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Issues at home stopping me moving forward

Tagged as: Family, Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 March 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 8 March 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, *ouiselistens writes:

Hi everyone,

I grew up in a difficult living situation with a lot of mixed messages, repression and boundary issues. This was not helped by my parents strange and messy separation which was dragged out more than five years. There was a lot of inappropriate behavior and boundary issues. It left me in a very bad place. Socially awkward, anxiety issues and issues with depression and body image. I have been working hard to fight my way through these issues and grow. I have also worked hard to improve my living situation and rebuild relationships with my family (namely my mum, dad and brother). I've been in counselling before, but only to help me in the now and help me to be able to keep living at home (I was close to running away or worse). My family life has improved since then and we're all pretty close, but there are still a lot of unresolved issues from my past that are effecting me.

I get a little anxious in arguments, I have difficulty speaking on the phone and giving presentations. I also have issues expressing my feelings and with small scale self harm (plucking out body hair, picking holes in my skin, nail biting). I get very stressed and my productivity fluctuates a lot. I can go from being very helpful, organised and confident to being lazy, having trouble getting out of bed and having no confidence very quickly and without warning.

Whilst things are better with my family I cannot talk to them about any of the issues I am having because I don't believe that they will hear me properly. All they will hear is that they are being blamed for something and they won't help. It might also be turned back on me, making me feel guilty and horrible for even suggesting that they might be part of the reason I am still having issues (it has happened before when I have tried to speak out). I don't know what to do. I am very limited in what I can do myself because I am unemployed and can't drive. I live in a village with no public transport and have to rely on my father to even set foot in town. I feel trapped and isolated by that fact alone, never mind being dependent on somebody I can't talk to properly.

I practice mindfullness, try and be proactive where I am able to and work out, all of which are keeping me somewhat sane. I really don't know what to do beyond that. I don't really have any friends so there's no one neutral I can talk to and I am engaged to a wonderful guy who is very supportive, but has a lot of personal issues from his own past that are still effecting him today so I don't want to lean on him too much. I feel stuck and like I don't know what to do.

How do I try and make things better for myself without making my living situation impossible? I have to rely on my family for everything and they're almost impossible to talk to about anything involving them. Please remember I am on a budget.

View related questions: confidence, engaged, living at home, mixed messages, trapped

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (8 March 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntFirst off I think you need to move forward from the past. A lot of us grow up in difficult situations but it does not mean that the defy us. We are who we say we are, so you can say you are broken or you can say no your past has made you stronger. I know what one I would say. You say you are close to your family now, which is great. If you are having issues where you need to talk to someone then I would suggest going back to counselling.

If your mood is constantly up and down then I would suggest going to the doctor. Make sure to be honest with them and allow them to help you. If you cannot talk to your family then talk to your fiance. My guess is you blame your family for your issues, but you need to learn to take responsibility for your own life. That is something that you can begin to do in therapy.

You can't drive? Why not? I am sure you are capable of driving if you give it time and learn. Maybe ask your Dad to teach you or your brother? Make it a fun activity. As for a job for your own sanity you need to keep trying daily to find work. I would be depressed as well sitting around at home having to rely on other people. You are an adult now it is time to take chances and get out and live your life. Nobosy is trapping you or isolating you but yourself.

What are you and your fiances future plans? Maybe focus on that and take them a step at a time. Do you want to live together? When do you want to get married? Have a plan and work towards that plan. Where does your fiance live? You both need to look for work and start living life!!

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (8 March 2018):

*hole not whole darn it!

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (8 March 2018):

You're in a catch 22. You can't get a job where you are and you can't move until you get a job.

Try these guys.

They are for the things you can't get. It might be a grant or access to training. It's a very very good organisation. When you are on your feet you can give back by becoming a mentor.

I should say. Never be too proud to help yourself. Any job has purpose and dignity if it helps you move forward. You will feel like anything you did is worthwhile if you climbed out of the whole with your hard work. But.. do try and get help getting out of this bind. Try the CAB for other avenues if at first you don't succeed. Tell us how you get on. Good Luck.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 March 2018):

It seems you're surviving for the present somehow; so it's best to continue whatever it is you're doing now, and continue getting your therapy. Sometimes it takes finding a new therapist when the one you have doesn't seem to be effective. A lot also depends on you taking charge of your life.

There really isn't anything you can do about your family; they've got their own problems, as you've indicated in your post. So advice will be very limited, considering you can't seem to talk to them; due to your own fears and anxieties about how they "might" react.

It is likely most suggestions offered would require you to talk to them; and you've already said that's impossible.

Self-defeat is when you cancel or deny the effectiveness of advice before you get it. If that's how you handle your therapy; I can see why it doesn't seem to help much. You seem to have a generous supply of pessimism.

How you live day to day with people you cannot talk to; and yet you say they are your parents, is difficult to understand. Some of that problem may be your own personal difficulty in speaking to people, for fear of reactions you cannot handle. You don't want people to be angry with you. It's impossible to always be agreeable and never say anything that will upset people. Sometimes you have no choice.

When you know bringing up certain issues might cause you big problems; you may have to avoid them. You can't leave and you can't talk to them. You're caught in a dilemma. So deal with it as best as you can. You don't seem to have the courage to carry-out advice that would require some form of confrontation, communication, or discussion with your family. So your option is to find a way out and get some help through social programs.

Family-dysfunction has to be treated as a group; or your only option is to get out of there. You're on a budget which doesn't allow for that; so you have to make the best of your situation.

What you're asking for is close to impossible. You want someone to tell you how to make your life better. Hon, that requires them to be proactive and willing to participate in doing so.

Self-preservation and survival takes guts, creativity, determination, and the resolve to make the best of what you've got. While seeking help from whatever resources or public-assistance programs you can find. Sometimes social services are the only resources available; but no one can turn your family into understanding people, if they never have been.

You have concluded that they are somewhat responsible for your disabilities; but telling them that they are may be somewhat counterproductive, if you know they will only get angry or retaliate. The truth is, they already know it anyway. They can't be totally oblivious to the harm they've caused you. If they are, you should have been removed from your family by child protective services years ago. You're now an adult; so you have to save yourself.

It might be best you try to get along and accept that as best you can and try to live the best you can in spite of it all. If they no longer abuse you, that's a start. It's more important that you get beyond what happened to you, and be determined to live on. You can't redo the past or turn-back the clock. You want to inform them they're to blame; but it will not make you any better, until you decide you want to move forward and leave that house.

You can only live one day at a time.

For people who have a religious-faith, they go to their clergy and religious leadership to seek counseling and comfort in their place of worship. Some seek help through charities and organizations that offer aid. It's a matter of seeking what you need wherever you can find it, my dear. No one can remake or reconstruct the family you have. It's not just a simple matter of telling you what to do. It's far more complicated. You have to execute whatever is suggested that may help you.

Do what you can to survive. That's basically what everyone has to do. Getting a job and struggling to do your best to keep it gives you financial-independence, and social services may compensate for shortages or hardship.

If you must depend on your family for now; I guess you'll have to get along with them as best you can. Don't cause any unnecessary commotion trying to tell them they're at fault for your issues. That might be poking a sleeping bear. Continue to try and get along; until you are able to move-out and live on your own.

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