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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Hi I am the oldest of 3 sisters and a brother. I have been

Customer Question

Hi
I am the oldest of 3 sisters and a brother. I have been living out of home since I was 18. I am 29yo and have been supporting my mum since I was a kid. I work full time and have been there for 10 years, have a loving partner for 11 years and we want to have a family. I am not falling pregnant and I think its because I am stressed. My family have been having trouble for years and it is always very dramatic and depressing at their house. I have been researching emotional black mail and believe I may be a victim due to the fact that I feel guilty and paranoid every time I am doing something fun. Because my mum can't. (She can't because they can't afford it) My mum has never worked and believed it is the mans job to support her. Mum has had to ask for money her whole life, I grew up telling myself that I would never need to do that and I am very independent. To the point where I am supporting my mum and dad, Sister and partner, other sister, grandma and uncle. My partner and I seem to manage and we are not rich and have no savings either for obvious reasons.
I need to be firm and assertive and stop being there constantly otherwise Jon and myself are never going to have a family or our own life.
My question to you is "should I be feeling guilty? I realise that is what families are for but when is it going to end? Its been going on for years.
I would appreciate any advise you can give me on this matter.
regards....

Jade
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I'm available to assist you with your question. Welcome!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Are you available for a live chat?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It sounds like you have played the role of caretaker they way you describe supporting your mother and now the rest of your family.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's difficult to make changes, especially when your family has looked to you for such support.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

This level of stress is not healthy for you- and it sounds like you worry it is interferring in your ability to get pregnant.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Now that you are looking to start your own family it's a good time to set those limits with your family. It's natural that you would feel guility- "should" you feel guility- certainly easy for me to say- no- you've done nothing wrong, and may likely be a victim of the emotional blackmail you describe.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's interesting how children naturally take on certain roles in a family, where there is some sort of deficit. You took on that role of "parent", it came natural for you, and for some reason you believed it was necessary to be that person. Now that you are an adult, a time when we can give up those roles- we continue- that's natural. Not healthy so much- but natural- you had good training to be the caretaker.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are torn between a desire to separate, focus on your own family, and your long time loyalty to your family.

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

Yes thank you I agree, it is very difficult and sometimes I worry why my partner is still here

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, thank you for joining me! There is a difference between being a supportive family member and giving all of yourself- to the point you have little left for yourself or family.

Customer:

I want my mum to a talk to some one but she blames others and I am trying to tell her that she need to fix herself first and the rest will follow. She can't keep living in her room and it makes me not want to visit. I feel since I left home the family has fallen apart. (I am not putting tickets on myself, it just feels that way).

Customer:

It is a very long drawn out days of our lives story, I don't know where to start I just thought I would ask.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Your family may be more understanding when you share your honest feelings with them. Letting them know you are looking at ways to reduce your stress, and one of them is taking better care of you, putting boundaries on how much you "give" to others. You your husband and family to be -needs to be your focus. This will not be easy- of course- to take steps to speak up, it's scary to consider it, I'm sure, when you've been such a caretaker, helper, maybe a peace keeper too. Your family depended on you for a lot- but it's time to pass that torch. Even with the best of intentions we tend to enable others to continue as they are.

Customer:

I have spoken up a few times, probably not the way I would have liked. My family do realise this and my mum says she understands and says things like "I won't visit you anymore", "I will take Lucas (my little brother) and leave" or she blames my partner for taking me away from her. Then I worry about her doing some thing silly. (suicide). My younger sister received a text message the other day that said "Got no smokes, might slit my throat!" I'm sorry to say this, but this is a regular thing. When my mums is around I feel very sick in the stomach and can't concentrate. This is not right because I love my mum to death and I want her to be happy but I can't do it for her.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You sound like you are in an important place right now in what you write, what you are expressing. You seem ready to make changes, or continue to be stressed and overwhelmed. You are at a fork in the road- and you may be ready to choose a new and different path. Are you familar with the term co dependency? Many people who caretake, and give too much of themself tend to qualify for this. The term orginated in the alcohol and drug abuse field. Family members who love a dysfunctional person or family are more apt to become co dependent. So focused on others needs, we forget ourself, lose ourself in a sense. Your family will have to learn to be more self sufficent- they may not be happy about it- but they remain stuck in their dependency because you have been so giving.

Customer:

I am and thank you so much talking to me. I am not crazy am I? I know I just need to change my way of thinking. I have to because I am also snapping at work and at home. Its not me I am usually a bubbly person but am slowly losing my happiness. Of late I have been very angry, sad, or complete opposite. When I am in a really good mood something bad happens so I have tended to not let myself believe I am not having a good day so not to let anything go wrong.

Customer:

I appreciate your words of advice and will try to put them into action. Thank you so much, I have spoken to friends and my Grandmother but needed to hear it from a professional point of view.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Those are good examples of manipulation or emotional black your mother and other family members play the victim and look to you to rescue them. You can not change your family, but a change in you will automaticlly put change into place. It also sounds like it has been everyone else's needs before your own. You are noticing this more now that you are looking to have a baby. Sadly this may involve creating more distance between you and your family, at least for a bit. The "slit my throat" comment is quite manipulative- it's a tactic to keep you right where they "need" you- caring for them because they are "helpless"- when really they are not- but you are such a good caretaker. Know that you've had the best intentions to be a support and help for your family, but it is time for some change- so you can be healhtier and and happier in your life. No you are not crazy- you sound quite sane and level headed in all this "mess".

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Be strong, things can get better, not easy to start, but it will pay off for you.

Customer:

Thank you

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are a sweet and caring person- a great quality- but also makes you more suseptible to this kind of situation.

Customer:

I try to be. I will be hard. Especially why they are in a rut. I

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are welcome. Best wishes to you- take care! Would you be so kind to rate my answer ok or higher so I can get credit? Much appreciated!! Let me know if I can help again. Thank you for your post. I enjoyed chatting with you. All we can do is try- right, do our best.

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Jean and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry I lost you for a second.


 

Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.
Sorry- it switched formats. If you have other comments or questions continue to post and I can still reply in this format. No longer on live chat.
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

Jade,

Thank you so much for the excellent rating and bonus. I really appreciate it. Please request me in the future if you have other questions. Just start your question with "for Jean N/20pluscounts.

Best regards,

Jean

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