Overprotection: the other side of bad parenting

Abuse is intuitively known to be damaging, but of course some people don’t realize what’s abuse and what’s not. Swinging to the opposite end of bad parenting, you can find overprotection. Overprotection, in idea, is also intuitively known to be damaging, but I think my parents don’t realize what they’re doing is that.

So, here’s my frustrations with being sheltered.

I do not grow.

They sacrifice their own well-being so I sit in a plush bed and stay there. Except, they don’t realize they’ve purposed it into a cage.

Fear of letting me leave the house, leaving their nest as freely as I would like has made me incredibly lonely.

Thus I’m lagging in social competence. Feeling more inadequate as I struggle to simply feel comfortable among my peers and make them feel comfortable with my prescence.

And I do not make excuses. I put myself out there. I joined so many clubs, I worried some of my existing friends (whom I also struggle to feel I could let my guard down with). I continue to put myself out there by joining friends and making new acquaintances. I keep going.

But I want to reitirate, it is really fucking hard.

In fact, I have been so lonely for most of my life, I have struggled to be happy for most of it.

My adolescence and teens were defined by trying to survive suicidal ideation and trying to escape the mud of depression to actually do anything. Anything at all. Even just standing up or walking. You can imagine how showering was a feat.

I have described that my darkest days have been defined by a feeling of not being connected to the world in my takeaways blog post on Dr. K’s mental health video.

That idea has made it so much easier to feel comfortable with the idea of dying, because I do not feel that I contribute much to anyone’s life at all. I do not spend much time with my parents. And other than them, I only had myself and the screen for the longest time.

My social incompetence and loneliness partially due to it was borne from being a shitty child.

I don’t know. My mom is scary. But I guess that’s the problem, maybe? I remember she used fear on me from when I was very young. So instead of really learning why I shouldn’t act in certain ways, I just shut up when she’s around. And then the stench of my personality leaked onto everyone around me when she was gone, like in school for example. The only other place I hung out in. I was already quite a brat even with my mom or other family. You can imagine how much worse it got when I wasn’t with them.

So, I guess this isn’t really a “sheltered” situation, but the results from it are similar, anyway. I turned into a brat that was hard to like.

So, I had to relearn everything in my late teens. But first that took a realization when I was younger. The realization at a young age that I was so shitty, you could imagine, did wonders for my self esteem as I was a developing child. So before I could move forward to improve on myself, I had a few years of being busy with self-loathing to do anything about it. So, the locking-myself-up, sad, lying down in my room happened for quite a bit.

So, now with more context, I can return to talking about the “I do not grow” frustration from being sheltered.

Keeping in mind all the loneliness and self-esteem having pushed me back, that was coupled with being actively discouraged from not-academic challenges that would’ve done wonders for my non-paper-and-pencil-skills. Which is, almost every skill there is.

I was actively discouraged from getting a part-time job to keep my grades pristine even though I lay on my ass for most of the time. I could blame myself because I also actively discouraged myself from getting one when I was in high school and some of college. But I could also keep in mind my depression from loneliness made it super fucking hard to get myself to do anything at all when I was younger.

Yet again, I did something about this. I went to the job fair in college and did interviews, but of course, never having done any in high school I was absolute shit and didn’t get hired in any one of them even though I did several. Worked my ass off to builda resume out of nothing, balancing with my studies. All in vain. I never got hired. Again, that’s a skill I never had the opportunity to learn.

And recently, too. I didn’t get hired. I made the applications and rebuilt my resume, but I was discouraged from submitting it as well. Admittedly, this situation was more complicated and had other reasons for this decision. But I can’t help that I’ve missed an opportunity to grow yet again. I feel like I’m rotting.

That’s what I felt like for most of my life, honestly. Struggling to even move. To do anything at all. Just lying in my bed, rotting, on my phone mindlessly scrolling social media for a semblance of human interaction if I wasn’t bent over repetitive, time-consuming, inefficient homework. I was just rotting.

I can’t ask them myself, but I wonder in my head:

Do they think I can just learn the skills I’m missing out on in a flash once I’m 25 and working for the first time in my life?

I first wrote the above content the night of July 13. Reading back on this, I admit I ventured into sort of blaming my parents entirely for the way I am now. I don’t mean to feel that way. I acknowledge that I’m responsible for how I am now, as an adult. I’m responsible to change myself. Despite what the past has shaped me into, it’s not set in stone. Especially since I can reflect on how I am and why I, at least in part, got to be this way. Recognition is the first step to making change easier. I acknowledge these things.

I acknowledge it’s not my parents’ fault that I haven’t gotten a job. I just need to put myself out there more. To practice. To get enough experience with interviews and resumes and all that professional jazz until I can get it right. Although I didn’t get such experiences early in my life like many people do, it doesn’t mean I can’t ever get them. What better time to start than the present? I face unique challenges like self-esteem issues such as insecurity about being inexperienced at my age. But I think that makes me all the more interesting and will attest to my fortitude once I overcome my challenges. Cheers to the ones who haven’t broken out of their shell. Cheers to the ones who not only didn’t get a head start, but started late. It’s more pressure.