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Casual scribe

TW: New member

Hi. I’m struggling with depressors and anxiety from Complex PTSD. I recently moved back to Victoria after living in South Australia since the birth of my daughter almost 15 years ago, leaving my daughter (L) in South Australia in the care of her Dad.

L has previously lived in my care or 50/50 care.

I had to leave in order to look after my own mental health as I was isolated in South Australia and have my sister and friends here in Victoria.

I am still unwell emotionally. I know it’s better for my mental health to be here but my heart is broken about leaving my daughter.

L had been living with me full time and had become increasingly sullen and insolent and contemptuous of me as my mental health declined. I was crying often, most days. I know that would have been scary and confusing and confronting for her. Nonetheless it breaks my heart that she responds with rejection.

It was this dynamic that led to me making an executive decision that she would live with her Dad full time. And about 3 months later I ended up in hospital for 3 weeks due to my mental health and, knowing I needed support from people who loved me, I moved to Victoria.

Yet I am overwhelmed with grief and shame and am heartbroken. I feel I have failed at the one thing that is most important to me, failed the one person who is most important to me.

I am on medication, I am linked in with post discharge mental health services, I am doing everything I can to get better. I am so scared I never will.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been through similar experiences or who can relate, or who can empathise.

All my close friends who are parents here are still with the father of their children and in better than average marriages.

I feel so much grief.

Prolific scribe

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Hi there @Akitten ,

Thank you for reaching out to the community and sharing what has been going on for you. It certainly takes a lot of courage to do what you have done for the sake of your daughter. I hear the grief you are feeling and your heart break over having to leave your daughter in South Australia with her father. At the same time, you were able to see how your declining mental health was affecting her.

Do you still get to speak with your daughter?

I'm wondering if this is a chance to focus on your own recovery and mental health so that perhaps one day you can be reunited with her and be the parent you ideally want to be for her?

I hear she is the world to you so that you'd sure want what's best for her. It's great to hear that you have post discharge supports in place. Hopefully, you can be linked in with services longer term so you get the support you deserve.

We encourage you to continue reaching out and connecting with the community. There are many others who want to support you through this so that you feel less alone. 

Talking about and working through the grief with a professional might help you in your recovery. Services such as Griefline have dedicated professionals you can speak to. Beyond Blue may also be helpful if you want to speak to someone.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Casual scribe

Re: TW: New member

I see the date was a while ago and I hope Ur doing alright.

Just wanted to say that you are doing amazing that you had the courage and insight to know U needed help and to be admitted into hospital to get the help and medication you need!!

Mum's are amazing at doing "mum guilt" and I don't know how to get rid of it, but be assured that U have done what needed to be done. You needed to "put your oxygen mask on and sort yourself out before U can help others" (like your child).

Life isn't a fairytale and sometimes reality sucks. I found that a bunch of skills I picked up from outpatient programs really helped me such as "Radical acceptance" which is always hard to do, but I have to admit, it creates results.

Hope things have progressed in a better direction. Feel free to drop a message if you want to chat.

Take care!!


Re: TW: New member

Hi again @Garnet ,

Thank you for supporting Akitten on this thread. Your comment about putting on your own oxygen mask first is spot on. We can't look after others without first making sure we ourselves are okay. It can help to remind ourselves of this if we are ever feeling guilty for prioritising our own wellbeing.

Your mentioning of Radical Acceptance as a skill is so insightful as well. Thank you for sharing this. There's a lot of things in life that do indeed suck and sometimes it can be more helpful to accept (this doesn't necessarily have to mean approve of) the things we cannot change. This can help us redirect our efforts to things that are within our control and feel more empowered