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Hello Lala. I'm doing better than I was thank you for asking. I hope you are well also. :)

Do you think about this (= "what to do?") a lot or do you rather avoid it "to protect your mood", so to say? And when you think about it, how does it feel? And how does it go = "in circles", do you always jump to the same conclusion, are you always stopped by a particular fear, ...?

You probably know me well enough by now to know that I tend to avoid decision making. I've been this way I think, for most of my life. Trying to hide away from anything that requires me to actually do something. I've hidden inside myself for so long probably because of this. I don't know how to face my fears they cause me to panic just writing this here. Panic because I don't want to think about them. I honestly don't know what my solution is, but I know that while I don't think too much about anything at least I am able to go on day to day if not with happiness at least without the overwhelming sadness i used to feel.

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Hello, M. and thank you for overcoming your fear/panic and writing this all here! :)

I often avoid decision-making, too. One of the problems it can cause, as you surely know as well, is that when you don't decide, something outside of you often "decides" instead and that may sometimes be worse for you than your own decision, even though it might feel better as you don't feel "responsible (for the wrong choice)" (although at the same time, you do - as you realize you're responsible for not deciding)...

Anyway; I'm currently lucky to be in a situation when I don't have to make such serious decisions, so it's a bit "presumptuous" to compare... :o

I know you've been functioning this way almost all your life. And I think the reasons for it are relatively clear - probably some innate predispositions together with the treatment by your parents and then this difficult situation you were suddenly put in, the ongoing treatment by your closest family that taught you to "hide, suppress yourself"... BTW; I recommend you to read my today's/yesterday's (-depending on where you are ;)) post in "Recommended reading" (some long quotes) - I think it might be interesting for you, too...

But it also seems to me that you're already on your "way out". Your depression came as a signal telling you that "this is not good for you". Like a pain warning you about a wound. You've listened to this signal, you've already become different to some extent - this communication with us, your discoveries about your past (the diary), another point of view from which you now can see your family and yourself... - that's all new and I'd call it progress (would you?).

I honestly don't know what my solution is

I think there always is a solution, and not just one. "Doing nothing and avoiding thinking about it" is one, too. And you can always go back to it if nothing seems better than it.

I know that while I don't think too much about anything at least I am able to go on day to day if not with happiness at least without the overwhelming sadness

I see... I don't want to "be cruel" (I hope you know I don't wish you to feel overwhelmed!), but it seems that it would be good to "challenge" this way of coping. The fist idea that occurs to me here is this quote (Nietzsche, http://archive.org/s...encewk_djvu.txt):

to put it mystically, the path to one's own heaven always leads through the voluptuousness of one's own hell

(I've seen basically the same idea, just put in some other words, also in several other authors, so arguing that Nietzsche isn't "a right authority to follow" wouldn't help here :P. I've chosen him mainly because I don't have the others in English...)

I imagine that one of the problems might be that you see it kind of "black and white": Either you "don't think" and thus don't feel such sadness, or you think about what evokes fear and regrets the sadness will overwhelm you and totally prevent you from functioning. I suppose that's what your experiences have been telling you hitherto or perhaps that's how you interpreted them.

It occurred to me that you're in fact good at controlling your emotions through controlling your thoughts - and this might give you a courage, a good feeling that you have this skill to use in case when you decide to think more about "solutions" - if it becomes "too much", you always can "cut it off" (?). Well; I know; maybe not, maybe it becomes "uncontrollable" in such situations. But I think it would be possible to prepare yourself for sustaining all the painful emotions that may come. If you convince yourself that the emotions won't "kill you", if you find a good attitude to them in advance, you could be prepared to face them - and you might be even surprised how strong you can be when you don't see them as an enemy to fight with but as a part of you trying to urge you to... change your life for better.

To be honest, I'm very reluctant to recommend you Nietzsche as many of his ideas, mainly without the large context (!), seem cruel and not suitable to apply, but I'm also very tempted to quote at least some pieces of his writings to illustrate the reasons for a positive attitude towards suffering, my own awareness of the limitations of our efforts to help (you as well as anybody else), and also the reasons why, as it seems, we sometimes encourage you to suffer (by thinking about what makes you feel so bad).

For instance (I mean mostly the underlined parts):

Is it good for you yourselves to be above all full of pity? And is it good for those who suffer? But let us leave the first question unanswered for a moment.

Our personal and profoundest suffering is incomprehensible and inaccessible to almost everyone; here we remain hidden from our neighbor, even if we eat from one pot. But whenever people notice that we suffer, they interpret our suffering superficially. It is the very essence of the emotion of pity that it strips away from the suffering of others whatever is distinctively personal. Our "benefactors" are, more than our enemies, people who make our worth and will smaller. When people try to benefit someone in distress, the intellectual frivolity with which those moved by pity assume the role of fate is for the most part outrageous; one simply knows nothing of the whole inner sequence and intricacies that are distress for me or for you. The whole economy of my soul and the balance effected by "distress," the way new springs and needs break open, the way in which old wounds are healing, the way whole periods of the past are shed — all such things that may be involved in distress are of no concern to our dear pitying friends; they wish to help and have no thought of the personal necessity of distress, although terrors, deprivations, impoverishments, midnights, adventures, risks, and blunders are as necessary for me and for you as are their opposites. It never occurs to them that, to put it mystically, the path to one's own heaven always leads through the voluptuousness of one's own hell. No, the "religion of pity" (or "the heart") commands them to help, and they believe that they have helped most when they have helped most quickly.

If you, who adhere to this religion, have the same attitude toward yourselves that you have toward your fellow men; if you refuse to let your own suffering lie upon you even for an hour and if you constantly try to prevent and forestall all possible distress way ahead of time; if you experience suffering and displeasure as evil, hateful, worthy of annihilation, and as a defect of existence, then it is clear that besides your religion of

pity you also harbor another religion in your heart that is perhaps the mother of the religion of pity: the religion of comfortableness. How little you know of human happiness, you comfortable and benevolent people, for happiness and unhappiness are sisters and even twins that either grow up together or, as in your case, remain small together.

Fortunately, there are others writing about the positive value of suffering ;), although only some little excerpts are freely available (as far as I know). You may try, for instance, this (at least to see that there are books about productive suffering, so it is something that can be "done" and can be useful):

http://www.amazon.ca...ader_0415667801

(The second excerpt (even better) I wanted to recommend here is no more available – what a surprise! *sigh*)

I wish I knew to say something more practical, something about "the method"; how not to exaggerate it and not to hurt yourself unnecessarily – with good intentions but without good results!!

All that occurs to me is that you probably should to dose it – to think about the too painful topics in (in advance) limited times, to keep most of the day almost free of them. Not to wait until the topic will surprise you (in your mind) in an inconvenient moment, but to decide yourself when you will think about it deeply for some time, prepared to face all the emotions.

But I think the quote above explains, too, that I cannot know how it is good for you. All I can do is to be here and willing to accompany you, listen and try to understand and offer some thoughts.

I wish you'd have someone to talk to, to hug, ... in person! Someone who would be there with you to soothe you when you need it... (I wonder if one of your friends couldn’t be a closer friend – if you could share more with her, at least some of the emotions, even if she wouldn’t understand all, she could be comforting (?). Or is it generally unusual to share deep emotions even among women where you live?)

I hope this was not overwhelming and/or staggering...

Hugs...

L.

Edited by LaLa3
some small changes

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I forgot...

Some words about "thinking" and "solutions":

To be able to come with something useful, one has to be open to fantasies. Dozens of useless ideas often have to occur to you before something meaningful emerges. So it's useful to have a positive attitude toward useless ideas - not to let them discourage you.

And... "solutions" include also new attitudes and opinions, not only decisions about what to do...

:)

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Paraphrase: there are no "useless ideas"! :-)

The part of our brains that labels things as good, bad, or useless is only one part. Other parts are far more likely to just sit back and say "Ooo, look at all the colors", or "I never noticed how beautifully that thing works with this thing ..." In other words, they're far more productive than they're given credit for, because they produce a part of our lives that the first part, ego, doesn't value. Such things as awe, compassion (as opposed to Nietzsche's "pity"), artistic appreciation, all the synthetic as opposed to analytic thinking.

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I see and agree...

But I was probably talking about "another kind" of ideas - those that are intended to be helpful, to solve a problem, but are not at all. So as their primary intended function wasn't "met" (/"achieved"), they may be seen as useless, although, as I had said, that doesn't mean we have to see them "negatively", i.e. as something "bad", "annoying", "to be avoided".

Well, it doesn't contradict what you wrote. Yet I wanted, not knowing precisely why, to clarify my previous post... Now it seems rather useless :P to me, but I'll keep it here...

And I like the point that compassion is a good alternative to Nietzsche's pity! ;)

Edited by LaLa3
I added something

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Oh, I almost forgot - this book is, in my eyes, the best to recommend here (I have its translated version at home); unfortunately, only a little excerpt is available here:

http://www.amazon.ca...hts of the soul

However, it's always good to pick up a sentence (or a long part of it) from a short piece of book and google it - it often (-well; I succeeded with with several books) gives you a long excerpt at "Google Books"... (I didn't try with this and don't have time now...)

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I finished the extra medication that the pdoc gave me and now I'm feeling so low. I want to cry and not stop. I don't see anything good in my life. Is it because I finished that med last week and didn't buy a new bottle? The pdoc told me to come back to him when I finished them but I don't see the point and I can't afford it. I keep going round in circles. Take more meds, then stop and come back, then take more, then stop. I'm feeling so lonely. I know I'm a whinger. Why can't I take the downs as well as the ups and overcome them? I am so weak.

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You are not a whinger Endless, you are just saying how you feel and what things are like for you at the moment. The downs are always difficult to cope with, and never come with a nice and easy 'exit located here' sign. I dont know what helps you to cope with the downs, but I know with me, I just take each moment as it arrives, and try to just breathe through it - no matter how long the down times last for.

Time has taught me that the bad times eventually subside,(not that I ever remember that fact when Im low - but thats just me), I just hope that your 'ups' come soon.

Is there anyway that you can recieve help towards the cost of your meds?

Take care.

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(((M.))) I'm sorry you're going through this :(...

Is it because I finished that med last week and didn't buy a new bottle?

Very probably yes. These meds not only can have side effects, but, as you know, they have strong withdrawal effects when you suddenly stop taking them. And those may include what you describe.

The pdoc told me to come back to him when I finished them but I don't see the point

The point is, at least, not to feel even worse - because of the withdrawal and later because of untreated depression...

and I can't afford it.

This might be a serious problem... But if you're not motivated enough to take the meds, then maybe you're not motivated enough to find a way to afford them, I don't know (- I can't "assess" your situation and all the financial and social possibilities in the context of SA)...

Can you still afford the meds you're taking for other problems (-I remember you used to, I'm not sure if you still do)?

I keep going round in circles. Take more meds, then stop and come back, then take more, then stop.

Yes, it does sound like a circle, but I see a way to change it: not to stop. When you stop for some days, then you almost come back to the initial point, while when you take them continuously, it's not so circular. It may be "linear but not increasing" (-where "increase" would mean "progress, getting better"), but at least it's not circular, is it?

If you once really decided to stop taking meds, then, please, do it at least under strict doctor's guidance (-lowering doses during a long time), not just by stopping taking them! Don't harm yourself when you don't have to... And you don't have to.

I'm feeling so lonely.

(((M.)))

I realize we can't be "a full substitute" of "in person / IRL" friends...

Let's think a bit if there's a possibility to get closer to some of your "IRL" friends or to gain a new friend. I know that when people are depressed, they don't have the energy and the drive to search for company and even the courage to make new friends etc. But maybe you could give it a try. Is there somebody you could talk to more than usually? Maybe there are other women in the neighborhood/family who feel lonely and isolated, because of different reasons, of course (but that doesn't mind), maybe they would appreciate having a closer friend, too.

Why can't I take the downs as well as the ups and overcome them? I am so weak.

So far, you have overcome everything that happened - see; you're still here ;).

Taking "the downs as well as the ups" (IF you mean here the "well" in its meaning of "good/rightly/..." and "take" means mainly something like "sustain") would be an unnecessarily high ambition. But I'm probably "out of topic" as you meant it differently :o...

Anyway; I like what Sue wrote and I think I have nothing to add to it.

Take care!

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Dear Sue, thank you for your supporting words. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and feel sorry for myself and come on here to complain. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but I always seem to want more. Does anyone else feel that 'just getting by' sometimes isn't enough? I hope you are doing okay Sue. Take care, M.

Dear Lala, I know I shouldn't stop taking my meds just like that, but at times I feel that when I take them I am completely numb and don't feel anything at all and I'm not sure if feeling nothing is better than feeling like this. Is it? I wish there was someone I could talk to that could answer that question for me.

I can afford to pay and go see the pdoc, but it would mean draining what small amount of money I have left. I have been having a lot of health problems lately and have already had to pay out quite a bit on meds and docs. The other day I went to see the eye doc because I hadn't gone for over a year and a half, since I had the problem with the floaters appearing in my eye, though the doc told me I must visit him every six months. He told me the sight in my left eye has lessened, and though they can't give me a stronger prescription to see far than the one I already have he adjusted my reading number. Yesterday I went to the place to get glasses (they don't have docs at the places they sell the glasses here) and they told me it would cost SR1,300! That's about $400! I had to pay though, my eyes are more important than anything else. I'm supposed to get my cholesterol levels checked and I haven't. Not till I am sure I have a steady job, which I'm not sure of.. They have lowered our salary in my place of work anyway.

I've been having family problems too which I don't want to go into right now, but I've been under a lot of stress for some time.

Lala, it's not easy to make friends here, or should I say keep them. I can't just go out whenever I feel like it - I need someone to take me. There are no buses or trains or subways here. Women can't drive. So keeping in touch via e-mail or phone is kind of like having friends on-line and not in real life anyway. I have never discussed my problems with anyone in my family, I just don't feel I can. They wouldn't understand why I was unhappy or would say it's my own fault because I refused to get married when I had the chance. My two closest friends IRL are not here, one has gone to visit her family in England and the other to visit hers in America. I've stopped writing to my cousins in England because they didn't answer my previous messages. They are all busy with their lives.

I do want to say that the people I know here on this site are real friends to me and I do appreciate all of you and the time you take out of your lives to help me and everyone on here. I just wish I knew how to keep in touch with all of you when I'm not in need. I feel like a blood sucker sometimes, and I know I've said this many times before, but please forgive me for that. Sometimes I think that maybe I withdraw because I want to be the person that does the rejecting and not be the rejectee - I don't do it on purpose and maybe I'm just making an excuse for myself. I don't know. I don't know myself at all.

Please - anyone that reads this - could you tell me what you think might be wrong with me overall? Why I am the way I am? I can't keep on blaming my past for everything but I just don't know why I am like this or even who I am. I've read a little online about dissociation and don't know if that's what I feel a lot of the time. I'm confusing to myself and driving myself crazy.

Edit: I read what I wrote and realised I am making excuses for everything again. I do this because it's easier to not do anything and it's what I'm used to, than it is for me to actually try to fix the situation. Still writing it down and knowing I'm doing it doesn't prevent me from falling back on being the person that things are done to rather than the person that does things.

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Dear M., thank you again for sharing your concerns, confusions, feelings, ... I can relate to the feeling about rejection and to the avoidance linked to it, I've felt that way, too, quite many times. It can be challenging to come here and "whine", as you sometimes call it. But it's good to do it, at least for the ongoing acceptance you receive - until you begin to believe yourself that you won't be rejected (and that you shouldn't be rejected!), receiving this again and again is essential. Of course it doesn't heal all the pain and it doesn't resolve problems. But... ;)

I just wish I knew how to keep in touch with all of you when I'm not in need.

We probably can't tell you "how", because it's up to you (to find out what makes you feel better, to find out what you need from relationships), but we can ask you what the problem is. When you're not "in need" and you think about this forum, what comes into your mind? What kind of thoughts and feelings? (For instance, is it relief as "how good it feels that I don't need them now, I'm not reliant on writing" or "now I don't really need it, so I won't bother them"?)

And what does this "in need" precisely mean? In which way is it different from those needs for closeness and friendship you have all the time?

I mean these questions like an inspiration about how to find out "how to keep in touch"; you don't have to answer them here for me ;).

Is it? I wish there was someone I could talk to that could answer that question for me.

Have you tried to talk with your pdoc about it? I'm sure he's the right person to do it, although not the only one. He gives you the meds, so he's supposed to discuss your expectations from the treatment with you. If he doesn't, it doesn't mean that he doesn't care - he probably just assumes that you want the meds, you want rather feel numb than so low as probably most of his patients (or at least so he might think) - if you don't express your feelings and doubts and so on, he cannot know about them, so he cannot help you to figure out what's realistic to expect and what would be better or worse for you.

I do think you need to talk with him about this, but I also think it's only you who can finally answer the question for you (based on what you hear from others and on what you think yourself). I could tell you what I would prefer (even that could be nonsense because if I'm not in your situation, I cannot know what exactly I would chose!), but that would be just me. Why would you make your decisions based on what someone else prefers?

May I ask: does this sound like rejection to you? :o I refuse to answer your important question. It might sound like a rejection; does it? In any case, please, believe me it's not. I'm not telling your question is inadequate. On the contrary, I think it's important to ask. And it's good to communicate about the questions and confusions with people. And I can definitely relate to such questions and to the feeling of wanting someone else to answer them for me! ... We are all in this together, although each in very different circumstances. But we also are all ... "alone in our decision making". (Alone, but not lonely.)

I see that for women, it's very hard to keep friendships where you life :(. It sounds very frustrating... But when I imagined you talking to friends, I imagined it at some visits where you would go with others - but as the men are always together and the women are rather "isolated" from them, maybe (??) in those times, the women have some opportunity to... not be just all in one room, but two friends could go in another room or in one corner to have some privacy to talk more openly. Moreover, if you have friends at work, there might be breaks when you can talk to them (I suppose you don't work constantly as you're a teacher).

However, I presume that my fantasies are again based on the lack of knowledge about the culture and customs... :(

When are your two friends supposed to come back? How often do they see their families? (I'm sorry; I began to have fantasies about you going with one of them to England, for a trip, maybe visiting also your cousins, there would be also plenty of time to talk during the journey... It may sound silly again, but... as I said; fantasies can be useful because you might sometimes have one worth of trying to make it real! I suppose here the issue is money - but... wouldn't it be possible to "make up a purse" (-I've found that in the dictionary, I hope it makes sense here...) - to get a little money from each of your English cousin?... They may be busy with their lives, but that doesn't have to mean they don't care about you at all! They surely cannot imagine your situation, so they aren't concerned, at least not as much as they would be if they knew!)

I've stopped writing to my cousins in England because they didn't answer my previous messages. They are all busy with their lives.

Another thing that occurred to me here: now I have all the family and friends in my home country and I communicate with them only by e-mail (or Skype, in case of mom and in-laws). And we are "closer" (="linked by our common past") than you are with your English family. And yet many of them often don't reply to my messages, or reply after a long time. They are also busy with their lives. And that doesn't make me feel rejected, I don't think they don't care. I know you might say I have better reasons to suppose they do care than you have. But I'm mentioning it to show that it's common not to reply to e-mails, even when it's family or friends. It's even more common not receiving any messages until you decide you'll be the one who writes first. When I decide to write somebody after a long time, they often answer, sometimes after some days. If I didn't make the decision to write, they wouldn't write me. Sometimes it's not pleasant to be the one who initiates it, but... I'd say it's worth it. Maybe you could sometimes give it a try, too. Maybe it's also important what you decide to write about - that might be quite difficult, I imagine. I only know it's always good to include asking about them - how they are doing etc..

could you tell me what you think might be wrong with me overall?

I'm trying to figure it out... All that comes to mind is (my subjective view) that you're in extremely difficult conditions that constrain very much your choices, opportunities, prospects, ... and so you're "frozen" and do (almost) nothing, although feeling that you'd need to "do something". You're so "frozen" also because it's the kind of "attitude" that has served you almost all your life as a coping mechanism, a part of your protection against all the difficulties you've been put in. Now; what is "wrong" about it, except (the obvious -> ) the conditions you're in and the past you had? I can't tell. I really don't. I imagine that many psychologists could give you a useful answer, or at least "an" answer, but... me, I cannot come to any conclusion, although I always "have so much to say/suggest". I do have ideas (those I write you), but I don't have "a conclusion about you". I even tend to think that there's nothing really "wrong with you", but I don't know :o. I see you as being on a journey of discovery of your true self, of your needs and wishes and also trying to figure out how to "integrate"/"apply" (?) these new discoveries with/in the circumstances you're in. And there's nothing bad about that.

I can't keep on blaming my past for everything but I just don't know why I am like this

As I see it, it's always "because of the past" (not only in your case, but in each), just the "blaming" is rather unnecessary, as well as making excuses based on the past. Your past, together with your inherited traits, is indeed the reason why you are like you are now. But if "keep blaming" means here something like thinking "I'm like this because I have to be like this, it's determined and unchangeable and it predetermines all my future decisions and behaviour", then yes; this doesn't sound like a good thing to do.

I've read a little online about dissociation and don't know if that's what I feel a lot of the time. I'm confusing to myself and driving myself crazy.

For me, it was very confusing, years ago, reading about depression and trying to find out if I was depressed or not. So I know reading descriptions of states of mind and feelings can be very confusing. What might help is to realize why you think that you'd need to read that and to find "the right label" to your experience. Maybe dissociation can be experienced in several different ways and what you read about is just one or two and what you experience is another. Maybe what you experience could have a different label. But the label isn't so important, is it? What is, then? For instance, trying to understand "what those states of mind mean for you".

the person that things are done to rather than the person that does things

This sounds important in the context of knowing yourself better.

BTW; have you read Mark's blog entry "How to care for your You"? Even if yes, maybe it could help to read it again and pose questions when you feel confused about something (I have to say it is sometimes hard to understand for me, nevertheless in a positive way - it stimulates to think in other directions, ...)...

{{{Hugs}}}

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Oh, and... among all these serious talks and sad moods; don't forget to try to have some fun, even if you can't deeply relax and enjoy it, it might be good to have moments of focus on something nice, funny, pleasant (or positive in another way)! For instance, have you already seen the new posts in the Lounge - in "Weekend entertainment" or your "John Cleese" thread ;)?

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This morning I've been thinking about things and I've realised why my brother leaving his job has affected me mentally and emotionally so much. It's because I am feeling that my life is not going to be in my hands anymore, my life choices won't be mine to make. Just as I had thought I was getting my life into my own hands, trying to live a life I could be content with, his decisions are now putting everything I've been building step by step, crashing down. I am back at square one in my life, where my father controlled it.

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(((M.)))

I'm glad that you've been able to put it into words. It is a painful truth, but at least it explains a lot; you've uncovered the principle behind your feelings.

It sounds like if an old nightmare came back :(. But I believe you can look at it in different ways; you don't have to see it as re-living almost the same again, you can take it also as something like "a second chance" - to cope differently this time. You're not a child anymore. I know it seems that you have as few options and rights as back then, but maybe it's not the entire true. Maybe this time, you could cope better than... "effacing" your true self, "falling asleep" (-as you described the state you were in during many years, before coming here, to the forum) or being depressed and helpless.

(It now occurs to me that... when I imagine being in your or a very similar situation (although it's very hard to imagine it well, of course), then I feel depression and a kind of paralysis because of the idea that "this time, I should do something about it, I should be able to defend what I've build, to defend my life, ..." being opposed to the fear and expectation of failure. In fact, that's not so much different from my real (past?) thinking in some situations - and I have sometimes "preferred" (unconsciously) to be "something like depressed" (-well, I'm lucky I've never been medically depressed) as if it was for me an excuse for really failing. I don't think it's your case, really, I just wanted to mention it as it was a strong association... Sorry, maybe it's inappropriate here :o...)

So... I wonder, for instance, if you recognize also some similar reactions, feelings, ... between now and the time when you realized that you would never go back home to England - the time when you felt into that "sleep" (let's call it so here). Now you're much more experienced, you know yourself and many of your mental states better than in those times, so you could "handle" a very similar traumatic situation in a better way, without such consequences. When you started to recognize that you feel like if this was "the same again", then you might be able also (in some moments, I know it's impossible and even unhealthy to experience it all the time) to "step aside a bit", to be also an observer and "analyzer" of your reactions, assumptions, fears, ... and then convince yourself that now it's not the same situation, now you're not as helpless as you were then, ... You don't have to find out "a solution" quickly, it's all too complicated and it needs time. But I think even before figuring out "what to do" and/or "how to change your attitudes", you could do something for improving your moods and attenuating your very negative thinking.

May I ask (to have a better picture); what precisely you mean is crashing down, what choices would you make that you can't now? You mentioned that he wants to move to a small city - is that still what he plans to do? So... is the main problem being isolated from the people you know and loosing your job? :( Have you asked him how he imagines, at least, affording to live without a job and with you unemployed, too? He has to have a plan! You have the right to know what he plans to do with your life and you have the right to influence it! ... Maybe this situation will in fact be so serious that it could be a reason to (I'm sorry to mention it again :o as I know you're very reluctant to it, but... it's still on my mind) ask your English family to help you to to settle there, close to them (or even with them for some time), find a job... And maybe, if it's not so serious and your brother has enough money for you all, you might build a new, calm, ... life in that new town in SA, find new friends (it should be easier in a smaller city where the distances aren't so big (?)), ... maybe find a nice hobby, ... - in any case, find something enjoyable to do, ...

OK; sorry for my "fantasies", but... even if they are too simple compared to the complicated reality, even then I'm still sure you could cope much better with this situation than then in your teens. It's good to analyze all the similarities and differences (of the situations), see if your reactions are not too similar to those back then, while this time, the dangers are not the same, you're more experienced, you have more close friends to share your feelings with - at least online - ... so you can overcome it better emotionally and maybe... even find a good, now invisible, solution.

Take care!!

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Lala, It is like an old nightmare coming back. Over the past couple of years I have been trying to make a life for myself or put one together where I felt comfortable, and I thought I had done that. I had a job that I, by and large, liked, I had become close to a couple of friends and we went out together every now and again for coffee or lunch, and my progress was in part, due to their friendship as well as the friendship of the people here. I was more comfortable in my skin in general than I had ever been I think. Then he decides to leave work and what's worse, go off to live in some village in the middle of nowhere. I have been filled with anxiety since I heard the news and it doesn't really matter how many meds i take, I am still stressed. What is causing me so much anxiety and stress are these things:

1. He doesn't have an income, how can he pay for the rent, utility bills, etc etc.

2. He is at home 24/7 so he is playing his video games all the time, and he makes his daughter play with him and he screams and shouts and swears while playing.

3. Because he's home all the time he nitpicks and he has started taking out his anger on us over little stupid things.

3. His sons are not working yet and he isn't sending them to college so basically all they have is a high school diploma to try and find work with but they are facing the same problems I am - they are not allowed to legally work without a sponsor. I worry about them so much. I want them to have a future,a good one if possible.

4. I am having work problems now - there is no assurance that I have a job. I am basically working day by day until we know what is going to happen and that of course is causing me a lot of anxiety.

5. My health problems and the monetary problems that go with it are a source of stress.

6. If my brother does move from here I do not want to go with him. I think you know me well enough by now Lala to know I don't handle change well - in fact it makes me panic and I go into myself and that's what I'm afraid of. That I will just give up again. I can't start my life over again. It's one of the reasons I can't go back to England. I feel ashamed to say this and I know my circumstances can in no way be compared to theirs in what they must have gone through, but I feel like one of those poor girls that are kidnapped and kept prisoner for years must feel when they are rescued and let out into a world they don't know. I think if I had someone, like my mum or someone I was close to, living in England, then I might be able to consider going there, but I'm too scared to do it on my own and at my age.

That's all I can write for now, but I will answer your other questions later Lala. Thank you for being here with me Lala.

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Thank you for sharing more details, M. And I hope you'll have time to write even more. Not only because I / we want to know, but... hopefully also because writing about it is somehow useful to you.

It's almost unbelievable how your brother is irresponsible and how he behaves :( ...

I'm not going to write a lot this time, mostly because there's already a lot from me lately, but I have one more question: As you don't want to move with your brother (which sounds reasonable to me...) and you don't want to move to England (there, I still have doubts about the potential of this possibility - if the biggest problem isn't only your fear), do you already have a... at least "a fantasy" about what you'd prefer to do? Is there a way to stay in the city you are living in, without your brother? Do you have some family or friends who have an empty room in their house and would be willing to leave you stay with them? (Once you mentioned how you enjoyed having breakfast with some of your relatives - how it was nice to be with them during the meal, ... I don't remember who they were :o, but... they seemed like having good relationship with you and having a pleasant home to stay in...)

I see it's a lot to carry on :( ... But every crisis must pass... (which reminds me of the song: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/george+harrison/all+things+must+pass_20059010.html)

Take care!

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I see... :(

However; there's at least one important thing: "Being a burden or not" depends on the person to whom you'd be (or not) a burden, not on your feeling. You may feel like a burden and not being one! So... it's only up to them to decide and you can know if you would be a burden or not only if you tried and asked them... and then tried to live there for some time. It seems to me that in such case (if you also still had a job / an income, of course), you would have a bit more independence than now; they wouldn't control you (and even intimidate / bully you!) like your brother does.

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(((M.))) I'm sorry :( ... What a shock...

(BTW; your post has the number 777 - quite ironic (as 7 (and even 3 - 3x7) is often seen as a happy number)...)

I can understand that it's natural to you to blame yourself, it's a habit to attribute the causes of most of the bad things to yourself.

Well; yes, you've been avoidant and didn't check your account an that wasn't "rational". But if you did check it more often, what could you have changed about your financial situation? Have you really expend much money without good reasons, thinking that you got a lot to spend? That could be called irresponsible, but I doubt you did it. You had to pay a lot for your medical care, you had to give some money to your brother (probably not only once (-the case you mentioned here), I imagine...), ... and your salary apparently isn't high enough to cover this all and yet bring you also some savings for future :(. It has nothing to do with "being useless". (Would you consider yourself "useful" just because having much money?? I suppose not and I'm even sure quite many rich people would laugh at that idea as they struggle with similar feelings of uselessness...) By this "arguing", I'm not suggesting you not to write "such things" - I know it's good to "vent" and sometimes to even "call oneself names" on the forum (I do it, too, sometimes, BTW); it can be alleviating. And it also can lead to new perspectives. "That" is how you feel, "this" is what others think about you.

I hope very much you'll find a way to have enough money for living...

Did you tell your brother about it? He should know, I think. I know it will be a very unpleasant conversation, but anyway. You live together and he makes decisions with impact on your life, so at least because of this, he should know such important info about your situation.

Take care!

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