Reply To: UGH NEED HELP! :'(

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Hey! Very familiar situation pretty much to a tee. I learnt that you can never rely on the idea that your mum might change, because that’s entirely her remit and if she doesn’t want to have a reasonable chat about how to make your relationship less fractious then she won’t. What I did find worked was to emotionally distance myself a bit… know by building good relationships with other people that make you happy if you can, or if not something like getting a dog (escape walks!) or a consuming hobby or interest that means you aren’t always around each other. Even if it’s playing video games or painting in your room – I found that a lot of the meaningless interactions that happen when you’re in the same space and talking about the tv you’re watching etc often turns into arguments because of the built up resentment. I’m not suggesting you isolate yourself completely.. I ended up sitting in my room most of the time and that ends up being an equally bad problem!

Then I would suggest that, when you can, you little things like make a cup of tea or buy some flowers… I was unemployed when I moved back to my parents house so there was a lot of resentment about financially supporting me/watching me spend most days being depressed in bed (‘lazing around’, as they called it!). Little token gestures when possible are normally really appreciated and stop the tension (and so horrible burden guilt) for a while. Also makes gaming or spending time by yourself less of a point of criticism.

There’s a type of counselling called interpersonal therapy  – some people go to manage how their symptoms affect their relationships, but a lot of people also go to find coping strategies so the behaviour of difficult family members doesn’t negatively affect them so much. I found it really helpful in recognising how the more I responded and defended my (obviously always right 😝) self when my mum started, the more it would fuel her and the less I’d be able to control flying off my adhd handle and making it worse. I never understood how saying nothing and walking away was good; I thought it horribly unfair to let her or anyone consistently bully people without being pulled up on it or seeking help for themselves. I still do, but started putting my own mental health above that, because..realistically..those arguments have never had a good outcome. She won’t work at it unless she wants to and the more you fight the worse you feel and the worse your relationship gets. Unfair, yes, but I felt so much happier just not responding and going off to read or something. If you don’t engage in the first place you can objectively see it and so feel empathy for her and whatever uncontrolled problems she has instead of reactive anger (which was almost always followed by 3am guilt for me). Especially if you’re at uni: do anything you can to minimise stress and look after yourself!