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TOPIC TITLE: jealous
Created On 6/23/08 11:30 PM
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iWish
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6/23/08 11:30 PM
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though i've just signed up to write on these forums, i feel like i've known all you guys for a while. i read and follow what's going on here often and i'm so touched by the supportive community you've created. it's so amazing and special.

why did i decide to write now? well...lately, when i've been on this site and reading the mental health section, i've been feeling very jealous. i know it's horrible to feel that way and i wish that i didn't feel that crazy jealousy, but i do. and here's what i'm jealous about - i wish that i can be in therapy now to start figuring out all the crazyness in my life. all of you write about your difficulty in therapy and your quanderies about it... i just wish that i could be doing that.

so why don't i just get a therapist and get the ball rolling? there are two reasons, which may sound lame but they're really real. to me anyway. the first is time and the second is money.

regarding time: i guess part of the reason i need to be in therapy -this much i know- is because of the very-off-balanced family i live in. my parents would never in a million years allow me to be in therapy (i've never asked, but i know that they'd think i'm wacked and tell me to get a life and that i don't need to go to other people because i have my family. everything is a huge secret and no one is allowed to know anything about what goes on inside. in fact, i've never in my entire life been allowed to bring a friend home. (actually, i've never been allowed to have a friend, but that's another topic.) besides, i'd rather jump off the brooklyn bridge than ask them.) and there's no time in the day that i have to myself that i can give up to therapy. they know exactly when school starts and when it finishes and how long it takes me to get there and back and if i'm g-d forbid late...besides, since i've been in sixth grade, i've been in charge of all the laundry and cooking (including shabbat and chagim) as well as bathtime, bedtime, carpool (that's only since i've been driving), helping my sibs with homework, dong all the wonderful community projects that my mom promises etc. even with all my responsibilites, i'd find the time to go even if it meant that i can only sleep 3 instead of 4 hours a night. but my time is not mine. even if i don't have anything that i need to do at home, i need to be home just because that's the way it is and i'm afraid to rock the boat. as i'm writing this, i can't believe that it's coming from someone who's not a kid anymore, but it is the reality i'm living with.

regarding money: it's embarassing to admit this - but i'm already in my early 20s and i have a total of 50 bucks to my name. my parents do not allow me to work (they say it has something to do with me losing my medical insurance if i start working. i'm not really sure but i've got enough other things to worry about and dissagree on that i'm not even going there with them). i'm in college now - accruing student loans that i wish i could be working to pay off...but that's another story. anyways, i've been reading that therapy can run well over 100 bucks a session so that's way over my capacity. i know my insurance allows 30 sessions a year, which is something, but it has a 20 dollar co-pay. i've go zero income so there's no way i can afford a 20 dollar per week expense. and even in the very cheap agencies or something like that...even if it was only $10 or even $5, that's $20 a month and i have no way to finance that. again, it seems so weird to someone my age to be in this predicament, but it's painfully true.

i'm trying to figure out which of these is the bigger deterrant - the lack of time or the lack of funds and i'm not sure. they both seem like huge obstacles to me.

i don't even know exaclty what i want from you guys or why i decided to write. i think that i've been feeling so desperate lately and so overwhelmed and angry and frustrated and... and... and... i just needed to get it out. and who knows, maybe i'm so stuck in the trees that i can't see the forest but someone out there can see something in this picture that i'm missing. maybe... at this point in my life, i've come to belive that we gotta live on hope...because not much else will work.

thanks for listening.
 
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su7kids
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6/24/08 1:20 AM
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iWish, welcome to Frum Support.

Until you can work out what to do, come here and share. There is so much love and support on this board. Maybe you can get some things sorted out for you.

Why don't you start by thinking about what you may want to work on, make a list for yourself, not necessarily to share, and then share what you are willing to and your new friends here will see what we can do to love and support you.

Good luck.

Great move, making the first step towards your personal growth.


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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gad
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6/25/08 3:59 AM
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It's probably important to hurry up and stretch out your hand for help. And may Hashem bless your efforts with success.

I understand the difficulties which you mention. But I'll post here a number of resources which hopefully will help. And as su7kids wrote, you are welcome to post here.


nefesh 201-384-0084 http://www.nefesh.org/index.cfm

relief 718-431-9501 http://www.reliefhelp.org/profile.htm

yitti leibel helpline an anonymous hotline staffed by frum therapists.
718-435-7669
chicago 1-800-help-023
lakewood 908-363-1010
cleveland 888-209-8079
also branches in baltimore, detroit, s.diego, toronto

ohel 718-851-6300 http://www.ohelfamily.org/

echo 845-425-9750



Hope to hear good news.

 
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mouse
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6/25/08 4:08 AM
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It's understandable you are jealous. It also sounds like you have a third reason that therapy wouldn't work -- that is your family doesn't sound like they'd be too supportive. Seems to me they have a good thing going there -- full time cook, chauffeur, maid.... I was in a similar position (not that I helped much in the family but that I couldn't get help without my ever-so-supportive parents (note the sarcasm) ok. Finally, I just went to them and told them how serious my situation was. They weren't very supportive then even until they heard me say the words "leading to suicide." I don't suggest you take that route (unless it truly is the case, as it was for mehowever, I would suggest at least giving them a chance to let you get help. They don't have to support it -- just accept-- and since you can't work, help finance it. I also couldn't work well into my 20's because of insurance purposes. My parents paid some hefty bills (at one point the copay was $30 for each session). As for the limited number of visits, I wouldn't let taht stop me from seeing a therapist. It still allows for a visit every 2 wks which is better tahn nothing. Also, as in my case, insurance benefits, especially the mental health kind, can change quite dramatically depending on who your parents work for and if they work in a union. I hope this helps a little. Until you can see a therapist, keep coming here and finding other sources of support (including, but not limited to, your Rabbi.) Ahhhhh, brainstorm -- in another forum here, perhaps it was Depression there waas a whole thread about paying for therapy....or perhaps it was here....but I don't think so. You may find it helpful....if I find where it is, I'll tell you. Otherwise happy clicking. Someone had said something about going to their Rabbi to help fund therapy...very vague recollection of it. Keep us posted on how you are doing. People here do care.


-------------------------

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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iWish
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7/1/08 11:30 PM
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thanks so much everyone for your responses.

i was reading my post and i realize that i kind of made my folks out to be mean slavedrivers. that's not the case. they're not mean and they're not intentionally bad people, in fact, sometimes they're really nice... i think it's that they're just so unaware of what's going on and what they're doing. and they don't WANT to know. they're not very good at self-reflection nor emotionally savvy. and i'm sure that there's something wrong with me that i played into this and 'took on' these roles. i know that i have the softest and most nurturing nature of all the kids if my family, but still... in any case, i just wanted to put that out there.

gad - u have no idea how many times in the past i've tried reaching out to different organizations. i've tried everything possible (for myself and, more importantly, for my sibs) but no one has been able/willing to help me.

munkster, i don't think i can approach my parents and ask for help. at least not at this point in time. i have a very hard time asking for help from people - all the more for something that's so unacceptable and unheard of in my family. as i said last time, i'd rather live out this missery than ask.

su7kids - i have been thinking about what i want to work on for a while, and what i've come up with as the most important is the marriage issue. my folks are down my back to get married already. i guess it's societal pressure that it's 'the thing that all their friends are doing with their kids so they'd like me to do that as well.
now, i'm a real softie and i do practically anything for anyone. honsetly. this is the first thing that i'm refusing and my folks are going bonkers. the pressure it unbearable and i don't know how much longer i can hold out. i also know that marriage is a permananet thing and i don't want to go into that whole 'parsha' the way i am now.

there's the issue of what type of guy it's gonna be. my dad wants a learning boy and i'm not so hunky-dory on that idea. i'd like to look for other things in the guy as well, when i'm ready for marriage. and i'm not sure myself what type of person i'd really like to spend the rest of my life with.

but the part that's more important (which i can't discuss with my folks. i've tried once and they completely did not get what i was saying) is that i don't want to get married. period. at least not yet. i've had enough of being responsible for a family. enough of having to constantly worry about others. enough of having to juggle cooking and cleaning and kids. enough of having to take care of everyone. i don't want to put myself in a situation where some more of this will be expected from me. i know that in the current situation no one is going to be taking care of me or thinking about me or doing something special for me, but at least i'm not putting myslef in a position where another person (and down the line people) will expect that from me. when i do get married, i would like to be the kind of spouse who does these things, but right now i just don't have the energy to spread myself any thinner.

also, i will feel very guilty if i'd move out of the house. i was once gone for a week (went to help a married sib who had a baby) and, let me tell you, as pompous as this sounds, i am kida indispensible around here. no one even thinks to remember of all the little things that need to be remembered for the house to function. i'm certain that things'll blow up really bad if i move out. besides, i feel like it's not fair for my sibs. i know i'm technically not responsible for them, but i feel like they're already alive, so i need to make sure that they have someone to talk to, someone to take them to friends' homes, someone to be there for them emotionally, someone to bake them a special birthday cake, someone to help them out when they're in trouble who will love them anyways...all these things that i did not have as a kid (why i didn't have them is a whole different story)...so my first priority is to these kids who are already in this world. let me take care of them first and when they're all older and out of the house, then (if i have the strength) i'll bring some of my own kids into the world to take care of.
i don't know if i'm clear. what i'm trying to say is that if i make a decision to go and start a new family and leave the current kids to flounder, what good will i be doing? these kids are already here - that's a fact i have no choice over. so i'll have to find the strenght to continue - for them. but i don't think it's so smart for me to leave them and to have my own. why make a decision to bring some more kids into my life to take care of? especially if that decision will involve hurting my sibs who i love very much. that just seems like a dumb decision to me.

as i'm writing i'm hearing myself say that getting married would mean abandoning my siblings. and i think i know where that feeling comes from. when my oldest sis got married (when i was in elemetary school) there was lots going on (medically) in my family and my parents were often not home for months at a time. when she got married and left me (a 7th grader) and my older sister (an 11th grader) to fend for ourselves and all the rest of the kids.....you can put the rest of it together yourself....

WOW!! i just wrote a lot! i started and didn't even realize what a roll i was on...thanks for listening.


Edited: 7/1/08 at 11:33 PM by iWish
 
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su7kids
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7/2/08 1:34 AM
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iWish, what I get from this above long post is that you are a wonderful, kind, caring, considerate person. You are a very giving person, and those are wonderful middos. I also know because I am / was somewhat like that myself, and know that if you don't take care of YOURSELF, no-one else will, at this point.

If you can find some of those responsibilities that you can either "let go" and allow the family to start taking them over, because it really IS their responsibility, not yours, that would be extremely helpful to YOU being able to let go, and taking that pressure off you.

I think also your siblings learn to take advantage to some degree because you let them, so you can be the adult here and decide which of their needs is more important and not absolutely say YES every time.

In other words, slowly, gently, and kindly (that's your nature) to create parameters and "borders" around yourself so that you are NOT doing everything for them.

Teach them independence. Maybe study some parenting books about how you teach children independence (anyone here know of any to recommend?) and you can help your siblings to become more independent, while still being the emotional support to them.

I think you can do it. You are very aware of your surroundings and the circumstances you find yourself in, so I think you have the abilities.


-------------------------
Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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gad
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7/2/08 2:10 AM
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In addition to what su7kids wrote, I would add the following.

It sounds like you are too good.
Even if your parents are not mean, even if they are "unawarely" harmful, you still need to defend yourself. And eventually your parents will also appreciate this, because they want a healthy child, healthy physically and emotionally.
You need to know when to say no, respectfully.

As for the marriage issue, maybe this is your ticket to get your parents' permission and money to pay for therapy. You can tell them that you feel you need therapy in order to address your concerns about marriage. And if they don't agree, you can ask them to ask their Rabbi's opinion. At any rate, this could possibly take some pressure off you, since you aren't just saying no, you are giving them a choice, and you are putting the onus on them. And it may just lead to therapy, which hopefully could help to resolve things.

Hope to hear good news.


 
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HopefulMommy
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7/8/08 12:43 AM
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iWish, hi and welcome!

I think you're amazing! You're doing so much for your family, and you're so devoted to your siblings.

It's totally understandable why you are not ready to get married. You sound burnt out. I would also be if I were you.

Are your parents unable to take care of your siblings? Is there any way for them to take over some of your responsibilities? What about hired help? Is that possible?
 
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Aba
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7/8/08 10:42 AM
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iWish please read this
http://www.drsorotzkin.com/honoring_abusive_parents.html along with the other articles he has.
You may also gain from a google search on "parentified"

I'm no Mental Health Professional but from the books that I have read and 2 families I am involved with you may be better finding a more supportive place to live.

With a borken heart,
Aba Of 4


-------------------------
"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden
 
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frumsw
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7/8/08 10:56 PM
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I don't want to sound cynical but envision yourself 10,20 years down the road. Your younger siblings would have gotten married until it's only you taking care of your elderly parents-they'll be busy with their families. When your parents aren't around anymore after 120, then what? You'll be an older woman, with very few prospects of making a new life for yourself, with no one to take care of anymore and frankly, no one will be interested in taking care of you either. I mean this lovingly--- get yourself a life! It doesn't matter whether you are living in your parents home or out of it, without marriage, you help at home since you aren't paying rent but you are not a substitute maid and mother! As a mother myself, when I'm not around, things fall apart a little bit but surprisingly, people learn how to cope and find clean socks when they have to. You are entitled to friends, fun, and time for yourself. Once you realize that you are a person too, you'll manage to find the funds and time for therapy if you feel you need it.


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frumsw
 
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iWish
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7/9/08 11:40 PM
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first of all, thank you everyone for taking the time to reply.

as i'm reading what u've responded, i'm getting this angry and let down feeling - like u guys don't understand me. it seems to me that you've made out my situation to be this miserable overworked existance and that i'm here to complain and find a way to get out of it. did i make it sound that way? i didn't mean to. it's not the case. yes, i do have some heavy stuff on my shoulders, but i'm sure it could be worse. and while i do want to feel better, i don't necessarily want to get out of it.

su7kids- i've tried distancing myself and letting go many times (especially during midters/finals), but i always end up feeling bad when i do and it always comes back to haunt me when i do. they're just kids and it's not like they're asking for anything extra - i'm just giving them what i think every kid is entitled to. from their perspective and what they're expecting, why is it okay if it comes from parents but not if it comes from me?

gad - my parents are not the type of people one can reason with. like, if you want me to do this, then u hafta do that. i've learned long ago not to put my hopes up for that. as for the rabbi thing, i thought it might work so one day last week, when my dad was buggin me about getting married i told him that i think i have some valid issues and i'd like to talk it over with a rabbi. i got this whole 'it's not a weakness to listen to your father and i only want what's best for you and i know even better than you know what's best for you etc etc etc'. and i couldn't tell him what's bothering me cuz i felt bad. so i guess the rabbi thing won't work also, u mentioned that if i start cutting back on responsibilities my folks will be happy cuz they really want a healthy child. i hate to break this to you, but there is such a thing as parents who prefer that things are easier/better and work the way they want for themsleves even at the expense of their children's mental health. i don't think my parents ever try to think of things from my perspective. not maliciously - it just doesn't cross their minds.

hopefulmommy - thanks for understanding me!! sometimes it seems like everyone here is trying to give advice and fix my problems, which i do appreciate when it's done sensitively. but it's nice when someone expresses that they understand why i feel the way i do without trying to fix it. i do think that i'm pretty damn smart and insightful and if, after trying to figure things out for this long, i still haven't found a solution, i don't think it's simple enough for anyone to just give it to me in one sentence. so thank you.
with regard to my folks...they're physically capapble, if that's what you're asking. and i think they're also burnt out from many of the technical aspects of having kids. but emotionally...i don't know. they just don't know the first thing about being parents (like, i don't have even one recollection of a hug or an 'i love u' from any of my parents in my entire life). i can't say i blame them completely cuz they have lived through some tough stuff in their lives, but i also don't know if their current functioning is a result of that. i don't even try to figure them out...i've tried enough and it's a waste of time. but what i do think is that some of the problem it not just them. it's probably a combination of me being a very emotionally in-tuned and emotional person while for them emotions are an extremely foreign concept.

abaof4 - NEVER! i won't ever leave my sibs to fend for themselves. i don't care if it kills me, but i will never do to them what was done to me, if i can help it. i think of them like my kids (and, some of them do refer to me as mommy when they need some support from me. it's all in jest, but still...) and one doesn't leave their kids, whom they love, because they want an easier life.
as for parentified - i'm not sure that's what i am. i'm no psychologist, so i don't know...but is there a description 'role reversal'? if there is - that's me. it's like they've become the ones that need to be protected, that need to be cared for, that need to be thought about and i've become the protector, the doer, the think-about-everyone-elser...the mommy (i guess, is that what most parents do?)

frumsw - all i can say is, do u think i never though of that? i have. many times. thanks for rubbing it in.
with regard to everything else u wrote - please realize that there' s SO much more to this than me 'getting a life'. i understand that when u're gone everyone finds clean socks - cuz all that goes awry is the clean socks. if everything is on a strong foundation, it can afford some leeway every once in a while. but here - at best things are standing on toothpicks. when the foundation is made of toothpicks, or maybe i should say feathers, there's no room for leeway and letting things go a bit off. cuz that little bit is all that's keeping it together. and i'm talking from past experience.

thanks for listening everyone.
 
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mouse
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7/10/08 4:07 AM
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iwish, I don't know. After reading your last posting all I can think of is that you really need to learn about boundaries and start setting them with your parents and yourself. You have to put yourself first. It's selfish and it's right. Think of Pirkei Avos "Im ein oni mi li?" (Did I get it right?...lousy at remembering.) It sounds to me from first post and the last post you wrote that you are ambivalent about moving on and marrying. If your father doesn't want you to speak to a Rabbi, it doesn't mean you can't. Do it. Just tell him, "I'm going to a Rabbi to discuss marriage issues." (Or, whatever.) Don't ask, just say it. He doesn't need to understand it; he doesn't need to agree to it. All he needs is to know so he doesn't think you are sneaking behind his back. I now understand your parents are trying to make you overworked; however, if that is what they are doing to you, you need to figure stuff out.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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HopefulMommy
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7/14/08 1:33 AM
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iWish, I can relate to a lot of what you wrote because you remind me of myself when I was a bit younger than you. I also always tried to take care of everyone else and never thought about myself. It was very different -- I did not have to cook for a large family, or do carpool, but there was an ill and senile grandparent and a parent who was not coping very well, and I felt it was my responsibility to take care of that parent's emotional needs. When I first went to a traditional therapist (after doing cbt for a while), she told me that I shouldn't have stayed there, I should have moved out, etc. This was many years later, when I was already married. I was so upset I can't even tell you. I called all my close friends. I even called my rabbi to get his opinion. He very carefully said that it's hard to judge. But I think there are situations in life that don't have a simple solution. No matter what you do you would be hurting somebody, either family members or yourself. In any case, to make a long story short, through incredible Divine intervention, I did get married, and it saved my sanity. The grandparent passed away after I got engaged, but before the wedding, so I was there and was able to help with funeral arrangements and such, and to give emotional support. I felt that it was all directed from Above. I don't think I would have gotten through it without my husband's support.

In your case, it sounds very hard, but I don't think it's impossible for you to get married, but still be around your siblings and give them those hugs and kisses and emotional support that your parents are incapable of giving. Maybe one of your criteria can be that you can live in the same neighborhood with your parents. That would limit your choices, but at least it's better than nothing.

But your family has to find some other way to get the chores done. Obviously, you won't be able to cook and do carpool after you get married. Did you discuss it with them? If they are pushing you to get married, they would be motivated to find other solutions, and either hire help or take over some of your responsibilities.
 
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iWish
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7/16/08 12:32 PM
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before i continue writing, i want to thank all of u for taking the time to look at what i wrote and answer. i also want to tell u that i realize that sometimes i come accross as not someone who doesn't want help - that i'm trying to find something wrong with whatever u suggest/write or 'prove' why it won't work. so i want to let u guys know that i really seriously think about everything that everyone writes and try to understand how it fits into me in my situation. i am very greatful to all of u for caring about me - it's not something that happens to me often.

that being said, munkster - ur right. i am very ambivalent about moving on. on the one hand i really want to start feeling better. on the other hand, i feel really guilty to do that. i know that they're kind of mutually exclusive - i wish they weren't!!! is there any way that i can do both?

also, about putting myself first...would u believe that i was surprised to hear that? my knee-jerk reaction was - what?! my family always stressed that it's wrong to put onesself first. it's bad midot and terrible character to think of yourself before someone else. i know that i'm too old to be able to pin the blame on anyone else...but when this is what u've been hearing and doing for so long, it's SO hard to change
it's so hard...yet , as Albert Einstein said, "Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"...so i'm thinking that maybe it is time to try and change something if whatever i've been doing is not working well (at least not for my mental health)
anyone have any ideas of where i should start?
 
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iWish
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7/16/08 1:04 PM
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hopefullmommy - ur situation is actually not so different from mine in the sense that it started from an unexpected medical issue.
without giving too many details (and risk anyone figuring out who i am) - i had a sibling who was very ill for 7 years. it was unexpected and, once they were in it, they didn't see what was happening to the rest of us. i don't think this made my parents the way they are but the situation was exacerbated by the 'don't think about yourself ever' rule, by my parents' complete oblivision (sp?) to our emotional needs as siblings, and their own emotional needs as parents of a very sick child, by the 'we're fine and don't need anyone's help' attitude, by their attitude that family comes before EVERYTHING (so i couldn't EVER be with friends because either we had a mini-hospital at home which needed our staffing (did i mention that they had this aversion for outside help - we learned how to do all that needed to be done medically) or my parents stayed in the hospital for months at a time without ever coming home once) and by the idea that no one outside the situation/immediate family could understand so, by default, any suggestions are wrong, uncalled for and ceremoniously discarded.
i should mention that i do not have any bitterness or resentment toward my sick sibling - it's the way that the situation was handled. also, most of the above sentiments are okay - about thinking about others, about family being there for eachother...within the right balance. it's the extremeness with which they were enforced that really made the situation unbearable, for me anyways.
so it's not like i 'offered' myself into this position...it sort of landed on me. but maybe i am guilty - cuz i stepped in and took it...i don't know.

anyways, when this sib of mine died two years ago, things did not get better. though i begged and asked, my folks adamently refused ANY grief work for themselves, my sibs or me. not even a 'big-brother/big-sister' from the local chapter. it was always that if u have faith in g-d, u don't have any probs with the death. g-d gave and now He took...blah blah blah
getting back to the 'here-n-now', we are all stuck in our grief - whether anyone likes to admit it or not. grief over the kid that lost her childhood, grief over our lost 7 years, grief over the death. and my (not so scholarly) opinion is that no one (including me) is willing to move from the positions that they took on during the illness, because we have not dealt with it. i know that everyone grieves differently and i don't want to impose my way of grieving on anyone else, but are there people who don't grieve - AT ALL??

so that's the story. i don't know if it helps anyone understand where i'm coming from any more - but it felt good writing it.
thanks 4 listening.
 
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iWish
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7/16/08 1:08 PM
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i'm reading it over and i see that i 'dumped' a lot and i'm not sure if it all makes sense.

i guess i just wanted to get it all out before i 'chicken out'. so if it doesn't make sense, ask me.

and now i'm feeling guilty for 'breaking the confidentiality' and leaking what's been going on to someone(s) outside the family.

i think three posts in a row is enough for one day...thanks so much everyone. u have no idea how much this means to me.
 
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su7kids
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7/16/08 1:44 PM
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I think your explanation definitely helps to explain a LOT. In fact, it puts it all into perspective.

There are FREE grief counseling groups available, why don't you look into it for yourself. Its not necessary to help you STOP grieving, if you're not ready for that, but for you to understand the process. I think you could benefit from that.

It totally makes sense now why you would "take over" your family. you had no choice, it wasn't just that your parents were "dysfunctional". They had a situation they were dealing with -- maybe in a different way to the way some of us might have -- and it has affected them, and the rest of the family.

Do you hold any guilt about the loss of your sibling? Because you were also taking care of the sibling? I hope n ot, but it would be understandable if there was some of that, too.


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Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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HopefulMommy
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7/17/08 12:07 AM
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iWish, I am so sorry about your sibling! Of course, you need to grieve and process your feelings. You can talk to us here. We don't know you or your family. It really helps to talk about all those feelings instead of suppressing them or pretending they don't exist.

When I first told a therapist the whole story about my grandparent that I wrote above, I felt such a sense of relief. I was holding it all inside myself, and had all this guilt about so many things that happened, or things I could have done differently to prolong that grandparent's life. I also felt that I couldn't talk to anybody outside of my family. Once I let it all out, I was a different person. Eventually, I was able to talk to my close friends about it and come to view it differently.

I was also raised with the idea that I always need to think of other people and help others, and never about myself, because that would be selfish. When that therapist told me that I should put myself first, I was shocked. It went against my whole belief system.
 
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rainbow
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7/17/08 12:48 AM
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I do not have much to add to all the advice given. But.... You seem to be in a position where your father will literally 'find' a shidduch for you. You will be intimidated and made to feel that you do not trust him enough to make decisions for you. Do not let that happen before you feel totally ready. And about your father wanting a learning boy.... tell him that YOU are the one to decide that.

I feel so sad for you. You need to build up some backbone. Be strong.
About family before everything, and Kibud av, I think there is a halachik part that deals with how to respect parents that are overbearing bordering with mentally abusive. I know you can't think of your parents as abusive, but when you really think about it.......

frumsupport will be your cheering squad
 
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gad
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7/17/08 1:05 AM
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Quote

Originally posted by: iWish
gad - also, u mentioned that if i start cutting back on responsibilities my folks will be happy cuz they really want a healthy child. i hate to break this to you, but there is such a thing as parents who prefer that things are easier/better and work the way they want for themsleves even at the expense of their children's mental health. i don't think my parents ever try to think of things from my perspective. not maliciously - it just doesn't cross their minds.

But eventually they will understand and approve.

This is just a side point. The main thing is, as Munkster and other have pointed out, that Hashem wants you to take care of your own health. But as a side point, it's good to know that by taking care of your own health, you will eventually make your parents happy. Because eventually they will agree.

 
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HopefulMommy
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7/31/08 12:30 AM
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iWish, how are you doing? I've thinking about you. I had an idea. What if you think of yourself as one of your siblings? Look at the situation from the outside. All of your family members have needs, and that includes you. You don't want to hurt any of your siblings, and that includes you. When you have to make a decision, can you take into consideration all the children of the family, including you?
 
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iWish
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8/6/08 4:52 AM
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hopefulmommy - thanks for thinking about me.

everyone - sorry i haven't logged in for a while. so much has been goin on and i've had no time. or emotional energy to try and make sense of it

i just don't get it. maybe all u people out there who are parents can explain it to me. i always learned/thought that parents love their kids unconditionally. and try to do what's best for them. and help them. and take care of them. and think about their kids' needs first. and have some kinda connection with them. and find pleasure giving.

why is it that i don't find that here???

as i'm sitting here writing this, i've got tears streaming down my face. i've been crying myself to sleep every night for the past two weeks. i just don't get it! where did i go wrong? why is this happening to me? here i am spreading myself SO thin to help everyone and make everyone else happy and comfy - and then my dad can say such hurtful things to me that make nothing of everything i'm doing. and one day i finally said how hurtful it is to me when he talks to me that way - and he completely disregarded what i said and continues. IT'S SO HURTFUL! SO PAINFUL! SO CONFUSING! SO DISHEARTNING! SO HEARTBREAKING! SO DISTRESSING! SO CRUEL! SO INSENSITIVE! LIKE A STAB IN MY HEART! AND SO ANGERING! (sorry for writing in caps - i hope it's okay. i know we're not supposed to do that cuz it sounds like yelling. but i am yelling. and screaming. not AT you, but TO you)

and i'm really scared. because i'm feeling this horrible new emotion creeping up. anger. intense anger. so intense it's frightening to myself. i'm scared of what i'll do (to myself or to others, but probably more to myself) because of it. i'm trying not to think about it but it's really there - getting more intense every day.
 
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Aba
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8/6/08 10:52 AM
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iWish,
When I saw your name on the forum list page I jumped to see how you were doing ...
I am heartbroken to hear your news.
You don't need to apologize for your screaming, please let out your emotions/anger, to keep them bottled up is not healthy.

Though I can't speak from from personal experience my wife, however, did grow up in an abusive home and suffered greatly then and is still suffering now. There was no logic behind her parents actions as there isn't any in your parents actions.

I don't mean to scare you, in fact I'm only writing this b/c my wife suggested I do, but your fear of hurting yourself is unfortunately warranted as she and many others do. Try to take your anger out on a pillow instead of yourself.

Did you ever try confiding in a teacher or older friend to help let some steam out. One thing Dr. Sorotzkin writes is that abusive parents don't deserve to be protected but it is the children who do, so please don't feel you are betraying them or the family secret by seeking help.

You may take issue with the fact I used a very harsh term to describe your parents b/c as you have said "sometimes they're really nice..." and, so are my in-laws, but verbal abuse is as or more detrimental then physical abuse. The tongue is mightier then the sword.

May all your wishes come true,
Aba of 4




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"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden
 
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su7kids
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8/6/08 12:00 PM
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I have read a few books which I'm finding very inspirational. Of course, maybe you want to skip his first books, but the author Dave Pelzer was extremely badly abused by his mother, they said it was the worst case in California. He wrote his first three books "A Boy Called IT" "The Lost Boy" and a "Man called Dave" and then he went on to write some inspirational books. He has taken his situation and become a motivational speaker and writer, and his latest book "Moving Forward" is very powerful. Not Jewish books by any means, but the words are worth reading.

Also Dr Laura Shlessinger, who some like and some hate, wrote an excelletn book "Bad Childhood, Good Life" about how you should not let your past hold you back, but in spite of that, you can make something of yourself and not carry the burden of the past with you.

Both seem very powerful and helpful books.

iWish, also, not all parents love their children unconditionally. The "sick" ones don't. and they don't realize what they;'re doing to their kids. So, if you can do one drop of l'kaf zchus, its that they really don't GET IT. (Child protective services should be called).


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Proud Mom of 7, MIL to 3, Grandmom of 4!
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/6/08 5:09 PM
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iWish, sorry you're going through such a hard time! (((HUGS)))

I don't think your dad will ever understand that he is hurting you. Some people just don't get it. If it's of any consolation, my dad doesn't either. Life will be easier if you just accept it as a fact, mourn over the loss of the relationship you thought you had, or you thought you were supposed to have, or whatever it is. Spend some time mourning. That's very important. And then go on, creating your own positive relationships and looking for unconditional love and support elsewhere.

You are keeping all your emotions inside yourself. That's very hard. That's why it feels like you're about to explode. You need to let them out. If you don't have anybody to talk to, at least write them down. Or talk to yourself. Or talk to us here.
 
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frumsw
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8/7/08 2:11 PM
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It may be very uncomfortable but I think it's good that you are finally feeling all that anger that you are not used to. The root of anger is justice. It means that you see the lack of justice and want to change things. There is nothing wrong with anger when it alerts you to the fact that something is wrong. It's a matter of what you do with your anger. If you channel it the right way and get help for yourself which will trickle down into help for your siblings you would have done a tremendous mitzvah. Hatzlacha.


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frumsw
 
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little sheep
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8/28/08 4:09 PM
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iWish, i just read the whole thread, and i'm really sorry that i didn't see it sooner. i'm going to PM you with some suggestions, and some thoughts that i'd rather not put out here...


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"I'm getting better and better every day, in every way, with the help of Yud-Kay-Vav-Kay"~Rabbi Label Lam
 
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