Saturday, March 28, 2015

Decisions


 

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be”
<John Wooden>



Hey, can you keep it down? I'm trying to reinvent myself over here.

How do you rebuild yourself, your life, your career when someone is doing your head in on a daily basis?

I read a passage on another blog it was written by the spouse of a depressed person  and my God it resonated.  It spoke about this person's constant worry and stress making them over-think and play out every possible outcome before making a decision. 

I have been living with this for years and it's exhausting. Buying our first home; that decision took months and the Pendulum kept swinging back and forth, back and forth; each day a reversal of the previous decision. And in the final moments of any decision, there always comes the Devils Advocate Sabotage stage. It was the same with buying our current home and his decision to propose.

This playing out of every possible outcome can go to the most extreme levels and when you're being relied upon to listen and try to straighten out this twisted exaggerated mental projecting well, it can send you nuts.

So I guess you re wondering where we're at that I have resumed my role as the resident therapist? Well happily we are in a better place in many ways: He's his normal self,he's helping out doing more of the heavy lifting parentally speaking. 
He's very engaged with and enjoying many lovely moments with Lilly, but he's at our house every evening and all weekend. 
After Lilly's in bed we 'Talk'. About his job offer in London, will he take it? Yes he should! No maybe he shouldn't. I sometimes politely ask how the Girl Friend's divorce is going; badly apparently - her husband is becoming violent and child services have been knocking. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

He's uncertain about their relationship, but also 'projecting if he leaves here that it could become very serious and have an impact on the future for himself and his time with Lilly. He doesn't know if that's what he wants...Sheesh. At this point I said why don't you factor in possible lottery winnings too.  He wasn't impressed, but I'm losing patience here.

I accept that nothing is certain, he looks for certainty before he can move and it drives him nuts that he cant have it. I will take a chance, after the requisite pros and cons list, I just look at the options work out the odds and decide to try. 

But then failure doesn't hold the terror for me that it does him. 
I have failed many times and it never killed me. 
Well that one time it almost did, but even that I recovered from.

But all this means he can not turn off; he remains constantly in his head, over thinking everything.Looking for and creating monsters.
His depression and bipolarity is well and truly under control now, these are structural issues. 

Many of the projections come from his own damaged upbringing. His battle with decision making has always been the most incredibly painful process.  And this decision to leave Lilly and go and work off-shore is a tough one, but it's reversible.  We've exhausted alternatives, lets just try. Many father's go off and work on oil rigs, in war zones; it's not forever. 

I have given him my solemn word that I will let him see Lilly at every opportunity even if it means two 26 hour plane trips every school holidays. 
How can I not? She loves him to pieces and if this is what's best for him, it will be best for her and I'm resolved to make it work for them.

I have seen what happens to him when he's out of work and can’t find another job (or starts a bad one) and it's not pretty. Thats how we landed here in the first place. 
We've lived on savings for a year and that's not sustainable. But more importantly is that he needs to rebound, personally and professionally (in his family those two are intrinsic to one another).  

Lilly cannot be the only thing in his life: it will be too much for her, it will stifle her.  

She needs an strong father who knows what he wants and where he’s going. Not a needy one who’s existence evolves around her showing him love, her achievements and good manners.

Sometimes he spirals over his belief that she’s bottling things up. He questions her about it and that makes me cringe.  Her psychologist, after many sessions and much testing, insists she’s very well adjusted and has developed some exceptional coping skills in adjusting to her changed family circumstances. 

Still he is sure even though she seems happy 'she must be hiding stuff inside'.  She’s not – but I know someone who is; has for years.

We woke her up one night recently yelling at each other. He was spiralling over this again and saying he wanted to take her to see someone else- get a second opinion. (Beyond that of three teachers and a highly recommended child psychologist.)  I asked him what he thought she would think of him taking her to another doctor to be examined. She understands what this is about – she’s going to assume she’s behaving badly or doing something wrong to be taken to yet another doctor. 

I wouldn't even take her back to the GP to chat so we could get another referral for that same reason. Better to pay the odd bill in full, than have her have to sit with another Doctor being asked 'how she's feeling about things.'

It’s too much pressure for a little girl.  As her teacher told me recently; “this is nothing against him as a father, but he is so lost and I think she needs a bit of space from that.”

So I don’t know what is the point of this rant tonight – it’s late, but he left an hour ago and I was so wound up, I had to pour out my feelings and frustrations here.

Writing here keeps me sane and an hour ago I could have thrown something through a window. 

In my weaker moments I wonder what I did to deserve this? Mostly I wonder how long I can continue to live in limbo - it's coming on four years now...

Well here's a little quote for me to keep me going:




“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” - Gena Showalter


4 comments:

  1. Pls be aware I have just come off "Dad Week" up here so I might be a bit more abrupt in my assessments and communication of them than I might be at other times.


    How do you reinvent?
    Honestly, by giving more energy to yourself and your goals than you give to him.

    In this case it sounds like it is going to require setting some firm boundaries around when the front door is open and when it isn't. If he was definitely leaving in 4 weeks I would be on board with this level of access to Lilly with the requisite lack of space for you but he. is. not.

    In fact from what you have said here this could potentially go on for months, or until the job offer expires due to the company needing more than they think they need him at which point he will be back in the no job, no hope cycle.

    It sounds like you are not comfortable with the situation, people external to the situation are not comfortable with how the situation is affecting Lilly. If you can't draw those boundaries on your own behalf maybe you can draw them on Lilly's.

    I have some idea how this is likely to go down with him. I understand it's easier just to take the road that isn't going to end taking you back into non productive communication cause we both know that is where it is highly likely to go. ATM Lilly can't draw those boundaries for herself, unfortunately she also can't learn how to draw reasonable boundaries in relationships if she doesn't see it modelled. It's not just about Lilly wanting to spend time with him (he's her dad she almost always will) it's about her absorbing this as the way you act in a "functional breakup" and I am not seeing a whole lot of healthy from this side of the screen.

    Love and Light
    Belinda

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Belinda, as always sound advice and perspective. You do sound like my big sister, I have to say!
      Be assured though that this is a very temporary set-up, we discuss a few times a week how we will manage the time and co-parenting on a long term basis and he has his firm deadline which he agrees with: As in two weeks time.
      I read this post and almost cringe that I'm so morose and self-pitying, but that happens sometimes. It's a diary of my journey and not all the days or places are idyllic, but we're moving forward in the right direction at least and I have to accept and forgive my lapses into self pity.
      I dragged him to see Pollyanna today.
      I say dragged because after all that happened in the past 12 months, he's lost faith in Doctors - expecially shrinks. I have too. I firmly believe that one particualr doctor caused this mania by mismanaging his medication (sort of confirmed by his treating psychiatrist- as much as any medical professional will admit another has stuffed up).
      You might wonder why I went along, but I felt a need to (a) make him address the underlying problems and (b) makesure he didnt sidestep anything important.
      Anyway the session with Pollyanna was fabulous, that woman has a true gift and she knows him well, she knows us form when we were a functional supportive couple and she's obviously been treating me during the worst.

      If he stays he will happily let her aid his recovery and work through the structural stuff that has caused him anxiety and depression his whole life. He was practically bouyant afterwards - she showed him that much clarity.
      So although I believe our marriage is too badly mashed from this episode, his getting it together completely would leave everyone in a better happier and healther place.
      Pollyanna said and I'll just paraphrase here: "you cannot give to Lilly, or anyone else for that matter what you cannot give to yourself, so it starts with you"
      thanks Belinda xo

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  2. Hi again, just wanted to say you are truly doing a great job.

    I wrote a bit long spiel that the internet ate, so obviously you were not supposed to read it :-), but honestly the message boiled down to you're awesome and moving through things in a wonderfully positive way.

    You concerned me a little when you had a couple of posts in a short while where it felt like you were giving more energy out than was strictly smart but as always you are making well though out and calculated decisions aimed at improving everyone's long term options. I am so glad that your risk of dragging him to a known health professional seems to have paid off. I would have given my right arm for the opportunity to help my ex resolve his issues even if it improved his ability to be a meaningful figure in my son's life rather than the doting uncle figure he is likely to be based on 3 yrs of data.

    Best Wishes and Highest Hopes
    Belinda

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  3. Hey Belinda, I'm so sorry for not responding sooner. What lovely comments you posted - warms my heart. I'm meeting more and more single parents having the worst time of it with their exes and I'm so thankful not to be in that situation today. I've seen some really messed up kid's too as a result of spiteful, vindictive exes who use their kids as weapons. In saying all that I'll keep an eye out for land mines.
    thanks again for all your support and I wish you peace and happiness - you deserve it.
    xo

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