I agree with ADHDmomma…
1. Have you ever walked into a room and felt tension or negative vibes in the air? Those red flag words are likely reflected in the feelings in whatever room you are in or the rooms where conflicts frequently occur.
2. Do not (please!) ever say, “I/We love you, but _______.” The only thing someone being ganged up on by angry/frustrated adults (even if the person being talked at is an adult) is “But…” The “I love you” part is interpreted as “Yeah, right. Nothing I ever do is right, enough, appreciated…”
3. I forget the statistic or where I read it, but for some of us, we get about 10 insults/beratements/criticisms for 1 positive comment. I think I’m understating the #s. So who knows how long it takes to recover from that even if communication styles change immediately??
I used to think that once I moved out and never heard another criticism again that it would take as long to “get over” the negativity as it was lived through. That doesn’t happen. There’s too many errors to make, too many behaviors that need to be addressed (even with the best therapy). It doesn’t even take twice the time. Say I moved out at 18 and tried to get to normal (but “they” never did) so 18×3=54. I’m almost 54 and still hear “you’re unlovable” in my head. I never wanted to talk to them again, but they are family, be that as it may. So I keep to myself and don’t share more than I want to, and am then criticized for that!
It takes a lot of energy when you are an adult, much less a child/teen, to keep your sanity in stressful situations. TV and video games allow you to almost forget the world for a while. Not that those are the greatest “escapes”, but they are something that isn’t focused on his behavior.