Hate my life

 

Hate my life

QUESTION:

your avatar   18-year-old woman

I hate my life a lot. It started recently. I'm losing all my friends, which makes school so hard. My mother is the definition of crazy; she literally stays in bed all day watching Netflix and barely even cleans. I have anxiety so I can't handle the mess - it gives me panic attacks. So I've tried to clean my mom's house but most of the clutter is all hers so she won't let me touch it. She knows about my anxiety but chooses to ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist. The clutter is insane I really can't take it. My relationship with my mom and dad is just horrible and it's not me it's them. My dad thinks gays/lesbians are doing wrong in God's eyes and he only thinks what he does is right.

I grew up listening to my parents scream at each other until I was 8 years old. I watched my dad beat up my puppy and my mother constantly yell at me. My mom and dad are divorced and my dad drinks a lot of alcohol. He also won't pay child support so I don't have the things I want and need sometimes. My mother also loves to yell a lot. She constantly screams over everything. I also hate school because everyone is so mean and my two best friends ignore me during class now. I'm usually the only one in the class who has to work alone when the class groups into partners. I hate my life and everything about it. I'm also a teenager, which doesn't help, and growing up in this day and age is so hard. If you don't own brand name clothes people look down at you and treat you badly. My life is just downright depressing. I don't see a future for myself. What on earth do I do?

ANSWER:

    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear,

Your story is the effect of the worst drug of all: alcohol. Your family's problems are because of your father's drunkenness. I don't know if he admits that he is an alcoholic, or if he is in denial. Either way, he is suffering because of his addiction, and makes people around him suffer, too. The reason is, he doesn't realize he has choices. But he is slowly killing himself, and wrecking any chance he has of ever living a good life.

Until now, you have feared him, and maybe hated him. Perhaps you can see that he deserves your pity? Feel sorry for him, and his terrible behavior will be easier to bear. This doesn't excuse what he has done. He is responsible for that. But, now he is out of your everyday life, out of your mother's everyday life. He is still having an influence, but only because unknowingly you and your mother choose to allow him. If you can let go of the negative emotions toward him, and feel sorry for him instead, both your lives will improve.

There is a wonderful organization for people affected by the drunkenness of others: Al Anon. Find their local group via the internet. You and your mother will get a huge amount of support and care by joining them. Both of you will also get great benefits from sessions with a psychologist. Check here to find affordable care near you.

Your mother's behavior is the result of trauma: her reaction to your father's abuse. With the help of therapy, she can overcome it, improve her own life, and through that, yours. So, please, pick a good moment and show her your cry for help, and my answer. I have worked with hundreds of people in her situation, and my clients improved. She can, too. And you can be her ally in helping her to do it. Again, she has choices, and has had them in the past, only she didn't know it. So, however damaging her actions toward you have been, feeling sorry for her instead of angry or fearful will make you feel better.

What has been happening in school is something I also experienced as a young person. When we feel terrible inside, this shows in facial expressions, tones of voice, how we hold our body, what we say and do, and don't do. People react to these cues without realizing it. "You get back what you send out." This is why a few sessions with a psychologist will be so good for you. But also, you can do something about this yourself, straight away:

Is there a teacher at the school you respect and trust? If so, show this question-and-answer to that person, and ask for help in improving your situation in school. And, if you are brave enough, you can turn things completely around. Let me tell you a story:

A mother and her 13-year-old daughter came to me. The daughter was carrying her little baby.

For a year, the girl's stepfather had been raping her, and threatening to kill her and her mother if she told. She didn't care if he killed her, but stayed silent to protect her mother.

Then an X-ray for something else showed up the baby inside. The mother contacted the police, and the man went to jail.

The girl did an incredibly brave thing. She stood up in class and said, "I am pregnant, because my stepfather has been raping me. He is now in jail. I want you all to support me."

The reaction was wonderful. All the kids did everything possible to be there for her, and she gained friends who didn't know she existed until then.

I don't know what your school is like. Maybe it is unwise to do the same for you. Talk it over with that teacher you trust. But suppose you stood up in class and said something like, "My home life is terrible because my father is a violent alcoholic. He has left, thank heavens, but my mom is a wreck, and it's up to me to run the household. Please, everyone, can you support me, just by being my friends?"

My dear, think over my suggestions. These are:

  • Show this to your mom, give her a chance to think about it, and discuss the issues. Either or both of you are welcome to email me.
  • Find an Al Anon group near you.
  • See a psychologist.
  • Talk to a trustworthy, supportive teacher in school.
  • If your mom and your teacher think it appropriate, pluck up your courage and ask the support of the other kids.

With love from your new grandfather,

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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