Saturday, October 9, 2010

ANGRY AS HELL...oh and CBT session 2

My sister is home. Again. I'm not into people- bashing on this blog, it doesn't have any place here, but every time this girl comes home- which thankfully ( for me at least!) is not very often- it is a whirlwind of emotions and I was lying in bed and becoming more and more angry and frustrated that she is sleeping peacefully in the next room while I am seething. Plus it's Friday night...I'm home AGAIN and it's been the most awful day.

My sister is not a bad person- she works hard and is studying for her Masters- she left home at 18 and rarely asked for help from my parents or anyone. She is a good friend, caring to those less fortunate and is supportive of my parents- bosses them around!.

But as a sister she is crap. It's not like I haven't done stuff in the past to deserve it but she seems to be on some sort of relentless campaign. Every time she is home she reflects back the self- disgust, disrespect and anger that I feel towards myself. She knows all about my depression, breakdown, anxiety and being suicidal. But she thinks it's bullshit. I don't know how, but she has gotten into her head that I am doing it for attention. She has even implied that I FAKED my breakdown in America.

You may think this is a textbook case and you know the reasons why she is like this. But here is the kicker. Her flatmate and friend suffers from depression- she's not suicidal- but she's had her ups and downs with meds. My sister has been there for this girl every step of the way. Suffered through her mood swings, stayed up till the crack of dawn talking to her, cooked for her, did her washing etc, etc. My sister searched high and low for a support for this girl that they could go to together- this is after having scoffed at me going to a support group. And now for the real cherry- my sister applied to be a Sadag (South African depression & Anxiety Group) counsellor. Yes! she wants to COUNSEL people with depression and anxiety- some of them probably worse off than me.

I used to think the reason she was like this was because she didn't understand mental illness. That maybe it frightened her. But now I know that she is the way she is because of me, not my depression. On the upside I guess that is one less prejudiced person I have to deal with. How I am handling this is keeping her well away from me. Someone in the support group- the one she thought was so funny- said that I am not responsible for her forgiveness towards me. I have asked her to forgive me. I have tried to be her friend. Turned myself upside- down to make up for being such a brat as a kid. But I am done with it. And I can't be bothered to be around a person who's mission is to show me again and again that she doesn't respect me.

I had my second session of CBT today. For some reason it feels like a month and not a week since I last saw Dr Shaw. She didn't really do any CBT, we spoke about my current situation and then I started talking about my the events that lead up yo my breakdown in America, I got as far as my arrival in America. She gave me homework to write a list, no matter how outlandish, of things I want to do with my life. It was a very pleasant session, until the end, When she told me my godfather had agreed to pay for only six sessions. I really don't want to sound ungrateful- I am tremendously grateful for his kindness in trying to help me. But judging by the fact that we are already on session 2 and I haven't even gotten off talking about my past, I knew 6 sessions just wasn't going to cut it.

I immediately became so worried. I would not be able to afford this therapy by myself, which means going back to the state hospital six month waiting list (therapy there consists of going through a workbook and seeing a therapist once a month) There's no way I can ask my godfather for anymore, which leaves me right back where I started. And I just CANNOT go through this again, of starting with a therapist, going through the emotional trauma of having to bring up everything from my past and pick through it. It's just too painful and I'm to tired. So I've told my Mom to give the four remaining sessions to my cousin, who is a single mom of three girls and is about to "throw in the towel" - her words exactly. My Mom is adamant I should continue but I really don't see how or why.

The advice I have for anyone about to seek treatment,is to make sure there is the means to see it through until the end and that there is not threat of it being taken away from you. I think it's actually worse to start something and not finish it then to not start it at all.


  1. Hello Stephi -

    I came across your page through Takashi's.

    I am absolutely stunned by your sister's behavior! For her not to be understanding of YOUR depression, but bends over backwards for her roommate??

    I've realized in life that we can't change people, we can only change ourselves - For your own sake you have to keep your sister at an arm's distance... I know, I know - it's harder when it's family - but I've had to do the same thing. I have family members that don't get it and therefore I've come to the conclusion that (for my own health) I have to ignore their ignorance. I'm not saying it's easy, but once you start not caring what they think it gets better (no matter how frustrating it is - especially when it's your OWN family)...

    As for your therapy session - I have to agree with your Mom - please continue to use the 4 sessions you have left - your life is just as important... have you talked to your therapist about your situation? Maybe she can offer a discounted rate. At the same time - yes - I know how expensive therapy is - but YOU are worth EVERY PENNY you have to spend on it - your mental health is worth it. I've come to the conclusion a long time ago to look at my therapy bills like other bills I'll always have throughout life (mortgage payments, grocery bills, doctor bills...) Just like all of these bills will be a consistent in life - so will your therapy bills - YOU ARE WORTH IT...

    Hang in there!


  2. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the comment, you are right it is extremely hard to separate yourself from family. And it hurts a great deal when it is someone that you love. But I guess that loss with is one of the awful consequences with this illness. In the case of my sister I think her problem is solely with me and not with my depression.

    I have decided to try and continue this therapy, it is very exhausting and I feel like I have to rush to it. But my godfather has said he that he will talk to me again after six sessions and see how it is going. So we'll see what happens

    Thanks for your support! :)

  3. I'm so happy to read that you have continued to work with your therapist. Believe me, I know the feeling of not wanting to "start all over" with a different therapist because then you have to go through the whole agonizing past all over again - it's frustrating. I hope that your godfather (bless his heart) realizes how much you need this and will continue to pay. Please keep me updated (or I'm sure I'll read about it on your blog!)

    I'm in the same situation (like I mentioned before) about family - #1 is my Dad - and #2 is my brother. With my Dad he thinks I can just "get over it" and doesn't understand - with my brother it's denial and lack of sympathy - and like you, I think it's due to issues from the past - and our childhood... in both cases - our siblings are older and you would think they would "give" a little more - right. It's up to us to love ourselves and try not to let what they think or say about us bother us to the point of making it worse on us....

    Hang in there!!


  4. Hi Stephi - I'm very surprised by the way your sister treats you! Reading about your sister reminded me of my own brother. He has bipolar depression and should know how hard it is to go through emotional upheavels, but he seems to have forgotten all that because he has been recovering. When I talked with him on the phone several months ago, he seemed to have trouble understanding WHY I've been suffering from depression! My parents, too, still seem to have tremendous difficulty understanding mental health issues.

    It's good that you decided to keep up with your therapy. I myself plan to see a therapist once I get approved for the Government Disability benefit. I'm very distant from my family because of my illness, so I know how hard it must be for you to deal with family issues. You're not alone, and please hang in there!

  5. Hey - I've been trying to comment on your post about the hospital that you go to (I see it on my blog feed) but when I click on it it says that page is not available? Did you delete it?

  6. I did delete it. I have been working on it for the last few days. Somehow it got posted before I was finished. I'm working on it now, it's almost 1:30am here and I can't sleep! :) So it may be posted just now. Otherwise tomorrow...