Ask an expert
Question

19 Sep 2007

Family problems- very long read
I have a problem, or problems.

I work for a good company, a private bank, I am 22, the youngest person here. I feel like I could achieve so much but I feel held back.

My parent's got divorced when I was 18, we were well off, my mother's business was doing very well and we had money, my parents started arguing and the whole lot, I think my father was jealous of my mom's succes coz she'd never really had a career but was suddenly making more money than him. But also there are suspicions that she cheated on him. To be honest I believe that as she had a cellphone shop and was always around the cellphone guy.
Anyway, my father started to go mad, hired people to shoot the cellphone guy , but he didn't die. He continued to go mad and even woke up one night threatenig to burn the house down, then set his clothes alight, all the while he was in a daze, like a madman.

My mother called us one day to tell us the awful things my father had done to her over the years while they were married, they were married for 20 years and got married whe she was 21. We broke into tears, my brother and I, I have a younger sister but she was not invited to this conversation to protect her. Waht stood out in the conversation was a statement my mother made.."despite all that, he expects me to be faithful to him".

At the time this did not mean anything but a day or 2 later, my father called my brother and I to tell us my mother had cheated on him. I had never gotten along with him and hated him even more after the conversation with my mom so I blurted out, "why don't you divorce her then".

Literaly days later, my father caled

I have not spoken to him in 4 years, it feels like I don't care but people say it has to affect me in some way as a complete family is all I knew all my life but I can't see the effect of him leaving other than financially.

My mother is now in a rut, she lost the businesses, they were married in community of property. She struggles to get the motivation to find work but does tenders for government but this is not a stable income as months go by without her getting work.

I am the sole breadwinner at home now. Am quite resentful as I had imagined a different life for myself as a independant woman who will have success at an early age. I have since separated from my family emoptionally and physically. I have bought a house for them and pay the bond but haven't been home in months. The sheer pressure to provide for them is overwhlming and I guess I choose to not think about it.

My brothe was affected terribly by the divorce and has spent 6 years in Varsity and wants to quit now, bear in mind he was a straight A student in high school andd first year.

My little sister is in matric, she is very strong as she lives alone with my mom who has diabetes and has suffered minor strokes before, with my little sister the only one there totake care of her.

I don't know how to face all this, where to even start. I want to be there for my family, without feeling so weared down that I can't perform at work. I want to participate particularly in my sister's life but I feel so separated from her , I moved out of home when I was 19 to live with my boyfriend, I haven't live at home since.

What has kept me away is resenting my mother, growing up she always said we would have to take care of her,and she even admitted to viewing us as investments. i feel she cheated knowing even if the shit hits the fan she has a back up plan... us. This is hard for me to get over. She is a demanding woman and continuously tells me stories of how other kids take there parents to hotels and all sorts of things making me feel that buying the house they live in is not enough. It is this that ahs prevented me from going home for the past couple of months.

A lot is going on but I have separated it from my life just to stay sane. They live in Maritzburg, I have recently moved to Durban where I work.

Right now she is in hospital suffering from headaches, I have deposited money for my brother to take her to hospital.

This is such a hige problem, in fact a lot of problems, I don't even know where to start fixing it.

Like I said, ifI were to start fixing this, I don't know where I'd start.

At this point I know i should be seeing a psychologist but i don't even know if i could articulate the things i feel in words.

cybershrink and all those that have read this long piece, please advise me as to where to start. I knwo you can not solve my problems, i just need guidance as to where to start.


Answer 393 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Well, for a start, you've demonstrated an excellent capacity for articulating some of these issues in words, and I don't see any reason for you to expect not to work well with a good local psychologist. That would be the best place to start. And, having clarified and begun work on your personal issues, you could then consider possibly aranging some Family Therapy sessions, on the advice of your personal shrink, which could explore possibly with other members of the family, how to work on the problems you as a group, share.
As SWYS says, get the family together and makle it clear that they must each meet their own responsibilities. Including your mother's need to perhaps be a bit less fussy about how and where she works, so that she can start earning enough to at least care for herself and her daughter. SOme tough love may be indicated
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9369 votes
No
67% - 19367 votes
Vote