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Depressed friend/child issues - please help(6 Posts)
Will try and keep this brief
I met a mum through one of my DC’s -she has an infant aged child in the same year. She has mental health issues (very sadly) and was sectioned earlier this year. During that time, I helped out a lot with taking the DC to school etc/childcare etc. She and her DH are now in the process of divorcing
Quite understandably, this is all very stressful. Mum and DC are living together again. Father not very reliable seeing child. All very acrimonious. Very fractured relationship with family
My issue is that I am actually at the end if the line with what I can do. We live near each other and end up walking to and from school each day for pick ups etc - that’s nearly an hour of downloading onto me about all issues. I dread the school run. I get frequent WhatsApp’s etc saying she is struggling etc. I know how very hard this must be for her but I am at my wit’s end. My own mum has cancer and I am supporting my DH through a massively stressful ongoing work situation. I have been supporting her for nearly a year too (whilst she tells me how wonderful my life is - I wish!) and I can’t do this any longer. I received various messages today telling me how hard half term is, dreading it etc etc. I feel this is a big hint to meet up but I don’t want to. I can’t engage with my own very young DC when we are together as I have to listen to and support friend. If I invite other friends, it’s awkward for them as I’m triangulated away and can’t speak to them
I have sent a message back saying speak to the community psych nurse/team and see what they say and whether they can provide some support for the DC to go to the holiday club our school is running as this is not good for either of them. Ie I am not sorting this out
I know I am being really selfish but would really appreciate any advice about how to sort out appropriate boundaries here Without feeling ridden with guilt - particularly regarding her child. My DH and my mum need to be the centre of what I am doing now and I realise my own mental health is being slowly affected.
You are not being selfish. In fact I think you are magnificent in that you are asking for help in handling this instead of just throwing this vulnerable family overboard.
I hope there is some other form of support for this family as you need to concentrate on yourself and your family first and foremost.
Thank you. Not sure how to extract myself TBH but know I need to
I think you need to be very honest with her about how hard you are finding it too. It’s OK to say you don’t have the ability to meet up or offer help at the moment.
If you do want to offer help, make it very specific targeted help e.g. Would you like to come to tea on Thursday between 5-7pm? It gives her something to look forward to but is time-limited.
Sign-posting her to other services is hood too, absolutely the right thing. Presume school know she’s struggling?
School knows as I told them and I think it fairly obvious
Still getting various messages saying struggling as half term. I am not diving in to sort this out. Have met up with another friend and her DC yesterday and the sheer relief of being able to have a two way conversation and a bit of a laugh and a joke is indescribable
I'm not sure if I need to say something or simply just try and distance myself. This week has been lovely. She did mention meeting up on Friday but I have other tentative plans. I feel not very nice about all this - particularly as there is a DC involved - but I need to do this
If you've started to resent the person you've been trying to help, stop.
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