From a young woman in Argentina: For a long time I’ve had issues with my parents. Our relationship has never been the best, and as I grew older it only worsened, to the point I’m questioning whether they are abusive or I’m overreacting. Taking therapy to fix our issues didn’t help, because my mom just thought my therapist was just putting me “against her”.
I thought that my only solution was to find a job and move out, that way I could work on other issues like my depression and social anxiety, but as a college student, I need to find a part time job that allows me to study at home. Plus, because of my mother’s overprotective behavior, I fear going outside on my own, and I fear talking with other people.
On top of that, since I graduated from school, I don’t have any school counselors, or any adult from my family I can trust to lend me a hand, because I know everyone has more empathy for my mother. I couldn’t make friends at college either. This is something I must fix completely alone, but I don’t know what to do, how to start, or how to overcome my fears and anxieties.
A: I’m sorry the therapist wasn’t more deft in keeping your mother engaged in therapy. But it may be that nothing a therapist can say or do will help her feel like family work is needed or worthwhile. That being said, it’s time to stop blaming your mother for her overprotection and take charge of your own life. You can’t change your mom. You can change how you manage your life and how you interact with others.
Social anxiety is difficult, but it is not impossible. A place to start helping yourself is at your local or school library. By studying there, you will minimize contact with your mom. By looking at books on anxiety disorders, you can develop a self-created treatment plan. You can also go to a book seller online and find a number of workbooks that provide step by step strategies for becoming more comfortable in the social world. Working through some of those workbooks is likely to be helpful.
In addition, I encourage you to join one of the forums here at PsychCentral. You will meet people online who can give you practical help and support while you work on taking better care of yourself.
Yes, healing will take work. But staying isolated in your fear isn’t going to help you make friends or get on with life. You are smart enough to be in college so I think you are smart enough to read and benefit from books and to successfully utilize online support.
I wish you well.
Source: Parenting & Children