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I'm drowning

(42 Posts)
Brightsunset Sun 21-Oct-18 19:04:49

Yeah I know I'm probably being U but it's all too much. My sob story is that I had an extremely abusive childhood & then went on to spend decades married to an angry man with a personality disorder who took control of everything - and I was happy with that because it absolved me of all responsibility. I've finally extricated myself from that mess & now I'm on my own. For the first time in my life (in my 50s) I'm now in charge of everything. If I don't do it, it doesn't happen. I feel overwhelmed. Just learning & managing & knowing how to pay bills. Buy food. Get a job. Mend stuff. Take care of everything. My mind is sozzled and I'm very tired. Absolutely everything is down to me. Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed? We lead such complicated lives. I aspire to being one of those really 'sorted' people who has all their shit in order. I feel like I have a child's capability inside an adults body. Anyone else?

Holdingonbarely Sun 21-Oct-18 19:09:27

Who gives a fuck about being sorted. Stop finding reasons to berate yourself.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and congratulations!!

MacosieAsunter Sun 21-Oct-18 19:10:36

A dairy, or calendar, notes and lists.

Start with your pay days, then add in your direct debit/bill due days. Then add on the non monthly things like car tax due dates.

Mending stuff - plenty of you tubes for that sort of thing.

And be kind to your self.

Babyroobs Sun 21-Oct-18 19:12:10

set as many bills up on direst debit/ standing order then you do it once and you can forget about it. Your bank will talk you through it. Once you start to do things you will gain confidence. I worry that if my husband wasn't around I would really struggle with technical stuff like computers, phones etc as he sorts all that for me.
As for food shopping- pick a few simple cheap meals so that you have the basic ingredients and then just buy the meat or whatever fresh.
Finding a job is going to be harder, the job centre may be able to get you onto courses to update your CV and confidence building courses and there will be others in your position. Or start with some voluntary work to build up your skills.

EffYouSeeKaye Sun 21-Oct-18 19:12:19

Agree about complicated lives, it certainly feels that way sometimes.

If you are suddenly thrown into all at once for the first time, it would easily become overwhelming.

Who / what are your top five daily responsibilities, in priority order would you say?

For example, mine would be:
1. DCs
2. Job
3. DH
4. Parents
5. Mortgage / Bills

Holdingonbarely Sun 21-Oct-18 19:12:49

Also add. All bills on DD. You’ll never have to think about it again

Everything else isn’t really important, you can learn, you can get someone in to do it.

I’m sure you did tonnes of shit when you were married

nannynick Sun 21-Oct-18 19:19:53

I feel overwhelmed when I don't have control over things, such as when something goes wrong.
This weekend it's the electrics, a fault with a timeswitch on the electricity boards side of the system so I can't touch it. Elec board sent out emergency technician who couldn't help. So back to calling them on Monday to see if they can send someone who can help!
Anyway you don't want to hear my problems, you want to sort your own.

1. Lists - make plans for what you need to do.
2. Automate - as many things as possible go on automatic. So standing orders/direct debits for things you pay frequently and also for building up savings and retirement investments.
3. Routines - daily, weekly, monthly, whatever works for you. Getting up routine, going to bed routine, washing clothes routine, washing bedding routine, cleaning the home, all sorts of things can have routines and scheduled. Online calendars can be really useful to remind you of repeating events.

Brightsunset Sun 21-Oct-18 19:25:19

Aww, thanks for suggesting daily/weekly/monthly. I'd never thought of that but it makes sense. Bitesize chunks.

missymayhemsmum Sun 21-Oct-18 19:26:52

yes, me too, and I've been in charge of my own life (single parent) for almost all my adult life.
If you don't do it, it doesn't happen, but it is nobody else's business! You can choose to do it, or you can choose not to do it. Your choice.

If you have had abusive relationships you probably have a voice in your head saying it's not good enough to have a dirty house, an untidy garden, an empty fridge, unpaid bills. Tell that voice to xxx off!
Stop judging yourself. If you don't buy food you have the choice between eating out or making something experimental with what you have. Your choice, either is ok. If you want to eat pasta every night and leave the bowl in the sink you can. Or go shopping and wash up.

Paying bills is more of a problem as not doing it has consequences. So set everything you absolutely have to pay up on direct debit from a bills account, and then review each bill to see if you can get better value. Cancel everything else.

With regard to getting a job, make a plan. Tick things off and have faith that if you keep putting in good applications, a job will arrive. Register with agencies and try things out.

Congratulations and enjoy your freedom!

Mummadeeze Sun 21-Oct-18 19:30:49

Totally agree that having lists is the only way to not feel overwhelmed. I have always been responsible for everything but my memory is really bad so I have to rely on lists and reminders on my phone to do loads of stuff. I have an urgent list, a medium priority list and a long term list. It feels great crossing things off too. Enjoy your freedom too, congrats on getting out of your bad relationship smile

danigrace Sun 21-Oct-18 19:31:54

flowersflowers for you OP, well done. You have been so strong to break free from all of that. Please be proud of yourself, you really deserve it!!

Maybe give www.flylady.net a look. Tells you exactly what to do when, has emphasis on being kind to yourself, and definitely really helps with that overwhelmed feeling.
You will get there. Baby steps. ♥️

Juells Sun 21-Oct-18 19:42:45

The only way I can stay on top of things is by paying everything direct debit. I know other thrifty people think it's a dreadful way to live but nothing would get paid otherwise.

MoaningSickness Sun 21-Oct-18 19:45:49

Absolutely everything is down to me. Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed? We lead such complicated lives. I aspire to being one of those really 'sorted' people who has all their shit in order. I feel like I have a child's capability inside an adults body. Anyone else?

Yes. This exactly how I feel. And it drove me into depression. I would make a real effort, try and write thing down, keep on top of cleaning etc.. and start to feel like I was finally managing to juggle all the balls... and then I'd realise that I'd fucked up something not even on the radar - forgotten to send my mother a birthday card etc. I was constantly apologising for fucking up.

I wish I could say I had some magic solution, but the main thing that changed was I switched jobs to one getting more money that meant I could throw money at problems (failed to plan dinner? Get takeaway. Failed to pay bills on time? Shrug and pay dunning charge etc), so I can care less and I'm no longer feeling so desperately on the edge. I still have that constant 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' feeling about the next logistical thing I'll have forgotten.

BananaBonanza Sun 21-Oct-18 19:46:30

Yy to small bitesized chunks.

Acknowledge and congratulate yourself on what you have done.

Forgive yourself if you don't make it through everything.

Accept sometimes that's enough and staying sane is the biggest achievement.

Cambalamb Sun 21-Oct-18 19:47:01

I've finally extricated myself from that mess & now I'm on my own.

Wow, you are amazing! Everyone is winging it to some degree. You have survived and your head is above water. Well done you!!!flowers

skyesayshi Sun 21-Oct-18 19:47:41

Well done to you for getting out. It's not so hard to manage yourself, you will get used to it.

I have all of my bills on monthly direct debit. it is great for budgeting as you know exactly how much comes out each month.

Do your shopping online if you have a computer. You can usually get timeslots at Tesco for £1. If it is delivered to your door it saves a lot of time.

Regarding work, presumably you are registered with the job centre? If not then do that, get all of the help/benefits that you are entitled to at the moment. Then look in local newspapers and online job agencies. Take something simple to start with if you need to build up your confidence.

i agree with lists too, make lists of everything that needs doing. Don't let the list overwhelm you, it doesn't matter when it is done, it is just a reminder. Tick off one thing at a time.

Good luck!

MyBrexitIsIll Sun 21-Oct-18 19:49:32

Yep direct debit for everything!

Meal planning for the shopping.
List of what I’m running out of on the wall.

And then as another poster says, tell the little voice in your head that tells you you won’t manage/you’re not smart enough/it’s not good enough to just shut up.
Because you are doing EXTREMELY WELL to have left an abusive relationship and to be now standing in your own two feet.
So please congratulate yourself. Because what you’ve done is a HUGE thing that isn’t easy to do at all.

CSIblonde Sun 21-Oct-18 19:52:38

Well done on starting over. That takes guts so stop beating yourself up. It's normal to feel overwhelmed when you haven't done something before. It must feel like being catapulted into a new job where you have loads to learn: & the first month in any new role is knackering. Direct debit all bills & Council tax(you should get a single person discount). Google CV format or Get job agency advice (I found job centre CV clubs v v out of date re current format/styles etc). What skills do you have? Gumtree has lots of part time jobs that you could double up for steady £ while you get a longer term plan sorted:bar work, catering, cleaning, call centre, reception, childcare etc etc. (Job agency temping isn't that great £ unless you have skills) . Look at free courses at your local college. In a few months time it will all feel like your new 'normal' . Very best of luck.

Xenadog Sun 21-Oct-18 19:56:18

Yes to direct debits but also have two bank accounts. The first one is where wages/benefits get paid into and then have a standing order from this account which puts money into a bills account. Then all of your direct debits come out of this bills account. Always try to have a few extra pounds sloshing around in the bills account in case a direct debit goes up. If you go along to the bank and book to speak to an advisor one of them will sit down and go through this with you. The two accounts are so useful and will help you budget,

I have to say when you are suddenly doing it all on your own for the first time is it really bloody overwhelming. Know that everyone feels like this at some point and that you can do this.

Have you got friend in RL who can help you?

muchalover Sun 21-Oct-18 20:00:38

I could have written your initial post. I does get better. Of course that hasn't stopped the baliffs coming to my door for the third year running because the flaming council keeps 'losing' mine and my son's university exemption certificates. Bastards.

But still, it does get easier. You already have a huge amount of skills in managing things, you just have to manage you and not anyone else now.

peanutbutterandbanana Sun 21-Oct-18 20:03:15

I discovered a great app-based bank account recently called Starling. You have to download the app. It helps with budgeting and sends you notifications when money comes in. Not got to full grips with it, but it looks amazing. The reviews on the app store are good too.

April2020mom Sun 21-Oct-18 20:19:35

Start small. Baby steps. Make lists. Look at newspapers for job opportunities and enquire about possible benefits and any financial assistance.
Find out if there are careers advice or not in the area you live in. Not sure where you live but in my area there is a good quality college. Go to see the job centre for advice and check out Gumtree as well. Often careers are advertised on the website of the business. It’s worth looking there.
Do you have any friends who can help you? Furthermore I know that there are lots of courses and qualifications available at college. If you want to go down that route of course. This link might also help you figure out what you want to do and what skills you need - nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/skills-health-check/home
The results of the skills check are typed up in a report that is worth reading.
Get financial advice from your bank too. Open a account for bills and wages. Also open a another bank account just in case. Speak with someone at the bank about the options and have your questions answered as well. Make a appointment pronto.

mumsastudent Sun 21-Oct-18 20:21:14

I have big family size wall calendar write everything on it as it comes up & I mean everything! when I pay bills I write on them the date & how they were paid person I spoke to& time & phone number I rang(ie by phone or through bank) Keep a drawer or one of those big folder that you can separate items out on & label them If I need to do something next day (like phone calls or if I need to go to bank or what ever) I keep calendar on wall near phone with pen(s). take a deep breath & plan to do x essential things in a day (whether its one or two or whatever) if you do more give yourself a pat on the back!

nannynick Sun 21-Oct-18 20:21:36

The two accounts thing works well for managing money. Also Baby Steps reminds me of 'Dave Ramsey Baby Steps' Google that and you will get steps for how to pay off debt and invest for your future... it's American but works anywhere - even if you have no debt it's still useful to work through the steps as it helps to have an emergency fund, retirement fund/pension.

Nannewnannew Sun 21-Oct-18 20:25:42

I can’t really add anything constructive to the good advice other pps have given you, but just wanted to assure you that the way you are feeling is very normal in your situation.

It’s very hard isn’t it and I often want to scream when a close friend tells me ‘how lucky I am to live on my own’ !!!

I sometimes wake with a jolt during the night worrying about things that need to be done etc. But it does get easier!

Wishing you all the best and keep strong.

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