Grieving my childhood


I am 27. I realized my difficulty growing up with my Mom having Schizophrenia. I had never shared that with anyone in school or college. I thought I grew up normal until one day, I became close with an older friend. Since then, I realized that I grew up by myself. My Father was working all the time and could visit the family only 30 days a year. My Mom is still alive, we have a caregiver but I do not have a relationship with her. I never got the love or relationship with my parents. I moved to a new country, made deep intimate friends, realized my childhood difficulties. I moved around for a new job and I had no time to take care of myself, no friends around. I decided to quit and visit my family again in my country to refresh my roots.

Confessing to the community


@confessing sending some big warm hugs your way.

Those deep intimate relationships you made with your friends, cherish them!

Here if i can be of any help.


I have been. I realise importance of relationship in life. I am hoping to spend quality time with my Dad as it’s been 5 years. I remember two months ago when I was at this new state working at a tech job. I had no life out of work. I had a emotional meltdown. I badly just wanted someone to hear me out.

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Welcome to this community, @confessing. I have found a lot of good support here…
I am wishing you the best as you make this change in your life and reconnect with your roots.

Thanks. How do people deal with their lost childhood? My mother needed care and support. I remember sitting in the hospital with her in 10th grade.

Welcome to the forum! I hope that by visiting your roots you find what you are looking for!

One thing I am learning lately…is to try to keep the past in the past… on focus on today… it can be a challenging thing to do at times as the past does try to rise up again… I don’t think my childhood was lost, but there were some rough moments.

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It sounds like you’ve reached a stage in your life where you are reflecting on your experiences, possibly even searching for meaning.
I definitely understand the need to feel like your words are received. The things you say are very meaningful, and I’m sure the rest of the community here would agree when I say that we are happy to hear from you!

Glad to know that you are reconnecting with family. Make the most out of it!

I’m on my way to my home country. I wish my family would understand, my lost childhood. Few years ago, I was not able to relate to my own self or feelings but I’ve developed my self to understand them and acknowledge them. I’m at a season where my lost relationship with Dad seems to be so important.

I think this might be the last time I see my family. I have an opportunity to do PhD, still debating about it. If I go that direction. I probably won’t be able to see them for a long time.

Maybe the way I’ve felt has been due to my childhood experiences. My family hasn’t been the strongest in putting family first due to my Mom. I don’t know how I’ll relate to my mom. As because of her schizophrenia, we all are affected. I will see my mom and say that I love her.

There is a possibility that earning a PhD might allow you the kind of work and lifestyle that give you the option to put family first.
From my own experience,
Getting myself away from working night shift and earning better pay has allowed me to focus on the people I care about. When I had little money and I worked way too many hours, I rarely could see my family or spend much time with them, despite the fact that we lived close enough.

So, try to enjoy your time with your family. But don’t stop yourself from reaching your own goals unless you really feel like the sacrifice will be worthwhile.

I have been in my home for the last 3 days. I cried when I saw my Dad pick me up from the airport. It has been 5+ years. I felt happy in small things like having breakfast, lunch and dinner with my Dad. I no longer feel isolated as I know the town that I grew up.

I have a strong inclination to do the Ph.D to work on a pressing problem and then start a company at the end of the program.

Meanwhile, I want to cherish the quality time with my Dad. My Mother is another town, I hope to see her. Why? Because my relationship with her hasn’t developed.


I’m really happy that I have a break and spending time home. I have to admit that I don’t think, I can do life alone by myself. I’m going to share that with my family (Dad). My Dad said to visit my Mom, she lives in another town with a care-giver. I don’t know how to bring back the relationship with my Mom. I just don’t have anything to say to my Mom other than to express my love. As she’s Schizhophrenic, she keeps changing stories.

Thanks, I mentioned to you, I am from another country. I did my Masters in America, worked for a while and now I’m in my home country. I feel the support system, comfort of familiarity much better here. I have a solid support system back in America to do a Ph.D but then again, I’d like to get married and start it, perhaps? The stress of isolation is too much in Academia.

I don’t want to come across as pressuring you to pursue a PhD.
Personally, I’m happily employed with just an associate degree. The level of education (and in which field) you seek is a personal choice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working at a level in which you are stable and comfortable!
Same goes for where you live and your lifestyle.

It sounds like you’re saying you’d like to get married first before you start working on the next level of education.
I think that’s absolutely reasonable.
Assuming you’re following the common education path at a normal pace, I guess you’d be in your mid to late twenties. Prime time to focus on building a relationship. (Though dating gets easier / more straightforward as you age, just that ideal matches become a little less available).

Regarding reconnecting with your Mom, trying counts.
The best part about being human is that we get points for good intentions and effort!

Really glad to hear that you have a relatively clear set of needs and goals. Being able to build up relationship with family, personal contentment, success in your chosen field of work and study, and to seek a fulfilling relationship is awesome. Not many people are able to do all of those things.

I’m not sure how the transition from master’s to PhD works, but I’m pretty sure the education system is flexible about the timing. If you can take a few years to work on other facets of your life that are bigger priorities right now, it makes sense to do so.
The PhD and the job opportunities will be there when you’re ready.

Thanks for sharing and responding. You are right. I am exploring career paths before I pursue the Ph.D, I have another 3-4 months to decide.

On getting married, yes, it will be nice to have a wife with same vision or goals for life.

I’ll be visiting my Mom soon. It’s going to be hard, she has lost her ability to reason. Due to a lot of past bad experiences, she stays at home most of the time and has no idea of real-world or outside world.
Either way, I have to spend quality time with her and just share that I love her.

The Stability part seems to come from familiarity, no immigration issues here in my home country, freedom to try any job I want (but competition is high). In America, I am restricted with few jobs and I never felt at home except that the univ where I plan to do Ph.D, I have enough social support there.

Thanks! You are right about Ph.D and job opportunities.

What career are you looking at, if you don’t mind me asking?

Small piece of advice from a guy who did a lot of learning the hard way, if you’re searching for that special person;
Their perspective on their struggles, as well as their level of accomplishment in career and hobbies matters a lot more than I realized before I got serious about dating.
I thought financial stability and an orderly house were just bonus, but they ended up being fundamental to my being able to connect with another person on a spiritual / intellectual / respect level.
At my age, if someone doesn’t have some measure of organization ability and some financial freedom, they really haven’t been trying. Someone who isn’t trying isn’t going to like living with someone like me (who never quits and is always hungry for success as I define it personally).
Everyone will say that’s what they like. Everyone will say they are comfortable with their significant other pursuing work and hobbies and goals.
But few people actually like the personality traits that go along with it (opinionated, disciplined, responsible, enthusiastic). People who aren’t those things themself find those traits to be flustering or tiring.

Anyway, I think seeing your mom and telling her you care about her is the important thing for both of you. Even if you have trouble relating to each other, or can’t share nostalgic memories together. Demonstrating compassion and respect are enough.
I hope it goes really well. But I think telling her you love her is enough that you can feel good about the interaction, no matter how difficult it could possibly be.

Well, I’m looking at Research Careers or RnD jobs after Ph.D. I am waiting to hear from this Prof for funding. On dating, I come from a non-western culture and it is family dating, knowing the family as a whole.

True, with my Mom. I could even find a job close to my family, we’ll see, I’m going to try and see what works out. I think in my last job, I had an emotional breakdown as I worked 15 hours and didn’t have anyone to share about my life. I couldn’t help myself but to resign. Eh, I can catch up on my career once I fulfill my purpose of spending time with Dad/Mom soon.

In my culture, people don’t express their feelings.

Research positions can be difficult to break into. Most people who land a long-term research position never leave.
Might be a good idea to try starting with a government project (depending upon your field of study). For STEM research, most federal governments, major city governments and militaries have seasonal or short term research projects that can help pad a person’s resume. Outside of STEM fields, I’m pretty useless for info, though.
Intense work schedules are pretty much the unwritten standard among jobs younger people can apply for. Assuming any project you’d be hired for would come at 50+ hours a week, or nights and weekend, or frequent travel; my personal goal would be to land a job that leads directly into the next opportunity. Planning not to stay at any one position for more than 2 years.
But my path is significantly different from yours in both experience and education.
You might actually have the option to just keep applying for dream jobs until you land one, ignoring the less-than-ideal offers.
At very least, find something that offers vacation time and use it -before- you start feeling overwhelmed.

There is nothing wrong with being publicly reserved about emotions. But I think it’s important to have a small circle of close family or friends where you can express yourself in healthy ways. Being able to tell someone else “I’m stressed out!” And have them tell you, “That’s okay. Let’s find a way for you to unwind.” Is super healthy. Vital, even.

I am not a U.S Citizen, my options are limited. Well, I couldn’t have that circle back in U.S in a new place at work.

I don’t know how deeply homogeneous your home country’s culture is. But if I learned anything from living abroad; public facade aside, people aren’t very different.
Even in Japan, there is are neat little boxes of normalcy people pack themselves into. But then there are the real interests, lifestyles and attitudes they express behind closed doors. Assuming people are people, I think it’s safe to believe that you can find people in your home country who are emotionally and intellectually intelligent enough to know the difference between the two, and with who the latter is appropriate. Ideally, the pomp and circumstance would only last the first couple of dates. Just enough time for “the dating game” to serve it’s purpose.
With the right person, anyway.