Need moral support this week

I am going through a hard time emotionally right now, because my older daughter is graduating from college next week, and I'm finding it difficult to separate my thoughts and memories of her time at college from what else has happened at the same time.  Just before she graduated from high school, approximately four years ago, my husband was fired from his job.  Although he earns a little money by working for his parents, he has not looked for a job since getting fired.  Things have been and continue to be hard for us financially, even though I've been able to work more.  My health has suffered significantly because of the stress of being the main breadwinner and the person who does the vast majority of other things to keep our household functioning.  I know, logically, that things could have been worse and that we're still better off than many people, but I'm just so sad to have my life shrouded by my husband's ineffectively treated brain disorder.  I would love to have any of you wise and compassionate people try to help me feel better this week!

Congratulations to your daughter on her accomplishment!!

Hi Rosered,  I am sorry for what you are going through during what should be a very happy time.  I can relate to having a time in life that should have been happy and instead having it ruined by an ADD spouse.  I think what I would do is try to focus instead on how wonderful it is that your daughter made it through college in 4 years!  Very few are able to do that.  That is a great accomplishment and I am sure that having a special mom raising her helped her be successful.  :)  You can't get this time back so try not to let your husband's past behavior ruin the days leading up to the graduation and the special day itself.  I know, easier said than done but I would hate to see him ruin another moment, especially one as special as a college graduation.  I remember when my husband was telling me he was leaving me at the same time my son what graduating from middle school and my daughter was graduating from high school.  I can see him now, telling me right before we sat down on the field for the ceremony that we could sell the house if he left.  I look back now as I have become stronger without him and just think how dare he talk about that on such a special day.  A lot of years of hard work as a mother led up to that day and no one had the right to ruin it for me.  Looking back I am sorry that I let him upset me (as anyone would be) and instead wish I would have just ignored him (and gotten rid of him a lot sooner after that event!).  If only for the week and day, try to block out all the negative thoughts and just enjoy your daughter and the occasion.  Please don't let anyone take that from you, her mom.  Congratulations to you both!!!  You should be very proud!!!!

 

 

Rosered.

It's time to celebrate your daughter's work AND it is time to celebrate what YOU have accomplished.  No one will know how MUCH you have done behind the scenes to encourage your daughter's well-being and safe and comfy home. Things were taken care of by her parent - You did it.  Have your own celebration within yourself that all is well.  Find moments in the day to lift yourself out of the fretting.  Remember the people (and pets if you have to) who love/loved you.  Sit in those feelings of their love as long as you can.  I think part of our distress is that we have worked so hard and thought there would be appreciation and love in return and the one that we expected to love us didn't notice our commitment or magically thinks that HE did it by himself. All that work. NOW is your turn to feel the love and appreciation from yourself.  ROSERED, YOU DID IT.  You made it possible for your daughter to be successful amidst a difficult situation.  We know how much you have done. We love you.  Love yourself.

Celebrate the successes

Rosered, I am so sorry that such a happy event is triggering unhappy musings.  We do tend to evaluate where we are when we see milestones.  Mine was my birthday yesterday, and I see that in some ways my living conditions are actually worse than a year ago.  My temp kitchen is in my living space while DH attends to a questionable in necessity project.  But at least he seems to be putting in more hours and will hopefully get back to walls producing behavior soon.

It’s interesting how your spouse hasn’t tried to find a full time job since he was fired.  It reminds me that my evil stepfather (who I now realize had untreated ADHD since his two adult daughters were recently diagnosed) didn’t bother to get a job after “early retirement” until my mom finally got fed up over another expensive impulse act and kicked him out.  He managed to find a job then.  Even if it was only delivering pizzas.  Since you are paying his bills he’s not stimulated enough to do the get started job hunting work. 

Stress kills.  Please find a way to lower your stress levels.  I know what it’s like to be the only breadwinner and it took a toll when I was laid off for 6 months.  It’s one thing when you and your spouse choose to be a one wage home for kids or what not, but quite another when it’s not your choice.  Exercise, sleep, meditation, eating well are the standard prescriptions for stress management as you are well aware.

As for this week, as the other posters have said, it’s a time to celebrate your daughter’s achievements as well as recognizing that you were a significant contributor to her life and accomplishments.  Try to dwell on the positives.

aha

FYI, I had the same aha moment as perhaps your mom, Shelley...my STBX never did the dishes, like, ever, ever, ever. I cried, I begged, I tried asking nicely, I hung up a "chart" and reminder. Just nothing--he would outlast me and I would finally do them when we ran out of clean plates.

Until I left and moved out. Voila, now he somehow manages to do them, albeit not every day, but he does. Hm. 

congrats

Rose, congratulations on your daughter's accomplishment! Which, of course, she needed your love and support to be able to do. I know, I have been through many a miserable wedding/reunion/Christmas when it is tough to be happy. Try hard to think of the life she is going to have, and to be proud of her and yourself, and to think of how much you have accomplished even when times are challenging. My best to her and you. 

Thank you

Thank you for the support!  I knew I could count on the people here.  

I returned last night from the graduation ceremonies, held at my daughter's college 2000 miles from our home.  I'm exhausted.  The entire weekend was tiring.  The experience certainly confirmed how few physical reserves I have at this point.  I didn't sleep much and woke up each morning either with a bad headache or filled with anxiety.  I'm taking a vacation day today even though I'm home, just so I can recover a bit.

Being with my husband was OK.  He did the driving, which I appreciated, because I don't like to drive in unfamiliar cities.  This did lead to my one "outburst" of the weekend.  I sometimes make a noise when he's changing lanes (which he does frequently) and I think there's someone behind us.  I don't try to do this but I don't try hard enough not to do it, either.  My husband responded with an angry comment.  I lost it.  At this point, we were midway through a drive that was supposed to take us an hour or so and instead took four hours (as long as our flight!).  I was very tired and frustrated because we were supposed to pick up family members at another airport.  I started to cry.  Then I told my husband that although I should try to control my "gasps" when he's driving, I hold in 95% of my emotions concerning him and it's very stressful to live one's life that way.  

During the graduation ceremony, one of the speakers talked, as graduation speakers tend to do, about failure.  She said that everyone fails; it's what one does in response that matters.  This made me think of my husband and the fact that he was knocked down (by getting fired) and still hasn't gotten  up.  That makes me very sad.

I'm very proud of my daughter who graduated and my other daughter.  

I want to work on a new life.  I'll be here frequently to get help on my journey.