Family all know…

It used to be that I hid it so well I was ill. Nobody, nobody knew of my inner struggles. Now it seems as though everybody knows. Mum, dad, younger brother, grandparents, aunt, other aunt, cousins… Perhaps it’s a result of the decline in my mental health over the years. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more open as time has gone on. Most likely a bit of both.

These past couple of days has found me sinking into depression again. Mum’s noticed. I attempted to deny anything was wrong, which fell apart once the tears started flowing. She’s obviously worried, doesn’t know how to help, and then she started crying too. Dad’s noticed too, or perhaps mum’s told him so. “Have you been feeling low these past couple of days? You have to tell us!” I give no response, and escape to my room the earliest chance I get. Whilst done out of care and concern, it’s become rather suffocating and uncomfortable. I’m beginning to miss those days where they had no clue.

My aunt and grandparents’ tactic is to give me pep talks every opportunity they get. “You have to be strong!” they exclaim. They point out how they have overcome adversity. They give examples of people with physical disabilities who are determined enough to have found ways around it and gone on to lead satisfying lives. I sit and stare at them in silence. It’s not about you, I want to tell them. While I have respect for them, it’s not about the amputees on TV who go on to win medals in the Para-Olympics. What they don’t get is that no matter how many times they tell me this, no matter how many examples they give me, it’s not going to pull me out of this. Depression is not about strength of mind.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my family and relatives have practically no experience with mental health issues, and therefore limited understanding of it.

In five days I fly to Indonesia on my own to stay with my relatives who reside there. Earlier on I wasn’t keen to go, but gosh am I looking forward to escaping now, even if only for a week. At least there I won’t be known as the ’emotionally fragile one with mental issues.’ I won’t have to listen to my mother and father discussing what to do about me. I won’t have to listen to my grandmother phoning up my mum saying that she’s still concerned about me. I won’t have to feel my parent’s constant gaze on me and deal with their awkward attempts at asking me if I’m okay.

I am not enjoying my family knowing in the least.

12 thoughts on “Family all know…

  1. It really does suck when people know and don’t know what to say or say the wrong thing. My mum used to say to me “pull yourself together” and it used to really piss me off. How could I pull myself together when I didn’t know what was wrong or how to make it better to start with. It took me years of therapy to finally understand myself enough to know what “is” wrong. I would often feel bad but have no clue as to why or how to fix it and I would get so sick of people saying the types of things you are talking about. My most hated one was “there are people so much worse off than you”. Anyway, I just wanted to say I get how crappy it is when people say that stuff and it might not be better tomorrow. Online we can support each other and I want you to know that you can email me anytime. My email address is on my blog. If you can’t email that’s okay too, but know that there are people online here that care about you and have had these things said to them too at times by caring people that don’t understand at all. Be gentle with yourself and I hope that trip away will help.

  2. Family can be difficult to put up with especially when you’re feeling down… Hope your trip gives you the break you need! Xx

  3. my family all know about me i told them but they dont really care anyway but i told them a while back i got a good responce off my brother he says im just playing on my BPD my mam siad ok and my sister siad she knew there was something up with me since i was little at least on in the four of them aggreed but you cant pick your family

  4. Many people feel they have to say something to make you feel better. The trouble is most times what’s said, good or bad makes you feel ten times worse. Sometimes just a hug, a small gesture or just to be left alone is what would make a difference. I hope your trip goes well and gives you some time away from prying eyes. Hugs xx

  5. It is sooo hard. I remember having to tell people before I went inpatient. Most knew something was going on, just not what. For some people the support of their family is amazing. Mine, however, is very similar to yours. They/we have dealt with this for many years now on and off. They think that by asking it helps or that they can do something. The sad thing is that for me, it just made it worse and I wish they could have done something to make me feel better. Now I just go about my day, disordered and ill and pretend things are ok.

    Thinking of you Cassie.

  6. In my meagerly small attempts to be more open with my Mom so that she would/could understand me and what I go through better, I though it would an advantage if I need help down the road when I’m out of therapy. But you’re right. That ever watching, ever roaming set of eyes who constantly want to know how you are. Aren’t we tired enough of rating our own emotions that we need someone else smothering us with their perceptions? I completely understand and am sooo happy that you can get away for awhile.

  7. i feel ya babe. When my family knows…they flip out. for them- it’s black and white. I’m either recovering and doing really well or I’m like dying…which only brings up my anxiety because I’m really neither- i bounce back inbetween all the time but they just don’t seem to get that.

    it’s hard with family. 😦 hang in there babe


  8. Ugh, I think I know what you’re going through. My entire family knows about my numerous hospitalizations, my eating disorder, my depression, and my suicide attempts. It’s awful. Most of the time people pretend my problems don’t exist which only makes me think that they are thinking that I’m nuts and fragile. I guess we can’t win, huh?

    Have fun in Indonesia! It’s so amazing that you get to travel.

    Wishing you well,

  9. My family of origin doesn’t understand, either. In my own case, I think it is because several of us have some kind of issue due to abuse doled out by other family members and no one else wants to admit how things really are. I’m glad you will be able to get away for a while. Regardless of the reason, it’s very hard to need support when people just can’t understand.

  10. I hate it when even the most well-intended comments make you feel like crap. It’s especially tough (on both parties) when ppl don’t *get it* (have not experience with mental illness). Only my immediate family knows about my mental illness, which is fine with me because they *get it* (especially my mom, since she practices medicine). I find it comforting to know that they have my back. It was annoying at first, but over time, things seemed to have settled. *hugs* I think it’s great the you’re going to Indonesia! 😀

  11. I’m glad that you will be able to get away for a bit. I have only told two of my siblings about my mental disorder. I hate it if they start to hover about me. I know they mean well but like you say it is suffocating. I just like to be left alone. I hope it gets better for you.

  12. Hello Chrisse, I know what you are trying to come to terms with I have had over 40years of B.D. and their was no one who understand then it was all hidden. So research and you will be able to live a good life. I lived in Australia on the central coast N.S.W. for 10 years and met quite a few political leaders and I new the Police Commissioner for N.S.W. Ihope to return soon as I am a Dual citizen.
    Good Luck ,
    David Gosling.

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