Sprout 1 - I feel for you, really, I do. I know what it's like to be alone. First I will encourage you to PLEASE do one thing for yourself - make yourself find support or a support group somewhere. Don't fool yourself into thinking you'll be able to do all this alone. You have gone through a lot already - especially the loss of your "best friend" (children's father) to a mental breakdown. You need someone who is strong and stable - it doesn't always have to be a someone who is older than you, but "age" helps - because older people have been through more in life. And it must be a female, not a male. I am a very strong Christian who was very involved in my church - I did a lot of things and LED a lot of things - unfortunately, I had no one in my life who was older and stronger than me - and when I started slipping, as strong of a person and as "spiritual" as I was (as close to God as I was, and still am), because I had no real, close friends or "mentors" in my life, I kept sliding - down and down and down - the more I refused to try and find support, the more I thought I could "handle all my own problems all by myself," the further down I went. I spent several years in isolation - just seeing my kids and my family. I saw my family, but I never really talked with them about how I was feeling ... I never told anyone how lonely I was, never asked for help in dealing with emotions, etc. I worked full-time (still do), and never really said anything to any of my co-workers, either. I always put on a happy face, and the outside world thought I was fine. When I did talk a little bit about things going on in my life, I did it with a big smile and that "Oh, it's not so bad ... God helps me with everything ... I'm fine" attitude. Then I would cry to God and say, "No one cares about me!!" It's true that God does help us through things, but He created us to be social beings ... He created us for relationships ... He created people to need other people. God can't be here "in the flesh" - that is why He gave us other people to "be with" down here. I was SO mistaken to think "God and me, alone can handle everything." Sometimes life is so depressing that it's hard to force ourselves to seek support ... but it is SO necessary. If we never let anyone know we're hurting and need help and/or support, they will never know ... and we'll never get that help and support we so desperately need. It took me a long time to get it into my thick head that "people are not mind-readers" - and most people say, "is there anything I can do?" and/or "if you need anything, just let me know" just to be nice, and because it's what we're "supposed" to say to others when they tell us they are going through something. You have to be SERIOUS about getting support - and go out and SEEK it. I always felt like I would be a burden to people, and that if I DID say, "okay - I'll take you up on that offer" that I would be "putting them on the spot" because I didn't really think they meant it. Since I felt that way about the acquaintances in my world, I should have went to a support group or something - where that's the whole reason they are there. Then you KNOW you're not "putting them out." YES - ask your midwife - tell her you are DESPERATE to find support - if you act like it's just an option you are thinking about, she may not try very hard. People only know what you tell them. Most people cannot "see" your pain or know it exists unless you are crying, or something. They are not insensitive, they are just not "that intuned" to others.
Secondly, if that guy trys to return to you - DO NOT take him back - he needs to prove to you (over a period of a few years) that he has changed. I know what the construction field is like - my brother did it, as well as my ex. But if that guy got all depressing, and a stoner and all those things you said, when he had no work, that is NOT going to change about him overnight. He will continue to be like that when he has no work. I took my ex back over and over and over, because I was afraid of trying to raise my kids alone .. I wanted the company as well as the financial support. Unfortunately for me, I didn't "wake up and smell the coffee" until 15 years later ... when I realized that I had nothing to fear, as I had already been financially supporting myself and my kids for years, with no help from him ... he always added more problems and financial hardships to my life ... almost every single time I took him back. I'm telling you - I was the biggest idiot alive. On the occasion that I did get "advice" from others, I listened and nodded my head, telling them "yes, you are right" ... then just did what my "heart" would tell me - I would always think, "things are different with us, though" or "my situation is not QUITE like that, though" ... or "he's changed this time, for sure, I know it," etc., etc., etc. .... blah, blah, blah. I never listened to anyone, always thinking my situation, him, "next time" everything - was "different," and my outcome would be "different, " also. But it wasn't. Every time he left I'd think at first, "that's it ... I'm never taking him back, ever again ... I've had enough of this ... I'm not letting him fool me again" ... etc. But after a few weeks or a few months, when I was feeling tired, stressed, lonely, broke, etc .... I'd give in and take him back. Sometimes I'd force him to change, and he would ... but only for a period of time. It never failed .... he always went back to the way he was, and he never changed, because I ended up accepting it, or, if I made him leave, I didn't stick to my guns like I should have, and always let him come back. After a few times of this, he knew I was a bleeding heart ... I was too kind, he knew I wanted my kids to have their dad, etc. He KNEW I'd let him back ... so he did just enough to appease me at first, and make it SEEM like he had changed or was TRYING to change ... and I honestly believe he did try to change sometimes ... but he was not tough enough on himself, and me, the soft-heart, was no help, either. Someone had to be the one to be using "tough love" ... but neither of us did or would. So it always failed ... and continued to fail ... until he died at age 39.
You are in a hard, difficult situation ... I really feel for you. I am praying for you ... and I hope you can be stronger than I was. PLEASE find some support ... don't quit trying to find it until you do. I will pray that you find support, also. I know how difficult it is to get up, get out, and look for a friend or some support ... I used to feel like a freak - I didn't fit in with the "singles" people and groups, yet I didn't fit in with the "marrieds," either (because my other half was always gone, or because he was an unsociable alcoholic, he never wanted to do things with other couples). I felt so lost all the time because of "feeling like I didn't fit in anywhere." It's so hard, I know. But things are a lot different now ... back when I needed it, "single mothers" were not so prevalent, as they are now. When I had my first child in 1987, I was the first "single mother" in my entire church - no one knew what to do with me!! (I didn't marry my daughter's father until a year and a half later). I hope you take my advice and make yourself do it .. and don't stop until you find it somewhere. If you keep searching, you WILL find it. God bless you, Sprout.