Family Tensions

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Hey. I am a senior in high school and I am 18 years old. Graduation is just around the corner. Everyone in my house just seems so silent towards me. Although I am the oldest I feel that I am not treated equal. My cousin who is younger than me just got his license a car, he also has a job and he lives in the same house as me. I have none of the above and every time I try to ask them if I can go get my license or go get a job they always say “Maybe later” I honestly think its favoritism. I don’t talk in this house because it’s as if anyone would listen let alone care for what I have to say. I look to religion for some help and it helps but I just need someone to talk to. My other cousin who I am more close to, his girlfriend and I are sharing similar problems. I can try to talk to people about my home situation but they wouldn’t understand, either that or they could not give me the feedback that I was looking for. My step mom is the main one because every time she talks to everyone else she smiles and she laughs, and then when it comes to me her emotion changes into this negative emotion kind of like a “what do you want” thing. Sometimes it irritates me and sometimes it saddens me. Today I wanted to yell at her because I’m sick of her treating me different, but my dads sister, my aunty, she said to respect it and hold on to it otherwise it will make it worse. I don’t want to talk to my step mom because she wont listens anyway. What do I do? HELP ME!!!!!

A: It sounds from what you are saying that you don’t get a lot of support in the environment you are in. With graduation in front of you I would suggest three things: First, I would start seriously thinking about your next step, your goal for the next year. This is your time to grow and develop your identity with your life direction. Start devoting some time to that and begin by talking to a counselor at your high school while you still have access to him or her.

Second, I would start looking outside your family for support. Check in with your friends and their plans for the next stage in their life. Find out what direction they are going in and see if that appeals to you.

Finally, if there are people in your family that do care more openly for you, like your aunt, you might want to talk to her to get support and perspective in forgeing your new plan.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Mar 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Family Tensions. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/03/28/family-tensions/