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breaking point

(15 Posts)
bambilegs Thu 07-Dec-17 09:32:29

Just as the title says really. I don't know how to keep going. This has been the year from hell. I broke up with a man I loved because of numerous pressures from our families and him turning out to not be the man I hoped he was. I don't want to go into detail but he disrespected me hugely and had so many issues that I don't know where to start!
I fell out with my parents for 5 months. Things have now been resolved but we recently found out that mum has terminal lung cancer. Dad has been caring for her mostly as my brother and I have work pressure. Unexpectedly dad is now in hospital awaiting a triple heart operation which will hopefully be today. I have flu. I cant be with them. Mum is finding out the results of her whole body scan today and my brother will be with her. His wife and child are ill and I really feel for the pressure he is under trying to help everyone and be strong.
I was off work Mon and Tues with period related problems, I have now developed flu symptoms. In the meantime (weds) I requested compassionate leave from work in order to help my family, not knowing that I was going to be floored with flu. They responded saying that I can have 1/2 days unpaid leave. They aren't going to believe me if I say I now have flu. I feel so guilty that I cant be there for my parents and ease the pressure from my brother. I'm a single parent and cant afford unpaid leave. I'm at breaking point. I have two teenage children to care for too. Can anyone advise what I can do financially? Should I try to get signed off with stress? I am usually a trooper but I just cant stop crying. This year has absolutely broken me and I cant see a way forward. I've got nothing to look forward to.

bambilegs Thu 07-Dec-17 10:40:51


jpl888 Thu 07-Dec-17 11:12:35


Let me see if I can help.

It's not particularly unusual for people to fall in love based on what they want the other person to be, rather than what they are. It takes maybe 10 years of living with someone, and trials and tribulations to really figure out what someone is like. I guess this is why the divorce rate is so high (not that I believe in marriage anyway). ;)

I think one of the things that is truly upsetting (at least for me) is when you have an expectation (not an unreasonable one) and it's not met. This is possibly the source of more of your heartache than the love lost itself. Not much I can help you with here, it is what it is, just maybe help you to see it for what it is, and recognise it in future.

In terms of asking for time off from work in future, if you have any qualms at all that it will be granted, simply call in sick on the day instead. Really, this will save you a lot of potential hassle (honesty is definitely not the best policy in this regard, I'm afraid).

In terms of your situation now, I understand it's a risk for you to say you're sick after asking for compassionate leave, but I would prioritise what's the most important thing at this moment - keeping your job, or being with your parents for the whole of the day in a time of need. Whatever is your answer to the priority, is what you should be doing.

Most employers don't appreciate if you're sick, go into work, and battle through, then leave half way through the day (I've had a warning before for doing that). But, if this is the first time you've done it, the most you can expect is a warning. Again, balance this against your priorities, but if you decide to go, make sure you're as nice a possible about it so they don't have excuses to take disciplinary action, but be firm that you're not feeling well and need to go home, then just go.

Is there anything I've not addressed there?

lilybetsy Thu 07-Dec-17 11:48:49

Go and see your GP. Tell them what you have written here and ask for a week off sick. You are too stressed and too anxious to be able to work effectively - so sick leave is appropriate. DOI I am a GP

bambilegs Thu 07-Dec-17 13:06:51

Thank you both for taking the time to reply

Cricrichan Thu 07-Dec-17 13:09:49

I would phone your employer and explain what you've explained here and offer to work on your days off to make up the time (if it's the kind of job where you can do that). Or maybe work from home?

jpl888 Thu 07-Dec-17 13:16:47

np @bambilegs - I'm trying to give posts that aren't getting attention some air. Doc's advice sounds good, and certainly more legit than mine. ;)

Let us know what happens.

LemonShark Thu 07-Dec-17 13:19:50

Are you in a union, OP?

And do you get sick pay?

If you get sick pay, get signed off with stress for a few weeks. And make sure you get into a union. Some workplaces are great and supportive and some are terrible. You need a union behind you if you're in the latter, as there's every chance they'll try use whatever you do against you.

Better be signed off by GP then take compassionate leave if you're only paid for sick pay. Compassionate leave is normally reserved for people who've lost a relative or partner so you might not be granted it, whereas a GP has the power to say you're not fit for work whatever work say.

Sounds like a really tough time with a lot of shit hitting the fan at once. I've been somewhere similar (I would never pretend to know how you feel), dealing with losing my mum, my partner leaving me out of the blue rendering me homeless, severe health issues causing me to nearly lose my job and financial bankruptcy due to having too much time off work with my health I ran out of sick pay. I was 22 and it was difficult. It's a serious test and if you hunker down and take it an hour at a time you can get through it, I promise there will be better days ahead, even if they're a fair way away.

Try not to make any huge decisions right now, while your head is all over the place. Do you have close friends to lean on? Try take care of yourself. If you need it or don't have anyone to confide in you can ring the Samaritans for fifteen minutes every night to download from the day and get some support and love from someone who cares, sometimes having that time and space to hold on for each day or week can help you get through the awful parts.

I'm really glad you felt able to post here. There's a lot of stigma and shame surrounding being signed off sick with mental health issues like stress or depression but if you're unable to work effectively or being at work is going to make the rest of your life/mental health go up in smoke then you have every right to be signed off. It's hard cos so many people have this perception people who do that are lazy or shirkers but their opinion is irrelevant. If it makes you feel any better I work in mental health and I'm signed off for two weeks right now with depression, I've never done this before but now I've had a couple days off I'm realising it was for the best, for me and for work and for my clients I help with similar issues.

Sometimes in life you have to put yourself first. It's a hard balance cos if your employer aren't supportive you're terrified of losing your job. Only you know what's the best to do in your situation. In the future you may have regrets whatever you decide. But you'll know you made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time while feeling how you did. Lots of love xxx

hollowtree Thu 07-Dec-17 13:20:19

I'm not surprised you're at breaking point! Any one of these things is enough to floor someone. You're doing amazing to have got this far with your shit together!

Take some time off work, it's just a job. That's what I always think

LemonShark Thu 07-Dec-17 13:24:28

Ps it's not at all unusual to develop a health issue after or during a time of severe stress. I got sick loads during the time I mentioned in my last post, the year or two after my mum passed I was constantly struck down with colds and lung and bladder infections and migraines cos my body was so exhausted and my defences were so low. I know you'll feel work won't believe you and they may not, but that doesn't change the truth that you are sick at an inconvenient time. Like I say, figure out your pay conditions (sick pay), make sure you're unionised then you can decide to be signed off or not. I don't know many people who could keep working with flu let alone while they've just received news that both parents are so poorly. Your head must be spinning. If you need permission to take some time off sick then here if is: stress is a serious, real health condition. You have it. You probably can't perform brilliantly at work right now. You're not a machine, businesses employ people and therefore need to realise that people, not being machines, do sometimes get sick or go through trauma they need time to recover from. That's just life and your organisation will have other employees that have had to be off before for various reasons. Xx

Welshgirl40 Thu 07-Dec-17 13:25:31

Gosh, you’re going through a lot. You poor, poor love. I have been through a series of events awfully similar, and come through the other side. Yes, still recovering, but got through; just. Go to your doctor. That was the most important, productive and probably self preserving, action I took. They can help. Also, Macmillan have a great support group for the family of cancer sufferers. It’s a wonderful group, and so helpful.
Sending you strength and a huge, supportive hug.

hollowtree Thu 07-Dec-17 13:31:02

Much better response from lemon but that's what I was trying to say!

bambilegs Thu 07-Dec-17 16:48:23

Thank you both for taking the time to reply

bambilegs Thu 07-Dec-17 17:09:43

Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. I will go to the docs as soon as flu has eased x

Lefty1 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:45:42

Have you explained what's happening to your employer? in terms of your parents being sick? They need to be supporting you on this , without going into the specific is it a big company you work for as they are inclined to have good support guidelines in for members of staff going through stressful periods in there life?

Does your work place have a union?

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