Notes From a Homeschooler: Michelle Hill’s Story, Part Three


You can follow Michelle Hill at her blog

At best my mother is toxic, at her worst, she’s been emotionally abusive.  I’ve now come to realize that during my childhood, along with self-harm and restrictive eating, I also suffered from depression.

My parents are now more controlling than ever since I’ve moved away to college.

Not in the physical way, but in the worst possible way, though emotional control.  The guilt that they’ve put on me for not going home has led me to tears more times than I can count.  Nothing I do is good enough, and I always wonder “Why? What am I doing that’s so bad?”  I am an A student on scholarship, always find my own employment, never ask for money, just this year I filed my taxes by myself, I’ve also gotten help for my depression against their wishes.

Ah depression, the beginning of the end with my parents.  I saw the school’s counselor last September because something was wrong.  I was always mad at the world for everything, I was having problems adjusting to the new school year, and I had overwhelming anxiety.  I was diagnosed with moderate depression. After some research, I saw that it made sense that I did have depression all along, and I probably had it as a child.  After some research, I decided that I needed a strong emotional support base from family and friends. So I called my mother and told her the news.

 I was met with denial and her making me promise not to see a therapist and especially not to take any medications. 

She said, “Don’t go see those people. They don’t know you like me. Remember that one time you cried about getting a bad grade in government class, and I told you that it was going to be alright?  You’re just having a bad week. You just need to trust yourself.”  From that day on, I started hiding more and more things from them because I knew I wasn’t going to get any support.  I saw a therapist against their wishes; I started taking Prozac on a low dosage, and things started getting better emotionally – just not with my family.

Since then, I’ve had an emotional disconnect with my family.  They no longer feel like immediate family; they are more like the ones that you see once a year and you put on a happy face for.  Thanksgiving break ended with me self-harming myself for the first time in almost four years.  Christmas break ended in tears and me coming back to the dorms because I was happier being myself that with my family.

Before I left, I remember my dad telling/asking me if I was having one big pity party with the impression that my depression was all in my head and made up.

It still hurts today.  Spring break ended with me thinking about cutting them off and never going back again.  Easter weekend ended with a revelation that my parents are controlling and that I now need to look out for my own happiness and stop caring about what they think is best for me.

Now I just worry about my siblings that I left behind.

My little brother has dyslexia, though has never been tested because my mother is worried about the school investigating.  He is years behind and will probably never reach a level high enough to pass a GED let alone going to college.  They talk about him building a house on their property for him to live in and later take care of my parents in their old age.  I wonder if he will ever find a wife. I wonder if he is happy.  As of right now, he only has one friend and only leave the house once or twice a week to go into town with my mom shopping.  My little sister has Down syndrome.  I don’t know how she compares educationally because there’s no way to really compare.  My bright, sweet, little blonde-haired sister has no friends and hardly ever gets out.  She does not even attend a Sunday school.  Her socialization includes watching TV and seeing my brother play with his one friend he sees occasionally.  I wonder how she will turn out and it makes me deeply sad.  She is the only thing that keeps me from cutting off my parents completely.

I feel no love for my parents anymore, but her isolation makes me ache deep inside.

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