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Help without Anti Depressants

(375 Posts)
SugarHut Fri 31-May-13 16:57:15

I'd really like some (kind,helpful) advice please, as I've seen some very harsh and condescending things written where people seem to genuinely be seeking help.

I have a 5yr old boy, and being very honest, I've never really even liked him...I feel like if I could press a button and it would take me back to never have fallen pregnant then I would press it like a shot. I make myself be as good a mother as I can, I hug him and tell him I love him, but I feel nothing. I don't feel repulsion, or hatred, but I feel nothing towards him. It makes me so sad...mainly for him, although I feel I hide it well and he's none the wiser. I long for the 2 days a week my mother has him when I can be me. I'm not a drippy "woe is me" failure, I'm a very strong woman, he's in private school, I have a very good job, which is not even very demanding...on the outside, I look like I have it made....but I wanted a girl so very badly, and every day I feel disappointed.

He's very smart, he gets outstanding reports, his behaviour is excellent, they are talking about putting him up a year in school...all things other parents tell me are amazing. On the outside I smile and gush and agree...on the inside I couldn't care less. I hate it.

Does this sound like depression? I can't bring myself to take any medication, so please don't advise me too. And please don't lecture me for "you shouldn't have had a child if you only wanted a girl" yes I did...but trust me if I knew I'd be this permanently disengaged and hate it to the extremes I do, then I would not have had him and saved us both. No pointless battering me for a decision I can not reverse, I feel bad enough as it is.

I look at other children at the school, and if I look at one of his little girl friends, I imagine it was my child and I get overwhelmed with these warm loving feelings, I want to pick her up and cuddle her, take her shopping, brush her hair, make cakes with her, read stories with her, I feel overwhelming pride and love even though it's a random child, then I look at him and want to cry. I am looking at him right now, and I picture him being a girl and I feel like there is so much love in me for a girl and he's just this child in my house that I don't even feel related to that's ruined my life.

What do I do??? Are there any non medication routes that actually work if I am depressed? Does it even sound like depression? I know these feelings aren't normal, and I know it shouldn't have taken me 5 years to say something about it. But anyone who has had a remotely similar experience please help me. x x x

Empross76 Fri 31-May-13 17:35:28

I didn't want to read without posting, even though I don't have much to say that can help.
It sounds to me like it could be linked to depression as there is a lack of bonding with your son.
A friend of mine had very severe PND and could not bond with her son at all. It was pinpointed from the word go and she has had treatment (including electro-convulsive therapy) and is slowly getting better.
Have you spoken to anybody about this? A visit to the GP would probably be a good idea, if you can face it.
Good luck. X.

EstelleGetty Fri 31-May-13 17:57:21

It absolutely sounds like depression. And no, you don't deserve lectures, because the way you're feeling is not your fault. 5 years is a long time to feel bad. A visit to the GP sounds like a good idea.

I can understand your fear of medication. A talking therapy might be best. If there's a huge NHS waiting list, could ypou afford to go private? Please just allow yourself to let your guard down and tell the GP. It sounds like you're working very hard to maintain everything being OK - that's a tough job.

SugarHut Fri 31-May-13 18:27:28

I do have a fear of the medication, and it's addictive qualities...and also severe allergies to almost every tablet under the sun, so probably not able to take them anyway.

I just want to like him. And it kills me to say that. I just want to look at him once and feel pleased that he's in my life. Genuinely pleased, not a conscious effort to appear that I am. For example, he's just been playing with his hexbugs, singing away, drawn me a picture. And I tell him how wonderful and clever he is, and like a doting mother, pin it on the fridge with the rest. And he skips off happily back to his things. Oblivious. But I feel so empty, like he's an adopted child that I've been lumped with and have no interest in.

Will the GP report me as being mentally ill? Will they potentially take him away, or put him on some red tape nonsense register?? If it seems that the child is flourishing academically and a happy young man, am I really doing the right thing by opening this can of worms. After all I've plastered the fake face on for 5 yrs now...and I don't feel like "oh I can't go on, I'm so hard done by" is it best to shut up and put up and not rock the boat as things could be much worse?

Thank you for your support guys x x x

SugarHut Fri 31-May-13 18:28:20

I must say though, god it feels good to finally tell someone. My mother would bloody disown me.

x x x

Empross76 Fri 31-May-13 19:02:34

Well keep talking here if it's helping!
Only other advice I can offer is a friend who was told at scans that she was having a girl but they got it wrong. It affected her bonding as she had effectively bonded with 'her daughter' for twenty weeks prior to the birth. She felt for a long time that this son of hers wasn't actually hers at all.
Not the same thing, but similar. Just wanted you to know you're not alone. And now that you've 'opened the can of worms' by confessing all on here, do keep going with it. Don't put the lid back on and have it fester away. If it feels good to talk on here, then think how much better it would feel with a trained professional who actually knows what they're talking about!

EstelleGetty Fri 31-May-13 19:27:39

They won't take your son away, don't let that worry you. You're no danger to him. Empross is right, of course talk on here as much as you like - you'll always find a kind listening ear. But do look into seeing a professional. You don't have to keep juggling all this. Seeking help doesn't make you weak.

A good GP won't push meds

EstelleGetty Fri 31-May-13 19:29:31

Sorry, posted too soon. A good GP won't push meds on you. They'll talk you through the range of resources available. Let us know how you get on. X

Hoophopes Fri 31-May-13 19:32:17

Hi if you do not want medication then talking help is the other main option. Sme resources are available on the NHS, depending usually on the severity of depression. Sometimes online websites can be prescribed, or a short course of cbt. It depends what you think will help you best.

If you do not want the gp to know or any of this to be on your records you can pay privately for counselling. Using websites such as BACP will help you find registered counsellors that adhere to ethical codes. Prices vary but the advantage of private help is you can choose the type of therapy you have, such as cbt, CAT, Jungian analysis, etc etc. i only suggest this as one option as you note your son is in private school so guess you are not against private routes. You can also have more than a few sessions as well. However, when I tried private the first time I was not ready to change, so it was not best use of my money.

What I have found helpful for my depression is: good sleep routine, healthy diet, regular exercise and meeting up with people (I did a course, then an evening class etc etc for time for me).

Hope whatever route you choose helps you.

Salbertina Fri 31-May-13 20:07:32

Ok, my view is that you need proper therapy, not CBT but something deeper such as psychoanalysis. I don't see how ADs would help.

Can i ask about your own childhood and also your dc's birth? Feel free not to answer if you're not comfortable but wonder what's triggered your numbness.

I had an awful birth with dc1 so much so that a kindly NHS midwife "debriefed" me in her own time on it, really helped. I also found that my birth family issues came yo he fore once i was mother. Sorry if I'm just projecting here!

Salbertina Fri 31-May-13 20:16:46

Hope i didn't seem patronising. Meant to say i really feel for you - my bond with dc1 awful for long while for reasons already given so trying to offer some possible insight. Thats all.

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 13:06:37

The pregnancy was average, not 9 months of maternal bliss, but nothing particularly rotten, I would say fairly standard. Birth was a doddle...elective caesarean...I was anaesthetised then he was out in about 6 minutes, he's been astonishingly easy to look after, no tantrums, no difficult behaviour (yet) eats anything you put in front of him...in my opinion, it's not the birth, or the child's personality or general "nature" that makes me feel this way. Although with what I can now acknowledge as my odd thoughts and feelings, I could well be wrong. I certainly don't feel like he is to blame for anything in any form, I know it's not his fault at all, which makes me feel even worse for how much I resent having him sad I am told all the time how incredibly lucky I am with him, how other parents long for their own child to like this. Which again I smile at, and internally the guilt piles on.

I think you may have touched on something with my family though, I am an only daughter, my mum is my best friend. She was in the beauty industry, as am I, and I beyond desperately wanted the same with my child. I visualised how much I would love my daughter, teaching her to be a woman. Mum and I have so much in common, we spend hours designing our houses, going to beauty events, laughing that we've both gone out and unknowingly bought the same shoes/bag/whatever yet again because our tastes are so similar...we are unbelievably close. I suppose I hate that I will never have that with a boy. He doesn't care for any of my interests (but of course he doesn't, I wouldn't expect a boy to) and I care for none of his. I can honestly say that I have never played with him. Never once sat down and played. How awful is that. I've taken him to the park a handful of times but really that's just so I can leave him to get on with other children, so I don't have to interact. I look at the bond I have with my mother, and know that anything like it will be impossible with a boy, and I'm not being self pitying and negative, I'm being realistic. Also, I see my mother nearly every day. My female cousins see my aunties every day. We all do spa days, and help each other do boot sales, and lunch together all the time. The boys in my family see their mothers once a month or so, it's just how boys are. I hate it.

Thanks for your messages guys, they are really helping think about things and question what specifically I am so disappointed by. What is Cbt and Cat by the way? x x x

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 13:23:01

OP- i discovered thro therapy that i had always been "projecting" certain family dynamics/issues/characteristics onto dc1. It's powerful stuff which you can only break once you're aware of it.

From what you. Say, there's a very strong feminine dynamic in yours which ds cannot but fail to meet! Worth investigating??? Considering how he brings a new dynamic to your family to complement not replicate what you have with other family members.

Ultimately, he's a little human being and his personality would be the same whether the pink or blue version. How does dh help/have fun w him?

As a mother of sons, i admit i often find them utterly perplexing (had no brothers to learn from either!) . It's a new world of football, dirt, scruffy clothes, computers, star wars... Wouldn't mind a bit of shopping/makeup/dolls house myself sometimes, if that helps.

It sounds to me as if CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) would be good for you (its about altering your reactions to certain triggers, and seeing things in a totally different perspective). It looks as if there is a lot going on there, and its to do with the fact he's a boy and your 'expectations' of what a mother-son relationship will develop into as he grows up and 'expectations' of what a mother-daughter relationship would be like. I have three boys and I can't deny that I haven't worried about how my relationship with them will be like when they are older (i.e. not having that special bond a mother and a daughter have when the daughter has a baby of her own, shopping together, sharing 'female' traits etc). I have a mum and sister who I am very close too as well, but I have three very special relationships with my boys and they are all different. The oldest is the clever one (perhaps like your DS) who is a year above at school and on the gifted register, the middle one is the imaginative one who is currently playing 'hotels' and is dressed in a suit pretending he's the hotel manager of our house, the youngest is three and he's one who climbs anything and everything.

Your posts make me feel very sad for you and your little boy but I don't think it is beyond help. I would have thought therapy is the way to go: talk, more talk and more talk. Your feelings aren't abnormal, you just need a little help to help you and your little boy to have the relationship with each other as mother and son that you both deserve, and will enjoy.

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 13:28:14

And imho you're v wrong to think you couldn't build as strong a bond as you have with yr dm with ds. Maybe not now but as adults, who knows. I have had only a weak bond with my own dm from early teens until now. Always been much closer to df.

PS The fact that you are here asking for advice and help shows that deep down you do have a bond with your little boy and that you want to change things x

aamia Sat 01-Jun-13 13:29:50

You need to see a counsellor/psychologist. They will help you untangle your feelings and learn to see that you can have the relationship you want, with your son. When you feel free to enjoy him for who he is, you will find the love and the bond that you miss. In the meantime, do some of the stuff with him that you'd like to do with 'a child'. So do some cooking with him, read him stories, paint with him. Imagine him as the handsome, gorgeous man he will grow into, and help him become that.

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 13:33:56

Salbertina...did your therapy help? Do you actually feel better, or do you still feel the same, but have been "taught" how to deal with it? If that makes sense.

Yes, I agree, he cannot but fail to meet...and that's what gets me down so much, no matter how much I could try and fix the way I feel about this and that and the other, when the cards are down, I only ever wanted a girl, and had no idea I would be so broken and truly empty and not want this boy. I knew I wanted a daughter, but just assumed I'd somehow adapt to a son, but I even saying that I have a "son" makes me sad. I'm heart achingly jealous of every little girl I see. I don't see how that can ever be fixed. Although I desperately, desperately want to be proved otherwise.

x x x

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 13:37:11

And have been a single mother since he was 18 months...although, have had a couple of relationships since, both ended amicably, I am never short of offers...I know people will jump on the "struggling single mother" bandwagon, but I assure you it's nothing to do with that, it's not denial I promise, I have a pretty easy time, no real day to day worries, and apart from the obvious, I like my life x x x

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 13:42:16

Yes, therapy did help, hugely tho often raised more qus than it answered.

If it helps, i think the fact that you have such a healthy, functional family dynamic esp with your mother, bodes very well for the building of a relationship with ds. Your dm must have modelled how to be a very good mother.

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 13:45:05

I think I'm going to phone the GP on Monday, I guess it can't make matters any worse. I don't know if I can sit there and say this to a doctor though. Do you think I'll look like a bit of a nutjob if I print this out and just give it to him? x x x

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 13:49:27

No, do if it helps! I went the private route, found a psychotherapist on recommendation. Gp not the only way to go and may be a wait and probably just a few weeks of CBT on offer.

Wondering whether you'll be counselled to mourn the loss of your much-wanted dd in order to be able to move on and accept ds. Journalling/therapy, any way to let this out can really help.

showtunesgirl Sat 01-Jun-13 15:54:49

OP, have you heard of gender disappointment? There's a lot of info out there about this.

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 17:34:12

No, I haven't?? Are there any threads on here? Literally just joined the site and don't really know how to find things/navigate

x x x

SugarHut Sat 01-Jun-13 18:17:34

Oh ok...just did some hunting, and yes, these women seem to describe the same thing BUT they are all either pregnant and just had the sex scan, or literally just had the child. Can't find anything for older children. They are also "comforted" with inane fluffy posts of "oh don't worry you'll grow to love him" by mothers who obviously don't have the first comprehension of what this feels like and frankly patronising with "oh just be happy it's a healthy baby". Like that's the end of it. Fecking idiots. Boy, it infuriates me, as if we don't all know we should be grateful for a healthy child, as if we don't all desperately wish not to feel these feelings. 5 years on I can tell you that you don't feel better, you don't accept it, you don't "wonder how you ever felt like that" you just learn to get on with going through the motions with what feels like a stranger in your house. God, those posts have made me so bloody mad sad
x x x

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