Family caused my mental health issues and I feel guilty

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Currently I've been having a tough time. For the last 14 years my family has had lots and lots of dramas. I have tried to help, been on call 24/7 for their dramas and really put myself out. There's one person who seems to be at the route of all this. Now that it's calm ish though my mental health has really plummeted and I'm now under the care of the mental health team. I decided to tell my family this and the one person who is at the route of it burst into tears. Says it's not their fault. So of course I feel guilty. But I've sacrificed a lot for this person even my sanity and they still don't seem to be much happier. They just blame everybody else and won't except they may be the cause. they start crying and say it's all their fault so of course, I end up comforting them. It's so difficult. I opened up up to a trusted person and they were great. But now I'm feeling guilty that I don't deserve sympathy because i have lots to be grateful for. I feel like a bit of a fraud! It's like there's lots worse going on in the world so I should stop being so selfish and get on with it. I feel bad that I'm talking badly of this close family that I tried out of love to support for so long. I need to discover who I am, my identity. Is that selfish? My family are likely to turn on me if I stop helping them but I just can't deal with their dramas anymore. Any advice?!

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  • Posted

    You can still be there for your family...but first and foremost..you need to seek therapy for yourself on how to set those boundaries and figure out with the therapist WHAT exactly boundaries ARE.  I have the same issue...and sometimes I just don't know if I set appropriate boundaries...

    ​It feels good to have a therapist in your corner...supporting you on decisions...and helping you to make healthy boundaries for yourself.

    ​All the shows I watch on  helping others....the top psychaitrist always tell the "helper" they need to STOP helping....and basically that it is OUR fault that these people are not getting better...because we are ENABLING them to stay sick.

    ​Encourage this person to get help....if the person will not get help...develop some boundaries...Start doing things for yourself that you enjoy...like going to the gym? Walking? Reading....and during those times..make sure this person knows...well (I am unavailable on Thursdays because I have yoga...or exercise time)..and then when that person intrudes during that time..DO NOT RESPOND...Things like that.

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  • Posted

    Sapphire, please sweetie don't you EVER feel selfish for thinking about yourself. 

    You've clearly spent a lot of time and effort trying to be there for someone who clearly isn't mentally capeable of appreciating the time and effort you've put into them.

    Honestly there is no more sound advice i can give you than to take that well deserved break and concentrate wholy on yourself. 

    you've clearly worn yourself to the bone and it's not going to get any better without you relieving some of your stress.

    Don't you think it's about time this family memeber should stand on their own feet and you should start saying no???

    if your family can't see that this is causing you mental harm and you need to step back then maybe they don't understand or appreciate you like they should.

    no one person is meant to support the world......it would crush them

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  • Posted

    you d did well to air your issues with your family despite the ensueing arguments.

    Keep it going and you will eventually see eye to eye.

    rich

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  • Posted

    Well, I have experience of that.

    Selfish demanding people that call on you constantly, get away with it by pretending they feel 'guilty', and thereby bully you into saying "No its not you, its me.". They know darn well it is them. I used to fall for that manipulation too, for decades! Then I put my foot down. All hell broke loose and the family member turned vicious instead. When they can't get their onw way with manipualtion, they try something else, in many cases it is attack. I was accused of all sorts and called selfish and heartless and uncaring etc... but I stuck to my guns. Eventually the games and guilt trips stopped, because I refused to play my half of the game, and then eventually with the help of a counsellor, got the relationship off the ground again on a very different footing. I never let people use me or guilt trip me now, never.

    I still do a huge amount to help family, several times a week, but never at my own expense. When I'm  tiered or doing something esle, I say NO, sorry, I can't help today.

    The negative name for family and friends like that is called "Energy Vampire", LOL

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  • Posted

    Family is suppose to be the place we find our safe  haven, but very often it is where we find our deepest heartache. I read that somewhere and it stuck in my head seems applicable.
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