I’m very sorry that this has happened to you. I understand that it’s challenging but you should continue to seek treatment, even if you feel like you’ve already tried everything. With the right help, there is hope. Don’t give up.
As you are learning firsthand, you can’t expect help from your family. They have their own problems, especially your mother. She’s not well. She’s not in a position to help you. Unless she gains insight and realizes that she would benefit from treatment, and is willing to be an active participant in that treatment, she’s unlikely to change. It’s important to adjust your expectations accordingly. Your goal should be to keep your distance from her as much as possible. Understandably, that’s difficult because you live in her home but do what you can to avoid her.
Regarding your siblings, they too have problems. You can’t rely on them for help either. Much like your mother, until they realize that they need help and are willing to get it, nothing is going to change. As with your mother, it is important to adjust your expectations of them to be in line with reality. They can’t help you.
You’re dealing with the aftermath of having lived in a home with a mentally ill parent and a father who wouldn’t or couldn’t protect you. It was abusive and not conducive to healthy, psychological development. You’re in a similar predicament that many people find themselves; having been raised by ill-equipped parents and are now left to fend for themselves. Without proper guidance, love, and nurturing caregivers, many people feel lost and understandably so. The good news is, as an adult, you can change your life. You now have the power to make things different, to live a different way, to make a better life yourself.
As a child, you had no power. Your parents made all the rules. They told you what to do and when to do it. They chose your meals, your clothes, etc. They dictated when you could leave and when you could watch TV and when you had to go to bed, etc. That all changes when you’re an adult. Adults no longer have to live by the rules of their parents. They make their own rules. That’s what it means to become an independent adult.
You have the power to make positive changes. As an adult, you no longer have to live in their home and follow their rules. It seems as though you had been previously living outside your home while you were attending college, though that is not clear in your letter. If that option is available to you, you should move out and live somewhere else and begin treatment. Most universities have mental health professionals on staff who can assist you. It would be a good start.
If that option is not available to you, what about other family members? Is there anywhere else you can live? Your primary goal, at this point, should be removing yourself from your toxic home environment. No one would do well living with people regularly suggesting suicide. That is no way to live.
I know that what I’m suggesting is difficult because of your depression but it is important to try anyway. To not try is to give up. Keep trying until you find someone who can help you. There are mental health professionals available who can help you.
You wrote that you wouldn’t feel any better if you left your home but that may be tunnel vision preventing you from seeing reality. Tunnel vision is common among individuals with depression. It can prevent them from seeing a positive future for themselves which is why it’s important to seek outside help. You need an objective perspective from a trained professional.
Do whatever is necessary to get the help you need. Depression is a highly treatable condition. I believe that you are in this situation because you were raised in an abusive household and are still living in that environment. Had you been raised in a loving home, with parents who were nurturing, loving, and mentally well, I highly doubt you would feel the way you do. The problem is not you; it’s your environment and the sooner you can remove yourself from it the better. Therapy can help to facilitate a better life for you now and in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact the authorities if you cannot keep yourself safe. They will protect you.
Thank you for your question. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle