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Maria, it sounds like you’re going through a really tough time right now. I had a cousin die from suicide years back. It was really painful when it happened, but like Sunshine said, the pain really does lessen in time. Grieving is a process- albeit a long one- that you can’t control. We have to allow the grieving process to just occur and accept it for what it is. There is no use trying to rush the grieving. I tried that. It doesn’t help. Just sitting with my grief and trying to understand my grief is the most helpful thing that I’ve found.
I totally understand about having immigrant parents, ThePainter! My parents are from Mexico, and I moved here to America as a teen. Growing up in the midst of two distinct cultures can be really jarring sometimes, when the cultural values collide. I think it’s awesome that I can have both cultures be a part of myself though, even if it does sometimes cause conflict with my family.
I remember one job I had waiting tables while I was in high school. It was at a pizza restaurant, and I smelled like pizza all the time! Anyways, the boss there really had it out for me for some reason. She was older than me and from a different background. I felt like she was picking on me all the time, pointing out all of my mistakes. It was extremely frustrating, because not only would she constantly criticize me, but she would also do it in front of lots of the other staff. It was sort of public shaming. Honestly, I was really trying my best to do a good job. I think that perhaps she was just taking out on me some of her own insecurities about herself. From my experience, that tends to be the root of most unjust negativity. It never ended up boiling over, as Nashira brought up. It just kept going on and on and on. I eventually decided that the negativity was taking too much of a toll on my mental well-being, so I decided to resign from that job and find another. The best thing I did for myself through that whole situation was to not retaliate on my boss with anger. Because that would have barred my options for finding new jobs in the future, had I deliberately angered her or the other managers. I don’t regret leaving, and the whole experience has made me a stronger person.
I’ve never had this happen to me yet, and I hope that I don’t. It sounds like this is a common problem, though! I am fortunate to only stick with friends who respect me and treat me well. If they don’t, I can find other friends.
Recently I had to learn to set boundaries with my oldest friend, a girl who I met in elementary school and had been best friends with for years. We always had so much in common because we both came from dysfunctional families and because of that, both of us struggled with depression and anxiety. Often, we spent time together going out to bars, drinking too much, and doing drugs. About a year and a half ago, she moved across the country for law school. We never saw each other, and I was left with very few friends. It was hard to justify drinking so much and continuing to wallow in my depression when I was alone. I sought help and completely changed my lifestyle. She, however, delved further into it. She was alone at school, and dealt with this by drinking even more, every day, by herself. It wasn’t long before she was dismissed from law school and left with a lease on an apartment 1500 miles away from home. She would call me often, crying and having panic attacks. Sometimes even her mother would call me because she was so worried about her daughter. Each time I would talk to her I would tell her she needs to be seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist, and she needs to quit drinking. No matter what I said, her behavior didn’t change. I realized I couldn’t change her, and worrying about her behavior would do nothing to help her. I stopped answering all the 2 am calls, and didn’t respond to every miserable text message. She knew what to do if she wanted to get better, and I couldn’t force her to do anything. Unfortunately, she still hasn’t changed much. I still talk to her every once in a while, but the calls are few and far between. I put my own sanity before hers, because putting her first did nothing to help her. Instead of worrying about her when she calls me, I pray for her and put the responsibility in the hands of my higher power
It can be tough to really understand what others are going through. There are a lot of times when I cannot relate at all to their experience, and I just have to be there for them and listen.
I have a very close friend who has attempted suicide. Although he was found and treated before dying, I worry about him trying again constantly. Although I’ve also struggled during difficult times, it’s very hard for me to understand what would make my friend want to end his life. I can’t imagine life without him.
Sunshine– that must be tough. It’s great that you have your girlfriend and a cousin to help you get through it. Sometimes its just that one person that can really help us!
I think Samdc is right on the money– unjust negativity is often about insecurities and I try to remember that and to not take things personally when someone doesn’t like me
I have heard that in healthy relationships, we should assume that people’s poor responses have to do with something other than us. I try to remember this every time I start worrying because a friend snapped at me or a boyfriend hasn’t called when he said he would. It’s difficult to practice this. If I still feel insecure after repeating to myself that it has nothing to do with me and will all work out, I try to let the person know that I am worried I may have done something to upset them. 98% of the time I haven’t, but the 2% of the time I have it’s been a good way to open up productive dialogue and fix the hurt in the relationship.
Maria1234, I am so sorry. That must be really challenging.
I think the awareness is key. If you are someone who tends to think negatively, do the opposite action and think positively!
I agree with Sunshine- when I love myself on the inside- I am much more comfortable in my own skin!
I tend to think the worst sometimes too when I don’t hear from a friend or feel like I am being ignored. It often ends up being my friend was working or busy and the negativity was just in my head and then we talk about it and laugh about it!
I’ve experienced this several times in work situations. Sometimes I just need to do what I need to do and not expect to be best friends with everyone I work with. The reality is that not everyone is going to love you—and if I can accept that, I can be myself and be happy in whatever situation I am in.
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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