I'm not even sure where to begin. This has been building up for years.
For the last two and a half years I have been up and down with my depression. For the most part, I have been pretty stable in just an overall feeling of discontent, but I go through phases of very deep depression and then back up to general discontent. Here the last few months, I have been in a state of (inn my opinion) mild-ish depression, then I dip to the feeling of "I just want to stay in bed and cry" multiple times a week. For a few days I feel like I am feeling a little better—maybe even motivated, then other days I just wake up feeling so low. Below, I will explain the situations that I know are causing these feelings.
In the summer of 2017, my husband and I made the choice to rent a tiny house off of my boss who owns a small business. She always seemed trustworthy and seemed fair with her other tenants, so I trusted her despite vowing to never rent off private landlords due to having been burned in the past. She bought a very rough house in a bad location of town and ten feet from what looked like a little abandoned shed. This shed was completely trashed, felons and junkies lived in it and eventually on the porch and front yard when the city condemned it. This caused us problems throughout the two years we were there.
At the time, I was finishing the last two and a half years of college where I double majored and my husband worked (currently still works) 60+ hours a week as a route manager for Coca Cola. Shortly after moving into this house--which I was very apprehensive about--I started becoming frustrated. After three months the landlord never finished fixing it before when had to be out of the last apartment. That wouldn't have been a big deal had the problems been fixed at any time during our renting, but also the house was severely shifted to the point a gap a foot or so long on the flooring under the trim was open straight to the ground which slugs, spiders, and pests--not to mention heating cooling issues--where coming in. Okay, okay, this post isn't about the house, but the short story was my frustrations over a slumlord and bad housing situation became depression after a couple other incidents happened.
The landlord allowed us to have pets—she knew we were responsible and clean. We already had a dog and a cat but rescued a tiny kitten which I feel in love with. Just a few days after we rescued him, I came home after leaving for the grocery no more than 15 minutes—after kissing him all over his cute fuzzy face—to find him twisted on the floor bleeding from his eyes, nose and mouth. I screamed and called my husband and—of all people—my landlord because I didn’t know what to do. My landlord had several cats and said she never seen anything like it. We rushed him to a 24/7 vet hospital and had to put him down. The vet had no idea what could have happened other than it looked like a head injury. A few weeks later—in response to our grieving—we rescued two more kittens. They were Bengal mixed kitties, very intelligent and the one I fell head over heels with. He died exactly a year later to lymphoma. Within three weeks of his diagnoses, we spent $1,200 (which we barely had and this caused us added financial struggles for a while) to try to save him and then try to just make him comfortable. This was VERY hard on me especially having lost the first kitten only a year before to another traumatic-unexplainable incident. It was after this, that I dipped into a major low depression for the first time in a few years. Losing my second kitten happened only a couple months after my husband had a major surgery. . .
In the course of one year exactly, my husband went through two major emergency surgeries. One was two procedures to remove his gallbladder which almost killed him, and the second less then a year later for his appendix. This caused him to go into not only depression and severe anxiety but was combined with his very stressful job. Going through my own personal challenges, it was very hard to see and support him though I tried. I believe it was the same for him.
This and all the other negative factors started taking its toll on our relationship. I forgot to mention, we have ALWAYS struggled financially. We have jumped between living in crappy private rentals, over-priced nice apartments we eventually decided to leave due to financial burdens, and my parent’s house. My husband never went to college or had any kind of formal training, so he has worked hard to get to where he is today. After low paying jobs and no advancement future, I decided to go back to college at the age of 26. I’m now thinking this was a bad idea.
We stayed at this house for a little over two years while I finished my degrees. Even though my husband worked and supported us, and I worked 2-3 jobs consistently throughout full-time college courses, we always struggled financially or broke even (that rarely happened after his surgeries and the big vet expenses.) I had a successful college “career” having made the Dean’s list, worked various jobs for the money and experience that I thought it would provide me benefits in the real-world, was awarded outstanding student, was told with my job experience before and while in college and my education I’d have no problem finding a good job after graduation, blah, blah, blah. . .None of which matters now post-graduation.
While living at this “trash” house, we ended up rescuing 3 cats. My 11-year-old lab I had rescued as a puppy—she’s NEVER leaving me. All the pets screwed us BIG TIME. Despite being responsible tenants, no other landlords were willing to rent to us—except one. We went to see the new possible house, which was a bit over-priced but nice, however the landlord’s husband made me very uncomfortable—so we never took the offer. I even talked to my landlord about moving into one of her nicer houses, but she discouraged it and lied to me saying it was smaller then what I was renting now—she neglected to say it had a full-finished basement. She didn’t want us to leave the “trash house” because she knew she would never find good tenants like us for that house. Sorry, I am diverting again.
Anyway, with 4 cats and 1 dog, renting somewhere else, for a decent amount and in good condition became impossible. We could have gave up some of the cats but they are like our kids and that would have been very emotionally hard for us to do—remember, we spent $1,200 that put us back financially just to save, then make comfortable my kitten when he was dying. Our pets stay with us for life.
I started looking for jobs that I was interested in before I graduated. I applied for many—not a single email or call back. I started lowering the bar a little, looked into decent paying jobs in fields I wasn’t as thrilled to work in—nothing. Five months later, I still do not have a job and I dropped the bar significantly, taking a seasonal job making $9 an hour just to have some kind of income and purpose for a short time.
About a month and a half after graduation, the housing situation got worse. The landlord was pulling emotional strings and even though I had quit working for her, due to a mix of college obligations and tired of being taken advantage of and doing stuff for her for free all the time, she was still asking me to work when she went on vacation to Scotland, California, or whatever, and was still pulling tricks and manipulating me. Wanting me to fix the “trash” house while severely underpaying me for the work or no reimbursement. The neighbors were getting worse too. The actual shack owner got released from prison and shortly after the “house” got condemned which meant him and his riff-raff where living outside and trashing everything, not to mention I felt uncomfortable watching him do weird things like take an axe and beating all the trash in the yard. Yep! Living there was becoming unbearable and I was already extremely depressed. I had the desperate idea to move back in with my parents. . .again.
My husband was worried about it because the other times we lived there failed miserably—my parents are hard to live with and I don’t have a great relationship with my mom—but I talked him into it saying I’m going to be depressed either place, at least there we can save money. The goal we have had for YEARS—except while I was in college—has been to buy our own home. We have always wanted to be homeowners but never been able to do it. We have never either had the right credit or the right income, but neither both at the same time. Good credit/bad income, good income/bad credit. It is not to say we have been financially irresponsible (in our early twenties, sure) but we have had to make financial sacrifices to just live paycheck to paycheck.
Anyway, this is the third month living with my parents, 20 minutes from town (isolated), I have really no support system except my husband who I know I upset with all my crying and moping because he wants to help but doesn’t know how, and I am feeling worse off than ever before. I don’t regret moving here just to get out of our bad renting situation, but I am EXTREMELY unhappy, and I feel EXTREMELY trapped. When in college, I had worth and I had something to strive towards, I had people who supported me, so when I was feeling really low I found refuge and relief at college. Now I have NO refuge, no one to really talk to, no hope, and I am quickly sinking.
When I get messages from friends saying “you have been quiet” I know I’m in a bad place. I am unmotivated, nothing gives me a sense of worth of purpose or happiness—even things I love. I’ve become distant and isolated from everyone. When I had my own house, I at the very least found worth in keeping my home clean, cooking, errands, etc., living with my parents I no longer have that purpose. We live in two rooms with 4 cats and a dog. Of course, they go outside and are allowed to go walk around the house, but that is limited because my dad has mild cat allergies and I don’t like my dog in there because they feed her large amounts of table scraps even though I do not allow it—despite being told MANY times not to feed her.
My parents have their own personal and mental challenges. My mom abuses prescription medication and has untreated bipolar disorder, my father is borderline an alcoholic. They both for some reason act very childish in their antics and attitudes which makes me feel like I am talking to or dealing with kids in adult bodies. For an example, one of my parent’s antics is they have adopted this strange voice while talking which they call the “minion” talk. Not a big deal, but they do it more than they talk normally or seriously. Normal adult conversations are very hard to have with them. I try to be cheerful around them so I don’t upset them—plus I don’t like people knowing I am upset—which is probably the reason I get so antisocial? I appreciate their willingness to let us rent/live off them (we do pay to live here) however, living with them has always been hard for one reason or another, and now even more so because I feel completely and utterly trapped.
I’m recently graduated (which I thought and was told would be my ticket to a brighter future), student loan debt, 30 years old, no hope of a decent job/income anytime soon, no way to rent because of my pets or unless I want to rent from a slumlord or pay too much, and struggling with so many inner personal challenges.
My relationship is good with my husband as he is my best friend and tries to support me in the best way he can, but it no longer feels like a passionate husband/wife relationship. Husband/wife feelings are no longer there nor are the activities. We have been together over 10 years and this is new which I assume is triggered by the whole situation and depression from us both. Don’t get me wrong, I have been depressed before and we have had countless personal and life struggles, but slowly the “passion” has evaporated since his surgeries and is now non-existent. This too, has been a problem and stressor, especially since moving back with parents.
I never thought I’d be living with my parents and struggling with so many areas in my life at 30. I thought I’d be a homeowner and be starting a family. Not anytime soon as I see it—just trapped here in Ohio.
If you made it to the end, thank you for your time. Just getting it all out there has help ease some of the pressure.
Is anyone familiar with being a codependent? Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of their own to the point of losing yourself. When those people move on you are left feeling empty and lost. How do you learn to fulfill your own needs?
Good morning. I am having my coffee, which is extra delicious because I am not hungover. I am new to this sober adventure, and as you can see I have not been here long. I am looking for on line support as I walk into the unknown. I stopped drinking wine last Sunday because I was TIRED of thinking about drinking. I still am. I have been using wine for a long time to blunt bad feelings, mostly...