Alex's Answer

Upset with my parents

Your Question

Am I being dramatic for getting upset with my parents? Just some backstory. I’m 14 and home schooled right now because of severe and chronic anxiety. I’m also AuDHD (autism and ADHD for anyone reading and doesn’t know) though I just got the diagnosis a like 6? months ago…We are moving for the second time in two years, partly because of the effect my anxiety had on the family. They don’t say it to my face, but it’s pretty clear that my dad, sister, and mom (especially) blame me for all of my parent’s stress lately. Our house is pretty miserable, but they always say they aren’t, which is frustrating…My parents bought a house (which I ABSOLUTELY HATE!!!) before selling our current one, and now our current house isn’t selling. They are SO angry and stressed all the time, and are constantly busy. They both have very important jobs (my mom just recently got a HUGE new job for a college because I basically made her quit her old one (she had to leave her work a lot because of me and her coworkers didn’t like her) and my dad is a teacher for troubled students), but I’ve never really had their attention fully for a while. Before we moved to where we are now, my dad was absent 5 days a week for 5 years because he had to teach in another city. My mom was really busy and I basically didn’t get to do a lot because all my mom’s attention was on my sister…I guess I just don’t know if I’m being dramatic or if I have a right to feel this way. It’s always about their feelings and what is stressing them, and I feel like I have no one. I have no friends and my parents are too busy to talk to me. Everything I do is a criticism because we have to keep the house clean for constant showings, and I feel like I’m walking on eggshells…I don’t know what to do. They started taking me to family therapy two weeks ago (1 session a week) but I don’t feel like I can actually share anything with them because they are too fragile to handle it…It kind of feels like I have to parent my parents. Like, throughout my entire current period of my life (the mega anxiety filled days), they always worried about how much I was affecting them. I know they care, I wouldn’t be affecting them at all if they didn’t love me with all their hearts, but GOD! It’s SO exhausting hearing about how much stress I put on them. Like, I live EVERY SINGLE DAY afraid to go outside, but pop off queen?!?..But it feels selfish to even get upset. Am I ignoring their feelings? Am I being selfish or dramatic? Ps: I’m SO sorry this is so long.

Answer

Hi there, you are very welcome to Ask Alex!
 
 
First off, thank you for reaching out and sharing your feelings with us. It takes a lot of courage to open up about what you’re going through. From what you’ve described, it sounds like you’re facing a very challenging situation. It’s completely understandable to feel upset given everything that’s happening in your life right now.
 
 
You’re not being dramatic for feeling upset with your parents. It sounds like your home environment is quite stressful, and moving homes twice in two years would be tough on anyone, especially someone dealing with severe anxiety and recent diagnoses of autism and ADHD. Feeling like you’re being blamed for your family’s stress is a heavy burden to carry, and it’s natural to feel frustrated and upset in this situation.
 
 
Your parents’ stress and busy schedules seem to be taking a toll on you. It’s understandable that you feel like their focus is always on their own stress and not on your needs. This can make you feel neglected and unheard, which is very tough, especially since you’re already dealing with so much anxiety and emotional upheaval.
 
 
It’s great that your family has started therapy, but it’s important that you feel able to express yourself freely in those sessions. Feeling like you have to protect your parents from your true feelings can be exhausting. Therapy is supposed to be a safe space for everyone to share and work through their feelings, and it’s important that you feel supported in that environment.
 
 
In Ireland, all young people have rights to education and professional support, and there are resources available to help you. Did you know that the ISPCC has an online digital programme for teenagers from 15-18 years old? Check it out at ispcc.ie/guided-digital-programmes/. This could be a valuable resource for you and your anxiety challenges.
 
 
Remember, you can always call the Childline Team if you feel you can’t talk to somebody you know just yet. We are open 24 hours a day, every day, and you can contact us for free at 1800 66 66 66, or by Messenger at www.Childline.ie, (just click on the purple chat icon). Our service is non-judgemental and confidential. You are never alone; we are here for you, to support you and explore your options with you.
 
 
Stay strong and take care of yourself,
Alex

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