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Reasonable to be this upset?

(13 Posts)
HidingI Tue 31-May-16 22:42:33

I'm almost hoping so. This is a parental thing, but against a backdrop of my own mental health troubles and a marriage that is struggling - I'm not sure if I'm conflating everything into catastrophic thinking. If not, I'm going to feel even more abandoned and let down. It's an AIBU really, but a bit too personal. I namechanged too.

A few weeks ago, I talked to my parents about an offer they had made to have my children to stay for a week to give me time to get some jobs done. They seemed pleased about it - their original offer and a chance for them to spend time with the kids and help out. I was very grateful (and said so), if a little nervous - it's the first time apart from my kids for more than a night and thy are quite small. It will really help me a lot and I've been excited and eager for it.

Anyway, in a phonecall a couple of days ago, my mum told me they couldn't do the week arranged any more because she'd agreed to do something for another sibling. It's a kind thing, and part of a way they help them out most weeks - this is an extra bit. Don't want to post identifying details, but the timing is unfortunate. She wants to do the week after instead. Which we can't. In fact, losing these dates means it will be months. I'd been relying on this time, getting ready for it. I made it clear that I was disappointed, and that the kids would be too, then needed to end the phonecall. She said she'd call that evening. No call.

They don't really know how bad my mental health is or how much my marriage is struggling. I've hinted, but to me, it seems that they have little patience with my depression and consider me lazy and difficult. I know they love me, but I don't think they like me. They do know I needed this help and said they were glad I had asked for once.

We live hours apart and I feel like, and they say they feel like, we don't see each other enough. The rest of my siblings are local, and they all see each other a lot. I'm jealous of that. I have no equivalent family help nearby. We go to stay with my parents 2-3 times a year, usually for 5-7 days. I've also encouraged them to come and stay. That doesn't happen though - always a reason, something "essential" they have to stay near home - other visitors going to stay, or somewhere they have to help out (although others are happy to cover for them or manage). Previously they've called wanting to stay last-minute because of business in my city - never for long past the occasion they needed to attend though. I feel pretty used about that. I don't know if they do too.

I feel so ridiculously let down and upset. I can't even talk to my husband about it. It's triggered a whole load of feeling like everything else matters more to my parents than me, and complete sadness for my kids. Either I'm over-reacting, and this is just another of those things that will pass and we will never properly talk about it, or they have really let me down because they really do just care about other things more and that will never change. My depression is strong at the moment, and I don't know if it is colouring my judgement. What do you think?

CharlotteCollins Tue 31-May-16 22:50:14

So your mum ignored her prior engagement and went back on her word?

You've every right to be upset.

HidingI Tue 31-May-16 23:26:23

It seemed like, in her eyes, she was just shifting the week. I felt unreasonable for having a problem with that and that most people would agree with that. It's hard to describe how much of your confidence depression leaches away from you.

frazmum Wed 01-Jun-16 11:36:49

Sounds like she does treat you quite differently from the others. Is it because they're nearby so contact doesn't need as well planned? Or do you think she struggles with your depression?

Regardless like pp said you should be upset. Does she understand do you think that moving it by one week doesn't work at all and will cause massive delays?

CharlotteCollins Wed 01-Jun-16 11:56:24

But if she's made an arrangement with you, she doesn't get to shift the week without checking that works for you first. And since it doesn't work for you, she should say so to your sibling, can't make it, already got plans, sorry.

Unless she'd already planned things with your sibling but not taken in the date.

Or it's something major like results of hospital investigations and there's nobody else to go.

Otherwise, she's showing herself to be unreliable. Sorry, OP.

coco1810 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:56:06

You don't say if you are getting any help for your depression and that seems to me to be the running issue here. Have you seen your GP about this? Would counselling help? Heck, even calling the Samaritans might help.

I do think YANBU to be hurt and upset about your parents changing their plans. That really wasn't fair and really quite unkind too. Like you my parents live close to my sister and I live 200 miles away. I love seeing Facebook posts of my mom and sister on spa days (thanks for the invite!). It's hard not to feel jealous but I just surround myself with my kids and dp. But it does rankle.

You don't say what the issue with you dh is. This also seems to be a thorn in your side. Is your marriage fixable or is it time to start thinking about leaving and building a happier life for yourself?

HidingI Wed 01-Jun-16 21:20:27

Thanks for your comments. I'm trying to find reasons it was ok to pull that change on me - maybe we weren't clear about dates, maybe she'd forgotten or not been clear on the timing of the agreement with my sibling, maybe, maybe, maybe... But in the end, there seems to have been no debate for them. This is something they do for my sibling that saves them hundreds of pounds a month - something they'd ill afford to pay for otherwise, and their working lives are dependent on it. But they have other family locally who could help. I just don't. I don't work, partly because I have no childcare. It feels so unequal, and I try not to feel that, because it's unkind and my sibling does need and deserve the help, but I wish that they could have put me and my kids first, just for one week. So now what?

Coco1810, that so resonates about all the non-invitations. It's so hard to take. I honestly don't believe they even notice we're not there. I feel like a spoiled child though, stropping because I'm not getting the attention. I'm old enough to be bigger than this, surely.

The depression - I'm working on it. Tried the NHS route - all these extra mental health services they're supposed to be adding in? Nope. I waited well over 3 months and finally got an appointment for CBT when I called in distress, suicidal. Even the CBT woman said CBT wasn't appropriate for me, but I had to do it first, then got an appointment with a counsellor who was frankly flaky. That lasted 3 sessions. So, now we have to pay for whatever I search out myself that might help. I'm trying because I'm very determined but there are many moments when I just wish someone would section me and take responsibility off me. But you know, strength of women etc, etc. I'm hopeful I've found a counsellor now though.

The marriage issues are various, and hopefully fixable, but I lack the energy and motivation while also fighting depression. My husband would work harder but I can't even find a voice to communicate what just happened with my mum because of how isolated and rejected it makes me feel. I think he'll be patient while I try to get past that.

HidingI Wed 01-Jun-16 21:23:16

You know, writing that made me realise I'm being ridiculously entitled. I have no right to expect their help.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 01-Jun-16 21:33:53

I think you do have a right to expect their help. Will you turn your back on your own DC when they are adults and need you? Of course not.
Am very much in your position with mother who always and without question puts my sister and her kids before me and mine. It sucks. I bet you always make sure your DC get the same amount of your time and attention. If your parents don't do that for you you have a right to feel hurt.

Gabilan Wed 01-Jun-16 21:36:32

It's triggered a whole load of feeling like everything else matters more to my parents than me, and complete sadness for my kids

I think the upset is a mixture of there being some genuine unfairness on the part of your parents and some absolutist/ depressed thinking. It's an upsetting situation, but one that would look different if you weren't so depressed. I have depression myself and have had a fair bit of therapy for it.

By the absolutism, I mean that you've decided that your parents helping out with your children is hugely important. The reality is that there are other options available to you. Unfortunately we don't really see that when we have depression. It's as if everything hangs on this one event or thing.

I know how exhausting it is to have to fight for yourself when you most need it but least feel like doing it. Is there any subsidised therapy near you that you can access? If you get the right therapist it can really help you separate out which reactions are illness and which are a healthier reaction to a situation.

Gabilan Wed 01-Jun-16 21:38:03

writing that made me realise I'm being ridiculously entitled. I have no right to expect their help

But they offered help. Lots of parents help out their adult children. And they help your siblings. You don't sound entitled at all - just depressed and confused.

scallopsrgreat Wed 01-Jun-16 21:46:37

You aren't being entitled Hiding. They have reneged and you are feeling disappointed. You've done nothing wrong and your feelings are valid. I really feel sorry for you as they've pulled the rug from under you.

Have you thought about telling them how you feel? How do you think they'd react?

coco1810 Wed 01-Jun-16 22:23:50

You really are not being entitled, they said that they would help and they regained on their promise to help another sibling and unless it was an emergency situation, that just isn't fair. Are your in laws able to support you at all? Or are you able to get a childminder just once a week or so to give you a break. Not to get stuff around the house done, but go for a coffee or just sit in a park and just relax?

Please try and share with your DH what has happened and how you are feeling. He is your husband and I am sure he would want to know how you are feeling. Maybe hearing him say that you are right to be so upset will bring you some comfort too.

My DP has had MH issues (PTSD) and I completely understand what the battle is like to get the correct support and therapy. I phoned counselling service every day for three weeks to keep nagging and pushing for his help. He needed me to, not being dramatic, but I doubt I would be here if I hadn't. Has DH been to the DRs to help you speak up and push for the help. Please don't think I am criticizing you. I can feel your hurt and frustration, and I am really just brainstorming for you.

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