Some background: I'm male, 19 years old, at a good university. I'm not that close with my parents - I never confide in them.
I can't help but feel that my self-esteem issues have, in part, come from my mother.
She has such a narrow view of life. I don't care that she wants to fritter away her remaining years going on little outings, going shopping, having lunches out etc. If that's what she wants to do, fine. She enjoys that, and that's all that matters.
But why is she trying to apply the same lifestyle to me? Always trying to get me to go out more, to socialise, to 'do stuff' (as if what I actually do doesn't qualify as doing anything at all), nagging me why don't I just go out for the sake of going out, why don't I have a girlfriend yet etc. All these things are apparently 'good for you'.
She doesn't realise that either I find those things incredibly stressful and hard to deal with, or I don't want to do them at all. I don't see why what I want to do, because it mostly takes place inside, doesn't count as significant or 'good for you'. I can take care of myself. At university, I go to the gym, I'm self-teaching a language, I get my work done, I like to read novels, I like tennis, I have made some close-ish friends at university, though I have none from my old school.
Is that not good enough for her? I enjoy working. Why can't she see that?
Of the things I do some are helping me to build my future in the direction I want it to go - I don't know what I want exactly, I only have rough ideas, but I know what I want to do now. Why is she intent on demolishing what I want, with her prescriptive and normative view of life? Were I to follow her advice, and live my life according to her ideas, I would class that as a wasted life, a life full of banalities and ending in nothing but regret.
With her incessant criticism, whether directly to me or simply overheard, she has ruined my self-worth. She's worn me down. I can't work, I can't socialise, I can't think without her criticisms resurfacing and forcing me into doubt and self-hatred. Those doubts take over my time and my concentration, so I can't get anything I want to do done. I HATE myself. I am worthless. For years now I have despised what I am, what I do, what I want, because I don't feel normal. I can't walk down the street without feeling self-conscious, feeling out of place, feeling like everyone is looking, staring or laughing at me. I can't even play the violin now if I know someone is nearby or might be listening. I panic, I start shaking and just can't play. I love the violin, even though I was never any good at it, but I've essentially given it up - I can't face the idea of someone listening to me play. I've intimated as much, about my violin-anxieties, but she doesn't take that seriously.
Social situations have become awkward and claustrophobic. I shiver, I sweat, my eyes lose focus, I can't think what to say, I can't control what I say or do. I analyse what I've done for hours and hours afterwards. Memories come back years afterwards and cause me pain, cause me to wince and shy away. I can't build relationships with people, because I fear I'm just wasting their time and imposing myself on them. It doesn't help that I'm either gay or asexual - I can't even figure that out. I've told her I'm either gay/asexual. She seemed quite dismissive. As much as I'd love love love a relationship, I don't think I could handle one.
I can't sleep. I can't count the number of times I've had to suppress tears lately. I've felt like this for at least 3 years, if not more - I can't remember now. I am an introspective person, but I'm not simply a sombre person - I'm a deeply unhappy person. And I hate pretending that I am happy.