Wednesday, March 28, 2018

And here is the news

Referring to Sunday just past.

A family get together was held at the usual local to us hotel to celebrate Mother's 84th, R's and Little M's 4th. As usual the staff were terrific. Fortunately it was quiet in the hotel, aside from us lot.

Mother, ABI Brother, Tradie Brother, Sister and Bone Doctor and Little Jo, R and myself, Ex Sis in Law and her husband, Firefighting Nephew, Oldest Niece with Little M and Little Em and Hippie Niece with the twin girls.

It was a nice but loud and chaotic lunch and I think everyone felt a little drained.

I can't remember if I mentioned it but Hippie Niece is still struggling with being Mother to the twins and with the relationship with her partner. There had been a build up and it came to a head in some way we do not know and she was back in the Mother and Baby Unit of a large public hospital for about two weeks, obtensily to have her medication adjusted but there was more to it. We visited her not long before she was allowed to leave and she was happy and coping well, but then she was having a lot of help from staff.

She told us that she was leaving her partner and there would be no going back, and that is what happened. After she left hospital she moved in with her mother and step father, but with a condition placed upon her by whoever does such things, that she was not to be left alone with the babies. Meaning either Ex Sis in Law or her husband has to be with the girls at all times. He is my age and she is about 50. It is a lot to put on them.

They have just taken over a small take away business that involves very early starts. The husband and Hippie Niece prepare for the day and open the shop at 6am. Ex Sis in Law does what needs to be done for the girls and drops them at a creche and then goes to the shop and I guess Hippie Niece goes home.

I feel like saying to her, listen hear girl. You have two lovely daughters who are dependant on you. You have lots of caring people around you. Get your act together. Of course it is not my place and as most of you would know, that is not the way to deal with anyone who has mental health issues.

I also say to myself, that this restriction is over the top. She would never hurt a fly. Yet, we have all heard cases where it can all go so wrong. Perhaps the department is covering itself with great caution, and probably it should. She is to undertake a ten week parenting course, probably one day a week. One of her medications is also an appetite stimulant and she has put on a lot of weight. She has restarted her kickboxing exercise and her part time job is being held open for her. The girls are very easy babies, as Ex Sis in Law attests, and with her parental care, they are in good hands, but it just seems so unfair on her. She cries at the drop of a hat, and broke down completely when talking about the situation with Tradie Brother, her ex husband.

We are mostly hopeful and we all put on a brave face, but at times we are in despair at the situation.

In other brighter news, Hippie Niece's sister Middle Niece and her husband have sold the Mornington Peninsula house and bought a bigger and better one in the same town. It looks very nice and comes with built in outdoor play equipment and a cubby house in a tree for Little M and Little Em. Middle Niece has always had her act together, just like her mother. I expect there may be a little sibling jealousy.

34 comments:

  1. Move over Downton it's Andrew's family saga coming to take your place.

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    1. Marie, I rather wish it wasn't.

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  2. I am so sorry to hear that Hippie Niece is still struggling. And of the flow-on effects for everyone else. And very glad that she has supportive, caring family at her back. Hard as it can be on them.
    And hooray for birthday lunches. The smaller portion and I have yet to have ours.

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    1. EC, I am sure you will have wonderful birthday lunches.......whenever.

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  3. Too often we read about people doing something to themselves or their loved ones in the mistaken belief this will be the best outcome to resolve some problem when the exact opposite is the reality. Mental health can be a fragile thing.

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    1. Victor, yes. I appreciate that and that I don't have a good understanding of what that must be like.

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  4. So sorry to hear Hippie Niece is struggling, my thoughts are with her. Post natal depression can be like drowning in thick mud.

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    1. Truly awful Jayne. Even Mother said she had it after one of my siblings was born. Of course it didn't have a name or a treatment then. Father sent her home to her mother's for a couple of weeks with the newborn.

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  5. You are correct that saying get it together is not always very helpful in this situation. It would be like saying to a diabetic "Oh, just tell your pancreas to harden up and work properly".

    I can't tell you how many times family said that kind of thing to me, and it was always hurtful and helped push me backwards. :(

    What absolutely *can* help is to try and focus that person on the positives, and to try and support them in the things that are helping them.

    Exercise is 100% something I would encourage anyone struggling with any kind of depression to do, and maybe Uncle Andrew could do with taking up kickboxing? :)

    Jayne is right about drowning in thick mud. As someone who has been in that thick mud several times and found my way out of it, I could suggest a lot of suggestions and say what helped me out of my black hole, but I won't partly because it is boring and partly because depression is different for everyone. :)

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    1. Snoskred, yes, that much I know. Telling someone to buck up and get on with it worse than saying nothing. It is a health problem and surely best dealt with by experienced health workers. So you helped yourself out of depression?

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  6. You said Hippie Niece is still struggling with being Mother to the twins and with the relationship with her partner. But I cannot see how old the twins are.

    In all the old anxiety scales, the three hardest life events (out of 100) that turn normal peoples' lives upside down are: 1. death of a beloved spouse, 2. divorce and 2. birth of a baby. Twins even more so!

    In my opinion, the first year or two after twins are born are the toughest in our entire lives.

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    1. Hels, they will be one year old in April. I wonder if it is twins that is the problem? Would she have coped better if it was only one child. I must say, our health system has looked after her very well and at no cost to her.

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  7. I feel so sorry for Hippie Niece ....twins and a partner that needs to go plus she has mental issues.... oh boy. Thinking of her.

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    1. Thanks Lady J. The twins grandmother and her husband will move heaven and earth to make sure they get a good start in life.

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  8. A dilemma indeed Andrew.
    Hippie Niece needs encouragement and praise as I'm sure she is doing her best under the circumstances. Would not be easy leaving your partner and twins to take care of - some people handle it so much better than others.
    Feel sorry for her mum and stepdad but this type of things seems to happen to all kinds of people.
    Seems it's a bit too much for Hippy Nieces mother too.
    I wish them all well.

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    1. Margaret, yes, it is not so unusual but it is in our family. Hippy Niece is so outgoing and gregarious, but we don't see her at her worst.

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  9. It sounds like a very sad situation. When we have children, all they ask of us is that we love them (both parents), they are fed correctly, and have a warm safe home to live in.

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    1. Cro, it sounds so simple doesn't it, yet so many struggle with it. How have we been doing it successfully for so many centuries but people still struggle with it.

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  10. It's so hard to deal with especially the terror that you will lose control and hurt the baby. I used to hurt myself to try and keep control until my mother said enough and took the baby home and I went every day to look after him. And this was in the day when it wasn't talked about which made it harder. My sister was different, she had all the maternal instincts of a pet rock, still does.

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    1. Jah Teh, that is pretty well what is happening with Hippie Niece. I think you secretly like your sister :-P

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  11. It is a sad and stressful situation, but the "great caution" is far better than the sudden "oh no! what happened?" when or if something does snap and things go awfully haywire.
    Is there any way the ex-sis-in-law could get a bit of help with the babies? It does seem like a lot to thrust upon her.

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    1. River, yes, caution is good. Ex Sis in Law tries and does make her look after her daughters, but at the end of the day, so much falls to her. I am sure she would prefer to not have a grown up daughter and two young babies in her house. She and her husband have problems of their own, but not with their relationship. I believe the creche care is paid for the appropriate department. I suppose the really hard part for Ex Sis in Law is more mental than anything.

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  12. It sounds like your niece is going through a tough time...post natal depression thrown in for good measure. I hope she comes through it with no harm caused to her bubs or to herself. So much pressure upon her...it must be difficult.

    But with good, caring support and love around her, let's hope all turns out well.

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    1. Lee, she has never self harmed. I a way she is too self focused to do that. Yes, with professionals and a caring family it may well work out well. I was heartened by an earlier comment that the first two years with twins is the hardest.

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  13. Sounds like a fun party with a wide variety of characters. Depression is a miserable illness. No one really understands how the sufferer feels unless you have a dose of it yourself, which I did in my 40's. I feel very sorry for your niece.

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    1. Diane, I have never suffered from such and I just don't really understand it, although perhaps I had a taste with work issues a few years ago, when I just could not enjoy anything. Now, where are you up to in your life story? Well short of your forties, I think.

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  14. Doesn't she suffer from post natal depression ? That takes sometimes a long time and a lot of women have it ! God that Downtown Abbey returns !!

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    1. Gattina, it probably is that. It seems it can take a long time to cure.

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  15. Families! We have sort of the same situation with a nephew, 24, still trying to cope with his mom, my sister dying. He is extremely fragile and is getting professional help. But it is so frustrating as you say not to say just get on with it!

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    1. No doubt it was very sad for you too. It is odd how some people deal with things and I know grief can be a terrible thing. I hope he recovers well.

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  16. Oh dear Andrew. Some people find everyday life hard to cope with and it can be hard to understand for most of us. As for sibling rivalry, oh yes, it's there alright!

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    1. Grace, you speak from personal experience of many things.

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  17. Oh no, sounds like a rough thing, parents taking in an adult child and her children and so much work involved. I feel the ache of exhaustion just reading about it. I hope this works itself out eventually.

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    1. Strayer, add to that they are incredibly heavy, even though they are not yet 1. They are starting to get on the feet now and move around while hanging on to things.

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