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Feel A Change In Who You Are As A Person?

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I've grown up as a people pleaser and a pretty much a doormat, taking care of others needs always before my own

As one of my dad's primary caretakers, I became overwhelmed w/burnout as I was given a great deal of the responsibility of taking care of him as he was bedridden as well as errands, chores, etc..

Now my father's gone.. I'm on the edge of depression and my closest friends are not only, NOT supporting me but also being judgmental and critical about how long I stayed to take care of family matters until I flew home.. "disappointment" was a term they've used.. even though everything was worked out and agreed upon all my family members

Always being there for them, I was counting on their sympathy and support, which they've only given to my mom and sister and could care less about my feelings.. feeling this abandonment after always being there for people , as I'm really looking at who I am after this situation, really makes me not trust people anymore and I feel like I'm losing my interest in being nice to others and caring for them..

can anyone relate.......

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Lilac -- I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Unfortunately, I can relate to what you said. I'm a people-pleaser and a doormat, too. Ever since my mom passed I've noticed this changing as I have less patience for other people. I also have little desire to spend time with people, even friends, because I feel like no one can really relate or even cares what I'm going through. My "friends" never ask me how I'm doing. The only people that do ask are those who have also lost a parent and know what it feels like.


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Lilac, dear, I've read all your posts as well as the message you sent to me. I understand that you are hurt and angry and feel completely misjudged and betrayed by this long-time friend of yours. It also sounds as if she's turned some of your other so-called friends against you. If you truly do believe that this "friend" is totally wrong about how you've dealt with both your parents in the face of your father's illness and death, and if she still has little or no interest in seeing it from your point of view, then maybe it's time to call an end to your friendship with this person, at least for the time being. What is more, you may want to ask yourself why this friend's opinion of you ~ an opinion that is totally off-base and wrong ~ matters so much to you.

I cannot answer for you why these friends have failed to offer you the support and understanding you need so much right now, except to say that if they've never experienced significant loss they may not know what to do or say. As you can see from some of the responses you've received so far, this is not unusual. Sadly enough, we live in a death-denying culture, and unless they've encountered death in a very personal way, most people really don't know what grief feels like and they don't know what, if anything, they can do to help a person in mourning. (See, for example, my article, Helping Another in Grief.) I can only feel for you and encourage you to find and turn to those who will "be there" for you in a kind and loving way. You've taken a good first step by joining this online group, which I hope has demonstrated to you the profound difference it makes when you're amongst fellow mourners. That is why grief support groups are such a powerful source of help for the bereaved: everyone there is bound by the common experience of loss.

You say you've "grown up as a people pleaser and a pretty much a doormat." In some ways, your post reminded me of a "Q and A" I read the other day on the Health Journeys Web site. Although the details in this young woman's story differ somewhat from your own, you might find something useful here that speaks to you as well: When Identity Is Locked Into Resentful, Dutiful Caretaking..

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Hi MartyT,

Thank you for your input and I'm sorry for all the posts and comments.. I just felt so emotional I just needed to speak to someone. I guess because I always depended so much on how others perceive me, and other's approval, it really effects me how my best friend sees me. and I'm also very effected by what's considered "right" and "wrong." So her thoughts made me question if I did something bad to my family and I"m confused as to whether I did or not since my family says no, but she says yes..

If I truly did something wrong, I want to own up to it and fix it.. and I guess I'm just trying to get others input to see if what i did was wrong or right

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