... 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.