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Parent who gaslights makes it hard to stay in touch

Community Member


I’m a 36yo man. I had to turn to my parents for help in the last couple of years for some help with unexplained medical symptoms. I was having neurological issues, think a virus got into my CNS, and it was affecting my ability to work and giving me heavy fatigue. I am left with chronic nerve pain that comes and goes, and fatigue, but it’s not as bad now as the more severe symptoms that were going on when it first hit me.

I encountered a lot of suspicion and doubt when I sought help from doctors, I was accused of being a drug user/drug seeker and that it was just anxiety. When I asked my parent for help navigating the medical profession, they insisted I go back and see a neurologist who had treated me like an idiot, and I assented to this and the parent accompanied me and the neuro then treated us both like iditots.

That encounteer was a while ago now. Anyway I have also ended up with depression and anxiety from the chronic nerve pain/fatigue, it’s slowly worn me down over the last two years. I was still talking to my parents about it, trying to help them understand how desperate my situation has felt at times and how that doctor did more harm than good and how when my parent insisted I go back to the doctor that was more unnecessary punishment at a time when I could have really used some trust and help. Anyway my parent then flat out denied insisting that I go back to the unhelpful neuro. I think they deny the truth because it also hurt them to get insulted by the doctor, so they prefer to pretend it didn’t happen. So it’s like a self preservation tactic on their part.

It’s just tricky for me because the gaslighting/denial of reality has put distance in between us at the time when I was still hoping to get some help and understanding.

I’m also concerned that my family hasn’t rallied around me when I asked for help. Like when dad got cancer we all turned up at hospital and supported, when mum had operations we all turn up and support. Hospital visits plus home visits to make sure there’s support. But no family have attended my specialist visits with me. Or turned up at my place to check that I’m ok, make sure I’m good. I guess it’s tricky to some extent, because I don’t have a diagnosis. Also at times my family have expressed doubt along the the same lines as doctors. Feels like such a blow. Definitely part of my depression now is like just the fact that I’ve asked for help and it hasn’t been there. I think about that a lot.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear T1000-2019~

Welcome here, you will be believed, do not worry

Unexplained pain, together wiht fatigue anxiety and depression are hard to manage, and medical support is necessary . At the risk of alienating you may I say some pain is caused by anxiety so some GPs may assume that if there are easy to see test results.

I would think seeing a fresh doctor and setting everything out in logical way would have to be the answer. If that means you end up being treated first for the mental health conditions first that's OK, puts you in a better position to deal wiht the pain and get that investigated after.

Parents who don't properly understand are a pain, and there really is no easy way to educate them or convince them if their experience is limited.

Apart from the people you mention is there anyone who accepts your statements at face value use, it does indeed help.