Is there hope for us?
I've been dating a man for over a year now and have always been honest with him about my mental illness. Recently we had been discussing buying a house together and starting a family.
I recently spent 6 weeks in hospital having ECT which is the most effective treatment for me. During that time, his parents came from interstate to help support him emotionally and also to help look after my dog (which he loves). I have no recollection of how they were during my stay due to the memory loss but they did visit several times apparently.
My dr decided to release me early from hospital to spend a week with them and my dog. I appreciate that they have little understanding of mental illness etc and how hard it is to adjust to life out of hospital. And all the memory loss. (I had 20 ECT sessions). I did tell his parents that I appreciate mental health can be so unknown and they were welcome to ask me anything to help understand. There aren't enough characters here for me to explain everything that happened, but his mother was very nasty and aggressive to me, with the last straw "you said I could ask you anything, are you bipolar? No? Well you're certainly a mad bit*h and you HAVE just spent 6 weeks in a mental institution". I am still in shock by the naivety and cruelty of it.
I immediately called a taxi and grabbed my dog and went home. All the time she was still abusing me. My partner was at work when this happened and he was upset at me for having left. (I appreciate it's hard for him being stuck in the middle).
There has been very little to no communication between us since (a few days) but given how domineering his mother is (and he's an only child), if we work things out, is it even worth it? How can I get over that comment?
I'm so tired of always being at a disadvantage in relationships because of mental health, and I am 36 and do want to have a family.
You have had a very hard time of it. It's bad enough having a mental illness, being hospitalized and undergoing ECT with the resultant memory gaps. To be abused by in-laws on top of all that would make the strongest person retreat - and I'm very glad you (and dog) did.
Actually your situation is not uncommon, and does not always relate to mental illness. Simply a man heavily under the influence of a mother will try to please two people at once, parent and partner. This simply does not work. The parent is ill-disposed to the new person, seeing her as a threat to her relationship with her son, and will either try to dominate her too, or drive her out.
I was in a similar situation, only it was my parents being beastly. I chose my new partner and have been very happy as a result. That choice taught me self-reliance, to appreciate love and how to look after someone properly - commitment.
Your partner has to make that choice too. It is a very difficult thing to do, but it is the only way a true partnership can exist. Each person has to love, trust and cherish their partner, and put them first. If your partner will not do that then if you stay with him you will have a lifetime of being second fiddle, your needs ignored and the venom of his parent always with you. In time you may feel great loss of worth as a result. You will not be able to rely upon him.
I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, having been though it myself I do not know of any other way to resolve the situation.
On the bright side if he does properly make the break you have a true indicator of love.
Do you have anyone to support you, a parent, family member or friend you can talk to, who will understand and care?
Please feel you are welcome enough to come here as often as you would like, we will be here
Thank you for your candid response and without meaning to sound condescending, congratulations on choosing your partner! One thing I appreciate about people either with, or an understanding, of mental illness is the honesty so please don't apologise about bluntness. (In parting, I did proudly tell her that actually, I had spent a lot more than 6 weeks in a mental institution! 🙂 )
I realise the ball is in his court however I wonder that if he has not made a move already then that sets the precedent for the future so even if he chooses me, I will never quite be the priority.
I have fantastic friends who are great supports however, they all have very young children and so their time and attention is understandably very limited. My family is very limited support. They have never been good with my illness and also I moved interstate last year after a horrible experience of abuse and stalking by a psych nurse. So am full of luck!!
My psych wants to re-admit me to hospital for the short term and is giving me time to consider my options and sort out care for the dog. It's not really what I want but he isn't giving me permission to return to work and I don't really trust myself home alone.
If your b/friend definitely wants to buy a house and start a family with you, then he must tell his mother to back off,
This will also mean that you won't be able to make any improvement in yourself, how can you with all these remarks aimed at you.
This is what your b/friend has to decide how he's going to handle this situation. Geoff.
i feel for u. I also had shock treatment(many) like u it was the only thing that worked also. I think it's good you told ur partner. If ur partner is still feeling the same, I believe he has to make a decision, hopefully he knows what his mother is like. How dare she act this way. You poor thing. You have to try and not take it on board I know that's hard. Who does she think she is. I guess it's all a time factor, for things to get sorted. Hope all goes well.
keep in touch if u like. Take care.
Thanks, I had hoped you would appreciate straight talk. I also think Geoff is quite right.
Well, going back to hospital might be a good idea, I've found being away from the world did indeed help.
If you find being alone at home frightening or a worry because of what you might do then do bear in mind there are crisis lines to ring - such as our 24/7 help line or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) which I particularly recommend - also the BeyondNow smartphone app from this site.
If I've miss-understood my apologies.
There was one thing I wanted to mention in my first reply to you but thought there was quite enough in it to be getting on with.
Some people are easily led, and that may well show up in their relationship with their parent - it may even be a chicken and egg situation, dunno.
The point is even if such a person did break with parents to be with another it may well be they would become a 'follower' of their new partner, rather than an equal to be relied upon. That pus the lingering divided loyalty in priorities you mention means the whole thing could be a real nest of problems.
I hope that makes sense.
Do you anticipate any hassles about your dog?
Thanks for the further thought. I really hadn't thought about the idea of the 'follower'. Certainly food for thought. I think my main concern is whether there would be continued judgements and attacks on my mental health should we stay together. I can handle his parents hating me, but to have continuous compromise on my health...
I don't anticipate any hassles with the dog. She is so well behaved that I generally always have several offers when I travel for work which is quick regularly. I am more concerned that she has spent the last 6 weeks at my partner's place, it will give her more instability. So my cousin actually volunteered to come up and stay at the house with her which is great.
I am meeting my psych in the morning to decide on going back to hospital. I found this particular hospital really "anti-social", and lacking a community feel so we are both still unsure about the therapeutic benefits. It really surprised me as the hospital in Melbourne had great support and interaction as well as the balance of individual time-out. Given my cousin is going to be here, it may be decided to not go the hospital route just yet - it is always something that can be done in 3 days' time for example.
It sounds as if you have things as under control as they can be. I"m sorry about the hospital, they are a very mixed bag. My own experience has been positive, but I guess that is just my location. There are some truly horrible places.
It sounds as if your cousin will be real help, just when needed. I'm sure contact with your dog will be good for you too.