• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Is it okay to find a persons actions intolerable? Even though they suffer a mental illness.

T

The GlassInstitute

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
44
Location
England
My father has bipolar disorder as well as a range of other psychological issues that are poorly managed.
He has had extensive professional help that he hasn't fully embraced. (That is common, can't force someone to get well if they aren't ready.)

For example, he has been through numerous respite stays, therapy, medication, psychiatrists, psychologists etc. He doesn't engage in any of the recommended techniques/tasks. My impression is that he is not ready to take any responsibility for his own recovery.

I've tried to gently encourage him, not push him too hard. I provide support where I can, however he often says I don't know what I'm talking about.

Well, I myself deal with the affects of past trauma, GAD as well as bouts of depression. I have not always fully embraced the help I was given. However, I have gone through the pain of accepting responsibility of working in conjunction with mental health professionals, doctors, and clinicians. Not always successfully, but I try. (note: please don't feel bad when I say these things, especially if you are struggling to work with doctors & councellors - the fact that you are on this site proves that you are trying.)

Now that I have provided a little background, I want to get into the actual issue at hand.
My father, for whatever reason is very emotionally manupulative. On occassion, when his emotions build unchecked he lashes out and blames me and my younger sister for "causing" him to self-harm.

He also has threatened to leave us. He does this when anyone tries to calm his irrational rants or when I try to impliment some of the advice I was given by a councelor to talk through problems and be quietly assertive. (Btw my sister is 13 years old, our mum just pretends not to notice his behaviour and ignores everything.)

I try and protect my sister so that she doesn't feel the full brunt of what it can be like to grow up with our dad. I try to be the person that I desperately wish I had as a child.
My dad gets very upset and angry when I take my sisters side or try and help him to avoid exposing her to his negativity and spitefullness. Dad complains that I never back him up. I have tried to explain that I am doing what I feel is right, which is to look out for and protect those that have no power in this situation (a 13 year old child.) I have tried to let him see that it is not a good thing to take the side of a grown man in an argument with a 13 year old, especially when that grown man is screaming at a crying child and threatening to hurt himself or run out on his family.

I feel like I'm unable to bear being around him. However, I feel awful because I know he has mental health issues. Which is why I am telling anyone who cares to listen, with an open heart, without prejudice.
This family situation is the number one stresser in my life. It makes it very difficult to stay positive and to keep working on my own mental health issues, because I feel like I have to keep the family from cracking apart.

You can imagine what it's like, with a history of depressive episodes and with anxiety, as well as childhood trauma when I am in a room with someone who's energy is chaotic and unstable. When I am in the same room as him the air feels heavy, I can feel myself waiting, anticipating his next move. What mood will he be in? If I relax and be myself will he take it the wrong way, become angry at me or irritated? Will my sister set him off - her being 13 years old & hasn't had time to learn to gauge his temperament/moods etc? Will he get angry if I leave to go upstairs? Will he take it as a slight towards him?

I can feel some people wanting to say, "well its not his fault." "He can't help it." "you have to support him" "he's family" "he loves you really" "He doesn't mean it".

Believe me, I know these things. What I'm asking is: at what point does MY mental health matter?
I know that it is vital that we are understanding when it comes to mental health. But does that mean we have to ignore our own? Does that mean we can't protect ourselves? If someone is not willing to take responsibility for their health or their actions, is not willing to try, to listen, to at least try & practice the skills they were taught.

Again, I am not talking about you (the person reading this) or anyone you know. After all, you are here on a mental health forum. You are doing something that takes an incredible amount of courage. It's not easy to look at these things and to ask ourselves - how can I get help? How can I share my experiences?

This is just a fraction of the situation my family is in. Please be cognisant of the fact that there are lots of nuances that cannot be gotten across through a small post in a thread.
 
toutatis

toutatis

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
472
Location
Auckland, NZ
Hi @The GlassInstitute,

Personally, I think it's absolutely okay to find his actions difficult and intolerable because those are your true feelings. And your feelings, about anything at all, are valid and real.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be in your situation but you sound like a genuine caring soul whose doing their very best under difficult circumstances.

Yes, I think it's okay to acknowledge your feelings and emotions as being real and valid.
 
T

The GlassInstitute

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
44
Location
England
Personally, I think it's absolutely okay to find his actions difficult and intolerable because those are your true feelings. And your feelings, about anything at all, are valid and real.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be in your situation but you sound like a genuine caring soul whose doing their very best under difficult circumstances.

Yes, I think it's okay to acknowledge your feelings and emotions as being real and valid.
That is such a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much. This being such a lonely struggle, it is heartening to have someone validate your experiences & feelings. I'll remember what you said
 
Top