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I don't know what to do - a mess of a situation

Community Member

Hello friends

I am in a bad situation. I would appreciate your advice and insight. I have been in a relationship for almost four years. It's been really hard at times. I love her sincerely but recent developments have have made me realise that I don't think I can in good conscience stay with her any more.

For majority of our relationship we have had issues with intimacy. This was a mess. Unfortunately my AD medication had adverse side effects. She assumed I didn't find her attractive and I guess responded with a threat response. I was screamed at, belittled and told that this is my problem, you need to fix it. I accepted this and sought counselling to help. This had repeated so many times that I no longer was interested in intimacy. I was actually afraid of it and still am. Similarly with other issues/concerns, they were usually met with either a very defensive or aggressive response, despite my best efforts to be diplomatic and gentle in my manner. Most of these particularly nasty memories are from some time ago now, (at least a year usually) but have done a lot of damage.

She had been away for the last three weeks. During this time a friendship with a female co-worker started. I confided in her about ALL of the issues I've been dealing with. She displayed warmth, kindness and understanding that I simply forgot could exist. I developed feelings for her, she did for me. We agreed I'm not in a place to obviously do anything about it so unfortunately are no longer friends.

I attempted to break up with my partner yesterday. She was distraught and heartbroken. It was the opposite of the angry/aggressive person I feared. I care very much for her. She has no friends, barely any family and would be entirely on her own. I couldn't go through with it. We agreed to try and work through our problems. I want to believe we can do this, but deep down I don't think it will work.The fact I developed feelings for someone else plagues me with guilt and I feel like every word I say to her is a lie.

Right now I think I need to work through my own thoughts and feelings and then proceed to act from there. I feel like I'm some sort of monster and I don't know what to do any more.

197 Replies 197

Hi Sarah

I can only imagine how you're feeling. That is so much loss to deal with in such a short period of time. I can relate to that feeling where you want to call the person but suddenly realise you can't. There were so many times, particularly on weekends where I'd think to myself "I'm going to go and visit Opi (my grandfather)" and then suddenly realise that I can't. For quite a while it was like I would have to feel all that grief all over again. It's hard to see the positives in these situations. So sorry to hear your Mum was battling with depression and anxiety. There is relief knowing they don't have to suffer any more. Alzheimers was starting to grip my grandfather, I'm glad I didn't have to see him fade from that.

Still zero gardening done... it's definitely not one of my talents. We've had a lot of rain in Hobart of late, my backyard was all muddy and sludgy. If I walk on it, I'll sink into the mud! Not fun at all.

I played at a jazz festival yesterday, had four gigs in one day. Super busy but the money comes in handy. We still have restrictions on how many people can come to a venue and people still can't dance. It was strange playing to seated audiences. In a strange way I found the isolation period we had here was good for me - I spent a lot more time with family and focused on things that were near and dear... less pre-occupied with unimportant distractions. I also did a lot more exercise oddly enough.

The way I feel now vs. the start of us chatting is like night and day. I still have bad days where my depression kick in but generally I am doing really well. I'm making an effort to spend time with friends and family as well as enjoy my own hobbies and interests. I'm so grateful for all you support and patients to listen to my rambling. It's helped me to no end!

Re. siblings - I too hope my brother can turn things around. I worry he's on a downhill spiral. My mum seems to be denial about the whole situation.

Sending you big hugs Sarah



Hey Aaron

I am so happy to hear that I have a partner in the "no thanks to gardening" club..lol..I am so shocked my veggies are actually growing and have things that look like veggies on them....I am NO gardener that is for sure! I am thinking that idea of full concrete at your place might be a really great one for me too..lol

That is so wonderful you are playing at Jazz festivals, or that you are even having them and can go to them! I would love that more than anything right now, to be able to sit outside in a park with some wine and listen to some Jazz...ok I guess I could sit in a park with some wine...but only before cerfew!

I cannot tell you how happy I was to read that you are feeling like night and day compared to when we first started chatting, that is so awesome to hear. I hope you can really see now the growth and the courage and the strength that you showed in those times and can celebrate how far you have come and the hard work you did to get here....to happiness. Depression is a mean old beast and I am just glad that you can see when it is lurking and you can acknowledge and can manage it, and know it does not last and that it will go.

It has been my absolute pleasure to be on this journey with you Aaron and you have helped me so much too, I think that is the joy and the beauty of these forums, it is just real and humble and people reaching out and caring for others. I am so happy you can spend time with your family and with your friends, I really can't wait til I can do that too, you see how important it is when it is taken away from you.

I have been doing some fun stuff that I never would have done I suppose so I thank the time at home for that..I made some Kumquat and Cointreau marmalade from the fruit that is hanging over my fence..it is surprisingly amazing and sooo yum! Also my paintings and just hanging out with the kids...so I have to take those wins too.

With the weather starting to improve that makes for happy feelings too so I am grateful to breath in the spring air...

Hugs to you Aaron and I am so happy to hear that you are doing well.

Sarah xxxx

Hi Sarah

Congratulations on your veggies! that's fantastic. I really would like to grow vegetables but I have wallabies and possums that will eat everything! Even planting normal things is near impossible because they eat everything. On the bright side, they're incredibly cute and mean I never have to mow the grass.

Unfortunately over the last week my depression/anxiety has taken a rather sharp turn for the worst. It was started when I bumped into my first girlfriend last week - we broke up 5 years ago or so now. We were together since we were only 18 or so. She was keen on getting married/kids etc. I wasn't ready for that... I was only 22/23 at the time.

She's just got married. She showed me the wedding photos etc. on her phone. She looked so beautiful. I'm so happy things worked out for her so well but it made me feel so empty and sad with how my own situation is. The sad thing is that if I knew what I know now, I would have definitely stayed with her. Marriage/kids isn't something I'm scared of any more. It was like seeing an alternate reality that I could've enjoyed had I not left her. It was tremendously painful, but I still felt happy for her. I still love her very much even though we're not together, that never changed.

I think it was a very rude wake-up call, I realised how very lonely I am. I do so many things to distract myself from it but after that conversation I felt completely dead and empty inside. In fact I still am feeling very much that way now. At the same time, I'm terrified of initiating anything with anyone... not that there's really anyone that initiate anything with! With all the trauma from before I'm too... damaged? to start over just yet.

Last night I spent some time with my best friend, he's real clown with a hilarious sense of humour. That helped me lots. Been talking on the phone to my Mum lots too.. she's been really helpful too.

It's scary when I notice the depression get worse though, it's very insidious in that you feel a bit 'off' but before you know it you've entered a very dark/scary place. It happens very slowly yet quickly at the same time. 😞

Hope you are going well Sarah

Sorry for the slightly depressing tone at the moment, hoping things get better soon



Hey Aaron

I hope that you are still on the forum and get to read this ever so tardy reply to you.

I also hope that your depression has improved and that you are feeling better than when you wrote last month? It is hard to see our past presented to us in a way that we have doubts, question ourselves, have regrets. What we do have to remember is what the situation was at that time and not what the situation is at this time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so is time and as you say, you were not ready for marriage and a family at the time she was. It was the right thing to do at that time, to let her go and for her to move on with her life, and you yours. It is hard when she is doing what now you are ready for and what you are seeking, but you have been through a massive growth time and you have learnt so many things, that given you stayed with her, you may not have been able to learn, and grow and experience. Sure, some of them are so hard to learn and were very painful and put you into a very deep dark place and had you focusing on your metal health......however...that is never a bad thing..

It is a wonderful thing that you do know that marriage and kids is not something you are afraid of anymore and something that you are ready for, in time. We all have some scars I think from previous relationships Aaron and I just hope for you that you can see them as growth marks and not see them as damage, or that you are too damaged. From what I have been privileged to know about you is how caring you are, how genuine you are and how kind and thoughtful you are.

Times are not the usual now and yes, it is a little tricky to meet someone new in times of isolation and when we are not going out as much, even though things in Tassie are somewhat relaxed I think we are still not going out as we did before.

I just hope this message find you well and happy, as you deserve that some much.

I am pretty good, I have been doing some intense therapy myself and have found it to be just what I have needed. I have some of my wounds healing which is a great place to be.

Also happy that today is day one for the easing of restrictions for us in Victoria so that is something to smile about too.

How are things going with your home? Those little wallabies sound adorable, and yay for not mowing..I can't stand that job....lol

Huge hugs to you as always and look forward to hearing from you.

Sarah xxxx

Hi Sarah!

I'm still here!

I'm doing better now. Part of what made things spiral out of control so badly was that I tapered my dose of my AD medication a little too fast. It cause my depression to really spiral out of control. Hindsight is a blessing and a cure for sure. As unpleasant that couple weeks of feeling horrible was, it was certainly a wake up call. I have a terrible habit of burying myself in the past, I realise now I have to stop doing that. I'll never be able to move forwards if I'm constantly wanting to go backwards.

I'm trying hard top stay positive now and try and keep myself occupied. I realise at some stage I'll want to meet someone new but I'm in no way ready yet. I'm very lonely, but with all the problems I had before I'm a little scared off from relationships in general. It's going to take quite a bit of time (and the right person) for that to change.

I'm so glad to hear your wounds are healing. That must be such a good feeling. You've been through so much. It's so good to hear you are doing okay.I haven't seen my counsellor for a long time now but I think I'll tee up an appointment in the next couple of weeks.

The house is going well - I've done a bit of gardening (I know, shock horror!) and planted some lavender plants. Unfortunately the cute wallabies saw fit to snack on one of the plants so it's looking a bit dishevelled now! I also had to mow the lawns... the wallabies have been a bit slack! We've had lots of rain and sunshine so everything is growing out of control.

Hooray for the restrictions being lifted! We've just opened our borders here in Tas. It'll be nice to start seeing things get back to normal. Fingers crossed we won't cop a second wave but only time will tell .



Hey Aaron

Great to hear from you and even better to hear that you are able to pin point what the issues where that caused you to go into that mental health decline...what a relief that you are able to adjust the medication accordingly to get a better outcome.

It is really hard not to look back, to compare and to have regrets. I think as humans that is really how we base the future on what experiences have taken place in the past, and this as we know is not true and does not have to be true. We can make different choices and learn from the past, use the experience as a lesson, but try to look forward, to create wonder and to consider a different path or a different choice and therefore a different outcome.

The therapy I have been doing has really reminded me of what I do know already and to have to rehear some of those things, but also to confront some really big issues that have surfaced from my childhood and make peace with them also. It has not been easy, some sessions have been very emotional to the point my tshirt was wet from crying!! However I feel so much lighter, I feel a real sense of healing and a real sense of peace. One thing also I want to say to you is that it is great that you are going to get some time with your counsellor, we should not wait for things to hit rock bottom before we have a chat and take an appointment to get things right. That is so great to hear you are going to make some time to get things in order for you.

Look at you getting into the garden, that is awesome and lavender is one of my all time favorite fragrences..it is so calming and the flowers are so pretty and sweet...you just have to figure out how you keep those pesky wallabies away! My veggies have all finished now and I have to think about what the next lot is I will do, I can't manage too many at a time..lol

The sun is out today, the shops are open, people are out so we are feeling somewhat back to some kind of normal here in Melbourne...I went to the supermarket last night and it is right next door to Kmart...it was flat out...people are just craving the experience of shopping I think!

It is Melbourne Cup weekend here this weekend, usually a weekend for people to get away or do something..not this time so that is a bit of a shame, but I am catching up with some friends for coffee and a walk so that will be awesome.

So happy to hear you are in a better place Aaron, ahh mental health....what a journey hey!

Look forward to chatting some more.

Sarah xxxx

Hi Sarah

A huge relief - it's crazy how much better I felt but upping my dose by just the tiniest amount. I was a bit over-confident with my tapering, I reduced the dose but just that little bit too much.

That is so true re. looking back at the past. The other thing is I think I see it through rose coloured glasses... I seem to only remember the happy times and not much else. I forget that there were reasons why I made certain choices.

Sounds like that therapy really helped. It's good to get all that emotion out every once in a while. I find I tend to keep things inside for too long, if I just let whatever it is out, it would be so much better! I'm doing pretty well right now. I've banned myself from social media and I feel so much better for it. I think the information overload from all that stuff can really be bad for mental health. I'm pretending it's 2005 again... no smartphone... no youtube etc.!

I'm so glad things are better in Melbourne now! That would have been such a hard time. We had a very short lockdown period here in Hobart, but it wasn't anywhere near as severe as what Melbourne went through. It's amazing how much we appreciate little things like going to shops, having a meal at a cafe etc.

I've put some garden stakes and plastic bag things around my plants to prevent further wallaby destruction! Once you get started gardening it seems it never ends... always something to do. I am enjoying making the house look nicer though. It looked a bit sad before, it's starting to look happier.

Another fun thing that happened recently is I 'rescued' another old Mercedes. It needs loads of work but it'll be a fun project. The plan is it'll eventually be my every day car. I think having a project like that will be really good for my mental health (not so good for the wallet maybe) - it'll keep me looking ahead (not behind).

I hope you're having a good day today. Melbourne Cup day today. I didn't place any bets.. I feel too bad for the horses... and I never win anyway. It's nearly 30 degrees here today... a bit warm for me but it's so nice to see people out and about enjoying themselves.



Hey Aaron

Hope that this message finds you well and that you are fully prepared for Christmas on Friday...can you actually believe it??? I am sort of ready with a few gifts left to buy, but it is really hard to buy for a 16 year old boy I am finding..sigh. I have lunch at my grandmothers and my dad is supposed to be coming over from Cooma but with the borders in question who knows if he will make it or not. I am also supposed to be taking the kids camping to the Snowy River but who knows if I will be able to go do that...which will be very disappointing as I could really use the time away to just camp and have some quiet time in nature.

Hope you have some plans for Christmas or are at least taking a small break.

If I dont speak to you before hand, have a very Merry Christmas Aaron and a wonderful New Year, next year is going to be wonderful and full of new opportunities and new goals and memories.

Hugs as always

Sarah xxxx

I am so happy to read that you are feeling better and that managing your dose really has made a huge difference for you, I hope that you are still doing really well now and that you have all that under control.

The hypnotherapy helped so much and I really cannot explain how much better I feel, I have been able to deal with old stuff, new stuff and stuff I did not even recognize was effecting me. I feel like a whole refreshed person with a new set of eyes, it is such a blessing.

Social media has it's place but there is also the overload of it too, when you feel like you need to pick up the phone and check Facebook or Instagram, like you are missing something or you are getting left out or left behind, it is not good. I hate that this is the way we communicate now and really miss the old days of a letter and the phone at home just ringing when someone wanted something. Also just knowing your friends where meeting you at 12pm at the shops and if they were not there something happened or they were late but there was nothing more to it.

That is great that you "rescued" another merc, I love that you have used the term "rescued"...reduces the guilt of "buying" another car..lol. How is that one going and have you started the big project of getting it all up and making her look beautiful again?