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Going quite mad

(51 Posts)
Cossy Sun 18-Apr-21 19:01:57

I just don’t know what to do. I’m 62 and still working full time. I’m working at home at the moment.

There are currently 6 adults living in our house. My husband, retired early due to ill health (heart condition), me, 3 adult children, youngest 19 due to leave college. Two other adult working children and one of their partners. We have a mid terrace with four bedrooms but it is quite roomy, so enough space for us all.

My husband and I have been married for 25 years and it’s not been great, I care deeply about him, he was a drinker for many years, quite bad tempered and has had at least one affair.

I have a widowed elderly mum who lives in her own home still very close by.

My problem, I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and out of control and constantly literally visualise living alone! Completely alone !

I feel so selfish as I have many friends, our children help out quite a bit and so long as I ask, my husband will do whatever he is able to.

I also have multiple medical issues, including IBS, Diverticular disease and ME. Some days I’m fine, sometimes I’m barely able to function, I look fine, I’ve also recently during lockdown put on masses of weight, and I wasn’t thin before, I’m really depressed and have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, I’m in pain most days.

I feel like I’m going insane !

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 18-Apr-21 19:07:32

It might be time for you to suggest that the older, working ACs either move out or take on the various Domestic jobs in the house, freeing you up to get yourself better, it sounds as though your health problems are being made worse by stress.

Time to have a talk with the ACs and let them come up with some solutions to help you out.

In the meantime, can’t they all go out for the day? leaving you to have some peace and quiet with absolutely nothing to do, that might give you some breathing space, lockdown has been hard for families being thrown together 24/7.

Peasblossom Sun 18-Apr-21 20:23:56

You need a shed😬 Your very own space where nobody else is allowed.

I loved my shed. I decorated it like a beach hut with the door turned away from the house, books and a reclining chair.

15 minutes in the shed was enough to keep me sane though I liked longer😁

Galaxy Sun 18-Apr-21 20:39:36

I would maybe try to go away for some time on your own to work out what you want. I think it can be hard to know how you really feel with all that going on. Do you want to be with someone who drinks has a bad temper etc. Only you can know that I am afraid flowers

nadateturbe Sun 18-Apr-21 20:41:30

I do sympathise Cossy. I have similar medical problems and they are difficult enough in retirement and just living with a partner. ME is so hard to live with. It fluctuates so much and often without warning.
Part of the problem is you don't look ill. So others don't realise or understand how you are feeling. You need to have a serious talk with everyone, explain your problems and tell them what you need in order to feel and cope better, and discuss the best way to achieve this. Everyone will have to do their bit. Don't feel guilry about saying you need some alone time in the house. Your health will get worse both physical and mental if you don't do this, because stress affects all your conditions.

Redhead56 Sun 18-Apr-21 22:49:57

You are not alone it's really perfectly normal to feel the way you do. I am sure you have a nice family. The pressure of working from home probably makes you feel hemmed in with no space.
A little shed transformed lots of people have them here. Little den with some personal touches is a great idea if you have space. I would give members of your family jobs to do and meals to prepare. Now lockdown is relaxing make arrangements with friends pub lunches or drinks. We went to our local pub and met our friends it was so uplifting.
I really would not worry about weight gain everyone has probably gained weight. You could go for an extra walk when you have the time and eat a little healthier. Make an extra effort to do different things it's been like groundhog day for everyone. I hope you manage to pick up and spoil yourself a bit 💐

Callistemon Sun 18-Apr-21 22:59:04

I know the feeling - you feel like a piece of elastic, pulled in all directions, as someone once put it to me.

Helping out quite a bit is not enough - they are adults and need to do their fair share. There are enough of them for each to cook one evening, clear up, clean the house on a rota system and I hope do their own laundry etc.

Could you afford to have a home office built in the garden - your own insulated office space if you are working from home and also your refuge?

flowers

Iam64 Mon 19-Apr-21 07:36:50

Do you get on well with your mum.
Could you have a room of your own in her house, where you could escape for some peace.
It sounds as though you need space for yourself. I suspect most of us understand and empathise

vampirequeen Mon 19-Apr-21 10:21:32

Good grief. Someone should be looking after you not you running around after everyone else. ME is a terrible condition and then you have all the other conditions too. You never know what the day will bring and it's not fair on other people to expect so much of you.

It's time everyone took some responsibility for the running of the house or move out. You did your caring, nurturing, looking after, washing, cooking and cleaning bit when they were growing up. Now it's your time. I can see that your husband and mam need support but does it all have to come from you? You need support too. You shouldn't have to ask or feel guilty.

Callistemon Mon 19-Apr-21 10:30:46

or move out.

Yes - why are the older ones still at home? The couple, at least, could find their own place; they are working so they do have an income.

Kestrel Mon 19-Apr-21 11:27:40

Wow, Cossy - don't know how you've coped for so long. 'Helping out' is one thing but that still leaves the burden of organising everything with you. Can you get them each to take on a task or three and just get on with it - dishwasher/bins/hoovering/weekly shop/cooking so you don't have to think about it all any more? And I agree - a shed in yr garden or room in your mum's house if poss that's just for you.

JeannieB44 Mon 19-Apr-21 11:32:58

Thought it was just me and I only live with hubby and grown up son. With everyone else getting excited about meeting up with people I am fantasising about a cottage with lovely views,no neighbours,on my own for a least a long weekend. To be honest a tent would do as long as there is no human contact 🙂 I do wonder if I am weird.

halfpint1 Mon 19-Apr-21 11:40:58

I understand how you feel. After 4 children at home to about
22 years of age and a marriage going downhill, I now live on
my own and what bliss. Love my kids, love my grandkids, love my life now even more.

jaylucy Mon 19-Apr-21 11:43:21

I think you need a break.
When you were working away from home, you would probably have felt that it was your time away from everything - almost a separate live for a few hours a day.
Even though you apparently have plenty of room in the house, I can guess that everyone tends to turn to you if anything goes wrong - more than enough for anyone.
Suggest you have a family meeting and ask your adult children what their plans are for the future- any plans to move out and buy or rent their own homes, especially the one with the girlfriend?
They must all take a part in the running of the house - from cleaning the communal areas, doing their own laundry, taking turns in cooking a meal. Maybe your sons could build a shed complete with power and lighting so that you could either use it as your office, so it will seem as if you are away from home - make sure you have a kettle and even make yourself a packed lunch ! Instruct the family that once you are there, no interruptions unless and emergency!
Or I have just thought - would it be possible to use a room at your mum's as an office? Maybe you could come to an arrangement re use of electricity etc. Later on, use either the shed / room for a craft or just a space to read quietly.

Alioop Mon 19-Apr-21 11:45:38

Get your own space, maybe a shed or a summerhouse. I'm lucky, I just share my home with my dog and I love it. I always looked forward to people visiting, but glad to get my house back to myself when they leave. It's your time now, kids are grown up so should of flown the nest.

Cossy Mon 19-Apr-21 11:46:08

JeannieB44

Nope you are not weird, or else both of us are !!

Thanks so much to everyone else, some really great practical suggestions, and I can follow through on most of them.

Thanks so much for not making me feel I was being stupid !!

GillT57 Mon 19-Apr-21 11:48:19

What about asking all adults in the house to contribute to the cost of a cleaner? Your down time is precious and shouldn't be spent scrubbing bathroom tiles! Treat yourself to a half day at a spa? Lunch, a swim, a massage, or just laze by the indoor pool with a book. Just you, nobody else. I have done it and it really re-charges your batteries.

icanhandthemback Mon 19-Apr-21 11:48:38

Cossy I think that it is quite understandable you feel the way you do with all you've got going with your health, let alone anything else. May I suggest that you seek some help through Counselling (you can normally self-refer) and you discuss where you can make changes so that you can start to feel that you have some control where life is taking you.
I think the guilt you are feeling about not being happy despite the perceived help you get is quite a common one for those suffering ill health. Are you getting all the available funding for people in your position. A PIP/DLA/Carers Allowance might allow for you to pay someone to do things for you. It is very different from having loved ones to do things where you feel you are "putting on them" rather than a contracted transaction.

Jillybird Mon 19-Apr-21 11:56:25

It's a combination of lockdown and not feeling quite well. I think I know what you are saying. I have a number of small niggly disabilities, arthritis, tinnitus, and several other things I'd rather not mention. The combination of various not-quite-well adds up and makes for a draining existence. I've actually got a face-to-face meeting with my doctor next week and I think I need to make a list in case I forget anything, the list is so long! (Also, like others I have put on weight during lockdown which doesn't help!)

I had serious IBS - no medication worked. My GP kept saying "it's all stress with you" and I was furious but since I retired, I haven't had it at all! I even told the GP I owed him an apology. It's very possible yours has the same cause and will ease off once you retire.

You just have too, too much on at the moment, too many people around you and you need some space. I don't imagine your adult children will remain with you for ever and there might even come a time when you miss them!

Just now, though, you really need a retreat. Please plan something for just yourself - something you can look forward to when lockdown is over. A yoga retreat, a painting holiday, a trip abroad with a singles holiday company is what I'd recommend if you can afford it. Just You are great and I can recommend although there are at least two other companies who specialise in singles trips. You don't have to be a single person, just want to travel singly. The trip I went on I was surprised that about a third actually had partners at home, who just didn't want to travel. In your case you need some space. A room of your own; people to mix with if you want to and not if you don't.

I also did a couple of trips entirely on my own. I went to Turkey and to Tunisia. Turkey was wonderful but Tunisia was a bit religious - they were not happy at all about a woman on her own which wouldn't be a problem in most countries. If you go on your own, do book loads of trips, something for each day. Please think about it. You just need some head space...

EmilyHarburn Mon 19-Apr-21 11:59:25

I am running a household of 5 adults. 2 years ago one of my 'guests' told me my house was a commune and ran rings round me. I became a skivvy running an international youth hostel.

I am now in charge as I have clear rules that all can follow (except husband whom sadly I never trained) On the fridge is a weekly 7 rota. (a magnetic plastic one off Amazon) I cook one evening meal out of 7 the other 3 adults do 2 evening meals each. There is also a shopping list on the fridge. I do a regular click and collect and a regular veg delivery. So I am now the manager of a household. Husband is expected to help clear the table and the two who have not cooked stack the dishwasher and wash the dishes that do not get in. during the day I monitor the kitchen. Hope you can take charge of your household. I am in the process of writing a handbook. I do have a fortnightly cleaner for 4 hours.

EmilyHarburn Mon 19-Apr-21 12:00:22

The all do their own laundry and if necessary I give them times

hilz Mon 19-Apr-21 12:01:23

. I do agree though that its great just to have space to yourself sometimes. I take myself off and walk on my own weather permitting. Sometimes I take a drink and a book and while away an hour or so in my own little world. I love the coast and imagine a little cottage near a beach where i can hear and smell the sea ..ahh Bliss. My neighbour takes her self upstairs for an hours 'space' every afternoon and has done for years. Even when her kids were little she insisted on quiet time each afternoon. We all deserve to love ourselves more and avoid always putting others first. After all We are worth it 🤗

Maria59 Mon 19-Apr-21 12:02:05

Cossy could you work from home at your mums house?

justwokeup Mon 19-Apr-21 12:07:01

If you get on with DM, and she has space, could you make your office in her house? Then you aren't on call all day. Yes, do have a family conference, tell them what you expect, ie shares in all household chores and cooking, and then make sure you stick to it and leave them to do it! I agree your IBS and diverticular disease could be worse because of stress. And do book yourself a holiday alone and see if that helps. There are only 2 of us and sometimes I feel exactly like you. smile

HillyN Mon 19-Apr-21 12:39:56

Another vote for a shed or summerhouse. I was lucky that we got a small summerhouse the summer before lockdown and almost every afternoon, about 4.30pm, I take my cuppa up there and spend an hour reading or solving puzzles in peace. It keeps me sane!