Relationship and family issues

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Chris_B PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING: 3 important tips to get the most out of this section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following... View more

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following 3 tips: 1. Do you really want to share this with the world? This is a public forum. Are you thinking of posting something that could identify you to a friend or family member? Once you've posted, you can't delete what you've written and we don't take posts down from here unless they've broken one of our community rules. This is because our members spend a lot of time composing replies, and there is a much wider audience that gets a lot out of reading what has been written. It's not fair to ask the community for support, then ask to have it removed once you've read it so others can't also benefit. Use discretion when posting here - think about the level of detail you are sharing, and think also about who might know you are posting here. Also, please keep it clean: this is an all ages forum and explicit discussions about sexual problems are not permitted. Threads and posts of this nature will be removed and your account placed on a moderation hold. 2. What do you want to get out of posting here? Relationship and family issues are stressful. Members sometimes post here seeking advice about a relationship that has broken down, but find themselves getting upset when they don't agree with the response they get. This is a peer support forum, meaning we are not mental health professionals. We are people of all ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of life experiences. While we aim for our discussions to be conducted respectfully, people here will respond with the truth as they see it, from their own experiences and perspectives. We are not here to take sides. Offence is almost never intentional, but it can be sometimes taken. The advice you will see here is not intended to be a substitute for professional counselling. 3. What other support do you have? Most people posting on our forums (about any issue) use this space as a supplement to other supports. This forum is not and cannot be a substitute for offline supports, but it is often a good place to start the ball rolling and find the courage for seeking help. If you are relying solely on an internet forum to resolve your relationship or family issues, you are likely to be disappointed. Check out the Healthy Homes section of our Healthy Families website for further information and resources.

All discussions

Sharny Self awareness just not enough.
  • replies: 6

There's two parts to my being, the illness itself and then the attachments. Sometimes I think the thoughts I have constantly thinking of how my illness impacts those in my family are nothing but depleting and get in the way of forming even better cop... View more

There's two parts to my being, the illness itself and then the attachments. Sometimes I think the thoughts I have constantly thinking of how my illness impacts those in my family are nothing but depleting and get in the way of forming even better coping skills. I know this, but unfortunately I can't rid my mind of those extras because I'm a mum, a wife and I care about my family like anyone else would. I've written down many a time what I think this extra anguish achieves and each time I come up with nothing. My mind still feels immense guilt, shame and discomfort with the imperfections my life has. I can't stand the knowledge I have of some of this journey. I can't accept the times when depression robbed my inner self, keeping me flat and unable to 'feel'. When it dissolved again my feeling came back and I relished it. You see, I know it's not my fault but the most shameful of symptoms from the past still haunt me. I wonder, will I ever tell my children one day of the journey? right now they don't know what Mum has fully endured and thats ok, we've chosen to keep caring for the children and keeping my mental health story beneath. I suspect still they have seen some symptoms over time but I'm good at masking too. When my head gets stuck on blaming myself I try to write down everything I've achieved, everything thats a move toward better and try to dwell on it. Unfortunately it doesnt last too long, I think my mind will always find it hard to be kind to me. I also try to look at my efforts and praise myself as I would praise any other family member for their efforts in life. The expectations I have of myself quite often are an enemy to me purely because if I don't reach them I feel like a failure, I don't want to feel that way anymore. My goal is to not only keep managing the illness but also rid myself of extra attachments that do nothing for me. I'm a kind person to others. It's time to start valuing myself and stop these add on thinking styles centred around having mental illness. I need to look at the facts no matter how ugly in any given time frame and accept them.

Sharny I'm the mother who
  • replies: 0

I'm the mother who seems to know what I've wanted for my children. Since the kids were little I've placed lots of value on their well being. I'm the mother who has placed emphasis strict bed routines, screened viewing materials on tv for suitability,... View more

I'm the mother who seems to know what I've wanted for my children. Since the kids were little I've placed lots of value on their well being. I'm the mother who has placed emphasis strict bed routines, screened viewing materials on tv for suitability, limited 'tech' time, invested time listening to and hearing about school days, provided a setting allowing suitable down time, taken great interest spending time listening, engaged in bush walks, bike rides and cuddled up on Saturday nights with a movie. I'm known to my children as a little quirky, a side they love. My kids are growing up, their needs change and I'd like to coast alongside them and tap into those needs guiding and supporting. I'm the least person people would think fits the catagory of a bipolar, yes I sound like I'm looking down on the disorder and I guess I am. You see, my children have a settled life, they are well adjusted at school and very kind. My eldest has a beautiful way with people, he empathizes well and is a deep thinker. My youngest, a daughter is also kind, caring and thoughtful with friends. I'd like to think that I've been a part of their make up not just my husband. It's easy to let bipolar or any other mental illness be an obstacle in thought because we tend to blame ourselves so much for having it that it stops me from seeing all that's around me. In the back of my mind I know my self esteem is not great and that's why I've done everything I can to build my children up to be resilient characters who have a balance of looking after their needs but being mindful of others. I feel like I sound as if I'm blowing my own trumpet sort of attitude but I'll take that chance here. You see, I find that labels create problems. I feel that if my illness was ever discovered I'd loose credibility of what I've provided. My children are very settled through all of this. I'm well aware that as my son gets older and he's 13 now, that he could start asking questions about simple things such as why I'm not at paid work for instance. All I can do is put it in a positive light and let him know that his father and I decided that we wouldnt over load mum at least while the children were very young. It's one instance within our family. I find that judgement can be passed very quickly with labelling people. I am a soft hearted soul who battles a storm every now and then. If the storm ever becomes to heavy again the plan changes. Until then my smaller shifts in mood are part of me.

150lashes When someone who helped you becomes distant
  • replies: 15

Good evening I've posted this in staying well, as I've over the worst of my condition at present and using strategies to keep well. But really this could relate to anyone in life at any stage of their Journey. ​What do you do if someone you trusted, ... View more

Good evening I've posted this in staying well, as I've over the worst of my condition at present and using strategies to keep well. But really this could relate to anyone in life at any stage of their Journey. ​What do you do if someone you trusted, that helped and supported you during your illness all of sudden becomes really distant from you? I can't see its because I'm unwell and a burden, because I'm now quite well. I can't see its because I'm overly needy or reliant upon them because I'm not. I don't know the reason, and it's disappointing. I don't know whether to ignore it and just go on with my life and forget they exist, OR whether to approach them and ask what's going on? I don't know! I have so much going on in my life, I really don't need this and just wish people where honest with their feelings. feelings..

janedoe1970 Estranged from daughter for 15 years
  • replies: 12

This is an ongoing and long term issue, and I am finding it harder to handle with each passing day. I had extreme Postnatal depression after my daughter was born. There were multiple factors. She was premature, my parents moved interstate the day aft... View more

This is an ongoing and long term issue, and I am finding it harder to handle with each passing day. I had extreme Postnatal depression after my daughter was born. There were multiple factors. She was premature, my parents moved interstate the day after she was born, I had undiagnosed mental health problems, and I had no familiar support. I was unable to care for my daughter after we brought her home and my husbands parents took on the responsibility to care for her. I refused any mental health intervention, as I couldn't accept I had an issue. If we could turn back time, eh? Long story short- my in-laws became her sole care givers. It was several years later that I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar/Anxiety/Borderline personality disorder and given the proper care. But unfortunately, this was too late and I was never able to have my daughter live with us permanently. We(my husband and I) continued to have regular visits with our daughter, and as she grew older our relationship became closer. After one fabulous week long stay our daughter conveyed to us that she would like to spend even more time with us. But when we approached my husbands parents with this, it did not go well at all. After attempting mediation with no result, we went to court to try and get more access. Unfortunately my in-laws used my past mental health issue and we lost. Since then due to their influence and fear tactics, I have not seen my daughter in person for 15 years. she is now a grown woman who is married and has two children who we have never met. We've attempted to contact her in many ways but she says she wants nothing to do with us(me more so). It's tearing me apart. I live with so much sadness/depression/guilt/anger every single day. Whatever I try to do makes no difference. This forum give me very little space to write more detail, but there is so much more to this than I can write in just 2500 characters. Because of my mental health issues, everything that I do in regards to my daughter is labeled as me being "Mental" by my husbands family. So if I get upset by being denied access, I'm a violent crazy person. If I show anger for those who have lied and said horrible things to me, I'm a danger to my own child and should never be allowed to see her again. Just to be clear, there has never been any abuse to my daughter. I have apologised and asked for forgiveness numerous times. Nothing...

GuiltyPrince idek. loneliness I guess.
  • replies: 3

I am so lonely. I just don't know what to do anymore I'm approaching 22 years of age, and I identify as gay for the most part. Despite being lorded constantly(not to toot my own horn), by both men and women that I am apparently extremely attractive, ... View more

I am so lonely. I just don't know what to do anymore I'm approaching 22 years of age, and I identify as gay for the most part. Despite being lorded constantly(not to toot my own horn), by both men and women that I am apparently extremely attractive, I've never been on a date or had a relationship. Hell, even sex is even a rarity; during my two decades on this earth, I've had sex 6 times total with 5 different people. It's not through lack of opportunity either, but moreso for my general disdain for sleeping around, like, I seem to have some sort of mental barrier which just prevents me having any sexual attraction to someone, unless I know and are attracted to their mind and personality first. (basically every time I've had sex in the past has been heavily substance fueled or non-consensual, which seem to be the only way for me to overcome said barriers) I recently fell in love with a boy however. I never would have thought it possible, I didn't even believe in love till I met him and to make that even more amusing it was more or less love at first sight (I'm quite empathic, so I get wicked vibes off people, but when I met him his soul was just so beautiful and sad and I knew that I wanted to help him and that I would do anything for him). Anyway, despite him believing himself straight prior, he soon admitted he felt similarly which caused him a lot of confusion (which I feel bad about), but yeah like we cuddled and kissed and stuff for a week or two even out in public but then he kinda receded back into his shell and stopped talking to me and the next day he had a girlfriend. So yeah, that kinda hurt me a lot. especially since I decided to be the bigger person and try remain friends despite it all... so now I just have to suffer through the heart break of seeing them all happy together and stuff. but like I just can't get rid of this void inside me, the feeling of emptiness and loneliness which is crippling me. I've always been alone prior to this and lonliness has never bothered me until now, so I'm not sure how to cope and it's playing on my anxiety and the fact that I'm alone certainly doesn't help with the self loathing I've got going on either cause I keep going over in my heads reasons why I wasn't good enough even though I know that's stupid. I dunno, guess I just wanted to rant to someone or with any luck someone can help me or has been through similar convoluted feelings?

Kel91 Worried about relationship
  • replies: 4

Hello I've been in a relationship with my partner for over two years now and he is amazing, I love him very much. I'm worried about our sex life......I'm simply NEVER in the mood, in fact if I would choose to never have sex I would. I had this proble... View more

Hello I've been in a relationship with my partner for over two years now and he is amazing, I love him very much. I'm worried about our sex life......I'm simply NEVER in the mood, in fact if I would choose to never have sex I would. I had this problem in my last relationship and so I know it has nothing to do with him, it's just me. I know they say girls can be much less eager than men when it comes to sex, but to the point where I avoid it as much as possible? We probably do it on average every three weeks but even then I have to talk myself into it. What is wrong with me? I'm worried he'll get sick of me for that reason even though I know we are happy. It's a touchy topic but I'm not sure what to do. It makes me feel really down and sometimes I even hate myself for it. Just wondering i anyone has any advice? Kel

Sharny On edge about having illness
  • replies: 3

Hi, I've recently posted so I'm sorry for doing so again. Even though I'm managing my illness every now and then I get stuck with excess thinking regarding how guilty I feel to my family just for dealing with Bipolar. I should be rested, I have a lov... View more

Hi, I've recently posted so I'm sorry for doing so again. Even though I'm managing my illness every now and then I get stuck with excess thinking regarding how guilty I feel to my family just for dealing with Bipolar. I should be rested, I have a loving supportive husband who understands and cares, does everything to assist in us living our lives as peacefully as we can. My two children are doing very well at school as my husband keeps reminding me. Financially we are very secure. So with all this around me in my immediate family, I should be able to keep moving forward and accept that I unfortunately got this illness. The proof is there that I've done things for my kids, played games when they were little, read stories over and again, visited parks, libraries etc etc and given them endless love and cuddles, nutured them and provided a home full of love. Despite this, knowing I have this illness still rips me of some dignity, it still manages to make me uncertain as to what I've provided because I'm sure at times my two kids have seen some changes come on with their mum. I try to replace these thoughts with the idea that I am a survivor, just trying to muddle through an illness that I never asked for. I'm wondering when this self anguish that rears its head ocassionally in the form of feeling like a bad person because of my illness will ever go away. I mean, if I had another type of illness would it make me feel bad toward my kids? I've asked this in my head time and again. It's this type of thinking that leaves me lonely, yet I've got everything I need around me.

Sharny Does it help or hinder letting people know?
  • replies: 4

Hi again, now that I've introduced briefly my story previously I have a question that has been playing on my mind through out the years. Please lead me to the right part of the forum if I'm in the wrong area. I've learned some coping skills along my ... View more

Hi again, now that I've introduced briefly my story previously I have a question that has been playing on my mind through out the years. Please lead me to the right part of the forum if I'm in the wrong area. I've learned some coping skills along my journey with this illness. I've also learned that in the process some people have questioned me making it difficult to protect my own health and the wellbeing of my family. Whilst I have made a 10 year commitment to becoming actively involved in my children's school , sports clubs voluntarily and keeping the family connected socially with outings etc, I find at times particularly school holidays that there is only so much the whole family can cope with. School holidays are approaching and there are already 6 structured social engagements planned involving other friends/families. Ok, it's nice I keep telling myself that it's wonderful having these connections both for myself and the children. So why do I start to feel overwhelmed? My guess is because instinctively it's already too much. Too much that I have given in to against what I know I can cope with. There are 10 weekdays over the break. That leaves 4 days to fit in normal day to day living, appointments for the dentist etc whilst kids are out of school. I also like to have unstructured, settled/ unplanned days where the kids see a more relaxed mum who tries to be spontaneous with our time. My question is, if I told people about my illness and what I can and can't handle would they care enough to support me? Would it pose more problems?

Nonny My partners adult children - seven years in
  • replies: 2

Until last year my partners adult children were polite, kept me at arms length and let me know my place (or lack of it). I was saddened by this and really wanted to be part of the family. Three years ago two of them had babies, I was over the moon an... View more

Until last year my partners adult children were polite, kept me at arms length and let me know my place (or lack of it). I was saddened by this and really wanted to be part of the family. Three years ago two of them had babies, I was over the moon and just adored spending time with the little ones and it seemed they with me. Despite some other obvious snubs, I hoped this was my way to fit into the family. About a year ago I was told that the grandparent name the babies had been calling me was inappropriate and no longer to be used, I am not biologically related. I was devastated. I was very ill at the time and couldn't manage a face to face conversation apart from the initial one. I, very carefully with my partners knowledge tried by email, writing to all four parents to explain why the grandparent name was important to me. In return I received a hurtful email to go with an earlier email refusing to discuss the matter since it had been decided, neither of the two married into the family parents replied. I know that my earlier life makes it hard for me to cope with rejection. I have tried to be rationale and now my anti-depression medication dose is very high. There is no way I would say anything to stop communication / visits between my partner and his family. He sees them reasonably regularly, which I find hard. Its like I don't exist. I could go along, but don't because I can't cope with the rejection, or disingenuous behaviour. I have some chronic health issues that stress seems to flareup. I miss the little ones. My partner is unhappy with the situation but loves and is very close to his family and won't rock that boat. My partner gets angry when the subject is mentioned and can't stand to have his children criticised. I'm not sure my relationship is going to survive. I can see we are becoming more distant and don't know how to fix it.

Letting_Life_Pass_Me_By Trying to find a way past the self hatred....
  • replies: 15

Hi all. I am very, very new to this. I have always been the person who silently broods until I finally snap. However, tonight I got so mad because of something that I should not have been upset about in the first place and realized that I need to fin... View more

Hi all. I am very, very new to this. I have always been the person who silently broods until I finally snap. However, tonight I got so mad because of something that I should not have been upset about in the first place and realized that I need to find someone to talk to. I struggle to talk to people so I figured that this at least is anonymous and quite possibly might help. I already know what triggers my moments of depression.. Thinking about my father and how miserable I was as a child, thinking about one of my 4 sisters who causes me nothing but grief and who I can't bring myself to forgive for hurting me, thinking of my mother who should have stood up for me but never did and whom also shows no real interest in my two sons, my other 3 sisters who act fake around me, thinking about my brother who I never got the chance to get to know because I made the choice to run away when I was 15 and he was 5, even when I look at my husband and know that I am in a miserable marriage that I struggle to give a chance triggers these moments of depression. There are also those never ending thoughts that spiral around in my mind telling me that I have the power to fix my marriage, forgive my family, move away and start fresh and even get out and try to loose all the weight I stacked on during the previous 5 years. I realize that my life ain't so bad. I have 2 great kids, the rent is paid on time, I manage to pay the bills, we eat as healthy as the budget allows and I know my children are NEVER hungry. I have more then some people do and I should feel appreciative, I know that. I still can't shake all my bitter history. I can't bring myself to forgive life long grudges. I don't leave the house very often. I can't get motivated. I cry constantly, sometimes for no reason at all. I am so lonely and I don't know who I can talk to because the people in my life don't understand and every single one of them is notorious for gossiping behind each others backs. I don't want to feel alone anymore though. I don't want to be in this bubble of self hatred, treating myself like a victim and hating myself even more for it. I know I'm not the first person to feel this way and I definitely won't be the last, that's life I guess... But, I want some help now and if starting here, talking to strangers, is the baby step I must take to start down the road to feeling better then I hope this helps.