I am sorry you had to endure many years of unpleasant experiences because of your family. You grew up in a toxic and negative environment. You were neglected, molested, abused and left to fend for yourself. Despite this you managed to graduate high school and stop using drugs on your own. Given what you had to endure it’s important to highlight how significant these achievements are. I know you’re not feeling very celebratory at the moment but please be very proud of these accomplishments. They’re a testament to your resilience.
I can’t answer the question of why your family treated you in the manner that they did. I’d need more information about your parents to answer the ever-elusive “why?” question. Generally it’s probably because they have their own psychological problems. If we analyzed their lives and behavior we’d probably find that they suffer from a host of psychological issues. Psychologically healthy individuals would never treat their children or anyone else in the manner that you were treated. Clearly something is wrong. They might be psychologically unhealthy or they may simply be bad parents. It’s difficult to know for certain.
Knowing “why” your parents behave in the manner they do does little to help you overcome the damage you’ve sustained as a result of your upbringing. You are at the point in your life where you’re considering suicide. Now is not the time to analyze “why.” Now is the time to focus on saving yourself by getting help and support.
Being kicked out of your parents house at this point might be a blessing. Let it be the turning point in your life. Not living with your parents allows you to be free of their toxic environment.
Right now you need support. Try to find a local mental health clinic or related clinic in your area. Mental health clinics usually offer support and counseling from case managers, outreach workers, social workers and therapists. In addition, many clinics offer programs that help individuals secure housing and job assistance. They might even be able help you enroll in a college program or find you funding for school. You need all of these services and you need them right away. At the very least please seek out some form of mental health assistance for your depression and suicidal ideation. It’s imperative that you find some agency or clinic that can assist you. Please do this as soon as possible. Start this process by checking the yellow and white pages.
Also know this: you grew up with very difficult life circumstances. What you had to endure was not fair. It’s going to be hard to overcome what you’ve experienced but it’s highly likely you’ll succeed in life if you keep trying. Try not to let your past dictate your future. It’s not going to be easy but as an adult you have the power to positively alter your future. You have the control, not your parents. They can’t hurt you any longer. Also worth mentioning once more is the fact that you were able to graduate high school and stop using drugs. This is a “big deal” because it means that you’re smart enough to recognize the value of education. You also realized on your own the harmful effects of drugs. You made it through school successfully while having to live through abuse and neglect at home. This is evidence of your mental toughness and ability to withstand difficult life circumstances. These are very positive and encouraging qualities about you. Let your intelligence and resiliency lead you out of your difficult family life and onto a better and more hopeful future. The first step towards a better life starts with getting help and support immediately. I wish you luck. Thanks for writing.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on February 9, 2009.