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Sorry you have yet another stress to deal with 😓 it's extremely unsettling when a family member behaves in a way to make us paranoid and suspicious...it feels like betrayal doesn't it?

Has he got his own bank account? It may be worth looking into mobile banking, transferring money from your account to his so that he can't have anymore 'accidents'...

There's also online grocery shopping, the supermarket will deliver straight to your door too so you wouldn't need to rely on your brother for anything like that.

Do give him the benefit of the doubt if you can though, you've both been through so much
 
Ah matey really sorry to see you going through all of this. Just remember we all think the world is a better place with you in it!

I agree with Captain Barnicles to give him the benefit of the doubt right now, the idea about transferring money rather than taking cash out could be a good way round it.

Wills
 
We had words this morning... believe me. His story doesn't add up totally, and at one point he tried saying I'd feel better on Tuesday - meaning after my doc prescribes more benzos for me. As if I'm only reacting like this because I'm not sedated. That it's my mental illness giving me the doubt, suspicion and my mental illness that's the problem. Not that he acted really suspiciously and betrayed my trust.

That's not okay. Yes I have MIs, and I'm having a particularly rough week. But I know I'm not being crazy here. Anyone would be upset/angry/suspicious if someone they trusted their card with took out extra cash and didn't say a word until caught and confronted.

So trying to use my MIs as a weapon against me to defend against something they've done wrong is a thing that particularly hurts me and makes me angry. It's bad enough having MI without someone trying to make me doubt myself and get out of their own mistake/hurtful behaviour. It's gaslighting, quite frankly, as much as that term has been abused and overused. It's a viciously cruel thing when I already have doubts about my own mind and sanity to then use it against me. To try to convince me it's just me being crazy, and not them that did anything wrong. I dumped an ex for that when he was cheating and I caught him out, and he tried to convince me it was only my MI.

I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid.
Anyone would be hurt, wonder about why he would do that, then say nothing if it was just an accident.
Anyone would then be wondering if they could trust that person with their money.
Sorry you have yet another stress to deal with 😓 it's extremely unsettling when a family member behaves in a way to make us paranoid and suspicious...it feels like betrayal doesn't it?
It does. 😢
Do give him the benefit of the doubt if you can though, you've both been through so much

I agree with Captain Barnicles to give him the benefit of the doubt right now


I'm trying to. And I want to. I'm tired out from everything already, without this too. Deep down, I don't think he'd want to hurt me. He does try to help, is supportive of me and my MI usually. Usually patient, kind, understanding.

But he does have expensive hobbies. Computers, tech, and gaming. And he's also been secretive about his own finances and getting the paperwork together. Taking that bill to his room and not telling me anything about it until I got a call from the BT bot and asked him about it on Saturday. Now this.

I've calmed down a lot. He took Pixie out (which he doesn't usually do, but I'd asked him to do yesterday so I could play angry/sad music and have a cry alone, without upsetting her. She hates when I'm upset, tries so hard to comfort me and it makes her anxious, so I wanted to be able to cry without upsetting her). I told him I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't want to fight or be even more upset, and there's too much that needs doing that both of us have to handle.

That I don't want to believe he'd hurt me like that. That I know how supportive he's always been, and part of that had been doing the shopping when my agoraphoba was bad, and when I was needed at home for dad and mum, so he'd do the shopping for all of us, putting each of our list items on our own cards. I'd appreciated it. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But that there needed to be much more transparency! That our finances are going to be intertwined for a long while, we need to be sorting the bills so they're in both of our names, and we're splitting them 50/50, same with household costs. So he can't hide bills away in his room and not say anything to me.

But there's no doubt he's damaged my trust, and you can only really earn that back in time. And if I do trust him with my card again, I'll be keeping a much closer eye and insist on receipts. Urgh. Hate this. Didn't need this on top of everything else.

Edited to fix typos.
 
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When I had/have those times... where I couldn't face getting out of bed, or it took me all day to only get the basics of caring for parents and pets done, but didn't have the strength, mental energy or motivation to do anything else for myself, or to face the debts, I'd blame myself, blame the depression, since it famously causes a lack of energy and motivation, and berate myself for not just dealing with it like an adult.

I've battled depression my whole life. But I'd always been able to remain functional enough pre-breakdown to work, study, live alone and manage my finances, have a social life etc. Depression does sap your energy and motivation, absolutely. But I went on anti-anxiety/antidepressant meds when needed, made lifestyle changes to diet and activity levels, leaned on friends, and always managed to remain functional enough, even if I had short stretches of "I don't even have the energy or will to get out of bed, and just want to withdraw and hid away from the world."

But post-breakdown, it was so much worse. And when my benefits were cut so I could no longer afford the expenses for my flat, let alone anything else, I didn't just withdraw from friends and activities, but withdrew from the whole world, and couldn't face opening mail with demand letters for money I knew I didn't have a hope of being able to pay, and wasn't nearly well enough to return to work either. So I stopped opening mail too. Got quite a phobia and panic attacks when I did try and deal with it.

In therapy and post-breakdown, there was talk of PTSD. I'd never had panic attacks or agoraphobia prior to some of those traumas, so something had definitely changed - and when I read up more about PTSD, I wondered if mine was an avoidant type. I avoided romantic relationships of any kind, became quite hopeless of any kind of recovery, then began avoiding dealing with the outside world altogether, beyond my family and closest friends. I pulled myself together just enough to care for my parents as they were aging, dad broke his hip, then passed away and mum needed my help more than ever. But previously, I'd resigned myself to being "too broken" to ever recover, and that once my parents didn't need me anymore, I'd opt out. Didn't feel like a deserved any more help, since it hadn't been working in recent years, had zero self worth or confidence left, and depression also saps a lot of the joy and colour from the world, so you don't find pleasure in things you used to enjoy.

I thought the "avoiding the post and demand phone calls/emails etc might be an avoidant PTSD reaction, or the depression, and only beat myself up even more for not just facing it and dealing with it, and letting things pile up and get worse. But this video paints it in a new light, for me.


Now, anyone can make a youtube video, and there's a lot of self-help bunkum out there. But this is a licensed psychologist with a doctorate, and what he's saying makes absolute sense when I've studied psychology and the rapidly growing fields of neuroscience and psychobiology. I've long been aware of the amygdala's part to play in "fight, flight, fawn or freeze" responses, how it can hijack the brain in life or death situations, and is also involved in PTSD. I had not realised the way it pulls resources from the frontal lobes in order to do that - so when it's activated because of chronic, long term stress and what I'd described as feeling "stuck" or "frozen", no matter how important it was that I get up and do something, that sometimes made it even more paralysing, and only made me berate myself more.

The fact that it's not a choice, or being lazy/an idiot/broken beyond repair, or all the other things I tell myself - but that my amygdala is literally shutting down my frontal lobes and executive function - made a lot click into place. The very things you need in order to prioritise tasks, face difficult conversations, get yourself and other things organised - are all in your frontal lobes. Your higher thinking. You can't use those effectively while the amygdala is hogging all of the brain's resources and subconsciously screaming at you to freeze, your life is in immediate danger. And the tendency to beat myself up and try to push through it makes it worse, not better. When trying to push through it, I've described it as being like trying to move through treacle, or wading through a thick fog. It makes so much more sense to me now, why it feels as though your brain is shutting down when you're feeling stuck like that, but have an overwhelming list of difficult tasks to get through.

I also like the analogy of comparing it to potty training a puppy! Being a dog person, with a psych studies background, that makes some sense to me, even though I have a very hard time giving myself credit for anything. I always compare myself to when I was at my most functional, when I was a really good support worker, could clean the house in one day, get a lot of things done, while maintaining a life of my own. So I find it hard to praise myself or give myself credit, and when people tell me I'm handling things well, or how well I'm doing under the circumstances, I tend to internally dismiss that as them just being nice and trying to encourage the crazy lady not to break down again!

But I have to change those internal messages in order to regain that functionality. I did manage to organise both funerals with no real help, did look after mum and dad up until the end, and the rest is paperwork and hoop jumping. I can do that too. A bit at a time, leaning on professionals for help as much as I can, and accepting the help and social support from neighbours and friends!

Getting back into the hobby is a part of that. I didn't want to give it up, but had to backburner it while caring for mum. But we all need hobbies and interests, I have most of the expensive stuff already, so it can still be done on a budget, and it's also part of overhauling this long neglected house that desperately needs sorting through, and every room needs redecorating and some home repairs.

Setting up 'new; tanks that I have sitting around empty so I can transfer stock and get rid of the ancient 57g that dad set up decades ago will be part of that. I'll also be moving to the master bedroom, although the carpet needs ripping up first due to mum's health and accidents... I'm hoping since the house was built in the 20s, there will be good floorboards underneath that I can sand, stain and varnish. Then the downstairs room I've been using can be turned into an office/guest room, so I can get and keep all the paperwork organised. Lots of big projects that can feel overwhelming, but can be broken down and done a bit at a time! Especially if I can give myself credit for the things I have managed to do, get my amygdala to calm down and let my executive function actually work!
I have mental health issues too. ADHD, depression, anxiety. People don't understand depression. It's not being sad. It's like there's a big weight on you that holds you down. I stopped taking my meds. I actually forgot for a few days because ADHD. And I didn't feel any different. I reported this to my doctor and she was on board with me stopping. I figure why take them if they aren't helping? I know what I need to do. I have the tools. Eating healthier, exercise, forcing myself to get out and interact with people, doing something with my day besides Playstation. I hate doing them but things like meditation and journaling can have mental health benefits. I've told every mental health professional I've seen how much I hate mindfulness. But I have to use that too. I have the tools. But the ironic thing is that depression can keep you from using them. It's like the depression is hanging on. "Don't go to the gym. You'd rather play video games for hours on end." It's a struggle and I know how hard it is to climb out of that hole.
Throughout it all, the one thing that held my interest was fish keeping. I was talking to a doctor about my lack of motivation difficulty with self care. I talked about how I always managed to take care of my aquariums. I said that I have to do that work because they're living creatures that need the care. She said right back to me, "You're also a living creature that needs care." That stuck with me.
 
I have mental health issues too. ADHD, depression, anxiety. People don't understand depression. It's not being sad.
Hear hear! It doesn't always mean you're just very very sad, or constantly miserable either. But when depression digs it's claws in, it tells you all kinds of horrible things about yourself, saps your energy and motivation massively, and can affect people in different ways too. Which is why checklist assessments for depression have options like over eating or under eating, or not being able to sleep, vs sleeping too much. I can flick back and forth between both those things in both examples, depending, and others can have different symptoms, at different intensities.

But I can still be good company at times! My sense of humour can sometimes still return and help me cope, or distract me from negative internal thoughts and worries.

I'm sorry it's something you have to deal with too, as well as your other diagnoses. It's so common though, there are a lot of us struggling and learning how to manage our MIs.
I have the tools. But the ironic thing is that depression can keep you from using them. It's like the depression is hanging on.

YES!! I constantly beat myself up. I studied psych. Had tons of therapy/counselling over the years, know how to do CBT well, which you can practice at home without a counsellor once you've had CBT therapy for a while. I know what I need to do. But can't seem to bring myself to do it all. It all feels like too much, especially when taking a shower feels like a huge challenge you don't have the energy for.
Throughout it all, the one thing that held my interest was fish keeping. I was talking to a doctor about my lack of motivation difficulty with self care. I talked about how I always managed to take care of my aquariums. I said that I have to do that work because they're living creatures that need the care. She said right back to me, "You're also a living creature that needs care." That stuck with me.

I'm glad that rang true for you and helped you start taking care of yourself more! :) I was the same, animals were always cared for, no matter how depressed. It was only when mum went downhill and I literally didn't have the time that my tanks suffered some neglect, and I felt awful about it. I'd still do fast water changes when I could, but not as often as my previous weekly 50-60% and plant care, so lost most of my cherished plants because I had no time for ferts, or trimming overgrowth that was shading out my nice plants.

Have caught up with water changes, substrate cleaning, and got the tanks back into a better state now. But I did lose the odd fish, and just had to accept it and add it to growing guilt pile. I wanted to close them down at several points, knowing I didn't have time to give them the care and attention they need and deserve. But it would have taken more time to rehome the fish and tear down the tanks than it took to lightly feed the fish 5-6 times per week and do the quick and dirty snatched water changes. That's the only thing that stopped me.
 
Hear hear! It doesn't always mean you're just very very sad, or constantly miserable either. But when depression digs it's claws in, it tells you all kinds of horrible things about yourself, saps your energy and motivation massively, and can affect people in different ways too. Which is why checklist assessments for depression have options like over eating or under eating, or not being able to sleep, vs sleeping too much. I can flick back and forth between both those things in both examples, depending, and others can have different symptoms, at different intensities.

But I can still be good company at times! My sense of humour can sometimes still return and help me cope, or distract me from negative internal thoughts and worries.

I'm sorry it's something you have to deal with too, as well as your other diagnoses. It's so common though, there are a lot of us struggling and learning how to manage our MIs.

Exactly. My coworkers have no idea that I have depression. Why would they? I'm the guy who's always telling jokes and messing around at work.

YES!! I constantly beat myself up. I studied psych. Had tons of therapy/counselling over the years, know how to do CBT well, which you can practice at home without a counsellor once you've had CBT therapy for a while. I know what I need to do. But can't seem to bring myself to do it all. It all feels like too much, especially when taking a shower feels like a huge challenge you don't have the energy for.
I'm therapied out. I've learned all I'm going to learn from that. I could go there and vent but I can do that with friends too. I am a little sad though. My last thing was a group. The doctor who ran it was hot. I had perfect attendance. That might sound weird but sometimes you have to use whatever motivation gets you there.

I'm glad that rang true for you and helped you start taking care of yourself more! :) I was the same, animals were always cared for, no matter how depressed. It was only when mum went downhill and I literally didn't have the time that my tanks suffered some neglect, and I felt awful about it. I'd still do fast water changes when I could, but not as often as my previous weekly 50-60% and plant care, so lost most of my cherished plants because I had no time for ferts, or trimming overgrowth that was shading out my nice plants.

Have caught up with water changes, substrate cleaning, and got the tanks back into a better state now. But I did lose the odd fish, and just had to accept it and add it to growing guilt pile. I wanted to close them down at several points, knowing I didn't have time to give them the care and attention they need and deserve. But it would have taken more time to rehome the fish and tear down the tanks than it took to lightly feed the fish 5-6 times per week and do the quick and dirty snatched water changes. That's the only thing that stopped me.
It's crazy what kind of tricks the brain can play on us. One of my issues is that I work from home. Now, I love it because I get like 2 hours a day that would have been spent commuting. But it also means I don't have to leave the house most days. And my Playstation is only a few feet from my work area. Which is not good for me. I need to get out there. I'm trying to make myself take walks. Which I kind of hate. I have to remind myself how much happier I was when I was working out. But my brain always can think of a reason to stay home and not do anything. "It's cold out". "I need to do laundry." Whatever. Always some mental rationalization. Even though I know that when I do get myself out there, I feel pretty good about it. My big project this weekend was going to the hardware store to buy some materials to make a drying rack for my fish keeping buckets. Been putting it off and putting it off. I finally go do it and wonder why I made such a thing of not going?
 
Taking that bill to his room and not telling me anything about it until I got a call from the BT bot
If you ask the banks that held your parents accounts, they can give you a list of all the mandates, standing orders and direct debits including the last date/amount paid. If you are unsure about what products they had (accounts, mortgage, loans etc.) they can give you those lists and details as well.

Captain is spot on about bank transfers, online shopping etc. There is no need to give anyone your personal bank card.
 
Think I hit rock bottom. At least I hope it's rock bottom, because it feels very deep, very dark, and like I'm not equipped to even begin attempting climbing out of this thing. I'm not making threats, not going to hurt myself or anything. But I can't remember ever finding it so hard and feeling so hopeless. I hate asking. I'm sorry to ask, to feel like a burden and too depressing for anyone to bother with, and pathetic for asking internet strangers with their own busy lives and often much worse hardships to care about me.

But please. I need help. I need any prayers, thoughts, messages of encouragement, quotes of wisdom, music- anything you are willing to share to just help me get through the night - I'd be so grateful.

I need some long term hope for a potential future, I can't see it from down here.... time heals all wounds, but I'm so infected, scarred over, in too much pain to be touched.

 
Not much advice I can give but I can't remember if you are seeing a counselor or not. If not mayhaps you should.

I'm on the waiting list for more counselling. There's a lot of demand... and I also right now feel like it's throwing good money after bad for me to be using up all these resources when they should be spent on others. It's wasted on me.
 
It's a sh1t time - you were exhausted from being a carer, then suffering huge grief, compounded and augmented with the double loss of both parents, now it's torture by paperwork with bureaucratic and financial fears.

But the thing about time is it moves. There will be future days when things are a bit brighter, when you can be proud of making it further along the road, have a sense of achievement about the house/pets/admin/your health. Time on it's own is not a healer but you will process, reflect, grow.
Yes you are scarred - that level of trauma has to scar you - but the scars also strengthen and protect.
Don't apologise for reaching out. You know that reaching out and connecting is crucial at this incredibly lonely time. Phone your friend, make a plan to visit and hang onto that.

You are worthy Adorabelle, and you are one of us. Stay strong. You belong. :huddle: x
 
I'm on the waiting list for more counselling. There's a lot of demand... and I also right now feel like it's throwing good money after bad for me to be using up all these resources when they should be spent on others. It's wasted on me.
No resource is ever wasted on anyone if the person makes proper use of what is received.
 
I can't begin to fathom the type of 💩 that you've dealt with over the last few months. I totally agree with @Naughts. From what I've seen you're a fighter and a damned good one at that. The courage it took at the funeral, the paperwork, dealing with the housework, other family problems, etc shows you can do it even at the lowest of lows. There will always be setbacks I myself had that when I was diagnosed but after a while, the problems and the fears go and you start to envisage life without those things clinging to your mind. You'll be alright R'kid :good:
 
Think I hit rock bottom. At least I hope it's rock bottom, because it feels very deep, very dark, and like I'm not equipped to even begin attempting climbing out of this thing. I'm not making threats, not going to hurt myself or anything. But I can't remember ever finding it so hard and feeling so hopeless. I hate asking. I'm sorry to ask, to feel like a burden and too depressing for anyone to bother with, and pathetic for asking internet strangers with their own busy lives and often much worse hardships to care about me.

But please. I need help. I need any prayers, thoughts, messages of encouragement, quotes of wisdom, music- anything you are willing to share to just help me get through the night - I'd be so grateful.

I need some long term hope for a potential future, I can't see it from down here.... time heals all wounds, but I'm so infected, scarred over, in too much pain to be touched.
Call your doctor and tell them you need help today because you have had enough of everything that is going on. Tell him your not suicidal yet but you can't cope and need some help now. Hopefully he may be able to fast track you onto a counselor, even if it's only for a few visits during the next few weeks. Alternatively the doctor might send an ambulance around or tell you to go to hospital. We have mental health hospitals here and they usually have outpatient buildings you can walk into off the street. See if the doctor can send you there for a chat today or tomorrow. You can also call your best friend Will (hope I got the name right).

I'm not sure what the shop trading hours are there but here our supermarkets are open from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am-5pm weekends. If you try shopping at different times you might find it is quieter at the shopping centre on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night from 7pm onwards. This would allow you to do some shopping with fewer people around.

The idea of splitting bills 50/50 is fine and just give your brother cash for the bills and get receipts. That way you know the bills have been paid.

Taking Pixie for longer walks can help. It gets you out of the house for longer and gives you more respite from the house and what is going on there. The stress will come straight back when you get home but having a couple more hours outside without that stress might help.
 

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