Parents don’t respect my boundaries and feelings

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    Dear Annie,

    a while ago you said:

    I just find myself having no emotional or mental energy to do anything. And with my chronic neck and shoulder pain had been really bothersome and it’s been making things difficult since. And I just get so frustrated with myself and my pain. It feels like whatever I do this chronic pain never goes away.

    Chronic pain can be related to blocked emotions, e.g. chronic shoulder pain can be related to feeling that you need to hold “the weight of the world” on your shoulders. You said you feel responsible to solve your parents’ problems – so in a way this could give you the feeling that it’s you who need to carry the burden (while others have it easy, like your sister).

    It could very well be that when you start working on your emotional wounds, the chronic pain would subside too.

    As I understand, right now you’re pretty much unable to move to a place of your own, because 1) you don’t have a job, 2) due to covid, and 3) because you don’t want to share a place with an unknown person, whom you don’t trust.

    So you’re pretty much confined to your parents’ apartment and sharing the room with your sister. So physically, you can’t move and be free. But mentally and emotionally, you might be able to “move” and feel freer. One thing I believe would help you is not to expect to get empathy and understanding from your parents. Because you try to communicate with them, and it falls on deaf ears. Recently you broke down in front of your mother because she didn’t show compassion for you, and the friend that you had complained to earlier didn’t either:

    … yesterday it just topped it off and I had a break down and cried in front of her because the same day, I was venting to a friend about something else that was upsetting me and her response made me felt like my feelings were invalid and I don’t feel heard, like my feelings are being dismissed. I was really feeling distressed because it’s like no one in my life understands or tries to empathize with me.

    Expecting compassion and understanding from your mother – when she seems unable to give it to you – is what hurts you again and again. It just breaks your heart and deepens the wound. You’d need to accept that she isn’t capable of giving you what you long for, and seek it elsewhere. In fact, the best would be to seek it in therapy, where you’ll not only receive attention and empathy, but also the possibility to heal the wound of rejection, which is affecting most of your relationships.

    I think this would break the cycle of you having a need, expressing it to someone unable or unwilling to meet that need, and then you getting disappointed and hurt even more.



    Dear Annie:

    I understand that sleeping on the sofa is not a part-solution for you, and the only place you can sleep in is in the room you share with your sister, living in an apartment with your sister and your parents.

    Aug 14, you wrote: “I never thought about my anger showing to anyone else. If anything I try to avoid conflict with people outside of my family“, Aug 28: “People often say I’m soft spoken and quiet in person”-

    – it is my understanding then that when you interact with, or are in the company of a person with whom you are not intimately involved (the person is not your parent, or sister, or close friend, or boyfriend)- you are soft spoken and quiet. But when you interact with or are in the company of a person with whom you are intimately involved- you are often angry, frequently triggered by something they said, something they didn’t say, their behavior.

    Aug 13: “all my life, I feel like everyone always prefers someone else over me. Especially with my parents because I feel like they secretly prefer my sister. Maybe it’s a deep emotional wound thats why its triggering me so much“-

    – I agree, it’s a deep emotional wound that repeatedly opens up/ gets triggered when you interact with people close to you, feeling hurt and angry, again and again and all over again when you believe that she/ he prefers someone else over you. This ongoing anger is physically and  mentally exhausting. I don’t see any solution to your situation other than finding a way to live away from your family. Far, far away is even better. And then, when you are away, start a process of healing from the emotional wound that hurts so much. I wish I could see an easier way to go about it all.


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