Jump to content
Mental Support Community

mental illness and fatherhood/employment


PatPaul
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone:

I have a couple of questions and need some advice. I live overseas. Married, two kids (3 years old and 1 year old). I have suffered from alcoholism and depression (from 1995). I am a teacher. Fired from my last teaching job due to my MI. I teach about 8 hours a week. Spend a lot of time at home with the kids, which is good. I had a talk with a good American friend the other day. Like many of my other friends, when he finds out that my employment situation has not changed in the two years since I moved here, he wonders if it might not be time for me to return home. He's 5 years younger than me(I am 49), and he's single. I try to bring up the issue that it would not be good for the family for me to go back overseas to teach and leave my family here on their own. I also try to take a positive look on my circumstances by saying I/my family and I are not rich, but we are not on the streeet like others, and my family and I have food on the table. My friend responded by saying, "yeah, well B_____, we're not talking about other people, but about you! Who is looking out for you...." You're not a good influence for your kids when they get older if you are underemployed, working 8 hours a week, unhappy, and your unhappiness or resentment will be picked up by the kids.

I said, well I am trying to not act selfish. When I was a bachlor, if my job was not working out, I could just pick up and leave-which I did a lot. But now that I am married and a dad, I am trying to be responsible and stick around. I cannot support the family financially, but I am here. My friends overseas(usually single or married w/o kids) cannot seem to see the point in my staying. I taught in the Middle East for 5 years and saw so many married men whose families did not accompany them, working a living on their own, sending money back home, but cheating on their wives, seeing their kids once a year....I have tried to argue with my friends that this is not good for my family. Even if I were to relocate in the country I am in now, my wife points out that I would see my family and rarely and not be in my kids' lives.

I feel very conflicted. I am 49. Worry about the education costs for my kids 15 years down the line, in 15 years. Working here as an underemployed teacher gets me down, but I try to convince myself it it best for the kids and family.

Am I being selfish, or the martyr and not selfish enough(looking after my own career interests, what makes me happy, my own mental illness).

The country I am in,, I am able to see a shrink to get my antidepressants, and do some talk therapy in a 2nd language. AA meeting here, but in a foreign language, so I have not been going.

I am having a tough time figuring out my role as a father, husband etc. Got marriage lat at 42. Tell my wife that I am not sure I was cut out for marriage and parenthood-my three brothers and sister, no one married with kids. I remember a month or two before my daughter was born in Feb. 2007, I had such severe panic attacks, I could not even walk around the block. I know having kids is a major life stressor. I see this as proof that maybe I was never cut out for marriage or fatherhood-like my siblings, I would always escape and run away when committment was put in my face-marriage/children.

I am very confused.

PatPaul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi PatPaul,

I am confused about one thing that you mention: Why does the issue of your returning to the U.S. mean leaving your wife and children behind? Couldn't they or wouldn't they go with you?

I have no idea what nation you are in but I have a couple of thoughts about your drinking problem:

1. There is medication that stops the craving for alcohol and has been used successfully. You could ask your MD about that.

2. If there is one AA group there are likely to be others.

3. Is it possible for you to get a new full time teaching job where you live? If you are sober and taking medication for depression it seems like you should get teaching employment.

4. Why does your friend believe you should go to the U.S.?

5. Can you tell us more about your situation?

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Allan,

Thanks for responding to my post. To answer your questions:

1. There is medication that stops the craving for alcohol and has been used successfully. You could ask your MD about that.

No, I have not looked into this, but it is a good idea. It maybe could help me with the addiction/craving problem I also have with food.

2. If there is one AA group there are likely to be others.

Yes, there are others in the Kanto and Kansai areas on the main island of Honshu here in Japan-that is in large cities like Tokyo, Osaka. Here on the small island I live on, there is just the one chapter that meets, and the meetings are in Japanese

3. Is it possible for you to get a new full time teaching job where you live? If you are sober and taking medication for depression it seems like you should get teaching employment.

Things are pretty tight here employment wise. I do have all the necessary qualifications, but here in Japan, any native English speaker can claim themselves to be competent and qualified. I am trained to teach adults, and with only one university here, not much chance of getting on there since there is little turnover of foreign staff. Most of the work is teaching kids

4. Why does your friend believe you should go to the U.S.?

Because he believes I would have a better chance of getting full-time work; certainly more than the 8 hours a week I now work, as well as something more fufilling since he knows how teaching 8-11 year old kids is killing me

5. Can you tell us more about your situation?

My wife does not want to pick up a move to Canada with me and the kids. She says she had to do that already 2 years ago when I lost my job overseas and we were forced to leave that country and come to Japan. The choice between whether to go to Canada or Japan was based on the support we could get from family; in my case, none, and in her case, a lot; thus, we moved to this small town, bought an old home right next door to my wife's family's house.

My wife also thinks there is no point, in as far as what is good for the family, if I were to on my own move to Tokyo, Osaka etc. for better career opportunities, since living there would be like me living and working in New York on Boston on the east coast, while my family lives in a small town in Kansas. I could get home at best once a month. This argument she also uses when I suggest moving back to the Middle East, where I could get work, and send money back home, and return to Japan on summer and winter vacations. My wife doesn't see any difference in me living 1000 km away in-country, or 6000 km in a foreign country; the bottom line is the family is torn apart, the kids have no father at home etc.

Thanks for listening and reading,

PP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi PatPaul.... It sounds like a difficult situation with no easy solution. Are there any other types of jobs you could get, even part-time? Does your wife work? If she does, then your staying at home and working part time does not appear like such an issue to me....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...