Trust issues with my family

I want to rant and ask for advice, but maybe also hear from people who have dealt with this, because I don’t know what to do.

Although I care for my family very much (and them with me) there is always this barrier between me and them with trust that makes it hard to be closer with them and have heart-to-hearts and such. In the past, my mom and my sister would talk badly about me behind my back. When I was little, I once overheard my mom pestering her about whether or not she was playing favorites with me until my sister would say something bad about me to uplift my other sister. Then my mom would be interested and want to learn more. She justified it by saying that she was just curious. It’s wasn’t the last time as when my sister and I were arguing one time, she brought up that my mom complains to her about me most of the time. It kind of stings that my mom still constantly talks about me behind her back, but I got used to the idea of her talking about me after that one conversation I overheard. Knowing that she talks bad about me a lot, I does not even like me even though she loves me.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time my parents and one of my sisters have been involved with something shady. My parents had my sister snoop through my phone to get info about who I talk to after my sister noticed that my friend made a harmless dirty joke. I expressed my anger and disappointment about the invasion of privacy, and it looks like my sister understood how it was bad but my parents keep doing it. My dad would feel the need to “check” my Netflix search history to see if it was “appropriate.” Which meant not having to do with fantasy and not having a couple in it. My mom snooped through my phone again and confronted me about talking to a boy I had a crush on. She told me she did that only because she wanted to know what was going on in my life since we don’t have as many 1-on-1 conversations. I don’t know why she wanted to talk to me to confide about a crush given l she thinks having crushes is wrong.

It’s stuff like this that makes it hard for me to talk to them in the first place. They act entitled to all of my business through invasive matters, and yet act surprised when I struggle with trusting them with things. But one of the biggest reasons I feel like I can’t be myself is because I’m not straight. I’m grey-romantic and asexual and I recently realized that I can be attracted to people of the same gender. My parents even said that they’ll kick me and my sisters out if they found out one of us wasn’t straight. I’m struggling with them finding out about my sexual orientation as well as internalized homophobia. Keeping the secret is especially hard with their tendency to look through my chats without my permission or knowledge. I came out to my friends and only told one person about my romantic attraction to girls. If they look at these chats, my life will be completely ruined. I don’t think I can ever not worry about being in the closet when it can cause my family to hate me.

All in all, I feel like I’m constantly concealing who I am and parts of my life with my family because it doesn’t feel like a space where I can be open and honest. I talked to my family about snooping and badmouthing before, but they keep doing it or think I’m overreacting. The ironic thing is that they always ask when I don’t talk to them about personal things and always say that instead of a therapist, I can just talk to them. I want to fix these issues, but a small part of my thinks that things will get worse and I’ll grow apart from my family. I’m a little worried about talking to a therapist or social worker because I’m worried they might break confidentiality. Also, my parents don’t think I need one. If there is anyone who has dealt with this kind of thing before (or has an input) how does one manage with the situation?

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Hey Ihavenoooidea.

Thanks for sharing your story with us here. Let me just say that I am not the best person for advice on this because I too was not close to my family members growing up, and am still figuring it out.

This situation is a very tough one because it involves multiple peoples feelings, and perspectives. I would like to assume that your parents care about you, and have your best interests in mind. Regardless of whether or not they are approaching it right, or communicating it right. I don’t think what they are doing is something they are doing out of spite, or to make you feel bad.

I guess my first question would be, have you tried to discuss this with them at length at all?
Or are all of these things just internal build up that has yet to be released. Step one to for me would be a discussion. Air out all of the feelings and all of the reasons, and see the response you get. If not comfortable telling them about your sexuality. Tell them everything else, but in the end I would think being completely honest(in time) might be best.

As far as a therapist goes. They must be licensed for this, but it is illegal for a licensed therapist to break confidentiality in the united states and could lose their state licenses. Also
leaving them liable to pay damages to their client in a lawsuit. Exceptions being if there is crime involved, or life at risk. Not sure what part of the world you are in, but I know that I 100% trust my Therapists integrity and feel very safe with confiding information in him.

Because this involved multiple people, and groups of feelings. It is definitely a decision that you should make yourself, and with your own insight as to how your family members tick and operate. Perhaps the assistance of a health professional if you choose to go that route would also help in decision making (I believe you should have no confidentiality issues with a licensed professional). If you have a discussion with your family, and both parties are listening/open minded. It should at least help clear out some of your uncertainties. Whether it will help the overall situation I can’t say.

I do however hope you can find answers to your situation and get relief sometime soon. <3

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I think you trust issues are extremely valid. Violating your privacy is crossing the line. Even parents should avoid doing that unless they suspect that the child is involved with something harmful.

Your mom asking about whether or not she was perceived as playing favorites sounds pretty innocent and sincere, like she’s really trying to be fair. It also sounds like she is an easy victim to manipulative gossip. That’s unfortunate. I would really question whether or not what your sister said is true about your mom complaining about you. That would demonstrate an opposite disposition compared to her concern about whether or not she was playing favorites. On the other hand, it sounds likely that you and your sisters talk a lot of smack about each other. When that is happening, words become weapons and winning the war of words is more important than being truthful.

I also think she is probably smart enough to make sure you are not around to overhear what she is saying about you, if it’s something negative. I think it would be okay to let her know that you are being given the idea that she is complaining about you. If she knows that you know that she is complaining, it’s likely that she will stop talking to your sisters about you.

I agree with others here, that you would really benefit from therapy. For the kind of things you wish to discuss, confidentiality would remain mandatory. If you talk about suicide, killing someone, or seriously planning to rob a bank, then confidentiality would be broken.

When it comes to your sexuality, it would be best to talk to your therapist about it first. Then you can discuss whether or not to come out to your family. From what I’m hearing, it sounds like you should probably wait until you are living independently.