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Hi guys,

I'm not sure how active this forum is, but I've been having a very difficult night, and thought I would find some relief in expressing it. I would also love to know if anyone has been put in a situation similar to mine.

I lost both my mother and my sister when I was 7 years old. My mother suffered from a brain tumour, and my sister struggled with disabilities (mute, blind and couldn't walk) though I'm not sure what caused her death. I was too young at the time to understand and I'm not sure anyone around me was comfortable with explaining it. She was two years older than me and I've been finding it difficult to cope with wondering what she would've been like, what advice she would've given me had she been healthy, as an older sister. Whether she would look similar to me. My mother was incredibly supportive of me and losing her without her being able to guide me through the rest of my childhood was awful. Following these losses, I had no other option but to move in with my maternal grandmother, as my mother didn't want my father to take on the responsibility of looking after me. My father lived with his parents at this time, my paternal grandparents, whose house was about a 5 minute walk from me so I could visit often. Though my relationship with my dad was always distant and insufficient, my paternal grandmother was quite possibly the kindest and most caring person I had ever met, and treated me as if I was her daughter. She acted as my 'substitute mother', a role that my maternal grandmother hadn't ever been able to fulfil in the slightest. Unfortunately, she died after suffering from cancer when I was 12. This was excruciatingly painful, and I was in crucial need of comfort and support, though my maternal grandmother rejected my attempts at seeking this from her. My dad moved out shortly afterwards, and I visited my granddad as often as possible. He had Parkinson's disease and died a year later. The house was sold, I then had less opportunity to see my dad, and to this day, feel as though I have no one looking out for me. The fact that my grandmother has not given me the emotional support that I need so badly leaves me with a lot of resentment and bitterness, which then quickly turns to guilt because I'm aware she will die at some point in my life, whether that is soon or further in the future - unpredictability that is also difficult to deal with - and I will hate myself for not appreciating that she is still here regardless. She is here for me simply because she feels she owes it to my mother, but not to me. Still living here is becoming increasingly more painful as a result. My 18th birthday is at the end of this month, which means I will be able to hopefully put my childhood behind me and begin a new life for myself, the issue is that mental illness (partly caused by these experiences, partly due to bad luck) is interfering with my grades which could potentially prevent me from attending university and moving out will be delayed. I don't know how to move on alone, how to accept that this has all happened, how to want to get better mentally, how to get through Christmas, and focus on my studies. I don't think I will ever shake this feeling of loneliness since what I've lost cannot be replaced. I try my best to swallow this all and power through, but on days like this, it piles up. 

Thank you for reading, I welcome anyone to share similar experiences and let me know how you have dealt with them. 

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tessa   

Hi prettydone. I'm sorry to hear of your losses. I don't have any useful advice apart from seeking help from a counsellor/therapist.
What I wanted to say is - my mother lost everyone by the time she was 18. Her mother died when she was very young. Her father died when she was 18. She was an only child. At the age of 18, she was forced to marry my father. That was the culture then, she had to marry to be able to survive. She was a mother by the time she was 19.
She had no one. No grandparents, no siblings, no cousins, no aunts/uncles. No one. And the family she married into were abusive.
But she made it through, all the way to the age of 86.
You can do it :)

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Dear prettydone,

I'm so sorry for your painful losses.  You have gone through too much grief for someone so young.  Its devastating and I am not surprised you have mental health difficulties.  Reading your post was overwhelmingly sad.  I have not been through anything like this but I also wanted to say, your post was so eloquent.  You are obviously a very intelligent young woman who is able to express herself  beautifully.  I wondered what you might be interested in doing in your life?  I say this because finding a passion in life could help you a lot.  Like Tessa said, you should seek therapy to help you.  I think it is essential.  I don't know how at your age you could get through this and come out the other side otherwise.  Its too much grief and you could have a lot of abandonment issues as you get older and find relationships very difficult.  A therapist could help be a support system for you, to have someone you can be open with and share how you feel.  You may always feel this loneliness inside because you've lost so much in your young life.  I was struck though buy your intelligence and eloquence and how you verbalise your feelings.  Perhaps you could write more?  Keep a journal also.  I'm deeply sorry for your losses.  Please understand that its too much suffering to get through this on your own.  Once you start having help, you could feel a bit stronger inside.  Don't minimise what you're going through and swallow it because it will follow you around forever.  Wishing you all the very best to get through.

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Thank you both.

I have had therapy on and off for a few years, I haven't had any luck with it. Sadly abandonment issues and problems with relationships is something that has already developed. I have not had access to a therapist that has been willing to take me on or has been a stable source of support. I'm willing to try again but it's off-putting to have to go into detail about my background and other issues, which always takes a long time, before being able to talk about anything that I need help with at the present moment and even then, there's no guarantee that it will help me. I do keep a journal though, that's not been useful for anything other than having the opportunity to see any patterns in my thoughts and moods.  

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Dear prettydone,

Try a different therapist.  I know its so daunting to start over with someone else and go through the whole process all over again but you do need support now more than ever.  I had therapy many years ago and I found the person I was seeing was not that helpful? but others told me to stick with it so I did.  2 yrs later I stopped as I realised she wasn't right for me.  Years later when I needed help again,  I tried someone else and even though I didn't immediately like this one, he ended up really being there and helping me on and off over the years.  If I hadn't of moved countries I would have stuck with it because I feel it does help when you feel really alone to have someone there that is there for you.  I hope you'll try again.  It's too much to go through all this on your own with no help.

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