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  1. #1
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    Default Advice about parents - what would you do / how would you handle?

    Okay.. I'm not one for posting such personal stuff on BH, but I'm literally at a road block of personal reflection with no idea where to go next, and maybe (just maybe) your outsider views might help me decide what to do. Please no negativety, I'm totally overwhelmed with worry at the moment and with a lack of understanding of depression I just can't comprehend my parents actions at present. I'm an only child so I don't have anyone to turn to within my own family.

    My parents have decided that after 30 years of marriage they both want to go their separate ways. My intention isn't to argue or rehash with them how they both got to this point (or why) because whatever's done/said/happened is over and it's not my intention to play middle man and make things better. They're both adults, whichever path they choose, separation, divorce or reconciliation is up to them, not me. Regardless I'd prefer they both be happy with their decision at the end of the day.


    That said, I'm concerned for both of their mental well beings and don't think they're in the right frame of mind to make such life changing decisions - in that, my mum is on anti depressants and her behaviour is (and is always) a bit erratic and irrational, and my dads behaviour of blaming mum (and everyone else around him other than himself) for his miserable life seems unjustifiably 'not normal'', and nothing makes him happy, nothing. I have limited understanding of depression, but have been doing reading and found that running away and blaming others are common characteristics.


    I've never understood why my mum takes antidepressants, I've never had the guts to say "what are those for, why do you need them", which makes me feel like I should have probably done that years ago ... I hate those sticky situations though and don't want mum to think I'm thinking any differently of her... And dad's always made fun of her about her taking antidepressants so I wonder how easy it's going to be to make him talk to anyone!


    I'm not going to go into detail of how they got here, but it's the way they're handling it that's of concern to me. It's amicable in a financial sense, but my dads thought process is to go live on the other side of Australia because the grass is greener and he needs the challenge (he knows no one, his friends and family are all here). My DH and I have two DS' with another due in a few months, I just don't think that if my dad were in his right mind that he'd consider up and going given he'll miss out on so much of the boys lives. Mum and dad look after the boys currently 2 days per week as DH and I both work full time, how could you go from seeing them twice a week to what would seem like never. It just isn't comprehensible to me. Plus we have a good relationship, so why he'd want to leave that too?i just don't get it!


    How can I help them? What can I do? My mum has no contact with her family and hasn't done for over 10 years (she even said today "I got rid of them and my life improved, i got rid of "blah" and my life improved , if i get rid of your dad my life again will improve" but to me that seems like a terrible behavioural pattern - mind you her losing her family was the right decision) she has no friends and as I said I'm an only child so between DH and I it's up to us. I disappeared from work today and went and chatted to both of them, made some headway and got dad to say he'd go see someone, under the proviso that after a few weeks of doing this mum would join him. Then they spoke, and instead of talking about a way forward they just rehashed old stuff over and over. They just can't get out of that rut, and as a result I'm back to square one.




    I want to help them both so badly, but I'm at a loss. The only options I can think of are to explain to them that this is all too toxic (especially for my babies) and if they don't individually get help I'm removing my family from the situation? But then mum's got no one and dad's on a one-way ticket out of here?


    I dunno. I'm sorry this is so long and so late.

  2. #2
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    Default Advice about parents - what would you do / how would you handle?

    Maybe you could encourage your mum (at least) to speak with her gp. If she needs to take anti-depressants then they must be aware of the cause/reason. Regardless of medication, a massive change in lifestyle (whether she believes she wants it or not) can adversely affect how she copes with things, and maybe by speaking to her gp they will be able to offer assistance, advice or a referral... It also means that you and DH aren't the only ones trying to help, and she may open up more to her gp (or a counsellor if she is sent by her gp) than she necessarily would with you.
    It's great your dad is thinking about accepting help! Maybe if he just sees the counsellor alone he will be more likely to use it to work things through for himself, and his future plans, and see how they could impact on all of you.
    I think that the counselling together at this stage might have to be last priority - unfortunately if they have had the same 'gripes' for years and keep rehashing them, possibly they will do much of the same in a counselling session, instead of focussing on helping them make 'sensible' decisions.

    Just my opinion! I have no experience in any of this (other than the depression and medication issue...)
    Hope something positive happens and you are feeling less stressed about it all soon. X

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    I think encouraging them both into seeing someone by themselves is the best start.

    Also, relationships australia do mediation...which could help them work out property settlements etc...but also offer some counselling for them during the process that might help them.

    It does sound like they are making some pretty rash decisions and that they are thinking only of themselves...but maybe after years and years of putting everyone else first they are finally doing what they want.

    If you are close...then ask your dad why he is leaving. Say it makes you feel really sad that he will not be there for you and for your boys and that you will miss him. Not angrily...but from your heart.

    As for your mum...maybe try and get her into some womens groups and help her build a network?

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    You know, my Mum used to say to me often that Dad was somehow holding her back and she contemplated that life would be better on her own. She had mental health issues (depression being one of them but she refused to take meds as they made her 'too sleepy'). She'd say it over and over which I always found distressing especially as it went on for years and I was only a young teenager when she began this talk.

    My Dad was a very good man and good to her. Sometimes he said very inappropriate things in anger but overall he was a gem.

    I say 'was' not 'is' because he passed away unexpectedly 10 years ago. At the time my Mum had done so much whinging about him I thought "Well! She got her wish now let's see how her life "takes off". And I fully expected her to sell the house as she'd wanted to and do all the things that Dad 'held her back' from.

    But no. She was a wreck on her own. Now all I hear to this day is how wonderful he was. But it took the removal of him in order for her to see it.

    Perhaps your way to help them is to lovingly watch them deal with matters in their own way - let them follow their own path. AFter a time apart they might find that it isn't what they truly want afterall.

    Is it possible your Dad may have the beginnings of dementia? My mother sank into dementia after Dad's death and nothing made her happy and she blamed everything on everyone as well.

    If so, you'd better keep in good contact with him if he moves to the other side of Australia.

    Keep loving them, keep being available to them. I agree with others to encourage them to use professional services to help the relationship and to see their gp. But you can only lead the horse to water...

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    Default Re: Advice about parents - what would you do / how would you handle?

    Quote Originally Posted by River Song View Post
    If you are close...then ask your dad why he is leaving. Say it makes you feel really sad that he will not be there for you and for your boys and that you will miss him. Not angrily...but from your heart.
    I agree with this. It sounds like this idea is about him, not you, not anyone else, but something he wants/needs to do at this point in his life. The fact that one discussion between him and your mum was enough to change his mind about seeking some professional help suggests that he may feel the need for some physical distance from her. He's probably also aware that they are just arguing around in circles and may see physical distance as a solution to this. If they are still sharing a home perhaps you need to suggest he needs to just try moving a few suburbs away first before such a big move.

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using BubHub

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice about parents - what would you do / how would you handle?

    Oh and I also wanted to suggest to not be afraid to get counselling for yourself at this time too. Not.just to help with your own feelings about the split but they can also help with strategies to handle awkward situations or difficult discussions you might need to have with your parents throughout the process.

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using BubHub


 

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