Bad experiences with seeking support from friends / family?

I wanted to invite discussion for those who've tried asking for help or support from someone they're close to but been let down. But I don't want this to just be a discouraging topic, so I'll ask two questions here. Has there been a time when you needed someone to be there for you and they failed? If so, how did that make you feel and what happened?

On the flipside, after facing rejection from your friends or family, or being let down, where did you find new support? Is there anything you found to help you through that?

I know for me, my family's been really disappointing. They've never really been there for me with any of my mental health issues (or physical for that matter), and addiction is just another area I feel hopeless in when I try to open up to them. For a while that spiraled into increased abuse and suicidal thoughts for me. But I was surprised to find that my next door neighbor is an incredibly caring and empathetic lady, who actually works with people struggling with a variety of recovery processes. I opened up to her about my trouble with my parents and she really came through. We've become great friends, and I talk with her often when I feel in danger of falling.

Anyone else find support in unexpected places when the people you hoped would be there for you weren't?
  • 11 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Only my experience. People will always fail. We are frail humans worried about mostly ourselves. At the end of my drinking, everyone was gone. My own mother gave up on me. So I turned to God. And His Son Jesus. And He has never, I mean never, failed me. That's just me. Good luck to you!! And yay for your neighbor.
  • I'll confess something here since the post seems like a place ideal for it. My first boyfriend, someone I really loved, was heavily addicted to weed and did LSD pretty frequently. He lied to me about the whole thing until I found out from his friend and confronted him. My first reaction was to get myself as far away from him as possible which I did for a while. And it was only my tremendous love for him that took me back to him and offer my support. But by then it was too late and there was no saving the relationship. My only feeble excuse for my actions is that I was too young to know what the right thing to do was. 

    I guess most people fear drugs so much that they want to stay as far away from it as possible. Besides, as @Tommy said, people will often fail you in ways you would not have expected or anticipated. That said, there will also be those who will come forward to help you, not always out of sympathy or love but simply because their mindset allows them to decide for themselves what is right and what they can do to help people in need. Your neighbor is such a person, I believe. 

    I'm not addicted to drugs or anything but I do have an issue with smoking. I know for a fact that if I told my parents or other family members about it the first thing they would do is condemn me for it, and that would be disappointing enough. When friends and family desert you, one of the options open then is to join online forums such as this and find like minded people who have been through the same thing you're struggling with. That way you can connect with people and know that you're not alone completely. Support groups also help I think. It's easier for people who have been in the same struggle to understand and help each other. I hope you find the strength to keep going and recovering from whatever it is that has taken you in. Some of us here can help you with this. All the best :)
  • Yes. I want to clarify. Do I believe in people? Yes. Do I love, and how to support groups? Absolutely. There is hope in AA. I just don't put my entire faith in people. I knew a guy who had 20 years sober. Sponsored many men. A guy was trying to get sober. So he idolized this man. Put him on a pedestal. Well the man got drunk. Left the program. The kid was devastated. Followed him right out that door. People are people. God never changes. His mercy is the same always
  • Thanks for sharing, Hiraeth. I appreciate the detailed input. I've had similar struggles that I feel guilty about now, with people I loved dearly, but was too afraid, or felt too weak, too support, and turned my back on, only to regret it strongly later. It's overwhelming sometimes, knowing I did to some of my favorite people what I couldn't bear to have done to me. But everybody has to grow. Sometimes you might not be in the best place personally to offer the support someone needs. No one is always prepared to be unconditionally supportive. It's a very human thing to have times when, for a variety of reasons, you just aren't able.
  • @tuebec i agree with tommy. it's great to believe in people, but be your own source of strength first...or turn to HP...i have had some people step it up when i needed help...i've also been disappointed. it's part of life. learning from the past is important....glad you found a great friend in your neighbor.
  • Thanks Dominica, and thanks for weighing in! I'm hoping we can get some more feedback going on here, I'm finding the discussion really helpful and insightful.
  • I have the same issue with my family. They are severely religious and go to church every Sunday without fail, apart from always watching Christian programs and attending bible study meetings in between it all, but somehow when it comes to talking with and supporting the members in my family they are clueless as if their church doesn't teach such things, which having attended many times myself, I know they do. It's not just me who notices it too, since my brother has always complained to me privately about their lack of effort in reaching out both to him and to his kids as their grandparents. I don't think they are deliberately bad people, but I think it's mostly because they dislike anything outside their comfort zone, so apart from praying and preaching they really don't want to do much else. It's a big reason why I always look at the families whenever a kid makes it into the news for doing something bad, especially when I hear that the parents don't know what they did wrong, as I always suspect that it's probably mostly because of what they didn't do instead.
  • It's weird because I try to recall a time when I was in such a situation where I asked for help and was rejected but nothing comes to mind. I guess I must have been let down a few times but maybe because I have always struggled to be self-sufficient that I don't take too heart memories of abandonment. I think when people said "No" to me, I simply ignored the pangs of hurt and instead did my best to solve the predicament on my own. And it's really surprising, I've discovered. When certain people close their doors, others will open theirs for you. 
  • That's good to hear, Tinx, that you've found new solutions when you're faced with a problem. I think that's awesome. I hope you continue to thrive. :)

    Tata, my parents are definitely similar. Very religious, conservative Baptists, and they don't ever seem to know what to do to support their children, so they just reject them, behaviors and person. I'm sorry to hear you deal with something like that. :(
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