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Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Context is that I’m 22F student still studying and working part time, whose the sole provider for a household of 4. Household is made up of my mentally disabled mom, brother (16), and sister (8). Our father passed when I was 15, so I’ve been forced to work and provide since.


I’m so tired all the time, I hate living like this…the burden on my shoulder is so heavy…this isn’t the life I envisioned for myself. I hate having 3 dependents at such a young age, due to no fault of my own

To make matters worse, I work a job that pays me peanuts and I keep applying to full time positions in my degree but can never get past the interview stage…each rejection instils the fear that ill never get out of my home situation and will constantly collect crumbs to collect more crumbs

And if the above isn’t bad enough, my mums is planning to forcibly marry me off once I graduate. I come from one of those cultures where forced/arranged marriages are standard.

I’m dying to leave but it’s not so easy when you’re the sole provider. The odds are so stacked against me, my friends/advisers are always shocked that I’m still functioning and haven’t jumped off a bridge yet.


Netizens’ comments

  1. This is an oxygen mask situation – you have to save yourself before you can save anyone else
  2. When you say your mother is disabled, but is well enough to marry you off, i’m going to assume she has an abi or a personality disorder.
    You should leave, cut ties. The job can be the trigger for this- it will enable you to rent your own place.
    If you’re getting interviews you’ll eventually get the job. In general companies will only interview if you’re in the ballpark to get the job, otherwise its a waste of their time. See if you can get feedback where you’ve been unsuccessful to improve your interview technique.
    I know you’re only venting but the best advice i can give you is that no one is coming to save you. No one is going to make this situation better unless you decide to change it yourself
  3. Well, for starters you have the option to say no. This isn’t the 1700s where you cant choose your own wedding. You dont have anything to lose.
  4. The reality is, if you want to escape poverty you have to have some time when you aren’t saving everybody else so you can save yourself. You can’t do it with a person attacking you all the time. I helped out my mother a lot as I was building myself up, but she’s sweet and supportive. I would’ve had to keep some distance if she was holding me back.
    You have some work cut out for your here. But first get your mindset right….this is your life, your choice. You have the power because everybody needs you. Also, you deserve respect for your contributions.
    Decide if you want to continue to accommodate your mother at all. Obviously shut down the marriage thing. Put your foot down and set boundaries to give one last chance, be prepared to leave her behind.
    Based on your choice above, talk with your brother. You were 15 when you took over. He can step up now too. Be candid with him. It’s a shit situation and while you’re eldest, it’s not solely on you to make sure him and little sister are ok.
    If I were you, I’d attempt to take my siblings with me. It’s still a ton of responsibility, but if your brother is a teammate, it could actually feel a lot lighter.
    He can get a part time job and help you. If you decide you want to move on your own, then work with your brother beforehand to figure out if there are relatives they can move to.
    Then revisit your job hunting/career strategy and reconsider your location and behavior to reduce cost of living. You’re correct that getting the right salary is key.
    See a career counselor at school and get help—-spin up your resume the best you can, join career related clubs, and research what people who graduate with your degree do to get sufficient salaries.
    Do practice interviews or request feedback to figure out if there’s something you can do at the interview stage to have more success.
    My approach was to prepare of course so my answers were great, but also a lot of smiles and display of genuine interest/curiosity into the interviewer.
    Usually try to find a way to demonstrate I have something in common with the interviewer. I’ve even gone so far as to tell myself affirmations about the organization or role to get pumped up before hand. I think that positive energy is contagious—just don’t go too extreme and scare ppl. Lol
    Also keep your costs down.
    Watch out for any poverty traps (and warn your brother)— bad debt, loser friends and romantic interests that harm you financially, babies you can’t afford, etc. You have no safety net so step carefully.
    Finally do your best to find joy in your life. Treat yourself when you can. Find a way to have a mini-escape for at least 30 min everyday.
    Whatever you can to rejuvenate yourself because this is a marathon.
    When you drop your mom, I think that will probably make the biggest difference. That and when you land your job—which is only a matter of time.
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