How do you deal with family that won't support you?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/9/2008 8:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, but how do you deal with family members (especially my mom) that don't believe in mental illness; let alone support me.

Right now I live with my mom and my step-dad, and it is really taking a toll on me. I am having a rough time dealing with them, as they are with me. Nobody wants to talk about the real issues why we don't get along, to each his own. That is the philosophy around here. I am not trying to make them look bad and myself look good, but I feel all alone here. I have no support system here and it is really a struggle when my moods are not right.

I love my therapist, but it is not like I can call her all the time. She said that I can call her a few times, but I feel a little awkward. Also, it is great to have support out of that setting. I go through phases where I have tons of friends, then I seem to have just 1 or 2 and I am getting sick of it. I don't think it has to do with me, people just get too busy to help others.

I feel stuck, my anxiety shoots through the roof when I have to deal with my mom. Most of the time we have shouting spells and that is how a lot of our conversations go. I have tried to have a better relationship with my mom, but she doesn't support in the biggest struggle in my life. I've asked her to come to family therapy but she has made countless excuses to keep from going there.

I wish I can move out, for my sake at least. But that is not a possibility at the moment, but that day will come soon. I feel like I am at the ends of my rope with this situation. But until then, I will hang tough for that is all I can do.

Olivia
Olivia
Bipolar Co-Moderator


Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. ~Robert Rodriguez

Don't let your yesterday ruin your today.


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/9/2008 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Olivia, I am going to speak to you as a woman who IS a daughter to a strong mother, and also a mom herself. #1, moms can get to us the way they do because THEY implanted the buttons!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are such a lovely writer of your feelings, and I am sure you have tried this, but try writing your mom a series of letters combining messages of gratitude, as well as wishes. Each letter tackling one issue, sprinkled also with fond memories filled with gratitude. Sometimes something sour goes down better with a little sugar if you get my drift. I think many times when parents turn a blind eye to their children's pain; it comes out of total fear and pain to see our children hurting and to feel so helpless about it. Up to and including such fundamental denial.

I'll never forgetten a story an old dance teacher once told me. He said that he always had hated his body...especially his thighs, and never felt respected by his mother. She still treated him as a child always telling him and insisting he put a sweater on, even when it was 90 degrees out. When he got old enough, had done some therapy, and learned self acceptance...especially for his thighs, and he finally decided he now "liked" them, the strangest thing happened. He mother continued to tell him whenever he went to leave the house, "Go put on your sweater", and for the first time, instead of the desire to argue with her (as he had always done) because he felt criticized she was saying that he couldn't take care of himself (because that is how he had always heard it), he suddenly heard it differently. He heard her saying "I love you, I don't want you to catch cold, I worry about you all the time." Even though the words were, "Go put on your sweater!"...so instead of arguing, he said, "I love you too mom!" Went and gave her a kiss and got his sweater, draped it over his arm and left the house because he knew this would please his mom. He said, this SAME dialogue went on for a year or more whenever he was about to leave the house, and he just kept saying "I love you too mom". And then one day he reached for the door and instead of say the usual, "Go put on your sweater", she said "I love you, be safe". She never said the sweater bit again. And that is how they spoke together from then on, with "I love you's" whenever they parted. The point was - his mom was saying one thing, but really meaning another, and when he had finally learned self acceptance for himself, and could hear what she really meant, HE CHANGED how he reacted to it. That then allowed her to change and say what she really meant.

I never forgot this story because it wasn't just a story he was telling me, it was his own personal experience and you could see that in his eyes as he shared it. Ever since, as pain in the behind as my mother can be - controlling, overbearing, judgmental...etc., I have always worked to look past her words and hear her true meaning - trusting that no matter what - even if her execution sucked...she loved me and was trying to come from that. I don't have a perfect relationship with her. But I have a very close one, because I can now talk to her about things - and tell her when she is driving me nuts. But that took time to get to. And I think she hears me because I express it always saying I understand she is trying to come from love, and what I’m sure she means by it, but that how she's doing it isn't working and I am getting exhausted dealing with transposing it.

So…Hang in there Olivia! Try to hear past the words if you can, and trust that in some misconstrued way, she is trying to come from love. Maybe it will help? HUGS, LFW

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 9/10/2008 12:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't really add much at the moment, but you are definitely not alone. just wanted to offer some hugs and support and if I'm up for it later I will write more. I wanted to at least leave you a little reply first. *hugs*
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/10/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Olivia,

I'm so sorry you're stuck there. I too have a hard relationship with my mother in any situation, but especially when it comes to the bipolar. My mother will at least admit it exists, but she doesn't understand the particulars and doesn't want to. Is it possible to be more out of the house than you already are? If you aren't working full time, can you volunteer somewhere or sign up for an art class? Anything to take you out of there and minimize the amount of time you spend there?

You're definitely not alone. I'm sorry you're hurting.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 9/12/2008 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Olivia,

I know we talked about this in the chatroom on chat night but I just wanted to chime in to let you know that you are still on my mind and I'm still sending good thoughts your way. I really hope everything works out well for you.

(((Hugs))) ~sukay blush


~sukay~
 Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 9/19/2008 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning Olivia,

Just wanted to check in with you. How did your weekend go? Has anything new happened to improve matters at the homefront? Would love to hear an update. You're in my thoughts!


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/20/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

Sorry for being MIA for a while, I actually got back on Tuesday instead of Sunday as I suspected. It was good to be away from home for a short while, it felt great to get away. I spent time with my aunt and her family, it was good and bad at the same time. I liked the change of scene, but my anxiety was shooting through the roof by the end of my visit.

Part of the reason that I have not been on HW is that I had become somewhat of a recluse since my time of being away. I have been reading a lot, to the point of obsession (I've read over 2,000pgs in the last week, don't ask me why). I have noticed my mood changes as well, they started gradually before my trip and have gotten worse since. I have been sleeping an average of 3 hours a night, that is if I sleep at all. I called my pdoc yesterday and he said that I might be getting to the manic side. Part of it is my fault also because I forgot to take my meds with me and I missed 4 days of meds. Even though my symptoms started before my trip, the fact that I missed doses does not help.

I have barely had a chance to spend time with my immediate family since I have been back, it has been great to get a break for once. I like having some breathing room, I am enjoying it a little too much.

Thank you all for your help, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!
Olivia
Bipolar Co-Moderator


Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. ~Robert Rodriguez

Don't let your yesterday ruin your today.


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 9/20/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Olivia (of course). Missing four days of meds is pretty significant. I know when I was on Valporic Acid I forget the other name for it Depakote or something, anyway, when I was taking that med, years ago, if I missed more than two doses, I could feel myself begin to slip into mania. Not sleeping, not eating right, talkative, kid of flakey, is the best way I can say it. Then I would get caught up again and my ship would be on an even keel. I have reached such an age now, the progression in my disease has gone from the extremes of Depressed to only hypomania, horrible anxiety, irritability, anger, frustration, that kind of thing. But although the extremes are less intense, the moods cycle ever faster. I wasn't offered any mood stabilizers during my overly brief meeting with the new pdoc. I guess I understand as I think I've got so many meds running through my system already, I don't think he was keen to add much into the mix. I'm a bit nervous about him wanting to curtail my fibro and pain meds b/c without them I cannot function, move, do my chores, pay bills, nothing. But maybe I'm presuming too much. Now I want to say a bit about the living with the parents thing. I currently live with my Dad b/c he has alzheimers and if I wasn't here he'd be in an institution. Also I get a little disability allowance and that helps pay rent, buy groceries, pay a couple bills. So, it's a good deal for him. However, I was in a really bad spot prior to coming here around Dec. 06. I was stuck, I slept in my vehicle, my parents vehicle, when mother would allow it (she's so worried about appearances), and occasionally on their living room floor. I was really, really sick. They (Mother and Stepfather)  called my younger brother asking him to tell me I had to go. He did. I couldn't believe it. If they'd asked me to tell somebody they had to go, I'd say, you tell them yourself if you feel that way. I was ever so hurt. I did go. Then I ran into my mother at the local grocery store and she had the nerve to say, how bad I would feel if something happened to either of them, and since I hadn't left a contact number, well, how would I know if one of them fell ill or something. Huh? I was homeless. Not to many free phones out there dear. So, I can relate. I felt like a "disposable commodity" to them. Inhumane. So here, several years later I'm living out here in the woods, middle of nowhere taking care of my Biological Dad as he needs me, and guess who shows up in our little corner of the world. Good old Mother. Why not take a trip to Paris, or Spain, or Alaska. Why come to this little backwater town of about 120 permanent residents. Why,? well to see what was going on. Plus while she was here she managed to screw up a land transaction I had been working on to insure my Dad could continue to live freely in the community by calling my sister who is co-owner of this land and had already agreed to co-operate, Mother calls her, tells her "she's taking advantage of her father, withdraw your approval". So, Sis writes a letter to my lawyer calling me all sorts of nasty things and the deal sinks. Thanks Ma. So, Olivia (of course) you see we can pick our friends but we don't get to pick our families. My expeience tells me to expect charity (as in Hope, Faith and Charity the Greatest of these being Charity), from strangers before ever expecting it from family. Sorry for being so longwinded. My point, I think, is that a day will come when your parents are on your stoop asking for your assistance. All in a circle.   

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/27/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
tyno,

thanks for the encouraging words, I am trying to hang in there as much as I can.

I started in a day program last week and that gets me out of the house more often. I am grateful to that, it has been going well so far. I also started a new med which will help me with dealing with my moods better.

I guess my moods being unstable added to my family conflict was just overwhelming for a while. It sucks that I am mostly in this alone, no support. But I learn to deal better with it each day.

Olivia :-)
Olivia
Bipolar Co-Moderator


Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. ~Robert Rodriguez

Don't let your yesterday ruin your today.


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/3/2008 11:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Olivia,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still thinking about you.

How is the day program going? I hope it is still helping you.

I entered a day program twice at the suggestion of my pdoc and it really helped me.

Hope to hear that things are still looking up for you.

blush
~sukay~
 Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/6/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Sukay,

The day program is going well, I like it a lot. It has been helping me stay busy and helps me to get to bed a little earlier. Since I have to get up really early to attend. It was strange at 1st since this was the 1st one I have ever attended. But it is good so far, like everything else it has flaws but it is tolerable.
Olivia
Bipolar Co-Moderator


Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. ~Robert Rodriguez

Don't let your yesterday ruin your today.


twisted71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 10/6/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Olivia, I am sorry that you seem to be having such a difficult time right now. I don't have much to add to what everyone else has said, but I wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and I hope that you are doing better now.
AJL
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/7/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad to hear the program is going okay, Olivia. Do you care to share any of the insights you've learned that you think might benefit us (me)? :-)

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/7/2008 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Nice to hear from you Olivia,  smurf  
 
Glad to hear that you are still involved in the day program and that it is helping you out.
 
I remember it being strange for me the first time I went, but then it got better as each day went along. Like you said, it has it's ups and downs but as a whole it was well worth it and helped me out a lot.
 
It helped me out so much that when I got into a bad place again a year or two later my pdoc suggested I try it again. I was embarrassed to see the same therapists again but they assured me that it was okay and that was what they were there for.
 
My favorite was Art Therapy. Do you have that in your day program? Also we had visits with different doctors explaining different forms of bi-polar, depression and other mental health issues and how to deal with them, with time for questions & answers afterward.
 
We also had group therapy. That was hard at first but then you get to know the people and build a certain bond with them and we are all able to relate to one another and help each other out. In fact we would cry with tears of happiness when they would graduate and leave wishing them all the best.
 
We would have visits with our pdoc every week and they would check up on our progress there with the therapists and then talk with us individually and make any med adjustments necessary.
 
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
 
Keep up the good work. It's good that you are doing something for yourself that is helping you to feel better.
 
(((Big Hugs))) blush

~sukay~
 Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 03, 2016 5:02 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,732,298 posts in 301,007 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151169 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Zags.
285 Guest(s), 14 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Chask, notsosicklygirl, Pirouette, Girlie, UserANONYMOUS, LG13, ChickNorris, TomG1988, Fairwind, Mustard Seed, SueCAll, Malone26, trumpet123, multifacetedme


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer