Newbie here

An area for new members to introduce themselves, as well as a place where all members can share concerns, questions or general posts.
Everyone is welcome here.

Moderators: quixote, Harmony, Jonesy

heavenlydove
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi Noname,

Given what you have written me, you are quite right that I probably don't have DID (from your description of what DID is). I do not have different personalities (alters) which are separate from each other. Actually, I am quite pleased about that now you have told me this, as I have enough wrong with me without needed to add DID to my list! I think its more likely that my symptoms are due to dissociation than DID now I get what you have said. I just remember seeing Identity confusion being on a DID site and so assumed I therefore probably have DID. But then again, I have not been diagnosed with Identity confusion either, so I may just have certain dissociation symptoms. I do not think it would necessarily help me to have a diagnosis come to think of it - knowing that what I have experienced is probably just part of dissociation is good enough for me.

I totally understand where you were coming from on the negative self-talk, but at the moment I am really struggling with that. I did see your point but I was just unable to take it in, as I was so panicked about what was happening to me. At present I just feel like everything is going south for me on so many fronts and feel like I do not know how I will cope with all the stresses I will have to face the next few months and years. I cannot seem to manage even the simplest of tasks, probably am very burnt out as well as struggling the fallout of the COVID 19 lockdown which was really tough on me mentally.

I do generally have trouble being kind to myself as you have observed, although I had been getting better with that in a very small way before things went south for me. But now I just feel like I am the lowest of the low, as without a functional brain, I can have no real success in life. I have tried so hard these last few years to look after my folks which was so tough as I had resentments from childhood as well as more recent parental problems to deal with. It was much harder than I could ever have imagined - I should not have done it in hindsight but I just could not put my parents in a care home. Yes, I think you are right that I was very strong mentally on some level to handle it, but right now some of my mental abilities have slipped downhill and I do not know how to get them back. I worry if this will be a permanent situation - if my brain will ever get anywhere near to what it was like before. As well as having both my parents to deal with these last few years, I also have had to cope with a mentally unwell brother who is also abusive to me and my mum and not dealing with his own mental health issues. He caused us all so many problems and continues to be a big source of stress in my life. Luckily, we never got locked down with him, otherwise that would have been the end of us. But he is on my back about things that need sorting etc. It has just been one issue after another - our local authority has had to have several safeguarding meetings regarding keeping us safe these last few years, that's how bad things have been. Last year, the police were called out by neighbours so many times as my brother was causing so many problems to me and my mum, the neighbours on both sides were really worried for us ( as well as police, council, social services etc.). It has all been one big mess, a mess that is just becoming bigger and bigger and when it implodes, I do not know what will be the end of it. I have not just had my parents to deal with but now also have a brother relying on me, who cannot seem to manage anything on his own without my help. It is all rather a mess. He keeps saying I need to be well enough, and when I say i am not, he says that it is my fault - that i should have got help from carers in the past when he suggested it. But with COVID hanging over us, both me and my mum are worried to get carers in, as I have bad immunity and she is nearly 80. Friends that put their relatives in care homes have caught COVID and a number of them died of it - scary.
Last edited by Serenity on Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT as no triggering detail included

quixote
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:14 am

Re: Newbie here

Post by quixote » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:12 am

Heavenlydove,
You have been through quite a lot. I'm glad that you could explain your situation, because now I think that I know you a little better. I admire people who take care of their parents.
quixote

heavenlydove
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:39 pm

Hi Quixote,
Thank you for your kind words. I have really tried to look after my parents but its really become a hard slog like I never imagined. I thought I could take a lot, but now I am completely wasted. I feel like I have got myself into such a situation I do not know how I am going to get out of this...Coronavirus is like making it worse as I feel I cannot let my mum be looked after others - like its too dangerous. Everything is such a mess - no doubt I am not the only one in a tight spot but really feeling overwhelmed.

(Name Removed) XX
Last edited by Serenity on Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT as no triggering detail included and removed potentially identifying information as per guidelines

Noname
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Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Noname » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:39 pm

Hi heavenlydove,

Again, just need to say that I'm not qualified to diagnose anyone. I don't know what you do or don't have. Also, self-diagnosing can be dangerous. It really is best to leave that to professionals. Though I do think that researching our symptoms is a good thing to do. Dissociation can be a very hard thing to overcome. It becomes a hard-wired response to trauma or stress. It's important to build a figurative toolbox full of grounding techniques and healthy coping mechanisms. You mention wondering if your current mental state will be a permanent situation for you. It doesn't have to be, but it takes work. That figurative toolbox I mentioned. If you aren't able, or willing, or ready to seek treatment from a therapist at the moment, there are lots of other resources out there. There's a resources section on this site that has links to other websites, and book suggestions. It's at least a place to start.

heavenlydove
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:06 pm

HI Noname,

I agree with you that it is not wise to do any self-diagnoses. I am just not sure what sort of therapy I should go for. I had some bereavement counselling which was very hard on me - much worse than I anticipated. I always thought I would eventually have psychotherapy, but now I am forgetting much of the abuse my parents inflicted on me so do not know if I would have much to reveal to a therapist - I am forgetting so much of my life it is unreal. I thought of maybe trying some art therapy - it may be less stressful on me than having to talk on end about things that happened to me.

You mentioned I need to build a toolbox of grounding techniques, I do not know anything about that and how you achieve that so this may be good to know. Any advice will be appreciated.

I am burnt out for sure after 5 years of caring for 2 disabled people 24-7 on my own and without a break and then another 3 years continuing care with my mum. I spoke to a friend today who suffered from burnout 2 years ago. She had to quit a high flying job because she was so burnt out and not coping in her role any more. She said that it was only now during the lockdown that she was finally able to get enough rest to completely recover. She had memory and processing issues affecting her for the last two years and only now is her brain back to what it was like before. This gives me hope that my brain can one day recover and that I will not be affected. I was starting to worry this would be a permanent situation. I am just trying to look after my mum as we do not have much money saved up for care and my brother thinks it would be money taken away from him - he sees it as his inheritance I am squandering if I use it for care.

Noname
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Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Noname » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi heavenlydove,

As far as what type of therapy to look for, a trauma therapist would probably be the most helpful if you are able to find one of those. It actually doesn't matter how many details you can remember. The focus of therapy is to work on the symptoms, and building the aforementioned toolbox so that you can manage your symptoms. Processing the trauma is also important, but the first step is what they call stabilization (working on lessening the symptoms so you can handle the processing). Art therapy can be wonderful for some people, but I personally see that as a supplemental thing. That's just my thoughts on it, and others might not agree.

Grounding techniques are designed to get you out of your head and back into your body. They usually involve paying attention to your current surroundings (things you can see, hear, smell, etc.) There are lots of different ones, and the trick is to figure out which works best for you. I'm not currently in the right headspace to talk more about what works for me, I'm sorry. I'll try to come back later for that, but you can do a Google search for grounding techniques, and there are threads on this site where people have talked about it too.

Caretaker burnout is a very real thing. Do you know if there are any support groups in your area for caretakers? I'm sure there are some online as well. Anyone taking care of elderly parents needs plenty of support to help them through it, and you've been doing this for so long. No one should have to do it all alone. It sounds like your brother is a real piece of work. I'm sorry you have to deal with him on top of everything else. Strong boundaries are necessary when dealing with those types of people. Your mother needs what she needs. He needs to get over himself.

heavenlydove
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:21 pm

Hi Noname,

I had no idea that there was a specific thing as a trauma therapist that one could work with. I almost had a breakdown once and then went through short term therapies of different sorts to find the best fit for me. I was told that art therapy would be the best way forward for me, better than psychotherapy. The therapists said I tended to intellectualize things when trying out psychotherapy, which made me not focus on the emotional stuff as much. I did not however continue with the therapy at the time for 2 main reasons, one being my dad had a new stroke so needed my help, but also because my parents were put on a register of people physically abusive to children and vulnerable people due to things that I revealed during my short therapy. I was very distraught by that news at the time and have been weary of talking openly with therapists since. I do not want my brother ending up on such a register due to anything I say if I speak to therapists, though perhaps he has already been put on such a register - I do not know, but he has had trouble with the law- he was convicted of assaulting a police officer. He used to be my best friend but has become abusive in the last few years - I still cannot believe how much he has changed. He is not well due to his life long treatment by parents and lack of medication for his issues. If he took anti anxiety medication, I am sure he would be much calmer and a much nicer person - but he will not listen. His nerves have been destroyed by years of awful abuse and is in hyper vigilant mode all the time which is not helping him. Unfortunately me and his ex-wife think he is a lost cause as he has become very combative regarding any advice given and thinks he knows better.

Noname, in regards to the grounding techniques, I will take your advice and try to look at things that can help me regarding these techniques I need to learn to be able to process things from my past better. So far, when I have had therapy, I found it very overwhelming as I could not ground myself well.

I have been in touch with different people but essentially, unless I get some proper rest I worry I will eventually have a total breakdown and even possibly be hospitalized. I need at least a short break - one or two weeks would be better than nothing to charge me up for the next round of Coronavirus. A month would be bliss but it ain't going to happen. My brother wants money as he is running out of money and does not know how to look after himself - he has been completely destroyed by my parents so do understand to some degree but he could at least step up and give me a week or two weeks off caring for mum by taking over. I am not sure its going to happen though. He once threatened to call social services on me for me leaving my disabled dad at home all day on his own (for the first time ever)and taking my disabled mum on a trip she wanted to go on. My dad was totally OK with it, and I had asked my brother to go check on him in the day which he refused. I have never even been paid for all my care work as I am not even officially a carer - I am on employment support allowance for my bad dissociation and abuse related issues.unbelievable. If he did that, he would have no leg to stand on as I left my dad with breakfast and lunch and a bottle to use - my dad could not walk at the time so was just seated in an armchair until I came back by 6pm. Some elderly people are living like that everyday and no-one gives a shit - they haven't got carers to be with them all day! I have had brain fog for 3 years since my dad died and am stlll not recovered from it as I have not had time to rest to recoup. Brother is upset about that of course as I am not my usual organiser self as I was for so many years!

Crow
Member
Posts: 851
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Crow » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:59 am

Hi heavenlydove,

I understand when you say about having a break to get some rest, and agree that you so desperately need that. For me as you know from previous discussions we have had on other topics here, my accommodation troubles and the neighbour and noise issues daily trigger PTSD and leave me hypervigilant and extremely anxious and affects every moment of my life, this has reduced slightly knowing that finally after a few years of enduring this I and my family are finally moving in a week. I really believe that this will help me massively to find some relief and rest and be able to focus better on healing.
I do think that you need that break just for several weeks if not more, but I really don't know what to suggest. There are agencies that could help but like everything it costs money.
heavenlydove wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:21 pm
He is not well due to his life long treatment by parents and lack of medication for his issues. If he took anti anxiety medication, I am sure he would be much calmer and a much nicer person - but he will not listen. His nerves have been destroyed by years of awful abuse and is in hyper vigilant mode all the time which is not helping him. Unfortunately me and his ex-wife think he is a lost cause as he has become very combative regarding any advice given and thinks he knows better.
With regard to what you said above, you are totally entitled to your views and you know your situation and your brother better than everyone, so please don't see what I am typing here as anything other than a loving and caring comment. (I hate conflict and don't want this to be taken the wrong way please.) I try and put myself in other people's shoes, and I would like to say that I hope that no one ever writes me off as a lost cause. That would take all hope away that any change could happen. As I say you know your brother best but as you rightly stated he was abused too and has clearly been deeply affected. It doesn't excuse his treatment of you, but if nothing else please pray for him (as I have done for him and you)... miracles do happen.
My twin brother has gone the opposite way to me. We were bullied at school as well as abuse from our mother, and whereas I have become the passive confrontation avoiding empath, he has become the tough (exterior anyway) confrontational bully to an extent. He is not a lost cause to me. I'm not a lost cause either - even when I feel like I am.
Please be encouraged heavenlydove, you just don't know what is round the corner or what change can happen. I didn't ever see this move happening for me, and who knows what is coming for you.

Keep holding on. Hang in there.

Crow

heavenlydove
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by heavenlydove » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:18 pm

Hi Crow,

So glad that you are moving soon so you no longer have to endure troublesome neighbours - hopefully your PTSD can go down soon. Having a quiet life is the only way you can really move on from your troubles, so you can find it easier to cope.

I like you am a twin and like you my brother has become the opposite of myself - we used to be so much more alike and he really was my best friend for years. Now I have become the empath and he has become the confrontational bully, especially since dad died and there is no-one in the strong position anymore. My dad never allowed my brother to push me around too much but since he died that is what brother has been doing.

In regards to having a rest - I am seriously thinking to ask my brother to look after my mum for a week or two but am worried how he will behave with her if he even says yes. He is not really the person to be looking after her - I worry he could be bad with her. He has a terrible temper and is easily upset. My friends said I really need a rest, that I am too exhausted, that I need respite. When I have said to my brother I am struggling, he just says I should have got a carer in before - he thinks we could a live in carer to look after mum for cheap, but I do not think that is possible - I cannot afford to be an official employer and all that entails (payroll, pension contributions etc.) and my brother would not know how to do that either. On the one hand my brother talks about carers and on the other hand he says he needs me not to spend the money and to look after his inheritance. I do not know what he wants. I think I am still doing a good job as a carer - not great in regards to keeping everything shipshape but am very good with my mum. I have just been doing too much for too long. All my friends say how great a carer I was all these years, only my brother doesn't agree!! He sees only what I haven't done right, not what I have done right. He also makes fun of the non life I have, how he would never choose to do that but what options did I have all these years.

Crow
Member
Posts: 851
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: Newbie here

Post by Crow » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:43 pm

Wow heavenlydove what a predicament.
I'm not sure what to suggest, but I think that asking your brother to look after your mum for a few weeks so you can have a break is worth a shot. I know you are worried about his reaction and how his temper will be with your mum, but despite your concerns I think you should consider having a think about whether the potential risk to your mum is greater than the potential risk to your mental, physical and emotional health if you don't get a break. I appreciate that you've got to think about how you would feel in the event of anything happening whilst your brother looks after her, but that may be a chance you have to take.
I think your brother needs to take some responsibility for your mum too and see that a few weeks out of his life compared to the years that you have devoted is not much of a sacrifice for him! And if he doesn't want to do that then he should accept that carers will eat into 'his' inheritance.
I don't see another solution really... a lot to think about. Put yourself first please - it'll do you so good to have a break.

Crow

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