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Anxiety and Depression Support
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How do I make myself feel stronger and happier if everything seems so hopeless

Hi, everyone. I am here to see if this can really make any difference for feeling better. I have husband in jail for a horrible crime. He ruined my and my kids lives. I am trying to divorce but don't have money for that in my budget. My father, whom I loved so much, committed suicide. My mom is from another planet. My brother is a drug addict, and no help to anyone at all. I'm raising 4 children alone and constantly broke. I feel constant anxiety for my children to be brought up the best way. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing as a parent. I'm scared to come home to my kids because I feel overwhelmed by everything I have to do at home. People tell me I'm doing a great job( except my mom). I really can't take any criticism well. I hate anyone who tells me my kid is not doing great because it made me feel like a failure. I really don't trust people, or scared to trust. I'm crying every day and feel exhausted. I have full time, good job I'm grateful for and anxious that something might happen and it will be taken away. I have to force myself to take care of me and pretend that everything is fine. I feel like I'm drowning and just trying to stay afloat. Any little thing or problem sets me off to crying, or just exploding and it scares me. And I wish I had a therapist but I really can't afford one.

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Of course you feel ready to keel over, trauma, trauma, trauma and 4 kids. I say you are a superhero. Yes, you have been a victim. Tired. Your mother is the problem. You have no support and only get criticism from the main person in your life who should build you up. We are here for you. Xoxo

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Thank you! And now I'm crying, but happy tears. So good to hear something positive.

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You are doing an amazing job. Be as nice to yourself as you are to everyone else...and yes I know you are overly kind, I can sense it.

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I think my mom is very traumatized herself. She has to deal with my brother every day, he lives with her and she lost her husband( my dad), now struggling without him plus her health issues. I understand she has no patience for me or my kids.

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I reject this. YOU matter too.

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I would say you are doing a great job also. Holding down a full time job and raising 4 kids alone. No wonder you feel overwhelmed. I'm right with you about not being able to afford a therapist. This site has been great. I have seen several therapists before, and honestly you can talk about whatever you need to right here, and just about everything I've learned in therapy.. breathing, CBT, cognitive behavior, meditation, mindfulness, and on and on you can learn on the web. There might be some advantage to face to face therapy, but if you can't afford it, then you have to turn to the next best thing.

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So many wonderful people online.

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Hey natstad8 you seem to be a strong woman, holding down a job putting a roof over your four kids heads your certainly not a failure, ok maybe you don't have enough money for extras but when your kids are off an age when they see just exactly what you've done for them their pride in you will be over whelming. I know kids need things to be like others but I personally think love doesn't cost anything and as long as they've got that you and your love you will get through the dark times. I know your wishing if I can just have a break from it all just to recharge your batteries it would be great, ( lock yourself away in the bathroom and have a long soak) that was my personal space, by the sound of things you sound exhausted. I'm sorry your father committed suicide that in itself must be hard for you, use this forum for help for someone to talk too I,m sure you will always get a reply day or night ( not like a therapist who you can see once in a blue moon) this is open 24/7 I wish you all the best and though it might seem like your failing I can assure you, just getting through another day your a survivor. Take care and if you want to pm me anytime your welcome.

🤗🤗🤗 hugs

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Thank you! Your words are so uplifting. Impressive how much a few kind words can do.

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Hey, OMG you sweet sweet darling. No wonder you are an emotional wreck with all that pressure and trauma. The things that have happened to you and with the pressure of 4 kids, it is amazing that you get anything done, let alone work and do all the things you need for your kids. I wouldn't worry too much about the effect on the kids "not having a father present" They will find other role models, and father figures to look up to (sounds like the actual father is not much of a role model anyway). Kids need love and safety, which you provide. Yes they may not get all the bits all the other kids have and maybe they don't get to go on holidays and all the school trips, but take it form me, it will not matter in the end. They will grow up and they will respect you for what you have done for them considering the circumstances. I am sorry for everything that's happened, it has been traumatic for you and it is draining your energy. Just remember that you are only responsible for you and your kids. You are not responsible for your father's suicide (that was his decision), you are not responsible for your brother's drug addiction (that's his responsibility) and you are not responsible for your mother's grief or health (that is her responsibility) and you are not responsible for your husband's crimes. You didn't cause them, you cannot fix them, you cannot change them. You can support them when you can, but you have to focus on your situation and the kids. Find the support you need from elsewhere. Can the school help in any way? the church can be very helpful if that is your thing. There may be support groups and meetings in your community that you can find online. Otherwise we are always here to help and support you. Don't underestimate how strong you have been. You are a fighter by the sounds of it. You feeling exhausted and depressed is totally expected and completely normal. Weaker people would have crumbled a long time ago. You have 5 reasons to carry on and fight, you and the kids. Let us know how you are doing! Big Hugs Xx

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Thank you for reply! I hear I'm doing good. But why don't I feel it? I feel like I'm not doing good enough. I feel like I'm just not enough. I wish my kids listened to me better. I wish they wanted to help me. I hate that I'm yelling at them, bc they don't listen and I'm not good at disciplining them. I left church because everyone knows what my husband is in jail for and I'm just embarrassed and don't want to be looked at like I'm a victim. I am, probably, but I hate it. I am trying not to be, I want to be normal.

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You are too harsh on yourself, you need to stop measuring yourself against some dreamy Hollywood millionaire family. You have been handed a spoon, don't think you are a failure because you can't build the Taj Mahal with it. That's not fair on you. Kids will always try your patience and drive you to the brink of madness...and that's 1 child, you have 4!! They'll not morph into the Von Trapp family anytime soon :) there is a saying I sure you have come across, "it takes 2 to make a child, but a village to raise it" and you are currently doing it on your own, with a job too! Give yourself some slack and cred, it may not be perfect and the kids may seem ungrateful right now, but given the situation, you really are doing well, trust that.

With the church, now it surprises me that they can be judgemental like that? I am not a believer myself, but I thought that was a core value of the Christian community, to not judge, to help and to embrace the "less fortunate" and forgive? God will deal with your husband and his sins, but they do not taint you. The people in the church must surely understand that you are on your own with children, never mind why, but that you need support and a shoulder to cry on. You are a victim in a way, but that does not mean you have to be pitied and looked down on. You are a fighter and strong, but human. You need your community as we all do. Could you give them another chance? maybe a person you can approach who can be a way back in?

How old are the kids?

Take care!

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Kids are 8,10,11 and 13. With my last child I found out I was pregnant when he was already in jail. I cried through my pregnancy every day. It is a miracle my baby was born normal. I want to go back to church but don't know where. My church I used to go with my husband is good church but I'm embarrassed idk why. I have nothing to do with my husband's crime and it was a surprise to me like to every one else that he is 2 faced. But I'm just embarrassed I am related or connected to him. I wish I never knew him. And I am not judged in church but rather looked at with pity. I think. It just brings me to reality that indeed I'm in this sad situation. Also hard to see other Christian families, husbands with their wives and kids with their dads and mine don't have.

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Oh my goodness I can't believe how amazing you are. Taking care of 4 children whilst working full time is more than most people could cope with. I am sure your children know how much you love them and that is the most important thing.

Don't forget as they grow it will get easier so it won't be forever. It's such a shame you have no support from your family or a partner but you seem to be coping fine despite what you say. You don't have to always pretend everything is fine though, you are allowed to say it's hard and you are knackered. Do you have any friends who could help out? Can your children do more about the house?

It is important you try and find a bit of 'me' time though even if it's just 15 minutes when they have all gone to bed, or a few minutes in the morning before the mad rush. I think you are doing brilliantly though so don't beat yourself up. Things are as they are and the true mark of a survivor is surviving which you doing aren't you? xx

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Thank you. It so encouraging to see that people here think that I'm doing a good job. Yes, I am trying to make everything look like it's normal. I don't want my kids to look different and trying hard to make help them to fit in. And we have a nice house and a car, but every month it's a huge struggle to make payments. My kids are doing good in school and 2 of them are great athletes. And I'm very proud of them. One boy is not athletic but is straight A student. My girl is very sweet and has a great heart. The problem is they are fighting between each other a lot and never satisfied. They are asking for expansive stuff that I can't afford but getting anyway. And that's why I'm in a big debt. But I think they will be kids only once, I want them to be happy and I will deal with debt later. I just feel so guilty that I'm away a lot and they don't have a father. And that their father is in jail and is a bad guy. And they don't really have an uncle bc he is sick and no grandparents, bc my mom wants nothing much to do with us. Expect she drops off food at my house. I wish she would be a grandmother like I had: spending time with them etc. I am trying to engage my kids in house chores, but they are making it too hard. They are just so good and making a mess and breaking things and are not interested in helping at home at all. Wow I said a lot, I can't believe how much I have to say and it's just coming. No I don't have real friends. Just pretend friends. So sad, I don't look very friendly, bc I don't smile, and don't know how to joke around. And don't look cool, but trying.

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I think you are an awesome person. A beautiful mom. Strong. It will be okay.

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Hello again natstad8 i bet just writing it down on here is helping in some small way, as you see people here will listen and answer if they can. As I said before you've got love in your bones for to give your kids and that means a lot (in my eyes anyway) you could easily have chucked your job in but you haven't your keeping on going the strength that must take, try and get your kids to sit down altogether and explain what you would like to happen and for them to see if they helped a bit you would all have special time to share and do things together. Ok they don't have their father around but reading about him maybe that's a good thing, what would he be learning them ? If you feel you want to go back to church, just go the people will know it's not your fault what your husband did you might find they are only to willing to help you they just don't know how, but if they see your trying to do the best for your kids it's not your fault things have turned out the way they have, you never know you might be pleasantly surprised. Stop beating yourself up you are doing a great job and kids always squabble amongst one another that's part of growing up yes it's tiring for you and you don't need it but think back to when you were growing up I bet you had your fair share with siblings. Always remember things can only get better it might be a struggle just now but you can look back and say yes it was hard but we've made it together and even though it seems a thankless job with the kids remember each and every one of them love you with all their heart. You are there rock the one they can depend on.

Take care xx

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I agree with the others that you are doing a fantastic job working and taking care of four kids. They are at ages where kids usually don't want to listen or help that much so please don't be so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can. It also sounds like you feel a lot of shame about your husband, but if you were to blame you would be in jail too. Maybe a new church community would be a good idea to just go and try (I know how hard this is to do; I'm trying to get myself to go!) since it's helped you in the past. You are carrying a lot of weight on yourr shoulders and must be very strong and smart to do all that you've done. I hope you will be able to put down some of that weight though so that life is not so hard. You deserve some peace and happiness - you are such a giving and caring person. Thank you for sharing your story and as you can see, you have support and friends here!

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Aww thank you so much! I want to believe I'm strong. My friend and also my mom tell me I'm so weak, because my kids don't listen. Yes it's so easy to judge when you are not in my shoes. It's true by the time I'm home after busy day, then football and dance practice with kids I don't feel like disciplining them. I just want to crawl in a hole. I wish I had someone else, like another adult. But I know I have to do it, make dinner, laundry, get ready for the next day and by the time I'm done it's late. And I have absolutely no patience. If they are still up at midnight I'm just yelling at them and feeling do helpless. I wish they just feel tired like I am.

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Aw, that's rough! Such a long day it's understandable you'd be at the end of your rope, especially knowing another day like it is ahead. I'm mulling this over and wondering if screaming at the kids is actually rewarding them somehow - maybe in a way they enjoy getting mom all worked up. Do you think you could stop doing screaming (which must be exhausting for you) if you tried some relaxation exercises when you feel like you're going to lose it? You could also sit the kids down and let them know things will be changing things - that they'll be losing privileges when they don't listen and that you won't be screaming anymore because you're just bored with it all. When they act up, give them a warning, and if they don't behave, take away allowance, an outing, TV time, or whatever (personally I don't recommend taking away video games, as this makes kids absolutely insane in my experience). They key is to follow through every time. They will learn. You also have to catch them doing positive things and give them little rewards. The idea is to increase the good behavior and reduce the bad. It worked for me and who knows, maybe it will work for you. You are so busy I'm not sure how you'll manage it, but maybe there's a parent support group out there too that might help. Your local hotline would know. Being a parent is sooooo hard!!!! Even in the best of circumstances, and you have a lot of challenges going on. But you can do this. I can tell because of all the things you are managing already that you can turn things around in a way that works for you, whatever that may be.

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Wow very good advices! Thanks! You must be some kind of professional or have great experience with kids.

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Had a child psychology class, but otherwise a mom like you!

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Hi I have to agree totally with Windy101. I was thinking of a nice way to say this then read his/her reply which is brilliant.

I know it's easier to give in rather than argue but I think a little bit of discpline now will save you (and the kids) a lot of hassle later on. Don't forget part of being a good parent is to lay down boundaries for them and kids need and respect this. They are doing as all children do - pushing the limits. Set limits for them and get tough. This displine will stand them in good stead in life as well as making yours a lot easier.

My sister did this with her son. I asked him why he wasn't a whingy kid who wanted this and that and he said he only asked for what he thought he could get. Your children get everything they want from the sound of it so they haven't learned to discriminate. Teach them.

You have to teach your children to respect you and your rules. Doing this makes you a good parent not a bad one. Giving them everything they ask for is teaching them to be selfish and not to compromise. It should also stop a lot of the fighting... x

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Listen to "Shoulders" by King and Country, "I Have this Hope," by Tenth Avenue North, and "Hills and Valleys" by Tauren Wells. They really help me when I feel hopeless or broken. Praying for you <3

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Natstad, I am 100% glad you are here. Keep "talking" it out, (posting) as you are able. Lots of us have been through SO MUCH, and obviously, so have you, and you have finally found an outlet.

Good for you for doing whatever you can to start getting some really good, healthy support. I believe in my heart you will continue to find lots of it here. (I'm new too.) You and ALL of your family will be a major focal point in my prayers for an extended period of time.

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Wow reading your story you are an amazing woman even when you are struggling. I agree with others stop shouting and screaming at your kids this only adds fuel to the fire they may be doing things you dont agree with just to wind you up. Sit down and talk to them. Make a list of all the things they would like to do or let them make the list and see if you can work through the lists together start praising them for good things they have done kids like to be praised and to have a treat if they have reach a target. Can you give them odd jobs to do around the home then when completed give them a treat. And treat yourself have a lovely soak in a lovely bath watch a movie together with snacks. Always pray to God ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself so that you can change your life for the better. Pray to God and ask for his Angels to help you when you need help as I am sure you are aware the Angels work in mysterious ways. Always remember to say Thank you at the end of the day. God Bless you and your children hoping and praying life gets easier for you. Have you got family and friends that could help with the children so that you could have a rest if so ask them.

Take the kids to the park or seaside where they burn off their energy and get fresh air.

Praying for you. Xxx

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