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Topic: Family & friends constantly interfering with me

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. bjames
    bjames avatar
    14 posts
    3 July 2018

    Hi all,

    I need some advice on this one.

    I had serious depression some years back and suffer from anxiety. I've pretty much isolated myself and am housebound but am happy or content living in my bubble. It is a far cry from where I was a few years back and it is just refreshing to wake up every morning with no anxiety issues and to not have spells of depression and sleeping my days away. All in all, I've carved out a life that I quite enjoy now and I am content.

    The problem is, is that family and friends constantly find this unacceptable. I'm not the same person I used to be (to them) as understandably so because I don't go out, don't socialise, don't go to family gatherings and don't see anyone. This is the opposite of the person I used to be.

    In my darkest days, all i wanted to do is feel like I used to feel and wake up feeling normal and get through the day. For the past few years I've regained that "normal" feeling on a day to day basis and I find things in my life that excite me. For me, my life is now fulfilling. It is certainly not ideal and I do miss a lot of things I used to do or be, but I am content and far far removed from where I came from.

    The problem is, to those on the outside, I am wasting away, throwing my life away, a shadow of the person I used to be, unhealthy, isolated etc. I've cut off personal contact with a lot of family and friends and they find this unacceptable and no matter what I say, they NEVER understand. I TOTALLY understand their point of view and if I were in their shoes, I would feel exactly the same. However, the cycle is a great cause of frustration and anger for me. By "the cycle" I mean, I go through the same crap every 6 months it seems where I have a big fight with either a friend or a family member about my life or situation. It causes me A LOT of stress and a great deal of anger. I'm at the stage where I am about to lose a friend because they just don't get it and the constantly feel as they need to go behind my back to my family. I've had 4 episodes where this person has done the same thing and after each time they have said, "ok, i won't interfere any more". Then 6 months goes by and it is as if the previous times never happened. I've already lost very close family members because they just fail to understand and their solution is to just not have any contact at all (I've always had contact, just not in person). If it is not my friends, it is family interfering. Why can't they just accept it?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    9204 posts
    3 July 2018 in reply to bjames

    Dear Bjames~

    Finding a lifestyle that promotes your health is a pretty terrific find, and if it seems the wrong thing to others I guess you have to weigh what they say bearing in mind the likelihood of their being right - or not. If my psych told me my way was harmful, and could point out why in an understandable manner I'd take some notice. To be told something by someone without the training or experience is another matter- even if they are motivated by care.

    You look like you have two problems, first the disagreement, and secondly, and maybe the most upsetting, the arguments.Maybe you can do nothing about the first. Without having lived though what you have it's quite on the cards they simply won't understand.

    Given they may be talking out of concern perhaps more patience might be in order. If they become overbearing, even downright bossy can you simply deflect things? Don't try to reason or argue but simply say you appreciate what they are trying to do, or just move away and say you are not going to talk about it.

    Getting into a debate about the virtues of your method will never get anywhere and simply breed frustration and bad feeling. Every point you put forward will be an instant subject for denial. So by not putting any points forward you cut the wind out of their sails.

    I"m not suggesting this idea is going to stop all from trying to convert you, but by being calm and quiet maybe you won't lose friends or have to undergo the stress of repeated arguments.

    Do you think this is feasible?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    8275 posts
    4 July 2018 in reply to bjames

    bJames,

    welcome to the forum.

    Croix has written a helpful reply with useful suggestions.

    I think it is good you can understand their point of you that comes out of love and concern.

    I aslo know when people tell you how you should be living or what you should be doing to stay well.

    I have lived with a diagnosis for over 40 years and family and friends and complete strangers sometimes feel they are experts in mental health and offer me advice.

    I find like Croix suggested to listen and be calm and quiet, instead of getting into an argument. When some one has told me about some article they have read online, I say thanks for sharing that with me.

    I also think that the best counter for their concern is to show by how you live that they can see you are content, you are looking after yourself. People will then see that even though your lifestyle is not one they approve of, they will see that it suits you.

    I hope that makes sense. I know what it feels like to when family and friends tell you what do, but they say it because they care.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  4. bjames
    bjames avatar
    14 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thanks for you reply. It is much appreciated. Yeah, you have summed it all up quite well. I'm just tired of the arguments, the not understanding and the going behind my back trying to "fix" me. It doesn't matter what I say, the can only gets kicked down the road till the next fight. All that does is cause me so much anger and frustration that I find it hard to let go.

    Listening and appeasing them by telling them that I understand their point just doesn't work. All they do is get angry with me for taking it in and not doing anything about it. As I said, I am slowly losing some family and friends through it, but I feel it is selfish on their part to get angry with me and not afford me the benefit of the doubt and to just support me.

    With some it is just getting to a stage where if they can't accept my situation without encroaching or trying to push solutions on me, I am just going to have to cut them off because I am fed up with the frustration and anger.

    So, yes, i want to find a way to have it not feeling like they are all circling me every 6 months even though they just never listen. I do know they mean well and they are coming from a good place but i am just at a breaking point where it is abundantly clear that they just refuse to listen to me and think that they know better and that is what angers me the most.

  5. bjames
    bjames avatar
    14 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Thanks Quirky,

    Well, most i just don't have face to face contact with them, but i am in constant phone contact though. I never complain about my situation to them and think I am no different to how I have always been when speaking on the phone. The problem is that there is a clash between what I want and what they want. They want me to go back to how I used to be and I want what I have now. I have come to learn that they are only paying lip service by supporting my wishes because every 6 months it is as though someone wiped their memory and we are starting all over again with family and friends chatting amongst each other (makes me very angry) and then friends or family then work on a plan to talk to me. Then, we end up in a heated argument, I get VERY frustrated, they tell me that they won't do it again and will support my wishes, only for the exact same thing to occur in 6 months time as though it had never happened.

    I'm isolated enough as it is and as I've said, I have really come to terms and accepted that this bubble allows me stability and contentment. My fear is that if THEY can't come to terms with it, i will have no other choice but to cut myself off completely and that is no good for both parties. It doesn't matter to them that I am happy now because it is not what they want and they want to have personal contact and for me to be who i used to be.

    Thanks!!

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