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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Feeling incapable of solo parenting

Topic: Feeling incapable of solo parenting

  1. Mk2692
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mk2692 avatar
    107 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Hi Anzee,

    I think it might be a good idea to discuss your concerns with the psychologist, if you are comfortable to tell her about your feelings of attachment. I know you might be anxious the first time you meet your psychologist, but it's best to be yourself and open up to her. I'm sure she will help you feel more welcome and comfortable and you will be able to talk to her. For me I prefer to be as honest as possible because that means I can get all the benefits i'm looking for in the session, but also so the psychologist can help me and guide me through my challenges. I usually look to a psychologist as a mentor to help me through a difficult time, they might give me helpful tips and some guidance however, not everything they say would suit me as well, i know myself best. I know my psychologist is there for me now, but i know when he is not there i need to be able to look within myself to help myself out of difficult situations. So think of your psychologist as maybe a teacher at school, each year at school you have a new teacher and yes you may miss your old teacher because you got used to her, but also there will be new teachers to teach you new things and you will get used to her too, but also there will be many more. Hope that helps.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    20 September 2021 in reply to Mk2692

    Thanks Mk,

    unfortunately I don’t think it’s as simple as that for me. I have been conditioned and have responded to a life of trauma in many unhealthy ways and although I know they’re unhealthy/ not helpful I have spent at least 25 years using these coping strategies to get me through all the abuse and trauma I’ve experienced. As much as I would love to be able to talk myself out of these feelings and fears, I have minimal self esteem, most of my coping and conditioning involves the strong need to be liked and accepted by others so I use people pleasing as a way to try and stop people from rejecting me, I give up any of my own needs to serve someone else’s, I have been that way for as long as I can remember. So although under normal circumstances when someone may be afraid of not being liked or approved of, in my mind it is one of the worst things that could happen to me. I do anything I can (especially staying quiet) to avoid conflict or dislike. And although I know logically that a psychologist is only there on a professional level to help me get through hurdles and teach me healthier coping strategies, I’m so not used to ANYONE showing me that much respect and compassion and I have a lot of core attachment issues from the traumas I have suffered and not been believed etc that when someone shows me those things I automatically cling to them because it is the most stable and safe relationship I’ve ever had and as much as I hate it, my brain automatically goes into people pleasing mode so I do and say anything I can to get that positive attention from someone. Not sure if any of this makes sense, I’m just on a bit of rant but bottom line is I don’t think I can just change my personality/ coping skills because I know logically they’re not helpful. They’re so ingrained into my core that nothing can override them.

    I do appreciate your support and advice though :))

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10580 posts
    20 September 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee~

    You have a pretty clear knowledge of both yourself and your circumstances. That's a plus, even if you feel badly about yourself as a result.

    25 years being taught to please others is no small thing and I'd imagine it is not going to be something you can radically change just becuse you know logically it's bad. -That's OK. There is no judgment or blame there.

    It is important that clarity and knowledge is not driven away though. May I suggest that the one person in the whole world you do not try to please is your psych (old or new)? This will be hard as the desire to say what's expected, show"improvement" and generally behave like a model patient being 'cured' will I expect be ingrained into you.

    If you manage that -and you may slip back and have to make up ground at times - then you will have made a great accomplishment - plus given your psych a true idea of what you are facing in your life and how you cope.

    For a psych to say "change" may seem easy to some of them, but most will know that may not be true and look for smaller gains within your grasp. They do have to know the truth though to judge what to suggest.

    As for the worry you have into slipping back into ways where you will be abused, maybe that is your needing to please taking over, and it seems you have no choice.

    There is more to you than you realise, as many here have found there can be hope.

    Croix

  4. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    22 September 2021

    So I’m another turn of events, the new psychologist I had connected with spoke to my previous psychologist for a handover yesterday and then emailed me saying unfortunately she doesn’t feel like she’s the right fit for me….

    I give up….. The rejection felt so strong as it had already been recently triggered.

  5. Croix
    Community Champion
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    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    10580 posts
    23 September 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee~

    Well, I guess the news is mixed, emotionally you may well feel rejected and someone that can't be helped -that's simply wrong, of course you can!

    The good news is that particular psych may be excellent in some areas but knows her limits. I wish everyone did, it save time, expense, cross purposes and general problems for both.

    Please keep plugging away until you find a good fit. I've been lucky on my psychiatrists, they have been exactly right, psychologists have been a mixed bag, GP's excellent for many years.

    Please do not be discouraged, if you own a Ford motorcar a Renault dealer probably can't help, same with psychologists' specialties,

    Croix

  6. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    1 October 2021

    I’m having triggers again when it comes to sex, but I want to feel loved so I let my partner do it, then I end up crying, struggling to get to sleep and having intense nightmares , then I’m so anxious and shaky. But I try again hoping it will be different and keep telling myself the more I do it the easier it will get.

    I think the problem is when I first started getting triggers, and he used to force me to do it physically and emotionally, he’d shower me with love afterwards. So I feel like I’m trying to replay all of these situations that I know he would show me love and affection afterwards. He was confronted a few weeks ago and told he’s no longer allowed to be physical with me even if he’s just playing around so that was one form of affection lost and now I feel like all I have left is sex but he’s not showering me with love afterwards like he used to so I want him to start hurting and forcing me again to see if that brings back his love back. But he has been warned about the physical stuff so I’m too scared to give him permission again because I don’t want him to get into trouble.

  7. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6164 posts
    1 October 2021 in reply to Anzee
    Hi Anzee,

    Thank you for updating us here. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot. We’re reaching out to you offline to offer some support.

    Please remember the lovely people at 1800 Respect (on 1800 737 732 or on webchat here) are available 24 hours a day for anytime you feel like talking this through. Their counsellors understand that everyone's situation is different and can support you no matter what you decide to do.

    The Beyond Blue helpline is here for you as well, on 1300 22 4636, or on webchat here.
    It’s really good that you could share here. As the conversation above shows, this is a truly supportive, safe and non-judgmental space.

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
  8. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Hello Anzee,

    I hear your suffering about lack of intimacy, thank you for sharing. What are the ways that your partner could support you?

  9. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Guest9337
    My triggers have been less intense so I’ve been able to be intimate more often. Still not getting the love I used to from him after but it’s not too bad.
  10. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    12 October 2021

    The eldest had her first day at school in months today, and the youngest is at kinder. I knew it was going to bring up a lot of reflection as it’s the first day I’ve been alone for a very long time so I have been trying to distract myself, but I just feel so alone.
    I went and met a therapist on Saturday and she told me that I am at very high risk in my relationship, it was hard to hear and pretty triggering, but I did what I do best and told myself I don’t believe her and it’s not true, so I felt ok. We also did a family tree and talked about the fact that I have lost the support of almost all of our family and friends because of the separation and how it was a tactic of my partners to isolate me and paint me as the crazy one and paint himself as the loving man who is so patient for putting up with me. I’ve heard this before and again I’m pretty good at denying them but when I actually think about it, I really don’t have support. I have 2 friends, 1 has a very busy life of her own so I feel super guilty asking her for support and the other really doesn’t think I should be with him, so it’s hard to talk to her.
    now that I’ve had a chance to think and process that session, I am struggling so much to accept that I have lost the support of my family which I would never have imagined happening. my family had always had this amazing reputation of being so loving, caring and supportive. I’ve spent my whole life being told how lucky I am to have them, but it also came up in the session that they’ve already cut off two siblings, threatening the reputation and those siblings were made out to be the bad seeds and the outcasts and I can’t help but feel like that’s now me. We talked about how much I doubt my memories from my childhood abuse because my mum denies that things were how I remembered and the therapist pointed out that it’s probably not best to trust what my family say because they have made it clear they don’t agree with me leaving a violent partner (some of them still refuse to believe he was/ is violent) she said I really need to start trusting myself even though I have spent my life having my experiences minimised and denied. part of me just wants to pretend the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and play happy families, but I want my girls to have a different life. I feel like my options are; play happy families and have family and friends support me, or try to build a better, healthier life for my girls, lose that support and do it alone.

  11. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    8 December 2021
    Third attempt at emergency accommodation to get into a refuge, let’s hope I last longer than 3 days this time 😏
  12. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6164 posts
    8 December 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Hey Anzee,
    Welcome back to the forums tonight, 

    We're sorry to hear you're having to access emergency accommodation again, it sounds as though you might be in a very difficult situation. If you feel comfortable, would you mind sharing with us a bit more about what's been going at home? 

    Are you aware of the 1800Respect Support service? if you feel you'd like to speak with someone immediately about your situation you might like to get in touch with one of the 1800Respect counsellors. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

    We hope to hear more from you soon, 

  13. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    9 December 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Sophie,

    I felt like things weren’t too bad at home but my new therapist and DV worker have been saying for months he’s escalating and we need to get out. He has been yelling at the kids a lot again which I didn’t like but I’d pull him up and I thought it was ok. I have been in a very deep hole of depression though, just not wanting to do anything fun, hiding in my room and just feeling really stuck and flat.

    A friend came over on the weekend and told me it was time to go and that she’d make an anonymous report if she had to. She said he was just getting angrier and she could see how much the 9yo and I were struggling with our mental health and the 5yo has gone back to frequent meltdowns where she kicks and punches the walls and just screams flat out for up to 45 minutes so her and their dad would scream back at each other and the 9yo would hide in her room crying. So I talked to my therapist on Monday about all of my fears with leaving and going to refuge and she told me it will be hard but she reassured me that I’m going to have a lot of support and contact this time.

    Were 3 hours away from home this time so that’s making things even harder and I keep feeling like I need to go home but so far we’re still here..

  14. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10580 posts
    9 December 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee~

    If I underhand correctly you and you kids are now away in a refuge, please let me know if I've read it wrong.

    OK, in that case I guess you have two major battles to deal wiht . The first and obvious one being not going back. It's amazingly difficult to do this, the mind tries to say it can be better, or thatthings were not so bad, or any one of a great number of things.

    The other battle is to change your kid's lives. You have given a really heartrending account of your 5yo melting down, screaming and punching the walls, all the time her state being made worse, her security shattered by being screamed at in turn. A spiral down into extreme distress with no sign of comfort and love. Your 9yo hiding and crying.

    OK, you may be able to calm him down a little at times, but for your kids that threat is there all the time and they are waiting for it to happen, a lifetime of fright.

    So it is going to take a lot of time, all your love and no threat on the horizon for them to regain some of their trust in life.

    You do not have to do this solo without advice, you have your therapist, and your friend, both of whom sound pretty sensible. You also have 1800RESPECT as well if you wish, as Sophie has said. They are experienced and can be realistic..

    There will be others too.

    It was terribly hard to leave that so called 'home', but you did that. Please have faith in your ability to get though this too.

    We are here as well when you want

    Croix

  15. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    200 posts
    10 December 2021 in reply to Croix

    We’re in emergency accommodation at the moment until there is a space in refuge. Our DV worker was keen to get us as far away as I’d go though.

    I spoke to him today through messenger and I already feel drawn to him again. I felt guilt that we were happy without him here and now I’m feeling pretty unsure what I’m going to do.

    we will stay here as the kids are having a great time and have already made some friends and it is nice to have a break. But I’m not sure how I feel about refuge anymore.

  16. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10580 posts
    11 December 2021 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee ~

    It is never straightforward, staying or going. Have you any idea why you feel guilty at being happy? I would think you - and the kids - deserve a fair bit of happiness right now.

    It's all very well for DV workers and others to say what to do, they may be right -dunno, however the decision has to come from you. I would mention that many people change their minds a fair number of times in similar circumstances, go and return, go and return and so on. It's only natural.

    Eventually circumstances, the kids' welfare or your own feelings will lead the way. You have support here no matter what.

    At least the kids are having a good time at the moment, do they seem seem and happier right now or do they miss your partner and the life you had been living?

    Please let us know how you get on

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful

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