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M

Mirror Image

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
2
Hi I'm hoping someone here will be able to give me some help or advice. I'll try to keep details brief so as not to bore or confuse anyone, including myself :)

I'm 39 and a mum to 5 amazing children aged between 12 and 18. Over the years my condition had me pulling them too me and as a result they have missed out on many things, they were home educated, we've never been
on holiday, never built sandcastles, never had trips to the zoo or a theme park. Anyone who has gone through this will know exactly how it makes you feel and it's not pretty at all :(

My inlaws are every sufferers nightmare, a total lack of understanding and completely ignorant. A few years ago my husband was given an ultimatum "it's her or us" scenario. Suffice to say my husband chose me.
So now, in my eyes, I was responsible for my children missing out on things in life and the breakdown in my husbands relationship with his parents. You can imagine this made me feel so very very awful.

A few months ago I encouraged my husband to make contact again with his parents. No, I didnt like them, I thought they were horrible people loud, brash, ignorant. But they are his parents and he loves them.
He did make contact and they appeared at the house a week or 2 later. His father didn't speak to me at all and his mother could hardly string 2 words together. I don't think I've ever been so uncomfortable in my life and couldn't wait for them to leave.

Our marriage had already hit rock bottom and deep down I knew that things could never be the same again. Ever.

I am happy to say that over the last 6 months alot has changed, I've worked so hard on different parts of my condition and now my children are going further afield, my eldest daughter has started college, got a part time job, goes to gigs in different cities. My second eldest also attends the gigs and is starting college in January. The 3 younger ones have been going out every Saturday for the past 2 months. It's been hard work, mentally but eventually the panic went away... until yesterday.

This week was particularly awful, small issues with my eldest and her boyfriend, PMS, everything I had gone through in recent months all
came to a head and I asked my husband (yup still here) for help. He refused and threw our relationship in my face. The panic was too awful.
His parents arrived and he went out, I asked my daughter to lock the door as I am sleeping on the sofa bed in the lounge and I knew his mother would walk in. My husband came back into the house and shouted the children to get ready. They saw the state I was in, but in fairness they wanted to go. He unlocked the door and stood with it open, his mum kindly invited herslf in and started on me at me about how the children hadn't seen this that or the other. Yes, I know all this I dont need to be told! I've only ever been made to feel that completely worthless once before and again that came from his side of the family!

So there I am sitting in up on a sofa bed, no clothes on, just a duvet wrapped around me and this woman I hardly know having a go at me in front
of my children. I was devastated, humiliated and my husband did nothing to stop it. Oh and yes the children did go and I did survive (I didn't doubt
this bit!) my twin boys happily walked out but my little girl took some coaxing by the grandmother.

Since this happened I have cried almost continuously, completely heartbroken and don't want to face anyone, even my children. I just feel so embarrassed.

I have been given an opportunity to go to and make a new life in Ireland. I have nothing to stay here for, my parents dont speak to me, no idea why,
it just stopped. My 2 eldest daughters have lives here, boyfriends and the 3 youngest well they have daddy, granny and grandad.

I want to go but it means a 3 hour drive to the ferry termial, 2 hour crossing to Dublin and then a 3 1\2 hour drive to the final destination.
I'm lost, confused and hurt. I can't stay here, even if I wanted to try and give my relationship with my husband another go otherwise it'll be me
giving the ultimatums and thats really not my style.
 
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S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hi Mirror Image,

I am so sorry to hear you are having such a tough time at the moment.
I suffer with anxiety and although I have never gone months staying in the house there have been umpteen occassions where it has got a little bit on top of me and I have gone weeks in the house and had to leave social occassions or just don't go in the first place.

It sounds like you have many issues at the moment that may be contributing to the relapse of your anxiety, and although it may all seem to be one big mess I think in terms of trying to deal with it and make the right decisions it is best to separate them all out one by one.

For a start, you have proven, that when given time and understanding, and not admonishing, pressure and criticism you were able to come to terms with your anxiety for the sake of your children and I am sure for yourself and your marriage. And you flourished.

IF you have the strength to remember that when your inlaws are admonishing you and can tell your inlaws that, then perhaps they will understand it a little better. I would ask them if their purpose of humiliating you is to help you and your children or to make the situation worse? Because in doing what they are doing they are doing the latter which is what they did years ago. Perhaps that will make them think a bit more in future.

I do believe that your inlaws generation do have the attitudes of 'put up and shut up', or 'just get on with it' or 'life is tough, deal with it'. That generation that went through alot of hardship and sacrifice and perhaps through their own self defence mechanisms and lack of support had to form those kind of attitudes to get through their difficulties. However in our generation these attitudes rarely ever work and usually makes the person suffering feel completely and utterly weak and worthless as you have been made to feel. This can then have the opposite effect of what is intended and can make you feel completely demotivated to try to resolve your issues.

So now, in my eyes, I was responsible for my children missing out on things in life and the breakdown in my husbands relationship with his parents. You can imagine this made me feel so very very awful.
In reality it does seem that your problems have not effected your children negatively at all. Your eldests seem to be going out, grabbing life with both hands, enjoying themselves and seem to be coping socially. Again I would remind your inlaws of that when they choose to criticise.

A few months ago I encouraged my husband to make contact again with his parents. No, I didnt like them, I thought they were horrible people loud, brash, ignorant. But they are his parents and he loves them.
He did make contact and they appeared at the house a week or 2 later. His father didn't speak to me at all and his mother could hardly string 2 words together. I don't think I've ever been so uncomfortable in my life and couldn't wait for them to leave.
That was a completely selfless thing to do, and is in fact the opposite of what your inlaws are accusing you of. The fact that your MIL decided to continue old arguments by sticking to silence shows that she herself has issues in handling relationships and is in fact not thinking about the best interests of your children. As any conflict with you will impact negatively on your children. Who is being selfish here?

Our marriage had already hit rock bottom and deep down I knew that things could never be the same again. Ever.
This to me seems to be a separate issue, and perhaps this needs putting aside from your other issues. Have you tried going to 'relate' counselling to try and resolve this. What seems to be the cause of the breakdown in your relations here?

This week was particularly awful, small issues with my eldest and her boyfriend, PMS, everything I had gone through in recent months all
came to a head and I asked my husband (yup still here) for help. He refused and threw our relationship in my face. The panic was too awful.
Look getting over years worth of anxiety is not easy. You will have some good months and once in a while it is likely that a setback will occur. It is called a minor set back. It does not have to mean a full relapse. Perhaps your husband was frightened it was and did not understand that in fact this set back was caused by alot of valid reasons. Again some marriage counselling might help you all to understand this.

his mum kindly invited herslf in and started on me at me about how the children hadn't seen this that or the other. Yes, I know all this I dont need to be told! I've only ever been made to feel that completely worthless once before and again that came from his side of the family!

So there I am sitting in up on a sofa bed, no clothes on, just a duvet wrapped around me and this woman I hardly know having a go at me in front
of my children. I was devastated, humiliated and my husband did nothing to stop it. Oh and yes the children did go and I did survive (I didn't doubt
this bit!) my twin boys happily walked out but my little girl took some coaxing by the grandmother.
In my opinion this was so wrong of your mother in law, she should have respected your boundaries, and your husband should have respected them too. Unfortunately you can't help what happened but you can try to help your reaction to it.

Your husband should have supported you no matter what. You are still married, you are a unit and he should have responded as a unit for the sake of your childrens welfare. Again this kind of thing relate might be able to help with.

I would also point out that again that that kind of reaction from your MIL is not helpful to anyone, and it is her selfish agenda to vent her own feelings over and above the welfare of your children (what child wants to see their parents humiliated like that??) that seemed to cause this relapse.

If she really cared about your children and wanted you there with you all then why did she choose to respond in a way that contributed to the breakdown of relations last time? Obviously lessons have still not been learned.

Since this happened I have cried almost continuously, completely heartbroken and don't want to face anyone, even my children. I just feel so embarrassed.
I can understand that, but I am sure your children don't view you negatively over this. Have you tried talking to them about the incident? You might be quite surprised by their reaction and responses. Your eldests are old enough to form their own opinions, they are virtually adults, perhaps trying to communicate with them as adults over this situation will help improve your relations. I think silence and avoiding subject matters because of fears of what you think they might say or feel might contribute to your anxiety and humiliation over this. Seriously I would have a tentative chat about what happened. They might be relieved you asked, they might have wanted to bring it up themselves with you but were scared you would get upset?

I have been given an opportunity to go to and make a new life in Ireland. I have nothing to stay here for, my parents dont speak to me, no idea why,
it just stopped. My 2 eldest daughters have lives here, boyfriends and the 3 youngest well they have daddy, granny and grandad.
This part of your post confuses me. Is this about running away from your marriage, your children or your inlaws? Who is offering you this opportunity?

Your children will still need you, however much you think they might be better off without you. Even if you are not doing so many practical things for them, they will very much need you emotionally and spiritually. Becoming an adult means slowly starting to lose all those things that may have made them feel secure, moving home, leaving school, perhaps losing contact with some friends in the process. This can be a very vulnerable time, and your support can make this whole process so much easier and less confusing for them.

Is there another solution that can help you all. Often when we are faced with predicaments it is easy to confine yourself to two options, stay or go. However often there are third and forth and fifth ways that don't require such extreme actions. Often when we run away we think it will resolve our issues, but in my experience until you resolve them internally, they will just follow you and be recreated in other relationships and in life. I've run away several times and it never worked until I dealt with things internally.

Also if one of your children should suffer with the kind of issues you have, would you want them to be exposed to the kind of unsupportive reaction from your MIL you experienced without you being there to offer something more helpful and constructive to them?

In all honesty, i would speak to your children and speak to your husband. I would also get some counselling asap to discuss your options before you make any big decisions. If after that you still feel it is the right thing then at least it will be an informed and considered decision, rather than a knee jerk emotional reaction.

Take care
Sapphire.
 
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M

Mirror Image

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
2
Hi Sapphire and thank you for the reply.

There are a number of critical points I missed out. Firstly I no longer love my husband, this sounds quite selfish but we have grown so far apart through various reasons, I simply no longer want to be in a relationship with him. He has shanged into a younger version of his father, something that I never wanted to happen.

Secondly, his parents I would think do have the attitude as they immigrated to another country in the 70's where they knew nobody.

I've thought long and hard about everything thats going on in my life at the moment. To be fair, we tried over the last couple of years to make things work but theres still nothing there for me.

I had a number of options
1, Stay and try - I tried and it simply didn't work
2, Stay and put up with it - I don't feel this would benefit anyone and just create a bad atmosphere which I think is unhealthy for the children
3, Leave and stay in the area - There are so many bad memories here. My fathers affair, him beating my mother, my first husband who abused me for 4 years lives here. I really hate the entire area
4, Go and try and make a new life, work at ridding myself of this thing that dominates my life so much once and for all - This is what I want, a new fresh start to make a life, be an adult and stand alone.

In July and August I ventured out of my 'comfort' zone (with the help of Diazepam) and met a male friend, I was so screwed up at the time I questioned my feelng for him. I now know and understand that I was looking for some kind of support and mistook the hand of friendship for something else. This was not my reason for going to see him, it was strictly platonic, I needed someone to talk to. My husband isn't good at talking, he listens but he doesn't hear, butts in, finishes sentences, tells me what I think and feel.
I dont have a therapist as was told I have to wait a year, I wasnt prepared to do this. Anyway my husband discovered I'd been to see my friend added 2 and 2 together and came out with 5. I explained, told him the truth, whether he chooses to believe it or not is his call. This friend has given me an opportunity and help that no one has offered me here in England. I've always loved Ireland and wanted to go. I just lack the courage :(

I will speak to my children as suggested but I'm still extremely upset and burst into tears frequently, I don't want to confuse them any further. They know a little of my condition, that I have limitations. I dont want to hurt them, I want them to have all the things I can't give them at this point.

It feels like a constant battle all the time, family life, my husband, the disorder.
I need to get better and change before I can take on anything else. Or maybe thats selfish, I just dont know anymore
 
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D

diddypinks

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,946
called a geographical your problems will follow you where ever you go. tell you mother in law to go **** herself then tell your partner that if he bringsher anywhere near the house heyou will call the police to get her removed who is she to pass judgment.
concentrate on your babies they may have theyre own lives but thry still neded there mum i am no poster girl for motherhood so can offer no advice i have chosen not to have any so i cant REALLY understand but you have to fight for yourself and your kids try going out a few yards out of the house and back then the next day go a little further my cpn told me this and its so simple but its changed my life i'm sorry if i sound a bit pompous but i moved away and it was a complete DISASTER and my problems were worse without my family good luck fighting back diddy (say what i think dont i lol):)
 
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