when you are in need of something that you could not provide, never hesitate to ask for someone's help. After all, they're still your parents and are willing to support you.
Hoping you the best.

I want to start off by saying I'm terribly sorry for your loss. It's really hard, especially when someone close to you passes away. I lost my father when I was 15. It seems to me that you made yourself grow up too fast. You need to realize that everyone, even myself at almost 34, still need to ask for what I want/need. By holding yourself back, it's only hurting yourself. Have you talked to your parents about it? It would lift a lot off your shoulders. You can still be the responsible one, and still know when you need to ask for help. If you must be irresponsible, do it in a good way. Spend a weekend doing something for you. Just don't lose yourself in the process. Remember that you can't hold everything on your shoulders. Talk about it. Rosalie.

I think you need to figure out why you are being like this in the first place. Have your parents requested you to be more independent? Do you feel that if you weren't like this the outcome would be negative? What would happen if you were to let loose for a bit? I personally think it is all up to you, and it is your choice to decide how you act and what the consequences will be. If you aren't sure, try having a talk with your parents and sort out what's going on to clarify some things, I'm sure they'll understand. My last piece of advice is to listen to some Coldplay (doesn't that help you let loose?:) Sorry about your loss, best of luck sorting stuff out! Julia.

It's good to be responsible and to help out your parents if you can, but that doesn't mean you can't go out there and have fun! Live your life, make sure that 40 years from now you don't have any regrets and that you've missed out on as little as possible. You won't always get everything you ask for, but it's alright to be a little irresponsible from time to time, within limits of course. Good luck! Amanda.

First of all I'm very sorry for your tragic loss.
When something so life changing happens in someone's life at such a young age it can lead to a lot of confusion and in some ways frustration, for not knowing what to do.
Where do I seek help? Who do I talk to? How should I react?
By becoming responsible for yourself at such a young age, you have probably become much more mature than others in your age.
This can be a good and a bad thing, as a lot of the experience of being foolish and childish was taken away from you.
By doing so, you sadly might've taken away some of your parents duties as well.
When you become a parent, you devote your life to your children, your very being strives to raise that precious gift, and what comes with that is teaching your child how to react in situations and raising it to become a well rounded adult.
Maybe your parents didn't mind seeing you teach yourself how to become that but the best thing, in my opinion, would be to talk to your parents about how you feel and what has been going through your mind and ask them how they felt!
Not only will this bring you some closure but it will bring you closer together!
To finish off, I hope that you could relate to some Coldplay songs and that they truly helped you along the way!
Yours, Clemens.

It sounds like you made a very mature decision when you were 12, and I am sure that your parents have appreciated it very much. If I have got my maths correct, you are around 20 now, and I think it would be more than normal for you to want certain things, as you are indeed a young adult now. Everyone is unique, and has different wants and interests, and although it sounds as though you have suppressed the things you want to a degree, deep down you are no different and rightly so. Balance though is key if your family is used to you being a certain way. But you can be mature, responsible and more independent all at the same time. Have you tried talking to your family? If you think through what you want to say, and explain how you feel in a calm way, you may be surprised by the response. Have fun and stay safe! Best wishes, Diane.

The loved ones are really important for us and when we lost them feel something different. Different thoughts, different senses. These senses may disturb in the feature like yours and I'm sure that your parents want to stand by you. Talk to them, tell them what you feel and what you WANT. That's the most important thing in the life. Don't restrict yourself. Think yourself "I'm important. I know what I want. I'm good." My suggestion may sound simple but it answers the purpose, always. And one more thing, don't stop listening Coldplay. Don't panic and good luck. Oylum.

If I understood it properly, you have been acting the way you described because you wanted to. Nobody else asked you to do it, no one except yourself. Your reaction to that tragic event was to make the ones you love as happy as possible, so that you wouldn't lose any other person that's important to you (even in a psychological way), for example, by disappointing or somehow harming them. If they were happy, you were happy. But, as years passed by, you started to realize that having that behavior had consequences, which you mentioned as not being free. Well, as far as I'm concerned, every relationship has its ups and downs, and what you're doing is trying to avoid the "downs", in order to help them. However, by doing that, you're not being true to yourself, and that results in an apparently good, but "truly unrealistic" relationship with your parents. My point is: you can give them your opinion and tell them what you want, and there's nothing wrong with that. By doing this, you'll never lose them as you lost your godfather. There's no comparison. And that's what you need to understand. You can be free AND have a strong relationship, without losing them. I hope I helped. Good luck! Ana.

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