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Stress of Family

by Noelle

My name is Noelle and I have written before because of my struggles with anxiety and OCD. Thankfully, the OCD is getting better due to therapy and medication. However, I need advice concerning my relationship with my family. I am a college student and life is so busy right now because of schoolwork and a new relationship. It seems as if I don't have alot of time to spend with family anymore. The thing is, I still need my family but only two of them are actually encouraging and act as if they love me. My sister (who I used to be close to) doesn't speak to me anymore. Something happened between her and my mom. It was not even my fault but now she has completely distanced herself from me and some other family members. It really hurts. I am making alot of progress in my life but it's bittersweet because I can't tell my family about the exciting things taking place in my life! I need encouragement or advice....

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hi Noelle,

It's so good to hear you are doing better with your anxiety and OCD!

The stress that surrounds family issues are always sensitive & difficult no matter what they are. It's easy to feel hurt when we become distant from those we love or when we feel unloved or unimportant to those that matter a great deal to us.

Keep your head up! No matter what happened in the past, there is always hope for the future! People often distance themselves from others because situations are either just too painful to deal with or they don't know how to resolve things.

Chances are good, that although you feel unloved by certain family members, your not unloved at all! Just because people don't speak or act a certain way doesn't mean we should assume that we know what's going on inside their minds or hearts.

Although I am unsure what the details are surrounding your current family relationships (other than distant and not talking), have you thought about opening up dialogue with them yourself? There is nothing wrong with letting people know that you love & miss them! Sometimes writing a letter, or sending a card can soften hearts enough to open the door to begin again.

So often people let good thoughts go unspoken. It's easy to tell people when we are upset or disagree, but it's hard to tell people how much we love them or what great qualities we think they have. Oftentimes, the things that are hardest to do are most rewarding in the end.

You may find some helpful tips through reading Family Stress:Learning to Deal with Unresolved Conflict

Always embrace the good in your life and look for positive truths in all things. It is easy to get distracted by all the things we don't have or wish we had and if we focus on these things too much we will find ourselves discouraged and depressed.

Wishing you well Noelle! I hope this has at least offered you some hope and encouragement.

~Susan

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