Why cant i just be happy

I finally got to see my mark for my English 12 summer course. I got 96%. Im proud of myself, but its like my family doesnt care. I came home, told my dad (who was stoned as hell btw) and he just said “oh ok cool good for you.” My brother kept saying i only did well because i took the easy way out and my mom was for once supportive but then called me bitchy for being upset with my dad.

Maybe im being selfish for expecting so much of them but a little praise is nice. Is it so hard for my dad to say “im proud of you” and mean it? Why cant they at least pretend to give half a fuck about me. That asshole was more enthusiastic about Scarface being added to Netflix then my straight A’s…

Im an idiot. I shouldnt expect anything of him, he hasnt proven himself reliable in any way shape or form. Why the fuck do i still care? Should parents care about stuff like tjis? Am i the idiot for relapsing (drinking AND cutting again because i was so sad/mad/upset because it feels like no matter what i do for my familys praise i will never be enough). I feel so stupid and in pain. Fuck


I felt dissapointed by my father often in different ways. I learned to never expect anything from anyone. Expectations are useless anyway. Why not live in the present moment, rather than expectations and memories? This instant right now is all we need and all we have. You might want to see a therapist, the dissapointement my father caused is one of the topics with my therapist.

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At the root of a disappointment lives an expectation. I’ve learned that most of my disappointments are caused by myself setting unrealistic expectations in life. This is almost always the case when ever I set expectations for how other people should behave.

Perhaps your father was really proud, but just doesn’t know how to portray his emotions?
Perhaps he thought that in bigger picture of your life, it wasn’t a big deal?
Perhaps you had set your standard so high by performing so well that it had become the norm?

Not trying to belittle how this made you feel. Just trying to help see some reasons why these kinda things usually happened to me. And usually it was at least partly my own doing.
It’s important to understand that we don’t control how the surrounding world makes us feel.
How ever we look at this it’s clear that we are responsible for how we deal with our emotions. This is a good moment to take this as a learning opportunity. Next time a similar situation hits you. You can start by analyzing what was your part in all this…and then as time progresses try and alter that. That’s the only thing we can change, ourselves.

Wishing well :slight_smile:


I know that pain. I have felt it in almost every interaction with my father for the past 50 years. It hasn’t ever ended for me. I am now finally in a head space of absolutely living my life my way and not expecting anything positive from him. Please try to build yourself up- YOU ARE WORTHY. You rate. You are smart. You work hard. They will (probably) not ever change. But YOU can live well. Grieve for it but know it , sadly, has nothyto do with you. Only love to you… :purple_heart:


First of all, I’m not sure what English 12 is but 96% sounds like an amazing score so very well done!

My dad sounds similar to yours minus the being stoned. When I was a teenager massive chunks of my head hair fell out from stress and one day I decided to take back some control and shave the rest of it off. When my dad saw it the first thing he said was “I hate that. You look like a idiot.”
He has given me massive self esteem issues that I am working on in therapy at the moment.

But one thing i have come to realise is that those things are on him. They are not a reflection of me or my actions. They are his own shortcomings and fuck ups that stem from him being broken somewhere. Nothing I ever did would have been good enough. I havent spoken to him in over a decade.

By any measure, getting such a high mark in a test is brilliant. At the very least it shows you have really put the work in and got a brilliant result because of that. If your dad cant acknowledge that then I reckon that’s because of his own emotional stuntedness, and not a reflection on you.

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Exactly right! @Kipper


I felt the exact same way growing up in my parents home. A’s are definitely something to be proud of even when no one else seems to be. Im alot older now and i recently went back to college. I can relate to the sense of accomplishment. It is a wonderful feeling to do something challenging and see your hard work pay off. No one can take that from you! Don’t let anyone rain on ur parade. Im going to assume englsih 12 is 12 grade english. If that is the case then maybe look into college even if you have to go away to school and remove yourself from a toxic household. You obviously are very capable and definitely with those grades have a suoer bright future ahead of you. Just remember your future is yours alone!

I deeply believe that’s key.

You might think that it is hard, and sad to let go of your expectations. Growing up all of us has those as well as many fals believes. I am going to assume that you are in your teenage-very young adult years. I think with all the changes going on in your brain, body and soul currently you are in one of the challenging parts of life. Just the realization that you have a problem and also succeeding academically deserves a big-nice hug -from you. You not have to but GOT TO parent yourself. I think meditation and self-education can help you tremendously. And by meditation I mean all relaxing me time. Walk away, run away, cook away, paint away your pain…And also it seems parents realize our accomplishments later in life… right now I receive their proud words, but I don’t really need any of those. It feels good.

I wish you well and if you need any recommendation including podcasts, books write me :slight_smile:

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OK…bit of Dad advice here: things that you are passionate about, or that are important to you, may not seem so to others, as these aren’t their passions or priorities. So, they can be happy for you, but not necessarily happy, because they aren’t you.

When our kids are little, parents treasure every scribble on a piece of paper as something that should be hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But as the kids get older, grow more independent, they require less affirmation from their parents, or this is the idea.

If getting A’s in English wasn’t a priority for your Dad, he can only appreciate your accomplishment so much. If he says “good for you” take it as a genuinely positive thing, and move on. You know how hard you worked. Let the good grade be enough for you.

Let me put it another way: I am a martial arts student. Fighting has become my passion. I built a garage dojo in which I work out every day. I attend 4-5 classes a week at my school. I watch combat sports every Friday and Saturday night. In two weeks I test for my Brown belt. When I receive it, I will be immensely proud. If my wife says “good for you”, I’m not going to be disappointed in her, as fighting is not her passion. She can be happy for me, but can never feel what I feel, unless she were to start in martial arts herself.

So be happy. You earned the grade, and no one can take that away from you.


Relapsing is on you but other people not giving a shit is on them. That is especially harsh when those other people are family and friends but it is true as the sky is blue.

There is a stigma towards people who suffer from addictions and depression. Trying to get your happiness through the validation of others or worldly gain is a dead end that leads to hopelessness and relapse. Focus on your own goals and sobriety first. I start with my Faith and work forward from there.

God blessed me with catching a 15" bass yesterday and that got my fishing mojo going so I am going later to hopefully catch a bigger one. That makes me happy…


I will never understand uninvolved/nonchalant parents… Let me just tell you, it’s not you, it’s THEM. Actually, it’s both of you. Unfortunately you were born wanting a certain kind of attention/affection (which is exactly how you should be because that’s how you are… And I don’t mean that you are needy, I just mean you want something that they aren’t providing). When I think about things in this manner, I try to cut them (my parents) some slack but more importantly, lower my expectations of my parents as well. Accepting that they are how they are has helped me move past feeling really hurt by how indifferent they seem to be towards me.

There’s a whole movement about “re parenting” yourself because for one reason or another, parents for the last handful of generations have been less and less connected with their kids. Again, I don’t mean parents have to dote on them hand and foot… But everyone is SUPER busy, or giving each other the wrong kind of attention. Just genuine, being in the moment attention.

Anyways, I think I’m rambling and this is a sensitive subject for me.

I’m proud of your A, that’s a great accomplishment… School is such a difficult time imo and it’s hard to keep motivation. If you’re doing it AND getting good grades, you’re doing amazing in my eyes.


You aren’t selfish and you aren’t an idiot!!!

But I will say that the only person who needs to be proud of your achievement is you. Say out loud, maybe even in front of your family, “I’m so proud of myself for this grade I got” and be happy for yourself. Who cares what the others think or say. Maybe even celebrate by doing something nice for yourself. I’m not sure what that would be for you…I’m usually quite partial to quiet hot baths. LOL

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Lots of good advice! I’ll try to add, but I’m sure it’s probably already been said.

I come from a very poor family, educational has never been a priority and anything in the sense of a career has always been out of their reach.

In the meantime, to better me, to meet my expectations and to accomplish my goals. I did the daily grind to complete my Masters, and In turn became fairly successful in my trade.

Many in my family seemed to be jealous, and others just thought I had money falling off of trees, lol. More money, more problems and more bills! Lol.

The only person you need recognition from is yourself! You put in the discipline and time to meet your goals, where as others will never understand your sacrifice!

So, I won’t say your being selfish… I will say, that expecting others to be proud of you is.

Personally, just like when I was fighting to be more self aware and being accountable for my actions. I had to recognize, this is for me and no one else! So, to torture yourself and make that your cause for your relapse is self destructive.

Last but not least, the only person that can make you Happy, is yourself! You can’t expect others to do it for you.

As the parent of an adult child, perhaps I can offer a bit of perspective: it’s a difficult dance to maintain the right amount of engagement. I have to give him the space to grow, and yet still be a parent. Tough for me, for you see I was pretty much on my own at 18, and yet I wasn’t. The Marine Corps became my parent. I was married at 21 and a father at 22. At 23 I had a mortgage.

I contrast this to my son, whose had engaged parents for his whole life. He actually rebelled and chafed against his mother, my ex. When he was ready for a real relationship with me, he was the same age I was when he was born.

So parenting an adult child is a challenge. The temptation to swoop in and solve all his and his brides problems, using my accumulated means and life-experiences is huge, but I know that struggles make us stronger. I know that we must learn to generate our own satisfaction, build our own lives. One handed to us is valued less.

But I do tell him I’m proud of the man he’s grown to be, and while I may have a different approach to some things, I do think he’s making good life choices. My daughter-in-law is a fantastic person, from a very large family, with two wonderful parents. They happen to live on the other side of the country. My wife and I have taken on the duty to be real parents to her as well.

I can see why the parents of old said “you are an adult, my job is done.” Parenting adults ain’t easy.