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Hi,

I am a 17 year old and basically I am under a lot of stress...due to my studies and work.I was a working student since last 10 months...it was literally no play and all work...i would wake up and be at school at 8...get off and directly reach office at 2.30...then after a shift of listening to customers till 10.30...i would reach home by 11...and once i got home it was my mom whining about every least important thing in the world... every time i expressed how stressed out i am she would act like it's no issue...i mean i literally had a maximum of 8 hours to sleep,eat,bathe,study etc...it was like no one was realizing my efforts...neither at home,school or work...all this stress has been causing too much anger and since i cant express it...i just end up blowing up on people who don't deserve it...I've become grumpy for 24/7...all this is driving people away from...i'm left with no one...everything from family,friends and boyfriend is ruined...plus my parents don't even allow me to go out with friends...since i was always busy...there is a gap between me and my friends...plus i cant even hangout with them...i have NO FUN...i cant even remember the last time i enjoyed something...when i didn't feel lonely and on my own...when i didn't feel like a MESS!i see my friends partying and having fun whereas all i do is sit n feel miserable...whoever i talk to suggests that i talk to my parents openly...but that ain't a solution in my case...my parents don't get it and they will just regard it as some crazy tantrum I'm throwing to disregard their rules...talking is just going to invite more trouble...however just a week ago i lost my job too as i was unable to perform...I'm not busy now...but it feels like all the bottled up stress is killing me inside...i don't know how to deal with this...my friends,family,employers,boyfriend,teachers...no ones happy...I'm not happy...

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Hi Monica, and welcome.

It took me a while to think about this one, because it's not clear how it's a "teenage" issue, really. I think anyone working (full time?) and going to school would be stressed, and if not supported, depressed.

So it's possible to imagine a number of scenarios which would need more information to differentiate: do your parents require you to work? to work as much as you do? Who gets the money and what is it used for? For instance, there would be a large difference between needing to earn money to keep the family afloat versus just being required to work because your parents did, at your age; or between them requiring you to work versus you wanting to make spending money.

Another point is that at 17 and earning at least some money of your own, you're almost a grown-up and able to make your own choices. Obviously, it usually takes parents some time to catch up to this reality ... But in cases where parental behavior rises to the level of abuse, you are in a fairly good position to get yourself emancipated, if that's necessary. I understand that's probably not what you're planning on doing, but hopefully, it puts your position relative to your parents in some perspective. They may not understand your point of view (heck, that's true fairly often; my dad's 87 and still has an opinion about my life), but now their point of view doesn't have to win unconditionally.

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Hi and thanks for the reply,

Okay the money i earned(as i stated i lost my job) was used to pay my school fee.My father is not the typical type,earning for his family,actually it's my older siblings who have supported me since childhood.And my mother thought it would be better if i earned myself to support myself to some extent as my siblings by now were finding it hard to support me and i guess it was only a matter of time before they withdrew.However,I do i agree with you,I am old enough and responsible enough to take my decisions,but honestly standing up to them will do no good.I have lost my job and still no matter how much i earn,its not enough to completely fulfill all my expenses...so i still need their support and need to be on good terms.

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Okay, it is possible that standing up directly to your parents might not be the course that's best right now. But can you see that just the fact that you could, but choose not to, helps clarify the situation? You're not defeated by your parents, you're choosing to fight a different battle.

Choosing your battles is one of the signs of maturity, I think. You've tried to do everything, and you've found out that even a young person in their prime can't do everything. So, a ) you've learned, and b ) you know you have the power to try something different. What do you want to try? There are other jobs, but you might decide that your schoolwork is more important. Or, you might decide that a part-time job is better, so that you still have some time to have at least a little fun.

Another point about the idea of talking to your parents. Sometimes teenagers avoid doing that (parents are difficult, even the good ones) except when there's a problem. Then the parents feel like the conversations are only about the teenager's wants, the desire to change some rule for instance.

But a conversation can be bi-directional; perhaps you could ask them what dangers they see that caused them to make the rule in the first place. That would allow you to propose a solution that addresses their concerns at the same time as getting you something you need. Also, by gaining some insight into why they made the rules in the first place, you might find you understand them a little better, and understanding is always a good thing.

The reason people continue to advise you to talk to your parents (at least in some way) is that you have decided that you need to stay with them and interact with them for a while longer. The only way to do that is to communicate. I know it's easy to avoid getting to know them better, for fear that you'll find out that they really are as bad as they seem, but even that would be information you can use. More importantly, most people aren't really as bad as they seem ...

Edited by malign
Unintended smiley?
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The reason why they don't allow me to hangout is that they have this strong belief that i am a growing girl,its not safe for me to go out on my own...u know the world is an evil place sort of thing...and secondly what I feel is that they believe that I might get involved with boys who may take advantage of me...Honestly in this case they just believe that I am a kid...probably still not able to refuse a candy from a stranger!!!

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Well, dating is an area that parents often disagree with teenagers ... Does it at least help to know that, whether their assessment of the risks is accurate in your opinion, they're trying to act in what they believe is your best interest? If both sides can at least start with the assumption of good intent from the other, some kind of negotiation is usually possible. For instance, how much do they know about your abilities to take care of yourself? It's a common response to say "I'm not a kid any more", but that doesn't actually prove its premise. Can you tell them and/or show them in what ways you're more mature?

I'm afraid that the world _is_ an evil place. It's also a good place, but it's all in how you look at it, and they're looking at it as your protectors, which is (one of) their jobs as parents. Of course, another of their jobs is to prepare you to handle the world on your own ... What you have to do is to behave in a way that shows them you're able to.

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