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Grumpy, irritable, need space but feel guilty

(13 Posts)
FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 13:34:33

Hello there, there are a lot of sensible posters here, so I'd really appreciate the chance to pick your brains.

I have a lovely teenage DS and a lovely DP, but I am feeling increasingly smothered, irritable and I just want to be on my own and this is making me feel really guilty.

I'll try not to do the drip feeding thing. I am feeling quite stressed out. DP was made redundant and is doing minimim wage agency work. I recently became self employed, and while I earn more than DP, I still worry that it isn't enough and feel bad about not providing more. I've had a lot of mental and physical health problems over the last few years, and I feel like I should be doing better for myself financially and feel like a bit of a failure, but at least that spurs me on to work harder!

I do work very long hours at the moment, and I frequently feel mentally exhausted. We have no family round here, and I just want to go away by myself for a bit. Every time I try to broach this with DP, he is not happy about this. Then I feel guilty and selfish for suggesting it, financially and relatioship wise.

Tbh everything my DS and DP do at the moment really pisses me off, and I often sleep on the sofa just to get some alone time. The problem is that I never quite get what I need and then this makes me even grumpier and want to spend more time alone.

I know this is a very unpleasant and selfish attitude, but I really can't help it. I've always been a very emotionally self sufficient person, I was a quiet child that didn't 'do' hugs and I recharge my batteries by withdrawing into my own space.

How can I stop feeling like this and engage emotionally with my family again? sad

PS, I have a lot of emotional baggage from my own upbringing and I'm starting group art therapy soon.

TheBirderer Tue 30-Oct-12 13:51:43

"I recharge my batteries by withdrawing into my own space."

I don't think there's anything wrong with this. It reminds me of me, after a long day sometimes I really really want to just be by myself in a room with no noise and just space out. I think you need to work out a way to integrate this into your day to day life so you don't get to the point where you're withdrawing from your partner and son. It sounds like you've got a long day going on through the week, so do you think it would be possible to fit in the time you crave into short activities? Stuff like:

-A long walk
-Short jog or run
-Gardening

And other things like that can provide physical exercise as well as quiet alone time. I'm going to guess that after work there isn't much of a gap between that and having to talk and interact with your family? Maybe it would be an idea to slot something into the evening where you can say "Right, going for a walk for a bit, see you in __".

You do sound a little claustrophobic and trapped "mentally" (if that makes sense), so maybe it would be good to start a private blog or journal where you can express your feelings and thoughts.

You say you feel smothered. Have you asked to have a little time to yourself after work? Do you think your partner and son recharge differently and find your withdrawing hard to understand? It may well be worth spelling out you'd quite like half an hour for a bath or a while alone to read a book.

Shalloween Tue 30-Oct-12 14:28:10

It sounds as though you've taken the burden of earning and providing on yourself. Perhaps you've tried to protect your DP in the past to ease the worry and pain he suffered due to redundancy and this still carries on now. This on top of your health and past problems is isolating you, especially as you can't talk to your DP about it, so you feel alone, irritated by others and unable to get any peace.

Could you try talking to your DP again. Perhaps in your previous conversation he was defensive as he felt you were blaming him for not earning more? I don't think you are, I think you're just overwhelmed by what you see as a burden you can't carry and you need to get that across to him. Perhaps try again with him not, about money and stuff, but about feelings - about feeling alone, feeling responsible and ask him for help. You need his support to help you and your family through this.

Oh, and I agree with everything TheBirderer said.

FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 14:36:24

Thanks you two. The exercise is a good idea, I just haven't been looking after myself recently, I don't eat properly, because there's always work that I could be getting done, by the time I've finished I'm knackered. The weirdest thing is I end up feeling angry at the fact I have to tell DP and DS that I need to do some Yoga, go for a walk or do whatever. Tbh I just feel pissed off at having to explain myself and jusify my actions to anyone.

I have started smoking again - like a trooper because of the stress, and I'm on a short course of sleeping tablets at the moment because I've had insomnia from stress. This all makes me feel even shittier and more run down.

I want too talk to DP, but I generally feel irritable and a quite cross and hostile, although I can't work out why. I think that would probably come across, so it's probably not the best time to broach a sensitive subject.

I've had a complete sense of humour failure, gone off sex entirely and I just want to crawl under my duvet and not come out until it's all OK - however long that might take. sad

Sorry if that's a bit melodramatic, but I've forgotten to put my big girl panties on today.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 14:41:36

I don't think wanting to take some time out is selfish or unpleasant. Being closeted together with the same faces 24/7 can be difficult, no matter how much we love people. Pre-DS I travelled quite a lot and met no end of people who had booked themselves onto interesting trips, leaving the OH behind. Presumably the OH, in turn, got to do something by themselves as well. I thought it was a great way to keep a relationship fresh, everyone having their own experiences as well as shared ones.

FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 14:53:01

I know where you're coming from Cognito. I keep suggesting that DP goes and meets up with friends etc for the weekend, but he thinks I am playing a woman trick, and that I will actually be pissed off if he does. Despite being very explicit that this isn't the case, and that I want him to do it so that I don't feel guilty about doing it myself, he still reckons he doesn't want to.

Also, DP is not DS's father, so he is a bit hmm at the suggestion that I go swanning off, spend money and leave him to baby sit at the weekend.

However, I'm very tempted to just do it regradless and deal with the fallout.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 15:00:55

Start small with an afternoon out, then a day out, then extend to overnight.... then it's easy to book a weekend away, a week away etc. He doesn't have to copy you if he doesn't want to.

FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 15:29:38

That could work Cognito. The only issue is that we've moved away from all of our friends and family to pursue some misguided fantasy about moving to the country.

DP loves it here, and I hate it with a passion. DS is going to a really good school, so I am stuck here and feeling very resentful about the whole thing. The only good friend I have is joined at the hip to her DH, and we never do anything with just the two of us.

God, I'm already dreading DP cooming home, bed times are even worse, at least kipping on the sofa means that Ii don't have to keep explaining that I'm really not in the mood for sex and that I'm too pissed off and tired.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 15:37:28

Are you really saying that you think the relationship has come to an end?

FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 16:06:17

I honestly don't know. I'm very confused about everything and I have been for a few months now. Hopefully a bit of time away would give me some perspective, I'm not interested in anyone else btw.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 16:14:16

I didn't think for a minute there was someone else smile Then your need to get away sounds urgent, you should book somewhere, tell DP & DS (not ask) that you're going away for a few days and say you need a break. A quick explanation that you feel mentally exhausted, need to unwind and don't want to subject them to any more bad moods or whatever should be enough.

countingto10 Tue 30-Oct-12 16:39:13

Can I ask how old you are and if it maybe peri-menopausal stuff being thrown into the mix too?

I know exactly how you feel - my DH has promised to take the DSs away so I can have some me time at home on my own as I don't particularly want to go to a hotel, I want to come into my own living room, sit down and not talk to any one or do anything for anyone. But I am peri-menopausal and GP has "helpfully" suggested ADs as I am not ready for HRT yet hmm. I refused as some space away from everyone would do the trick.

good luck - they don't call Retreats, retreats for nothing, spiritually I think everyone needs them.

FunBagFreddie Tue 30-Oct-12 16:44:04

Cogito, I think you're right, it might upset the apple cart, but would probably be best in the long run.

Counting - I'm wondering about the peri-menopausal thing myself. My mum reckons I'm too young - nearly 36, but I'm not so sure. A retreat sounds lovely, I keep joking about how I'm going to become a professional hermit once DS leaves home! It actually might not be a joke though. blush

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