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Thread: Any ideas on how I can help my sister?

  1. #1

    Default Any ideas on how I can help my sister?

    My sister and I not to long ago went through a dramatic realization about the religion we were raised in, and so largely on the principle of skepticism towards spiritual answers, we stand agnostic.

    During her experience, she went though a lot of depression because of the way our family reacted. Because of her depression, and how busy her husband was, my other brother in law took advantage of being with my sister, to help give her council, by having an affair with her. Both of them were guilty of the process, but I can't help but feel more sympathy towards my sister than my brother in law, especially after he has been holding his wife (my other sister) back from counselling.

    Now, much later down the road, many of the burnt bridges have been rebuilt (minus the ties between the two couples that the affair occurred between). My sister has gone through a comparable binge/purge cycle, of forgiving herself, and hating herself. Her husband forgave her, and they both have been to counselling, and they deal with it pretty well, but sometimes my sister just gets really down on herself about it.

    She can't help but feel like she is just no good for her husband, and that one day he might just leave her because he has every right to leave. If anything, I would see him leaving her because she gets too caught up in this thinking and bringing it back up. I don't know what to say to her, to help her get over it, i'm thinking that she wishes she could just have a clean start, but there isn't really a way to do that without a divorce, which I know she also doesn't want to leave her husband. It has been a fair amount of time since it all happened, that I don't think she is going to get over this until something big impacts her.

  2. #2

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    I remember when you first talked about this, Tyger. I can understand losing one's faith, but when you think about it, forgiveness is the foundation stone of Christianity and Christ's teaching. Maybe she needs to find the right church or the right minister. There are bad and terrible churches out there, and terrible ministers who don't understand forgiveness, but there are those who do so abundantly.

    Sometimes you have to come to the lowest point in your life before you can pick yourself up and heal. The teaching of Jesus is that He/God forgives unconditionally. Your sister must be able to forgive herself before she can heal. She needs to find that one special person whether that person is a psychiatrist, therapist or minister, but if she keeps lamenting all of the past, again and again to her husband, she may very well lose him.

    I think that for most people, there are times in our lives that we come to that crossroad, the one where your sister is. All the reasons may be different, but the solutions are always the same. We need to change course. It sounds to me that the one closest to your sister who has the sense to help, is you. Perhaps you can find that other person who she might listen to. Don't give up on the church. Find the right one, if you think that might be an option. I wish I could help, but in the end, forgiveness must come from her. When she realizes that she has value, that will happen.

  3. #3

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    I'd echo dogboy, though from a non-religious point of view. Your sister needs to forgive herself first and foremost, since she is clearly suffering from excessive (if not necessarily inappropriate) guilt. You say that they have "both" been to counselling - was that marriage counselling, or did they independently go to personal councellors? If it was just the former, I'd strongly suggest the latter, because while her guilt is marriage-related, it's personal, and not specifically a problem of the marriage itself.

    I'd also observe, unfortunately, that if she's clinging on to her guilt that strongly, then it's not possible for her to have a "clean start", even with a divorce - she'll just carry her self-worth problems into a new relationship, and continue to fear that she's not good enough for her new partner. It may even make things worse.

    Hell, in the metaphorical sense, is a place of our own making, and good people go there because they cannot forgive themselves.
    Last edited by Akastus; 23-Oct-2015 at 06:31.

  4. #4

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    Dammit, Tyger! Your problems are so hard. Why can't you be upset over liking to wear diapers like a normal ABDL?

    I'll give this one my best shot, but there really isn't an easy answer. Whether religious or not, the fact is that she needs to forgive herself and come back to believing that she's a worthwhile person. That's not a quick process and I think it's very hard to do alone. Her husband can help a lot by supporting her and letting her know in big and little ways that he loves her and will stick with her through this. You can help in the same way: letting her know that you love her, that it's possible to find forgiveness for even the worst acts that people do.

    I'll need to think about specific recommendations, but I think that reading might be good for her, I don't know if she's a regular reader. I mean really thought-provoking reading here, classic fiction like Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Melville etc. These big famous writers got that way because they wrote stories that deal with people who have very serious problems or made horrendous mistakes and tried to find ways to cope with them, and their stories can often reach people who are suffering in a way that's really hard to do more directly. We've got some really good literary people floating around, so if any of them happen to pass by this thread, suggest specific books please!

    Another thing I'd ask is what sort of shape she's in and what exercise she gets. It's stupid, right, asking about her health when she's got all these troubles on her mind, but people think differently when they're walking or working out, it provides an expression of the body that focuses the mind. If she doesn't already have a regular exercise routine, something like adding a 30 minute walk everyday might do a lot to let her think differently and come to terms with what's happened in her life.

    That's all I got right now, but if something else occurs to me, I'll come back.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I remember when you first talked about this, Tyger. I can understand losing one's faith, but when you think about it, forgiveness is the foundation stone of Christianity and Christ's teaching. Maybe she needs to find the right church or the right minister. There are bad and terrible churches out there, and terrible ministers who don't understand forgiveness, but there are those who do so abundantly.

    Sometimes you have to come to the lowest point in your life before you can pick yourself up and heal. The teaching of Jesus is that He/God forgives unconditionally. Your sister must be able to forgive herself before she can heal. She needs to find that one special person whether that person is a psychiatrist, therapist or minister, but if she keeps lamenting all of the past, again and again to her husband, she may very well lose him.

    I think that for most people, there are times in our lives that we come to that crossroad, the one where your sister is. All the reasons may be different, but the solutions are always the same. We need to change course. It sounds to me that the one closest to your sister who has the sense to help, is you. Perhaps you can find that other person who she might listen to. Don't give up on the church. Find the right one, if you think that might be an option. I wish I could help, but in the end, forgiveness must come from her. When she realizes that she has value, that will happen.
    I did suggest she should go back and see a Councillor again, she agreed that she might do that, so apparently she hadn't been for a little while.

    Yeah, I have contemplated if Christianity would maybe help her some. In the end though, I'd wonder if it would just frustrate her because of our past experiences. She would have to find a pretty liberal christian church I think. I kinda think though that the most helpful thing for her out of it would be a sense of community.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Akastus View Post
    I'd echo dogboy, though from a non-religious point of view. Your sister needs to forgive herself first and foremost, since she is clearly suffering from excessive (if not necessarily inappropriate) guilt. You say that they have "both" been to counselling - was that marriage counselling, or did they independently go to personal councellors? If it was just the former, I'd strongly suggest the latter, because while her guilt is marriage-related, it's personal, and not specifically a problem of the marriage itself.

    I'd also observe, unfortunately, that if she's clinging on to her guilt that strongly, then it's not possible for her to have a "clean start", even with a divorce - she'll just carry her self-worth problems into a new relationship, and continue to fear that she's not good enough for her new partner. It may even make things worse.

    Hell, in the metaphorical sense, is a place of our own making, and good people go there because they cannot forgive themselves.
    Akastus, yeah, they went to counselling together and both on their own, so it was kinda mass counselling for a while there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchieRoni View Post
    Dammit, Tyger! Your problems are so hard. Why can't you be upset over liking to wear diapers like a normal ABDL?

    I'll give this one my best shot, but there really isn't an easy answer. Whether religious or not, the fact is that she needs to forgive herself and come back to believing that she's a worthwhile person. That's not a quick process and I think it's very hard to do alone. Her husband can help a lot by supporting her and letting her know in big and little ways that he loves her and will stick with her through this. You can help in the same way: letting her know that you love her, that it's possible to find forgiveness for even the worst acts that people do.

    I'll need to think about specific recommendations, but I think that reading might be good for her, I don't know if she's a regular reader. I mean really thought-provoking reading here, classic fiction like Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Melville etc. These big famous writers got that way because they wrote stories that deal with people who have very serious problems or made horrendous mistakes and tried to find ways to cope with them, and their stories can often reach people who are suffering in a way that's really hard to do more directly. We've got some really good literary people floating around, so if any of them happen to pass by this thread, suggest specific books please!

    Another thing I'd ask is what sort of shape she's in and what exercise she gets. It's stupid, right, asking about her health when she's got all these troubles on her mind, but people think differently when they're walking or working out, it provides an expression of the body that focuses the mind. If she doesn't already have a regular exercise routine, something like adding a 30 minute walk everyday might do a lot to let her think differently and come to terms with what's happened in her life.

    That's all I got right now, but if something else occurs to me, I'll come back.
    Lol, sorry, I used to have self acceptance problems with diapers, but then I forced myself to wear 24/7 and it just became normal.

    Interesting suggestion, I don't think she reads a lot, so maybe that would be helpful. I think she reads more than I do, which would be any amount of reading beyond my time on forums. I'll have to look up those authors, that might be really helpful. I feel like stories where bad things happen a lot, often spend time helping people learn how to deal with the real tough struggle, which is one of the reasons I feel like my parents really really don't know how to deal with all of this stuff, because they are often isolated from entertainment that focuses on tough problems, they are getting better though.

    She is actually in really good shape, but I don't know how much exercise she gets, but she is an elementary teacher, so that might keep her up and moving a bit.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
    I did suggest she should go back and see a Councillor again, she agreed that she might do that, so apparently she hadn't been for a little while.

    Yeah, I have contemplated if Christianity would maybe help her some. In the end though, I'd wonder if it would just frustrate her because of our past experiences. She would have to find a pretty liberal christian church I think. I kinda think though that the most helpful thing for her out of it would be a sense of community.


    - - - Updated - - -



    Akastus, yeah, they went to counselling together and both on their own, so it was kinda mass counselling for a while there.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Lol, sorry, I used to have self acceptance problems with diapers, but then I forced myself to wear 24/7 and it just became normal.

    Interesting suggestion, I don't think she reads a lot, so maybe that would be helpful. I think she reads more than I do, which would be any amount of reading beyond my time on forums. I'll have to look up those authors, that might be really helpful. I feel like stories where bad things happen a lot, often spend time helping people learn how to deal with the real tough struggle, which is one of the reasons I feel like my parents really really don't know how to deal with all of this stuff, because they are often isolated from entertainment that focuses on tough problems, they are getting better though.

    She is actually in really good shape, but I don't know how much exercise she gets, but she is an elementary teacher, so that might keep her up and moving a bit.
    I can commiserate with dealing with depression after moving away from religion. It has been one of the factors making things more difficult with my family, however in the long run, I am glad I was able to do it. And the depression did get better eventually. I don't think I can give any good advice beyond whats been given. What your sister is dealing with is outside my realm of experience.

    However, my ears did perk up at the mention of Hemingway. I read "East of Eden" earlier this year, and was enthralled with it. I felt very emotionally attached to the characters in the book, and it was actually difficult to watch them deal with the things they did. However, I think it also helped me do a lot of good thinking about problems I face in my own life, and to put some things in perspective. I finished reading it several months ago, but I still think about it often. I would recommend that book to anyone. Best wishes to you and your sister.
    Last edited by bean; 05-Nov-2015 at 14:50.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
    I did suggest she should go back and see a Councillor again, she agreed that she might do that, so apparently she hadn't been for a little while.

    Yeah, I have contemplated if Christianity would maybe help her some. In the end though, I'd wonder if it would just frustrate her because of our past experiences. She would have to find a pretty liberal christian church I think. I kinda think though that the most helpful thing for her out of it would be a sense of community.
    I believe it is clear that something is blinding your sister to the truth. Now is the time to forgive the past and live in the present. What must be done for her to see this? I've got no clue. What I do know is somebody needs to help her see the truth and what has been tried in the past did not work. Counseling from a different source may work. Therapy could be tried. Psychology and psychiatry could be tried. Her husband could try a different approach. Now would be a good time to try every option available.

    Marriage vows usually include for better or worse, sickness and in health. Her husband appears to be taking that serious at this time. Maybe discuss her wedding vows with her from this perspective. Right now, her husband has been with her through worse and now sees her sick from guilt. He is waiting for the better part, the health. She does not need to be faultless; she just needs to see she is worthy of him because he chose her and is now patiently waiting for better days ahead. Accept her husband's forgiveness, forgive herself, and start moving forward.

    As far as church goes, I would be nervous to bring her to a really liberal church. Liberal churches tend to be liberal in their viewpoints and may not inpret the Bible so literal. In my experience, more conservative churches may be more serious in following the words of Jesus like love your neighbor as yourself. There are three churches I have visited which greeted me well without knowing my name; they were independent fundamentalist Baptist Churches. Other Baptist Churches have greeted me like I was not welcome by the congregation.

    I do not care what demonination you or her husband may consider. I just have one request. Before you even consider introducing her to a church, test it for yourself wearing jeans and a t-shirt. If the church welcomes you into their community in love, you have found a good church to show your sister. If the church is so good, she will want to visit it merely by your good report. Of course her husband could also look for a church instead of you. Either way, she does not need another bad church to depress her more right now. She needs a loving group willing to accept her as she is, waiting to encourage her, and showing the love of God to all who enter.

    I hope and pray your sister may finally see the truth, accept forgiveness from her husband and from God, and forgive herself so your family may move forward. True and proper love does not depend on a person's worth, it is an unconditional promise which gives a person huge value by the one giving the love. This is what makes a person worthy of forgiveness.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    Marriage vows usually include for better or worse, sickness and in health. Her husband appears to be taking that serious at this time. Maybe discuss her wedding vows with her from this perspective. Right now, her husband has been with her through worse and now sees her sick from guilt. He is waiting for the better part, the health. She does not need to be faultless; she just needs to see she is worthy of him because he chose her and is now patiently waiting for better days ahead. Accept her husband's forgiveness, forgive herself, and start moving forward.
    That is a really insightful perspective, thank you, I will have to talk about that if she goes through another phase with this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    I do not care what demonination you or her husband may consider. I just have one request. Before you even consider introducing her to a church, test it for yourself wearing jeans and a t-shirt. If the church welcomes you into their community in love, you have found a good church to show your sister. If the church is so good, she will want to visit it merely by your good report. Of course her husband could also look for a church instead of you. Either way, she does not need another bad church to depress her more right now. She needs a loving group willing to accept her as she is, waiting to encourage her, and showing the love of God to all who enter.
    Heh, that is actually a really good idea about wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

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