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The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

I have never really been a confident person, even when I was little. Crowds of people always used to make me nervous and I struggled talking to new people, but then about 5 years ago my parents split up. I ended up getting very sick with chronic tonsillitis and glandular fever. The tonsilitis didn't go away until I got my tonsils removed last year. Throughout all of this happening I was still going down to my mum's (the bad one) (I have 2 mums) house about 40% of the time. I absolutely hated it, I was 10 at the time and my mum was living at my grandparent's house, so not somewhere I hadn't been before, but every time I had to go down there I would cry until they let me come home. I always cried because I would get worried that my other mum (the one who I now live with) would die and I wouldn't be able to save her. This actually stopped me from having sleepovers as well. Usually I would be fine during the day but as soon as it got to night time I would just worry so much that something would happen to her and I was scared I was never going to see her again so I could never do it.


This kind of kept getting worse until one day when my mum dropped me to my grandparent's house I was so stressed out that I held onto the car door handle as my mum (the good one) drove away (she realised I was there only a few meters down the road so she didn't go far)  and she said that I didn't have to sleep at their house anymore, but I still had to go with them through the day. This was fine at first but as time went on I hated it more and more, even just talking with her on the phone made me upset. My little sister is biologically my 'bad' mum's child, though we share the same father (ivf) so she lives with her and I live with my 'good' mum. I always felt like when I was with my 'bad' mum something wasn't right and I could feel that I would barely talk and I seemed to pick up on every little thing (e.g body language, tone of voice and even the vibe in a room) and it would upset me. Eventually I found out that my 'bad' mum had cheated on my 'good' mum, so she moved in with her new girlfriend about an hour away from where I live.


I never really went down to their house but I still had to remain in contact with them (when I say them I mean my 'bad' mum's side of the family). They would take me out for my birthday and stuff, but I always struggled with this because it made me so upset. I would lock myself in the bathroom to stop myself shaking or crying or being scared.


About 2 years ago was when things really changed. It happened over lots of little things, like how I would tell her (my 'bad' mum) that I want to try and spend some time with her and she responded saying that I need to fit in with their life and that it's not a holiday (I honestly just wanted to talk to her). But on my birthday she told me that she had organised a big family dinner  for all her side of the family and I was so excited because I felt like she was making an effort, but when we got to the place it turns out it was actually a dinner for my younger cousin (our birthdays are 3 days apart). I kept pretty calm at first and just chatted with the young kids because the adults didn't talk much to me but it was okay. I only got upset when they brought out a cake for my cousin and everyone sang happy birthday and stuff but they forgot about me (still not upset at this point). it was actually this random person who i'd never met before who asked everyone if it was my birthday too. That was when I left. 


Later that same year my 'bad' mum invited me to a christmas dinner. I did not want to go but my 'good' mum said that I should. This time it was at my 'bad' mum's house, instead of a restaurant and as soon as I got in the house something wasn't right (it made me feel uneasy). My 'bad' mum had a new kid and she they were all a family and I was just sitting on the side. I am also the oldest kid by 5 years so I couldn't really fit in with the young ones either. I wanted to fit in with the adults but all  I could see was that I wasn't supposed to be there. I locked myself in the bathroom to try and calm down (as I usually do when I get like this) but the lock on the door didn't work, so my 'bad' mum came in. She started yelling at me saying that it's always a drama when I am around and that it's just too hard and she wished she had never invited me. Then my first panic attack started. and she kept yelling, telling me to calm done and she even threw a towel at me. I then had to go through the house as this is all happening (walking past my entire family) so I could get out of the house. Not one single person tried to help me. I called my 'good' mum and she came to pick me up. 


The contact I have had with that side of the family has been limited, barely even a 'hello' over these last two years. My mum let me stop seeing them and I don't even see them when my 'good' mum picks up my sister. Many times my 'bad' mum has said it would be easier if she took my sister and we never saw each other again. That kind of hurt. The whole thing kind of hurt tbh.


2018 was probably the year that things started getting bad for me (personally) I was always nervous, barely slept and just pretty bad in general, but this year has been the worst. If I am ever in a crowd of people I feel like I am being suffocated. I started crying when I had to present a speech to a teacher (not even the class). I overthink everything and I apologize for everything.


But I have also had heaps of self doubt I guess.

Like just thinking that I'm a bad person or that i don't deserve the things I have, which lead to some pretty dark thoughts. Thinking that my friends hate me. I'm sleeping worse as well; purposely keeping myself awake until at least 12 (even on school nights) so that I don't lie in bed for hours thinking. I can never really sit still and If I do I have to be reading or drawing or playing games as well as watching tv so that I am focused on something. I have seen my school councillor and she suggested I look at this website, but I also don't really like my school counselor because I feel like she judges me too much, which is stupid and I know it but I still don't like talking to her. I don't really know if I should write this stuff but I don't really know what i'm supposed to do. I really struggle to show emotion, especially to my 'good' mum because I'm worried i'll just disappoint her  or that I'm just being dramatic and that there are people who are a lot worse than me, which there is. but I feel like I need to do something, because I'm kind of struggling.

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

Hi @MadiRab! Welcome to the forums!

That all sounds so stressful and complicated. I'm sorry that you've been going through so much. Smiley Sad I had glandular fever and it took me a long time to recover too. It must have been so awful for you.

The family dramas sound so bad too, especially the birthday thing. That must have been so hurtful. Your 'bad' mum seems pretty insensitive and self-centered if you ask me. It says a lot about her. My dad did something similar to me when I was younger. He said he would come to my birthday party, but then decided to hang out with his friends, whom I barely knew, at a club without telling me. He also flaked on my graduation to go on a holiday with some other friends, even though he knew how disappointed I was that he chose them over me and he could have easily met up with them on a different date. There was no text or call to wish me a happy graduation and he didn't even watch the video. These things have always stayed with me. Do you have any other supportive family members? My extended family would try to cheer me up and ensure I still got some kind of celebration.

Out of all these issues, which are the main ones for you right now?

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

I have my mum and one of my grandparents, but the other family I don't talk to much. I do have really supportive family friends who are really nice though. I think my main problem at the moment is probably the overthinking and nervousness but I don't really know.

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

@MadiRab  I think it's great that you have your good mum, a grandparent and some supportive family friends. Having a strong support network can make a huge difference. Smiley Happy

It can be so hard to overcome overthinking and nervousness. I think everyone struggles with those things at one point. Is there anything that helps you when you experience these things?

Does evaluating your thoughts work for you? This article has been really helpful for me. When I change how I think about situations, it can make me feel better about myself. These articles are pretty good too.

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

Hi @MadiRab, welcome to the forums!


I just want to acknowledge how hard things must be for you at the moment, especially with so much going on.

Actually realizing that you're struggling can be really difficult, but it's also an important step in getting help.


Panic attacks can be horrible...

Do you have any techniques for managing nervousness?

I personally keep a "self care kit" in a pencil case, and take it with me to situations where I'm probably going to get anxious.


It sucks when you don't really "connect" with a counselor..

There's nothing stupid about not being able to open up to a counselor, sometimes they just don't work with you that well.

Have you tried seeking any other professional help, and would you like me to find you some resources for that?


Struggling to show/ express emotions is something I've had for a long time...

I struggle to trust people which kind of complicates things for me, so I don't have much advice in terms of expressing feelings to people irl..

But something that tends to help me is finding other ways to at least get some of that emotion out. I come onto the forums for that sometimes, but I also do stuff like writing or drawing. Do you think something like that might help a little?

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

I have been to the doctor because I was feeling sad all the time because I had low vitamin D but they suggested I come back to talk about seeing someone professionally but I haven't been back since then. I do love writing and drawing which can help with emotions a bit, and this is the first time I have ever used a forum

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

Thank you for the articles, I will have a look at them. Listening to music can help calm me down when I get nervous and it often works which is good.

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

@MadiRab  I think it's great that you already have some coping strategies! It shows that you can get through this. Smiley Happy

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

Hi @MadiRab,


I am so sorry to hear how hard things have been at home Heart It sounds like a really difficult few years, and I really admire your courage to come online and share how you have been feeling- it's not easy to be open about your thoughts and feelings, and takes a tremendous amount of strength Heart


You have mentioned that there are a few people who are supportive in your life, including your 'good' mum. Have you spoken with your 'good' mum about the nervousness/stress/anxieties you have been feeling? What are her thoughts?


It is great to hear you have been to a doctor to talk about how you are feeling- such a big step Heart It also sounds like you have been using a lot of self care to cope with stress, including writing, drawing and listening to music- self care can be such a helpful tool to be able to do something to support your health and wellbeing, get through difficult emotions, and to recharge when your self-energy is running low. We have some great threads on self care you might be interested in, with ideas and suggestions shared by others in the forums community. This thread on distractions and coping strategies has a ton of ideas, this thread asks members to share what they did for self care today and may give you some ideas, and we also have a weekly wellbeing activity on a Wednesday you might be interested in.


We are really grateful you have found this forum- we are always here to lend an ear, offer support and be a safe space for you to share how you feel Heart

Re: The stuff that has happened (this might have a trigger, I don't really know)

Hi @MadiRab
I'm sorry to hear that you've gone through such a challenging time.
You mentioned this being your first time to use a forum, how have you been finding it?
Writing and drawing are great ways to do self-care!