I am not a person to get anxious about many things, but whenever I am short on stress my parents always swoop in with a healthy helping. They can push all my buttons without even trying. The stress they cause me to feel dwarfs that of unemployment, chronic illness, climate change, and existential crises put together.
My parents (mostly my mom) have been on my case to advance my career since before I even lost my job. After I became unemployed their nagging ratcheted up to eleven. There is nowhere I can go to hide from their remarks. They speak to me about it during car rides, over meals, on walks, even with guests over. When I lock myself in my room they call, text, and yell at me until I respond.
Sometimes their advice is well-meaning. They send me jobs they want me to apply to and remind me to check job boards every day. I know they want the best for me, but their advice does not help. It’s not like I don’t know what to do. Hearing someone tell me what to do only makes me want to do it less. I have never been short on self-motivation either: I found all of my past jobs by myself, so I don’t see why their unsolicited assistance would be of any use now.
Other times their advice is plain bad. My mom has always tried to guide my career against my wishes and now it has crashed into a dead-end and gone up in flames. I am completely burned out and have grown to hate everything in my field. And yet she still insists on my applying for jobs in IT. I would sooner go swimming in the Hudson with a kettlebell tied to my neck than end up in another job like my last. I believe I have made my feelings abundantly clear, but they either do not understand or care. At this point I am not sure which is worse.
I am trapped. I feel like I will die of cardiac arrest if I have to endure this much longer. I need to get out of this god-forsaken pressure cooker but do not know how. I am child me running away from home once again, burning my bare feet on the scorching midsummer asphalt because I forgot my shoes in my blind desperation to escape, except this time around I know reaching the safety of the woods won’t solve a thing.
I don’t have anyone to talk to about this. I don’t know if that is entirely a true statement because I just called a friend last night for support and he listened the best he could. I was so overwhelmed with stress I could hardly speak. There’s not much anyone can say to make me feel better, so I don’t see a point in subjecting others to my stress if it won’t even help me.
I don’t know what to do, other than write to get this off my chest. I am a pressurized bottle of screams and stress pleading desperately for release. What I wouldn’t do for some peace and quiet…