"A lot of people sacrificed everything for me to have this life. I don't want to be ungrateful, but that's a lot of pressure."
"I feel like one person with my family, and a different person out in the world. Why do I have to hide parts of myself?"
"I know they want the best for me, but I wish I could decide that for myself."
Are you the "black sheep" of your family?
As a child of immigrants, or an immigrant yourself, you may feel conflicting feelings of gratitude and obligation for the sacrifices your parents made.
Typical American rites of passage into adulthood may start to feel like disloyalty to your family, your culture, and somehow, your entire country.
College. Career. Dating. Marriage. Independence. Tradition. These hold specific meanings for you.
You start to feel like a foreigner to your family. And are reminded of your otherness among your peers.
Bicultural communities don't see themselves represented in mainstream America. What effect does this have on your mental and emotional health, or how you relate to others? Could it be part of the reason you struggle with feeling heard, understood, and fitting in?
Why a culturally affirming therapist?
Many of my clients are of Asian or Latinx descent. They tell me that they've met with other therapists who were "fine," but that they didn't really get it.
We can't just say, "You know, tell your mom to get out of your business!" or "Hmm, that sounds like a co-dependent relationship," and call it a day.
That doesn't fly with moms from the old country!
There may have been a time in your past when you just wished for a family that wasn't so different. But you're done erasing your heritage, and you want a therapist who understands that.
You don't want aspects of your culture to be "diagnosed" as the reason for your depression. You don't want to spend your therapy sessions explaining "how your family does things" to your therapist. You just need to vent about how you feel like no matter what you do, it's not right.
One of the trickiest things about getting help is making sure the person "gets" you. That's why we go to our friends and family first - we don't have to explain everything!
But if you need more help than they can give, you want a therapist who understands where you're coming from (literally).
I specialize in helping individuals and couples negotiate boundaries between their original family and their chosen family. This is even more complex for inter-cultural and interracial couples.
Are you one of the only people in your family to come out as LGBTQ+, or to partner with someone outside of your culture? Do your parents deny your sexual orientation or gender identity?
Did you decide on a "forbidden" career path?
Is this just one more way you have "disappointed" your parents?
Do you decide to follow your own choices or meet your parents' expectations? Do you have to choose?
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I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my family is from Afghanistan. I especially welcome my South Asian and East Asian American neighbors! For those interested, I have familiarity with Islam and Muslim culture but am not a religious therapist.
If you're feeling like you're a constant "disappointment" to your family, even though you're actually doing pretty well, let's talk about it!
Call me for a free consultation at (562) 704-4736, or click below to send me a message. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals and couples of all genders and orientations in Long Beach, Seal Beach, and surrounding areas.