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Feeling so alone - Carers UK Forum

Feeling so alone

Tell us a bit about yourself here.

I am writing this quick sorry. My husband has disabilities he is 45 and I am 43. We have 3 children and I do everything my husband gets anxious if I go out so I haven't gone out anywhere. I'm always in and my head is all over the place
Oooooh - you need help don't you?
It's not really possible to offer real advice until we know what exactly is wrong with your husband and his needs. With young children in the picture too its easy to appreciate how difficult you must be finding things.
There is help out there, its a case of finding out what's appropriate. I'm sure others will flock in with better advice than this but I empathise with you about feeling alone..
What does your husband feel anxious about when you are not in the house with him? Is he worried for YOU, or for HIMSELF? What does he think will happen when you are out of the house?

Or do you think it is his way of 'controlling' you ie, that he doesn't feel powerful any more, so knows he can't 'Make' you stay home, so has to used 'persuasion' (ie guilt!) on on you instead??
Hi Lisa, welcome to the forum. You must be incredibly busy. Have you asked Social Services for a Carers Assesment? How old are your children? Do they take responsibility for any household jobs? Do you use a dishwasher, washer dryer or tumble dryer? I call mine my "mechanical slaves". Does your husband have a Lifeline so he can call for assistance?
He has scoliosis and was born with fingers and toes missing and now he has anxiety issues. We have been together since I was 16. I loved him for who he was. We have a 20 yr old son a 16 yr old daughter and a 13 yr old daughter. He doesn't like being on his own. He has suicidal thoughts because he hates how he is. I'm on antidepressants myself. I see my mum once a week. I have no friends and we don't go out because my husband gets too anxious and wants to go home. I feel like a caged animal and I'm also worried about our daughter's as they have no friends to see after school or weekends and they are always at home too. Our son works part time and is out with his girlfiend. I feel like giving up but i cant
I'm not surprised you feel caged. Does your husband ever leave home by himself?
Oh, Lisa, this is nonsense - ie, a ridiculously unacceptable way to live! You know it, your children know it, and maybe somewhere inside his own self-obsessed neurosis your husband knows it too!

Irrespective of his physical disabilities - how debilitating are they in practice, ie, what are they stopping him from doing? - it's clear that his MH (ie, mental health issues!) of depression/anxiety have being allowed to run riot!

Think of the MH as a 'monster' trying to take over a decent man. Or like a cancer perhaps. If left unchecked or unchallenged it will just 'dominate' totally.

There is a book called 'Walking on Eggshells' that sums up the 'toxicity' of having a relationship of any kind (whether spouse or parent or child, or sibling or even friend sometimes!) when we have to 'pussy-foot around' someone else. ie, walk in eggshells lest we 'upset' them in some way (ie, challenge their morbid fears and anxieties).

I'm afraid you --- and your children - simply have to stand up to this. If you don't, this cancer which is already spreading into your daily lives in such a malign way, will take you over completely. In the end, your children will leave home - so they can actually HAVE a life - and either you will stay in the prison of the mind your husband has created for himself, or you, too, will finally 'crack' and run screaming for freedom!

So, the question is not 'how can I continue to tolerate this 'prison' I'm living in, pandering endlessly to my husband's MH, and walking on eggshells all the time', but 'how can I challenge his obsessional anxiety by my own 'free behaviour' so that yes, he 'kicks off' - (he will kick off I warn you, but you ignore that! )- and get some life for myself and our children, and, eventually, some life for HIM too' (Because HE has to be freed from his prison as well!)

Because you have been with him since a child yourself, in a way you've never been a 'single adult' yourself, so you probably find it very hard psychologically to have intentions and purpose of your own, you've lived your life 'for him and around him' and provided him with a massive 'comfort blanket'. But you aren't a 16 y/old any more, and your PRIMARY resonspiblity is to your children, and to yourself. NOT HIM.

It's insane to live your lives in this prison, controlled by his utterly irrational and pointless fears (which are also tormenting him, as well as you.)

Two things need to happen - he needs better and more effective treatment (probably meds and counselling) to address his fears and get him to develop the courage to overcome them (Yes, it CAN be done - thousands of people have overcome chronic anxieties), and, you need to develop the courage to challenge (ie, defy!) his bans on your freedom. It's nonsense to pander to them, as all it does is confirm his own fears.

You want to free him and yourselves - a better life for all of you awaits. But you have to challenge him first, and make him confront his paranoia. It will cause 'kicks offs' by him (the monster inside won't like it!), and I would argue getting all of your children, especially your adults son, 'onside' as you start small with small 'challenges' (ie, time away from him) and work up from there.

You have to learn t 'not care tuppance' about him kicking off! That's the number one lesson to learn. You get used to it after a while, I promise you, and you just won't care. You get immune. His kick off, his problem. Not yours! His anger/tantrums/terrors are 'irrelevant'...and remember this is for HIS own good, not just yours. A happier life for ALL of you is achievable.
Tough talk Jenny, but very sound.
A 20 min appointment with your GP might be a good starting point, if you are bad at expressing yourself why not print off the message you've put on here and show it to him/her. You need more than friends - you need professional help and maybe even some counselling to get your courage to leave the house. I have noticed many disabled people often turn into demanding selfish control freaks, especially when they've been pandered to from birth.
I know GPs are busy and receptionists are bossy - if asked tell them your business with the doc is 'personal' - then they are supposed to stop quizzing you.
Stay strong!
Barbara - as an aside, I know someone who said that when the receptionist started to try and worm out of him why he was daring to bother the doctor (!) simply cut across and said tersely:

'Are you a medical professional? No? Then you are in no position to discuss any medical matters with anyone. Put me through to a nurse or doctor if this needs to be discussed on the phone first.'

Overall, the term I use is 'firm' - as in 'firm love'. Tough can be brutal - but, that said, even 'firm' will sound brutal to a husband who is obsessed with having their fears pandered to! ANY opposition or challenge will sound 'tough' (or worse!)

Firm is to tough as assertive is to aggressive.

They both state 'boundaries' and reside on 'normalities', ie, both 'firm' and 'assertive' don't cross the line over into the other person's territory (whether mental or physical) they simply guard their OWN territory.

Lisa and her children are being 'controlled' by her husband. HIS obsessions are controlling THEM. And HIS territory (mental landscape) is invading, and right now, totally conquering and occupying, their own territory. That is what has to stop. Her husband can go on having any obsessions and fears he wants in HIS mental landscape and lifestyle, but he cannot 'extend' them into THEIRS.

They must continue (or in their case reclaim!) control over their own territories, ie, do what they want to do, when they want to do it, etc etc. And that includes sharing the physical territory of the house. If the husband doesn't want others there, then he can retreat to his own 'safe space' somewhere.

The more everyone panders to his fears, the more those fears will strengthen and extend and take over. That can't happen. He's responsible for his own mental landscape, fine, he can have whatever he wants inside his head. He just can't impose it on others. So they have to stand up to that attempt and say 'Stop, I'm not pandering to this any more. It's YOUR problem - NOT MINE. I'm going to do what I want, and you do what you want. End of.'