Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Very difficult day

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Really struggling. Feeling a deep loss in relation to my brother. Our brother-sister relationship has been damaged by his very disturbing partner. I never imagined something like this happening. It feels either our relationship will be destroyed, or he will finally see his partner for the disturbed person she is. But I know if the latter happens it will come close to breaking him and I seriously worry for his mental health which I know is extremely fragile having been his support through earlier breakdowns in his life. I feel like whatever happens there is tremendous pain. I have just had too much of it.


My dear uncle is seriously ill in hospital. He was gradually improving but it’s still a vulnerable situation. He and his family have been so kind to me since the losses in my life of the last few years. I just feel so sad and don’t know if he’ll make it through.


And that and the feeling of the growing distance with my brother who’s my last immediate family member brings up the deep grief of other losses. Dad had a serious degenerative illness. He at least died peacefully but then there were stressful circumstances after his death. Then Mum died in a very distressed state. I absorbed all the stress as her caregiver. She had suffered greatly from trauma-related anxiety and depression all her life.


I tried calling the BB helpline today. I couldn’t answer the quantitative questions they ask you at the beginning. It just pushed my stress through the roof. I then rang Lifeline and the woman there was able just to be present with me and didn’t ask me questions about rating scales of distress which I find impossible to answer. It helped a lot at the time, just the human connection, but I still feel sick with loss and distress and just pushing myself through the motions of existing. I got a card to send to my uncle as he is too ill to be visited. I feel like everything that has held my world together is falling apart. I just feel unbearable grief.


I’m staying near my friend at the moment who is lovely but I don’t want to burden her with how bad I feel as she has a new baby and I don’t want to bring that distressed energy into their lives. I’m so used to protecting everyone else from pain. I don’t know what to do when I’m in this much pain. I’m going to drive down to the ocean I think to try to feel better.

27 Replies 27

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Indigo,


Thank you so much. I’ve just had a good chat with a friend on the phone. I managed to tell her I haven’t been ok which I’m not always good at doing. It can be a relief to tell someone.


 I see my psychologist on Thursday. I reached a point of total mental collapse/overwhelm. I find sometimes such collapses often precede some new insight or healing, though that can be very hard to see when in the midst of it.


Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you are doing ok. It’s helpful just communicating with people. I patted a dog today and that helped so much. They are like instant antidepressants 🐶💗


I had a really good person on a helpline yesterday. He helped me recognise inner resources I have but I easily lose sight of. I was feeling utterly worthless and hopeless. He helped me get in touch with my inner parent to look after my inner child. I can be extremely hard on my inner child. But at least I’m getting a bit of a sense of how to be self-nurturing some of the time, even if I temporarily forget how to.


Thank you again for your kind support 🙏

Er glad the. Person at helpline gave you helpful insights. I had a volunteer help me where I also volunteer. She gave me a hug and told me I was lovely inside and out. It was unexpected . I was not feeling down just tired but it he pled me to get through the day. 

Dear Quirky,

I'm so glad that person said that to you. That is beautiful. Sending you hugs xx

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear ER~

I do not think you will sever the relationship wiht your brother - it's not in your nature. Growing barriers however is something you can -and should - do. All the help and love you have given in the past is not wasted. It is simply buried where he can't reach it.


Following after his toxic partner in endless appeasement would build up a great store of resentment even if he does not realize it.  So sending you that cruel link appeases his partner wiht 'approved behaviour' and at hte same times gives vent to his resentment.


He can't vent it to his partner who dominates, so he chooses the easiest target, his loving sister. As he has broken off with others in the past I'd hope he will break off from her in time, at which point his attitude may well revert to the brother you knew.


While you may not be able to control everything, not even how you feel at times, you do have a depth of wisdom and always take the best path open to you. In time I'm sure htere will be an increacing number of paths.


How was the sea? Flat and blue, semi-transparent? I know it has a healing effect. I've told you my seascape escape (hey that was almost a joke:) where the sea is all broken up wiht fierce waves bringing in flotsam onto the shore. You can't see below the surface and what it carries is always unexpected and often interesting, from floats to weather-smoothed timber that looks like sculpture.


There are gulls, whose cries are not quite the same as the ones here, more plaintive I think. They are masters of the air-currents and the winds.


Do you ever use your camera at the beach, or is the environment too harsh? I once saw a photo in a museum of an albatross flying above a salvage vessel. I don't know how the photographer managed it but the bird's eye had a tiny reflection of the boat in it (no, not a Photoshop exercise, real life).


The sea can deliver the unexpected, like life. You are not sentenced to be as you are now for ever, and since you first came here I think you have changed (yes, for the better or I would not have mentioned it:)


I'll pinch one of MK's hugs and give it to you (now you smell of walrus)




Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Thank you kind, wise walrus. The words you speak ring very true about my situation with my brother. There is indeed nothing I can do about it. It will be his journey in time to work out what he wants to do.


The ocean when I went there was quite wild. Big waves were crashing onto the rocks and it was like a washing machine (like my internal state!). I actually had my camera with me and did take a few photos. Just focussing attention on that alleviates some of my inner suffering, even if just for moments at a time. It was dark as I walked back to my car. I actually just collapsed on the ground and cried and cried, but that place holds me somehow. I feel safe there.


I can quite believe the photo with the reflection of the boat in the eye of the albatross. I photograph birds and animals often. Sometimes when I zoom into the eye I see the beautiful surrounding landscape with trees and sky etc reflected in the eye. Sometimes I see my own reflection taking the photo!


I got to see albatross in NZ. They are amazing birds. They apparently only like to fly about when it's quite windy as they mostly like to glide rather than flap their wings, or at least that was what I was told by a local. They have a noble sort of presence about them.


Yes, the ocean brings many fascinating things ashore. It is a place of wonder and discovery.


Hugs to you too (and by extension to MK) with my stingray flappers (whatever they are called).

Community Champion
Community Champion


I found Croix’s words below to yiu to apply to me.

The sea can deliver the unexpected, like life. You are not sentenced to be as you are now for ever.

I fact ER and Croix your post in this thread are so helpful and reassuring to me and I am sure many others. Thank you both. 


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi ER,


I am so glad you reached out to a friend and talked about what you are dealing with, I know that is not something that comes naturally or easily for you. It shows that you are making headway even if you have a backward step along the way.


It can be so hard to remember what you have learned and the inner resources that you already have when you are in the midst of the turbulence so I am glad that you had someone who was able to intuitively lead you back to those resources on the helpline.


We are all here for you 💜


Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Thank you kindly Quirky and Indigo.


Yes, I’m really trying to remind myself I won’t be stuck the same way forever. I did catch up with a couple of people today and it does make a difference having people contact. I have very strong anxiety with a life of its own at the moment, but just like the ocean it will not be rough waves forever and there will be calm again at some point.


Sending you both a big hug 🤗