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Divorced, pregnant to new partner and think I’m depressed
I’ve never used forums before. I am a woman in her 30s. I’ve been divorced for about 3 and a bit years. I’ve recently become pregnant (unplanned) to my new partner who doesn’t reside in the same town as me. I have one child from my marriage. He has two.
In the past I’ve been a “stressor” and perhaps anxious, often in response to reasonable events. At the moment I think maybe I have antenatal depression. But I don’t know if it’s just because of this awful and challenging situation that’s been created.
I work hard, I have a good job, I get along well with my ex for my sons sake. I have no family where I live. I am crying almost constantly. I keep needing to remove myself from situations because I’m upset. I am avoiding friends. Avoiding activities. At the moment I’m lying in bed after bawling/hyperventilating after dropping my son off. I’m largely non-functional. Maybe it’s just relative to the stress that has been created with this big change? I haven’t even told friends about it despite being 16 weeks, probably because that will make it all real. I’m worrying about everything constantly. I took my son on a mini camping vacation this week and seeing full “regular” families is just too confronting all of a sudden. After years of not really mourning that. Please help or if anyone has been in this situation let me know how it went for you. Thank you
Welcome. It's nice to meet you here.
I'm sorry to hear you have so much going on right now and it is causing a lot of stress. It sounds like the unplanned pregnancy has just added to the general challenge of not having family around and navigating the challenges of divorce and maintaining good relations with your ex. It sounds like these were more manageable before, but much harder to deal with now.
I have not been in this situation personally, but I'm really glad you've come here to talk to people because it sounds like you're really struggling on your own. Having people to talk to can really help, and I hope talking to us can help ease the transition into talking to people who are already close to you.
Does your new partner know that you are pregnant, and are struggling to deal with it?
It may also be good to talk to your GP who can perhaps help guide you with some informed medical information, and work through a plan to get better.
I'm really sad to hear you feel largely non-functional. That sounds like a huge burden, especially while you still have to take care of your son.
After reading your post and feeling the anxiety within it, I just want to give you a massive hug.
I can't help but wonder who around you is going to raise you through this challenge
- Who is going to raise you through helping you form a solid management plan from hereon in?
- Who is going to raise you to think 'Okay, I got this. I've got plenty of unconditional support around me'?
- Who is going to raise you to think 'This is going to be the making of me, not the breaking of me'?
- Who is going to raise you to vent in constructive ways, so as to avoid reaching the point of hyperventilating?
Have you considered constructing a team of 'raisers', a 'go to' circle of people surrounding you?
I imagine you might be feeling pretty exhausted right now. Stress can becomes seriously exhausting, when our mind is putting our body through the wringer. I can't help but wonder if the reason you haven't told anyone yet is based on you not wanting to be brought down by judgemental people. I've found, through experience, that there's only one way to sift out the 'downers' from the 'raisers' and it's to observe how they react. While the downers may say stuff like 'I can't believe you did that!' or 'What were you thinking?!', the raisers typically respond with 'Okay, we've got this' or they'll rub their hands together, ready for action, before announcing 'You/we can do this!' For sure, the 'sifting' process can feel pretty fearful at times.
While I may make it sound simple, selecting a good team or circle can potentially become depressing. I've faced a lot of disappointment over the years when it comes to being let down by people who I thought were a part of my supportive circle. Developing the mantra 'Okay, I disappoint you from the role of he/she who is part of my circle' has led to constructive appointments regarding people who can fill those roles. Strange as it may sound, there is an art to emotional detachment. There are benefits to exercising this ability.
I understand that it's a scary thing to ponder but the question remains 'When are you going to begin selecting your team or your circle?' If you have a good sense of who will raise you, without a doubt, best start with them. Start on a high, instead of a potentially depressing low. Trust your feelings as they'll tell you who is bringing you down. You'll feel it. The challenge is to seek the feelings that come with inspiration and positive guidance.
You're far stronger than what you imagine.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond - both of you, such helpful and kind responses.
therising your response really resonates with me. Thank you. Reaching out is hard for me - I grew up in the country where you tend to grow up not talking about things and ‘get on with it’. Many positives to that don’t get me wrong, but it makes it more challenging and unfamiliar to connect with people when things get genuinely tough. I need to get better at this.
I'm glad you felt able to reach out to us here. As you say, there are certainly a lot of positives to a more stoic response where you just 'get on with it'. But there's never just a single fix for everything, and it sounds like reaching out for support has helped you connect with people.
There are so many things we don't give our self the chance to practice in life, based on not being taught to practice these things. Often, we can be taught the very opposite. For example, phrased in a variety of ways, 'Don't practice expressing your emotions/feelings, keep them to yourself', 'Don't practice seeing yourself as amazing, instead see yourself as average or even below average if you're really struggling', 'Don't practice the art of meeting a challenge and all the skills that come with this, instead practice 'just getting on with things''. So, it's like we're being taught to practice, for years, bottling things up, low self-esteem and a kind of totally unskilled way of rising to challenges where our growth and development in consciousness is not celebrated, like it should be. We can definitely feel the lack of practice in these areas at times. The feelings can certainly become overwhelming.
When you say 'I need to get better at this' you're absolutely spot on. As they say, 'Practice makes perfect'. The hardest part involves getting into the swing of practicing, on a regular basis, the stuff we've never been taught. When we do develop incredible new abilities, through having raised our self beyond our old limitations, we should feel free to revel in the thought 'My gosh, I'm amazing! I had no idea I had this in me. I do amaze myself at times'.
With every small step within this life changing challenge you face, I hope you come to gift yourself the freedom to practice what will make all the difference to you and the ability to say often 'I am truly amazing!'