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Not living, just existing

(33 Posts)
swannview Sat 04-Feb-17 19:51:27

I've posted before regarding my situation and the support was great. I hope it's not a problem if I recap and ask for help again.

Married for 13 years with three DC. Emotional and physical abuse in the relationship, and I finally had the courage to call it a day last summer. Living separately since, but the past few weeks had seen us becoming civil.

I have no surviving family so the child care is all down to me. I struggle. I needed a shoulder to cry on, I needed a helping hand and more than anything, needed a break mentally.

The past few days, it has all gone pear shaped again. Constant bickering, lack of communication and I guess on my part, a feeling of resentment. He is starting a new business in the next couple of weeks, has a large circle of friends, and has his freedom.

I on the other hand am now out of work because it's not ideal for me to continue working in the business we ran together before. He friend is now running it on his behalf and has also moved into his flat which means I don't get a break from the children as I don't want them staying in a house with a man they hardly know. That coupled with the fact the ex will be working all hours with it being a restaurant, I am feeling despair.

I'm worried about the future. I can hardly get my head out of my arse these days. I'm snappy and irritable and the kids don't deserve that. However, they are the only people I have in my life, and when they play up and argue, I wonder how I'm going to cope like this for the next ten years. I have nobody to give me a hug and to tell me it will be ok and it really hurts.

I have nothing when it comes to childcare, and so I am ploughing all my energy into a home wares and decor venture, but it just isn't going anywhere. There are so many big companies out there these days, that I just don't stand a chance. I feel like a failure. More than anything, I just feel like I'm existing. I lost my dad at 16, mum at 23 and my marriage at 31. What else can go wrong sad

Hello

I think it's really difficult when you separate and don't get a break. It's the same for me. My ex left in 2009 when the kids were really small and I was 31! For the last 7 years I've brought them up single handedly whilst he has them for a few hours a week only and over nights are maybe a few times a year due to his work. The resentment at times eats me up as he swans into the sunset and I'm left looking after our kids without a break. My family don't live nearby so I can't ask them to help either. It can be so lonely.

When you have all these feelings churning inside it's so hard not to have a short fuse with the kids.

I have now returned to work part time and the kids are 8 & 9 now. I've found a good childminder for school pick ups and a few good babysitters I can trust through friends recommendations. I still struggle financially but the tax credits help.

You're not a failure. The relationship has failed but you're not a failure. You have other gifts and talents and things will get better.

Have you spoken to the gp? I ended up on ADs for a year, they were a life saver. I started making good decisions again, stopped crying in front of my children and sleeping. So do consider speaking to them even just for a counselling referral.

Do you have any friends who can help you look after the kids for a break? I found asking for help hard but it helped with the isolation a lot to see a friendly face and have a chat too, as well as the break.

I know we're not meant to do hugs on here but I hear you and I'm sending you a squeeze love x

swannview Sat 04-Feb-17 21:35:36

Thank you for replying. Whilst it's an awful situation to be in, it kind of helps to know I'm not alone.

I have a GP appointment on Monday. I was prescribed ADs and beta blockers a few months back and reluctantly took them before deciding that I needed to face my problems head on rather than masking them. It is a lovely GP that I'm going to see so I will feel comfortable opening up to her.

My kids are my world. They are all I have. Whilst I have a few close friends, I am always reluctant to ask for help as people have their own issues/routines etc. I have just applied for the children to change schools away from where we lived as a family and work was based as I'm currently doing a 40 minute commute.

I just want a day where I can wake up and feel positive. I want to make something of my life, for my kids to be proud of me.

I think you can face your problems head on even with ADs. They help the chemical imbalance in your brain. You'll start to wake up positive instead of thinking oh God I have to do it all over again on my own with the DCs.

I think changing schools and having a fresh start, as well as no 40 min commute twice a day will really help.

Recovery is two steps forward and one step back and every now and then something comes along and knocks you for six again but it's like a graph, a slow steady climb with dips and I believe you will reach a place that was far better than life before divorce in the end.

When things settle down can you look for a job? I found it really helped my sense of self esteem and being with others during the day. I now do bookkeeping which is pretty stress free, I go to work for a rest 😃

swannview Sun 05-Feb-17 10:09:13

I'd love to retrain to be something. Things are pretty tight financially though. I'm spending so much time worrying about how I can compete with what their Dad will be earning and can give them. Finance has always been his side of things, and now I'm learning to do it all for myself. It's really scaring me to be honest sad

Why do you have to compete? They'll be proud of you for working hard and bringing them up alone and holding down a job.

Do you need help budgeting and arranging payments?

mumgointhroughtorture Sun 05-Feb-17 10:30:07

I think you need to look at the positives here. Your ex is soon going to be working all hours so even if you lived together you wouldn't see him. You would be living with a tired , irritable guy on top of his normal moods. You still wouldnt get a break. Least as it stands you have no ties. You are free to make your life better without him . The grass isnt always greener on the other side. I suspect once you've got through this skint and no child care stage you will be the one better off , you have your kids around you , that's worth more than anythingsmile
Good Luck I'm sure it will get better for you just keep working at it.

OldBooks Sun 05-Feb-17 10:48:54

I just wanted to comment that ADs absolutely do not mask the problem. They will help you get your head straight so you can face it. If you have a bad headache you take painkillers, ADs are no different. Do take them, discuss your worries with your GP who will reassure you. flowers

swannview Sun 05-Feb-17 12:18:44

Thank you so much.

Yes I agree about him working all hours and never being here. He spent a lot of our marriage socialising and I was left with most of the crap anyway. I guess now won't be much different.

I think more than anything, it's the loneliness. Nothing will ever bring my Mum back, but I would love nothing more than to just have a chat every now and then to have the reassurance that what I'm doing is right.

I saw a medium before Christmas and my mums spirit came through. She said that I needed to stop living in a man's world and show them that I'm boss smile She also mentioned that this year I would go freelance and my home decor venture would pay off with the right website and marketing. There is no way that this woman would have known anything about this, which gives me a slight glimmer of hope that I can maybe just pull it off.

I think I'm scared to commit financially in case it doesn't work. I do have a credit card which I could use to buy the necessary equipment to build up further. However, if it all went to pot, it's the best part of £500+ that I would then need to pay back somehow.

I spent so many years being told that other wives etc were always doing better than myself, that I've had the confidence knocked straight out of me sad

It's a hard place to be when you're lonely and you've lost your confidence but you're stronger than you think. Look how far you've come already.

£500 isn't too much, I say this as a lone parent on a part time income. If it didn't work out you could clear the debt little by little over a year and move it to a 0% card but if you don't take that leap of faith you'll never know will you?

swannview Mon 06-Feb-17 14:12:40

My GP has prescribed me some Citalopram and called me a twit for not opening up to her before smile

Due to go back in two weeks and she wants to refer me for counselling so I can open up as I don't have anybody in the real world.

Got a couple of hours to myself this afternoon as the kids at staying for after school activities, so I'm going to go on a run and listen to some uplifting music.

Figured that nobody will take care of me other than myself. Might just find my mojo along the way smile

ravenmum Mon 06-Feb-17 14:40:25

Counselling is actually better in many ways than friends - you can go over the most boring and stupid of problems a hundred times if you like and the counsellor is not going to gossip about you or pretend to be busy smile
I live a thousand miles from my family so couldn't get much support, but long-term counselling really turned things around for me. I feel happier than I did before the breakup.

ADs help you see things clearly, not through blue-tinted lenses. And they take while to work. Citalopram can actually make you feel worse for the first couple of weeks, before you start to feel better, so you have to be patient. And if you stop, it has to be done gradually, or again that can make you feel bad.

How old are the kids? You've started a family early by the sound of it. In ten years' time you'll still be a fresh-faced 41-year-old with independent children and a good 20+ years of career in front of you, with any luck.

swannview Mon 06-Feb-17 18:57:46

They are 9, 8 and 6, so I have my hands full!

STBXH hasn't seen them properly since Thursday night. He saw them for all of 5 minutes on Saturday and I asked if they'd like to speak to him today on the way home from school. DD wasn't on the phone for more than a minute before he told her he needed to go because he had jobs to do sad

At least I get the extra hugs and snuggles. It's sad he's missing out because I have never stopped him from seeing the children. I just hope I can be enough for them

Hope you enjoyed the run and the peace and quiet. Your doctor sounds ace.

Raven is right, first couple of weeks you may feel worse but stick at it as you'll feel so much better once they kick in.

And you are enough, you are more than enough for them.

Just don't try and be Mary Poppins to make up for their Dad like I did 😉 That way leads to guilt and emotional exhaustion x

swannview Tue 07-Feb-17 09:24:28

I had a sleepless night last night from realising how stupid I have been regarding my finances over the course of the marriage.

I never expected things to come like this- just presumed we would always be together, and never put aside anything for a rainy day. Zero. Zilch. Yes, I have the usual tax credits, there is equity in the property, but as for savings, I have none.

He has always declared his earning as less than what they actually are, and so in terms of maintenance, I would receive a pittance.

I can't believe I have been so naive. Once all bills are paid, I would have around £500 on which to survive. Out of this would also come petrol and food shopping. Is it doable?

ravenmum Tue 07-Feb-17 13:16:22

Go through all your bank statements and work out your spending patterns, income, etc. in detail. Have a look at where you might be able to cut back a bit. Consider what other changes you could make - not sure I get your home situation, but perhaps you could sell up and downsize, for instance. Or let out a room to a student or something. Have a look at what jobs you could do to tide you over while you look for something better.

Don't waste your time thinking about what you should, would, could have done; put your nervous energy into meticulous planning and scheming! At first there is so much new information and so many changes that it appears overwhelming, but you don't have to do it all at once. Do it in baby steps, and use exercise to make yourself as tired at night as possible.

Under all this stress you also need to work more on your physical health, e.g. avoid alcohol (a depressant that affects sleep) and make sure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, so you can survive the stress as best you can.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 07-Feb-17 13:25:32

Just to give you a wee bit of encouragement... I had five kids, all under ten when my husband and I split up. He didn't see them at all for three years, didn't pay a penny for them, and we were so poor it wasn't in the least amusing.

People understood. Friends kept me company and gave me an ear. Companies let me pay things bit by bit. I found hobbies I'd neglected, read a lot of books, got my self respect back.

My kids are grown up now, and they are all very protective of me, and they appreciate what I went through (I, too, lost my temper, ranted and raged, particularly when they all fought and squabbled). So, basically, this too will pass. You can do it.

InstinctivelyITry Tue 07-Feb-17 14:29:01

Swann - you WILL manage. Don't ever think you fall short. Don't compare.
I'm in a similar situation financially, but have been able to save a little bit - a real triumph for me. Something id have not managed when with him. I had too much shit taking up space in my head (sadly 80% about him, wholly underserving of it I might add)
So now begins Project Instinctively... Me, moi, mea, .that's one I will excel at, because I want to, and deep down, deep deep down, I believe I am worth it.

Money saving expert has saved me a fortune so far. Try and switch utility firms, cheaper mobile tariff, cancel sky/ virgin or threaten to leave so they lower it, switch debt to 0% deals on credit cards etc. Shop in Aldi/ Lidl etc.

I find all sorts of ways to cut costs. You can do this. You've got this.

swannview Tue 07-Feb-17 21:44:59

Thank you for all of your words of support and encouragement.

I have had a few orders through for the things I make which has really boosted moral, although I need to be careful with what I buy in terms of supplies to keep going so that I'm not squandering money away needlessly. I enjoy crafting so much, and I think I do put pressure on myself to make big money from it rather than just enjoying it, but it would be ideal if I could make a real good go of it and have that as my main source of income. I'm just too scared to take the plunge.

The kids have been lovely this evening which has made things easier for me. I'm tucked up in bed hoping for a good nights sleep it's the youngest cuddled in next to me. Thankful for times like these smile

Ahhhh my boy is 8 and artic climbs in my bed.

Will I find your goods on not on the high street? They sound lovely.

swannview Wed 08-Feb-17 07:03:09

Thank you!

I'm currently on Etsy and FB. Applied for NOTHS but never heard anything back sad

My page is Moon & Sixpence Home Decor.

Not sure if I'm even allowed to post that?!

Artic? It was meant to be still climbs in my bed.

Had a quick google, they look lovely, love the make up bag.

How are you today?

christmaswreaths Wed 08-Feb-17 08:21:27

I just didn't want to read and run.. It is really hard with small children and no.childcare.. I am not separated but like you Dh and I have no family help and two very busy full time jobs.. We barely see each other and most of the time feel like existing.

I am.told repeatedly that it does get better when childcare is not an issue anymore and you can leave the house on your own.. I reckon we are about four years away from that!! Hugs xxx

swannview Wed 08-Feb-17 13:19:30

I feel ok today. Just at school to watch youngest DD in her school performance. He isn't here, so it's moments like this that I know I have to treasure forever.

He is very much wrapped up in his new business venture and hearing all about it makes me feel so inadequate. He is lucky to have such opportunities and I would love nothing more than for people to think 'wow, after all that's gone on, she still managed to make a good life for her and her kids'. I know there's no definition of perfection, I think it's because I've been put down for so many years that I almost feel I'm destined to fail before I try sad

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