I am receiving no emotional support from my parents, told me to seek professional help ? Other members reasonate with this ?

I had a TBI 2 years ago, now having new issues, emotional, anger, irritation behaviour, anxiety. rationally explained while I cannot attend their anniversary party, Im scared of losing control, so thought best to keep stress levels down and not go. Took present to their house yesterday, painted the smile on, told them of an incident Occured. I have helped my parents, and yet again they cannot cope with mine. Dad told me he didn't understand and to get professional help and mum just shook her head and said yet again 'I do not know what to say to you'. I have always tried to support my parents, listening to my mum when my dad is in hospital again, visiting dad, he has a chronic terminal illness. out of 3daughters I am the most supportive even now, but it is not returned. I just want them to hug me and say they be there for me , it all falls on my lovely husband. We have 3 children, eldest one left home. I would never treat them like this, sometimes a hug and not judging helps. I have given my husband a lot to deal with but it has made us stronger. They are making my stress levels worse by pretending to be normal, which then I am more likely to behaviour irrational. I have told them to leave me alone if they cannot cope and do as my dad snarled at me yesterday 'let the professionals sort this out'. This is not the first time they have not been there for me in my life. I cannot understand this I would die for my children, I always will be there for them whatever they do, I think they call it unconditional love.......

14 Replies

  • My dad is the same he is 75 and really doesn't understand the effects of my brain injury at all, even though he has suffered from depression before and had tablets

    I no longer tell him anything because I know he just maybe thinks I make it up and the times I have tried explaining I get the responses we all hear such as 'well everyone forgets things' 'we all get stressed' blah blah blah

    I no longer discuss my health with him, but he goes on and on about his health issues

    No help I know but can understand

  • Thank you biker style. I too kept my symptoms from my parents for a while but then I could not hide them any longer as the symptoms were increasing and worsening and I could not hide it any longer, my behaviour was becoming to hide away from them because I knew deep down they would not understand or like what they see. these symptoms only started about 3 months ago. My TBI was2 years ago. I do not understand it yet how I have no control over my brain and my behaviour. I feel like this feelings can come out any time without warning, it scares me, it's like there another me inside who pops out whenever she likes and cries, angers , impulse etc and I have no control over her......

  • So sorry to hear you're not receiving the support you would like from your parents. While I'm not saying their actions towards you are right, I think it helps to remember that when someone hasn't gone through something personally they have no understanding of how it can affect you. It could be your parents simply don't know what to say or do and feel it's best not to say anything incase what they say is wrong and that professionals are best placed to help.

    Have you told your parents how you feel? People often make the mistake of assuming others know automatically how you feel, I'm guilty of that all the time, then I end up being irritable with people close to me because they don't know what I'm experiencing.

    I hope you find a way round this as I know how hard it is when something like this stresses you out. Wishing you all the best :-)

  • Thank you Puffie. yes, I have told my parents how I feel, how I need their support, and I have explained my weird behaviours. I told them something yesterday that I did to try and get a reaction. I burnt my work clothes in the kitchen because I couldn't stand the memories of what I lost. This I know was irritionalbut in my head I thought its ok , I burn them one by one and watch it so I don't burn the house down. I having been telling them for a couple of months I need their support, Im sure they think I having a nervous breakdown . They want me around but don't want my emotional, fear and anger problems that go with it. I guess I was trying to say how bad things have got. My mum wanted me to go for a big day out and then Imexplained how I am now in public sometimes, fearful, anxious, tearful etc, She recoiled from this and this is the response I get. So how the hell can I be around them when they cannot cope with my problems. My dads words were yesterday ' everything was fine and then you break down'. I don't understand. I have given long explanations of what my new neuropsychologist told me but it seems like my mum is not listening and very silent on the phone. I cannot pretend Im ok but they expect me to be......... I am very stressed now , and now experiencing panic like symptoms. I feel they are ashamed of me. My other sister is in rehab and my mums words were ' I know it probably won't work Katy is damaged forever, but I just want a bit of piece'. Feel like they would like to send me away too as I am not functioning properly. It was the aggression in my dad's voice , and him backing my mum, not listening, I am yelling for him to put my arms around me, I feel Im drowning and their are watching me. They have not contacted me since. Digging their head in the sand.

  • You can pick your friends not your family unfortunately! My OH's are just the same, basically thinking it's all hunky dory as there are no scars!! You have your own husband and children who are supportive so just put your parents on the emotional backboiler for a short while and see people who make you feel happy and give you support. Avoid negative people whether they are family, friends or whatever as they drag you down and make a special effort to be with people who make you laugh and cheer you up. It unfortunately is mainly down to ignorance about TBI's that people just dont know how to cope with it. good luck and stay strong

  • Thank you Pollyanne, such good advice, I will certainly take your advice! I have a couple of close f fiends that get it and my husband and my son always are there. I had a lovely night with my best friend on Friday night at her home just having a takeaway and it was the best medicine . it is hard because my dad is chronically terminally ill (has been for 3 years) and I feel guilty as I do not know how much longer he has to live, but on the other hand I find them so draining,mum especially leaning on me, but nothing in return. I'm sorry you have had the same experience, as you say ignorance about TBIs. Such a positive message thank you so much, I have being feeling stressed all day about this but there is nothing like talking to someone who has been in the same situation. Take care x

  • It sounds to me like it's your mum who needs the hug with so much anxiety in her life. I'm not surprised that she's unable to cope with your problems in addition to her own......she must be half out of her mind with a dying husband, a daughter in rehab and another daughter with a brain injury.

    pollyanne's advice is spot-on. Just keep a polite distance between yourself and your parents.......you can still be civil and observe the niceties .......but avoid getting so involved with person issues. Repeatedly seeking affection which is in such short supply is doing you more harm than good and there will be a better chance of reconciliation if you take a few steps back for a while.

    And do cherish the love you're getting from your husband and children, and anyone else who's on your side, because that's what will heal you and get you through ultimately.

    Try to slow everything down a little.......it isn't a race. Just keep giving your children that unconditional love and one day it'll be reciprocated a thousand-fold.

    Take care, Sem. Best wishes cat xx

  • Thank you for your advice Cat. I do take on board what you say, but my parents have never emotionally been there for me, it has been me that has supported my sister in rehab, not my mum, and I have supported the, both so much through dad's illness. I guess what I am trying to say is they still want to see me and constantly off load on me, they want me to be the normal dutifully daughter. My mum says I was always the sensible one of the 3 daughters, now I cannot do it. They constantly want to see me, but do not wants my problems if brain injury. With the greatest respect you would have to know my parents to consider where I am coming from. Emotionally all through my

    iLife before my injury they have never been there, even before my dad become ill. They dig their heads in the sand. So I learnt to cope with my own problems and help my sister , but this is difficult to control when they constantly wanting to see me and I am close to the edge with tears, emotionally , anger, irritional and lost. I know now I have to keep my distance. They are increasing my stress levels, dad shouting at me, and mum unsupportive as always, emotionally cold. You have to be there to believe it. My mum has had plenty of cuddles. What happened on Sunday was I broke down and they asked how I was feeling, I told them after hiding it for such a long time, as I m feeling like Im losing it, and could not hide my behaviour any more and pretend to be normal. I am not asking for repeated affection , I was just explaining how TBIs affect people and this is the reaction I got. I think you do not really understand the dynamics of my family, and could you. So I disagree with you my mum needs a cuddle, perhaps if she did more cuddling my sister would be in rehab, she left her seizuring on the floor and went off to work, leaving my sick dad to deal with it. This is the type of lady you are dealing with, so no enough is enough she is making me ill with her constant demands on me but doesn't want to talk to me about my problems. it has always been one sided and I am sick of it!

  • I'm sorry to hear all this,Sem, and you're right.........I don't understand the dynamics of your family. But I hope you'll find a way to resolve the situation without too much conflict. Good luck.

  • I would say avoid all really stressful things that are going to make you worse. I've been to funerals where a close relative has been unable to attend. I understood although others didn't. I dread large funerals or weddings where everything is carefully timed and you can't just slip out the back and calm down. I can understand why you burnt your work uniform. I would have like to pour acid over mine, especially as people had crossed the street rather than speak to me.

    Do what you feel comfortable with. Do you have contact with a Headway group? Have they got someone who could give a fact sheet out to your parents or talk to them or your extended family? Due to their age and your fathers illness your parents may have become very insular and consider that no-one has problems like them to cope with. My mother once turned to my sister and told her she didn't know what it was like to be ill. My sister survived ovarian cancer 5 years ago, so I'd say she'd endured more than mum.

    Don't beat yourself up for not being superwoman. It's a needless drain on your energy.

    I also believe that some relatives are toxic, and in some circumstances being tough enough for a clean break can be the best way forward. This is a very drastic thing to do and I'd try pollyanne's advice of distancing yourself first.

  • Perhaps the BEST suggestion is to get in a local Brain Injury group such as many hospitals have. Such groups are typically facilitated by a highly trained and skilled social worker. Some meetings have intermittent guests. Many of them have empathetic fellow participants. Ask around if there's a nearby meeting, and if more than one group, visit each one. You will likely find a group which will provide you suitable, regular support for the issues you encounter.

  • Hi

    Sounds like your husband and some friends appreciate you. It also sounds like you appreciate your own ability to be there for those close to you, but that appreciation is undermined when your parents ask for help that you cannot give ... though you would give it if you could.

    I'm wondering if self-compassion meditation would restore and even develop your self-appreciation when it is challenged by another request for help from your parents. There is a great website with lots of meditation exercises and, in case, one of these might work for you, the link is: mindfulselfcompassion.org/m...

    There are also loving kindness meditations that have been shown to be effective, so if you are interested, put loving kindness meditation in the google search box to find a wording that might work for you.

  • Thank you. I certainly will look into this. I have started yoga, albeit with my disability, but instructor is very patient . Hope all is well with you

  • I do yoga too, I find it very calming even if it is modified for me. I feel stronger for it too. It is quite difficult mastering the positions and I still do some on my own in a sitting/ laying position because my balance is not that brilliant! I also never close my eyes while standing or I fall over.

    I hope you feel the benefits of it, good luck to you.

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