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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Unhappy I didn't know what to do... - April 26th 2010, 10:07 AM

My sister had a panic attack and was seriously hyperventilating.

We were fighting right before. I was finally standing up for myself. I told her that all I've ever done is help her even though she's always used me and treated me like her doormat. I told her I was done with it. I told her that I'm sorry she's stressing over school and work right now, not knowing where her future's going to take her in the next few months, but that doesn't ever give her the right to treat me like a pile of worthless shit. I've tried talking calmly to her, to explain that I'm here to help if she'd only ask (instead of biting my head off and treating me like everything's my fault) but she never listened. So tonight I just sort of lost it. After almost 20 years of my existence and her treating me so terribly, I finally stood up for myself.

Of course she was stressed and was already crying over her homework. (Trust me though, I had already tried helping her before the argument. I had tried talking rationally, but she's stubborn and won't listen to anyone's reasonings or thoughts but her own.) That's when she lost it. She started crying so hard that she couldn't breathe and yelled at me to go then, if she hurts me so much. So I went to my room.

I was there for only a few seconds when I noticed her breathing was far from normal, so I went back to the living room. She was lying on the floor, but it looked and sounded like she was simply crying hard, so I changed my laundry and put her load in the drier. She washed a couple gift cards, so I put them on the coffee table for her, letting her know about them. She didn't answer. I don't think she even heard me. I looked up and it looked like she was having a seizure....but she still looked like she was only crying. I tried talking to her, but it was like I wasn't even there. I knew something was wrong but I didn't have the faintest clue how to help her. I kept trying to talk to her, to get her to respond. I coached her on regulating her breathing, but nothing was helping.

She finally stopped spasming and could answer me. I asked her if she was alright, if I needed to take her to the hospital. All she answered with was, "I don't know." I tried some more the coach her breathing, but she still wasn't calming down. I didn't know what else to do, so I went and got our other roommate (her best friend) to help me while I googled for tips on recovering.

It was a whole hour before she was breathing normally again. She told me that she had lost all feeling in her entire body. She blacked out and was momentarily paralyzed for the entire time she seemed to be seizing.

The entire argument seems to have been forgotten, everything forgiven for at least the next few days...but now I feel really terrible. I feel I caused the entire episode. And for what? Because I was tired of helping her all these years without receiving any sign of gratitude?

I'm her sister and I do really care...but we don't have the type of relationship where we can openly share feelings. She'll never know how scared I was.


-B
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R.I.P. my sweet baby boy. I miss you so much more than you could have ever imagined.


"There was a moment in my life when I really wanted to kill myself. And there was one other moment when I was close to that. . . . But even in my most jaded times, I had some hope.-Gerard Way
   
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Re: I didn't know what to do... - April 27th 2010, 04:18 AM

I really think that you two really need to spend some time talking about your feelings with each other. Make sure she understands that this conversation is important. "We need to talk" would probably be a good way to start, so that the significance is understood and the attention gained.
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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I didn't know what to do... - April 27th 2010, 05:01 AM

I've tried that before, but she doesn't listen. A few weeks ago we had a really good conversation, or so I thought. There wasn't any yelling. We were jut sitting and talking calmly and honestly about how we were feeling towards each other. I even told her about my depression and previous suicidal thoughts. We were doing great for a few days, but then it went back to this. She's just so used to being able to walk all over me. Mix that with her incapability to deal with stress and you get her hyperventilating.


-B
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R.I.P. my sweet baby boy. I miss you so much more than you could have ever imagined.


"There was a moment in my life when I really wanted to kill myself. And there was one other moment when I was close to that. . . . But even in my most jaded times, I had some hope.-Gerard Way
   
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Re: I didn't know what to do... - April 27th 2010, 05:54 AM

Hey there. I remember your previous post, and I'm sorry that things reverted back to the way they were before. =(

I think you need to talk to her about everything tomorrow. Don't wait until things return to "normal" again... do it now, while this frightening event is still fresh in both of your minds. It sounds like your sister isn't handling her stress very well. Has she ever been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder? Because if she's constantly experiencing these levels of stress, it could very well be that she needs medication and/or therapy in order to help cope with the stresses of work, school, relationships, etc.

I know that you don't feel comfortable opening up completely to her, so maybe you could express your concern for her by insisting that she see some kind of doctor/therapist/counselor, and offer to go with her. That way, it's not JUST about your relationship with your sister... it's about her health as well.

Finally, DO NOT blame yourself for your sister's panic attack. Yes, your argument MIGHT have triggered the event... but your sister needs help. She's needed help for a very, very long time, and it was only a matter of time before she suffered from an anxiety attack. Anything could have triggered this, so please don't blame yourself, and please don't allow anyone else to blame you, either. If you're going to do anything for her, do it because you want to improve your relationship, NOT because you feel guilty about what happened.






   
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Re: I didn't know what to do... - April 27th 2010, 08:48 AM

I did suggest to her just before her panic attack that she see a therapist. i told her they could help her learn to manage her stress a little better. She won't do it. She looked at me like I suggested she jump off a bridge. She is absolutely terrified of doctors, so she'll never go to a hospital. She's been less than five times in her entire lifespan.

I know you'd like to hear I've at least tried to talk to her in the next few days, but we're at the end of the school year. She's graduating in 2 and a half weeks. Next week is dead week. The way my sister and I are built, we put school and work ahead of everything else. We've had to work hard to build a foundation to make something of ourselves in the future, so we've kind of had to put everything else on the back burner. There will be time once she graduates to have a nice little chat though.

And I wouldn't ever help someone unless I want to. Guilt plays no part in my helping her through whatever. I just wish she'd realize how much I've sacrificed over the years to help her, and how she's always treated me.


-B
--

R.I.P. my sweet baby boy. I miss you so much more than you could have ever imagined.


"There was a moment in my life when I really wanted to kill myself. And there was one other moment when I was close to that. . . . But even in my most jaded times, I had some hope.-Gerard Way
   
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