Depressed.... Mainly brought on by family issues

  • kcboyitaly

    Posts: 9

    Jan 30, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    Im 28 and in a nutshell this is why I am feeling the way I do:

    I am 1 of 8 kids from parents that were (they mean well) always arguing over money. My mom stopped working after me (I am the 5th). My dad would wake up around 7-8a work a courier job, get off at 3p to go into an assembly plant that built cars at 5p, get off btwn 1-3a, get some sleep, and had a airport hotel shuttle job on the weekends. My mom would raise us and was very good at showing love. After the 4th kid finished middle school she decided she didnt like the public middle schools so I went to a private catholic school from 7th - 12th. By my junior year I was pulled into the principals office with my mom, a member of the school board, principal, and councelor. I was told that I could not take my finals that year because the tuition was behind. I had to help by working at the high school to assist my mom with her horrible financial planning. I ended up being a 1/2 credit short from graduating and was so upset and stubborn because my mother played a part in that. I didnt take my finals until my senior year and my books were already sold so mom was able to feed a slot machine (I assume). I also started working at age 16. My mother had/has a gambling problem and would hide the mail from my father to keep him from seeing returned check notices from the bank. I never noticed how bad the problem was until about 2 years ago. My father was 61 when he found out he had metastatic lung cancer on June 28, 2009. He passed away November 15, 2009 (4.5 months later). He had a life insurance policy of approx. $60,000. $60,000 is not a lot of money but my mom went through it by January 20th. I knew that because I received a call from her asking me for $20.

    I worked from 16 and on as a mobile dj working mentally handicapped and middle school dances. Started working weddings when I was 18 (been doing it since). I moved out at 18 into an apartment. I started selling advertising at the movies right out of high school. My credit score by the time I was 20 was 760. I bought a nice cadillac at 21 and paid an additional $100 on each payment. I had credit/charge cards that I would only charge what I could afford to pay off within that billing period. I did all this with no high school diploma and still throwing money towards family to help with their bills (aka moms gambling or siblings drug problems). When I was 23 I co-signed for 2 different signature loans ($3,000 & $1,800), did a cash advance on my credit card ($4,400), and pulled $2,300 out of my own account (leaving it less than 4 figures with no savings) to help my mom with a bunch of crap. I was promised to receive the money within 60 days. To make a long story not that long I did not get the money back, tried to pay the debt to save my credit, fell behind on my car payment which caused them to reposess it, and my score dropped fast. I had a case of the "fuck its" if you will. Meaning I thought Im already fucked and it was a big hole for a 23 year old making $30,000/yr to come out of so I started paying high interest and buying things I normally wouldnt buy and its bothered me so much and killed a lot of motivation that I had before.

    I am by no means perfect but I do question why I do not think some of the crazy things my family thinks when they make some of the decisions they do. I love my dad and miss him more than anything. Seeing my mom continue her gambling, siblings having kids and kids before they find the right guy, seeing drugs play big roles in their lives, and knowing that they are my family that I love puts me in a depressed mode a lot lately.....I apologize for the length of the message if you read it. I guess my questions is "what do i take to get back on track?" I hate medication however there are anti-depressants. Do I see a councelor/psychiatrist? And do you have a story/situation that I should not be so upset to feel the way I do, instead feel fortunate that I am here and healthy?
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    Jan 30, 2012 9:57 PM GMT
    kcboyitaly saidIm 28 and in a nutshell this is why I am feeling the way I do:

    I am 1 of 8 kids from parents that were (they mean well) always arguing over money. My mom stopped working after me (I am the 5th). My dad would wake up around 7-8a work a courier job, get off at 3p to go into an assembly plant that built cars at 5p, get off btwn 1-3a, get some sleep, and had a airport hotel shuttle job on the weekends. My mom would raise us and was very good at showing love. After the 4th kid finished middle school she decided she didnt like the public middle schools so I went to a private catholic school from 7th - 12th. By my junior year I was pulled into the principals office with my mom, a member of the school board, principal, and councelor. I was told that I could not take my finals that year because the tuition was behind. I had to help by working at the high school to assist my mom with her horrible financial planning. I ended up being a 1/2 credit short from graduating and was so upset and stubborn because my mother played a part in that. I didnt take my finals until my senior year and my books were already sold so mom was able to feed a slot machine (I assume). I also started working at age 16. My mother had/has a gambling problem and would hide the mail from my father to keep him from seeing returned check notices from the bank. I never noticed how bad the problem was until about 2 years ago. My father was 61 when he found out he had metastatic lung cancer on June 28, 2009. He passed away November 15, 2009 (4.5 months later). He had a life insurance policy of approx. $60,000. $60,000 is not a lot of money but my mom went through it by January 20th. I knew that because I received a call from her asking me for $20.

    I worked from 16 and on as a mobile dj working mentally handicapped and middle school dances. Started working weddings when I was 18 (been doing it since). I moved out at 18 into an apartment. I started selling advertising at the movies right out of high school. My credit score by the time I was 20 was 760. I bought a nice cadillac at 21 and paid an additional $100 on each payment. I had credit/charge cards that I would only charge what I could afford to pay off within that billing period. I did all this with no high school diploma and still throwing money towards family to help with their bills (aka moms gambling or siblings drug problems). When I was 23 I co-signed for 2 different signature loans ($3,000 & $1,800), did a cash advance on my credit card ($4,400), and pulled $2,300 out of my own account (leaving it less than 4 figures with no savings) to help my mom with a bunch of crap. I was promised to receive the money within 60 days. To make a long story not that long I did not get the money back, tried to pay the debt to save my credit, fell behind on my car payment which caused them to reposess it, and my score dropped fast. I had a case of the "fuck its" if you will. Meaning I thought Im already fucked and it was a big hole for a 23 year old making $30,000/yr to come out of so I started paying high interest and buying things I normally wouldnt buy and its bothered me so much and killed a lot of motivation that I had before.

    I am by no means perfect but I do question why I do not think some of the crazy things my family thinks when they make some of the decisions they do. I love my dad and miss him more than anything. Seeing my mom continue her gambling, siblings having kids and kids before they find the right guy, seeing drugs play big roles in their lives, and knowing that they are my family that I love puts me in a depressed mode a lot lately.....I apologize for the length of the message if you read it. I guess my questions is "what do i take to get back on track?" I hate medication however there are anti-depressants. Do I see a councelor/psychiatrist? And do you have a story/situation that I should not be so upset to feel the way I do, instead feel fortunate that I am here and healthy?






    kcboyitaly, you've been through a lot with your family. I know it's difficult to see your family self-destruct, but it sounds like you've done what you could to help them... to the point of having your own life affected negatively by their indifference about their downward spiral. As long as they are not motivated to help themselves, whatever you do for them (no matter how heartfelt and noble) will merely be used by them for their further decline. Although unintentional, you actually become an enabler of their destructive way of life.

    As hard as it might be for you, you have to allow them to live the way they want to live until they see for themselves the damage they are inflicting on their well-being. Until they see their own need and are motivated by that need to change their ways, all the financial help and emotions you invest in them will only work to take away from your own quality of life. Your depression may be the result of the hopelessness you feel to solve their problems. It's not your fault!!! You may want to see a counselor to help you work through any "guilt" issues that somehow burden you will a false sense of responsibility for their situations. The fact is kcboyitaly, you are not responsible for their choices. You need to come to a personal understanding with yourself that each family member has a right to do and to live the way they choose.

    You're only hope is that each one will come to their senses through the awareness of their need. When that happens with sincerity, you can then help in a way that will be profitable to them and that won't take away from your own well-being and quality of life. It will be constructive and not destructive for all involved.

    Do you have other family members to talk to about how your feeling? Any close friends that will allow you to "get this off your chest?" It's very important for you to get a right perspective of the situation for your involvement. Otherwise, you will be drawn into the negativity and share in their outcomes.

    If you have faith in God, this is the time to pour out your heart to Him. God is able to do inwardly in people's hearts the things that we cannot accomplish by dealing with the outward man.

    Good luck.

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    Jan 30, 2012 10:08 PM GMT
    I would seriously suggest a therapist, not because I think you're some whacked out guy but because it's a great place to do exactly what you did here, open up and say what you're thinking. The difference is that they have the training to help you begin to understand yourself, your thoughts and the process you need to initiate to get back on the right path.

    Depression is a terrible disease. The hardest thing to do is to reach out when you feel like crap but, as you probably know, that's when you need it the most. Start seeing someone now, when you're still able to logically care and then if you get worse, hopefully the routine will keep you going and end up being a support system to help you out.

    In the mean time, keep in touch with guys on here too. This is a great place to make friends and, even when we're sometimes dysfunctional, we're always here for each other.

    Big HUG!!!
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    Jan 30, 2012 10:09 PM GMT
    kcboyitaly saidAnd do you have a story/situation that I should not be so upset to feel the way I do, instead feel fortunate that I am here and healthy?

    But I suspect you are not healthy. You bear many emotional scars, which will only worsen.

    You describe a seriously dysfunctional family. You cannot help them by yourself. Rather, they are like the drowning swimmer, who will drag down their untrained rescuer with them.

    You have done enough. Sever your ties and deal with your own problems. Perhaps the day will come when you are financially secure enough to do something for them. Right now you can do very little, except continue to handicap your own future, enable their bad behavior, and make their tragedy yours, too.
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Jan 30, 2012 10:21 PM GMT
    I feel your pain and I have some similar shit to deal with, but you can't save a sinking ship by staying on board--swim away from the wreckage (as much as you can).
  • patmos9990

    Posts: 146

    Jan 30, 2012 10:39 PM GMT
    I hope you learn from your family's mistakes. Someone has to stop the events that seem to be happening and your siblings seem to be taking the same path as your parents. I hope that you are able to find your way to financial security. Remember, as you are doing that, not to let your family bring you down with their financial sitiuations. It's okay to say no and I have many times.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Jan 30, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    Oh my, I'm sorry to hear about your situation it sounds very tough. I would suggest getting help with all this, it sounds like a very heavy burden and any person would be struggling dealing with all this and anybody would need help with this. I wouldn't worry about trying to feel "lucky" or "grateful" right now, if you don't you don't, it's okay. This is just my advice but I would really suggest taking it really easy right now, go easy on yourself, don't push yourself any harder then you need to and try to find ways to relax/rest/play, take care of yourself first to decrease some of the stress/anxiety load, give your body and nervous system a rest. Stress is extremely taxing on you and your mental/physical/emotional resources. It might give you more energy to tackle other things and free up some resources to decide what to do next.
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    Jan 30, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    Can I give you a hug please?
    What unfortunate crap, so sorry. Everyone has given great advice, therapy, distancing yourself from the family. I just wanted to give my 2 cents about antidepressants. They are definitely an option. From personal experience (and many others I've known) I know they can help you through some tough times but they can have some side effects and are not easy to come off of. Oddly, one of the greatest side effects is also the reason they work so well, they numb all your emotions. This is fantastic off the bat because it makes you very tolerable and not have any real cares in the world but after a while this numbness is depressing and it's a vicious cycle. If you go on them, do not stay on them long (maybe months to a year) even if your doctor advises otherwise. You can always go back on them, if needed. I was on them for years (doctors love to push these things) finally wised up, went cold turkey and had awful side effects for about 9 months. Same thing for a niece of mine, on it for years, tried to go off and had to go back on it, not from depression but from the side effects.
    Good luck to you.
    We're always here for you!
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    Jan 30, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    1. Ditch your miserable family. Move to another city if you must.
    2. Get therapy to overcome the bullshit you have been through.
    3. Move on with your life on your terms, in your time and in your own way.

    $.02
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Jan 30, 2012 11:55 PM GMT
    Deal with one problem at a time and if you feel the need to talk to a therapist, it is good to get things off your chest. Tackle each item in order of importance. I always make a list whenever I feel overwhelmed - that way I can look at one item at a time and feel a sense of accomplishment as each item is crossed off the list.
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    Jan 31, 2012 12:10 AM GMT
    vintovka saidI feel your pain and I have some similar shit to deal with, but you can't save a sinking ship by staying on board--swim away from the wreckage (as much as you can).


    +1 you cant control everyone elses behavior- just your own. Focus on your own life and what you want your future to be.
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    Jan 31, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
    Hugs man and prayers,icon_wink.gif and it also shows great inner strength of what you are going through. Like everyone said before, get some help - therapist. I have one for some of the family issues I am going through...its a great help to talk to someone and put somethings in perspective. I did not go on medication. Also, you will need to divest of some emotional baggage and healing, this will take time as well as some regression analysis - which will be good for any future relationships. Additionally, you will need to set-up some healthy boundaries with your Mom and family, were you are in control not her or them. This will take some adjustment and behavior modification on your part, but the therapist can help tremendously on how to respond, and what to say as you become stronger.

    Keep us posted.
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    Jan 31, 2012 12:31 AM GMT
    Wow. You are a saint. Take care of yourself, go to therapy, and get that energy out of your system. I think there is a time to give yourself willingly and unconditionally...and I think there is a time to give yourself the love you need, to be healthy. Deal with yourself, and you will be able to better deal with crisis. Good luck handsome, and take care of yourself, or you have nothing anyway!
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    Jan 31, 2012 12:33 AM GMT
    Don't fall into the trap of thinking family is this go-to support unit and that it's the solution to your woes; the opposite is often true. Modern society conditions us to venerate family ties and give our all to maintain them.

    That's a lovely sentiment, but the reality is that family is just a random selection of people who share common genetic ties. It's not a panacea, and sometimes we just have to give up the ghost and admit to ourselves that we drew a bad lot.

    You're clearly resourceful, and obviously you're carrying a burden that's not yours to bear.
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:09 AM GMT
    www.gam-anon.org/meeting.asp
    Self help group for loved ones of people who are compulsive gamblers.

    Al-anon or nar-anon might be good as well.

    Therapy would help, but seeing as you're already strapped I don't know how feasible you think it is. I do hear you on the depression though, I think the going out and racking up debt when you were already in a bad situation is a telltale sign of it. I'm not a doctor... I think what people don't realize about depression is that it isn't as much sadness as it is a lack of emotional energy. It's almost like a chronic case of "f*** it." It sucks, so I hope it all works out for you.

    Really, as far as debts, finances and all that stuff go...you can only do what you can do at the moment, and every dollar you can knock off those bills is a step in the right direction.
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    Stop thinking about yourself so much.
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    I was a very depressed individual. But compared to your story, mine is more like a sob story. However, what I would suggest is to see a therapists. Because no matter how much help you try to seek out from normal guys like us, the fact is that we don't not specialize in the type of help you are seeking. The suggestions we give you is more like advice from a friend, and there is only so much a friend can help you with.

    A therapist would introduce a higher level of knowledge that would prove to be useful to you. You seem to have a lot on your shoulders right now, but the best thing to do is sort things out one at a one, starting at one, seeking professional help. My experience was very memorable, though not so happy. There was plenty of tears, but in your situation, it seems to be much worse. In the end, the only person who can change anything is yourself, and you have proven to demonstrate ambition beyond belief. I say you continue to seek out a way that would turn your life around for the better. So please see a therapists or someone with the means of a higher profession. It would help you sort out a lot of things and potentially realized a lot more about yourself as well.

    Best wishes to you.
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    Jan 31, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    I share the suggestion you try professional counselling. I'd also add that you should do some background reading on compulsive gambling (as suggested by the other guy before me). I think it's important to realize that your mom could not easily make rational decisions and it might help to realize she is/was "sick". It's very easy to blame her but compassion and understanding might make you feel better in dealing with her. I'm not saying keep enabling by giving money (because frankly you can't afford to) but try to avoid becoming bitter. That will ony make you feel worse, I think.

    I really hope things work out well for you. The fact that you've shown the courage to unload here is a really positive sign that things will be better, I think.
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    Jan 31, 2012 6:10 AM GMT
    I can completely empathize with your situation.

    I never saw a therapist.

    Here's what I did:
    - accepted my parents/siblings for who they are because they didn't know better. No matter how many people will say, "well, they're adults they should know better". Well, they didn't/don't, so you just accept it.

    - reminded myself that I'm not a victim. It's easy to play the victim role here and blame your family for the way you are. No, now that you know better yourself, do something about it to make sure that you are not victimized by your family's behavior

    - let go of the anger. Probably the absolute hardest thing to do, but there's no reason to be angry, just forgiving and be there for your family when they need you. I kept repeating to myself (towards my mom and dad), "it's okay, you didn't know better because no one showed you better. hopefully I and/or someone else can show you better so you understand the love I need from you". Since doing that, my mom's relationship with me has really improved alot, and, prior to his passing, i could say the same for my dad.

    I am the youngest of 5 and was the first to understand those 3 points, which I figured out on my own. it has allowed me to live a life with those hatchets buried very deeply and that part of my life no longer creates stress for me.

    Good luck to you.
  • kcboyitaly

    Posts: 9

    Apr 24, 2012 9:28 AM GMT
    I apologize for just now responding to thank you guys and express how much I appreciate all of the advice each of you gave me 3 months ago. It seemed a bit odd to get advice/something off my chest by posting on a website but I am glad I did.

    I know everyone has a story and everyone experiences stress at some point in life (some more than others). Sometimes I think that bad things happen to certain people because certain people are strong enough to deal with it. Then there's the bitterness some people feel when we see some others receiving breaks in life or they never experience any unfortunate situations in life. I sometimes think it is because they wouldn't know how and/or are too weak to handle some unfortunate situations. I am a believer that the phrase "shit happens" actually means "Life happens".... Whether you have seen this movie (the latest Rocky) that I pulled this clip from or not I strongly recommend watching this 3 minute clip. Thanks icon_biggrin.gif

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5OookwOoY