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My Invalidating Parents Suck


Frolic
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A friend invited me to the upcoming NYC Pride celebration this coming weekend. When I asked my parents (which is actually just a formality since I am 19 and a sign of respect since I am still under their roof) if I could go with her they gave me all kinds of crap about it.

They, apparently, think that because I am unable to work due to phobia/anxiety or whatever the hell causes my emotional meltdowns... that this means I can't do anything. Even though I've explained at great length about what happened.

Apparently, because "Your mother and I can't be in crowds (when suffering from anxiety)" means that I, too, cannot be in crowds. It isn't being around people that bothers me. It's partly the overwhelming feeling that I am being scrutinized and judged and stared at and talked about. I have problems with one-on-one interactions, phone interactions, being in public on my own (like going to a store) or something like that where I feel as though I stand out a lot. My whole life I have never had a problem attending large music concerts or anything of that nature.  I somehow feel that the last place I will be scrutinized or judged will be at a gay/lgbt pride event. 

I'm also trying to avoid developing agoraphobia, which sounds silly, but there was a point about three years ago where I couldn't leave my house or go anywhere by myself, and even when I was with someone I could only handle short excursions. This lasted for several months and it was very hard to reclaim my independence so to speak. I know if I start avoiding doing things because I'm afraid of my anxiety, it will happen again.

 

It should also be noted that if I were to say "Sorry, I can't go to the store for you today, my anxiety is really bad." My parents would not be accepting of this. They would tell me to grow up, push myself, you know, all the usual b.s. 

They aren't trying to understand me. They aren't trying to support me. They aren't just looking out for me... 
My mental illness only exists at their convenience
 

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So tell them what you told us. They can't understand what is wrong unless you tell them in a simple and clear way. If you've tried then go any way. Of course I don't recommend going alone try bringing a sibling or friend if you have any who would be interested in going. Well that friend who invited you could very well be a support system. But again you are an adult, so you have every right to go, explain yourself to them, and just go anyway. 

Edited by Forbidden91
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It sounds like your parents don't understand their own anxiety very well... I think most of us who really dig into it, realize that our anxiety is partially about having a level of control over our fears...Our fears of being judged, or being stared at, etc...We feel comfortable in certain situations but not others because we know whatever the situation may be, it will not trigger our overwhelming fears... If you feel that being at a pride event would give you a feeling of control (over your fears of being stared at or judged) then you should definitely attend. When you're super-anxious, any bit of accomplishment is a big deal...and this would be for you.

 

Plus there's the whole aspect that you may find people there who share common interests...And each new person you interact with is one step further away from being alone, stuck at home with severe agoraphobia.

 

You're technically an adult so if you want to go, you should go...Explain to your parents and just do it.

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Yeah, I'm going to go. I like asking out of courtesy and such. 

I just get tired of this sort of thing. They go on and on about how I can't use mental illness as an excuse or crutch, and I have to push myself and try harder and 'grow up'. I get treated as if I'm never allowed to have a bad day/week/few weeks. But then they have this all or nothing attitude and black-and-white approach to everything as well. 

I just need to take steps back and remind myself that my parents are humans with their own sets of issues too - and the past is better left there. It's just so hard to let go of things that have been said and done and look at current things through a fresh lens.  But it always reeks of fake-concern and manipulation to me. I don't think I'll ever be able to forget the way I was treated a year and a half ago, when I was inpatient. I 'celebrated' my birthday in the hospital and the staff and other patients treated me much better than my own family for it. It came out a few months after I was out of the hospital that my mother purposefully slighted me for my birthday and christmas (which are only a few weeks apart) because she felt that I was being selfish and dramatic. I also requested my records from my inpatient stay, and discovered that she told the staff that I was 'a liar and very manipulative'. 

*deep breaths*

History is a hard thing to forget, for me. It's difficult, because everyone positive in my life can see the negative effect my living situation has on my recovery and mental well-being - my therapist, my friends... But nobody is in a position to help me out of it, so until I can find a way to financially support myself I'm stuck living here and walking on eggshells trying to stay on their 'good' side. 

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