My personality changes

I have a rough relationship with my parents. My dad took a lot of his anger out on us kids growing up. He’s diagnosed as bipolar but doesn’t go to therapy.
I didn’t realize how horribly this impacted me until last summer when I moved back in with my parents for a couple months as a transition. My dad and I got in a lot of arguments. He said I’m trash and I’m never going to make it in this world and that I should give up. Any little thing I did that he didn’t agree with resulted in him exploding on me. My sister would calm me down over the phone. She said she went through the same thing…being put down a lot and it’s why she doesn’t tell our parents anything.

My mom has two different personalities. She is one person around my dad and different when not around him. She lets him be right all the time even if he’s being completely irrational, slamming things when he’s mad and yelling.
I moved out of anxiety.
Since then, my relationship with them has been rocky. I don’t tell them anything about my life. Even if I’m in trouble I don’t go to them. In fact, I feel like my personality changes around them. I hate it. I become a bit bitchy and snappy. I don’t like that side of me and it’s who my family sees.
When I’m happy I’m told I’m bubbly but it’s like a switch turns when I have conversation with them.
I have a grandmother in the hospital right now. She’s about to pass. I don’t know how to navigate around my family. There’s so much stress with everything going on…I’m out of work from the virus. My mother told me to move back and I snapped on her. I feel guilt. The thought of repeating last summer set me off. How do I deal?

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Hey Rosethorn

Honestly it makes sense that you feel the way you do around your family. As someone who also was raised in a family that dealt with bipolar disorder and anger issues, it was hard to feel anything around them other than, upset, sad, depressed, and frustrated. Even a bubbly happy person has their limits. So it’s only natural that if you’re in a surrounding of people that tear you down that you’d feel depleted of your normal emotions and personality.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to have to consider moving home in an environment that you know has only brought you frustration and struggle before. I wouldn’t want to go back. And honestly I have a lot of friends in similar situations who are choosing not to go home. I don’t know what all your current living situation is, but do whatever you feel is best for you. If you feel it would be better to be near family, be with them. But if it’s going to be bad for your mental health to be quarantined with a rough environment, maybe you could stay if possible?

Be careful traveling. Practice distance from others. Don’t make physical contact if you can help it. Etc etc.

I hope something works out for you that is safe both for your physical and mental health. Know you’re loved here and we’re here for you.

  • Kitty