Dear Abby: I was a single mom for most of my teenagers’ lives. We have never been financially stable, and lately things have hit an all-time low. I am prone to bouts of depression.
I remarried last year, and my husband unfortunately does not understand or tolerate the depressions. He feels I should just “get over” things. He also doesn’t believe in anti-depressants. It got so bad I attempted suicide last weekend. My husband said my doing that was abusive to HIM.
There are six people on my medical aid, and the available funds are more than half used up. For me to see a psychiatrist will take a huge chunk out of it. If I do it, my family will miss out on medical care should the need arise later in the year. Is it selfish to try to hang onto what is left of my sanity?
– On the Edge in Johannesburg, South Africa
Dear On the Edge: That your husband chooses not to recognize that depression is a treatable illness is a reflection of his ignorance. That he would tell you your attempted suicide was abusive to HIM suggests that he is more concerned with himself than he is with you.
Making up for mistakes
Dear Abby: I’m pregnant with my first child and live 800 miles from my parents, who are retired. We have a good relationship now, but growing up I had major emotional issues my parents didn’t handle well. Years of therapy in my early adulthood helped to fix them.
My parents have just told me they have been approved to be foster parents and will be caring for an emotionally disturbed teenager soon. While I know I should be happy for them, I’m extremely upset. I feel they were ill-equipped to handle my emotional issues growing up, and they should be more concerned with their grandchildren in retirement than taking in strangers.
When I heard the news, I tried my best to sound supportive, but they could tell I was upset. How can I handle these feelings? Would it be beneficial to tell them how I feel?
– Mommy-To-Be in North Carolina
Dear Mommy-To-Be: A way to handle your feelings would be to view the situation from the perspective of an adult, not a jealous child. That your parents will foster this teenager doesn’t mean they will love their grandchildren any less. On some level they may be trying to make up for the mistakes they made in your upbringing. Because they were ill-equipped to recognize your emotional problems does not mean they won’t be wiser now. I suggest you wait to discuss this with them until you’re feeling less resentful.