I've had a really rough few weeks and I'm just feeling very confused. I can't seem to eat proper meals, I just feel like throwing up at the sight of food and I'm at a serious low point with my mood. I think it's probably the stress.
I'm 21 and I live at home. My parent's marriage has always been volatile from my earliest memories, but it wasn't until I started having relationships of my own that their abusive behaviour towards one another (and me) has become apparent. I used to just think it was normal, but now I can see it plain as day and I'm really just past the point where it hurts anymore. I just think "Wow, I never want to be in a relationship like my parent's, ever."
Last night, my mother and I were in the lounge room watching TV. My father entered the lounge room, brushing by my mum's legs and nearly tripping. He yelled at her and she responded by hitting him with the hot water bottle she was holding. He said "Yeah, you're ALWAYS throwing things at me" and he walked off. She screamed and threw the hot water bottle at him as he left, then started saying "He made me do it, he just warps everything to make ME look like the crazy one!" and crying. She then threatened to leave, grabbing her handbag, but stopped after I begged her not to, though to be honest I didn't really feel like stopping her. I knew that she only threatened to leave because I wasn't trying to console her(I can see through the emotional manipulation now).
I can't take sides in this mess. I feel like a pawn in a ridiculous game. My dad complains and calls mum abusive to me, but my mum says that my dad is the abuser. I don't know who or what to believe or have trust in. When I was a child I would try to pick sides (my 'side' would change with every fight), but now I'm basically checked out emotionally and I don't care.
Now, I have a boyfriend of eight months (whom I have posted about here before).
I'm not sure, but he could be abusive (or potentially so). I get very suspicious sometimes. He's been supportive and kind, and he's currently the only person other than my therapist (or mum, when she's not having her own troubles) that I can really talk to about the gross stuff. He listens and is comforting. He tells me I can always talk to him if I need to.
I have a bunch of other friends, but none of them are sufficiently close and I fear scaring them off by talking about how I'm feeling. I also don't get to see them too often, since they and I have busy schedules.
I just get the feeling that my boyfriend generally makes small digs at me, nothing overtly put-downy, though the problem is that I could be just over-analyzing everything he says. I'm having trouble thinking of examples because there have just been so many times. He has said "**** you" in a lighthearted way while we were playing poker once, which I found really disrespectful. He said that it's the way he talks to friends and didn't know it would be hurtful to me. He apologised, twice, but I felt dumb for accepting it.
He's also possibly implied things that I felt were rude. He's corrected my grammar, in a rude way ("Oh the irony of you using an apostrophe incorrectly in that sentence"). When I confronted him, he would say that he had "a habit of accidentally offending people" but that the ill-intent is never there, which could very well be true, since he offended two of my friends in a similar way. (He's on the autism spectrum and this is supposedly an issue for people with ASD's, from what I've read. However, it's just getting tiresome.)
I've talked to him about this, and he used to just put his head in his hands and say "I'm a terrible person. I'm sorry." I then realised that his reaction made me feel worse, so I talked to him about his reactions. He said that now I'd pointed it out, he realised that it really wasn't fair on me for him to react that way, and vowed to improve his conduct going forward.
But again, there are just so many things that keep springing up in my mind about the relationship. We're long distance, so I miss him a lot sometimes. More often, I am angry with him over stuff that happened in the past, or that I feel might happen. I feel like I should hold on to our next visit, because the visits are usually fun, and I'll have a guest at my house to make things less lonely, at least for a week.
I obsess over this relationship constantly. I'd lose a big ally if I had to end it, but sometimes I feel great urgency to just end it. As a result, I sometimes don't feel like talking to him at all, out of indecision. Then I miss him, and I talk to him, and eventually he might say something over text that will confuse me and it will upset me and the cycle starts again.
He's recently landed a really good job, which means he would be able to visit soon, or even pay for me to visit him (since I never visit him; my family or I couldn't afford it). I don't know how I'd feel about him paying my way. However, I'm really, unbelievably happy for him, but I'm also a little jealous that his life is so fantastic right now and mine is really stinking at the moment. (Though things WILL pick up soon, for sure. They alllllllways do! )
If you've made it to this line, thank you. I feel like I need to vent and I need some guidance. My therapist told me to contact her if I need to see her before our next appointment in a fortnight, which I'm thinking I might need to do. The fact that I'm not eating bothers me -- I went through this 'loss of appetite'/depression stuff last year at uni and now it's smacking me again. I feel like I need to change something, do something, to feel better again.
Posts: 12 | Registered: Mar 2012
| IP: Logged |
I am sorry to hear about your difficult home situation, janison.
Have you been able to talk to your therapist about your concerns regarding your boyfriend? How do you usually feel about your instincts and your ability to read people - are you generally spot on, or do you feel that you can't trust your hunches?
Here's what I think of the situation (and these are just my thoughts, and you are welcome to disagree): it sounds to me like you may not be in the optimal spot for a relationship right now. It sounds to me like you have a lot on your plate right now dealing with your home environment, and since you are still in the thick of it you also have not yet begun healing from it.
I think that the priority inn a situation like this would be to find a way to leave your abusive environment and move out, and to focus on processing what you've been through.
How do you feel about those suggestions?
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
| IP: Logged |
Hi Joey, thanks for your response. Moving out is not a viable option for me, at all, at the moment. I'm still studying, I work for my parent's business. They also help me cover the costs of my athletic training, and help me with it themselves to save costs (I'm a national competitor in my sport), it's basically the only thing that keeps me sane. It's my dream to compete internationally, but I can't get there alone.
My therapist is helping me to process the stuff from my childhood and move on with things as best I can, and it really helps. I look forward to seeing her but I can only have 10 sessions per year with our health insurance here.
I hear what you are saying re:my relationship. I think you could be right here, though I feel like at this point having fewer people outside this family to contact would make things even more unbearable. But it could lighten my emotional load. I don't really know; I'm not feeling able to think very clearly right now.
My therapist knows about my boyfriend and she's been helpful with advising me on how to work on things. She thinks he's been a fairly good influence, though she doesn't know everything about the relationship. As far as my instincts go, I think I'm generally a good judge of character, but my boyfriend is quite difficult to read because his tone of voice is often very flat, his facial expressions may give a mismatch to his actual emotions, not to mention that most of our relationship is text-based, with a video call each week. It's quite a tough recipe and we frequently misunderstand one another. Sometimes it's comical, other times it's just confusing. Hrmph.
I will get in touch with my therapist tomorrow and see if we can have a chat this week. I hope I can figure out something to at least help me cope, with moving out being a more long-term goal.
I was also struck by what you said about not wanting to take sides with your parents. have you been able to communicate that to them at all? What do you think about politely but firmly letting either one of them know, the next time they complain to you about the other, that you're very sorry they're frustrated with each other but that this is between them and not something you want or need to get involved in?
You are allowed to set boundaries like this.
-------------------- Robin Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011
| IP: Logged |
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.