Im not sure If I can cope anymore

I’m starting to think I’m not strong enough for life.

The back story is that I have had a very difficult relationship with my family since I met my husband.
Before I was married, my family labeled me the “holy” one of our family, I was active at church and helped everyone in my family when they needed assistance with anything.

While dating my DH I noticed my family start to get a strange attitude. I brushed it off as them just thinking my new relationship was puppy love. But, shortly after I was married, my mother (who is the head of the house) started giving me the silent treatment and acting mean in general. She was constantly mad at me for something, making sarcastic remarks and I didn’t even know why. It culminated when my entire family started scolding me one day and yelling at me for being a “horrible person” (which, though I have my own human failings, I am pretty sure I’m not).

At the worst, my mom tried to leave the family for the night because she thought too many people were taking my side, but I begged her not to. Since I have depression to begin with, I was so hopeless after the explosive argument, that I vocally contemplated suicide. When my dad saw me leave the house, he wrestled me to the ground. The whole time my husband was hiding in our bedroom in fear of his in-laws. After that day I stayed in the bedroom for two weeks because I was terrified to face anyone in my family. During that time no one in my family even checked on me to see if I was okay. So my husband and I made plans to leave.

A year later I am estranged from my family. They don’t care to visit or ask how I am, even though I have invited them to come see us ( though I was scared to ask). My extended relatives have slowly become cold towards me so I take that as evidence my family has told them their view of things. My depression is much better, but with no friends or family and my husband at work the majority of the time, I get extremely lonely. I seriously am lost for what God wants me to do. I feel utterly useless. Being of the generation that uses social media, I try to use it to keep in touch with past classmates and relatives, though more often than not, It only reveals how lonely I really am. My church isn’t much help either. No one has introduced themselves to my husband or I and we have been going there for a while. I feel like my world would be much brighter if I could find some friends to be my “replacement family”. It’s just so hard. I’d love to move to a Catholic community, but my husband needs to live where we are for his job. If you have helpful advice besides the routine “find a therapist”. Please Share. Otherwise, I would be very grateful for your prayers. I feel like I have the world on my shoulders and I want to feel free to live my life without the cloud of shame and judgment over my head. God bless.

I am so sorry! Depression can be very tricky to deal with, especially when family and friends do not quite understand what you are going through. I know some Catholics will find it even more difficult to understand, because they believe they have God’s grace, and no longer remember how it is like not to feel loved. They would find some behaviors strange, and have no idea how to react. They would misunderstand, so there will be a lot of weird reactions and miscommunication going on. Of course, this may not be your case.

If I were you, I may hold a grudge against my family, and struggle very hard to forgive them and love them despite what they have done. If you do not, then you are already a living testimony that speaks of God’s greatness and forgiveness and love, so rejoice. But in case you do, what I found helpful is a book called “The Power of Empathy: A Practical Guide to Creating Intimacy, Self-Understanding and Lasting Love”. We will not find rest and peace, until we have forgiven those who have wronged us. Negative feelings towards other people will only make depression worse.

It is also helpful to just acknowledge all your human failings. Heartily acknowledge them. Accept that you are awful in many aspects, but so is everyone else. God didn’t expect you to be any better, just as how he didn’t expect St. Peter to do any better the night he was taken. It is only when we are under tests do we expose our weaknesses. It is only when we realize and acknowledge where we fall short, can we start to work on them and learn and pray to become a even better person. So it is good that weaknesses are exposed.

If it is possible, have a conversation with your relatives. If it is impossible to have any efficient talk with your family, at least ask your extended relatives for a talk, and figure out what is wrong. Normally it is just mutual misunderstanding. If they do not know what depression is, enlighten them. Let them know that you are a patient now. They should not expect you to have a positive and cheerful mind, because you are in pain, and you do not feel loved. You still love them, but you need to learn how to do it better. So do they. It is normal, and you need support. Pray so that the Holy Spirit will be there in your conversation.

It is also important to remember that in times like this, we would also feel better by freely giving. Like St. Francis said, It is in giving that we receive. If it so happens that not many people can give you the love you need, try give it to them instead. Comfort the sick, feed the poor. There will be people out there who desperately need your help and love. You will know of God’s presence when you do these things, whether you can feel it or not. It would be a great comfort.

Whenever you are feeling sad or lonely, go cry at the foot of the cross. God can deal with all your sadness, rational and irrational feelings, tantrums, whatsoever. He already knows the darkest corner of your heart, so you don’t need to hide anything from him. He will take care of it, and you may find relief when you are not even expecting God to help.

Lastly, if depression gets bad, please consider taking medicines. It is really helpful.

2 Likes

Dear Mary,

I feel for you in your sadness and hurt. May Jesus come to your aid.

I hope that you can find courage to approach others in your parish and become involved with parish acticities and needs in some way. Certainly you should receive hospitality, but when people keep to themselves, other people often feel that this is what they want…to fulfill their Mass obligations and then leave.
This is the impression that you and your husband may give, and people respect that.
I was once a very shy person and know how hard it can be, making the effort yourself may take a little time, but it will happen. As Catholics it should be first, not what can I receive, but what can I give…something like President Kennedy said. (My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy)

It’s not possible for us to know what happened in your family, and all the reactions your family had about what they considered marrying too young. They may have been negative emotional reactions on both sides, and your mother’s cold shoulder may have been a desperate attempt to prevent the marriage, but with young love, opposition rarely goes down well for either side.

You husband’s family may just be very worried for their son’s happiness as you are depressed, and depression is very hard on the spouse. I know, because my husband has chronic depression and other issues…and my family were worried for similar reasons. We married very young, and because my husband has depression, with its consequences. It’s very hard sometimes, but I try not to let it drag me down, though sometimes it’s very hard to bear.

Dear Mary, please consider discussing your difficulties, eg regarding settling in as part of your parish community,
and also seek support, advice, healthy ways of coping with, minimizing…regarding your depression, and tendency, at times, to suicidal thoughts? If your husband’s family know of the later, yes, they would be worried about him.

May God embrace you, His loved child

5 Likes

My practical advice would be to find one thing you can get involved in, once a week, and do that. Something that gets you out and in contact with people in a social setting, preferably a smaller group where you’ll likely get to know everyone.

2 Likes

Can you find a job? Depression and unemployment are a bad mix, and this is speaking from personal experience.

As far as your family goes, you are a married women, your duties are to your spouse now, and yourself. Take care of yourself, and your marriage. As time goes on your family will either come around and be welcoming of you again or they won’t, but either way you will have learned to be whole without them.

2 Likes

How old are you?
How old were you when you got married?
Were you and hubby living with your family after you got married?
Did either of you have a job? (I’m not understanding how you were able to hide in one room for two weeks.)

:pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2: for you

I’m a young adult. At the time we were planning on staying there and finding employment, but this whole thing made it impossible.Unfortunately, We were relying on them for everything until we could get on our own feet ( my mom persuaded me to do so). I believe she didn’t want to “share” me with my husband so her behavior was an attempt to manipulate me. So yes, it was possible to be in my bedroom for 2 weeks. I wanted to leave the day it happened but had no one willing to take us. So I had to wait for arrangements to be made. Seriously, no one even inquired if I was still alive. It was extremely painful to deal with at the time.

also, I was fine before this started. my depression had practically healed when I started dating my husband. And I knew 1000% in my heart that God wanted us to get married. I had been discerning my vocation for several years prior to meeting him. But from the start, my mother tried to dissuade me from dating him (which is absurd because he is the most gentlemanly man you’d ever meet.) Also, he had a job before we got married but gave it up at my moms prompting to live with my family after marriage. (it was not a smart move at all looking back) My mom has always been very controlling with me.

to this day I feel like I cant move past it until Its resolved. But she says she never did anything wrong and I’m the one who caused problems in the family. And of course, everyone believes that because Ive kept quiet because everytime I talk about it I feel like breaking down.

So you were both very young, easily persuaded by grown ups and dependent on others who you were afraid of (hiding in bedrooms is not grown up behavior).
That’s why you two didn’t get any respect .

This is not in any way blame, believe me I know how easy it is to fall unwittingly into somebody else’s trap (been there, done that, Tee shirt, the whole shebang)

You and your DH need to stand on your own two feet. Your own hearth, your own income. Even if it means ramen noodles every night and drying your clothes on railings and drying racks to achieve this.

See, you’re older and wiser now–you went through the school of hard knocks. You now know that economic dependence is a trap.
You took your hits, and now its time for all that to STOP.

Find jobs, find a home. Support yourselves. And at least for now, distance yourselves from your family. Not forever, but for at least a year.

As for the loneliness, join at least one club at your parish that you can do. Realize that grownup friendships take a long time to develop.
You were toxicly enmeshed in our family of origin. You may have seen each other every day, but the relationship was not good.
Concentrate on your marriage.

I am very :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2: For you, and I pray that you will have all grace and blessings this Christmas and that the new year will be a new start for you!!!:slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

None of us are. We all must rely fully on the Holy Spirit to enter into the life that God intends for us.

One of the hallmarks of a dysfunctional system is it’s need for a scapegoat. When one person gets villified and blamed, they are trying to make that individual carry the dark side of the whole family.

Well you lasted a lot longer than I would have! Sometimes the healtiest thing to do is leave.

If you don’t find a paying position, then do volunteer work and treat it like a job. It will help you gain skills, connections, serve others, and will look better on a resume than hiding in a room!

I know it’s easy to make light hearted comments about me hiding in my room, but let me put it this way: I was hiding from my abusers lest the abuse continue.

Btw my husband and I are on our own feet right now. He was the biggest reason why I was able to leave that situation. My post was mostly because of the difficulty in moving on from the past. Who knows, maybe I have PTSD. I don’t know if anyone here has experienced abuse but my experiences were enough to warp my view of the world. I haven’t even gone into the abuse growing up, which is a post for another time.

Crazy situations can mean crazy actions are perfectly sane.

Mary,

I admire your courage. Separating yourself from your toxic family took guts–lots of guts.

I’m so pleased that you found someone who loves you the way you deserve to be loved. What a joy!

Hang on, because you both will heal in in time.

In you corner,

Stuart

This is great news. May you continue to move forward in Christ. May alll the places upon which the sole of your feet shall tread be yours!

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.