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I resent the CRAZY situation we are in! When will life get easier?

(208 Posts)
LifeHope11 Tue 21-Aug-12 20:49:19

I have posted before but just to summarise my situation again:

I have a severely disabled DS who has had recent major surgery.

My DH is under stress because of this, also because his DM suffers from dementia. I do tend to get the brunt of it when it all becomes too much for him. MIL is abroad now but will be coming back later in the year & he is organising a care home for her.....siblings live abroad so it will all be down to him.

I suffer from epilepsy which is under control at present....also have had depression which has responded to medication. I have had a hard time (was also made redundant recently) was near suicidal for a while and very near the brink.....I felt my sanity was under threat! But I have been better recently.

I have just started a new job, however in the few weeks I have been there my boss (who recruited me!) has left, and as of today my boss's boss has resigned. So I have nobody to report to direct & my position feels insecure all over again.

DH has also had problems at work......has been shouted at today by his boss because of some mistake he made. I don't think it is acceptable for him to be treated in this way especially as they know his circumstances. Now he feels insecure too and very distressed.

I have recently been offered a place on the course I applied for to get a professional qualification....but feel selfish for planning this when my family are going through so much. There is a limited window of opportunity to pursue this so postponing is not an option.

When does life ever get easier? I have got so used now to feeling snowed under with problems, I have to keep my sanity intact somehow! How do I cope with all of this?

LifeHope11 Tue 18-Sep-12 21:54:52

Hallo izzyizin and thanks for your post. I would like to be clear that I HAVE indeed acted on much of the excellent advice I have received here. I think I have come a very long way since last year; I have changed jobs and my current one though stressful is a lot more satisfying, I have received medical treatment for the depression I have suffered from and feel better within myself as a result; I am furthering my education.

These are just some examples of the many ways I have tried to better my situation since last year, much of it suggested, prompted or at least encouraged by the advice I have received here. I like to think that i am indeed moving forward; so if I have given the impression that I am not heeding or acting on the advice/support I have received I am very sorry for it because it is not so.

But I can't help the way I feel, and I freely admit I am not there yet. I am not angry and bitter still about the situation I was in last year, just scared stiff of being back there again and fearful of the future. Sometimes I just need to offload. I think that fate has indeed dealt me a tough hand and so I need to toughen up and deal with it effectively; but feelings don't just go away however much I want them to, especially when my circumstances depend so much on other people.

cestlavielife Tue 18-Sep-12 23:00:13

see my exp used to do nice things for other people at times when i could have done with help with disabled ds.
so, going to buy a curtain pole was doing something and was far easier than dealing with his bedridden, in -pain son. so he could almost justify doing it - his mother needed him - while at same time using it as excuse to escape facing the difficult times. maybe mil issues which are simple washing machine /curtain pole also allows him to escape from reality of ds. - while with a good excuse. i dont know.
is there enough money to buy in more care ? overlapping with your work hours so the carer doesnt leave when you walk in the door ? is tehre possibility of overnight respite for your ds?

i think iof you take mil into your home you will be hard pushed to get ss to fund a home in short term - so you have to tell dh she cannot come to yours.
and maybe face up to fact that unless dh sorts out something else you resign yourself to him being full time carer for her while you are to ds.

LifeHope11 Tue 18-Sep-12 23:27:29

Hallo cestlavielife, it may be true that DH went shopping with MIL to escape the upset of the situation with DS. But I don't think that he is in any way trying to shirk his responsibilities to DS, he is a devoted parent every bit as much as me. I can't fault him as a father to DS. I am just worried he will take on too much and not be able to deliver on anything, and undermine his own health.

I am adamant that MIL can't come to us as we have no room for her, have already told DH that. DH doesn't know but the day he moves MIL in is the day I move out, it will be the end of us. We just have to pass that responsibility back to SS. It is just a step too far for me.

Re funding for care - we don't have a whole lot of that. A lot was spent for DS care during the school holidays. And - here is where the guilt creeps in again - my further education is very expensive. I am paying for it out of my own savings from the money I earned.....so if I don't do it though, there are the extra funds.

cestlavielife Tue 18-Sep-12 23:30:22

then dh must realise that if he takes on mil (when there are other siblings who presumably do not have disabled ds?) that it is too much and not fair on ds or you, and even on mil and him and he simply cannot stretch so many ways.

why cant mil go in care home abroad with sil ?

LifeHope11 Tue 18-Sep-12 23:39:05

Unfortunately due to immigration issues in the country SIL is in, MIL can't live there permanently. She has been there as long as poss but has to come back now. SIL is a good person and I believe will do whatever she can but unfortunately circumstances dictate it will come back to DH now.

I have told DS that the responsibility needs to be handed back to SS. He just can't take it on, it will break him & then us.

Lifehope, I am glad to see that you have come to the conclusion that a carehome is best for your mil. I am also glad to see you are a bit more upbeat, and with more plan to your life.

I hope you find strength to complete your studies, and will not feel upset if your life situation means that you cant. So be it. Dont let your studies ever be a chore.

I think you and dh must agree to just let mil live alone and handle things on her when she gets back, so that SS see the situation as it really is.

LifeHope11 Wed 19-Sep-12 00:17:21

Hallo Quintessential, I am as sure as I can be that I am going to do the studies and get some extra letters after my name. I don't care if it is selfish or not.

I want MIL to have a valued and honoured place within the family....visited, invited over for dinner, taken on outings etc....but I know we can't take on her full time care. It will finish us. I am waiting to see what happens next....if things are done over my head & without my consent, it may be the end of us. I desparately don't want that to happen. I hope I don't have to take that stand.

springydaffs Wed 19-Sep-12 00:46:47

I don't care if it is selfish or not

yay!! smile

I can attest that you have indeed come along since the last time you posted - you've come a long way. Blardy well done, my dear, blardy well done!

You know what I'm going to say next, don't you? boring, boring, yy - but have you managed to secure some counselling? the deep feelings you are expressing are precisely the sort of thing that gets addressed in therapy. It's existential stuff, up to a point; also mashed up heart and head stuff etc. someone trained and top notch will meet you where you're at. It is also a safe place. I had a first free session with a counsellor recently - she is the bizz! A bright woman, which both you and I need. I expect I'll hate her at various points, but that's par for the course in counselling, if you want to do that. A place to be exactly who you are, warts/insecurities/demons and all (and gorgeousness too of course wink )

dear woman - I think of you often.

You probably don't have a darn minute - but philosophy has been hitting the spot for me recently...

LifeHope11 Wed 19-Sep-12 01:20:42

Thank you thank you springy... I need to locate that person who can help me through this time and believe me I have tried. I don't have time to waste, every investment of my time and effort has to deliver a benefit.

Thank you for giving me credit that I have come a long way....I believe that I have. Although I may moan and groan here, I believe that I am broadly on the right track. I have to care for myself so that I can care for DS.

I feel I have a lot to give and I want to find my place in the world. I want to be helped to find it. But I feel that I am a difficult person to help. Finding the person best placed to help me is a challenge.

I am sitting here doing all the wrong things....I should be asleep and I should be sober and not smoking cigars (DS is with a carer so not passively smoking), I am a reasonably intelligent person doing stupid things as even some reasonably intelligent people do at times.

I think I am fairly insightful and so have insight into my situation but need to somehow 'marry' it to my challenging life so that the insight is with me when I need it.

Look at all the 'i's ....when I say I am selfish I mean it.

I dont think it is selfish at all! You go girl!

But I have had similar situation as you, and I am not pretty much out on the other side, with my demented mum in a nursing home and trying to pick up the pieces of our lives and get back on track.

I had enrolled for further education, due to start this week. It is every second Saturday, 3 hour round trip, 6 hours at the study center. Every module is 3 months like this, with assignments and exams.

I am realizing I am not ready, I know i am going to waste £2.5k fees, struggle and not be able to complete it. I am too exhausted mentally. I hate the thought of giving it up before I have even started. I will do it next year instead, and focus on getting myself mentally "fit" and able. I am just too busy. But that is ME! And enough about me.

The point I was trying to make (based on my own experience and sympathy for you extreme burden) was that if you DO have to give it up or postpone, dont be too hard on yourself!

TheSilverPussycat Wed 19-Sep-12 09:23:16

I too think you have come a long way, lifehope. So pleased you are doing the course. At the moment all the stuff with MIL is to come, it might be oddly easier when she is here and you can take action. You are so right about not giving SS any ideas you can cope, my DM had to fight them off twice, once when she was helping a neighbour with dementia, and again when her Nice Man was going down hill.

springydaffs Wed 19-Sep-12 09:32:54

YOu get what you pay for with counselling. Unless you're lucky, but it's not worth the risk. it's an investment and you have to put money aside to do it.

You are obsessed with 'yourself' because 'yourself' isn't working. It is classic depression and do please stop beating yourself up re the smoking/drinking etc. YOu won't get anywhere with stuff like that - you have to be on your side on some level. Maybe you put yourself down because you are on a public forum and you get in with the digs before anyone else does? all the more reason to find that safe counselling nest so you can be as outrageous, as 'illogical', as you need to be. smile

springydaffs Wed 19-Sep-12 13:36:03

Counselling also gives you some coping skills eg practical techniques you can use to 'float' above the stress, prioritising what is and what isn't important at any given moment. These are good skills to learn and are part of my life now, I don't even think about them, they are automatic.

I remember you had a crap GP but wonder if you can press for support higher up the chain? (or change your GP!) A psychologist would be something you could push for. I'm not aware of the exact nature of the support 'higher up' but you are certainly a candidate. Don't expect your GP to offer - push for what you want. Time to put aside your decency and get red in tooth and claw. Do it for your son if you can't do it for yourself.

springydaffs Wed 19-Sep-12 15:16:30

It also may seem bizarre, but it's possible to be addicted to stress. something about peptides (?). I wonder if a mood disorder has become established and, if so, I would push for a MH assessment through your GP, just to see where things lie. I'm also linking you this site which may be interesting to you in that it deals specifically with ingrained and unbearable pain (and stress). She comes specifically from the pov of healing from narcissistic abuse - but pain is pain, imo. She guides you through some exercises that are quite new-agey but hey, I'm not complaining: the written stuff is just as powerful.

Stress, or stressing, can become a way of life, forging neural pathways. Unlearning stressful living (especially thinking ) takes a bit of application to reboot. bog standard CBT addresses this - do get on a course if you can LifeHope (the NHS are mad about CBT because it's cheap, quick and effective, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting on a course) but you may need to do some more work as your stress is longstanding. Been there, t-shirt (I remember a herby person - a naturopath, I think - prescribing me a remedy for long term stress at one point - lots of different herbs, not just one.)

If you focus on the patterns that have become established and start addressing those, I think you'll be on a better footing eg your thinking (this is such a biggie!), breathing; your body, how we tense up expecting the worst; practising mindfulness (living in the moment) and general behaviours ie avoiding or embracing things that impact on your general wellbeing. It's not rocket science, very practical and straightforward eg exercise, so simple yet extraordinarily effective. I walk when I can and my bike when I'm not late I can. I don't do the gym business or anything that is too much hard work - I want to enjoy exercising and I don't enjoy the gym or running, though many do and swear by it, especially running. I'm a walker, myself, but I do keep an eye on squeezing in exercise as and when - even walking up stairs instead of using the lift.

I mentioned 'floating' above - I was taught this effective technique and it is a great one to have in your armoury: lost your purse? float over it. Missed the bus? float over it. don't engage your emotions. It's not denial, just effectively reducing stressful ways of thinking and responding.

You name it, I've done it (precisely because I was living in unbearable emotional pain and stress). People like me have to do this stuff, have to learn these techniques. I'm always amazed at how the body can change long-held patterns, how quickly it can adjust - I'm not exactly a spring chicken these days, either! It's a real lightbulb moment if you are mindful of what you are doing to yourself and how you can reduce negative life patterns. Booze isn't 'bad' in itself, but I personally can't afford to drink much because it has a drastic effect on my mood. One thing you may come across in your travels, particularly if you are able to secure treatment on the NHS is eg a food/intake diary which charts your subsequent mood, enabling you can make choices.

Long post, apologies.

DutchOma Wed 19-Sep-12 17:01:13

You say: "I am waiting to see what happens next....if things are done over my head & without my consent, it may be the end of us." That sounds to me as if you are not really talking together much LifeHope.
Is it at all possible for you to be pro-active and find out 'what happens next'?
Surely that is better than carrying these dire threats of 'moving out' around with you.

LifeHope11 Tue 25-Sep-12 20:57:47

Thank you all...I want to be positive, and indeed so much in my life is good. I am working hard for a better future, can't enumerate all the ways I am acting on your advice but can assure you it is not falling on deaf ears,so many changes (I think for the better) have happened as a direct result.

I am enrolled on the course & all paid for. My own DM wanted to know what it cost so she could 'help me out' though there was no need....all saved for over the last few years. My DH belatedly asked me if it would be too much for me.....he knows what I have been like over the past months! I won't know if it is too much until I try to do it will I? I may regret it for ever if I don't go for it.

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 00:09:46

Here I am again..up far too late and fretting about the future. I wish I had more control over the things that come my way but to cut a long story short I don't. I feel thoroughly resentful about some of the things we are expected to deal with. I am tired of being expected to be nice, self sacrificing and supportive.

Niceness is so ingrained in me that there is no dislodging it. I was in town today with 2 colleagues, went to a cashpoint outside a store & I found £20 in the machine that the last person had evidently left. I handed it in to the store....but the 2 colleagues argued vociferously against it 'why don't you just keep it?'. I think they were quite indignant in the end as if they could have used the money if I didn't want it. In the end I felt like a mug for not keeping the money, they were so insistent...I have been brought up to believe that you don't keep things you know are not yours. But sometimes I feel I am just fading away and am fearful that everything I hold dear has no real substance. Then I feel angry and resentful at feeling this way...I feel that no good intention of mine comes to anything.

DutchOma Wed 26-Sep-12 07:22:44

LifeHope, thank goodness you are back, I've been so worried about you, honestly.
What a load of rubbish from your friends over the £20. Of course you hand it back in. For goodness sake, if I wanted to be dishonest and steal it would have to be for more than £20. grin
So glad you have enrolled on the course.
Yes, it will be much too hard for you if your husband does not step up to the mark and help you.
How is the situation with MIL now?

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 07:48:17

Hallo DutchOma and thank you. I did believe I was right to hand back the cash- it may have been a significant amount to its owner - but sometimes I find I am just doubting myself.

I did intend to revisit, have been madly busy. We have a respite sleepover night planned for DS, I am hanging on Saturday morning when we can sleep as long as.we want, I am dreaming about and living for it already. Of course we may get a call re MIL which will scupper it (DS carers won't call us unless there is a real emergency, they know how much we need this rest - but DH will feel obliged to answer the phone in case it is about his DM).

To be honest I am DREADING her coming back. As SIlverPussyCat has pointed out above, the reality of having her back may not be as bad as expected as we will have control. But if it is as bad as it was before then it will be very bad...I know I can't go back there so can see a confrontation happening.

DutchOma Wed 26-Sep-12 08:46:58

It seems to be such a matter of communication. Is there really no way you can persuade your dh not to answer the phone one morning when ds is in respite? Can you sleep where you can't hear the phone even if he does?
Does he even realise quite how bad you feel about it? Are there plans afoot for an in-depth talk on Friday evening/Saturday when ds is in respite?

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:03:13

I can try....it is not that he doesn't listen to me, he does. Sometimes when in a conversation with someone else he will quote, almost verbatim, something I have pointed out to him previously....so he does take in what I say.

The trouble is when he is put under pressure & put on the spot. He is trying to do the right thing by everybody and when someone demands his attention/help then and there, I will see him being pulled into agreeing to things I think are unreasonable. Eg I get very cross when MIL frets about the state of her flat so, after a hard day at work and caring for DS, DH ends up going over there & spending a couple of hours cleaning it. I think this is something SS should provide now, DH can't run two households, we can barely run our own.

Likewise I don't want to give the impression DH is unsupportive, he is very much supporting me though concerned about the burden it (the study) will place on me & the potential effect on my well being. If he wasn't such a caring person he would just please himself & there wouldn't be this problem. But he is an 'all bark & no bite' kind of person, he lets off steam verbally when he is stressed & I get much of the brunt of that.

I will have a chat to him Friday evening & try to communicate better, that's a good idea. (Saturday morning I am going to SLEEP....hooray!!)

DutchOma Wed 26-Sep-12 09:10:20

Is she back then?

LifeHope11 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:32:01

No she is not back yet....will be back in a few weeks time. This is what it is like even before she is back!

I have the familiar horrible feeling of being pushed around & want to push back very hard and regardless of consequences...and I want DH to push too. I feel like a horrible selfish person for feeling this way - my 'nice person' credentials are a lot more fragile than I once thought!

DutchOma Wed 26-Sep-12 10:17:01

This is where the 'selfish pig's guide to caring here comes into its own.
Because self preservation is not selfish I'm talking to myself here as well, having just packed my dh off to a day centre much against his will it is a total necessity in the interest of everybody. What would happen if you collapsed? Who would benefit? Not you, obvioiusly, but neither would your mother-in-law, your husband or, most importantly of all, your ds.
So you just have to get rid of the 'nice girl' image and fight for what is right for all of you. In that case you can also get rid of the resentment, because you know that you are doing everything that is right for all concerned.

TheSilverPussycat Wed 26-Sep-12 10:32:14

It isn't selfishness, it's self preservation. And it's in everyone's interests for you to look after yourself and your mental health.

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