my needs vs. her needs

I am worried. And the worst part is, I am not sure how much of my worries I can share with the internet. I know, it’s weird because the internet is the soul of discretion, but the worries I have are not my own. Someone I love very much is suffering an unbelievable amount right now and I cannot do anything to help. For several reasons

For starters, I am 450 miles away. It is hard to be involved and helpful from this distance. Also I am trying to hold it together myself. At the most random moments I find myself tearing up, unable to control my emotions. And most importantly, I am finding it hard to reign my clinician training in. I want to analyze her and giver her therapeutic tips, but that is not what I should be doing. She needs me to be her friend and sister, not her therapist (so many reasons I couldn’t be her therapist: transference, counter-transference, ethical conduct).

This inability to aid in her life is beyond frustrating for me. I am someone who needs to be helping. I need to be there for people. To sit in the room. To be logical. To make phone calls. To send emails. ANYTHING. And I am trying, but the problem is that she is a big girl now, my little sister.

I can’t send email updates without her permission. I can’t give out her information if she doesn’t want me to. And I respect that. I just don’t know how to explain to her the importance (for some) to be involved and how that is therapeutic for them. She is at a place where she wants to minimize how much her life is affecting other people. She doesn’t want to impose, but it’s not an imposition. I promise.

We all love you and want to be involved and want to know what’s going on. But I get that it’s overwhelming too. Having 12 siblings prodding you about your health. Not to mention countless Aunts and cousins prying too. It must be really hard for you. All these people. Asking you questions. No wonder you feel so overwhelmed.

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