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ErinJade

Help please

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ErinJade

I tried to find a better place for this post, but this seemed like the most accurate place to put it. Sorry in advance if there exists another place for it.


Hi, all.

 

I have not posted on here much, I guess because I don't know what to say most of the time, so I think I need to start here. 

 

I have been trying to escape from my parents for a long time now. I am now in my thirties and have moved out of the house but they still have a firm grasp on many aspects of my life. I feel like its stupid that they would have this kind of effect on me still, but I can't deny that they do.

 

I have been attempting to escape for years. I live over an hour away now, and for a while had a decent job that allowed me to consider breaking all ties and moving outside of their reach, possibly allowing me to think on my own and maybe even seriously consider transition options. However, sometime last year I was fired from this job due to management changes and miscommunication, and I have not found a new job since. Not for lack of trying! I've been stressing through interviews and job boards, and even took up online coursework to get new certifications and such, but I just haven't had any bites. 

 

Recently I've gone in a new direction and started attempting freelance work using online freelancer services, and so far that is promising. I have two possible projects now and was recognized for my background by the service itself. Still, this isn't enough, and I am quickly running out of money. Cobra insurance is expensive, and I don't know how to fix that situation either, especially with the medicine I already need before even thinking of spiro or whatnot. (Which I do not have, as I have not yet told my primary care physician, who I also have been putting off seeing for some time for aforementioned money issues).

 

My dad is now yelling at me over the phone because I apparently offended my sister by turning down a very short haircut. The idea was that it was a haircut she had previously given me (she's a very good beautician and in fact teaches at a well-known school for beauticians and stylists), and in my 'just get it over with' mindset that occurs when I'm around my family I said that it was nice. Yesterday, on Christmas day, they tried to get me to cut my hair down again to that length and style (very short on the edges, the front is designed to sort-of flip up, not spikey per se but in a sort of little wave), and I turned them down. I said that it wasn't really a style I liked and that I was told by actual hiring people that it wasn't professional (and given pamphlets expressly forbidding that kind of haircut in the business place). So now I'm being yelled at that I have to 'get my life together' and 'change if I want to move forward' and 'wake up', the latter of which I assume is more like being 'woke' than not being asleep.

 

(I should mention here, the family's proximity, or any discussion about or with them, almost always invokes something akin to a minor panic attack, usually resulting in a full-blown one later in the week. Just being in the vicinity of their house can cause this now. This is more of a 'for my therapist' part of this post, I know, but I thought I'd include it for context.)

 

So I am terrified, attempting everything I can to get out of this situation as quickly as possible, and am quickly coming to a loss.

 

I put this in this particular forum because I guess the main way that I end up dealing with the stress is by blunt trauma to myself. I don't cut, smoke, or drink, because that's too deliberate, but I do also overeat often for whatever reason, and I know it's at some level a method of hurting myself mentally. Usually, though, the urge is something like... suddenly I need to throw myself at full force against this tile wall, or I need to punch the bed frame, or just hit myself in the face, and though I've been getting better at it, it's still definitely a thing. I don't think I'm worth it, I guess, and the feeling of being stuck is so hard that I just don't know what to do with it. I had thought about putting this on the suicide prevention board, but I think that I'm too afraid of that kind of change. I'm really more afraid of just beating myself up physically, mentally, or emotionally, instead of actually doing things to fix the problem (even when I actually do have steps to do so, though their effectiveness can easily be questioned). I'm very afraid that I'm going to just end up homeless while my dad yells at me that I should be able to pick myself up by my bootstraps or something.

 

This may have been just a rambling collection of words loosely held together by spellcheck software, and if so I'm very sorry. I just really need to get this out somewhere, and hopefully, find some kind of relevant advice or help. I don't think I need to move immediately if I can find some kind of income to save up for the move, especially if that job experience can land a better job later in a new location, though I don't know how much longer I can handle living in the easily drivable proximity of my parents, or with some of my stuff (bank, phone) still tied to their accounts while I can't afford them myself. I'm so stuck, and I'm working myself crazy trying to fix it. Please, if anyone has any help to give, I appreciate it so much. Thank you and sorry for the length of the post.

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VickySGV

The situation you are describing is a real one and your pain from it is real.  Adding pain to pain though just does not work.  Please take that to heart from one who learned the hard way and was close to death because of it.  Please take it from me, in other words.  I too had a parent and family structure where my individuality seemed a danger to them, and they were not gentle or kind about letting me know that. 

 

You do not say what kind of work you do or can do, but where you live at the minute (per your state location flag) tells me that you will be having a serious challenge for many types of jobs.  The idea of freelance work is OK and possibly your solution for a short time.  You may want to look for jobs at even greater distance than just the next parish over.  There are organizations that list LGBT friendly and accepting, two I can think of off the top of my head are Human Rights Campaign who has a list of employers that rank highly for employment of LGBT people.  The other organization is Out And Equal which actually lists job openings.  For some of the jobs, there is an online interview process, and for you the best part may be that the job is halfway across the country, but you will have it before you move. 

 

I actually feel sorry for your sister a bit since she is an expert in her career and I think her care intention for you is good, but she is against your father as well which makes things toxic for all of you, especially if she feels compelled to do it Dad's Way.  The other side though is that if she is that expert, she should also be able to help you tell Dad to stuff his stuff.  

 

I would suggest that you look for a Transgender Support group that has networking as far as jobs or even housing goes.  I am betting your therapist will help you there, but they may be sparse where you live. 

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Jani

Hello ErinJade.  Im sorry you are in this situation but it will get better.  Hurting yourself is not the answer though.  Vicky is correct that the pain is real so take it seriously.  It sounds like you're trying hard to find a good job and you may have to branch out beyond your current locality.  I would suggest limiting your interaction with your Dad as he appears to be particularly stress inducing.   No need to apologize about the length of your post.   Take care of yourself.  You are the most important person in your life! 

 

Jani 

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ErinJade

I didn't know about those job boards at all, I appreciate that. I will be doing my research and looking into that asap. I'm nervous about the expense of moving as well... my experience even in decent jobs doesn't really open up moving expenses, or even savings really, though I think job pay rates are better out-of-state. I'm definitely open to moving out of state though... the farther away from here the better. I've been semi-obsessed with moving to Washington, like, the Seattle-to-Vancouver BC-area. That's pretty far away from here, and I think there's a ton of jobs up there for someone in my field.

 

I've looked it up and actually pretty quickly found that there's a support group in the area. I'll definitely try to work with that too. I have some pretty severe anxiety when it comes to being 'out' about things, but if it can help I'll do my best.

 

I haven't seen the therapist in some time, but they're a very very good therapist so they may actually be open to some email conversation about self-help options like that.

 

Sorry, I did forget to say generally the area (I'm a bit cagey about saying exactly where I live right now). I'm in south Louisiana, so like the Lafayette/Covington/New Orleans/Baton Rouge areas and surrounding environs, and my industry is something between 'art and design' and 'computer science', and like... it's not like I don't have a background or whatnot, I have come certifications and a degree with a minor. I wonder if my previous job firing situation has been the main factor in my not getting a job, or if it's some kind of unintentional self-sabotage with my applications.

 

Thank you though, just getting a response to my issues has calmed me down a bit. I was sort of sitting on my hands for a bit just now trying to calm down during the barrage of texts from my family. Just so everyone knows I did manage to not do anything to myself this time, so that's a small victory.

 

I'm going to focus on this work for a while today and hope that it continues to keep me away from those bad thoughts. You're absolutely correct; adding pain to pain isn't good. I have bumps and bruises that last forever, and often if the injury is bad enough it actively keeps me from doing work, which... is pretty counter to me getting over things. I had once (i think) cracked a knuckle slightly and made my whole right hand swell up for a while, which is kind of stupid when you're right-handed. It's just... the urge gets really strong when it exists and it's like a thousand voices screaming at me all at the same time, I guess, so it's hard to push away. It's work I suppose... I do have a live-with-girlfriend that helps with it sometimes but I don't want to have the burden be on her only. She has her own very significant issues, also involving gender but mostly involving... way heavier stuff than what I'm dealing with (not to say that her issues are more important, I know that's not something good to say ever, but definitely her issues are... how to say it... very, very significant, like, almost tangibly intense issues).

 

Still just I guess thank you for responding. I'm glad there are people here that respond thoughtfully about things. I feel like I'm being taken seriously for my issues and I even have some direction to take. I really appreciate this, you all.

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Dev

Hi Erin,

 

Vicky has given you a number of jumping off points for the path that lies ahead of you.  For the present time, there are a couple more resources I can suggest that you may find useful:

 

https://www.eligibility.com is a website that will help you determine what kinds of public aid you may be eligible to receive.  This can be a lifesaver when income is cut off.  This website has calculators for many different types of aid all in one place, as well as information on applying for it.  The ideal time to apply would be now, before money runs out.

 

Secondly, there's an app available for smartphones called Calm Harm.  It's intended to be used as a substitute for self-harm such as the blunt-force harm you describe.  When you feel the urge, open the app and work through some of the many exercises it has available to distract yourself until the urge passes.

 

Finally, resumes and the hiring process are something of a hobby for me, as I was a hiring manager for many years before I left work on medical disability.  If you'd like me to give your resume - with your contact information edited out - a look for possible improvements and discuss the interview process, send me a private message here on the forums and I'll give you the site's email address where I can be reached.

 

I wish you the best of luck in your job search and in dealing with your family!

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ErinJade

Thank you, I will check out that app. I keep my phone on me all the time so I hope it helps. I also have a fairly durable fidget cube that sometimes helps by preoccupying me to some extent with lots of small forceful motions.

 

Hopefully it will help if the worst happens.

 

I need to update: my mother just called, and talk to me at length. She has this way of not hearing anything I say and just changing the subject of the conversation to something she can possibly still argue if her argument ever falls apart. She repeats things over and over, and any sort of regular discourse is drowned out in that regard. I couldn't get off of the phone with her, she wouldn't let me get off the phone. The whole day has been like this. I apologized to my sister; she said it was okay, and 'thanks' for the apology, and that's it. My parents are however extremely offended still, going so far as to insult me and my girlfriend heavily over our appearance and work ethic. I do not argue back in these situations because I know it just extends the argument. They think I'm some kind of terrible person. I was actually accused of having some "college mindset" where "insulting people is fun". I don't know how to respond to that, even.

 

I ended up hurting my hand on a wood door immediately after the most recent call. I was able to keep myself from striking my face but it was difficult. I don't want to keep doing this. I don't want to keep living in this situation and I don't want to end up seriously hurting myself.

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DenimAndLace

@ErinJade I read your original post at noon and have thought about it since then.  I hesitated to respond because you have so many things going on that I don't feel qualified to help.  However I have this thought for you.  Expanding on what Jani said, I think you need some very firm boundaries with your family.  I would even go so far as to isolate yourself from them for a several months.  It may cause some financial hardship but the emotional benefit would probably do you good.  At the very least, let phone calls go to voice mail and try not to listen to them or listen with someone who can help you process them constructively.

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Timber Wolf

Hi ErinJade,

I would recomend making use of the eligibility app Dev mentioned.  Food stamps, help with rent or other bills. Look for temp employment. Check out that "out and equal" Vicky recomended.  It sounds like you need to attain financial independence from your family. If you can do this, then you can cut them off. This seems like it should be the priority. Even if it requires working in a field other than your choice. Check with your Dept of Human Services (or whatever agency handles public assistence there) about eligibility for financial assistance and employment assistance. They may be able to assist you with a resume and help with interview skills. Or they may be able to direct you to where you can get help. Find and utilise all the assistance you can.

 

You can set your phone to reject calls from your parrents. This will make their calls go directly to voicemail and your phone won't even ring. Don't listen to voicemails if they sound toxic. And do whatever it takes not to hurt yourself. Get the app Dev referred to. Find a crisis help line. Substituting one pain for another won't solve the problem.

 

Most importantly, you ARE worth it! You are worth self love! Anyone who tells you you're not is lying to you. You are a good person deserving of love. I'm so glad you came here. You have friends who care here. We will love you until you can love yourself.

 

Lots of love and a big hug,

Timber Wolf🐾

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SunnyKay

Hi ErinJade,

 

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through such a traumatic time. While I can't speak to some aspects of your post, I can very much relate to a toxic parent/sibling relationship, because that is something that has had a profound effect on most of my life as well. Unfortunately, for me the best path to personal peace and mental well being was to cut off most all ties with them. This meant not going over for holiday dinners, family functions, and even communicating with them. 

 

My last years in their house were traumatic for me. I knew I needed distance from them, but I simply could not get away. Financial stability was elusive. Enter gender identity issues. Adoption issues. And various mental medications that were pushed on me. School offered hope, but I fizzled because I could not handle living at home. I didn't have much money nor did anyone I know, so the parents house was the only option I thought. Communication with them was awful; my mom and dad both would talk at length AT me, but nearly never WITH me. They were religious, highly judgmental, and existed in denial about any reality they didn't want to acknowledge. Often my dad were literally stare at me from chair in the corner of the living room without saying a word. (creepy) There was a final surreal moment involving self harm with a sharp object and blood before I finally got out. When I did manage to physically get away, (by accepting employment working aboard ships) I started growing again as a person, but for years thereafter nearly every interaction with them either by phone or in person acted like a tether pulling me back into a toxic, dark head space. A dark head space with physical components too that included stress, jitters, anxiety, weird body language, etc.

 

Years after leaving, serious financial problems that otherwise would have left me homeless forced me back there for two short periods of time. They let me live in a pop up trailer in the driveway one of those times, and the other time I was allowed to live in a storage shed in the backyard. During those times our relationship was absolutely caustic. 

 

Fast forward to now, and I am so glad I was able to extract myself wholly from that dark cloud. I never want to be live that mess again. Ever. It took many therapy sessions to delve into this and come to peace with my decisions.

 

Perhaps why I'm saying all this is to show that I understand at least some of what you are enduring. I I think there is  a great deal of hope in that you understand the problem, causes, and effects. You are identifying something that is very toxic to you as a person. And you are identifying a path that you need to take to get better too. I very much hope you can find resources to move forward, get away and start to heal. 

 

You are special.

 

You are worth it.

 

Fuzzy Hugs and Best Wishes,

 

Sunny Kay

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ErinJade

Thank you everyone

 

Somehow, hearing some of this from other people makes it sound more plausible. I feel like I can actually do this.

 

Some fun updates though: I have a small freelance job doing an animation for someone now. My girlfriend just got a job as well! I'm going to keep trying to increase the income situation however I can until I can save up just a bit and really move away. The major ties still are my phone and my bank account. If I can become stable enough soon, I think I can really get away and just start to heal outside of their reach.

 

@SunnyKay that sounds unbelievably familiar to me. I actually did attempt to get out once, school-wise, but ended up back in their house for a very, very long time. There's been other times where I ended up back in their house, sometimes by choice (because I guess my brain still thinks "it'll be okay" sometimes. It's never, never okay). Like, I've had situations where Dad would be yelling at me while I was asleep because I guess he thinks I pretend to sleep in order to mess with him, or something?

 

Again though thank you all for being so kind. I'm really glad this place exists.

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Charlize

I'm glad you are feeling better Erin Jade and that prospects are looking up.  A new year is coming up.  May yours be happy, peaceful and filled with positive changes.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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