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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Tough Situation (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Tough Situation
GardenOfEden
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Hello, I wondered if you could help me. My friend told me she used your site a while ago and the advise you gave was very helpful and I was hoping you could help me.The thing is it's complicated.

Ok. My boyfriend cheated on my a while back as a result of that he became a farther. I forgave him I love him, we were in a bad place and in some respects I understand why it happened.

2 weeks ago he became soul guardian of the baby because his mother sadly took her life. My boyfriend was a weekend dad at most. He was a good dad but the baby's mum would only allow so much access.

The thing is he's just not coping now. He went from being a good dad to hardly being one at all. Its difficult to get him out of bed, its difficult to get him to look after or even acknowledge his son. He will lay on the sofa and be in what seems to be in his own world, at nights if I can stop him during the day he will drink, drink to the point he's sick or passes out.

I know this is really difficult for him as his own dad committed suicide when he was younger. I can't imagine how hard this is for him, but I need some help from him, I take care of this baby 24/7 I think he's gorgeous don't get me wrong, he's a sweet boy and isn't as nearly as difficult as he could be.

My mum is a single mum and busy at that but she helps out as much as she can with the baby, but I can tell she's starting to get frustrated that my boyfriend hasn't done anything with him.

I've tried talking to Thom about how hard life is but it's almost like he doesn't hear me. I get no response from him and if I do its hardly one worth talking about.

To make matters worse I haven't been feeling good the last couple of weeks and my periods late. The last thing I need right now is to be pregnant. I'm hoping its just the stress of this situation.

I did say it was complicated "/

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Robin Lee
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Hello GardenOfEden and welcome to Scarleteen,

Yes, this is a tough situation, and one which it sounds like you do need some help with.


You and Thom live together, yes? Do you live with your Mom at well?

First of all, it sounds like Thom is significantly depressed, depressed in a way that he needs professional help of some sort to get through. This isn't surprising, given that he's dealing with the idea of being a full-time Dad, the guilt that he may still be feeling over having cheated on you, and the difficult memories of his Dad's suicide that have probably been brought to the front by this latest change in his life.

The first place to start would be for him to go to a doctor. This is something he'll need medical help, psychological help, or both to get through.

This is particularly important since you're left with the lion's share of the work and responsibility which is not at all fair to you. Again, it's understandable that he's experiencing these problems, but you also need to be able to care for yourself.

Is the family of the baby's mother able to help at all? I realize they've just gone through a horrible tragedy, but again, it's unfair, and unreasonable, for the responsibility for the child to land entirely on you.

You've mentioned that you've talked to Thom about how hard things are, and that he doesn't seem to respond. Are you up to talking to him about seeking medical help?


How do you feel about looking for resources to help young parents? Again, it's pretty clear that you need some help; it sounds like the stress is taking it's toll. We'd be happy to help you look for support resources.

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Robin

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GardenOfEden
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Hello, I've lived with thom for maybe a year and half now, it's just me and him or it was just me and him.

I did manage to get thom to see a doctor on Monday, I don't know what happened but he walked out half way through the appointment. I will try my best to get him to go back.

The family have only come to see him twice but have given many towards his support and living and have done this each week.

I have tried talking to Thomas about medical help for instance earlier this week he won't even say anything to me, he just rolls his eyes and sighs, but he did go on monday,

My mum did suggest I took the baby to a group of young mums which we went to on Tuesday being able to talk to them was helpful, and one of the mothers offered to baby sit whenever she can. I knew this girl from school so I know I can trust her.

I wouldn't know what other resources there are, if you can help me find them that would be great.

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Robin Lee
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Hi GardenOfEden,

I'm really glad to hear you're reaching out. Will you continue to go to the group?

I'm glad to hear that the baby's mother's family is helping. Do you think you and Thom could talk to them about caring for the baby on a regular basis? It sounds like you would be doing most of the talking, but it's important for Thom to be there.

It sounds like you're very committed to Thom. I want to make sure you know though that it's really not okay for him to fob off responsibility for his child onto you. It's not okay in terms of how he treats you, and it's not okay legally either. Thom has legal responsibility for the child. The fact that he's not putting this into action and shows no sign of putting this into action is troubling.

Let me ask you something: Considering that we don't know at this point when Thom is going to feel better, or at least push through his icky feelings to take some responsibility, how long do you feel willing and able to have pretty much sole care of this child?

I need to look around for some resources for you, and I'll get back to you with what we find.

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Robin

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GardenOfEden
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I'll continue you to go as long as they'll let me. It felt like an almighty weight had been lifted off me for a couple of hours.

I'm really worried if I spoke to them it would be me over stepping my mark, I wouldn't want to impose more pressure on to them when they have enough to deal with.

I love thom I really love him and its horrible to see him like this. I have got res.ly frustrated with him once or twice in context to the fact he doesn't look after the baby.

I'll look after the baby as long as I need to. I'm tired and it's hard at 3 o clock in the morning and again at 5. And when I just want time on my own. It makes me really sad to think that right now all this child has is me. I wouldn't stop caring for him no matter how hard it gets

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Robin Lee
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Yes, it is sad that right now all that child has is you. Both of you (you and the child) need more.

I hope you'll take the woman you met with at the Moms group up on her offer for babysitting. It doesn't just have to be when you need to get something done, either; it can be because you need that time on your own.

In looking for resources for you, I just wanted to chec bak in; you're in Newcastle in England, yes?

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Robin

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Heather
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Just pitching in here very briefly, but in the interest of the child, I don't think asking the mother's family for help and support is overstepping at all.

I'd be more concerned -- for both the child, who is most vulnerable, and you, who is next in that line -- about UNDERstepping, as it were, than over. It sounds like, for both of you, the way this is going shows a need for more people pitching in, not less.

I'd also make sure that you make enough room for yourself here, especially since you don't have any legal rights with the baby here. So, that's just something really important to think about when it comes to your own investment here and protecting your own heart.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I know.

She's going to babysit for me tomorrow morning and my mum has him tonight. So I get a couple of hours to myself this weekend.

Yeah Newcastle in England is where I am [Smile]

I just feel really I uncomfortable saying it to them I feel like it should come from thom and not me. I know I need to ask them for the help and I know it will probably be me doing the asking. And I know it could go better than I think it could. I think I just over thought it.

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Heather
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I think, though, it's pretty clear that as of anytime soon, Thom is not going to ask anyone for help. It doesn't even sound like he's asking you for help, he's just in his own head, doing his own thing, and relying on you to pick up all the responsibility he's dropped.

So, I can certainly see why it'd seem like it'd be better if Thom asked, but since it seems very unlikely he will, and you've got a very vulnerable little person you've taken charge of who all of this impacts very deeply, and another vulnerable person (you) who also needs help here, I'd encourage you to recognize you're not going to get that ideal situation and work with the reality you've got.

To me, that sounds like being very honest with both the baby's mother's parents and with your Mom, who sounds like she's got your back. How about maybe even seeing if all of you could get together as a group to try and come up with some solutions?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I feel like I've made him out to be really bad.

I can see what your saying to work with what I've got. And in the same breath of that to approach them in a less direct way but to come to the place doesn't seem as over baring. And I think having my mum there would help a lot.

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Heather
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Honestly, I'm not thinking about him at all right now. You've got that covered (and it also sounds like he has access to healthcare, too, which can include mental health). I'm also not making judgments on his character: just trying to assess the situation and his behavior and state of mind to figure out how to best help you.

You're the one who came here, so it's you we're trying to focus on. And, of course, because there's a kid in this situation, someone more vulnerable than anyone in all of this, we are also concerned about them.

It sounds, so far, like your mother is in your corner, sees the issues here, and she sounds like someone you can very much depend on. So, what about maybe starting by relaying the conversations you have been having with us so far to her, and asking for her help in contacting the baby's grandparents?

[ 10-04-2012, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I will show her all this tomorrow and see what she says.

And to see if she can help with the conversation. Or at least be there.

I'm sorry if I sound a bit like a idiot I'm just stressed out.

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Robin Lee
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You don't sound like an idiot at all. You sound...like someone who is very stressed out and needs to not be doing all of this on her own. *gentle smile*

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Robin

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GardenOfEden
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Thanks for understanding. I spoke to a couple of my friends about it and I just sound like a rambling idiot.

I stop worrying about one thing and start worrying about another. And the worst thing is I don't have him to tell to about it. Oh I am rambling now sorry aha "/

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Robin Lee
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Yes, you have many, many things to worry about.

Rambling is okay here. [Smile]

So it sounds like your plan is to show this conversation to your mother and ask her for help. If you'd like, please let us know how the conversation with her goes.

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Robin

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GardenOfEden
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I could ramble to the end if time at the minute aha .


I'll show her or I might just tell her the general gist.

Of course I'll let you know.

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GardenOfEden
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Hay. I just spoke to my mum over the phone, she text to tell me she has to work tomorrow after she has the baby and won't have time to really talk.

But she went on the computer and read what had been said. And said she would happily come with me to talk to the family.

She suggested that if they were willing to, to find a nursery a couple of days a week and to split the fees temporarily between her and them until Thomas has got himself together.

She also said to suggest if they could pick him up from the nursery once or twice a week and have him for the evening gradually building up to having him stay over. So they have a chance to adjust to the change of circumstances.

She said she agrees with you they Thomas is shirking his responsibilities as a parent. But she said if the baby is in nursery and spends time out of the house. It gives him a chance to take time out and hopefully start to see the bigger picture without it being thrust upon him.

So yeah that was it

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Redskies
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GardenofEden, just a bit of an aside here, as I agree with Heather and Robin that you changing the situation with the baby is the priority.

I don't know if you know about them already, but in the UK there are some pretty good mental health charities which are places you might consider getting support for yourself if you're going to go on living with Thom. There's Mind http://www.mind.org.uk/help which I believe is very good and has local groups; and there's Depression Alliance, which I know less about but looks good http://www.depressionalliance.org/ The helplines at both of those places should be able to connect you with other supports, too.

If you contacted them, I'd encourage you to do it from the perspective of getting support yourself rather than what you can do for him, as he seems unwilling/unable to go through with getting help himself. As someone who's been on both sides of the having-mental-health-problems and being-around-someone-with-mental-health-problems, I can have compassion for his situation while still strongly feeling that it means you'd be best off putting yourself and your own needs first right now (and, of course, the baby's). If it is indeed a mental health problem that's eating his life right now, it is Absolutely ok for you to ask for loads of help, support, and even big changes from his and your family. Caring about someone never, ever means that we have to let their illness or situation eat our life too.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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GardenOfEden
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Ohhh I know mind really well actually I've used them a couple of times for different things. I just didn't think about using them this time.

Thanks [Smile]

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Heather
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Your Mom sounds pretty amazing. And I think her idea about everyone pitching in to help with a few days a week at a nursery is a very good start.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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She is amazing, it's such a obvious thing, like uh why didn't I think of it aha
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GardenOfEden
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Hay, I just found out I am pregnant I went to the doctors this morning.
I'm sorry I don't know who else to talk to about this.

Sorry.

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Heather
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No need to be sorry.

And: oh boy.

So, this is very fresh news, and it's probably too soon for you to want to start talking about what choices you want to make with this.

If it's not, we can certainly talk with you about that. If it is: what can we do for you right now around this?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I have no idea what I'm going to do, apart from try not to cry.

Right now all I can think is I can't bring another life into this situation right now. Which makes me feel awful.

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Heather
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I don't think your feelings are anything to feel awful about. We have choices we can make with a pregnancy, and one of them certainly includes the right and ability not to continue one. No less valid a choice than any other, nor any less okay a choice.

I also think if you feel like crying right now, letting yourself do that -- and feel whatever you're feeling -- is important and okay.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
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-lots of big hugs-
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GardenOfEden
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Is it werird to say I don't think I can cry round this kid. And I don't get to be away from him.

Oh I'm sorry I feel like I'm being difficult.

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WesLuck
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If it helps to ramble or let things out, please do so. [Smile] Scarleteen is a safe space for this sort of thing.

But also, you need to take care of yourself too.

-hugs- [Smile]

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Heather
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You're not being difficult.

You DO get to have time away from the baby you're not actually responsible for taking care of to take care of yourself. If you really feel like you aren't allowed to do that, this situation is a lot worse than it sounded in terms of being healthy (and it already sounded pretty bad), so you may need to step up getting to solutions more quickly. I know that getting proactive now, of all times, is probably hard, but seriously, this just really is not okay.

That said, you can cry around babies or kids. It's okay for the caretakers of children to have a range of emotions and to express them in healthy ways (like crying), and hey, it's not like babies don't understand crying. Goodness, do they.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Can I ask where Thom is right now, btw? On the couch, in bed, or out?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I'm just scared if I cry the world will fall apart. I didn't know it was okay to actually show emotion round children,

He's sitting in the kitchen smoking right now.

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Heather
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No one's tears have the power to make the world fall apart, I promise.

So, if he's just sitting right there, I have an idea. How do you feel about saying, "You will be watching your child for a few hours, I need some time to myself, and it's not up for negotiation." Then you go, take yourself for at least a little walk right now.

I mean, really, this is not anything unreasonable. I know that right now is probably not a time you're going to be making big changes in your relationship, but you have to recognize that some guy just sitting casually smoking while you're taking care of his kid -- from someone else -- for him and holding fresh news about an unplanned pregnancy (what sounds like the second he's been involved in, no less) is REALLY messed up.

You can't fix all of that right now, but I think you CAN insist on a little bit of self-care time, which you obviously direly need, and did even before this news.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I managed to get him to look after the baby for a bit, he wasn't massively keen on it. But I told him I had to go out. When I got back the baby been bathed and was in bed.

When I got in he said he was sorry when I asked him what for he just walked off. I still don't know what's going on inside his head.

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Heather
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I think that you're not likely to find out anytime soon, from the sounds of things, so for right now, focusing on your own life, and your own head, is probably the better bet.

Glad you were able to insist on some time for yourself and for him to step up and take a fraction of the responsibility he should be.

How are you doing right now? What can we help you with at this point?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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GardenOfEden
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I'm not going to lie I have felt a lot better. All I can think is how much I've wanted kids. And how much I don't want this kid right now. How this baby isn't going to make any thing better only worse. And how it was my own... And his stupidity that got me in this situation.
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