I am so @#$% SICK of the Suburbs

Guest - posted on 09/17/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )




Right now, I really hate my life. Not every aspect of it, there is some good.....just not 'enough'
I love my kid, I want only the best for him, and sometimes I know that I am the best mother for him, but other times......more often than not, I wonder if he might be better off without me.
I'm often less than rational and other times overly rational. I do not understand emotions or connections, I don't have empathy for others, nor do I expect them to have it for me. I want advice, not prayers, not sympathy, not thoughts, just a simple and effective action plan. I am impulsive and eccentric. I do not fit societal norms, nor do I see the value in conforming to them, thus I find it difficult to teach my son to do so. I have a need to run away, keep moving--too long in one place is painful, and right now I hurt. I've been hurting for two years now.

Yet, I need to stay in this hell hole of a suburb. The schools are the best in the country and my kid needs that. My husband is happy here, though I hate it. REALLY HATE IT. I look around and am disgusted by everything. The bland normalcy of it all. I hate raising my son here, but I know it is good for him.....that's how I know I am NOT good for him. A good mother would cherish the privileges of living in a "sought after neighborhood" and driving her ugly, bland, little Mercedes around her ugly, bland little suburban town, to PTA meetings and churches--I don't even believe in any of the gods!!!!--and junior league, and the stables, and the gym, and all the other crap I have to drive to in order to do what???

I want to leave, but I can't leave without depriving my son of the great schools, the stable environment, the societal norm of the "upper class" whatever that means. I can't leave without him--I could never enjoy my life. So what's left?

Nothing. What is worse for him: A mother who is unhappy to her core, or no mother at all....one whose ashes are scattered across the seas? Would he even scatter them if I left? I'd hate anyone who purposely abandoned me for death......sometimes I wish for a car crash.


Chet - posted on 09/19/2014




Okay, this is what I would do:

1. You seem like a very thoughtful and self aware person. Just talking about this and getting the feelings out is going to be helpful. If you don't have a friend or family member you feel you can really open up to maybe consider finding a therapist to help you process some of this frustration. Also, it might be helpful to start writing or journalling.

2. Even if a move isn't possible in the short term, maybe one could be possible in the long run. Do you think your husband might be more open to a discussion about a long term plan to relocate?

3. You could look for volunteer opportunities (or even a career change) that give you more genuine and human contact with people. I know that many of the communities like the one you live in have worked hard to distance themselves from certain aspects of society, and some parts of the country are just more stoic and reserved (we lived in Washington state for awhile and The Seattle Freeze was totally a thing!), but there are homeless shelters, group homes, halfway houses, hospices, kids in need of foster families and shut ins in need of support everywhere. Volunteering (or working) in the human services sector might give you the outlet you need for the time being.

4. Or travel more. Maybe a whole move isn't possible, but maybe you could go somewhere for the entire summer. Having a summer home away from home could be a way to ease into a move for your husband, or even just give you a chance to recharge your batteries.


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Guest - posted on 09/22/2014





I do see a therapist, and I have shared my thoughts with him, but he sees them more as a seasonal disillusionment and prescribed anti-depressants. I do take them, but they just make me numb, not happy, and I'm already numb, so it's not really what I needed. I've spoken to him again about discontinuing those and we'll be weening soon. He also suggested many of the things Chet mentioned.

I don't think I could ever share these thoughts or feelings with a friend or family member who has ties to me in real life because that could be potentially damaging. They are too personal and expose too many weaknesses and faults. I will try the journal though.....writing all of this out here has helped very much, so that might be it.

I do volunteer, and we do travel whenever we can...

I'm sure I'll figure it out and be fine. After all, we can feel however we want, right? So I'll just feel happy. Depending on external stimuli for emotional needs does seem a little needy and overly dependent, doesn't it??

Michelle - posted on 09/19/2014




Well I wouldn't want to live where you do with the way you have described it.
I'm in Australia and in the suburbs but we are nothing like that.
Your son will not be better off without you though, he does need his Mother around.

Guest - posted on 09/18/2014




I agree with you, but my husband will not leave. If I try to leave, I'm sure he would convince the courts that our son should stay, and I'm not leaving without him....and even if I could take him, I love my husband. I don't want to be apart from him.

The thing that bothers me is that my husband isn't considering my happiness. When I told him I was unhappy, he said my reasons were "silly" and unfounded. They might seem so to him, but to me they are very serious. Likewise, I feel his reasons for staying are unfounded....I wouldn't go so far as to call them silly, but they do not hold up.

He says he is happy here because his job is here, the school and our friends are here. We also have some family here, and we are not far from my adoptive parents. Good reasons, yes, but what about me?
Our jobs are very mobile, we can do them anywhere. We can still come to visit our friends and families.
There are no sidewalks here, it is very dangerous to walk anywhere. The people are like robots....well, all people are kind of like robots to me because I don't understand them, but these people are weirdly robotic--I never see them excited, I never see them angry, I don't even see them cry when they are sad. We went to a funeral for a friend's daughter (cancer, 8 year old) and I didn't see a single tear, just a bunch of women with straight faces dabbing kerchiefs at dry eyes and men in suits looking stoic. They never talk about current events, or hobbies or interests, they only talk about where they need to be and when and why they need to be there. They leave their mark on everything--nothing is wild, every lawn is manicured, even our "wildlife preserve" area is in the middle of an "aesthetic renovation project.".....nature wasn't pretty enough--too disorganized, the said.

I do everything I am supposed to in order to connect and form relationships. I volunteer with Junior League, I take my son to his various sports practices and events, and hang about to speak with other mothers. I serve on PTA, and attend local productions, charity dinners and galas, and other events. I throw dinner parties and attend the dinner parties other people throw, but everything is empty. It's like walking around in an ant farm.

We do travel a lot. I am always happy when we travel....even when it is a disaster. There are always people around laughing or crying or yelling at each other. I always wonder what it would be like to live in a place where people feel instead of just "do".....I have a friend who lives in Jost Van Dyke, in the British Isles. People come to visit and they laugh and tell jokes and play music to sing to. I can't remember the last time anyone told me a joke.
When we were last in Chicago, we saw homeless people. You could see sadness in their eyes, not like the empty eyes we have here. When I gave them crumpled wads of bills, they smiled and shook like nervous shivers, and sometimes tears went down their cheeks, and you didn't even have to say anything, just hand them a gift. One guy chased me down and tried to give half of my gift back. I didn't understand that at all. I told him to give it to someone else so he could see the feelings too because it won't work giving it back to me. Later, I saw him on LaSalle st with a pizza and 3 other guys and they all gave me hugs. HUGS!!!! That was the last time anyone other than my son hugged me. That was in June.

Not that I need to see other people feeling things.....I don't think that's what I'm after, or maybe it is. When I watch people feeling emotions, I feel it too, and even if it is sad or angry, it feels so good. I don't feel anything here, I need people to help me feel things like that--it's like a drug.

Chet - posted on 09/18/2014




Your child would absolutely NOT be better off without you... and kids don't need to grow up in the kind of place you're describing to succeed in life (despite what the people who live in those types of neighbourhoods might tell you).

My husband and I grew up in the suburbs, and I understand your pain. Looking back, I see the benefits of growing up in a place like that, but it's not the kind of place I want to live or raise our children. And that's okay, because it's not the only place kids can have a great childhood.

Our kids are growing up in an inner city neighbourhood. They go to a school that serves a very high needs population and that has a terrible reputation, but it's actually lovely school with lots of interesting things going on. Our kids are exposed to all kinds of things in a big city they would never see in a wealthy suburb, but I think that's giving them a breadth of experience that will benefit them in the long run.

I know that there can be enormous pressure to get kids into the "right school" and that there are schools in the US that truly are terrible, but it's not like only the kids who go to the top five elementary schools succeed in life... or that going to any of those schools guarantees success in life. The greatest predictors of a child's long term success come from the family and within the child themselves.

There are acceptable schools all over the place. Somewhere there is certainly a place where everyone in your family can be happy and have what they need.

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