Trying To Get Better But Its Hard (Trigger warning)

I talk about this a lot in the stream, but Twitch only allows me so much time and space to speak on it. And whilst I feel like this is a cry for attention from me. It’s more me wanting some support because it’s such a consistent issue.
Just before Christmas, December 23rd. I got into an argument with my sister. Her kids run riot all the time when they visit and it gets to me so much. The ONE night I snap, my sister screams in my face that she wishes she’d never made me godmother to her kids. All because I got mad and moved her kid away from something he shouldn’t be messing with. Like it’s my fault her kids are undisciplined. She literally lets them run riot at my/my parents house and never tells them no.
After she yelled at me, I pretty much went into autopilot. I barricaded myself in my room, and self harmed. I cut deeper than before, enough for my mother to think I’d need stitches. When she was able to get into my room, I told her I wanted to die and didn’t want anyone near me. I didn’t feel safe. I haven’t felt safe for a while. Whenever I know that my sister or the kids are coming to the house, I hide away in my room. Just as an attempt to keep myself safe.
And it’s like family don’t even care. Because sometimes they just say I’m being stupid, or to “get over it cause it’s family”
With the UK in lockdown because of Covid, I don’t really have much of a choice for anything. I can’t leave the house much, if at all. And I can’t see my friends to escape the feelings of wanting to harm or wanting to die.
This past week, I was more or less forced to sit downstairs when one of the kids came to visit. And, to keep HIM quiet, I had to sit and play Minecraft. And whilst I enjoy Minecraft, and it was kinda fun to play with him; I felt like I was putting myself in danger. I could feel my anxiety starting to kick off, and could feel myself starting to panic. But I knew I couldn’t walk away because the kid would just kick off and make it even harder for my mother to cope.

On top of all this, my father struggles. And I still can’t shake the image from my head of the night he came home from a walk and collapsed. Bleeding everywhere, and I had to call the ambulance. Something I’ve never done before, and something that caused a huge panic attack. I’d already had 5 panic attacks that week, so that incident made it 6 panic attacks. Whilst the paramdecis were inside with my father, I sat on the ground outside the house having a panic attack for over 2 hours. I didn’t really eat that night, and felt extremely unsafe.
It feels like I can’t shake any of the bad memories or experiences. And they, in turn, make it hard for me to relax, sleep, eat. Anything.
I keep thinking about harming. And how much better things would be for everyone else if I weren’t here. In the HS streams, it’s said that a change of environment is what I need. But what do I do if that’s not an option?
I just sit… and stew in my own thoughts. In my own feelings. And it just eats away at me.
I’m starting to feel more and more hopeless. And like family is turning against me more and more with each passing day.


That is really tough. It appears so obvious what kind of discipline those kids need, and it feels like your sister either can’t see it, won’t see it, or needs to be taught it. On the other hand, your sister might feel like you don’t know what’s best for her kids, or like you are undermining her role as mom and authority figure.

A friend gave me a piece of advice once: two topics that are off limits for unsolicited criticism are marriage and parenting. I think your sister overreacted to you redirecting her kid, but if you tell her she needs to get the little shits under control it comes off as you calling her a bad parent, which would make anyone defensive.

In any case, you need to take care of yourself first. You are not beholden to bad kids or their blithe parents. If you need a “people break” as I like to call it, take one. If they ask where you’re going, tell them you need a break or a breath or even a bathroom break. Go, and take as long as you need to, even if it’s the rest of the night. The important thing is to make a gracious exit where they won’t argue with you and ramp up your anxiety. Something I found that has been a huge help at family gatherings is concert earplugs. For around $40 U.S., I got some that are discreet, and sort of turn down the volume of the room without muffling conversation. My niece’s piercing screams and echoes aren’t so overwhelming that way.

As for the kids running amok, if you’re at your parents’ house, remember it’s not your problem, even if it irks you. If your parents don’t want their things destroyed, they’ll intervene. Those are the boundaries you get to set, and it’s important to respect their boundaries even if you think they’re too close. Plus, if something gets destroyed, you can savor the satisfaction of having known better :smirk: If it’s at your house, you have every right to set boundaries and keep the kids away from your stuff. Try telling your sister that you’re protecting your things, not disciplining her kids. That might be easier for her to take.

If you need to engage with the kids, like playing minecraft with your nephew, try to take him out of the equation. You’re not playing Minecraft with him, you’re playing Minecraft and he’s also playing Minecraft. That’s how I get through playing video games with the 6 year old my wife nannies. When I’ve had enough, I walk away, and I get to do that because I’m a grown-up.

Hold tight. before long they’ll be surly teens who won’t look up from their phones, and you’ll be free. Take note of your sister’s parenting techniques that you don’t like, and devise alternative techniques for when/if you have kids. In general, set boundaries for yourself, hold hard to your boundaries, and respect others’ boundaries or lack thereof as long as they don’t interfere with yours.

Hey @mammawolf,

First I want to say I don’t view this as a cry for attention at all. I’m hearing that you are very overwhelmed and hurting right now and you are reaching out for support. That is strong. That is healthy. Not a cry for attention and want to thank you for sharing this here and reaching out.

I am so sorry your sister reacted that way toward you and I’m sorry you haven’t bee feeling safe. I can’t imagine how hurtful that was to hear those words from her. It sounds like you’ve been biting your tongue and trying to go with the flow for so long that everything finally came to a head. I can see how barricading yourself in was a protective action for you although I’m sorry self harm followed. There is a lot of hurt with this. You are carrying a lot right now yet trying to keep the peace and it is taking its toll. Not to mention having seen your father collapse. All of these things add up and wear on a person.

Being in lockdown takes a toll in general on one’s mental health especially when the environment you’re forced to be in is so overwhelming and turning more toxic. So when a change of environment isn’t an option, similar to what SheetMetalHead said, setting boundaries would be a great place to start. You are allowed to take care of yourself. You are worthy of that self care and compassion. When you feel overwhelmed, I would encourage you to take time to do something you know you enjoy and that calms you. Something you can just kind of zone out to and relax. This could also help with finding alternatives to self harm as well. Your mind becomes distracted by doing something you enjoy and it allows you to relax and come down from the sensory overload that may have triggered it.

With so much going on and feeling like you’re out of options, it becomes hard to hold onto hope, but you are loved and worthy of life. We love you and are here to help you search for options when it seems there aren’t any. There is always a way and I know myself and the rest of this community want to come alongside you and support you as best we can through this.

Hold fast friend,

Hannah Rhodes

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