January 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm #48199
I just want someone out there to hear my story and shine a little light on my situation.
I am 18 years old. Throughout my life, I was always unwelcome in my family’s home. My mother has severe depression that she refuses to get treatment for. It was like walking on eggshells around her. If I was in the living room and I crinkled a bag of chips, I would get screamed at. I was her punching bag; she would tell me that I dressed like a whore, how stupid I was, how I was selfish, almost on a weekly basis. I clearly remember her kicking me off of the couch in the living room time and time again because my sister wanted to sit on the couch. She treated me as her therapist at the same time, because she had, for as long as I can remember, marriage problems with my father. When I was 5, she told me, in detail, on how my father cheated on her. When I was 8 years old, she told me how badly she wanted a divorce but couldn’t leave my father because she had never held a job on her own and felt she was incapable of supporting herself. When I was a little older, I became her confidant. I heard things about my father that I wish I hadn’t heard. I didn’t ever stand up to her for fear that I wouldn’t be able to see my friends or go to track practice, my only escapes from my home. My father never wanted to get to know me or develop a relationship with me. He provided for me financially to an extent, but he would make fun of my art that I loved so much and he would refuse to give me rides. My first job I had to walk to and from work every day, because he didn’t feel like giving me a ride, even though it was a 5 minute drive to the place. I had to walk, sometimes even if it was dark out.
My senior year of high school was rough. I had to quit cross country team and get a job because I had to.. I learned how to pay for my own food and pay my own way. I saved up to pay for driver’s ed on my own, and bought my first car on my own. However, a week later I got hit by a car in the city and my car was totaled. My father said he would scrap it for me and then give me the money, but he kept it for himself. I finally was able to make him give me the scrap money, $200, threatening I would get the police involved if he didn’t give it to me. I used the money to pay for glasses, something my health insurance didn’t cover. My mother tried to force me to “take a side” between her and my father, and shunned me when I refused to give her my father’s tax forms. I felt it wasn’t right for me to give someone else’s property to another person, so I was grounded and forced to stay home for weeks. As an additional punishment, they refused to bring me to the doctor for my yearly physical. Because I couldn’t get my physical complete, I was unable to run on the track team for my last year of high school. My father also refused to bring me to the gynocologist to put me on birth control because to him, I shouldn’t be having sex..
The day I turned 18, I was forced to move out because my mom decided to take my sister and move to a town about 2 hours away.My father moved his girlfriend in (they had been dating for quite a while, I learned) and threw out nearly every one of my belongings that I treasured: paintings I made, my easel, every one of my sister’s drawings from when she was little. I moved in with my boyfriend for the summer. I worked 3 jobs to try and make enough money for everything i needed; I worked as a photographer in the mornings, worked at a pharmacy in the afternoons, and I was a janitor for medical hospitals at night. My days often went from 6 am to 1 am. But it was worth it to me, because I thought things were looking up. I had applied for multiple scholarships for my first choice college, University of Rhode Island. I was accepted into my first choice major there, and reduced the $40,000 for the year to $9,000 using my own money and scholarships. All I needed was a private loan to be able to pay for URI, and Discover granted me one, but because I had no credit, I needed a cosigner for my loan. My entire family refused to cosign the loan. My dad’s side and my mother’s side alike. I was told it was my own responsibility to pay for my education; I was told that this was a ridiculous thing to ask of someone. I was told how selfish I was to ask for this. I couldn’t afford URI, so I was forced to drop out. I started attending a community college in the next town over. I felt beaten down and I felt as though my dreams were…crushed.
My boyfriend ended up kicking me out of the house when we got into too many fights…we were both stressed. I had to move in with my friend, who doesn[t have a car, so she used me to drive her to her drug dealer’s house and pick her up from random guys’ houses in the sketchy part of town. I felt uncomfortable about lying to her parents about her whereabouts so I told her I was done covering for her. She was upset with me…weed has replaced me as her closest friend and we aren’t friends really anymore. Feeling unwelcome and unwanted, I would drive the streets all night, just trying to end up someplace that didn’t remind me of my family or past relatonships or friendships. I once slept in my car in my college’s parking lot.. This is where I am now. I am confused, lost, I feel horrible. I feel like I have nobody who cares or wants me. I want to die, but I want to find a way that’s foolproof and I would have to drive out somewhere far away so that no one will find me.
Now I feel like I have depression…I hit my head against a wall so many times today just to shut my mind up. Just to stop thinking about everything that I’ve done wrong. I feel as though I’m at fault for all that’s happened. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist, so I’m looking for help. But it isn’t for another week or so, and I feel like giving up…I feel like i’m worth nothing. I just need some support…I need to feel like I have a reason to keep going. Thank you guys for reading and listening.
January 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm #48202
- This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by kay.
First of all, my heart goes. I’ve had a very similar journey and can relate to having a weary soul when so many things don’t go your way. Unfortunately I don’t have much time to write at the moment, but I just want you to know that you are not alone. I am in my thirties now and I moved out when I was seventeen with similar road blocks and it’s been bumpy. Don’t lose heart. You aren’t the first or the only one to go through this kind of thing.
The best thing I can suggest is to go to Al Anon. It’s a free resource for people who are closely knit to people with alcohol addictions, but honestly it can apply to anyone who deals directly with people who are have neglecting and/or abusive relationships. Unfortunately when someone has severe depression, it can really do a number on the rest of the family. It’s helped me immensely with situations that felt hopeless.
I hope you post more, but I have to run. I would be happy to exchange emails if you really need someone to talk to.January 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm #48205
Thank you so much for your advice, Kinny. I’ll be sure to check out Al Anon. And exchanging emails sounds like a great idea.January 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm #48212
I found a quote which I gleaned a lot from which said something aloing the lines of a great childhood doesn’t prepare you for real life. You, my friend, are being groomed to be able to handle anything. It’s a leg up because some people wouldn’t even get as far as you have without taking a downward spiral. You’ve got moxie girl!!! What I’ve taken from my experiences is that when I have kids, I would rather give them excellent coping mechanisms and resiliency habits rather than a perfect childhood. Life is full of curveballs and detours. People who can navigate them without taking it personally or losing their faith have a great advantage. Sometimes In real life people let you down, use you and things don’t go your way even though you did your best. You are just being taught the AP class at an age when most people are just getting the Intro Course.
It sounds like it’s in your best interest to not rely on your parents for anything. If you do, even for something small it will probably only end in you being let down or alternatively used against you with strings attached. So if you need to take a taxi to the doctor or gynocologist, just take it. If you can scrap the car yourself, do it. By the time you are twenty three, you can apply to college without your parent’s tax information and there are a ton of ways to build skills or save up until then.
If you can just accept this absense of emotional and monetary help, then you are ahead of the game. Bitterness about how unfair or rough it is is a waste of energy. Focus all of your energy on productive things. (Not that you whined or blamed them at all in your description, but if you are as human as I was I imagine it’s a normal feeling to have. I just want to encourage you to not go there. It’s a huge shortcut if you can avoid it!! If you feel bitterness, then that’s normal but it will set you back.) I read something recently that said that forgiveness is not a gavel that pronounces someone innocent but a pair of scissors that cuts the bond of pain and hate. I hope you approach the idea of your parents with a sense of peaceful detachment. Since you are 18 you do not need them in order to make things happen. Focus on using your time wisely. Immerse yourself in all things positive.
Some other things which resonated with me are how your mother used you as a confidant at a young age. Parents ideally are emotionally mature and stable, but it sounds as if you had to revolve around her to have a semblance of peace. I would consider reading up on codependency. Melody Beattie and Pia Mellody have some great books. Basically your mother put her needs ahead of your own and you had to fend for yourself in everyway possible. It’s twisted. Kids need guidance and shouldn’t be depended on or played as pawns. You shouldn’t have to support them or pay for things for them. You’ve probably developed a lot of coping mechanisms that you needed in order to get by at home, but probably don’t help in all areas of life. I hope it’s as eye opening for you as it was for me.
You can find people who will love you and support you and not make unfounded attacks. You didn’t deserve to be verbally abused and neglected or used, but regardless you can create your own stability and peace.
Concerning everything being your fault and everything you’ve done wrong, you are waaaaaaay too hard on yourself. Yes, it’s good to take personal responsibility….but eveyone is trying the best that they can with what they understand and are capable of at the time. You were not born with the wisdom and experience of an adult and yet you are thrown into situations. Hell, no one is born wise but some people are lucky enough to have paren’ts to guide them. You are trying your best as a kid and without support or guidance. No wonder! Things just aren’t working out in your favor yet. There is nothing “wrong” with you. You are in a challenging situation and you don’t have a good support system…that’s all. *Breathe* You can learn skills to overcome challenging situations an you can grow a supoort system. You sound just as lost as I was at eighteen. Don’t lose hope. There is a lot more I could say, but I’ll leave you with that for now.
Go ahead and leave me an email.
Also, I’ve gotten a lot from meditation. I like Sharon Salzberg’s Metta mediation on youtube.
Keep posting.January 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm #48213Lyla McLeanParticipant
I have only a couple of minutes but I wanted to reach out to you. You are an amazing person to have come through all of that and not be full of bitterness and self-pity. You are so strong. Your childhood was not your fault nor anything else that has happened to you. i too have had a really traumatic life but I have come to peace about it. I didn’t cause the family sickness nor can I fix it. I’m responsible for my life and only my life. Good for you that you want to better yourself. I have faith in you. I know you’ll make it.
I’ll write more when I can. Big hugs to you.January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm #48284
Thank you to both Kinny and Lyla for your kind and wise words.January 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm #48289
I have done some reading on codependency in a parent and I’ve found that, Kinny, you are completely correct. I am positive that both of my parents are codependent…especially my mother. It makes me feel a lot better to be reminded that, I am still young, and also that many people have had traumatic childhoods that are just like mine. I’ll be sure to build a support system, read and research more, and go to counseling…I’m sure I will be in a better place once those things are set up. I’m so thankful for the help.January 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm #48347
I’m glad that that resonated with you. Narcissism and codependency go hand in hand. It sounds as though your parents have some narcissism traits as well. I just want to clarify that labels in and of themselves don’t help, but having a better understanding of what you are working with does.
So how are you? Are you still sleeping in your car?
I loved how Lyla put it so succintly. I’m not really sure how you went through all that and have no blame or self pity. How do you manage your emotions and thoughts so objectively??
I’m not sure if you are looking for specific advice about your current situation or stories from people who have been through the same thing or just someone to listen.
A few other things came to mind when I read what you wrote. You said that you wanted to die. If you are like most people, it’s not that you want to die, it’s that you want the pain to end. It will. Keep holding on.
You also mention that you felt worthless, but that’s just based on how the people around you treated you. A baby can shit on a $100 bill, and that doesn’t mean the money is worthless. It just means the baby doesn’t know the worth.
Lastly, I just wanted to suggest since you are working so many jobs to consider something like overnight hotel jobs. When I was younger I found a small bed and breakfast that would let me sleep on the cot until a guest came in. While I was putting myself through school I was able to work late shifts that were quiet and was able to have some time to myself and do homework while I was on the job.
I hope you keep posting.