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Disappointed in myself

Community Member

Hi all,

I’m not sure what I would like to get out of sharing this. Maybe just to get it out of my chest or to get my thoughts down in words so I can process it, or to find wisdom or advice from others wiser than myself. I am diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and OCD. I may also have depression but wasn’t diagnosed when I last went to therapy. I could have shared in those forums but I think at this moment, my young family is more important to me than anything else. Like many people, we had very rough years during Covid financially and also from the stress of raising our firstborn child with a disability, without family support. That took a toll on my mental health and I don’t think I have ever recovered from that.


Rebuilding our lives after Covid wasn’t all as smooth sailing either as we continued to grapple with family issues exacerbated during the last couple of years, putting ourselves back together while also learning the ropes of being a parent of a child with disability. I found myself in a constant state of exhaustion, stress and anxiety. I felt that my wife was hyper focused on our child and rebuilding her career, which is a completely reasonable thing to do. But I often found myself thinking I was abandoned by everyone, everyone in our families wanted to be around the baby and take pretty pictures but no one was there for us meaningfully when the going get tough. And I felt thay as my wife focused on rebuilding her career, our moments together became fewer and fewer and I felt that even my wife had focussed on herself rather than us. I thought about how alone I was if even my wife abandoned me. I had a lot of childhood trauma from bullying and being ostracised so that hit me really hard. I tried to talk to my wife several times to hopefully help us communicate better. These conversations brought small successes but they were also very hard to have as my wife also had issues she was and is dealing with.


As I kept pushing on with life and either ignore or continue dealing with life problems, I felt like I was back to where I was years ago. So I hated myself, I hated everything and everyone that left me there while I needed them the most. I experienced episodes where I acted recklessly. I would do things that rationally I would never have done or would otherwise consider very carefully before acting. I had suicidal thoughts but never proceeded to physically planning or actioning on them. I thought about our child and how that would affect him. But I still hated myself and how I was feeling. People would call me a good and fair person. So I destroyed myself. In a moment when I lost myself, I went to a ‘happy ending’ massage place. I did not do that for emotional or sexual gratification. I wanted to destroy that good and fair persona.


When my senses came back to me, I felt ashamed of myself, and I felt a lot of anxiety about what’s going to happen next. What if my wife decide to leave me when she learns of what I have done? I have reached out to support services, including couple therapy to help us rebuild our communication and trust. And eventually I will be honest with her about what I did and own up to my mistake. But what if she leave me? I will be alone again, just like I was years ago. What if I caught an STI that will harm my family? Despite having called two helplines staffed by department of health staff, who said that I had no risk and there’s no worry, the anxiety continue gnawing at me. Imagining my child asking me or his mom where mom or dad was if we separated breaks my heart into a million pieces. I did what I should never have, and in no way am I blaming my wife for my state of mind. I wouldn’t have had the things and moments we cherished if I had married anyone other than her. I wish I could be given a second chance, but I don’t know if there’s a second chance for me. I got myself into a mess that I don’t know where to even begin to fix. I again am not even sure what I’m looking for when sharing this, nor am I sure I have conveyed the states of mind that I was and am in. But I guess it’s better to talk about it rather than imagining situations in my head.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi DinosaurDad


It sounds like you're trying to manage so many mixed emotions. I feel for you as you struggle with so much of what weighs heavily on your heart and mind.


I think there can be so many different facets that go toward making up the whole of who we are. Sometimes we might lose some over time or lose some in moments and sometimes we might regain some facets or some may come to life on the odd occasion. Sometimes completely new facets may suddenly come to life for the first time, under certain conditions. Personally, I've come to give names or identities to a lot of different facets of myself, so that I can 1)make better sense of them and 2)come to manage them constructively under a variety of circumstances. To elaborate, there can be 'the adventurer' in us, 'the excitement seeker', 'the sage', 'the analyst', 'the philosopher', 'the saboteur', 'the hard worker', 'the stresser' or 'catastrophiser'. At times we might meet with our harsh and depressing inner critic or our so called inner child, with it's occasional tantrums or meltdowns, proclaiming 'It's not fair, you're so mean!' and the list goes on. In every person, there can be facets with both a light and a dark side. In extreme cases, it can become about meeting with a darker side of some part of our self. Whatever part of you it was that led you to that massage place, I imagine it was triggered out a lot of extreme and overwhelming emotions. Perhaps it was triggered out of a tipping point of some kind, a tipping point you'd never met with before that day, which is why that part of you came to life. 


With facets of self, I've found it's about a spectrum, from one extreme to the other. If I do not want to feel a single thing, I'll go from one extreme (purely feeling) to the other, which involves being purely analytical with no sense of feeling at all. Another example, if I wanted to feel zero connection to being a 'good girl' or a complete 'people pleaser' (one extreme), I'd go to the other extreme and seek out anything that makes me a so called 'wicked woman' or completely displeasing, just so I can feel that side of myself or prove to myself that's what or who I am. I suppose you could say, under the circumstances you face, 'I've met with a darker side of some part of myself. What I do beyond that meeting is the ultimate question'. With no threat at all of an STI, the question could be 'Is there a need for my wife to know about me having met with a darker side of myself or is this a moment in my life that has simply led me to have to address a number challenges I can no longer manage alone, without some form of counseling?'.


As a woman who's been married for almost 22 years and while channeling the pure analyst in me, if my husband was to do something once under extreme circumstances, something that was typically beyond his nature and it caused no harm to anyone at all, would it harm me not to know or would it do great harm for me to know? If he told me out of his own sense of guilt and need to gain relief, would his need to gain relief cause me harm? Of course, not every wife would feel the same way and I completely respect that. Some women would demand complete honesty, no matter what. Maybe, with you seeking out further support or counseling, this may lead you to the best questions and answers when it comes to the way ahead. It's my wish that you find them at what sounds like such a mentally torturous and soul destroying time, a terrible time in your life. It sounds like that moment that now plagues you is what has led you to become far more conscious than ever before. Sometimes the worst of decisions can end up leading us in the right direction.

Hello DinosaurDad

 I agree with you that writing about your struggles is a form of release rather than allowing our minds to go over and over internal thoughts and questioning self. A bit like a pressure cooker that needs the valve adjusting to release excess steam.  I have been told more than once that I am my own worst enemy. I continue to have therapy to work on the most troubling issues and for me this has been a blessing.

 Feelings of abandonment are very hard to deal with and can easily lead to feel that you are so very alone in the world and are the reason why.  I have worked through this myself. It is where the mind takes us to turn our pain, anger and hurt into ourselves as we do not want to hurt our loved ones. This when we need a helping hand.

Feelings of hate self criticising loathing blaming and helplessness are human responses to loss, grief,feelings of abandonment.

A parent of a child without a disability often questions their capability. The father can naturally feel left out once the baby arrives as the mother nurtures and bonds with her child unaware that the new dad needs inclusion and bonding. This happens with new parents more often than you can imagine. Learning to help your beautiful child with a disability is huge in itself. You have mental health issues that you are also learning to live with along with your wife having hers. Seeking support from qualified mental health specialists can help with some of the pressure on you both. Your wife furthering her career is possibly thinking of your child and yourself as a family unit. I hope that you seek some individual therapy for yourself perhaps leading into couple therapy when ready. You might already have or had some counselling. You might currently  take some medication and that might even need adjusting or changing as your circumstances have changed.  Financial support is something else that can be available for some struggling families depending on the circumstances. I suggest a double appointment with a gp to discuss your overall health of mind and body.

I agree that there is not a need at this present time with everything that is going on for you to discuss your one time visit that you are feeling guilty about. I think that you have already punished yourself more than enough for a fleeting decision at a time when you were not thinking clearly and desperately seeking connection. I would discuss this at some stage with a specialist if you still carry guilt. The STI question in your mind is worrying you still understandably. You can discuss this with your current gp or even one that you do not know and request to have tests done that will give you a yes or no answer. I imagine that this might feel frightening but this would actually be brave and responsible for your own health and should you be physically intimate with your wife at a time. Anxiety needs answers to reassure. You will not be judged and the gp will explain the process to help you understand. 

I sense that you are a very brave, kind, loving person who has too much to deal with on your own. You clearly love your child and wife. I think that you need some help as would most dealing with all that you have been through. You have not failed. Life has built up a pile of struggles.

Please be kind to yourself and seek some help.

You have made a start in seeking help by writing on here. You are a good person as your words convey that you care about your family. Time to care for you, primarily to be able to help in you being the loving dad and husband that you already are.

There are helplines and ringing Beyond Blue is one option to guide you in directions to finding where to start.

Take care and all the best in whatever choices you make.