I am in a prestigious high school where my parents enrolled me in a program for highly gifted students. This program is stressing me out completely, because I have no social life and get about four hours per night sleep.
I go home and cry every day because it is just too much for me. I don’t even go out over weekends, because I have to study.
My parents are divorced. My dad wants me to qualify for an elite American school but my mom wants me to get into a Japanese school. They cannot even agree over custody of me and I am being pulled in so many directions.
What can I do to deal with the stress?
I have to tell you the story of my life so that you can understand my current situation.
My mother was fifteen when I was born. Shortly after that my dad broke up with her. My mom told me later that my dad was abusive towards both of us, but I cannot remember anything about that.
We then went to live with my grandmother, who told me lots of stories and always smelt warm and lovely. My mom had a nice boyfriend who always played with me and took me to the park.
Then my grandmother died in an accident. My mom and her boyfriend started to argue (I was four at the time) and she tried to kill herself twice. She was already drinking heavily and was declared an unfit mother.
I then had to live with my dad and his wife (between my parents I have lived in about 15 countries over the past 17 years). They are both alcoholics and unpleasant people at the best of times. My dad used to beat me whenever I spoke about my mom. His wife did stuff to me and when I tried to complain to my dad, he accused me of making up stories and trying to take his wife away from him – when all I wanted was for her to leave me alone.
My dad told me if I complained about her or him, welfare workers will take their time and investigate everything before taking me away, and that while they do their investigation, he would make my life hell.
I moved back in with my mom when I was 11, and even as a child I was shocked at the state she was in. She is anorexic and depressed and self-mutilates. She never sleeps – instead she would wake up, drink too much, and pass out, only to wake up and start drinking again. She tells me just about every day that she wants to kill herself. I have spent the past six years talking her out of it almost daily and I am tired.
It got to a point where I started drinking with her, because if I did not she would blame me for who she is and tell me that I am looking down on her.
My mother won’t let go of me and it is driving me crazy.
I am 21 years old and was not even allowed to arrange a birthday party for myself – not that it would have been a big party, because I only have one friend. My younger brother has already left home to study, but my mother refused me that opportunity. Instead she expects me to stay home and do all the cooking and cleaning. My mom seems to be afraid of so many things and wants me to take care of her all the time.
I recently got a job, and my mother makes a scene every time I leave for work, but I refuse to give up the job. At the same time she expects me to use my money to pay the household bills, even though she has her own well-paid job.
I have decided to leave home and move into a small flat. I don’t know how to tell my mother this without having a confrontation, because I don’t know how she will treat my younger sister when I leave home. I love my mother, but Iwant to have my own life and make my own rules. I want to go out with friends and study and travel.
How do I get away from all this?