Feel so isolated

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
Hi everyone.
This is my first time here. I m 30 and have been caring full time for my husband for past 12 years. He has mental health issues and I have to do everything from monitoring his medication, taking him to GP appointments etc as well as care for my 2 young children.

I feel really isolated and alone. Due to hubbys health issues I don't have any friends, I literally don't do anything but care for him. His needs have to come first and he hates it any other way.
Lately he has become very unpredictable with his moods. One minute he seems fine and then the next the slightest thing will get him angry. He loses his temper and gets very frustrated over the smallest of things.
I take all of this on my shoulders and just feel like I'm going to crack up so to speak.

Has anyone experienced this sense of isolation themselves while caring for someone?
I just want to be able to have time for myself once in a while and meet like minded people to have different conversation with, however hubby doesn't like this as he doesn't want to be left on his own for long periods and so it leaves me at home constantly :S
Elizabeth, your children must come first, not your husband. What is he doing to help himself, what treatment is he having? What support is he getting from the NHS. From Social Services? Has he had a Needs Assessment from Social Services? Did you know you can ask Social Services for a Carers Assessment?
To an outsider, it doesn't sound like a good balanced marriage, your status sounds more like that of a slave?! Is he helping at all with running of the house, childcare?
I fully understand what you must be going through, it does help to chat or even rant, i found that out here having joined recently... i endure the same with my mother. Please feel free to talk... sometimes muat saying is a relief. Here for you...
Twelve years, and you're only 30??!!! Good Lord, you've been doing this all your adult life!

Sorry, but I have only one question for you - WHYYYYYYYY??

What on EARTH is in this marriage for YOU?

I don't wish to sound critical of your husband, but he is NOT your 'husband' in ANY sense of the word other than a ring on your finger or whatever! He's not your husband, he's both your 'patient' and, far, far worse, your 'owner'.

Look, however sorry you feel for him - and I can only suppose that pity is keeping you with him (and, yes, love, I appreciate that, but 'love' is a two-way street, and his behaviour shows you it isn't, alas.....) - there is really no future here for you, is there, if you really, really think about it?

Can you see yourself in five years time, in ten, in twenty? STILL STUCK LIKE THIS.

STILL with no friends, no life, no NOTHING....

And yes, whatever your feelings for him, your FIRST and FOREMOST responsibility now is to your children. This CANNOT be a happy home for them, and that is what they need, and deserve.

Please, think very carefully about investing any more time in this hellish existence for yourself, and the damage it is doing your children.

At the very least, I would suggest, frankly, that you have a 'temporary separation' and see if you and your children are not a lot, lot happier.

Losing his carer ('slave'?) may finally 'catalyse' your husband into taking responsibility for himself, and understanding that he cannot continue to be a burden to you and his children as he now, sadly, is.

If he gets effective treatment, makes 'something of himself' again, and basically 'improves' to the point of actually being able to function as a husband and father 'properly' then you could take him back and give him another chance.

Whatever 'dreadful things' may have happened in his life (and that is the only 'excuse' really for him being such a burden on you???), he HAS to come to terms with it, and see what help there is so that, as I say, he can then have the 'right' to be a husband and a father.

What does your family think about this situation you are stuck in?

Wishing you MUCH better, but honestly, I don't see what there is in this for you, or your children, if things stay the way they are - unacceptable to all of you.
Hi Elizabeth,

I'm 32 and I get how you could be feeling. But don't let him for a second use this mental health issue as a shield to deflect critique.

I've had GAD, and depression. You have to work within your therapies and expose yourself to new experiences, not just force everyone around you to bend to your will. I Realised this with a little help. Is he seeing anyone?

I'm sure even if all you want is a forum here to blow off steam you are welcome to here. People are quite friendly :)
"His needs have to come first and he hates it any other way"

Who says?!!!! How dare he hate it any other way!

If he can't think of you, and the children, and make SOME degree of effort for you all, then really he isn't worth it, is he?

That 'bad stuff' apart, how is he with you and the children - CAN he be affectionate and fun and loving? Are there GOOD things about him and your relationship? If there are, then that is well worth 'capitalising on' - it's a start. It's something to build on and give you hope.

But you can't go on the way you are. Something has to change - and it's his attitude and behaviour. He has to realise that what is at stake is his marriage and his family.

By tolerating his bad behaviour you are, alas, 'enabling it' - ie, allow him to continue as he is, without making any effort to improve his health, mentally, and improve his behaviour to you and his children.
PS - please don't be too dismayed or alarmed or disheartened by the reactions you are getting on this forum. Remember, we are seing this from the 'outside' and from the 'outside' you look totally downtrodden alas.

But, honestly, you are not the only person to post here with a situation they have 'normalised' but which everyone else is shocked and horrified by.

By seeing what your situation looks like from outside, it can give you the strength you will need now to change the situation. It won't be easy - he'll 'kick off' big time, but you hold the trump card, like it or not, in being able to walk away from him and take the children, to get the kind of quiet, decent family life you and your children deserve and which, right now, with his petulant and selfish behaviour ,he is NOT entitled to.

Do read some of the older posts in the Mental Health section here, as I promise you, you are not alone (and there are others here who are caring, not for those with MH issues, but for example for selfish and tyrannical parents, etc etc - selfishness and bad behaviour by those we care for comes in all varieties alas!)

WIshing you a better, happier future than the present and the last 12 years....

I have felt how you are feeling, the difference is that I started when you did and I am now in my fifties. I have sadly ended up with little thanks for the years of my life, that I felt at the time were being given with love and one day it would be my time.

My offering to you would be, consider, if you are able at this time, what brought you together. It is true that we are attracted to the things in others that are most like ourselves, in my experience. We may not believe it, we may have to dig deep to see it. As you were so young when this relationship began, I wonder if you were coming from a place of need yourself.

Unless your husband has very complicated mental health problems, the kind we would have hospitalised in the past, then it is likely that you are enabling him.

If he feels vulnerable and has got used to you always being available, then I am guessing paranoia affects his attitude to you having some time for yourself.

At the age you are now, you still have time to create yourself further, do you want to work? How old are the kids, could they go into nursery or could you work in school hours? Work can be a healthy way of getting some life back of your own without it seeming as threatening as maybe going out for the evening. Or consider some courses perhaps, that could ease both of you back into a different routine without spending too much time away.

It doesn't have to be anything much, could be anything you are interested in for a couple of hours a week, but could seem less threatening to him.

Long term you need to let your doctor know how you are feeling and if he doesn't have a care plan in place ask for some help. I would now advise (although I thought it wasn't for me but should have done it) to join a carers support group locally. Even if many are older, we are all human and feel the same feelings.