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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / When you feel everything is working against you

Topic: When you feel everything is working against you

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. lilykitten
    lilykitten avatar
    44 posts
    4 September 2020

    What do you do when you feel everything is working against you? Yesterday was a doozy.

    I am a single parent caring for a 15 year old with extreme anxiety (no school for over a year) on the spectrum and a neuro-typical 17 yr old doing her VCE. My 85 year old mother lives next door determined to be independent but increasingly dependent on me especially during these covid times. My ex-husband lives in the next town somewhere, is unemployed and suffers from depression but has emotionally cut me out since we separated 2 years ago. He visits the kids for 3 hours every Thursday in my home.

    So yesterday I go into work planning to do the shopping after work and bring home some takeaway for the kids. Mainly to allow their Dad to have some quality time with them. I get a call just as I am finishing work. My 15 year old is hysterical. "Come home now!" Her sister has been goading her and her Dad has been yelling at her for overreacting. I can hear furniture being knocked over in the background. I try to calm her hoping the promise of Maccas will calm her down but she wont have it so I come straight home. Why does her Dad just escalate situations?

    I get home and find her alone as Dad has taken the 17 year old out for a drive. He gets back to drop off the older child and he asks ME what are my plans for HIS Birthday tomorrow and Fathers day on Sunday like I am still in charge of organising family celebrations and gifts even if he wont tell me where he lives or what he does.

    My 15 yr old daughter calms quickly after he leaves then realizes she does want Maccas which is 40km away in the next town where I work. I cant do this now. For one, my mother has organised a meal locally which I have to pick up at 6pm because she cant drive and I have also promised my 17year old I would help her get on top of her VCE studies which are suffering due to the situation at home and she is feeling ignored. I get the full autistic onslaught for the next hour Mum mum mum mum poke mum mum punch mum mum tears I want Maccas!

    She follows me to my mothers house so I can get the money for my mothers dinner pick up. Mum can see my daughter is upset. Tries to help but only tries to convince me to get her Maccas. I explain she had the opportunity when I was at work and I do not wish to drive for another hour to get it for her as I have to help my other daughter with homework. As soon as I get back from my house my mother phones me, i ignore the call, my 15 year old is still following me around pleading for Maccas and I just want to have a coffee in peace before picking up my mothers dinner. Then mum turns up at my door. "Come on Kate she's upset, dont be so mean", Miss 17 is standing there arms crossed she is angry at her sister for taking up all my time "dont give into her Mum". I really wasn't planning to, but given the path of least resistance I finally agreed to get the Maccas.

    Ok ,first pick up Mums food, then drive to Ballarat for maccas, then drive home and help my other daughter with her homework. Another phone call from Mum. " Ive moved my food pickup to 7.30pm for you so you can go to Maccas" Thanks Mum. Ok drive to Maccas with 15yr old while Miss 17 yr old gets started on home work. "I want to come too, its not fair" from Miss 17.

    So of course by 8pm when I was finally free to help her with homework Miss 17 was too tired and wanted me to go away. I also realised I hadnt eaten. Now off to buy presents and a cake for someone who doesnt want to know me. HELP!

  2. Tay100
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Tay100 avatar
    647 posts
    4 September 2020 in reply to lilykitten

    Hi lilykitten

    Whew! It sounds like you had one huge day, and that you lead a very busy lifestyle with many commitments. During covid-19, the things that we usually rely on to get us through the day sailing smoothly are gone, and this absence and the adjustment that follows can be tough, like with your Mum for example.

    What is clear though, is your dedication to everyone in your life- that's a great quality to have. You are trying your best here, doing what you have to (Maccas bribery included), so you should be kind to yourself. What might this look like for you?

    It also sounds like you are frustrated by having to deal with the behaviour of your children's father- and manage his birthday things. Hmm, not the most considerate of him. Have you tried to communicate how it makes you feel? Could you have a chat to your Mum about these things, or maybe someone who can reach out to him on your behalf that he might listen too? I think the sooner you stop feeling pressured to micromanage everything the better- he can step up- or in the least, you deserve better support.

    Feel free to use this thread to discuss things further; we are here to listen and provide you with general tools and resources.

    Tay100

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5953 posts
    4 September 2020 in reply to lilykitten
    Hi lilykitten,
    It certainly sounds like there is a lot on your plate at the moment and I can definitely understand why you're feeling so overwhelmed and at the end of your rope right now. It's incredibly hard to have to be the primary carer for so many people with different needs, and it makes sense why youl would be feeling so exhausted at the moment and that you don't have any time to take care of yourself.

    I want to open up this post for the rest of our lovely community to chime in, as I'm sure that there are people who can relate to this, but I just want to say that you can call our 24/7 Support Service at 1300 22 4636 if you ever want to talk more about what's going on, and that it might be even helpful to consider seeking some additional mental health support for yourself as a way to carve out some time just to care for you. 

    Please keep us updated on how you are going.
     
    1 person found this helpful
  4. lilykitten
    lilykitten avatar
    44 posts
    21 September 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thank you, I am considering getting myself some mental health counselling. I think I have some form of PTSD. Hardly surprising since my marriage separation 2 years ago (with a court settlement) and the worsening mental health of the 3 people I care for.

    I got a reminder from the dentist the other day that we needed checkups, at least that is what I think it was. I feel so paralysed by demands at the moment, I cant seem to think ahead a day. I'm usually a planner but now I find myself just responding to immediate situations as they occur and choosing the option that gets it out of the way fastest rather than the best way forward.

  5. Tay100
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Tay100 avatar
    647 posts
    21 September 2020 in reply to lilykitten
    Hi lilykitten

    I'm happy to hear you are seeking counselling- it's understandable you are having PTSD given everything that is going on, as you said.

    The feeling of wanting to solve things as quickly as possible is very relatable, as is feeling overwhelmed by competing demands. In addition to a planner, would a reminder system help you? That way you can be prompted to do things when they actually need doing. A routine could help make sure you have stability and that you can get everything covered too. Maybe the counsellor has some strategies for you too?

    1 person found this helpful

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