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  • #414207
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    It’s difficult to explain, but I feel like I’m hurting so much inside, not physically but mentally. I feel stuck, a bit lost and I’m struggling to motivate myself.
    My dad became unwell in June last year, anxiety and depression that came from nowhere. Around the same time I met a guy, I’ll call him A, and I spent time with him enjoying one another’s company, walking, days out, talking, being intimate.

    By late August my dad’s mental health deteriorated further, and I was doing all I could to support him. By this time A had suddenly gone cold on me and asked to be given some time and space. I respected his wishes and said I’d be there when he’s ready to talk. I had a holiday booked with my 2 teenage sons at the end of August, which we went on. I was constantly on the phone with my dad throughout supporting him as much as I could, and to my mum who was struggling to understand it all, whilst trying my best to make the most out of my holiday with my boys.

    On return from our holiday, A told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship but that he would like to remain friends, I was happy to do so, as I enjoyed his company and our chats.. I think also because I felt I was losing my dad if that makes sense, as he’s always been my source of support, my rock and now it was the other way round.

    A and me continued to catch up for a coffee, chat and message over Sept/Oct. My dad deteriorated even further into his depression/anxiety, eventually being admitted to and then detained in hospital for psychological treatment in early October. I was now supporting my mum and brother at their home and helping with shopping etc, visiting and supporting my dad in hospital and liasing with the staff and with his GP to ensure he was being looked after as staff shortages on the ward meant things weren’t always being done/seen to. I’d also agreed to be a support worker for my friends daughter 2 to 3 days a week, whilst also supporting my own sons at home.

    By November, my life was extremely busy driving about the place to support my mum, dad and brother, ferrying my boys about, attending appts and reviews with my dad, and for my youngest son, it just didn’t stop. A was now messaging more, and had started calling for a chat which he’d not done until now, he was also becoming quite affectionate – hugs, gentle touches to the arm, back when chatting etc. I felt okay with this, I hug my friends all the time so thought nothing of it. A did make one or two suggestive comments but I just laughed and brushed it off.

    Mid December before Xmas, plans were being made for home visits for my dad with a view to discharging from hospital. Being the only driver in my family it lay with me to sort transport out and arrange his visits home and get him back to the hospital. My mum and brother had taken a backseat throughout all this as they said they didn’t know what to do or how to be helpful despite my gentle encouragement for them to just simply visit and chat. They stopped visiting and just waited for his visits home. I was still supporting my friends daughter at this time, and to be honest the last thing in my mind was any prep for Xmas.

    My dad was discharged the week before Xmas, so my time was spent helping him to settle back at home, and has been much the same since although my visits have become less frequent as he has settled back home. Xmas eve my boys went off to stay with their dad for Xmas. A invited me over for dinner which I gratefully accepted, he was very affectionate all evening and asked me to stay over. I declined and went home but felt really confused, I had wanted to stay over, but knew if I did we will have prob slept together and not have slept in separate beds as he’d suggested as the physical tension was high. I was confused I guess because I wanted to feel wanted, to be held etc.. A had said the same.

    Xmas day and boxing day came and went, I busied myself with going for walks, visiting my parents and cooking them Xmas Dinner, and I threw myself into sorting and tidying around the house, I had a huge desire to be busy, to sort things before the new year. A and I were still messaging, I still felt really confused and torn in two. We met up for coffee the day after boxing day and one thing led to another and we slept together and i went home that evening. The following day A and I went for a walk together I stopped by for coffee and went home. On the weekends throughout January I’ve have popped round for a coffee on the Saturday or Sunday and we’ve ended up in bed together. We message and he’ll call for a chat during the week. The thing is this just doesn’t feel righ. I feel pretty messed up at the moment, we sleep together and I end up crying when I’ve gone home, and remain in a low mood/upset for a few days before I shake it off. That was until the last few weeks.. I’ve just been crying on and off, feel unmotivated to do anything other than what I resort to when things feel out of control which is physical activity – lots of walking, cycling, workouts daily – as it takes away the pain and the feeling of overwhelm at least for the time I’m doing it. Then everything comes flooding back and I feel lost and stuck. I feel like I’ve lost my dad, the one person I could talk to about anything who I’d turn to for support, that’s gone. My teenage sons don’t need me as much now and I feel lost without that too. And there’s A who I know doesn’t want a relationship, and I know I don’t want a relationship with him as I know he’s not right for me.. but I crave his company, his touch, even though I know deep down its not right.

    To cut this long story short, I refer back to my first sentence, I hurt so much inside and I’m struggling to pull myself out of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come with it.

    Any thoughts, advice words of experience would be welcomed because I’m finding it hard to see things with any real logic or perspective just now.

    Thanks for reading x<!–/data/user/0/com.samsung.android.app.notes/files/clipdata/clipdata_bodytext_230122_154702_711.sdocx–>

    #414212
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Palegazasunnidays:

    You read like an honest, very responsible and resourceful daughter, mother, and friend.  I am sorry that your father became ill with anxiety and depression and I hope that he recovers soon this year.

    I want to understand better what happened with A in the context of your June 2022-Jan 2023 life events:

    June 2022, your father got sick with anxiety and depression. By late August, his condition deteriorated and the man you’ve been seeing, A, has “suddenly gone cold” on you, asking for space, which you graciously gave him. In early September, A told you that “he didn’t want to be in a relationship but that he would like to remain friends“, and again, you graciously accommodated him. On Sept-Oct, your father deteriorated further and was admitted to a hospital. By Dec 2022, A made “one or two suggestive comments“, then invited you for dinner. While at his place, he asked you to stay overnight, and you declined. At the end of Dec 2022, you met A for coffee, “one thing  led to another” and you slept together. The two of you ended up in bed together on weekends during Jan 2023. Throughout this whole time you were a model+ daughter, mother, friend; helping everyone a whole lot.

    The thing is this just doesn’t feel right. I feel pretty messed up at the moment, we sleep together and I end up crying… I feel like I’ve lost my dad… My teenage sons don’t need me as much now and I feel lost without that too. And there’s A who I know doesn’t want a relationship… but I crave his company, his touch, even though I know deep down it’s not right“-  it is as if you’ve gone back-  since June last year- to being a girl/ a single, young woman (although a very responsible and resourceful one), being that you’ve been spending significantly less time being a mother and taking care of your sons, and a lot more time around and about your original family, as a daughter and sister. To add to it: there is this guy, a male teenager-like who has been using you for sex. True, you need to be touched, but you don’t want to be used: you don’t want to be friends with benefits with A– or with anyone.

    Any thoughts, advice words of experience would be welcomed because I’m finding it hard to see things with any real logic or perspective just now“- I don’t think that you want to be used for sex, and I know that you deserve better than that. Before I continue, am I on the right track?

    anita

    #414213
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    Hello Anita

    Thank you for replying to my post.

    Yes, you are on the right track.

    Thinking about what you mention me being back as sister and daughter. I feel back where I was before I left home to move in with my then partner (my ex husband). I remember being the support for my mum and brother whilst my dad was working, and only having my dad to turn to, to talk to, confide in as my mum just didn’t understand how to bless her. I’ve always been her support and my brothers from a young age. They are both quite coy and in a sense nieve and easily led and can misunderstand situations or conversations.

     

    As for A, no I don’t want to be in a friends with benefits situation, but I can see I’ve allowed that to happen. I almost feel manipulated. I feel quite angry with myself. He blanked me thus weekend, a call for a chat on Friday evening few sparse messages over the weekend x

    #414214
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Palegazesunnidays

    I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties with your father’s breakdown. It sounds like you yhandling (pardon my French) a hell of a lot at the moment. You’re supporting your mom, dad brother, your children as well as your friend’s daughter. Perhaps you should plan how to scale back some of your responsibilities? If at all possible?

    You have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others. It sounds like you might be feeling overwhelmed with everything. Do you think that’s accurate? Do you have difficulty saying no to people and find it hard to press your own needs?

    Regarding A. You’re an adult and it’s 2023. I don’t think anyone needs to feel guilty about these things. You deserve some human contact and comfort with everything you are dealing with right now. You might want to have a conversation with A about any boundaries you would like in this temporary relationship. I think it’s okay if you want to enjoy this situation, but only if you do find yourself enjoying it. If you don’t, it might be time to discuss that too.

    #414216
    Helcat
    Participant

    *It sounds like you are handling a hell of a lot.

    #414217
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Palegazasunnidays:

    You are welcome. It looks like growing up, you took on a co-parent role, co-parenting your mother and brother. Seems to me that your mother dealt with her anxiety by taking on a helpless-child role (not consciously, I figure),  and you and your father shouldered the weight of life. I wonder if your father’s anxiety since June last year has to do with taking care of his helpless wife for too long…?

    I almost feel manipulated. I feel quite angry with myself“- he surely manipulate you: when he invited you to dinner at his place, he didn’t tell you that he intended to ask you to stay overnight, did he? He didn’t let you know that he was pursuing you as a friend-with-benefits, he.. just went for it. It happens often that a girl or a woman just wants to be touched, held.. but the man has other ideas. Are you going to end contact with A?

    anita

    #414218
    anita
    Participant

    I forgot to add: I wish you weren’t angry with yourself, but with A.

    anita

    #414219
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    Hello Helcat, many thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I’m no longer supporting my friends daughter, that came to an end at the end of last year.

    I have been feeling overwhelmed especially towards the end of last year, and I knew I wasn’t accomodating any time for myself as i was splitting myself in so many ways and trying to stay afloat so i could support my dad etc.. I do find it difficult to say no, especially when I’m feeling this way. I’m aware I’ve taken a nose dive hence pushing myself to walk, cycle, exercise more, it’s my coping/mechanism for seeking some sense of control.

    As for A. I feel a sense of having been manipulated whilst at a low point. Craving that feeling of being wanted, I’m not sure I’ve made the best choice. Everything is pretty much on his terms. When i ask if he’d like to pop out for a walk or join me for a coffee, he declines then will as me to join him for a coffee, or a walk. He always asks literally last minute (that morning, that hour) whereas I’ll query the day or two before as I know I’ll need to factor in running about for family etc. This weekend he’s pretty much ignored me aside from a message to say he had a headache.

    The other thing for me i guess is emotions.. being intimate with someone leaves me with emotion overload I guess you could say, makes me feel more lonely? It’s difficult to explain x

     

    #414225
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    Anita, yes, I guess some of my dad’s anxiety/depression may have come from that place. He’s mentioned feeling dragged down by doing everything and i can understand how that feels.

    A invited me over to dinner, and as an afterthought (in a second message) said I could stay over, that he’d give me his bed and he’d take his daughters (she was at her mums that night, shes 20) with no funny business. When I questioned it later in the evening, he said he is just lonely and wanted to wake up with another person in the house on Xmas day. In between the days of my declining and then sleeping with him, he said that he’d asked me to stay and that he knew something would happen and that he was being selfish because he’d wanted to wake up next to me, to feel held and wanted. When i said to him that i felt really confused about it all as he’d wanted to go from friends to dating, but was then seemingly pursuing me again, he said that I should have said just said yes, and probably just stayed, but also said he understood why as whether I stayed over or not he said he knew I’d overthink things, hence saying I should have just stayed.

    I spent Xmas day and boxing day in a state of confusion. Lonely without my boys, lonely being at my parents on Xmas day where i cooked dinner and sorted everything out.. and alone at home on boxing day. Was not a good Xmas.

    And since sleeping with him, and having continued to.. I still remain conflicted within my mind among other things going on x

    #414229
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Palegazasunnidays:

    I will reply further to you Mon morning (it is Sun 11:24 pm here). Please feel free to add anything you’d like to add, and I will respond to all in the morning.

    anita

    #414236
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    Many thanks Anita, your time is much appreciated.

    Wishing you a restful night

    #414242
    anita
    Participant

    You are very welcome. I made a mistake, Palegazesunnidays: I  meant to say it was 11:24 am, not pm, therefore, I will be back to you in about 20 hours from now.

    anita

    #414319
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Palesunnidays

    It’s good that one less thing is off your plate, but you are still handling a lot. I’m glad that you’re finding an exercise routine helpful.

    It might help you to practice setting boundaries and saying no. You are a helpful kind person. But you deserve to be happy. If you say no sometimes, you will still be helpful and kind. You will just be taking care of yourself as well as others and be happier as a result.

    I’m sorry to hear that you had a lonely Christmas. No wonder you sought comfort. I can understand having emotions come up after sleeping with someone. It certainly doesn’t help that the temporary relationship seems unbalanced. Everything shouldn’t be on his terms. You are an extremely busy lady and need advanced notice. I wouldn’t be happy with the lack of communication since either. It’s rude.

    You could probably find a new partner easily if you wanted to. I’m curious how dating has been going since your divorce? Do you find that you have been stuck in the friends with benefits / casual temporary relationship category with men?

     

    #414326
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Palegazesunnidays:

    I re-read all your posts. In this reply,  I will quote from you, comment on that quote, then quote more, comment, etc.

    “I threw myself into sorting and tidying around the house, I had a huge desire to be busy, to sort things before the new year… I hurt so much inside and I’m struggling to pull myself out of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come with it… I’m finding it hard to see things with any real logic or perspective just now”-

    – what if I try, in this post, to help you just a bit, to sort and tidy your thoughts, feelings and emotions and see things with real logic or perspective, starting with your family of origin and proceeding to A:

    My mum..  was struggling to understand it all... My mum and brother had taken a backseat throughout all this as they said they didn’t know what to do or how to be helpful…I remember being the support for my mum and brother whilst my dad was working, and only having my dad to turn to, to talk to, confide in as my mum just didn’t understand how to bless her. I’ve always been her support and my brothers from a young age. They are both quite coy and in a sense naive and easily led and can misunderstand situations or conversations…  I guess some of my dad’s anxiety/depression may have come from that place. He’s mentioned feeling dragged down by doing everything and I can understand how that feels”-

    – it is possible that your mother and brother suffer from mental disabilities that render them unable to understand situations and conversations and therefore, they are helpless and indeed need a lot of help. It is also possible that your mother’s coy and naive expressions and behaviors for so many years, have been partly a somewhat-calculated manipulation, one that affords her an easy kind of life, a life where she doesn’t have to struggle or do much of anything.

    It is possible that your brother, while growing up, observed the dynamic at home (father having a hard life; mother- an easy life), and figured that he’d rather have an easy life, so he took on his mother’s role, while you took on your father’s role (siblings often take opposite roles).

    If this is the case, or close to it, then I can imagine that your father may not be able to heal or recover from his anxiety and depression if he returns to the same family dynamic. (Maybe, just maybe he has been angry with your mother for many years, never expressed it directly, and that anger built up to his anxiety and depression breakdown).

    As far as A goes: “I was confused I guess because I wanted to feel wanted, to be held etc.. A had said the same“- it is possible that it was not the same: that you wanted more of an emotional bond with him (to feel wanted as a person, to be held as a person), while he wanted more of a sexual bond (to be wanted as a man). Neither desire is wrong, but two people should be clear about what they want with each other, rather than assume.

    “The thing is this just doesn’t feel right. I feel pretty messed up at the moment, we sleep together and I end up crying when I’ve gone home, and remain in a low mood/upset for a few days before I shake it off… being intimate with someone leaves me with emotion overload I guess you could say, makes me feel more lonely? It’s difficult to explain”-

    -I am thinking that growing up with a helpless mother who, I am guessing, did not help you while you were growing up, and with a father who worked a lot, you were quite lonely. Perhaps keeping yourself very busy (as described in your original post) has been a way for you to distract yourself from the long-felt lonely feeling inside (in the following, I’ll refer to this long-felt lonely feeling inside as Loneliness).

    When sleeping with A, you got a break from Loneliness. You felt a very different feeling, a Together Feeling. But then, when separated from him and not having a regular, reliable contact with him, the contrast  between the temporary Together Feeling and the return of Loneliness was too great, and that contrast may be the emotional overload that you experienced.

    “And there’s A who I know doesn’t want a relationship, and I know I don’t want a relationship with him as I know he’s not right for me.. but I crave his company, his touch, even though I know deep down it’s not right“-

    he is not right for you, but a Together Feeling is right for you, and you crave it.

    “A invited me over to dinner, and as an afterthought (in a second message) said I could stay over, that he’d give me his bed and he’d take his daughter’s.. with no funny business“-

    – he referred to the idea of having sex with you as funny business. Funny business is “dishonest or unacceptable behavior” (online definition). He said it, didn’t he?

    “When I questioned it later in the evening, he said he is just lonely and wanted to wake up with another person in the house on Xmas day“, “I almost feel manipulated. … As for A, I feel a sense of having been manipulated whilst at a low point… Everything is pretty much on his terms… He always asks literally last minute (that morning, that hour)..  This weekend he’s pretty much ignored me aside from a message to say he had a headache”-

    – doesn’t seem like he is a lonely person, being that he doesn’t seek your company much and turns you down when you seek his company. When he told you back in Dec that he wanted to wake up with another person on Xmas day… that was poetic and Christmassy and quite deceptive, seems to me.

    anita

     

    #414347
    Palegazesunnidays
    Participant

    Thank you Helcat

    Yes, I do need to learn speak up and say no rather than seeking to please everyone all the time. I guess when feeling so low this becomes exceedingly more difficult to do, which in turn increases that low feeling even more.

    I divorced 17 years ago, separated before my youngest was born due to my ex husbands adultery, and divorced a year later. I was dating practically weeks after my youngest was born, I felt I had something to prove to my ex at the time, silly I know. I ended up in a relationship with the first person I dated which lasted several years. He was in the same boat as me at the time. We moved in together after a year of dating and parted ways 6 years later, I ended it. I then had a couple of disastrous relationships where I was emotionally abused/manipulated, one lasted 3 months the next one two years, of which i ended both of them. I then dated an old friend which led to a two and a half year relationship which again I ended. I was alone from then for just over 3 years until meeting A last year. So I’m not sure you’d really call them temporary or casual.. And as for dating, I’m bot sure i wish to meet anyone else as i feel my choice of men radar is right out of sync x

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