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What have I done?

(21 Posts)
ChickChicken Thu 11-Aug-11 22:17:45

I have been having counselling for the last few months to deal with depression/anxiety / low self esteem and all that jazz.
It has been incredibly useful and with an increase in my anti depressants I feel a huge amount better than I can remember.
Dh and I have been together for 17 years, two dc one of whom has severe autism. Married for 11 years.
He has a horrible past which included sexual abuse as a young boy sad
He copes with the past by smoking dope, huge amounts of it. He works f/t.
At the moment he has nothing to smoke and when this happens he is an utter bastard, verbally abusive to the dc and me and just generally a horrible person to be around. I feel like a single mum in lots of ways always me and the kids and he never wants to be involved.
I have talked about us splitting up before and am told thay I won't cope on my own, who would want me etc.
Thing is before the counselling, I beleived him, now the little voice in my head is trying to say that things would be ok. But I worry about him sad about what he would do, how he would cope.
I told him tonight that he really needs to decide what is the most important thing pot and his past or now and his family. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for him and in no way want to belittle his horrific experiences but it just seems like every time there is a problem in
our relationship that his past is brought up and I feel sorry for him.
I thought I was strong enough to deal with this but now am not sure. I want him to deal with the past and his addiction is this reasonable?

1catherine1 Thu 11-Aug-11 22:21:29

Well done you! That must have been very difficult for you but your DC shouldn't be around that. He should deal with his problems the same way you have done yours ... counselling.

vegetariandumpling Thu 11-Aug-11 23:26:27

you're doing the right thing. You've given him the option of working on your relationship for the sake of your family, or giving up. You can't force him to stop the destructive behaviour but you are willing to stay and support him if he wants to work on things. The ball is now in his court.

pictish Thu 11-Aug-11 23:29:28

He cannot expect to hold you to ransom over his past.
That is emotional blackmail.

Not nice.

ChickChicken Thu 11-Aug-11 23:43:08

Thanks for your kind words.
I need to be strong but am already starting to doubt myself and if I could really go through what I have said.

What happens when you suggest that he could get some counselling and try to come to terms with his past, sufficiently to give up his drug and participate fully in your family life?

thenewf Thu 11-Aug-11 23:48:29

Agree as above. you are getting counseling. He needs to do the same.

springydaffs Thu 11-Aug-11 23:57:42

Work this through with your counsellor OP. Your DH has held this over you for a long time and the spell is beginning to break, which is always frightening. Keep going and you will get there.

He is a drug addict. Please don't think that pot isn't exactly the same as a Class A drug (in fact I wish it were a class A drug again tbh) in that those who are enslaved to it are exactly the same as any other addict. He is also verbally and emotionally abusing you, holding you to ransome about his past.

Plenty of people have been fucked up in childhood, me included, but you do all you can to address it, not make other people pay for it or check out with an addiction. He may want to hide from his past his whole life and live in its shadow but you don't have to go with him. Don't feel sorry for him, he has the power to address his past and there is ample support available if he chooses to access it.

ChickChicken Fri 12-Aug-11 00:06:29

He went to counselling about 6 years ago, private counsellor did'nt keep it up and we could'nt afford it, in some ways think this was worse for him because he did'nt work through his issues properly iyswim.
My counselling has now finished,10 sessions on the NHS.
He will pick the dope - I know that. He seems to think this is the only thing that helps him.
It is all such a mess, for the love of God even my Mum said today that I would'nt be able to cope on my own.
That voice in my head is still telling me not to give in though.

Pot is vile actually, because it makes the user so paranoid. It breaks down all trust and rational communication.

Listen to that voice. If nothing else, your kids need to realise that daily drug use isn't a normal way to exist.

JustFiveMinutesHAHAHA Fri 12-Aug-11 00:15:56

Gee - your Mum is supportive isn't she hmm

YOU will cope
YOU can cope
YOU will probably cope better with one less child to look after hmm

You have given him a very reasonable ultimatum - I actually think it will be better for you if he chooses misery & pot up front - at least then you can build your life on your strengths without him pulling you down.

I daresay that with a different person you would not have ended up the way you have done - you are now fighting your way out of it - don't let him hold you back anymore - YOU deserve more than this.

MadamDeathstare Fri 12-Aug-11 00:24:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

springydaffs Fri 12-Aug-11 09:14:08

Of course you can cope on your own! As FiveMinutes says, it is likely that his abuse and drug use have had a lot to do with the pickle you have ended up in with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem.

I don't know where you live but in my city there are endless counselling opportunities through eg womens organisations, a lot of it available at low cost (or as much as you can afford). There is also endless counselling and support for victims of childhood sexual abuse available if your OH wants to seriously address his issues.

You can't be expected to pay the price for what happened to him - as you have seen, the cost has been far too high for you. Plus your children living with a drug addict who abuses their mother is an appalling life for them.

You have shown that you are prepared to take the initiative to sort out your issues, he has to do the same or he has to go. The relief when men like this go is immense - you get your life back, you can think straight, make decisions, make plans for your future without constantly being pulled down and back. What happened to him is awful but that is not your responsibility. He has used it to avoid life and that was his decision, you shouldn't have to pay for it with your life and sanity.

I'm cross that your mum hasn't come up with the goods when needed, instead dragged you down with her comments. Don't listen to her - of course you can cope on your own! What you can't cope with - and no-one should have to - is living with the emotional, verbal and drug abuse from your husband. No wonder you've ended up in a mess!

ChickChicken Fri 12-Aug-11 12:33:36

He's gone to his friend who grows and supplies himsad
In some ways I agree with my Mum, my dc with autism is very low functioning, he is incredibly hard work and challenging.
He says he will have a good think about what I have said but it just seems like another excuse to me.

springydaffs Fri 12-Aug-11 12:56:10

ok, you know him but tbh "He says he will have a good think about what I have said" doesn't sound half bad to me. However, as I have a son who is up to his neck in the evil weed too <cry>, I do know how hard it is to get anything sensible to sink in. My boy does listen to me though - I think he/they know at root that things are out of control - but is caught by the balls by the evil stuff (evil, evil, evil stuff). My boy also has things he is trying to blank out, so it's not new OP.

Your boy may be incredibly hard work and challenging but you have a partner who is likewise - he could do something about it but has so far refused to. imo to have two of them in the same house is gruellingly hard work, you'd be better off with just the one...

ChickChicken Fri 12-Aug-11 18:14:20

Thanks springydaffs sorry to hear about your son sad Glad that your son listens to you though.
This is a really long standing issue in our relationship and I do feel that I have to offer him an ultimatum iyswim otherwise 5, 10 years down the line things will be the same.
I do thing the improvement in my mental health has led me to be realistic though about what we as a family need it's just a case of having the guts to carry them out.
Thank you to everyone else who has responded, very much appreciated

CaptainRex Fri 12-Aug-11 18:24:29

Just a note - even if your free sessions with your counsellor have finished, your GP can re-refer you for more if its still going to be beneficial (I know because I was in a similar position)

Good luck

JustFiveMinutesHAHAHA Fri 12-Aug-11 18:28:49

ChickChicken - I know your Mum has good intentions when she says how hard it will be to cope with your Son on your own - but be really honest - how much help do you get from your Husband with him now? How much work does your Husband cause - & more importantly how much stress/upset does he cause?

Your meds/therapy have helped you to get to a place where you can see things a little more clearly - you are starting to see what things will be like in 5-10 years time... when you are thinking about this, think about what you most want your children to see, what you want them to think is the right thing to do, a normal way to live... I bet it's not what you have now.

An addict will say whatever they need to say to not change anything.

SaffronCake Fri 12-Aug-11 19:36:20

What comes to mind when I read what you've written ChickChicken is an image of a woman living life in a bungee run who's just been given her first pair of scissors and is now thinking "dare I".

Your Mum clearly isn't very supportive. You're probably used to being told how you'll never quite make the grade. You probably believe it a bit. That's probably why you've stayed with your DH so long, because if being undermined wasn't normal for your life you would probably have identified this relationship as not good for you a long time ago.

They say depression is frustration turned inwards. What's frustrating you? Seems pretty apparent your ever-critical DH and Mum would be high on the list eh. I had a Mum like that, until I wised up. I've been free for over 8 years now. I highly recomemend it in the long term.

As an adult you have sole responsibility for the choices you make. Sounds obvious doesn't it, but now expand the principle out. It means he takes drugs because he chooses to. It means you can't make the choice to quit for him. It means whatever your mother says on the subject, the quality of your parenting is in your own hands. It means if you don't want to be treated this way you can't change the people doing it. It means you can walk away if you choose.

It's very, very scary, cutting out those people around you who just aren't actually on your side. Even worse when they've been huge figures in your life. Like I said, I've been 8 years mother-free (halellujah). Even now I sometimes still cry because I want a Mum, like everyone else. But I know deep down that I can't have one, because my mother isn't going to be a Mum. And I know deep down I had to cut her out of my life, no compromises (she never respected them long). If you want to ditch your husband then I wont lie to you, it's tougher before it's easy, but what worth having isn't? Every day people who hated pregnancy decide to have a second child, kids go to Uni knowing they're wracking up a 5-figure debt and spending 3 years eating beans on toast, even learning to drive is flippin' terrifying... We do these things because we know in the end we'll be glad we did.

When I picture you tied to that bungee-run I see you already have the scissors.

ChickChicken Fri 12-Aug-11 22:37:43

Captain,thank you, I may well ask my GP if I can be referred again at some point. It was a bit of a battle getting the referal in the first place though.
Justfive, he baths him, he is here if I need to pop out. It sounds dreadful but dh is'nt really with us, he's planning his next smoke sad
Saffron, that analogy of the bungee cord is spot on. But atm I am afraid the cord will snap and i'll be plunged back into the darkest days again.
I do have huge issues around self esteem/worth and the counselling really did help me start to look at that.
My Mum genuinely is only looking out for us, she wants him to stop and think about what he could lose, her worries about how I would cope are linked to the depression I think.
So, he is thinking - being very nice to us all and helpful to me, it's very confusing about what to actually do.
Do I give him a timescale do you think?

springydaffs Sat 13-Aug-11 01:09:56

that sounds like a good idea, but you have to be ready to totally enforce it when the agreed time arrives - this is vital. I think you need some more counselling support and would suggest you go back to your GP asap to get something in place soon. Or have a look at the many womens orgs who offer counselling at a reduced rate (sometimes £5 per session if that is all you can afford). if you live anywhere near a city you will find counselling offered to women at a reduced rate if you need it. if you can afford full counselling then I would suggest you go for it. Find a counsellor through bacp (I think it is? British Association of Counsellors and psychotherapists I'm guessing?) who will provide you with a list of counsellors in your area. Most offer a free first session so you can test the waters - if you don't feel comfortable with them after the first session then don't pursue counselling with them, but you usually get a good idea from the initial phone call. imo choosing a counsellor is like choosing a partner, it's got to feel right, regardless of how good they look on paper.

I'm saying that I think you need some more counselling because I think you need to strengthen your position, particularly as he will probably resist it. You have to be ready OP - the time will come when you will be, it is enough that that huge ocean liner is beginning to turn iyswim (that's what it's like when we start turning our life around, it takes time). If you are ready to set an ultimatum then great! but if you are not, don't beat yourself up - the time will come when you will be.

I would also get in touch with organisations that support people who live with addicts - in your case a drug addict. They will have a lot of support to give, advice, pointers etc. I always think it is better to be with people who know exactly what it's like so you don't have to explain or feel ashamed or embarrassed that you put up with it - most of the people who work on drug projects either have been addicts or have lived with an addict.

I know just what you mean about them being there physically but not being there at all. It is horrible being with them and very lonely because their body is there but there is nothing inside. It is actually devastating and I do think it would have had a lot to do with you developing depression eventually sad

Glad to hear that your mum has your best interests at heart - that's priceless imo.

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