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How to explain meltdowns to my parents?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by The Phantom, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. The Phantom

    The Phantom Well-Known Member

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    I've been highly sensitive emotionally all my life. It was believed by everyone, including me that it was just me being a cry-baby. At first it was annoying to others, but they coped because they knew I'd grow out of it. Well, now I'm 13 and still cry when my dad tells me I need to improve my grades in a disappointed tone. When I was a toddler it was just a kid being a kid and overreacting. For a few years is was 'hormones' (if that confuses you, I got precocious puberty). And while it is still hormones to some people, not I'm just either:

    A) a teenager (lot's of times being told this by my hypocritical friends/classmates)

    B) Purposely wanting to piss my parents off (again, teenager)

    C) Throwing a tantrum and trying to manipulate my parents into getting me what I want or getting out of a serious situation

    OR

    D) Doing what I love to do (To quote my mom: "All you want to do is cry")

    (I know I sound like such a teenager right now. But I say this with sadness, not angst. I've become depressed over the last few years and I think this is a big reason why.)

    Like I said before, at first I though I'd just be classified as a 'Highly sensitive person', but now as I realize that I could have Aspergers, I also discovered this was a trait of the condition and could actually be due to Aspergers.

    The problem is my parents don't believe I have aspergers (or at least that it's a possibility). And without that, they can't know how serious this is.
    When someone tells me off, I start to get sad, and without wanting it I start to tear up. Some of my teachers are understanding, some not. But my biggest critics are my parents. They think I'm just throwing a tantrum, and that I WANT to cry. They actually tell me that! And it starts with watery eyes, but then they yell at me even more for crying, which makes me cry EVEN MORE! But they can't realize that! I don't want this! I tell them so many times it hurts! But they think I want to humiliate myself in public. Crying is a reaction I can't seem to control, it almost like a reflex for when I feel I've disappointed others, or feel like I've let them down. Once in 5th grade my class was being rude to my science teacher by not quieting down when she asked (this is not including me and very small number of other students). Furious, my teacher (My main teacher, not my lab teacher) told us to put our heads down and started to yell (well, kind of. It definitely seemed like yelling then.) at us. I started to cry, and was the only one who was crying out of everyone, even though I was being respectful of my science teacher the whole time. My teacher (the one who yelled) even tapped me on the shoulder and said to me "This is not aimed at you." Kids had to pass through the room to get to other classes and the next day kids were asking me why I was crying. I know sometimes crying can't be helped, but almost NONE of the times where I'm sad I can stop my crying, while other kids can be in perfect control. One of the girls who the yelling was aimed at said she almost cried, but she controlled herself, while I didn't do anything and started sobbing. Even Just a few minutes ago I was telling my mom why it hurt when one of my friends imitated and teased me about the way I walk, and I was saying that it's hard to brush it off and starting to tear up. I can look at my facebook feed and see my friends having fun with their other friends, feel lonely (only a little bit) and cry. Ironically while my eyes watered, I didn't cry at my brothers' best friends funeral. I cried when I heard he died, of course, but his whole family died and the funeral was filled of images of them together and their belongings, and was extremely sad and pretty much everyone cried during the funeral, even people who barely knew them. I was on the verge of crying at one point, though. But I cry easier at other things.
    But my parents don't know how to handle it constructively. When my brothers friend was in a coma before he died, my whole family was naturally very stressed. My mom and I tried to talk it out and look on the bright side of things, saying that it was possible for him to live through it, and that his condition was stable though critical. Affected we tried to make ourselves feel better by reasoning, though I had a terrible feeling from the start, but didn't want to tell anyone. Anyway, my dad told us to stop talking about it, because it made him feel stressed. My mom and I were confused, and he locked himself in another room. I started crying for various reasons, and my dad saw me when he came out. He told me to 'Go ahead and cry', right when my brother best friend (of 6 years)was in a coma! I know he was stressed to, but both my dad and mom tell me to 'Go ahead and cry' almost every time I have a meltdown. I can't blame them for being annoyed, but they don't know how to constructively help me get over it. Even I know that's not going to help. My brother always calls them out on it, saying that it's just going to make me cry more, but they won't listen to either of us. Sometimes, my mom even imitates me to show me how ridiculous I'm being, but the imitation is very exaggerated and extremely hurtful.

    After that long rant, my basic question is, how do I rationally explain to my parents that it's something that is not easy to control, not on purpose, and something that needs to be helped? Because one of my strategies to get my parents to get my OCD diagnosed and to get screened (for any disorders, not just Aspergers) was telling them that my hypersensitivity was wroth checking out. My dad agreed, and while it hasn't been done yet, I'm hoping he might get around to it in the future.

    Thank you for your help!:):D
     
  2. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    All you can do is explain that crying doesn't mean you are sad necessarily, it's just your emotional release for all kinds of emotions and, you'd like it if your family could try not to be upset or react to it so much.

    Everyone, NT or not has something they do for an emotional/stress release. Some people cry, some yell, some exercise, some eat, etc... Explaining your release helps those close to you see it for what it is and, not overreact to it when you do it, same as you learn what they do and don't overreact to their releases. That's just human, your release just happens to be crying - mine happens to be hitting (usually a punching bag, tree, or wall.) My Husband stomps around, one of my best friends shaves his hair off or dyes it odd colors. No big deal, that's what makes me or them feel better, takes the edge off and, as long as anyone that has to live with or who is around you a lot (like close friends) you knows that, it's fine.

    For school, work etc... all you need to do is say "I'm fine, I just need a minute." to let people know you're okay and need to be left alone for a bit to collect your emotions and thoughts.
     
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  3. The Phantom

    The Phantom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Next time the subject comes up with my parents I will be explaining about how it's part of my emotional release. I think they'll be able to understand, maybe possibly help me. Also the advice about handling it at school is very useful too. Thanks again for your help!
     
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  4. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    Many people see crying as a sign of weakness. They don't want to see themselves as weak therefore they have hard time accepting crying especially in their children (because many parents don't want to see their children as weak). Some people have certain 'rules' about situations when it's acceptable to cry and when it's a sign of weakness. I believe that women frequently have less strict 'rules' about it. In any case their frustration with your reactions has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with their fears, their personal experiences. Even when it seems like they teasing you, I don't think they are trying to hurt your feelings, I think they are just afraid. In they own way they may be trying to protect you from the big bad world by making sure you are strong. They base their opinion and strategies on their vision of strength. You could tell them that some people simply more sensitive than others and there's nothing wrong with expressing your emotions through crying. Emotional self-expression is individual, sometimes it may be even healthier to express yourself that way instead of holding everything in, because holding everything in can cause various not only mental by physiological issues. You can also be honest with them and tell them that you don't like feeling that way. Maybe your school's counselor can give you some suggestions. Mindfulness and breathing exercises have helped many people, maybe you can try something like that. There're s few Android apps that you might like, or maybe you can find different apps for whatever device you use. Stop, Breathe and Think and Pacifica seems pretty good. (For monitoring your mood and relaxation)
     
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  5. The Phantom

    The Phantom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I can definitely see your point about crying seeming like a sign of weakness, and I hope that's the case instead of what it seems, which would be me crying so much my parents are annoyed beyond belief, which is bad since I have 5 more years to go living with them, and I don't know if they would be able to take it :p
    I've been talking to my mom recently and she seems to be changing her stance towards my crying lately, so that's a good sign. And I've been talking to my counselor so hopefully she can also help. Also, the app idea sounds very interesting, I never thought to use a method though phone, haha. I will definitely be giving it a try.
    Thanks again!
     
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  6. Numbat

    Numbat Well-Known Member

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    Hi! I don't really have a straight answer, but I just wanted to let you know that you definitely are not alone. I have had similar issues my whole life - and the memories of a few notable events definitely made me tear up just from reading.

    Paradoxically, it does get easier in the long term when you let yourself cry. I mean that, by telling myself that I am "allowed" to cry at certain times it has been easier not to at others.
    It is definitely something I was only able to let myself do once I got away from the harmful family environment I was in.

    Take some time with yourself and reconnect with your emotions. Don't let them estrange you from yourself. That's often how we end up feeling like we "can't control" things like crying - it's because we have been trying to regulate ourselves and our emotions with the standards of others instead of trusting ourselves.
     
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  7. The Phantom

    The Phantom Well-Known Member

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    QUOTE[​IMG]="Numbat, post: 247821, member: 997"]Hi! I don't really have a straight answer, but I just wanted to let you know that you definitely are not alone. I have had similar issues my whole life - and the memories of a few notable events definitely made me tear up just from reading.

    Paradoxically, it does get easier in the long term when you let yourself cry. I mean that, by telling myself that I am "allowed" to cry at certain times it has been easier not to at others.
    It is definitely something I was only able to let myself do once I got away from the harmful family environment I was in.

    Take some time with yourself and reconnect with your emotions. Don't let them estrange you from yourself. That's often how we end up feeling like we "can't control" things like crying - it's because we have been trying to regulate ourselves and our emotions with the standards of others instead of trusting ourselves.[ QUOTE[​IMG]]

    Hello, thanks for your reply! (even after this was created to long ago!!)

    It's nice to know I'm not alone, and I think your advice was very helpful. in fact, I met up with a counselor the other day, and she said crying is actually better because you get to release emotions, in comparison to being
    told not to cry, where everything is bottled in. I think eventually this advice from her will get around to my parents. So that's a good sign. And again, thank you!!! :)
     
  8. JuniperBug

    JuniperBug Rainbow Bird of Friendliness

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  9. The Phantom

    The Phantom Well-Known Member

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