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Old 04-15-2019, 06:01 AM #1
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Default Just need to talk.

Hi,

I'm just a guy who needs to talk for a minute. Yes, I have a counselor, but that one hour a month isn't enough.

My wife is sick, and has been for years. There are illnesses you can get that won't kill you, but will destroy your life and leave you in pain 24-7. That's us now for about 4 years or more.

Ive gone for long stretches raising the boys on my own, and caring for her, and holding down a job. She's had better and worse stretches, but she's been unable to work for 3 years now. No insurance for the lost income.

I'm aware, I'm still doing better than some. I have a good job that I'm good at. I have family connections, but I've kept them at arms length for a couple of years now. It becomes a violation of her privacy to talk too much about what's going on, and first and foremost it's her and I that are in this together. Also, my parents are old and my brother has had his own issues, and he's been good to look out for them. I don't want to burden them.

There's nothing to look forward to. We're slowly losing this fight. I can't keep up at work and home to this degree. Right before my wife got sick we invested a ton of money into her education. She was a year away from finishing when she became too ill.

She has bad days for pain. If you've lived it, or seen it, you know what that means. Days she'll lash out, days she begs me to leave her, days she says she's going to leave me, days she resents me for having health, and a career. Days on end like that before she might get a day of some relief.

Right now we have about a year of credit we can tap into before we lose our home... If we don't spend any money. Our home needs repairs, and so do our cars.

Hard decisions ahead.

And yet I know we're still doing better than some, and others, including many of you here are carrying bigger loads than I am.

These problems sound do small compared to some of your stories. I'm just struggling to carry this one the last few days.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:03 AM #2
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

Hi RDMercer. I don't think your problems sound small at all. Trying to take care of a sick wife, work, and raise children on your own can't be easy. There's usually someone on chat if you need to talk.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:03 AM #3
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

Thanks DandL,


I feel bad even talking about my situation, you know that? Your validation is nice to hear. Honestly, the hardest part is feeling like there is nothing to look forward to, and knowing that we're slowly losing the fight.


I know, I mean I really know, there's far worse. I'm thankful I have a good job, I'm thankful I have good kids who try hard at school and who "get it" at home and try to help out. I'm thankful I'm healthy and they're healthy, I'm thankful that, today, we have a roof over our heads and my car carried me into work. I'm thankful that I'm handy at cars and work on the house and I've kept us afloat for a long time, and maybe can a while longer. I'm thankful my wife has never stopped trying to get better or to find answers. I'm thankful that she gives us what she can every day and she tries to be happy through the pain. There are bigger worries than mine. Maybe we'll lose the house. Maybe we'll be forced to down size to an apartment or a trailer home. OK. That's not the end of the world, and I'm still young enough that if that happens, I have 20 years to rebuild and regain what we lost.


Carrying this and not talking about it gets hard sometimes. But I'm glad I do that too. I used to talk to my parents about it, and I see the relief on them since I stopped. They are making their own plans for their life now, and not worrying about me or feeling like I need help. They're good people who have worked hard their whole lives. They deserve that.






Later


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Old 04-15-2019, 09:40 AM #4
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

Hiya RD,
I'm a good few years older than you and have survived a few knots in the flow of life. I completely get being at a place which is desperate, near hopeless, yet knowing that other people in the world have it worse... yet somehow the mental and emotional and creative and all the other juices seem to be running dry.
I don't have a useful answer except that you're in a genuinely hard place and it happens and... keep the faith, keep reaching out externally. Have compassion for your strengths and limitations.

You've identified that you need to talk and be heard... and I would like to support that 100%.

Sometimes in my life there were no good answers, but still I needed to keep asking questions and to find people who could resonate with that.
Sending warmth your way!
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:17 AM #5
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

Hello MD. It is morning here and I truly hope your day is full of promise and gets better.

I want to address the financial stress. The stress of making finances stretch and meeting your needs is no doubt contributing to your wife's I'll health - and your own mental health. I have some suggestions and I am sure there are folks here who would know more about how to find solutions that pertain to your particular circumstances and locale.

Is there some sort of disability assistance your wife would be entitled to? Specifically, anything offered by your provincial or state government social or health agencies? My province provides a disability assistance for such things you describe. While it would be adjusted according to your own income this could be enough to take some of the stress off. Does your state, provincial, or federal tax system allow for any kind of tax deductions? There may be a deduction for her illnesses causing her to be a financial dependent. In fact, I am quite there would be such an option available to you. In Canada for instance there is a disability tax credit in addition to the income earner claiming the other as a dependent. Is there any kind of housing subsidy to look into?

Does your employer have an EAP? Give them a call. They can provide you with suggestions and resources outside your employee health benefits. They can also assist you with resources for your own needs like your mental health.

Finally, you need to take care of your own needs. There ought to be support groups for caregivers or for people dealing with family illness. Don't forget to look for those pertaining to your mental health situation too. If the situation is dire enough, there should be respite services available of some kind in your community. This might involve someone coming to your home, it might involve your wife going to a facility. My father relied on this about every 6mos. It would give him a few days to meet his own needs and rest. Mom always enjoyed her stay at the facility too.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:04 AM #6
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

Thanks Wishful and Saidso,


I appreciate the support and the help.


Yes, I'm Canadian.


There's a few things with the provincial help and the federal tax relief. Some illnesses are hard to claim. That's the shortest possible version. And, to enter the fight for support and tax relief means my wife has to argue that she can't work, that she's unable to, and that she is dependent on me. That's a h#ll of a thing to have to do, when she is battling depression and fighting to find answers and to get better. She's fighting to prove otherwise. I can't, yet, ask her to argue that she needs my support and we need tax relief because of her illness.


Saidso... You reference "creative" juices.... Yes, that's true. As I'm trying to figure out a way to earn more income, I keep going back and back and back to the same ideas, entry level by the hour jobs I used to do when I was a teen. I'm not even thinking about creative ways to make use of the abilities I have now. I've literally spent years now just trying to get through the next day, then the next, then the next... Waiting for relief and improvement, or a change in her symptoms, or something. Maybe I need a break and some fresh thinking.


Thankful for this exchange.


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Old 04-15-2019, 02:22 PM #7
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Default Re: Just need to talk.

I'm so sorry you and your wife are going through all of this, RDMercer! I completely agree with what all the other great, wise, wonderful posters have already wisely said better than I ever could! Your problems are NOT small at all! Dealing with your sick wife, your job and money problems is certainly A LOT to go through and you have every right to talk about it and to vent about it! Even if they WERE smaller problems, and they aren't, you STILL have every right to talk about it and to share what you want about it and to vent about it! I'm not sure what illness is your wife is struggling with exactly, but can she apply for disability? Since she's unable to work I do believe she may definitely apply for it or for any other kind of government assistance! I'd suggest to look into that if you can and if you need it and if you want to if you haven't already of course! Please NEVER give up HOPE! Try to HANG ON as much as you possibly CAN! Remember that we're here for you if you need it! Feel free to PM me anytime! Let me know if I can do something to help you! Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes! I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this, RDMercer
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