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Fighting the urge to self harm(138 Posts)
It's getting harder and harder to fight it. I've been telling myself DS would get upset if he noticed and I don't want DH to find out about my 'dirty little secret' but I've put the TV on for DC's and I could hide it from them I think. I very much doubt DH would even notice. So I have no good reason not to any more but part of me knows I shouldn't start again. Can anyone give me one reason not to do it.
You have every reason not to. What's your normal coping strategy? I've been there and it does get easier to resist the urge. I promise.
Can you talk to us for a bit? You are doing well to fight it. Maybe we can help you get some help.
Because you'd know and from what you've written, you'd feel like you would've let your DS down if you did.
Guilt is a terrible thing and even if they didn't notice it'd start eating at you, making you feel worse and leading to you wanting to harm again creating a cycle of guilt/harm.
Try to be strong and remember who you're being strong for. Talk to someone about your feelings; DH, doctor, a close friend. Just don't bottle this all up.
And here is one reason not to - YOU.
Whether DH and DC know or not, you will know, and you matter. And you don't really 'want' to do it I can tell.
I try and ignore it or I call my counsellor. I just don't feel I have the energy to fight it any more.
Can you call your counsellor?
You are stronger than you think.
It might help. I know it probably won't but it might. And that might is very appealing right now.
No. Can't call for another 2.5 weeks.
Do you have an emergency number? Or keep talking to people on here. Do something to distract yourself. My chosen activities are baking and running.
It will only make you feel better for a very short time, then you'll feel worse and I think you realise that. Keep as busy as you can today.
That's not true. I don't matter.
I would feel guilty. I promised my counsellor I would always call him first but he never said what to do if I couldn't contact him.
I already feel guilty for nearly doing it, I don't think that would make much difference to actually doing it.
If possible try to not harm for you, as you matter. Many counsellors do not want to be called before someone self harms because sometime patients self harm as a way of getting extra help or contact which might be why most counsellors do not allow emergency contact. If you think you are at risk you could out of hours go to a and e, as a place of safety and ask for a psychiatric assessment for support? Phoning Samaritans out of hours can be helpful, the fact they are anonymous means self harm cannot become linked to the way of getting support. Not that I am suggesting you are, just saying why most counsellors do not allow 24 hr contact etc.
Do you have other taught coping strategies you could try using? Holding an ice cube, flicking an elastic band, doing something kind for you?
Khimaira I don't even know you and you matter to me. I'm so sorry that you are in a bad way, please call Samaritans or someone in 'real life'. You really do matter even if you think you don't.
No it's not that. He's away working in a place which basically has no contact - no phone or email - for another two and a bit weeks.
It's deadened a bit now, I've taken a shower and some painkillers (it's painful when I breathe but it's the wrong pain). I'll try the elastic band, thanks.
Got interrupted by a minor emergency. DD just fell off the bed and landed smack on her face so we've had a hug. She's now trying to wash her hair with her water bottle and some tissues.
That's the stupid thing. I'm not even in a bad way, just having an off day. I don't know why it hit me so hard this morning. I'm just being a self indulgent cow this morning. I need to pull myself together. I'm sorry.
Don't be sorry. Coming on here to talk about it was bloody sensible.
I know it's tempting sometimes and I know it's always possible to hide it. And the guilt argument didn't really work for me because then it did feel like I was denying myself something.
I used to cut because it was something I had control over. Now I have control over NOT cutting. If the urge comes on I recognise it for what it is, acknowledge it's there and then tell it to fuck off. And whatever else I might have messed up that day, I can feel good about myself for having control on that.
It doesn't feel very sensible. I have just forced myself to answer a request for a playdate this afternoon. So now I have to get the DC's out to do the weekend shop this morning and clean before they come over. (If DH will decide what we are going to do this weekend. I just had a call from his mum to tell me not to shop because she's invited us there. But if I have to shop it's much easier in the mornings with them so I'd rather do it now. And DH hasn't even told me we are invited there. Helpful!). I'd rather just ignore all contact with all the people I know and just stay at home but I know that's not fair on the DC's. I don't want to go out today, I just want to stay home. But I can't else well have no food for the weekend and DH will be angry. Andow I'm going to have to call DH and he's already pissed off with me today because he didn't sleep well last night, I think DD probably woke him.
Could you get some cupboard or freezer food for the weekend that will keep for another time if you go to his mum's?
I find it is good to get out of the house for a bit. Get some fresh air, spend a bit of time walking helps a huge amount.
Don't know about fresh air, some that smells of car exhaust maybe! I just called him at work and insisted he answer me now. We are going so I just need easy food for tonight, breakfast and craft stuff for the kids. That's all I can manage I think.
I originally started cutting as a way of forcing myself to do things that I knew I had to. I knew it was bad to do it so I told myself if I could cut myself then I could e.g. walk into a room with other people in it etc. then it progressed from there and I was dependent on it for several years. There you go, that's something I've never told anyone else before.
Well khimaira by sharing that you might have hekped a lot of other people understand what it is like, and how to help and support someone else they know who cuts (but can't talk about it). Thank you, there is a lot of misunderstanding about self harm.
Do you have a list of other distractions you can try, or things you can do instead of self harm?
Its hardly your fault that your husband didn't sleep well! You are right to just get the things you can manage. Sounds like you have a lot of frustrations on your plate at the minute.
It's always my fault he doesn't sleep well! If I don't get to the DC's before they wake him, if i move the duvet or if the wind rattles the doors etc etc I could go on forever. The whole saga of him not sleeping or being disturbed is quite frankly a *** nightmare. He's just got himself a prescription for 50 more sleeping tablets and I hate having them in the house.
Shopping is done, DD is asleep (lucky for some, she can stay awake half the night and now sleep ) and now I need to clean the place and cook them lunch. I am being a bad mum and have given DS the iPad.
Is he always like that? I don't want to turn this into a LTB thread but he sounds v unreasonable.
WELL DONE on getting through this morning and getting up and out and shopping. iPad is fine, kids need to learn about technology and (angry) bird watching and things like that
How did you know he was playing angry birds? Can you hear him shrieking as the houses fall down?
No, he wasn't being unreasonable. I don't always think straight at night especially if I'm woken from bad dreams. I didn't want her in my bed so fed her and took her back to her room, hugged, rocked, sang and sat on the floor holding her hand for about two hours before giving up and moving her cot to my room, then after half an hour I let her into my bed and she slept on me til 630. But I didn't hear DS get up and go and get in the shower with DH and I also dozed off and didn't have breakfast ready.
That sounds like a lovely time with your Dd, even if the middle of the night. :D Not surprising if you dont manage to get right up to speed in the morning. You did as much as most mums do after a broken night's sleep. Plus you had thoughts of sh to deal with as well.
Lol at lovely! I can think of better things to do at 3am!
I have painted six paper plates in preparation for the play date and just given in and taken more painkillers. Seems really stupid that I can't handle the pain but this morning was all for cutting myself the tv is on again.
I just want to thank all you lovely people for getting me through today. I know I'm an awful mum for saying this but DD falling and bumping her head was what shook me out of the wrong place. The DC's are now asleep and DH agreed to me having a bath so I am tucked up in bed. I hope DD sleeps through. I feel a bit in a daze, hollow and shaky but I don't know if that's from this morning or because I'm slightly ill (cough and probably pulled a rib muscle). I can only take three painkillers a day and when the last one wore off I ached all over so I can only say they work! I have taken one for bed so I am going to try and get some sleep before the night chorus starts.
Does something counter intuitive like an act of self care ever help?
From the little I know, it can help people to try to reverse the cycle of feeling bad, self harming, feeling worse, so harming again.
Giving yourself a hair wash and blow dry, massaging body lotion, etc, physically taking care of yourself in an active way, rather than punishing your body?
I know it sounds as if I an over simplyfying but I think it can be possible to learn to generate an endorphin response through other actions
What a very difficult life you're having with DH, and how well you're coping while in pain. The DC do need you to be well enough to look after them, so I really hope things will improve soon. Small hug.
I've never tried, it's not something I do, and I'm barely able to think beyond it let alone think of something counter intuitive to do. I did have a shower, but as hot as possible even though know it's not good for you. Also I realised today that whilst I often wear gloves whilst cleaning (using bleach, bathroom cleaner etc) there are times when I deliberately don't even though I know it's going to wreck my hands.
The DC's are up and dressed so now I just need to keep them relatively quiet until DH gets up! I know its pathetic but I'm just glad I got through yesterday.
It's good you got through the day. Don't beat yourself up about the cleaning without gloves, the fact you've mentioned it here is great and I'm sure you will beat that too.
You got through yesterday; you can do anything!
I promise you it can and does get better.
Well done Khimaira. Feel very proud of you. Keep strong - and by the way you are not a bad mum. You are AWESOME.
Do give it a try if you possibly can. A psychiatrist associate of mine (of no small repute) is a big fan if consciously reversing the cycle and practising self care - looking after yourself like you would your dd.
As someone else said, it's changing a negative habit, step at a time.
I don't think I can do that.
I feel a bit off at the moment, I'm freezing even though I know I'm warm, my head is thumping and I feel a bit dazed. I'm trying not to cough because DH glares each time I do. I want to curl up in a ball but MIL wants to take kids to the zoo and DH and me to go out tonight. I don't think I can, but I daren't tell DH.
What I read makes me wonder if your spouse is the cause of your stress :-(
If he sleeps poorly, it's your fault.
If you don't feel well you get a glare, not sympathy.
You deserve to be ok. Take some paracetamol, make a hot water bottle and try to distract yourself.
Could this be part of a bigger picture?
No I don't. There's no bigger picture beyond my clear inability to manage to do what everyone else seemingly does so easily.
It's not his fault, I started cutting myself long before I ever met him.
Are there times when you don't cut?
Khimaira, you sound like you're doing a good job in difficult circumstances to me.
My CBT counsellor said similar to ITCouldBeWorse, that it's about breaking the cycle, changing your responses.
I understand that self care goes against the grain for you, but instead of saying "If I can cut, I can do this hard job", what about saying "If I'm strong enough NOT to cut, I'm strong enough to do this hard job"?
You're facing up to the cutting. You're coming on here & talking about it. That sounds like a strong person to me.
That's the stupid thing. I started about 18 years ago (am I really that old ) but haven't done for the past five years.
Thanks for the suggestion Empress but that's not really relevant any more. That's why I started, then it became much deeper, more fundamental. I don't know how to describe it. More a response than a way if getting myself to do things, not so much a conscious decision any more. That probably doesn't make much sense but I don't know how to explain. Sorry.
I'm used to the low level "I need to cut myself" urges and I can distract myself from those. It's just like background noise now. But sometimes it's stronger and this time it was all consuming and almost over whelming. I had to fight through it to even change DD's nappy. It's like each time a strong urge comes now it's getting harder and harder to resist.
Interesting thread, and you're doing really well Khimaira. I was just thinking of starting a thread on here about whether ex-self-harmers still get the urge. I haven't cut myself in about 10 years, but it still crosses my mind when I feel down for whatever reason.
Yes Yippee. Still get it when I'm feeling particularly frustrated or pissed off. I think it would be harder to do now though.
I think it can be a very old, even well established response. Smokers can still get the urge 20 years after ceasing. Mostly you can replace it with a more useful response. And that is what you need to do now.
Run until your legs hurt, use a body scrub with vigour, the moisturise with a durn hand. These can be excellent replacement activities, but with a better outcome for you.
Bathing can be an excellent choice - IMO it combines mental and physical self care ( integrating somatic and spirit aspects of you) and water. It sounds woo, but moving water - sea and rivers are best but even a shower is good .
You can retrain your mind
Thanks It. Running is not an option. I can't leave the DC's. Same for the bath. (I manage about one a month in the evenings but any more than that and DH gets pissed off!) You mean use a brush instead of a knife? Didn't quite understand the moisturiser, sorry. Is that really a good idea to switch one method for another?
I'll be ok for a bit I think. If nothing else I'm too exhausted at the moment to do anything! On a totally different topic, I'm even beginning to contemplate going to the doctor about this cough as it just won't go. I just don't know if its worth it. How do you decide if you actually need to see the doctor or if you're just being paranoid?
I think the standard guideline now is to see the doctor if you've had a cough for 3 weeks.
So I'm just being daft. Ok I'll wait a week and stock up on painkillers. Thanks
I had a dry tickly cough for about a month. The GP told me to take paracetamol and come back if it went to my chest or I coughed up phlegm. I'd have thought your rib muscle was reason enough though.
Well, there's nothing they can do for a rib muscle is there so that would be pointless going for that! It doesn't hurt like that any more, now it's more spread all over and it's not a sharp pain (unless I pick DS) up just a dull ache unless I take a deep breath. It's not tickly or anything, I don't feel anything in my throat, I don't have a sore throat or anything like that, I just have a cough. I do cough stuff up though sometimes. Maybe I'm just strange!
I understand there is an urge to generate some endorphins, so rather than deny it, a scrub, or body brush can sort of tackle that, followed by something self caring is a way of replacing a negative habit with a positive one, but still generating the endorphin burst you need.
Sort of tricking the mind, but the mind is a strangely easy thing to trick sometimes.
Ok, I shall try and bear it in mind. I've not thought about it at all today, so I can think about it a bit more objectively again. I must say I'm not totally convinced because it seems easier to me to hide a few cuts than whole patches from a scrubbing brush which would surely be more obvious.
My chest is worse today and I took all my painkillers for the day at once this morning to try and cope with DS's gym session (didn't work, typically, so I've been in pain for the rest of the day too) but still can't bring myself to call the doctor and make an appointment. I don't know I have the energy to stave off the inevitable panic attack if I do have to go. On the other hand even breathing normally is even more painful today and I have to hold myself up on the wall if I have a coughing fit. Decisions decisions... I'll probably only get laughed at anyway if I do go and be told it's a cough, wait it out.
Self neglect is a variation of self harm, as I am sure you know. If you need to see the doc, it is important to go, not least to show your ds how to self care.
Btw, I meant exfoliating body scrub, rather than scrubbing brush - sort of vigorous self care, rather than making your skin sore.
Learning self care then teaching it to your ds will be a really positive thing.
And hopefully you will be told you are a bit poorly, need to rest and recover. That is a good thing, not making a fuss!? Take care
Really? But what is classified as neglect? Surely I would just be taking the doctors time from someone who does need it. How do I know if I need to see the doctor? I'm having difficulty coping with the pain, but then I'm just a wimp.
What exactly do you mean by self care? Surely for that there needs to be some part of you that is worth caring about?
Rest, with a 3 and a 1 year old?!? I've been re doing the bathroom all week and haven't yet started on the weekly cleaning schedule - it has been noticed and commented upon - so that's the rest of my week planned.
So many questions, sorry!
I think a cough that pulls rib muscles and has you struggliing to breathe is definitely worth a GP visit. Have you used the online NHS symptom checker? If not, I would.
As for worth caring about - you are worth caring about. Your DH ought to get that and apparently doesn't. But I understand that sometimes it's hard to realise that so what about your small DCs needing you to be healthy to look after them?
Thanks Empress, I realised that this morning. On the way back from playgroup DS walked into the road and I almost didn't manage to call him back. I called when I got home and have an appointment this afternoon. I'm scared. I did, but it told me to go to A&E which is clearly ridiculous. It seems to assume all chest pains mean a heart attack!
It works for me sometimes. Let us know how appointment goes.
Self care is like putting on your oxygen mask before your DC on the aeroplane when instructed to do so! If you don't look after yourself well enough to function, then you cannot care for your DC properly.
As a non doctor, I don't know if you need a Doc or not. Neither do you! Not going when you probably need to suggests to me you need to get better at self care, honey.
Your dc will learn how to look after themselves from watching you do it, so it is very important.
However, I dislike an unwell person who is still looking after small children being reprimanded about a bathroom cleaning schedule.
Tbh, I think self care is going to be essential for you, because your Dh does not seem to be looking out for you.
Food, drink, sleep, medical care are basic human rights. Everyone deserves them
It went ok, and I knew I shouldn't have gone. Felt like a right idiot. She listened to my breathing - normal. So I had bloods done and they came back slightly high. She was shocked the painkillers are doing nothing, has given me others to take alongside. She said all the symptoms indicate an inflammation of the lung so I had to have an x-Ray but that was clear so either the worst is passed or it's clear at the moment (afternoon is the time when it bothers me the least). She's given me a rather foul concoction to take to suppress the cough and has said to ride it out. So, a waste of her time.
Hang on - she said you needed more painkillers and a cough suppressant, and might have an inflammation of the lung and that was a waste of her time?
Oh and - I KNOW all this is easy for us to say. After a bloody stressful evening I ended up going into the toilet and scratching myself so I could look at the mark. Fingernail only and no broken skin... but I do know.
Seriously though, I think going to the GP was still the right thing to do.
So the doctor thought your visit was worthwhile. You know it is ok to see the Doc to be told you don't need further treatment? Although in this case, you still do. You need to reframe your thinking - that was not a waste of time.
That is a good example of self care. Well done. Try to donut again tomorrow!
It is ok to see the doc to be told you are ok and do not need treatment - though in this case you do.
This is a good example of self care. Try to do it again.
Ooo see. I really meant that!
Well, the doctor gets paid doesn't she! It still seems wrong though.
I've yet to take the stuff today because it says it causes drowsiness, which is not good when I've got to be alert with the two of them. It must be quite effective because it must have knocked me out last night, haven't slept so well in ages! And I didn't have any dreams, slept straight through til 5, it's a strange feeling. I've out DD down for a nap, given DS the iPad and its very tempting to take some and go back to bed but I must clean for the weekend and do the weekend shop.
Thanks for keeping me grounded (is that a word?) a bit.
Great that you got some sleep, should help in itself!
So, this morning I have... Let the DC's watch Tangled whilst I got dressed and cleaned the bathroom. I even put some plasters on the cuts on my hands (not SH unless not bothering to put hand cream on counts) whilst I did so, even if it did seem like a waste of a couple of plasters. Watched the end if the film with them as they were both in cuddle mode. Folded a mountain of washing and realised I can no longer ignore the ironing pile. Put DD to sleep, lay down with DS for half an hour to see if he would nap. (No!) Built him a train track route with tunnel and repaired his other train tracks in his room. Cooked them lunch. I took the half a dose of cough concoction and some caffeine tablets. Now to take them to the park, do the shopping and come home and Hoover. Does that actually count as an acceptable day for the kids? I worry, well, I know don't do enough with them. I'd rather stay indoors all day doing nothing but that's not fair on them.
Sounds like a perfectly good day to me!
Day is fine for kids. A person recovering from illness could do with a little more rest though.
Well done for plasters - you are modelling healthy behaviour for you sons.
Good for you. Make sure you eat, drink, take your meds and get an early night
That is an afternoon I don't want to repeat. I shout far too much
They've been up a little over 12 hours...3 hours left and I'm counting it down. Is that bad?
That is COMPLETELY normal!
They are asleep, DH is out running I am eating chocolate and drinking tea. I know, I shouldn't. I am exhausted, every inch of me aches and I want to have a bath and go to bed. I'm not sure I'll chance my luck though, I had one not so long ago. DH is saying that I have been ill a month, I'm not sure its true though. They were all ill a month ago, I didn't have a chance, I thought I got it once they were better again. He wants to know why they recovered so much faster than me. He is itching to tell me its because I never do any exercise. I didn't answer because I just can't deal with a heated discussion right now. I'm more inclined to think that it's because whilst he was ill, dividing his day between the sofa/TV and computer I was looking after the kids (as per usual), taking them out so he could have some peace, I was the one up with them when they were coughing in the night etc But I'm sure this has nothing to do with it. Or does it?
Most of the time I'm too exhausted to do any exercise anyway, although I do try twice a week when they are in creche. Except this week, like when I was re doing the bathroom (which, by the way, should not have taken so long and should look better than it does) and which it seems I should have been doing simultaneously with the housework...
This medicine makes me drowsy. I'm quite tempted to neck half the bottle tonight. Seriously though, I'm a bit worried about taking it. It obviously knocked me out last night. Is it safe to take something like that when I have the kids to think about? Do you think it would make me too drowsy to get up to them if they needed me? I didn't hear a peep from them last night and that is not normal (although it does occasionally happen)
I think that your dc and h recovered quicker because they could rest and you took care of them.
Bath and early night sounds perfect.
I think it is crucial you practice self care because your h seems to view you as some kind of domestic appliance which is not meeting his expectations.
Keep going - you are doing good work. Important work. Look after you and your dc. You need to be strong and healthy for your futures
I think that's why they recovered faster too. Instead of going on about exercise your not very DH needs to realise that rest will make you better.
When you're running around taking care of them, do you sit and eat with them or are you putting the food down and getting on with housework? I'd do the bath and early night too, and take whatever the recommended dose of the medicine is. You NEED sleep and it won't kill your DH to be woken! Tell him the doctor's told you you need the medicine to get better.
Sorry, not had a chance to post yet. I'm a bit wiped out this evening! DD did a mammoth nap this morning so we went out for lunch, then had the brilliant idea to go for a walk. Took a funicular up and the walk is about an hour down, so thought fine, DS can walk that, DD will walk some of it and then DH can carry her. Except DS went on strike and refused to walk when DD was being carried. So I had to take DD on my shoulders whilst DH took DS. Not fun. I feel a bit unsafe walking down steep paths at the best of times, but with DD on my shoulders it's a whole other level. She had fun, I slipped twice (through the forest so the path is covered with loads of damp leaves, steep etc) and she thought it hilarious. "Mummy bam! Mummy bam!" She kept saying. Still we made it down safely. I did suggest we took the bus the last ten minutes or so as DS clearly wasn't going to walk another step and it seemed silly to carry on just for the sake of it. Still, it must have tired them out as they went to bed without a squeak.
This cough suppressant really works, except it seems that the times I do cough it's much more violent and painful. I might see how I go without it tomorrow.
It depends Empress. Often at breakfast by the time I've made theirs, made them a drink, mopped up a spillage or two they've finished before I've even got mine into a bowl. Then I put them in front of the tv (bad mummy) and have mine and then shower whilst their attention is held. Else I try and eat with them (because I noticed when DS was little that I was feeding him but not eating anything myself). I get sick very quickly if I miss a meal and me vomiting is not useful for looking after them. DH will never get up with them and DS knows not to go to him, so he always comes to me. Plus which he is always annoyed if they do wake him so he sleeps with earplugs in and I try to make sure I get to them ASAP if they make a noise. They're much much better now, it's just trying to persuade them to sleep longer than 5 at the moment. It's morning Mummy! No it is not!
Khimaira, your husband goes out running, but doesn't 'let' you and then criticises you for not exercising? And you need his permission to have a bath in case he has to look after his own children?
That is really not on.
From your posts I can see that you are caring, hardworking and have a wry sense of humour. You are dealing with so much and I am sorry that your husband is, frankly, a twat. Sorry to be blunt. But you are lovely and deserve better.
I think pogo makes excellent points.
I really believe you could be onto the start of something with practising self care - physically and emotionally.
I also think your h needs to bring something to the table. He might earn £ but otherwise little else. You are a woman, not his servant.
No, that's not fair on him. I couldn't go out running anyway. I tried it once before the kids came along and I was a shaking wreck and that was going with DH but him running on ahead and doing two laps whilst I did one. I'm too much of a coward, I'm too scared to go out by myself! Plus which, people might see me.
To be fair to him. DS was a nightmare baby, would scream all the time and usually only I could settle him. The problem is, if they wake now they both want me (although DD is more accepting of DH because he had to go to her when I was putting DS to bed) and he gets stressed and angry if he has to go to them and then he can't sleep and etc etc.
I think the reason you've been ill for so long is that you're run down. Your immune system doesn't work as effectively when you're tired; you need to rest to get better.
I think exercise would be a great idea, it's so good for your wellbeing and if it helps you feel fitter and healthier that's a bonus too. I go running at the weekends sometimes, and DH takes the DDs. Have you looked at Couch to 5k? It's for absolute beginners, there are threads on here.
A nightmare baby means both parents are needed more, not less. I think your h needs to contribute more to feel more involved.
Well, so far today he is furious with me. I removed the shower doors so I could reveal everything and I can't get them back! I asked him to help, he did for a couple of minutes but I have now spent the past three and a half hours trying to mount them. No luck. I'm in more pain now, I think from lifting the doors and trying to balance them and screw them in place. DH has been playing on the computer all thus time, just stopping to change film for the kids-so they have been watching tv ALL morning. I came out to see when lunch would be (he's supposed to be doing a roast, was agreed) he's done nothing, DD was sitting in shit - he hadn't changed her and I'm just cooking pasta for lunch now. I could cry, well, if I did crying, I probably would. But I don't.
Thanks yippee but I really can not go out running. I just can't go by myself.
I realise that I don't know you, or you husband but he does not sound as though he is behaving in a very considerate or mature way.
I know you say sh predates him, but I'm pretty sure he is the trigger now.
Ok pasta for lunch is fine. It is a shame he did not make the roast.
Prop the shower screens somewhere safe. They can wait until you are more recovered or can get some adult help.
Your husband does not seem to qualify. Then relax with your dc. You don't need his permission to plan your day. Nor does he seem to consult you.
Thanks it. I told him I would take the kids out and I'd try the doors again this evening. We are in the park, I am freeeezing, I'd forgotten how cold it is watching kids play. DD is fast asleep and DH is going for a run, hope grain a better mood when we get back!
I truly think you need to build the habit of treating yourself as a whole person - maybe you'd husband will follow suit.
Don't get too cold - you are still recovering
What do you mean treat myself as a whole person? What counts as self care and when is it overly self indulgent? This morning I have... sat on the sofa and drank a tea (resisted the urge to watch a film!) had a bath and ordered DS's birthday present. Now, that to me is rather self indulgent because I've only done two lots of washing, not done any tidying, nor the shopping nor have I managed to fix the shower. We are being battered by wind and rain and I am hiding indoors (took the kids to the creche this morning and came home instead of going to the shop). Now I feel lazy and guilty
I think you need to remember you are a person in your own right!
You need rest (especially whilst recovering), you need to be clean, you need to eat and drink, you need exercise, daylight, fun and leisure too.
Now, there are times of emergency when we skimp on these things (kids being ill), big projects at work etc, but they are not sustainable . To live constantly like that makes you ill, physically or mentally.
To have a bath and a cuppa is normal. Whilst recuperating, it is normal to let things go a bit. You can usually tell when you are better when you can't ignore the mess anymore!
In normal circumstances, sometimes you just say to hell with it and relax. These are the things that keep you sane!
Genuinely self indulgent in my book is not helping the DC with homework because you are sipping cocktails, or buying a Louis Vuitton handbag instead of paying the gas bill.
Try more examples if you like! I want to reset your self care calibration
Getting the bus home from the shop instead of walking? Or is that just lazy?
Was I wrong this morning? DH woke before me and brought DD in to me (she wanted a feed) so I lay in bed with her. DS realised DH was in the shower so wanted one too, DH let him in and then when he stayed in the bathroom whilst DH was shaving he started to get annoyed with him. I didn't go and get DS out because DD was still feeding. When I did go DH was clearly annoyed with me that I hadn't gone earlier. I took DS and got him dressed, then went to change DD's nappy. By this time DH was in the kitchen and DS went through and started clamouring for breakfast. DH started shouting that he was fed up with this etc and just took a banana, which DS then wanted. I did up DD's nappy and put some clothes on her and went through to find DH shoving the banana at DS and storming out of the kitchen complaining there was no cereal (there was, in the store cupboard not in the main cupboard as there was still some left in the packet). DH said it was too late and left for work. I think he realised that DS was upset (he was standing in the corner holding his banana and not wanting to eat it any more) and tried to find him and give him a hug, but DS didn't want one. DH tried to explain that it wasn't DS he was angry at (I guess it's me!) but I'm not sure he understood.
Sorry for the long story, but I tend to have a very blinkered view on things, I start doing one thing then it doesn't occur to me that i should be doing something else, especially when I'm doing something for one of the children. In hindsight, I should have intercepted DS before he got to the bathroom, but I was feeding DD and so didn't. I should have got up before DH was out the bathroom and sorted breakfast, but I didn't as DD was feeding, which she seemed to want to do for ages this morning. I owe DH an apology don't I?
Bus home - while recovering and with two littles, in poor weather - no brainer.
Your h was pissed that were not feeding the baby AND intercepting the child that he let in the bathroom? He cannot cope with being in the presence of one of his children, and yet you are supposed to look after two children solo and go for a run, and be a domestic goddess.
Tbh, I don't think you are the problem.
I think he does not realise you are a person and certainly does not act that way.
As for arguing over a banana with a toddler, what can I say.
Honestly, I think you need to decide to :
Tackle this very unbalanced relationship where you live to,serve his needs
Leave your husband
Accept a life of being treated as less than human, self-harming in frustration and pain with a poor sense of self esteem and teaching your dc that it is an ok way to live.
I'm sure this sounds very dramatic, but I can't remember one point on your thread where your husband has shown you care, compassion or respect.
I bet he treats strangers In the street better than you.
Not an easy situation I see, but if unchallenged, I think it will be a
LOt worse in ten years.
Oh Khimaira - he owes YOU an apology. He shows no care or concern for you or the DC. Why on earth should you have to intercept a child from disturbing their father? Your husband is NOT more important than you or the children but he seems to act like it.
Thanks for your comments. I know I need to sort things out but at the moment thinking about things is like wading through treacle. The kids were both up at 330 this morning and despite DH saying he only slept a couple of hours last night he said he had no idea they were awake, so I think he sleeps more than he thinks.
He got annoyed with me for shifting the mattress around the other day and told me I should have left it for him. I have asked MIL to take DS to gym today so I don't have to lift him. I feel a bit guilty because it's a quite rude to ask her to do something I'm not willing to do myself. So either she will go with DS or I will go with DD.
I don't know Pogo, I thought it was ok and well, normal, that a child would go to see their dad, but then I'm not the one trying to get out to work am I? So I can see how it would be annoying, but I thought he was over reacting, but then I wasn't sure. He's not from the Uk and where he's from the children do take a second role, not like in the UK where we tend to put children first and it does cause a lot of friction especially since DD came along.
So you should have fixed the shower screen, but not moved the mattress? How can you ever please someone who is so inconsistent? I think the answer is that you can't.
Grandmas like to help out. It is nice to have special granny time, and actually it is ok for you to ask ( just as it is ok for her to say no!).
Just keep going, and remember you are a perfectly nice, kind, intelligent adult, who can make her own decisions, and take care of herself. It is your responsibility to.
I am trying to keep going. DD is ill, DH is pissed off with me. How do you deal with the guilt of sticking around when you know they'd be so much better off I'd you didn't feature in their lives?
They truly, truly would not.
It is a cliche phrase, but that is stinking thinking. Negative and cyclical.
Would you do anything for you dc to make them happy and safe? Would you run into a burning building to save them, or donate a kidney if they needed it?
Then no-one could do more for them.
Please refuse to entertain that thought, because it is nether true nor helpful.
You are stuck in a pattern and you need to change it. And you can. Probably overnight, but if you reframe your thinking, it will quickly have an impact.
I think your husband reinforces this cycle so you need to solve this for yourself, you can and your children will benefit from this.
Sorry I didn't answer you yesterday It DD is ill. I'm rather annoyed with DH this morning. I posted this on chat last night...
I'd like to know if I'm over-reacting. My DH suffers from insomnia. We have a 20month DD who currently has a cold. Just as he was getting ready for bed, DD coughed so much she threw up (on our bed, although DH sleeping in spare room at the moment). I took her into the bathroom, sat her on the floor and told him I was going to strip the bed. He asked if I expected him to stay with her because he was just feeling sleepy. I called back yes, I wouldn't be long, apologised and said I hadn't planned it but needed to sort the bed. He said I had planned it because she caught it from nursery (whole other story) and said he was going to bed. Walked out and left her, now lying, on the bathroom floor with vomit on her pjs and sleeping bag.
I am so angry right now, I want to tell him he can f* off to his parents for the weekend and I actually feel a rather protective urge that I don't even want him near her. Am I over reacting? Or do I need to let it slide - is this an effect of his insomnia?
In answer to your questions. Yes. But then I imagine most people would do that if they knew there were children inside etc.
We had a bad day yesterday, We were asked to leave playgroup because of DS, both over tired and not sleeping well, I'm still feeling a bit rubbish and now I'm getting DD's cold which means sneezing is absolute agony! Today I'm just doing the weekend shop and washing...
Well if you make allowances for his insomnia, does he make allowances for you being sleep deprived?
You sound like a devoted mum and clearly care about your family a great deal.
Your husbands behaviour suggests he prioritises his needs at every step.
Do you think that is the sort of marriage you want?
Khimaira I hope your DD is on the mend and I am gobsmacked by your DH. What an utterly selfish man.
Life can be really hard with small children, they have a lot of needs and demands, but it gets easier as they grow. You are doing everything for them and added to that it sounds like you are protecting them from their horrible father. They need you very very much as it sounds like you are the only person in their world that puts their interests first.
You are doing a great job. (Your husband is not.)
We are all behind you xxx
But I'm not. I'm ruining their lives. And now they're not even going to have any break from me because I have to cancel their crèche places on .monday. They're going to be at home with me all the time. I'm dreading it, mainly because I know it's the worst thing for them but also the selfish part of me know I will never get a break now. If I knew how to cry, i think I would.
Why do you have to cancel the creche?
It sounds a shame - I know we all benefitted in may family when my dc enjoyed playtime in a good environment and I could have a little headspace.
You are not ruining their lives. Please try to avoid this very unhelpful thinking. You are distressed and turning inwards.
You are perfectly OK. Your dc are perfectly OK. If it were me, I think I would start to plan how I thought my life should be without planning everything around your H. If you make him the centre of your universe, he is going to make you very unhappy and very unwell.
I know I have not met either of you, but he seems to be a very negative, damaging part of your family.
No, that would be me. We have to cancel because it's too expensive. The idea was I would get a job. But I am unemployable. And we've just put our place on the market. So if we move they couldn't stay anyway. And it makes them ill.
They are not ok though. DS is going to be assessed for speech delay and behaviour issues. Because I'm such a shit mum and clearly don't care for them properly. I was even told that by a complete stranger on Thursday. She told me I need to do some exercise then I would be able to look after the children better (DS having a tantrum, I ended up putting him in the buggy and letting DD walk).
I've never had a plan for my life. Never thought I'd make this age, always assumed I'd have killed myself by now. I'm too cowardly, it would seem. I was wondering what to do with the DC's. Sometimes I think I should get them adopted and sometimes, like this afternoon, I think they'll be fine with DH. They were having such fun together whilst I was cleaning up after dinner. And out today they both refused to walk with me, both wanted DH. They don't need me.
DH told me tonight that I should have been thrown out of uni but I wasn't because he persuaded them to let me stay. So even my degree is a worthless farce.
He says women must deal with sleep deprivation differently because he would never have managed it. It's down to hormones and maternal reactions.
No one person, unless they are on charge of a whole University's faculty can stop someone from being thrown out and I am sure you know that .... Only those at University jobs can enrol people onto a course and ask them to leave - and that is only for failure to pay fees or failure to pass enough credits!! Or turn up for lectures etc.
Do you have one child aged 3 or over and if so you are entitled to state funding for 15 hours nursery type care once they are over 3 a it is the time they are three, so of Oct birthday the money is there from the January. There is also some free funding for 2 yr olds if income below a certain amount .
That decision was for our group leader (not a bachelors course) who had the final say. DS will be entitled to a place in next academic year.
Khimaira, LOTS of children have speech delay and behaviour issues. You aren't a shit mum. You are getting help for your DS. The stranger knows NOTHING of your life and they have nothing worth saying. And children often clamour for the attention of the parent that doesn't bother with them. They know they can rely 100% on their mummy, that means they can take you for granted and chase after daddy. (They may also be trying to please the moody wotsit.)
There is nothing that you say about your husband that makes me think well of him. Would you consider posting in relationships, or permit me to do that for you and link to this post?
Oh and - I never expected to live as long as I have. I know how disconcerting it can feel, to live a life you didn't expect to have. But there is Good Stuff in living there really is. [enormous hug]
So, you already have done better than expected. Well done.
I could give you a list of my dc 'conditions', one is dyslexic, one had a weird birthmark, one has hyper mobile joints, one is shortsighted, one is moody beyond belief, one had asthma. They are also great, healthy kids.
None of it is my fault. Nor is It my husbands. Kids are all different.
Stop blaming yourself for everything. You are not holding up the whole world on your shoulders. You are a perfectly nice ordinary woman doing her best - like most of us.
Your husband seems set on making you feel small. Why would someone want to do that to their nearest and dearest?
And my dc clamour for whichever parent has been away/out most.
And there are precious few jobs with timings to suit nurseries available ATM. Not being able to get one is pretty damn common.
pogo thanks for the offer! but please don't link this post. I'm not sure I can cope with that atm, it seems safer here and I'm feeling a bit fragile at the moment.
He is doing his best, I'm not an easy person to live with. There are times I find it so hard to do what I should and it frustrates him that I have no ambition or plan where I want to be in the future. I find it hard enough just to get from day to day, beyond that doesn't really feature in my thoughts. I'm dreading today, it's going to last forever, the weather is foul and I can already feel my brain is in major slow motion mode. I think the only thing I can do now to save my marriage is admit I'm having counselling and hand him the name and number of my counsellor. But I'm scared.
Right, I have thrown my thesis in the recycling where it clearly belongs. What a waste of five years. They should have given someone else my place. I can take the dr off my cv title. I don't know if I can remove it from the main part of my cv, how will I explain the gap?
Oh thank god DD is beginning to wake up. I can have a hug soon.
Tough love time.
Qualifications are not awarded on your husbands say so. You earned it and should be proud of it.
Make modest plans for today.
Eat and sleep sensibly.
When is your next appointment with counsellor?
Well, it doesn't feel like I earned it. It is sitting on top of the recycling pile next to me at the moment. It feels fake. like I shouldn't have got it.
I don't have any plans for today. The weather is foul, the kids are watching tv. I have (TMI) got the heaviest day of my period today and its the only time DH doesn't mind me being miserable and useless. Although today its not as painful as usual, probably because I've been eating painkillers all week. Why is that? If you take painkillers before it starts, its less painful. I think DH is just grateful that I no longer throw up and pass out on him each month like I used to before I had the DC's! I even called him home from work once . I am looking for ideas of activities to do with the DC inside and then tonight we'll be watching strictly.
Didn't get much sleep last night and I didn't eat much dinner, not feeling very hungry at the moment but wine will be involved in lunch. I'd love to eat a bucket load of chocolate but I only have one bar, the DC will notice and want some and I don't want DH to know just how much crap I eat. I'll have a few freakishly healthy eating days in a couple of days though, always do after my period - guilt payback for all the junk I eat the rest of the time.
I don't know about the counsellor, he send me an email to say he should get back yesterday and he would want to have an extra long catch up session with me but he's not said when. I'm a little apprehensive. He knows I only have DC free twice a week so it will probably be then this week or next week. I don't know.
The kids would be better off with your H? The one who ignores them, moans about them and leaves them covered in vomit? That H? You're a million times better at parenting than he is.
Please don't bin the thesis. Whether you feel it or not, YOU did the work. You earned the title. As for him persuading the university to let you stay, can you honestly imagine any university (or employer for that matter) falling for that? I can't.
Why do you think you're unemployable?
Yes, that H. They love him. I just can't cope any more.
Why would he have said it though if it wasn't true? It's a bit of an empty title though isn't it. All I've done since then is be at home. I can't even get myself a job. DH says that I am unemployable. I have to agree, I have no ambition and no motivation for anything and there is not one reason I could think of why anyone would want to employ me.
The consistent message is your husband criticising you.i think that is the problem.
I think ITCould is right.
Raising kids is HARD work and you're doing it with health problems, sleep deprivation, no access to your counsellor and an H who should be supporting and loving you but just seems to want to do you down. In my book that makes you bloody strong. From the posts you're articulate and intelligent and you've clearly got qualifications so you don't sound unemployable to me. You DO sound like you're exhausted and having a rotten time.
As for the kids loving H, they might like playing with him but I bet he's not the one they go to when they actually need something.
Empress and ItCould are spot on, you are doing a great job of raising two children, despite being unwell and married to someone critical, lazy, sexist and unsupportive.
You ARE employable! You are great at writing, planning, explaining, prioritising. All v important skills. And you are a bloody grafter!!
You mention 'admitting' that you are having counselling. Do you mean admitting to your husband? Whenever I have had counselling I've needed some support/understanding/space before/after each session. If you are not getting this it is even harder.
Sending much love x
I suppose that's true Empress. If they hurt themselves when he is there then DS always automatically calls for me (although he has got better recently) and DD will go to DH for a hug but only until she sees or hears me.
I have just spoken on the phone to my counsellor. He says that I am emotionally exhausted and he thinks its imperative he speaks to DH. So this evening I have to a)admit that I've been to counselling in the past b) admit that I am again and c)give DH the name and number to call. Scared doesn't even cover it. I have to do it today because I'm having that 3 day rush of energy and clarity that comes after a period! I know if I don't get things done now then I won't and I think DH can't take any more. He asked me what my plan for the next few years is, what do I want to do (job wise). I don't know. I can't answer any of his questions because I can barely get from one day to the next most of the time. I don't even plan for next week. The only plan I can come up with is I want to get as far as seeing the fireworks at New Year with DS and that's it. Then it's over, I want out. But I don't even know if I can get that far, I don't know if I can take another week like last week again.
So, I have spent most of the evening sick scared of telling DH and in the end I didn't manage to. He is talking to me again and I couldn't bring myself to tell him. It seems like such a huge step to take and I'm not courageous enough. Maybe tomorrow...
You could frame the counselling as a way to help you plan your future if you need to sell it to your h.
Get some sleep if you can. It won't make any difference whether you tell him tonight, or tomorrow. Maybe even write out a script or a list of things, like ItCould says, its an action plan for your recovery, your future. I am glad you are back in contact with your counsellor.
I'm glad too, and that's a good way to frame it. The counselling is a proactive way to deal with your issues and move forward.
I want to thank you all for posting and say that if I haven't answered anything specially then it's because it takes time for me to process things,, not that I'm ignoring you.
DH I'd annoyed with me this morning he says I am just flaunting the fact that I don't care enough to do anything for him. Because I didn't get up to make him breakfast. Should I be?
(It was cold. I was tired -DD had been up three times during the night, waking at 530 for the day so I was awake, but snuggled in bed with her passing me anything she could find and blowing my nose. When I realised he was having breakfast here, I got up and said I would get DD some so they could eat together). I have the feeling that when I do or when I offer to make his coffee, he says he can do it himself. But I don't know how much I exaggerate.
My counsellor at least doesn't seem worried I haven't said anything yet, he said to tell home when it feels right (I suppose when we have our next disagreement...), I've asked that I can see him rather than speak on the phone, but not had an appointment yet. Today is going to be a long day, taking DS back to playgroup. I think if he refuses to join in this time I won't go back.i find it so hard to go to groups like that, his behaviour makes it worse but I know I can't stay at home all the time, it's not fair on them.
Look, your h is basically a knob. No reasonable person expects someone who has been up on and off all night, to then get up and make them breakfast.
I have tried to remember things taught to me on my counselling course, about not giving advice but I am not your counsellor, I am your online buddy.
You may have history with self harm/ self neglect. people with low self esteem and maybe some experience of suffering abusive behaviour are more prone to self harming. A relationship where one partner is erratic in his demands and unreasonable in his expectations can make the other partner feel they are somehow inadequate.
A weird kind of norm in that relationship is established and the selfish bugger (in this case your h) seems to behave even worse.
Your relationship should be mutually supportive and give each other security and confidence. You don't get this. I'm not saying leave him (though I reckon you would thrive if you did) but don't accept all his bollocks as gospel.
Work at looking after you and the children, physically and mentally until it becomes an ingrained habit. You will get stronger. He will either rise to the challenge of meeting your expectations or he will not.
Seriously you are not the failure in your home.
Think about this, or not. But my motives are without an agenda. I have nothing to gain or lose. He does not sound like a good husband. You sound like a very caring and devoted person. Why should you not have a good husband?
And how many times has your husband been up with DC all night and then made you breakfast?
I hope you get a counselling session soon, but please don't think it is you that needs to be fixed.
What ITCould and Pogosticks said.
And it's not often you get such a complete consensus on MN!
I just join this forum today, and I find very good , and helpful.
I'm still here! Pogo Never. I am the one who gets up with the children every day (bar four, I think) and he doesn't do nights. There's no point him getting up with them now anyway because they don't want him if they do wake at night. Maybe DS would, I don't know, he comes straight to me and knows not to wake DH and DD just wants milk. grrrrr.
I no longer know what is reasonable I think. I spend a lot of time questioning what I think. Although this morning he left in a mood probably because I was playing tents with DD rather than get up and get breakfast ready. That was probably a mistake. I have told DH about me seeing a counsellor, almost. I have asked him to call the counsellor, but it seems he hasn't yet. I am trying to sort things out in my mind. I read something the other day that shocked me because it seemed so like me. I need to get my head round this and speak to the counsellor about it. I am seeing him this afternoon.
And after waiting like an idiot for 40 minutes I finally manage to contact someone who tells me my appointment has been cancelled, I should have received a message and that it has been rescheduled for tomorrow. Except I can't go tomorrow. Argh!
Oh that's a blow, but no shortcoming on your part, so keep going!!!!
Did you manage to rebook the appointment with your counsellor? How are you?
Hi, thanks for asking. I'm doing ok. Actually, surprisingly ok. Just the odd kill yourself keeps tacking itself onto my list of things to do. But that is normal so I'm used to it. I did kind of manage to reschedule the appointment. I couldn't get childcare so I had a Skype appointment from home whilst I bribed the children to be quiet with tv and iPad. So, it was more of a general how have things been catch up/coping session rather than anything too stressful. Trying to concentrate on the DC's and not think too much!
Khimaira I am glad you are focusing on your lovely DCs. Sounds like you are coping well. I was wondering if you could talk to your health visitor - they might know of anything like sure start which could help with childcare so you could get to face to face counselling?
Glad to hear you feel a little more in charge :-)
Are you taking care of yourself? You remember the oxygen masks in aeroplanes - you need to it yours on in order to take care of your dc
Well I was until this morning! Scrubbing the carpet and floors at 630 because despite repeated requests DS did not go to the toilet and instead went on the carpet. A delightful gym session where he did only one of the activities. And I had forgotten to take my painkillers so lifting him down from the wall bars was rather painful. DD has just done the largest poo I've seen in a while and didn't ask for the toilet but in her nappy and all the way up her back. The dining room is carnage (sweet and sour + rice! I should have guessed!) and I have just sent them both to bed. I am drinking a tea before I attempt the clean up operation! I have been shouting a lot today, very impatient and short with them not for any good reason. I think I didn't sleep well last night. I'm beginning to realise just how much it affects me not having a decent nights sleep. I had two really good nights yesterday and the day before and the days were so much easier,
I don't know really. I've managed to do some exercise this week, which is a novelty. I feel quite guilty spending time on myself though. I've had a couple of evenings house hunting and yesterday I watched tv and didn't bother to fold the washing. I'm regretting that now though! I'm not going out of my way to do things I probably shouldn't. Been using gloves whist cleaning etc.
Thanks for the suggestion pogo, there's nothing like that around here and I don't have a health visitor. I do get some free time without the kids during the week, but it's restricted.
That sounds a little better.
exercise is excellent. You MUST do it. It is not self-indulgent.
BTW you were not sold into slavery and should not work until you drop! Do what is essential, then rest and play! Your play - not dc play I mean
The thing is, I'm usually too exhausted to manage it. I did a bike program on Monday and then only managed 13 minutes of it on Tuesday. Today I haven't done anything except run around after the kids as usual. I don't have the energy or the willpower to do anything. I can only do exercise in the day if I put the tv on for the children, even then, leaving them out of sight for 30 minutes is pushing it! I would feel terribly bad doing that, they already get 30 minutes in the morning whilst I have breakfast, shower, get dressed, clear the breakfast things and get a load of washing on. And I think its probably too much, but I don't really have another choice. Else they fight, or DD is climbing the furniture, if I shut her in the bathroom she puts things in the toilet/empties the cupboard/climbs on the toilet seat to get to the sink taps etc. It's now ten to nine and I have just got the DC's off to sleep, I'm exhausted and would just keel over if I tried to do anything now. I find most of my energy goes on trying to get through the day not on doing any actual work.
Khimaira where are you that you don't have a health visitor? I thought everyone had them. We had rice carnage at tea time today. It sucks! Well done on getting through today xx
Urgh and now I'm awake and can't get back to sleep. DS wet the bed nearly two hours ago, I had to change it, clean him and get him back to sleep. Now I can't sleep. Keep thinking of things I shouldn't, especially at night! Will pm you Pogo. I cheated with the rice. Cleaned up the sticky sauce bits with a cloth, then waited a couple of hours until it was a bit dry and used the dustpan and brush!
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