Adult Children of Mentally ill Parents

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Adult Children of Mentally ill Parents
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Both parents mentally ill and suffering sister


I have never availed of an online forum before, but tonight I really feel like I need to talk to someone that understands. People that understand.

I am 23 and am medicated for depression myself. I struggled with during the ages of 18 - 20 but now have made an excellent recovery (if you can really have one that is) and am happy in my own life. My life separate from my family that is. I feel selfish in writing this but does anyone get frustrated with the constant stress? The constant negativity that comes from a family of mental illness? My mother has had a difficult year with Bipolar and the whole experience has damaged my relationship with her. I love the woman and I feel empathy for her, it's not her fault. But I feel angry. So very angry. My father has just been assigned medication for OCD and depression, which for me, is the straw that broke the camel's back when you realise that my sister had been self-harming last year. It's too much. I want to be accountable, responsible and I want to 100% be there for my sister. But the thought of making the trip home makes me sick. The thought of the divorce allegations and the whispered insults that are communicated by parents through conversations with me make me desperately unhappy.

It's not all bad. It isn't, but I saw quote somewhere that said you don't remember how bad the bad times until the next outburst. I feel very selfish in writing this, but I want to be happy. I was to be an adult happy in their own life, but feel like I am perpetually in this limbo-land where I am dealing with the politics of my parents. I wish I could take everything away. I wish my sister was older so she could live with me so I wouldn't have to worry. I wish she would actually talk to me when I call and tell me how she feels. As a person slightly distanced by geographical distance from the situation, I try to forget. I forget by spending time with a family of friends I have made, by working in job I like. Is that selfish? That I want that?

I don't think I really had any topic here, but I just don't know what to do. I'm told by the counsellor I need to protect myself, but what am I supposed to do when my mother is crying down the phone? When my sister won't speak? When my father has a nervous breakdown? Do I ignore it? The people that fed and clothed me as a child, do I just pull away from that? I could never abandon my sister, but my parents? Maybe. I think what I'm trying to say is that these question hurt terribly because I love my family, but I also just want to be happy.