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Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
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Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby jinjaninja » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:43 pm

So I posted a very long explanation of my situation and my login timed out and I don't have the energy to retype it all. In short, nearly 20 years of emotional abuse (with suicide threats) from a toxic family member with MH problems. Has anyone here ever just (possibly permanently) closed the door on a family member they loved, and who clearly still needed help, in order to preserve their own mental health? I've pretty much accepted the fact that one day I'll get a call to say this person is dead. Thanks, and sorry for the short summary. Poured my heart out in the first post and was a bit demoralised when it vanished.

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Re: Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby rsxo » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:55 am

Hey :) sorry that you lost your post! I think it's admirable that you care for this person, but remember that there's nothing to be gained in sacrificing your wellbeing in the hope that someone gets better. Sometimes, we need to cut off those people to get better, as we realise that we simply cannot help them. Look after yourself, and wish them the best from afar - hopefully, things get better for both of you x

Much love <3
RSxo <3

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Re: Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby katiemorag » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:31 pm

Hello Jinjaninja,
Really sympathise with you as I’m in a similar position, my daughter has given me so much grief for so many years but I wonder if I could cope with my own guilt if I cut off from her. I have tried so hard to help her but it’s never ending, she and her problems have occupied so much of my life.
Maybe looking after ourselves, recognising that you cannot help and wishing them the best from afar as someone here suggests is the answer, if you can do it. It takes some strength to prioritise your own mental health though.
At the moment I’m blocking her calls and trying to have a few days break from it all.
Hope you can find a way through.

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Re: Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby supportivewife » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:40 pm

Hi Jinijanija,
You are really brave to have gone through many years of emotional abuse in supporting your loved one and now are putting yourself first in realising you can't help them. Your own well-being must come first and you have done so well in realising this. I support my husband who has mental health issues (Mixed Personality Disorder and OCD) and I feel both emotionally and physically exhausted with it all and wonder how much more I can take. Life is an emotional roller-coaster with him and I am beginning to wonder if I should just leave him and try to carve out my own life now, although I would feel very guilty for doing this as I still love him and want to support him, but he is very difficult to live with, refuses to seek help or admit he has a mental health issue only just to blame me and is getting worse by the day. So I admire you a lot in making the decision to step back from your family member and preserving yourself. There comes a point where you have to realise that you can only do so much for that person, they are not helping themselves and if they are not willing to seek help and this is affecting you then you have to walk away to gain back some control for yourself. Good for you for doing so and I wish you well for the future! My only hope is that I can gain some strength from this and have the guts to do the same for myself one day. All the best. Aileen x

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Re: Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby lizzieperf » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:50 pm

Your message ressonates with me, 18 months after a breakdown my husband is still very depressed (suicidal), a change of meds, regular GP visits, a trip to A&E has not helped, neither did the 20 CBT sessons he undertook. My sons & I are at breaking point as his mood decends and wildly varies from day to day. We have tried all we can to accomodate him and be as encouraging, loving & understanding but we are now hurting, angry and frustrated as there seems to be no help availible to him - or us. I have teenage boys who now dont want anything to do with their dad as the behaviour is intolerable, days in bed, not washing or eating, threatening suicide, financial recklessness, anger. I am in the same position as you are, do I leave husband to try and build a peacful life for my children, but this will mean abandoning husband when he is ill and possibly needs us the most. Where do I go to get my children help .... my 16 year old is struggling with all of this, my 13 year old cant remember daddy being well.

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Re: Can't support my toxic family member anymore. Advice?

Postby wd » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:42 pm

Hi, I started a new post about a challenging family member but thought I could share it with you:
My mum has had anxiety and depression for years and takes medication. She lives on her own and my sister has cut all contact with her because of the way she makes her feel.I lived at home paying rent until late 20s because she said if she ever lost the house she would kill herself. Nothing I ever do is good enough, whenever I go and see her she has a go at me for something or gives me a task to do. Sometimes I go round and she doesn’t even open the door. I text her and she does not respond. She never visits me and my family (which includes her young grandchild), she never asks how her grandchild is. She never gets me a birthday or Xmas present (which I’m not bothered about but it’s the thought that counts and I get her something really nice and she’s really ungrateful). I now struggle with anxiety and am constantly worrying about her - if I can’t make contact with her I will just try and check on her social media to see if she’s posted anything. I try and take her out but she says no because that’s what normal families do. Everyone I speak to tells me to cut ties with her but I can’t do that, she’s my mother and I love her. Plus if something happened I would feel responsible. The relationship is causing me a lot of upset, I know that she will never change and that I will never be able to do anything right - I think I need to think about how I deal with that emotionally but I don’t know how. Any advice or just acknowledging a similar situation would be really appreciated. Thanks.

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