Controlling parents - feeling miserable
I'm 24 and I live with my parents because moving out is not feasible just yet. My parents are super controlling and contradictive and i'm getting to the point that when I move out I don't want to have anything to do with them.
I have depression and really bad anxiety, and they nothing to support me. They don't even speak about it because they are too busy painting this perfect picture of our family to the outside world. When I first met my boyfriend and told him the things they say and do to me, he didn't believe me. It was only a few years into the relationship when he started to see it and now he constantly tells me he doesn't understand their logic and that they are really immature.
I can't go into detail about everything that they say and do to me because it would go on forever. They are completely different when we are visiting family or in public - they are nice and they even talk to me. When we get home its the polar opposite. I get called names, ignored, whispered about (currently happening now) and argued with. I try and stay away from them at home but when I sit in my room I get told off because its "not healthy". I can't have an opinion unless it agrees with what they think. I'm only allowed to speak quietly because my dad is paranoid that the "neighbours will hear us". I'm not allowed to drink wine unless its for a special occasion, so I asked to share a bottle with mum on Christmas. She said "no, its not a good enough occasion" even though she drinks wine every night. Whenever I try to explain my side of the story, after listening to hers, she won't listen to mine and tells me to "go away" or "I don't want to see your face".
This post really doesn't give justice to how cruel, controlling and contradictive they are to me, but there are some examples of what I have to experience on a daily basis. I feel really uncomfortable and miserable at home but I can't move out yet. I've tried to raise these issues with them but they don't see it.
I just don't know how to cope with it, I'm feeling pretty down. I know that when I move out I can remove myself from this toxic environment, but in the mean time I don't know what to do?
Hi RYT, welcome to the forums.
What you describe sounds familiar to me as I grew up in a controlling, toxic environment too. My own parents were also performing for their audience. My heart goes out to you.
You know you need to get out of there ASAP. I hope you can make it happen soon. Meanwhile...a change of attitude is unlikely to come from your parents. Only altering your perspective can bring relief. It may help to keep in mind that the reason why they act the way they do is due to unacknowledged issues they can't bring themselves to face. It has nothing to do with you. Emotional detachment is not easy when you are constantly bombarded on the home front.
Have you thought of seeking help with your depression and anxiety ? If not, a talk with a GP would be a wise start. You may need referral to a counsellor or therapist. In depth conversation with someone who understands what you are up against would at least allow you to unload some of the overload.
Do your parents know you have a mental/emotional condition or is this a taboo subject ? How would they respond to being presented with neutral, printed info ? This is often better accepted than face to face attempts at explanations. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will see that such info can be ordered (free of charge) via the Get support section.
If needed, written info could be handed over to your boyfriend too. There is also a section below about "Supporting someone".
There are resources available but only you can know whether they would be helpful in your particular situation. You certainly don't want to create further complications.
Of course, you can connect and find support by navigating these forums. There are many people in similar situations who would be delighted to help in any way they could. Check out the "Young people", Anxiety / Depression" sections.
Great to have you on board.
Thanks for your concern, Starwolf.
I have gone through different routes of treatment for my depression and anxiety, but am not seeing a psychologist at the moment. When I did, my mum came to some of the appointments but chose not to believe what the psychologist had to say! I have given her hard copy info, which she sort of half-read but it didn't seem to help. My dad doesn't want to have anything to do with it (even though he himself went through anxiety and currently has depression too). I think its a bit of a taboo subject for them, as you suggested. My boyfriend however, has read a book on anxiety for me and is my biggest support.
I do find relief in getting support from the forums, so thank you for replying. I agree, I won't be able to change their attitudes but at least I won't have to put up with it forever.
Thank you for bringing more insight into your situation.
The reason why I was tentative about suggesting to get your parents in the loop is because -as a child-I was dragged to a series of psychologists. They were dismissed as not knowing what they were talking about because they failed to agree with my mother.
Often, immersing oneself in activities (music also works) that can focus your attention does help. Criticism and recrimination then become background noise. I used to talk to myself in my head while being admonished. With habit, this inner voice often succeeded in making others inaudible. Sometimes, self-protective measures become necessary...and the best we can do.
You can google mindfulness and relaxation techniques (like Relaxed Body Scan or Relaxed Breathing for example). Those strategies help manage anxiety and reclaim stability. They need to be practiced daily, preferably when all is well. It makes it easier to slip into that mode when it is most needed. Smiling Mind is a useful app to download.
It is a relief to know that you have your boyfriend's support. Hopefully, you can soon walk away from the onslaught and reclaim the peace of mind which is your birthright.