Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Unable to settle and overwired

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Now
    Now avatar
    0 posts
    22 December 2019

    Hi everyone,

    I guess many people have difficulty at Christmas and I feel for them, this year I am finding it harder to settle myself to get through it. Even now I have uneasiness sitting in the quiet, I hear birds, cars see trees and outside there is a bit of a cool breeze. It has been a difficult year riding a roller coaster of emotions, anxiety and depression, and at the moment I think I am in heightened anxiety. This time of year has been hard since my mother passed when I was pregnant, my son is 11yrs old. The first Christmas without her my M.I.L manipulated my husband and said my Dad said something to her and I was caught in the middle trying to settle things it didn’t work, my husband took it out on me, my dad went back home a few days later and he didn’t say anything to her as, I confronted him, the day she was leaving, she said to me for what ever the discussion was, she knew how to get her way and manipulate, so in general I find it hard at Christmas, I make it nice for my son. I dread it myself. I have been through a lot since the passing of mum. My maternal family are deceased and I think I feel stuck where I am. My husband said to me earlier this year you haven’t been right since your mum died, he is right, but I had no support from him and still don’t, he has never understood anxiety and depression and never will, doesn’t believe in medication or psychologists. There is too much involvement from his mother and her involvement the last 2 years has been full on and continues. Mid way through the year I had discussions with my psychologist about leaving and when I think of this it eases me, what causes me anxiety is custody of my son. If it was me I could walk out. I do everything for my son, but in his eyes his dad is the best. My son does have special needs; level 1 autism; speech delay, cognitive processing issues and if he has a meltdown, my husband and MIL say oh he’s tired. He gets overwhelmed, they don’t get it. I would never turn my son against his dad. As my husband has spent so much time with his mother, in July this year she went away for 6 weeks, I thought we could reconnect but he spent all his time at hers renovating stuff and being up there was our family time, but my son and I didn’t go up there much either. My son wanted to go to the Gold Coast in January after Christmas which we are. I think my anxiety is more about being away with my husband as I really have nothing to talk about anymore. Any suggestions please.

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2076 posts
    23 December 2019 in reply to Now

    Hi, welcome

    Little wonder xmas is a tense time of year for you. I've always however, never thought much of anniversaries, my dads passing for example comes and goes and I dont connect the date. The reason is that dates and time of the year is a man made thing, the same date for example means the earth is at approximately at the same point to the sun as it was when he passed on. So some people get caught up on the anniversary of whatever and get upset. Another example is a friend of mine that, at 3pm on her mothers anniversary, the time she passed away, she would grieve for a few minutes. What she didnt realise was daylight saving meant she was one hour out of her time frame. So effectively she wasnt coordinating the right time. I dont know if that makes sense or not to you. If you had that concept then xmas would be less effected by your past events.

    In laws especially parents inlaws can be a huge issue in a relationship. I personally have never believed a relationship should be held together for the sake of children because they are indirectly effected by our marriage tensions. Children are resilient, they can adapt surprisingly well upon separation as long as their isnt bitterness and ongoing disputes, which, with your really good attitude in that regard will be fine.

    If you feel there is some hope for your marriage I would consider family counseling. That will at least give your partner an opportunity to open up about his feelings even though much of it, about his mum, you wont like. That opportunity will give you either lots of hope to repair it or give you more closer to move on and separate.

    Certainly boundaries need to be put in place with the input of your MIL and changes to how your husband is committed to you in terms of getting the balance right. Some parents make their children their lives rather than have activities away from them, even when their children are adults. A counselor will be able to identify if your MIL has jealousy or insecurity issues or if your husband has issue also, for example communicating to you better with his plan to renovate his mothers place and the balance of satisfying you both as a couple.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Now
    Now avatar
    0 posts
    23 December 2019 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you for your reply. I understand what you are saying in regards to time, place and events. When in the midst of trying to balance my family life and Dad in the nursing home a person said to me Christmas is a day, it can be celebrated anytime. As a result, and for me to be able to cope, I visited my father Christmas Eve not on Christmas Day to keep my husband happy as he didn't want to celebrate in the nursing home, fair enough. 1st year I celebrated with my Dad & toddler in the nursing home & was be-ratted by his stepmother for not attending their place The 2nd year my husband and MIL came to the nursing home and my husband acted like a spoilt child. So I made that decision in order to cope and to try and meet the needs of both, however you can never please everyone, especially not family or extended family & still can't.

    In regards to couples counselling, he might view it different if our marriage is at stake, I can't say. I know I am tired of trying to get him to understand how important it is for us to have family time. He tells me all the time I mention his mother that I have an issue with his mother. I have stopped commenting now.

    I think while the holiday is causing me anxiety, it will be a time for me to see if my husband is able to just be present with myself and our son, without calling, texting, face-booking, messaging or whatever with his mother, despite my anxiety about going. It might do me the world of good. Although we went to Bunnings the other day and he had to take his mum - maybe in his own mind he is balancing things well. Thanks again Tony for the advice.

  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2076 posts
    24 December 2019 in reply to Now

    You're welcome.

    Mother and son relationships the likes of your MIL and husband is well known to me. I knew of such a relationship my friend had with his mother and she was really controlling, possessive and manipulative. That relationship is described here

    https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=61982.0

    Not suggesting your MIL has those issues but you might see how complex some relationships are and how dependent they be, connected at the hip.

    As for counseling, I'm an advocate of a process. Ask him if he is willing to go, if yes fine. If no, that's ok also, then proceed to go alone. Tell him when you are off to the counselor but upon your return if he asks you what you discussed clam up, he has no right to know as he relinquished that right by not attending. Treat it like a way of reducing any mixed emotions post separation. "Well I tried and gave him opportunity to keep it together".

    All the best, it might seem a daunting road ahead but having had 3 defacto splits all over 7 years duration you feel better after a few weeks.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Now
    Now avatar
    0 posts
    30 December 2019 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you. An interesting read. Their relationship is complicated & she is all three words you mention. It is interesting that you mention BPD as my MIL a few years ago was diagnosed with something, I think she mentioned depression, the medication she used treated this. She went off it herself saying she didn't need it and referred to the person prescribing it to her as her 'nutty Dr'. My husband agreed and said she didn't need that ''stuff'' either. I see a psychologist regularly and my husband never asks about it. One day this year he knew I saw her he said''so how is your nut Dr''. It actually upset me that he was rude about her, it was rude to me, because she is part of my life because my anxiety has become very difficult for me, which is made worse by both him and his mother. I don't even know if he thinks I still see her. I don't tell him about her or much really anymore unless it relates to our son. He doesn't understand anxiety. Years ago I tried to reach to him for support and comfort and in his way I guess he was trying to help, by saying 'you don't need to worry' not discussing it and making out everything is fine. I even asked him to come to the GP with me one time, he wouldn't. I have tried to distance myself from him and his mother's relationship, as a way of protecting myself. But as it has been Christmas, I have seen her a lot and she has said some nasty things over the last few days to me and when I mentioned this to him his reply was 'I don't know why you let if bother you, don't worry about it', so I feel I have reached the point where I have tried over several years to keep our family and his mother separate and each time it is my problem with her, which has now become a problem for his family, which I don't feel he even realises, as I can't keep living the way I live presently, waking with anxiety, having it all through the day and going to bed with it. As I mentioned before, the holiday may be good for me to actually spend fun time with my son, I am anxious about spending time with my husband as we haven't spent time together & I feel we have lost what was there when our son was younger. After many discussions with my psychologist, GP & reading reports etc, it is apparent I have given it a good go and tried many strategies. Bit sad really, as I have really fought for my family, I just have no reserves left atm. I want to 'shake this immediate anxiety and panic'', enjoy the week holiday with my son & take each day as it comes.

  6. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    2076 posts
    22 January 2020 in reply to Now

    Hi Now,

    I've been busy over the xmas period but I noticed I hadn't replied to your last post.

    If there is anything I can help you with please mention it

    Regards TonyWK

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up