Hi, Everyone!

Hi, Everyone!

Postby RSRA » December 28th, 2014, 9:23 am

Thanks so much for having me on this forum!

A little bit about me: I am currently in my final/internship year as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student in Northern New England, and I have an emerging interest in trauma counseling. My current internship setting is working in community mental health with children and families; in the past, I have had clinical experience working with college students, both in individual counseling and substance abuse. I am also currently conducting research in a prison setting with women who have experienced trauma, and seeing if their participation in a weekly mindfulness meditation group can help them see their trauma in a new way, which can (hopefully) give them new coping skills and a new way to look at healing.

Thanks so much for having this forum, Paul, and I look forward to answering questions that anyone may have!
RSRA
 
Posts: 21
Joined: February 19th, 2013, 12:22 pm
Location: New Hampshire
Issues: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Anorexia
preferred pronoun: she

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby mickeal » December 28th, 2014, 5:47 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum!

I have a question for you. I have a family that is very narcissist and seems to like misery in others. Its a long history but I wont go into all the details.

My question is, is there any "good" in seeing my family at the holidays? I get very anxious to go every year. Siblings or parents always have some kind of rude, stepping on, Im better than you, judgmental type of comments. I don't like going there. Am I missing out on any potential good, if I stop going?
mickeal
 
Posts: 12
Joined: November 27th, 2014, 5:59 pm
Gender: M
Issues: Anxiety Alcoholism Narcissistic/borderlinePD parents incest physical abuse
preferred pronoun: He

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby RSRA » December 28th, 2014, 7:58 pm

This is a great question, Mikeal - I would imagine that it's common (not just in you and me!) to debate the merits of the holidays and spending them around family when being around them doesn't necessarily help us to feel good about ourselves.

My question for you is that aside from the things that you feel bad about in the holidays, is there anything about which you feel good when you leave your family at the end of them? It sounds like you worry that you'll miss out on a positive that you may have yet to see if you don't go. There sure is always that risk, but if this is a consistent pattern in your family that has been going on for a long time, I would encourage you to think about whether or not you really believe this pattern is going to change. If you're in counseling and trying actively to reconcile these feelings in yourself, there might be reason to believe that things might change, even if it is only in the way you think about them and not necessarily a change in their behavior.

However, if you already know all of the answers to these questions, and you know that you don't want to go the holidays with your family and you are just looking for support and validation to make a change in this time of year so that you have an easier time, I would definitely encourage you giving yourself the space to do that, if that's where you are. Your mental health is important. If stopping going to the holidays with your family will even give you an inch in preserving it and you feel ok about doing it, go for it! Worst case scenario, if you hate not going to the holidays with your family, there's always the following year. :) Nothing has to be permanent about a decision like this if you don't want it to be.

I hope this helps! :)
RSRA
 
Posts: 21
Joined: February 19th, 2013, 12:22 pm
Location: New Hampshire
Issues: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Anorexia
preferred pronoun: she

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby mickeal » December 30th, 2014, 7:14 pm

Thanks, I appreciate your response, and it does help validate my decision, not to go.

For years I blamed myself. I've been in active recovery for 10 years and therapy for a year. I always thought I had some part in them being jerks to me. Its not something I cause. I am always nice at the holidays and for the rest of the year.

Are they going to change. No.

Do I ever leave there feeling good? Maybe one visit, was ok, once.

Thanks for your help!
mickeal
 
Posts: 12
Joined: November 27th, 2014, 5:59 pm
Gender: M
Issues: Anxiety Alcoholism Narcissistic/borderlinePD parents incest physical abuse
preferred pronoun: He

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby hope2cope » December 27th, 2016, 9:51 am

Hello, Ryan, and thank you in advance. I am new here and would like your advice. It is similar to the last posting. I am an adult male and a divorced father. My daughter is coming for a visit and is struggling with anxiety and depression. These are illnesses that I have battled all my life. I am unsure of how to be emotionally strong during her visit. I fear we will be triggering each other. Thanks and Respects.
hope2cope
 
Posts: 2
Joined: December 27th, 2016, 9:33 am
Gender: male
Issues: anxiety depression
preferred pronoun: he

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby RSRA » December 27th, 2016, 7:45 pm

Hi, hope2cope, and thanks so much for reaching out with your question. The holidays can be so difficult, can't they? I am not a parent, so let me say that at the outset; however, as a child of divorce who also struggles with these issues, as well as having two parents who also struggle with these issues, as well as watching them try to effectively coparent still 30 years later (and still not always being super successful!), I will say that I did and continue to do a lot better when either my parents did better, or when they were just honest with me when they were struggling. If you are struggling and you are worried that it might trigger your daughter or you, I encourage you to just name it. (Just. Snort! I know - easier said than done!) but my point is that if you can have an honest conversation with your child about your concerns and just open the door, even if she doesn't say anything, you'll be making it clear to her that she can. And by you saying, "yeah, I know you might be having a hard time. That happens to me sometimes too," you are not only telling her that it's ok for her to talk, but you're also modeling good communication, to say nothing of showing her that you're emotionally with her, which can be SO validating, and hopefully not too much for you to be able to give to her at this point in time.

I really hope this helps, and I hope you are also reaching out to any supports you might have in your life. Hang in there! :)
RSRA
 
Posts: 21
Joined: February 19th, 2013, 12:22 pm
Location: New Hampshire
Issues: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Anorexia
preferred pronoun: she

Re: Hi, Everyone!

Postby hope2cope » December 28th, 2016, 3:33 pm

Ryan, Thank you SO much. I usually am self-disclosing with my daughter because often she relies on me to "understand," which I do profoundly. She'd admitted on the phone that she was in a real funk and that made me second guess myself. You validated my therapist, who recommended to be open and honest. You, Sir, are a godsend. I cannot thank you enough. I'm paypaling Paul because you are some of the islands of sanity we swim to.
hope2cope
 
Posts: 2
Joined: December 27th, 2016, 9:33 am
Gender: male
Issues: anxiety depression
preferred pronoun: he


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