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Struggling with grief but feel i have no right to be.

(9 Posts)
thunderbuddy Mon 13-Feb-17 20:17:17

Have name changed as obviously identifying. Sorry this is very long but I feel the need to get it out. I'm really struggling at the moment.

Some years ago my brother was born and died at birth. In those days things were different and even my Mum and Dad didn't see him. My Mum nearly died too and wasn't expected to live till morning. They told my Dad so. The hospital buried my brother because my Mum was so poorly, my Dad asked to be told but when they rang the funeral directors they had already buried him, we don't even know where he is.

My Mum recovered medically but went into a full breakdown, she ended up as an inpatient for a while.

I was a preschooler so remember little of this time other than being scared and being at Grandparents.

My Mum because massively protective and wouldn't let my Dad near, my Dad struggling with illness and grief backed away. I tried desperately to have a relationship with him and failed.

Some years later my parents tried to adopt, it was an awful situation with a family still recovering from loss. Instead of the much younger child they had wanted to adopt SS pushed them into adopting a sibling group with a child very close in age to me and her half sibling. There was a lot of serious stuff SS had failed to disclose came out and it was decided for the sake of the youngest because of what she had been through in her birth home that she needed to be elsewhere and the adoption broke down.

For me it was a relief. That sounds awful but I was just getting over my Mums breakdown, the kids were very troubled, stealing, breaking my things etc which obviously I understand now but not as a small child and honestly I was jealous. I was jealous that my Dad had a relationship with these kids and did all the piggy backs, fun I had never had. I felt guilty, not knowing that SS had failed to disclose issues and it had been decided it was best I thought they had gone because of me. I even gave the older one my new bike I had got weeks before I felt so guilty. In fact until last year I still thought it was my fault.

My Dad fell apart at the loss of yet another child. He spent less and less time with me and basically lived in the caravan on the drive. He carried the girls picture in his wallet not mine and that fucking hurt and confirmed it was my fault.

My Mum became depressed and angry.
She started mentioning about divorcing my Dad to me, on holiday she spat out how my brother died, what caused it etc. Years passed and things got worse. As soon as I turned 18 I left home, desperate to get away and straight into an awful relationship.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety myself, I'm sure things have been hard for my own kids at times.

Last year I saw a singer on a tv show sing a song he had wrote in the similar situation and it broke me, I didn't realise till that point quite how much I had been affected.

This little person 30 odd years ago changed and affected my whole life, changed who I am, I miss him desperately. But I feel stupid and as though I am being a cheat. What right do I have to grieve for someone I've never met.

Maracattack Mon 13-Feb-17 20:21:55

I don't know the right thing to say here but I couldn't read and run. He was your brother - which is powerful - but he also represents an alternative life, what could have been. You have a perfect right to mourn both.

You certainly aren't stupid or a cheat.

BifsWif Mon 13-Feb-17 20:24:51

You have every right to grieve, and I say that as someone who lost a 19 year old sibling. Your loss is just as real as mine.

You are mourning the life you could have had, the parents you should have had. How is your relationship with them now? Have you considered some sort of counselling? flowers

ChishandFips33 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:29:39

I agree - you have every right to grieve, and on many levels.

You feel what you feel and no-one has any right to take that from you or belittle you for it.

What you need to do now is work out how you deal with it/get through it and, for me, acknowledging it in the first place is a damn good start

Do you think having your own children and knowing what that loss could feel like on a mother's level has also been a factor?

Do you have any real life support?

AstrantiaMajor Mon 13-Feb-17 20:33:22

I think you have every right to grieve. Like you say, the baby was whisked away. I expect in those days those in authority, to pretend it did not happen, that he was not a real person. Probably encourage your mother to move on and forget him. Neither you or your parents were given time to grieve. I expect they thought you would not be aware of what was happening.

Childhood trauma has only be recognised in more recent years. Suppressing all those feelings must have been so hard. The consequence
of your brother's death had tragic consequences for you. Maybe those feelings are resurfacing now, because you are a mother. I don't have any advice, just to,say that you are neither stupid nor a cheat.

thunderbuddy Mon 13-Feb-17 21:02:41

Thank you for being so kind.
I see my parents every weekend. They would give me their last penny and do anything for us. My Dad and my kids are very very close but emotionally they both still suffer from serious depression, my Dad cannot go anywhere and is again spending most of the time we are there upstairs in his room until we go.
He has liver failure as a result of drinking due to depression.

I have spent my life bouncing from one disaster to another. I started college I couldn't cope, I had to stop uni due to operations and tried to go back but couldn't cope. I bumbled from theirs into an awful marriage. Anxiety has eaten away at me and I've made a major mess of my life. I'm now a single Mum stuck in a flat with the kids still suffering from depression and anxiety and I'm in turn worried that I'm passing my own experience of growing up in a household of depression onto my kids.

I have no other RL support bar my parents. One of the kids has SN and I have ongoing health issues so it is hard to get out there.

I tried to find where my brother is thinking if i at least had a place to go i could start to move on somehow but i couldn't find him.

BifsWif Mon 13-Feb-17 21:21:16

I think you should start with a visit to your GP, and ask to be referred to a counsellor.

You have been through, and are dealing with, so much. Be kind to yourself x

Poudrenez Tue 14-Feb-17 11:47:05

OP you have every right to grieve. And remember that grief isn't just about death, but loss. Your brother died, and your family was devastated as a result. That's a massive loss, that is still reverbrating through your lives.

I don't think you'll pass this on to your kids, as you're acknowledging it and dealing with it. Good work getting this out there. FWIW I too have recently realised that I feel responsible for my family breaking down, so you're not alone.


ChishandFips33 Tue 14-Feb-17 12:55:45

If you can't find your brother could you maybe create a memory spot instead - somewhere you have happy memories or feel at peace (water does this for me so a river, the seaside or a lake/reservoir is where I head to)
Somewhere you can begin to make sense of your feelings and loss of him

I also think you should break it all down in to 'chunks' as opposed to dealing with it all in one go.

The reverberations through the family from all that has happened has been huge - no one can make sense of it all in one go

Starting at the beginning, with your brother is good thinking

You're also protecting your own family by beginning to deal with this - you can't hide children away from everything but what you can do is show them how to deal with it when issues arise

Take each step and each day as it comes flowers

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