Trying to resolve family issues when it is triggering

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicidal thoughts, dysfunctional family

I have really bad family issues. Long story short, my parents put a lot of pressure on me from a young age and all throughout adulthood. I harbour a lot of resentment for them, and think they’ve always preferred my sister over me even if my friends tell me it’s not true.

These are just a few of the issues:

  1. Forcing me to be tutored in every single subject I had, every single day in senior high school years to the point I was burnt out and severely depressed as I never had time to do anything I enjoyed anymore. When I tried to explain this was not helpful, they screamed at me and asked me if I wanted to fail and end up homeless. I felt like nobody was there to help me and every night (!!TRIGGER WARNING!!) I went to bed hoping I wouldn’t wake up the next day.

  2. Putting down all the talents I had such as drawing, languages, describing them as “useless” and emphasising my lack of talent in STEM subjects which were all the “important subjects” according to them. I had major self esteem and self worth issues, and still struggle with it almost every day at age 26.

  3. Siding with my sister when she was being ridiculous, allowing her to do things they never allowed me to do at her age, being actual supportive parents when she was going through senior high school years and fucking asking what she actually wanted to be tutored for instead of forcing her to be taught every single subject.

  4. When I hit puberty, my hips grew a lot wider and I started getting pimples, they always pointed it out and told me there were clothes only my sister could wear cause now I was too “fat” and all my pimples were probably caused by the sugary foods I ate. It only made me stress eat more because on top of believing I was stupid since I was not good at STEM subjects, I thought I was also extremely ugly and fat too. In reality, I was actually at a healthy weight and was just an extremely skinny kid before puberty. The pimples I had probably had something to do with what I ate to some degree, but was likely largely related to puberty- but regardless I should not have been made to feel overly conscious about my looks to the point I started believing I was ugly.

I used to live at home with my parents, but a series of events lead me to suddenly leaving the house in the middle of the night without telling them September last year, and it’s been incredibly hard to figure out how to go about resolving all the issues that lead to my sudden departure. The biggest issue to going about meeting them at all to talk about the issues, is every time I see them I feel extremely uncomfortable, I get anxiety, feel disgusted, feel somewhat sick (a little like I want to vomit though I know I won’t), and often after seeing them I get suicidal thoughts (!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!! e.g. I’m worthlesss and should just die already).

Eversince I’ve left the house, my parents seem to express that they do want to reconnect. Eversince I left, my dad randomly sends me money every now and then. My mum sent me a text once to say she loves me and often lets me know when a family gathering is on, and telling me that I’m welcome to join. Up until recently, I have also been using their car. So point is, my parents don’t despise me, but I can’t bring myself to even message them or talk to them over the phone, let alone meet with them. I’ve forced myself to go to family gatherings a few times post my departure from the house, but each time I feel exhausted and get suicidal thoughts.

I’ve tried writing a letter to them, but even though it starts out ok for the first sentence or two, it always ends up being very nasty and angry letter. (!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!! E.g. You never listened to me and now it’s too late because of you I want to die and wish I was never born) It’s not a nice letter to send, but unfortunately I feel like I won’t be able to get past all this hurt and resentment until I can send them the nasty letter.

To begin a conversation with my parents, I have considered doing the following but there’s always some sort of draw back to beginning this conversation:

  1. Start the conversation by talking about some of these problems with my sister first. Though I don’t talk to my parents directly, I would get some letters for me that have been sent to my parent’s house through her-- However, I do feel some resentment towards her as well, because though it is not her fault, I feel like my parents have always treated her better

  2. Start the conversation by talking about the problems with a cousin who though I don’t talk to often, has expressed that she is happy to help-- However this cousin is quite busy and has a lot of plans all the time and I don’t want to bother her. We also haven’t talked in a few months. Last December, she thought I would be coming to attend a large family event but I didn’t end up showing up because I knew I would have felt very bad and potentially suicidal after this family event.

  3. Start the conversation by talking about the problems with an aunt overseas, thought we have something like a 14 hour time difference between us. After I left my parent’s place she has messaged me several times and tried calling me, but I never picked up because I didn’t feel ready to talk. I rarely ever see her, but one time my family went to visit her at the end of high school, my sister and I got into a huge fight, and she came to talk to me calmly afterwards, being very supportive and asking me if anything was bothering me etc. unlike my parents who would have just shouted at me. – However, I haven’t talked to her in a long time since, and I feel like it’ll take a lot of courage to reach out. I also don’t know how much of what we talk about she will tell my parents and that makes me feel uncomfortable as well.

  4. Go directly to a professional family counsellor or mediator or some sort to sort out the problems. – However I always often feel suicidal after talking to them, and I don’t know if I’ll have a more serious attempt on my own life if were to face them straight away even with a mediator present.

  5. Send them the letter I wrote without consulting anyone in my family or a mediator first. It’ll get a huge weight off my chest, and lift that burden from me, and I think perhaps I can begin to move on and heal-- However as it is a very angry letter, I’m not sure what the consequences would be.

If anybody has any advice, or has gone through something similar I’d be happy to hear it. If not, just any kinda support would be nice.


Hi there!

I know this is a short reply, but figured I’d drop my 2 cents in case it can be of any help. I’ve found out that something that helps my friends is letting them write a letter on their own, but then have someone else they have full trust on go through it with them suggesting changes to make it sound less “violent” to those receiving it. It’s basically a way of letting out all you want to say, but making sure the others will receive the message and read it without getting mad at it.

Hope it helps!

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Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll see what I can do! I don’t have many friends who I can rely on. The only person I can rely on with this is my ex, who ironically I also don’t trust because he broke up with me so suddenly despite me telling him a few months leading up to the break up there were issues we needed to discuss but he kept putting it off. That said he is very supportive, he’s talked to me a few times here and there when things were really bad, but understandably he’s not always available to help. I’m not sure if I feel comfortable with asking such a huge favour from him. I think I rely on him too much as it is.

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We’re always here if you need us. I understand it’s a very personal topic and I respect it, though :slightly_smiling_face:.

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Thank you :slight_smile: I’ll try and see if I’m able to find a friend to help me with correcting my letter. If I can’t find anyone, would you be ok with going through that letter with me? It is a very horrible, angry letter full of strong negative feelings and there would be mentions of suicide as well, so I wouldn’t want that to affect you negatively if you do decide to help me go over it.

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Yeah, I’d definitely be up for it! I enjoy helping out with these kind of things :smile:

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Thank you so, so much. I’m not sure if I need help with the letter, but would you mind if I sent you a message privately? If you’re happy to listen, would you be ok with me telling you about all these things? Then later on, if I need it, I might get you to help me with the letter?

Yup, yup, feel free! I’m just heading off to sleep now, but I check in regularly so it won’t get ignored. And yeah, of course I’d be ok: I’m all ears. My suggestion is that you write the letter yourself first: however you feel like you need to write it; doesn’t matter how it sounds or if it’s rude or not. Just get everything off your chest, and once that’s done, we can look together at the “moderating” part of it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hey there, I’ve struggled with this as well. Most if not all of my issues are around family as well I’ve come to realize. For me I was 16 when I left and started moving couch to couch. Personally I let all of it out in a text then a call. I found it unfair that they spent my whole life growing up beating me down talking down to me and for me I had to let my true feelings out. So I did, I told my family exactly how I felt every thing. In the end mostly we ended up being ok. We don’t talk really that much and one brother and I don’t talk even though we live down the street from eachother. I’m not a professional so I don’t know if that’s the healthiest route to handle it but the weight of the things my family did to me was holding me back in life and I had to expel it all so I could move foward. I still haven’t healed completely I still have mental health struggles a lot but being up front and completely honest to people has helped me get rid of toxic people in my life. If you can maybe seek professional help, I haven’t gone to therapy in many years but when I did go it helped me sort things out to a manageable place. I hope you find peace and I hope things get better my friend always people here to talk to and the people here have been great for me to talk to just this week alone. Your never alone remember that much


I think that just telling them some way how you really feel would’t be a bad idea. Reconnecting with them could definitely be a really positive thing for both of you guys. I wish you the all the best.

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Hi deprecia,
Thanks for post. I wonder what result you’d like, if you had your choice of results. That is how I would proceed. If you select the method that you think will give you, your best chance at achieving the results you want, then you have done all you can and should do. Be sure of the results you want, which means, these people are your family, and flawed as they may be, they are showing an interest in healing your relationship. It will take all of you to do this, and it will take time to re-build the loss of trust, and heal the sense of betrayal. I’d only add, that if that sense of betrayal is such that you cannot be around them without anxiety then, ask them about letters, and tell them you want to be honest, and that you’re extremely angry with them, if they are prepared to read your angry letters, then it’s a place to start. Then you’d of given them a choice, and a chance to change. Peace


It’s often recommended that a person write down all the things that are upsetting them, including all the grievances one has towards others. Write down exactly what you feel like, without worrying about how it sounds. In other words, express your feelings on paper without guilt, and without worrying what others think about it. Then for the next few days, look it over every so often. Then, feel free to throw it away. That’s an exercise that helps you organize your thoughts, and come understanding of yourself.

It sounds like you have several issues and grievances with your family, in fact, far too many to deal with all at once. Therefore, if you want to talk to them in a way that can help heal your relationship, choose just one thing to talk about at a time. Also, don’t plan on spending a lot of time with them, at least not at first. It may be necessary to spend only a few minutes at a time with them, in order to prevent experiencing too much emotional distress.

If you’re wanting to discuss issues of your own, don’t start the conversation by talking about your sister or cousin or aunt. If you start by talking about someone else, it will be more uncomfortable for you to guide the discussion so it will address the things that you really want to talk about.

You need to feel emotionally strong enough to be around them. If you don’t, keep your distance.

Writing the nasty letter can help with emotional release, but giving it to them will most likely cause them to close their minds. This may be one of those situations, were the only thing you can change is within yourself, as your parents may not be able to. I think there is more to getting past the hurt and resentment than can be accomplished by sending a letter which is very unlikely to have a positive effect. Keep in mind, your emotional healing does not depend their feelings or behavior, thank goodness!

One thing is for sure, you need to develop the ability to prevent them from causing you emotional distress. They should not be allowed to either consciously or unconsciously do or say things that result in you feeling suicidal.

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Hey friend. Thank you so much for sharing this here! Your post inspired me to share a confrontation technique I sometimes use. I think it could be really helpful for you.

Here is the link:

It also reminded me of this song from the word alive (one of my fav bands because Telle is the best) hope it resonates! (just because I imagine you have felt some of these things before)

Sending love friend. thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.


Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions. I haven’t been able to look at this forum until today because in the last two weeks I had a lot of bad things happening with my living situation (not with family). I haven’t resolved my situation yet, but when my living situation becomes calmer, I think I will try out your suggestions for resolving my family problems :slight_smile:


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