Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

Both children are in distress. Older Child has reached the point of 100% stress, 100% of the time. This is the point Younger Child reached last Fall.

We are beside ourself with worry for them. We are recommending that Older Child consider mental health support. Spouse wonders if Older Child might move back home (classes are online).

We will wait and see what Older Child wants. But it sounds like the current situation is unendurable.

Progress in Younger Child’s mental health journey is hard to see. It’s not zero, so that is hopeful. But it’s not enough to assuage our fears of long-term debilitation.

We are having trouble existing. We feel for these people too much. It’s not healthy. We are too empathic.

These are their journeys; they must experience them. We offer support and guide them to mental health resources.

Tolerating uncertainty is not our strong suit.

We were just feeling emotions relating to T-1’s separation from us. We found inconsistencies in how T-1 treated boundaries. Boundaries were used as a reason to not text with us outside session—as an Outpatient Therapist, out-of-session contact is not one of T-1’s services (except when it was).

But T-1 breached so many Outpatient Therapist boundaries—recommending medications, telling us how to dose our prescribed medication, encouraging us to accept hugs when we said “no” (if we were saying no because we felt dirty and like we might “infect” T-1, then we should give T-1 a hug anyway), recommending supplements, armchair diagnosing our family, telling us about T-1’s personal life and children—that the lack of consistency bewildered us.

T-1 has a need and right to set boundaries, but the picking and choosing which boundaries mattered were red flags for Spouse that we ignored. Why? Because T-1 told us we were connected (from past lives), that we were T-1’s favorite client, and we felt connected and special.

But then T-1 told us we cared for T-1 “inappropriately.” Well, does it sound like T-1 might have helped cultivate that? It suited T-1 to cultivate our connection, until it didn’t. Now, we are sour grapes, a Little Locked out of the house in the dark of night.

And people we helped create are suffering, and our resources aren’t enough to support ourselves. How do we help them?

AJ is upset about T-1. Feels tricked. Our parent-me feels overwhelmed. Younger Child is still scared of doing the hard exposures for ED. What is ever going to move the needle? How will Younger Child become intrinsically motivated to dare to heal? It’s death by 1,000 paper cuts out of fear of one big paper cut. Our heart breaks.

This sucks. And it is our life. So we will try to take it as it comes. We dream of being taken care of, in the hospital, with therapy and meals and no problems in front of us except our most urgent ones: healing from trauma. Trying to live life. Working on the mysteries of suffering less, loving more, finding compassion.

6 thoughts on “Pandemic: prolonged mental health crises

  1. This sucks and this is hard, but you’re there. You haven’t run off to the woods or to join the circus. You’re there when people need you to be there. Being there in spite of it being hard is a powerful gesture of compassion towards Older and Younger child; it shows you’re committed to trying to reduce their suffering.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that Older Child is having a tough time, too. Hugs all around for your family!! ❤️ I relate to being empathetic and taking on other people’s problems as my own.

    Hmm, those sound like confusing boundaries coming from T1. I would hate feeling pressure to give someone a hug. And the idea of being connected through past lives feels a little weird to me, but maybe it was different in context. It makes sense that you were unclear on what the boundaries were and that you were upset when she changed them!

    I dream of being taken care of, too. One day….. For now, I can take care of myself and accept care from other people whenever I can!

    Liked by 1 person

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