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Overwhelmed. Again.(14 Posts)
Ex and I split for 2 years, but not divorced.
He left after drink fuelled EA started to get physical and aggressive.
He is suffering from depression, I strongly suspect has BPD on some level. Is in a financial mess and has isolated himself from everyone as far as I know. In the past he has suffered from SAD and is starting to decline.
This all impacts on the DC's especially DS (13).
I still seem to referee their relationship, but if I back off, it spirals terribly.
Whilst Ex is the adult. DS can be very difficult himself, the back history is long and complicated.
But they don't get on quite a lot of the time.
Neither Ex nor I have anyone else to help.
My parents are not really able to help. (Dad is 75 and after a lifetime of being a controlling and manipulative bully, has started to deteriorate worryingly).
I miss my Mum terribly. We are not able to talk and she herself is not well.
My neighbours helped for a bit but both of the husbands have either tried it on or made passes at me, so I have pretty well cut myself off from them.
I have one really good friend, but she is very busy socially and has her own family.
DS simply doesn't trust anyone to let them get involved.
DD (8) does have a very good relationship with her Dad, and cried dreadfully for him to come home, and I am so sad and frightened that one day she will blame me for him being away.
But when things were bad she used to hide in tiny spaces, or tremble and shriek when things went wrong.
I used to have to send her to a friends for her own safety when things were bad (she was at risk of being hurt/damaged by DS), but even though she remembers it all, she still wants her Dad back.
I don't have the greatest health, suffer from nightmares, insomnia and get very little help from the two of them. DS is in many ways a typical teen, but it does mean that if he stops seeing his Dad, I get no break, and whilst that is so, so selfish, of me, I am emotionally shattered and sometimes simply can not deal with DS's hyper, slightly manic behaviour without a break.
We have been through CAMHS, SS, a mentor, Family support but DS refuses to confide in any of them. And they all closed the cases.
I have counselling, that is sometimes my one lifeline, and do get out a bit if the DC's Dad comes here.
I run a small business, am on benefits and feel very very trapped. I can't retrain, afford to study, or have anyone reliable to support me. And a lot of the time I am too knackered to even contemplate doing so.
The scary thing is. what I describe is 100x better than it all used to be.
I just wonder when it will be normal.
I feel isolated and trapped, and am aware that in the mess he is in, my Ex is still being very controlling, but it is also sad.
I want to run away (but wont) because it is like being on a relentless, hamster wheel.
I'm sorry, it's long but once I start, it just all spews out....
Hello Mittzy - sounds to me like you're an incredibly strong person to have come this far!!
Am not particularly useful when it comes to issues with children and health but there are lots of wonderful people on MN who will be able to elaborate on that side, I'm sure.
Re. you asking when will things be normal it struck me that, for now - this is normal - your very own normal. With your courage and determination you will work towards a better 'normal' in time.
For now, things probably feel overwhelming but you've got all of us here now!
Keep posting and reading, that in itself can and will hopefully help you right now.
I get few weekend where I am not contacted by the kids, and I am torn.
The DC's bicker relentlessly and rarely get on. They often fight 'over me', and vie with each other for my attention.
In the end I feel like screaming.
DS steals, lies, bullies his sister...
DD draws 'monsters' and school have concerns..
School want Ex's new Factory number and extension number for their emergency contact numbers, but he won't ask for it off the management because he is in the middle of being investigated over a complaint against him.
And will then later complain that he is being excluded as a parent.
And then he will bake me a pie.
[sad smile] at "And then he will bake me a pie."
You are dealing with so much, Mittzy. No wonder you are feeling overwhelmed.
You care about your children a great deal -- that comes through in your posts -- so despite all the hardships you are making all the efforts to take good care of them. That takes some strength.
I'm glad to hear you're having counseling. Can you turn to any RL friends, if only just to talk, or to get a moment of respite over a cup of tea with some adult company?
If you are afraid that you don't have any sufficiently intimate friends for that close by, I will say that IME most people are kind and caring and happy to listen to and comfort a person who reaches out to them with their troubles. I would bet that there a number of people who you consider to only be "acquaintances" who would be happy to give you some RL company and comfort, if you ask for it.
Hi Mittzi, sorry you have such a very difficult life. I don't know if I can help or advise but I could offer perspective on what I see. I see someone who is alone, is afraid of being alone, yet has 3 other people all needing her. At the same time as they need her, they appear to reject her, or make her life extremely hard.
Mittzi the people who share your life have to be on your side. If they are not, you have to get them on your side. Do everything you can to rebuild those bonds between you and your children. Spend downtime with them, be with them, let them know you're not going to do a runner or play sillybuggers like their Dad did. Be firm with boundaries though, it will give dcs more stability. Their behaviour is just reactive, they are trying to recreate their old 'normal'. Persist and you will give them a better 'normal'.
I think you are a very capable person. Anyone that has the courage to make a big change like this, to stop the cycle of abuse, deserves a medal and a lot more support than the godforsaken 'services' give. The help you need is more likely to come from your children and any friends you can pick up along the way. But ultimately it will come from inside yourself.
If the school want another emergency number, find a good neighbour and ask to give theirs.
After I met Ex. he isolated me from all my friends really, and at the time I 'enabled' his actions in trying to please him, and the only friends I had were through him, so now we have split I struggle as a lot of them are not people I would choose as friends (he came from a circle that took a lot of drugs, they never really took to me because I didn't touch them).
Again, that is a long story in itself.
I try to connect a bit with parents at school , but rarely get the free time to get involved ( they have a great social network and do something every Thursday night, but it kicks off when the DC's come back, and is too late for DD to be up.) I have tried when I can though. I am a bit of a social muppet and get anxieties...
Sing, I have good bonds with the DC's as individuals, so if I am just with one of them, all is great, but as soon as the three of us are together it quickly crumbles. We can't play anything together without it falling apart and I am at a loss as to how to change that.
I sat on the bus coming home from their Dad's with them, and they each had to have an arm each and started bickering if what either of them was doing interfered with 'their' arm.
You are right that they are affected by abandonment issues, especially DS who went through hell.
I just get over whelmed at pretty well having to be their only stable base when sometimes I am actually at the end of my tether.
They have 2 much older brothers, one of whom is especially fab but he is miles away and whilst will have them a couple of weekends a year, is not a constant, and they want that relationship to be fun and good, not troubled by issues, which is OK.......
Ahh, I'm rambling again, but it is good to talk, it might be a good weekend, the fair is in town and their Dad has promised to take them to the fair... I might get a weekend where I don't get harrowing texts and phonecalls because things are falling apart... But I shy away from making plans because if I do it is so so hard.
We all have anxieties about social situations- that's normal. Most of the time other people are as nervous about us as we are of them. I'm sure you will get to know some solid people over time. I read recently that to make good friends you have to be a good friend.
Sounds like you invested a lot of good energy into a nasty relationship, at least you can be thankful that you don't have to waste that energy any more.
Sibling rivalry is usually a phase and one day they will learn that there are more interesting things to do than fight. But I would continue with trying to spend time with them, together and alone, and if you can, to set a routine into that so they know what to expect and when. In theory, turntaking games are a good idea but I can see how they don't work in practice. When my dcs used to bicker I would ignore them (not all the time, but most) as most of the time it was just to get my attention.
You said that you can't make plans -is that for yourself? Because ex or dcs hassle you cos they're distraught? Tell them you are going to switch your phone off - but as I said, make sure there is another number they can call (your brother? the school parents?). It sounds as though ex is still controlling you - because he is deliberately setting things up to fail so you can't make plans. ?
Could you try and do something not competitive with the kids like having a DVD night. Allow them to take turns choosing and make some popcorn or something. Will read and post more later as my two killing each other here
OP - is it not possible to get concessions with the prices of courses when you are on benefits?
Dahlia, no, I don't think so, I am in that funny income bracket that is just above the cut off for help, but isn't enough to finance it independently. I will look into it further though.
Sing, I think it is the everythingness of it all. They just don't get on, I have done video nights, and all is well for a while but it seems their 'default' relationship is to not get on. It is fab when they do I think I get frustrated when they do have my attention and still bicker.
I just can't switch my phone off, DS has walked out of his Dad's and I feel overwhelmingly guilty at the thought of them being unhappy and not able to contact me.
It feels wrong, their Dad switches his off when he has issues with me and I know how they feel when he does it.
The plans thing..... yes, there is often a coincidence between me doing something and things going wrong between them. DS doesn't usually like it either. I have done things 'secretly' but it all feels so crap, that so much just has to be dealt with all the time.
I am ok for a bit and then it all gets to me. Especially if my pain and energy levels are bad (I have FibroMyalgia and some other minor but nagging pain issues)
Thank you though.
I wish you well - I can't offer practical advice but I wish you lived near me so we could meet up and talk. I livein the arse end of nowhere so i am sure we don't. It's almost easier when they are toddlers 'cos there is a natural support group of playgroup and schoolgate parents. Not so easy when they are older to find friends.
You can only keep trying and celebrate every tiny inch of success..
thank you itis.... There is a lot to be pleased about in my life, as I said it is much better, but those aren't the bits that get you down IYSWIM.
DS was bullied so badly on top of what happened with his Dad he was self harming and suicidal.... now he is roaming the village with a group of mates walking like a baboon....
I do lose sight of the things I need to celebrate.... and I do ache for emotional support and security.
Coffee and a chat sounds like a lovely idea and even if not possible, the thought is appreciated x
at "walking like a baboon". I know exactly the walk you're talking about!
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