Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

I don't have support - is it my fault?

(17 Posts)
LeadBalloon Wed 10-Apr-13 18:34:05

I am isolated. I am overwhelmed by all the things I am supposed to know and do in life. Its harsh, but knew my husband was a lazy slob when I met him and didn't heed the warning signs, so now I have a battle on my hands when it comes to day to day support from him in running the home and only minimal input wrt to looking after the children. I have had depression in the past so I find motivation difficult myself, and although I've managed to greatly overcome my own shortcomings in this area, I just don't have the stamina to keep doing all the motivating for both of us, especially with his resistance.

I never did many of those baby groups or anything, so I never created that supportive network of mums around me I'm supposed to have (so I'm told) because I find those things really awkward and fishing for friends isn't easy for me. In my life I've always been the 'supportive one' - that is - good at helping others in their hour of need and this has somehow defined all my long-term friendships- (including my family who become verbally abusive if I show any weakness or need)- this pattern is probably my own need to be needed. Perhaps I try to make friends by sacrificing myself because I don't think I am worth being with without that sacrifice? Since these types of relationships aren't reciprocal I don't have anyone when I can't cope.

The friends I have who I've met more recently (in the last 5 years) tend to be more 'I'll meet you for a drink in a week' which isn't very supportive (obviously they are under no obligation to be any closer to me) and actually quite inconvenient to nurture relationships with- what with the kids to take care of.

I am exhausted, beaten down and I have no one to turn to. But I can see it is my fault. I can see where I've gone wrong, but I have no idea how I can find the energy to radically change myself to remedy the situation. Apologies for this long post. I suppose I'm just hoping that someone else can give me a bit of objectivity because I can't have this conversation with anyone in real life.

StephaniePowers Wed 10-Apr-13 18:38:01

I completely understand.
Have a massive hug.

LeadBalloon Wed 10-Apr-13 18:43:41

Thank you SP

StephaniePowers Wed 10-Apr-13 19:11:41

I'm sorry not to be much help.
It's harder to make friends as you get older and personally I've found the ones I have made have been keen on the reciprocal babysitting aspect. sad
Family are a dead loss (small families both sides) in terms of any support and I know at this stage that it has to be me. I really just need consistency from my family but seem to be with relatives who blow hot and cold depending on what's going on with them: and would simply never consider my needs ahead of theirs. I am falling apart too and they will never notice this.

LeadBalloon Wed 10-Apr-13 19:36:07

It seems we have a lot in common. Its nice of you to respond - I appreciate it.

I feel its all somehow linked - my crap family, my needy and draining long-term friends who can't provide support, my trouble and awkwardness making new close friends.

I think close friendships are forged through having some sort of lengthy shared experience, but ones that are created by occasional bumping intos and quick catch-ups don't get the chance to develop or deepen. And I am too bound to family life to have those shared experiences.

2712 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:52:18

I can sympathise.
I too have no real close friends, just other mums who nod at the school gates.
As for the DH, I wasn't warned as such like you were, but I saw the signs and chose to ignore them I suppose until it was too late.
Atm my life seems to be unravelling fast and I really have no idea what to do about it. The lack of support as you point out is a problem.
Can't offer any sound advice I'm afraid as I am also seeking it, but felt compelled to let you know you are not the only one going through this.

StephaniePowers Thu 11-Apr-13 11:45:11

Unravelling is a good way to describe it.
Over the past few weeks several things have happened - unfortunately all at the same time - where I have realised that all my contributions have been overlooked, ignored, shot down or sidelined.
This is professionally as well as within my marriage and family.
The lurching sensation when I realise another thing I've worked on or suggested is being discarded or ignored is starting to be too much.

I don't really know where to begin working out what's happened. I just know that despite working hard and being thoughtful, cheerful, accommodating, I'm the sort of person who others feel they can automatically discount, in any scenario.

This has been a pattern all my life, although there have been times when I've been able not to be bothered because there's so much going on. I don't know if it's a real feeling, or a misperception on my part - I've lost the ability to judge that.

If anyone knows how to get over that hurdle, please tell!

emlu67 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:06:37

Just want to let you know that you are not alone. I am the eldest of four siblings and everything I have ever achieved has been overlooked or put down by my parents. Nothing was good enough for them, not in a 'you can do better' way, more in a dismissive / not interested way. I have a hardworking husband but he is not a hands on parent so I have to do everything. My parents live locally but give little support and I always feel terrible asking for it so I rarely bother. They are better in an emergency (I had to stay in hospital for a few days a while ago) but it really does need to be an emergency to get the family support other people take for granted.

I also have typical eldest child 'eager to please' syndrome but nonetheless have only a couple of close friends and making new ones never seems to happen no matter what circles I mix in or how cheerful and friendly I am. I did join baby groups but now the children are older and at school we get together very rarely even though most of us now have free time during the day, they are all busy with new friends. I frequently wonder what is wrong with me. I even went on to Facebook for a couple of years in the hope of getting a few more friends but it was always me sending the request, never the other way round, even with family so I closed my account as it all seemed so false.

Sorry I am not much help but the one thing that keeps me going is to channel my energies into my children, appreciate all they do so that they are less likely to feel rejected and the pattern repeated again. I am so much closer to my children than my parents were to me and I do feel that early family life plays a strong part regarding confidence and how you are perceived by others. Too late for me now but not for them..

yellowhousewithareddoor Thu 11-Apr-13 22:11:43

Lonely here. Seems a vicious circle -told to open up to friends for support but can't do that when you first meet people, don't have stamina and happy life required for long term friends, lack of close friends and support means more stress and more need of them!

I went to a friends house who had all her family round today. It was lovely.most jealous.

lydiamama Thu 11-Apr-13 22:22:16

Hi there, another lonely mum here. I too find difficult to make friends, and been busier at home after children made it even worse. No family here at all, so no physical support. I am very introverted too, so I do not talk about my problems at least they get too big, far too big to deal with. we could become a good support to each other, at least a virtual support and ear to listen to our ups and downs

StephaniePowers Fri 12-Apr-13 07:19:48

I'm an eldest child too. Always asked 'Who did better?' and was insanely jealous of my cute, cheeky, extroverted sibling. It marks you.

I'd love a house full of friends. It did used to happen but we've all moved away and dh is now adamant that home is for down time and he's had enough of socialising. I mean, for fuck's sake, thanks dh.

OP I'm sorry, we're probably not helping! For me the solution is to soldier on really but long term I don't know.

happyworker Fri 12-Apr-13 07:28:13

Are there any support groups you can join not sure how old your children are could you help at the school i think sometimes its hard to make true friends at the school gate

LeadBalloon Fri 12-Apr-13 18:02:16

Thanks for all your thoughts and experiences. I didn't get a chance to respond until now. The friendship making is so awkward. I have the weird thing of coming across as extroverted and friendly once I'm talking, but I feel excrutiatingly uncomfortable about about taking things to the next level. I have a really fond memory of a friend at college encouraging me to sleep over for about 3 nights in a row, and mocked my uptight 'well I must be getting off' protestations - I had such a lovely, happy time. Its as though I require the other person to go against social propriety in order to be friends with me, which is not the sort of thing people tend to do as you get older.

SP my DH puts absolutely no work into our social lives and in fact often amuses himself with very self-absorbed activities so I don't even get to chat to him most of the time.

Thinking about this is giving me a hazy reminder that the best way of making friendships is when you are literally thrown together for an extended period (rather than just bumping into each-other and exchanging pleasantries), like an intensive residential course where you share thoughts in the day and socialise together in the evening - but you can't really do this with kids to look after... wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of holiday or residence where families could go, and where night-time babysitting was provided so the parents could socialise once the children had gone to bed..<dreams>.....

lydiamama Fri 12-Apr-13 19:20:05

Do you live far away from family and old friends? Do you meet up with someone in a weekly manner for coffee or playdates? I am trying to rebuild my own social life too, both for my little ones and my sake. We are too far away from family, and moved area recently so I am feeling really alone.
Do you share any interest with your hubby?

LeadBalloon Fri 12-Apr-13 20:29:38

I live far away from family, I have a couple of old friends who live fairly close, but they have all sorts of issues that complicate things and can feel like hard work. Sometimes I do actually literally feel as though I have been working when I have been socialising with them - its always about their problems... One of them even said that she wants the friendship to be mutually supportive, but this was just words, when I actually turned to her at a difficult point I could sense her searching for ways to quickly wrap up the conversation and get rid of me, so I'll not bother with that again.

Me and DH do have a lot of common interests but we don't 'share' them iyswim. He prefers to enjoy his hobbies on his own, I'd like us to enjoy things together. Also his physical laziness means that anything that involves getting out of the car or out of a chair is pretty much off limits as an activity. I'd love it if we could even go for a long walk together

emlu67 Fri 12-Apr-13 21:16:28

OP I agree about friendships where you are thrown together, when I was younger and working long hours I had plenty of work friends although don't keep in touch with many of them these days. Great when you have all the time in the world and no children but not really possible now unless you live close by.

Are your children at school and if so do you have a few hours spare in the day? If so and I know it is a cliche but to start/restart a hobby may bring you together with like minded people. I am doing this gradually with a couple of hobbies that I really enjoy for their own sake, anything else is a bonus. I can't imagine it will lead to any long term friendships but at least I feel I am accepted just for being me. As far as I am concerned this is a major step forward..

lydiamama Fri 12-Apr-13 22:26:41

Well it seems quite selfish from your DH not to share some of them with you. About the walking and getting out, my DH is quite the same, the poor thing is quite knackered as he works nights, and sleeping during the day is never the same.
To make friends through hobbies is a great idea, but what about those of us with FT jobs and little ones to look after in the evenings? It is impossible for me, but you should give it a go if you have any chance.
I am the eldest of three too!!! People who know me expects me to be strong and just carry on, and deal with it. But I have learnt to treat others in the same way, I will always help if there is a problem, but if they want to moan, I suddenly have something else to do (more interesting that self absorbed pointless rants where you have to sit and listen like forever). Although I love people who rant with a sense of humour and make a joke out of it and themselves.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: