Take care of yourself (before others)

Take care of yourself (before others)

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This is a discussion on Take care of yourself (before others) within the INFJ Forum - The Protectors forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I'm sure many of you can attest to trying to help someone you love. They could be a spouse, family ...

  1. #1
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Take care of yourself (before others)

    I'm sure many of you can attest to trying to help someone you love. They could be a spouse, family member, or a dear friend. In my last relationship, I tried to work with my ex to stop her obsession with Internet chatrooms and meetng random men behind my back. Nothing worked.

    I now have a family member living with me. They moved here from the midwest to start a new life. I thought their gambling addiction was resolved, but discovered two weeks ago that it wasn't. I was furious. I knew without a doubt the reason why they couldn't keep the bills paid or a bank account open. I was just told that they would close their new account because it's currently overdrawn (their own fault for pissing their money away in slot machines).

    As hard as it is to witness this family member continuing their same behavior, I just can't watch anymore. And although they say they won't do it again, I know better. I'm tired of caring about it now. All I wanted was to help her return to a better life, but they must do this on their own now. I know from past experience that being intimately involved in trying to help someone will only lead to disaster in my own life. The hardest part is that this family member is my mom. I feel so betrayed that she would come here to repeat the same nonsense. I gave up my peace of mind, privacy, space, and other things for what? Had I known, I would not have offered that she move here to start over, but it's too late now. I'm once again repeating the past and I cannot do this anymore.

    I'm not only disgusted (still) with her, but myself as well. I'm tired of trying to help those I love with problems they're in denial about or don't care to fix. As I've been told, I need to focus on myself, but you guys know how that is -- you can't be selfish when it comes to those you love, but I have to in this case. I love my mom dearly, but I can't wait until she gets her own place, so if she chooses to hurt herself financially again, I don't have to be around to watch.



  2. #2
    INFP - The Idealists

    Codependent behavior doesn't really benefit either person. Enabling someone else by shielding him or her from the consequences of a destructive lifestyle is not the most loving option, even though I know from experience that it feels like it at the time. It's hard to let someone suffer, even when it is to promote long-term growth. I'm sorry you're going through all of this.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  3. #3
    INFJ - The Protectors


    Quite a situation. Since you've done so much, take some time to square things away with you so that you are not pulled in further than you are now. Give yourself some space and time to deal. Hopefully, you'll get to that point where you have some peace of mind.

  4. #4
    INFP - The Idealists

    I wish I could give you some good advice, Ronald, but I do the same thing. With family, what can you do? Snail's right though, codependency isn't good for anyone. :( Sorry you're in that situation. Hope it's resolved soon.

    Has she gone to Gamblers' Anonymous? Maybe you could work out a deal where she can only stay if she's seeking help and truly making an effort to get better.

  5. #5
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I don't think that I've attempted to shield my mom from her destructive lifestyle. I simply believed that she had addressed the problem until she came here and did the same thing. I had my suspicions for years, only because we haven't lived in the same city in almost ten years. My only purpose was to provide a place to live and start over. I told her to leave recently when I found out what she did, which created quite a big argument.

    Nonetheless, she knows that she has to get her own place soon, because I won't be manipulated by her actions. Hopefully my providing an opportunity for my mom to start anew isn't being codependent. If it is, I should probably talk to a counselor (as I did with my ex, though he said nothing was wrong with me...I dunno).

    Quote Originally Posted by snail View Post
    Codependent behavior doesn't really benefit either person. Enabling someone else by shielding him or her from the consequences of a destructive lifestyle is not the most loving option, even though I know from experience that it feels like it at the time. It's hard to let someone suffer, even when it is to promote long-term growth. I'm sorry you're going through all of this.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #6
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Indeed, take care of yourself first.

    Remember, you can't help someone with their problem until they admit its a problem. But it isn't always your duty to fix whats wrong with everyone else, no matter how much you love them. Some people just learn things the hard way.

    Cest la vie

  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Seeing a counselor is good, might I also suggest alanon, or something like it for you. I was married to an alcoholic, maybe not the same thing but addiction is addiction be it alcohol or gambling and being the child of an addict can be very hard to deal with.

    Seems to me you are displaying some classic signs of a child of an addict. I went to alanon for a very long time, and still do here and there, and it was very helpful to find people who give good guidance and advice about recovering and healing from the pain and damage that having a person with those problems in your family can cause.

    Remember that helping can be hurting, and I am not around enough to really have much of a say about weather your behavior is truly codependence but it might be something you should examine and evaluate. You probably would not have tried to help her had you known she was still having a problem, and that is not codependency.

    I do know for a fact that you have to let people with those problems hit their lowest point, and until they want help you cannot provide it, she needs serious therapy, and a gambling addiction support group would be a very good idea for her. I am not sure you can really help her at all. Like I said before sometimes helping is hurting and by our nature we can help too much, our personality type of its elf can makes us enablers. I know I have a internal drive and compulsion to help others that is very hard to resist. Sort of like our own addiction.

    I am so sorry you are going through this; it can really tear you apart. I am sure you can over come, you seem to be very strong, and remember you have support understanding and love from many more people than you know.

  8. #8
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Red,

    I've already found a few CODA groups here in Denver. I just missed a meeting yesterday that was a few blocks away from my place. I simply want to see if I might have any codependent tendencies and nip them in the bud. I am by nature a very caring person and I want to be sure that I maintain a balance when helping others.

    You are correct that I would not have offered help had I known she was still struggling with a gambling addiction. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and trusted she was being honest that she was no longer visiting casinos prior to her arrival. Now that I know the truth, I've withdrawn myself emotionally from her in this area. I simply don't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by red riding hood View Post
    Seeing a counselor is good, might I also suggest alanon, or something like it for you.


    You probably would not have tried to help her had you known she was still having a problem, and that is not codependency.

  9. #9
    Unknown Personality

    It's always good to take care of yourself first because if you can't take care of yourself how can you take care of others?

    As to your actual problem there's only so much you can. If they don't want to talk about it, admit it's a problem nor do anything to solve it then there's really nothing you do. That's more of a personal problem and so they have to come to you for help, not the other way around.
    HollyGolightly thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation, well both situations (your ex and your mom). I understand how you feel as i am going through a rough patch with my family. You have to take time out because when you're helping somebody who you are so close to it can totally drain you and then you're no good to them. You need to take some time out and make sure you're okay. I should take my own advice because I stick around until I'm at breaking point, but don't do what I do and let people feed off you until you're too weak to stand. I agree with WolfStar: It's always good to take care of yourself first because if you can't take care of yourself how can you take care of others?
    You're a good person, but don't let people take advantage of your nature. Even family who love you can do that sometimes, even if they don't realise that they're doing it.


 
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