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Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hey everyone, I need some advice. I have been dealing with this for a long time so I'm sort of used to but it's much harder with been home all the time. I have had tough times with my family for a long time and what I mean by that is my sister started self-harming at a young age (were the same age, twins so I think we went through a lot of the same issues at the same time expect I learnt to cope with it at a younger age when I couldn't escape it because at times my sister would emotionally hurt me more than anyone else) and although she has gotten help and is now on medication for depression it's still hard with her mood swings at times. But even before that, my parents would argue all time and I never felt safe emotionally at home.


So because of that my mental health or anything about me took the back burner and understand it was needed but it's just hard because I always feel like I'm in the middle and I just feel so alone and like I have to put their needs before mine all the time and like its never enough. I feel all of this is been amplified with been home and unable to escape when they argue or feel the need to complain about the other person putting me in the middle or I just need some time alone but by the time I have time for myself I'm exhausted and have no energy left for myself with university work and family drama my energy is depleted. 


Any advice would be greatly appreciated or if you're going through/have been through the same thing and willing to share your story that would be greatly appreciated. Help people remember their not alone in this. Thanks

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hello @A_Friend, I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling exhausted lately. It sounds like there has been a lot going on for you lately, and that you have been dealing with a lot of things for a bit of time now. From the sounds of it, things at home can be pretty stressful at times too. Things must be quite hard for you since the restrictions around staying at home are in place. How have you been looking after yourself whilst you are at home lately? You mentioned that you have been doing some university work, what is it that you are studying?

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hi, @Sophia-RO, To look after myself I have been walking day, taking breaks during a study session, resting at night and eating well. But it doesn't feel like enough because no matter how much I rest I'm still exhausted, maybe I need something I do just for myself each day to destress. I'm studying psychological science and I love it but it's stressful at times especially been online.

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hey @A_Friend, it is great that you have some strategies to look after yourself. I know what you mean about it not being enough sometimes. Do you think you would be interested in receiving some counselling? There are some options you can take at the moment, like talking to Kids Helpline or organising a telehealth session with a psychologist. It might help to give you a bit of relief and the ability to de-stress in a more helpful way.

Being in the middle of family arguments sounds like a really stressful situation to be in (especially during lock-down). You deserve to be able to put your needs first. I was wondering if you have ever tried to put in some boundaries with your family? For example, letting them know that you don't want to be in the middle of arguments. Whether that is because you have no energy or because they should sort it out with each other, the choice is up to you. You don't have to give a reason if you don't want to. It can be really difficult to do at first so I can understand if it seems like a really scary option. We have had a special chat on setting boundaries if you want to have a read here

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hi @Taylor-RO thanks for the advice. I will consider seeing a counsellor again and i have tried to set boundaries. But its like even when they don't put me in the middle of arguments they still put me in the middle by complaining to me about each other and making feel like i have to pick a side or something and they don't even see that there doing it. I know it makes them feel better and cope i accept it but its just hard at times and im scared of ruining the relationship i have with each of them. And the constant reminder of the past, how my relationship with them was really non-existent and how it was worse. And the effect it has on me makes it even harder.

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hey @A_Friend I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. I have had similar things happen in my family as I have largely dealt with my mental health issues by having medication and regular psych sessions, which has turned me into either a mediator or a counsellor for the rest of them.


I'm not sure if this will help you but one way I found to stop my family dumping on me emotionally or at least to stop feeling so emotionally burdened was to accept that they're the ones who have to figure it out, particularly with issues with each other. I've tried to play mediator and it didn't work and that told me a lot! Nowadays I generally finish all of their complaints to me with "well, I can't do anything about that so you're going to have to talk to them yourselves". Another friend of mine straight up just tells them that they're going to tell the other family member any complaints they've said, and does. It may seem insensitive but it's true, and it personally made me feel a bit better even when I couldn't get away from the fighting just to flat-out tell them that it's not my problem to fix. I've noticed that since I've started saying this my family members will come back with 'oh, well I didn't expect you to!' which has been nice. My family has also learned to tell me that they don't expect me to pick a side sometimes, but sometimes outright telling them that you're not going to get involved and they'll need to work it out themselves can help too. I think for me it's a good medium between just shutting them out and feeling unsupportive and feeling like I've been dragged into something I have no control over. I hope this helps a little.

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely try to block them out and setting boundaries by telling them I'm not going to get involved. 

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

@A_Friend no problem, thanks for reaching out Heart It's always important to look after yourself, and I've found that most people manage to sort something out for themselves even when you aren't there. I hope your family situation gets better soon.

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Thank you for the advice, now we really need them. You sometimes feel like I'm living in a movie and hope that it will and as soon as possible. Don't know what is going one... Some people are following all the instructions and the others just don't care about this and live their life. Some days ago I met one of my friends and because of the masks, I couldn't recognize him lol. By the way, speaking about the masks I found KN95 Mask it is something new for me, but I really like it. I can breathe normally 'cause they have specific ventilators. Try it.

Re: Need some advice on family during covid.19

Hi @A_Friend !



I hope you are doing well. This is definitely a hard situation and COVID has been rough for many families. I personally have not experienced your situation first hand, however, my SO has had some instances that she had to go through that is very similar to yours, and I've had to support her. Some suggestions that I personally found was helpful was talking to hotlines. I know its daunting talking to strangers, but they can actually be really helpful, and they are also trained to give you advice on these sorts of things and comfort you. 


Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636


Also, don't forget to look after yourself during these times as you are just as important and your mental health is also a priority. 


Good luck friend, hope you are doing well and you get through this Smiley Happy