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Need a friend. Sad every year on my birthday.

(15 Posts)
babbas Mon 26-Nov-12 15:06:36

Cbt is meant to be good but I've never tried it. Ask your dr to be referred if you can. I think it helps to deal with feelings rather than regurgitate the feelings.

tabbycat15 Mon 26-Nov-12 13:10:49

Thank babbas. I think that whoever I see it is all the same. I tell them everything, get upset then just seem to reach a dead end. No one tells me how to deal with the feelings. The last psychologist I saw just explained the reasons to why I felt like I did but it hasn't helped at all. I find that after a few sessions they go off on a tangent talking about themselves & other things. The session is over & I feel that I don't get anything out of it. I have seen 3 counsellors, 5 psychotherapists & 2 psychiatrists. I think talking therapy just isn't for me. I haven't had CBT but tbh I just feel like giving up now. I can't change my past. My medication gets me through the day. All I can do is be there for my kids & never let them suffer like I did.

babbas Mon 26-Nov-12 11:13:52

We owe it to ourselves and our kids to be happy. I find that my kids are my AD. I see them and all they deserve and need and I am instantly uplifted. Some days are harder than others but I'm here for you if you ever need to talk or pm me. You are not alone.

babbas Mon 26-Nov-12 11:11:27

Tabbycat I am crying having read your message. Childhood and children are so so precious. I am so sorry about what you were put through. I despise people like the foster parents you had. I judge and despise those patents I see at the school gate who send their kids to school with a piece of bread for lunch. I've helped out on school trips at my kids school and feel so angry that some parents consider a bag of crisps is sufficient lunch.

I just want to put my arms around you. I've never had counselling or spoken to anyone in RL. Like you I feel unworthy and undeserving. But it's a bad way to think. You are deserving of love and attention. Be kind to yourself and forgive your aggressors. I found a great tip on MN which said to go back to your 4 year old self and put your arms around her and tell her it's going to be ok. It sounds crazy but it works. I hope today isn't too bad for you. They took your childhood, your self worth. Don't let them take another minute of your life. Today is the first day of your life!! I know I sound crazy but I'm rooting for you. And me.

tabbycat15 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:53:22

I know how you are feeling. My parents died when I was a baby.

My foster parents abused me. They were a Christian family, we had to go to church, say prayers & grace. They treated their own children differently to my brother & me. We never had birthday or Xmas presents. They told us they hated us. We got sent to school without any lunch. We had to eat whatever was on our plate at home even if it made us vomit. They hit us.
Social services never believed us.
From age 4 I had to bath myself, change the sheets in my bed, clean the bathroom & do other chores. Own kids didn't have to do anything.
I ended up anorexic & suffer with depression. I have osteoporosis as I wasn't fed properly.

I always feel that I'm not good enough & that I don't deserve to have nice things. I have been married for 20 years but I have never let dh buy me any presents for anything.

I see a psychiatrist & I have had loads of counseling but it doesn't help. I only manage to get through the day as I am on 2 anti depressants & anxiety medication.

Have you had any type of counseling or psychotherapy?

babbas Fri 23-Nov-12 15:19:49

'you are not your mum'. Thank you for these simple but very meaningful words. Wow, they have really made me stop and think. Thank you smiffles and all the wonderful ladies who have helped me this week. I am touched beyond words. And typing out how I feel is so cathartic. Next step counselling.

Smiffle Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:24

They love you because you are such a kind, thoughtful mum who has guided them and helped them become the high-achieveing, well-rounded polite and delightful children that their teachers clearly recognise they are.

Everything in my life is about making them happy and never having them experience what I did. But in doing this I don't feel I address my own underlying sadness. I wish I could

You can and you must. Google local psychotherapists in your area, meet them or chat on the phone till you find one that you feel comfortable with and off you go. It's that simple, and it's that bloody impossible and terrifying!

All I could think of for a long time was my sadness at the crap way I'd been brought up, I thought I would drown in the injustice and heartbreak of it all. Therapy was amazing and while I still feel fucked up in lots of ways (hence my other thread!), I do feel as a mother than I can relax and enjoy my kids and not overcompensate for my own childhood.

One amazing thing that my therapist said to me towards the end - I was banging on about all the stuff (homemade and a huge amount of work but of course nothing but the best for my kids!!) I had to do for my dd's birthday party. My therapist said "I hope you're going to schedule a day off afterwards to recover." I laughed, she said, I'm serious, you need to recover from that level of effort or you'll burn out. I asked, what should I do? She suggested I spend the morning in bed with tea and my book.

I felt like an utter slattern, so she made it part of my therapy that every month or so I gave myself a day off; she also made me see that I needed to show my kids how to relax and switch off or the'd grown up with weird ideas about achieving and work/life balance and how to relax and all that good stuff.

I'll dig out some links, but I think the hardest part is what you've already done - recognising the problem, understanding what caused it and looking for some answers and ways to cope.

I am very cruel to myself. I don't want to be. But I don't know how to change. Today I want to stay in bed crying. But this I will never do. It's what my mum did. Instead I have batch cooked for the week, washed cleaned, read with the kids, exercised and had one on one time with each child.


babbas Fri 23-Nov-12 11:39:44

Smiffle thank you for the reply. I do so wish I could let go of the past bits almost as if my childhood completely defines me. Nothing else matters. When my kids say they love me and hug me tight I after say 'do you?' and they yell 'of course'. I don't sometimes see why the love me. On a good day though I know I am a good mum. At a recent parents evening I was told my kids were massively overachieving and then the teacher said she thought they were the most delightful, kind, lovely well mannered kids and that was a testament to me. My eyes filled up and I was so proud. More proud of this than their high achievements.

Everything in my life is about making them happy and never having them experience what I did. But in doing this I don't feel I
Address my own underlying sadness. I wish I could. Any self help
Books you can suggest would help. I did have a few hours to myself on my birthday and for the first time in ages I did what I wanted : I got in bed and had a good cry! It felt kinda good to be so indulgent!!

Smiffle Thu 22-Nov-12 09:27:28

Babbas, I totally understand every word you wrote. I had some amazing counselling dealing with similar legacies, mine from a very disrupted expat childhood with alcoholic father. My counsellor would say - you do all this and you still don't think you're a good enough mother? Be kind to yourself. IT IS ENOUGH.

It's really hard to accept that you had a crap childhood and your determination to make your own children's memories perfect is totally understandable.

Problem is, people like us have no idea what normal is, we just try and make a perfect life and think that happiness will automatically follow.

What I have tried is being my own mother. So the days when I want to wallow in bed, I imagine a kind voice saying 'why not, what the hell,' back under the duvet with a cup of tea, the housework can wait, you deserve this. You're NOT your mother, you sound amazing and your children are so lucky. If anything, you'll be a better mother because you know what you DON'T want to be.

You won't get your childhood back, but you can learn to look after yourself as well as everyone else.

I read some fantastic books too, feel free to pm me if you want a list and in the meantime, I hope that next year your birthday feels better.

babbas Sun 18-Nov-12 18:15:22

I think that is the problem. I can't love myself. I always find a fault. People think I'm an amazing mother. My kids are clean well dressed, top of the class, they take home baked goodies at events at school, I lead the PTA, I cook from scratch, our house is spotless, me and kids spend every minute together. But I still feel like a bad mother. It's never enough. The house is never clean enough. The food not healthy enough. I am very cruel to myself. I don't want to be. But I don't know how to change. Today I want to stay in bed crying. But this I will never do. It's what my mum did. Instead I have batch cooked for the week, washed cleaned, read with the kids, exercised and had one on one time with each child. I will take your advice Abd try harder to be kind to myself.

The legacy of a terrible childhood is just so hard to shake off.

1sassylassy Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:07

Your words strike a chord with me.I suspect I am a bit older than you but one thing age has taught me is to love myself and to be kind to myself.I realised that I am deserving ,you say you feel pointless,it sounds like you are doing a great job as a mum,I feel you need to be kind to yourself,realise that you are deserving of all the good things your life now offers.

Salbertina Sun 18-Nov-12 17:25:17

Happy birthday from me also, hope its a good celebration of your many achievements despite your understandable sadness.

babbas Sun 18-Nov-12 17:15:19

Thank you 1 sassy. I was unloved as a child. As a result I have no self esteem or self worth. To the outside world I am an over achiever. Funny. Clever. Kind. Resourceful. Intellectual. I am a great cook, I volunteer, I run my own charity in my spare time. I make everyone laugh. But underneath I feel pointless. I feel like a sad child just wanting to be loved and happy. It doesn't matter that I am loved now. I feel almost like my
Inner child is still there. Scared, yearning, cowering in a corner. Wanting to feel safe and normal. Childhood is so precious and I make sure my
Kids are happy and loved every day. Thank you for your kind words.

1sassylassy Sun 18-Nov-12 17:08:48

First can I wish you a happy birthday ,hope you have had a good day.

I too had a toxic childhood but unlike you I was never able to forgive my mother and cut all ties at 19,for ages I dwelled on my unhappy childhood for ages but one day wrote her a letter stating just how I felt and how the physical and emotional abuse had affected me,I never sent it but it was so cathartic to see it in black and white and made me come to terms with what had happened,hope you can find something that will ease your torment.

babbas Sun 18-Nov-12 16:12:02

Hi. I need a bit of hand holding today. It's my birthday soon. Every year at this time I feel incredibly emotional and sad. By way of background I grew up in a big family but with a severely mentally ill mother. There was very little emotional love or support and quite a lot of emotional and physical abuse. My wonderful father and siblings could not have been more loving. But growing up there were no birthday parties cards or pressies. There was a lot of neglect on many levels. I am now very successful, wonderful Dh kids and home. But I feel an overwhelming sadness most days. I spoke to the gp and turned down ADs as felt they zombified my mother. My AD is walking, cleaning and being the best mum possible.

But near my birthday I feel like a neglected child again. I don't feel angry at my mum. I adore her. She had mh problems and I accept that. But I feel like a sad lonely child again today. Teary and emotional. How can I let go of my childhood?

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