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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Heathen Offline
Beauty and Bedlam
Jeez, get a life!
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Name: Jordan
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I'm a burden - January 26th 2020, 10:13 PM

This afternoon I had a very difficult conversation with my mother via phone call. Basically my mother let me know she and my father are burnt out and at their wits' end when it comes to my care. They don't think my current treatment is helping and feel very discouraged by it. She worries about my safety every day and apparently that takes quite a toll on her. I could hear the frustration and desperation in her voice as she expressed all this to me.

It ended on a good note (she's going to help me try and get housing) but I feel awful. I feel like a burden, like I am too much for everyone. I was too much for S; that's why she broke up with me and maybe even secretly why we're not going to live together anymore. My parents have been dealing with my Bipolar Disorder and especially my self-harm for twenty years now and I guess it's too much. They want me to live in a group home, which I DON'T want, but I don't exactly have anything to back myself up with.

How do you get over feeling like a burden for something you can't help? How do you get over feeling like everyone would be better off if you disappeared? Just to be clear I am NOT suicidal. I just wish I was different so maybe I could have an easier time with my relationships.

The moon asked the crow
For a little show
In the hazy milk of twilight
No one had to know
The moon asked the crow...
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Rivière Offline
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Re: I'm a burden - January 27th 2020, 11:11 PM

I don't really think there is any good answer to your question. It's something that you yourself will have to discover. That said, there is, unfortunately, a level in which one has to be aware on the affect they have towards others in terms of their behaviour... which we can't always do. A person can't always be aware of how they behave towards another person, even if they try to. There will always be some aspect we haven't considered. However, I do feel that if we put ourselves into a position of those we surround ourselves with, and think on our behaviour from a logical standpoint, we can understand the situation from another perspective other than our own, and possibly even answer the questions you have asked.

Reflecting on my life growing up, I wasn't the easiest person to get along with. I was so in my own world that I never considered some of the ways my behaviour affected others, and why they behaved towards me in the way that they did. Realistically it was because my family, for however much they loved and cared for me, they never truly understood how I was feeling. After all, we cannot truly understand how another person is feeling, no matter how emotionally close to us they are.

They can't ever understand how you're feeling, nor can anyone whom you have a relationship with. You're not a burden, you're someone who is just extraordinarily different to them, and difference is not always easily processed.

I know this isn't really the answer you're probably looking for, nor is it likely of any use, but it is honestly the best that I can give.

Life is for living, not for losing.
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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Serendipity. Offline
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Re: I'm a burden - January 28th 2020, 05:31 PM

First of all, I want to start with your final statement. The wanting to disappear; but not feeling suicidal. I know that feeling, it's like (and this is myself, not sure if you can relate) you want to run away from the life you have and start over somewhere new. I'm struggling to accept this myself and, again, not sure if this relates to you; but it's not going to solve anything if you pack up and leave your life behind. Because honestly, starting over somewhere new without being in touch with those you've left behind is scary. You never know what the outcome of that will be; so, if that's how you're feeling, I suggest creating a list of pros and cons. Maybe it will work out for you if you plan well in advance and save up enough money. Especially in this day and age with social media.

But again, not sure if this relates; so sorry if that was completely irrelevant.

I can empathize on your side and your parents' side. I know from reading your blogs you are just as frustrated as they are with your disorders and disabilities. Your mother, at least, sounds like she is trying to be supportive and if you had a good conversation with her, do you think it's possible to let her know that you are feeling frustrated too? Perhaps write it down so the next time you talk to her, you are prepared to tell her what you want to without having it be spur of the moment when you're on the phone with her. Continue to be open and honest with your mother.

Now, getting to what your parents are considering for you... I can see why you would (again, not sure if this is what you mean) want to pack up and leave town. Group homes have such a negative stigma surrounding them, especially when you look at historical data of institutions and psychiatric hospitals in the late 19th century through the 1970s. I don't know much about institutional reforms that took place in the 1970s and 1980s—and I am sure there are a few that still needs to catch up—I suggest doing research on them. Look up organizations for the disabled and mental health support groups. Have your parents be a part of it, I think that's probably what your mother is feeling most upset about; you not letting her in and be as involved as she would like. I do not really know the history you have with your family; and it's totally up to you how much you want to disclose to your mom, but if she is going to be a part of this I think you should let her.

You need all the support you can get; you are not a burden.

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Re: I'm a burden - January 28th 2020, 05:55 PM

I'm so sorry that you feel this way. While it's important that your parents be able to communicate with you, it's unfortunate that it's left you feeling so down about yourself and like a burden.

Playing devils advocate, I can totally understand where you're parents are coming from. Being a parent is normally super difficult, and it's made even more complicated when they feel responsible for managing a child's complex health issues, especially if it relates to something like mental health where it might involve emotional outbursts that are difficult to manage. In my field of work, I see a lot of parents who are suffering from their own issues like anxiety, depression, and burn out because they're struggling to manage and support their child with no end in sight.

That said it's NOT your fault. If you're living with bipolar disorder, that's not something you can just make go away because the people that love you are affected by it. There are things you can do, such as being compliant with medication, following up on your therapy appointments, practicing the things that can improve your mental state, seeking out new options if you're current practices aren't working effectively.

But ultimately, it's not as though you're going out of your way make life difficult for anyone. You just happen to have parents who love you, who want to support you, but whom are also humans with their own struggles.

Just out of curiosity, is there any reason that a group home doesn't feel like the right choice for you? For example, does it feel like the the sort of thing you can't get out of once you go, sort of like a prison? Perhaps it's about rules and restrictions (e.g. curfews) that wouldn't apply if you continued to live at home? Is it about being away from a place you find familiar to be surrounded by people you don't know? I'd be interested in knowing why this doesn't feel like an option for you and if, perhaps, it might be an option for you to visit some of the group homes, and ask those questions and see if it feels like something that might be an option for you, or if maybe they can let you live there on a trial basis.

Are there other living situations that might work better for you and your family if a group home isn't possible? For example, maybe you can talk to your parents about what services a group home provides that they feel would work well for you that isn't currently available to you.
For example, is it just that they want you out of the house? If that's the case, why?
Do they feel unsafe with you at home, and if that's the case, what can be changed to make that not a problem?
Is it about them having to do the bulk of the support for your mental health care? If so, is it possible to hire a support worker who can take on that responsibility?

I hope this helps
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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I'm a burden - January 28th 2020, 10:55 PM

I have bipolar disorder, as well. I understand how it makes you feel and how overwhelming it can be. I am so sorry that you had an incredibly difficult conversation. It is hard to have bipolar on both sides. You are not a burden, no matter how many times your heart or your mind says it. It is difficult to find the right treatment options, I am currently there myself.

I am so good that it ended on a good note. I understand feeling awful and like a burden. I know that so much. It is one of the heaviest feelings, in the world.

If you need a friend, I am here. I understand. You are going to get through this. I promise. Please keep hanging in there, and fighting the good fight.

- Sarah
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