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.

I could just as easily post this in a depression or what would you do board...

(14 Posts)
surbiton1961 Mon 04-Apr-16 21:33:15

I'm going to apologise for this being so long....

I suffer from bouts of severe, chronic depression and have done for the last 14 years or so but because I have never had any discernable benefit from ADs in previous bouts, have decided taking them is not a route I want to go down. In fact I have been AD free for the last 7 years or so in episodes of depression that last 3-4 months. I don't know how, but my body just seems to lift itself out of the low mood and I bounce back to normality. I doubt that is going to happen this time though because there are so many situational reasons to be depressed that I just don't see a way out of my state.

I don't want to dripfeed, but seriously there are enough issues going on that its difficult to decide exactly what is relevant. It all probably is. It boils down to being a stranger in a strange land (Brit transplanted to the USA - so seriously culturally homesick) being in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, semi-estranged from my semi-adult children who have their own lives and issues to be getting on with and have no sympathy nor interest in trying to truly understand what depression might feel like and in a relationship with a man who is not exactly what I thought he was.

He is very kind, but definitely presented as being successful - it's the American way - and whereas I have no need of his money or financial support, it has turned out he needs mine. Very much. And that has changed the dynamics of things. The first issue is one of moving in together. Because he is so kind and supportive of my depression and his home offers a safe refuge to me in a place I really don't like very much, I am planning on moving in with him. It's hardly love's young dream, but I don't like the place I am renting at all, and his is very nice. I assumed he was solvent enough to pay his rent and expenses at least but it has turned out he is always desperately short of cash so I have been paying for things in the last little while. The saving grace is that when I do live here, he should be able to manage his half share of the rent and so things might ease up a little and I might begin to feel more equal. The question is I guess, is that is it reasonable to 'trade' emotional support and kindness - I never had it in my marriage - for money? Does that seem a ridiculously mercenary way of looking at things. He is in a business of great peaks and troughs and he is apologetic now I know the truth that there have been many more troughs than peaks recently. When I do move in here, I will have the benefit of being in a beautiful apartment, feel less emotionally vulnerable as I try and cope with my depression and if I come to a decision about jacking in the whole US experience, it will be easier to walk away.
None of this probably makes too much sense. There are many other issues too, but this is the one that is troubling me the most and with which I would welcome someone else's input. I know I haven't mentioned love at all. I'm emotionally numb right now because the depression is a lead blanket over everything. But I can't stress enough how kind he has been and is being.

Happyat40 Mon 04-Apr-16 21:36:32

Pretty meaningless way to live your life imo.

Happyat40 Mon 04-Apr-16 21:38:07

What symptoms of depression do you have?

IME laymans view of depression is very different from true clinical depression .

surbiton1961 Mon 04-Apr-16 21:56:31

Happyat40 - There's no real doubt. I have had the sypmptons of low mood and loss of interest in everything over several months, changes in sleep patterns, loss of interest in food, etc. I withdraw from social events when I feel like this and pretty much wear the same clothes day to day. I feel fairly agoraphobic something I have never, ever suffered from, and hate leaving the house when I am like this. I have seen psychologists and psychiatrists over the last few years who have all confirmed it. One of the reasons I don't want to take medication this time is that there was never a decisive diagnosis of whether I was bipolar, suffering from depression or unipolar - all of which required different drugs. Adn I don't want to go down a medical route in the USA. In the early years I took whatever was prescribed, but nothing really made a difference plus I was able to come off them 'cold turkey' with no side effects. Reading up about them I have seen that drugs don't work in every case and I am exhausted by all the trial and error having never felt any benefit anyway.
I agree. My life seems totally meaningless at the moment and I hate living it. And I have enormous guilt saying that because there are many 'fighters' with life limiting illnesses that are desperate to live and I just don't care one way or the other But I do realise that is the depression talking and it is a very real illness too.

HopeClearwater Mon 04-Apr-16 22:25:30

The thing is, you don't know whether he is being kind to you now because he's going to be financially supported by you. He might not be so nice later.

It's well-known that depression can spontaneously lift, but don't you think that you are worth more than this when there is treatment available? Why put up with 3-4 months of depression? Why expect others to understand why you would do that when you could seek treatment which might help? Incidentally, is that why your children are estranged from you?

I have a LOT of sympathy. I've lived with depression for most of my adult life, although it has been mostly very well controlled especially as I've got older.

Can you come back to the UK? (Assuming that's where you're from).

goddessofsmallthings Mon 04-Apr-16 22:39:23

Does this 3-4 months of depression generally occur during the winter months and are you living in one of the northern States or in the sunny south?

When/if you move in with this man will you be named on the rental agreement? You say that he should be able to afford his share of the rent, but what do you envisage will happen if he can't?

It could be that, to his mind, having you pay half of the rental/bills will free up money that he doesn't have he can spend on other things and you may find yourself paying considerably more than your half share if you want to stay living in a "beautiful apartment".

How long have you known him?

surbiton1961 Mon 04-Apr-16 23:57:21

I think he is a genuinely nice guy and embarrassed he is so 'down on his luck'. In the American macho way he would much rather be covering everything. I don't need a sugar daddy, but I don't wan't to be a sugar momma either. It started out with a lot of passion and promise and ideally we could get back to that. Right now my depression is putting a huge dampener on everything and I am just grateful he is so kind about not pressuring me for sex, he's doing the shopping and cooking, etc. Hugging me when I need a hug/'leaving me be when I need that.

Yes, to some extent the estrangement is because of my depression, as well as the usual empty nest situation. The children are all late-teen/early 20s now anyway, but they don't want anything to do with me when I am depressed and sometimes I feel they have been influenced by their father who had no wish to ever support me through the bad times and chose to cold shoulder me then. Realistically though, one is back in the UK for college, one works in a different part off the US and one is about to go to college back in the UK. Because where their father lives is in a different part of the US and he maintained the family home, I get to see them just around 3-4 times a year. Possibly that is no less than one would expect anyway. I just miss family life so much and feel depression has robbed me of much of it.

The reason I don't seek help - actually I have been in therapy with a psychologist who thought I really did need medication - is that for the reasons I mentioned above, I just dont think it will help me, since it never has before. And so I wallow in this misery - but at least I KNOW this misery. Any worsening of it and I just don't know what I would do.

Right now I don't think I am worth anything. I truly don't. I had such a lovely life before. I only wish I had been abe to hang on to it. I do wonder about coming back to the UK, but we lived in Londn and sold our property there to finance this mov. House prices since I've left have risen so much, I don't think I would be able to afford anything remotely like what I had before. My husband definitely did well out of this move and divorce. For me it has been ruinous.

I'm sorry you've suffered throughout your life. When you say it's been controlled, do you mean you have been lucky enough to find the right medication and you stay on it continuously? Do you do anything else?

surbiton1961 Tue 05-Apr-16 00:15:41


Luckily I live right in the very sunniest part of the US although it hasn't made too much of a difference this winter. He/I actually live right on the beach - that is why this apartment is so beautiful and therapeutic.

I guess if he can't pay his share one month, I will have to do so. We have discussed this and he says if there is a lean month he will just make it up to me and pay full months when he can. If that happens frequently and I am unhappy about that, he said we'd talk about whether he moves out - he was planning on having to do that anyway since he's been living way beyond his means (not that I ever realised this) - and I will take it over. But somehow that doesn't seem right. I'd almost be a cuckoo in the nest. But I did fall in love with the apartment as much as with him and and didn't want him to lose it. Hence the whole living together thing coming up. But this coincided with me being unhappy in my own apartment anyway and spending all my time at his. There's no offical rental agreement at the momemt. I thought that would benefit me since I can be the one to say I'm leaving if this doesn't work out well.

I don't mind what else he spends his money on. We aren't planning on pooling any other household money simply because I have more of it than he does. We'll shre grocery shopping and right now there is not a lot of going out. One other thing, He doesnt have a car - rather a work van. So we obviously use mine when we are together.

I've known him for nearly 18 months. We were friends for the first six months and have been together for the last year.

I guess I feel I am being used financially, albeit slightly, but he is kind and supportive and maybe that's the price to pay for it, especially as I would rather be living here anyway, so I expect to pay my share. If I have to pay more because he is struggling, then isn't that what people do? I just wish I had known that things were so tight for him earlier and before we were this deep into the relationship because it certainly changed the dynamics of it all. But then again I might never have discovered how understanding and empathetic he was either.

surbiton1961 Tue 05-Apr-16 14:41:53

I've woken up this morning still in turmoil about how much it is worth financially supporting someone when they are giving you emotional support in return. I feel guilty that I don't feel open-hearted about this, but also I wish he worked harder, and was more driven so we can be on a more financial equal footing.

teddymou Tue 05-Apr-16 16:59:05

I couldn't read and not post. You really should look into medication - I've suffered really badly with clinical depression and was on various different medications over a period of three years before I was actually prescribed a medication that worked. I can't tell you how many different medications I've been on - trial and error. I eventually found an understanding psychiatrist who decided to try a cocktail of different medication and it finally worked. It's been such a life changing occurrence for me and for my family and for my life in general. Please do not suffer on your own, it may take time but there is a remedy out there for you.

HopeClearwater Tue 05-Apr-16 22:06:05

Hey OP. Glad to see you posted again. I think teddymou is spot on with her advice. All of it! Her whole post.
My depression was eventually controlled by citalopram, after trying many, many different medications and combinations of medications. I also had therapy on the NHS. I've had unexplained dips but it's been a matter of days til I've come back up again. Not months.
You do sound down. It doesn't have to be this way. I understand what you mean about 'knowing' your misery. I think another way of expressing that is that you are scared of the future and scared of things changing. That's very understandable.
I am worried about the decisions you are making while in this state. You are making yourself very vulnerable. Paying for a flat you don't own or legally rent? That's not a good position to be in.

springydaffs Tue 05-Apr-16 23:36:58

You're not being at all mercenary to be concerned about the financial set-up. You're being sensible.

Especially as you suggest he could earn more money if he worked harder and was more focused. That would be a huge turn-off for me tbh.

How did he get such an amazing apartment in the first place btw? Did his finances take a nosedive for some reason?

But having someone kind in your corner when you're going through a bad time is priceless imo. So use his kindness (for now) but don't throw in your hat with him financially.

OR live with him for a bit and see how it goes. Would you be able to rent your own place afterwards if it didn't work out with him [ie you discovered you were paying for most things, if not everything].

My only concern is that it's hard to know what someone is really about after only a year/18 months - and I'd be concerned for you to throw your lot in with him when you are so vulnerable.

You don't have to pay for his kindness btw. That should come free.

AmyAmoeba Tue 05-Apr-16 23:49:05

Surbiton, what's the alternative? If you don't move in with this man, what will you do instead?

If I've understood you correctly you feel that he is using you for your money, and you are using him as an emotional prop? On the surface of it, it sounds a fair exchange. But I'm concerned that you are very vulnerable right now, that his kindness might mask something unpleasant, that in close proximity you could end up entangled financially and emotionally.

If you can afford the rent on his nice apartment could you afford to rent somewhere pleasant by yourself? Then see how you feel in nice surroundings?

Summerlovinf Wed 06-Apr-16 08:37:55

Does this man have a track record of saving vulnerable women and getting them to pay his rent? Sorry to be cynical but that's how it sounds. Other warning bells for me include your description of him putting on a front of success and wealth and living beyond his means. Be do have options.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now