It's always difficult to know where to start. I wasn't sure if this should be posted here or not as it encompases quite a few issues, so if it's not in the correct place, I apologize.
I guess the main point of this post is to get some ideas on how to go about getting help. It's not as easy for me as I would wish. I've gone into talk to a school counsellor. I asked what the confidentiality laws were in the state, and basically they said that if I told them what was going through my mind, they would be required to inform my parents and a few other people what I had said. That may not seem bad because parents should be an important part of their child's life, but let me back up a little more and give some background information.
My first memory is my father throwing my brother on the garage floor (cement) and watching my brother's head start to bleed. I know this sounds bad, but it wasn't always that bad. My daddy and brother are both bipolar..my brother being four years older than I am. (My sister is also bipolar, in her thirties). Since elementary school, I remember my mom going in at lunch time to give my brother medications, none of which really did any good. One time in first grade, maybe second, I freaked out and my teacher asked what was wrong and I replied that it had something to do with my brother. She, of course, told my parents..that was the first time I got the whole guilt trip of: "our family is perfect, nobody needs to know otherwise, our business is our business and if you tell anyone otherwise you will betray us all." I know this might not seem like a huge deal to anyone, but to me, being honest and consiterate to the people I love even if they don't love me back is one of the most important things. I cannot stand guilt, although I get put thorugh guilt trips multiple times a day. I often go to school with tears in my eyes because my parents feel it necessary to bring things up just before I get out of the car..they like to make me feel inferior and know that I won't tell anyone (except a few friends) what is going on and why I'm upset.
Moving forward from second grade to the end of fifth, this is where things actually begin. For a few months before summer began to the summer itself, my brother would come home on drugs, stealing cars, being in jail, things that my parents tried to pass off as natural teenage things, but drugging him with medications that would not work for him. I would stay up late to see him come back home because I could calm him down sometimes before he came in and saw my father. I would wait up and bake most nights (I love to cook) then meet him at the door and try to calm him down, but at this point, his tempers were way out of hand. Being me, though, I had to try to make everything right. For as long as I can remember, if people around me are sad, I am sad, I have to have everyone else around me happy because I cannot stand to be happy if nobody else is. So my brother would come home, sometimes not be able to be talked out of his moods, throw channel changers, desk lamps, he tipped a couch on top of me one time, but it would always end with a hug. He couldn't control himself and he knew this, he told me these things when he was feeling that he knew himself. As the summer went on, he got worse, and finally, things snapped. One night, well a great series of things happened, I can see it all in my head, but that would take me another 10 minutes to type out and I'm sure people aren't interested in knowing anyway..but at the end of it all, my brother and father both ended up being cut up and beat up by each other, the police came and took my brother away to a mental instituition. During that night was the first time I cut myself. I didn't mean to, I was using the object for protection and it slipped, I didn't actually realize what I had done until I woke up the next morning after people being taken away to the other town. My father, of course, got out of everything.
The next few months, I found myself cutting more and more even when I would yell at myself not to, it became a common part of life and ways of coping. I went with my mom to visit my brother twice...it wasn't the best of experiences, but none the less at the end of a few months, my brother came back stabalized on new medications, having a new doctor assigned to him back in out town. My parents had made up excuses to our family friends as to where he was over the summer, I wasn't allowed to talk to my friends because they thought I would tell about some things..
Moving on, a few years went by, things still happening at home, my father still provoking people, my brohter still acting up, myself still trying to fix everything, and then we moved. This was between seventh and eighth grade. We lived in a hotel for the summer, my brother and I got to be very close. Our parents were both at work all day, I was in summer school (I had gotten into a very good private school with 300 kids in seven total grades and they wanted me to go to summer school to get to know people), at the end of this summer, my brother and I had grown very close, our parents seeming to be at least tolerable, then they decided they didn't want their jobs down there..we came back, my dad quit and is still unemployed while my mom found another job back here.
The next few years are little repetitions of things...I end up taking walks at night (just got back from one as a matter of fact) when people start to get mad...I stay until I am yelled at to leave, then I leave, come back, and get yelled at for going. It's all part of the cycle. I've been trying hard to stop the self harm over the past year or so, I've only cut twice since the beginning of the summer. Through all this, I have been passed out from suicide attempts three times, but none ever worked. I guess if I had really wanted to die, I could have, but the game of life and living as well as a mix of fate and questioning made me stay...life has really turned into just that, a game. I know I haven't gone through as much as some people, certainly not as much as my brother or anything like that, but at the same time, dealing with all the guilt of his situation comes back on me double what he feels. He doesn't care what other's think as naturally as I care more than anything that other people are happy.
I have gone in and talked to a school counsellor because I know they have certain confidentiality codes..or I should say I tried to talk to the counsellor (I have the same one as my brother, being our years apart) ..it turns out that he did not even know that my brother was bipolar nor most of the things that had actually happened, so bringing up some of those things made my guilt level go up way high..anyway, I asked him what the confidentiality laws were and he basically told me that if I was going to talk about what I came to talk about that he would have to tell my parents and some other adults..so I had to leave. I've been struggling with myself for quite a while, my friends have been supportive, but naturally can't really relate. I always have places to go and people to get hugs from, but sometimes even that isn't enough.
I'm not really sure what this post turned out to be, it doesn't really pose a question, it just turned to more of a vent, but if anyone has anything to say or comment on, it would be nice. Thanks for reading.