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tonbop
@tonbop

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 06, 2017

Guilt Towards Family Due To Mental Illness

Posted by @tonbop, Nov 6, 2017

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m constantly feeling guilty about my mental illness and how it’s affecting my family. It’s as if I’m always the one with issues. I’m always sick either physically or mentally and I know it’s hindering my relationship with my family. I feel my husband pulling away and I feel I’m always telling my two children I can’t do something with them cause mommy doesn’t feel well. I just want to be normal! I want to be a wife and mother they are proud of. I don’t want to be the problem or the one with issues all the time! I need help digging myself out of this hole! Anyone relate?

REPLY

@tonbop – Oh, boy, do I relate! My kids are grown, but I feel that way about myself as a husband. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to write more. I’m too tired to write tonight.

Jim

Liked by tonbop

Hello @tonbop Nice to e-meet you here. I am Scott and I can relate, but in a slightly different way. My wife fought brain cancer for over 14 years before it finally beat her. During that time she fought the feelings you describe all the time. Sometimes it was more pronounce than others, sometimes more.

I wish I had some magic suggestion here, but I think these feelings may be common with almost any chronic condition.

In my wife’s case I did two things. I told her, over and over, it was the disease causing the changes in how she was able to relate and not ‘her’. This seemed to help at times. With immediate members of the family I made sure I over-corrected for her lack of interaction and became a super communicator to take her place when I could. With the vast majority of those beyond our immediate family (other than two surprising friends) we just let them go as they couldn’t manage nor could we invest the energy in trying to help them do so. Kind of a tough love approach — we still loved them, but it was up to them to adjust and accept.

I have also fought depression several times in my life. Unfortunately during these bouts I couldn’t make myself care about others to notice how I was effecting them. Luckily medication helped!

I wish you strength, courage, and peace!

@tonbop My sister and mom are about the only ones I can talk to about my anxiety because the answers seem so simple to outsiders who really don’t know me well enough to understand. Dealing with any chronic illness can be trying on everyone involved. Try to lessen the guilt by setting small goals to interact with your family. Maybe write a list: read a book with the kids, listen to some soothing music with your husband. Every day you complete one of these tasks, make a point to congratulate yourself about what you did do, not what you couldn’t. Focus on the positive and take time to heal.

No real suggestions. Feel family has pulled a way and finally have ceased the self-flagellation for failing-most of the time. Again, no one asks for these things and once at the bottom of the vortex it is a long journey back. One feels around in the darkness for a hand-hold to start the climb towards something worth making the journey up once again. Old age and chronic pain have caused the trip down to be more of a a climber’s repel than a slow journey. I arrive at the bottom far more quickly now. Still I can see a glimmer of light above and may not make it all the way to the peaks, but still continue trying.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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@tonbop – I’m still living through it. My daughter has experienced depression at various times in her life, and understands. My son has accepted it, but I don’t think he understands at all, and has been holier than thou toward me. My wife is tired of living with it, and feels that she needs me to attend to her needs more. She thinks and has said that I should have figured it out by now, and moved on (from depression and all the rest ). She tends to get on me about all the meds I take and thinks that I am over medicated, and I don’t really need all of them.

I keep going by the grace of God, and by my weekly therapy session.

Jim

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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The medication is another area of discussion all together! I have to hide what I’m taking because one doctor said she didn’t agree with what I was taking before she even spoke to me and he took her word as Gods word! My husband wants me to communicate how I’m feeling but when I do he finds reasons why I have caused myself to be that way, in reality it’s just life happening and I’m managing the best way I know how! I just look at my husband and I see such misery and contemptment in his eyes. It’s the worse feeling to know I’ve made him feel that way and that I’m helpless to change it. Anyhow, now more left to say about that!

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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@tonbop

I often don’t say anything about how I feel. If I do, it’s just my attitude that’s making me feel that way. I just write about it in my journal, and I rate my days on a scale of 1-10. I had been up to 6, after 7 or 8 years of effort, but I’ve been down to low 5 lately. I look forward to my therapy Thursday. He’s the only person I know that I can tell everything.

Do you have anyone like that in your life? It’s a real gift to have a good listener.

Jim

@jimhd Oh my, I have heard the holier than thou speech…even to the point of being told I am demon possessed. I walk a way from the inane rubbish and tell myself they mean well.
Many of us have been ridiculed for our mental health afflictions. Why I come here and share some. I have found a safe place thus far.
I also continue on with my journey and with the grace of God. Now I can paint words with pictures. My place of meditation is behind a paint brush.

@tonbop I truly am sorry for the lack of understanding from your spouse. It is hard for both of you. I have been where you are and can empathize. I always had the feelings of failing and not being good enough. I was married to a man diagnosed with NPD. Nothing would work. I was far too passive and could not hold up under the recantations. We both suffered from mental health issues. When I was diagnosed with depression and started having memories of childhood trauma I felt he saw me as sullied. The memories were deeply buried. After 14 years of marriage I caved. Did not know I was depressed. His big voice was terrifying to me and my children. They are all grown now. There father died in 2014 never having seen a first grandchild. My depression does take backstage when I spend time with my grandson. I don’t speak of my depression as I do not want this defining me. I can still be happy even though I do have to work hard at believing thus. Depression is a liar and a thief.
Thankful for the support and understanding.
AARRGGHH! I have got to get a new modem so I can be wireless. My achy-breaky bod. I sing this to the melody of “Achy, Breaky Heart”. I “Lovett” :).

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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Yea, I’m pretty good at “wearing the masks” but being a mom to 3 boys (my husband included as one, a 5yr old, & a 11yr old) with no support or help from family I find I get overwhelmed easily and that’s hard to hide. I do have a therapist and everyone hear on this chat but other than that I have no one to turn to. I try to journal but that even seems overwhelming (& I love to write!).

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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@tonbop – I’m well acquainted with the feeling of being overwhelmed. It keeps me in the recliner often. I was thinking yesterday about the need to talk with someone, and became more depressed, knowing that I have no one other than the therapist to talk to. I do feel some guilt because I don’t tell my wife how I feel emotionally or physically, because it didn’t used to be this way. I just can’t handle having my words minimized or dismissed or used against me in a judgmental way. And I feel guilty for talking negatively to my therapist about my wife.

For me, November is a time to be thankful for the people in my life, and I have a list of them in my mind to whom I’m going to write thank you notes. I’ll thank my therapist for the huge gift he’s given me – the gift of listening. There should be a therapist appreciation month.

Like you, being able to express my thoughts to this group is a good part of maintaining my sanity. I have the title of volunteer mentor, but sometimes I step out of that role and become simply a member of the group. That’s important to me, and I’m thankful that the leaders of Connect recognize and allow me to step back and receive from the group.

I appreciate the input of each person here.

Jim

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

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Thank you for the reply and friendly reminder of gratitude

One of my rather “out in left field” observations about guilt. When I start feeling guilt it is likely time to walk a way. Guilt is punishment.

@parus

One of my rather “out in left field” observations about guilt. When I start feeling guilt it is likely time to walk a way. Guilt is punishment.

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Hmmm, something to give thought to. Thanks!

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