Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

relationship over, depression back: need someone to talk to before my counselling starts

(22 Posts)
glitternanny Sun 31-Mar-13 17:54:58

after nearly 4 years together we split in January, our little boy is 16months old.

He blames everything all on me and although I agree I'm not blameless in a rational head I don't agree its all my fault. I think we were incompatible and he stopped making an effort- we both did - we were more like friends who lived together than partners.

He had very little to do with our boy - so now when he has him and makes the effort to go out and stuff it really hurts - maybe if he did more of that when we were together.... sigh

Maybe once i became a mummy I wanted more support and love from him, reassurance I was doing a good job, someone who cared about me and had an input on important things.

I wanted to feel cared for and looked after rather than having to mother him as well as the baby. We argued constantly about money - him never having any - he never paid towards my mortgage, not an extra penny as 'rent' he is blacklisted so couldn't get finance so (stupidly) i bought him a car and laptop and his mobile phone - so far he's paying me for then - the car is at least in my name - but it was a massive conflict in our relationship - massive.

I went to see a counsellor last weekend and we start next week - I guess this post is to try and explore my thinking - maybe you'll all ask me some questions i hadn't thought of getting me used to opening up a bit.

I have a history of depression and although this isn't as severe as them I have to keep working or my bills wont get paid, and i have to get up everyday to look after my boy and he is the ONLY thing keeping me going at the moment.

A few friends know how I really feel but the majority of them dont understand, they listen and they mean well but I get silly things like 'I don't get why you are so upset'

I feel like such a failure, like its all my fault- like i've ruined three lives - and yes me and my ex both love our man and he wont know any different - its just so different to how I wanted it/my life to be.

Oh I dunno what I want - i miss him, but do I miss being with someone, having some adult company - or is it him - I just want to be looked after...

previous relationships before him

- 9 months with a complete insecure control freak
- 1 year long distance relationship who tried to sleep with my best friend
- 2 years with an alcoholic who didn't give a damn what I did

I think my past has defined me so much I haven't a clue what's right in relationships anymore.

I told my counsellor (private) that this is to give me the best change to 1) like myself again and 2) stop making the same mistakes again

Any thoughts or questions gratefully received.

thanks for reading.

Toasttoppers Sun 31-Mar-13 18:44:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BicBiro Sun 31-Mar-13 20:39:28

Hi glitternanny I'm sorry to hear your feeling so low. it sounds like you knew the relationship was going to end on some level but now it has its awful for you, especially with the added responsibility of your son. I expect you hoped he would grow up with a mum and a dad together, so you must be grieving not just your future but his too. I know often depression can strike really powerfully at times of loss. can I ask did you have depression before your relationships? I would agree that staying single and getting therapy is the best way to support yourself until you feel stronger. do you have any RL support?

glitternanny Sun 31-Mar-13 20:42:32

Thank you toasttopper, I'm not having a relationship for a long time.

I had a 9 month gap between the insecure bloke and this ex but I don't think it helped.

I just wanted to be happy and loved and wanted for me!

glitternanny Sun 31-Mar-13 20:44:31

Thank you bicbiro

Yes I had pretty serious spell 10 years ago where I was off work for 7 months.

I don't feel as bad now and I'm on anti-depressants but def don't feel good and don't like myself very much at the moment.

RL support is very limited to be fair.

BicBiro Sun 31-Mar-13 20:54:44

I just reread your OP, I can ask you some questions if you like for you to think about? you don't have to answer them on here if you dont want to.

- do you know what triggered your initial depressive episode? how did you view your recovery? did you deal with any underlying issues?
- have you noticed particular patterns in your relationship/men you go for? what is it that attracts you initially?
- are you ignoring any internal warnings when you enter into a relationship with them?
- what is your relationship like with your family?
- what are your thoughts about yourself? positive/negative/neutral
- are they triggered by a feeling?
- do you feel powerless in any areas of your life?
- do you feel powerful in any areas of your life?
- are you able to express painful or negative feelings or do you hold them in?

that's all I can think of. I hope that's ok. maybe start writing a journal of your inner world, then you can start to look for patterns and discuss them in therapy?

skyebluesapphire Sun 31-Mar-13 21:00:41

I could have written a lot of your post. I have had months of counselling, but we are now trying to focus on me - what do I want - why do I find it so difficult to move on - why do I always end up with men who need rescuing. It sounds like you do the same and your counsellor will help with that.

You need to work on yourself and work out that you can be alone and that you don't need a man to function. I understand how you feel, I want somebody to be with, company, somebody to share things with, but that doesnt mean that you cant function on your own, it just means that you dont want to. sad

BicBiro Sun 31-Mar-13 21:02:29

is your therapist helping Skye? you sound sad

skyebluesapphire Sun 31-Mar-13 21:39:08

ooh, thats a whole other thread, lol. She is helping me, but it has been a long slow process because I have been so gutted about my XH walking out on us with no prior warning. A huge shock which has taken a long time to come to terms with.

But my counsellor says that I need to find me, work out why I end up with people who need rescuing. That only when you are truly happy in yourself, can you share yourself with somebody else and that obviously applies to OP too.

Im still sad at finding my marriage over after ten years of being with the man i thought was my soulmate, but counselling has shown me that we were actually very different people which is something that OP has also identified.

I think that in counselling you need to talk, but you also need to be led by your counsellor too.

BicBiro Sun 31-Mar-13 21:54:00

your therapist will be trying to empower you, in the belief that for any learning to 'stick' and patterns to change you need to experience the raw feelings (especially the crap hard to bear ones you'd rather push away) and find your own path through it. her job is to keep you on task and bear your frustration at how hard it is.

focussing on yourself is a very hard thing to do if you aren't used to it. I find it quite uncomfortable - all sorts of weird churning feelings inside which I don't understand. makes me feel very unsteady at times.

OP, when you start with your therapist, don't be afraid to ask her questions about how she works, what her experience is in depression etc. having a therapist you sense you can trust and build a relationship is really important

glitternanny Mon 01-Apr-13 11:03:21

Thank you again, sorry I couldn't reply to your questions on my phone Bic!

Syke you sound like your thereapy is helping you - my split wasn't a shock I think it was heading that way for a while especially with the lack of effort we both put in- I may go hunt out your thread and read your story.

I definitely tend to put other people first than myself - my thereapist has suggested cbt for how I feel about myself and general counselling for the split and the relationship patterns and the guilt I feel.

and the questions you asked (hope you are sitting comfortably)

- do you know what triggered your initial depressive episode? how did you view your recovery? did you deal with any underlying issues?

Yes - I was in a stressful job (it helpdesk) and had a bad call who swore at me, I put the phone down, walked out and didn't go back for months - underlying was my rubbish self-esteem triggered by years and years of bullying at school - my relationship with my dad and also the stillbirth of my niece many years earlier which I'd never dealt with

- have you noticed particular patterns in your relationship/men you go for? what is it that attracts you initially?

It seems I get attrached to needy insecure people (unless I make them that way?) I don't think I've ever really been looked after my a boyfriend how I would expect to - especially in my past 2/3 relationships - i've never had emotional support or compassion and i've always felt i've been the one to compromise - this recent ex moved in within a few months - he kept saying 'why wait, if we are happy together why wait on moving in' he was living with his parents, unemployed and had nothing to do all day - I should've waited.

I do worry that we were only together cos we both wanted a baby ;( tho I did think I'd grow old with him there have been lots of times over the years when we've had massive rows.

I'm useless at arguing - I get very very defensive, I hate being told I'm wrong - he'd never listen to my 'excuses' which I didn't think were excuses just reasoning for my behaviour/reaction and I would then get angry and shout more ;(

- are you ignoring any internal warnings when you enter into a relationship with them?

Yes probably - see above...

- what is your relationship like with your family?

Not brilliant, my family don't know about the meds and only 1 sister knows about the counselling (by a few texts) - they all seem quite content with the answer that I'm 'fine' or 'ok' - I've had an argument with 1 sister (my closest) cos she said something like 'I didn't expect it [splitting up] to be easy' and when I replied saying no of course I didn't and that kind of answer wasnt very helpful she said something like 'I can't say anything to you can i without you getting upset' and continued to have a go at me when i was already in a state -i haven't really spoken to her properly since. haven't really spoken to any of them.

- what are your thoughts about yourself? positive/negative/neutral

at the moment pretty awful to be honest, I think I'm an OK mum at times and I'm ok at my job - i think i'm a good friend and very giving.

the rest just feels like a disaster - i feel inadequate, i feel like my feelings aren't right and i'm not allowed to feel how I do about all of this (mainly cos people seems shocked at how much i'm struggling), i'm fed up of people telling me I should be grateful for what i have and I should appreciate my son - which I do of course I do - just cos I feel the way I do doesn't mean I want to undo having him.
I think the underlying feeling is having failed (again) and this time dragged an innocent little boy into it - I wasn't good enough for my ex, I ddin't make him happy I didn't make him feel loved or wanted and i've ruined our lives by not being good enough.
I feel jealous - of my ex - he's gone back 'home' he's being looked after, fed, clothed, have chores done hasnt got the worry of me nagging him about money - hasn't got household bills to worry about- all the time our boy is with me is his own its gonna be so much easier for him to met someone else (if he hasn't already)

- are they triggered by a feeling?

I feel empty when my son is at his dad's - like my reason for living has gone, there's just no point.
Then there's the lonilessness or seeing my ex's posts on fb (through our boys account!) or him sending me random texts that are meant for other women.

- do you feel powerless in any areas of your life?

pretty much all of them, I'm also job hunting as my income will be cut dramatically in the summer which is very stressful and not something I need/want to do right now on top of everything else.

- do you feel powerful in any areas of your life?


- are you able to express painful or negative feelings or do you hold them in?

I hold them in, even when I start to get upset I try and tell myself not to - i find nw I dn't have anyoone to talk to in the RW

BicBiro Mon 01-Apr-13 16:28:16

hi again. wow i'm really impressed you answered all those. you're really honest and have some great insight into yourself you know. that's a great start for therapy.

my turn for a long post!

the overall theme that jumps out at me are that no one seems to want to acknowledge your needs. your say your family just want to know that you are okay, and dont want to look any deeper and block you when you try and bring up your feelings. your sister made your conversation all about her with the "i cant say anything to you" commnent, when you said she wasnt helping. no wonder you hold your feelings in if expressing them means they get disregarded, blocked or dismissed. no wonder you feel defence and attacked when you argue and are told your point of view is "excuses" - your DP was repeating the pattern of no one listening.

i'm wondering, if your family couldnt meet your emotional needs, perhaps you never learned how to do it for yourself? hence the wanting and hoping that a man will look after you, and making decisions that you deep down know arent right yet (moving in) because you want a relationship to provide security and fill that empty feeling?

you say you were bullied at school - did anyone listen to you or help you then?

you mention your relationship with your dad particularly, do you have any insight into that? (dont say if you'd rather not - i'm aware this is a public forum)

i'm so sorry to hear about the stillbirth of your niece. that is utterly heartbreaking. have you been able to talk to anyone about this? my own niece died aged 5, 12 years ago. i only started properly grieving 4 years ago and i did it through therapy.

you say you feel empty - i would wonder again if this relates back to not knowing how to meet your own emotional needs yet.

so... the up side is, ending your relationship and being on your own gives you the perfect chance to begin focusing on you, to start to find all the missing pieces. perhaps you need to build a relationship with yourself, rather than with a man. because you will be able to fill that emptiness yourself, you just dont think you can yet. also, in my opinion there is nothing quite like having a child who gives you unconditional love to help you find your sense of self and worth. therapy will give you a chance to build a relationship with someone which isnt based on THEIR need, it will be all about YOU, they will be there for YOU. you can be dependent on your therapist and trust they are not going to use you to get what they want. its a great opportunity to heal

the down side is, its going to be a hard slog and you are going to have to accept that there are utterly shite days ahead of you. my advice is to really try and accept them when they come, dont try and jump ahead and stop yourself from thinking "i should be over this now" and other self-defeating talk - you need to get a script going for yourself that says "i will get through this when i'm ready, and no faster". acceptance is a big key to overcoming horrible anxiety. if you find yourself thinking things like "this will take years....." and then feeling depressed about it and wanting to jump ship, then change it to "i might as well go through it now because i'm only delaying it and it will only come back to bite me on the bum."

because you WILL get through this. smile

skyebluesapphire Tue 02-Apr-13 01:14:18

Excellent posts there from both of you.

Glitter - I feel the same as you about many things. Just had an awful 3 days without my DD. and I'm still struggling to deal with stuff while everybody shouts - it's been twelve months, move on!

I think that the counselling will help you a lot

glitternanny Mon 08-Apr-13 11:22:14

I went to my first session today talked about a lot of stuff little bits if everything!

god my head hurts!

from being bullied as a child through my entire school life, my parents relationship how I get on with my sisters friends at school


I know its not a quick fix but right now I'm questioning everything about every aspect of my life and how much has happened to me and how much I've triggered

skaboy Mon 08-Apr-13 11:59:28

My first individual counselling session post relationship was a nightmare. Brought everything all out and made me exit the session feeling worse than I went in.

Second one went better and third one better than that. I think its normal for it to get worse before it gets better?

Good luck with everything

skyebluesapphire Mon 08-Apr-13 12:25:32

Hi Glitter. Yes - the first session is quite exhausting and you do have to go back over everything.

My counsellor is good, but I dont think she has moved me on fast enough in a way as after several months, we are now only just getting into childhood, parents etc.

It does make you question everything about yourself though and why you react the way you do to things.

The sessions will get easier as skaboy says

glitternanny Wed 10-Apr-13 21:52:33


thought i'd take some time out to post again - hope that's OK - just feel like I'm burdening all my real life friends and when I open up to the select few I get 'wow you're being so positive'... that's not how I feel cleary from what I'm saying... but that's how they see it.

Anyway Bic posted some more questions...

There's no point in me being honest - that's just kidding myself and everyone else.

I'd like someone to acknowledge my needs and feelngs I think you're right - my counsellor did pick up on this a bit on Monday's session that throughout my child hood (bullying) and with my dad and now my sister it just seems like noone has actually listened.

I think with reference to him moving in so fast yes I wanted to please him - it didn't feel right to say its too much its too fast and I want to take it slowly he was telling me he loved me within weeks and wanting to marry me/have kids within months. he was very 'you can't have a single girl's life and be in a relationship - you can't just fit me in when you choose - and that was within the first few months - so straight away I felt like he was controlling me (like the relationship before him) I guess I backed down just to prove to him I wanted to be with him.

I don't think wanting to be looked after and cared about and the like are necessarily the wrong things to seek in a relationship.

I was bullied throughout my school life from infant school right through to year 11 then I moved to a college so it stopped. It was over things such as being clever and overweight - and a lot was because I made a fuss going into school cos I dreaded it and hated it so much - I used to cry and scream and run away from my teachers - I had a social worker drive me to school and walk me into school for a period of time at senior school. I also missed out on the first 6 weeks of senior school as I was appealing to go to a different school but failed. Nothing helped really - such as is bullying -it caused lots of arguments at home, i used to overhear my parents arguing about me between themselves and being at the end of their theirther and trying everything. I remember hearing them talk to family friends about me suggesting boarding school or home schooling.

I did well at my exams though and found some confidence when I went to college.

My Dad is very very critical and always has been towards all of us - he is incredible negative and nothing is ever good enough. I'd love him to say he was proud of me or I was good at x or y but he never has. Even now (at 33) he will criticise over my biting my nails/picking a spot/having dinner/piece of cake/texting too much.

my counsellor was saying that my childhood gave me a lot of attention - maybe not the best attention in the world but I had it from rewards for being at school to the counselling I had and family thereapy we did and the teachers/year head and all sorts.

I even lost about 2 stone to please the bullies but it didn't make them stop.

I had a great deal of thereapy in my last bout of depression in 2002-2004 and dealt with a lot of the issues about my niece then. sorry to hear about your niece too sad

I'm hoping this time and break from men will give me a chance to do this properly and sort myself out - i've a very low self-esteem and it has made me question so much.

I agree with you this is an investment in my and my future and make me a better person and a better Mum

I don't really remember talking about my childhood or my dad in my other thereapy.

thanks skaboy smile I know i've a long road ahead.

thank you skye - I don't think i'll have to move her on fast - she didn't make any notes.

And I also wonder how to remember the details of things that happeneds 25-30 years ago!! She asked me how I felt when I was bulled.

I do wonder if things hadn't moved so fast with my ex what would've happened, also if I were stronger to myself and not such a people pleaser - why do I do so much for others, to get the respect and love i've missed out on in other aspects of my life - what kinda of void am i filling - why can't I attract a man that wants to look after me rather than the other way around. am i drawn to people who need helping/fixing

skyebluesapphire Thu 11-Apr-13 23:07:50

what kinda of void am i filling - why can't I attract a man that wants to look after me rather than the other way around. am i drawn to people who need helping/fixing

this is exactly what I have been working through. See Karpmans Triangle about the Persecutor, the Rescuer and the Victim. Below taken from Wikipedia.

The model posits three habitual psychological roles (or roleplays) which people often take in a situation:
The person who plays the role of a victim
The person who pressures, coerces or persecutes the victim, and
The rescuer, who intervenes, seemingly out of a desire to help the situation or the underdog.
Of these, the "rescuer" is the least obvious role. In the terms of the drama triangle, the "rescuer" is not a person helping someone in an emergency. It is someone who has a mixed or covert motive that is actually benefiting egoically in some way from being "the one who rescues". The rescuer has a surface motive of resolving the problem, and appears to make great efforts to solve it, but also has a hidden motive to not succeed, or to succeed in a way that they benefit. For example, they may feel a sense of self-esteem or status as a "rescuer", or enjoy having someone dependent or trusting of them - and act in a way that ostensibly seems to be trying to help, but at a deeper level plays upon the victim in order to continue getting their payoff.[citation needed] (See below). As Transactional Analyst Claude Steiner says:
... the Victim is not really as helpless as he feels, the Rescuer is not really helping, and the Persecutor does not really have a valid complaint. [1]
The situation plays out when a situation arises and a person takes a role as victim or persecutor. Others then take the other roles.[5] Thereafter 'the two players move around the triangle, thus switching roles',[5] so that for example the victim turns on the rescuer, the rescuer switches to persecuting -- or as often happens the rescuer ends up entering the situation and becoming a victim.

I was the rescuer for my XH. We had been together 5 months when he had to get out of his rented house, so he moved in with me. i was unsure as it seemed too soon , but it was a good solution for him and I was 30 and a grown up and it made sense. So I rescued him. He also had debts. I rescued him. He was the victim and I was the rescuer. Then after a few years, I became the Persecutor, he became the Victim and OW became the Rescuer....

it sounds very similar to your own situation in a lot of ways.

Bullying etc is a horrible thing to go through. The counsellor wants you to dig deep, and tell her how you feel, so that you can work through it, but like you say, its a long time to go back...

glitternanny Fri 19-Apr-13 10:59:08

I had another hard session on Monday and have been a complete misery all week today I can't seem to stop crying

I feel so alone and like noone cares

im always there for other people where are they for me

one of my best friends got cross with me for not reminding her when mu counselling was - why is it my job to remind her surely if shr cared she'd remember?

skyebluesapphire Fri 19-Apr-13 22:21:05

Hope you are feeling better than you were earlier.

I'm sure your friend didnt mean to forget your counselling was today. Next time maybe send a text saying , got counselling can we meet later. Or something like that?

Counselling can make you feel worse before you feel better but make sure that your counsellor understands how you are really feeling between sessions.

Sadly people do have their own lives to lead and sometimes it can feel like they just don't care but in reality it means that they just haven't thought about it.

glitternanny Tue 14-May-13 07:56:01

I was looking for this post last night and couldn't find it!
was in such a rubbish mood all day yesterday and its carrying on today but I can't put my finger on why.

2 weekends ago my ex said he couldn't afford to pay child support and as it's shared care he didn't need too and the cab agreed. 4 days later the csa told me he is wrong and last night I found out he lied about seeing the cab

Ava7Susan Mon 14-Aug-17 01:06:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: