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Miss my mum

(33 Posts)
Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 19:02:49

I know there's nothing anyone can do to help but the title pretty much sums it up.

Mum died when I was a little girl. She was one of those mums who just loved being a mummy and was always so proud of us. After she died suddenly, me and my sister who was 14 went to see her body, my brother who was 12 opted not to. Now I wish I'd not gone as it still bothers me to this day.

After my mum died, my dad tried his best but our house was always a dump, my clothes and hair were always dirty and I had few friends. Even now I still feel like the scruffy kid I was then and I hate it. It's not my dad's fault as he was grieving too but he used to get violent with my sister and I always had to be in the middle of physical fights and screaming.

I want to talk to my siblings but my brother can barely bring himself to say my mum's name as he's never really dealt with it and I'm always complaining to my sister and she's on holiday so really need to give her a break. I never really tell anyone how fucked up I feel all the time and how I feel I will never be good enough.

I hate the fact that she will never know her grandson and I hate the fact that I am such a shit mum compared to her.

I can't talk to dh as he gets uncomfortable cos I get upset and right now I just want to smash something I feel so sad and angry. Everyone thinks I must be somehow 'over' what happened to her, like it's a bloody cold or tummy bug that you just get over nd move on from. The problem is I'll never be OK with it. I'll never not miss her and not hate who I am and the mum I've become.

I feel like I just want to cry for years and just not be a mum right now.

I know there's nothing anyone can say or do but I am just so tired of keeping this to myself.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 19:04:48

I have started scratching my self (not cutting) but just wanting to hurt myself just to take my anger out on something. I don't feel very well right now. sad

LittleMissNorty Sun 17-Aug-08 19:07:13

That's SO sad.....I'm sure you are a fab mum.

Certainly becoming a mum myself has made me think about my parents, my childhood etc.

You sound like you would really benefit from some conselling....its very therapeutic talking to someone you don't know....why don't you ask your GP?

Meanwhile, don't beat yourself up about it....its fine to miss her, and remember, you ARE a great mum smile

LittleMissNorty Sun 17-Aug-08 19:07:42

You really do need to speak to your GP....

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 19:21:51

I think you could be right. Just dunno what yo say anymore. I feel so worthless and like I should be OK now. Somedays I miss her so much I can hardly breath and I feel like my throat is closing. We all had family counselling as kids as she died suddenly in our home so we saw it happen. I just feel so tired of being such a loser and hated the fact that everyone at school read about what happened in the local paper (it wasn't anything dramatic but we live in a small town!), I still hate that kids used to follow me around the playground singing "where's ya mamma gone?" and I know that it shouldn't bother me but I was so desperately unhappy and people made fun of it. I guess it just scares me that kids can be so awful and one day someone may treat my ds like this.

LittleMissNorty Sun 17-Aug-08 19:27:19

Oh you poor thing....

Its obviously more than just the trauma of your mum leaving you.....please ring the GP in the morning and tell them how you feel....

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 19:32:22

Thank you for being so kind and listening/ reading. I think I need to tell someone how I'm feeling cos I would hate to mess up my lovely ds because I'm feeling this way. I just seem to have no confidence in any aspect of my life, jobs, being a mother, I always feel like people are judging me and making fun of me for being so crap/ stupid/ scruffy/ ugly/ fat/ whatever I'm feling on the day! I try and over compensate for this and just look like a prat. I am in the middle of changing gp's at the moment as I have recently moved house but I will phone my new doctor tomorrow. I'd feel more comfortable talking to her rather than the doctor I've been with all my life. Ta x

RubyRioja Sun 17-Aug-08 19:37:38

OMG you poor thing.
You must have grieved terribly as a child and are probably grieving all over again as an adult and as a mother yourself.

I lost my mum as an adult which gives a very different perspective - obv I had the benefit of her whilst growing up, but I had (some of my) children before she died and it helped me realise that although she was a great mum, she was not perfect, and I cannot expect that of myself either. Please try not expect perfection from yourself.

You sound desperately in need of mothering yourself. I don't suppose you have anyone who does that for you at all? I get my 'mothering' in bits and pieces from my aunt, my friends. No-one is ever as interested in the dull minutae of one's life as one's mum.

I would definitely consider getting the opportunity to talk to someone. Here is good, but a professsional can listen and not become uncomfortable like your DH - though I am sure it would be good for him to know how you are feeling. I know my GP practice has a counsellor attached to it, maybe yours does too. I know CRUSE will talk to people about bereavement, though I have struggled to access their services. It might be better resourced in yoru area.

I saw you mentioned your mum died suddenly at home in front of you (my dad did so too and I was very traumatised by it, even as an adult), so off loading some of this might help a bit. As a child it must have been a dreadful thing to witness.

In the meantime, I don't know much about 'scratching' yourself. Obviously you don't want this to worsen while you are seeking help. I think I have heard of people holding ice cubes in their hand for similar relief without actually damaging themselves.

I'd also suggest getting a notebook, or creating a word document and writing down some of these feelings. It might help just to get it out a bit, but it might also help with a counsellor to have them to refer to. Maybe even allowing yourself half an hour to day to really 'wallow' or feel your grief. I think the rest of the day, can be a little bit more yours that way. I am strong believer in more structured rites of grieving in some cultures, as they give 'permission' to grieve, and also permission 'not to grieve' at different times. Of course everyone is different, but it is so hard, when you feel so lost. It might also allow you to feel more free to enjoy your DS.

Finally (sorry so long), there is always someone about on MN (in case you are new) to rattle on to. I know it does not make anything better, but it can provide relief to 'talk'.

DO take care of yourself, you know your son needs you, and for you to be has healthy as you can be.

gladbag Sun 17-Aug-08 19:46:01

Missingmymum, I just want to reach and hug you. What you have described is a devastating loss, and a truely horrible experience. It sounds as if your grief has resurfaced, which is not unusual following such a traumatic time, and I echo what LittleMissNorty has said about contacting your GP and really trying to explain what you are feeling. Write it done before hand, if you think you may find it hard expressing yourself properly.

I do understand some of your pain, as my mum died when I was 12. She had cancer though, so I was prepared for her death, and didn't face any taunting, just a huge feeling of isolation as none of my friends really understood. I do remember how my feelings of loss resurfaced massively after I had my ds - the unfairness of her not being around, my feelings of inadequacy without her here, and the anger I felt at her not ever knowing my son. I think it's probably a fairly normal reaction, but really very sad and debilitating to go through.

How old is your son? And does your dh know about how low you truely feel, and your scratching yourself? He may not realise just how crap you are feeling, and may be more supportive if you could be completely honest with him.

Well done for posting - that is a good start to helping yourself. Take the best care.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 19:56:53

Very good ideas about the notebook and the ice cubes Ruby, thank you for taking the time to write such a nice message.

I'm sure my mum wasn't perfect, in fact I know she wasn't, she made me eat fish yuk yuk yuk! But on the whole she was just so loving and gentle and just meant to be a mum. I'm so different, short tempered and impatient. I hate being like it but I seem to have my dad's personality sad.

I'm not sure why I'm scratching myself really. When my mum first died and as an adolescent I used to slap my legs or face so hard just to make it sting so I could somehow punish myself or process the pain I was feeling inside, I'm not sure really. I don't make myself bleed or anything but I know that I shouldn't really be doing it. I think the ice cube thing may help with that to stop it from going any further.

I don't have anyone to mother me. No one really has ever tried to parent me since my mum died. I was more sort of a friend to my dad but since I've grown up he has turned more and more to alcohol so I feel I have lost some of the bond we had as I don't want my ds to see his grandad drunk.

I have an aunty (my dad's sister) but although she is fabulous, she doesn't really know how much my dad drinks and has no idea how ad I feel. I think I'd just worry her if she ever knew about my dad too. She has her own kids anyway, not sure she'd understand. She's very different to me, very grounded and level headed. Think she may just think I'm nuts.

I could do with someone to mother me I suppose but there is noone and I am scared of ever allowing anyone to do so in case the tried to replace my mother (ridicullous I know).

I also worry that cos she wasn't there as I grew up then I won't know how to mother my son as he gets older cos I have no example iykwim?

I know my son needs me, he's only 1 and I adore him but there are some times when I feel blindly off course with him like I'm doing it all wrong. Even though I know in my heart that he is well fed, clean, warm, happy, safe, loved. Part of me thinks I will still screw him up. How can he ever be normal when he is a part of me?

youcannotbeserious Sun 17-Aug-08 20:00:18

I haven't read anything ust the OP... that is so sad... I nearly lost my mum when I was 6, and I do think about it every time we argue... I knoww how close I was to never knowing her.

Please know that the one thing your mum, who loved more than anything being a mummy, would want you to love being a mummy. It's so wonderful.

But, please cry.... it's natural....

I'm sorry I'm not more help - I'm sure others have been more help, but I wanted to say that...

youcannotbeserious Sun 17-Aug-08 20:00:18

I haven't read anything ust the OP... that is so sad... I nearly lost my mum when I was 6, and I do think about it every time we argue... I knoww how close I was to never knowing her.

Please know that the one thing your mum, who loved more than anything being a mummy, would want you to love being a mummy. It's so wonderful.

But, please cry.... it's natural....

I'm sorry I'm not more help - I'm sure others have been more help, but I wanted to say that...

RubyRioja Sun 17-Aug-08 20:03:23

Oh bless you, you are being so hard on yourself. I like the fish memory though!

Your aunt sounds like the sort of person you might be able to talk to a bit. You can always talk about the way you feel - you don't even have to talk about your dad.

You also remember your mum being kind and loving and patient - that is a super start. I think the feeling you are doing it all wrong is standard maternal issue.

Maybe you can mother yourself a bit too.

Have to go now, but am around most days if you ever want to chat. I'll check back on this thread in case you do.

Take care

Bluebutterfly Sun 17-Aug-08 20:03:46

I may be wrong but the way I see it, I think that the problems that you are facing stem from the ongoing grief of losing your mother at a stage when your relationship with her was incredibly central to your development and also from your fathers failure to foster your self esteem in the absence of your mother. Because you have no self esteem does not mean that you are not worthy of it - rather than you have learned to believe the negatives even when they are false (or based on other people's own flaws) and be blind to the positives even when they are evident to other people - your friends etc.

Furthermore, this is easier said than done, but I do not think that you should measure yourself against your mother's memory, because you are not giving yourself a fair goal post. I am guessing that your own mother probably never believed she was a perfect mother. If your ds was to lose you (God forbid), he would be left with memories of a "perfect" mother too, despite your own feelings of inadequacy. You are probably not perfect (and neither was she!) but you love him unconditionally (as she did you) and that is what young children need from their parents. When that is removed, they are left with a void.

I agree with others who think that you need to pursue some counselling. You owe it to yourself and you are worth the effort! You have had a very sad life in some profound respects, but you need some strategies for coping with what life has dealt you. Your story made me feel quite tearful on your behalf and I really wish you the strength to find out the truth about what a truly important and worthy person you are!

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:06:01

Gladbag, sorry you've been through the same thing. The taunting didn't last long, they soon found some other poor bastard to pick on but it has stayed with me none the less.

My mum was a diabetic and died in a diabetic coma which they couldn't wake her from. She was getting ill from the diabetes though and her body was slowly giving in so she may not have lived to see 40 anyway but it was just such a shock. In someways I think I was lucky I didn't see her suffer but other times it still seems so shocking to me that it REALLY happened.

No my dh doesn't really know. He knows I miss her obviously but he doesn't know about the scratching. I feel kind of embarrassed and I know he wouldn't know what to do or say.

DS is 12 months old nearly. He's a sweetie and a good sleeper/ eater. I know on the surface I have everything. A loving husband, a lovely house, a gorgeous son but somehow I always feel incomplete and sometimes the hollowness inside just won't go away.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:19:42

All of you raise valid points. Bluebutterfly, I know what you mean about my mother probably feeling like a crap mum too.

I hope ds would be left with memories of a perfect mother but sometimes I wonder?! I am ashamed of myslef for my lack of patience with him, I am so like my father, which although I love my dad, he scared the shit out of me, even though he wasn't violent with me. I saw how mercurious he was and how his temper would just flare up in an instant. Me being like that scares the shit out of me even more. I seem to tut at ds a lot and roll my eyes when he gets upset blush, I do comfort him and I cuddle him, read to him, play with him, chat with him, take him swimming, tickle him, love him but sometimes he annoys the pants off me. Maybe my mum felt that too, maybe all mums feel that but my mum was so good at hiding it.

gladbag Sun 17-Aug-08 20:21:41

I hope these posts have helped a little - there is some good advice here. Especially RubyRioja. She's absolutely right about needing a little mothering sometimes. I find it desperately hard asking for help or advice, as if I've grown up with a hard shell of self-coping mechanisms that not having a mum formed. It has benefited me in some ways, but is a huge hindrance in others. I imagine you are the same. Self-esteem (or lack of it) makes life so much harder as well. You seem so down on yourself. And as Bluebutterfly says, motherhood makes us the harshest critics of ourselves. Try to be kind to yourself. And keep posting.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:27:04

Thanks all. I hope my gp can point me in the right direction to some counselling. I think I've just gone so long without talking about it that now it's all just coming out like tourrettes syndrome. I need to talk to someone before the scratching gets worse.

Bluebutterfly Sun 17-Aug-08 20:39:26

You shouldn't wonder. Your ds (not even a year old!) needs you more than any other human being on the planet. To use an analogy, if your family was a solar system, in your son's eyes you would be the sun around which everything else revolves.

I think that it may be a common problem among bereaved children to grow up with a slightly idealised version of the parent that they lost so young - how could you not? At the time that your mother died, she was central to your understanding of the world, she loved you and nurtured you and presented an image of what it meant to be a mother, and she died before you became a teenager and a young adult - the points at which most people encounter a heightened sense of their parents inadequacies for the first time and then go on to rationalise them as they get older - a process that leaves us with a more realistic perception of our parents as people. Tragically, that opportunity was stolen from you, but that means that you measure yourself against her as she seemed to you as a child. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, because I mean it very compassionately. The best (and only) thing that you can do as a mother yourself, is to do your best, trust your judgement, admit your mistakes and learn from them where possible. And be kind to yourself!!!

Tclanger Sun 17-Aug-08 20:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 20:55:59

It doesn't sound harsh at all Blue, I know that everything you have written is ture. I am harsh on myself because I di see her through a child's eyes. I think that's why my sister ha coped a lot better as she was 14 so had more time to know her and also realise her flaws but love her and her flaws. She also got to go through some of the growing up and puberty stuff with her which of course I never got to do. I was only 8 so my view of her is probably slightly scewed as you are right, she was my sun. The person who loved me, took care of me every single day, made me feel better, cufddled me, read to me and sang to me. I just feel so desperately sad that I missed out on all the growing up stuff with her. I miss that we never got to have girly chats or go ahopping together. I hate that she wasn't there on the day I got my GCSE results or when I got my degree or on my wedding day. I feel cheated! I know there are people with far bigger problems but I just needed to let it out. I will continue to do my best as a mother and try and not worry about being like my dad. I know it sounds like I had a sad life but I know in many ways it wasn't bad at all. My dad did/ does love us but his idea of love is different to mine! He tended to think that things like clean school uniforms and the ability to listen weren't important. Even now when I try and talk to him about anything that actually matters to me or if I'm unwell, he never seems interested. I am grateful that he stuck around to raise us but I just wish things were different and that my mum were still here. Glad I found this site, there are some lovely people on here, thanks, I haven't told anyone these things before so it was nice being able to.

fizzbuzz Sun 17-Aug-08 21:07:01

If your son is 1, is this delayed post natal depression? One of the biggest trigger factors is losing your mum before you have children.

No suprise that you are missing her so badly now.. I echo what other say. I think you need to visit your gp....

Missingmymum Sun 17-Aug-08 21:12:49

I've felt like this for years not just since ds. Not sure if it's Post Natal Depression. I've always hurt/ slapped myself since my mum, it's just evolved into scratching. I don't feel sad all the time but just sometimes feel very different to everyone else and have no one to talk to. I will tell the gp and see if she thinks it could be post natal depression. I don't think it is but it's worth exploring. I'm sure I've just not dealt with my mum's passing very well but I will see what the gp says.

Bluebutterfly Sun 17-Aug-08 22:55:23

Please see a counsellor, Missing, and take on board some good suggestions from other MNers too - like the memory book.

I do not think that lots of people have far "bigger" problems. Your mother died. You love her. You needed her. And you need some help to come to terms with that as best as possible. If you could not/did not fully grieve in the past, it doesn't mean that you should not give yourself permission to grieve now. Cry, get angry, whatever you need. But seek help about the self-harm; you need to be gentle to yourself even if the world has not dealt you a gentle hand iyswim. Find a way to get angry/sad at the world, not at yourself. Seek help

RubyRioja Mon 18-Aug-08 09:06:33

Just popped back to see how you are doing today. Do you think you could call your doctor this morning and make an appointment?

I was thinking last night how talking (often about the same thing over and over) with my sisters was a big part of my getting used to mum not being around. I wont say getting over it - I still shoot evil glances at multigenerational families all happily on holiday together, pure envy. Maybe you would take some comfort from that, or maybe some relief?

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