Life is piling up a bit


#1

I was really hesitant to post this because it seems so trivial compared to the real problems that others are dealing with. But I’m out of ideas and I just need some new input. Please forgive if this post comes off as too teen aged whiney.

There were times when getting my brother to take his meds was easier then dealing with the leaky dishwasher, and the stuck door and the not so reliable water heater, the laundry and the cooking and the bills. Our parents would come over and help me with stuff, but I had an opportunity to figure out a lot of stuff on my own.

This past year alone; my brother has worked so hard and made a huge improvement in his health. As we both realize, it’s not over yet. However, there are days when packing a lunch for my brother, helping with dinner, and slightly nudging him to stay on track is so much easier then dealing with the broken heater, the drippy shower head, and the rest of the day to day list.

I’m also trying to keep the drama low and buffer my brother from some of what is going on. But that is turning out to be harder then it once was. We have talked about this. We both have vastly different ways of dealing with family drama. The thing is, some of it has to be dealt with.

So the day piles up, and I get a bit stressed like everyone does and I get distracted. Then my brother wants to know what’s wrong. I wish I could vent about this stuff that is getting me down, but I don’t want to lay it on his shoulders. Keeping the stress and drama factor as low a possible is what has helped my brother heal. My frustrating days have nothing to do with my older brother. I hate it when he thinks I’m upset with him, and I’m not at all. I’m upset with my oil leaking car.

I try to down play a lot of stuff, but he’s become a very observant man these past two years and pervious vagueness doesn’t work anymore. (I’m not posting anything we haven’t already discussed.)

I have to find a way to answer my brother’s questions in such a way that it doesn’t trigger his anxiety.
Of course, we both have vastly different ideas about what is important and what is upsetting. I can’t bubble wrap him and shield him from life, that will just upset him. He’s been getting very adamant about not being bubble wrapped.

But I know that I don’t want to overwhelm him with the day to day that makes it possible to get through the day. We have tried to talk to each other about the fact that sometimes both of us get our feelings hurt when life is piling up.

How do other care givers and siblings, family and friends get through the day to day frustrations without letting it upset or affect the person in your life who is fighting this illness?

Just looking for some new ideas.
Thank you for letting me post.


#2

My take on this is that somehow the term expressed emotion is in my opinion being taken way to literally. I think that blaming, accusing, yelling and fighting with someone who has a mental illness is obviously not a good thing. Fighting and yelling around someone with a mental illness is obviously not a good thing. I don’t think that letting someone know that you are upset or mad over other things is going to cause a relapse. If it does then relapse is probably already there. Venting is not putting the responsibility of the situation on the other person’s shoulders. I think it is ok to let J know that you are frustrated that your car is leaking oil. Sometimes I will say to my hubby “I don’t need any answers I just need to talk”.


#3

I’ve learned from my wife’s family that complaining about day to day irritations can be not the dreaded “Expressed Emotion” but a form of bonding and small-talk.


#4

Well first of all, it’s not trivial, it’s your life.Yes, you have big problems because you are a minor (you’re still 17, right kidsister?) taking on adult responsibilities. Maybe too much. Maybe you should lean on your parents or siblings more. I know even though I’m 53 years old that my family does not tell me everything they think about me and my situation. I ran into some trouble a few months ago in my apartment complex and I realize that there are now things going on behind the scenes with my sisters and my psychiatrist and my therapist. My family is puling together to help me but i know they do not tell me everything. It does not necessarily bother me. But I digressed I don’t have any real suggestions for you except maybe to explain to James that you have a lot on your plate taking care of the both of you and it is stressful but that he should trust that you can’t tell him every detail. Sorry, not my best or most helpful advice. Or maybe just list everything that needs to be done in a months time on paper, show him the list, and tell him to trust that you will take care of it. Explain that things come up. I can’t change your nature, but maybe you are helping the wrong people. Forget about the drug addicts and ex-boyfriends and concentrate on those closest to you. Prioritize.


#5

Thank you @77nick77 and @Twang and @BarbieBF,

I will be 18 in July. I am getting a lot more on my plate right now. I am going to try to let my big brother in a lot more. I’m not used to not being in charge of that part of things. But I have been working on it. I do need to prioritize. I’m working on that as well.

I have a hard time going to my parents. I see them as that last option. I just can’t face them if I haven’t tried at least 4 or 5 ways to fix the problem myself. I am going to try and introduce more of the day to day to my big brother.


#6

Pick and choose what to tell him maybe? Some things might be more stressful for him than others. Then again he may surprise you with what he can handle. And what he can’t. Hence the name, surprisedJ !! Good luck kidsister.


#7

Just remember that communication is a two way street. You can’t expect him to confide in you if you don’t confide in him. That only works for therapists.


#8

Empathy, empathy, empathy. Just the look of love on your face, a word that you are listening, a compliment. These are the healing moments for your brother coming from someone he truly trusts like you.I have yelled, there have been times when I have. Each time I have regretted it because I know it solves nothing. So I focus now on waiting, pausing to process what he is going through and giving him the tolerance I would to a toddler or small child because I know, that will reduce his anxiety which in turn will reduce the severity of his paranoia or fear or muddled mind. It is totally exhausting for us which is why you need to look after yourself and have time away from him too. This “free from responsibility” time re-charges you and is vital for all us carers! Bless you for being there for him unconditionally. You are a wonderful sister.