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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / What is acceptable? May contain triggers.

Topic: What is acceptable? May contain triggers.

  1. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    28 October 2018

    Hi there,

    I am in a bad place right now and need some advice on how to handle my current situation.

    I am female, in a relationship with another female. My girlfriend has depression and has attempted suicude previously and going through another bout of “The Black Dog.”

    Firstly, I have been in contact with her family and they have had a welfaire check done on her and my gf was placed into hospital late last night.

    Before the above happened, my gf told me over text that she was done. Done, meaning everything. Her existance, Including our relationship. She said I’ll be the last person she will ever hurt.

    With her saying all this put me in a position to tell her family, even though she didn’t want them to know. I had no choice as she wasn’t communicating with me.

    My gf and I have only been together for 5.5 months. Her sister is a psychologist, so I contacted her and her parents who are currently overseas. Keeping in mind I haven’t met her family yet, I found it very difficult.

    The circumstances with her work and the way our relationship started is a long story, but I’ll just say I have only just separated from my husband after almost 20 years and she thinks it’s all her fault.

    Her sister told me last night that she just needs time and space to process everything that has been going on and hopefully she will come around soon.

    I’ve told her that I know she needs space and I’ll give her that and I’m here when she’s ready to talk. But, Im struggling with the lack of communication from her.

    What is an acceptable amount of communication from me to her, without pushing her away but letting her know I’m thinking about her?

  2. baet123
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    28 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussiemum,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting.

    Sorry to hear that your struggling at present but it will get better. Pain is only temporary and this is an important thing to understand. Things will get better.

    I can tell that you are a caring, supportive, loving friend, person and partner and these are amazing qualities you possess and you should be extremely proud.

    Do you know or are you aware of any underlying issues or issues in the past that are influencing your partners behaviours and emotional well-being?

    It is encouraging that your partner is in hospital and she is currently under the watchful eye of the professionals and to be honest, that is probably the best place for her to be at the moment as they are able to provide her with the medical care and treatment and a holistic approach to her condition.

    When someone is suffering from serious depression and have suicidal thoughts, one's thoughts and emotions are often skewed and their thinking is irrational and they will often say things which they don't really mean. Depression skews your outlook on life and I know this from my own personal experiences. A person suffering from serious depression may feel as if there is no way out and ending their life is the best option but it isn't because pain is temporary. Hindsight is a great thing!

    I believe that it was appropriate for you to tell your partners family as they deserve to know in my opinion.

    Give her space and when you feel the time is right to talk to her and discuss your relationship, then you should.

    You are doing a great job supporting your partner and I hope this helps. Keep us posted and wish you and your partner all the best.

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. AussieMum2000
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    23 posts
    28 October 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you for your reply.

    To answer your question, I’m not sure whether there were any other underlying issues. I do know she is struggling with her work - she works in the military in one state and her family live in another. She’s finding hard being so far away from home.

  4. Croix
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    28 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Dear

    I'm glad Baet123 answered you, a lot of sense. Skewed thoughts is exactly right.

    Coming here was a good idea, as there are many who have experience and may help.

    I think the fact that your GF messaged you is a hopeful sign.

    For me having the knowledge my partner would be there always was a comfort. True at times I found having anyone around was too much pressure and I'd snarl or retreat. I also forgot about love, did not know if I loved anyone, or was even capable of it. It was among other things a time of guilt.

    My partner, after things were explained, took all this in her stride and simply refused to believe I no longer loved her, and of course she was right. It was not an easy time for her.

    There is no right answer to your question, you will have to go by instinct, and some days will be different from others. Maybe your GF will want to talk about how she feels, maybe not. I did not. I guess you ask her.The hospital may have visiting guidelines or say if she is ready for you to visit.

    Being a constant and a reminder of happy days before and the possibility of happy days to come is support. It is also OK to make mistakes, everyone does, there are no guide books. Everyone responds to different things, I found comedy a lift.

    Who is supporting you? Having a loved one who is suicidal is a huge thing, and facing that on your own is hard. Is there anyone, family or friend , who you can talk with who cares?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  5. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    29 October 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I came here because I don’t really have any support on the outside. Everyone always confides in me with their problems and I feel like I’m a councillor at times. I don’t really have anyone in my life that will listen to mine.

    I was heading into a bad place myself last year, but somehow I managed to get myself out before I got too bad, but I don’t know how I did it.

    I occaisionally message my GF from time to time, just so she’s knows I still care and I’m not brushing her off. Just to tell her I’m only a message away and that I’m thinking of her etc. I don’t bring up the fact that I love her or anything to do with our relationship, because right now thats what has partly put her in this position in the first place.

    With saying that, I do believe she still loves me and I love her, so I’ll be patient with her, I’ll wait for her - for as long as it takes.

    The messages I sent her the days prior, she wasn’t even reading. She wanted to be alone and I was struggling with that and I made things worse. Which is why when she stopped responding to me, I had to choice but to tell her family.

    I didn’t quite understand her situation until I came in here and read that people suffering want to be alone. So, then I backed off. She is actually reading the occasional messages I send now, just not replying. I feel that is a good sign. But I told her I don’t expect her to reply and I’m here when she’s ready to talk.

    Right now I just feel helpless, but there’s nothing more I can do at the moment, but wait.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. baet123
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    29 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey AussieMum,

    Croix made some excellent points above and covered everything which I didn't include.

    Be patient and just be there for her. However, you must also look after yourself to and even though you might not want to hear this but your own mental health and emotional well-being should be at the forefront and it is not worth sacrificing for anything or anyone. Make sure that your looking after yourself. This is super important.

    Please also try and find out and explore the possibilities of underlying issues that are affecting her. Until underlying issues are addressed, this cycle of depression and ups and downs may continue.

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    29 October 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you again for your reply.

    Everything you and Croix have said has made so much more sense. Speaking about this with you both has cleared my head of the negativity that I was feeling.

    I now realise I just need to be patient. It’s going to be tough and will take time, but I’ll be here for her whenever she is ready.

    I love her and care about her too much to lose her.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. baet123
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    354 posts
    29 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    Your most welcome and thank you for your reply.

    Good idea. Time is a super important term in the treatment/recovery process. People take time to realise they want to change and need to change. It may feel like an awfully long time and sometime it is but real change only occurs from within and when one realises and wants change for themselves.

    You are super caring and an amazing friend and partner. Be there for her yet ensure that you provide her with the space she needs at present.

    All the best,

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Croix
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    29 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Dear AussieMum2000~

    Checking back I think the Internet ate my last post to you, so I'll try again. If you get two in a row that say much the same thing you'll know why.

    First off I'm glad talking here is helping, trying to work it all out for yourself in isolation does not really work, just makes you more stressed.

    It's not really necessary for you to understand what is going through your GF's head, it's sufficient you know she is ill, her thoughts are not as they should be, and that you care.

    There is no hard and fast rule on contact, and I think texting is a good way to try. it can easily be ignored if it is too much at the time, can be gone back to if needed, and allows plenty of time to make a response - if that is possible.

    You may not get much back to start with, which is hard. What you talk about? Well in my case happy things past and now, hope for the future and generally things away from the ward would have been a help.

    My partner told me about movies she saw.

    We are all different. I did not handle being asked how I was , at least not too often, very well as it reminded me of the mess I was in, plus often I did not know the answer - more pressure. Again your GF may be different and want to talk when the time is right. I guess you ask when your instinct says to.

    There is always a feeling of worry in contacting a person's family, however things are different if they are in danger than they are in normal life. As far as I know most people understand later on and many are even grateful as it is a battle they no longer have to face.

    You said you have no support, can I suggest, like Baet123, you look after yourrself? One good way is counseling for you.

    We hope to hear how you are going

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  10. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    30 October 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hi again Nick,

    Thank you again for your kind words.

    Yes, it does feel like a very long time, but I know it’s only been a couple of days.

    Waiting is tough, but I’m prepared to wait.

  11. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    30 October 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thank you again for your reply.

    Ah, the internet is good at doing that!

    I still text her occasionally, just telling her I’m here for her and that I’m thinking of her. I don’t go into telling her I love her or anything. As I know that will just make her feel worse.

    I sent her a text last night before I went to bed and she read it straight away. Which is a good sign. She just didn’t reply, but I wasn’t expecting her too.

    Ive sent her another text this morning, but this time I did ask how she was feeling. I felt I needed to ask her today. If she replies, great. If not, I’ll understand she’s not ready to talk.

    I should be okay for now. If I feel the need, I will definitely see someone though.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    30 October 2018

    Update; feeling slightly relieved.

    So, I have recently received a message from my GF. She has told me a bit about what has happened and what is happening now as we speak. She is getting all the help she needs right now and is in the best place.

    She said at first she was angry at me for telling her family, but she realised I was only concerned about her safety.

    Shes not sure how long she’s going to be in hospital for, but she knows it could be a while.

    She has apologised for putting me through this and said she can’t gaurentee that things will be back to normal when she gets back, but with the help that she’s getting will hopefully help with the stresses in her life.

    In my honest oppinion, she has contacted me sooner than I thought she would, so I guess that’s a pretty good sign.

    I did tell her in the reply that I still love her and have also told her that I’m prepared to wait for her.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. baet123
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    30 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    Great news!

    It is encouraging that your girlfriend seems to be much more honest and open. Honest and open communication is super important and these are important steps to repairing your relationship.

    She is in good hands and is where she should be. They will provide her with the medical care and treatment she requires and when she is travelling better, you will be there and her family to provide her with the emotional support she requires.

    She has to improve her emotional well-being and focus on getting better before you focus on your relationship.

    The signs look positive and I hope this continues into the future.

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    30 October 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hey Nick,

    Thank you again for your encouraging support. It has been a huge help.

    I was stoked that she messaged me!

    She was concerned how I was feeling. I just told her not to worry about me and that i’m okay.

    I know it’s going to be a very long road ahead. Patients with her and not giving up on her, is all I can do for now.

    Having her family support her too is going to be a huge help.

  15. baet123
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    30 October 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    Just want to make sure that you understand and I believe you do understand that there will be ups and downs and the future is uncertain to an extent but it is pleasing that she seems to be more aware of how her actions are impacting her loved ones which is great.

    Keep doing you and ensure you are taking care of yourself first and foremost. We can only take care of others once we have taken care of ourselves right?

    Your awesome and the type of friend we all would like to have.

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    31 October 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hi again Nick,

    Yeah, I do believe that there will be ups and downs and I am aware, depending on what the main cause of her issues are, she may never fully recover.

    For sure. I will more than likely look into getting some help for myself. I think I may need it to keep myself grounded.

    They are really nice words. Thank you.

    I am very greatful of your help.

  17. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    3 November 2018

    Update;

    I had received another message from my GF last night. Which made me feel a little better within myself.

    Part of that message was that she told me that she’s sorry for being a bit evasive and that she’s susspended due to rumination.

    She knows I struggle with “Big Words.” It’s one of our little jokes we have. I told her I had to look up the “Big Words.” For a bit of lighter conversation. Even though she didn’t reply to it, I felt it may have made her smile fit at least a second. I know it made me smile.

    Anyhow, I looked up what she meant, but I feel I had answered her accordingly, already.

    I often tell her I don’t expect her to reply, just so she doesn’t feel obligated to respond to what I have said. I understand that she has a lot of things going through her head at present.

    I have also asked her to tell me if I say anything that may be too much for her, as I want to help her with her recovery.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. baet123
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    3 November 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    How is your weekend going? Hope the weather where you live isn't as horrible as the weather we are having in Sydney at the moment. Far too hot!

    Lets hope your partner's newfound actions and concern for your feelings and your emotions is a recurring theme. From the limited information and sample size, it seems like she is making a concerted effort to express her feelings and keep you in the loop. This is encouraging and I hope it continues. Please continue looking after yourself which should be the most important thing you must do at present and moving forward.

    May I ask what are your "go too's", if any, relating to your self-care? I think it would be a good idea moving forward putting in place a self-care routine/strategy to ensure your maintaining appropriate self-care levels.

    Have a great weekend.

    Nick.

  19. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    3 November 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you again for your reply.

    The weather here (South Coast NSW) has been very warm. Was a shocker on Friday, but not as bad Saturday.

    My weekend has been alright so far. Can’t complain really. What about yours?

    I don’t really have any “go too’s” except the Internet forums. I find them therapeutic in a way, without having to stress out any loved ones.

    So, I received another message from my gf this evening. She is actually starting to talk about “us” now. I still feel concerned and a little emotional, but also a slight sense of relief at the same time.

    I am also finding her messages a lot lighter in context. I am feeling a change in her texts and I feel her warmth slowly returning.

    I think things might just be okay. Only time will tell.

    Time and patients - Baby Steps.

  20. baet123
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    4 November 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey AussieMum,

    South Coast, awesome! I love the south coast. Beautiful part of the country. I am glad your weekend is going well. Any time we say "can't complain" is always a good thing. I also can't complain really. I am on a 3 day golfing trip with my old man at the Blue Mountains. Golf, good food and a relaxing small trip away is a great way of ensuring my self-care.

    You mention your girlfriend starting to talk about "us" now. I am no relationship expert by any means but this is positive. Regular open and honest communication is super important to building and maintaining a strong relationship. You may not talk about much and it may not ground breaking "stuff" your discussing but it is progress nonetheless. Small and steady steps!

    I am also super happy for you and her. Her messages are getting lighter in context which is amazing and it seems that she is receiving the clinical and emotional support which she requires at present. It is super important that the support and clinical treatment continues well into the future.

    Have a great week and always great hearing back from you!

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  21. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    5 November 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hey Nick,

    That it is. I love it here. Lived here for more than half my life.

    Sh golfing weekend, hey. Awesome. I hope you had a great time.

    Yeah. It is a positive sign. I haven’t heard from her today as of yet, but she’s been messaging about 9pm the last few nights. So here’s hoping I’ll get a message from her again.

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I enjoy coming back here to read what you have to say. You’re very knowledgeable and that’s a great quality you have!

    Thank you.

    Take care, and enjoy your week too.

  22. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    5 November 2018

    Update; Conversation.

    Tonight after I posted a reply here, I received a message from my gf. This time we actually had a little conversation. Wasn’t much, but it felt good. I had sent her a funny selfie of me in a multicoloured mowhawk wig today and she told me it made her laugh. Which I had a feeling it would.

    She also told me tonight she will see me soon and wished me goodnight. This is huge!

    So, things must be going well with her recovery process. With any luck, she may be out by the weekend.

    Our planned trip interstate is at the end of next week, so fingers crossed she will be right to go and she will still want me to go with her.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. baet123
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    7 November 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    Sorry for taking a couple of days to reply. Didn't have much internet/computer access whilst I was on holidays.

    I did have a great time and thanks for caring! Golf, good weather, good food, can't complain really!

    I too enjoy coming back and reading your reply. You are extremely grounded and have a great attitude and outlook on life and that is something you should be extremely proud of. Thank you for your kind words about me also!

    I am glad your partner seems to be doing much much much better and this is great. Did you end up seeing her last night? How did that go if you don't mind telling us?

    One thing I will say and please don't take this the wrong way but interstate trips are amazing and all but just consider whether it would be a good time to take a trip. I know you would love to go with her but to be honest, she seems to be doing super well at the moment and I would be weary of possibly "rushing"things". The holiday/trip sounds great but these are just a few things to consider.

    Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

    Your friend,

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    7 November 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hey Nick,

    No need to apologise for the late reply. Everyone has a life outside the internet and one can’t always expect a reply.

    Thats great you had a great time! It’s always good to get away and do something you enjoy.

    Awe, thank you. I try keep myself grounded. It’s very hard, but I have to. If I worry about things too much, I only end up sick and it doesn’t help. Sometimes my thoughts get the better of me and I do struggle from time to time. Like, today was one of those days. I’m just hoping On a good sleep and I should be alright tomorrow.

    Unfortunately I didn’t get to see her, but she has still been in contact with me everyday - which is great.

    Shes currently about 3.5 hours away from me, but my car needs new brakes before I will even attempt a trip like that. Plus, my anxiety will be uncontrollable travelling that far on my own.

    With regards to our interstate trip, this was all her planning. She had planned this trip a few weeks before she was admitted. So, I’m just not sure what the outcome will be. But thank you for your thoughts on this subject. I will take everything into consideration.

    It’s coming on to nearly 3 weeks since I’ve seen her and I miss her so much. Although, today was to the extreme. I just want to put my arms around her and not let her go.

  25. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    8 November 2018

    Update; feelings of emotion.

    I received a message from my GF earlier today. She was saying that she was feeling anxious today about returning to work etc and she doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Then she said “I hope you’re doing well and we will chat when I return.”

    With her saying this, I’m a little concerned that she will want to end our relationship. i can’t help but think about negative things right now.

    Feeling hopeless.

  26. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    9 November 2018

    Update; Feeling slightly positive.

    I spoke to my GF over the phone today, for the first time since she’s been admitted.

    I was hesitant to call, but I thought she could easily brush me off if she didn’t want to talk to me.

    Anyhow, we spoke for a good 45 mins. Could have been longer, but I felt it was long enough for now. She was telling me about things she had been doing and who has visited her etc, and that it looks like she will be in there for at least another week, but she said she’s slowly making progress.

    She then brought up about “us.” She didn’t say a lot, but she did apologise for what she had said to me “that day.” I think she was meaning about her wanting to end our relationship. She also said she wasn’t thinking straight. (Which I knew this.)

    Anyhow, she then said that she’s going to need some time, and probably going to need some space from time to time. However, she said that she’d like to start again. She said that we will talk more about this when she returns.

    So, it looks to me like I still have a girlfriend, but we will just take things slow and start fresh on her return.

    I feel quite relieved, although still a little anxious about everything, but I guess only time will tell.

  27. baet123
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    9 November 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hey Aussie,

    45 minute conversation! Wow, that is so long and it seems like your moving in the right direction. How do you think that she is coping being in the hospital? I know she told you should making process but did you gain any insight from the conversation relating to how shes going?

    Your partner seems to be thinking more logically and clearly. It seems that to an extent she is taking accountability for her actions which is good.

    Personal space is so important and their is nothing wrong with some "me" time. "Me" time is particularly important for people who are strugging and finding an appropriate balance between time to themselves and time with their support network.

    Do you have plans for the weekend? I think it would be a good idea to take care of yourself and treat yourself this weekend and do something you enjoy. You deserve it!

    Nick

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Wilful Warrior
    Wilful Warrior  avatar
    1 posts
    9 November 2018 in reply to AussieMum2000

    Hi, it’s wonderful you are such a caring & supportive partner who is willing to be patient at this time. You have done the right thing in informing family and I’m so glad she is now in hospital to get the treatment she needs.

    When I have been in hospital before, my phone was taken away & visits limited. When ppl are sick with depression, like any illness, recovery is most important and with mental health, the people in your life can profoundly effect it, not with intention on your behalf of course, it’s just a part of the nature of it.

    My advice would be to limit communication at this point to a simple msg here or there letting her know you are thinking of her & when she is ready you will be there. Discussing anything more is too much for a person when they are unwell and it can hinder progress. Giving space, time & patience will be appreciated. A persons mind when sick is not the same, thoughts & perceptions are indeed skewed. This is why relationships are very hard to maintain during it.

    When she is doing better I have no doubt she will be in a better place to be able to assess her thoughts, wants etc in regards to your relationship.

    It is hard to be a partner of someone with this illness, so pls reach out to friends & support systems to support yourself at this time too.

    Best wishes,

    1 person found this helpful
  29. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    10 November 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hey Nick,

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Yeah, I was thrilled she was willing to talk for so long.

    She is actually coping quite well being in the hospital. She just gets a little anxious about coming back here to work and being so far away from her family. Which is understandable. She’s affraid of the outcome with her work situation on her return.

    I agree, everyone needs a little “me” time on the occasion. I understand more so in her circumstances. Now that I realise this is what she wants and needs, I’ll be prepared to give her all the time and space she needs - especially if it will help her recovery process.

    At this stage I have no plans for the weekend - I can’t really afford to do anything too much. I just forked out money for rego, car parts etc. So I’m kinda broke at the moment.

    I was supposed to be heading north this weekend to a car show, but unfortunately my car is not safe enough to drive there and back just yet. Atleast until I get my brakes repaired, which will be next week.

    What are your plans for the weekend?

    1 person found this helpful
  30. AussieMum2000
    AussieMum2000 avatar
    23 posts
    10 November 2018 in reply to Wilful Warrior

    Hey Wilful Warrior,

    Thank you so much for your reply and kind words.

    My GF has been in hospital for nearly 2 weeks now. She is slowly making progress, but she still has a long way to go with her recovery.

    She told me today that they have her on a 3 week program, so she has another week to go before they will allow her to return.

    I was actually part of the reason she was so down on herself. Which is why she needed some time and space from me and our relationship. Amongst other things.

    With a little patients and communication on her return, things will hopefully start falling back in to place. It’s just going to take time.

    She has come a long way during the 2 weeks she has been in hospital, which is great. I can actually hear it in her voice that she has improved since I last spoke to her over the phone.

    1 person found this helpful

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