How do you cope with controlling parents?? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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How do you cope with controlling parents??

As per the title, how do you cope with controlling parents??

I am a 37 year old guy, but have as much freedom as a 10 year old simply because I can't afford to move out.
My dad isn't really much of a problem, except for his constant mood swings and temper which means he'll fly off the handle for the smallest reason, at literally anything, any time of day.
My mother on the other hand is an absolute power hungry controlling nightmare. She opens my postal mail and parcels. She tracks my phone whenever I leave the house (and goes mental if I disable the tracking software). She will read my messages on phones/tablets/pc if she gets the chance and ive left one laying around and turned on, even if im going to the toilet. She demands to know where im going all the time, who im seeing. Who am I talking too on my phone, or what am I looking at on it (or tablet). My pc is positioned in the main room in the house and she sits so she can see the screen whenever she wants to see what im doing. I have to eat what she cooks, otherwise go without, but im not allowed to make anything new, and im not allowed to use the cooker if she has already used it in the day on any day. If she wants something doing, I have to do it immediately and stop whatever im doing, if not im the bad guy and get shouted at. She will hardly do anything for herself. I have to make cups of tea on command, pull the curtains closed, plug in her electronics to charge, remember log in details for her, look up anything and everything online for her while she plays her games on her tablet. Im also not allowed to watch TV on the actual TV if she is home, as she apparently has priority, and if I try and watch anything through my pc I have to wear headphones or no sound at all, as it 'annoys her'.
And now she has retired, she almost NEVER leaves the house anymore, meaning I constantly have her watching me and moaning.
I feel like I literally have no freedom or peace of my own, My only escape is to work, where I get a whole load of new kinds of abuse off customers there. And she wonders why she has no friends, and literally noone wants anything to do with her.

Tonight I finally snapped and shouted at her that she just needed to do literally what was on the tv screen to log into an on demand player. It literally said go to a specific url, log into her account, and enter the code on the screen. She refused to do it herself. Then shouted at me because I didn't know her details. Then when I tried to log in I wasn't fast enough. So I told her to do it herself unless shes do f-ing stupid too, to which she started screaming at me to get out of her house, and how I always speak to HER like shes something someones stepped in, then had a massive strop and sat in complete silence behind me the rest of the night before stomping off to bed.

With all these covid restrictions, im reaching the end of my tether and I don't know what to do. I have very few friends. Most live a few hundred miles away, so I have noone to hang out with, noone to tell my problems too and noone would listen to me anyway. Mother hates the few friends I do have and is always belittling them, even when I was on a 'zoom' call to them she kept sniping in the background. Im not allowed to meet girls so have never had a relationship either, nor do I ever see myself having one anymore (particularly as im classed as morbedly obese). Work is literally the only time I see other people and have human contact.

I tried moving out once. I just barely managed to get by financially, but ended up falling out with my flatmate, things became very stressful and toxic, and had to move back home as had nowhere else to go. Now, I can't even afford the rent for a place on my own, let alone all the bills etc on top, and I no longer trust anyone else to try another house share. At this point, even a basement with privacy would be something nice to have. But because im not disabled, I don't qualify for any benefits. My work is only UK minimum wage, but I can't get anything better paying (either nothing available, or im not qualified).

I literally feel my life is in a rut I can't get out of, and im alone trying to tread water above the sea of problems and abuse on a daily basis.

As I said at the do people cope with all this on their own at my age!?

And other than here, I have nowhere I can even post this, except among people ive never met and don't know me. I truly am alone.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 10:31 AM
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How's the marriage between your folks? Things seem toxic. I would try the roommate thing again its wayyyy better than the toxic stuff you're dealing with now plus good for your growth overall.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 02:24 AM
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I agree with Kevin - try and get out of there. Almost anything would be better than that.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 12:09 PM
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I would get out of there. Hell, I'd even go to a homeless shelter or take my chances on the street than live a life like that. Do you guys have social housing, or any social workers that deal with the marginalized and poor? You're not disabled, but they may have help for those who are low income. I would look into that to see what services they may offer.

Edit to add: I just looked up "UK housing low income" and came across housing benefits which state that, "Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you're unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits."

But yeah, my best advice is to reach out to a social worker or organization that deals with the poor and marginalized. They will know how to guide you through resources that you may not know about.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 03:27 PM
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Assuming moving out is unfeasible, you need to focus on what you can and cant control, and gradually try to improve your situation in any small ways.

Regarding living with controlling people, its important not to engage with their games. Wear large, visible noise cancelling headphones, say you don't want to be disturbed when you have the headphones on, then when they go on, turn the noise cancellation on, ramp up the volume of the music, and then simply ignore them 100% when you have the headphones on. Do not engage in any way when the headphones are on. They will desperately try to get you to take them off. Don't negotiate, don't cave. When you can't hear them it makes it easier to do what you need to.

It carves out a very clear boundary (which it sounds like is missing from your life atm). You simply don't engage with any of the power games, manipulations, and stop becoming the receptacle for their issues. While you are reacting to someone else's behaviour they can justify to themselves its you that is the problem not them. Manipulative and controlling people try to get reactions, then gaslight about their involvement in it. The headphones not only gives you space but it sets down a boundary, and demonstrates you aren't playing any more. They also can't use your (probably understandable) reactions to offload their issues onto you. That is my number one suggestion.

Then slowly start carving out space. Get something with a lock, and put your items in it. When you have the headphones down pat, you can easily enforce not answering other nosy questions by simply putting them on when those things arise (e.g. when you enter or leave the house).

Do this gradually (Months).

Next, focus on things you can control in your life and improve. Start thinking about small ways you can improve and increase your income. Small ways. What better paying job might be within your reach? What training might you need to do it? Put in place a plan and write it down and start very slowly chipping away at it with daily tasks.

Re women, start thinking about that too. Can you improve your appearance, your demeanour, your conversation skills? (yes, all of us can lol)

Re weight, you can lose weight. Obviously you need to negotiate cooker use at some point, but I wouldn't try until they have been suitably disciplined by the headphones and actually have respect for you. Simply eat one meal a day, then use protein shakes and fruit for other meals. (you absolutely need to start claiming back control over food). Over time, claw back as much control as you can, but you first need to get the space and respect from them.

Join a cheap gym (there are chains that are 15 per month, unlimited use), start going, lift weights. Trust me on this.

Do not ask for permission for these things, they are yours to do. Also do not expect your parents to be reasonable, consider them toddlers in human form. You won't get reasonable responses, you can't persuade them to do anything, you have to find ways to do what you need to *anyway* and independently of their approval.

Start with the headphones though. From my experience during lockdown this was unbelievably effective. While they are ranting and tantruming they just see someone perfectly calm and unresponsive. You are just listening to some fine tunes, and its none of your problem or issue.

Thats the best I have got. You have to adopt a perspective of very very slightly improving your life where you can, in tiny increments.

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 03:53 PM
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I should add something else that should be beneficial to you.

The quality of a person isn't dictated by what he has, its dictated by how he chooses to respond to things that are within his control.

At any point in time there is a choice. Do this, or do that. All you can control is which thing you choose, you cant alter anything else, outcomes aren't within your control, so you can't let yourself be measured by them. This is the only way to cope under difficult circumstances and not create more harms (by beating yourself up about your situation). You do what you can when you have those choices, you pick the best choice, the one that matches up with your values. Then you have won, you are the best man you can be in that situation.

Take weight loss. Excruciatingly difficult. But fully within your control. Even if everything is going to ****, and there is a nuclear war, and plagues, and zombies are killing each other in the streets, you can still turn down the cream cake for pudding. It sounds minor, but it isn't, its a perspective shift. It's having a choice, and choosing the best possible thing for you, in the long run. It's not measuring what you have got, its measuring your actions (and choices).

I like to imagine how the ideal version of me would behave. Picture that version of you, what does he look like (try the meditations in my sig, there are better ones, but those are good re the compassionate ideal). What would he choose to do in that moment, when faced with that decision.

Make those right calls over and over, and you start becoming that person.

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 04:06 PM
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learn to say sayonara. or hasta la vista. or adios.

no i don't have a real answer like spongebob splendidbob. my avoidance behavior and my parents pushing away behavior facilitated my getting away from them. i learned how to live in a cheap flats with strangers who remained strangers because of my avoidance.

your mother sounds terrible, therefore i'd move out. if you have a job you can probably afford to.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ― Mother Teresa
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