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Can't deal with the drinking.

(188 Posts)
ErikaMaye Mon 20-Jul-09 05:37:45

I adore my DP. He is the most wonderful, caring, loving person I have ever met, and being nearly six months pregnant with his child, I can't think of anyone else I would want to be in this situation with. He takes care of my when my illnesses are flaring up, makes me laugh, listens to me when I'm stressed, calms me down if I'm having a freak out... Some of the things he's done to help me, even before we got together, go totally and utterly beyond the call of duty. I've never been happier.

But this weekend he's been through two bottles of wine a night, and although its not the first time, I'm really struggling. He has anorexia, and used to self harm, and when he's drinking it all comes back to the surface. Last night I was woken up by him crying, and I had to take the knife off him while he sobbed, "Please just one cut." Its so painful for me to witness. He's had SUCH a hard week, and he's angry with himself because he slipped up trying to gain weight, so I'm trying to put some of it down to that. But I've been up for hours now, worried about dropping off to sleep in case he has a funny turn and doesn't wake me up - if he's sober he'll wake me if he needs to so we can talk about things, same as I do to him, but I can't guarantee he'll do that currently.

I love him so much, but its just so painful to witness him torturing himself. He's trying so hard, and done so well - hasn't hurt himself since we found out we were expecting (whereas I've slipped up twice), has gained weight voluntarily, and has cut down hugely on the tobacco and weed that he was smoking. He still takes vallium a lot, but I don't resent this as I know his anxiety is just too much sometimes to deal with.

I don't know what to do - because he's done so much for me and the baby already, I feel terrible even considering having a chat with him about the drinking. And a part of me is also sickly thinking about the calories he's at least consuming from the drink, and from the food he'll snack on if he's drunk. I just don't know. When I tell him in the morning - he'll be up in 20mins for work - how much he worried me, like I did yesterday, he'll be horrified and apologise, but I just can't deal with it at times. Please someone give me some advice.

GentlyDoesIt Mon 20-Jul-09 05:43:12

Hello, it sounds like you both have an awful lot going on at the moment. It would be a good idea to face up to everything before the baby arrives and get some help together.

I think telling him how much he worried you is a good idea, but maybe 5:30am before work when he's got a hangover isn't the best timing? Unless it's very urgent (i.e. you think one of you is at risk in some way today), can you take the day to think over how best to tackle it and speak to him this evening?

duchesse Mon 20-Jul-09 05:45:09

This sounds awful for you to witness. Realistically he is is not healthy psychologically or physically at the moment and may well struggle emotionally with the huge demands made by the birth of his baby. He sounds to me as though he needs to seek some serious medical help for his problems, and sooner rather than later, so that he is in a calmer frame of mind by the time he becomes a dad. Please try to encourage him to seek help from his GP, and keep nagging supporting him until he does. It sounds like a hard topic to broach with him, but I really think he is going to have to deal with it in an adult way and ask for help, and not just with the drinking.

Good luck, my dear. You are going to need to call on all your resources and love to help him deal with this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 20-Jul-09 09:40:08

You both sound completely and utterly dependent on each other. Both of you are leaning on each other in an unhealthy and enabling way.

Have either of you ever sought any sort of help before now?. Now is the time for he in particular to start as he has a multitude of serious issues to deal with which will impact on his ability (as well as yours) to be a parent. I have to ask as well, why did you get pregnant?. This was never an ideal situation to bring a child into.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 11:15:45

I find it hard to beieve anyone would deliberately get pregnant while these overwhelming mental health problems are unresolved. Please tell me that you didn't choose to bring a child into this mess? what in God's name were you thinking? Have you any idea how difficult it is to look after a newborn? and how much strain it puts on the most healthy and mentally robust individuals and relationships?

You'd both beter get some help and be bloody quick about it. You can't be sitting around with knives drunkenly comtemplating hurting yourself when there is a tiny baby depending on you for everything. You sound like you will need assistance from social services when the child is born.

I am sorry if this sounds unsympathetic and I am not saying "just pull your socks up both of you" but for god's sake get some help before the baby comes because with all of these problems you will not know what hit you when it does.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 12:01:19

I'm sorry I have read that back and it seems really harsh. It's just such an unhealthy situation to be bringing a baby into and it will make things harder for both of you also. Please see what help is available for both of you.

TheProvincialLady Mon 20-Jul-09 12:05:27

Is your MW aware of these issues? Because it sounds to me like you need the support of specialist midwives and a social worker.

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 12:18:13

Sounds like he really needs to address his mental health issues before the baby comes along.

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 15:31:39

How are you doing, Erika?
I think you need to start thinking about his behaviour when your baby gets here. If it was me, his mental health would not be a reason not to be a father to the baby, but drinking, cigarettes and definitely drugs are not something I'd be prepared to put up with. I think you need to start thinking about you and the baby. I'm not surprised you can't deal with it - of course you can't. You need to tell him that.

ErikaMaye Mon 20-Jul-09 18:51:24

I'm really upset by some of the responses...

I didn't get pregnant deliberately - I'm 18, and physically disabled as well as suffering from BPD. Please - please - don't judge me on the situation I'm in, I can't cope with more people looking down on me.

We've been reviewed by SS, they're please with how we're both holding up, and have said they'll be ensuring I receive the medical support I need after the birth for my physical and mental difficulties.

DP has never had help for his condition, and I don't think that any amount of nagging would persuade him that he should. But when we talked about him putting on weight, he said he wanted to give it a go by himself, and if it was too difficult, he agreed, grudgingly, to get some professional support. So far - aside from this week - he's handled it brilliantly.

We had a big chat when he got back from work, and he said that he just needs to block it out so its easier to eat. I know what he means, I've been there, but also told him that it just wasn't fair on me. He agreed, and got very upset when he heard how much he'd concerned me. He's promised - and he would never make a promise if he couldn't keep it, that's just not how he is - that he'll heed me more if I ask him not to, and that he'll really limit his in take.

The thing is with the smoking... He knows I hate it - both my parents have always smoked and its always bothered me. But its a weight thing now more than anything - he's frightened of putting on weight if he quits and not being able to handle it.

I don't want to be too hard on him because I don't want to upset him, as its just not fair, seeing how hard he's trying. He was so devastated that he'd lost weight last week, and that is such a positive sign.

I've been receiving mental health treatment weekly since my discharge from the physc. hospital I was in last year. Am in the process of handing over to the adult mental health team instead of CAMHS and its all a bit scary.

I'm staying at his this week to help him manage his food - his mother is coming down this weekend, and I think that's stressing him out more than he's letting on.

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 19:06:59

I'm glad you have the support that you need. Your DP needs professional health. He is taking prescription benzodiazepines, illicit drugs, self harms, is underweight... plus, the reason you started this thread, currently has an alcohol problem. If it was anyone I cared anything about, suffering from even one of those, I would not rest until I saw him under good medical and psychiatric care.

That aside... no-one who smoked even held my baby until they had washed and changed all their clothes. Both my parents smoked throughout my childhood and my now-exP smoked when we were first together. The risk to the baby was just not worth it to me. The risks of many pregnancy disorders plus childhood illnesses and cot deaths multiply considerably.

Do you have a perinatal psychiatrist? If you are bipolar, the perinatal risk is high, and a good perinatal psychiatrist should have a plan in place, agreed by your obstetric team, to look after you after the birth. Do you live with your partner? Or live alone? Could he not ask his mother not to come if it affects him like this?

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 19:14:43

Bumping for you Erica.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 19:28:23

I am sorry - I know my post sounded very harsh but you didn't say you had all this help in place or that you are so young.

He NEEDS to get help now. You will have so much on your plate when the baby comes, you can't have him making things worse. Could you put it to him that he would be doing it for the baby? Getting healthy so that he can be the brilliant dad that you know he can be?

Perhaps you could write him a letter - you seem very good at putting down your thoughts. if you wrote to him and explained how much your lives will change when the baby comes and how you both need to be as strong and well as you can be. Men are rarely prepared for how much life changes when a baby comes or how hard it all is. He will need an outlet and a way of working though his problems that isn't you.

notevenamousie Mon 20-Jul-09 19:49:24

professional help sorry

SolidGoldBrass Mon 20-Jul-09 20:59:04

I think he needs, actually, to be out of the house and in a residential unit or somewhere else with lots of support. You can't be expected to look after him as well as a baby, particularly if you have mental health issues of your own.
I am not saying you have to cut all contact with him, but the best thing for you and your baby right now is a degree of space away from him. You can't fix his mental health problems. Only he can really do that, with proper professional help.

ErikaMaye Mon 20-Jul-09 21:04:43

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, not Bipolar. Sorry if I put the wrong thing in - bloody people keep changing their minds, gets very confusing. I have spoken to a specialist physc. who has said that as I'm doing so well off my medication he's keen to keep me off them for as long as possible before and possibly after the birth (am planning to BF).

I live with my parents and my younger brother, but hopefully this will only be temporary - we don't have a spare room, so he'll be sharing with me, as he gets bigger, he'll need his space, and so will I! I think also if my mother and I are trying to parent in the same house it will just get difficult. My DP and I have only been together a bit longer than I am pregnant, although we were very close friends for a while before. He has his own place, and we're hoping to move in together when the economy picks up a little.

I just had a bit chat with him, was very nervous - I didn't want to give him the impression I don't have faith in him, because I really do. He's said he'll consider going to see a dietitian and see where that leads, and that he's also going to stop smoking in his flat at all.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 21:14:29

That's good but he needs proper psychiatric help as well though. Would his mum be any help? Not pressurising him but explaining to him that he needs to get his head sorted if he is going to be able to function as a dad.

You are entitled to ask this of him now in the best interests of your baby.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 21:20:33

also, if you can get along ok at your parents' house you should stay there as long as you can- you will need a lot of support (you would even if you had no mental health issues, believe me, I was pregnant at 18, I know) You mustn't move in with your DP until he has been on an even keel for a significant time. Your baby will not need his own room until he is at least 2 yrs old.

If your parents are supportive and are willing to have you and your baby at home then that is a big advantage for you both.

ErikaMaye Mon 20-Jul-09 21:22:09

For some reason I was cut off mid post then!! Continued -

He said it was something he'd been thinking about for a while, as he doesn't want the baby's healthy to be affected by what he's dealing with. -

I don't think he'd agree to see a physc. straight away, but if the dietitian says he needs to then its possible he would.

He'd never forgive me if I spoke with his parents about it. They don't know he's ill; very few people do. Plus knowing his mother, as much as she'd want to help, I think it would actually cause more harm than good.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 22:04:59

ok well you know best but it is surprising that his mum doesn't know he is ill - he sounds quite bad from what you have said.

You mustn't take it all on yourself - you have to keep your own head straight and your most important job now is that baby. He is right, it will be affected by your and his mental health. They are like sponges for picking up on their parents emotions and feelings.

ErikaMaye Mon 20-Jul-09 23:21:04

He's 33, I don't think I mentioned, and has lived by himself since he was 17, moved away at 19 to go to Uni, so although they're involved in his life they're not particularly close - they see each other once every few months, maybe.

I think she has her suspicions, she has hinted at me to talk about his weight / food habits, but unless she asks me outright I'm keeping stum. I won't lie if she asks me, but I'm not comfortable with volunteering the information.

We've had a couple of big chats today and the air is a bit clearer. I told him how upset I was last night, how frightened he made me, but also told him that I know how hard he's been trying, and I have the uttermost faith in him. He hasn't even suggested a glass of wine tonight, so I'm slightly more relaxed. He ate dinner with no trouble and actually seemed to enjoy it. I'm making sure the food I'm cooking is good for him but "safe" as well, and for him to be eating it comfortably without a drink is making me feel that bit better. I think he's slipped up and is now picking himself back up.

mrsboogie Mon 20-Jul-09 23:47:40

I think you'll find out (eventually) that his mum knows more than you think. I am not surprised he is older - I had a feeling he might be.

He has been dealing with his demons for such a long time and he still hasn't beaten them. He might put on the appearance of being ok to reassure you in the shorter term but he won't get better without help.

You will have to find a way to show him that he needs professional help for your baby's sake.

ErikaMaye Tue 21-Jul-09 09:07:39

I think she suspects. His step-dad is under the impression that its because of drug use, and he's not willing to dispel that notion - he thinks its easier for them to deal with. (The drugs he self-medicates with wouldn't have that affect.)

He's been struggling with food for a lot longer than even I reckoned with. When we were last staying with his parents, his mum mentioned off hand that he'd always been awkward about what he would and wouldn't eat, right from a little baby. In the last three years he's lost over half his body weight, though he wasn't large before, just muscular. Since I've found out we were expecting he's put on two stone nearly.

I have an advocate from my old physc. unit coming round in a bit while he's at work just for a natter - we usually catch up every few months - and although she works with young people, I am going to ask her if she has any suggestions about support groups / professionals. I think his concern, as well as part of his mind still slipping in and out of the mindset, is being in a room with a load of 14 year old girls (his words) and that he'll feel awkward and be stared at. My concern is that these groups can become very competitive, from my own experience.

Last night he just had the one glass of wine after dinner and was his usual wonderful self. He's gone off to work in a good mood, happy that he felt the baby move again. I'm keeping a close eye though.

ErikaMaye Wed 22-Jul-09 10:49:26

I suspect he's stalking me on here, as last night after dinner when we were cuddling up, he asked me if I was concerned about the drinking. It was completely out of the blue. I said I was, to which he replied that he wasn't a dependant drinker, which is a true point. I said that regardless, he's still drinking more than recommended most nights, to which he seemed genuinely surprised. He also said that I did know he'd cut out everything once the baby was here, didn't I? I didn't respond, really... I guess I do, but part of me is unsure he'll be able to manage it, if he's not used to doing it before.

He did say he's struggling with the idea of change - neither us cope very well, even when its a good change.

ErikaMaye Wed 22-Jul-09 22:29:16

Tonight its been 10 units of vodka and forcing throwing up. * sighs * Too much right now.

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