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Author Topic: How to keep going?  (Read 115 times)
Alligog
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Posts: 1


« on: September 23, 2019, 11:09:41 AM »

 Hello All,

Looking for advice and support for how to keep finding the energy to maintain a relationship with my 22 year old daughter. She has struggled with severe emotional intensity, crippling existential depression and overwhelming feelings of isolation and abandonment for over a decade now. She has been hospitalized several times, has been on many medications and seen many different therapists but always finds her way out of treatment as fast as she can. She is extremely intelligent and verbal.

Over these many years, I fear her father, her siblings and I have made the mistake of relying too heavily on the idea of "family" as her main source of unconditional love and support as well as the main reason for her to go on living. She now feels that since she "does the hard work of staying alive for us", we are obligated to put the same amount of effort into building a meaningful life "for her".

We all absolutely recognize the enormous effort she makes to get up every morning and try to engage with the "normal" world. Her psychological life experience has indeed been horrific. But if any of us prioritizes someone or something over her (for example going out to breakfast as a couple while she stays home alone or making holiday plans with the extended family that she can't tolerate) she is deeply offended and starts talking about how the family is "coming apart" or "not at all how it used to be" when she was younger. I myself find it extremely difficult not to feel an implied threat of "if you don't act like the family that I can see myself living for, then I have nothing to live for..." Since she has attempted suicide three times now, I can't shake the terror that she isn't bluffing.

At the same time, our family is growing up. Our children are 27, 25, 22 (the one I am writing about) and 20yrs old. It is normal for the siblings to be moving out and pursuing their own relationships and life experiences outside of the nuclear family. I feel defensive of all of us in the face of her desperation which leads to a lot of conflict, after which I feel intense guilt and anxiety. I find myself now just absolutely exhausted in every direction.

Anyone out there who has made it to the other side of this transition to adulthood without losing the relationship?
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Bluemoon23
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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: living apart
Posts: 80



« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 11:46:11 AM »

Hello and welcome. I'm in that transition part right now too. My kiddo is not living with me right now and the separation was painful and devastating.

I'm in the process of trying to rebuild a healthier relationship with them and navigating that right now.

I found this community very helpful so I don't feel so alone and ashamed. I've reached out for help in my community and am now attending two different support groups. One is the Family Connection group for learning how to deal with folks with emotional dysregulation and the other is a parent support group. I also considered an Al-Non type of group as I became too enmeshed and enabling of my 24 year old.

It's difficult to navigate and it's good you are here and can share as you figure things out for yourself, your loved one and your whole family.

Thanks for posting and sharing as you go through this.
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