Dear Ibiza Counselling,
I have been reading your column for a while and thinking about writing but to be honest I feel very self indulgent, selfish and guilty for taking the space and your time. I am feeling so awful and low but nothing of any magnitude has happened that seems to warrant it hence the guilt. Lots of little everyday “life” things are going on but I feel I have always and should now be able to cope with them but for some reason my fighting sprit seems to have vanished and I’m struggling to hold on.
We have been living on Ibiza for 9 years and really love it, obviously we have our moments but I’d say 90% of the time life is good, I have an amazing husband we are incredibly close but his father is not well so is often having to shoot back to the UK and short notice. I totally understand and expect him to do this but it does leave me with 3 kids 14, 11 & 7 who all have to get up get to school and carry on with life with out their dad being here. It also means I am left running the business for short periods on my own. I am also getting near to the age where I’m beginning to feel that my body isn’t quite what it used to be, summers and bikinis are starting to feel like a dread even though my husband says I’m beautiful and nuts for thinking any different.
So as you can see nothing really that most people don’t manage to cope with just the normal things that happen in lots of lives but for some reason I am getting very wobbly and want to try and address this before the children or my husband realise. My husband is so worried about his father that it is very important to me that I do not add to his burden.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I am sure there are some much more deserving cases that should be put in your column so please only include me if you can.
Mary (not my real name)
Firstly thank you for your e mail and as long as an e mail is appropriate to the column it will get published so please do not feel that you are taking up space that someone else might use.
I think that many of us go through life “dealing” with things as they happen then the moment passes and we think we are fine, the next thing comes along we deal with that and so it continues. However at some point if we constantly do not give ourselves the time to look at how any of these things, no matter how small we think they are, may have impacted us eventually, just like a sponge, we will become full up and in very simple terms, we literally can not absorb any more.
I wonder if getting some temporary practical help, either for the business or maybe joining forces with some of the other parents to do a joint school run or home work sessions, especially whilst your husband is away will give you the time to focus on yourself a little. You are a very important person, from what you have said it feels like you are the cog that keeps the family moving, therefore it is so important that you take the time to look after yourself . This is not indulgent or selfish it is necessary to keep yourself well emotionally and physically so you can support your family and especially your husband when times are difficult.
Please do not underestimate how heart wrenching it can be watching a partner go through caring for an elderly/ unwell parent, not forgetting that you may well also have a meaningful relationship with that in-law and have your own upset to manage as well.
I think the most important thing to focus on is that you are in no way being self indulgent, selfish or doing anything that could make you feel guilty. You need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others and this means making your emotional welfare a priority and putting in place whatever you feel will help you to continue to support your husband through a very difficult period in his life.
I hope this has helped a little and please stay in touch and let me know how you get on,