Struggling to find answers

So I’ve kind of brought this up before and it’s been some time. Mentally I’m struggling with feeling selfish. My father is quite the intense narcissist, and recently he did some pretty shady stuff to my sister and I. So over the last roughly two years I’ve encountered a ton of new trauma. So firstly my aunt got covid and was on a ventilator, during that time my Ex fiancé left and got me banned from over time. My aunt died shortly after, so I went to my home town and saw my grandma while I was there I got covid so I didn’t get to see her again when I left as I found out on my way to say goodbye. She died two days later and one day into my 14 day quarantine where I almost took my life. My nephew reached out and asked me to move in, and I put all of my bills aside to do so as my rent was about to be cut in half so I’d be able to catch up. Well I moved in a week later he moved out and left me there alone and not even on the lease, the move that was supposed to cut my rent in half increased it $400 to $1735 a month.

I spent Christmas before last all by myself, my power got shut off etc. And on new years 22’ I went to My sisters to see her and my dad. I didn’t feel welcomed in, I didn’t feel like I should be there, about 20 minutes after arrival my dad told me that my grandma changed her funeral plan because her kids never went to see her, he said that she decided to be cremated because “if they could see her when she was alive they didn’t get to see her dead” then he told me her ashes are over there on the table, there’s your grandma. That hurt, it didn’t feel fair and it felt like he was passing his pain on to us. So I left clearly upset. About 6 months later we all found out that all of her kids got $42,000 each. My dad took off from my sisters cut contact with both of us left us struggling and gambled it away. Just to give some hint of where I come from.

Now for the last 10 months I have had my girlfriend and her son living with me, she doesn’t drive, doesn’t work, and to be honest slacks on the apartment while I worked six 12 hour nights a week all through November and December, she wasn’t keeping the apartment clean and my one day off I’d spend fixing the car, cleaning the apartment, cleaning up the area for the dog and just begging for help. We’ve broken up twice in the last two weeks and I was done the last time but she convinced me to stay. And this is where I’m feeling selfish. Her my sucks and her life at her moms sucks, but I feel like I am drowning. I don’t think that I’ve resolved any of these issues because I was helping her through her own I mean I’ve been to two of her family members funerals and I missed all of mine. I’m stress eating I’ve gained 50 pounds, I’m not working out or even taking care of myself, we go shopping I carry all of the groceries, my days off I work on my car, or clean or just don’t leave the couch or my bed because I’m completely unmotivated, I lost my friends, I rarely talk to my family, and I’ve mostly lost my support system, and she’s gotten better about cleaning but I just want to come home to a clean quiet relaxing home, and all I get is screaming, whether it be Nicky screaming and crying because he doesn’t want to do something or eat something or whatever, be it one of us getting after him for smacking the dog or chasing the cats or her and I going back and forth because of some dumb issue. I feel selfish because I don’t think I want that responsibility anymore. I feel selfish sending her back, and I feel selfish for wanting time to myself, time to have friends and support and a clean space. I feel like a narcissist like I’m just like my dad. I’m broke paying insane rent and taking care of her and her son plus my dog and two cats, I’m so stressed I hardly sleep, the power bill is insane, the garbage doesn’t always get taken out I change the cat litter and clean up the dogs outdoor area, the sinks always full of dishes and cabinets are always empty then the fridge is a mess. I cook for myself everything is on me. Is it unfair of me to want to process and deal with my stuff and myself? Is it unfair for me to be free from carrying the weight of others? Is it selfish to want to be able to live a fulfilled life with friends and family, concerts and events? Is it unfair for me to not feel connected to a child that isn’t mine? I need help I’m broken and I think I rushed trying to build a family to make up for all that I’d lost but I don’t think I can handle the weight anymore.


This is a powerful realization.
The kid’s mother should choose a partner who sees the kid as part of the family and loves the child. It sounds like you did indeed rush into it, with a certain set of dreams and expectations. Sounds like you need to have a serious discussion with your partner - you’re a couple but you feel like you’re the only one doing everything.
There has to be agreed upon list of who does what, and what is expected of each other as well as yourselves. I am so sorry that your birth family was so difficult, and I’m so so sorry for your losses as well.

But have a long think on what you need right now, and what will make you happy and bring you mental stability. What are you getting out of the relationship? Is it something you see yourself living with for more months ahead? She’s not contributing financially, so then she has to be contributing in some other way. What that looks like, you both need to work out. It’s not your job to take care of her and her son, unless you choose to the provider for them both.

And above all else, it is never selfish to say you need help. We should also do what we need to protect our own mental health. Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish, it’s survival.

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Man, there’s a lot here and a professional therapist would likely be very useful.

I am going to answer on the part of the kid not being yours. Disclaimer, this is ONLY MY OPINION.

I have a kid. He is 5. If I ever dated a woman who didn’t “click” with my son and wasn’t willing to bond with him, she’d be gone.

If you aren’t the right person to father/mother this little dude, step up and admit it now. Ultimately you very well may put this little boy in the same emotional turmoil you’re in now.

Before building a family, deal with your hurts. I’m there now. I had to admit until I’m healthy I can’t have a healthy relationship. Especially if kids are involved. Kid’s take attention away from the relationship.

The inheritance issue. I’m sure your dad not helping you hurt, but that was his money (unless I misunderstood). He holds no obligation to help his adult children. I don’t want to speak too much here because I don’t know his financial situation and it appears he has an addiction (my biological father also had a serious gambling addiction).

I had a really bad childhood. REALLY BAD! It was in young adulthood that I realized therapy and captioning my own life was important. Separating myself from “family” was necessary for me to grow and succeed.

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I mean you’re absolutely correct, we had a discussion and she doesn’t seem to want to see that I struggle to connect she does see that I try which I do, and I’d like to think is more than many others would do but that could be pride more than anything. But she’s insistent that I’ve been better before which I may have been, and that I’m just stressed which is absolutely true, so we’re going to try but I set the expectations that if things haven’t improved as we near the end of the spring that we shouldn’t cause more damage to ourselves or him. I also expressed that having him call me daddy almost as soon as they moved in was not really fair to him or myself as it tried to force an immediate connection vs one that was grown.

And I think the issue with my dad and inheritance is more that he was living off of my sister for free, while she was trying to take care of four children, got enough to help and pitch in and took off on her, just up and disappeared, I didn’t want to drone on too long, I was a little bit upset due to the fact that he got it and just vanished when he was more than capable of helping. I mean she even lost her home and had to find a new place to live, after opening her doors to him I’d hope that he would help her. My struggles have always been my own and I didn’t expect it, just also didn’t expect for him to jump ship completely.

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And a long think is really all that I think I need. Just a single night where nobody needs anything of me, where I don’t have to be anything for anybody but just to be able to be fully there with and for myself. But when the problems exist in your safe space it’s impossible to escape.

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Yea man, him call you dad/daddy is wrong, especially if you arent bonded with him. All that’s doing is giving him a bad example of what a father should be.

From the sounds of it and the lengths you’ve gone to provide, it sounds like you’re great male figure in his life though! It doesn’t require you have a deep connection or bond for him to see the importance in providing and caring for a family. Good on you for that!

I was in a relationship with a woman at one point who had a kid (little girl). I tried spending time with her and showing interest in the things she liked. We’d go to the park, draw, and watch her favorite movies. Bonding takes time and desire. It rarely just happens. Especially if the kids “real dad/mom” is in the picture.

If you’re considering this relationship may end, you two need to sit down with this child and stop the dad/daddy stuff now assuming you’ll be out of his life when she is. May as well do that NOW so he isn’t further harmed by your guys actions/choices.

As a single dad bro, quiet time is hard to find and come by. You need to prioritize things in your mind and use your time wisely. I do most of my thinking in the shower. Right before bed I attempt to shut down my brain so I can sleep and get rest. I have found going on walks with my kid are a great time to think. He is occupied by interesting things and I can focus on my thoughts. Basically, you need to get creative.


I think you need more than a single night. You probably could use more than a week. It really does sound like you are living a life of tension and desperation. It’s understandable that you would hook up with someone prematurely, after the grief of losing a relationship and having family members die. You probably have PTSD from the way you had to grow up with your father. Your ex betrayed you. Your nephew gave you false hope than left you in an untenable financial situation.

With all that has happened to you, you were not really ready to make such an important decision as moving in with a woman and child, especially since you’ve been drafted into a father role. It also sounds like unless she has debilitating health or mental health issues, she’s being terribly unfair to you. I think she’s being unfair to herself as well. If she will not clean up after herself, it’s pretty strong evidence that she lacks self-respect. It’s common for those who don’t respect themselves to not respect others either. It’s easy to imagine that she was treated unfairly in her past, which damaged her self-esteem/respect. Her state of mind has robbed her of motivation, which in turn has robbed you of yours.

You are in an ocean of dysfunction and negativity. Some of its yours and some is hers. You need to come up for a breath of fresh air. You really do need some time to yourself in order to clear your mind in order to decide what you want and what your next step should be. It would be nice if you could afford a hotel room for a week or so, just to be alone with your thoughts. Another idea is, when weather permits, take some long walks. I do that at least five times a week, and that’s when I do my best thinking.

Based on your past with your father, recent losses and grief, I think it’s impossible for you to not need counseling. I think she needs it too.

By the way, there’s nothing selfish about taking steps to ensure your own mental well-being. You cannot look after yourself or anyone else if you are “drowning.”

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