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Accepting love

(12 Posts)
blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 10:46:08


I have name changed for this, I am a regular poster

I'm after some advice if possible, or almost the hope that someone will tell me it isn't just me...

To put it bluntly, I really struggle to accept the fact that my parents love/care for me?

It's weird, I had a normal childhood - not overly huggy/I love you's etc but I felt wanted, part of the family. We were close, got on well. There's nothing particularly that jumps out at me that was strange

I have a lovely relationship with my DH and 2 teenage children. Again we're not a I love you/huggy family but we are close, have lots of fun together and I know they all love me and I adore them back.

I have normal friendships with friends - some I hug, some I don't- that's more down to if they are huggy people themselves!

Now to my parents - we're close, I speak to them daily, we occasionally holiday with them etc. All pretty normal stuff

However , I have this really weird cringing feeling if they show a level of love or concern about me?! It's really odd . So as an example, I haven't been 100% for the last week or so and had a Covid test. Nothing major, slight cough. 3 days post me doing the test (no result) I get a call from my dad saying that when the results come to call him first as mum has been crying pretty much since I told them I had booked a test.

I found this really hard to hear, like I just couldn't get her reaction - I would have been upset if my children were unwell but I wouldn't have cried about it (unless very unwell). It almost annoyed me as it felt so over the top blush

In the past they've both slipped in "do it because we love you" or something similar and that leaves me very uncomfortable to?! It's so strange as I'm a parent and I adore my children, so I do get the loving parent thing but I seem to not attach it to them? Does that make sense.

I know I do struggle to feel suffocated. I'm naturally an introverted person, I like my own space and to make my own decisions. I wonder if this is the crux of it. They are over powering at times but I know their heart is in the right place. It's just odd as if a friend or anyone else showed me care and attention I'd accept it, I just find it hard when it's from them..

I don't really know what I'm asking, it just feels good to write it down. I've never told anyone before !!

OP’s posts: |
blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 20:05:02

Maybe it is just me then shockgrin

OP’s posts: |
Squirrel26 Tue 19-Jan-21 21:20:26

I ‘get’ this, I think. The best analogy I can think of is that I feel like a cat that doesn’t want to be stroked - when they hollow their back to get away. I can feel myself mentally shrinking away.

I’ve absolutely no idea why, I’m afraid, so I can’t be much help. sad The only thing I can think of is that I have quite a strong need to ‘fix’ things - so if my mum was upset about something to do with me I would feel the need to try and make it better. Maybe it’s a self preservation thing?

Bearnecessity Tue 19-Jan-21 21:46:14

Is this not just you pushing against what you see as slightly OTT demos of love, is your threshold where this is justified just slightly different to your parents therefore you find it a bit unnecessary in those moments if not a bit controlling. After all you freely exist within the love of your immediate expert here...mind you...

blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 22:14:13

Thanks both

They are a little bit controlling. We get on well but there's very much a matriarch/patriarch feeling within the family - they struggle to treat me like a 40 year old with a mortgage and 2 teenage children! I've found them particularly hard work the last few years. As a family we went through a trauma about 5 years ago with one of my children, it's really changed the way I think - putting us and the children first for a change. I often wonder if it's something to do with this, but it probably was an issue before then

It just saddens me. I'm a very loving caring person. When my friends show me care and attention I don't cringe, I think it's really nice and how lucky am I to have friends like that! My parents do that and it grates on me. I think it doesn't help that they often make it about them - so the Covid comment, I understand mum was worried but it became more about the concern about mum and not me - not that I want attention (that's far from what I want) but because it feels like I'm being made to feel a burden.

It's so hard to explain! I end up feeling like I'm conscious that I don't become overbearing to my sons, so they don't end up feeling like me too

OP’s posts: |
blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 22:17:21

I just wanted to say I'm not horrible to them, I keep all of this inside. So when Dad rang I said I was fine and told her not to worry.

We get on well, speak daily etc

OP’s posts: |
MajesticWhine Tue 19-Jan-21 22:25:21

This is interesting. Perhaps you have learnt to associate love with their controlling or overly intrusive behaviour - at an unconscious level. So it makes you feel a bit fearful or even angry. Maybe accepting their love seems to come at a cost - or it has done in the past - ie losing your independence. Or perhaps more accurately now, a feeling of losing your independence, that feels quite threatening.

blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 22:41:09

I think you've hit the nail on the head @MajesticWhine

There's definitely an independence thing, I'm fiercely independent and almost certainly the thing I find hard is when they assert an authority. It really annoys me

They undermine me a lot, probably by being too caring. Claim they know me better than I know myself etc - they really don't! Thing is I think if they backed off a bit I'd be more open with them, but they start and I put up my shield. I always dread something really awful happening to me and then having to deal with Mums upset - as I say I understand the upset, it's the feeling that I've created this upset for her that's hard.

The funny thing (or maybe not) is that they both had sad upbringings, both lost a parent at a very young age, family fall outs etc and I always remember them swearing they'd give my Dbro and I space as adults. However I think instead they feel they have provided this intense love which in turn has just pushed me away

OP’s posts: |
blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 22:56:24

An example of them being overbearing and how I react -

As a young child I was asthmatic - not severely but it was unstable at times. I seemed to slowly outgrow it. A couple of months ago I saw the doctor about a cough I'd had and I queried whether my asthma had reappeared - I hadn't had inhalers for 10 years and no steroids in that time. They gave me inhalers to try.

I tell my parents. They laugh about the doctor, announce my asthma is the worse they've ever seen in someone and it's ridiculous I haven't had an inhaler in all of that time as my asthma is so terrible. I say it's been much better in recent years, which is quashed with that's rubbish

I should take that as a nice thing, they care and worry. I take that as them trying to make out I don't know anything and only they know best.

Blimey this does make me sound weird, it's great to be able to write it down though. It's such a sad and weird feeling sad

OP’s posts: |
MajesticWhine Tue 19-Jan-21 23:08:16

Doesn't sound weird at all. They may be very caring but they do sound overbearing and it's quite undermining isn't it - to tell you they know better about your health. You are not a child any more. You would probably know if you had asthma or not. Were they overbearing when you were little as well? It might have seemed normal at the time...

blahblahblah54321 Tue 19-Jan-21 23:16:21

I don't remember them being overbearing, I seemed to have a very standard childhood. As I said it wasn't lovey or all hugging but we had nice childhoods

I think as I've got older they've tried to cling hold of me, so the making out they know me best because they can't cope with me (or DH) knowing me better. It's sad really as I'm going no where. If there was something wrong with one of them I'd be the first in the car rushing to them.

OP’s posts: |
73kittycat73 Wed 20-Jan-21 00:35:21

Sorry, haven't read the full thread-but, I get it. I think it's because we feel infantilized so left feeling vulnerable? Also like the 'power balance' has been shifted from you to them?
Just my ponderings before bed! smile Will read more tomorrow.

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