First of all, I am so sorry to hear about the state of your family’s health. My heart breaks for how it must be affecting you. I’m guessing you live on your own and you are doing okay yourself? Except for the guilt feelings? I can tell you from years of therapy and years of working on my own feelings, guilt serves no useful purpose and it is a form of self punishment. I know how it feels though, all too well.
I can relate in some ways to your situation because my mother and 3 sisters are all mentally ill with addiction problems and none of them get treatment.
My mom is in her late 70’s and has chronic COPD, she never leaves the house and has oxygen on 24/7 and still smokes and most likely drinks (or use to) I haven’t seen her for the past at least 10 years. She lives 20 minutes from me. My 2 sisters that leave near her (like within blocks) both are really emotionally disturbed and deluded, both on disability but neither being treated for what is really wrong with them. All have deteriorating health.
I have seen none of them in 10+ years and I never plan to. There is nothing, not one single thing I can do to change their minds or lead them to better health. (Trust me I tried) Every time I use to interact with them they were so mean and cruel and made up stuff that was absolutely not true and I always left crying and shaking and it took me weeks to get over it. Through therapy and working on myself I realized I tried all I could and that it takes cooperation for a relationship to work and succeed and there is none with my family, nor will there ever be. After all these years I have closed the book on them and I think have grieved all along for what never was.
My 3rd sister is a different story. She is also very ill mentally and has in the past been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and borderline personality disorder and she is a former crack addict. Her and I were close at one time. We are 2 years apart. She is 58 and I am 60. She lives in a different part of town still not too far away in a tiny efficiency apartment. She thinks Jesus lives with her in reality not in a spiritual sense. I think she sees people often that are not there.
Sometimes we can talk by phone or we have actually visited one another from time to time and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s a disaster. Then one day without reason or warning, she will stop answering her phone, and unplug it and she will not answer her door or return any letters I write.
We are in that phase once again today as I write. She is the one sister I was holding out hope for. She is the one I still try with when she lets me. I can’t control her or convince her what is in her best interest.
Once her doctor asked me to get legal guardianship of her to make her get the mental and physical health care she needs and I told them that I wish I could. I simply could not. I have legal guardianship of my youngest son who is now 36 and recovering from Schizophrenia, the medications he has been on do a great job in keeping him stable but he still needs a coach nearby and that is me. I can’t be guardian for anyone else even if I love them dearly.
I don’t feel any guilt about my other family anymore. I do still have guilt feelings from time to time about my 3rd sister that is currently not talking to me. I often ask myself “did I say something wrong?” or “could I have done something different?” I am still working through that. I don’t know where I will end up. There’s not much I can do if she refuses to open up any line of communication. All I do is send her an uplifting greeting card once every so often, hoping it sparks something.
I go to therapy myself (well now with covid 19 it is phone therapy) still I have complex PTSD I deal with and always always working on myself and my emotions. I’m always a work in progress.
You might be as well. I don’t know you just guessing. I say be KIND to yourself. You have a good heart or you wouldn’t be struggling so much with what’s happening with your family. You may need to seriously just focus on you, just you. Easier said than done. Very important though in these difficult days we’re in. You have your own struggles to contend with just like I do. You don’t have to communicate with them while they are like they are, it will just drag you down. They seem set in their ways, much like my family is.
You can send uplifting cards of encouragement if you choose to, if you think it’s wise. Otherwise my advice, for what it is worth is to recognize what is truly out of your control and keep them at arm’s length to protect your own wellness and to set healthy boundaries between you. If you aren’t already in supportive counseling, I highly recommend it. I don’t know what I would do without it honestly. My best wishes to you. hugs