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I really want a surrogate family

(36 Posts)
LostPlatypus Sat 10-Dec-16 00:03:41

I'm putting this in mental health, because it's about feelings, not about actually asking for things if that makes sense.

I'm in my early 30s, single, no kids, and have very limited contact with my family because they were (and to some extent still are) a big cause of my mental health issues. I'm going to be on my own on Christmas Day (well, just me and the cat), and while I should be used to this by now (managed to get out of doing family stuff for the last few years, simply by my social anxiety being too bad to travel the 100+ miles to visit my parents), it's still very lonely and doesn't really get any easier.

This isn't meant to be a begging thread, more of a since I'm not in a place to be in a relationship and have kids at the moment, there is a huge part of me that would love a surrogate family to spend some time with, and love and feel loved by. Does that make sense? It's a feeling I get every so often, and it's always made worse by all the damn Christmas adverts and stuff on TV and just this time of year in general. I just wish I knew how to deal with that feeling, because being able to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special actually on Christmas Day for once (my parents hate it) does not trump the feeling of wanting to be around people I love.

elephantoverthehill Sat 10-Dec-16 00:17:26

LostPlatypus I don't think you should be asking total strangers on the internet this. Why not try a local church and meet some people face to face? I am sure there are other organisations who could help out. Perhaps other posters will be able to help

MiniMum97 Sat 10-Dec-16 00:53:49

I don't think it's helpful to say the OP shouldn't be posting about this. There are lots of online forums for exactly the reason that some people find that an anonymous online forum is the only way they feel able to access support.

You sound very lonely OP. There are lots of ways that you may be able to start meeting people and developing a circle of friends. There should be support groups for people with mental health issues locally. Contact your local Mind for info about these. Or if they aren't your thing how about joining a local class or group doing an activity you enjoy or learning something new? There should be details of these on the internet, in local papers/newsletters, or local community hubs.

I'm sorry you will be on your own for Christmas. Have you thought about helping out at a homeless shelter? (I'm sure you can fit it in round doctor who!,smile

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 10-Dec-16 08:25:05

In the Different household this year we are having a quiet day. We don't have children so no big family meal as shown on all the bloody adverts...

So yes I understand where you are comming from. As to how to deal with the situation, Elephant has a point. Outfits like a local church will welcome you..... but it will be on their terms.

At the end of the day, it is just one day and one meal. A lot of anticipation and build up, then all over bar the hangovers and paying off the credit card.

dangermouseisace Sun 11-Dec-16 11:11:04

Have you any friends you can team up with? Last year some friends and I met up as we all couldn't do family for whatever reason...fallings out/NC/issues. It was- shh- nicer than the family stress fest that usually happens. Or even if you know anyone who might fancy an hour in a pub to break up the day/escape from the house! Agree with pps that there will be other things going on you can join in with- shelters, organisations that cater for the elderly who'd be on their own. I think if you have bad experiences of your own family it can lead to thinking everyone else has the 'ideal' family portrayed in the media/adverts. I don't think they exist...as I've got older this has become increasingly clear.

AnxiousCarer Sun 11-Dec-16 12:58:48

Have you got any elderly people living alone in your area, you could maybe drop in with a christmas card and find out howvthey are spending Christmas. They may be very happy to have a bit of company. Obviously take your own safety into consideration when meeting up with people you don't know. You could try age concern to see if they run any schemes. Also are bisto still doing that spare chair sunday scheme where the arrange for a local elderly person to join you for a meal. You may be able to 'adopt' a family through these kinds of scheme. Also what about community groups there might be an orportunity to volunteer with young people e.g. centrepoint or through your local SS as a mentor for looked after children.

LostPlatypus Sun 11-Dec-16 14:18:25

I'm sorry for being so slow to reply - had a migraine since Saturday. I really appreciate all of your suggestions and perspectives on Christmas Day. The problem is that I have major social anxiety, to the point that I find it incredibly difficult to leave the house, and I would find it very difficult for someone to come here too (I have OCD too). I don't really have any local friends, and getting to groups, or volunteering or anything is really beyond me right now. I'd love to do something like that in the future, but I just can't at the moment. It's hard enough just to look after myself, and I'm not exactly managing that very well.

I should probably shut up. I'm just showing more reasons why I should be alone on Christmas and why I should just deal with it somehow.

elephantoverthehill Sun 11-Dec-16 22:35:46

Hey Platypus you should not shut up. You have reached out, just try one suggestion. If it doesn't work out what have you lost? If it does work out what could you gain?

roseteapot101 Sun 11-Dec-16 23:05:05

I know just how you feel i have anxiety i am so fortunate to have a man hes the only reason i can get out the house.Having someone who can support you makes the world of difference.

But when he is at work and our daughter at school i find myself alone.My mother,father and sister have passed and due to my anxiety i find it very hard to go outside alone.

Therefore i dont have anyone other than my man and daughter to speak to and the isolation is very hard to bear.I can understand your frustration ,it can be really hard to know what to do.

dangermouseisace Mon 12-Dec-16 15:03:10

Ah OP not to worry. As you've said, there are things you'd like to do in the future so this year is just going to be an anomaly! Maybe just eek on the benefits of being on your own at Christmas then...the telly you want to watch, food you want to eat, any chance of doing something nice for yourself? Special bath stuff, scented candles, nice snuggly blanket in front of the telly? Please tell me you have a tree- you can get them delivered grin you can always pop on mumsnet as I'd anticipate there will be loads of people ranting about mother in laws/norovirus disasters...thus breaking the everyone has a great family illusion, as a counter balance to those puke inducing adverts!

fakenamefornow Mon 12-Dec-16 15:07:52

Do you get out to work op? Do you get out at all?

fakenamefornow Mon 12-Dec-16 15:13:29

I seem to remember one year there was a virtual Christmas day meet up on MN. Why don't you start a new thread suggesting an online meet up and chat for all those who will be alone at Christmas? No pressure to actually meet up in real life and people to chat to about TV, Christmas dinner, the weather, anything. The other thing I'd suggest is get a dog if you like them and can look after one well. You'd then have no choice, you would have to go out to walk the dog.

Roodolf Mon 12-Dec-16 15:20:14

Church is my surrogate family - I'd be lost without them! What help are you having at the moment? Funnily I can manage a church service but a lunch afterwards kicks off my social anxiety - I love seeing people in 2s and 3s but a group of more is challenging. It's progress though. I hope you work out some strategies to help you.

LostPlatypus Mon 12-Dec-16 22:55:23

To answer some questions (sorry again about being slow to reply - hiding in bed a lot at the moment): no, I don't get out to work (on benefits at the moment) and don't get out at all other than to GP appointments. My GP is helping me try to get help from the mental health services, but it is proving a very long and hard battle, because they mostly want me to do group things, and having done group things with them before (and been very badly treated), I'm not doing that again.

I do have a tree, although I don't really have space for it so haven't got it out the cupboard (have to put it up high as the cat tries to eat it). Honestly, my flat is a complete and utter tip, like clean clothes piled up all over my sofa; my bedroom ankle deep in recycling (I can't believe I just admitted that, but that is how bad my life currently is). I don't know if I should be saying all this stuff. I'm just struggling to cope with day to day stuff, and Christmas stuff is putting huge pressure on that still.

I'm sorry if I'm missed anything. I'll come back to this in a bit. Just need to take a break for a minute.

fakenamefornow Tue 13-Dec-16 10:16:17

How do you manage day-to-day stuff op? Food shopping, stuff like that?

Do you have bin bags? Will you do one job for me today? Fill one bag of recycling and take it out. Do you think you can do that? Set yourself a time to start and a time to stop.

dangermouseisace Tue 13-Dec-16 11:37:31

Don't worry lostplatypus so many of us have been in similar situations to you. You're just not well at the moment- things can be different in the future. I had to have help sorting my house out this year, which was a massive head f**k for me as I used to be so organised and used to be a support worker myself. House still isn't great- I sweep everything on the floor to get into bed and then put it back in the morning. I find it helps to have one area of the house designated as tidy(ish) and not worry too much about the rest. Otherwise it can feel overwhelming. I struggle with getting the recycling out too- but honestly, as PP has said, taking out one load is an achievement and makes a difference. Sometimes recycling is a bit tricky if you've got into a messy state, and although not v environmentally friendly, needs must and it has to go in the bin if you're struggling with sorting it at the moment. OP I just want to give you a not very mumsnet hug you poor thing!

LostPlatypus Tue 13-Dec-16 15:05:31

fakenamefornow I get food from my local shop on the way back from my GP and have ready meals delivered from Wiltshire Farm Foods (I feel old saying that! My OCD makes cooking really hard so this is a temp solution.)

As for the recycling, yes, I think I could manage to do that, or at least I'll give it a go.

dangermouseisace (love the name btw) thank you so much. I'm sorry you're struggling too. My bedroom used to be tidy as I spend most of my time here at the moment, but it's all got on top of me a bit.

Heratnumber7 Tue 13-Dec-16 15:20:34

Where do you live OP? Might you be able to meet up with an MNer if there is someone close to you? I'd meet you.

Sometimes independent advice or encouragement from someone you don't know, and who you can be confident therefore in having no axe to grind etc can be useful

PsychedelicRacoon Tue 13-Dec-16 15:53:59

I've PMed you OP

flowers

fakenamefornow Tue 13-Dec-16 17:11:38

As for the recycling, yes, I think I could manage to do that, or at least I'll give it a go.

Good for you op! If you manage it please, please post and let us know. It'd make my day if you did. smile

Where about it the country are you?

Purplebluebird Tue 13-Dec-16 17:27:12

Pm'ed you as well flowers brew

Heratnumber7 Tue 13-Dec-16 18:26:57

Hmm. Not had a PM before. Where do I find it?fblush

SarcasmMode Tue 13-Dec-16 19:45:34

Whereabouts in the country are you (NW, SW etc)

'Ay be some email friends would be good??

Heratnumber7 Tue 13-Dec-16 22:47:47

I can't find a pm from you OP.

LostPlatypus Wed 14-Dec-16 00:03:24

I'm so sorry, I took Lorazepam (on the advice of my GP) and have been asleep all afternoon/evening. Still intend to do the recycling though. My sleeping pattern is messed up anyway!

Right, I'm in Buckinghamshire. I don't mind sharing that. It's hard to classify as South/East/South East as it's always jumping places so I don't mind saying the county.

Thanks Heratnumber7 I haven't PMed you, but if you're near Bucks please do let me know.

fakenamefornow I've got as far as piling a bunch of the recycling from my bedroom up in the kitchen (I realise that seems like extra effort - OCD thing). It will be in a bag as soon as I wake up properly.

Email friends would be awesome SarcasmMode

If I've missed anything or anyone please let me know. I'm going to be fuzzy-headed for a while.

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