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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Emotionally absent family and friends

Topic: Emotionally absent family and friends

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Upside_down
    Upside_down avatar
    4 posts
    26 May 2020

    Hi all.

    I’m new here, recently went off social media & with everything going on in the world I thought it would be helpful to join the discussion here so I’m not so isolated... also hopeful a reader may have some advice for what I’m going through.

    Has anyone had experience with family/friends who are emotionally absent? Ive gotten to a point of wanting to cut ties with my mother and sister because I have tried to express my feelings/needs in a respectful way but end up being either attacked or ignored.

    I have spent the last few years persisting with treatment with little support from them, and the more time that has passed the more I’ve realised how their behaviours are impacting my recovery. I’m unsure how to communicate with them and would appreciate any help

    thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Sleepy21
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    1189 posts
    27 May 2020 in reply to Upside_down

    hey!
    Welcome to the forum. This is a great replacement to social media, in my opinion!
    That sounds really frustrating with your sister and mother.

    I have some experience with what your going through but i'm still smack in the middle of it, so i don't know if I can actually advise...

    I do know that it's very hard to get space from toxic family members. Have you ever had a break from them in any way? I lived in another country for a few years which gave me some respite, and also helped me notice that I did need that space. It was easier to breathe with that distance.

    I could understand not wanting to talk about mental health with people who are attacking you and unable to offer sensitive advice. It can discourage you from getting help. Having forums of people or even just one person who believes you and cares can help. For me, that first person was probably a caller on the phone to Lifeline :)

    Welcome to the forum, great to have you here.

  3. Upside_down
    Upside_down avatar
    4 posts
    27 May 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hey, yes I agree with you there, so much negativity and I waste too much time on it.

    thank you for your advice. I would love to live in another country, where did you move to? I live in another state so the physical distance has definitely helped but they are still very much there since we speak weekly, so I think you’re right, a break could be helpful. I hope your situation eases for you soon, take care.

  4. Jesicca
    Jesicca avatar
    47 posts
    27 May 2020 in reply to Upside_down
    Hey!

    I'm in a similar boat to you both in that I'm still experiencing this so I'm not sure I can give any clean cut advice about any sort of final solution. But what I have found really helps me is painting bonds and strong relationships with people that do support me and are emotionally available. I know it might seem like no one is and you've tried with so many people in your life but I noticed my mindset really changed when I started forcing myself to talk about things to my close loved ones. When I first started dating my boyfriend I had so much anxiety about talking to him about my experiences with anxiety and depression, I would start to say something and then literally sit there for hours trying to spit out what my mind was racing and thinking at the time. He would sometimes get frustrated and want me to just say something. Once I stopped trying to plan what I was going to say before I said it (something I still am learning to do less), I noticed it was easier to have a conversation. I am trying to learn that its okay to talk about myself a lot and i'm not selfish or needy for wanting to tell someone how I am feeling even if its every single day until things get a little bit better and eventually it has become needing and wanting to talk about it less and less because I know that at least he knows what I am experiencing at the moment. I am trying to remember that if he did this to me I wouldn't be mad at him or judge him and so I have to have faith in knowing that he is the same with me and this hasn't let me down yet. I hope you have someone in your life that you can confide in like I have but if you don't feel like you have that just yet I think it's important to remember that you have all of us here and we want to be here for you, whatever you want to chat about! :)
    2 people found this helpful
  5. Lauren57r
    Lauren57r avatar
    28 posts
    27 May 2020 in reply to Jesicca

    Hi

    I am in a similar situation

    As I have a toxic relationship with my mother and she constantly tries to control everything i also feel like she doesn't care about me anymore as she doesn't show affection or tell me she loves me i cant remember the last time she told me she loved me or she was proud of me.

    this has lead to me having anxiety issues and i don't know how to deal with her and the toxic environment she creates because she is now blaming my farther for everything and believes she has done nothing wrong

    what do i do ?

  6. Sleepy21
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    1189 posts
    27 May 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi there, I'm a little nervous for privacay to say where I lived, but i went on a trip after school to travel and then ended up staying on for a few years.
    I remember feeling so safe with people who were not emotionally abusive towards me.

    I recently remembered that feeling when I was in hospital - my family didn't know I was there - it was the ultimate privacy in some ways - a way to escape.
    I think that's wonderful that you live in another state!! It would certainly help.

    I used to speak to my family a lot also - they were so so toxic. Would it be an option to speak less? Is there a reason you could give which you feel would be good enough??


  7. Jesicca
    Jesicca avatar
    47 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to Lauren57r
    Hi Lauren57,

    I'm really sorry to hear this about your relationship with your mum. Something that I always try to remind myself when I feel that someone doesn't care about me is that this is an assumption that I am telling myself is correct, even when it very well might not be. My advice to you is to talk to your mum about it in a calm and collected manner. Ask her to spend the night watching a movie or ask if there is something she would enjoy doing together. Once you have started on a positive note like this, she won't feel so attacked if you let her know your thoughts. It could even be something as simple as telling her that you're feeling alone and like no one really cares for you at the moment. I don't think it is likely that she wants you to feel this way, some people just express that they care in different ways. Another thing you could do is talk to your father and ask him if he has any experiences of when he knew that your mother cared about him. He might be able to tell you stories and you might realise that she shows her love differently.

    If you don't feel confident doing this straight away then maybe just try to have a few nights together where you spend some quality time doing something you both like and tell her that you have enjoyed those nights together and ask if she does too, this is a great way to let someone know you care.
  8. Jesicca
    Jesicca avatar
    47 posts
    29 May 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi Sleepy21,

    It sounds like you are doing really well in the new state that you are living in and enjoying your freedom and independence. Your choice to speak to your family is no one but your own and if you feel like you have a strong support system in your new state then that is a great foundation to build a positive life. However, if you do want to have contact with your family that is not a bad thing. It is important to set boundaries and for you to be aware of these boundaries. So for example you might want to call a member of your family once a week and have a chat about what is going on in your life or you might want to have this call once a month. It is totally up for you but I think a great place to start is writing down what you're comfortable with for now and doing that. If what you're comfortable with changes then it is unto you to decide whether you want more or less contact.
  9. Sleepy21
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    1189 posts
    30 May 2020 in reply to Lauren57r
    Hi Lauren, that sounds absolutely terrible. I hope you have other people supporting you and showing you love, it's really importnt I think that you know how valuable you are and not let her approach affect your self-worth.
    It's a very hard situation and i wanted to send support, like Jessica.
  10. Lauren57r
    Lauren57r avatar
    28 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    So I find myself back here again with nothing better to report the issues have become worse and it has been determined that my mother has become a toxic person and is creating a toxic environment by not wanting to own up to her own actions and responsibilities. As a result of this everything has become strained and the dynamics are falling apart and my relationship with my mother is now beyond repair however due to not having anywhere else to go due to COVID I'm stuck in this environment and watching everything continue to fall apart and cause constant fighting

  11. Sleepy21
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    1189 posts
    10 August 2020

    hey again

    thanks for posting and updating us here

    that truly sounds difficult and upsetting

    it's not okay to be controlled and taken for granted, i'm sorry you are struggliong now during covid having to be in that environment

  12. ecomama
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    ecomama avatar
    1100 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hi Jessica, Lauren and Sleepy21

    I'm alot older than you all... I had / have an extremely mentally unwell mother and she was also extremely damaging to my life, toxic you may say. It was possibly worse than that.

    I've been No Contact since Police took her from my home a few decades ago. She was extremely violent again that day, to me and in front of my children.

    She went to jail.

    She played the victim ever so well.

    Turned my entire extended family against me.

    This huge loss which took me a billion attempts at contact to realise, saw me in a very depressed state for a long time.

    It's hard, more than hard, to cut off ties. The Police did it for me in the end and actually "Counselled" me through it! They labelled it Domestic Violence. This shocked me, but as I came to understand the dynamics, indeed it was.

    The MISTAKE I made was to NOT seek Counselling around the effects of being raised in a DV household specifically that topic (Family Violence too).
    I know because of this I ended up choosing similar partners.

    I'm out of it all now.
    I completed a Course called "Breaking Free", have had Counselling (ongoing) for many years and recently sought a specialist Trauma Psychologist to help me settle PTSD and anxiety.

    I urge you all to reach out here ALOT. Please read up on anything and everything that clicks with you about DV and FV. Try to understand and learn to know the "red flags" in others so you can avoid them. Once you "coin" a person (which I am VERY good at now lol) it can help you separate fast!

    Most importantly KNOW none of this is your fault. Learn to love yourself. Care for yourself.

    I guess I have "thrived" in the spectrum moving from "victim" to "survivor" to "thriver" but it's a slippery slope and I move between these quite a bit.

    Love to you all
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Lauren57r
    Lauren57r avatar
    28 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Hi ecomama

    Besides the counciling what strategies or things did you do to help cope ?

    What do you mean by red flags and how do recognise the them
    1 person found this helpful
  14. ecomama
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    1100 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to Lauren57r

    Hi Lauren57

    I couldn't find your thread, if you can tell me what the name of it is and maybe post something there so it comes up to a newer post, I'll get on there too, so any help I can offer is more specific to you - being your thread.

    I'll start a thread later this week.... I'll think of a name...

    I will put in italics anything you can Google.

    I strongly urge anyone in DV / FV situations to, at least, seek Counselling from a person who tags DV / FV in their support title - I see a Counsellor thru Uniting Care and she's freaking amazing.

    You may need a professional in this field for many years, esp with childhood DV, as a mentor and sounding board to you and your questions. The work needed by a victim to rise above this can never be underestimated.

    A psychologist with same support title can be another source of at least spot therapy as I am having (but this is for diagnosed PTSD and anxiety that became unmanageable this year).

    There are SO MANY websites, online clips, books, audio books, even FB pages depending on your circumstances.

    ALSO please seek out what free Courses are available for DV / FV at your local Women's Health Centre. THIS was the incredible springboard for my deeper education & understandings around the Cycle of Violence. "Breaking Free" & "The Shark Cage" are the most incredible Courses & I urge ANYONE to do these Courses. Facilitated by 2 Counsellors, so the support was supreme, the content gobsmacking & the engagement onwards excellent.
    They will offer these Courses 1:1 if you can't attend group sessions. I highly recommend the groups sessions, 8 for each.

    "Red Flags", to me, are behaviours that abusers show to us, even at the beginning of the relationship when they can seem very mild or even endearing! Love bombing is one. Possessiveness, jealousy - major red flags. Usurping ALL your time to the point of excluding your friends, family - major red flag - this is part of "social isolation" abusers to do their victims. There are so many more red flags.... the other thread can help more.

    OTHER component to recognise, be aware of & reflect in yourself are certain "key" elements than can make us 'attractive' to an abuser... like a magnet! This is not a complete list... Trigger Warning.. us having "daddy issues", no male figures around ie brothers, father, uncles, male friends... property.. good income.. childhood abuse.. previous SA & more.

    Hope this helps
    EM

    1 person found this helpful

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