For many years, you were happy and did well in school, in spite of your parents. Developmentally, it is necessary for all individuals to become independent. That means independent of their parents. Essentially it means becoming your own person. You are not an extension of your parents and thus their behavior should have no bearing on your happiness. Understandably, that is easier said than done.
The fact that you were happy and maintained good grades, despite their problems, should give you some confidence. It is evidence of your resiliency. Generally, teenagers have underdeveloped self-esteem. Since self-esteem is developed through life achievements, teenagers are too young to have achieved many successes. They simply haven’t lived long enough. If you were to attend college (should you decide to go) and you continued to succeed, your self-esteem should improve. The more you achieve in life, the more self-confident you will feel.
You asked about counseling. I think that is a very wise idea. Many young people enter counseling because of problematic relationships with their parents. It is a common reason for young people having entered counseling.
Counseling will help you to live independently and to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem. It is also the ideal place to explore how you should proceed with your life. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle