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Need advice on surviving in an abusive household

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  • #368544
    Butterscotch
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    Please bear with me for the long post. My family(parents and brother) have been physically, emotionally and verbally abusive since forever.  Recently, their abusive knows no bounds and is driving me crazy. In short, I worked for few years in IT and decided to quit because the job was very stressful and I started having health issues. The moment I started working, my parents tried to ‘get rid of me'(they literally told this to me on my face multiple times) by pushing me into arranged marriage(parents forcing their children into arranged marriages is accepted in our society). They have been crazy control freaks always and getting me married on their terms is their most powerful control tactic. I never gave into their threats, so their abuse became more cruel and stressful. After quitting my job, I have been trying for a career change. I told them about my plans for career change and they did not like it. All hell broke loose and they tried to stop me from doing so. During this period of me being an emotional mess and unemployed, their abuse became more and more cruel and I had to completely stop conversing with them in any way(to maintain a peace of mind and not get dragged into their drama).

    Due to coronavirus, the past months have been a nightmare. They have been working from home and keeping watch on my every move like stalkers. They interrogate me whenever I go out of my house(for basic needs like buying medicines). My Mom tries to start a fight with me by doing bizarre things like coming close to me and messing with stuff around me while I am cooking(this is more weird but she comes too close to me and starts cursing me in my ears, breathes on me etc), tears my clothes which I hang outside after washing them( I know its crazy, but that’s what she does), killing my plants and messing with my sowed seeds etc.I feel very unsafe in my own house and feel like I have to be in survival mode always. I am beyond exhausted and just want to get away without anymore drama. I have been trying to go for studies abroad in a field of my interest. But I am so overwhelmed with fear and anxiety whenever I think about their reaction. I literally have to see them everyday outside my room after waking up till night. Now that they know my plans of wanting to leave, they have become hyper vigilant and I cannot do anything without them knowing. I am always stressed and anxious and cannot concentrate on myself.

    Sorry if it is all over the place, but I hope someone can suggest me ways to deal with this crazy situation and advice me on how I can keep my sanity intact. I just want to live a peaceful life far away from them doing a job I like.

     

     

    #368588
    Kylee
    Participant

    First of all, I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    My first piece of advice, I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but you need to stop caring so much about what your family thinks of you and what’s best for you. Yes they’re your family, they’ve given you a home, food, clothes, etc. I know it’s hard to ignore what they want for you after giving you so much. However, you are an adult now. I don’t know how old you are, but based on that you had an IT position recently, I can assume that you are well over the age of having anyone tell you how to live your life.

    My second piece of advice would be, to sit down with a pen and paper and write down what your goals are. Then ask yourself what you’re doing to achieve them? What’s in the way? I can assume a huge factor is your parents, and you see the issue here. You are not your parents and your parents are not you. They have lived a different life, grew up in a different time, with different people. Do you want to live the life your parents had or the life YOU want to live?

    I wish I could tell you that there is something you could do or say to your parents for the abuse to stop. Unfortunately, the fact they have been this way forever and have gotten worse, I don’t think there’s anything you can do to make it stop, besides leaving. You have to show them that you are your own person, that you have your own drive and dreams. Perhaps once they see you being successful, they will come to their senses and apologize for being so hard on you.

    It’s so sad to read this and imagine what you are going through, and again, I am so so sorry. However, the best thing you can do for yourself, is to leave. Do what is best for YOU and no one else, no matter if they’re blood or not.

    You only live this life once, live it how YOU want to live it.

    I’m wishing you the best.

     

     

    #368595
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Butterscotch:

    You shared that your parents and brother “have been physically, emotionally and verbally abusive since forever”. When you started working in IT, your parents told you multiple times that they want to “get rid of you”, and tried to push you into an arranged marriage. You didn’t give in to them, and as a result, “their abuse became more cruel and stressful”.

    After a few yeas, you quit your IT job because the job (on top of your family’s abuse) was very stressful for you, and you suffered some health issues as a result. After quitting, you’ve been trying to do a career change, “trying to go for studies abroad in a field of my interest”, but your family has been trying to stop you from leaving the house/ do a career change, and they increased their aggressive/ abusive behaviors  toward you:

    “Due to coronavirus..  They have been working from home and keeping watch on my every move like stalkers. They interrogate me whenever I go out of my house (for basic needs like buying medicines… My mom tries to start a fight with me by.. coming close to me and messing with stuff around me while I am cooking… comes too close to me and starts cursing me in my ears, breathes on me etc.. tears my clothes which I hang  outside.. killing my plants.. I feel very unsafe in my own house and feel like I have to be in survival mode always. I am beyond exhausted and just want to get away without anymore drama… I hope someone can suggest me ways to deal with this crazy situation and advice me on how I can keep my sanity intact. I  just want to live a peaceful life far away from them, doing a job I like”-

    – Far away from them is key. You can’t keep sane for long in an ongoing war zone; you have to exit the war zone.

    They want to get rid of you, they told you so; you want to leave- then make a plan,  make a plan that makes sense, considering your personal safety. Make a safer and better life for yourself elsewhere.

    Without the ongoing distress and exhaustion of living in the war zone aka your home, you will have the energy and ability to make a way safer and better life for yourself elsewhere.

    anita

    #368693
    christ ine
    Participant

    Wow. That is a really intense situation.

    First of all, I want to tell you that you are so brave. I cannot imagine how unsafe and exhausted you must feel from dealing with that situation. I also want you to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are completely whole, perfect, valuable, and worthy. It is your family who is greatly dysfunctional and perhaps even mentally ill. You do not deserve this whatsoever.

    And now, my most important piece of advice : YOU NEED TO LEAVE.

    We already know you are existing within an extremely toxic environment that is draining you on many levels. It’s time for you to go.

    My next question is, do you have the resources to do so? Do you have support from anyone in your life who can help you? Could you go and live with a friend while you get grounded and heal? Are there any study abroad programs that begin soon you could transition into? Some other suggestions are Workaways.info, WOOFing, and jobs that have lodging included (can be temporary).

    What I would suggest you do is make an exit plan. Are you safe? No. Then go somewhere where you are safe. Do your parents + brother make you feel/put you in physical, psychological, and emotional danger? Yes. Then they should not be told of your plan.

    Strategize, make decisions, get out of there (and all of your things) as soon as possible. The day you leave you could bring several friends or trusted individuals that will stand with you & move your things out if it comes down to that. Do whatever you can to get out from under their control and never look back.

    If only I lived in your country. I would invite you to stay with me for as long as you needed. I know what it is like to feel unsafe in your family home. I can only offer my support and solidarity with you. You can do this!! You are capable!! You have the power! GO and make EMPOWERING DECISIONS. I 100% believe in you!

     

     

    Please keep us updated and feel free to reach out at any time! I would be so happy to help you make a plan or talk you through things if you need support. My email is chocolatecake88811@gmail.com and my name is Christine. 🙂

     

    #368789
    Butterscotch
    Participant

    Thankyou all for the advice and support. All of you have adviced me to leave, and that’s what I have planned to do. I will be leaving, but not soon unfortunately. So, I want to to know how better I can handle myself and my sanity for the duration of my living with my family.

    Dear Kylee,

    Thank you for the empathy and understanding. Yes, I donot care anymore about them. I just want to go my own way. Yeah, I am in my twenties and yes, I am well over the age of having anyone tell me how to live my life. But, my problem is, my parents think otherwise. They consider me as a slave, an object which they own, not as a human being. So I feel imprisoned and suffocated.

    Your advice of writing down goals and steps to achieve them is affective. It helps clear the clutter in my head. Thanks for that.

    ‘Perhaps once they see you being successful, they will come to their senses and apologize for being so hard on you.’–> This is never going to happen and I dont expect any apologies from them. I am better off away from them. Thank you once again for your support.

    Dear Anita,

    Thankyou for the advice. Ongoing warzone is an apt description of my situation. They did not stop at abusing me. They even went to the lengths of randomly talking shit about me to my neighbours and relatives. Relatives flocked in and out of the house for a period of time a few months back just to pick on me for ‘staying unemployed’ and for ‘helping’ me and let me know that I am doing ‘wrong’. These so called ‘relatives’ whose face I had forgotten for years as we barely saw each other, suddenly started talking about ‘family ties’ and stuff, which left me bewildered and at the same time feeling intruded. All of this happened in a flash, and had stressed me out more. When I didn’t yield to realtives, they went on and talked shit about me to neighbours. Now I just feel so emotionally raped by everyone. Do I need to focus so much on how everyone views me? Do I need to feel obliged to give a damn about their opinions?

    My plan for now is to quitely apply for universities and get away. But, I don’t know how to deal witht their constant interrogation. As I have stated in my post, I have completely stopped conversing with them just to get a little peace and not be dragged into their drama. I donot want to break that now. And I dont know how to go in and out of the house without them going all crazy and interrogative. And I don’t even know how I would leave here. Will I have to sneak out in the middle of the night with all my luggage?

    Dear Christine,

    Thanks a lot for your empathy and validation. I needed it bad. Thanks for telling me that none of this is my fault.

    ‘Do you have support from anyone in your life who can help you? Could you go and live with a friend while you get grounded and heal?’ –> Unfortunately, I have nobody to whom I can turn to.

    ‘Are there any study abroad programs that begin soon you could transition into? Some other suggestions are Workaways.info, WOOFing, and jobs that have lodging included (can be temporary).’ –> There are a few programs available and will have to look into those which I can transition soon to. The thing is making a switch to completely another field of study is not as easy. So, I will have to find something which do not require prerequisite degree at the same time will land me a job where I can earn enough to sustain decently enough. I will have to take an educational loan as I am planning for study abroad. Educational loans in my country generally require a cosigner and I cannot ask my Dad to cosign, because that would be a way of giving him control over me. There is another option where I can take an educational loan from foreign banks, but the interest rate is high. The latter is my only option, but I wonder if its a smart decision or not. I have been looking into workaways and have been thinking of it as an alternate in case I will have to leave here all of a sudden. Thank you again for supporting me. Your words mean a lot.

     

    #368793
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Butterscotch:

    You are welcome.

    “I don’t even know ho I would leave here. Will I have to sneak out  in the middle of the night with all my luggage?”- yes, sneak out in the middle of the night or during the day if your family happens to not be there, and leave with your necessary luggage at the least, depending on what is practical and safe to do.

    In the U.S., a woman (or man) planning on leaving an apartment/ house, but worrying about being attacked by the people present in the apartment, can call the police to arrive and be present when she leaves, to ensure her safety from the people she is afraid of. Also, in the U.S. there are shelters for women, homes in secret locations available to women who want to leave abusive/ dangerous homes. I don’t know if any of this, or the likes of it, is available to you where you live.

    “All of you have advised me to leave, and that’s what I have planned to do. I will be leaving, but not soon unfortunately. So, I want to know how better I can handle myself and my sanity for the duration of my living with my family”-

    – if you have your own room, and it is possible for you- lock the door from the inside, so that they cannot enter your room without your permission.

    -spend as little time in common areas in the house, such as the kitchen or living room and stay in your room as much as possible.

    -lie to them, tell them anything and everything that they want to hear, so that they are less likely to yell at you and make your life miserable. I am not recommending adopting lying as your character, I am recommending it as a time-limited way for you to survive an emergency, which is the warzone you live in.

    anita

    #368915
    Butterscotch
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I don’t know if any such shelters exist in my country. I will do a research about it to use in case of an emergency. I do have my own room and I mostly stay in my room except for cooking.

    Another thing troubling me is whether universities bother about career gaps. I have been unemployed for over an year. Will this be a a problem for getting admits or getting an educational loan? Would I be questioned about my reasons for the gap? If so how do I explain?

    Thanks for taking time to help me out so far.

     

    #368917
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Butterscotch:

    You are welcome. Regarding your questions: I don’t know.

    I am familiar (U.S) with employers seeing career gaps as a disadvantage when considering a potential employee. But I am not familiar with universities considering an applicant’s career history in the process of admission. As far as I know, universities operate for-profit, and are therefore interested in admitting as many paying students as possible, and are not concerned with if/ what you do with the education provided after you graduate.

    anita

    #368922
    Butterscotch
    Participant

    Okay. Thankyou for all the help 🙂

    #368924
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Butterscotch. I wish life will get much better and safer for you very soon.

    anita

    #368999
    Chickadee33
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    “Sorry if it is all over the place, but I hope someone can suggest me ways to deal with this crazy situation and advice me on how I can keep my sanity intact. I just want to live a peaceful life far away from them doing a job I like.”
    —————————————————

    Hate to say it but you’re not going to have peace until you move out.   You can’t change them now should you waste your energy trying.   I’m not going to write 15 paragraphs because it comes down to this:  You need to get away from them.

    Stop acting like you need to sneak around about leaving.  You’re a grown adult. Take responsibility for your situation and MOVE OUT. You don’t need to answer to them why, how or when?

    JUST DO IT.

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