I am twenty years old and I suspect I am stressed out. I have chest pains and feel anxious and easily irritated a lot of the time. I have many headaches and digestive problems and have been gaining weight recently. I am always tired but struggle to get to sleep. I also have a rash on my neck and face.
I have been caring for both my ailing grandparents since I started high school. As a result I had no activities outside of school, and virtually no social life. I started college, but had to drop out because my grandparents now require round-the-clock assistance. I only get out of the house when they have doctor’s appointments. Their last appointments were 35 days ago.
I cannot count on my mother to help me, because she is spending all her time and energy on getting my three younger siblings back – they were kidnapped by my father and his ex-convict new wife.
I feel that I am struggling more and more to cope, and I am worried that I will die before my life has really started. I often pray to God to help me, even if it is just to help me relax so that I can get a good night’s sleep, but it feels like things are getting worse rather than better.
What can I do to make my life better?
I am the only financially independent person in my family. When I was younger I had a learning disability but I have outgrown it. I grew up with people telling me I am slow, not smart enough and good for nothing. Today I am studying for a degree in psychology. I have my own home, a car, and I take care of my little son.
I work three days a week. I have no choice other than to use my brother for child care, because I don’t earn enough to be able to afford child care. My brother has been in and out of prison for years. My son is a little slow on remembering colors and numbers. My brother keeps telling me that I should give up work to take care of my son, but he has never bothered to take care of his own children. My son asked me the other day why he is stupid. He never heard that from me, and it could only have come from my brother.
I once published some poetry with money I saved, and all my family could do was to criticize me. They also have a lot to say about my weight (I am very slender by nature) and the way I speak. Whenever I do something positive, they tell me it won’t last.
When I get income tax money back, I help them but they ignore that and never have anything good to say about me. They all have a history of prison and drugs and neglecting their children. I have never done any of that. I hate these people and don’t know how I can get away from my family. What can I do to escape them?