To feel angry instead of sympathetic? (self-harming)

(118 Posts)
heartlessbitchface Sat 02-Nov-13 21:11:38

This summer, having not that long ago finished a long term relationship, I started seeing a work colleague. TBH, although I really liked the guy, I was wanting to start things casual as friends that might potentially lead into something more. I have two kids and I need time to be focused on them.

He was more "relationship" focused, straight in with the facebook status, dropping by with helpful bits and bobs he came across... I thought it was sweet, if a little hasty. He suffers with depression and anxiety, which didn't worry me too much as he'd been stable in all the time we worked together. I also suffer with long-term depression and anxiety, which I manage with medication.

So we had our first "date", and it was lovely--but 20 minutes after I left, he started self harming and sliced his arms to ribbons. (His mate had died, landlord issues, so lots of stress) I was worried and gutted that he was so upset just moments after we had had such a lovely time. I tried to be supportive, make sure he had people around him and was getting the right support, etc. He did it again, and I felt worried and a little angry. But, after a couple of weeks, he seemed to make real improvements.

Over the last week, it seems to be starting again. On the one hand, he'll text me that he loves me and yet his facebook status will be something like "FML, everything is shit". Maybe it's oversensitive, but I find it a little offensive that his facebook page essentially says "I'm in a relationship with heartlessbitchface, and my life sucks"

I just don't know how to respond to "I just want the pain to stop". There's nothing practical I can do, and I'm finding it really hard to offer the sympathy and comfort that he needs, when I've got two jobs and kids who need me. (He doesn't have any kids) He usually wants to see me one or two nights a week, and since I'm always working when ExP has the kids, it means him coming over when the kids are asleep. So, when he comes over, he wants to cuddle lots and I'm thinking "Dammit, I need to hoover and do some laundry while I've got the chance!"

I'm a naturally sarcastic bitch person, and I'm having to bite my tongue so I don't hurt his feelings. I jokingly told him that he needed to "Man up" and keep going until he could get his meds sorted- and he cried. I try to talk to him about how it's affecting me, and he cuts me off and says "Enough!" The longer it goes on, the more his pained facebook statuses are starting to grate on me.

He asked me if I wanted to sleep over after work, and I told him I was in a bad mood and couldn't be relied upon to play nicely. I think he's really upset, as he hasn't been back in touch. WIBU?

IamGluezilla Sat 02-Nov-13 21:15:04

No. But you don't sound well matched. Time to call it a day

Coldlightofday Sat 02-Nov-13 21:15:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gordyslovesheep Sat 02-Nov-13 21:15:35

EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL opps - always makes me angry YANBU

While self harming is not nice it's not your responsibility - run - run very fast

Strumpetron Sat 02-Nov-13 21:16:55

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 02-Nov-13 21:20:09

Being with someone who has such anxiety and depression issues is a HUGE thing. I've had my problems over the years and I never appreciated at the time just how much it affected DH.

You've only just started seeing this guy. You need to ask yourself if you can realistically commit to giving him the sort of support he will need from you in order for the relationship to be healthy and not damaging for either of you. To be brutally honest, from what you've posted so far, I don't think you're well matched as a couple and I don't think you're in the position to be someone who will be good for his state of mind.

bundaberg Sat 02-Nov-13 21:20:22

yabu to be angry at him for having mental health issues and self harming. even more so for making it about you (the comment about being in a relationship with you and it all sucking)
he can't help how he feels.

from your post it sounds like you actually really despise him. so why not do him a favour and call it off right now.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sat 02-Nov-13 21:20:31

YANBU. End the relationship now before you get even more sucked into his drama. It's only been a few months. Imagine how horrendous breaking up with him will be if you delay it further.

Maybe when you are ending it, provide resources he can access for counselling. He sounds like he could use it. No, it's not your job to convince him he needs counselling, but you might feel better about the decision if it's not just about you dumping him.

And unfriend him on Facebook after you end things. Good luck!

bundaberg Sat 02-Nov-13 21:22:09

"So, when he comes over, he wants to cuddle lots and I'm thinking "Dammit, I need to hoover and do some laundry while I've got the chance!""

really, when you've been seeing someone only a few months you wouldn't feel like that would you? regardless of whether or not they have MH problems

btw... the comment about emotional blackmail from another poster. really? that makes me so angry

heartlessbitchface Sat 02-Nov-13 21:22:27

We seemed well matched back before his "meltdown" started. We just used to laugh ourselves stupid all the time. I'm still making the same jokes (sarcastic, blunt & a little mean, but used to make him laugh) and now it hurts his feelings.

Hell, I take the piss at everyone! It's what I do! I'm sad that he's depressed, but if that means I can't take the piss... I just don't know what else to do.

Do I just keep my head down and hope he gets back on an even keel and we can mutually mock each other again?

bundaberg Sat 02-Nov-13 21:24:52

i think that depends on how much you like him... right now it doesn't sound like you do like him all that much tbh!

having had depression yourself you must surely know this is how it goes? you can have a really good time for a while and then all of a sudden it sucks you under?

it is NOT your fault if you are not in a place right now where you can deal with this. It really isn't. but it isn't his fault he feels like it either.

I think you should speak to him and cool it at least

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sat 02-Nov-13 21:26:04

You just don't seem like you actually like him that much, OP. As other posters have said, if you're thinking about the chores you could be doing when you're with him, that's a really bad sign.

LEMisafucker Sat 02-Nov-13 21:26:21

facebook is the work of the devil, i hate it when people post self pitying, attention seeking posts on there (my DD does this). The thing is, anxiety and depression are difficult to live with, my DP struggled to support me after being together 20 years, we got through it, but it was tough on him and there is nothing wrong with his MH. You already have your own issues, how fucking DARE he make you feel responsible for him. I know he is not well and in a bad place, but the relationship that is developing here is not one of equals its one of mother and child, it wont change, it will get worse. Its not his fault he is like this, but it is not yours either and i really don't think you are right for each other.

Like you say, you have your issues and you are managing them, he has to do this - he is mentally ill, he is not however, a child.

And please, change your screen name, its not how it is.

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 02-Nov-13 21:26:29

He doesn't sound in the right place to be in a relationship. At all.

Sounds like he's trying to make you his counsellor. When what he really needs is an actual counsellor.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 02-Nov-13 21:26:57

End the relationship now.

This might not be something that goes away and goes for good. It probably is not.

I don't think there is any shame in admitting this is a situation you are not equipped and do not want to deal with.

HeywoodMonkey Sat 02-Nov-13 21:30:03

Strumpeton, do you not think the op has a first duty as a single parent to rear her children and provide for them? Well I do. I don't think her username is appropriate. She may consider including 'pragmatic','mother''lone parent' or any other words that indicate where her priorities lie.
Op, you don't need the stress this man adds to your life especially if you are on ads too. Leave him but do it kindly and tell him why. Good luck.

heartlessbitchface Sat 02-Nov-13 21:31:09

It's true- if this is how it's going to be all the time, I am definitely not going to be able to support him. I work 35-50 hours per week, I'm a single parent to two small kids. As I said, I also suffer with depression and years ago I spent a month in hospital following a suicide attempt. The way I manage my own MH issues is to keep moving, keep working and use humor as a coping mechanism.

I'm sure if I was a more carefree person, I'd be all for snuggling up when the kids are in bed- but as it is, I'm trying to finish the housework before I collapse from exhaustion.

TheRobberBride Sat 02-Nov-13 21:34:25

YABU for feeling angry about his mental health issues. These are not his fault.

You need to think very seriously about whether this relationship is in the best interests of both of you-from what you have posted I suspect not.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 02-Nov-13 21:37:25

YANBU for disliking those attention seeking FB updates but YABU for being so heartless over his mental health issues. He sounds better off without you!

Beastofburden Sat 02-Nov-13 21:37:43

This does not sound like a relationship that is ready for your kids to meet the guy.

heartlessbitchface Sat 02-Nov-13 21:41:18

It isn't that I don't like him, it's that I'm actually really pissed off with him. Cutting himself after our first date really knocked me back. And as I said, he's a colleague. So while he was signed off work, the rest of the team (including me) had to cover his shifts.

Then he gets better and I think we're back on a solid footing and then
WHOOSH and we're back down again. He wants to refer to me as his "partner", and I'm thinking that if he's depressed now then how is he ever going to cope with a partner who lives in total chaos with two boisterous young ones and a million jobs?

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 02-Nov-13 21:44:06

OP I don't think you sound heartless, I think you sound scared.

You've obviously climbed huge mountains of your own with regards to your MH and have fought to get yourself in a good, stable place.

Now you're staring down the barrel of having to go through helping someone else go through it all again when you thought you'd put it behind you.

That would be daunting even for someone who's never had MH issues of their own. I can completely understand why you wouldn't feel up to it. And I don't think it's fair of him to put you in the position of his 'rescuer'.

invisible84 Sat 02-Nov-13 21:48:41

I'm an ex self harmer (self harmed for 15 years, haven't for 3). I think the facebook thing about everything being shit is key. Whilst I still suffer from depression, life is never shit because of my DP.

Does he really mean what he is putting on facebook, or is it attention seeking? I have never put about my mental state on there - I have a friend who does though and it drives me potty (I also doubt some of the things she says).

Whatever, I don't think you should get involved in this, especially as you have 2 DC.

Ineedanewone Sat 02-Nov-13 21:52:59

The only useful thing I can add here is that the self harm is not about you, nor can it be fixed by you, it is a symptom of what he has experienced in the past, over which neither of you have much control. I'm not sure this relationship 'has legs' so could you go back to being his 'sarcastic mate'?

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Nov-13 21:57:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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