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Feeling at an all time low.
To say I am lost is an understatement. I am currently engaged to a wonderful woman and have been for a few years now (I have been a bit slack and am waiting to divorce my ex wife...another story).
Everything started off well. Fell madly in love then little things started to change. She moved to my home town to be with me but had to give up work due to a breakdown (very high stress government job). It was after this point she was diagnosed with GAD with OCD, Agoraphobic tendencies as well as Bi Polar 1 disorder. Things progressed downhill quite quickly until stabilized with medication. Since then we have taken on all of my children from my previous marriage due to Child Protection concerns. Life has been slowly getting on top of my current partner and I am at a loss on how best to support her. With two children from my previous marriage being of a special needs I believe that I have asked too much of my partner as she has taken over the homemaker roll. I am at an all time low. I believe very little of myself as I feel that I am making my partner worse. My children are depressed as they dont get the 'happy' mum they used to, and unfortunately they dont get the present father from me as I tend to hide away from the world believing that I am the cause of all issues.
Hi Am, welcome
You've painted an accurate picture mate of some big issues. Without knowing all of your details I suggest some planning is what is needed.
Clearly your fiancé is struggling and step children is a big step let alone the childrens upheaval. You have done well but I cant help but to suggest some radical changes are needed and that might include you giving up your job (assuming you work). To achieve that will take some thinking and considering some changes you may not have thought of.
A move to the country will see less rent/mortgage and that might allow you a budget to stay home and maybe work part time. To explore this properly a financial adviser might be the way forward. Being stable myself and being bipolar2, depression etc I can see clearly that your fiancé will be struggling with your children for a long time especially special needs kids. It all too much I'm afraid.
I assume your ex, still legal wife pays child support if not then pursue it...its for your kids.
You certainly are not the cause of all your issues. But, it is a period when you will be needed in your best capacity. Hiding away is not what is best now, leading, taking control is what is needed and your fiancé will benefit by you doing so. By supporting her with a plan and taking as much responsibility off her you will help her even if she doesn't express it due to her ills. Also financial planning like budgeting i.e. direct debits for bills etc will take the heat off you both.
Basic living like picnic at a lake, fish and chips at a beach and movies will not cost the earth and slowly, hopefully, your fiancé will respond.
your divorce will take time but really it is just a paper shuffling procedure. Once you have applied there is nothing more to do. So put that aside as far as battling the other issues.
I hope I've helped.
Hello Amraklve and welcome,
This one hit me in the heart hard...
I tend to hide away from the world believing that I am the cause of all issues.
Head up. Straight back. You have so much to be proud of...
You have stuck with your fiance through her diagnosis and supported her.
You've welcomed your kids home (special needs too which is bloody hard work) to protect them and keep them safe.
You're reaching out and talking and asking for help.
Please don't hide away. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
Children are hard hard work even without a mental illness (I have a 3 and a 4 year old and depression). So all credit to your fiance.
Right. Speaking to other mums with mental illnesses (I know a few apart from me) the one thing we all agree on is "I need more support".
Generally this means time to ourselves to self care. As a mum the norm is to put our needs last. But that is not a good plan when yoy have a mental illness. You need to care for yourself too.
So here are a few ideas. And please keep in mind one of the best ways you can help her is by caring for yourself. If you get run down she will want to care for you too. If you're feeling overwhelmed can you see your GP and talk it through?
What has helped me...
- Make regular time for her to be alone. For me this is hubby letting me be alone to run or have a bath or read a book without coming in to disturb me. If the kids wake he puts them to bed.
- Look at anything you can outsource to make life easier. Can you afford a cleaner to come once a week to do the bathrooms? Can you budget for a meal out once a fortnight even if it's takeaway?
- Her doctor's visits and therapy are important. Please make sure she is able to attend.
- Be involved with the kids. Yes you work but that doesn't mean you can't do homework or read bedtime stories. You are Dad and Dad's are so important too. Be a team wherever you can.
- Take turns to sleep in. Every so often on his days off hubby gets up with the kids and tells me to go back to sleep. Yes it's his day off. But I don't get days off so I really value sleep in days.
- Make time for intimacy. You love her? Make sure she knows it.
- Rope any extended family or trusted friends you have in to help. Something as simple as the kids going out for breakfast elsewhere means a "date morning". Who said date night has to be night time?
- Be active together as a family. Get everyone up and go walk. Swim. Whatever just get out of the house and get some sunshine.
I'm sorry that your fiance has been diagnosed with these illnesses but it will be too much for her to look after your children because it's happened too quickly and she may not have had all the medical help she desperately needs to be able to cope.
If you are living together then I suggest that you begin to live separately, where you take on the
You can't blame yourself for your marriage breakup, it only takes one unhappy person to make that decision, but it doesn't stop them from seeing their mum, and instead of hiding away you should be seeking help from your doctor.
One person has to be strong in this situation and it's best for the person in the middle to do this, so finalise the divorce, then get you and the children back on track, then you can help your finance. Geoff.