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I want my parents to take my mental health seriously, even though they haven't before

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  • I want my parents to take my mental health seriously, even though they haven't before

    So my parents have always known that I was dealing with a few things. However, they always thought it was teen rebellion. In middle school I would constantly be fighting with them, and once I even tried to run away. I didn't get far before my dad dragged me by the hair back home. Over the years, I just learned to pretend like I was fine, and my relationship with my parents got a little better. I didn't trust them for one minute, but as long as I kept being a straight A student and obeyed their every rule, they considered that I was fine. I'm now a senior, and recently these feelings have been coming back and hard. I've had two panic attacks in the span of 3 days, which is not regular for me.

    When I was small, around the age of 7, I was molested by this older guy who still lives in my apartment. My dad saw me and he dragged me away from the situation. However, instead of doing anything he grounded me. For a few months, I wasn't able to leave my room unless I needed to use the bathroom or eat. This started around summer break, so every time I went outside, most of my family would stop whispering. I always knew it was about me, especially because I could sometimes hear them talking about me.

    Flash forward a few years, I began to realize in middle school that I had been molested, and that my dad, who was supposed to protect me and love me, had shunned me for something I didn't have control over. That's when I began to self harm; flash forward to 8th grade. I went to Las Vegas with my family and my dad and I had gotten into an argument. At that point, I had already asked my dad if he could get me professional help. He had looked at me like I was asking for a unicorn or something, but said yes in the end. It had been a few months, and he had forgotten all about it. This fight intensified the feelings of anger I had kept within; I ripped off the little part that you used to open cans of sodas and began to try to cut in the car. My dad saw and hit me. I had felt a little relief inside; he was finally going to see that I was serious about wanting help. It had been no more than 10 minutes after we got off the car and began walking around that my dad was joking with my mom and little brother and asking me why I wasn't enjoying myself. It was then that I realized he would never take me seriously.

    Those were the two major events that shaped my middle school life. In high school, as I said before, I pretended everything was okay. I would have a few mental breakdowns throughout the years, but I never let my parents know. Now, as a senior, before I leave to college, I want to talk to my parents about my mental health and have them recognize that what they did traumatized me. I have a little brother that I care for deeply, and he's come crying to me a few times, so I hope to have them realize what they did to me so that they might not do the same to my brother.

    Because of this, I've recently been reliving some of the most traumatic times of my life; everything that I held back is just bursting, and my feelings are everywhere right now. Thus, I've been a bit more sensitive to my parents remarks. I've been cutting more often. I recently heard them talking to my brother about how I'm just acting out, and how I'm almost 18, so they should just ignore me when I start crying because I'm just trying to get attention and sway them to think that I'm right. Hearing them say this hurts; I'm thinking of just pushing everything back like I always do. However, I really just want to get through to my parents. But I'm scared; I'm scared because I'm pretty sure that my dad believes I was too young to remember being molested. And the first time, he shunned me and treated me so horribly, and if that were to happen again, I don't know what I would do. I'm also scared because even when he witnessed me self harming, he pretended he saw nothing. I often cry myself to sleep; recently, it's been so bad that I just cry in bed and then just can't sleep after. I just don't know what to do.

  • #2
    Hello there,
    Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time and sharing your story with us. It sounds like you have had a long history of not being supported or believed by your parents. We’re sorry to hear you are struggling with some of these repressed memories now and it’s brave of you to be reaching out for help. A good place to start might be reaching out to RAINN at 1-800-656-4673 and talk about what happened to you when you turned 7.
    It sounds like you are also interested in getting some counseling to deal with your past trauma. If you are available to contact us we could look up family or individual counseling for you in your area. Many places work on a sliding-scale and will have options for you. The NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) 1-800-950-NAMI is also a place to reach out to for help dealing with your current situation.
    You also mentioned that you have been self-harming as a means of dealing with your feelings. The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, they also have a live chat. You have the right to feel safe and wanted in your own home, and to be supported. Please reach out to us at the National Runaway Safeline by phone or by chat at any time as we are always here for you 24/7. Best of luck and stay safe.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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