- 2 weeks ago
- Wedding: July 2015
I have a sibling similar enough to this, and although they continue to seek help over the years, their condition(s) are as manageable as their motivation and ability are at the time to use the techniques taught to them (this can obviously become problematic as it is cyclical). I love and adore this sibling, but their behavior can become overwhelming as they will inevitably (thus far in life) try to push the boundaries I’ve set with them over time and do not actually wish for my input since I am younger and believe I have been given an easier course in life, and so I have to back away until I am ready to try again with the best hopes.
What I try to do with this sibling, and I admit such has been met with very limited success, is to sculpt our relationship around fun events/activities. I try to help by bringing positivity. I distract and motivate with all the good things available for us to do and see and believe in in hopes of empowering them to take further control of their life and continuing to actively seek happiness. Usually, a day’s worth of activities keeps everything light and easy, but getting overly excited and doing more or sometimes being in a private space too long will bring about the less savory side of things and I have to leave before things go way down hill (as while I am empathetic to their pain, I quietly (these days, anyways) do not enable the poor ways in which they deal with it and this becomes problematic as they very much want my sympathy and attention over things that I cannot obviously help with after years of rehashing and listening to the same problems).
Sometimes people like to wallow in their pain, and sometimes they should wallow for a short time, but when it becomes a constant for them linked to either their general life or to a specific relationship (or anywhere in between), then it is time to either curb the relationship or limit how much time you allow them to confide in you as it becomes and unendingly unreciprocal relationship where the under-cared-for person feels taken advantage of, exhausted/drained, and might even wonder why they aren’t important enough to be cared about in the same way they care for the other.
The thing about curbing the relationship is that it doesn’t have to be done negatively or in a confrontation; see your friend and treat her to a manicure or go to a play… Ask her specific questions about her life that she will be positive about–what her kids are doing in school or how excited is she for this or that? If she goes off towards the darkness and you are not in a spot to handle it, then give her a hug or a caring look at an appropriate pause and tell her that you know she’s having a hard go of it and if she ever needs to get out and escape reality for a time, that you would love to be her partner in crime. Then, redirect once more or tell her you have to be somewhere and leave. She will either adjust to the new but amicable dynamic, or she will phase herself away and towards someone else that she thinks will be more accomodating to her needs.