Hello, friends. In this episode, I answer two questions that encompass difficulties within family relationships. The first looks at what you can do to move forward in a dysfunctional marriage that has left you depressed with suicidal thoughts, and the second addresses how to take care of yourself while dealing with difficult and complicated parental relationships.
I’m 23, I’ll be 24 on the 8th, and I have been married for just over a year. Before getting married, we dated for about 4 years. While getting to know my wife, I learned that we had both had a “not so great” childhood. Parents divorced, abusive fathers, struggled financially, the list goes on. Feeling that deep connection, and me being a big time people pleaser and wanting to help/fix everything and everyone. I felt that she was perfect for me. Except for the last couple years, every time there or a fight/disagreement, I am always the fall guy. Regardless of the situation. She will get very hateful and belittle me to the point of putting me into some very dark headspace. I’ve changed jobs, I’ve given up hobbies, all trying to make her happier. Yet all have the same outcome. I’ve recently came to the realization that I have no goals set in my life and feel like I’m out here simply existing. Recently I came home from working on the road to explain to her that I believe I could benefit from taking some time to try and find myself again. I was immediately bombarded with anger, blame, and insults. To the point I sat in my yard, at the point of wondering what the point of me living was. Realizing where my mind was headed, I knew I had to create as much separation between myself and my truck as possible. Due to the fact that I was considering trying to wrap it around a tree, or take my pistol that I carry for personal protection and ending it that way. After regaining my head, I walked back inside and went to sleep in our guest room. The next day she asked “what do you want from me?” And I explained “I just want you to try and understand and apologize for how you spoke to me last night “ explaining that I was at the point of suicide. She responded by rolling her eyes, a laugh, then calling me “a f**king narcissist” At this point I am completely lost on what to do, where to go, when I’m always the bad guy.
Dear Dr. Duff,
I really love your show and content and have found so much value in it, not even for myself but it has helped me to understand others and be more empathetic. I hope that my messages reach you and could help others as well. I should probably start by giving some background on myself and my situation. I am 23 years old; AFAB but questioning non-binary; I have been diagnosed and am being treated for ADHD, Bipolar II, Anxiety, and Social Anxiety. I grew up with a single mother but lived in a multi-generational household. I believe that many of my family members have undiagnosed issues but refuse to face them and seek help, especially my mother.
Here’s the issue I am currently facing. My mother has always been very particular about minute things, can be very reactive, and is not always empathetic toward others. This has caused trauma over the year and has harbored a disorganized attachment with her. Recently all of the conversations we have leads to fighting, and I have so anxiety about the thought of even trying to have a conversation with her anymore (I’ve gotten rashes on my chest trying to message her). I really think I’ve gotten to the point that going no contact with her is what will help me to heal and start to thrive. I am okay with that decision however, I hold so much empathy for her because I know deep down she is hurting from the traumatic events in her life, currently and in the past, but refuses to seek any help. I guess my question is how can I be empathetic for her, but do what is best for me, which at the moment I believe is going no contact. There are so many more layers to this, but I don’t want to make this too long. Any advice or kind words when it comes to complicated relationships with parents would be appreciated.
Thank you so much for everything you do, it’s helped me to transform my life and finally take control back.
Episode 309 – Related Posts
As well as listening to the podcast, you can also find my thoughts on the questions in written format in these related posts!
Question 1 – What To Do When You’re Stuck in a Dysfunctional and Abusive Marriage – Duff The Psych
Question 2 – Parental Boundaries: How Can I Protect Myself? – Duff The Psych
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