Wow! You went and had icecream and listened to a live band????? Awesome!!! Now you see how easy it is. Steal a moment here and there and it feeds your soul. I would never let my child walk 5 miles, but is there a friend who lives near you who could take turns picking up the kids, you know, car pool? I'm sure there are plenty of moms like you who would welcome a break from the day in and day out chauffering duty.
Keep on thinking about YOUR needs, too. Don't feel guilty about MAKING time for your own interests (vs. stealing time)
Good job! I'm so glad you took some precious time out for you! Keep up the good work!
I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I understand where you're coming from and feel similarly in a lot of ways because my husband has been going through a needy, mixed episode lately also. I know how draining it is (been fighting a bad cold/asthma for 2 weeks as a result of getting worn out).
Some thoughts: Carpooling is a great idea. Have them come up with some workable solutions to transportation issues. Example: son/daughter, I can't take you to (place) tonight. Can you ask (friend) to take you?
In my quest to recover from said ailment I have been taking more time to do some recreational reading; very helpful and relaxing. The point is, wife is right: take time out every day for YOU, even if it's taking a looonnnngggg hot bath and reading your favorite novel while soaking.
I keep thinking of my sweet mother who passed away at too early an age because she didn't take care of herself. I realized that if we don't take care of ourselves we truly can't help our loved ones.
I like your idea of going to see your father-in-law without your MIL present. I hope he gets well soon. Even though my MIL doesn't have bipolar issues, she can be overbearing on occasion, and I'm having issues with her at the moment.
Hang in there!!! Wish I lived closer so I could have some escape time with you! (((((WORNOUT))))
@Wife - yes, I really took 30 minutes to treat myself to some ice cream and listen to some live music. Then I came home, made a bag of microwave popcorn and ate the whole thing myself! Unfortunately, car pooling for band practice isn't possible. None of the other band members live near me. They all live near the other kid.
@Sallyo - we went to see FIL today but did not manage to beat my MIL there. Long story. Very stressful day. And my husband started having a meltdown - his mother is SOOOOOOOO needy it drives him crazy. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling him to look in the mirror. I was hanging around waiting for test results so I could report back to my sister in law and various other relatives and we just absolutely HAD to leave because he couldn't cope with being there any longer. We had words when we came home. I told him from now on we go in separate cars. Then I don't have to leave because he needs to.
Very frustrating day. And do you know what I did when I got home? I put a sign on my office door that says "If this door is closed and the house is NOT on fire......GO AWAY."
Hubby knows I am pissed off. I don't expect he will be stalking me in order to get me to come into the man cave tonight. He told me he needed to unwind and he needed me. Have the office to yourself. I'm off duty.
LOVE THE SIGN!!!! THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE YEARS AGO!!!
If that's what you have to do to get some peace in YOUR OWN HOUSE, then do it!! Yay!!!
BTW, separate cars can really save you from a lot of arguments, stress, you know. I wish we had taken 2 cars to church yesterday. I had a meeting afterwards and it went longer than I expected. My husband was in a cranky mood the REST OF THE DAY. It just isn't worth trying to save on gas sometimes.
So sorry WornOut for this situation you find yourself in!! I am not nearly as wise as the ladies above, BUT I wanted to throw out the suggestion of seeing a therapist!!!! I cannot emphasize enough how this is often the highlight of my week! A place where I can sort out all the craziness and cultivate ideas about how to have a healthier, happier life!! I STRONGLY believe that therapy is beneficial in good and bad times because with a good therapist you can learn how to be a better YOU!! It is almost like a life coach...they have such a wealth of knowledge to tap into. I went through 2 therapists before I found a really good one so it does take some trial and error, but I really think it is so valuable!!
Would you believe my husband actually had the audacity to KNOCK on that door when it was closed? I was on the phone with the wife of my husband's cousin, updating her on FIL. When I asked, MIL (the non treated BP who runs towards the manic end) told me that the only communication she had had with that side of the family was with her sister (another non treated BP who runs towards the manic end) I figured I had better make a phone call. Information run through the MIL filter and the aunt filter is bound to be inaccurate. Sure enough, when I called cousin in law, she answered immediately and then breathed a sigh of relief when I explained the purpose of my call (provding accurate information). She had immediatedly figured that it was "the call" because the news reports they were getting was that he was critical and dying. He isn't in good shape. He also isn't on death's doorstep.
So, after the phone call, I did go down to the man cave. He was upset because I was mad at him. He doesn't understand how I could be mad at him. "I" needed to get away. "I" couldn't take my mother anymore. "I" am stressed out because I have to go back to work tomorrow and my father could die. Could you think of someone besides yourself? Never mind, don't bother answering that. I know the answer already.
This morning he has already been back on the phone telling me that he "doesn't think that I should be mad" at him. He just couldn't take it any more. He spent all of Wednesday there tending to her "neediness" while FIL was in surgery. He spent several hours (maybe 4) at the hospital on Thursday afternoon and maybe two on Friday. On Saturday, he actually told me he didn't want to go at all because he had "already spent enough time there." HUH? Your dad is in ICU. We went because I wanted to get information. We weren't there half an hour and he starting suggesting that we leave.
*I* need to be there. I am unable to determine whether my mother in law is not processing anything they tell her or too intent on playing the drama queen to repeat the truth to anyone who calls for information. She stood right next to me as I questioned the nurse and wasn't able to retain a d@#$ thing that was said to her. She reported yesterday that a doctor (she did not know what specialty) had come in while she was there and began questioning her and she told him to "go read his chart" because she "had no idea." And THIS is the woman who is currently my FIL's helath care proxy because he is confused and unable to advocate for himself? As I typed that, I thought to myself "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING AT WORK?"
lifeishard - I hear you. Had an appointment set up for 5/4 but had to cancel last minute. Called a week later to reschedule. Another week had gone by. No call back. Looks to me like it is time to call someone else. I think I may explode if I don't find someone to unload on soon. Besides you all, of course.
05/21/2012 09:32 AM
Posts: 3684 Group Leader
I'm sorry it didn't go well on Sunday, wornout.
Take a deep breath! and another! and another! Don't try to make sense of your hubby and MIL's moods right now because they are obviously all over the place. Only a few more weeks (?) and hopefully he will get the help he needs with an outpatient program.
In the meantime: take a few minutes out to calm down. Get to a therapist soon! And we're glad you have us to vent to!
05/21/2012 09:53 AM
Posts: 409 Member
This doesn't sound like a marriage - why are you still married to him at this point? This relationship sounds like it degrading fast.
Everyone deserves respect and love in their marriage.
Both of you do.
We have a member in another forum who operated in a "skillet time" mentality. Recently was arrested for domestic dispute after long term co-habitation while in a "negative relationship". Do have an option to perhaps move out with a friend to provide some distance or separation while some of these emotions get sorted out?
05/21/2012 10:44 AM
Posts: 1819 Senior Member
@Sallyo - Monday hasn't gone so well thus far either. MIL called me at work to tell me that some doctor had been in and sister and my husband were "absolutely not to visit" because we have sick kids at home and she needed me to call my husband and tell him that. When I told her that sister was already on her was (she lives an a hour and a half away) she literally screamed at me "Well, that's really not my problem. He has no immune system and can't be exposed to anyone who is sick." Well, he's exposed to you everyday, MIL, isn't he? Anyway, I told her that my son was simple home with a sore throat because he was totally non compliant with taking his allergy medication (and dealing with the effects of coming home from FL to weather here that has been mostly damp and rainy). "Are you sure it's not strep?" No, not really, but his sister had the same problem last week and is now fine. And if my FIL TRULY has no immune system, they would have him on reverse isolation. He is not on reverse isolation. Anyway, SIL called MIL from the car, they talked and she was allowed access. Husband is going to stop on his way home from work. I'll go after dinner.
We are BOTH counting the days until he can get into a more intensive mental health program. His pdoc decided to take a last minute vacation and then not schedule his next appointment until 6 weeks after the last one certainly didn't help, either.
@Justhurt - why are we still married? Because we have 37 years invested in this relationship. Because he is extraodinarily unstable right now and he needs someone to help him take care of himself. He is currently moderately cognitively impaired, he couldn't possibly manage his meds on his own, he has no short term memory and needs someone to watch his back, he is well aware of the fact that his perception of reality is skewed and it scares the s$%# out of him. He is petrified that he is going to get worse not better and he needs a cheerleader/someone to reassure him that it can and will get better. He is venturing out into the "great unknown" immediately after he finishes up the school year and being evaluated for a higher level of care - partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient he believes but I think that hospitalization is also a real possibility - with no idea where that is going to lead. Will he even be able to go back to work in September? He trusts me absolutely implicitly (and not without good reason)which is critical when dealing with severe mental illness (He only heard bipolar/mixed state, generalized anxiety disorder and borderline from the pdoc. She told me privately that she also believe narcissistic and dependent personality disorders. He is already freaked out about trying to "beat" the bipolar. Dumping the rest of it on him would serve no useful purpose. Due to a childhood spent being blamed for his mother's bipolar rages, it is unlikely that he does NOT also have PTSD)
I love my husband, although I will readily admit that it is no longer the "butterflies in the stomach when he looks at me" kind of love which was, after all those many years, still there until he struck up an internet friendship with some woman he found on Craigslist while searching for guitars to buy - in the "women seeking men" postings (no dumb on this forehead).
And I have TREMENDOUS respect for my husband. He goes to work and faces 100 kids everyday in a woodshop. He cannot let go of that 60s mentality that his father drummed into his head about a man needing to support his family. So, he drags himself up by the bootstraps, puts on his "Socko the clown" persona and DOES IT at the expense of his mental health (which we both reconize as a fact) because he has a wife and two teenagers counting on him. I don't make him work. In fact, I've been trying to convince him to go the disability route for several years. He refuses. Just like he refused hospitalization just prior to Christmas because, although he readily admitted he needed it, it didn't want to give his kids a "Christmas to remember" like he gave them a vacation to remember in August 2009 (when he tried to commit suicide an ended up in the hospital on a five day civil commitment order. The kids and I spent our vacation driving three hours round trip so that I could visit him. They both had to spend visiting time in the waiting room becaue they were not allowed into the unit).
Hope that answered your question!
05/21/2012 10:44 AM
Posts: 663 Member
I'm so happy to hear that you took time out for yourself! Good for you! Keep doing that! It seems like you are doing so much to please others. I think you are on the right track with regard to getting a new counselor, as this could be something important to explore.
I was super wife for some time trying to keep all the balls in the air, and exhausted with no help. My mother was the same way though, still is. Took care of everything and everyone. It's only been recently I've convinced her to take better care of herself, as I want her around for a long long time with me. I know from my line of work that the caretaker is usually the first to go, as the stress and lack of care takes it's toll eventually.
Do you ever think about what would happen if you were incapacitated, or were suddenly no longer around? What would happen to all those you do so much for? I went to grad school not knowing what a lint trap was on a dryer and just about brunt down my apartment, because my mother was such a good caretaker...too good. People may not like it...but sometimes the best gift you can give those you love is forcing them to be responsible. I wish my mother had done less for me as a kid. I would have hated it at the time...but it would have saved me alot money and headaches later on in life.
I say this because it can benefit you two fold. It can give you some much needed "me" time, and also provide those you love with an incredible gift....the ability to be self sufficient...if god forbid something were to ever happen to you.
It won't be pretty for a little while, as you are a pro at this, and they will be just learning...but have patience...and give lots of praise and encouragement.
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