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How Do I Find Myself?

By November 7, 2023March 25th, 2024No Comments

I don’t know if I really have a reason to think it, or maybe I’m just paranoid. I have anxiety, and sometimes I feel like it makes me think things are real when I know it’s not. But sometimes I can’t tell. I feel like I think I see things in someone’s body language that might mean something when it might not.

Sorry, I feel like I’m being too vague for anyone to understand. I’m the oldest, and I’ve recently become an adult (18f) I know what an abusive relationship is like, I’ve lived it, I’ve seen how abusive parents react, and how they act. But that was physical more than it was mental, and I don’t think parents should make you feel like I feel. I love my parents, I love my step-dad and mom but they’ve told me before they never wanted to be parents in the first place, my mom was forced to have me and my middle sister, my step-dad hadn’t gotten into a relationship with my mom in the hopes of being a dad. They’re young too, my mom had me when she was 19, they’re both 38 and 37 I think. And they love me too, just not in the way I need? I feel more like a tool for them, and when I’m useful and good, they treat me nice and when I make a mistake, any kind of mistake, whether I meant to or not, they react as though I knew all along just how it would affect them and I did it anyway.

My sister recently did some stuff that could really affect my dad at work, and because I knew about some of what she was doing, she wasn’t allowed to have a phone but her boyfriend at the time leant her his old one which she used to exchange nudes, they’ve threatened me with making me quit my job and taking away the car they let me use. They then threatened me with sending me down to where the rest of our family lives if I “ever do something like that again”.  They didn’t ask how I was involved, instead said I was an enabler, and that it’s my fault they’re in this mess cause I didn’t say anything. I had no idea she had been doing what she had been doing, but when I tried to say that, my parents told me to shut up and had me stand there as they read over the emails my sister sent. I work a full-time job on top of going to college. I had no time to focus on what my sister was doing. I had just thought she was doing some stupid high school drama stuff and didn’t think much on it. But now my parents are mad at me, and I feel so bad, even though looking back, I couldn’t have known what she was doing. If I had known I would have told them. It’s why I feel like a tool, when I’m useful they love me and make me feel validated, and when I’m not they make me feel awful and useless so when they give me a job to do I feel good again. They’re really not bad people, and I don’t think they mean to make me feel like this. Though, recently, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve wanted to do some self exploring- find out the clothes I like, the makeup I like and they just shut me down. They make fun of what I like, talk down to me when I express ideas about doing some things that are just for me, and when I talk about plans I have for the future they just kinda disregard it and talk about things they think I should do. So I just don’t really know what to think. Are they toxic? I’m pretty sure they love me, and I’m sure in their heads they think they’re helping me, but I just kinda feel like a canvas that’s been painted over too many times to the point it’s all mixed up and there isn’t ever gonna be enough white to cover it. I feel like I never got to be me, cause I spent so much time trying to be what they wanted me to be, and now I don’t even know what I want any more. Its worse cause I want them to love me, I let them scream and yell and call me names, and I feel like cause I do that they just walk all over me. I don’t do relationships because I can’t set boundaries and keep them. I just let people take and take until I feel all hollowed out, and then they leave and it happens all over again. It’s the same with my parents, but I can’t leave, and they just keep taking and I feel so empty.

But as I type this, I feel like I’m over exaggerating, that’s what my dad would say, and that I’m being ungrateful and throwing back all my parents sacrifices in their face for even thinking this.

Help Yourself

  • Thank you for taking the time to reach out to Teen Central.  Figuring out who we are is one of the hardest things to do, and it sounds like you’re trying but don’t feel supported as you’re going through it.
  • There’s no right or wrong in how you feel- they’re feelings and they’re yours.  Feeling frustrated, angry, scared doesn’t mean that you don’t care.  It sounds like you want your family to be your support system right now but you don’t feel like that’s working.  While you’re working on that, is there another trusted person in your like that can help validate your thoughts and decisions as you’re working forward with this?

Consider This

  • Have you considered sitting down with your family and talking out how you feel?  If you feel comfortable doing something like this, you may want to use a tool such as the Conflict Conversation Organizer in our Tools section of our website.  It helps organize your thoughts so you can approach the situation feeling more confident and prepared to express yourself.
  • You sound like a very busy person.  Do you take any time for yourself to relax and just breathe.  Life can be overwhelming with all we have to do, but it’s important to make sure you take the time to take care of yourself.  Maybe try finding come activities or hobbies that will help relax you, such as hiking, music, art, or just going to the movies to take a time out.
  • Give yourself a break.  You are at an important time in your life for figuring out who you are.  It’s not easy and it’s often very confusing.  There will be growth and there will be mistakes- know that and make the time to recognize the accomplishments you’re making along the way.  Be proud of who you are who you are going to be.  You deserve it!