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Topic: PLEASE HELP - My parents are going to hate me

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. RQuartz
    RQuartz avatar
    4 posts
    8 November 2021

    I just found out I failed my first year of medical school.

    Even writing that sentence, I did it with a heavy feeling in my heart. I’m absolutely begging anyone to please hear me out because I desperately need advice.

    First, I’ll need to give some context. I’m in my late teens (and considered quite young among my cohort), and my entire life, I have been extremely studious. For this, I must owe a lot of credit to my overbearing father. Ever since childhood, he has always pushed me to study and I’ve always listened. During my final year of high school, I was pushed beyond breaking point. It’s a long story, but over that year, I developed severe anxiety. It got to the point where I could barely eat, drink or leave the house. Even today, I struggle with leaving the house and am slowly going through exposure therapy (it has been a long healing process due to COVID restrictions).

    I have struggled intensely, yet all this time, my father never knew. He still doesn’t know. It is hard to describe the type of person he is but he would never understand. He is extremely belittling towards people with mental health disorders. My mother knows, and supports me as much as she can whilst keeping it from my father.

    We had all our classes online this year because of COVID restrictions, and I didn’t make a single friend in my new university cohort. The degree is the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken in my life - and my university makes this course notoriously difficult. One thing led to another, and despite my best efforts, I failed. Our results have not come out yet, but I have been informed that I have failed a threshold exam with no opportunity to remediate. I will have to repeat this entire year all over again. I really did not expect it.

    I am so afraid. My mother will be disappointed and probably won’t speak to me for days. My father will go back to berating me all year. He might get physical. He might kick me out (I have no income and no family besides my parents in this country, so I would be screwed). I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know what to do after I inevitably let him know. Please, I’m absolutely begging someone to give me some advice here. My mind is going wild and I am considering every option. I no longer wish to exist and I really am holding on with every ounce of my being.

    Repeating is going to be awful. Another year stuck on a campus which I am afraid to be in (my anxiety is so awful that I can barely go shopping - imagine me stuck in a room with many other students for hours). My father will hate me. He will unleash his anger on my mother. She will be crying from the way he treats her and it will be all my fault. I won’t have anyone. I don’t deserve anyone. My mother is such an angel and she doesn’t deserve someone as broken and awful as me. I love her so much, and she deserves the best. She says she’s proud of me, but I often wish she wouldn’t. I know I’m worthless, and everytime she says she’s proud of me, it reminds me of how she doesn’t know what it's like to have a child truly worth being proud of. And it’s all my fault.

    And despite everything, I love my father. I love the father that I’ve gotten to know this year. The one that tells me how wonderful I am for being a future doctor, the one that smiles with pride when his friends ask about me, the one that buys me treats to reward me for being in medical school. I can’t believe I am going to lose him the moment I tell him I failed, and he will be replaced with the old version, the father that berates me all the time. I am going to miss him so much.

    Sometimes, I really do feel alone in this world.

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6136 posts
    8 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz
    Hi RQuartz,

    Thank you for sharing this here. We're so sorry to hear you're feeling this way. Please know that this community is here for you.

    We're concerned about you and what your going through right now. We think that it is really important that you talk to someone about these thoughts and feelings, so please give the Beyond Blue helpline a ring directly on 1300 22 4636 to talk things through with the lovely counsellors. A few more options are KidsHelpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 44, and Headspace on 1800 650 890
  3. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6136 posts
    8 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz
    Hi RQuartz,
    Hopefully we'll hear from the community at some point. In the meantime, we hope you're able to be kind to yourself, and to feel some pride in the bravery it took to post here today. 

  4. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    1714 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hello RQuartz,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm not in a good position to advise you. I think we are from completely different backgrounds & perspectives. I read your posts, & I am saddened by so much pressure being put on you, so little support, & the effect all of this is having on you.

    I do want to make it clear to you, you are not responsible for your father's expectations, his feelings, his behaviour towards you & your mum. That is all on him. Exactly as you are not to be blamed for COVID-19 restrictions, how the Uni didn't support you or other students; no, you are not to be blamed for anything or anyone not in your control.

    I just cannot imagine how much more difficult your year could have been.

    We know your father's dreams & expectations for you, but what are your own dreams, goals & plans for your own life?

    There is so much more to life than fulfilling your father's ambitions ,& becoming a doctor. So many directions a life can take & still be a successful & admirable life.

    I've got to stop for now, but I am looking forward to hearing from you again.


  5. RQuartz
    RQuartz avatar
    4 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Honestly, being a doctor was always my own dream and it still is. I still plan to do whatever I can to get through medical school and fulfil it. I always have understood that failure is constantly a possibility, and it was something I had considered before pursuing this path. Personally, I don't feel like I have disappointed myself so long as I have tried my hardest.

    Unfortunately, my biggest concern right now is the way my parents will react to the bad news, and what this may mean for me throughout the next year. Their reactions to everything and the way my dad treats me when he's disappointed is what causes me the greatest deal of stress, and if anything, it is only hindering my progress. But even knowing this, I can't help but continue to be affected by all this - even if I were to try and ignore it. If he kicks me out, I will truly be out of a place to go. If he chooses to constantly berate me, my mental health and confidence will only continue to plummet. Even accepting that my university's lack of support is part of what caused this whole predicament doesn't resolve the fact that it will likely continue to affect me in the future - if the university was this hopeless at providing us any form of support during a crisis such as COVID, I can't help but imagine how little support we get during normal circumstances.

    I truly wish there were any steps I could take to preventing all these aforementioned things from becoming an obstacle, but I am at a loss. This is not something I feel comfortable talking to my parents about, seeing as they are essentially the issue, or any of my friends, which is why I am seeking help through this forum. Would you possibly have any advice in this situation? Looking forward to hearing back.


  6. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1543 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuartz,

    I love your user name because to me it means rose quartz which is a beautiful soft pink crystal that has a meaning of self love.

    Have you thought about giving yourself some self love?

    You are amazing wow …even though you have failed your first year of medical school I think you are amazing just to be doing this 😊 You can always try again and you will pass it eventually just keep trying…. You sound determined so I’m sure one day you will become an amazing doctor!

    Im so sorry that your Dad behaves the way he does…. I understand that it is really difficult….. please know that’s a reflection of him and not you!

    I understand you are finding it hard to talk to your parents about this that’s understandable, have you thought about writing them a letter? You could let them know how you have been feeling and how their expectations make you feel…. Maybe if they are aware of this they can work on changing their behaviour? Let them know you are not going to give up but you need them to be more understanding and supportive.

    I understand you have severe anxiety, I understand this is incredibly hard to deal with…… I suffered with this aswell mine was OCD it was just horrible…… I couldn’t function at times when it was highly severe…. I seeked professional help and I’ve now recovered the severe anxiety is gone…. It would have been hard to study while going through this… I understand…

    You aren’t responsible for the reactions of others…..including your parents.

    Have you thought about speaking to a gp about the way your anxiety makes you feel and how it’s affecting your life?

    You could do a mental health together this will allow you to see a psychologist who can give you many strategies for anxiety…. You can learn to manage your anxiety you really can you just need professional help to teach you the skills.

    Im here if you have any questions

    Everything will be ok…. Just slow down and breathe ❤️

  7. BlueBorder
    BlueBorder avatar
    8 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuarz,

    Firstly from your posts, you really do have the world on your shoulders and it sounds like you are being so tough on yourself. I think the first thing you need to tell yourself is that you do deserve happiness and friends and everything that life has to offer. Your father is not your fault. If he is awful to your mother because of something that has happened to you, this is not your fault. His actions are solely his responsibility.

    I went to uni, I didn’t do medicine and I failed a lot! And that wasn’t during Covid either so it happens to all of us. I finished over 10 years ago now and guess what? I am thriving and I am happy and I have a great career. I tell you this because you are not alone in failing something in life and while it’s difficult now it’s these events that turn into our biggest lessons.

    Now, the biggest issue is how your father will react. It sounds like he is quite scary and that your low self esteem is most likely a product of how you have been treated. You said you don’t have any income, could you get a job? You currently struggle or can’t leave the house due to anxiety, I think the first step is getting yourself a mental health plan from your GP, Telehealth is still an option, and then finding yourself a professional that can help you. I speak about getting a job because this will open up so many things for you, independence, new friends and perhaps the ability to move out of home.

    Lastly, is this something you even need to tell your parents? Could you repeat the year without them finding out? If this is something you can do and it would ease the burden while you sort through your anxiety and perhaps buys you time to get your mental health on track then it’s definitely worth considering!

    Please seek outside help and please do not feel you don’t deserve the best in life.

  8. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3365 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuartz,

    Welcome and looks like you're getting some good support here.

    OK so I used to be involved with medical students training in my career - in a support and supervisory position (but I'm not a doctor). I worked at a university and teaching hospital.

    The university should have a counselling service and there should be a support /advisory person just for the medical faculty that you can go to for help and advice.

    We had problems with students performing poorly who were pushed too hard by their parents! So you are definitely not alone in this.

    You need to be sure medicine is what you truly want to study, and you also need to have the right attributes to perform the role well.

    The university has to make sure you are up to the standard required to be safe to continue. They've decided on this occasion that you are not.

    I know it's tough but it's for the good of everyone. We used to be concerned about students who really were better suited to a different field of study. However others had personal problems that just needed attending to so they could continue successfully. We used to get support for family and financial issues that were impacting students.

    I really hope you go to an adviser and seek assistance about your performance and future studies. They want to help you.

    You should discuss the parental pressure you are under as it's clearly distressing for you.

    They can also get you assistance with your anxiety and isolation.

    I did know a very good doctor who got through his entire anatomy course without ever actually attending, but I don't recommend this! It was because he was so shy and anxious!

    I truly hope you get the support and advice you need and maybe your family will be prepared to take some advice to back off a bit!

    You can't change the fail grade, but you can get help to ensure you succeed in the future. This is not the end of your career. You do need to take steps to ensure that you pass next year and you can if you get help now.

    Please talk to people in the faculty. If you have studied at a hospital at all yet, they should have staff to assist you.

    Good luck, I've seen students succeed with a bit of support and hard work! Don't give up at this stage if medicine is what you really want to do!

    Cheers 🙂

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3365 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Just as an example - we had a bright student who was failing due to immense financial difficulties and parental pressure. We found him a cheaper rental and got him some advice about dealing with his family.

    He went on to pass well after failing his surgery placement.

    So do ask for advice and assistance - in his case he went from Distinction grades to failing which caused us to directly go to him and find out what was going on.

    The staff will appreciate you trying to get help sooner rather than later. Good luck!

  10. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    quirkywords avatar
    13027 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz


    Thanks so much for reaching out.

    Firstly doing first year medicine is hard but with covid and pressure from your parents you have had difficult time.

    I agree with Hanna about contacting the counselling service.
    also when I was at uni many years ago you could ask for extenuating circumstances on your result. If you have have evidence that the faculty need not supply enough support during the pandemic , they may review your result or offer you the chance to resubmit some work.

  11. tranzcrybe
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    tranzcrybe avatar
    656 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Conditional love is not love - the same applies to friendships. Your father loves you for as long as you make him proud; and you love your father only when he praises you.

    I wonder if your father is also a doctor, for only one in such position would have any authority to comment. If not, it is time you made a stand (respectfully) to remind him of the trials of this year - even in 'good times' there is a high attrition rate for first year students (and let's not forget those who pass through nefarious means!).

    You're a good kid but not living to your own design and repeating a year will give you solid grounding as a way to discover yourself and where your strengths are (perseverance being the topic de jour).

    Pursuing your goals is difficult when the credit is vicariously taken away from your achievements and where anything less is contemptible.

  12. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    1714 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuartz,

    I see some great advice coming your way.

    I am very pleased you do want to become a doctor. You might emphasise to your parents, that you're not quitting, that you have every intention of pushing through towards your goal.

    When, your father starts berating you, could you point out that "this is not helping", & what you need is his support, his & encouragement more than ever, not to be rejected. I'm notsure how anything like this might go down, if you would need to repeat your needs several times before he seems to hear. You know him, I don't, so if you don't think it would be safe to try then we'll have to try something else.

    Whatever else you choose, I'd take Hanna3's experience & advice very seriously.


  13. Juliet_84
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Juliet_84 avatar
    617 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuartz,

    The reality is that medicine is incredibly hard and not everyone will succeed. It is an achievement to even make it this far and into the course. If this is really what you want to do, then you need to take this failure in your stride and keep pushing on. Medicine is a grueling course and an even more grueling career so you must be prepared to fail along the way and have to repeat and sacrifice etc to achieve your dream. IF this is truly your dream then it will be worth it. However, are you sure that this is really what you want to do (I.e for the right reasons) and you haven’t just internalized that this is a way of making your parents proud? Your father will get over this failure. It’s unrealistic to expect you to be perfect at everything all the time, some degrees are harder than others and so failing is more of a reality. It’s very easy for someone to sit back and expect perfection but he’s not a doctor (I assume?) so he can’t put all that pressure on you. Rather than try and hide it from him, I think that you need to sit down and explain that all this pressure is having an extremely negative effect on you, and in reality means that you are more likely to fail or quit. Although he is placing all this pressure on you, deep down I’m sure that he loves you and it’s his misguided way of making sure you have a “good” future but it’s actually damaging you.

  14. RQuartz
    RQuartz avatar
    4 posts
    15 November 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Dear Petal22

    Yes, you are actually correct - my name was actually based off of rose quartz :)

    Thank you so much for your reassuring and kind words. It is difficult for me to possess self-love at times due to the way my father puts me down everyday - even if I tell myself that his actions don't reflect myself.

    The letter idea sounds amazing! Unfortunately, I can only write in English and this is a language my father can't read. I am planning to see a doctor regarding my anxiety soon. I had a deep talk with my mum about it today, and she is actively helping me through this.

    I'm still unsure of what I'm going to do with my father, but talking about it on this forum and hearing all the amazing responses I've gotten is definitely giving me a clearer path going forward, so thank you very much.

    Kind regards,


    1 person found this helpful
  15. RQuartz
    RQuartz avatar
    4 posts
    15 November 2021 in reply to BlueBorder

    Dear BlueBorder,

    Thank you very much for your kind words :)

    I am still learning to accept that my father's actions are not my fault. It is honestly very difficult, seeing as he keeps bringing me up when yelling at her. Just today, he yelled at her again over financial issues. Long story short, he yelled at her for earning so little (she migrated to Australia knowing very little English yet works extremely hard to make a living... not to mention he gets her to pay him rent every week, despite having paid off the house, and the fact that she is strapped of cash to look after my maternal grandparents - although this is a whole different story) and said how it's unfair that he is responsible for looking after the whole household financially, especially looking after me. Afterwards, I broke down as I felt awful that my mum had to deal with that because of me, and my mum reassured me that it wasn't my fault. I felt better for a second, but right afterwards, he approached me and yelled at me saying that being above 18 should mean that I shouldn't depend on him financially at all. Unfortunately, I absolutely cannot afford to rent a place on my own and neither can my mum. I understand that finding a job would be the logical option here, but even without a job taking up my time, I was struggling to keep up with the work demands of my degree. I had a job for around 2 years during high school and found that was difficult enough - medical school would be a whole different story. Unlike other degrees, failing a year of medical school three times results in expulsion so I absolutely cannot afford to fail more.

    As for getting a mental health plan, my mother is encouraging me to book an appointment at my GP. I think I will, although part of me can't help but feel like I really want to resolve it on my own (as foolish as that may sound). I think I'm just a little afraid, as my current GP is quite dismissive and I don't feel she would listen to me. Opening up to a new GP is quite a terrifying thought, and I would have to really think about it before going ahead with it.

    I also do not believe I can repeat without letting them know about it, as they know exactly which year I'm meant to graduate and it would arouse a lot of suspicion. I truly wish I didn't have to! I agree that it would significantly ease the burden.

    Your reply has been so helpful to me, thank you so much. I can hardly put into words how much I appreciate it.

    Kind regards,


  16. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3365 posts
    16 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    Hi RQuartz

    I don't mean to butt on your conversation with Blueborder, who is being very helpful to you here - but I had to say, no wonder you've been struggling to pass your medical course! The family problems and most especially with your father and the pressure this is putting you under explain a lot, don't they?

    This is way too much stress on top of a demanding university course!

    Blueborder is giving you great advice but I would also sincerely recommend you go to a counsellor or adviser at your university or medical school and let them know this is going on.

    When I was working with medical students this is precisely the sort of thing we would move mountains to try to help the student with. You really should let them know about the stress you are under at home.

    I think you said the uni hadn't been supportive during covid but maybe now things are getting a bit more normal perhaps this will improve - things have been bad for universities during covid.

    Do please think about letting someone know at your campus.

    I'm really sorry you have this to deal with on top of your studies.

    Do get some help. You'll need support with letting your parents know you have to repeat the year too. The stress sounds dreadful.

    Let us know how you go. Sorry you're having a tough time of it. Hang in there!

  17. VanVincent
    VanVincent avatar
    10 posts
    24 November 2021 in reply to RQuartz

    In life we all fail and in that you are not alone. How we deal with failure and how we come back from it is what marks true resilience.

    I used to manage graduates and many had never failed in their life when they came to my organization. The first time they did (and they would!) could result in significant turmoil for them.

    Most students fail subjects - its something you have to learn from even though it is very hard.

    So know you are not alone in this.

    You need to remember in this time of difficulty your great accomplishments. All that you have achieved to get here and take great pride in that. You have fought your way through another degree to get here and have struggled through immense family turmoil. So few can say this.

    If I had to guess your father is imposing his own feelings of failure upon you and your mother. This is unfair - and a burden you shouldn't have to carry.

    I pray that in time things get better for you and know the struggle will make you a great doctor.

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