Tuesday 16 January 2018

I work so hard, have no life and feel like ending it all

Samaritans app
Samaritans app

Mary O'Conor

I never thought I would be sending this email. I am at my wits' end with my partner and my two grown up children. I work very long hours in a very stressful job. My partner hands me €50 weekly and thinks it's sufficient for his share.

For three-and-a-half years he gave me nothing. He drinks his money and expects me to pay for everything. I have no savings. All I do is work to pay the bills. Once a month I go out and spend €20 as it's all I can afford. We have had so many rows over me working and there being no dinner on the table.

He refuses to do any housework. He said my two sons are there for that. He is his parents' carer. He spends 20 minutes per day with them and the rest of his time is spent watching TV.

My eldest son spends his money on hash and is asleep all day and awake all night. I have spoken to him on numerous occasions about getting a job or doing a course and he refuses. They all wait until I come in after a 12-hour shift and ask me what's for dinner. My youngest child thinks I've nothing better to do than wait on him.

I'm crying my eyes out as I write this. I just do not know where to turn. I have no medical card and cannot afford to see my doctor. I really feel like ending it all or just walking away and not letting myself be found. I'm 45 with no life. I work so hard and I'm just exhausted.

Mary replies: Your letter is alarming because you are so down that you are feeling suicidal. So first of all let me remind you that the Samaritans are always available to you 24 hours a day by calling 116 123. They will listen and help you feel that you are not alone.

So far you have tried reasoning with your husband and sons, but actions speak a lot louder than words and it is time for you to take a firm stance and refuse to do any more for them. It is time for a new regime so outline your plan to them and explain that you intend to keep to it. Withdraw all financial help to them, stop doing the work that they should be doing, don't prepare dinner for them and allow the dishes to pile up if they won't wash them.

They will soon realise that you have finally had enough, but if they don't, you will have to look into the next step which is staying away from home altogether for a period until they come to their senses. Ultimately you may want to separate from them all, but that is easier said than done, so, for a start try standing up to them more. They are all taking you for granted to an extraordinary degree and it has to stop because nobody should have to live this way.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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