This will likely be long, so please bear with me.
I am 20 years old and will be 21 in March. My parents are extremely strict and genuinely abusive and have always been, but only towards me. I have a half sister, who just turned 16. She has always been given everything she wants and is completely spoiled. My parents claim to be extremely religious and Christian (even though they are hypocrites) and do not allow drinking, cussing, doing any kind of drug, smoking, being gay, or anything like that or that the Bible claims is "wrong."
When I was younger, my dad (who is actually my stepdad) used to abuse me. I've been beaten with belts, sticks, electrical cords, fly swatters, and even a clothing iron before. It would be so bad, I would have to wear clothes that would cover the marks the next day at school. My mother knew and never said anything about it. He openly calls me a wh*re, to this day, even though I am nowhere near it. They have called me stupid, garbage, a wh*re, worthless, and everything under the sun.
At 15 years old, my parents refused to take me to get my driver's permit until I was 16. Then, they absolutely refused to take me to get my license the entire time I was living in their house and used that as an excuse not to get me a car. I just recently was able to get my license, only after I moved out of their house. They kicked me out in October of last year because they thought they smelled pot in my room. They did not care at all that I had nowhere to go, which I told them. They were perfectly fine with the idea of me sleeping on the streets. My boyfriend came and got me and my aunt took me in, but not before she made me take a drug test - which I passed. I would have stayed with my boyfriend if I could, but he is still trying to get on his own feet in his mother's house and they do not have the resources, money or space to take me in.
The past few months with my aunt (who is 58 years old) have been absolute hell. She wrote me an enormous list of rules that I would be made to follow and is extremely strict as well. She has an enormous house and initially promised me that I would have my own bedroom at the end of 3 weeks staying there. For the meantime, I would stay in her ex husband's closet. I ended up sleeping on a blow-up mattress in the closet for 2-3 months, which I never once complained to her about. She finally gave me my own bedroom just recently and things got even worse from there.
She has tried to control literally every aspect of my life ever since I arrived at her house, which she even admitted to. According to her, I need my every action controlled because I'm "not capable of making my own decisions" and that when I make my own choices, "it's usually about something I shouldn't be doing." I asked her what I have done that I shouldn't be doing and what I have done that is so bad, and she couldn't even give me an answer.
I have been making my own decisions for years and was forced to grow up at an extremely young age, which she completely refuses to acknowledge. She has even went so far as demanding to know every detail of my bank transactions, when I received money, what I bought, and even told me I was to tell her what I planned to buy beforehand and that SHE would have the final say on whether I would be getting it or not. Even though it is my money.
I have also paid my own bills for years. I currently have a job running my own marketing business and work with other businesses which, according to my parents and my aunt, isn't a "real job." I am being forced to find another job, or else I can't stay, which is extremely difficult in as small of a town as I live in because the majority of jobs are already taken. Yet, I am expected to wave a magic wand and have a job within a day, which isn't the way things work.
I still do not have a car since my parents refused to get me one (unlike my sister, who was given one as soon as she turned 16), which will make getting to work problematic. I honestly would not care a bit about my parents not getting me a car, had they not bought my sister a vehicle as soon as she turned 16. I have had jobs before, which my parents insisted on driving me to and from. Since I am out of their house, using any of their vehicles to get to work isn't an option and my aunt will not let me use hers. She will not take me to and from work either, so I am completely at a loss over what I am to do about getting to work when I find a new job.
I follow all of the rules my aunt gave me and do everything that I am supposed to do. I don't go out and party, I don't sleep around and never have, I don't do drugs, I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I don't cause trouble at all. Yet, my aunt thinks I am just horrible and cause her nothing but stress. I go out of my way to do things for her so I don't have to deal with the constant nagging (even though she does it anyways), I keep my room absolutely spotless, I pick up after myself every time and don't leave any of my things, or the things I use, where they shouldn't be. She barely even cleans her own house anymore, it has been me who is made to do it, which I do without complaint.
I very well earn my keep in her house. Yet I am constantly nagged and told what to do nearly every moment of the day and am told that I do nothing. She has blatantly told me, "You never follow any of the rules, you never do anything I ask you to do," even though it isn't the case and she should know better. She has also called me garbage and trash directly to my face and has told me that I deserve to be insulted. She will follow me around the house everywhere I go and will tell me what to do the entire time. She has even tried to interfere in my personal life and prevent me from seeing my boyfriend, which isn't her decision to make. It would be different if she simply did not want him coming into her house, but he doesn't set foot in her home.
She absolutely refuses to understand that it is not her place or her right to interfere with my personal life, when I am nearly 21 years old. It would be different if I were doing things I shouldn't be doing, but I am not. I have tried to talk to her and reason with her and it gets absolutely nowhere. I will try to talk and reason with her in a completely normal, calm tone of voice and without fail, I am called a "smart mouth" and disrespectful every single time. I have even gone out of my way to be completely respectful towards her when trying to reason with her, thinking out my words before I say them so they have absolutely no possibility of being offensive or coming off wrongly, and she still labels me as disrespectful and smart. It irritates me to no end to be called disrespectful, when I have done everything I possibly can to be respectful of her and her household, only to be talked down to and disrespected myself.
She has been disrespectful towards me nearly the entire time I have lived there thus far. She will do things that I have blatantly asked her nicely not to do, she will burst in on me while I am changing, showering, using the bathroom, and then she will refuse to leave even though I am clearly indecent and have asked her to step out. I understand that it is her house, but that still does not give her the right to behave towards me however she wants. It would be different if I were a child and were incapable of doing things on my own, but I am not and haven't been for years.
It is even more frustrating to me that other family members stay in her home and she does not treat them like this in the slightest and wouldn't dare to. I am the only one who is treated like this and she absolutely refuses to acknowledge that I deserve the same respect as any other adult in our family. I have made it abundantly clear to her that I am appreciative of her letting me stay, and do not take advantage of that. I go above and beyond to earn my keep and am doing everything I can to get on my feet and get my own place. She claims "I shouldn't have to tell you what to do all the time, you should just do these things without me having to say anything,"'even though she doesn't have to, on account that I already do just that. Yet, she does it anyways and then wrongfully blames me for the fact that she does it. I have even told her that she doesn't have to, that I do what I'm supposed to anyways and she tells me, "Yes I do have to," and tries to argue with me about it. She tells me that I need to do everything on my own and then tries to control everything I do. When I tell her that I need to be given the opportunity to do things on my own, she acts like it is just a terrible thing to want to do and tells me "No, you can't do that. You're not capable of it. Even though she claims that is what she wants.
This past week, she told me that we were going to leave at 11 one morning to go to Lowe's and to Walmart. I got up at 8 o clock and immediately started getting my shower and getting ready. I even texted my aunt back the entire time I was getting ready, so she knew I was awake. 10:45 rolls around and I'm finishing up my hair and didn't have my clothes on yet and she comes in and tells me, "You're not ready, you're not even close to being ready." I told her that I was finishing up my hair and that putting on my clothes only takes me a few seconds and she continued to complain and tell me that I wouldn't be ready anyways.
Then, when I asked her nicely to leave so I could change, she got mad and started saying "It's not like I haven't seen you naked before," (the only reason she's even seen me naked is because she's bursted in on me in the shower on purpose, even though I told her not to come in) and I told her that didn't matter, that I don't come in when she's changing and give her privacy, so I deserve the same. She ended up storming out of the room and I finished and got into the truck right at 11. I ended up having to wait for her to get in and when she finally did, she blamed me for the fact that we were 10 minutes late leaving. I told her that I got into the truck right on time and waited for her to finally get in and she starts telling me, "No, you didn't. No, you didn't. You must've lied to me about when you got up and started getting ready, because we're late." I told her that I clearly didn't lie, because I was texting her the whole time and she knew that I was awake and getting ready, yet she continued to sit there and call me a liar. I told her that I wasn't going to put up with being told I am a liar, when I'm not, and being treated like garbage for no reason. She then looked at me and told me directly to my face that I was garbage and would always be garbage. I told her that I wasn't going to be treated like this, and I was so mad by that point that I dropped the f-bomb and she slapped me over it and told me to get out of the truck. I told her that her behavior was ridiculous, that I didn't deserve to be treated the way she had been, that by claiming to be a Christian, she should know better and I got out.
She ended up coming back and forcing me into talking to her, when we both needed space, and when I tried to communicate and reason with her, she called me a smart mouth, disrespectful, and a child. I told her that no matter what I do and no matter how I try to talk to her, even though I go out of my way to be respectful towards her about it, she still labels me as a smart mouth and it isn't right. I told her that just because I try to communicate with her, it doesn't make me a smart mouth. I told her that I do everything I can to be respectful of her and her home, and that if I weren't, I wouldn't even bother making the effort to do so or make the effort to do what she asks of me. I told her that me choosing not to cuss around her shows that I have enough respect for her not to do so. She didn't have anything to say.
I told her that no one knows me better than myself and no one knows what is better for me than myself and she refused to listen to me. She is convinced that she knows everything and I know nothing. I even asked her how I was being a child by trying to communicate and reason with her and her response was, "Because you're being a child." She couldn't even give me a real answer. I told her that communicating and trying to reason with one another is what adults do and she wouldn't listen to me. Instead, she got mad and tried to tell me that I need counseling and said that if I didn't go, I wouldn't be allowed to live there anymore. I told her that I didn't need counseling and she replied with, "Yes, you do. You have mental issues."
I have been forced to go to counselor after counselor all of my life by my parents, and now my aunt is trying to do the same thing. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I don't have mental issues. My boyfriend, who knows me better than anyone and who knows everything about me, would've laughed in her face had he been there. I am an extremely calm and patient person and it takes a lot to get me upset and angry. The ONLY thing that is causing me mental damage is my aunt. If I were out of her house, I know with 100% certainty that I would be just fine.
If I had the means to, I would move out of her home in a heartbeat. Moving back to my parents' house really isn't an option either. I have been staying in their house for the past few days and will be going back to my aunt's today. My parents have claimed they miss me and want me back, but when it boiled down to it, their answer was no.
I am being pushed well beyond my breaking point nearly every day that I am at my aunt's. I am stressed out and anxious to the point that I can barely eat and am physically sick to my stomach nearly every day. I am exhausted in every way imaginable and I don't know what to do. I know I am probably going to get some people saying "It's your aunt's house, suck it up and deal with it." That doesn't change the fact that it isn't right and sucking it up is literally costing me my mental health.
There's only so long a person can suck it up and hold their tongue while being treated like trash. I've dealt with it with my parents ever since I was a little kid and now it's happening all over again with my aunt. I really don't know what to do anymore.
I'm just completely at a loss. I am already trying to get another job as quickly as possible, applying for new ones every single day and am working on getting into school for this semester. All I know to do is focus on getting out of there as quickly as possible, but that doesn't fix my problem with my aunt. I know she is going to continue to treat me this way if something isn't done, but I have no idea what to do. I can't take much more. I have enough to deal with as it is and she is literally making my life a living hell.
I know when things are my fault and will be the first to admit it, but I have tried everything I can think of to do and have tried reasoning with her countless times. It genuinely isn't my fault and I'm tired. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, because I am at my limit.