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Forums / Anxiety / Alone and lost after marriage breakdown

Topic: Alone and lost after marriage breakdown

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    10 May 2022
    Hi, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for over 22 years. My husband was my help with this when I couldn’t do something like drive far or go to the shops. Now after 21 years, my marriage is over. I have the full time care of my 10 year old grandson. I only speak with my daughter and have no friends or other family. I feel so lost and sad, I have no one to talk to not even my neighbours. I put on a brave face for my grandson who has lost his Poppy after being abandoned by his parents, 3 years ago. My sadness is consuming me and I again am starting to have panic attacks. I’ve booked to see my gp on Monday, but I need to talk to someone. I do see my psychiatrist regularly by he doesn’t seem to do much for me. I feel lost and scared for the future. Thanks for listening.
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6838 posts
    10 May 2022 in reply to amanda68
    Hey amanda68,

    Thank you for your openness in sharing here. We can hear you're going through an incredibly difficult time as you process your marriage breakdown, and it's having a real impact on your wellbeing. 

    We're sure we'll hear from the community once they spot your post, but we also wanted to let you know that you can reach out to the Beyond Blue Support Service to talk this through at any time. They're on 1300 22 4636, and you can also reach them via online chat if talking on the phone isn't going to work for any reason. 

    It's good to hear you have made some really important steps in making an appointment with the GP, and regularly seeing a psychiatrist. It might also be worth thinking about having a look for another mental health professional if you're not feeling very supported by your current psychiatrist. 

    We can hear you're a really caring grandparent for your grandson. It's important to remember that looking after yourself is a really important part of being there for him. Another option for reaching out is Parentline, who'll be able to talk it through with you. The number for each state is listed here.

    Thanks again for sharing what's going on for you here, amanda68. We're sure the community will spot your post soon. Hopefully you can find some comfort and connection in this safe and kind community. 

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  3. aisha123
    aisha123 avatar
    3 posts
    10 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    Hi amanda68, I have faith that your GP appointment will be a big help and give you some clarity/direction. Have you spoken to your daughter about you are feeling?

    If your psychiatrist appointments are not helping, I think you need to make this clear to your psychiatrist too. That way you can work together to figure out the best line of treatment.

    Perhaps finding a support group will help you feel more connected to other people.

    You sound like a very strong and brave woman for what you've been through and what you are currently going through. Sending you a lot of love

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    10 May 2022

    Hi Amanda68.

    This must be truly horrendous to go through.

    Unfortunately, because of my own issues I'm not a reliable person to have an ongoing conversation with on a Forum like this; I tend to disappear and reappear and as much as I want to be able to make and keep promises don't have the control I want over my own availability. But, at least today in this moment, I want to send what love I can and let you know that you are heard, and I'm thinking of you.

    Needing support to function (something I strongly relate to) can be such a constantly painful and chaotic dynamic to navigate in relationships and I know how devastating it is to also feel alone, and/or to be alone, when supports you once had burn out, change in nature, leave altogether or otherwise move on, especially in such a dramatic scenario as a marriage ending.

    From the bottom of my heart, I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. I can only imagine trying to hold it together for a kid at the same time. I'm no expert or professional and I hope this comment is ok to make; in my humble (but from where I sit what seems like experienced) opinion it's important to find some appropriate level of openness with children involved in a devastating situation about what's going on. A lot of times adults think that if they keep as much difficult grown up business away from kids as they can it will help them not to have to see or face all the negativity, but in my experience kids can often pick up more than adults think, and internalise it as being their fault or something to do with them.

    So even though it's awful that they are affected by a negative situation, they are affected whether you are open with them about it or not, so it can be helpful to at least explain what's happening, and be "appropriately" real (not in a way that puts the burden on them of figuring out what to do or taking care of adults) about how things are affecting you, and that it's ok for them to feel whatever they're feeling as well.

    It might even help them as they grow up to understand mental health issues better, doing the work of steps toward removing stigmas and through example showing them how to find the tools to cope or help where they might encounter similar issues in themselves or others down the track.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    10 May 2022

    ***section 2***

    Of course, you should probably discuss these kinds of things with a professional which it sounds like you're doing your best to do, and hats off to you for slogging through the system, I know what a painful let down that can feel like as well, and, I do know that there are certain ways and moments that you have to "keep it together" for a kid (like basic functioning so they can eat and have routines etc) so credit to you for your incredibly hard work doing what you need to do for him.

    Is your daughter or anyone else maybe able to spend a bit more time with your grandson more often for a while? And as I said, maybe it could be specifically and intentionally explained to him as not rejection but a chance for you to be looked after so you can do your best caring for him (and for someone who is maybe not feeling the devastation as heavily to be able to be there for him as well). I'm not in your shoes so only you can figure out what is right, but I think personally in that situation I might be looking for all the time I can get to grieve and process, and maybe around supportive people where possible.

    You did say you're rather isolated, if I understood correctly, and I know that trying to meet new people and trying to find new supports is a lot to take even when things are going well, and the despair and devastation of a marriage ending can put you in a sort of fog that makes effort for new things all at once impossible and highly necessary.

    I wonder if someone else maybe has some information about any agencies that can help in this kind of situation and provide some care for your grandson where it might be useful?
    All I can say is try and keep trying, and be as kind to yourself as you can. (I need to take my own advice and am going through my own extreme stuff too, so I say this with a very real and raw understanding of how hard it is to swallow.) I know you're doing you're best and you have a lot to be proud of for that.
    Empathy and love,
    Forrest.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16471 posts
    11 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    Hello Amanda, hi and thanks for coming to us on the forums.

    You not only have a huge responsibility being the carer for your grandson, but to try and keep on a brave face for him is certainly not as easy as it sounds, as their personality is growing so quickly, learning new demands each day which can be very time consuming for yourself, and won't enable you to have time to try and sort out all these difficulties on your own.

    I wonder how the visit with your doctor went.

    If you feel as though the psychiatrist is helping you, then tell them or ask your doctor for a referral to visit a psychologist who have a different approach to dealing with all of this.

    From what you have told us there is much you have to deal with, starting with the marriage that's finished, the parents abandoning their young son, no one to talk to and the help which is not benefiting you.

    You might have done this already but would like to hear back from you when you are available.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    11 May 2022
    Just wanted to say am still thinking of you. I know it doesn't achieve much in terms of action, but sometimes it's nice to know you're in someone's thoughts. <3>
    1 person found this helpful
  8. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    12 May 2022 in reply to Forrest
    Thank you, it is nice to know someone cares enough to reply. I have to stop the “what if’s”.
  9. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    12 May 2022 in reply to geoff
    Thank you I was able to see my dr, today. It was really just a tell her what’s happened. I will be seeing her again next week. I just have to just keep showing up for my grandson, so one foot in front of the other. Even though I just want to hide away from the world even more.
  10. Lila15
    Lila15 avatar
    4 posts
    12 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    Hi,

    thank you for your post, you must love your grandson as he gives you strength. I understand how alone you must feel and how hard it is, but please remember that there’s help out there and if you do one little thing for yourself a day, that’s a great achievement.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    13 May 2022 in reply to Lila15
    My love for my grandson is my strength to keep going. But I don’t want to disadvantage him by my anxiety eg. I can’t drive far, so example our “family trip” we had planned for the next holidays has been canned. Really they probably are petty, but I wanted to give him every experience I could, but always had to rely on the husband to take us anywhere outside my bubble. I have to worry about just one day at a time atm. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me while I feel so bad.
  12. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    14 May 2022 in reply to amanda68
    Still thinking of you Amanda! Every little thing you do to help your situation is something you should give yourself credit for. You went to your GP. Great job! You've got an appointment to go back again. Fantastic! You posted about your progress here on this forum. Wonderful! You got out of bed another day, breathed in and out, cared for your grandson, ate food, put on clothes. Really really good effort. It's important to consider context and capacity when deciding where to give yourself credit for effort. My heart goes out to you on the issue of transport and having relied on others. If it is helpful to you might I suggest looking up depression support groups you can attend. The rules say I'm not allowed to name organisations and events so I won't, but depending on where you live there might be something. I happen to know of one that is right now doing "hybrid" kind of meetings where they are meeting in person but you can also join via skype. It can be very therapeutic to say some of your problems aloud and see some sympathetic faces nodding, and to hear other people's stories that can be eye opening to realise might have some remarkable similarities to your own. And the regular meeting times also help in the day to day where you have a thought or feeling but you can think "maybe I'll share this at group this week" and it can help you feel less alone in the moment to moment and give you a sense of being witnessed even when there is nobody there because you can know that you have a choice to share your story somewhere where it could be understood with empathy, as well as a regular loose appointment to do so. (The one I know of has no bad consequence for not attending, you can come and go as often as you please.) Of course these forums are here for you too. :) But I thought it might help you to know a group option might be there even if you don't take it - feeling like you have options is a big key to not feeling so trapped and alone imo. <3>
    1 person found this helpful
  13. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    14 May 2022 in reply to Forrest
    Just another thought on attending support groups, because I know that anxiety can make it difficult to consider talking to other people (and to navigate relating to other people live). So I thought it might also be helpful to know that from what I've experienced it is generally ok to show up to a group and not share. You'd probably be encouraged to do so, or at the very least given the opportunity. But there have been various people at various sessions who have said "I don't think I can share today, it's enough for me just being here." And it's a perfectly acceptable way to approach a meeting. Just listening in can be helpful, and many times I have found that when I think I'm just going to listen in, the topics are so engrossing that I can't help but make the odd comment here and there and then find that even that small amount of involvement and human interaction was useful.
    1 person found this helpful
  14. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    15 May 2022 in reply to Forrest
    Will look into this, thanks. At the moment I feel stuck in such a sadness, tears don’t stop.
  15. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    15 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    I understand! In times when there is a lot to grieve and adjust to, there can be this great fog of pain and anguish that won't allow the focus needed to organise new things. Maybe your daughter might be able to help with some of the organisational things in rearranging your life to have support? At the point of impact I think most people need someone to take them by the hand a bit when they're feeling a bit out of it.

    This thread is hear as a sounding board if there's any way that venting some of your grieving thoughts and feelings helps in the small moments.

  16. Gracie63
    Gracie63 avatar
    24 posts
    15 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    Hi Amanda

    I’m so sorry you are feeling so lost and scared at the moment . I just thought I’d pop on and send you a hug and tell you I hear you and am happy to chat any time although I to have severe panic attacks Ihave found it comforting to come on hear and sometimes just write down what I’m feeling or even just reading others posts can be of great comfort to me as it lets me know I’m not alone. I do hope things get better for you. Iam just coming out of a bad panic attack and I really thought it was never going to go away but I can say I’m feeling ok at the moment . Hope the days ahead get better for you . Hugs .

    1 person found this helpful
  17. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16471 posts
    16 May 2022 in reply to amanda68

    Hello Amanda, if you are able to write down those difficult problems you may not be confident in raising to your doctor, then at least they will understand and will definitely approach this/these topics with great care.

    I know this may not be easy and understand your predicament, but if I can say that they need to know what you are struggling with so that all the appropriate help can be suggested.

    Please remember no question is certainly not silly, especially if the answer worries you.

    My best.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Forrest
    Forrest avatar
    65 posts
    25 May 2022
    Thinking of you Amanda. How has your day been? How are you in general? Is there any difference between how you are feeling day to day? Much love.
    1 person found this helpful
  19. amanda68
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    amanda68 avatar
    6 posts
    9 June 2022 in reply to Forrest
    Hi thanks for checking in on me. I was getting so much better everyday. Then my husband came to go to the football with grandson and emotions got the better of me. I begged him to come back, but really I think it was so I wasn’t alone and I didn’t have to see my grandson struggling too. He back for now, I need to stop relying on him and now feel it was an awful mistake. Hope you are doing ok? Again thank you for helping me through this.

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