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Coping with a changing life - introducing myself

Community Member
Hi - let me say up front that I hate to complain and be thought of as a 'victim' - or an 'unhinged ranter' as my ex-husband told me I was the other day when I tried to point out how sad he had made me and our grown-up children by running away from us nearly 2 years ago. After 40 years of marriage, and just before Covid hit, he ran off with his girlfriend from high school - just told me one day that he was having an affair (and had been for about 6 months) and he was off. It was all my fault because I got pregnant with the first of our three kids accidentally in 1983! - and in response, he ran off with somebody else at the time for a short affair. He came back and I forgave him - but he now says it ruined his life as he never wanted to be a father at all. He told his kids that last year too. My kids (all in their 30's) couldn't handle my grief and anger on top of theirs and didn't talk to me (other than either ghost or abuse me) for nearly a year. My oldest daughter now talks to me occasionally but not my second daughter or son. I am now divorced from my ex and I am not unhappy with the divorce settlement - although he is bitter and angry with me because he didn't do as well financially as he thought he should. I mostly think that I am over it but I suspect not. I take anti-depressants and I try to keep busy with friends, my art, music etc. I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and PTSD by my GP and I do ok most of the time. I sleep badly despite trying all the prescribed strategies including the occasional use of sleeping pills.
To top it off I lost my mother to cancer 3 years ago and my dad also from cancer, last October 2021 in the middle of COVID - I loved him and was with him almost every day over his last months and was with him when he died. I still grieve for him quite deeply. The only upside was that I am an executor of his estate and will get a largish inheritance so money worries should be a thing of the past.
I experimented with self-harm for a while in 2020 and early 2021 - but stopped when I adopted my darling puppy Harvey (a schnoodle) who is kind of my therapy dog - unconditional love is just the best. I do my best to look after my older brother who lives with Aspbergers and needs assistance from time to time - I have been doing that for a long time. I have always been the caregiver, responsible and thoughtful one in the family. Now I just feel taken advantage of by my ex, my kids and even my brawling other siblings.
So hi, that's me!
4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion


welcome to the forum.

Sorry you feel you have been taken advantage of my your family and ex.

when you started off with getting oregan5 in early 1980s I thought you were going to tell my story. I don’t sleep well either and have tried all the natural therapies including meditation and mindfulness,

Adult children can feel things as much as little children and tend to to take their feelings out on the parent who they see more of.

This is a supportive forum. If you look at other threads you find topics that interest you.

Tell me about Harvey and how he makes you feel. When you walk him do people stop to pat him.
Welcome and we are listening.

My little dog Harvey is my constant companion and a great way to initiate conversations with strangers and others in the park, coffee shops etc. Getting a dog was suggested to me by a counsellor and it has really worked out - especially during Covid and especially since I love dogs. Whenever I think that nobody would miss me - I know that he would and so far that works.

Hi, welcome,

I see you've had a reply from our lovely empathetic Quirky.

Yes, can relate to you and your dog relationship, we have the same.

I see you already have dome one thing I would have recommended- get distractions.

I think you might benefit by expanding your interests somewhat. But it depends on your nature. Eg- spend some of that inheritance on a mobile home and drive, drive, drive. Freecamp anywhere, buy a wikicamp app ($8) and it will provide you with all information where to camp, even where dogs are allowed.

Essentially what I'm suggesting is not to chase the adult children, they'll see you when they are good and ready. Allow more time to overcome trauma from 40yo marriage and 40yo allegations that border on gaslighting- the blame game.

Go on a cruise? Find new company.

I have one close daughter 32yo and one estranged daughter 28yo. I very much get hurt looking at photos of the younger one but I refuse to be abused by silence and false allegations she's made concerning her mother. My marriage to her mother was full of abuse by her mother and that is between me and her. So, hurt as I get sometimes- life goes on and I refuse to stop enjoying my life over a daughter that is sadly, toxic.

Charity begins at home Jagger.

Reply anytime


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Aren’t dogs the most beautiful of creatures?!? So friendly, so trusting, always there with a smile and ask nothing of you in return but your companionship. I got a pup 7 months ago and I can’t imagine life without him now. And like you, I have had so many positive interactions with lovely, kind and chatty people on my walks. If you have a dog, you are always loved. Dog people also seem to be particularly kind and lovely, I wonder if it’s because the people who see the most value in dogs have been let down or hurt by humans the most? I certainly think it takes a lot of empathy to love dogs. I have found in my experience that people who aren’t dog people have been fairly devoid of empathy (both my controlling mother and controlling ex-partner weren’t dog people), although I concede that is only two people and also doesn’t include people who have had traumatic experiences. Im glad that you have a positive in your life to at least start to balance out the bad times you’ve had. That is my plan, keep adding in the positives until the negatives no longer have such a hold over me.