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Scared

Posted by Rae at April 21, 2012
Tags: Anxiety  2012 April  Family  Loneliness

I'm 22 years old. I graduated from college a year ago and just got a great new job which I'll be starting next week. I have a boyfriend and a few close friends and on the outside, things seem to be mostly okay.
I have always struggled with depression and anxiety. I've had problems with both my entire life. My mother is bi-polar (as was my grandmother, when she was still cognizant of things) and would become manic and have psychotic breakdowns requiring hospitalization every few years throughout my childhood. I have never seen my mother hold a job. She is financially supported by my 96 year old grandmother who has advanced dementia and doesn't know who any of her family members are anymore. My father is terminally ill with emphysema and has been hospitalized four times in the past two years (three of those four in a span of about six months). We all live in my grandmother's house. Up until pretty recently, my father worked a regular job every day, but since his illness has gotten worse, he stays home and works part time from the living room couch and naps most of the rest of the day. My mother's entire side of the family suffers from mental illness and are difficult people to deal with. A lot of fighting, miscommunication, jealousy, shaming, and blaming goes on here. If that were all it was, it'd be easier to just hate everyone and not feel so emotionally attached, but there is a also a deep love and family structure underneath it all, despite how dysfunctional everything is. I am the only family member who is able to stay calm and handle a crisis.
I am very stressed out right now with my father in the hospital. I am so terrified of him dying and leaving me with no family except my crazy mother and her side of the family. I really feel like I would have lost my mind at some point in my childhood if not for my father.
I'm trying to do what's best for him and for the rest of my family while also not getting too involved. I know a time will come when my grandmother dies and her house will no longer be available for my parents to live in and I am so worried about what's going to happen then. My father is very ill and my mother cannot take care of herself. I can't take care of her, either. I love my father very much and the idea of losing him breaks my heart. I know, of course, that this is inevitable and each time he gets sick and his condition gets a bit worse, I get so terrified of what is to come.
I know that I am not a little girl anymore, but I feel so overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with all of this. I am jealous of my friends who do not have this kind of stuff going on and are free to pursue their lives without all of this worry. I also feel bad for having such self-pitying thoughts as I consider myself incredibly lucky to have all the things that I do have, to live in a place where I have rights and shoes and running water. I am so incredibly privileged, even though by my country's standards I am lower class.
I feel like the world I have always known is crumbling all around me. I am inside of a condemned building and all the walls are cracking and falling down. I know I have the strength to get through it but I am so scared and so alone. I feel like if I have no family I will have no one and nothing. I am absolutely terrified for the future. There are things that I am excited for, but those things are completely over shadowed by worry and despair. I feel like there is no point of living without family and loved ones. I try to remind myself to have faith in human connection, but I feel so alone and the truth is that I have always felt pretty alone. I am doing the best that I can do but inside I feel like I should be doing better. I guess all I can really do is keep trying, and I will, but sometimes I feel like I just want to give up and die or run away or somehow escape.


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