This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.
I’ve been on my own for 3 years now and I am not happy with how its going. I lived in Children’s Aid and seemed to have missed out on the classes about independence and life. I dont know how to do taxes, I can’t keep my house clean. I am poor at laundry. I don’t know how to cook and all I ever do is sit, watch movies, play warcraft and isolate myself. I wanna work but my government income pretty much makes that void. I wanna volunteer but I dont have transportation money. the only thing going good for me in this house is my cats. I hate how everything is going. it makes me really depressed. Like sometimes I try to do things that are needed and then I get frustrated and angry. How can i change my routines, how do i not get so frustrated? my head feels like popping off.
You have a lot happening in your life both with yourself and in your relationship with your girlfriend. Your problems with living independently are not unlike a lot of young people. There are many possible reasons that young people don’t have these life skills. They can range from those who have not been given the opportunity to develop life skills as they were growing up,often because they were moved from place to place or had no one that they felt sufficiently connected to who could consistently helped them to grow in these skills. Some parents have never required their children to do any chores or household responsibilities. Some youth living in Children’s Aid care may resent the demands to help out in the home life of a place where they do not wish to live and thus refuse to practice these skills such as doing laundry, cleaning regularly and cooking. They’d rather do things that are enjoyable and feel good rather then work on doing things that they get little enjoyment out of. When you do activities that give you little enjoyment but are necessary like cooking , cleaning and laundry, you are developing your self-discipline. This is an important skill. To help yourself have this discipline, a routine is important. You probably already have routines that you do every day, maybe it’s hygiene, such as showering or brushing your teeth or health such as eating. Consider making up a schedule for the week and on each day of the week give yourself at one chore to do around your home, set the time that you will begin this chore and the amount of time that you think that you need, such as Monday 6-8pm laundry and Tuesday- 10- 12 noon- clean bathroom. There are some chores that probably need to be done daily, so set aside a time to do that, such as, dishes- 6-6:30pm. The hard thing to do is to stick to a routine, but if you are able to do this daily for about a month then you will be on your way to making this a habit in your life. This will not be easy, but take it one day at a time, if you don’t do it one day, then don’t beat yourself up for not doing, just get back on track as soon as think of it and do whatever chore is needing to be done for that day. Some people make a list of things that they want to do each day, listing the tasks by their importance. They know that they won’t get everything done but they get satisfaction by doing at least some of the tasks. Do you have a therapist that you are seeing, if so then they could be a support in helping you set up and follow through on routines. They could also help you about what you are doing with your life. I get the sense that your frustration comes out of not doing anything that means something to you. Forgetting all the problems that you have, what would like to be doing with yourself; where would you like to volunteer; what kind of a job would you like to do; what dreams and hopes do you have for yourself? Use these answers as a guide to actions you can next take. WIth your girlfriend, the one big thing that jumps out at me as I read your post was the lack of trust that you felt with her and her lack of trust in you. Her actions in looking at your private writings on your computer have greatly added to your mistrust. If trust isn’t growing in a relationship, then the relationship will not last. You both have major issues with trust. Not trusting is a major problem for people who have been diagnosed as having Borderline Personality. You have a strong sense that this relationship isn’t going to work, moving in will not improve it a relationship where the couple is arguing already. That your relationship is five months old, suggest that this is the time when people start to see the differences in each other and start to see how you really are with each other. You seem to be past the honeymoon stage of a relationship, where you think that the other person is just perfect for you. This is the time where people figure out if the other person is a good match for them. What kind of a match is your girlfriend for you? A good relationship should make your life easier, more enjoyable; it shouldn’t make you feel “more unhappy, scared, worried, angry” then you were a month ago. Even though you don’t like to talk on the phone, these are the kinds of problems that best dealt with by discussing it with someone else. All calls to us are confidential and free as long as it isn’t on a cell phone. If you are not comfortable with the counsellor, then you can ask to speak to another. So my hope is that you would call us to further discuss your concerns about any of these issues. Take care of yourself.