- Author : mum8891
- support : 3
- Topic : Looking after ourselves
This is is my first post here. My husband has bipolar 1, has probably had it most of his life but it became a big problem in our married life when he resigned from a job (a matter of conscience) and we had a lot of stress and uncertainty. That was when I was pregnant with our second child, who is now 7.
I dont know how to fill you in on all the stress it has been, but long story short he was admitted to hospital in February after so long of limping through. He had already acknowledged that he needed to be on meds again in November, and had started some. When he came out of hospital he had weekly appointments with his psychiatrist to try get his meds working. Through a lot of trial and error he is now on a mix of four meds. The final med -the last piece of the puzzle, without which he was still coming home from work grey and ashen faced with untolerable anxiety- blunted his affect so badly at first I was quite distressed about it and we decided he should go off it after a few days. That was Easter Monday. It became apparent that he really truly needed it to function - so he went back on it. His affect is now a bit improved but it continues to cause me to feel unsettled.
We also have 4 young children 18months-9yo. Our second has autism (level 1) and needs help with speech/toileting/anxiety. He also is back to having ADHD issues and I am waiting for us to have appointment with a new Paed. Our eldest has always been different - asynchronous learner, extremely intense. My baby suffered from a severe feeding aversion and is now better but there was a lot of stress with that. We also homeschool. This has been stressful but it is life giving to me. I have hobbies, sewing and reading. We belong to a wonderful church. I have really good friends. Family who are great at offering financial and emotional support. I FaceTime with a group of special needs mums who use the same curriculum. My husband and I alternate taking every other Sunday afternoon ‘off’ while the other person takes the kids.
Since we moved 18months ago we have had so many big things happen aside from my husbands bipolar being so relentless. It has been an unusual number of things that happened. I have gone through times where I would have a screaming outburst at my kids. Like I’d be patient and patient and patient and then someone does something where they are whining for me when I’m trying to get space or I’m already working hard getting everyone their food and someone keeps nagging me that they want theirs now.
Then I would realise how strung out I was, reinstitute sewing time/reading time as a regular practice etc which would have fallen to the wayside and it would settle down.
I felt down at Christmas when my husband’s mental health was all over the show and I had a baby who wasn’t doing hand to mouth anything at nearly 12months, I had nasty eczema on my nipples that was excruciating and he would only feed off me. I cried and told my husband I didn’t know how I could go on. He told me I needed to sleep, which I did, and I kept feeling low, then a month (?) later I felt better.
Also I am a person who thrives on warmth.
Since Easter when my husband went on his affect blunting medication I started to feel really anxious. I have an anxious personality and have suffered from anxiety for most of my life I think. I saw a counsellor 9-10 years ago and sorted out a bunch of things and it really took a backseat. Then all of a sudden it is back, chest pain, just feeling wretched, worse than anything I had experienced. Before that my son’s anxiety had become severe, he was even having accidents and was petrified of being alone. I was feeling v motivated to get myself fixed up so I wouldn’t make his problem worse. I listened to a book which helped for a while. I got a referral to a psychologist. I’ve been having trouble sleeping which is very not like me.
Last week my son had unusual outbursts over an obsession. It was on and off for 3 days (M/T/W). He was trying not to and apologised in the evening of each day. He was making his own strategies of what to do to help his problem. But there was wrestling him to the house so he didn’t run on the road (I am a small person and it was very difficult physically), him trying to break windows etc, wanting to go buy the toy he saw at Woolworths. 2 days I had to call my husband at work. He is amazing with my son. He uses his deep calm voice and my son loves his dad being so stable and predictable and easy to read, it really helped. The third day in between my son’s outbursts my daughter was having her own grumpy and intense day. I was patient through the whole thing but I was so spent. But that evening I ended up screaming at them all saying something like ‘I don’t know how to keep going’ over and over again. My husband finally believed that I really was having a problem. (He is very supportive and loves me so much but he isn’t picking up on things as much). I took my daughters psychologist appointment that happened to be the next day. I just couldn’t be waiting for the recommended one anymore.
Since then I keep having screaming outburst at everyone, nearly every evening, all after my husband comes home. Then I feel I have it altogether in the morning, we have a good day...then it’s the evening again. Today it happened in the morning, but then I realised my husband had been at home (he worked from home today). Tonight I could pinpoint that feeling of anxiety that preceded my feeling of desperately wanting my kids to stop needing me. It may be related to my husband having come downstairs to help me. I started to react then begged him to put on a screen for the kids (we have a very limited screen time policy because of how it affects my son). But it worked...they were glued, I didn’t ask them to do anything cleaning up wise (we are very big on helping with chores)...and my screaming at the kids was averted.
My husband said he’s worried I am having personality changes and says I should see our GP. My mum has MS and he wants to know if that’s what might be causing this. I don’t think it is. Honestly I think I’m burnt out, it sounds so ordinary doesn’t it, when I feel so upset by it. But I think that might be it. But I think it’s being exacerbated by my husband being on the fourth med he is on. I am someone who reads emotion well and trusts my intuition cause it’s more trustworthy than my thinking, but I can’t with him anymore. He could be staring because he’s just thinking or because he’s mildly depressed. He is making a real effort to do things like hug me or show warmth. That is nice. I know our relationship is strong and I’m not worried about this taking us out. We can sit and talk about ideas and enjoy each other’s company. But I can’t talk to him when my kids are around because I think I’m putting in so much effort that I can’t handle it, especially when adding in the evening routine of cooking/tidying/stories etc.
Did I mention we’re also house hunting, cause it’s now or never with our deposit and the property market where we are... But I also I feel such a drive to be tethered down to some place.
I’m hoping that someone on this forum might have some advice to offer me! My family need me, I hate being who I am right now!