In feeling very conflicted.. (Probably self indulgent)(71 Posts)
Ok so the basics are, I have 2 children - one with moderate ASD and one NT. I am married although they aren't my husbands children. Husband works away and Is home at weekends.
I work 5 days a week in a very stressful environment (mental health, inpatient).. Over the last few months I've been really struggling to cope with both work and DS - he can't access any childcare as it literally sends him through the roof so basically I do
It on my own.. My life has become something out of groundhog day, I get up, I keep ds calm - I take him to school, I go to work and help other people, I come home and I de escalate ds. (This can and has regularly involved several hours of being punched, spat on and headbutted etc)
Ds is under the care of CAMHS and if I'm honest is actually doing pretty well, his self harming behaviours are reduced and we are starting to see progress in his anger management...
BUT I'm fucked, I'm mentally and physically wiped out - I'm not sleeping, I'm snappy and tearful and so went to work a month ago and told them I'm struggling and requested reduced hours - they refused stating we were too busy..
(Sorry it's long!)
I then went to my gp who promptly said I'm living with with ridiculous amount of stress and can't keep this up (should add ds is also being statemented at the moment which is ridiculously stressful) he then signed me off for 2 weeks.
I'm due back at work tomorrow - I haven't heard ANYTHING from anyone I'm at work with since I went sick - absolutley no, how are you etc (maybe I'm expecting too much?) but it's resulted in me being even more worked up about going back to work.
I don't know what to do I could probably manage financially if I handed my notice in, but that leaves my husband supporting my children (financially) and I would be able to claim carers allowance (although arguably ds is at school for 6 hours a day...)
I'm just so fed up, I'm not depressed (although gp seems to think I am) I just feel so trapped.. I don't want to admit I can't cope with the never ending appointments snd the meltdowns and trying to juggle a house as well as a job but bluntly? I can't but other people cope right? How!!
As I wrote this the thought that kept going through my mind is I'm utterly sick to death of people needing me and how selfish is that? If I'm not being battered at work by people who are (genuinely) poorly then I'm getting it at home
Surely there is more to life than this?
get signed off for longer - you are not ready to go back - you are still ill x
I wouldn;t expect contact from work (currently off sick myself for 2 weeks post surgery - not a peep off anyone) as people don't like to pry and with stress work will be extra cautious about not stressing you further with contact
You are not depressed but you are stressed and anxious and not sleeping and worrying and exhausted ...you need more time
Agree you sound like you are not ready to go back to work yet.
Also agree I wouldn't expect my workplace to contact me when I was off sick (actually you get threads on MN from people moaning that they are signed off sick and their manager is ringing them!)
Ghosty, thanks for the response - that's DH's thought process - but my situation isn't going to change is it? This is my life (yay me ) and I feel like I'm conning thr system by being off sick (never had time off sick previously in 10 years of working)
Could you/do you want to change jobs to something less stressful?
I work in a similar role (not the same, but similar stress/responsibility/mentally draining), I can only do this as home life is very supportive and apart from occasional situations nothing ongoing which would need the same level which you are currently giving at work and home.
Would your husband agree to supporting you all financially for a while?
I know your children aren't his biologically, but you're a family unit now. I would do this in his position, and I think most decent spouses would.
Can you try to have more time off at weekends? Seems only fair
DH would support us yes.. But would involve a major downsizing of our lifestyle..
Yes agree, work unlikely to contact you though it doesn't mean they're not thinking about you.
You need to get signed off for longer. Don't feel bad, you aren't pretending!!
Could you change jobs? Sounds like your job takes more than you have left to give at the moment. Take care.
I don't think it's self-indulgent at all.
My initial thoughts were "well work coped without you for 2 weeks so why can't they cope with you doing reduced hours every week?" Assuming you work a 35 hour week that's 70hrs they've lost which if you were only doing a 25 hour week it would take 7 weeks to lose that many hours if that makes sense? Although it's not you that needs to be convinced is it?
I think you have a few options. You could give up work entirely. Not sure this is the "best" action - my friend did this and now feels very cut off from the world and that she is "trapped" as a carer (which sounds awful, but I think you know what I mean). You could change job to something less stressful (easier said than done I bet), you could try and get occupational health involved to support your request for less hours (don't know how feasible that is). I don't think doing nothing is an option though is it?
I take my hat off to you - I find it hard to just keep a fairly normal life going, and that is with a husband who is at home and doing his share. You need to realise exactly how much and how well you're doing.
I know you said your husband would be supporting your children if you gave up work...well I think he'd sooner have you in one safe piece than anything wouldn't he?
Fanjo, weekends are actually okish tbh - ds isn't stressed from school and therefore is fairly laid back.. It's during the week it's hell!
It's not unusual for ds to have 3 or 4 hour meltdowns to distress after school - sometimes he's violent.. It's less than it was (3 months ago it was daily whereas now it's about once or twice a week.. But even when he's not melting down its just so bloody constant, he licks me or has to be touching me in one way or another and its like I want to scream STOP BLOODY TOUCHING ME FOR JUST ONE FUCKING MINUTE.
I don't by the way, that would send him well and truly over the edge.
Posted to soon...
The level of support and pressure on yourself is hard enough for one situation, but you currently have 2 going on.
Also you must see in your sector there is high level of sickness etc, its a highly ongoing stressful job, the pressure is increased with reduction in budgets knocking onto staff employed etc.
Remember this though, you need to look after yourself to enable you do look after others.
Bloody hell - this sounds exhausting.
Are you getting any emotional support from any charities etc?
Can you outsource anything on the home front?
It's not unreasonably to not want to needed. You need some taking care of too.
No idea what the solution is but you definitely need done time to yourself to build up your resilience.
Not by the hair: the 'becoming a carer' bit is scary yes.. I don't want my life to become a carer to my child with autism.. But likewise that's kind of what it is anyway isn't it?
It's just so bloody monotonous, everything having to be done the same every single day to keep stuff on one level. It took me 2 hours to convince him we had to go to the supermarket for milk (hates the supermarket but really likes milk!) 2 hours. By the end of it I wanted to try and milk the dog to avoid it myself!!!
Hey Mac, there are several support groups in my area.. But they are either during the day (I'm at work) or in the evening (I've got ds) so sadly I'm not really in a position to be able to access much in that way.
My husband is a carer, and was recently signed off for three months consecutively for burn-out and depression. You can't care for other people so constantly and so whole-heartedly if you are not well yourself. The way you are feeling suggests to me that you are not ready to go back. It's not self-indulgence - it's looking after yourself so that you can look after others.
In our case, DH's solution was to leave that place of work, because the stressors were not going away. But it took him a while, and the distance of his sick leave, to make that decision. It sounds like you have the option to take longer for yourself, so please don't feel guilty about it. It's vital for you all.
I have never been in a remotely similar position so it's easy for me to say, but I think I'd rather downsize my lifestyle than live like that. It doesn't sound like an enjoyable lifestyle anyway, being that tired/stressed.
Outsourcing is a big thing but without sounding like I'm making issues.. It's bloody hard, anything to do with ds has to be done by someone 1000% familiar with ds's routine, I have absolutely no family (both parents dead and no other family), I have meetings 3 times a week with the school to try and keep ds in mainstream school, I have on average of 1 other appointment a week with various professionals that ds is involved with.. And all of that is completely excluding my poor DD who is wonderful!
Could you get a part time job? You can still earn £100 a week and claim Carers Allowance..even when DS is at school.
I would agree some sort of respite care is needed. I was apprehensive at first but now dD is close to her carer.
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