I am 16 years old and an only child, both my parents live in the same house, but they are divorced. This alone means that they are almost constantly yelling at each other about various things, but in the end they always blame me for their arguments. My household has been like this for as long as I can remember. Recently though my father hasn’t been coming home much and when he does he goes straight to his office without saying anything. Usually I won’t see him for the rest of the night unless he happens to come out to the living room to watch a movie. My mother and I constantly fight, and I’m never the one to start it. Usually I won’t say anything and before I know it she’s screaming at me about my grades, priorities, attitude, tone, and is threatening to take my electronics and ground me.
> About two months ago I got extremely sick with the flu, and woke up nauseous and dizzy. My mom doesn’t ever listen to me when I tell her I’m sick, and I had school that day. But I literally couldn’t stand up. She was so determined to get me up she roughly pulled me out of bed (she is a large woman and I’m fairly small and skinny) and tried hauling me into the kitchen while I was doubled over in pan with a splitting headache. I was wobbling and couldn’t walk and she kept yelling at me in my ear and I kept whispering for her to be quiet because of my headache. She slapped me on the face and threw me into the kitchen island we own. I slightly caught myself, but the island is on wheels and it toppled over. It had a glass pitcher sitting on top of it and I landed on thousands of shards of glass. I had one very bad cut on the palm of my hand and my back and leg was scratched up. When she saw I had started bleeding profusely she simply walked out of the house and left me there. That night both my parents called a “family conference”. I sat down to a riveting lie laid out by my mother to my father. She demanded I show her my cuts, I did and then she claimed that I had cut myself because “they didn’t look that bad” when I “tripped”. Of course he believed her story not mine. They went on for nearly two hours saying that I am the black sheep of the family, they are ashamed, they never wanted children, they should’ve had an abortion, they hate me, they want me out of their house, they have an idiot daughter, I’m obviously insane and need a therapist, I should never have human contact, they never want to see me again, I belong in the crazy house. And so on. I attempted my best to argue back but it was worthless. I locked myself in my room and called my boyfriend, Bryant, who was able to console me.
> Other home problems include the fact that I have major anxiety that has gotten worse due to certain events. I now cannot stand to sleep in an unlocked room for fear that someone will hurt me in the night. I have woken up far too many times to see my mother standing at the foot of my bed watching me sleep. I now lock my door constantly and pretty much don’t go out unless I need food. (Fortunately my room has a bathroom in it), but the fact that I lock my room drives my mom insane. At random times she starts pounding my door screaming at me to open up. If I don’t she will begin to text me excessively (over 200 messages an hour.) She begins to call and I always tell her I’m changing or sleeping, though I’m usually on my laptop or writing or drawing or reading. She always threatens to take my phone when I talk on it, and asks endless in depth questions about my personal and intimate relationship with my boyfriend. And not just emotional intimacy questions…like hard-core physical intimacy. I have answers for her but I’m not comfortable sharing that information with my mother. The fact that she seems obsessed with me is starting to really scare me, and the chaos in my house stresses out and is contributing to major anxiety depression, and nightmares. I am scared of my family and they literally hate me. I just don’t know what to do anymore.
A: Thank you for writing to us. No child should be made to feel this way by her parents. There’s enough here from what you said for you to get some help you and your family. Call 800-422-4453. It will connect you to a national system that helps children who are being treated poorly. You are being treated poorly. The call is anonymous and they will not know your name unless you want to tell them – but you can get advice from them. Since you’re still in high school I would strongly encourage you to talk to the guidance counselor about what has happened. Living with divorced parents in the same house is very difficult and sometimes their frustration with each other will get dumped on you.
Talk to the guidance counselor. He or she will be able to help you decide what you need to do to cope in this situation. The free 800 number is so that you can talk to somebody who will listen, ask questions, and also help you to think through what to do in this situation. You writing us here was a strong first step. Now take the next one. Please follow up with your school guidance counselor and that phone number.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 May 2013
Tomasulo, D. (2013). My Parents Hate Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/29/my-parents-hate-me-3/