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I'm really struggling :(

(14 Posts)
strugglingstepdad Sat 18-Mar-17 02:01:43

I don't know how to talk about this but some of this might be a bit blunt, so I'm sorry sad

I'm struggling with my partners mental health issues. I love her more than anything, but after things in my own past I'm really struggling.

We moved in together in October after dating quite a while and living at each other's (with the kids!) but in November she started to go off the rails a bit.

She was in a very very physical and emotional abusive relationship (the shit liked to hug the kids as well sad ) and this is the first time she's moved where he doesn't know where she is. So naturally she's started to feel relaxed. This to me is brilliant. Other than now she's feeling safe everything she's bottled up for the past 14 years seems to be coming out.

I'm working really hard to keep us all together. I love her so much and love the kids as they were my own. ( I have none of my own but my happiest memory in life was when one of them wanted me to go to his Father's Day lunch as he'd never felt able to ask before !).

A couple of weeks ago I noticed she was self harming. I managed to get her to speak to the mental health triage team type thing ( I don't know what they're called!) and she's been to a self referred centre and to one group session. I was really supportive and as helpful as I could be. I took her there and walked her to the door where one of the team met her and took her in.

It turns out there's a lot more to what happened to her, some involving sexual assaults involving 3rd parties orchestrated by her ex and other equally bad stuff. Again I've listened and talked and just been a rock as much as I can.

There has also been arguments where she has said afterwards she's deliberately pushed me away. I've stuck by her and just carried on.

Then tonight we were having a really nice night ( I've been very helpful today and done the shopping and both school runs..... my days off are Friday Saturday). We've both had a drink (I can't drink any other night as I'm an Hgv driver) watched a film and had a good laugh.

She went to the toilet and when she came back I noticed there were fresh cuts on her arm sad. Fresh to the point blood was still flowing sad.

I admit I flipped. Not in a violent way or anything like that. My mother is a suicidal manic depressive and when I saw the cuts on my other halfs arms I freaked out. I told her I couldn't live like that anymore because of my mothers past and that if she did it again I couldn't stay for my own mental health.

Now with the help of my mother (she's been really good with helping my other half with someone to talk to who understands how she feels) she's gone to bed.

But I'm still sat here crying my eyes out. I don't want to lose her and I really don't want her cutting herself. I don't know what to do. I feel so selfish by saying I can't cope. But after having to deal with my mothers depression and my 8 year old special needs brother (I was 16 at the time) I feel as though I'm the worst prepared person to deal with this sad

Sorry for the long post but trying to give as much info as I can.


Isadora2007 Sat 18-Mar-17 02:07:39

Can you access some counselling for you and get together? Or even just you for support.
I'm sorry you're going through this and her too. Sounds really tough. And you sound lovely as well.
But please don't try to do good things then think that will be enough to stop her feeling bad. In the nicest possible way it is not about you. It's her crap that's is making her feel that way and it's honestly not you so you can't always stop her or be so nice she won't feel the need to self harm. In fact sometimes you being nice could just be enough to make her feel even more of a fraud or useless or whatever.
Counselling could help you both and you do sound like you need support too.
You're a nice guy though so stick with her and those lovely kids. brew

strugglingstepdad Sat 18-Mar-17 02:26:27

Thankyou @Isadora2007

I do think I could do with some help dealing with my past issues. But wouldn't know where to start!

Broken11Girl Sat 18-Mar-17 02:33:38

In the nicest possible way it is not about you. That.
In fact everything Isadora said.
Ok that's good you want to deal with your issues. You can go to your GP and ask for counselling, or find a private counsellor, try
And flowers

usernoidea Sat 18-Mar-17 02:44:33

I think you sound like you've been an amazing help to her and this blip was because you care so much for her
I'd make an appt to see your gp and ask for their help and advice
Good luck. This is going to be a long journey but she's very lucky to have you x take care

Isadora2007 Sat 18-Mar-17 10:45:02

Relate could be a starting point. Or many charities specifically for women who have experienced abuse offer counselling.

minion246 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:04:03

You sound like an amazing caring partner. I understand it's difficult for you and you can only take so much. Hopefully your dp would improve if she gets the correct help. Maybe you should get some counselling as it seems like you have a lot of issues yourself, then if you both address your issues you maybe could help one another. You can't fix your dp straight away but it sounds like you are doing your best so keep letting her know that you are there for her. All the best to the both of you x

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 18-Mar-17 14:36:46


I support my DH with his MH, I have also suffered from depression in the past and am currently recovering from PTSD which is related to DHs last crisis. Supporting someone with their MH is hard work, definately seek support for your self too through your GP you might be able to get councelling through your workplace too, I've foundcthis quicker than nhs.

Its great that she is getting support now, it will take time for her to get better and there will be blips along the way. Urges to self harm are not the same as suicidal thoughts (although it is possible to have both) they are a coping mechanism. Thats something my DH doesn't understand when I have these urges he thinks I'm suicidal but I'm not. Getting angry with her about it and telling her to stop won't stop the urges although one of the main things that stops me harming is knowing how upset DH will be if I do.

The most important thing you can do for both of you is to look after yourself and your MH because if you go under you won't be able to support her either. Make some time for yourself and invest in your own mental wellbing as a priority.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 18-Mar-17 14:38:18

Also do your DPs MH team provide any carer support? DHs have been an amazing support to me, its worth asking.

strugglingstepdad Sat 18-Mar-17 15:16:05

Thanks for your replies smile

It's still the very beginning for her journey so we don't know where it's going to go yet with which support. She's on the waiting list to see a counsellor but that's still going to be approximately 6-8 weeks.

I'll wait for a bit to see what happens with her group sessions and counselling and then work out which path to take.

I'm really grateful for your advice, it wasn't a good night last night but we are both out the other side of it for now smile

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 18-Mar-17 15:40:10

Do make sure you have good support inplace for yourself. I think DHs MH condition affects me as much as it does him, so don't underestimate the importance of a good support network for both of you. I say this from bitter experience. Good luck to you both, and keep posting here if you need to.

user1483981877 Sat 18-Mar-17 16:47:42

Gosh, I think you're amazing, I can't imagine how deeply this must be triggering you if it mirrors how you supported your own mum yet still you stand with her. So for a start, your strength is evident, that's fairly clear. But I agree that you need support yourself, or else, if you're anything like me, you will get pulled under and will unable to help yourself when you most need it. So, above all else, remember that you and the younger version of yourself inside you who is desperate to make this all alright for everyone need a break. Because you are awesome.

strugglingstepdad Sat 18-Mar-17 18:37:06

Thanks guys.

I'm really not amazing! I'm pretty damned sure that if you asked my better half she could produce a big list of reasons for me being not amazing!

I just love her and don't like to see her feeling like this. I want the woman I met back who was completely bonkers and wampy to my opposite square and straight laced!

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 18-Mar-17 19:25:45

Well nobody's perfect, but it does soundvlike you are her rock no matter the little faults. Watching someone you love suffer is one of the hardest things, especially when you can't make everything ok. And no matter how hard you try you can't because as PP said this is not about you. The best thing you can do is keep loving her and keep on giving her as much normality as you can. And look after yourself because she needs you to, in order to stay strong.

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