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Author Topic:   Mental illness, religious dogmatism, & toxic masculinity
Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted March 18, 2021 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the perfect storm that Iím dealing with right now, and I donít even know where to begin, or how astrology fits in. Long story short, my childrenís father has a lot to deal with in this regard (multiple generations of bipolar disorder, lost a brother to suicide, etc.) and I know that heís making a good-faith effort to do so, but ultimately Iím left feeling that Iím going to have to be the one responsible for making sure our kids are equipped to handle these issues as they arise in life.

Thoughts of all shapes and sizes would be welcome. 🙏🏽

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Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted March 18, 2021 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For astrological context, for whatever itís worth, his fatherís birthday is exactly 6 months from mine, and forcing each other to deal with our own parentsí problematic behavior was a major theme from the beginning. On my end, that consists mainly of a well-meaning worry-wart mother with boundary issues. I hardly know anyoneís exact TOB, so Iím working on narrowing things down based on what Iíve learned about ascendant and moon sign characteristics. Thatís about it for the moment.

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Ayelet
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posted March 18, 2021 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ayelet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This must be harsh on you, and is a real problem since he has issues to resolve that are burdening him and consequently you. I did not understand whether you two are together. I would guess no, as you referred to him as the father of your children rather than your partner. In that case, yes, you might be more on your own than you would otherwise choose. But him having to deal with this problem doesn't mean he would not turn up to be a real support. People who are dealing with these issues can be capable parents, as far as I have seen. It is really up to him, and, of course, how well he can tackle his issue. It may change between one person and another. I hope he would prove of help to you and of course for your children.

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Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted March 18, 2021 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IĎve never really known what to call him... itís always felt strange to call someone ďmyĒ anything, but itís definitely a co-parenting relationship, living together part-time while he works out a long-term situation thatís not too far away.
Anyway, on a slightly less personal note, there are lots of people out there with good reasons not to trust the institutional mental health system, and I guess Iím one of them by proxy in a lot of ways. So thatís another facet of the issues Iím grappling with... idk. Thank you, though. Sometimes it really does help just to be forced to articulate the problem.

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Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted March 20, 2021 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/19/women-harmed-every-day-invisible-men

Iím re-posting this from teasel because itís perfect, and because I was hoping to make this a conversation about universal issues, not a Ďsolve my problemí conversation.
This addresses so many of the issues that are more insidious than outright physical violence.
Iíll get personal again, just to give some concrete examples:
Age gap plus gender wage gap plus unplanned pregnancy *while on the pill* leads to time out of the workforce, which can easily snowball to the point where over half a working momís paycheck is going to childcare, so on and so forth.
My ex grew up in a religiously conservative family ó stay-at-home mother, father demanded absolute deference and obedience in everything, not physically abusive but basically kept everyone in line with fear of ďbeing a sinnerĒ from a very young age. Everything about secular culture was suspect, including anyone outside their church-based social circle, etc. Iím sure there are plenty of people out there who understand this better than I do, having only seen it from the outside looking in. Anyway, even having CONSCIOUSLY rejected everything about his upbringing, it constantly seeps through in little ways ó the kinds of toys he buys for our kids, the qualities he praises them for, needing to be thanked/noticed for basic stuff like doing dishes or laundry... and getting butt-hurt ďIím NOTHING like my father!Ē when I remind him that these problems havenít gone away.
Itís not a manís problem, itís not a womanís problem, itís everyoneís problem. Unfortunately, many men donít seem to grasp the distinction between ďitís all your faultĒ and ďyou need to do something about this.Ē

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Randall
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From: Your Friendly Neighborhood Juris Doctorate.
Registered: Apr 2009

posted April 05, 2021 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bump!

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Randall
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From: Your Friendly Neighborhood Juris Doctorate.
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posted June 11, 2021 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bump!

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teasel
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posted June 12, 2021 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for teasel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How are you doing?

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Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted June 12, 2021 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Strange times, but doing all rightÖ Iím working more, weíre talking like grownups but not about everything, and Iím not entirely sure where I was originally intending to go with this. Rant concluded, I suppose?

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Stawr
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From: N. America
Registered: Nov 2010

posted June 13, 2021 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stawr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Chanterelle you are not alone.

My sister's husband has depression. His dad had bipolar and committed suicide, about 4 years ago.

My sister does her best to be strong and support him when he is in a depressive state. But it definitely takes a toll on her sometimes. Having someone to vent to is helpful, but sometimes I think she needs to talk to a mental health professional about it. They could probably advise her on some healthy coping mechanisms when her husband gets in this state. Or just some resources in general.

One time he stopped taking his meds and didn't tell her. And she definitely found out.

He also doesn't drink hard booze anymore, and just has a beer on occasion.

They also have 3 children together.

One day my sister snapped and called his old therapist and told her that, her husband needs to come back.

A bit off topic but I noticed that in some of my fiancť's childhood pictures he would poke safety pins in his eyes, or scratch his face with something in the picture. I was staring very hard at one of them on the car ride home after going to his parents. He said "you know, you can pick up the pictures and look at them" That's when I said, "I noticed that some of your pictures have scratches and holes in them, did you go through a phase where you hated yourself?" He told me yes, and that he was depressed when he was 16. He told me some personal stuff. I could see it catching up to him at that age. Some stuff caught up with me too around that age as well. I told him my sister went though something sort of similar from about age 10-15. I told him that I'm glad he is better now. He said if I'm going to tell anyone about this stuff, it might as well be my wife. And then we held hands for a bit.

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Chanterelle
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Posts: 725
From: USA
Registered: Sep 2020

posted June 14, 2021 05:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chanterelle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, caregiver burnout sucks in all forms. Though not as badly as survivorís guilt, I guess. I said some really harsh things about his family that I apologized for but didnít back down from, and I think heís finally realizing that Iím really not the best person to talk to about some of these things. Also maybe that his sister has good reasons for barely talking to him. I wish he would talk to someone more like an actual therapist, butÖ not my call. Right now weíre just kind of trying to focus on the practical stuff, figure out what we actually do have in common when it comes to how we want to live, whatís shared and whatís not, etc. Thereís a lot that Iíll never understand, and I can accept thatÖ Argh, I just rambled on in my head for about 20 minutesÖ wrapping up with a couple of generic shareable lessons:
Being clear on whether you want to vent or problem-solve at the start of a conversation really helps.
Donít talk to my mom about our problems, and I wonít talk to your friends about our problems.
Donít expect me to smooth the waters for you with anyone else, especially your own family.
Separate bank accounts and clear division of responsibilities are really good.
Getting home on time is less important than not bringing your crap home with you, but sometimes you have to just leave it nearby and go deal with it later.

Beyond my personal life, though, I do feel like everyone has to deal with these issues on some level. Whether itís kids whose parents think Harry Potter is evil and believe in conversion therapy, or gender bias and pay disparities in the workforce, or dealing with the pressure of cultural expectations around being the Ďnurturerí or the Ďbreadwinnerí in a familyÖ okay, Iíve rambled till sunrise. Monday = reading tutor.

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