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Arundhati
Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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The family that I was born into has never been very nice to

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The family that I was born into has never been very nice to me. I am 67 years old and it is an ongoing problem. I have been to two different therapists. They were totally different, but both very good. I go to a psychiatrist also who is also wonderful. I take 30mg of Cymbalta daily. My blood pressure is usually high. In the past I've had acute ulcerative colitis. Also I have idiopathic angiodema urticaria. Our mother has recently died. Our father who was German died years ago. Beauty in our family was considered very important. Evidently I wasn't in the eyes of the beholders. Even as a child I considered suicide. My husband, children and our grandchildren are wonderful. I don't seem to be satisfied with just their caring about me. I guess my sisters have continued the treatment that my parents had always given me. I am not suicidal now, but I would like to be happy for my immediate family. I am content with friends also. For 39 years I taught school. My spouse is an insurance adjuster. Our daughter is an accountant and our son a sleep neurologist. For years I have tried to avoid my siblings and my parents. It was and is difficult for my immediate family when I depart. I spent many a Christmas crying after the visit. There has always been a reason to treat me differently_even now. I know that God got it mixed up: One should be able to choose their family and not their friends. Several times I have given it a try, but it fails.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm so sorry to hear how your family has made you feel.

I noticed that you didn't ask a specific question in your post. Is there a specific question you'd like an expert to answer? If yes, please write your question.

You will not be charged till you receive a satisfactory answer.

Regards,

Arundhati
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I want suggestions on how to get on with my life. What do you suggest? For years now I wake up at night and think about past and presnt injustices. I am on a sleep machine. I have severe sleep apnea. There is going to be a family reunion of my mother's family in October and I am already dreading to be with my sisters more. Presently we are settliing my mother's estate. My coping skills are not good when I find out something else new that is not fair, lied about and was left out. I have to go to Columbia more than I would like. Recently I left at 2:00 AM and drove home. When we finish tying things up, I plan on not seeing them, but what can I do now when I have to go and talk to them and they don't mind hurting my feelings? It is something almost all the time. How can I deal with these disturbing incidents? At least one of my sisters used to tell my mother untrue and mean things about my daughter. When I ask for anything there is loud fussing at me. Now I just bear it, but not well. It just goes in me with all the orther mistreatments.
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the the additional information.

I understand how hard your situation is. It sounds like your family was and still is a very toxic influence on you. I fully second your plan of not seeing them after the family matters have been sorted out.

But how do you deal with the current situation? I would recommend a few different things. First of all, if this is a case where you are not effectively communicating your side, or you are not adequately able to stand up for yourself, convey your feelings at their behavior/comments or negotiate a better deal for yourself - then a very helpful resource for you would be "When I say no, I feel guilty". Don't let the title mislead you - it is essentially a short handbook filled with very effective strategies and techniques to assertively stand up for your views and negotiate your way through any given situation. You can find the book here.

Second, it sounds to me like over the years you've developed these feelings of fear, anger, stress, anxiety, dread, frustration towards your family members, not to mention the feeling of being treated unjustly and unfairly. It is important therefore, to work with a professional to process these feelings as otherwise, as you must already know, if left unprocessed these feelings can run in your head over and over, like a broken record. A cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) would be best equipped to help you not just identify the feelings but also find ways to process them and deal with them so that they do not interfere with your normal life.

Third, clearly you have a lot of past history that is painful and hard to get over. But also, as you already know, holding on to toxic memories of the past is not the most healthy thing to do as like holding onto acid, it can burn you in the process. I understand though that these are very very painful memories. And that is why, I want to recommend a unique approach to healing past pain through a meditation method called mindfulness meditation. In the last decade or so this method has helped hundreds of thousands of people. You can find more information about it here.

I hope I have been able to provide some direction.

Please do feel free to write back any questions/thoughts and I will be happy to answer.

Warm regards,

Arundhati
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