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Feel so trapped and don't know how to improve things

(8 Posts)
Alibaster Tue 01-Sep-20 06:30:10

I hate my life and am getting to the stage when I would rather just not be here. I don't think anti depressants would help becuase everything I am depressed about is situational rather than a chemical imbalance and I really don't know how I can change things.

My life just feels like one long slog. Often I think I would be better off in prision or in hospital to get a break from things.

The main problem is our severely autistic 8 year old. He will need care for the rest of his life and I will be the one who ends up having to do this. We also have a 10 month old who is a joy but not a great sleeper and adds to the stress.

My DH is currently working from home. He tries to help out but does not do much of the daily slog as he is working in his garden office much of the day. My typical day is as follows:
1am baby wakes, settle baby
3am breastfeed baby and generally look at phone in bed until 5am as can't get back to sleep due to worries
5am austistic son awakes, DH sometimes looks after him then
6am baby awakes, get up, sort out breakfast for baby and son
Sole care of baby and child until dh finishes work at 5pm. I also do all laundry (except dhs) and housework
5pm we jointly do dinner and bed. Both children asleep by 8pm
8 to 9pm my only free time after children are in bed. I go to bed at 9pm as up at 3am

Since march lockdown everyday has been spent at home looking after son and baby. It is not possible for me to take them both out on my own due to the social distancing requirements. My autistic son will run off, bump into people accidentially etc and I can't deal with this whilst I also have a baby to look after.

When we had the baby I joined lots of groups thinking my autistic son would be at school but I have not been able to continue with these. Even the nct group is not possible due to my autistic son and I have got really isolated.

He is going back to school this week but I just feel dread. He is sensory seeking and chews on everything and has constant bugs normally so I can see him being off school a lot or infecting us.

I am meant to finish maternity leave in a couple of months but I can't see how I can go back to work given the above. Also I am struggling to find childcare for the baby, we live rurally and there don't seem to be any childminders or nurseries with places. We would consider a nanny but the house is in disarray, another stress is an extension which was started pre lockdown in february and still dragging on and we having been living without a kitchen since june. A lot of my day is slso spent dealing with builders and I am exhausted with it all.

Prior to covid we had some respite provided by grandparents who all live 200 miles away but used to help out in school holidays. They have all now said they will not see us until there is a vaccine.

At weekends things are not much better. My DH will take both children for a hour or two at home (it is impossible to take them out alone) if I ask him but other than go for a walk on my own or car ride there is nothing for me to do. He thinks getting my hair done or beauty treatments are too big a covid risk, I can't be bothered to go shopping and queue up at the moment, I have no local friends or family to visit.

I guess I don't see much point to life anymore. I realise this is probably the same for a lot of people but I don't get any break at home either other than 1 hour each evening when I collapse in front of the TV.

We occasionally will go out at the weekend as a family e.g for a picnic in a national trust garden but it is generally miserable as my autistic son does not enjoy it and gets grumpy at walking. He wants to go all the things that he enjoyed pre covid, train trips to london, theme parks etc which are no longer possible due to his sensory seeking behaviour.

I also feel my DH does not appreciate me. He sees thag I am struggling but when he can't fix things he gets angry. He is exhausted too but makes me feel like I am useless. He constantly talks about how much money he earns (it all goes in a joint account) but he uses it as a way of saying that he is contributing more to the household. I once brought him up on this and he listed all the jobs I do e.g cleaner, nanny etc and said they do not add up to how much he earns. Last week the baby was sitting on a basket swing in front of me and accidentially rolled forward off the swing headfirst on to the grass. Luckily he was fine but my DH got really angry and called me a child abuser.

Sorry for the long rambling post. If anyone has any suggestions of how I can improve things I would love to hear them.

OP’s posts: |
Wigglegiggle0520 Tue 01-Sep-20 06:41:14

OP I have no advice but didn’t want to read and run.
It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job under really difficult circumstances flowers
Hopefully someone will be along with some good advice for you.

FippertyGibbett Tue 01-Sep-20 06:44:35

Firstly, stay off that phone at 3am - do not take it into the bedroom.
If you don't go back to work you are going to be stuck in this situation. Surely you thought about nursery and going back to work when you were pregnant, what had you planned ?
Work will get you out of the house and allow you to mix with others, making you feel a bit more ‘you’.
You feel dread about your son going back to school but it will bring the respite you need. Sure, he will be off frequently but look at the positive when he is in school.
Get your hair done - you’ll be wearing a mask, it’s fine and no more risk than your son going to school.
And even though you say you don’t want antidepressants it wouldn’t do any harm to speak to the GP. Even if it’s just to get everything off your chest. A good moan does you the world of good sometimes.
Better times will come, we all just have to hang on for them.

Alibaster Tue 01-Sep-20 06:48:57

I had a place at a childminder arranged but she has decided to stop operating due to covid. Two of the local nurseries have closed completely and the others now have long waiting lists.

I would rather not take anti depressants at the moment as I am breadtfeeding.

I take your point about the phone at 3am but I have tried lots of things to get back to sleep and have pretty much given up.

OP’s posts: |
CormoranStrike Tue 01-Sep-20 07:32:09

Oooh you do have a lot on. My thoughts are as follows (and I k ow it’s easy to see this when it’s from the outside and it may not be possible).

1. Stop the night feeds. Your baby is ten months old and doesn’t need milk during the night. Swap to boring water in a cup or bottle. Few nights of rough and then she will sleep
2. Don’t go on your phone during the night - it makes sleep elusive.
3. Get a nanny - doesn’t matter if your home is in disarray, a baby is part of tour strategy to get life back on track.
4. Get a haircut and a massage - they are not high risk activities and the benefits to your mental health outweigh the the physical risk.
5. Your husband sounds emotionally and financially controlling. Has he always been like this or is it a lockdown revelation?

LittleCabbage Tue 01-Sep-20 07:37:52

OP, I’m sorry you’re struggling. This does all sound difficult - manageable pre-Covid, and now tipped over into unmanageable.

I hate it when posters make any problem into a “DH” problem, but I do worry about some of the things you have told us about it. It sounds as if he grinds you down:

He thinks getting my hair done or beauty treatments are too big a covid risk - why is this his decision? It should be up to you to risk-assess it. When your son is back at school, that will be a bigger Covid risk. Also, things that give you some time away from it all and make you feel good, are important for your wellbeing.

when he can't fix things he gets angry - how is that helping you? You struggle and he makes it worse by getting angry.

makes me feel like I am useless - this cannot be helping your mental health.

he listed all the jobs I do e.g cleaner, nanny etc and said they do not add up to how much he earns - what an arsehole. How patronising and belittling. What is the job you are due to go back to? Remind him that he gets to work 9-5 in a decent job BECAUSE you look after the children that you both have JOINT responsibility for. You facilitate his work. How dare he make out that the children are entirely your responsibility.

DH got really angry and called me a child abuser - this is beginning to sound like emotional abuse from your DH actually.

My thoughts are this:

1) Do not worry about DS going back to school. It is the school’s responsibility to put in place measures that will limit infection spread due to his sensory-seeking behaviours. Is he at a special school?

You need a break from him, and you also need to get back to work.

2) Definitely go back to work when maternity leave ends. Look at all options for childcare. Other childminders/nurseries? Don’t rule out a nanny just because the house is a tip. You need the time out of the house, a break from the children, and the challenge/stimulation of something other than household drudgery 24/7. Do you enjoy your job? What are your hours like?

3) Remember, some of this will improve. The building project will finish, you won’t have builders around constantly and you will have a nice new kitchen. Your younger son will sleep well eventually. It is so hard coping with anything when your sleep is as disturbed as yours currently is, but it won’t last forever. I know your autistic son gets up early, but once you are back at work, and baby sleeps better, you and your DH should alternate who gets up with him at 5am.

4) Start standing up to your DH more and do not allow him to treat you like this. Or if you are scared of him, and worry that things will escalate, consider leaving him. I am not suggesting that lightly, but he really does sound like part of the problem.

5) In the meantime, make sure your DH does take the kids out every weekend for a couple of hours. You NEED that mental break.

WAMS Tue 01-Sep-20 07:40:10

Alibaster....I do think you should consider anti depressants. You are right that they wont change your actual cirucmstances, which do sound horribly hard work. But they really will help how you feel about them. They can help you feel more resilient and able to cope. Whats to lose by giving them a go?

Alibaster Tue 01-Sep-20 08:43:04

Thanks all for your comments.

Littlecabbage. I think my DH is part of the problem but I don't think leaving him would make things any better. I would basically be in the same situation but without any money. When covid is not an issue it is the money that allows me to get some respite e.g buying in the support of a nanny or cleaner or someone to take my son out during the day so I get a break. I don't think I could cope with him as a lone parent and I couldn't necessarily rely on my DH to have him at weekends as he is currently talking about immigrating. My salary has been stuck at the same level for 10 years (I have stayed with the same employer who allows me to work part time from home) and my career has been secondary to the children. It is also in quite a specialised area and it is unlikely I could get a job elsewhere. I enjoy my job and it allows me to get a break from childcare but does not have any career prospects.

I am uncertain what I can do to stand up to my DH more. I always will defend myself if he does come out with rubbish but we just end up arguing, he goes away and sulks and refuses to help with anything. I could just go and get my haircut but I don't really feel strongly enough about it to bother and think that he may have a point about it being an unnecessary risk. I wish I had a friend or family member I could escape to see but they are all to far away. I suggested to my parents that I isolate with the children for 2 weeks before visiting them over the summer but they still felt this was too big a risk for them.

I might look into anti depressants when I stop breastfeeding. We did try night weaning a few weeks ago but my dh couldn't settle LO without a feed so gave up after a couple of nights.

Neither me or my dh can cope with taking both children out together on our own so neither of us get a break at home. I would have to go out for a break and there is no where for me to go.

OP’s posts: |

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