I don't know who I am
I'm female, in my mid twenties. I came out of counselling recently, as it felt like I had done all the talking I could and I needed to move on with my life positively. It's been a few weeks but I still feel lost and depressed. So I'm turning here for some advice and to put things into prospective.
I've been in and out of counselling since a teenager. I am an ex self harmer and suffer with anxiety and depression. Whilst in counselling I realised the reason why I am the way I am is because of my parents, who are very controlling people. My mum is the main controller, she controlled every aspect of my life growing up including my appearance, hobbies, friends and as I got older my career and relationships with men. With both my parents I was never allowed to express an opinion if I tried I was told I was wrong. I had a very sheltered upbringing that went well into my twenties.
In April this year, I moved out of the family home. I got a new job my parents approved of, they accepted my new position was a couple of hours away from home and chose the accommodation I now live. I thought I'd be happy living away from them but I'm finding life increasingly difficult because I really dont know who the hell I am as a person. I have no self esteem or self confidence to get me to where I'd like to be. I seem to hit a brick wall with everything I do to help me settle into my new home. I flip back and fourth from adult to child, a lot of the time I'm a scared child who wants to go back home but others days I really want to embrace my new life and never be codepedant on my parents again.
I know what I'd like but I lack in self belief.
Hobbies - I dont know what I'm interested in. All I have ever known is ballet that I was forced to do as a child and hated it. I have gone out to try new things, that are non competitive, very relaxed but I end up having pannick attacks and going home again.
My career - I want to change my career, I'm bored in my new job, the people are nice but I hardly talk to anyone. The only thing I do know is that I do a good job. I know what I want to do I've started applying for job roles in the industry I'm interested but due to nerves I can't get past interview stage, because I know in the back of my mind parents would flip.
My relationship - I have reconnected with a guy who I had dated in the past, for a few weeks. My parents stopped me from seeing him because he didn't meets their high expectations. I like him a lot, I'm attracted to him, but I can't get close or have sex with him because I know my parents would disapprove. My parents only approved of men who had very simular personalities to themselves, the controlling and aggressive type. I've been in a lot of verbally abuise relationships and not enjoyed any of them. I don't know how to tell or show him how I feel because I never recieved that kind of love from exs or my parents.
Friends - my only friend is my house mate. I would like more friends but I get very anxious in social settings, people can tell and would rather not be there. I'm too shy and always looking for an exit.
My house mate has offered some ideas to think about. One, to stop my parents from coming round twice a week, its never a pleasurable time for her or myself. Two, stop calling my mum and running everything I do past her.
At the moment it seems too harsh for me to do, I don't want to upset them. I have never stood up to them before and I don't think many people have. I know I could make a lot of excuses but I hate lying, I'd rather tell them how I really feel and be honest. Otherwise they will get suspicious.
Please help I can't seem to brush my parents off me and stop doubting myself. I feel pethietic for someone my age.
Don't be afraid to reach out to people at work, especially those who are trying to be friendly towards you. I have made most of the friends I have at my workplace - granted, it's a big employer, but still work is a good place to meet people.
Nobody can tell you who to have feelings for except for you, and to some extent, your suitors and the way they behave and treat you. If you really like this guy, keep seeing him! If you think you can meet someone who is a better match for you, then continue the search! Your parents want what's best for you and that's understandable, but love is not bound to success or stereotypes - love is something specific and unique to every single person.
Get to know more people, and try to have an open mind. Don't accept rude or controlling behavior from others. Find people who are good to you, accepting of you, and who you feel close to and loved by. Those are the people you want to have in your life.
You are on an Adventure of your life. Looking for your independent and seeking who you are! Take baby steps and one day at a time. Say "hi" to a new person each day/week. Learn someone's first name. And say "hi" using their. Too easy? Try something new on a menu, or a new recipe. Invite a co-worker or roommate to join you. Have fun making mistakes. Let your parents know you are grateful for helping you get this far. But now, you want to show them you got this. You want to exercise your own independence. If your parents question you about making your own decisions, simply ask them how old they were when they stopped asking their parents to make their choices in life? Your are a very sweet daughter not wanting to lie to your parents. Let them know you will call them whenever, you are ready for a visit. You want to prove to them that they did a good job by preparing you to live on your own. God Bless and enjoy this adventure finding out who you are!