09/10/2021 - my home doesn't feel happy
when im at home as soon as i walk in the door i feel instant stress, almost like the next time that i see my parents i will be burdened with yet another thing i can quite do right or something small made out to be my fault. my parents always tell me if there is anything i ever need to talk about or if im having anxiety, to tell them about it and they will help, but i feel as though when i do bring it to their attention that it only makes things worse and it brings more anxiety and stress to the table. weather they realize it or not, half of the time when i try to talk to them they either use my feelings against me or compare how their day was, because my day was "perfectly easy" compared to the "extreme levels of stress" they go through each day. and well that might be true that they do have their own issues as they are human, mine still matter as much as theirs do. at least i think, at this point im not sure because it seems no matter who i talk to im always a burden to them and im not the perfect daughter/sister/friend that everyone thinks i should be
Hey! I'm so, so glad you reached out, because you are most definitely not alone. The very first thing I want to tell you is that I completely understand (well, I can't say I completely understand, since I'm obviously not you, but I'd say I understand a good 90% :)) what you're going through right now - in fact, it was a little spooky how closely your parents sound like mine. I struggle constantly to get my parents to understand that just because they think my worries are "smaller" and more "insignificant" than theirs doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to struggle and complain. If I ever point this out to them, they just say, "but it's true!" right back at me, and they make me feel as if I don't even deserve to complain - it's quite literally one of the most frustrating things I have experienced in my entire life. From personal experience, though, I have to say, even though your parents' judgement might seem nonstop, don't take it too personally. They might - or at least my parents do - just be searching for a way to vent their own stress, and you happened to be accidentally in the line of fire... It sucks, but sometimes they just use you as a stress ball or a pincushion of some sorts. Maybe next time they start yelling at you for seemingly insignificant things, you can divert the conversation - ask them how their day was? Perhaps then you can figure out why they have such a short fuse that day. There are so many other things you said that just really hit home for me as well - the endless expectation from literally everyone to be perfect can be so incredibly tiring, especially when it's difficult to find someone that will listen to your worries with absolutely no judgement.
I'm here to let you know that it's okay. It's okay not to be perfect, and most of all, it's okay to complain. It's okay - well, more than okay - to struggle. Your worries are valid, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. Nobody knows what being you feels like - nobody knows how hard it is to face the challenges that you are facing, so they have absolutely no right to tell you that the things you're going through aren't valid. Everyone deserves to worry and complain - your parents do, but so do you. Sometimes, you just need to vent these worries to somebody, and everyone deserves someone they can vent to, judgement-free. It can be really hard sometimes to find this right person, but trust me - there's definitely someone out there ready to listen (like me! :)). If you want to vent some more, let out some steam, or just clear your head, I'd be more than happy to talk/text during my shift (Wednesdays, 4-7 pm). Something else that's really helped me is just keeping a diary - sometimes, if I want to complain about something but can't find anyone willing to listen, or don't trust anyone enough on that topic, I scribble it all down in my journal, because I know that my future self, upon reading this entry, will definitely empathize and understand, even if nobody else does right now. I know it sounds kind of silly, allowing my future self to comfort me right now, but it really does help me.
Really, I want to thank you for writing in and sharing your thoughts with me. I can't speak for everyone in your life of course, but for me personally, I honestly love it when people complain to me about what's going on in their life. It makes me feel like I matter to them, like they trust me to listen, understand, and empathize. If people think you're a burden when you honor them with confidence and trust, then maybe they don't deserve it at all! Just always keep in mind that you DO have people who care. I care. My fellow TeenTalkers care. Your parents, however self-righteous and prickly they may be, care. Your sibling(s) and friends, however unreasonable their expectations for you may be, care. So basically, what I want to say is this: worry all you want, complain all you want, because every single thing you feel is absolutely valid.
I just want to start out with how big of a fan I am of yours. I wish more people knew that their feelings are valid, whether other people acknowledge it or not. I’m sorry that going home doesn’t feel like a safe space right now, I know how it feels to not look forward to going home because of all the pressures. I’ve had to work a lot on my anxieties around it. A quote that really stuck with me is that “you can’t change how people act, but you can change how you react.” You can’t change how your parents are but with practice and coping sometimes it makes it so you can react better. I often repeat “this probably isn’t even about me, but about them” a lot. My dad used to try to fix or argue why something isn’t an issue and things started getting better when I was able to verbalize what I wanted for the conversation like “I want to talk to you but I don’t want you to try to fix it” or “I want you to agree with it because I need to feel sad about this” and then ask them if they can do that. If they can’t then it’s not worth my time telling them. If they can, great. If they say yes but then actually don’t, I’ll respond with “hey I’m going to have to stop you here, I think maybe we should post pone this convo for another time because I’m not getting what I need from this, maybe we can talk later?” But that’s just what I do, and I don’t know if that would be the way you’d want to handle it. And I think you put it really well, that they are valid in having a bad day but so are you and it makes me curious if you’ve ever told them just that? Maybe if talking to your parents is stressful, have you thought about reaching out to another trusted adult? Sometimes I talk to my favorite teacher, my uncle, or our family friend. You deserve to have someone to vent to for sure. Because you’re enough. You’re every much the perfect daughter/sister/friend that anyone is. No one is perfect, except that you’re perfectly imperfect and you’re amazing for it. You’re the only you in the world and that is all anyone could ask for.
It sounds like you’re going through a lot and I’m really glad you reached out. You don’t have to go through this alone at all. If you ever want to text or call us we are totally here. I work Thursday 6-9pm but we are open Monday-Thursday 4-9pm and Fridays from 4-7pm.
I look forward to hearing back!
I feel like this really echos what you’re talking about. It helps me when others know what I’m talking about. https://teguharaharjo.medium.com/stop-competing-for-who-have-the-worst-life-4359cd536896
Hello, thank you so much for reaching out. I can relate to feeling like when we express emotions and worries to our parents, that it further burdens or upsets them. When we feel negativity, it is present in everything we do. It can be so frustrating not knowing how to navigate or separate these feelings, especially when we feel like we don't have an outlet. I recommend identifying some support systems aside from your parents. This could be friends, teachers, relatives etc. Doing something like venting or expressing our feelings can help us let go of some of the negative connotations we are feeling, and allow room for us to focus on the positive especially in situations where we can't control what another person is saying or doing. I hope this helps, let us know how you are doing :)
Hello! It can feel so lonely when you don't know who to reach out to, but that's exactly what we're here for. Navigating issues with parents can be especially tricky, sometimes I feel like parents forget that adult and teenage problems are just different. Your problems are valid, and I'm sorry you're feeling they're not. It's hard to know if you have it as bad as someone else but at the end of the day just because someone has worse problems it doesn't make yours feel any better.
Something you could try is asking one or both of your parents to sit down with you and just listen as you tell them everything that you're feeling. Having them not be able to say anything until you've gotten it all out might be helpful. You could even ask that they just listen and don't say anything at all, that way they can think about it/have it in their subconscious. This could help to remove some of the stress that they might try to use your words against you.
I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who genuinely care about you and don't think of you as a burden at all, but I also get that hearing that doesn't help the feeling go away. You could try thinking of a time you've helped them everytime you're feeling like that. For example: I feel like I'm being too much right now, but last night I took out the trash without being asked; or I helped my friend with homework that one time. You're not a robot daughter/sister/friend, and part of being those things is unloading feelings onto people so they can do the same in return if they ever need to. You've got this! If you wanted to talk more ever, I volunteer Wednesdays 6-9. I hope you find some of this helpful and are able to work it out with your parents, take care!