Hi, my sister has just introduced me to this, I think cause I tried to talk to her, she is Bipoloar curently going through a hard time! In a nut shell Is being taking into hospital for the first time to help sort her head head out, took me a long time to understand what she is going through, not that I will truley understand!!! Her 14 year old son has somthing called asphergers. At the same time my mum & dad has recently split after 30 years of marrage due to the fact that my dad is an alcoholic & I think suffering from deppresion! my mum doesn't talk about it & my brother like myself has his own issues that am pretty sure he is not dealing with. I try to be the rock & don't speak to any of them or anyone as I don't want them having somthing else to deal with, just thought I would see if anyone could share some light on any of these issues & maybe let me know that am not alone with family members going through the same sort of thing!
First off MWgal, welcome to the board. I am sorry you and your family are having issues. You are not alone. This happens very often. If the parents do not talk about things, they can cause the children to follow the same pattern. If we can't talk about problems or have some way to disgard them, then we can trap them inside ourselves. It appears that you are having problems with being the rock that you think you should be or that others expect you to be.
I do understand, I understand very deeply. I am a 42 year old woman in Australia. I have Bipolar Disorder II and Panic and Anxiety Disorders. I am also a 10 years sober alcoholic in AA. I come from a terrible childhood where I had a violent, neglectful, abusive father who was an alcoholic who died from his alcoholism when I was 14. My Mum, never a drinker, was so beaten down in every sense of the word that she soon married another violent alcoholic, my Stepfather.
My first thought is that you need to first look after your own needs before you can help all those around you. Trying to push down the feelings you have can only be counterproductive. They will come up and manifest in other ways - maybe even mental illness and addiction, but certainly in personality traits and your ongoing ability to be functional in your own life - and just downright happiness/unhappiness.
One option for you is Alanon, which is a 12 step program for families or loved ones of alcoholics. It really works. While I was still drinking I had the insight to tell my Mum about Alanon (she was still with my stepfather at that time) and she went, and stayed, did heaps of work on herself with the help of wonderful people and she changed. Our whole life she had been a shreaking, crazy, passive aggressive mess. But she really evoled. A few years on I got sober and a few years on from that we got out act together for the first time in our lives, as a loving mother and daughter. Of course we had spats and ups and downs, just like any Mum and daughter, but it was light years away from our whole life up until then.
She passed away 2 years ago. The anniversary of her death was last week. I have much "cleaner" grief about Mum than I ever would have had, had we not sorted a lot of things out.
With everything going on in your life it might also be suitable for you to be supported by therapy. While there may be many people in your family sicker than you, it doesn't mean their isn't scope for YOU to get some support.
Alanon and therapy can also coach you in one critical area in your family dynamics: boundaries. That might not be meaningful to you now, but strong boundaries can make for better mental health for you, a clear picture in your head of what your relationships are with family members and anyone you encounter is, and what you are prepared to accept from all those you love. It is incredibly empowering.
I wish you the best on your quest and hope to see your posts.