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Is this separation anxiety?

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Is this separation anxiety?

Postby mtnbike » Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:59 am

I guess I don't really know if this is separation anxiety or not, but this is what the situation is and what I feel.

Lets say my wife calls from work and says that she is going out with her co-workers for a few drinks because of a recent proejct success. Right then and there, I get a little sense of "ugh" because she is going to be going to an even that I won't be at, and there is a change in the "scehdule" that we normally follow.

So, I get the kids, go home and get them fed, etc. Get them in bed, and then sit and watch a movie. And wait. And wait. And now it's 10 pm and I have not heard from her. Now 10:30. So I call her, because I am worried, and I am starting to worry about what MAY happen, or could happen, to her since I am not there to protect (or control the situation around her).

She answers, and tells me that she will be leaving in a half hour, and she is ok to drive. So, an hour goes back,and I know that the place is 20 minutes from our house, so I start to worry more. And I start to get an anxious feeling in my chest, and I cannot focus on the movie. I'm not pacing, but I'm worried. So I call again, and she is now in the car talking to her friend who just got done with a divorce, and she is making sure she is ok to drive, and she'll be leaving in a few.

45 mintues later, my wife is still not home, and now I am beside myself. I am stressed and anxious, etc.

When she finally does come home, I am ok.

Is this Separation Anxiety?

I don't get this way when she is at work.

I'd like her, when she travels, to let me know when she leaves our house and when she gets to her mothers house, etc. Just so that I know that she is safe. I don't need to know anything else, just that she is safe.

Thanks,
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Postby Angel » Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:30 am

Honestly, I don't know anything about seperation anxiety or what qualifies someone to be diagnosed as dealing w/ it.

But I guess my gut instinct on your post isn't that you are dealing w/ any type of medical illness or mental health issue.....more so it sounds like you have a hard time occupying your time away from your wife. Almost like w/out her by your side....w/out that constant routine.....you feel out of control and at a loss as to what to do next. So you start to over stress where she is, what she's doing, her time table for being home, etc. I wonder.....if you could have a sitter and be out w/ your group of guy friends at the same time....if you'd feel so much "upset" in situations like this. When you are the one sitting at home....I can see where time starts to move slowly and you feel as you describe.

You mention what you do relating to your children in many of your posts. I think you also mention that you work outside the home as well....but are your hours shorter then your wifes....or are you the primary caregiver to your children? Are you a stay-at-home dad?

See....I'm a stay-at-home mom. I have girlfriends....but I don't really get out and do things w/ them. I see some in passing when I'm dropping kids off at school and I chat w/ them in the parking lot. Or some I only chat w/ via e-mail....others I only chat w/ on the phone. Most are stay-at-home moms like me. We never seem to just get out and do things together and outside our homes...spouses...and kids! My husband gets out w/ his guy friends...which is fine w/ me....but sometimes it can be frustrating being the one who is always at home. Sometimes I can get in a mode where I feel like I'm trapped at home....I want to go out and my husband would encourage it yet I feel like...well once I walk out the door...where would I go? So sometimes when I'm in that mode....I can over analize my husband's comings and goings. One hour feels like 3....I wish he was back home w/ me...but then what would we be doing anyway???

I really think something that is going to be key for you and your wife is your finding some quality time w/ your own group of friends outside the home. Sounds like she has that for herself already...now you need that. Because as much as you need to be and sound like you are a great husband and father....you need to be "you" on your own as well. Look at your situation.....do you see yourself as having much of a life outside of being a husband and a father...and possibly an "employee"?? I could then understand your wife maybe feeling a little smothered...you had mentioned that in a previous post...think you said she mentioned that to her mother once....feeling a bit smothered in your relationship?? It might be some insight for you to consider as you guys enter couples therapy.....that although you are wonderful and supportive....you are almost there too much for her....where she feels ok...she knows who she is as "wife"...she knows who she is as "mother"....but it's very important for a person to know who they are outside those roles too. Those roles are important but they shouldn't be all encompassing.

Am I hitting the mark on this one? I'm not sure. Just some thoughts that ran through my mind as I read your post. I'm not sure if this is what seperation anxiety is all about....maybe someone else who deals w/ it or knows of it better then I do could shed light on this better then I could. But I'm more apt to think what you are dealing w/ can be easily worked through and isn't so much any type of medical illness or mental health matter.
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Postby mtnbike » Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:23 am

Angel,

I know what you're saying about having to have our own roles. I agree completely.

What I'm trying to figure out is what happens to me when she's out and about, typically at places that I cannot control the situation (typically safety related, to be honest), or not sure about things like when she will be home.

Example: If my wife is at her mothers place, which is about 90 minutes away, and she is coming home on Sunday, I don't care WHAT TIME she leaves (so, I don't want to control her and say "you need to be home at 3 pm". I don't care, unless I am planning to make dinner (which I do on Sundays, and it's typically something "special")). What I do want to know is when she leaves so that I can plan on her being home around 90 mintues from then.

If, per chance, she forgets, and just shows up at the door, I'm ok, but a little frustrated. If she did not leave her mothers till lets say 4 pm, I would be a little worried, since I would have expected her to leave a little earlier. But, in that case, I would not REQUIRE it.

I feel so guilty about just needing that from her. Again, I don't want to control her, I just want to make sure that she and my daughters are safe (in this situation).

I would think that a little common courteousy on her part would be to remember that her husband who loves her DOES care about her, and gives a crap, instead of having a "whatever" attitide like a lot of my friends give their wives.

Aargh.
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Re: Is this separation anxiety?

Postby jennismortal » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:19 pm

I agree completely.I think you also mention that you work outside the home as well.I also think something that is going to be key for you and your wife is your finding some time.You mention what you do relating to your children.Because as much as you need to be and sound like you are a great husband and father.
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Re: Is this separation anxiety?

Postby Lunacie » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:45 pm

That is so much like what I experience, and I finally got around to looking for a forum like this where I can share these experiences with others and see what their experiences are like.

Most recent example, my youngest granddaughter has been going to camp sponsored by the mental health association (she has a tentative diagnosis of Autism). A couple of weeks ago they were late bringing her home, and I began to get very anxious. When they were 30 minutes late I called my daughter at work and asked her if she had the phone number for the camp or the driver. She didn't but said she would call the local office which is where our case manager works. They didn't know what had happened but gave her another number to call.

By then they were 45 minutes late and I was outside pacing up and down the curb, watching for them, and getting more and more anxious. Then an unfamiliar car pulled up and the driver was pointing at our house and asking someone in the back seat a question. The back door opens and my granddaughter gets out, and the car drives away without anyone asking me if that was even the right house! Certainly did nothing to calm my anxiety.

And my granddaughter was also very anxious because of having a strange driver/strange car and the driver not knowing where to drop her off. It took us both over an hour to calm down. And I made sure I had the phone number for the regular driver and for our case manager in case something happened again sometime.

Sure enough, last week they were late again and I found myself becoming very anxious. But in the meantime I had done some thinking about anxiety disorders in general and I kept telling myself that I was just being over-anxious and they weren't THAT late yet. Fortunately they were only 30 minutes late and I managed not to have a meltdown this time.

My diagnosis of ADHD primarily, along with Depression, Generalized Anxiety and Separation Anxiety has only been on the table for a couple of months. Although the DX of ADHD and Depression was simply confirmation for me. I'm still learning about Anxiety disorders, so here's my question. Is what I feel when someone is late getting home (hubby, daughter, grandchildren) Generalized Anxiety or Separation Anxiety? I don't feel this way when I'm expecting company and they're late, only with family members so that seems more like Separation Anxiety to me.
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