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I'm very unhappy living at my parents' house

March 31, 2023

Through therapy, and rigorous self-improvement over the last 8 months, I've narrowed down my major cause of unhappiness to living at home. Most notably my relationship with my mom, and how living with her affects me. She's an adult-child who doesn't know how to manage emotions or parent in a healthy manner.

I'm doing all the basic self improvement stuff: I work out daily, I eat well, I read constantly, I have friends, I play bass guitar and am in a couple bands (hobbies), I meditate three times a day, I do well in school, I go on a long walk every day. Despite all this, I'm honestly only like 20% happier than 8 months ago.

I'm in a shit mood more often than not. I feel on-edge and unhappy 80% of the day. The only time I'm happy is when I'm out with friends, but that only happens on weekends cause of school. My mom calls me at like 11 and tells me to come home, then I pull into the garage and the bad mood instantly returns.

I have to deal every single day with my mom's emotional abuse. I won't go into detail, but just lots of childhood trauma that I have to relive Every. Single. Day. Lots of nasty fights too. She doesn't even have to say a word, just seeing her or being around her puts me in a bad headspace.

My mom stopped paying for my therapist after she recognized that he was calling her out as an abuser. I just told her too many things from my sessions and she pieced together the puzzle.

They make me go to church every Sunday, another emotionally abuse environment for me. They drag me into things that waste my time, and only serve to emotionally gratify them.

I cannot be free. I can't even go out with friends without phone calls and the lurking dread of going home. Hell, she literally calls me and starts dumb fights when she knows I'm with friends.

I have to graduate high school, so I can't just up and leave town. Even though I'm 18, it's VERY looked down upon to leave home before college. It would definitely cause a rift in my family. I'm far too broke at the moment anyways. Not to mention my very robust college fund would disappear in an instant (very grateful my dad's a saver and cares for his children's future)

Just not sure where to turn or what to do. It gets worse month by month. I guess I just need to tough it out for the next four months.

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[–]kiadragon 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You have some chops, young man. You know where the problem lies. You are doing the work to change yourself and your circumstances. Fucking impressive.

The only advice I have to give was given to me once in a similar situation. Endurance. You are developing endurance under pressure and you are still making progress. Dude, 20% happier than you were eight months ago is the sort of progress most people don't achieve with better support systems.

It sucks. Keep fighting. Living well is the best revenge and the best outcome for you. The people standing in your way will make the victory more meaningful in the end.

[–]Kuato2012 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This sounds like something I might have written 20-some years ago.

You can persevere through this. You are making a lot of healthy choices and seeing improvement already! Someday you'll be able to fledge out on your own and escape the stale funk of emotional abuse that's always lingering around the house.

Of course moving out doesn't magically transform life into a pile of sunshine and rainbows, but it makes a big difference when you can limit contact with emotionally difficult family members.

FYI, if and when you visit your old home after moving out, don't be surprised if some of those bad juju feelings return. But you can know that it's coming and brace yourself for it and acknowledge those feelings when they come.

[–]a-man-from-earth 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

What does your dad say about this dynamic?

[–]Arguesovereverythin 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

If you're 18, then this will all be over soon.

My advice to you is to start building your savings. Get a job doing whatever you can and try to save up 6 months of income BEFORE you move out.

Trust me. It may feel bad living there now but it will feel even worse moving back in.

[–]Aquamans-Cousin 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I would second this piece of advice for 2 reasons. #1: More time spend productively out of the home. Earning money while not having to be in a place you loathe is a win win. And #2: Money can buy you more freedom. Whether it's a terrible car, ike my first one was, or being able to go out with some spending money in college. Watching savings go up is also an incredible motivator.

[–]uniptf 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

So you're still living at home while you're finishing high school, and that's in four months. I know that sounds and feels like a long time to you, but it's far shorter than the many years you have lived with it already.

You can do this.

You're doing a great job doing all the right things to help you manage the situation and lift your spirits so far. And it's having a positive effect of a 20% improvement, which is fantastic even though it's not yet 100%. Any progress is good progress! At this point, you have to try to find joy and satisfaction in the progress and good times that you do have - even if it's just moments.

You have the college fund that will help you get away, so you can hold onto and look forward to that big help.

You're eighteen, so an adult. Can you re-contact your therapist and ask them to see you on a sliding fee scale for the next four months, until you can get out of the house? Almost all therapists work with their patients who have limited income.
Have you tried to talk with a counselor at your school?
Is there a college or university near you? Often they have training clinics for various professions for which they have educational programs, like nursing, dental hygiene, and even psychology. Check any college or university near you for a psychology training clinic.
Can you check with your town, city, or county to find a community mental health clinic or a youth center that may have counseling services?
Have you thought of any services like ?
There are others as well:

You've said that your mom intrudes on and monopolizes your free time, and that you're broke. Can you get any kind of job to address both of those things at once? That could both get you out of the house with it being responsible and beneficial rather than just recreational and might get her off your back a little when you're away from home, and it will give you some pocket money as well.

These guys seem to really enjoy these two possible different careers:

Land Surveying

"LPT: Stuck in a low wage retail job and want more? The print/sign industry is where to look."

This is some months old, but may still be relevant: "Here are some great companies that are really hiring remote positions."

You can also consider starting some very simple business of your own that lets you work for yourself. You'll get more money, autonomy and freedom, and be able to improve your lot in life even more.

The possibilities there are vast. I know several people who left jobs behind and started businesses in which they: - mow grass in spring and summer/rake leaves in fall/plow snow in winter - walk dogs - do basic janitorial services for businesses after they close: emptying trash cans, vacuum cleaning, cleaning bathrooms and break room kitchenettes, maybe wiping down some common-space surfaces, and maybe cleaning some windows - power-washing stuff for people like their driveways, houses, sidewalks, removing graffiti, cleaning off boats, etc. - I know a guy who started a business by buying a remote-control camera thing on a long cable and just checking places in people's property for whatever they want to check...main drain pipes looking for clogs or breaks, in walls or attics trying to find the source of strange sounds or water leak stains or mold growth. (Looks like they're called things like "plumbing inspection cameras", "borescope cable cameras", "endoscope inspection cameras", "drain pipe cameras", and other similar names.) He originally did nothing else to repair or mitigate what he finds, he just told and showed the clients exactly what and where their problem is so they can then get a plumber or pest control service or mold removal service or do home repairs. Here's a short video on how they work. He has since added a drain cleaning pressure-nozzle hose, and if he sees a clog, he offers to try to clear it with water pressure before people call a full fledged plumber, gets a waiver signed, adds an extra fee, and runs a water hose down the pipe to see if some pressurized water will help.

Maybe your dad would help you with some minimal start-up costs if you try to start a business for yourself.

Those are some suggestions that may help you find more money and some relief from the pressure from your mom.

I hope some of that can be helpful to you.

You can do this, buddy. Four months is going to go by soon and be over, and then you can get away to college.

Best wishes, and good luck. Write if you need to .

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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