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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

@MB95  It can be very frustrating trying to manage mental health issues and at the same time trying to maintain relationships. Perhaps if you don’t know what you want but do know those 2 opposite feelings you could do a pros and cons list. So like one as to what you would get from telling your family and sharing your struggles and one about what you would not get or what you would find unhelpful....? Maybe making a pros and cons list will help reveal some of your feelings and make things more clear... just a suggestion I don’t mean to sound like I am forcing you to make a list lol. 

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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

Hello @MB95!

 

I seemed to not have received RO notifications for this thread otherwise I would have returned earlier, so sorry about that!

Nevertheless, I am ecstatic to hear that you managed to give your parents the letters. Regardless of the outcome, you got over that first, massive and extremely difficult step! That's what you need to focus on.

 

I have been catching up on the posts and honestly, everything you described is like a mirror of my family. My Mum would almost get annoyed at me and hated the fact i'll talk to a psych and not her. But I can assure you it will get better. If you give it your best by letting her know what you want and don't want from her, then that's all you can do. Relationships and communication are two-way things and you can't take responsibility for the way your parents feel. 

I used to be extremely upset having told my parents anything and wished that I never did. However, when it was explained to me that it's not my responsibility to make my parents respond in a certain way, it helped to ease a lot of pressure and guilt. Of course I never purposely made them feel upset, but some news is taken better or worse than others and it's for them to work out.

 

If you can try and just focus on yourself a little more and let them worry about themselves, you'll find the stress and regret having told them will soon disappear. And in the long term, hopefully you will be able to see all of the positives that will come from that one step you made by giving them the letter.

 

What @Andrea-RO and @Janine-RO said was especially true regarding this whole process and with your psych.

I understand you not wanting or thinking you need other supports, but on that one off occasion, you just may want to call them and having them already know how to help you, can literally save your life. I have a few supports in place myself. Some of which I was forced to make. Some I have never thought twice about contacting, but others, who may not have seemed likely at the time of forming the support, have actually been the most helpful. It's also a part of the psychs job which she is bound by if safety is a concern, but I can guarantee there are more positives than negatives when forming supports of any kind or level anyway.

 

I hope you have been alright the past couple of days and please feel free to ask any questions or get some tips on coping with this sort of thing. Many of us here have experienced very similar things and all of us have gotten/are getting though it and we are now even in this privileged position to help others as we keep fighting to the top.

 

Take care!

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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

Thanks @Alison5. I've been struggling to focus on myself at the moment with all that's going on and just feeling really guilty for telling my parents and not being able to open up to them more to reassure them I will be okay. And really struggling to go back and see my psych because I feel like I'm going behind their back? It's weird and I'm just really lost at the moment and need time to think things through but haven't had a moment to myself with my uni intensive. I just feel a bit off about the whole situation and wish I could take everything back and just go back to dealing with things on my own. 

 

Do you know if your parents reached out for any support when you told them? Like how did they learn to support you and not be upset over the situation? Cause I really worry about my parents, my mum especially because she didn't take it well and I haven't even told her how bad it is. Just told her I'm seeing a psych and that's about it so I know I could never tell her the full truth. 

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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

Hi @MB95,

I know it can be so hard to tell others and you may even think it wasn't worth it, but I can assure you it is. What you achieved to be able to tell your parents is a massive step and more details can be explained later. It's always that first step which is the hardest.
My parents were also quite good at hiding their feelings, but I could tell it was affecting them quite a bit. Being my parents, they didn't want me to think they couldn't cope or were struggling because they knew I had enough to deal with on my own. This used to upset me so much and I regretted telling them (similar to you). However, a psych once said that firstly, you can't help others until you help yourself and secondly, that you're not responsible for the reactions or feelings other people have. Only they are responsible. And so only they can change it.
That did make sense to me, so I tried really hard for the benefit of everyone around me, to get well so that I could help them. I also told my parents that I think they should go see someone; to get a referral from a GP just to talk it through. I also gave them a few helpline numbers and websites for parents such as KidsHelpline and I know there's a parents forum section on here.

They were very appreciative and assured me they were fine. I have been secretly quite worried about them (and still am), but i've found little hints that they have actually been getting some help and talking to people which i'm really happy about. I ask them outright and they say they've tried some face to face sessions etc. but now it's more just on the phone when they need it. And actually, it's usually just talking with each other or me that they find the most helpful. When i'm able to clarify things, it puts their mind at rest.
I know you mentioned you don't think your Mum especially could take it, but perhaps let her know that you're open to questions. Because she won't ask a question she can't take an answer for.

Even my Mum took quite a while to ask me some things because she wasn't prepared for the possible answer (esp. around safety). But when she was ready, she did and I helped to clarify things and she no longer catastrophes' everything.

I know it's a really tricky situation and all families are different, but if you can, just try and be open. That doesn't mean you have to tell them everything, it just means being open to answer any questions so that your parents can take their own time with it. You don't have to tell them anything until they ask, if this is something you'd prefer.

Give it a go, if you can. Try and be as honest and I can assure you that they won't ask things that will 'break' them when you answer because when you ask a question, you already know the possible answers so they've got to have thought about it to come up with it. But that does mean you have to let them know that you actually will answer questions, otherwise they won't ask. I hope some of that makes sense.

Good luck with it and do let us know how you go.

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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

Hey @MB95 , 

 

I hope you don't mind if I jump in here too, I know your question was to @Alison5 - but I think you actually do highlight an extremely important point about parents and their own need for support, so that they in turn can be the best support possible for their kids. As a parent myself, I can really empathise with how difficult it must be as a parent to see your child in pain - but I also think that @Eden1717  is absolutely spot on when they said that parents do need to be able to make sure they're dealing with their own emotions about that stuff, so they're not inadvertently making it about themselves. 

 

I know a lot of mental health professionals who work with teens and young adults will strongly recommend that parents seek out their own supports from mental health professionals for exactly that reason. Self-care can be really hard as a parent sometimes, but it's really important for parents to seek out their own support. There's actually quite a few free helplines and 1:1 support services available now for parents (there's actually one run in partnership with RO here https://parents.au.reachout.com/one-on-one-support) . 

 

I hear how much guilt and uncertainty you're feeling about going back to your psych, and you sound like such a caring daughter - I am sure that they would be proud of you for being proactive in managing your mental health, even if there is also some fear around it. 

 

Does that make sense at all? We are all here for you, thanks for opening up about what's been happening for you. 

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Re: Lonely and just wanting someone to care..

Thanks @Janine-RO. My psych did suggest they reach out to seek help with supporting me in her letter but I don't think they will. My dad is very emotionally shut off and my mum always thinks she can deal with things on her own. I know they both have their own issues with mental health that they won't admit which is really hard so I don't know how to get them to seek help to help me. Honestly, not even to help me, but to help themselves. I want them to be happy more than anything. They say they are but I know they're not. My psych offered to call them a while back (they live in a different state) but I know that won't go well because my mum doesn't take it well when she thinks someone else knows her kids better. And I would hate for her to upset my psych!!