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#1 Armygirl

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:43 AM

I think it's kinda sad, to look at things, how much mental illness is still, so misunderstood, even to those that seem so close to us...

My dad does volunteer work with a local agency since he's retired, and I must admit much of our daily phone calls revolve around how bad they have things, and he harps on how many of them have some sort of mental illness. He's a great guy, and I appreciate what he is doing for the less fortunate, don't get me wrong, I just don't get the feeling that he really gets "it"....he will tell me all of these stories, and he's almost at tears....but when I tell him what I am struggling through, he has a different attitude, probably where I get my suck it up and drive on mentality...but it makes me feel pretty shitty...

Today he was talking about this young teen that came in, with scars all over her arms froms self injuring herself...and he was so, sad for that..he was crying, and telling me her story, and the whole time, I couldn't help but to think, angry thoughts towards him..and he was saying he talked my brother(the psychologist) and how he was explaining that people do those things because that's the only thing they can feel, and I was thinking, yeah that fits me to a tee....come on dad, you don't see my scars, you don't bring it up, you don't understand, but you will cry your heart out over some stranger??

I felt like yanking him up by the collar and saying "Can I wave a bigger flag???"

All of my scars have come from cigarette lighters, the ones on my arms I did in '94, 99, '03...and my most recent ones came last year on my thigh..

I just don't understand....how someone can be like that, and yet at the same time they see it every day...I don't hide my scars, and no one ever asks...but at the same time, I would expect my family to say..hey what happened there and why...

I don't know...

ang

Edited by Armygirl, 14 April 2011 - 02:48 AM.


#2 Hangingon

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 12:35 PM

((((Ang))))

it angers and saddens me too when people can't see what is right in front of their eyes. It's like a form of denial where they don't want to admit to issues in their own back yard, many times it's because then they would have no choice but to accept responsibility for any role they may have played in things getting that bad and a lot of people can't or won't face up to that. it's easier to shed tears for someone else, someone you have zero ties to because it can be done guilt free. To shed tears for your own, means you have to deal with your share too.

I wish he'd wake up and see the pain you've been in and help you with it. In the meantime, we're here to help you with it.

:?:

Love

Sheila

#3 listener

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 02:38 AM

(((((((((((((( Angie )))))))))))))

That makes me feel sad too, that you have had the same scars and traumas right in front of him and yet he's only been able to recognise it in a stranger... On the other hand I suppose it's a good thing that he could care so much as to cry over this teenager he doesn't know... It proves he's got a heart in there, just maybe doesn't know how to get to his feelings when he's dealing with someone close. I suppose, if I try and put myself in his shoes, maybe it's a lot more scary to let yourself feel that much about someone you love and are close to. If you start to let yourself cry about it, then a whole lot of other feelings probably come pouring out - blame for whoever may have caused it, and so a lot of anger towards various people and towards oneself... bitterness over the past and what's been lost, a sense of personal failure, anxiety/uncertainty about how to deal with it once it's out in the open, all that kind of thing...

Do you think it might just be possible too, that he just hasn't ever put two and two together to realise how your scars came about? I don't know the extent of how much you've told him, but sometimes people can just be slow to see things that are under their nose, especially if those things have been there a long time...

I can totally understand the feelings you had when your dad was talking - I'm sure I'd have felt the same way... But maybe it's a good sign too, maybe in a way he was even trying to let you know that he does understand and care about things like that - even if he hasn't quite found a way to relate to your own issues directly. I don't know you all that well but my loose impression is that you're probably used to showing a fairly strong exterior to the world - and often that makes other people feel the need to treat you with respect, with a sort of chummy-friendship, but not necessarily with compassion and tenderness - which they are afraid you might interpret as pity or condescension. Sometimes people may see you as having a lot of pride, or self-esteem built around your strength/toughness, and they're afraid that you might just be annoyed or feel your self-respect is being undermined/dented by them treating you too gently and kindly, like a vulnerable child. And of course it's probably got to do with the whole family 'culture' and attitudes that you would have grown up with... I think over time you can get around those things, but yeah, it can be a bit of work to gradually learn about each other and change the way you relate to one another. But things do change, slowly... I think the more you become aware of what's going on, the easier it is to start moving those boundaries and changing things.

((((((((((( Angie )))))))))) I've been really appreciating getting to hear about all the things you're doing in terms of therapy, finding new work, and so on, lately... I think you're doing an impressive job, and it's a good feeling being able to enthuse with you over the highs - like when you talked about finally being able to open up and talk about past experiences in therapy, and about regaining your sense of colours/smells, and so on - as well as being able to empathise over the difficult or sad experiences as well. We're all slowly making our way along this path somehow, and I always find it a wonderful thing to be able to share in and be encouraged by each other's journeys.

:?:

Listener

Edited by listener, 15 April 2011 - 02:59 AM.


#4 Armygirl

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:36 AM

Thanks guys, you know, the more I think about it, you're right...he just doesn't see what is in front of him. I need to move on from that and accept that as reality..I'm not sure that he ever will see..but I need to be grateful for the things that he does allow himself to see now..which is alot more than years past...for example, he is being incredibly supportive in me getting help for my anxiety, he does see that problem...so maybe at the same time I need to adjust my attitude too...food for thought...

thank you guys for being there through this journey, we will see how it ends, lol!!!

love,

ang

#5 Ed the chow hound

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:11 PM

(((((((((Angie ))))))))))

You are a much loved member of this forum and my cyber family. Sending you a 6x6 truck load of supportive hugs to help fight off the beast. Stay in contact with your support base here at BTB.

love ya always

uncle Ed the chow hound