January 6, 2019 at 9:14 am #272563
I’ve been reading this wonderful site for many months and decided to join the forums at a time of personal crisis.
Christmas has been extremely difficult this year, it is the first time that I’ve felt sad and lonely (I refuse to use the ‘D’ word because I don’t believe that I am ill I think I am on a journey and I’ve hit a bump in the road, I am not in any way dismissing
depression because of course it does exist and it is hard for anyone to overcome), unfortunately my relationship with my siblings is strained.
I look after my Mother who suffered a brain injury four years ago, I am blessed that I am able to look after her and at the same time work for myself full time. Just before Christmas my siblings visited Mum and I, my middle brother hardly talks to us because we couldn’t take him in when he was going through a challenging period in his life, he needed professional help which thankfully he sought but his sense of rejection is palpable and that is one of the reasons that has triggered my latest episode shall we say. We were quite close previously.
When they left I started to feel anxious and sad, since then a cavalcade of emotions have hit me square in the face, it is deeply unsettling and bizarrely I have this obsession with moving to the United States because I believe that I could forge a better and more fulfilling life. I am constantly watching video diaries of ex-pats who have made the US their home this only serves to reinforce my current situation thus I am stuck in a constant cycle of yearning for pastures new but not being able to. I’ve read various quotes about how the grass will not be greener no matter where you are in the world if you have not achieved inner peace. This is true however as much as it resonates with me I still have this yearning to move to the US.
I would be eternally grateful for any advice and apologies for the long post, I am feeling rather vulnerable at the moment.January 6, 2019 at 9:24 am #272567
Did I understand correctly: you live alone with your mother who suffers from brain injury. You take care of her and you work full time. Last Christmas your siblings came over the home you share with your mother and the visit didn’t feel good to you. One brother is angry with you.
You dream of moving to the US for a better life for yourself.
Did I understand correctly so far, and if so, how much care does your mother need/ is she partly functional? When you work, who takes care of her and who will take care of her if you move to the US?
January 6, 2019 at 9:46 am #272577
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by anita.
That’s about it in a nut shell. Mum doesn’t require 24 hour care, she has two care visits every day, she is mobile (with a frame) and semi independent. If I moved to the US she would be well looked after but honestly I just couldn’t do it at the moment as I described in my original post this is more of a psychological escape than anything else. Moving to the States could be an aspiration but it’s certainly not the right time to be moving across the pond. I’m just confused as to why I have this yearning for pastures new since Christmas. Sorry if I am not making sense, my mind is a little chaotic right now.January 6, 2019 at 10:03 am #272581
Tell me more about what happened during Christmas, that would be helpful to me, trying to understand why it is since Christmas that you are “yearning for pastures new”.
anitaJanuary 6, 2019 at 11:40 am #272599
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
I can’t really fathom exactly what happened other than it made me incredibly sad that as a family we are disconnected, then I started questioning my skills and abilities and criticising myself for not knowing enough in my line of work, this fed the thought that I would never be accepted in to the US and from there everything just fell apart in my mind, then I had imaginings of Mum not being around which made me incredibly anxious so I spent even more time with Mum and actually held her hand as she gave me words of wisdom.
I think the crux is that I am frightened of everything, I live in the UK and the News is dominated by crime, again it just adds to my feelings of worry and desperation that’s when I thought of moving to the US and began watching videos of ex-pats. It’s not serving me well at the moment, life here is actually pretty good we live in a quiet village and I have plenty of friends. I think I am literally trying to run away from my thoughts and feelings because prior to that I had never even considered moving abroad although my Uncle is a permanent resident and has invited me to stay with him for a few weeks.January 6, 2019 at 11:57 am #272601
When animals feel fear, they prepare to either run away or fight. As you probably know it, it is called the Flight/Fight response. Your fear increased since Christmas and you have been engaged in the Flight Response ever since, preparing to run away.
Better lower your anxiety (an ongoing fear not based on real life danger). That is the first thing to do.
How did you try to lower your anxiety so far?
anitaJanuary 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm #272627
Thanks Anita. I agree with you I’ve been stuck in the flight response for days since Christmas. I have taken positive steps to reduce my level of anxiety and they have worked especially this evening. I’ve read numerous articles that deal with anxiety, living in the present has really struck a chord with me and I exercise regularly, having a German Shepherd means I have little choice thankfully!
Just to add I jotted down all of my skills and abilities (including qualifications) and I realise that my concerns are unfounded, they are not reality. With regards to Mum she in good health and completely lucid she tells me to stop worrying, bless her! I’ve gone back to being a child (temporarily), nothing wrong with that, perhaps there are wounds that need to be dressed. Drinking plenty of water has also helped.January 6, 2019 at 2:44 pm #272629
I will re-read your recent post and any other that you may add and post to you tomorrow morning, in about 13 hours from now.
anitaJanuary 7, 2019 at 2:01 am #272721
Thank you Anita, there’s no rush, I appreciate you taking the time to talk this out with me.January 7, 2019 at 4:34 am #272733
You are welcome!
A retelling of what you shared so far:
Your mother suffered a brain injury four years ago. She is lucid, mobile (with a frame), semi independent, and otherwise in good health. She has two care visits every day. You live with he, in a quiet village, having lots of friends and a German Shepherd, and you work full time. When at home, you look after her. Recently you imagined her “not being around” and that made you incredibly anxious, “so I spent even more time with Mum and actually held her hand”.
You have siblings who recently visited you and your mum for Christmas. Your relationships with them is strained. You used to be close to one of your brother who recently (and during Christmas) “hardly talks to us because we couldn’t take him in when he was going through a challenging period in his life… his sense of rejection is palpable”. It made you “incredibly sad that as a family we are disconnected”.
You have an uncle who lives in the US as a permanent resident. He invited you to visit him for a few weeks. Since Christmas, you have “this obsession with moving to the United States because I believe that I can forge a better and more fulfilling life. You are “constantly watching video diaries of ex-pats who have made the US their home”. You feel “stuck in a constant cycle of yearning for pastures new but not being able to”. You believe it is “certainly not the right time to be moving across the pond”.
You started questioning your skills and abilities and “criticizing myself for not knowing enough in my line of work”, thinking that you would never be accepted in the US because of this perceived lack. Most recently, you jotted down all your skills, abilities and qualifications and realized your concerns are unfounded.
And now my thoughts: I think that the key sentence is this: “it made me incredibly sad that as a family we were disconnected”. I have more thoughts but also two questions that are too important to not be asked:
1. You wrote: “I spent even more time with Mum and actually held her hand”, reads like it was unusual for you to hold her hand, was it? How did it feel her hand in yours?
2. You wrote: “I’ve gone back to being a child (temporarily), nothing wrong with that, perhaps there are wounds that need to be dressed“, dressed or addressed? Can you elaborate on this sentence: how did you go back to being a child, in what ways, and what wounds are you referring to?
anitaJanuary 7, 2019 at 7:48 am #272781
1. I have been close to Mum prior to this episode but before Christmas I was somewhat distant, it’s hard work having so much responsibility, naturally I always worry about Mum and she does understand that I need to forge my own life, so creating distance is nothing personal against my Mother and she understands completely. I think I felt guilty because I spend a lot of time working and other activities.
2. I mean by dressing wounds from the past as in treating them. I am seeing a counsellor, last weeks session we spoke about the family and how disconnected we are and my feelings of loss (I’ve already lost my Father to suicide when I was two) and quite out of the blue I recalled my older brother leaving for University when I was ten, I remember that day so vividly it’s amazing, I remember exactly where I was stood, the car he was driving and I remember him waving goodbye to Mum and I. Even today I am astonished that I can remember that particular day so well. It seems to suggest that I am beginning to deal with loss. Hope that makes sense.January 7, 2019 at 8:40 am #272797
Clearly you love your mother very much. But then we all love our mothers.. even when we hate her. Underneath there is always love for our parents. We love them no matter what, truly an unconditional kind of love.
As you fear losing her, an event that did not happen yet, you already lost so much. You lost the hopes and dreams of having one happy family, where you will feel safe and content, knowing your mother is happy, your siblings are happy, and you can then attend to your own well being, free to venture into a life of your own.
I think it is the fear of being aware of what you already lost that scares you. There will never be a family-of-origin for you that is well, connected, happy. So waiting for this before you make your own life is useless, there will be no end to such a wait.
I think that you want to leave your family of origin and make a life for yourself, a life of your choosing. Am I correct?
January 9, 2019 at 4:18 am #273357
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by anita.
Sorry for the delay, I needed a break from everything. Pleased to say that I am feeling relaxed after days of anxiety.
I am not waiting for a happy and connected family, I am grieving for the loss of my family. My siblings have been a disgrace but that is a separate issue and something I am coming to terms with.
You are right, at some point I will make a life of my own, it could be America it could be the UK, anything is possible. Never thought I’d say that especially last week when I was at my wits end! 🙂January 9, 2019 at 5:53 am #273363
I am glad you are feeling better.
“My siblings have been a disgrace”. You are the good son then. It must feel good but maybe it is also a burden?
anitaJanuary 9, 2019 at 11:30 am #273461
It is a burden and a part of me resents being here, I no longer feel guilty for feeling this way, it is normal and if I had my time again I probably consider other options. All is not lost though, there is still plenty of time to rebuild my life but I have to be careful and gentle with myself, it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge.