My life is a wreck and therefore so is my parenting


New Member
Ok, here it goes.
Tonight i almost hit my breaking point with anxiety. I feel so stressed out and guilty to even be at this place in my life and now i know its beyond self repair. It scares me to think of going anywhere short or long term but i know its come to it. My depression is so overwhelming at this stage. I feel guilty because my daughter is going through things herself and awaiting testing for behavioral issues and life struggles she is having. How can i go anywhere right now? But how can i stay and continue making it worse possibly. Now i see that i can not help her without first helping myself. My depression and anxiety are to the point where i am always tired, stressed, and have no drive what so ever left in me. I can not discipline or guide her in right direction at this point because I am so exhausted. I'm destroying both my kids if i don't get help. I feel if i continue to, "fake it to make it" I'm just adding fuel to the fire. I don't know how to reach out because i always feel judged. Everything i do is being judged by the ones who could do it, 'so much better'. I'm a wreck. My life is a wreck. How do i tell my kids ill be gone for a little while and its not their fault? How do i tell my daughter's dad who is so not understanding and loves to remind me all the time that i am not parenting right. He always reminds me how he doesnt have these problems on his ONE maybe occasionally two nights a week with her. I'm scared to leave her and she stay with him because he doesnt understand her. He's really hard on her. I truly believe he thinks her ADHD and ODD diagnosis is a copout for me. She is being tested for autism in a few weeks. He thinks i should pretend it's nothing until I'm told its either nothing or something. I don't know what to do about so much in my life right now. I want to stick around until she is on the right course with her medications and we find out what is going on with her. But after tonight I'm wondering if Thats the wrong thing. I almost had a panic attack tonight during one of her episodes. How do i help her if i am not up for the challenge at the moment. I'm so inconsistent with everything right now and i know its making things worse.

Thanks in advance for any advice and for taking the time to read my cries tonight. I am so glad i found this place. I for once do not feel so alone but also hate that others feel this way also.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Megs, this is not my area of expertise, I am mostly on the Parent Emeritus forum for adult troubled kids. However, it's late and there are likely very few members available at this you've got me.......

I am so very sorry you find yourself in the place you're in. It sounds as if you've hit a wall and it's all crumbled on top of you. I know how scary that can be.

First of all, try taking some deep breaths. Really deep. Do that 5 or 6 times.

There are almost always more than 2 options. Often when we see things in an either/or way, we limit our choices and aren't able to see the larger picture, which will offer more alternatives.

Having been in the place you find yourself, backed into a corner, stressed to the max, not knowing which way to turn, stuck with a capital S.....I understand how devastating it all feels right now, how completely crazy making it feels. With kids who have issues, the stress level we parents feel is off the charts. You are not alone. Most of us here have a form of PTSD. You've come to the right place to get support.

It sounds as if you've limited your choices to either staying and continuing with the intense stress or "leaving." I'm not sure what you mean by "leaving" however, I would encourage you to open up your options and look to see what other options are available.

Other members with more experiences with younger children and autism will be around tomorrow to offer you some concrete advice from their experience, there are many parents here with a wealth of wisdom and knowledge who can guide you through. Hang on tight tonight, there's support coming!

It also sounds as if you have no support out there in the real world. Look within your support system to see if there is anyone you can call or connect with who will listen and be non judgmental and simply be present for you. If not, I would strongly suggest you find a therapist, someone whom you can safely talk to and express yourself to, so as to get out what is inside you. It is amazing how much that helps, you need to unload a lot of this emotional trauma. If you have trouble finding a therapist, try or the Psychology today website.

You didn't mention the age of your children, if they have mental issues you can try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, you can access them online and they have chapters in most cities. They have excellent courses for us parents which offer guidance, support, information and resources.

Look around in general parenting and read the stories of others who have similar issues with their kids, you may find what you are looking for on someone else's post, there are literally years of information all over this site.

Many mother's here have found relief in taking an antidepressant, even for a limited time, it helps. You may want to give that some thought.

My daughter is perhaps your age and she has driven me over the edge more times than I would like to remember. The stress level was almost more than I could bare.......I know exactly how you feel right now.

You've arrived at a safe place where we do not judge, we are all parents here, not experts, just taking it one day at a time and offering each other support, hope, comfort, caring, information and understanding.

One important issue we all face is having to find ways to take care of ourselves...... when we are so focused on our children, we become exhausted, depleted, depressed and stressed out, it is hard to put one foot in front of the other. Find ways to nurture and nourish yourself. Do kind things for yourself every day. Take breaks with friends. Find your joy. Laugh. Rest. Sleep 8 hours a night. Exercise. Eat well. If you take care of yourself, leaving may cease to be an option.

I'm glad you're here. Keep posting, it helps a lot. You're not alone. We'll circle the wagons around you and support your choices. Hang in there. This too shall pass.


Well-Known Member
I am not sure what you are talking about, but I wikl take a stab at it, hon. It sounds like you are suffering from clinical depression and the usual anxiety that goes with it. I had that myself...have the tee shirt. I was in a psychiatric hospital for ten weeks back when they kept you until you got better. I put myself there because I was pregnant and knew I had to get better before I could take care of a baby. I learned a lot about clinical depression is a medical condition, not caused by a life event. Now a life event can trigger it, but if the person goes from situational depression (caused by, say, a death) but are unable to cycle out of their grief, it then goes from situational to clinical.

There are physical symptoms with this. Common ones are an inability to eat normally, sleep problems (cant sleep or sleeps too much), crying spells, inability to do simple things, lack of enjoyment of things once enjoyed, odd body sensations, the feeling of being behind a wall or in a dream, and suicidal thoughts.Each person is unique. This type of debilitating depression almost always requires medical intervention, often medication. I have taken an antidepressant for decades. I think of it as a diabetic on insulin. I tried to fo without, but could not.

My antidepressant probably saved my life. No exageration. I tried every other method, except ECT. Therapy was right behind helping me, but therapy alone did not work for me. My depression was too severe. Too in my gut. Intractible.

I hate drugs. I have never bern drunk in my life. But I had no choice if I wanted to function. Not to mention many of our kids require medication. How can we expect them to take their medications if we wont take medications? I never understood that contradiction. Depression also triggers the delusion that you will feel this way forever. Not true.

There are new methods you can try too. I dont know much about them. One thing you cant afford to do is not see a psychiatrist. Depression to the degree you describe it is not weakness or something you can fix is a potentially life threatening illness that requires treatment and compliance with the treatment.

Whether you stay or go (not sure what you mean by this) this alone will not help your illness.

I hope you seek medical help. Forget what "others" say...most people do not understand depression or any mental illness. They thik we can just make the depression go away and that depression is us feeling sorry for herself. "Buck up and stop feeling sorry for yourself" was somethingI often heard from the clueless.This is nonsense. Be good to yourself and take care of your illness. Dont talk about it to people who demean you. Talk about it to your therapist.

It is true that until you are better it is hatd to care for little ones so if you dot do it for you, do it for them.

It can get better. Today I am very content.

Please take care of yourself. I get it.
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Roll With It

I am so sorry that things are so hard right now!! I have been where you are and I know how rough it is!! You are NOT alone!!!

Tell your ex to go suck an egg!!! He is a big blowhard who doesn't know what he is talking about!!!!!!! I am completely serious here. It is super easy to cast blame and tell people what they are doing wrong when you only have to see a child for a couple of hours one day a week. Disneyland Dad much? Park the kid in front of a screen or whatever else they like and you can ignore them and whatever problem they might have.

Plus the kid doesn't know you or feel comfortable with you, so the kid holds it together in front of you the way she would with any stranger who comes by now and then and gives presents. Then the kid comes home all overstimulated and falls apart all over Mom! Mom who has care of the kids 24/7 with no support or days off.

Mom who has to deal with all of this super challenging behavior, has to keep the kid safe, has to figure out what is wrong and then convince the rest of the world that something is going on and to help fix it. All the time there is the big idiot in the background telling Mom that if anything is wrong it is because Mom broke the kid with bad parenting.

What Mom wouldn't be a bit of a basket case by this point??? I was married to my husband but still had to deal with all the kid stuff alone. He was afraid he would get mad and hurt our son when our son had one of his rages. So my hubby would leave the room when my son started to rage or have any kind of problem. I got to handle them all by my lonesome. I became a wreck, trust me. Of course my hubby didn't fully believe me when I told him how bad things had gotten. My son kept telling him that I exaggerated and lied about him, and after hearing that a few hundred times, my hubby didn't know what to believe. His son? Or the bruises all over his wife? Gee, hmmm, that's hard. NOT. Then I made him start dealing with our son because he was bigger than I was. Hubby still wasn't any help, but he saw what was happening and it stopped the triangulating.

So you see, you are not the only one to become a wreck. I ended up at the domestic violence center for counseling. It wasn't what they expected, but it was DV and they did help me a LOT. It was even free, which was what I could afford.

What helps when you are stressed? Have you had a therapist that helped in the past? Can you contact her again? What about guided meditation? There are some great ones on youtube, I am told, that are free. What about a new counselor? What could help now to take the pressure off? Want me to send you a big roll of duct tape for your ex's mouth? You probably have duct tape. Tell him to keep his opinions to himself. You don't want them or care about them. He clearly doesn't care about helping your child, and he won't acknowledge the problems, so why bother talking to him or listening to him? That saves you some time each week to do something more fun, like cleaning the lint out of your belly button. Surely even that is more fun than dealing with him.

If nothing else, find something funny to laugh at or about each day. Something your daughter says or does or enjoys. Something funny on tv. Even if you don't feel like laughing, try to laugh. It really does help. I have no idea why, but it really can.

Keep coming here and reading and posting. We won't get tired of you or think you are whiny or anything like that. We have been in the trenches to, and we understand. We are here for you, and we want to help, to support you. When we were at our lowest, we came here and other moms and dads who had been there helped us. There is no obligation or timeline for you to do anything. Just know that we are here for you anytime you need us.



New Member
Wow, thanks everyone. I am sorry i am just now responding. I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown abd feeling sorry for myself and my kids. I need to specify what i meant by leaving. I was considering getting help for myself. I would never walk out on my kids. I convinced myself that fixing me would in return help me help them. You all are so encouraging and i am so blessed to be able to talk with other moms, who get it. Thanks a million times. From the bottom of my heart.


Roll With It
Getting help is the right thing when you are at your wit's end! It can be just seeing a therapist though. I do know that when we were older, my mom would go to a Motel 6 type place for a mental health break. There are big cities about an hour away from us, so she would go there so that we could not just stop in to visit her! She is a smart lady because we totally would have! Especially in summer when the motel in our little town was new and had a nice pool! Sometimes just being unreachable for a night or two was enough. Or a week if she had grades due at the end of a semester and hadn't projects turned in at the end of the semester (she was a professor).

You will be surprised at how much posting here regularly and maybe seeing a therapist will help. Also, start a notebook to communicate with your ex and do NOT talk to him. Drop the kids off and DO NOT get out of the car. Let him figure out what needs to be done from what the notebook says. He will want to chat, but you will drive away. That is POWER! The power to leave feels awsome to you and he will HATE it. He can write anything he needs to say in the notebook. If he writes abusive stuff about how awful you are down, then you have EVIDENCE for the therapist and the COURT. Make sure to photocopy what he writes, or scan it into your computer. If he ever tries to get custody or prove you are unfit as a parent, then you have evidence he is abusive. He will tear out those pages. If you have copies, it will surprise him and shock him! You are not supposed to be one up on him! Boo Hoo for Him!! This style of drop off with no talking is good for one other thing. It stops your kids from seeing him tear you down to your face. It lets them see you stop him from abusing you. He can rant to them, but not to you. This is good for them. It teaches them that they don't have to tolerate abuse, that they can just refuse to listen to it.

I know it is hard right now. Check into finding a therapist. I know it is hard to find a the money for a therapist. Call and ask if they have sliding scales for payment. MANY do or they wouldn't have patients, trust me. Also, if there is a university near you, look up the psychology department and call to see if they have a clinic. You will have a graduate student most likely (someone with a Bachelors degree who is studying for a Master's or Ph D and wants to be a therapist), and they video tape the sessions. NOT to let just anyone see them. You still have an absolute right to confidentiality in your sessions. It is to let a licensed therapist (one, not a lot of them) watch the session and then give the student feedback as to how to help you more effectively. I have found this to be the best form of therapy I have ever found. I have seen a LOT of therapists and this was just amazing. The students really wanted to do the best they could for me, to help me, and not just for their grade. The professor who was grading them wanted to help them do their best and to learn. The best way to do this was to give them the best feedback, which made my experience better. Don't let the idea of the video turn you away from this. It really isn't obtrusive and it makes the whole experience much better.

Another way to find help when you cannot afford it is a county mental health clinic. I know my little podunk nowhere county has one, so I think most counties do. If you don't know how to find one, call the Health Department for your county and ask if they know how to reach it or the name of it. Or ask the person who answers the phone at the police department. They ALWAYS have info on the mental health system. It may take a few minutes as they find it, if they have a crisis, but someone there knows; They send more people for help than anyone else ever does. Plus they deal with more people with mental health issues than anyone else. They usually have the info to give families in crisis.

You can also Google the name of your county and "mental health clinic" and usually get an answer. Be sure to take proof of your address with you. Your driver's license if it has a current address, or a utility bill or phone bill mailed to you or other bill mailed to you is usually enough.

I hope this info helps. Know that we are here for you!