I found this site a few weeks ago and I've found it so useful - and they keep saying to reach out to people who know what you're going through... so here goes!
I'm a mid 20s adult living at my family home temporarily but indefinitely. My younger brother has a severe PD and my Mum does too and histories of co-morbid depression/anxiety respectively. My Dad is an emotionally unavailable enabler. He always goes for the path of least resistance and stays out of things.
I'm finding myself constantly gaslit as 'the one with the problem' because I don't fit into maintaining their messed up status quo.
Does any of that sound familiar to anyone? I've been living here about three months and the constant gaslighting and squashing of any positive or joyful or healthy activity or comment or behaviour from me is wearing me down more than I can stand. After reading 'The Road Less Travelled' by M. Scott Peck, (which I cannot recommend enough) and this website, I've had a series of 'lightbulb moments' -the last couple of weeks I've really started to feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. But also I just need that light to be a bit damn nearer, I'm afraid of the dark!!
I need to leave but its just not possible at the moment - I have no source of income while I finish my Uni dissertation (my key to escape and yet its so hard to focus in this environment - my Mum is constantly having crying fits and panic attacks and lashing out/hoovering me back in/blaming me/guilt tripping me) and they are letting me live here for free and letting me eat their food (although I can never request anything, however cheap or normal or seemingly insignificant, while my layabout brother who has never had a job or finished any studies and refuses therapy or treatment, gets bought all sorts of treats while they enable his alcoholism and gaming addiction, and buy him fancy expensive food) so I feel constantly guilty and like I should be more grateful.
I used to be a fixer and rescuer and was constantly trying to get my family support and help (there isn't any available) and be strong for them, which has nearly cost me my degree and has certainly damaged my future. In the last few weeks I've recognised and challenged this and that's been helping a lot, but there's a certain level of grief realising I've been wasting so much valuable love and time and energy on people that don't want to change or be helped. And also that it was never going to work and wasn't appropriate. It hurts.
Oh and I have PTSD from sexual abuse when I was a young teenager by an adult, which my Mum was aware of and even encouraged. My Dad was aware but as usual it wasn't his problem. So there's that. I've also experienced low level domestic violence from my alcoholic brother - and although it was a few weeks ago and nothing since, I've read enough on the subject to know that doesn't mean its over. My parents deny that it happened and blame ME for calling the police and for 'provoking' him.
Even as I'm reading this in black and white and trying to tell myself that this is all bad stuff nobody should have to deal with, their gaslighting has got to the point where I'm going internally 'but this is YOUR perspective, you're exaggerating, its not that bad, people go through worse, you're being dramatic'.
I need to find the strength to keep myself together and work hard so I can leave.
The messed up thing is that I still love them and care for them. In some ways thats the hardest bit. I was raised to be very emotionally dependent and brainwashed into thinking that this sort of mess was normal and it was the rest of the world that was messed up! (I know, it sounds so ridiculous...)
I'm so so determined not to let all this beat me down. But its getting really really tough to cope with. I do NOT want to see my strong spirit squashed but I hardly recognise myself any more. I feel like I'm losing 'me'. I have about three months left of Uni work if I can manage to focus enough to get it done - somehow I have to find the strength.
Wheew that got a bit long! If you've read this far thank you for your patience