Living at home is giving me anxiety issues.. I have no idea what to do

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@sunshinewish15:  Hi there, sorry to read about your situation. When parents act in any way that is so physically and emotionally harmful to their kids that they pull their eyelashes out and suffer severe bouts of anxiety then this is also a form of abuse. When what they are doing/ how they are treating you is causing your anxiety or severely increasing your anxiety then they are the root of your problem. The problem is that they don’t see it that way at all; they think of themselves as your loving parents.

 

What you need to do is get them to see that rationally and not emotionally and you won’t be able to do it by yourself. You’ll need the help of a counsellor.

 

 

 

Good luck to you, I hope this helps.

 

Post # 5
Member
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@sunshinewish15:  Woah! You’ll have to get a counsellor to talk to them because obviously they don’t see their part in it AT ALL.

 

What you have is an impulse control disorder and it’s classified as such in the DSM IV. Considering your not 4 years old you are very unlikely to outgrow it. You need to change your situation to get some relief here and they need to be on board.

 

You know I have an anxiety disorder that I am medicated for and at first my parents also thought it was all a crock of bull. Then one day while we were having coffee I said to my mom ‘do you have any idea how it feels to be anxious ALL THE TIME? Imagine any negative emotion and having it ALL THE TIME. It is exhausting, it wears you thin.’ And I think at that point she realised I was not just full of it, but I have a real problem.

 

 

 

Good luck to you lady, keep me posted please.

 

Post # 6
Member
980 posts
Busy bee

Ah, that’s awful I’m so sorry! I have dermatillomania and I totally know what you mean about them brushing it off as a bad habit. 🙁 is it possible for you to move in with your SO or with someone else? I’m staying at home til I finish my degree too, but if it is causing you this much stress then I think you need to take care of your mental health first. 

Post # 7
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@sunshinewish15:  Is there ANYWHERE else you can stay, even for a little while? With a friend, with your SO, with another relative, ANYWHERE that will get you out of the house for awhile. There must be someone you know who would be willing to put you up for just a couple of weeks.

First, the communicative, mature strategy. A letter:

“You say I am being cruel, but truly you are being cruel. Look at my hair/lashes/eyebrows. Every time you treat me like a child, I pull them out. I don’t know what makes you think I’m not entitled to privacy and my own life but I’m a nervous wreck. I don’t care if you have no babies left, your behavior is not normal or healthy for either of us and it is damaging our relationship. It is making me resent being around you.

The way you treat me, all I think about is how to escape without ruining my life. (getting cut off/not being able to finish school.) I don’t feel like your family, I feel like your prisoner. Please let me know if we can have a conversation about this in which you take my feelings seriously instead of continuing to hurt me.” 

If you can find someone to stay with for a couple weeks, do so. When you come back, or if you can’t find anyone, do it immediately:

Step 1: Go to the hardware store, buy a lock for your room, install it. It’s super easy and very cheap. 

Step 2: No matter what they say, stop leaving notes. Just leave the house without saying anything. Do it even if you don’t have to, to practice. Just go out and hang out at the park for awhile or whatever. Let them tantrum or make fun or get upset all they want. DO NOT ENGAGE. Remain stone-faced and unresponsive as much as humanly possible and exit the situation as fast as you can.

Step 3: If they call or text you, do not respond. Do not answer, do not respond, they may do something drastic like call the cops, just deal with it and move on. They are the ones who will look foolish, not you. 

This is simple behavioral modification. They are being rewarded for their bad behavior at present. People are like dogs, they just do whatever works and rewards them. You need to stop rewarding them. You may experience an “extinction burst” in which the behavior becomes worse for a period of time before tapering off. That just means it’s working. I know this sounds cold but it really does work.

Please note, they may threaten you. “If you don’t xyz, we will kick you out” (or stop helping you pay for school, if applicable.) It is up to you to decide whether those threats are empty or not. They might be, as people experiencing this often will say ANYTHING to make things go back to how they were, whether they mean it or not. But I don’t know your family so I can’t say. Know that if you get to that burst phase, and then give in when they raise the stakes, you are only rooting the behavior deeper, because it sends the message “if you just cling harder, I will let you do anything you want.”

Post # 9
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@sunshinewish15:  Precisely! This time, when they give you an earful, just respond as neutrally and unemotionally as possible, agree to nothing, and retreat to your newly locking room. It’s going to take a LONG time and a lot of endurance to use that strategy I mentioned. It will almost definitely be hard the entire time until December, but if you stick it out and keep the “treatment” going consistently, the eventual reward will be success in boundary-setting.

Think of them like addicts, and their substance is this unhealthy relationship to you. When their substance is taken away, an addict may be (in this case emotionally) violent, say really awful things, manipulate you (even if they don’t realize they’re doing it), etc. Just think of them like addicts, and treat them like addicts. Imagine that every time you give in, you are enabling that addiction. (Even if they don’t realize it, it’s not good for them either.)

(Again, these locks and equipment are only a few bucks, if your parents remove them when you’re not at home, do not address the situation with them, just calmly put on another.) 

It’s awful for you that you have to live with what amounts to bullies.

Post # 10
Member
980 posts
Busy bee

@sunshinewish15:  Thank you. I agree, finding people to talk things it with is so important and freeing. And always nice to know you’re not alone or imagining your problems. 

I’m sure your SO would be willing to help (though travelling that far is no fun) and its good to hear you may be able to find another place to stay. Bebealways advice is great. The letter sounds like a calm way to deal with them and maybe make them realise that they actually are doing something wrong. It isn’t fair for you to have to stay in such awful conditions 🙁

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