I realize I am struggling

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

I admit that I am struggling with obsessive thoughts about family, and I am feeling a strong compulsion to reach out to family and try to make a connection. There is a pretty long list of relationships with family right now that are not in great shape:

Father

Sister

Brother1

Brother2

Brother3

Brother4

Daughter

Grandson1

Son1

Aunt1|Father

Aunt2|Father

That is immediate family. That leaves a much smaller number of family members that I am on good terms with:

Mother

Son2

Aunt1|Mother

Aunt2|Mother

CousinB

The fact is that I don’t reach out much anymore because it feels like I do all the reaching out and there comes a point where I don’t want to try anymore. Also there is this. Even if family members do reach out to me, I don’t want to attend their social gatherings because I have so many unpleasant memories of incidents of drunkenness, disrespect, insensitivity, thinly-veiled passive aggression, and a general invalidation of my existence. So, although I am getting grief from some of my family members for ‘shutting them out’, it is also true that I cannot let my guard down because I have so many overwhelming unpleasant memories.

And so, just for today, I choose again to not reach out. The big step I am taking today is realizing that I am struggling with this stuff and I need to get support to figure out what to do about it. I have joined the forum at the Mental Illness Happy Hour website and I am hoping this action will kick start me into a more active role in my self-care.

I am really baffled with how to cope with non-supportive family system. I hope I can find some answers in the coming days.

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