Posted by: Martie | 2008/05/22

I destroy my family - URGENT PLEASE

Dear Doc
My aunt is visiting us from Cape Town. She suffers from major depression for 4 years due to victimisation at work and had a serious suicide attempt 1 year ago. She also suffers from nephrotic syndrome and has been very ill in her life.
Last night we arranged to take her out to dinner to treat her - we only see her once every ten or 20 years. When we were ready to leave she said she preferred to stay in bed. I discussed what we should get her to eat -take aways or what- and she left suddenly to talk to my mother. Then my mother came to me and told me my aunt is having a depressive attack and my mother gave her a tranquilizer to calm down. When my mother gave me the "depressed" excuse I saw red. See, my whole life I was brought up with a mother who never wanted to do anyting due to depression and also being hospitalised for depression a lot. So I told my aunt it is good manners to let someone know at least 12 hours before hand if you want to cancel a dinner date and that I do not accept depression as an excuse for anything in my house. So she cracked of course and booked her flight right back to CT. Then she told me it is due to the nephrotic syndrome that she is not going with - she has not passed any urine for a whole day. Well that is a totally different matter, so I apologized but the damage is done. I behaved like a maniac with my poor ill aunt and she is leaving now. I am the one who suffered from the brain zaps after taking Effexor for work stress myself, and since quitting the Effexor it is like a part of my brain with self-control and conscience has died. I am definitely not who I was. How can I ever forgive myself for "killing" my family? Or make it up to my aunt? Tonight I still have to face the wrath of my mother, who my aunt actually came to visit.

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Our expert says:
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Its hardly your fault if you were misinformed. Problems with not pasing urine could be serious, and should have been handled according to the advice of the doctor treating that, I agree than chronic depression is not an excuse fo bad manners and thoughtlessness. But relax. You haven't killed your family, and your aunt shouldn't hold a grudge, as she owed it to you to cancel the dinner date and explain clearly what her problem was. She sounds like someone who may indeed suffer from a serious illness, but who may also have learned to use her ill-health as an excuse for expecting from others special treatment she doesn't really need

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mika | 2008/05/22

Martie - i would have done the same if i were in your shoes. Honestly, if she gave you a lame excuse for not going, then she cannot blame you for actually reacting on that excuse. How was you supposed to know the real reason if she did not give that to you to start with? Do not feel too bad about this. She sounds a bit immature to me.

Reply to Mika
Posted by: Claire | 2008/05/22

Martie, stop being so hard on yourself, come one you cant be blaming yourself for all of this. At the end of the day you are still human, good luck for tonight and take it easy.

Reply to Claire

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