Not sure what to expect
To be honest, I'm not sure what to expect from venting, if anything I feel like a "a-hole" just voicing it out loud, but here is my story. I am married, have been for 6 years and have a disabled daughter who will be 7 this year. I also have a 13 year old daughter that only wants to spend time with me as she doesn't get along with my current wife. My wife and I spend every second with her and focus on doing everything we can for her (she is mentally and physically disabled). My wife has chronic anxiety which puts a massive strain on our relationship. She barely does anything except for spend time with our daughter. Her anxiety is so bad she puts a heap of pressure on me to "work from home" which I sometimes can - but a lot of the time I have to refuse. The last few years have been extremely tough as I am a very driven person with a few personal goals I am working on, plus about to start University for the first time (at the age of 40). She is polar opposite, not driven at all (she has a photography business - but it's more a hobby as she spends very little to no time driving it). There are numerous times I come home to find nothing done, house a complete mess and have to spend the next few hours cleaning up (and watch my daughter - whom I absolutely love spending time with - I wish I had more time with her - she's my little buddy). I know this is all harsh, but I honestly feel at the end of my tether as I am tired of being the emotional rock constantly in our relationship (in fact - if anything ever happens to me and I want to share - she dismisses and complains about her day or anxiety - yet again). I really have no idea what to do anymore and I fear that I am in this relationship because of my little girl only.
Are there other people out there in similar relationships?
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for posting - it takes a deal of courage - or desperation - or both to do so.
What to expect – well It's a pretty good step because here you’re going to find a whole lot of people that have been down similar pathways and want to give those that follow a hand.
There’s a sign on the overhead lockers in passenger aircraft, it says:
Put oxygen mask on self before others
It’s pointing out that you have to be fit to do anything, including helping or looking after anyone else. And you have an awful lot on your plate.
Just so you know who you’re talking to at the moment, I'm an ex-policeman who was invalided out of the force with PTSD and related problems including Chronic Anxiety, and I've been very down - though I'm out of sight better now and it is far away in the past. I got though. I had a help.
Ok, from my own experience chronic anxiety does not go away by itself. It needs medical treatment, therapy, and of course family support. Without treatment it gets worse – believe me I know.
With you, the first thing is with all that pressure mental illness can sneak up on you in some form of depression or anxiety – enough to make you think everything is hopeless and a trap. I’d go visit my GP and set out the details, be tested and then if you are diagnosed go on to treatment - if there's nothing no harm done.
If you think you might have difficulty getting everything out to the GP then write it all down beforehand and take it with you - I do.
One thing that does strike me – adding a uni course to your already overstretched life – is this something that could be left to one side for a while? I was over 40 when I went to uni after being discharged from the police and found as an adult I could do better than the youngsters.
While you might think it an overreaction let me say that if you feel overwhelmed have a talk to us on our help line 1300 22 4636 where there are friendly non-judgmental knowledgeable professionals, or you can call Lifeline on 131114. It’s not just about suicide as a lot of people think.
A human voice can give unexpected warmth and caring when itis needed
We have a fair amount of information available via The Facts drop down menu (towards the top of the page) on all sorts of illnesses, such as Anxiety & Depression: causes, symptoms, treatments. You might care to read it.
Please do keep posting whenever you want. You will be assured of a warm reception
My best wishes
You certainly have a lot on your plate at the moment. Croix has offered some great advice. I particularly like "Put oxygen mask on self before others".
You must be exhausted, unless you take time to look after yourself how can you possibly help anyone else? I suffer from (medicated) depression and some other bits and pieces and my partner has general anxiety disorder (GAD). Unless I am in a good space I find his anxiety drains everything I can sympathise with you on that front. I raised my children as a sole parent and it was a huge job and I didn't have a disabled child. You have a tough role. But this is only a moment and even though it probably feels it will never end in time it will change.
Can I ask what support you have in your life family, friends, work? Have you talked to a doctor about all this? If your wife is open to it a visit to her doctor may pay dividends for your both. I understand that the meds now used for anxiety really do work. FYI, my partner refuses to take them. It's hard to work as a team when one person is so needy. Can you have an honest chat to your wife about how you feel and the effect that this is all having on you.
Taking on a uni course may add some extra pressure, but maybe it will also give you a break from your current world. I went to Uni as a mature age student with teenage children and I loved it, my life was changed. What are you thinking of studying?
I'm really pleased you came to the forum it's a great place to chat and work through things. There are many people with lots of experience to help out too. Take great care of you! Here's a hug (I hope that is okay, I'm a huge person and you sound like you need a hug).
Thanks for responding, really appreciate it.
My wife does take medd, although not at the correct dose so I doubt they are actually working. She was also seeing someone but that has faded away as well. I had though about contacting them direct and having a chat as I really have no idea what else i can do for her. Not only that, my issue is because I have to pick her up constantly, i really dont have the energy to help her anymore. I know that sounds harsh and I frel bad for thinking it, but it does wear you down after a while.
Thanks again for responding, was nice to read others that have similar experiences.
As for Uni, i cant wait to be honest, its something i have wanted to di for ages so at the age of 40 - im doing it 😀.
It would make sense that you don't take the recommended dosage of your med it isn't going to work so well. It cant hurt to try contacting your wife's doctor but I suspect the confidential nature of there work will stop them from discussing anything useful.
I don't think you're being harsh, just real. Your exhausted and rightly so, I hope you have some respite of some sort from your children. After all this is your life too. It sounds like Uni will be quite a watershed for you and may make a lot of changes in your life. By the way have you told your wife how you are feeling and how her disease is effecting you? She may be to self absorbed to have notice your struggles.
Have you thought about a counsellor for yourself? You may need to work out some strategies to manage your relationship, workload, children etc? Once your at Uni there may even be a counsellor you can talk to on campus.
Be good to your self.