Ok, so this is not the only time this has happened, but last night my little brother had an issue about something, idek (I don’t even know) what anymore, and it blew up because of his mental health issues (Autism, OCD, a bad temper). Like usual when this happens, my dad got really really pissed at him and started yelling on top of him. I got a sensory overload and became overwhelmed by the whole thing and ended up running upstairs, so I could have an anxiety attack in peace. But, that only escalated the situation. My dad started taking it out on my brother. My dad started telling him that if I came back, we could go back to the movie we were watching.
Well, they don’t know that I heard them yelling, but I did. I know I should’ve gone back down and just sucked it up, which is what I usually do, but I just couldn’t. I ended up having my mom drive me around to chill out away from all the yelling and stuff, but even once my head was cleared, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. And so my dad and my brother just kept going at it until, with a small intervention from my mom, it kinda just fizzled out. I just feel like when this happens, it’s my fault for not doing whatever my dad says will make the situation better. Am I wrong?
- Not everyone realizes how tough it can be to prioritize your own self-care, so thank you for taking the time to share your story with the TeenCentral community. It sounds like there are times when your home environment can feel a little overwhelming. When you take the necessary steps to remove yourself from these situations in order to relieve some stress, you are making a responsible choice to focus on your own mental health needs.
- Dealing with feelings of anxiety can be very challenging, but the good thing is that you are already using some strategies to help manage these stressful events. As you continue to develop more self-awareness in terms of the situations that seem to trigger you, you should also be able to identify additional coping skills that you can use to confront these tough moments before they overwhelm you. Under the Learn Tab of TeenCentral.com, consider checking out the section on Anxiety with lots of useful information and great suggestions related to this same topic.
- Trying to sort through all of your feelings about the stresses at home can be tough, especially if you are trying to manage it all on your own. It sounds like your mom has been able to offer you some immediate support, but have you ever opened up about how you are feeling with another trusted adult in your life? If you are able to speak to somebody else about what is happening and how you are feeling, it can sometimes help to better understand yourself. With a little extra clarity, you may even find that you feel a little more at peace with the decisions you are making.
- Have you ever felt a little conflicted or unsure about what you should do or how you are feeling about a particular situation? Sometimes, we can start to overthink and bounce back and forth between different ideas to the point of feeling confused and overwhelmed. Oftentimes, we can feel lost in the moment, but using a journal to capture our experiences can allow us the ability to try to make sense of our thoughts and feelings. Remember that we are often our hardest critics, so a journal should be a safe space where we do not judge ourselves for how we feel or what we do. If you want to learn more about the many benefits of this exercise and how to get started, feel free to read about Journaling as a Coping Skill for Stress on the What’s New Blog of TeenCentral.com.
- You mentioned how finding a way to leave the yelling at home helped you to be able to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Doing something active that involves movement certainly has many mental health benefits, but there are times that we do not have the option to physically leave a particular situation. Maybe you could try yoga as a way to help manage some of your anxiety and find some of those same chill feelings wherever you are? On the Tools Section of TeenCentral.com, there is a great introduction to yoga via the Sun Salutation and even more in-depth guidance and additional positions to try in the Stretch Yoga Pose.
- You obviously care very much about your other family members, but you should not forget that you need to also take care of yourself. What activities bring you joy and make you feel happier? If you can try to include these preferred activities in your daily routine, it can help to build up your ability to tolerate the stresses that you may often encounter. If you are used to putting others’ needs before your own, it can feel like you are being selfish by taking care of yourself; however, we all need to remember that in being there to help others, we cannot leave ourselves behind!