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Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

This story is a long one that has lasted for most of my life. I have been verbally abused my parents since the age of 6. I remember for one bad grade the house would shake by the sheer yelling and banter made to me by my parents. There was a moment, when I was a child, that I wanted to have a gf one day. Unfortunately, at the time, I was having a lot of trouble with this. I also had trouble making friends at that time as well. My mom would came up to me and said "well if you don't find somebody thats okay". It was one of many hurtful comments made to me. I am 22 years old and have endured a lot since that point. I graduated about 4 months ago and decided to move back with my parents thinking that I would have a better chance. I assumed that there was a possibility they would have changed for the better. 


I was VERY wrong. I was forced to take the LSAT for law school for three months. They also forced me to take a part-time job on the side and basically try and pay for everything myself. What they didn't understand is that balancing act was never really going to work. So I go with their decision having no other option. I get a less than favorable score and my confidence has plunged since that point in time to a very deep low. It has gotten to the point where I really don't see many "close" friends, i get suicidal thoughts when alone, and there are points when I wonder what could keep me living. I know that sounds crazy but I have endured this feeling a lot and want Law school badly. I tried reasoning with my parents about this and they now want me to do the same song and dance but instead of a part-time job they want me to do a full-time job. The abuse also hasn't let up either. I am getting comments like "with your patience you shouldn't have kids" or "this furniture i am buying would be for your new place but you aren't on". My parents, mostly my mom, are making me look really down on myself. I am very nervous about my future and really just want to get out. The suicidal thoughts have been stronger lately and there are moments I just do not want to wake up each morning because the depression is that bad. 


What should I do about this situation? What are some coping mechanisms for this?

Re: Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

Hi Marcus


Welcome to the Reach Out forums. Thanks for joining and having the courage to share your story.


Firstly, thoughts and feelings about suicide are very different to actions. Even though you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, you don't have to take action. There are things you can do to challenge these thoughts, such as having a plan of action, writing down how you feel, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.


As for dealing with your parents, that can be difficult. It's not quite the same but I have a similar experience. When I was 13 my parents started telling me that once I turned 18 I had to move out. I thought this was a bit unfair at first but, since the law considers me an adult at 18, I figured maybe it was fair after all, just a little unkind. When I turned 18, the only thing I hadn't done was pack my bags. I had a job, I'd saved some money; I was ready to go. When I told them that, they backpedaled entirely "Oh! But you can stay as long as you need!" Smiley Wink The truth is that they had serious money problems while I was a teenager and weren't sure they could afford to have me stay at home once I finished high school… but they were also too ashamed to admit that to their own son, so, they expressed that frustration in their own strange way: "When you're 18, you're out!" Not top-shelf parenting, but I understood their motivations once I learned their side of the story.


Although it might not seem like it sometimes, your parents usually want what's best for you, but sometimes they're not sure how to express that. I've had friends who were raised in households that focused strongly on "tough love", or ones where it seemed like their parents were impossible to impress — "You got an A? Why not A-plus??". They want what's best but the only parenting examples most people have to compare to are the ones they received as a child.


You're 22, which means you're an adult. You don't deserve to be made to feel inadequate but they might also feel they can put extra pressure on you since (I assume) they're feeding and sheltering you for free. There's two sides to every story and, most of the time, both are equally valid.


With all that in mind, sometimes the best thing to do with your parents when there's some family conflict is to sit down with them and talk it out. Work out a plan that can be considered fair for everyone. If you feel like you can't talk to them, write it down and give that to them. Give yourself the opportunity to express to them how you feel — it's possible they might not have even realised you feel this way.


As for coping, there are a lot of things you can do. Self-talk, in particular, is a great technique to help you get up in the morning and get through some of the tougher parts. Also learn about forgiveness and how that can help.

Apart from that, there are some other things you can try, including teaching yourself how to relax


I hope that helps. Let us know how you get on.



Has anyone else had trouble dealing with pressure from parents? How did you deal with it?

Re: Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

I too have had trouble and I remember feeling the guilt from both my parents. It may seem hard but I did what I thought was right and in the end my parents were happy.
I think most parents can be hard to bare at times but only want what they think is best for you. The problem is that they aren't very good at showing it some times

Re: Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

Hi there,


Hate to get straight to the point- but move out of home.


Your parents have a history and pattern of treating you like this, and they are NOT going to change any time soon. Their behaviour towards you is very destructive and will cause you more pain and loss of self esteem in the long run.


You are 22 years of age- time to move out of home, and make your own choices on if you want a girlfriend, what job you want, if you want to study and what type of furniture you buy. You make the decisions and you are in contol of your own destiny !!!


Take charge, take control.


While I do not agree with your parent's behaviour, while you are under their roof, you abide by their rules and this is your choice now and in the future.


You say you wish to continue your study with the law- how about doing it part-time and working part time, looking at campus accommodation, or share accommodation in your area? if you are not ready to commit to your studies and there are too many distractions, no one is saying you have to do it pronto. How about deferring your studies?


The immediate problem is that you are feeling suicidal. I would suggest contacting a counselling service or telephone hotline. The fact that you wrote to this forum is a sign you are calling out for help and need assistance. Is there a college counsellor at your place of study?


Do not disengage with others, keep busy and try to not take what your parents say to you to heart. Once you move away from the destructive environment and emotional abuse, you will see things alot more clearly. However, do not think that just because you move out or move away, that the problems will automatically disappear. Years and years of emotional abuse in childhood can lead to problems later in adult life such as feelings of low self esteem and not being able to cope.


Try to look at the positives and take it day by day. Remember- you must be quite intelligent to get into law school in the first place and I am sure you have many more talents that you have not discovered yet.


Write down your feelings in a journal, talk to some one close for support, and start making PLANS, and then ACTING on these plans. Goal setting and writing a list is a small start.


Also, if you really do want to continue with your legal studies, and it is what YOU want to do, attempt to find work in this field, as it is quite competitive. Welfare services often need legal aid and need volunteers!


Stop the cycle, and very best of luck!!!


Binki Smiley Happy




Re: Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

There's some good advice there from Binki but don't feel like you have to move out. It might help solve one set of problems but it can also create a whole new set of problems.


Just take things one step at a time and look at what you can do to improve your own optimism and sense of self-worth. If you're worried you're sinking into depression, see a doctor and find out how you can address that issue. If it does turn out to be pretty serious, it's better you know that now rather than do something big like move out and find yourself in a position where you can't handle both things at once.

Re: Law School and the Depression of being home with parents

Hi again Marcus,


Hope to hear everything is O.K. Lex is right, in that if you are not ready to leave home and have these other very sensitive mental health issues to deal with, you may complicate your problems.


Moving out of home is a big step, and you will need preparation, support from others and financial security. Hang in there for the time being, concentrate on your own self and mental health, and look at the bigger picture for the future- which will be having your own place, positive relationships, job, study etc.


I'm sure your parents have the best of intentions, and may not even realise how you feel or the effect their pressure is having on you.


Hope you will go see a college counsellor, your doctor or even a relative/ close family friend about what is going on. You sound an intelligent guy, and don't forget this!  Keep in contact with as many positive people as possible and keep active.