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please help, am losing myself here.

(52 Posts)
losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 07:38:53

I have gone against myself here...I never name change unless obvious, but this time I have protect someone else and protect me.

I have a very very good friend who is in a very painful place right now. I have been helping her a lt, being there for her as much as possible, altho I am not the only person there for her I realise that.

yesterday she told me something so painful tho, and it has opened pain in me this time too as it is very close to similar that I have been thro as a child. I know how hard it was for her....and what she is going thro at the moment is so so painful that she too is losing herself.

problem is, this is something I cannot help with, she needs better support than me, I am not that person. I am not the person she needs, and I hate to say it, for this, she needs professional help and help removed from the love and care I feel for her, and I do, I feel for her deeply.

but she has triggered someting in me.something I have worked so so so hard to deal with, and something my best and closest friends no about, and also, some of which I have spoken about on here as I am not actually ashamed of what I have been thro. EVERYTHING I have been thro in my past has happened (often extrordinarily shittily I admit), for a reason. I often say that we may not kn ow the reason for that shit for years, but it happens, and it makes us who we are. I may be spouting shit there myselfblush, but it is a belief that helps me and one I stick to.

but I am me, I like me, and I have a DH and children who love me and need me whole.......and right now I am on the edge of whole.

I am shaking here.

I have had such an awful night of dreams, actually trying to chop me up so I can put me back in a 'perfect' I am not feeling much of myself right now.

I have let down my friend, but I cannot be there for her right now, I need distance, but how can I do that.....that will not help her.

and how can I help me without losing me, I have worked so damn hard all these years with my soulmate there with me (DH, even tho he does have his faults<<poor attempt at humour there>>).

help, really am losing me here, and I can;t. I simply can't.

LosingsMate Tue 09-Sep-08 08:07:37

I have been told many times on MN that if you don't say no, if you give more than you can, then it is helping no-one.

It is bloody hard to do and it makes you feel like the most crappy person ever, but sometimes it must be done.

As long as you let the person know you can't deal with it (this only has to be said once), then it is ok to stop.

Order of importance: self, family, friends.

umberella Tue 09-Sep-08 08:18:58

LosingsMate is right - yu sound like you could also do with some (more?) help?

I totally agree with what you say about everything happening making you the person you are - that philosophy has helped me cope with a couple of very difficult things to deal with...but sometimes we all need a little proper help and maybe your friend talking to you has highlighted that. Hope you are okay, you sound like you are struggling x

losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 09:10:47

thankyou for the replies.

mate, yes, I know.....I know I know I know!!!

umberella.....yes maybe I do need more help. unsure about that in that I resist some therapy as it makes me dwell on it more than I would and I don;t think that 'dwelling' on it would help in the long term, and of course right now when I could do with a short bit of help, it isn;t easy to access IYGWIM.

I can talk about it up to a point with friends luckily, but even then, I don;t like to go too deep as they have their own crap to deal with.....why should I offload to them??

argh, am angry with me now for letting my friend down so badlyangrysad

losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 11:55:57

feeling a little calmer. a friend came and took me out to the shops....haven;t bought me anything, but did buy DH something to say sorry for my angst this morning.

we were going to go buy books (fave pastime of mine), but ran out of time with her school-runs <sigh>....still, she is coming round next week and we are trying to make a date to go for dinner for their wedding anniversary. all good.

have stopped shaking now.....I think feelings were got at that I thought were safe IYGWIM.....I might deal with all my stuff well most of the time, but clearly not when a very good friend is also suffering.

umberella Tue 09-Sep-08 12:02:52

don't feel upset about letting your friend down - you haven't done that at all in reality, we all have things we find hard to manage, and trying to give her advice and reassurance about something you can't cope with would be more of a disservice.

It sounds to me like you have put this in a mental 'box' and have not really dealt with it at all. It might not be a bad idea to try and knock it on the head by talking to someone so that you don't feel this flustered about it if anything brings it to the fore in future. Reslution is one thing but acceptance is quite another and for myself, I hate to think of something/someone being able to generate this level of discomfort within me.

umberella Tue 09-Sep-08 12:03:22


losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 12:09:09

ooh, you have touched on something there.

I spoke to a (different) friend last week about certain things going on in my life, and she spoke to me about mental 'boxes'. she said that all the issues I have should be all boxed up and then dealt with one by one, as when I get in a stew I cannot see around all everything. so, boxes would enable to to see and deal one at a time.

and with this, yes, I think I dealt so far long ago and I have already 'boxed' it, and yesterday squished the box!

I can talk about it, but when it stares me in the face (ie, family issues or seeing people), then I get anxious and start to try and hide, clearly not the sign of someone who has 'dealt with it'. is so damn hard sometimes!!!angry

mellyonion Tue 09-Sep-08 12:19:22


i'm sure that your friend is devasated to have upset you...i hope that you can still be friends, even though you are not able to help her in her immediate situation.....

everyone has shit to deal with..some more than others...there is no shame in admitting that sometimes you just can't support fully for someone....for whatever reason...

it is important that you look after you...without you, there is nothing...and your own priorities suffer (your dh, your dc...)

it sounds like you need some tlc...look after yourself, get stronger, look for help if you need it, or pack away the shit for now in your "box" ready to deal with at another time...

sending you much empathy, and healing hugs ((((()))))


losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 12:30:27

yes, she is devastated. I know that, and I know she is sorry for that. which is does not change how I feel about her, she is my friend and I care for her so much, especially with the amount of pain she is in....I just wish I could take it all away for her as she is so funny and kind and loving under all her trauma.

but this.....I can;t help with and it is hurting me and eating me up............for not being able to help her but also because it has woken up pain in me more than I thought I had.

and this is not good for my children or my husband..........i need to be whole, not half wrecked like right now.

theSuburbanDryad Tue 09-Sep-08 22:32:49

losingmyself - IME you're no good to anyone if you don't first take of yourself.

You have to take care of number one. I know that things people tell you can be extremely distressing, but tbh, if you're at the stage where you're getting nightmares over this then the time has come to back away. Your friend needs proper, professional help and counselling.


losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 22:40:01

you are right, and yes, I know that this is what she needs for this. tis hard knowing how to broach that with her, but TBH, I am stepping back for a few days as I need space to sort me out agian.

I am fretting over tonight tho, and dreams again. I get very vivid dreams when I am worried/fretting/even when I am excited......and I am scared.

I am also really hacked off with myself as I have not been able to settle with a book at all today either....books are my escape from the world and I only ever find myself unable to read when seriously distressed!!!

maybe MN will be my friend tonight instead<<weak smile>>

Alambil Tue 09-Sep-08 23:11:56

hey, don't feel guilty - you've done nothing wrong.

Boxes have been opened that have been long buried and it's taken you by surprise....

Taking time out to deal with burying those boxes again is NOT BAD. You NEED to. You will be no good to man nor beast if you don't.

I'm sure your mate will find help from elsewhere for a while; and eventually, hopefully she'll get professional help for all her issues.

It isn't possible that you can rescue her - no-one, unless professionally trained can help THAT much. Yes, we can help and support and carry through the hard times but ultimately it's a path for the professionals to guide the broken down.

I hope you get some peace tonight - I truly do.... take care and stay calm x

losingmyself Tue 09-Sep-08 23:18:53

thanks lewis.

I know that I need space, but I feel guilty for needing that IYGWIM.

however, it makes it better seeing others telling me it is ok to feel like that...I do need to be told occasionally!

I am trying to stay calm......I do realise I am dwelling on it tho so it may be a couple of days yet before calm comes back.

knowing me as well as I do, whenever I get upset over something I will fret and dream about it for about 2/3 days before I get back to 'normal' (whatever that ishmm[win]).

being able to post here does help tho.......getting it down, venting, helpss better than brewing and shaking and feeling like I need to sob and hide all day(which is how I woke up this morning).

Alambil Tue 09-Sep-08 23:25:10

Talking helps - even online!

I really hope your boxes close soon - I know how you feel. Believe me; and I took a few days out too - it hasn't done any long term damage.

Everything will work out... I promise x

losingmyself Wed 10-Sep-08 08:18:19

lewis, I had a better night and no dreams, thankyou.

I spoke to a lovely friend on MSN last night who managed to make me think good thoughts which was fab.......and so needed. feeling much more positive today.

I think it just was such a shock to have the feelings in myself knocked in the way that they did. I pride myself of how my life is with the start I had. self proof that whatever the statistics, you can make your life better and it does NOT have to follow a specific pattern just because it is 10% more likely.....IYGWIM.

anyway, the world may end todaywink, I do not want my last night ruined my bad dreams of my past. I like having good dreams of my future.

anyhooo.....thankyou so much (each of you that responded to me yesterday) for your thoughts and empathy and care. It helps so much to know that we are not alone when we are in need of a hug, be it a virtual hug or even just to tell you to 'get a grip'...wink.

I am not mended, but I am better than I was yesterday and last night.


theSuburbanDryad Wed 10-Sep-08 08:23:46

losing - everyone who supports other people through very intense times needs to take time out sometimes. When I have been visiting in Yarl's Wood or giving a lot of myself (emotionally) to people I need to take time to piece myself back together again. When you invest so much in someone, emotionally, you need to make sure you're protected. It's good to have someone debrief you, and I'm glad you managed to have a good chat with someone last night.

But really - it's ok to take a step back. Rape counsellors and psychiatrists have to have counselling themselves, to be able to deal with the sort of things they hear.

losingmyself Wed 10-Sep-08 11:14:40

thankyou dryad. I hear what you are saying, and thankyou.


MerlinsBeard Wed 10-Sep-08 12:07:28

losingmyself, sometimes putting things in boxes is the only way to deal with certain things at certain times. it's the less painful way of processing what has happened and the easiest way to move on from it.

I think deep down you knew that somewherea long the line, you were going to have to take a step back from helping your friend so much.
Even cousellors have counselling you know
it's ok to feel like that, as much as it is ok to admit to your friend that you simply cannot help with that particular thing. It will also mean that this friend maybe will not lean so heavily on one person for now.

It doesn't mean stop helping her, i know you won't, but i do think she needs honesty that you can't help her with that part of her trauma

ladytophamhatt Wed 10-Sep-08 22:10:44 say you've posted about all thsi stuff on Mn over time.

So its there for anyone to read it....

Could it be that thsi other person who you are supporting has read it and is using it to lure you in?

Giving so much supports to one person when its affecting YOU and YOUR family is not good.
Some people just crave attention and will use caring paople liek you to get it.

IMO you don't need to just step back, you need to step away.


losingmyself Thu 11-Sep-08 08:16:25

sorry for the non-replying yesterday. had quite an intense day physically and mentally (RL stuff going on), plus a minor identity crisis too!

MoM, thankyou. Boxes again tho.......they keep popping up! seems that my box broke this week. I did not know tho that even councellers have councellers. It makes such sense tho now I think of would be so draining with that amount of pain being heard during the course of your job.

LTH, yes, you may have a point. I am very open here on MN normally. It is draining me, but I do think she has some fab people stepping into the gap for now until I am strong enough.

<<ponders tho if you know who I really am.hmm I have only told one person!!!>>

ladytophamhatt Thu 11-Sep-08 08:47:30 idea who you are, don't worry. I'd shite at sherlock holmes detective stuffgrin

BUT I see people on here craving attention...almost bloody demanding it from people and TBH it annoys me.

Yes we are all attention seekers at some level. Why would I/you/any MNer start threads if we weren't??
MN would dies a death if we weren't all attention seekers.

But theres a big difference between me/you/most Mners who start threads and some of those who do it with threads in an extremely demanding needy way IYSWIM.

I hope today its easier anyway.

ladytophamhatt Thu 11-Sep-08 08:55:42

hang on, I've just re-read your OP.

My last post talks about threads on here, and you're talking RL.

Thats prob made you think I do know who you are even more.

Just wantto assure you, I'm just using needy threads on here as an example. People in RL do it too, of course they you're living with it.
I'm talking about MN because I see it so much....

God, I never post on stuff like this...maybe I should stick with the triviagrin<slaps forehead>

ladytophamhatt Thu 11-Sep-08 08:56:38

"of course they do, you're living with it"

ladytophamhatt Thu 11-Sep-08 09:34:39

Losing, are you still there?

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