My parents usually abuse me emotionally and verbally; it is almost like I am detached from the whole family and I wish for the day in which I would leave my parent’s house for good and live on my own. I used to ignore them and detach myself from the house and them by attending medical school and working at the hospital. I had my time almost filled with studying and extracurricular activities like volunteering even in the weekends so I wouldn’t have to spend any time at all at the house. Recently; I couldn’t find a residency program so I missed the Match season this year and I would have to stay in and prepare for the next one to get a decent spot and finally start my financial independence. They are extremely controlling; they often state clearly that we are the ones supporting you and paying for you and we know what is best for you as long as you are living under our roof. They are extremely protective and wouldn’t let do the simplest thing like driving on my own. They think they have the right to control me and my decisions; and when I confront them with the truth; they get very angry and start saying the meanest things on planet earth and I always try to distant myself so I wouldn’t hear what they have to say about me but I am living with them and I cannot go out whenever I want. I feel like I am a remarkable smart person and I always think of myself as a hard worker; I have always been an A student; never failed any course not during high school nor during med school. I graduated with a degree of excellence; yet I failed this time and couldn’t get myself into a residency program but that doesn’t make me a failure. They have been calling me names and saying that I am a total failure and I am trying to find excuses for it so I blaming it on the. All I have told them is that I am not comfortable in the house and I think I should move out so I would concentrate more. I am always anxious and irritated; I am starting to hate my life. What should I do?

Thank you for writing to us and explaining your situation. I believe the independence you seek may be a double-edged sword. Let me explain, with the strong possibility I may be wrong about this, but with a sense that considering it, even if you have to rule it out, will be important.

You are 25, exceptionally talented, and studious. You are training for a life of service in the medical field and have made your work and studies your go-to respite to avoid the abuse from your family. In other words, your magnificent growth and development of skills was crafted as a response to moving away from your abusive environment. The abuse may have become part of the needed chaos for your growth.

This isn’t an unusual scenario. Many times healthcare workers, therapists, medical and legal professionals have a family of origin issue that launches their interest in helping careers. In your case what is curious is that the main event for a graduating physician, perhaps the most important transition in your professional development — was neglected. By your own words: I couldn’t find a residency program so I missed the Match season this year and I would have to stay in and prepare for the next one to get a decent spot and finally start my financial independence.

Perhaps all the abuse has seeped into your psyche. They have made you feel as if you are not worthy, incapable of independence, have berated your skill, not letting your free, determining when you can go out, keeping your from driving. Every message they have given you has been that you can’t make it on your own. Perhaps missing the residency this year came from that part of you that believes them.

As I’ve said, I can certainly be wrong about this — however, I wouldn’t wait to get some therapy from your med school. They are very likely to have a counseling department for students and I highly recommend you contact them and prepare for moving out. I’d also NOT wait to move out. It may be very important for you to find any situation that could allow you to be out from the unhealthy environment you live in.

Whether or not my assessment of the situation is correct — I believe getting some counseling now as you prepare to move out is an important first step.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral