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So I feel like I am going to lose it!

gtrmom's picture

I am sorry to resort to posting this but I feel that if I don't get it out I may regret my actions. I have been battling depression since my teenage years. I have always had a large group of "friends", been in sports, had many many boyfriends, and school always came easy to me, but I have always felt alone.

For the past few years my depression has gotten worse, even though I have sought help, I have not been completely honest with my therapist or myself. I often wish I can get run over by a bus and end everything but then I would miss out on my DS's life. He is the most important person in my life and I would hate for him to grow up thinking I didn't love him enough to stick around.

Anyway, my depression has gotten worse since SD moved in. I just feel like my world has been turned upside down. I often find myself sitting in the dark crying because there is nothing else I can do. I feel that I am the worlds worst person because I cannot stand her. She is a kid, I mean yes she does things that I do not agree with but those are the things she has learned from her mother. I find myself feeling disgusted with myself because I resent her and her FATHER (DH) for her being here. I have posted here and it does make me feel a bit better that I am not the only one that feels the same, but I cannot help but think I am horrible.

I would love to be able to tell this to my therapist but I am afraid of what she will think. I just cannot face someone actually looking at me with a face of disgust because of how I feel towards a child. Obviously this is not the only reason for my depression, but this is the most pressing since she is about to be a permanent fixture in my household. I just don't know what to do. I want to be happy. I don't think leaving my husband is the answer, it will only put my son in my SD's shoes and I don't think I can do that to him. I would prefer to live my life hating myself but making sure he is happy with both his parents together and "happy".


Rhyleighblue's picture

You need to talk to your therapist.

First; a therapist is a professional. You could tell them the most hideous story that you can possibly imagine (oh, I don't know... maybe you had sex with a dog... or have fantasy's about having sex with dogs... whatever) and they will NOT show negative emotional reactions. They are there to be therapeutic for you and they have been highly conditioned to turn off their own emotional responses for that purpose.

Second; depression is one of the MOST COMMON forms of mental illness on the planet! You feel like you are "alone"??! ... try something more realistic like "Welcome to the Club!" Want some facts:

Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression -- their own or someone else's, according to Australian Government statistics. (Depression statistics in Australia are comparable to those of the US and UK.)

You seem to be really impressed with the fact that you were depressed since a teenager.... get over it. Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least four percent of preschoolers -- over a million -- are clinically depressed. In fact; The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23%.

30% of women are depressed. Men's figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher. 54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness. 41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to seek help.

Depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020 -- and studies show depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease.

Happy pills anyone?

Antidepressants work for 35 to 45% of the depressed population, while more recent figures suggest as low as 30%. Standard antipressants, SSRIs such as Prozac, Paxil (Aropax) and Zoloft, have recently been revealed to have serious risks, and are linked to suicide, violence, psychosis, abnormal bleeding and brain tumors. Government (FDA) warnings highlight concerns over the efficacy and use of antidepressants in children. Antidepressants with the exception of Prozac have been banned in Britain for children. The BMJ recently reported they found no scientific evidence whatsoever that SSRIs work for preschoolers (or for anyone under eighteen).

So why are therapists so important? Because they help the depressed person to help themselves by teaching them more positive relationship skills. Many peer reviewed research studies show that relationships with partners, carers, teachers, co-workers and a supportive social network results in physical and emotional healing, happiness and life satisfaction, and prevents isolation and loneliness, major factors in depressive illness. Those of us in health care believe that long-term recovery from depression ultimately requires addressing the underlying relationship causes of depression, not simply symptoms such as chemical imbalance and depressive thoughts. This is why healing both the relationship environment and the whole person is vital in preventing relapse.

I am not a doctor but I am a nurse. Its my job to promote good physical and mental hygiene. My advise to you is to speak openly and frankly with your therapist. If you find that you are too inhibited with this specific therapist then actively seek a different one that you CAN be open and frank with.

Yes, its gonna take hard work but its worth all the effort if it keeps you from committing suicide while your DS is so young and dependent upon you.

Think about it.

gtrmom's picture

I am not ignorant about what the depression stats are. I majored in psych and chose to pursue a career as a social worker. I do know what it means to speak to a therapist and if I could "get over it" I would!! I appreciate your "tough love" approach but this type of approach is not effective with everyone. Thank you for the knowledge lesson!

stepfamilyfriend's picture

gtrmom, I hope you can get past the fear of telling someone what you are feeling, in person. Maybe a friend that cares for you unconditionally. Thing is, when we stifle, ignore, wish we did not have a feeling or a thought, it tends to get bigger and almost take over. To be able to really accept yourself, including feelings that you deem less thant noble, will go a long way toward relief. If you, and hopefully your DH can accept this, chances are hat it will become a smaller part of your feelings. It may not go away, this dislike or hatred or resentment, but it should start leaving some room for other feelings that may grow. I'll dig something up and post it in a few minutes.

stepfamilyfriend's picture

This is something that really spoke to me. Often depression has to do with the fear we have that we are not good. I don't mean to offend you, if this is not the case with you. It's a little long, but I think it is worth it.

Kahlil Gibran on Good and Evil

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance."
For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
Even those who limp go not backward. But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,
You are only loitering and sluggard.
Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.
And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, "Wherefore are you slow and halting?"
For the truly good ask not the naked, "Where is your garment?" nor the houseless, "What has befallen your house?"

CalgonTakeMeAway's picture

I have suffered from depression and anxiety disorder for many years. I have a few chronic physical illnesses which add to it. Your post sounded so much like me lately. Just today, I was SO crabby (crap with BM) and I took it out on SS. DH, bless his heart, didn't even notice and said SS probably didn't either cuz BM gets REALLY bad. But I felt bad. I am on an anti-depressant and it does help. I fought going on medication for such a long time, but the panic attacks just got too bad. I am SO glad I went on them! I tried therapy, but it did nothing for problem was chemical.

You are not a bad person at all. You feel guilt about your feelings for skid...bad people don't feel guilt. I would urge you to talk to somebody...seriously, not liking a skid is pretty common. I doubt they would even bat an eye. You might even find a therapist that IS a step-parent and feels the same way. If SD is going to be moving in, you have to try and get a handle on this. That is no way to live, and there is help. I don't give a rat's butt about CAN find help. It might be trial and error, but keep at it. And you can't just "get over it"...that phrase is probably the WORST thing anybody could ever say!

I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad. Just know that you are not alone, not unusual, and certainly not horrible! {{{Hugs}}} Please keep us updated! We are here for you!

Kes's picture

Hi gtrmom - I have suffered with depression since 1999, when I had what one friend described as a "spectacular breakdown", when I was hospitalised and could not function at all for a number of months. Since then I have slowly clawed my way back up out of the pit, left an unhappy marriage, remarried, and acquired 2 stepdaughters. I have been weaning myself slowly off medication for the last 5 years or so, but I am convinced that what has made it so very much harder is the stress of the BM and my teenage SDs.
I feel the same way as you do, and have suffered many relapses and setbacks, most attributable to this cause. I was in therapy for over 2 years, ending in 2009, but it did not really work for me - my life circumstances are what is perpetuating the way I feel. I do not have any answers for you, I'm so sorry, you have to find your way through this the best way you can, but I'm sure that your therapist will not judge you for the way you feel about your SD, try to be honest with him/her as I feel this will be at least one weight off your mind. If you want to PM me to talk further, please feel free to do so. I know the hell that depression can be, and would not wish it on my worst enemy, not even BM!

gtrmom's picture

Thank you all for sharing your stories. I know I should speak to my therapist, the unfortunate part is that since SD moved my "priorities" have changed. I have had to cancel most of my own personal appointments (mental & physical health) because I have to be taking SD to hers. I just felt like a boiling pot, I haven't had a chance to actually speak with anyone, I have been drowning myself in work, try to come home & deal with the daily household chores, & on the weekends I have to hear about "how boring it all is & how she used to go to the movies every weekend when she lived with xxxx" we try to do fun stuff with the kids, but she always seems to be interested in the next thing, never on what we are actually doing.

On taking time for myself?! What is that? I truly do not understand the concept, kinda kidding! We apparently need to be wise with our spendings because we are in debt, but as I have posted before (not on this particular trend)," D"H cannot get off his a$$ and stop CS to BM! So I am not able to go & do anything for myself because I shouldn't be squandering money!

I will hopefully be returning to therapy in two weeks, that is the next earliest appointment. I will def try & be honest, but I always fear that she, or anyone, will think I am such a horrible person. I think that would make it more real or validate how I feel. Thank you all, I truly appreciate the sisterhood!

reluctantgma's picture

gtrmom, I don't want to chew you out or put you on the defensive, but it sure reads to me like you've lost yourself wanting to be the ultimate parent. Are you really resentful of SD, or because your DH is NOT taking parental responsibility and letting all the work/weight of that role fall on your shoulders? No doubt you've honed your parenting skills to a fine art and intuitively it makes sense for you to serve that function, but you're over the top stressed from it. DH can't perfect his parenting skills if he never has the opportunity to practice.

Take care of yourself.

bearcub25's picture

I went thru this exact thing. BF wanted his kids but didn't want to do the work. I was the one taking to school, picking up, taking to activities, doc appts, all of it.

After I started having blurry vision I had all these tests run and everything was fine. My doctor figured it was stress related and put me on Lexapro. It isn't strong but I noticed a difference immediately.

Then I took charge. I told BF that if he wanted custody then he was going to have to be the parent, or hit the road. I only help him out when an emergency comes up or if I don't have things to do. He fought me for a long time but now that he has done this for months, he has gotten to be pretty good at it and it has made things so much easier for me.

Jsmom's picture

gtrmom - I have battled depression on and off for many years now. I am in a good place now and hope it stays that way. I would pursue meds for it. I understand hating to be on medicine. But, for me it was so needed....I have done several different ones because of nauseau from them. But, it was worth it. I have done them for 1 year and another time for 6 months. Just long enough to kick out of the funk I was in. I have had significant losses that trigger the depression and when I met and got engaged to DH, it was triggered again. When SD was acting up terribly, another one. Completely understand being overwhelmed with a child that is not yours.

For me, I went back to therapy and tried meds again for a few months and completely disengaged from anything with SD and SS. It worked, things got better and the depression subsided.

You need to do what is best for you, not what she needs. She has a Dad for that. You do not have to do his job. Force him to step up and you take care of you...

Bojangles's picture

My experience of depression is relatively recent and not on the scale of some of the experiences described here and has given me the greatest respect for people who battle through it for years rather than months. It was just the hardest thing to keep going every day when I could barely find the energy to get out of bed, was overwhelmed with this sense of grief and struggled to have the patience for my own 4 and 2 year old. I like to be in control so it was very difficult to admit that I could not cope although looking back the longer I went on bottling it up the worse it got. What I did find was that as soon as I started to tell people how bad I was feeling I started to feel better and get a better sense of proportion.

If you're battling on alone because you feel you have to prioritise SD's needs and compensate for your partners financial choices then it's not suprising they are becoming a huge source of resentment. Resentment is like acid, it eats away at you and undermines any real chance at being happy and making the best of things. Prioritising your own feelings is not a luxury or indulgence, if you take some time to focus on your feelings and health then you will all benefit. You are doing a lot to support them, and YOU deserve support too. I imagine that your therapist knows you well enough by know to take anything you tell him/her as part of a much bigger picture and you will probably find that as soon as you are able to air your frustrations and tell them how much you are resenting your SD and SO your frustration will start to become more manageable. There's no way your therapist is going to validate the idea that you are a horrible person.

neilw's picture

My own experience of depression is, if you dont deal with it then it only gets worse. Im now in a much better place after getting out of an controlling relationship, but taking the first step was a huge task. DO it and you'll never look back!

CalgonTakeMeAway's picture

I agree with Bojangles. You have every right to feel resentment. I would find it strange if you didn't...either that or you are Mother Teresa.

I am feeling resentment towards my skids because of you think I am a horrible person?