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Would I be wrong to isolate myself?(10 Posts)
I have a lot going on in my life at the moment (doesn't everyone - selfish, right?) but the more that things fall on my shoulders, the more I see that actually the people around me are of little supports, and the less I want to be around them.
During the last two years my DH has had MH issues with PTSD (I have posted about this previously and how it has changed the man I love), redundancy and starting a new job. In this time people who I thought would have been there, including his own mother, were not. I was left on my own to cope with his illness, making ends meet and caring for our DC. The only real support I had was my lovely boss we put as much overtime my way as possible and actually asked every day how I was.
I have gone LC with my immediate family after realising that it is always me that maintains communication. I haven't heard from my siblings since February. They maintain communications with my eldest DC but not myself which actually hurts a lot. My parents, when they do decide to contact me ask about DP, DC and even the blooming dog but not about me.
People who I thought were friends seem to see me as someone to moan about their trials and tribulations, but not to ask how I am. I sound all me, me, don't I? But actually I feel like an non person to them. Am I such an ice maiden that I look like everything is tickety boo?
My job hasn't been safe for a while, this is something that has been in the local newspapers as its a large local employer. No support forthcoming there either, no sympathy just the need for gossip. My DP mom has been agog to find out what is going on so she can tell her friends. No offers of do you need help with childcare so you can change jobs, can I drop DC to school etc.
My DP has been totally disassociated from it all. I have spent days, weeks if not months getting everyone ready for school/work and sobbing on my dog's shoulder. How flipping sad is that?
For this last week, I have cut myself off from everyone. Just taken DC to school and ignored the pleasantries on the playground. Gone to work, done my shift and gone home without barely speaking to colleagues. I don't think my DP has even noticed that I am not my usual chatty self. A part of me feels bloody liberated to not have everyone's crap on my shoulders and now I'm wondering if I should just continue being this little shadow to everyone apart from my kids. But then, my.kids aren't going to be little for ever. I want them to see the world and be happy bit then is my life going to be lonely?
I feel that I am at a crossroads and I don't know where to turn. I have been to see my GP and I am not depressed. He's sent me off for a load of blood tests to see if there is a medical reason for my low moods. I still feel joy in my days, seeing my kids do something together or even if its a sunny day. I just feel totally invisible to every one else.
I'm sorry you're having such a tough time of it at the moment.
It sounds like you are surrounded by a bunch of self-centred people or, alternatively, it may be that people see you as strong and able to cope. I know from my own experience how easy it can be to fall into roles. If you've habitually been the one to offer support to others it can be really hard to ask for help when the boot is on the other foot. Have you told people how you're feeling and that you could do with some support? If so and you haven't got it then you're right to assume they're not there for you and look elsewhere. If not perhaps take a risk and reach out. Some people may surprise you.
I think this is part of growing up. I think when you are younger you are conditioned to think everyone is scrutinising your every move and to extent they are. As you get older I think people expect you to get on with your own stuff however hard it is and people do care less
Thank you for your reply. Previous to my DP's illness, he was my main source of support, my absolute rock and best friend. Occasionally, I see glimpses of that man and it breaks my heart that now I need him both his medication and the PTSD prevents him from being there. Truth be told, I wouldn't know who best to turn to for that conversation. I have seen a side to most people who are around me that I do not like. I know I need to get out there and find a new group of friends, but honestly, I don't know if I can be arsed.
I have been toying with the idea of going back to college to get my foundation degree but I don't know if its even worth doing. I would need help with child care and finding study time but I can't see how I can do it. Everything is such a mess.
Small steps is key. Have you thought of doing an online course?
The course I have been looking at is in the majority online with tutorials every six weeks or so. I was really looking forward to doing it, but the last week has really rocked me. On one hand, this could change mine and my kids lives for the better. But the lack of support in my live has me doubting whether anything is worth doing.
If I ever feel low I have to give myself a talking to and tell myself the only person who can help me is me. And you know the saying 'when your going through hell - keep on going'! It will be worth it!
I think you need to make a distinction between contacts which benefit you and contacts which don't. When I feel down I do have a tendency to isolate myself, but I recognise the importance of good friends so I do make myself carry on with those contacts.
I'd suggest you have a really cynical look at everyone in your life, including your DH. Anyone who is not an asset (i.e. brings more pluses than minuses or who makes you do all the work) can go onto low or no contact.
I get that your DH probably gets a pass for now, but ultimately if he brings you down then you may have to reassess that relationship. You have to put yourself first because no-one else ever does and nobody benefits if you go under. I'd suggest that you plan to look again at the impact he has on your life and your mood in 3 and 6 months' time.
Try and spend more time with people who lift you up and maybe look at a new social group (Meetup/ WI etc) which will give you exposure to more new people.
I don't think you sound depressed, but you have a lot of crap on your plate. You are entitled to feel a bit low!
And yes definitely start doing things for yourself and developing your skills and independence. Everyone needs to feel that thy are moving forward in life.
The course sounds like a great first step. Could you do an online course or does the place you plan to study have a creche? Could you ask a local teenager or granny to help out or swap babysitting with someone else at the college/uni?
It is liberating, isn't it?
And now that you have become more internally focused, maybe going to classes, whatever, it will actually make you a more interesting and happy person and these folks you've been ignoring will come back to you, asking about you, wanting to know about you. Ironic because before, it was all about them.
I have made a few decisions about things in my life and a huge load has been lifted. Although my job is now almost officially safe, it has given me the push I need to sort myself out. I have made a promise to myself to stick it out until Christmas (otherwise I have to pay back bonuses- part of my contract ) and then look for something new.
In the meantime I am going to look at going back to college to do a course of some sort. It will all come down to funding, so I may have to save for a year before I do my foundation degree and focus on teaching assistant which is what I want to do.
I dug out my jewellery making stuff which I haven't touched in about five years and have been designing again. My plan is to start making enough to do a few Christmas fairs and sell on etsy etc. All part of the degree fund!
As far as the "friends" go, meh! I am learning to say sorry, I'm a bit busy at the mo catch up soon and deflect their issues off my shoulders. I think my relationship with my siblings isn't going to improve. I recently found out that one of them had been on a trip quite close to where I live. My kids wouldn't have been able to see them but I could have met them. No invitation, nothing. That got me down for a few days
more like distraught but I decided enough. There's nothing wrong with me, they have the issues.
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