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Getting Through : Dealing

Yet another one of my siblings is having a nervous breakdown

from Mir - Sunday, July 27, 2003
accessed 3697 times

We're all just so tired of this constant struggle. Three out of six of us kids (not really kids anymore, we're 21, 26, 28, 29, 30 and 34) have all had some sort of emotional and or nervous breakdown.

One of my siblings had to go to a psychiatric hospital (manic depression and complete nervous breakdown, this sibling is much, much better now and regularly cracks jokes about it, but has a "delicate" constitution) Another one of us suffered from panic attacks and serious bouts of depression, and is better now but still has to be careful, and now this. It's just horrible. This sibling gets suicidal thoughts, feels like their "all alone in the world" and is terrified of going crazy and never recovering. Please, can someone tell me we're not the only ones? It just feels like as soon as we get our heads above water, we start to sink again.

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from SpousetoanExFam
Friday, November 23, 2007 - 14:06

(Agree/Disagree?)
I am a wife of a man who was raised most of his childhood in the family. There are eight children in his family (different fathers/mothers etc...) and every one of them has had issues as they grow older from the family.
The older siblings, who were in the family for longer than the younger ones, have much more difficulty. The oldest two are now atheists. Another of the older siblings has had severe problems with romantic relationships. My spouse has much confusion as to what he wants to do with his life... since he was supposed to have already seen Jesus return by now. The older four suffered from sexual child abuse - not that anyone was forced on them, but that they were two years old and encouraged to masturbate themselves with the help of their "nannies". Just typing this now makes me want to track a few people down and ask: What the fuck is wrong with you? How could you not know that you were mentally harming these children? Who the fuck gives pornographic comic books - that talk about using sex to obtain love and riches by showing Jesus' love through your vagina? I obviously have issues with my mother in law....
(reply to this comment)
from frmrjoyish
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 16:15

(Agree/Disagree?)

There's a marked difference between myself and my siblings (9 in all)who were old enough to be negatively influenced by TF and my other siblings who were too young to really remember their lives in TF before we left. We older ones went through hell trying to make some semblance of a normal life without really knowing how. Thankfully, my younger siblings manage to live normal lives almost completly free of any cult influence or memories. They have been able to go to school, play sports and all the other things associtated with a "normal" childhood

I'm gratefull that the younger half of us have had an easier time, it makes me so happy when they get funny looks on their face like, "What are they talking about?" if they happen to overhear any conversation re. TF. Luckily, my sister and I have managed to pull our lives together, but, there are a few of my brothers who are still struggling despite our attempts to help them.

I'm not trying to say that it's ALL the fault of TF, it's just impossible to ignore the differences between what the older and the younger siblings have gone through. As the oldest, I can definetly relate to your struggle to help your siblings. It can be so rewarding and so heartbreaking at the same time.
(reply to this comment)

from Mir
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 15:25

(Agree/Disagree?)

Thanks for all your support guys, it means a lot to me to know that we are not alone. I went with my brother to the doctor's today and she was brilliant, I know he is going to get over this. My brother is a very strong person. We left the group when he was 14 and completely uneducated, but he pulled through and ended up with a degree in chemistry! I'm so proud of him.

Mex, are you jealous of Nancy? I think you are. I for one LOVE reading everything that Nancy posts. She is one brilliant and brave lady. Nancy, please please don't be put off by Mex's stupid comment. I always read what you write and thoroughly enjoy it.
(reply to this comment)

from Sir Rantalot
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 10:23

(Agree/Disagree?)

It's all about loving yourself, you must love yourself. You must feel like you are playing the game of life, actively involved, not sitting on the sidelines watching others play.

I could never be an addict or let go, because i don't hate myself enough.

Don't let doctors lull you into thinking you have an irreversible problem(or your sibling), it's the way you handle it that makes the whole difference, Its being hard on yourself, refusing to sink into that comforable, warm jacuzzi of self-pity. Soon enough, you'll find that staying positive comes natural, you won't be able so feel sorry for yourself for very long, you'll just kick back in positive mode by default.
(reply to this comment)

from Sir Rantalot
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 10:08

(Agree/Disagree?)

I feel for ya, I wrote a long essay on the topic of depression, read it here:

http://www.movingon.org/article.asp?sID=2&Cat=7&ID=1333

Just remember, with depression, no one can help you but yourself, sympathy can be almost as damaging as abuse. The mind is EXTREMELY powerful, if you tell yourself it's a sickness & it's manic depression & will last the rest of your life, it will. When a friend of mine called to tell me she had taken some pills and wanted to kill herself, i told her to call someone else and hung up, she then called an ambulance and got her stomach pumped instead of wasting her time looking for sympathy. As humans we have a subconscious desire for faliure and sympathy, we enjoy being able to feel sorry for ourselves. Once you realize that everyone in the world has shit to deal with, just like you, you stop feeling sorry and survival instinct kicks in. I never believed I sounded so bad during my negative rants as a suicidal depressive, til I had depressed friends do the same to me. It sounds horrible.

Anyways, no offence meant, read my essay, This is just a condensed version.
(reply to this comment)

From Another Perspective
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 13:06

(
Agree/Disagree?)

Pharmaboy, I agree with you to a certain extent. For sure some people do wallow way too much in their self-pity but there is another side to this.

I have a younger brother who lives with me and I am going through something similar with him right now. He swings between being extremely depressed and overly hyper. I tried to just be supportive at first and to give him lots of positive feedback when he was down, but it started to drag out for months, until he would not leave his room during an episode. We talked a lot and I would get angry and tell him to just get on with it and to stop feeling sorry for himself but that didnít work either, and he would just withdraw further. He had extreme mood swings and violent episodes. He found it near to impossible to be consistent in his work or school and would constantly set himself up for failure. He tried anti-depressants, but would go off them as soon as he was up, or mix them with other substances, and would then crash again.

Finally one of my siblings told me he had been diagnosed with manic depression, also known as bi-polar disorder. (My parents neglected to mention this when they sent him to me). Without treatment this can be a fairly serious condition, and makes it very difficult for the person to function. I have no experience with anything like this and didnít know what to do. This situation has affected my own work and life, and I have been at wits end.

I am friends with some medical professionals, and I finally told them about the situation, and asked their opinion. What they told me was that I needed to get involved in his treatment. I had thought that I needed to give him some space and treat him like an adult, and let him take care of this on his own, but my friends explained that proper medical care these days involves the patient and their support people. In this case, that is me. I needed to talk to his doctor myself, and be there for some therapy sessions with him when needed, and make sure he was taking his medication, even if I had to give him the pills myself.

I wasnít really sure how this would go over, but I talked to my brother about this. His reaction was one of relief. He had felt that he just couldnít keep up with his own treatment himself, and it was overwhelming, which would trigger another depressive episode and start the cycle all over again. Knowing that someone else would be there and cared and was going to work this through with him seemed to lift a weight off of his shoulders.

We are taking it one day at a time, but things are definitely improving. He is able to interact socially with people again, and he seems much more secure and happy. Itís a commitment I am making to him, but being involved in his care means I am getting support from his medical team as well. He is fairly young, so the circumstances sound a bit different, but I just thought I would add another viewpoint on this topic. (reply to this comment

From Sir Rantalot
Friday, August 01, 2003, 08:32

(
Agree/Disagree?)

I do agree with you there, as there are cases of severe mental illness where professional medical is needed: it's not something you can ignore. I was more talking of the attitude to have when going through neurotic(not psychotic) problems such as dysthimia, unipolar depression, anxiety, etc.

There is no doubting that we have gone through alot of shit in our lives in TF, but it is the way we handle it that decides the outcome. I wasted much of my post-TF life by feeling sorry for myself, thinking I had a right to feel bad. Maybe I did, but it didn't help me get anywhere in life. My negative outlook was killing me....

(reply to this comment

From Sir Rantalot
Friday, August 01, 2003, 08:31

(
Agree/Disagree?)

I do agree with you there, as there are cases of severe mental illness where professional medical is needed: it's not something you can ignore. I was more talking of the attitude to have when going through neurotic(not psychotic) problems such as dysthimia, unipolar depression, anxiety, etc.

There is not doubting that we have gone through alot of shit in our lives in TF, but it is the way we handle it that decides the outcome. I wasted much of my post-TF life by feeling sorry for myself, thinking I had a right to feel bad. Maybe I did, but it didn't help me get anywhere in life. My negative outlook was killing me....

(reply to this comment

From Mir
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 17:01

(Agree/Disagree?)

Umm. That's sort of what I've needed to do with my brother, although he is not nearly as ill as yours. I said to him "I can't take it away, I can't go through this for you, but I can give you all the moral support you need as well as any practical help that I can". I gave him the keys to my place and told him to just pop in whenever he felt like he needed to cry or rant. I went to the doctors with him and I'm double checking that he is taking his medication. The great thing in this case is that my bro has got an iron will and is determined to get better. He has always had a rather negative outlook in life and I think that he now realises that it's actually dangerous to think like that. He is a very disciplined person so I'm trying to encourage him to make it his mission to teach himself to combat negative thoughts with positive ones. I think that is the one thing that has saved me. I am a very positive person, I refuse to allow life to beat me down. One of my favorite tunes is by Kate Bush, I don't know what it's called but the chorus says: "I just know that something good is going to happen, I don't know when, but just saying it can even make it happen".

Another Perspective, you're a very caring person. I know how hard it is to be where you are. I found it particularly hard when my sisters were ill, especially the one closest in age to me. I couldn't bear it. It was like hell. I have been so frightened that another one of my siblings might die (my eldest sister died when she was 17 in 1982). We kids have clung to each other for dear life, we comforted each other as children when we were so insecure, we fought like demons when we were in our teens and fresh out of the cult, and now as adults we are extremely close friends. I do wonder why some of us have recovered better than others...(reply to this comment

From Another Perspective
Thursday, July 31, 2003, 17:38

(
Agree/Disagree?)

Thanks for your reply Mir. It's really nice to know that my brother is not the only one who has gone through this, and that you know what it's like to be the older sister and that I am not the only one struggling with all this. You are right about thinking positively. I don't how many times I have worked myself up worrying about my brother, my friends or myself, and usually for nothing. I have recently started to notice how much of my self talk in my head is critical of everything about myself and everything I do and how little positive reinforcement I give myself.

I am also lucky to be very close to my siblings. We went through the exact same thing where we fought constantly when we left, and then learned to respect each other and are now very close. The sisters I am the closest to moved away to go to school on another continent, and there's not a day that goes by that don't I miss them. I don't think they have any idea of how hard it was to see them go. Why is it that the people we love are the ones we lose? (reply to this comment

From Mir
Friday, August 01, 2003, 07:05

(Agree/Disagree?)
I'd love to know. Two of my sisters live on the other side of the world as well and I miss them terribly. Could it be that the world is just a much smaller place? It's so easy now to just hop on a plane and start all over again somewhere new. Fifty years ago it was much much harder and families lived in the same village/town and hung out together all the time... I wish we could be like that.(reply to this comment
From Webel
Saturday, September 06, 2003, 18:11

(Agree/Disagree?)

Hi Mir,

I miss you to:) and I love you loads and loads! By the way guys I was the one who cracked up heh heh! I can laugh about it now but it wasn't so funny at the time. It has taken me years to recover from this completely, it's very humiliating to lose it like I did and you spend a lot of time working through it - I can only describe it as waking up from a nightmare!

People need to understand that a breakdown is something you can't control (sorry to break this to you) thinking positive is a great thing, BUT when you are depressed it all goes steadily downhill - I had panic attacks for four years before it finally all came to a head and you know what? I "controlled" it by getting drunk and trying to be "positive" so my advice to anyone who is depressed is get yourself to a doctor and have this addressed before you start running around half naked in the loony bin!

For those of you who are recovering from the COG there is good news, it does get better, just hang in there! I live in the USA and am married to a wonderful man who understands me and my dubious past - I have met a lot of people who just don't get it., but he does, maybe it's because his Dad beat him senseless when he was a kid. God has given me so much and I am fully recovered.


(reply to this comment

From katrim4
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 18:16

(Agree/Disagree?)

This is a little off the topic, but since we are disscussing our younger siblings, I wonder if anyone else thinks that those born in TF in the mid to late 80's have a harder time getting over their issues than those born before that?

I don't mean to imply that age is the only determining factor. It just seems that with all of the "revolutions" that were constantly going on in TF, those who were a bit older never had to dwell on any one thing for too long. Usually new policies would wear off or you'd move to a new home etc. (That is not to say that whatever came along next was any better. Usually it was the other way around.)

On the other hand, the "School Vision" lasted for quite some time. Children that lived their formative years during this period seldom ever got to see their parents for anything other than parent time or parent day's. These children did not have any chance of bonding with their siblings or parents and were quite often neglected as individuals in their groups. They were cared for mainly by us, their older siblings, whose educations were not always up to par.

This was also around the same time that children no longer read the adult letters or TK's etc. The result of that being that they saw and/or experienced some of the same stuff as the 1st and 2nd batches of Fam kids did without any sort of background or knowledge as to why things were being done the way they were or what the actual beleif system of their parents was. For the most part, these children did not have any "system" influence in their lives at all during those years except for an occasional movie night. They lived in an enclosed compound and never left for anything other than a field trip for a day at a time. When I was growing up I at least got to see magazines at the check out counter of a store and catch glimpses of TV shows while out witnessing. I got to visit with relatives once year and even had system friends when my parents lived on their own. These children's whole worlds were within the confines of whatever school they lived in.

In a lot of ways I think some of these kids had it better than some of us older ones. But we at least got experience in things like witnessing, speaking the local languages etc. Skills that, while not necessarily of our choosing, we were able to use once we left. "School era" children did not. And while most of us older ones left and had to get jobs and support ourselves, the younger ones went straight from TF to public schools while at the same time watching their parents (that they hardly know) be overwhelmed to get a life together and still have little time left for them.

I know I'm generalizing with a lot of these points. I would be interested to know what other people's take is on this subject.

(reply to this comment

From Born in the 70's
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 19:58

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(
Agree/Disagree?)

Yes, I think that a lot of this is certainly true, and there definitely is a difference from the 70's born to the 80's born as far as some of the things you mentioned. I think that one of the main differences, though, was all the s**t we had to go through that those born in the 80's did not. I also don't want to generalize, but I would venture to say that the percentage of us born in the 70's that had to endure all the sexual experimentation, becoming an "adult" at 12, being sexually abused, etc., is much, much higher than those born in the 80's. (Of course, the spiritual, mental, and physical abuse didn't change from one decade to another. I'm speaking mainly from the sexual aspect of the abuse.)

That was just my two cents.(reply to this comment

From katrim4
Thursday, July 31, 2003, 17:57

(Agree/Disagree?)

I have to agree with you there when you say that there is a higher percentage of older SG's that suffered from sexual abuse. For some reason or another though, I think that those who were older and went through these things came out stronger. Again, I know this is a huge generalization. But these children that were products of the whole "school vision" thing seem to have a harder time coping. I wonder if it is because of that exact reason, they were raised so isolated and by the time they were ready to leave they left. They didn't have to fight for it. They never really had to grow a backbone while in TF and are having to do so in their teenage years. (reply to this comment

from Nancy
Monday, July 28, 2003 - 21:50

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

No, you are not alone! I have seven younger siblings. Each of them has suffered similarly, in some way or another. I've suffered.

It's an ongoing battle. There are times I can be surrounded by friends who I love or be laying beside someone I love and feel completely alone in the world. I've feared that no one will ever truly understand me or love me. I've thought I was too scarred, too damaged.

But, it's not true. Life is so full of so many wonderful things. It's not reality that we arrive at some destination in our lives and are suddenly happy forever. That's a myth. But, there are times in our lives, beautiful moments, when we spend a day at the pool with our child and watch the fun and joy in his eyes as he spashes and plays and calls to you, "Mommy, ball," that make it all worth the struggle. Those moments when we have dinner with friends and enjoy witty dinner conversation or go to the movies with someone we care for and watch a good flick that makes us laugh so hard we cry. When we plan a weekend vacation to the beach and have a great, memorable time. Or when we enjoy a nice quiet Sunday afternoon at home with a really good classic book, which we just discovered. Those moments make life worth while. They make the pain, tears, struggle and loneliness worth it. Or when because of our past, we are able to help someone else, to ease their pain for just a moment, to reach out to them and say, "I understand," that makes it worth it.

Never be afraid to spend time on what you love, to take care of yourself, to reward yourself. I got into running after my son was born. I ran a marathon for a charity which benefits the children who lost a parent in 9/11. I'd been touched by the story of a woman who lost her husband on flight 93. She was pregnant when I was. She gave birth alone, like I did. I ran that marathon partly to get in shape and partly to benefit the charity and partly to prove to myself that I could do it, that I had what it takes, that I would not be broken. It was so healing. Every mile another demon came off my back. Every mile I found more strength to stand against those who said I couldn't be a single mother, who said I couldn't support myself, who said I wouldn't pass the bar with a newborn infant, who said I was crazy or damaged or not good enough.

I think what many of us lack is true self-worth. We were taught as children that we were nothing, that God was everything. Well, we're not nothing. We are amazing people. We are strong. We are survivors. Lots of people would have given up long before now. Not us. We're still here defying the odds, defying our parents, standing alone. We should not forget that. We should be reminded often how important and strong we really are.

In those moments of the darkest depression and the emptiest loneliness, we should take stock of how far we have come. My God! Some of us have college degrees with no previous education! That is incredible. We are loving, well adjusted people, who still give a damn. That is saying a lot because some people who went through half of what some of us did have become criminals or indifferent narcisists. It is truly a testiment to the strength of the human spirit that so many of us are here, still standing, still caring and still giving a damn about the world around us and wanting to do justice.

No, you are not alone. Every tear you've cried has been cried by someone here. Every feeling of helplessness, has been felt here by someone else. The shame, the anger, the guilt, the bitterness, yeah, those have gone around, too. There's been times I felt overwhelmed and not afraid to die. I thought anything was better than going on, but I was wrong because everything works itself out with time and determination. Broken hearts mend. People come into our lives who fill it with love. Life is always worth living for one more afternoon by the pool or one more great dinner with dear friends.
(reply to this comment)

From mex
Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 09:16

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Tells us how you REALLY feel about being a single mother and lawyer?

It gets old. Why do you feel the need to mention it every fucking time you post? (reply to this comment

From Nancy
Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 12:57

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
It is part of who I am. It is who I am. It's my perogative. Just like it's yours to have little to contribute beyond your profanity.(reply to this comment
From hypocritical punk
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 16:49

(
Agree/Disagree?)
touchť.(reply to this comment
from EyesWideShut
Monday, July 28, 2003 - 21:44

(Agree/Disagree?)

Um...we're not the only ones.


In my business, Social Security disability, half of the people are nuts. There are all types and levels. All different reasons and causes. Lots of them were abused, lots of them did drugs, lots of them have nutty parents, lots of them are physically disabled and driven into depression and psychosis because of it.


The human mind is a powerful and fragile thing. I felt like I was going crazy for a few months. I really did. But then it passed. I hope your sibling gets through it too.
(reply to this comment)

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