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> Are we functional yet? The return of the family problems thread.
datagirl
post Nov 21 2010, 04:34 PM
Post #21


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Posts: 218
From: Australia


Thanks so much kittenb, Sybarite, Anarch and Stargazer. Your support means a lot to me.

I'm doing much better than I was when I wrote that last post. My parents haven't contacted me, I'm not drinking coffee (although cola is okay for me) so at least I'm getting some caffeine.

I bought myself some comfort food (honeycomb ice cream) and yesterday I had fish and chips by the beach. I love it up here and don't mind being on my own. I've been single and lived alone for so long it's just natural for me. Being up here in Northern New South Wales (right near the border of Queensland) means that the weather here is superb and I'm near the beaches and further north is Surfers Paradise which I love for it's touristy tackiness!!

There's a special going here that you can get unlimited access til June to three major theme parks!! I love fun parks, but I'm not holding out that any of my friends up here would go with me. They're all very green,vegan and left wing, which is great, but sometimes you just wanna cut loose and indulge in one mega roller coaster insanity followed by a hot dog with the lot and fries.

So I'll probably end up going solo which I've heard that heaps of people do anyway. I don't think I'd take any of my friends anyway as they'd be taking the moral high ground the whole way.

My point is that I think I'm going to be okay. I think that opting out of Christmas is a good idea too (I was going to have my parents to stay up here). I think that staying up here in my little town during the uni holidays is great and I have the whole seven bedroom house to myself until my housemates come back for uni in March.

(((busties)))
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kittenb
post Nov 21 2010, 09:06 AM
Post #22


There is nothing ironic about Show Choir!
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Posts: 3,261
From: Chicago


{{{datagirl}}} Clearly you are not a freak but it sounds like you are under an enourmous amount of stress and pressure. Is there a way that you would feel comfortable socializing that wouldn't open you up to potentialy harmful old habits? It just sounds like being isolated right now might not help you. However, I am glad that you come back to Bust when you need support. smile.gif


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In times of destruction, create something.
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sybarite
post Nov 20 2010, 12:44 PM
Post #23


it's cards on the table time
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(((Jan Brady))) and (((datagirl))) I second SG's suggestions, and do come back and let us know how you're doing. It sounds like you did exactly the right things, both for your parents and for yourself in terms of being aware of your responses to stress. You're not a freak, you're clearly very strong and able to take good care of yourself when you need to.

Take care; I hope you're feeling better but come post if you're not...
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anarch
post Nov 20 2010, 02:49 AM
Post #24


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(((datagirl)))


(((Jan Brady)))
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datagirl
post Nov 19 2010, 05:31 PM
Post #25


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Posts: 218
From: Australia


Thanks Stargazer! ((()))
It's great that I can always come back to a very supportive and non judgmental forum. And you guys know and have been through similar experiences. Bust had saved me in so many ways. It's a life line and makes me feel like less of a freak.
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stargazer
post Nov 19 2010, 05:18 PM
Post #26


brown delicious
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(((datagirl))) It is sad to read about your mother's suicide attempt. I'm glad you were able to be there for your family. It is sadder that they are taking out their feelings on you. It is good that you were able to recognize the need to put some space from them. Also, good that you were able to recognize your own patterns with coping with your own emotional stuff (drinking, etc.). Have you considered going to therapy so you can have a place to talk about your family and mother's suicide attempt?

I hope you are feeling well and keep us posted with how you are doing. (((datagirl)))


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datagirl
post Nov 19 2010, 04:56 PM
Post #27


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Posts: 218
From: Australia


Hi Everyone,

Long time no post..
I have been though hell with my parents this year.
In April (on Anzac Day) my mother decided to attempt suicide. I'm now living 9 hours drive away from them so I had to catch a plane the next day when I'd heard that she had gone missing.

She was finally found the next morning unconscious by a janitor.
She was in hospital on life support for a couple of days. She had taken over 50 pills and had tried to self harm herself.

After she was released from hospital my sister and I got her admitted to a mental hospital. No one else in my family would have done this. They just wanted to pretend nothing had happened. Especially my Dad. As soon as she was admitted I flew back home to uni. It was fucking hard to focus on anything and passing all my subjects was a miracle. I recently drove back to where my parents live and I suddently hated them. After all the years of having a great friendship with them I was seeing who they really were. They fight all the time, and are so negative especially my dad. Everything pisses him off.

The day I left to go home my mum completely lost it. Yelling abuse at me and calling me a 'fucking bitch' was about all I could handle. When mum was in the hospital I was there for dad,cooking and cleaning and explaining to people that we hadn't seen in years what had happened to mum. When my mother went missing a popular radio station had identified who she was and that she was missing hence all the phone calls.

So I no longer talk to my mother or father. After I came back home recently my father sent me a letter saying that he thinks I have Bipolar Disorder and that I need to seek counseling. I could not believe what an asshole he was being right on the night before my birthday too. He has no idea that I have just been pushed to my limit.

The only good thing about my mothers suicide attempt is that I'm friends with my sister after all these years. But only sort of. I don't feel that I can trust her with what I want to say about Mum as I'm afraid she might disclose what I tell her.

I've been sick through all this too. I started off by drinking again and sleeping with randoms, then I got a urinary tract infection, skin rashes and now thrush. So I no longer drink or socialize. I've had to give up coffee because of the UTI and that makes me tired.
It sucks but at least I'm far away from them.
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Jan Brady
post Nov 11 2010, 08:21 PM
Post #28


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(((everybody)))

I can appreciate the words of wisdom about disengagement. I actually have pretty much tried to do that with some of my siblings but when they all get together, like tonight at my mom's B-day gathering, as soon as I walk into the room they will get quiet or smirk at one another. As many times as I've told myself that they are a lot of disaffected suburban ignorami who will never be pleased with me simply b/c I don't look, live, act, dress, talk or think like them, they always manage to press my buttons by singling me out like that. I haven't let it visibly upset me b4 tonight b/c I know that's what they want, but I can't help it if tonight I was just hoping I could walk in and someone just look at me straight, as though they actually can manage give two shits about me for the measley two hours we are going to have to be together and just say "Hi Jan, how are you?" and truly care. But no, just the usual smirks and pettiness.
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anarch
post Nov 8 2010, 01:17 PM
Post #29


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Posts: 873


(((enfermera)))

(((ketto)))

(((sukouyant)))

Nah (((kittenb))) you don't sound heartless. Emotional energy has enough places it *needs* to go as it is, without getting sucked into caring about the black holes that are people who are determined to self-destruct (and who apparently don't care if they drag others down with them).

I like this phrase: "I can't save you from you, but I can save me from you." Disengagement isn't heartless. It's survival. (Yeah, MIL, I'm looking at you. From a safe-ish distance.)
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kittenb
post Nov 6 2010, 03:34 PM
Post #30


There is nothing ironic about Show Choir!
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ketto - this response is probably way too late but I highly encourage you to try the the crisis professionals if something hasn't changed yet. Is there an update?

I learned today that my brother-in-law died overnight. I wish I could say I was sorry, sad or even suprised but I'm not. He did not take care of his health (cigarettes, pot, high stress, etc). Frankly, I think my sister is better off as a widow than a divorcee. They had been seperated for years because he had a mid-life crisis or some kind of shit that could only be treated by fucking the 18 y/o groupies who followed his Greatful Dead cover band (seriously.) He let their house go into foreclosure TWICE and then didn't have to pay anything because he was officially unemployed by worked under the table. So my sister, who makes very little money, had wages snagged to pay off the morgage. She could never even scrape enough money together to hire a decent lawyer. When they were together, he made about $50K a year or something. My sister earns a little above minimum on her own. So my only real regret is that he didn't die when he was still a decent enough person for me to care about. The other suck-ass thing about all of this is that his daughter, who is 25ish, is pregnant. I don't know what she is going to do.

So now I am hoping that my sister is free of him and his fucked up over the hill hippie drama. I hope that she can declare bankruptcy or something and just free herself of that albatross of a house.

Do I sound heartless? Do I care?

Because I am heartless over this whole mess, I am also irritated (at him NOT my sister) that I learned about this when I was having brunch with my boyfriend's family and the shock made me a little more honest than I would have preferred to be about how little I will miss him. I'm embarressed.


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In times of destruction, create something.
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sukouyant
post Nov 4 2010, 07:36 AM
Post #31


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Posts: 342
From: Canada


Oh my god my mom is being such a total fucking asshole FUCK!
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ketto
post Oct 13 2010, 04:13 PM
Post #32


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Posts: 695
From: Winter Land


(((enfermera)))

I think psychiatrists can be great people on one hand, but I also hear too often that they're just their to monitor a prescription.

My aunt is having a bad breakdown right now. She has one every few years because she has a shitload of unresolved issues she's never dealt with (abuse, assaults, depression, anxiety, mania, etc). My 35 year old cousin lives with her and on the weekend his 2 year old lives with them too.

She's always been my favourite aunt, the one who loves kids and talks like a baby around them, and was always friendly, and smiling. Now she's snapping at everyone, including the 2 year old, getting really irrationally angry, and isn't talking to anyone. On Sunday my cousin and her were supposed to drive my 92 year old nana home but when they stopped at a store she lost it on my cousin and he took his daughter and walked away while my aunt took the keys and left my nana in the parking lot. Someone else had to drive out and get her. Yesterday my cousin tried going to their apartment and she slammed the door on his hand and broke his finger. He won't bring his daughter there anymore because she yells at her and we're afraid she might hurt her. Now my cousin is looking for a new place to live because he can't even get into his home.

I suspect there's a high risk of self harm (my mom said she did self harm as a teenager but she doesn't know what she did) and she may hurt someone else more than she already has. She won't talk to anyone or answer her phone so my mom and I are thinking about going there and just trying to get a crisis unit to come out and talk to her. She's so angry at everything but she just shuts down when she gets like this. I'm sure she's stopped going to work and she just looks more and more rundown everytime I see her.

How do you help people that don't want help?


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enfermera
post Oct 13 2010, 08:40 AM
Post #33


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Posts: 158
From: sweet, sweet virginia


Bumping this thread out of obscurity!

My little brother is cycling back towards mania; he hasn't been like this in a few years. Just lost his job, and is TOTALLY ELATED about it, and talking about doing side jobs under the table and collecting unemployment while he starts his own business. Which I know can be done, but the kid has absolutely no business experience; I don't know if he's even ever worked full time--just a handful of random jobs that he fools around with until he gets tired of it or gets fired. He apparently got into an argument with my mom a couple of weeks ago and started that ridiculous aggressive posturing that teenage boys do when they're threatening a physical fight. And in the middle of all this, he's supposed to be getting married next year, to a totally awesome, intelligent, talented, driven girl, and I have NO IDEA how she hasn't left his ass a looooong time ago. I'm afraid she'll back out and he'll go crazy, and I'm afraid they'll go through with it and she'll get caught in his mess. She and I don't really have a rapport where I feel comfortable asking her about her take on things. I cautiously asked him if he was still seeing his psychiatrist, and he said that he was, but he wasn't very happy with him, and that he would go in for his appointment and the doc would ask him "Well, are you good or do you want to switch around your meds a little?" Yeesh. Just chatting with him briefly on fbook has made me anxious and jittery. sad.gif
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spot-on
post Dec 10 2009, 09:32 AM
Post #34


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 330
From: California


FB father fupdate: He sent a few messages on FB. Asking about my profile pic (me on a dirtbike) and a few other things. He isn't very techie so I gave him my email address. Since then he's sent one email. I'm answering questions he has and being polite but I think maybe I'm being a little passive aggressive in the replies. Hard to say really.



Ditto this.

QUOTE(pants @ Dec 9 2009, 01:34 AM) *
I think I would go spare if I ever had to move back home. I love the woman (and my dad) but they would drive me to dire lengths if we had to share a house again. The Atlantic Ocean is my friend. My very best friend.


I'm from England originally and we now live in the US. Seriously there are good benefits to living 1000's of miles away!
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pants
post Dec 9 2009, 04:34 AM
Post #35


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Posts: 106
From: London


Thanks, guys, it helps to hear some outside opinions on this, lik, A LOT.

Girl Logic, I think you really hit on something. I do feel closer to her when she dumps all this info. She's complaining about them and not me and I'm getting a pass and, in a round about way, approval because I'm not the one upsetting her right now. Why didn't I see this before?
You've asked a lot of good questions in there and I need to think about them and decide how hardline I'm going to be about this.

I often go into the conversations with these really firm limits set in my head, and plans for what I will say and then it all falls away when the time comes to apply the limits. I don't know anymore if I am helping to keep her sane or if I'm just encouraging the crazy. It's all very muddled up in my head.

Stargazer, the time limits idea may be a good compromise. Good luck to you, I think I would go spare if I ever had to move back home. I love the woman (and my dad) but they would drive me to dire lengths if we had to share a house again. The Atlantic Ocean is my friend. My very best friend.


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This is a place where I talk about other stuff, and try to make it interesting.
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stargazer
post Dec 8 2009, 05:58 PM
Post #36


brown delicious
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Posts: 2,938
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QUOTE(pants @ Dec 8 2009, 11:14 AM) *
It's a stupid tricky situation and constantly leaves me feeling flabbergasted and angry. I know this has been vague and that I've left a lot out (at least if you and I don't hang on LJ), but any advice or ideas would be appreciated.


pants, that's a tough one regarding your mom. My mother has poor boundaries (that's putting it lightly). I've only felt sane with states between us. I have more control to not answer her calls if I am not in the mood. I probably would speak with her once a week or maybe every 2 weeks. Living with her...well, I'm dealing with a whole 'nother can of worms here. Back to you, how would you feel with giving her a time limit to vent about family stuff? Or, set the limit that if she speaks about a topic you do not want to discuss then you will end the phonecall? I guess there are alot of options for you to handle, but, it sounds like you are struggling with setting limits with your mom and dealing with the consequences (however your mom will treat you) of your decision. (((pants)))


QUOTE(pants @ Dec 8 2009, 11:48 AM) *
J (my dude) says I should just yell, 'You're all nuts!' and hang up the phone, but that seems like a step backwards to me.


QUOTE
Mom's funny, she makes a point of always trying to be super positive and encouraging but underneath is this deadly layer of pessimism. I swear she took some sort of master class to teach her how to undermine while sounding encouraging.


Dude, line made me laugh. laugh.gif My mother does it too. I think I'm living with Sybil sometimes.


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"I'm not impressed easily. Wow! A blue car!"-Homer Simpson
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girl_logic
post Dec 8 2009, 11:35 AM
Post #37


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Posts: 276


Spot-on, when it comes to your dad, keep taking care of you, not him (or even your step-dad - who i'm almost 100% sure wouldn't take your action as a slap in the face).

Pants, so hard. I feel like if you don't have the heart to be unequivocal about respectfully cutting her off when she is venting, ("I'm not taking their side, but I don't want to talk about..." or "I need to stop talking about this right now. Could we talk about..." "Wait, we're talking about it again, mom") you're just going to have to keep sucking it up. Maybe the benefits of doing that outweigh not doing it for you. Do you feel a little closer to your mom when she vents about things to you? (or do you just feel dirty tongue.gif) Do you just feel sorry for her? Are you keeping her sane? Are the sacrifices you're making when it happens worth it somehow for other reasons? My family has a habit of bad-talking each other to let out stress, I know how crummy it feels.


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There are years that ask questions and years that answer. - zora neale hurston
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pants
post Dec 8 2009, 10:48 AM
Post #38


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Posts: 106
From: London


Nickclick, sadly I've tried that repeatedly, and she just forgets (aka ignores) and plows on and I end up spending the whole time consoling and encouraging and seething on the inside. I'm trying to be sneakier about subject changing. J (my dude) says I should just yell, 'You're all nuts!' and hang up the phone, but that seems like a step backwards to me.

She and my dad do spend quite a lot of time with eldest niece and were prepared to pay for her college if my brother had backed out (happily it looks like he won't) they're trying hard to be a stable influence in her life, which is really great, but difficult for everyone as it just highlights the lack of reliable and stable parents in the kid's life.

Mom's funny, she makes a point of always trying to be super positive and encouraging but underneath is this deadly layer of pessimism. I swear she took some sort of master class to teach her how to undermine while sounding encouraging.


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nickclick
post Dec 8 2009, 10:41 AM
Post #39


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Posts: 2,134
From: jersey


spot-on, let us know how it's going on FB.

pants, as the non-confrontational type i'm usually the monkey in the middle in these types of things, so i sympathize. but i talk to my Mom every day. since you only speak once a week, maybe ask her to stick to new topics, not old rehashed topics. seems like SIL is around to stay, so maybe even without therapy your Mom can find ways to cope with and ignore SIL's whackadoodleness.

does she visit with your niece without your bro/SIL?
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pants
post Dec 8 2009, 10:14 AM
Post #40


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Posts: 106
From: London


Good luck Spot-On


I'm struggling a lot with how to deal with my family right now. I live (happily) on another continent across the ocean from them which had kept me at a nice emotional distance, but recently my mom has been trying to drag me into the mess. There's a lot of history of general bonkersness in our family. But you know, the quiet WASPy kind that is hard to put your finger on because it is so deeply passive aggressive and ridiculous. In the last two years she and my father have been at odds with my brother and SIL, largely because of SIL's treatment of my niece from my bro's first marriage.

There have been accusations of emotional abuse and my eldest niece no longer sees her dad or her half and step-sister because of everything that happened. My brother refuses to consider therapy or talk about any of it except to tell the rest of us to mind our own. SIL has tried to bitch to me about my mother and niece once in the past and I told her no, this is not acceptable. I have said the same to my mom as well, but find it harder to enforce because, in general, I think she's being treated poorly by the two of them.

SIL is a difficult person. Everything has to be just. So. She will shut down and refuse to engage if you try to deviate at all from what she wants. She will return gifts my mom has sent to the girls without explanation, she will invite my folks over to see the girls and then sit with her back to them, in the same room, and refuse to speak to them while they are there. When I asked her and my brother why they had returned some Easter dresses and chocolates Mom sent last Spring she did not respond (my brother did but she did not) to me but did send my mom a 5 page letter blaming Mom for everything (the breakdown of my brother's first marriage, eldest niece's issues, fights between her and my brother, global warming (not really) whatever). And, true, my mom is not always an easy woman, but she does always mean well. She tries hard to do the right thing just sometimes she screws it all up, but she doesn't deserve to shoulder the blame for all that.

Anyhow, because SIL is a bit whackadoodle (the clinical term) Mom finds it very easy to blame her for everything. She's convinced that SIL reads all my brother's emails and deletes things she doesn't like, that she responds for him, that she wields this magical power over him and forces him to do her evil bidding at all times, thus removing all responsibilty from my brother for his actions and behaviours. She's also diagnosed (Mom does not have a Psych degree, she was a kindergarten teacher (and a very good one, but still) until a few years ago) SIL as having borderline personality disorder, which may well be true, but I have an English degree so, really who knows. And is operating under the impression that SIL is some sort of evil mentally ill genius.

So I get all the phone calls and the emails that all start with things like: I know you hate being put in the middle but . . . and have requests that I copy photos off SIL's FB page or give my opinion on this or that action that I have no firsthand knowledge of. It's all wearing me out. Phone calls with her leave me emotionally exhausted.

I've tried suggesting that she (my mom) pursue counselling on her own so she can get the tools to deal better with the situation, she went once and says it was enough (and don't even get me started on the tailspin this sent me into, when I was 15 she told me pursuing psychiatric help could be 'deadly' her mere willingness to go for that one session turned me back into a weepy teen) but clearly it wasn't enough, she's not coping and as a result is dumping on me during my weekly calls. I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do for her. And on top of that I'm not sure what to do for myself.

My main priority in the whole mess has been to be there for my eldest niece who is now 17, about to graduate from HS, and generally taking care of herself (her mom is not the most tother lady in the world either, my brother has a type, a bonkers type) but I'd like to be able to do more for the situation as a whole even as I tell myself, constantly, that I'm not in any postition nor is it my job to do more.

It's a stupid tricky situation and constantly leaves me feeling flabbergasted and angry. I know this has been vague and that I've left a lot out (at least if you and I don't hang on LJ), but any advice or ideas would be appreciated.


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This is a place where I talk about other stuff, and try to make it interesting.
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