You can lead a horse to water…

…but you can’t make it drink.

My horse is my husband and no matter how much I beg and plead for him to GET HELP AND SUPPORT as he’s going through his crisis, he flat out refuses. I wrote down the EAP (free counselling) session line for Alun’s work, a free counselling line for Trauma (a group called “blue knot”) and gave Alun the lifeline number I rang as well as “beyond blue” who specialise in depression. Alun wouldn’t hear of it and said he’s not calling anyone for help, he can apparently handle this himself. I told Alun he’s been “handling it himself” for the year and asked how that was working out for him. Alun got annoyed, got drunk, had a go at me, tore me to pieces and went to bed.

*shaking my head sadly*

Back to wearing my own mask because no matter how much I argue with Alun about it, he doesn’t want to wear his.

Because of all of you who have commented and reached out on my blog when I was panicking (thank you all sooo much, you guys mean the world to me) and my friend Kristy who messaged even though she’s on holiday to stand beside me and remind me I’m not alone in this…I called our ‘crisis line’ here in Australia – called “Lifeline” and spoke to a counsellor who said pretty much what Marla said in her wise comment on my previous post – to seek help and to get Alun to seek help and to do it separately.

I booked an over-the-phone psychology session for myself – for later this morning and spoke to my boss about it. She was really supportive and said to take the call in one of our meeting rooms, so I have privacy. I really appreciate that…especially knowing I got bullied and pushed out of the office in my last role once they found out I had a mental illness. It was nice to have a boss who wanted to help out. Unusual, but really nice.

Mom is hitting me up for money AGAIN when I was just starting to save. Because I’ve now sent her every penny I have, I can’t afford to see my regular psych and have to start at square 1 with the “telehealth” psych who’ll call me at 10:30am. I hate this. I hate having to start all over when I have someone who knows my history. I get 3 free appointments with “Life care” through my work’s EAP and I think by the time I’ve explained where my depression is coming from (grieving my Dad, being constantly thrown under the bus at work, constantly fired, being really ill for a lot of the last 6 months, worried about Alun and being used as an ATM by my own Mom) our sessions will be up and we’ll be just at the point where we could have made a difference.


So, Alun doesn’t want me to have any time off and because Mom took all my money, I’M IN WORK WHEN I WANTED TO BE BEACH-SIDE today.

I’m so tired, guys. I was up all night shaking from being hurt by Alun. He was drunk and won’t remember a thing, but I carry that pain because I’m the one he had a go at. It made Alun feel a lot better and he slept really well through the night but the things he said tore me to shreds and kept me awake at night.

I can’t see myself getting through these NEXT 9 hours.

I really can’t.

6 responses to “You can lead a horse to water…”

  1. Thank you for the shout-out! I truly appreciate it. I’m glad what I said made sense, and has already started to alleviate some of the loneliness that this can bring.

    Please, do not misunderstand me. I know you love your mother and your husband, it’s clear in your writing… but absolutely not.

    I do not know your mother’s story. I do not need to. I know that you work and handed everything over to someone else. You need to start a separate bank account that only you have access to. Every pay period, you save a small amount in there. You DO NOT TOUCH IT. I do not care what the emergency is, it will pass without the use of that money. You need to ALWAYS make sure you have enough money to pay for at least three full sessions for yourself with your preferred therapist (preferably five). What good is being able to help someone financially when you can’t help yourself through a crisis? In this one thing, you MUST be selfish. No other thing… bills, food, anything… is as important as your mental health. Make sure you are always prepared. No one wants to plan for when they can’t take anymore, but you have to. Your mental health is more important than anything else in this world. You lose your job, you get another. You lose your house, you get an apartment, you can’t afford steak you eat noodles. It’s how life is, always. The only constant in everyone’s life is themselves. So, no more giving mom absolutely everything. Give her what you can afford. You cannot afford your mental health. Start saving with the next paycheck. If anyone ever says “but you have this money over here” then that person is not worth a red cent. Not one single penny. That’s the answer of someone spending your money rather than theirs, you don’t need that. Say no, shut the entire conversation down, and be in your way.

    As far as Alun’s reaction to you… absolutely not. He is going through a rough patch, same as you. While you spent an entire day running his back and holding his hand and giving him the safety to not be ok, despite you pushing your own feelings aside to give him that, when you tell him he’s responsible for himself, he flips out, drinks, and says horrible things to you before being the only one to sleep. Unacceptable. I know you love him. I know he feels it’s ok to react like that because he is safe with you and you won’t punch his teeth down his throat, but no. If he EVER acts like that again, WALK AWAY. Leave if you have to. At no point in time is his pain or depression more important than yours. To him, maybe. Not to you. You are equal. If he cannot comprehend that you are his equal when you need him to, you need him to know that you will not accept anything less. The least amount of effort you can possibly put forth: walk away. Standing there and taking it takes everything you have. Walking away involves getting away from it. He may not be like this normally, but when that happens, it’s not love…it’s verbal abuse. I am not saying he’s a bad person at all. I’m saying that in moments like this he doesn’t recognize what he’s doing and you can’t recognize him. You wouldn’t take it from a stranger, and when he’s like that, I can guarantee you that’s not the Alun you said yes to. No matter how down you are, or how guilty you feel, it doesn’t matter. You beat the hell out of yourself when like this, you don’t need someone else’s help. And the excuse that he won’t remember when he wakes up is just an excuse. He allowed himself to drink that much. The least he can do is know what he did and allow you to express how it made you feel and maybe try harder next time to not go there. If he can’t do that, then perhaps his road to recovery relies too much on you doing all the hard work of getting him through it and not enough on you being able to ask for the same in return.

    It’s a hard and ugly truth: everyone will take what they can and give as little back as they can get away with. Not everyone, but most. In this situation, you giving away everything you have and asking for barely anything in return has led to this moment in your life. Meanwhile, everyone else has taken what you’ve given and not returned in kind. What little they have given feels like so very much because you don’t do it to receive. This time you must. Your mother cannot ask you for everything you have. She can get a little, but never all. Alun gets what you offer and no more. He can take nothing unless you let him. This time you offered him the opportunity to help himself through this and he didn’t like that. His temper tantrum cannot force you to cross the boundary you require for your mental health. He needs to respect that boundary and you. Don’t ask or beg for that boundary, DEMAND IT. You are owed your boundaries in this (and every) relationship. You must enforce them.

    As far as he goes, you have done what you can for him and for yourself. He will take the next step or he won’t. You keep taking your steps. When you get to the other side, you figure out everything then. For now, one step at a time until you exit the forest. You gave him the map and compass. If he wants to plop on a rock, it is not your job to drag him. You gave him everything he needs and even offered your hand. He chose to throw it all to the ground in a tantrum, get drunk and bite your hand. You don’t have to choose to hold that against him because he’s not his usual self, but you don’t have to stop your journey and wait. So don’t. I’m right here. Keep walking and I’ll take your hand. You’re not in this alone. You will never be in this alone.

    Be well, and get some sleep. Take the couch if you want to, but get some rest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tears flowing down my cheeks as I read your beautiful, well-written, thought out response. Thank you for all the time you took to write to me, it must have taken ages. Thank you for addressing all the parts I was really hurt by and frightened of. I don’t know how to deal with anything normal right now so anything beyond that and my head caves in. I have so much more to say to you but no energy and for that, I’m sorry. I appreciate you so much and wish I had the words to tell you but I keep coming up with nothing and staring bleakly at the blinking cursor. I’m so sorry. Thank you a million times for reaching out and for giving me helpful, practical advice on getting through ‘the forest’ as you put it. I’ll leave Alun on his rock with a bottle of water and go my own way until we can meet up at a waterfall when we’re better and have a sandwich and a swim. Lol. Sending you love xx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sorry I made you cry, unless it was a good cry, then I’m not sorry at all. A good cry to break up the monotony of a bunch of bad crying is a good thing.

        There is nothing to apologize for. You gave me the kindness of hearing my intention along with my words. I do not know if there is anything kinder in the world. You are not alone, not now, not ever. Always remember that when you reach out, someone will be there to catch your hand. It may not be who you expect, it may not be a way you expected, but even when the vortex is open and you’re being sucked into it, if you hold out your hand and look up, someone will catch you.

        And I was not kidding. I am here. And if
        You’re like me, practical advice is all you can kind of handle. Anything that isn’t “right foot, left foot, GOOD!” is the same as talking in Martian. When I get where you are and people say dumb stuff like “just try to be happier” I contemplate if running them over with my car is worth the cost of not having my car until it’s drivable again. But “call the crisis hotline” is absolutely a step I can manage.

        What you are doing right now is a treasure hunt. The treasure is your mental health. I gave you the step to call. You called and they gave you the next step. The good news is this isn’t a sprint, and you know the prize is worth it. So, don’t go faster than you can. Reach out when it gets to be too much – to me, WP as a whole, or the hotline. Don’t park yourself on a rock and wait til he catches up.

        If you get to the waterfall first, lay back on the grass and tan until he catches up. Claim your prize and the peace it comes with. When he does catch up, tell him you’re annoyed at how long he took because he stubbornly refused to ask for directions, and now, as punishment, he needs to feed you grapes 😂

        The one thing you can’t rush is your mental health or someone else on their path. So stop rushing. Slow down, breathe, contemplate the next step, then just will yourself to start it. Completing the step is future you’s problem. Current you just needs to try to settle herself and make the next move.

        I am truly sorry that the people who should be able to support you right now are not able to. That is NOT a reflection on you or your worth. I know that you’ve internalized it, even though you understand it. The ugly voice tells you lies that take root and overwhelm. It’s a lie. You have nothing to do with their issues; you did not cause them, you cannot heal them, you do not feel sorry for saying that you need to focus more on you. No matter what they say, no matter what they don’t say and you think they meant by not saying it, it is not true. Your support is just not coming from the sources you expected – not because of you, but because of them. Because of you, you reached out to the world-wide web and myself and others tried to catch you. We couldn’t get you out of the hole, but we stopped you from free falling and lowered the rope, you caught it and the hotline told you how to start getting out; now you’re pulling yourself out. You have this. And your other commenters and I are with you. If you weren’t worth it, we wouldn’t have all tried. At this moment, all you need to do is know you’re worth it, truly understand that support comes in all shapes and sizes, recognize that someone else’s failure is not yours (only take blame for that which you are blame-worthy. You wouldn’t take credit for that which you didn’t do, don’t blindly accept blame either), and know that the next step is there even if you must rest. You’re not weak or broken because you’ve had enough for the day; it’s a path and is always there when you’re ready to take the step.

        And don’t worry about the length of my comment and whether or not you answer well enough. I write the comments because I want to. You’re worth the time it takes, no matter what that evil, little troll in your head is trying to tell you.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Please don’t tell me he’s abusing you, Janet… If so, you know what to do. I wish we were closer. Keep praying no matter what. You may not get an answer right away, but I think He doesn’t always answer right away to test our faith. God bless you, Janet.💜🙏💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Alun’s definitely not abusive, he’s suffering so he’s making little digs at me “you’re too extra” “you’re too much” “why don’t you ever just shut up?” that are hurting me a million times more than normal because I’m hurting, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You need to start taking care of what you have control over and that is you. You are irreplaceable. When it comes down to it is everyone for themselves. You can only do so much for others. And you can do nothing if you are not where you need to be. Focus on yourself right now. If Alun wants the help he knows where it is and how to get it. Your Mom needs to find someone else to take care of her. You are not her only child.
    You are such an amazing person for doing all that you do, for surviving all that you have been through. Hugs and puppy kisses from Michigan.

    Liked by 2 people

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