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I need a hug. Depressed DH, difficulties possible cat being PTS

(23 Posts)
DrowsyDragon Mon 13-Jul-20 18:57:37

This is a just a probably too long wait but I need to get it out.
We did IVF in January and I’m expecting a second DC in October. not having the easiest pregnancy what with entertaining DD in lockdown and reasonably bad anaemia.
About a month after I conceived, my DH had a breakdown in his mental health. It was triggered by resurfacing memories of a sexual trauma in his late teens. He has stopped eating to any routine at all. He’s lost about three stone and looks skeletal - my mother asks if he has an eating disorder. He has panic attacks, he gets stress hiccups that strain his diaphragm and cause vomiting. Perhaps three times a week? He is EXCELLENT with our DD but especially in lockdown I’ve been taking the brunt of his mood swings and his rages. He’s never hit me but he has become very shouty, very sweary and very implacable. He will refuse to accept any mitigating circumstances and just demand I “take responsibility and stop evading and diminishing things” over and over til I cry and either leave or give him what he wants. On one occassiom he woke dd and she came down and told him to stop shouting at mummy. He has gone to the GP and was put on sertraline which has improved his mood. It was like getting my old DH back, loving and warm and fun. But he still struggles with eating, with hiccups and he gets exhausted. He’ll fall asleep all the time, putting DD to bed, at work (he works from home permanently) and can be hard to rouse. I’m exhausted from trying to pick up around it.

We have a cat. We rescued her six years ago and she was estimated to be between 10-12. She’s been getting doddery and today slipped and broke her femur. We took her to the vet and they also found extensive kidney damage. He is insisting she gets referred to a clinic, gets surgery on her leg. We can afford it but I am not sure it’s kind. My two year old is also really upset about her cat though I know she will recover. I just feel worn utterly thin. I love him so much but I am so concerned there’s a lot more going on and I can’t keep up with everything. Especially with a baby due in three months. Basically I really need a hug.

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fflelp Mon 13-Jul-20 19:16:08

Poor you. That all sounds too much.
If he is still struggling with eating and getting exhausted he should go back to the GP and get some help for this. He might have a vitamin deficiency of some kind due to the disordered eating which has been going on for a while. He sounds like he needs therapy too.

The cat situation is awful too. I've had two cats PTS in the last couple of years. It's a horrible situation.
What did the vet advise? The decision needs to be taken fairly quickly now - either treat the leg or PTS. The cat must be 16 - 18 years old. I know what decision I would take if I had to make it.
It's not kind to put a cat through such an operation if the kidney disease is going to cause significant problems in the very near future. How advanced is the kidney disease and what is the prognosis for that (ignoring the broken femur for a moment)?
Perhaps you both need to speak to the vet again.

DrowsyDragon Mon 13-Jul-20 19:39:39

The vet suggested palliative care bu DH was adamant he wanted the leg set and to get a referral to a specialist clinic. I asked him if he thought that was kindest, especially if she might go into kidney failure soon and he and the vet agreed to talk again in the morning. I hope the extra time will help him think more clearly and I think they are too.

I completely agree he needs to go back to thGP. I just need to find the strength to persuade him again. Especially with his current phase being so angry and defensive. I am so very tired myself.

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Unobtainium Mon 13-Jul-20 19:43:35

You have a lot on your plate, OP. I’m sorry about your difficulties with your DH, and about your poor cat. Hugs flowers

However...congratulations on your pregnancy!

Floralnomad Mon 13-Jul-20 19:45:51

I’ve nothing useful to say @DrowsyDragon but you are welcome to a virtual hug it all sounds very tough 💐. With regards to the poor old cat I’d be led by the vet and no decent vet will even attempt surgery on a cat with serious renal issues , if the vets do decide he’s fit enough for surgery perhaps an actual amputation might be less of an operation than fixing the leg .

fflelp Mon 13-Jul-20 20:15:27

How does the vet propose to stabilize the leg while the cat receives palliative care? Because palliative care could go on for a while. My cat had 3 months of palliative care.
If your cat is going to receive several months of palliative care then the leg should be set or amputated.
Sounds a bit odd to me.

IncrediblySadToo Mon 13-Jul-20 20:27:07

(((HUG)))). I give brilliant hugs (apparently) & currently have plenty to spare!!! Do help yourself 🌷

Congratulations on your pregnancy. (Though you possibly have mixed feelings about it niw -it's understandable if you do!)

Poor PussyCat. Having nursed two through kidney dusease if I had one that had broken their femur I'd have to find some inner strength (fuck knows where from) and PTS. It really would be the kindest thing to do. Though I totally understand your DH's POV & have done similar. In hindsight, it's quite selfish really (though the vet kept saying the cats seemed happy enough) trusted vet do not £££ motivateD I don't believe.

DH I woukd ring the GP & explain the situation and ask the GP to call DH in for a 'review' of the situation with the meds. He needs more help!

Poor DD I'm sure you do your best to shield her from it all, but they do absorb the atmosphere etc.

But mostly ((((HUGS)))))

DrowsyDragon Mon 13-Jul-20 20:59:48

Thank you all so much. I just really really needed to get some of it off my chest and have the hugs. Thank you all for congratulations too.
The vet offered amputation or to stabilise the leg. DH opted for stabilise with pins, they then did further tests and found the kidney problems (and anaemia, me and the cat both). Then they started talking about palliative care. To me that seems like so much to put her through. I love her to bits but that just seems like so much put her through for potentially not a lot of extra life and not very comfortable. More selfishly one of you mentioned three months and the idea of nursing her only to have her pass anyway, devastating DH again around my due date just seems like a very very bad thing. God I hope that doesn’t sound unbearable selfish and self absorbed.

I will try speaking to The GP myself. I don’t know if I can but I don’t think he’s being fully honest with the GP. He’s reserved at the bets of times and the consultations have all been by phone. I think he has focussed on The mental health stuff and not talked about the physical stuff he tends to attribute it all to anxiety.

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fflelp Tue 14-Jul-20 17:04:24

How are you today OP?
Might be a good idea to talk to the GP. It's just all too much. I don't know how you are keeping going.
As for the cat...as I said above, mine had 3 months of palliative care and I think it was 1 and a half months too long in the end. Poor animal.

Floralnomad Tue 14-Jul-20 17:50:21

How are things today @DrowsyDragon

DrowsyDragon Tue 14-Jul-20 17:52:43

@ffelp. The vet found further complications and my husband was persuaded to put the cat to sleep this afternoon. DD is staying a night with her grandparents. They let us be with the cat. At his insistence, he brought her home and dug her a grave in the garden which was reallygruelling but seems to have brought him some peace. I’m hoping a child free night and morning will give him some time. I’m very tired. And very very sad

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Babynumber2dueNov Tue 14-Jul-20 18:28:24

Hello lovely, first off- congratulations! My husband and I had our second DD last year with the same age gap, so I understand The tiredness. My DH also has sexual abuse trauma and the gap between our two children was very very challenging for his MH. He was very similar to your DH and I was also exhausted and terrified of the future. Absolutely ring the GP, as soon as you say it’s about his MH they will respond to you. They won’t speak about what’s in his records but your info will support them so much. I’ve done this previously and am now confident to call any time. It was my pushy ness whilst pregnant that got him seen by a physiologist/psychiatrist and finally receive meds which supported him. Along side this I decided I needed to set boundaries. Raised voices and swearing (in anger) are now a boundary which I have stated will be set by me asking him to leave for a few days. I refuse to have that around my DD (but fully understand how it happens and how difficult it is to get him to change!). I made it clear it was meet my boundaries or we break up, new baby or not, he’d be out because it wasn’t healthy and I could see how it would effect our eldest in time. You will get through this and it sounds like the Sertriline (soz for the spelling!) was a great step. Something that stuck with me is I read somewhere, MH issues (including possible PTSD he may have) are not a reason for abuse of any kind. If it was really an aspect of his MH he’d be like that (screaming etc) with everyone in a similar situation. Is he like it when colleagues piss him off? For my DH the answer was no, he was only treating me like shit. I knew it was related to his MH, directly, but I then realised it was his choice to take it out on me, be emotionally abusive towards me. I sat him down when our DD was in bed and stated I felt like things were breaking to the point of no return, what I’d read on emotional abuse and set the boundaries. That I didn’t want to break up, I wanted my DH back but this wasn’t working.
Now I’m not saying it’s been an easy ride and I’ve had to have the sit down chat another 3 times through the past Year, but things are 90% better and what I thought was the ‘ick’ is easing off as he becomes my DH again. Thinking of you x

Babynumber2dueNov Tue 14-Jul-20 18:28:41

Omg that was huge! Sorry x

mcmooberry Tue 14-Jul-20 21:27:29

It was the right decision for the cat and I hope you'll take comfort from that, although very sad indeed to lose her so suddenly and in these circumstances.
You definitely do need a hug and I hope your DH can get the help he needs and you can get him back as it all sounds very grueling for you and I am sorry to hear about it.

DrowsyDragon Tue 14-Jul-20 21:47:41

@Babynumber2dueNov
That does sound very familiar. His rage is mixed. He controls it for DD and generally at work - helps he works from home and it’s all online. He’s got very snappy with my parents and his. Knowing I can talk to the GP is helpful. It’s all just a lot. Thanks so much for the sympathetic ears.

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Babynumber2dueNov Tue 14-Jul-20 22:00:17

But snappy isn’t screaming and swearing. If he was snappy with you, you’d probably hold him and comfort him. He’s choosing to treat you the way he does, it’s easier to take his issues out on you then deal with them. It’s been a long road for us but it’s better now than I ever thought it could be x

fflelp Tue 14-Jul-20 22:26:20

Sorry about the cat. It was the right decision though.

Sssloou Tue 14-Jul-20 22:36:13

It’s really important that you both understand that his behaviour will be having a direct negative impact on both your toddler and your unborn baby which could have long term impacts on their own MH and emotional development.

You being stressed increases your cortisol and adrenaline levels which impact your unborn child. Your toddler will be sensing your anxiety, his mood swings and anger - and internalising them as confusion and fear.

This needs to be his motivation to seek further help and work harder at managing his MH and controlling his mood swings - and your motivation to make consequences v clear if he cannot commit to seeing this and at least trying.

DrowsyDragon Wed 15-Jul-20 11:20:26

@Sssloou what you say in your comment has been very much in the forefront of my mind and I have raised it with him. Sometimes it feels like being married to two people. MY DH who gets normally irritated but cares and thinks about all of this too, cherishes me and dd and our family and this other mean contemptuous DH who can just tell me to fuck off and watch me cry without it having any effect on his behaviour.

We had a horrible example of how it has got yesterday. He was having a semi nap after the vets and I got very dizzy and fainted a bit and he couldn’t even be bothered to open his eyes to check on me. But an hour or so later, he came back to himself, and was so apologetic and contrite. Even his eyes looks different somehow when he’s in mean mode, like dealing with someone very drunk or on a substance. He’s agreed to go back to the gp and we’ve both agreed I should just remove myself and dd and stay away when he is being mean DH. It’s very much a temporary solution but it’s useless to engage when he is like this. We’re discussing going to therapy as well.

Thanks to you all for your support and advice. I really needed to get some of this off my shoulders. I feel so tired and worn thin.

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Sssloou Thu 16-Jul-20 11:12:00

You must be exhausted because even though he isn’t being abusive to you 24/7 - you are on high alert 24/7 because you don’t know when it is coming - which means that your adrenaline and cortisol levels are constantly high. That’s why you are exhausted and your toddler and unborn baby are riding this neurochemical storm as well.

These early months and years are critical to children’s emotional development. They need to be in a calm and peaceful environment where they feel safe and loved 24/7 for them to lay down a confident, positive, healthy emotional disposition.

Anything less is not good enough.

Their needs take priority.

Anything or anyone who threatens this environment has to go/be challenged.

I would do a 5 minute google of the impact of an emotionally dysfunctional home on young babies and toddlers - share that with your OH. It may make him focus his mind on working harder with a stronger sense of urgency and recovery on his MH. Or he will understand that he needs to leave for a bit to allow YOU to recover so that your pregnancy, physical and mental health are not negatively impacted any further.

Sssloou Thu 16-Jul-20 11:20:19

we’ve both agreed I should just remove myself and dd and stay away when he is being mean DH.

Sorry but this is v wrong. He is the one who needs to adapt his behaviour. He needs to sense when the tension/rage is rising - he needs to know and understand his triggers - and then he is solely responsible for taking himself out of the room/situation/home.

It is not for you and your toddler and soon to be new born to be in high alert 24/7 and then packing up and fleeing your home at the drop of a hat. If things are at that state he should move out give leaving you a calm and peaceful home and only come to visit in the hours of the day that he is “nice”.

What are his chosen coping strategies? Does he drink? Smoke? Or Exercise? Mediate?

DrowsyDragon Thu 16-Jul-20 18:01:47

When I said remove, I meant by leaving the room. He sleeps a lot at weird times and often when I wake him - for a meal or whatever - he wakes very angry. I’m trying to let some of that go until we can discuss this exhaustion with the GP rather than waking him and being frustrated myself. We’re not leaving the house. I will talk again about the effects on our children though and look for some good links. He doesn’t seem to believe it will be that bad for them. But DD has started to alternate between playing with him and telling him to go away and leave her with me which I do think is a consequence of the atmosphere.

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DrowsyDragon Thu 16-Jul-20 18:04:01

He used to both exercise and drink at different times. He’s not drinking at the moment, we cleared the house because he admitted he was tempted to use it in a bad way. He’s also not really exercising beyond walks at the moment because he’s adamant he needs the weights at the gym. But he’s been doing more chores and gardening the last two days - grief cleaning is clearly a thing and I’ve noticed he’s got tired/exhausted but without slipping into angry/mean mode so I think that is definitely a thing to encourage. Tasks or exercise to help him relieve stress and physically exhaust himself.

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