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Better off alone???

Community Member


I have a lovely diagnosis of complex ptsd which was only formalised as of last week. I came out of a struggle with postnatal depression to a medication addiction and now fighting the hardest battle. My entire life on a plate. I have a very rocky relationship with my mother and when I decided to tell her about my diagnosis she told me she does not believe in mental health. She does not believe in therapy. She is ...... old and has been around longer to know more about me and about life. Then she hada weird scream and cry and left my house like it was her struggle.

I have always know she has poor insight with MH. I should have been diagnosed in my teens. She wouldn't have read the signs. I told her I need to cut her from my life as her opinion is not at all helpful and she cannot keep it to herself. I am mid 30s and she still comes to my house and treats me like a teenager. I have my own kids. I don't know if this was necessarily the first option but she won't come around and I think it is damaging for me.

Now my partner and I are at war as he refused to read up about it and it was insulting. He cannot see where I am coming from, just calls me self centred. I am the last person in my house who is thought about. I have actually become agoraphobic due to my poor self image and ability to cope with emotionally heightened situations.

Any suggestions?


12 Replies 12

Just Sara
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi and welcome S;

It's an age old scenario for us here on BB; hearing of people just being diagnosed and facing situations others in our community struggle to understand.

Believe it or not, it's a normal part of our process of recovery. Being diagnosed is a first step, so well done. Trying to convince loved ones of your pain and confusion isn't easy and can turn things against you very quickly if you don't let it go.

Not having your mum in your life is up to you of course, but understanding her behaviour might be something to consider because she might feel helpless watching her child suffer and not know what to do. It may also be she's been affected by MH issues as well in her life.

Knowing yourself is more productive atm and will support your recovery better. It's not at all abnormal to become house-bound either. We're scared to confront life without first knowing we're safe.

That's what ptsd brings to the table; fight, flight or freeze. I know this because I've been dealing with it most of my life and was only diagnosed a few yrs ago. What that diagnosis did though, was give me an idea of how to approach 'my own behaviour' when responding to situations.

It's not about other people believe it or not. It's what we teach ourselves when survival was our only consideration during traumatic events. Undoing those habits is a step by step process and takes a lot of time and effort to achieve, but once things get moving, coping and life in general becomes much easier.

I'm here most days if you want to chat or ask questions ok. Please be gentle on yourself and others. They're not trained to be instant supporters of trauma affected people. They have to learn too.

Warm thoughts;


Hi Sez,

Cheers for that insightful response.

I have always had good insight about my mental health but I have never actively seeked help beyond a GP diagnosis of anxiety and a serving of medication. In my younger years I would mask my issues with alcohol and other substances. I always managed my own meds and never got to the point of crisis as I did this time around. I have a brilliant psychiatrist, psychologist and I have a GP but have had a few issues so they are only new. I actively sought out investigation into my mental health, on my own, as I knew it was beyond the postnatal depression and my goal was to get a diagnosis so I had a direction. I am happy to have a name for it. I am happy to have goals now. I am not ashamed to have a label, I am hurt and I feel unsupported.

My mother definitely suffers from MH. She has no insight. She is narcissistic and has ocd traits, but I am no psychiatrist. My father has definitely got to have BPD. I do have a medical background so I have some educated opinions. Of course Mum feels helpless. She doesn't think it exists so how can she help me? Her help is a hindrance but I don't blame her for that. Her treatment of me as a child was much the same. She was ill equipped to deal with the challenges she was faced with as a single parent. Again, not her fault but very damaging when she still thinks she was the best mother. She needed (still needs) help. I cannot offer that. I am a child in her eyes and I am not entitled to make even the slightest suggestion about anything. Her way or no way. I can refute her argument and present evidence and she still isn't wrong. I love her, she birthed me, she tried but she is who she is and to me that is always going to be damaging.

I did not want to tell her my diagnosis as I know she would have been upset reading the causes and I don't want to hurt her. But who knows, do narcissistic people read into something like that and think there is no way it is about me? It hurts to think of how she took my message. I couldn't have called as she doesn't listen. I think the only way we will ever make nice is if she apologises and tries to understand or at least keep her opinion to herself. I know this won't be the case.

I know that sharing my diagnosis is totally my choice and unfortunately I like to advocate for things like this in order to gain acceptance and understanding. We all have mental health just like we all have health. The brain is a complicated part of our anatomy.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi S

How are you feeling about the diagnosis? Sounds like you have had a tricky time getting to this point but great that you have reached out and shared where you are at.

Your mum's reaction is disappointing but as you say she doesn't seem to understand mental health and is set in her views . So when you told your mum that her opinion is damaging and that you don't need her in your life what did she say? Has there been any contact since then?

I am keen to know more about your partner and his support of you. Was he understanding of your postnatal depression? I think it is really helpful to have a supportive partner. Maybe he is struggling to make sense of it all as well?

In terms of suggestions I think it is helpful to set yourself a little goal each day eg getting out of the house for a walk/fresh air. Trying a new recipe for lunch or dinner. Listening to music that relaxes you.

What is your broader support network like?

How old are your kids?

Blue Jane

Hi Blue Jane.

At first I was unsure about my diagnosis, but this was due to my experiences with mental health as an emergency nurse. I am so happy to give it a name. I wish I had of persued more psychological assistance sooner. One thing I have learned in the last 16 months is that patience and persistence is something I am going to learn to deal with. I don't like to start a project that is going to take an unknown amount of time to finish but now I am taking these baby steps people keep telling me about and it really is paying off. I have an amazing psychiatrist and feel very supported and we have a very good rapport. He just gets it.

My children are you 10, 9 and 1. My eldest had Asperger's. He is also in therapy and he was also another brand name my mum wouldn't cop. Don't believe in any of those behavioral disorders. Ok, so we don't all have behaviour? Do we all behave the same or cope the same? My mother has not responded to my message. She will not. She will wait until one day to use it against me in an argument. She can do no wrong. It's tough because she is part of the reason I have this diagnosis and is toxic to me, but she is one of the people I long to have in my life.... well not her but a mother.

My partner has been through hell and back I would say. He is under so much stress but he is in denial that he isn't coping. His personality has changed in 12 months. He became a dad but got a side of issues. He tries. He really does. But he doesn't get it. He ended up reading up. He reckons he was just mad with me for demanding apparently. I think he needs to talk to someone but he refuses.

I have burned a lot of bridges the last 2 years. Some on purpose and some by default I guess. My circle of friends has broken and my social life has diminished. Those I do see have issues of their own but some are very helpful emotionally. Physically it was my mum but no more. I have sisters but they're busy with their own kids. I am more worried that my partner has no friends around. He has only lived in the area for 5 years and he is very likable but not keen to get out and about. His family are supportive from afar. My ex is father of the older 2 kids. Hopeless. Alcoholic. Self absorbed. He is also part of my diagnosis.


You've expressed a lot about questions I had so thankyou S. I'm glad you feel confidence in sharing your story.

I agree, having a label made my life turn around for the better too. I'm a research buff and self analyse thru learning new information. It gave substance to my history and helped to understand why I was who I was/am.

I too have an overbearing, cruel and narcistic mother (and alcoholic father). I haven't spoken to him in more than 20 yrs. At 34 I told my family of how he raped me when I was 11. My mother and one sister didn't believe me and caused huge rifts in the family, though it was said I was the cause for bringing it up in the first place.

I won't go into the whole scenario, but will say mum and I have made our peace on the subject thru honest dialog. She's still overbearing and spiteful at times, but due to therapy and working on myself, I've learned to deal with her effectively as an independent entity. She knows when she's pushed me too far.

I don't yell or complain and am very patient with her, I let her know how she's hurt me, won't tolerate it again and to be mindful of how her words affect others. Standing my ground as an equal adult was difficult for her to take, but she's come around so we can enjoy [some] time together.

Having a background in nursing would help. I've had similar training and used this to comprehend what recovery meant and what wasn't relevant. Being intelligent doesn't hurt either. The majority on here are too, it seems a common theme for members.

It seems you're on top of things with your journey, and I hope things with your husband improves. He sounds a really nice person.

It is a step by step process as you say, and no doubt you'll thrive with your new found 'label'.

Wishing you well;


Hi S

Good to hear that you are okay with your diagnosis and even better to hear that you have a great psychiatrist. Yes patience and persistence is key with our mental illness, even when it is not our strength!

How is your son progressing with his therapy? Sounds like you are onto it and supporting him as much as you can. Its such a common diagnosis and the support and understanding in the community is getting better and better.

Gosh the situation with your mum sounds tricky but you have a good attitude towards it all.

If your partner is prepared to do his own research then that means he might be open to other help down the track. Really positive that he tries.

Is there a way to meet new people through your kid's school? Do they put on any events which you can both be part of?

You have so much on your plate. I hope you are taking time out each day to reflect and congratulate yourself on the win of the day (even if it is tiny!).

Blue Jane

Hi Sez.

I plan on responding. I highly respect all the time and honesty put into your reply. I'm a little flustered and feeling washed out. I will give you my full attention as soon as I am feeling a little better.



I am an old lady [68] and am here looking for the same thing I believe, you are. The strength and support to be myself without a reliance on the approval or threat of loss of those I've loved. It is a hard and painful journey. You lose some people and you find kindness and acceptance from total strangers. Postnatal depression steals your mental strength. Birthing has stolen your physical strength. conflict with a partner steals your joy. Look around for the other dark spots in your life, money, job, family/friends perhaps. You won't be able to change them, lose them or throw them away BUT if you know what black dot you are dealing with in the moment, you may find the strength to focus on just one thing at a time,calmly and carefully, survive it, take a deep breathe before tackling the next one. Slowly, day by day, you become stronger, deliberate and more in control which returns so much to yourself. Best of luck, young one.

Hi guys.

Sorry for the delay. Thanks for the responses and for sharing about yourselves.

Since my last post I have had a huge falling out with my mother. She came to my house post emotional breakdown (on my part) then somehow managed to turn the issue around into her own. She told me she doesn't believe in mental health or therapy etc. So insulting to have a diagnosis from a doctor and be told that doctor is not credible and my diagnosis is horse shit. Then she stormed out of my house crying as though she was the one with the illness (although she does have an illness she just doesn't know it). I sent her a message to cut her off after articulating how I felt..... but it never works that way with her. She pretends nothing happened and manages to crawl back into my life.

So she got wind of my plan to move and made a suggestion of where I should go. When I stated I didn't want to move where she suggested she had a tantrum..... fine, do as you please. Then some spiel about how horrible her life has been for the past month as she has been minding my sister's children and finally has some child free time. Unnecessary and totally irrelevant. I cannot deal with her.

My partner and I are constantly fighting. I am living in hope that when I move I can leave him behind. It is much easier living on my own with the kids. Does this sound unreasonable or am I entitled to be selfish for my own mental health. I don't feel anyone actually gets the illness. I am so conflicted. I spend most days tense and angry, or upset and hopeless.

I it the illness or is it me wanting what is best for me????