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Living with abusive parents

J

Jesslika

I’m in my 20s and have CPTSD. I still live with my parents out of necessity as I am about to start a course at uni which is part of my plan (that my therapist helped me devise) to slowly turn my life towards something I value (as I’ve been so disconnected from my wants and needs that I’ve always acted out of the need to please others). This course is about the only thing providing me with a glimmer of hope for my future right now. My parents, mostly my father, is emotionally and verbally abusive which triggers me quite badly. Does anyone have any tips on living with an abusive parent? I know leaving is probably ideal, and I would do this if I was able to financially support myself. But this isn’t an option for me right now, and I just want to be able to protect myself better, emotionally.
 
Probably not the answer you’re looking for but getting out sooner than later would be my response. I lived with my abusive parents and ex-husband when I started therapy and I was told something similar.

Until able to leave I would work on boundaries, maybe through a 12-step program like Codependents Anonymous. And try to be away as much as possible. And actively looking and planning for my leaving (figure out a budget, keep an eye on the rental market, write a resume, etc.)
 
i never would have made it to uni if i hadn't left my parents when i was 16. that pair figured that if i could muster the bucks to pay tuition, i could muster the bucks to pay their bills, to name just one of their dysfunctions. but i've had more than my share of undesirable roomies. my solution was to be home as little as possible and keeping my focus on my self-support (work) and/or my studies. i often found camping spots to help me get away from whatever the roomie irritation was. the goal was to leave them at the first possible moment, so setting boundaries, etc., seemed like more work than it was worth. avoidance time. not repression. just avoidance.

gentle support while you find what works for you.
 
Ditto, be away as much as possible… including switching your sleep schedule around to be asleep whilst they’re awake as much as possible… so you will still probably have some overlap, but between being gone for school and asleep when they’re up? It minimizes it until you’re either away in class or working, or home asleep. Get up, shower, eat, leave the house. Come home, shower, sleep. “Homework” never actually has to be done AT home.

If you’re not ready for full time work/school (and that’s totally fair, and smart to build up to)… use the student center to look for part time campus jobs (you’ll be there, anyway, for your classes)

During school breaks, try arranging to be gone entirely for things like Habitat for Humanity. Again, the student center will have information on a lot of programs available. As a single parent I was always super bummed I couldn’t justify doing 3 weeks in the Caribbean, or New Zealand, or Norway, or Brazil like my classmates were doing with various academic and relief organizations. Both for the experience, as well as to pad their CVs and make them more competitive. I could do quarters/semesters abroad, but the short little breaks between fall/winter/spring quarters? Just didn’t fit my life.

Just because (in the US) one has to wait until they’re 24 (or enlist in the mikitary) if they don’t want their parents income as their own? Does NOT mean that you won’t qualify for hundreds of scholarships for next year. I spent 8 years in school, and most of those I “made” apx 50k per year, just by way of scholarships. Every year I set myself the task of writing at least 1 per week, and I often managed 10+ per week… just because there are so many shared “themes”, once I had a couple dozen essays on various themes, it only took a few minutes to personalise an already written essay, instead of spending hours getting the first one done. I only won a small percentage of what I wrote for, but that was still invaluable money.
 
i live with emotionally abusive parents
well one, and the other just does nothing but im fairly certain is aware of the OG's abusive nature towards me

anyways
focus on you. work on getting validation for yourself from yourself.
helped me a lot when i recognized his issues are his issues, his actions say more about him than me.

try not to share personal or important info with them so they can't use it against you later.

the OG asks me pointed questions, trying to set me up for criticism. i found asking him the purpose of his question: whether he was curious or intending to be mean, shuts him up fast most times.

walk away and dont engage when possible

keep your goals in mind, remind yourself you're working your way out and it wont be forever
 
i live with emotionally abusive parents
well one, and the other just does nothing but im fairly certain is aware of the OG's abusive nature towards me

anyways
focus on you. work on getting validation for yourself from yourself.
helped me a lot when i recognized his issues are his issues, his actions say more about him than me.

try not to share personal or important info with them so they can't use it against you later.

the OG asks me pointed questions, trying to set me up for criticism. i found asking him the purpose of his question: whether he was curious or intending to be mean, shuts him up fast most times.

walk away and dont engage when possible

keep your goals in mind, remind yourself you're working your way out and it wont be forever
Thanks for this, it gives me hope. I see focusing on my goals as the key way out so it’s reassuring to read your comment. Thanks
 
I was thinking about this today and as early as I remember my stepfather communicated with me abusively. Of course in the way the story goes I bonded in adult life with the same type of person. It eventually, as the cycle of violence goes, escalated into me being hit over the head with a board while I was sleeping. Verbal abuse most often leads to the physical. His first wife left him and he mistrusted me to the point of being pathological. The night of my assault I did call the police and he spent three days in jail. I tolerated the verbal abuse but fell back upon trying to prevent it at any cost. Thus solidified CPTSD. I was in a high profile position. He stalked me for 5 years and accused me of all sorts of things. The night he was arrested his father came rushing over. He said to the policeman,”what if she deserved it?”. He got a huge finger in the chest. Because I cowered from the anger and violent arguments in my folks and was fearful to the extreme it took a long time and major work to heal even today when I hear or read anger and verbally abusive speech I have a flash of fear for a moment. I have been married for 34 years to a kind and wonderful man who has never displayed arrogant anger and I realized today that all people should be regarded with dignity. I know some on this forum are in the middle of this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you persevere.
 
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