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How do I help my depressed mother and self..
My mum, little brother & I have faced ongoing homelessness for the past 5 years. We've been unable to hold a private rental property ever since my mum lost her job due to sexual harassment & unfair dismissal. Despite the job loss, she has tried to make it back in the work force, only to not getting paid from one job, workplace discrimination from another etc. All of this occurred approx 2 years ago, ever since the repercussions have been never-ending. After coming out of homelessness for 6 months, 4 months ago we are trying our best to keep rent paid and move onto normal activities such as returning to school/studies, reconnect with friends/family etc.. all of which is a huge hurdle for us. Then she had her car stolen which has barred us from doing the bare minimum. Also the house we've moved into is riddled with mold/water damage, the house is very old and roofs/walls are cracking and about to fall down. The house is suppose to be demolished, but due to desperation we have to live here. We were promised priority housing from the government but haven't received any to help us rehabilitate. My mother has had a scary cough and illness for weeks now and wont get herself to a doctor to find out what's going on, as we have no car and her inability to take public transport, and we're financially isolated. She had her father pass away and her grandma just recently.. All of this plays a huge role on my depression and anxiety aswell.
My mother is her own worst enemy, as am I. And it's not a good mix.. If i'm depressed the slightest, she believes its her fault or that I don't like her because of my inability to express whats on my mind, and I sit in my room for hours unable to understand whats wrong with me, like now. We had an argument this morning and she said she's felt tension from me for weeks ever since I went out with a friend one night. I told her shes being ridiculous. And i'm feeling upset that she doesn't speak to me about her feelings unless we argue. I feel she fears me leaving her while we're in this darkness, but I would never. and that's also my problem.. I can't move from my broken family even if I wanted to. I couldn't establish a life for myself if I wanted to. These things I would never tell her.. she doesn't understand it's not her or me, its the problems were facing that bar us from doing what we need to do to function normally. If i didn't care I wouldn't be here, just as the rest of our family left when things got dark.
I just need guidance
Welcome back here to the Forum. My heart really goes out to you for the horrible things that have happened to you and your family. Like you I can't think of a quick fix for all the problems. A person only has so much control over things.
True, I could suggest you give our 24/7 Help Line a ring to see what services are in you area, also maybe Anglicare. I expect you have already thought of everything but you never know.
The one thing we have a chance of bettering is our ability to cope, and that means tackling depression, anxiety and related problems. Without transport it may be difficult but I'd suggest that -if you are not doing so already - you seek treatment, a GP that bulk bills, maybe a psychiatrist or psychologist that does too.
You may think my suggestion impractical, or with the wrong priority when circumstances are so bad, however I've been in a mental state where I was no help to anyone, or able to deal with anything, and the start of my recovery has been medical support -as well as that of my partner.
You said talking to your mum was a non-starter as she simply became more depressed. Do you have anyone you can talk with who cares? You brother or other family?
Last year you said "you can't change the way someone is, only the way you feel about them ", well you are right but that does not just apply to love, but to circumstances too. The better you are the more you cope and incidentally the more encouragement those around draw from you.
I hope we can talk some more
Hi. Welcome to beyond blue. I was about to reply and I saw Croix's excellent reply. So I won't repeat anything he said...
I assume from your posting that you are still at school? You mentioned studies etc.
On the cough... I don't know what or if there is a cost, but we have had doctors come to our home. Admittedly I live in the city so it would depend on whether a service like 13SICK National Home Doctor would be available to you?
I would like to ask you some questions about your relationship with your mother, but do not feel this would be the right time without some more information from you. So I will ask you this one question instead... do you feel like you are walking on eggshells around your mum? And that either of you can explode quite easily? I only ask this as my family sometimes feel this way around me (more recently).
What I can say with confidence is that you will be supported and helped in this community, and hopefully you might find some of the answers you are looking for.
Hi Croix and Tim
I thankyou dearly for your help and advice.
I'm feeling much better today, I was able to speak to my mum about how I feel, and she listened...
I will definitely look into Anglicare and what help they could offer.
Yes coping is my biggest hurdle especially when I've usually always had strong coping mechanisms. I appreciate your suggestion of seeing a psychologist- it's something that has been in my best interest recently. It's my last avenue, I've always believed that I'll just come good one day with no medication (I'm not interested in taking any medication..) no counselling or any therapy as I get older.. that somehow I'll learn to manage everything and have great coping skills which I don't doubt, however recently I'm just not able to handle my emotions and situations like I usually would be able too.. so a psychologist is on top of my list 🙂
I also just don't have anybody to speak to except my mum and brother (if im lucky) hense why I'm posting here. I've become comfortable inside my shell which is what's bothering me the most. I have no friends, no family, no job and unable to continue school at the age of 20 - I'm just at a peak time in my life as is my family and feel as though things aren't going the way i would of expected.
Also yes, i sometimes feel I'm walking on eggshells with my mother. She feels the same way I believe. I feel my brother walks on eggshells with her too which is somewhat resulting in anger problems for my little brother. I'm thinking of family counselling but I'm not sure if that would be worth it.. do you think? I've just always thought it's not our family it's our situations.. so not sure if counselling would help..
Thankyou tim for reassuring me that I will be supported in this community. I definitely feel it and I'll be reaching out for advice here more often. 🙂
Hi there Brookai,
I would first of all acknowledge you and the difficult time you and your family are going through. It sounds incredibly tough and complicated but it also sounds like you have really strong problem solving skills despite all these difficult circumstances.
I agree completely with Croix and Tim as the first step is taking care of you. Building your own strength, improving your social circumstance and individuality outside your family will make you stronger. This will allow you to begin working the relationship with your mum and other really important things like your housing situation and financial difficulties.
The biggest challenge is taking that first step. The steps that Tim spoke of in finding a GP that bulk bills and requesting to see a psychologist are a great start. Your GP may be able to refer you to a psychologist that bulk bills too however there can be a wait depending on where you live. This can be frustrating when you are are feeling ready and motivated. I would suggest that you plan for this and create a interim plan as well which could involve (1) utilising this forum (2) phoning the beyondblue support line when you need to talk (3) starting a journal. All these strategies (which you have already started) are getting your thoughts and feelings out. This might help avoid some of those 'boiling point' moments with your mum until you have some sessions booked with a psychologist.
Before you attend your GP appointment, there is benefit to writing out what you want from the appointment and some short and long term goals you have for yourself. You have already indicated that you don't want to take medication which is a fantastic start.
As for supporting your mum, could it be that she is still experiencing grief due to the loss of both her father and grandmother? Grief does not have a time frame and is a very individual experience. Often people don't know how to express their sadness especially if it goes on longer then they feel it should. Could you try to get your mum to a GP appointment for her cough as a start and even attend with her? Once your get mum is on her own path to wellness, I would then suggest relationship or family counselling.
I do hope you continue to use the forum. Some days will be hard and some days will be lighter, but if you keep taking small steps towards your goals, you will reach them.
Wishing you the best possible outcome,
Hi again. Just a couple of ideas...
1. I don't know if this will help, but you could consider using this space as a journal. A way of putting whatever thoughts are running around your mind somewhere else.
2. No job. Have you considered volunteer work or training through TAFE? What do you like? Not sure of the employment situation is where you live.
3. On grumpiness and eggshells. This is something I spoke about it with my psych this week...and you mentioned how you and your mum get into argument easily. For me, constantly being tense, irritated by situations, etc make it like a tinderbox about to explode. But I don't let it out, but grow inside me. It was actually my wife who told me that I am grumpy 24/7. I didn't notice it was that bad. I can see from your posts you are love your mum, and appear intelligent. As your mother listened to you, maybe empathize with her, and together find a way forward. Well, that is what I had to do in a round about way.
Listening and being listened to can be helpful and healing. This part l know from experience. I hope it can be for you also.
Wishing you all the best,