Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I don't know what to do with my life

I am a 25 year old girl. My elder brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia 15 years back. I am really not sure that this period has even given me any insight at all into his world. He’s very paranoid even at home and also while he’s away. While he’s away from home he’s completely cut us out for 2-3 years. I was clueless that time as much as I am now. My mother had an accident when I was 5, which put her to coma and she came out of it after 3 not sure when exactly but during that time he started being voilent with me. He would hit like he owned me. I could never come in terms with that nor did I let him rule over me although I would get hurt, I would continue to rage against his violence because I was and am very sensitive. Then as we grew up he cut off from us completely. I had no clue how to handle that as well. My parents were devestated. I’m not sure how I felt. An year or so, he’s not been voilent except for a few episodes with me here and there. I have started my journey on forgiving or forgetting whatever has happened over the last 15 years. But these recent episodes trigger the worst in me, it triggers that little helpless girl raging in anger uncontrollably against violence. One such incident happened today. I’m trying my level best in life, to be goal oriented and try my best to achieve something big in life and help people and families stuck up in these situations. Somewhere I feel that all these negatives in my past has not only let me not to consider a ‘family life’ for myself in future, but it’s pulling me down on the only thing that’s kept me alive all these days-my aspirations and goals.
I am someone who rages on anger and someone’s been selfish at times,so I am not saying one hundred percent Innocent and a victim.

Yamato, I’m so sorry about all this. It must be terrible.

It sounds like you do have insight into where your anger is coming from—and it’s completely understandable. You’ve experienced violence in the past from a brother who now has a severe mental illness. Do you need to separate yourself from your family in order to protect yourself? Maybe. But it doesn’t mean that you can never again have a relationship with your family. Things may change.

You don’t need to decide your entire future right now. Just determine what you need to do to protect yourself physically and emotionally today, next week, next month. Stay focused on your goals and your dreams. It’s good that you’re working on forgiveness, but don’t stay in a situation where you’re subjected to more violence.

Can you afford professional counseling? It seems to me that you would benefit from it.

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Personally, I think it is normal to not know what you want to do with your life. Especially in your twenties after a rough childhood. It is soooo hard to predict the future. I agree with @gardencat that making a decision on what to change today, or next week, is way, way easier than deciding what to do next month, next year or with your whole life.

I operate on reducing pain and increasing happy times in any given week of my life. Once a week, I look at the past week and decide on one thing that might make next week better. After a year, a lot of small decisions added up to big changes (a calmer family, a calmer self, goals met), but I couldn’t see that looking ahead; I could only see it when I looked backwards after changing one thing a week to try to make myself happier and have less pain.

Thanks for taking your time out to read my crap. Here’s me hoping that you/ somebody reads more of it!I don’t know why I am so emotionally weak, I cry/weep for everything and feel everything on the deepest level. I feel sorry for myself. Although I have done every bit correctly in life.I gave no chance for anyone to worry. This was my whole perspective. From last two years I’ve been trying to get selected in Air Force. The tests there are completely personality based tests and it has given an insight into who I am what are my weaknesses, although I didn’t get selected through them. Only now have I developed a positive outlook, thinking of more than just surviving, ready to work hard to get recognized in life for my work, help others . I want to teach and help young adults like me stuck in a family situation rather than just make money. I had only one friend earlier and she was my life long friend for 10 years.We had to fall apart because of some differences in 2014.I have tried for professional counselling, but I don’t feeling like buying people’s support for money. It doesn’t convince me. Infact you seem more genuine and convincing. I also have noticed that I am overly dependent on outsiders not sure why.
Thanks for hearing out, yesterday was tough day for me. I am ok today.I hope you and the others are doing good.Maybe I can help someone here one day.

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I see a lot of self-reflection and honesty in what you wrote.
I’m sure there is a lot more to the story.
But you’re 25. A grown-up woman (as I am sure you are aware).
You have the capability to decide how you own life goes from here on. You have the option at all times to let your past be the past and stop using it as a source of anger (or, like I have in the past, use it as spite and contempt toward others).
But you don’t have to decide right now.
Of all the seemingly conflicting options and actions you could take to achieve seemingly conflicting goals, there is one common denominator:
-You- need to be safe, financially stable and emotionally resillient before you can really help anyone else.

Stopping yourself from gaining solid employment, moving to where opportunities are, or starting a relationship… isn’t necessarily going to help your family. Especially if they happen to not accept your help (as is often the case for a lot of families of young people that struggle).

It is not selfish at all to view your time, energy and attention as valuable resources. Use those resources on the things that produce results.
And if that means avoiding wasting time, energy and attention on people who don’t use it for good, then it is what it is.
If that is the case,
Then shift your focus toward your own goals with the plan that you will soon be better capable of answering a family member’s call for help.

Because it is a shame that struggle and disorders can waste years of the victim’s life,
But even moreso if it wastes your life too.

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