I don't love my dd

(11 Posts)
Nchange Tue 24-Apr-12 17:04:24

I feel terrible even writing that title, but i realise i need help with this and need to write this post.
My dd is 15 and my eldest, she has a 7 year old half sister, dd is my child from a previous relationship, the relationship with her father was very abusive,physically and mentally, he also had serious addiction problems, it was a very dark time in my life and i think i have blanked alot of it out, we separated when she was a baby but unfortunatly i was forced by the court system to allow dd's father contact, she also suffered emotional abuse during this time, this contact ended at dd's request 3 years ago.
It's awful to admit this and i feel so sorry for dd as she deserves much better but deep down i know i don't love dd and i feel terrible it, i would obviously hate anything bad to happen to her but everything i do for her is out of a sense of duty rather than love, i also find it difficult to show dd affection but force myself to do so for her sake, we have never been close but at the same time do not have a bad relationship where we argue, as she is becoming older dd looks more and more like her father even down to her manerisms and facial expression which sometimes causes me to feel almost panicky at times and also incredibly sorry for dd as none of this is the poor childs fault and she can't help who she looks like!It has not always been this bad but has become much much worse over the last 2 years or so.
I really need some kind of proffesional help with this but i'm terrified to tell my gp incase he get's social services involved, i need some form of counselling before i completely mess up dd and her future.

HereIGo Tue 24-Apr-12 17:10:24

Oh goodness, ss would give you a medal for raising a lovely daughter with such kindness and patience.
Please go to your GP and ask for a family therapy referral.
Others may feel 1-1 therapy would help, but I have really seen family therapy do lovely work on how people feel about each other.
Well done on treating your daughter with the respect she deserves, you are clearly committed to her, and it really comes across how much clear you are that she deserves the best from you - love by any other name.
You have been a loving mother for 15 years, you are doing a great job, dont feel bad for asking for help to see if you can get the final piece of the puzzle into place.

tigerlove Tue 24-Apr-12 18:37:11

Hello Nchange. I can relate to what you say. But in that book 'The Art of loving' didn't the author Erich Fromm say that love is a choice we make rather than a feeling that we have?

As HereIGo says, you have shown love and made loving decisions despite your difficulty in always 'feeling' the way we are told we all 'should' about your child.

The bit I relate to is the way your and my child came into the world, the product of a 'dark time' in our lives, and of a relationship we regret. I don't feel I don't love my son exactly but by any standards he has had a difficult start in life.

Anyway, thanks for your honest sharing of your feelings, it's a brave thing to confess and makes me not feel so alone...Hugs, Zoe

chickydoo Tue 24-Apr-12 18:49:31

You are so strong to open up & share your thoughts and feelings. I have a 15 yr old DD, who can be quite a challenge at times.
It must be hard dealing with your own feelings towards your DD & all her teenage stuff too. You have been through a lot together, you may not think you love her, but love really does work in mysterious ways. Everything you have done as she has been growing up, even down to your post shows caring. If you didn't care you wouldn't bother writing about it. I think your feelings about your daughter are surrounded by past experience. I think you should go to your GP, and ask for a referral to a counsellor .
Good luck. ( what does your daughter think about you ? Do you have an idea?)

Nchange Tue 24-Apr-12 20:14:08

Thank you for your kind replies,i don't feel like i deserve them but thank you.
Are you sure that the Gp won't inform social services?I would hate to put dd in a position where her stability could be at risk.
I think i should have had some counselling a long time ago really as this is getting worse and its really not fair and i'm finding it harder and harder to hide especially as teenage behaviour is thrown into the mix.
chickydoo I think dd thinks i'm strict but understands it's with the best of intentions,i also feel a huge responsibility to ensure dd does not follow in her fathers footsteps (which is irrational also i know), unfortunatly i think she is starting to become aware that i can be distant sad

flow4 Tue 24-Apr-12 20:15:56

Nchange, your honesty and courage are fantastic. Thank you for sharing your feelings; I think you will make many parents breathe a sigh of relief, for saying something that I bet many people feel (at least at times) but don't dare say. I am myself struggling with the feeling that I don't love my son any more: I used to love him very much, but he has been so horrible for so long that I can't feel that love any more.

Abuse often leaves people emotionally damaged. It is usual for people who have been abused to find it difficult to love anyone, let alone a child who reminds them constantly of the abuse. Your capacity to love is still in you somewhere, but damaged. Meanwhile, you sound like you have done a fantastic job caring for your daughter in a 'loving way', and not dumping any of your own issues on her smile

I agree with HereIGo that you have absolutely nothing to fear from social services. Their job is to make sure children are safe and cared for, and it sounds from what you have said that she is! It is in fact unlikely that they would ever be involved, since the GP's job is to contact them if s/he feels a child is at risk of abuse or neglect - for example if you talked about harming her - but it doesn't sound like there is any risk to your child at all. smile

I also agree that counselling is a very good idea. But I wouldn't go for family therapy yet. It sounds to me like you need to work through your own feelings honestly and openly - and because of your experience of abuse, you will need and deserve to have the space to talk about things you may never want your daughter to hear. A counsellor will help you do that. When things are clearer in your own head, you could go on to have family therapy with your daughter(s) if you wanted.

Also, although your relationship with your daughter will obviously be an important part of what you want to talk about with the counsellor, you don't even need to mention it to the GP if you don't want to. You can ask for counselling for the abuse you suffered in the past, or just say you have a lot of complicated emotions and things you need to talk to someone about. Again, a counsellor won't contact social services or tell anyone anything about what you've said unless s/he thinks a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.

Depending on where you live, there may be a women's centre where you could get counselling or other types of support (eg. drop in sessions). And last but not least, there is some phone/online support that might feel more 'anonymous', for example:
Women's Aid phoneline support
Women's Aid online survivors' forum/chat
Relate phone counselling

Good luck smile

HereIGo Tue 24-Apr-12 21:48:54

Good luck OP. Yes I am sure that your GP does not need to contact ss. She/he may ask you if you want them contacted, and you can say no. Even this is unlikely, except for some areas with amazing teams doing work on emotional health within families. (rarer than hens teeth)

niceguy2 Wed 25-Apr-12 11:49:48

NChange.

Obviously I don't know how you truly feel.

But from where I'm standing it sounds like you've been through a lot. Yet despite all this you've done your best to raise your child.

You've shown her affection and in the last couple of posts you are concerned that going to your GP may open a can of worms which adversely affects your daughter.

To be honest it all sounds like stuff any mother would do for her child. Are you sure you are not being too hard on yourself?

DrunkenDaisy Wed 25-Apr-12 12:27:04

Are you sure she loves you and would be hurt by this?

I only say that because I'm sure that my Mum had a difficult time coming to terms that she didn't love me (as a teen/adult, she did as a baby). But that's ok with me, because I don't love her either. I mean I do in a 'She's my Mum' kind of way, but I don't like her as a person and I don't enjoy spending any time with her.

DrunkenDaisy Wed 25-Apr-12 12:27:50

Not that you should tell her that you don't love her. You mustn't do that obv.

flow4 Thu 26-Apr-12 09:58:50

DD, that sounds very difficult for you, but not part of what Nchange needs to deal with here and now.
N, are you worried your GP will get in touch with social services simply because you ask for counselling? Because I can reassure you on that: I know a lot of parents who have got counselling thru a GP (about 10 I'd guess, including me) and not one has ever been contacted by SS because of it! smile

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