Posted by: Please Help | 2008/02/04

How do you......

get someone to go for councilling when they don't want to. My sister lost her husband almost a year ago and is really not coping. She is very angry and despondent with life. Nothing I say is able to motivate her or make her feel better. She gets frustrated and angry with work and can be very rude, she gets angry and irritated with family and friends and nothing makes her happy. I know she does not say it out loud but I know she is angry that I am living the "perfect" life and that hers has gone wrong. This makes me feel so guilty as I hate that she is so sad and all I want is to make her happy. I have also had a baby and even though she will never say it I think she sort of resents it because she says she will never have the opportunity to know what it is like to have a child. On a number of occasions she has said that she only wishes she had a child with her husband so that she could also have someone. It made me feel so guilty and sad. She is only 24 and has written off her life, she refuses to believe things will get better and only wants the past back. She still talks about her husband in the present tense. I have tried to get her to see someone but she is not interested and gets very angry when I mention it. I don't know what to do anymore, or what to say. How do I help her????? Please help me to help her get through this, I feel "being there" and being supportive is just not helping anymore.

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Our expert says:
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There's no easy answeer to that one, PH ! ALl one can do is to calmly persuade when the right sort of opportunity arises, to suggest that they would benefit from seeing a good counsellor. This sounds like a complicated grief reaction, which would need a skilled counsellor, and the Cancer association or local hospice might be able to recommend someone with the right sort of skill and experience.
I wonder how she would react, if part of her anger is a form of envy at you having a child and a happy life, if instead of pushing her to get help, you spoke with her about any problems you might have, asking her advice, and talking about how you're considering seeing a counsellor yourself--- thus discussing the pro's and cons, and the resistance, in the form of discussing how you are recognizing the resistances but overcoming them

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Our users say:
Posted by: Why? | 2008/02/05

Deary dear, why are you making this about you? She's not resentful or jealous of you!!! She's regretful of the life she could have had with her husband, had he still been around and certainly is not trying to compare it to yours cause there IS no comparison! I think you might be coming across to her as someone that pity's her cause she's not YOU, more so, than someone who is considerate and feels sincerely remorseful about the pain she's going through. If you wanna help your sis out, start by getting your head straight!!

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