Home Depression Where Can I Get Help for My Feelings?

Where Can I Get Help for My Feelings?

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a young woman in Nigeria: My parents got separated when I was 11. And for some strange reason there was a lot of pressure on me to fix the situation from pretty much everyone minus my dad (saying that we were really close and he would listen to me). Due to the situation, I really didn’t come to terms with the situation and didn’t deal with it well, most of my time spent in boarding school was spent crying and I did go through a period of cutting(self-harm). Basically I didn’t know who to talk to about what I was dealing with and I’ve pretty much kept my feelings to myself till now.

My second problem is my mother, after the separation she spent time blaming me for most her problems and usually making me feel worthless. And I don’t know how to handle her. Most times I have thoughts of killing myself just so finally she will be happy.

And lastly I’m really not sure where to get help from in my country because here we don’t really have mental health discussions and whatnot.

People who don’t want to face their own responsibility for problems often look for someone else to blame. I’m so, so sorry that members of your family expected an 11-year-old to do what the adults couldn’t do to fix the marriage. That is so unreasonable. If you question that, take a look at 11-year-olds that you know and ask yourself if you would expect them to be a marriage counselor for angry adults. It’s ridiculous.

But, being only 11, you did what 11-year-olds do. You took the responsibility seriously and then felt like a failure for not being able to do the impossible. I hope that now that you are older, you can have sympathy for the 11-year-old who still lives in your memory and remind yourself that there was no way that your could have repaired your parents marriage when you were only a child. For that matter, you can’t do it now either!

Your mother is not a happy person. She will not be happier if you commit suicide. It will only give her another reason to hold onto her idea that she is a victim.

I’m very glad you wrote. It is a good first step to separating from your family’s unreasonable expectations and for claiming yourself. Since there are no mental resources in your area, please do consider joining a forum here at LifeHelper. Members are not professionals. They are people who are grappling with the same issue you are. Their compassion and understanding can help you feel less alone. Often members offer experience and wise suggestions.

Another resource for you is the library. There are many books written by people who have been through something similar. Reading their stories may help you gain more perspective on your own.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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