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Releasing the family to move on.

Sinking_in_the_Ocean
Community Member

Backstory. I have been out of work just prior for about 2 years as a result of my work relationship going sour after I came back from FIFO work with depression anxiety and anger at lack of support during FIFO work. Being let go resulted in further decline which I did initially seek medical help to alleviate but had too many issues with the various SSRIs including in ability to stay awake over 9 hours a day, loss of memory and the last unexpected rage. I did try a Psych but the big issue we could not get past was lack of work and money causing increase in short temper, malaise and general disinterest in everything. I could not seem to get ANY help from centrelink in fact $0 dollars exactly (partner works 4 day contracts so we just held onto the house). I tried retraining but the course turned out to be very badly managed with a 92% drop out rate by halfway so did I as I could see I was going to be to stressed to even sit interviews. In the same week we had a discussion about divorce I managed to get work for about 3.5 months on base rates in a niche field but had to work with a guy that was targeting me from day 1 and working so hard I was crashing at 6pm each night. Every day he would put complaints in about me and then convince everyone else to each day while acting nice to me, I actually think he was a borderline psychopath with his rage, ocd and 2 face nature. So that ended, and I find myself in same situation with no skills i can use, no support or friends or close family and no options for work plus more anxiety and injuries from the 3.5 months work (stuffed right arm muscle hoping will heal). I cant find anything to help me both before and now with looking for work or retraining and so I'm expecting the same result as before. So what I'm looking at is how to move out of society to the middle of nowhere to survive but in a way that will best protect my 2 kids from the damage that normally occurs when the family disintegrates around them. I know that if I leave now my partner has a good chance of meeting someone that will be better able to support my kids emotionally and financially and teach them better than someone like me who is constantly having to play defense with my own emotions and constant job loss.

15 Replies 15

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello SITO, 'm not too sure I can be of any help, but what I do want to say is firstly you need to make a decision on whether you decide to get a divorce, but being in depression shouldn't mean that this a necessary decision, and no, you can't be sure that your partner's new partner will suit your kids or whether they will even get on with her, there's no guarantee at all, and perhaps the family situation will only become worse off.
I'm not sure you are giving yourself any credit here, I know that some medication may not suit someone but SSRI aren't the only AD available for moods and by being depressed.
Can you explain about the course, I'm not too sure which one you mean.
There are psychologists and psychiatrists that do bulk bill, especially the latter, so you could search either by phone or online.
You need to remember that if your partner gets another person and you are able to overcome this darkness, then you will only resent for what's happened, but I know it's difficult to look to the future when the present is dragging you down. Geoff.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear SITO~

You sound in a most unhappy and frustrating place, and you life does seem at the moment pretty bad. Reading what you say it looks to me -and you too no doubt - that the base cause of all this is employment.

Firstly working FIFO, which is a great strain on the worker and the family. Then losing the job with its accompanying uncertainties of the future and money. A botched training course - sadly not unusual as more dodgy companies try to climb on the unemployment training bandwagon, and now that last poor job and an injury.

Under these circumstances the pressure on your partner, both from the reduced circumstances, and more particularly your angry frustrated reaction to it has lead to the sad situation of talking about divorce.

It may not be easy, but do you think repairing the damage with your partner might be the best thing to try to do first? I have a feeling that the best solution for your partner, children and you might not be for her to join with someone else, but to remain together.

Fixing your employment situation may be a long term thing, and doing so from a more settled frame of mind in a supportive family environment is a pretty good way to tackle it.

Medication can require patience, as can dealing with constant anger. I had many years on different types and doses of medication before finding one that was effective for me. So I'd suggest persevering with doctors until it clicks.

Anger management is about knowing the triggers and early warning signs of anger, and learning techniques to calm down and manage the situation before it gets out of control. Exercise and timeout can be great helps. I'd suggest seeking help with this too. If you can find bulk-bill therapists as Geoff says that would be great, otherwise on-line self-help might be the way to go.

OK, I've said a bit, would you like to say what you think?

Croix

Sorry for the late reply, just simply lost the password.

Yeah the FIFO was one of the supressive events (including someone trying to breakin while I was away and the missus and kids where home). But the main trigger was likely some very extensive workplace bullying that included video taping , work order switching, equipment sabotage. I left the company that did this but through a major employment company they kept tracking me and causing more issues of a similar nature at another 2-3 sites over about 5 years. Moved interstate to get away from this and changed from a trade to IT which has since fallen apart just simply due to lack of job opportunities and the FIFO stuff. However workplace arseholes aside I have never been overly good with people from meeting girls through to long term relationships. Feel this is both due to introverted nature, somewhat self focused but also I don't think I read the cues properly and I don't look like Chris Hemsworth.

I dont consider medication a solution at all due to the ongoing side affects from the last stuff and the botched nature of medication is handled eg doctors wanting to play with amounts even though they get a positive results, saying you can't get medication dosages that I had already been given by the doctor in the next room, not being able to work as you need to rescript every 2 weeks. I gave up dealing with them it was a frustrating experience.

With the rage it is 99% only when i was on the last anti depressants and had no warning at all which is why the medication stopped straight away, the sort of anger was not acceptable both in severity and sudden appearance. Since the breakdown i had about 1.8 years into the unemployment (thanks for $0 help centrelink good too see you help families breakup) Ive actually been quite clear of mind. This is why I'm looking at what I need to put into place for my kids before I walk out the door. In regard to the missus she is actually quite smart and very employable and is doing brilliantly climbing her ladder and yes she does have a guy sniffing around which is also quite smart capable and level headed. I can never be that again Im over 40 with no transferable skills now due to long period of unemplyment and work place issues and no current references. Im better off just moving to and living in a hole.

Dear SITO~

The delay is no hassles, I'm often over-long in replying to people. It happens. Thanks for coming back with more information, while the current situation is not that good I do think you are selling yourself short, both in the area of employment, and personal relationships.

To switch horses and become competent in IT does indicate both intelligence and application, which many bosses would be only to happy to have. True jobs are harder to come by at the moment. Knowing your own shortcomings with others - that you do not pick up clues easily - simply means you take steps to get around the problem. One can always ask - which can be a pretty good thing as it minimizes false impressions and allows the other person to have a say.

As for looking like Mr Hemsworth, sadly most of us don't, I look rather like my pic on the left there.

Now all this can seem a bit unrealistic to you, however I'd suspect part of that is due to your current impression of the world which is influenced by your depression, anxiety and anger plus a series of unfortunate events. While it might appear attractive to give up and go 'live in a hole' that is no way to be. You deserve the enjoyment and good fortune the same as anyone else. So you do need to climb up from where you are.

When I was really hit be depression I knew the world was hopeless and I had nothing to offer. Like you I believed my family better off without me around. I was planning to kill myself. Later I got to see it was depression talking, I was way off base. I'm very glad I had help and am now pretty good.

I'd like to ask a question I asked before. Do you think you can patch up your relationship with your partner? Have you asked her to sit down and say frankly what she would like to happen?

Roughly how old are your kids (If you don't mind saying)? Are they old enough to say what they would like? I know you love them, even when down you are trying to provide for them. Actually in one way I think you are off-track. The example of a loving father that perseveres though hardship is miles better than some stranger, no matter what sort he is.

Again I've gone on for a bit - your turn to talk if you would like

Croix

Yeah my unfortunate events seem to last a long time about 14 years at this stage so I have fought, adapted and changed but I find in doing so I did play myself into a corner with work skills.

With patching things up. She has been very patient. She would love me to be on meds but knows I'm head strong and wont take others suggestion on this. There is also the common story of alot of the forum posters, that I'm not contributing, not the same as when we first met and married. Yes its possible with employment (distraction from negative influences and being active) I might become somewhat of a husband again. I did improve with the last mob but it took 2 years to get that opportunity and I wont have the luxury of that again.

The kids are 9 and 6 both pretty good performers scholastically and apart from the odd lie and difficulty doing things when asked should grow up well. They would want me around but I no longer have the tools to provide even partially and with the lack of support over the past few years and avenues to dig out of the hole has been cemented in. For instance retraining in say a trade REQUIRES now a current apprenticeship and getting an apprenticeship at 40+ ain't going to happen tried plus my age is know affecting my physical capabilities too.

Dear SITO~

Well your perspective for now is very bleak, and with depression that is not surprising. I did find one thing you said encouraging

Yes its possible with employment (distraction from negative influences
and being active) I might become somewhat of a husband again

Yes it is inside you, if it was there to start with it is still there, just hidden. So getting a job is hard -true. The job market has many who apply for every position, so you feel toward the back of the queue. I found that volunteering was a way out of this. It gave me structure and purpose in life, a sense of accomplishment, allowed me to network with new people and importantly can be a way into paid employment.

Unlike the paid job market employers are keen to get you and appreciative of your time and efforts. There all sorts of positions from IT and clerical to sales and equipment installation, even working with animals. There are more artistic ones too -such as in museums.

If your wife would love you to be on medication I'm sure it is because she wants the old you back. You said one class of drug was unsuitable for you - there are others.

With your kids you really do underestimate the power of love from a parent - and their love for you.

Please remember depression will find reasons why things won't work, why matters are hopeless. It's danger is that at the time these thoughts sound reasonable. As I found they are not.

Croix

Hi Sinking in the Ocean,

How are things going? Seems like you're in a tough situation with a couple of things going on at home with your relationships, gaining employment and treatment for your mental health.

It seems like your partner is trying to understand your situation - you mentioned she is quite patient and knows your hesitancy to re-try medication. Do you think it might be helpful to talk a bit about ways you could contribute? You raised it as a issue, as well as 'not having the tools to provid even partially' for your kids. It be that there is something you could do at home that might help, like assisting your kids with homework. It would give you a goal to work to each day and might help you feel more connected to your family.

I've found volunteering also quite helpful, in that it gave me something to do, people to interact with and it counted as work experience that I got references out of to apply for more jobs. I found the application process much less intimidating that applying for jobs and there were not as many applicants.

Going to your GP might be an idea as well. They can start you on a medication, if you would like to try again, as well as make up a Mental Health Care Plan to get you discounted sessions with a mental health professional. They also generally know who bulk-bills in the area and might be able to make a suggestion that way. You mentioned that the main issue you talked about was financial, but do you think it might be worthwhile trying again? They might be able to help you with your home relationships.

Yeah at home things are stressful. Both kids like to play tit for tat on who will be good but other times yell at each other and has been occasional spitting hitting etc that each time has been stamped out. But general nightly routine is pretty unhelpful to focusing on getting better. Noting the kids apart are brilliant they play of each other younger trying to be older and oldest being selfish, the usual and then the partner getting loud and verbally striking out at me for not helping. That is an issue in itself as we never had a proper united front as we bought them up and differing views on things means we disagree in front of kids (no verbal altercations just lack of direct path) Kids are also naturally stubborn and pretty smart too. Youngest usually out smarts the older sibling.

Considering the volunteering but think it needs to be 2 prong approach of training in something that will be employable within 6 months, hands on not to physical, self employable with minimal customer interaction or something that helps people all my self tests on Myers briggs and personalities points this way. Agree my references are holding me back from applying due to age of last worked with and type of work not available in city area.

Financial issue wont go away (in fact with volunteering will be worse) and given the last experience with centrelink made my depression and anxiety so bad that it was nearly too bad and the resulting damage to my family is permanent. I don't want them ever in my life again ever they can burn in hell as far as I'm concerned. The Beyond blue team is the closest I have come to any form of assistance from the government, noting community contributors are generally not employees but just good people using the tools available bit like Blackdog just not NFP.

I do have a work life plan as such just unable to implement anything without income or training (all decent TAFE courses are 'apprenticeship required' and now expensive at 10-15k) or even change of lifestyle which would include not even living in the same city. I have tried to get apprenticeships but the city I'm in has a very definite preference to young workers (pay less and less broken) and very strong network requirement if you dont know anyone good luck getting any help including job search resources being locked out by centrelinks job-access requirements. I did write to member for education training and employment (Trudge?) but I literally got a statement pat on the back youll get a job and was still on the dole months after that.