Dear Thelma: 'My family calls me useless'

Dear Thelma: 'My family calls me useless'

Dear Thelma,

I am a confused and miserable 18-year-old. I am the youngest child in the family, and have two elder brothers. Friends come to me for advice when they have problems, and I am very good at counselling them.

I give them a shoulder to cry on, and help to wipe away their tears. I like to keep the people around me happy. Ironically, I have no one to turn to when I need help. I do not like to burden people with my problems, so I keep everything bottled up. No one knows the pain I have to endure every day.

School days were the happiest times of my life. Now that school is behind me, I spend more time at home and I find it difficult to meet the expectations of family members. My life has become a nightmare. I am very hurt by the actions of family members. They turn their anger and aggression on me, and curse me. I get blamed for almost everything. I am a sensitive person, and their harsh words tear my heart apart.

When I try to speak up, they say I am rude and arrogant. I have absolutely no rights at home. Nobody appreciates me. In fact, they say I am useless. All I can do is cry to myself. The pain gets more unbearable each day, and I have thought of suicide. I am a burden to my family. I feel so hopeless, lonely and miserable.

What is life if you are forced to hide your inner turmoil and put on a brave face every day? I feel so depressed and oppressed. Please help me. - Breaking down

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