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Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Hi everyone. Sorry for being absent for so long, was finding it pretty confronting being on here for a bit. I was hoping to get a second opinion on something that’s been coming up in therapy a lot that I feel really stuck on.

 

So one of the main reasons I’m really unwell is because of my family situation - basically, parents don’t get on, my dad’s an awful person, everyone has mental health issues, and I end up doing a lot of the caring for my siblings and mum. Things at home have been super tough lately and (since I can’t really move out) my psych is pushing me to try and relinquish control and do less caring work and try to be out of the house more.

 

I feel really frustrated because I feel like I’ve done almost everything she’s asked me to (group homework, individual homework, trying to be outside more, etc) and all she does is tell me to do more things, fix myself, do this and that if I ever want to be happy, without giving me credit for having survived this family situation for so long. She doesn’t live here and doesn’t seem to understand that I have a responsibility to care for my family, especially my siblings. I take what she says seriously but I just don’t think that doing less caring or just leaving the house is a better option right now. Unfortunately the only other option is to continue suffering. I feel really trapped and really unheard and done with her and this whole situation. I have a plan for surviving, and nobody’s listening to it, or doing anything practical to help me. 

 

I’m also a bit stuck because she keeps asking me about the reasons behind my self harm and although I say it’s stress/anxiety/loneliness there’s another big reason but I just don’t know how to bring it up. Maybe I could write a letter? Idk. 

 

Thanks for any and all help Heart

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Hey there @DruidChild,

 

No need to apologise for not being on, sometimes we need a break Smiley Happy

Family can definitely make things difficult when we're trying to get better. You have absolutely done a fantastic job in keeping yourself safe while still living at home in this situation. It's hard to make other people understand how important family is and the responsibility we have to them. It's okay to stay with your family to help them, even if it's not the best place for you. Is there anyone else who helps support you caring for your family? 

 

Bringing up difficult topics can be hard, but writing a letter, or an email, sounds like a good idea. It can be easier to share what's going on or the reason behind something by writing it down as it means we can get all our thoughts out ahead of time. What do you think?

 


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Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Thanks @Jay-RO! I mean, my mum does a ton of the caring and her family helps out at times. I feel so discouraged because I can’t force myself to make any real change while I live here, it goes against everything I’ve taught myself to do to keep the family happy and together, but I also can’t leave. I understand why my psych wants me to do these things but I just CAN’T. So I’m a bit trapped. I can’t even get a break by going to a friend’s house or anything because the only people I even speak to are my family. 

 

Yeah, I have over a week before my next appointment so maybe I will try to write a letter. I know she kind of needs to know about this thing since it’s a major factor in why I self harm, but it’s so hard and humiliating to talk about. 

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

So I decided to make two lists, one of things I’m prepared to do to make life at home more bearable that help me but don’t go against my values, and one of things I would like my psych to do (bc she asked me what I needed her to do): 

 

List 1:

  • Keep any money I make from my art/crafts for myself 
  • Get up earlier and spend 1/2 hour outside alone before others get up 
  • Join a social group so I can get out of the house more 
  • Practice saying no to giving my dad his injected medication, teach him how to do it 
  • Practice saying no to seeing my dad’s family this week
  • Practice self validation every day this week 
  • When class starts, stay later, go earlier, or go to the library to study 

List 2: 

  • Give me time to process and think before asking me to commit to things 
  • Use lists or written info when you want me to do something bc I can’t process verbal instructions very well
  • Find out info about the peer support social group 
  • Help me with the other thing that I haven’t talked about yet 

Do these seem reasonable?

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Those are excellent lists @DruidChild! Smiley Happy It shows so much self-awareness in what you need, I'm proud of you for writing them! Smiley Happy
It's great that your mum and her family help out with the caring, it can be really difficult to get breaks from our family when we're unable to leave, but joining a social group sounds like a great idea as well, as seeing people other than those we live with can be great.

This might seem like an odd question, but do you trust your psych? It can be difficult to open up about something that feels humiliating to talk about but professionals don't judge. It sounds like you'll have plenty of time to help you get what you need to say written down. And we'll be here to help if you need it Smiley Happy

 


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Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Idk I kind of reread the lists and felt like they’re not things I can actually do and now I’m back to feeling hopeless and like there’s no point to even trying. When do I just give up and let them hospitalise me and experiment on me until I’m an acceptable level of happy and they can all go back to ignoring me and I can die? I’m safe for tonight btw, just frustrated and feeling trapped and a bit triggered by something I watched. 

 

@Jay-RO No I don’t really trust her. She’s nice enough but I don’t know, I just felt, especially the last few weeks, like she’s not listening and she’s just frustrated that I won’t do what she wants. The thing triggered me to SH again last night (I don’t need medical attention) and I know I really, really need to tell her but I just can’t face anyone knowing. 

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

Hi @DruidChild thanks for reaching out to us tonight and for confirming your safety. It sounds like you're having a really tough night. What are some things you can do to look after yourself tonight? Heart

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

@DruidChild sometimes psychs can actually make things harder by doing something that is intended to be helpful, for me i often find they push too hard for me to start doing something that is not realistic for me at that time and for them it is easy to say do X and it will make you feel better but they often arent aware of the full picture. social dynamics at home can be hard to describe the a professional and sometimes you just dont have time to tell them everything you are doing which again is another piece of the puzzle they are then missing. and while they mean well sometimes it isnt the right time to start something new. of course you dont want them to never push you to try new things but everyone has limits and it is important that they are aware of them, i would encourage you to talk to the psych about reasonable limits and if that is a hard conversation to start you can always write some things down for them. good luck and i hope you can find a way to communicate with your psych in a way that makes you feel they are listening and understanding.   

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

@Eden1717 I love your response to this so much. Amazing advice and insights Heart

Re: Need a second opinion (possible tw)

how are you going ? Heart @DruidChild