Depressed, confused, need advice, understanding, support - please

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Elvira, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Elvira

    Elvira New Member

    I'm not usually a whiner, so I really apologize in advance. This will come across as a long, whiny note, but I really need a shoulder and some good, sound advice. I don't know where else to go for it.

    Had a big fight with my hubby last night that started out being so, so stupid - about the dishes of all things. I asked him to help me with them and he said "in a little while". I told him "That's what you said last night and those dishes are still sitting here. You know I hate to leave dishes in the sink." He said he never said that, that it was the night before that he said that to me that and he did those dishes. I told him that the night before I did them myself and we did have that conversation and those dishes were still sitting there. He said that I always say that I forget things (fibro fog) and that I forgot and I was wrong. I told him that I'm the first to admit when I do forget something, but my memory was crystal clear on this. He said he was tired of always being told he was wrong about everything, which is not true. Sometimes he is wrong about things, but not always, and sometimes I am wrong and I'll admit it when I am, but it really irritated me to be told I was wrong when I knew I wasn't. I told him that I have to live with this DD which causes me so much pain on a daily basis, and that lots of people have to quit their jobs because of it, but I still work 40 hrs. a week and still come home and make dinner nearly every night, and only wanted a little help with the dishes and couldn't even get that. Told him I didn't feel appreciated and felt taken for granted and maybe I'd just stop worrying about making dinner when I come home tired and in pain.

    Anyway, it rapidly progressed to him admitting his frustration with not understanding what I go through on a daily basis with the DD, and his frustration with his job stresses, and him worrying about his parents problems, and his issues dealing with my son, and evidently a million other things that he has been keeping inside rather than coming out and discussing with me because he knows I don't handle stress well. Little old oblivious me, just goes about my daily business as best I am able, tries to manage my pain, and assumes that all is peachy in the marriage. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

    Guess his main issue, which I desperately need advice on, is my 22 year old son, who lives with us. My son doesn't drink, smoke, steal, do drugs or anything of the sort. He is basically a real nice kid. His main problem is that he is very unmotivated. He doesn't have a college education and doesn't have much work experience, so after a 6 month search, he finally found a job with Garden Ridge, but it's only part-time. He's not making enough money to do much of anything with, (doesn't have his own car either) but he is saving what he makes. I've told him that since he is working he will need to be responsible for his own personal products, toiletries, etc. from now on. But he doesn't have any other bills, and doesn't offer to help with groceries or when we go out to dinner. He keeps his room clean, does his own laundry, and cooks for himself, but that's about all he does around the house. I have to tell him to take the garbage out when it's full instead of him taking the incentive to do it himself. Hubby thinks (and rightly so) that my son needs to have more responsibilities around the house, since both he and I work 40+ hrs, and my son works half that. But hubby has never come out and said anything to my son about these things. Since he is not his father, he doesn't seem to feel it's his place to do that, so he brings it all to me in the form of complaining, not in the form of offering solutions.

    I know I am not a really effective parent, and I told my hubby that when I met him. I didn't have any guidance myself when I was growing up on how to prepare myself for life or take care of myself or be an effective and responsible adult. My parents split when I was young, I hardly ever saw my father after that, and my mother was bitter and hateful and took it out on me and my sisters. All we really learned from her was that we wanted to do everything possible to get out of her house as soon as we were old enough. As a result of my upbringing, I ended up having a child alone at age 21 and trying to raise him as best I could. I was determined that he not hate me the way I hated my own mother, so I was not as strict as I should have been with him, but I did the best I knew how to do. Obviously I did not teach him responsibility, but his motivation has to come from within, and I don't know what to do about that. He is content to live with us, work part-time, do as little as possible around the house, and play his video games. He is a very book-smart person, but is emotionally immature. He doesn't have many friends, as he was always shy, plus we just moved to NC a year ago. He doesn't know anyone he could be roommates with, and doesn't have any romantic interests. As things stand, my hubby doesn't think my son will ever get a life of his own or move out from under our roof. I have absolutely no idea at all how to go about convincing my son to set some goals, but then again, I didn't have any of my own at his age. Evidently my hubby is really tired of supporting my son, whom he seems to feel doesn't care about anyone but himself. Now that all of this has come out, seems it may cause some major issues in our marriage. I'm upset, I'm frustrated, and I don't have a clue what to do. I love my husband, I love my son, and I only wish they would learn to communicate. It's not that they don't get along, because they do. But everytime my hubby has an issue with my son, he won't go to him with it, he comes to me and complains, which puts me on stress overload.

    All of this has come to the surface now because I just wanted a little appreciation and compassion from my hubby because of this disease, and I spoke up cause I wasn't getting it. Obviously he's been holding lots of things in that are bothering him that I was unaware of. Yes, I admit that my son needs to get motivated, but I was unaware of this being such a huge issue in my marriage. Some days I can't think past my pain to resolve the smallest problem, and this one seems unsurmountable. I would love it if my son would get up and do the dishes, or my hubby would offer me a massage for my painful muscles, or I knew that there was harmony and contentment in my home. Obviously I've been living under a huge cloud of disillusionment in believing that there was.

    Any takers on this one?? I'm just really upset today. We're really not religious people, and I can't afford a family therapist, nor do I think it would do my son much good, so those options are out. Once again, so sorry for this gripe and complain session. Just looking for advice.
  2. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    I'm so sorry you're not only in pain, but also having problems at home. I know the stress doesn't help. I know how you feel about your son. It's very frustrating. My suggestion is to find a mental health facility that works on a sliding scale. You can pay only what you can afford. If you and your husband, and possibly your son, can sit down and talk with someone, you can air out these differences. It sounds as if your son has no goals. He needs to try to figure out what he wants out of life. Maybe he can go to school part-time. My son had a problem figuring out what he wanted to do. He eventually went for career couseling. The colleges and universities have career counselors who may be able to help him. I also had to learn not to let my emotions be ruled by him. That's very hard to do, but I'm getting better. I hope things ease up for you!

    Annette2
  3. Elvira

    Elvira New Member

    I appreciate your responses. Unfortunately, though, it is a little late to raise the child in the way he should go, being he is already 22 years old. I feel like I had useless parenting skills, however, I also feel like I did the best I knew how to do.

    I have a cousin who tells me to seek answers from the bible as well, however, I don't really understand a lot of it, and because of that, have never really been able to read much of it. I'm not really able to take what's there and apply it to specific needs in my life. I know a lot of people have strong faith, however, I never really have. I don't know how to be a religious person. I went to church a couple of times with friends and just felt uncomfortable, like I was out of my element, or like it just wasn't for me. The only person I've ever really been able to depend on in my life is myself. At least until I met my husband, and now I feel like there's a gap growing between us.

    And Annette, I do know that my son really has no goals in life. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life, either. Sometimes I feel like I still don't.

    I do appreciate the info on the school career counseling and the mental health counseling, too. I don't know if I will be able to get anywhere with either of these, but they are at least things to consider. Thanks for your replies and for caring.[This Message was Edited on 01/17/2003]
  4. stillafreemind

    stillafreemind New Member

    I am sorry things seem so messed up right now. BUT..I agree with the person that said it was good to get this out. I feel sorry for your husband, and alot of husbands, that carry all this stuff inside..and leave us wondering what is wrong.

    I could not agree more with Chocoat! No, I do not go to church, I study the Bible with Pastors Murray on tv and the internet..no they do not akd for money nor do they say all your bills will be paid if you send so much in!<G>

    Up until I was 40 I thought I could handle everything and anything that came down the pike. BOY..was I wrong, wrong, wrong! I got married again at 40..and my husband and I both came to the Lord. Choc is right when it comes to the Bible laying it all out for us .. if we would just read it, do it and be thankful for it! I believe the Word is a letter from God to each and every one of us..not just a few.

    Wishing you well..Sherry

    P.S. When your sons belly button starts tickling his backbone..he will find more motivation to go to work. It has always been so.. or at least for me. At 22..I cannot imagine not pitching in at home..with chores or money..if God forbid something should happen to you and your hubby..how would this boy/man survive?

    Hope you are not offended..I just hate seeing you and your husband at odds over this..especially with the health problems you are dealing with.
  5. Elvira

    Elvira New Member

    Thank you for both of your posts, and for offering me alternative solutions. You are right that not any one solution is right for everybody. And yes, I am definitely feeling overwhelmed by all of this. I will look into the United Way to see what they offer in the way of counseling. The thing I fear is that we will not qualify based on our income. We seem to fall through the cracks with things like sliding scales, because they base their considerations solely on the amount of money you make, and not what you have left to live on after you've paid your bills. (especially having the medical and prescription bills that we fibro sufferers do) We are not rich by any means, but we probably make enough that they will think we can afford to pay full price for counseling, which we don't. The only thing I can do it to look into it and see what they say. I promise to keep in touch. Thanks for all of your advice and empathy.
  6. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    If I may be so bold. a lot of folks are referring to the bible and they are right in saying the instructions of how to live life are in there, but if you are not versed on where to find the answers it can be confusing. You might want to try and find a bible study to help in that area if you feel moved in that direction.

    Your son is old enough to support himself. If he is only working part time and you both are working full time, then it only seems fair that he should have some chores to help the household run.

    I am out of work right now due to a knee injury, but normally work 40 hours a week. Trust me I do not cook every night and I certainly do not do the dishes after cooking. My daughter does the dishes and my son empties the dishwasher and takes out the trash. They have various chores to help keep the house in order and they are 14 and 8.

    I crashed and burned hard back in september with my knee injury, lost my job among other things. I have slept for the most part of three months I was so tired from over doing it. My husband is not real understanding either when it comes to getting things done and how this DD can change your mood and your energy level in a matter of minutes. He has gotten better over the last 8 years, a work in progress.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you two can work it out together or with counceling. Sometimes once the cards are on the table it is easier to deal with.

    cathy
  7. loonie

    loonie New Member

    Hi, Elvira;

    Just a small suggestion. Take some time and decide what you would like to work on with your son.
    Choose something that would not be very difficult for him to do. Then sit down alone with him and quietly explain to him your problems with his behavior. Explain to him calmly that you need his help, and could he start by doing the thing you decide on to help you out-or ask him for suggestions. Don't be angry or confrontational, just share with him your concerns about his future and the need for him to begin to take control of his future so that you can have confidence that he will be able to take care of himself, plus he can help you now.

    If you can calmly convey to him that your worrying about him is hard on you, he sounds like a good enough "kid" that he might change for you. Praise him a lot when he succeeds and do not get too upset if he does fail at times.

    Hope this might help, Loonie
  8. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Most of us have problems within our families and with our young adult children. Yes, you should be happy that your son is a good "kid" and most of all that he is healthy.

    My 23 year old son lives with my mother and me. It was not his choice. He really wanted to make it on his own. However a mental illness got in his way. He tried to pretend it wasn't there and that just ended up with him in a bigger mess.

    Now he seems to be pulling himself together with the help of a great community mental health program. He's been going there four days a week for the past four months and is making some real changes and is willing to accept that he has limitations.

    He is going job hunting tomorrow because he is scared to death that after Wednesday he may have difficulty landing a job. When he was psychotic last fall he listened to the voices in his head and did what they told him to do. He broke into a house, which was fortunately not occupied at the time.

    The people who own the house have made no effort to understand his mental illness or shown any compassion in this situation. My son would never have done this when he was thinking clearly. Now he faces felony charges and fears it may end up a no-win situation for him.

    I agree that looking for counseling through a local agency would be a good idea. I'm a Christian and I do attend a Bible Study, but I don't think that now is the time for you to try and figure out what to do by looking in a Bible. It has taken me a lifetime to gain the understanding of the Bible and reach my current level of faith. It doesn't happen overnight.

    I wish you the best. With your love and support I think things will work out for your son and with your husband. I always told parents of my students and my students as well that we all learn to do things when we are ready to do it.

    We all have strengths and weaknesses. Your son needs a little guidance in discovering what he likes and what he is good at. From there he can figure out what he wants to do. Even though he is technically an adult, he still needs your love and support. Even my 26 year old asks for guidance sometimes.

    Barbara
  9. lunabella

    lunabella New Member

    wow, all i can say is i can relate... i don't have any kids, but can certainly understand stress overload, mixed feelings & tangled communications in relationships w/ you sig. other... and how your upbringing affects your present life... no matter what you do you can't undo how you were raised. people say "well, you're an adult now, be however you wanna be,..." etc... but those who say that must be brain-dead if they think a person can just snap their fingers and forget everything that happened to them, undo things that have been drilled into their brain since birth. sometimes it's all you know, and if you want to "re-raise" yourself, you have to start from scratch, since you had no healthy role models.

    anyway, what i really wanted to tell you about was that (as surely you know-) there are places you can go on a sliding scale, if YOU yourself wanted to have someone to talk to, i.e. therapy. of course, then you have to deal w/ hubby not understanding THAT and putting that down, as many men will do!! but at least it's an option. you could try the YWCA and other local mental health clinics... i pay $10 a session at one of these. of course, if you are both working 40+ hours a week, you may fall into that grey area where you don't qualify for discounts but still can't afford it at the regular price. although, you could always try talking to them & explaining the situation, & see what they say.

    i'm not superstitious -oops- i mean, religious- either (PLUS i don't think it's HIGHLY inappropriate for people to discuss religion on an immune support board!!!!) so i wish you luck in finding help from other HUMANS. above & beyond that, i think spirituality is a personal thing.

    maybe you should also sit down w/ your son & tell him how much you appreciate the good things he does & how much you want him to succeed in life.. how once he's on his own, he will NEVER have another chance to be taken care of & be able to save like this. how- it's not going to last forever, and- what are his plans? avoiding the subject w/ him is not going to be doing him (or you) any favors, and obviously seems to cause built-up resentment w/ your hub. sometimes people mean well, but they just need a little push. which leads me to ask, do YOU have a limit as to how long you want him to stay w/ you? maybe that giving him an idea of that would give him a kick in the butt. IMO, he should have used the time he lived w/ you to be getting his education... as he will never have it this easy again. does he know, that once you get out in the world, working & trying to go to school (AND do well at both) is nearly impossible...?? if nothing else, he should use his free time to be looking into schools and scholarships and grants/loans & such. by the time you get out there, start getting in serious relationships, having kids, working, etc. etc.. it gets harder & harder. and then (too late-) you will clearly see the disadvantage of not having an education. those who DO have an education seem to like to say "what was the use? it didn't get me anywhere!" well, easy for them to say. they HAVE their diploma and at least they have the OPTION of using it!

    OK, sorry, i'm venting now too- but i do feel strongly about this issue & hope that somehow this will help you help your son.

    about getting a roommate- who says he has to have one? he could easliy get a small/cheap apt to live in, as soon as he gets a full-time job. that'll make him grow up REAL quick. remind him that if he never has any goals, he's never going to get anywhere in life or accomplish anything. have you asked him lately what he wants to do w/ his life? maybe he needs some help thinking about what he wants to do, and setting those goals, & how to set about making them happen. most people don't know how to do this, if they've never been shown. perhaps he could take some non-credit classes at a local college, on occupational/life goal-setting, or things he's interested in.

    also-- you doing most of the housework & not teaching him to do stuff that needs to be done, w/o being asked- is only going to cause him to have problems w/ any future girlfriends/wife...!! and then the cycle will continue.
    again, it's not doing him any favors. esp if he sees your hub getting away w/ the same thing. someimes men have to be reminded: times have changed, women aren't sitting around eating bon-bons all day anymore. we are not built-in MAIDS!!! if you both work 40+ hours, then you both should do equal amt of work at home. or better yet, have your son do most of it. it'll help teach him disclipline, and someday he (& his future sig. other) will thank you for it!

    best of luck.... :)
    lunabella
  10. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    Elvira, I'm glad you're going to check out United Way and see what local agencies they have. Also, some hospitals have mental health centers. They also may work with you as far as fees go. Don't give up! I also want to say that we went through a rough time with our son too. What we didn't know was that right after he first started college, he had a severe physical illness. He wasn't even aware of it. He would skip classes, didn't want to get out of bed, or help around the house. We just thought he was a spoiled, lazy so-and-so. Finally his illness was diagnosed. After 4 hospital stays, it was under control and he returned to college. Now he's living at home, going to school full-time, working part-time and does more than his share at home. What I learned, the hard way, is that a lot of kids are unmotivated and self-absorbed until they reach their mid-20's. People had told me that, but I didn't understand. Now I do. Please don't give up and try to work through this. It's worth it!!!!

    Annette2
  11. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    I suppose I have a little different
    feeling on your situation. Even though your husband needs some loving
    guidance in what you go through every
    day with your health, it sounds like in general you do love him and hope to work it all out. None the less, he
    is not blood, even though if we want
    to bring the bible into it, when you
    marry you become "one flesh". I believe that but at the same time there is no bond like that of a child
    and a parent that I've found. While I
    sympathise with your husband's dislike of you son living with you and "supporting" him, you work full
    time also and I would say you do probably at least contribute greatly
    to your son's support.

    22 is not a child, but these days it's not necessarily an adult either.
    Since he's been raised to be pretty
    dependent, cutting the cord and sending him off to an apartment would probably be hard for you and for him.
    I would say to begin preparing him for that eventuality. I would suggest
    the talk with him that others suggested and I would put a list of
    expected chores on his door. They would have to be mandatory and not just when he's in the mood or something. There is nothing wrong with working two part time jobs, lots
    of people are doing it now to get by.
    I think I would insist that he look
    for a second part time job and not
    give up his search for a full time one. I would take him in hand and show him exactly how you want the household chores done, how to do laundry correctly, how to do basic
    cooking..he could certainly take on
    preparing some of he meals while he's
    only working part time and even later
    on. And what's wrong with your husband's hands? If he can't cook maybe a group cooking lesson wouldn't be a terrible plan. I think both of your boys are expecting way too much of you..but that's me. In the end we get treated the way we accept being treated. I'd tell your husband that you are grooming your son to get out
    on his own but until he's ready he is
    going to be in your home..and he should talk to your son about any grievances he has too instead of dumping it all on you. I really think
    you can improve things for your two
    men and for yourself in the process.
    I've gone to counseling and it can't
    hurt, just be sure you get one that
    understands chonic pain and blended
    families. Take what good you can from
    it but remember it's only a "theory"
    not science and they aren't always
    right. Mostly your best bet will be to listen to your heart, everything you need to know is there. Hopefully
    your marriage is a forever thing, but the fact is that sometimes husbands
    go but your son is your son forever
    for SURE. If you maybe short changed
    him a little growing up, there's time
    to fill in the gaps now. Take care and I do hope it all works out for
    the best for all of you.
    Hugs,Bambi
  12. Peace7

    Peace7 New Member

    Elvira,
    I agree with those who have said your son should be helping out more. If he can cook for himself, why can't he cook for the family at least 1 or 2 nights a week.
    Instead of paying rent to you as some adult children do, why couldn't he do the dishes and/or some other chores.

    To figure out what he really wants in life there are books that can help with that. One is "What Color is your Parachute" and a new one is "What should I do with my Life".
    These should be available at your library.
    Also, Community Colleges often have a career center or counselors that will help in this regard too. They may have career information and aptitude testing avaiable.
    If they don't, they can refer you to a place in your area that does.

    Praying for Peace in your family,
    Anne
  13. mms

    mms New Member

    Hi Elvira, I also have a little bit different take on the situation. But I am older and my kids are 19 and 24. 22 is not so old! We all have times of crisis in our family lives and, if handled in a good way, these times can greatly improve our lives. (I've been married 30 years and have had many things happen!)

    First, from my experience as a mother and teacher: my kids always responded best when I started discussions on a positive note. Tell him how you appreciate all the nice things he does- his morals, his cleanliness, etc. Then go on to explain your own situation and how you need more help. As I got older, I realize that adults also respond better when positive things are noted first.

    Please don't look back- we all make mistakes as parents- look forward and try to help him find what would work for him. My advice is always some college or junior college...especially since he has time. Education always helps any job hunting situation. Many junior colleges are relatively inexpensive.

    Don't think family conflict is due to a stepfamily situation. Parental conflict is always difficult, even with both birth parents around. Just part of life. Just listen to your husband's feelings.

    Chronic illness is tough is so many ways. Take care of yourself..sounds like your son has many good things going for him. Many parents would be envious.

    Take care and good luck!
  14. Tess0

    Tess0 New Member

    I am having the same family difficulties and even more since I am the primary income earner by a lot and I have 2 girls in college. I need to be full-time in a month or lose my job.

    I have had this illness for almost 5 years while trying to hold on to a well-paying job from hell. Even when I went on s/t disability, my husband didn't get it. When I was at my lowest physically and emotionally, one night when I had crawled into the house again, he stepped over me to go feed the cats. Thankfully, my oldest daughter was home and she (all 4'11 1/2" of her) got me on the couch and made me some tea.

    I also feel that I have let my kids down by not being there, particularly my 13 yr son. I can't help guide or nudge or even help much anymore. I used to do all the homework and projects and school stuff and all the emotional care-taking. The kids feel the void that my presence as Mom has left. But, I just cannot do it all anymore and hold onto my job. I am either so fatigued or so cognitively impaired that all I can do is lie flat and wait until I re-gain some strength. Needless to say, my house is a cess-pool.

    So, Elvira, reading your post made me cry for you and with you. I truly know what you are facing. I am so tired of not complaining and not requesting the help and support I need that I have no shame now in stating my position clearly to the world and to my husband. So, never think of yourself as a whiner. I always did and I got stepped on. The sad part for me is that anything I say or do falls on deaf ears.

    I've realized that I never understood my husband, but at least my blinders are off. I am just so lonely. I even showed my husband the message posted here about a man who realized what his wife needed and challenged all husbands on their behavior. It was an early Jan post. All my husband said was that "that man is better than I am. You know, I can't change."

    I am fortunate to have gone into the computer field in the early 80's, so I know I can support myself and create a new lifestyle for myself. The only problem is that it will be awhile as I continue through this devilish disease.

    Although I do believe that struggle is a part of life, I do not believe that it is ordained by any notion of God or religion. This disease is what it is and the way my husband treats me is of his own choosing.

    The only thought I have for your son is to get him some therapy. He may be missing the "you-ness" of you at a time when he was supposed to leave the nest. At least this seems to be what happened to my oldest daughter. She was a freshman last year with a horribly mean roomate and then 9/11 happened and when she turned around to make sure I was there for her, I wasn't there. At times, I didn't even remember I had a daughter. When she came home last summer, this stuff and something else personal put her in a suicidal state.

    It's harder on the children than anyone, especially if their fathers are not there to pick up the burden and help guide these children/adults through the emotional confusion and turmoil a devasting illness brings. I know I said my job was the main thing for me now, but I think of motherhood as part of my life's job. I have to balance my limited energy. My kids are doing better now. As long as I mother them and bug them and they are annoyed ( in a regular teenager way) with me, I know they are happy.

    Oh, I wrote so much and I didn't mean too. I hope I haven't over-spoken. I do hope the folks here who are trying to contact Dr. Phil succeed. There are so many many of us. This story needs to come out. I need to remember to send an email, too.

    Good Luck, Elvira. Good thoughts are flying your way.
  15. Elvira

    Elvira New Member

    I've just caught up reading all of your posts and I wanted to thank all of you for all of your very helpful suggestions and advice, and of course, all the support and caring that you've poured out here. This really has been very helpful to me and has made me feel a lot better. You've offered some great recommendations for me on ways to approach my son as well. All day long Friday I was on the verge of uncontrollable tears. After reading your posts and how each of you handles your own situations, I feel much more at peace with my own situation. I wish I could reach out and give each one of you a hug!

    My hubby did apologize Friday night and he seemed to feel very badly about the way he lashed out. He said (of course) that he doesn't feel we are so far gone that we need to seek counseling right now, and that he does love me and is glad he is married to me and wants us to be happy. Obviously we need to sit down together and talk to my son, and hopefully I will be better able to approach him now so that he doesn't feel "cornered" and knows that I am concerned about him. It's so hard to focus mentally with this disease sometimes that I can't think out solutions to my problems. Now I feel I have a lot to work with and I owe that to all of you.

    Yes, I know my son needs to do more to help out, but my hubby needs to do this, too. He really doesn't do much around the house, but he seems to think he does. What's up with that?? Neither one of them are "bad" people, they just don't seem to think of others enough.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the concern, sharing, and support. I feel like I've just had my own personal therapy session with many very educated therapists. I'll use what I've learned wisely. I hope you all are having a good Monday and I wish you all many blessings in fighting this DD.