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How would you feel if a friend told you that they thought you needed therapy?!

(97 Posts)
grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 10:52:01


Firstly, I have name changed, although I am not the most regular poster in the world - I have forgotten my old password and my laptop reset itself so I have had to sign up again!

I'm a little unsure what to think about this and it has been playing on my mind quite a lot. I am in my mid thirties, single, and have always been single. I don't think that this is because there is anything horrible about me, it's just been a series of unfortunate events in particular in my late teens which lasted into my mid twenties. By the time I was in a position to start meeting men, the good ones had been taken. I did try, tried Internet dating but I just had no interest at all which was a shame. I concentrated on my career instead and have done pretty well, I'm hardly earning three figures but I do have a comfortable salary and lovely home.

A couple of years ago I started thinking in terms of being single as something that might not change - before that, I mean, I had always thought that I'd meet someone "in the future" and I started to think I might not. confused When I really thought about it, I wasn't all that bothered. I'd seen too many friends have their hearts broken and marriages fall apart and I've never been bothered by being on my own. But I was very upset at the thought of never having children of my own, so I started to look into alternatives (hence why I originally signed up to Mumsnet.) After months of planning I'm now in a position to start trying later ths year and I'm so happy and excited about this.

Most close friends know and have been extremely supportive and excited for me, but there are just a couple who have been quite pleased to my face and yet have let slip that in fact they think I am "damaged" in some way which is why I haven't ever had a partner. One is convinced I am a closet lesbian and the other made the comment I alluded to in my thread title - she is having therapy and told me I should try it - "It would be cheaper than fertility treatment and I bet by the end you wouldn't NEED fertilty treatment."

AIBU to be a little bit hurt by that? (I am a LITTLE hurt by the way, I am not going to never-speak-to-her-again!) I just feel that after months of being supportive, she's now behaving as if I'm wrong, damaged or unhappy in some way. And, if I was going to have therapy, it wouldn't be "to get a boyfriend!"

Thanks for reading smile

Tee2072 Sat 19-Jan-13 10:55:24

You are certainly entitled to your feelings but you are also entitled to live your life however you want.

I think you're friend was trying to help, but if you think you don't need therapy, thank her for the suggestion and go on with your life.

HollyBerryBush Sat 19-Jan-13 11:00:59

Your friends will have an onlookers view of you - there are many people who I think are in good need of a lay down on a couch and getting a load of stuff out in the open - I wouldnt voice that opinion to them though, not unless I were very close to them>

So I suppose it depends how you project yourself I suppose. If you give the illusion of being off the wall like I do because it's a defence mechanism to stop people getting too close - then they are going to think you need your noodle probled grin

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 19-Jan-13 11:02:06

A friend suggested I needed counselling. I didn't, I just needed her to stop avoiding me/refusing to see me/ take my calls.

I was very upset. Very upset, never forgotten it and things have never been the same since.

I am single and no idea why anyone would want children on their own but if that's what you want, go for it. It's your life not theirs.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:03:41

That's the thing - I don't think I am off the wall in the slightest grin Friend is, though, hence the therapy.

I'm not sure whether she was trying to help or not but it just made me feel strange that to my face for over two years now she has been supportive about me having a child alone when all along she appears to have thought I need "therapy" to get a partner. It is that I feel a bit miffed about.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:44

I wouldn't take it too personally. She's being a bit evangelical about therapy because it's working for her and she wants everyone to reap the same benefits. Projection rather than empathy, but probably means well.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:53

Bilbo - I don't "want children on my own", I want children, and I happen to be on my own.

There is a difference. smile

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 19-Jan-13 11:12:20

She might just be a bit super-happy about therapy if it's working well for her. I loved it and think everyone should do it. So I would really try not to be offended!

If it's something you might like to do then try it, it doesn't have to be connected to your family plans.

Good luck with your fertility treatment.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:14:50

Thanks TeWi smile

YorkshireDeb Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:11

Just want to say a big well done you for having such a positive mental state & taking control of your future. And for the record I don't think you need therapy. I spent the whole of my teens & twenties single. In my thirties I had a brief fling with a friend of a friend, an awful relationship with a man I went to school with & eventually met my wonderful dp who I now have a beautiful ds with. In my long single spell I regularly questioned what was wrong with me & it turns out the answer was nothing - some of us just have really shitty luck with men. Good luck with your fertility treatment. I'm sure you'll be a fabulous mummy. X

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 19-Jan-13 11:25:44

I think this might be a difference of perspective; you suggest that therapy is for those who are 'off the wall'. It doesn't have to be. I consider myself a totally sane person who, if you met me in real life, you would likely think was pretty sorted. I see a therapist because I like having someone completely impartial to bounce ideas and problems off.

If your friend sees it in this way, I can see why she might think it would be helpful to you. YOu are making a major life changing decision on your own. Good for you and I really admire you and have a friend who did the same. But suggesting therapy doesn't mean she thinks you are crazy. Just that you might benefit from discussing your decisions with someone.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 19-Jan-13 11:26:37

I agree with TeWi. I ve never had therapy but I've done a couple of lower level counselling courses, and I think everyone would benefit from therapy in some form. This may well be where your friend is coming from.

Also, some people have strong feelings against deliberately bringing a child into the world as a single parent, which may also have something to do with what she said. It's not a personal thing against your plans, it's just a general feeling that it is far from ideal for the child involved. She may want to be supportive of you, and by suggesting something that has worked so well for her seems (to her) like the best way to do that.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 11:46:10

Cloudsandtrees, both friends who have been critical are both single parents !(although the children do not live with them.)

Blameitonthebogey - not really, it was in response to someone else. smile I did have counselling years ago but it wasn't helpful for me personally. Friend is doing some sort of therapy to do with dreams. I never remember my dreams grin

Thanks YorkshireDeb, I'm really looking forward to it smile

ApocalypseThen Sat 19-Jan-13 12:01:56

I said that to a friend once. She had explained to me that a physical problem was stopping her from feeling comfortable enough with men to have a sexual relationship. I thought if her self esteem was that badly dented by what is (to the onlooker, these things are always far bigger to the person with them) a very minor problem, professional help with her self esteem might be an idea.

She was very offended and thought I was implying that she was mad.

The point is, you may be unaware of how the things you say sound to people who care about you. They might perceive your distress to be greater/different than you do.

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 19-Jan-13 12:11:37

Actually, come to think of it the person in question was having counselling herself. All it seemed to do, though, was convince her that she couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong, even though she was making things a million times worse.

I don't know why anyone would want children full stop, actually, so not really a comment on having them on one's own.

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 12:34:03

If it's playing on your mind, perhaps you think she might have a point? People's comments usually stick if they chime with something you think yourself, otherwise you just forget about it.

Would you like to have a relationship?

louschmoo Sat 19-Jan-13 12:43:35

It sounds to me like she's getting something out of her therapy and therefore has decided that you would benefit from it too because, like hers, your life isn't 'perfect'. Maybe she feels a bit funny about having therapy and doesn't want to be the only one! I wouldn't take it to heart - she's clearly not a particularly tactful or thoughtful person. If she were, and she genuinely thought that you had issues which required therapy, then she would have sat you down and tried to have a proper conversation about it.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:06:25

[grn] bilbo, fair enough!

Cailin, I don't know that it is that I thnk she's got a point, exactly. It is really hard to explain! If she'd said, "I think you're lovely, but you're down on yourself, I've found therapy really helpful!" I wouldn't have minded at all as I can be a bit down on myself (no more so than other women though!) It's the therapy + me = boyfriend thing I was a bit hmm about - as if there's something wrong with being single.

Said friend has one terrible relationship after another - I'd rather be in my shoes than that! I wouldn't like a relationship with just anyone, it would obviously be nice if someone I cared about was available and liked me too was around, but I don't think that is going to happen.

Thanks for the replies everyone smile

Bigwuss Sat 19-Jan-13 13:12:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cumfy Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:10

Friend is, though, hence the therapy.

Does she agree with your characterisation ?

Do you feel superior to your friend; she needs therapy but you do not ?

badguider Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:23

I think it's a bit strange that you think you will never have a romantic relationship when you're (hopefully) less than halfway through your life.
Yes, I understand that there isn't sufficient time perhaps to have children with a partner and I admire you going for it alone. But why wouldn't you meet somebody in your 40s, 50s, 60s?
I think it's this attitude that might make people wonder if you want to explore the idea with a professional (given that you also say you'd quite like a relationship. If you were vociferously against monogamous relationships that would be different).

cumfy Sat 19-Jan-13 13:19:26

What I mean really is are you being entirely honest with your friend regarding your views about her having therapy.

LaCiccolina Sat 19-Jan-13 13:20:18

Don't get this at all. Friend is being helped by therapy. Friend suggest u try it.

How's that any different from "shit I've lost half a stone on Atkins diet! U gotta try this???"

Grip, get one.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:22:05

Gosh cumfy, not at all! t's her business, I'm pleased it's working for her but I don't think it's for me. Plus, she does have a pretty serious MH condition (diagnosed) and has been hospitalised for it before - the therapy she feels is helping her would probably just not suit me.

Badguider, I've just never had anyone be interested in me, I don't know why. I suppose I just think that if they weren't interested in a 25 year old single me I don't think a 45 year old me with child(ren) would appeal smile

MinnieBar Sat 19-Jan-13 13:24:06

Saying you need therapy - not on.

Saying you could benefit from therapy - fair enough. As has already been said, we probably all could, especially when making big life-changing decisions.

Saying if you had therapy, you wouldn't be trying to conceive - bonkers.

It's interesting isn't it, that lots of people see it as a negative?

I am a counsellor BTW!

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