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I Feel Like I’m Losing Control of My Life (NON-SUICIDAL)

  • Thread starter Tacoboutalotofanxiety
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Tacoboutalotofanxiety

New member
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Aug 4, 2020
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3
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United States
I feel like I’m completely losing control of my life. I live in the US with my family, and am a 19 year old girl. Although I’m a legal adult, I’m terrified of moving out. I’m having some semi-severe episodes of post-graduation depression. I work at a school run childcare/daycare program & was recently teaching some of the kids a song that I used to love when I was a kid & would play all the time (“Chow Down” from The Lion King) & just the thought of little me running around singing that song at the top of my lungs made me start to tear up a bit, in fact it’s making me cry now... It all really hit me about a week after I graduated from high school. I can’t look at any photos or videos of me as a kid without feeling depressed or crying when I’m alone. I’m just stuck in this weird period where I want my parents to treat me like the adult I am but at the same time honestly just want to go back to when I was 7 when my parents still put little notes in my lunch box & I called my parents mommy & daddy. It’s been a year since I graduated high school & it’s still not getting any better/easier. I’m terrified of growing up, of becoming a full-blown adult, of the future.

There’s nothing for me to be upset about, I’m living at home, my parents pay for my tuition, I have a job that I love, I go/(now used to due to COVID) to a community college that’s about 10-15 minutes from my house & live at home, but I’m miserable. I’m getting my associates degree (2-years) at this community college before transferring to a larger college/university to study to become a family counselor, so my mother has started encouraging me to look into what I need to start thinking about in order to transfer to said college & getting an apartment, which is freaking me out & makes me cry every time I think about it.

Every time that my mom discusses my future or what I’m going to go to college for, she keeps bringing up site director (boss of the daycare for that particular elementary (primary school? in UK?) school/I should ask my boss what degree she got/what credentials do I need to become a site director, despite me telling her several times that I want to be a family counselor. She can’t understand that while I love my job, that’s not something I want to do my entire life.

I recently went on vacation & me and my father got into this big fight that started over something stupid and minuscule the night before we were leaving which led me to write my parents a letter that I left on my parents’ bed that basically said, “I don’t fit into this family, emotionally, relationship-wise, physically (more on that later). I’m sorry. I make everyone upset, I make [my parents] fight (around the age of 13-14, there were fights beginning to pop up between my parents when one of my sisters and I fought because my dad, who is more like me, would be accused of always taking my side by my mom, who is more like my sisters) & how I’m going to start seriously looking for places to move out to.” I told them that this wasn’t their faults, that I’ve always been like this. I bottle things up inside me to the extreme & for some reason that night had just reached the point of no return that night & let it all out onto the paper. I openly self-harmed (NON-SUICIDAL), which is something I’ve been doing for as long as I remember, I made a mark on my arm which lasted for the entirety of our vacation, about a week. I let it all out but I’m wondering if I let too much out.

Backstory: I was tested at the age of 12 & was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD, and ADHD. I’ve seen a couple psychologists/counselors & a psychiatrist since 12 & take pills daily for my ADHD. I’ve had NSSI (non-suicidal self-injury) since I can remember (my father has even told me that when I was little, maybe even 1 & 1/2 or 2 years old or so I would harm myself when I got upset with myself. I am a deeply introverted person, but am probably not super introverted, instead probably just has very intense Social Anxiety Disorder. Despite all of this help, I can’t open up about my true feelings to anybody, my parents, my counselors, my psychologists, nobody. I hate my body, as I’ve just never felt like I fit in with the rest of my family as I’ve always been on the heavier side & am only 5’3”, which doesn’t help the weight/appearance issue. I also have large breasts, which have been a constant source of self-hatred as (no one else besides) my family have either made fun of them every once and a while in a joke or pointed it out/laughed at it when I try on new clothes, not to mention passive aggressive things my mother has unconsciously said such as “I don’t even know if they sell a dress that big” while shopping for my prom dress. I just feel like the family go-to punchline. It’s gotten so bad that I had a small breakdown after coming back from a grad party and we were all very hot and sticky & I mentioned that I was wearing things underneath my dress (a camisole & athletic shorts) & even wore a cardigan sweater over the dress. I’m just used to my mother telling/having me to cover up with a sweater. My mom told me to take all that off and just wear the dress and & did but when I came downstairs to show them I broke down about how nervous I was, as this dress had a very small v-shaped cutout in the neckline. My mom was trying to comfort me as I was explaining that it was okay while I was explaining how much I am constantly aware of, nervous about my body & breasts. I know she was just trying to help, but she also mentioned that I could get a breast reduction if it really bothered me that much & turned to my father discussing that it would probably be covered under our insurance (again, live in the US) as medically necessary, which did wonders for my confidence, I mean, what young woman doesn’t want to hear that her breasts were so big that the medical and insurance community would agree that they could/should be able to have this done? I told my mother I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about it, but I’m honestly terrified to even get a flu shot & honestly, if I do get a breast reduction, I feel like I would be admitting to myself that my original/true self wasn’t good enough.

I’ve struggled with my emotions for years. I can get very emotional. People with ADHD often struggle with/have very intense emotions. When I’m angry, I can get VERY angry, not throwing things, but definitely screaming. I internalize everything, whether intentional or not, I take everything as an insult & cannot take/accept help. I’m very much of a perfectionist towards myself & although I know it’s wrong, see any type of help, no matter how small, as a failure. I have very low self-esteem & am uncomfortable around my sisters sometimes as the 2 of them have an incredibly close bond. They ask me to do things with them but I’m so nervous I tell them no so then they don’t think I want to do things with them, which I’m actually dying to do, and don’t ask any more. I know my parents were trying to normalize it, but everyone in my immediate family knows I see a counselor, a choice that was made to tell them all without my consent, as I wish no one else would know, and a few months ago my mother also “outed me” as having ADHD to my grandmother, which I know of all the mental disorders is not the most potentially detrimental for people to know you have, but I still didn’t want people to know & just felt/still feel violated by that.

I talk very fast sometimes, mainly due to my Social Anxiety & ADHD (my ADHD comes out verbally rather than behaviorally, mostly due to my Social Anxiety). My mother was suggesting to me that we should look into me seeing a counselor again, which is something that I feel would be like taking a million steps back, although I agree I could benefit from. It takes me forever to open up to someone and would feel most comfortable going back to my counselor I stopped seeing about 6-7 months ago, but I didn’t say anything and both my mom & dad agreed that I would benefit from seeing someone else, something I really don’t want to do... I also overheard my mother speaking to my father saying that my sister “knows that I make her uncomfortable” & that my sister, in grad school studying speech pathology, could “test” my speech since she’s studying in that field & we wouldn’t need to pay someone to do it, and that terrifies me to no end & was asking my dad if he thinks I should get psychologically tested again. All three of these things my parents have still not officially told me about.

Overall, I honestly feel like right now I have no control over my own life. I feel like my future/mental health is being chosen for me, either by my parents, my emotions, or my crippling anxiety & self-hatred. I’M NOT SUICIDAL, I JUST FEEL SO LOST.
 
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personindistress

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Jeddah
Welcome to the forum :)

It's ok to feel lost. It is valid to feel this way. You won't immediately find your way after graduating because it takes time. Being scared of change is normal, being fearful of moving out is fine.

You also mentioned that you feel that it is all your fault that your parents fight. No, it's not. If your parents fight, it's on them.
You should tell them to stop with the comments about your body. It is hard to stand up to them but it affects self esteem a lot. You also need to talk to them about respecting your privacy. Write it to them, talk to them, anything that will make them understand that they are violating you and that they are being harmful.

Maybe becoming more independent will help you get over your fear and help you feel less lost. Start with something basic like scheduling a doctor's appointment.

You also said that you can't open up to anyone. You could start writing/journaling to let your thoughts out. Bottling up your emotions is not good for your mental health so this might be an alternative.

I know this isn't a lot of advice but hope this helps.
 
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GeminiMoon

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Belgium
Hi Tacoboutalotofanxiety,

I'm very sorry you are having such a hard time.

I obviously don't know you or your family but I would like to throw an idea out there.

Is it possible your mother has been too much of a controlling influence on your life? Telling you what career you should have, to get a breast reduction. Have they encouraged you to be an individual and make your own choices in life? Perhaps that's why you are so afraid of being an adult? Making fun of you, talking to other people about you. Then you ending up being the one to apologise.

Also have they celebrated your successes or just pointed out mistakes?

Regarding your parents have a you heard of gas-lighting? If not do a little googling about it. See if it resonates with you.

Sending you love and light
Gemini
 
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Tacoboutalotofanxiety

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
3
Location
United States
Thanks for honestly even listening! I honestly think that my parents try their best, they just don’t know how to deal with me. I’ve always been so different to everyone else in my family. I think my mom just sees that I really love my job and assumes that it’s something I would love, and I do, but making $20 an hour as a daycare instructor is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve always been incredibly sensitive & take everything quite negatively so it’s hard for me to ask for help & therefore hard for her/them to know how to help. She’s quite the social butterfly while I get anxious during small talk. I think she’s trying to help but just doesn’t really know how, especially as my metaphorical emotional dam burst about a week and a half ago so almost everything I’ve felt for the past 19 years of my existence is all pouring out at once. I’m just so... unhappy and unhappy that I’m unhappy, if that makes any sense...
 
Argon

Argon

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Aug 27, 2019
Messages
91
Location
USA
Did you get any other opinions on your condition? Because the self harm and family turmoil sounds like it could be borderline PD to me. That's pretty serious and should be treated with DBT - dialectical behavior therapy. I was in a psych hospital for 2 years and worked there for another 10 so I learned to be pretty skeptical of mental health diagnoses.
 
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Tacoboutalotofanxiety

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
3
Location
United States
Did you get any other opinions on your condition? Because the self harm and family turmoil sounds like it could be borderline PD to me. That's pretty serious and should be treated with DBT - dialectical behavior therapy. I was in a psych hospital for 2 years and worked there for another 10 so I learned to be pretty skeptical of mental health diagnoses.
I’d be lying if I told you I definitely haven’t been Googling “mental health screening tests” in the past couple of days, although I know that those aren’t the most reliable & can cause more anxiety then good.
My home-life isn’t super chaotic, at least less so since my diagnoses... I just have a VERY strong sense of perfection towards myself & the unfailing “ability” to internalize absolutely everything whether intentional or not, which I think comes from my SAD (Social Anxiety). I definitely pick up on the most minuscule of details and internalize them, like if my mom doesn’t say hello to me immediately after walking in from work & seeing me I feel like she’s mad at me, despite us not seeing each other for 7+ hours... as with the self harm, (this is going to come out wrong, but I’m trying my best + avoiding breaking guidelines)

I don’t feel like it’s INCREDIBLY serious (on the spectrum of what I could be doing to myself). I don’t ✂, I 🤜🏻 mainly. I do recognize that it’s a problem however. I don’t know if it’s just a bad “coping” technique I’ve acquired since I can’t express my emotions verbally, or if you’re on to something, as it began around 2 yrs and re-emerged in the last 2 years. Unfortunately, when I researched it, many of the resources I found say it’s very difficult for it to be diagnosed in people with ADHD as it shares many common symptoms: regulating emotions, very intense emotions, unstable sense of self, negative self image, etc.

Honestly though, I’m not sure, maybe you’re right. I was diagnosed/tested at 12 & (not saying my psychologist is bad or anything), but it’s not all that uncommon for kids to be diagnosed with ADHD here... It’s so hard too cause my ADHD & SAD play into each other. My ADHD is vocal rather than behavioral: I either talk a lot & possibly very fast when I’m incredibly nervous or not a word, but when I’m comfortable with someone, I also tend to talk a lot... and fast. It’s this kind of verbal hell that makes me so self-conscious. Not to mention the fact that I’ve currently wrote more about my deepest insecurities to complete strangers in the past 3 days than I have to paid professionals and family in the last 8 years...

I honestly don’t know how much of this is new or not. Like, (bad analogy but it’s all I can think of) is this like a pressurized can of soda that’s just about to go off for no apparent reason, or is this just a can of soda that has “exploded” when I opened it cause it’s been “shaken”/bottled up so long? I tend to keep things inside for an eternity, so it’s hard to put a timeframe on when/where each emotion/insecurity comes from...
 
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GeminiMoon

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Belgium
Oh hmm.. I don't know. I think you either perfectly normal or totally nuts. Somewhere in that spectrum? Just kidding. :)

You know I used to have huge social anxiety and extreme emotions too. Flipping out over the tiniest things or breaking down in tears. It was difficult but eventually I worked through those deep emotions and they got less and less over time. So just because you have been going through that now doesn't mean you always will. Try to see it as something you are experiencing rather than identifying with those problems as "who you are" and feeling I'm so different to everyone else. Many people go through it so just be kind and understanding to yourself first.

Give yourself time and when you are ready you can find someone who could help you work through things. Imagine a time when your sisters ask you to hang out and that fear and anxiety isn't there and you can feel free and easy about it. You can do it.

Sending you much love and light
Gemini
 
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