Not Feeling Supported By My Parents

For the longest time, I just wanted someone to sympathize with me my problems.  I just wanted someone to care.  They don't have to relate... though that'd be nice, (though I feel horrible because then I'd feel I wish others went through the same thing. ) but it's true, that I'd want someone else to relate to.  Who did the same thing as I did - left school to learn.

Basically, I randomly and coincidentally discovered the Teenage Liberation Handbook.  I thought at first, "it sounds nice, but nah.. I couldn't leave school."  but tha tfollowing summer, only maybe a week away, I decided not to go back my senior year.  At first, I didn't leave school particularly to learn.. I was like many kids who associated learning with school work.  I just wanted OUT.

Basically, without going into too much detail... I feel like I don't belong in this family.  A lot of ideas I bring up to them they react with hostility it seems like, especially my dad, who laughs at me often in a ridiculing manner.  I don't know about my dad, because I don't talk to him much anyways (why would I want to talk to someone who ridicules everything I say?), but I know my mom GRADUALLY has supported my decision.  I can't help but think if I was in a different family, they would've been more involved with my learning... we would've had tons of interesting conversations, they would try to seek to understand me instead of just saying "I want to understand you" and then, it seems, not even try to.  People who agreed that autodidactism/unschooling is better than school... I don't know.  Maybe I'd be asking for too much, then.

I feel so alone though.  It seems a lot of unschoolers (autodidactism is basically the same thing as unschooling... I usually call myself an autodidact, but Grace Llewellyn got me into it, so I know more of unschooler accounts than autodidacts') have parents that have supported them, that never said "You can't do that!", that thought everything that that child/teen wanted to do was impossible, that would always annoyingly tell them "well you have to have money to do that" when it's obvious I need money for things....

Sometimes I dream of finding a family that will always be there for me and understand me, that will take the place of this family whom I don't feel as much connected with as I could've been.  A group of close-knit friends, I'd figure, who'd always listen with care and compassion, not so if at all judgemental...

This doesn't seem like the kind of post one would get the impression that this member was happy to be an autodidact, but I am.  I don't regret my decision, even if I feel I'm alone in feeling how Awesome it is that I am an autodidact. 


But I had to tell someone, anyone... So at least if people ridicule me here, like many other parts of the internet are capable of, I doubt I'll be here to see it anyway... If anyone wants to be autodidact/unschool penpals, and didn't think of this post as a bunch of whining, and you're a sympathetic person who wouldn't feel bothered when I rant to them, and hey, maybe you're looking for someone to be there for you, too (I try there to be there for others as much as I can).... drop me a line.  rukisrad(at)

Ruki Ruki
18-21, F
2 Responses Mar 24, 2009

I'm also self-educating at this time, only I attempted college and ended up failing out of it...not because I wasn't intelligent enough to understand the material, but because I learn better on my own. I do differ slightly because I do wish to eventually try to return to the academic world, but in my own, good time, and after doing a great deal of self-teaching to get a good background of the prerequisites of what I want to study (astronomy and physics). My stepdad isn't as rude as your dad sounds, but he is rather dubious about the whole thing. I'm essentially teaching myself the math I need to take all my physics courses (and physics is something I'm able to understand qualitatively but I need to truly grasp the math behind it in order to grasp it quantitatively - any physicists will advise someone before they even take an introductory physics course to have a full understanding of algebra, trig and calculus first), and am going to practice German on my own for my foreign language. There are exams called CLEP (College level examination program I think is what that stands for), which are a way to earn college credits. Each institution handles them differently, but the community college I'll be getting my transfer degree from (so I can transfer to a university's astronomy program) allows you to take this exams in order to earn credit in an equivalent course.<br />
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I love math. I have a good time learning it - MY way. I like going at it at my own pace, giving myself time to truly break the learning curve. Therefore I decided to be a "homeschooled" college student for awhile. I think my stepdad just thinks I can't do it - he's not outwardly rude like your dad is, but I think he wishes I could just do school the normal way like everyone else. My mom is kind of like yours - is just happy I'm happy with the way I'm doing it.<br />
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Good luck with your endeavors. I think we all want our parents' approval on some level, and it sucks when we don't get it...but somewhere along the way we have to learn that our lives exist for us, not them. They birthed us, but we honestly don't have to conform to what they want from us after a certain age. Our thoughts, personalities, and actions are not theirs, they belong to us. I hope like you hope that we can get to a place of self-satisfaction without needing to feel approval from our dads. <br />
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I would try to at least tell him that you don't appreciate him being rude to you, and then after that avoid the subject of your unschooling. If he doesn't get the idea after that, for your own sanity I would limit your contact with him as much as possible without limiting your contact with your more supportive parent. Peace and love, and happy learning!

Hi again, you might or might not know me >_>"<br />
*cough*'berry'*cough*<br />
Just wanted to comment and say, I know exactly how you feel. Neither of my parents like my unschooling either, I'm told I'm a failure all the time, I'm a bad influence on my siblings, etc.<br />
It becomes hard to build a thick skin without keeping out all the ones you love as well...sigh...<br />
Good luck dearest!