need a bit of advice - how to get my parents to understand me better

juno

New Here
so as i mentioned briefly on a previous thread, i don't have the best relationship with my parents (would like to clarify here that they were never abusive).

if i went into my entire life story and how invalidating of my emotions my parents have been, we'd be here all day, so instead i'll just list things.

1. when i told my parents i was suicidal, they told me i was too young to feel that way and that what i was feeling wasn't real. i begged to see someone because i was terrified of hurting myself but they refused

2. learned to shut my feelings away and let them fester until they boiled over, and then would get yelled at once they did.

3. as a child i was unable to confide in anyone because telling people how i felt would be a burden to them and i feared rejection or invalidation (still do)

4. my parents are extremely overprotective. i'm already in my junior year of high school and i can barely do anything for myself because my parents have raised me to be codependent and don't really let me make decisions on my own. i always have to double check with them, when i go out with friends they always have to be in the same vicinity. i know they're just looking out for me but it's embarrassing.

5. all my parents care about are my grades. they only really ever ask me questions like "how'd you do on that test" "how did your math quiz go" "did your grade for that project come in yet" "what'd you get on your english essay" "why do you have a B- in science right now" or say things like "you better be going in for extra help" "i'm forcing you to participate in this because it'll look good on your college resume" "you can't be inactive for a semester, colleges won't like that" "you can manage it, you just need to be better at time management"

6. extreme emotions are excessive. especially anger. if i showed anger or even frustration my parents would lecture me for having a bad attitude. instead of learning how to cope with those emotions i learned to lock them away. now, when i get angry, it's explosive anger and i lash out at people. i can't control it.

7. realized during sessions with my therapist that this is why when my PTSD gets triggered, my instinctive reaction is shutting down. because i learned from my parents that showing emotion is a sign of weakness, and that if people find out they'll think less of me.

8. speaking of my therapist, after she first diagnosed me with PTSD, i told my mother what she had said. but all she said was, "okay but that wasn't an official diagnosis, right? you've just got symptoms, that doesn't mean you actually have it." i haven't told her anything regarding it since.

8. could no longer tell my parents anything after a while because i realized that i was only setting myself up for disappointment, and that the reaction i'd get wouldn't be the reaction i'd want. i became afraid of asking for help. eventually this evolved into me getting extremely irritable whenever they ask me about how my day went or something random like that

9. one time i finally opened up to my mom about how i felt they didn't believe me when i told them i was depressed until i began hurting myself. then she started crying, saying things like "how DARE you tell me something like that" "i can't believe you would think that we didn't believe you, because of course we did" "if we didn't believe you, we wouldn't have gotten you a therapist in the first place"

10. my parents make a habit of telling me how i feel, and how i'm supposed to feel. i told them that even after getting better sleep for three months nothing has changed and that i need to see the psychiatrist again. but they said "no, you're better now. you don't need medication." i still haven't seen her, and it's been 7 months. i was supposed to go back after 3.

11. my parents are adamant on me not getting any medication. i don't know why but they really don't want me to.

i think they're in denial. but i just really need advice as to how to get them to understand me a little bit better. all i really asked of them throughout this whole process is their support, but they didn't even really offer me that. i don't know what i should do. i know it won't change overnight but this is something that's been going on for years, since i was in 6th grade, and it's a lot more painful than i initially thought it was. sorry for just uploading my whole life story on here. i know it's a lot and i'm sorry for that, but even a little bit of advice would help
 
Do you think they are interested in understanding you better? Do you think they're interested in supporting you?

If the answers are no, trying to get them to be understanding and supportive is just going to waste your time and make you feel worse.

Not everyone in our lives who, ideally, are supposed to understand and support us - parents, spouses, etc. - are capable of doing that.

Do you have anyone in your life who understands and supports you? (Maybe your therapist?) Lean on that person. Don't try to make someone do what they can't do.

You are very young. You've got a long life ahead of you that's worth planning for. I'm sorry your parents aren't what you need them to be. But all of us here are learning how to parent ourselves. How great would have been for us if we had learned to do that at your age! You have an amazing opportunity to do that now that will help you for the rest of your life.
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
when i told my parents i was suicidal, they told me i was too young to feel that way and that what i was feeling wasn't real. i begged to see someone because i was terrified of hurting myself but they refused

It's not that they didn't believe you. Listen, I felt the same way when I was in school. My parents weren't there for me because of neglect. They just didnt know how to react to you and suicide. They cant put the two together. My brother committed suicide.. So give me a break when I am posting to u. He said over and over how he was done with life.. And my mom blew him off. She grew up in the 50's and that was unheard of, then!! She simply thought he was going thru "growing paIns." He o'deed on a bottle of aspirin 2 weeks before he died. Your parents don't know how to react. Don't make it your problem.

They could deal with the fact you needed a therapist so do that. Don't blame you're parents for being ignorant to suicide. MOST parents react that way. I don't care if you're the richest kid on the block.

My brother took his life at 16 years of age and his birthday was Sept 16th. He kissed my mom goodbye( when he had a gun behind his back) and went upstairs and killed himself!
 
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Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
You know it is an interesting thing to be my age and yet I can commiserate with you in the sense I remember the angst of that time of life.

Reading your post I believe a few things come through...your parents sound like they care. They are imperfect, as we all are. Your position is valid and yet you are in the "thick of it" like so many of us are and it can alter our perceptions.

I want to support you so bear with me but interest in your school is support, however annoying. I am sure it can be. Deanna makes some very insightful comments....

They cant put the two together.
As far as the medications, they are worried about longtime effects.

I am a scientist and my joke is "better living through chemistry" ......however medication comes with serious ramifications. All meds do. They alter your biochemistry and frankly during a persons growing years and during major metabolic/hormonal stages, puberty, young adult, pre pregnancy etc I would be extremely cautious about any meds. Simply put they can alter your baseline long term. Hair can fall out, weight gain, hormonal migraines, fatigue, insomnia etc etc. Everything comes with side effects, every medication. Ibuprofen causes liver damage and it seems so safe.

I'd be interested to know if you could have one change in your family dynamic...what would it be and why?

Best,

Whirlwind
 

Freida

Sponsor
sorry for just uploading my whole life story on here. i know it's a lot and i'm sorry for that,
This is one place you never have to say you are sorry. :hug: It's why this place exists

My guess is that your parents can't face the concept that their perfect child is struggling to the point that she is suicidal.

But this isn't about your parents
It's about you.

It's about YOU getting the help you need
You may not be able to ever get your parents to understand what is going on - for many, many reasons. And very few of those reasons are going to be because of you. Could be their lives, their own mental health, their thoughts about suicide, a ton of different things.

So the question is - how do YOU get the help you need?

Do you have anyone in school who can help? A counselor or even a favorite teacher? Any relatives who can intervene? if so I'd suggest printing off what you wrote here and taking it to them. You are very, very articulate so it will hopefully give her a better look at how you are really feeling. A lot of us do that here - sometimes it's easier to write than to talk.

The next time you feel suicidal, or even just really upset, please call the crisis line. You need to talk to someone who gets it - and they do. Don't worry that you aren't "bad" enough or that you don't want to bother them or any of that nonsense. That's why they exist - to help. Some of them even have teen talk lines. Plus, they can do an assessment and help you decide what you need to do next. Be honest with them - they can't help with things you don't tell them.

Another thought? Call your therapist and let her know you want to come back but your parents are not allowing it. She may have some ideas on how to handle it.

Don't worry about how your parents will react. That is their problem - not yours. Sometimes parents need a good smack upside the head to get them to see what is really happening in their child's life. If they get upset so be it. Because you will be getting the help you need.

Teenage life is way harder than many people (including parents) realize. You are doing a great thing by reaching out so keep doing it! :hug:
 
S

Sunandbutterflies

As Frieda said,
Is it possible for you to speak with a trusted adult such as a guidance counselor at school? Perhaps they would be able to help advocate for you and help you speak with your parents?

I am glad that you were able to see a psychiatrist at one point. Would your parents be willing to attend a session with you and your therapist?
Praying for you as you walk through this.
 

juno

New Here
thank you everyone so much for your replies. i appreciate your help so much, and i really needed to hear a lot of what everybody said. i feel much better about this whole situation.

i have a therapist that i see regularly, but i think talking to the guiding counselor at school will help too, just so that i can talk to someone during school hours. i'm going to see if i can try talking to them about it again.

thank you all again for your responses :).
 

joeylittle

Administrator
It's not that they didn't believe you.
As far as the medications, they are worried about longtime effects.
You don't know either of those things. Honestly, sometimes, people are selfish - even parents.

I believe in empathy, I believe in putting myself in the other person's shoes. And if these words were helpful to the OP, that's great. But not all parents worry, not all parents listen.
i have a therapist that i see regularly, but i think talking to the guiding counselor at school will help too, just so that i can talk to someone during school hours. i'm going to see if i can try talking to them about it again.
This is a great idea.
i don't know what i should do. i know it won't change overnight but this is something that's been going on for years, since i was in 6th grade, and it's a lot more painful than i initially thought it was.
I'll suggest something that will be difficult...I would ask your therapist to refer you and your parents out for some family sessions (or do them for you, as part of your course of therapy).

The thing that pops out a lot in your post is how much struggle you experience when you try and communicate with your parents. That struggle is real. Learning to talk, to express, and to listen - it's not like people are born with these skills. We have to learn them. And there's no shame in finding ways to learn how to communicate. Family therapy puts a lot of emphasis on this, and it could be really helpful.
 
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