Monday, October 13, 2008

A burden after miscarriage

My husband and I received the wonderful news 4 weeks ago that we were expecting our first child. I was overjoyed! We had been trying for children for over three years, and after one early miscarriage which put a huge amount of pressure on our relationship and a short separation to clear our heads, we finally got pregnant. I didn't feel right from the start. I refused to believe this was actually happening and wouldn't get excited over it, despite my friends' and families' obvious happiness for us both. I had been down this route before, and it broke my heart when it was all taken away from me. We were scheduled for our first scan two weeks ago, and I think at this point I was starting to come round to the idea and it was becoming more real to me. When the ultrasound nurse said the words, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat," my world collapsed again. We visited the hospital the following day, and decided on the natural way to handle the miscarriage, and we returned home to wait for nature to take its course. I'm currently off work, waiting for everything to get back to normal. I feel so alone. My husband is trying to help me, but I'm so moody. I just can't help myself. Anything he says, I end up screaming and crying at him. These awful mood swings have become part of daily life at the moment. I don't know what to do or who to talk to. I look in the mirror and just hate everything I see there. I've gained some weight over the last few months and feel disgusting. I don't understand these feelings or know how to deal with them. All I want to do is stay inside away from people, because when I've been out to the shops I feel like people are staring at me and laughing. My self-esteem is at an all time low and I don't seem to be able to say or do anything right. I've read all the information the hospital gave me about miscarriage and I know how common it is but it's so painful and I really don't know what to do. I'm so unhappy and sick of being a burden on people.

My sympathies. Miscarriage isn't just physically painful, it also triggers hormonal upsets which can distort thinking and make the emotional turmoil so much worse. While information can help you understand the process, nobody who hasn't had a miscarriage can really understand what it's like. And you're an individual, not just a statistic. Your pain is real to you because you're the one going through it.

That key word is through. You have to go through it to get to the haven of the other side. Recovering physically and emotionally from miscarriage is a process that takes time. For you to recover, it also needs for you to give yourself permission to let go of grief and self-loathing and move on to acceptance.In the meantime, here are some thoughts which I hope will help you along your journey to recovery. You'll know best what, if any, of it applies to you.Most women who have miscarriages experience a crushing sense of failure. They can feel like they're not proper women, and can only be proper women if they have healthy children. It's understandable, but it's a thought distortion. Having flu doesn't mean you're not a proper woman, does it? No more does having a miscarriage. That's a very hard thought to get your head round but it's true.
Right now you're probably experiencing two things: anger at me for saying this, and anger at yourself for having had the miscarriages. I'm sorry if you found what I said confrontational. People hang onto anger and self-blame out of an unconscious desire to punish themselves so they don't do it again. It's an unconscious wish to believe that if only we did something different we could get a different outcome, somehow protect our baby better and magically either make it come back or have a straightforward pregnancy and birth next time. But it's like punishing yourself for catching flu-germs.

The anger towards yourself comes out as guilt and self-recrimination. That's why you've found it hard to look at yourself in the mirror, and why you've been experiencing low self-esteem. It can also be that because we don't know what to do with this uncomfortable anger, and because we're annoyed with people who haven't suffered as we have, that we spill the anger out on them, often for their well-meaning but uncomprehending efforts to help. Does this make sense to you?

I'm not just talking theoretically. I too have had miscarriage and I do know what it's like. And I know recovery is possible because I have made a recovery. That doesn't make me better than you, or mean that my suffering wasn't as great. It simply means i've completed the journey you're only just starting out on. I'm not being smug. I do genuinely feel for you in your pain and wish you healing.

Letting go of guilt, anger and grief doesn't mean you don't care. It doesn't mean you're heartless or inadequate. You are not defined by motherhood. You're a woman and a wife with people who love you and like you. You're lovable and likable. You're a colleague, a worker with skills and experience. You're a friend who's been there for others and who's entitled to the support of your friends. You are a proper woman. And this moment doesn't define you either. OK, so you've put on a bit of weight. That could be partly hormonal, partly comfort-eating and maybe partly to punish yourself. Do you despise others who are going through a chubby phase? I hope not! When you're ready, you'll do something about it.
I'm glad you wrote in. I hope you'll find some comfort and that you will complete your journey to healing, I wish you all the best. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Good luck.

Schizophrenic partner

I am 20 and have a young daughter and I've recently split up from her father. I'm having such a hard time dealing with it all. I love him so much but he has so many problems such as borderline schizophrenia and he just gets so angry at me. I have spent the last 3 years of my life dealing with his moods and making allowances but it has got worse and worse. He is so angry. Every other day I find myself begging him to stop shouting at me and he just won't listen. I don't know what to do, and to be honest, the only reason why I'm still around is because of my daughter. I've been on anti-depressants for over a year but I still sit all day crying and hurt. I just don't know what to do, how to make the pain stop, and I've tried everything I can think of to get him to listen to me and I can't get away from it because I have to see him every other day. I don't want to be here any more. I need help.

I feel for you. It can be very, very hard being in relationship with someone with a mental illness. However much you've loved the good things about him, however many allowances you've made, the fact remains that he's not in control of his thinking, his moods and behaviour. Whatever you do or say to try to get him to listen, he's not able to process that, calm down and respond rationally. Are you willing now to stop banging your head against a brick wall? You could suggest he sees his doctor and gets counselling (if you think it's safe for you to say that either directly to him or one of his relatives - if not, see his doctor) but you can't fix him and you can't make him seek help. That's not because there's anything wrong with you, it's because of his condition. Holding onto the thought that you can make him see things differently is just setting yourself up for further heartache.

What you've been through constitutes abuse. The trouble with living with a person who's not rational is that it's easy to get sucked into their distorted view of the world. For example, if he's criticised you or blamed you for things, you might start believing that those things are your fault. The fact that you've felt so wounded and so helpless is a proof of that. So what can you do?

Firstly I hope you'll go back to your doctor and talk things through. Antidepressants are only a part of the solution. The other parts are keeping away from him unless he seeks further treatment, and finding some counselling for yourself. Is there someone else who can safely stay with your daughter when he comes to visit? t may be that you'd do well to arrange supervised access between him and your daughter via some expert.
Wish you all the best.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My girlfriend is suffocating me!!!

My girlfriend is suffocating me!! She rings me for hours every night and puts a guilt trip on me if she can't, She wants to spend every minute with me. I've told her how I feel and that I don't think we should talk for hours every night but she is not taking it nicely. She says that I don't love her as much as she loves me, which isn't the case!!! I just need some space, but if I tell her that she thinks I don't like spending time with her. What should I do? Please help me!

Poor you!!! Isn't it horrible being trapped and smothered like this? If you say how you feel, she offers you emotional blackmail and tries to make you feel guilty. She says this is how you offer good love - but she's wrong. Good love doesn't consume your whole life. That would be vampirism in my opinion. Good love acknowledges that each of you is your own individual self with your own individual life and that you have a relationship which you share as one aspect of your life. Everybody has their own balance between the need for space and the need for closeness. However much you love each other, unless you can both reach a compromise with which you're both pretty satisfied, your relationship isn't going to last long enough.So it's best to finish it as amicably as possible. Then you'll each be free to find someone whose needs match your own.

Why not invite your girlfriend to read your letter with its declaration of love and this answer? Then you can both talk about what you want and what you're willing to offer. If you can, you could be the wind beneath each other's wings, helping each other to flourish and coming happily back to the haven of each other's love. I wish her more confidence so her neediness doesn't smother you or any future boyfriends, and I wish you contentment and peace of mind.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FaceBook ruined my marriage

Please help me, i am sitting here with my heart broken and i dont know what to do. My husband has told me Its Over - as he was always playing on his playstation,i decided to set up a profile on facebook - i did and got into contact with old school freinds and it kept me going, guys who i went to school with messaged me - only as freinds but i said hi and what i was up to but thats about it, it was the girly chats i enjoyed. Anyway,my husband's friend told him about my profile and that i had guys on there and he has flipped,we had a massive argument and he says he doesnt want me anymore - i took my ring off in temper and he took it away saying i cant have it back!! I love him but hate how are marriage has turned into something sour, we have money worries coming out of our ears and he is always stressed from working hard - we dont go out and his release is the playstation but he is ALWAYS on it.. i really dont think i was doing anything wrong, i was just so bored otherwise. I have no interest in any other guys, my husband hasnt made me happy in a long while but i know we would be fine without all these money worries.. sometimes i hate him but i am now terrified that this is it - he says he is sleeping in the spare room and he does, he says he has had enough. I want everything to go back to how it was when we first met, hes now acting cold and distant, i cant go on like this i really am at breaking point - please help me!! The thing is i wouldnt like it if he had women on his facebook either but i can honestly say this was all innocent!!

I feel so sad for you ...
It is tempting to take off your wedding ring when you feel as hurt as you do from his reaction.
It's easy for me to say he's over-reacting but I think when he calms down he will have time to reflect and realize the bigger picture. People do really stupid stuff when they are very hurt or feel someone has stepped into their territory.
The stress that both of you are under makes it necessary for both of you to throw yourselves into a distraction to take your minds off your concerns. This is important that the both of you can have some kind of diversion. The problem starts to arise when the diversions no matter how innocent they are causes the two of you to spend too much time away from each other.

You need to make an appointment to talk to your husband. Yeah, but you have to be very CALM and very LOVING, you need to explain to him how you feel and why you did it. You will have to apologize to him for what you did and for your behavior, then give him a chance to "vent" his feelings and his frustration and probably hurt.Ask him to talk to you about his feelings of how this has hurt him.Listen to his feelings.He needs to talk to you of how he feels so you can reassure him it was innocent and that if you thought it would have caused him any pain you would never have done it.Let him know that you are reasonable and willing to accommodate his wishes...unless he is clear what makes him feel secure or insecure how will you ever talk talk.

It's natural to hate someone you love when you are emotionally involved with them . . it's just human nature . . don't feel bad about this. It comes and goes like a phase. People don't usually talk about hating someone they love because we've been led to believe it's wrong to have this sort of feeling.

I always say it's the one who wants it most is the one who will be doing all the work.
Money problems Sort them out.Be kind and gentle with yourself along the way as you are going to need to be the strong one... you can do it!!

Find someone who you could go to who will give you a big hug and listen to you . . this really helps even if they only listen. Make sure you go to someone who is positive and encouraging for saving your marriage. Don't let a misunderstanding break your marriage apart.

Best wishes!