Why do I always end up supporting other people when I don't know how to manage ...

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by iceblue, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. iceblue

    iceblue Well-Known Member

    ... my own life?

    Well, I sort of know why but i don't know how to change - i grew up with immature parents who expected me to be there for them emotionally and to encourage them. I had a husband who again I supported emotionally - even when I got mentally ill and we were separated, I job searched for him and he ended up working in a job that I encouraged him to apply for that he's had for years and I also put him up when he had no place to go. Although I had periods of illness, I tried hard to be supportive of my son and gave him an inheritance I received so he could go to university - although part of me wanted to go myself because I never had the opportunity. Just now, an online friend who've Ive really enjoyed chatting to now wants me to mentor and support her through a writing course by sharing what she writes and asking me for feedback. She's much younger than me and has been lovely to talk to online - but it takes a lot out of me to do this. I'm finding that it makes me feel even lower because I haven't had the support myself when I wanted to study in the past and grew up with a LOT of put downs that undermined my confidence and ability to progress in life. The thing is that I don't want to upset her as she is recovering from anorexia and is fragile.

    I don't know how to life healthily for myself - I really feel I need support - I don't think I was ever properly nurtured by my parents but I was quiet and got by at school so it didn't get noticed. I now do not work due to recurring mental illness and an inabiliy to cope with pressures in real life and at home with day to day responsibilities, and at home I spend hours surfing the net because I'm so lonely there. When I try and do voluntary work, which involves serving people and welcoming them into a cafe or helping people on a hospital reception, I have had enough after just a few hours due to a sense of almost giving out more than I've got. I suppose when I do interact I do work quite hard at trying to listen to other people and at being there for them. But my own life is a mess and when I try to turn to others for help it seems that noones really there or able to help because I've been stuck for so many years. On top of all that here in the UK there has been a move to demonise benefit claimants, so I am sensing amongst several people I know an underlying resentment because I claim benefit. I wrote on SF that I was going to end things in four years time, but part of me wants to live - but how can I fulfil my potential now I'm in my mid-forties and have been out of the loop for so long? I just don't know how to do this and I'm panicking because my online friend wants me to support her and I just don't think I can support someone else in fulfilling their aspirations when I've never fulfilled mine.
     
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Re: Why do I always end up supporting other people when I don't know how to manage ..

    Hi hun you need to look after YOU hun first ok tell your friend you are just simply burnt out and need time to recoup your strength Is there not a councilor or a therapist that you can talk to that will give YOU the support you need It is ok to reach out for help for yourself hun and take time j ust for you
     
  3. iceblue

    iceblue Well-Known Member

    Re: Why do I always end up supporting other people when I don't know how to manage ..

    Thanks for your reply Total Eclipse. I just wrote an email to my friend telling her that I don't think I'm the best person to give her regular feedback on her work because I get burnt out. I hope that she understands and doesn't take it the wrong way. Because I didn't want to let her down I said that I would be ok if she asked me say once in a week or two, but not every day. I guess that's still regular, but initially I got the impression she would be writing to me most days which I just couldn't handle. So I suppose I haven't set a firm boundary, again, but I really wanted to keep up with the friendship and thought she might stop writing if she couldn't share what she was doing on her course.

    Thanks for your advice about counselling. Yes, I'm a bit stuck because if I go for counselling I have to be discharged from the local mental health services and get counselling through my doctor which I think I have to contribute towards - the way the health service is organised. I think I really need to talk to my doctor to double check that that's what will happen. But if I do that it means I stop being able to go to a once monthly art therapy session which I've just started to like, but its only once a month which has been a long wait between sessions.

    I appreciate you replying. Today has been a little bit better because of hearing from you and also another person on a mental health forum and towards the end of the day because I managed to tidy a tabletop and it felt like a positive step.
     
  4. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    Re: Why do I always end up supporting other people when I don't know how to manage ..

    i've asked this question many times... and i think it has a lot to do with telling people what they want to hear and also thinking for yourself... like for example, if you can tell someone- hang in their, don't log off etc- it must mean that somewhere in you you still have a bit of strength too

    why would you tell someone if you couldn't do it yourself?

    and it feels good knowing you are helping someone!
     
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