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.
i just walked out on the family (temporarily)(35 Posts)
NC for this. Long I'm afraid.
Didn't know whether to post here or parenting but ime parenting's a bit quiet so went for here.
I have just had a mini meltdown and had to get out of the house for an hour or so, kids are with dad, not alone.
Background, DP has bipolar and has been depressed not getting out of bed for the last week. He can be pretty bile when depressed and very hard to cope with. Illness fault, not his, but still hard to deal with. For eg has been telling me that the children come into bed with him because they prefer him to me, and that they tell him bad things about me (unspecified). When pressed he says he won't say what because he doesn't want to upset me. I know rationally that kids will often tell the other parent if they are unhappy about some element of discipline given by the other, and it means nothing really. When he's well he tells me what a great mum I am, but also tells me our kids issues are all my fault through lack of discipline one minute, and the next that I am too harsh disciplining dc (eg. Removing computer privileges from ds1 for next day when he had refused for 1/2hr at bedtime to brush his teeth. He currently needs fillings and short of holding him down to brush I am at my wits end what to do).
So 3 eldest do had been playing Lego and emptied 2 big boxes of Lego onto living room floor. 1 of the boxes they were not supposed to have at the moment. DP is now better, and had been out this morning. He came back in and said to me 'who has allowed this to happen' - which ds1 then parroted grinning. So instead of saying to kids wow what a mess, you weren't supposed to have this box etc, the responsibility is clearly laid at my feet as the one who 'allowed it to happen'. He then went out for a cigarette saying to me, that he expects it all to be cleared up and supervised.
I am generally not good at getting the kids to tidy, and ds1 was refusing to help. Tried to chivvy all along but ended up getting cross with ds1 and feeling like I was going to be irrationally angry with kids, so I left the room and said to DP I was going out for a bit to clear my head, that it was not s good thing for anyone if I stayed.
I don't often do this, have done so maybe 2-3 times in 8 yrs.
He said he needed to go out again, and I said again that I need to get out, on verge of tears. He said could you just be 1/2 hr and I said ok and went to get coat. Came back to front door and found he'd gone out with the car. I was left, crying by this point, with the kids still refusing to tidy and ds1 who feeds negatively off any drama, ripping up some special bunting I had. I just tidied away Lego, saying they could not have it for rest of day, and bunting, trying not to cry. Then went and sat in the kitchen and did cry and kids saw and were being silly saying mummies a cry baby etc. Ds1 wrote a sorry note which was sweet. Then ripped it up. I feel like such a shitty mum, it can't be good for them to see me like that.
DP came home after 1/2 hr and I'm in a cafe now with dc4 who's napping in sling (1yr).
I'm sure I'm presenting this as very one sided, DP can be lovely very often. It doesn't help that I'm on first day of period and DP says that he must have been depressed because I am such a monster when pre-menstrual. I'm aware that behaviour can look different on the inside and outside, but I feel I've been particularly patient and calm this last week. Right now, however, I could scream like a fucking banshee. But I won't.
He makes your life much more difficult, doesn't he? And the way he parents, your children are getting totally mixed messages.
Are you sure it's healthy for you and the children to live with him?
Good lord. I'd go for banshee behaviour in this case!
I have only given examples of negative behaviour. He was really nice yesterday, saying sorry for being ill, which really isn't his fault, making tea for me and kids when we got back from a museum trip and letting me sit down and relax while he did this. Just today's been shit.
Does he take his medication, OP? It sounds as though he changes mood quite rapidly - is that what's happening?
No, his illness is not his fault. However, is he on medication? Is it being managed as much as possible? What strategies does he have in place for when he's having crappy days and needs to protect himself from saying hurtful things and blaming you?
The behaviour you describe as "really nice" is just normal partner stuff. I understand that his illness makes him feel horrible and he probably can't help taking it out on whoever is closest, but I'd be asking if it could be managed better, if all options have been explored, and if not, why not?
He takes his meds well generally, is noticeably worse if he misses any.
I don't think he cycles rapidly but his moods are changeable (as are everyone's). Commonly he's in a better mood in the evening and wakes in a less good mood. Often blames me for his mood when he wakes which may be fair, I'm not perfect.
Don't know what strategies he could use to stop himself saying hurtful things? Short of sitting himself away from us, but that would certainly result in a prolong meant of any depressive phases.
We have a difficult living situation at the mo that he sleeps in the sitting room and I sleep with dc1 and dc4 in our bed, so he doesn't really have his own space. The only way that can be sorted is some diy that I can't do (we can't afford to pay for it), and it makes things worse if I put pressure on him, or even mention it at all really.
Hmm, I think he's using his illness as an excuse (at least in part). It doesn't sound like your children receive consistent messages and that being with your DH makes your life significantly harder. I second what a PP said - is it healthy for you to live with him?
No, I'm sorry but I'm going against the grain here. Having depression does not give a person the right to be a bully, and that what he's being. I'm speaking as someone who has battled with depression for decades. If you hadn't said he had depression, you would be getting posters on here who would tell you that he is gas lighting you. Telling you one minute that you're a crap parent then telling you how wonderful you. He's turning your children against you and teaching them to disrespect you and any future partner they will have. You need to work out if you are, unintentionally, sacrificing your kids well being, in order to keep your husband happy? I'm sorry if that sounds harse OP and I really don't mean to be cruel, but there comes a point when you have to sit and think if the family is being sacrificed by staying with this man.
He then went out for a cigarette saying to me, that he expects it all to be cleared up and supervised
How selfish! Was this said in the children's hearing? If so how divisive and undermining for you - and who is he to "expect" stuff? Is this not supposed to be an equal partnership?
went to get coat. Came back to front door and found he'd gone out with the car. I was left, crying by this point,
This is dreadful - has he no regard for your feelings at all? What exactly does he bring to this family life apart from cooking the odd meal when he is
in a good mood?
Then went and sat in the kitchen and did cry and kids saw and were being silly saying mummies a cry baby etc
This bothered me as much as anything - how can they dismiss you being upset like that and have so little empathy? You seem to be the drudge and scapegoat of this family. I acknowledge that he has bipolar, but this sort of thing is undermining your parenting and peace of mine as well as making your life impossible.
You're not presenting it as one sided. You are shouldering loads of responsibility for your own imperfections. And you haven't even walked out on the family - you've taken the baby.
It's SO hard being with a depressive because they are so selfish and negative and draining and lethargic that you end up utterly drained dry yourself, yet cast in the role of the one who has to be capable and upbeat.
You really do need a break from all this. And he needs to be nicer to you and supportive of you, just as you are supportive on him when he is not his best.
Don't worry too much about the DC seeing you angry and in tears. I don't know a single mum whose young DC haven't seen them like this at times. Small children push buttons. That's how they learn that parents are human. No harm done.
Have a good long break in the café and also organise a good long break fro yourself very soon - this evening or tomorrow maybe, with a friend. Explain to DP that you've coped all week with him ill and now you need to refuel. If he doesn't allow this then you too will end up depressed and bedridden.
The kids love him, I love him.
I am sure this is so - they could all do with showing you a bit of love too.
The kids love him, I love him
Do you honestly think that is enough? At what point do you say, enough is enough? The kids ARE suffering as a result of his behaviour, as has been shown in their lack of respect for you. Your children behaving in such a cruel way towards you, when you were upset, was really shocking to read. That is not normal behaviour OP.
I agree that mummy being a cry baby is worrying. Most children would comfort a crying mother not goad them.
An indication of how your partner dismisses your feelings?
Are the children called cry babies when upset?
sounds like you are the scape goat and your children are learning this behaviour. Please get counselling as a family and work out safer healthier ways to live as a family -or not.
are you the scape goat? Family counselling may help all of you to develop healthier patterns . He seems to order you to do whatever! You are not being treated as an equal . This is being learned by your cc. All of this will get worse if it is't changed.
I agree. It sounds like your DC are picking up on how he speaks to you and following his example. That is very worrying.
I don't believe that's anything to do with his illness. It's to do with his vileness.
I am posting this at a low point, so aware that things look, from the outside, v bad. When he's well, which he is for long periods, he does most of the cleaning, almost all the household shopping, school runs, childcare in the morning when little ones get up at 5.30am-6am, lots of diy. And he is generally pleasant, when he's well.
I was shocked and upset by the Dc reaction. I think it was lead by the eldest who has issues I won't go into. The younger ones are older toddlers, so just copied and both also gave me hugs and kisses before I went out. I think that I made them feel like it was their fault for the untidiness, which it clearly wasn't, hence being a shitty mother. I will talk to them all about it later, without telling them why, just adult reasons for being upset and not them.
The trouble is my behaviour clearly does affect dp mood, and he is looking pretty ropey now I'm back. May not be able post again for a while, but not ignoring responses.
Dc do not get called cry babies except occasionally by dc1 in usual 'delightful' sibling way.
Your behaviour clearly does affect DP's mood you say. yes, and his affects yours. You are not a saint and shouldn't be expected to behave as one. DP needs to understand how quickly a carer of small DC and a DP with depression can get low herself, and need to be treated with love, respect and understanding, not ticked off and have her feelings ignored.
Hi piggy I think you just needed to sound off. You have a lot on your plate - 4 children and a DH with mental health issues. Glad you're now back at home. I don't have bipolar but I have intermittent depression which can be severe and long lasting. None of the meds seem to make much difference and like your DH I hate getting up on my bed days. I just want to shut the world out. I am fortunate that my kids are grown up and I have grandchildren, also a supportive DP.
Mrs Molesworth I have to say I found this para that you wrote very offensive:
"It's SO hard being with a depressive because they are so selfish and negative and draining and lethargic that you end up utterly drained dry yourself, yet cast in the role of the one who has to be capable and upbeat."
I imagine you are someone who is fortunate enough to have not suffered from a mental health condition. We are not "depressives" - we are people with a depressive illness and we are not selfish - the illness is all consuming and we are not really able to reach out to others when we are at our worst and depression sucks all positive thoughts out of us, so yes we are negative. It also makes us believe that we will never get better so it's a very deceitful illness. I try hard not to "drain" my DP and yes I am lethargic because that's another symptom of the illness.
Would we change these feelings in a heartbeat....YES
Do we hate feeling this way....YES
Do we dread waking up..........YES
Do I miss seeing my grandchildren.....YES (because I won't let them see me when I'm an emotional wreck)
Do I get annoyed when people who are mentally well make value judgements about MH conditions........YES
armami seems to know a lot about your r/ship based on your OP! and iMATTER thinks it's nothing to do with his illness, he's vile !
I don't know why I'm surprised at the way posters jump in to denigrate the male and make all sorts of assumptions, based on a few lines of text because it always happens.
Anyway OP hope you're ok now and DH's depression leaves him alone for a while. Incidentally OP you mentioned "rapid cycling" - in bipolar this means that you get up to 4 cycles of being up and then down, in any 12 month period.
are you the also working at a job op ? And does your dp also work at a job? You sound as if the load you are carrying is too heavy for your emotional health.
I appreciate that there are complicated issues surrounding mh. What you said about depression makes sense nananina but what mrsmolesworth also rings true as to how it feels to live with someone with depression. Just how it feels to me, not reflecting any fault if that makes sense.
I am on parental leave following mat leave at mo. DP is not well enough to work.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.