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gemmasapple

New member
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
2
Hello, my name is Gemma. I'm 24 years old and suffer with anxiety and depression. My mum is a recovering alcoholic of 17 months and I have 3 brothers (1 older, 2 younger). The very youngest is currently under observation for traits of autisim and I am very much the mother figure and main carer in his life due to our mum lacking the ability and being focused on nothing but her sobriety. My life has been entirely devoted to maintaining the stability of my family since I was 16 years old. I have because of this not experienced the world in ways that others my age live for. I have never purchased alcohol. I have never been clubbing. I have spare fingers when actually counting the times ive cosumed alcohol of my hands. I am a virgin and I have never been kissed. Ive also never had the chance to work and consider myself to have only 1 friend. There have unfortunately been many terrible situations over the years for my family involving alcohol and drugs, domestic violence and mental abuse. This was all with my mum's ex partner (father of my 2 younger brothers). My mum sadly has an even darker past, being a victim of 5 accounts of rape when she was 15 and 1 that I have recently discovered in her 20's, the attacker being my own father. I am the only one of my siblings who know of my mum's agonising history and although knowing I cannot apply emotion to them. Maybe this is my minds way of saving me from something that would be too catastrophic to feel... Anyway, now that I have explained my background, my current problem is I am suffering with my anxiety more than ever. My mum has believed to have found love within her AA group and has been in a relationship for around 4 months with someone who, though a recovering alcoholic like herself, a kind man. About a month ago now he began staying over at weekends and this has everytime caused me extreme anxiety attacks. I cannot sleep whatsoever those nights and the fear is absolutely torturous. It is getting to the point now where I will get anxious days before his arrival and never find relief of the heavy weight in my chest. I am in despair because I do not have a problem with this man personally. I have longed for my mum to find happiness for so long and am not against their relationship at all. During my attacks I have no actual thought process whatsoever, I am thinking of nothing except the overwhelming fear. I am sat with my mum at this very moment, turned away from her and biting my lip with such need to stop myself from bursting into tears because she is waiting for her man to come and I am waiting for bedtime when the fear consumes me. Not only is it incredibly painful, I am frustrated beyond belief because I cannot seem to see any logic to this. I feel like blaming the past ive mentioned is just me trying to apply a reason that isn't justifiable. Am I being pathetic? Ridiculous? How can i get over this? Please help.
 
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Caro5

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
169
Location
Too far from home
Hi. I think you need someone that you can talk to about all this. Do you have an understanding GP? You have been a carer for a very long time and now suddenly maybe you are in a scary new place where you hopefully can begin to live your own life and not use your life to look after others. That is terrifying. Sometimes the changes we long for are still very hard to deal with and maybe you are scared that you are losing your mum? Can you talk to your mum? She might understand and sometimes just being open about our fears can help. It's the nature of panic attacks that one feels only fear. They are truly horrible but they are emotional overload finding a way of breaking free and if you can find a better outlet then hopefully they will subside. I hope you can find somebody to talk too, let you cry, drop your shoulders and help you start to live for yourself.
 
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hillclimbs

Guest
Hi, I don't think that accepting your past experiences as the reason for the anxiety you're feeling is a bad thing. It seems very reasonable to me. It's ok for you to feel the way you do, and understandable.

It sounds like you support everyone else around you, but do you have anyone to support you?
 
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gemmasapple

New member
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
2
Thank you for responding. I do currently see my gp every 8 weeks yes, but i don't think there is much more he can do. I have been prescribed fluoxetine since july last year. I have also had some counselling and cbt in the past but it was of little help. However that was very much centred on my mums alcoholism which was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back. I am involved with a local mental health service which I am currently on a waiting list for further counselling. I apologise if i have replied wrongly, still figuring this place out.
 
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Caro5

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
169
Location
Too far from home
Hi. Just re read your first post and I forgot to say that you are not being pathetic or ridiculous. You have been put in a very duffucult situation and it would be odd if you did not feel anxious and scared. But you really do need to start taking care of yourself. You are so young and have so much life ahead of you. Hopefully some counselling will come through soon. Meanwhile writing stuff down either here or in a notebook can help. Try to find 5 minutes a day for yourself where you can just sit and breathe. Think maybe about what you want to do with your life when you are free to choose. Take some very tiny steps towards doing something that is just for you and does not involve taking responsibility for anyone but yourself. In my experience this can be a hard one so make it something tiny. A short walk, a cup of tea when you want one, 5 minutes to read a magazine or do a drawing. And remember that you cannot take full responsibility for your mum. Her life is hers and however tough it has been its not your responsibility. I hope this is helpful and does not feel like a long and impossible 'to do' list when you are already exhausted. But we all need to take care of ourselves - It can be a battle to do it and I am useless at it but I am trying. Good Luck.
 
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