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I need to find somewhere I can talk openly about not loving one of my children

(156 Posts)
gah Thu 12-Nov-09 14:44:24

I am not a mumsnet poster but thought someone here might know of a forum that exists 'somewhere' for people to talk about this.

My oldest child is going to be 5 soon and I feel the time has come to try and talk about this with others but I don't feel I can do it in a 'normal' forum.

I feel so utterly utterly isolated to have such a terrible secret that cannot even be shared with my partner or closest friends.

The burden of feeling like this is imense and I need an outlet.

mice Thu 12-Nov-09 14:52:15

I'm really sorry to hear you are having such a tough time.
I don't know where you will get the best help and advice but I am sure that someone who does will be along soon.
Please keep seeking the help you need for the sake of both your child and yourself.
I wish you all the best - you are very brave seeking help for such a taboo problem.

thatsnotmymonster Thu 12-Nov-09 14:56:21

I don't think it's a common problem but I am sure there are other people out there who struggle with this.

You are doing the right thing by trying to talk about it as it may actually help you to begin to resolve the issue/s.

Do you feel like you could say any more about the situation?

piscesmoon Thu 12-Nov-09 15:03:01

You have taken the first step in admitting it. For the sake of your DC I would tell your DP and go to your GP and get some help.

GooseyLoosey Thu 12-Nov-09 15:08:25

Do you want to talk more here about why you don't love your child?

I know that a lot of mothers take time to come to love and bond with their children and its by no means an automatic thing for us all.

ShowOfHands Thu 12-Nov-09 15:12:46

If you are worried about being judged, that won't happen here. I hope. The only judgement I make is that this must be so very difficult for you.

There is help available to you. Your GP should be able to access it for you.

loupiots Thu 12-Nov-09 15:18:45

There's a really interesting article here about mothers not bonding with babies and older children.

link is here

Importantly, it makes the point that this does happen to parents, and that there are professionals, agencies and counsellors that have heard it before and can help. So please don't feel that you are the only person in the world that has ever gone through this.


Bumperlicioso Thu 12-Nov-09 15:45:52

Do you think it might just be a dissonance between what you feel and what you think you should feel. I worried about this with DD for a while, and even mentioned something to DH, at which point I felt much better and realised that I do love DD, but it is hard work sometimes and I think I was expecting some kind of intense feeling all the time.

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 12-Nov-09 16:07:07

Don't know of a forum, but I'm sure, like everything, that this is more common than anyone knowst. I too read an article about this fairly recently - not the Telegraph - maybe the Guardian. Will have a hunt.

You could of course talk on here. We are pretty supportive

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 12-Nov-09 16:21:47

gah just read that article linked by loupiots and it's very interesting.

What strikes me is that when something is unsayable, it just grows bigger and bigger in significance. I am pretty sure you can get to a position of being at peace with your feelings, and this is a good first step.

TheCrackFox Thu 12-Nov-09 16:22:43

Have you always felt this way? Or do you go through phases of loving him then not?

If it is the former then there is professional help out there. I would suggest that your starting point should be your GP. If it is the latter then this is fairly normal (I think) of sometimes finding that your DCs go through phases of being more loveable/difficult.

corblimeymadam Thu 12-Nov-09 16:27:53

Message withdrawn

GooseyLoosey Thu 12-Nov-09 16:58:24

Gah - you really are not alone. I took me a quite a while to bond with my son. There was no real reason for it either - no traumatic birth or conception or anything like that. I just found I had no feelings for him. It is not the case any more but I do think you are far from on your own with this and you should not feel like you are the only mother ever who has felt like this.

gah Thu 12-Nov-09 18:46:46

Hi folks, thanks for your replies.

This goes a lot deeper than the usual ebb and flow of patience and affection that happens with kids. It is actually only since having my second child (14 months younger) that I have been able to understand what other parents take for granted, an underlying parental love (and I am so grateful to have that experience but it is also very painful to have the difference in feelings constantly highlighted)

Maybe I will just spill my guts here - I feel it will totally alienate anyone reading it though.

Nearly bedtime, will do it tomorrow!

It made me very sad to read that article where it speaks about a lack of bonding affecting a child into adulthood, I know it to be true of course but I am so racked with guilt and "I-wish-things-were-different" feelings already.

thatsnotmymonster Thu 12-Nov-09 20:16:41

Gah- you will not totally alienate anyone. Don't worry, it is much better to talk about it. Sometimes getting other's perspectives is not actually as scary as you imagine it to be. People can be more understanding than you realise.

Chat to you tomorrow, hopefully!

Vivia Fri 13-Nov-09 09:17:43

Please do talk in as much depth as you need, gah. People on here can be a godsend - you won't be flamed (criticized) on this. You are making a tremendously positive step in admitting your feelings. We're here for you. Take care.

ElenorRigby Fri 13-Nov-09 10:44:32

These episodes of a channel 4 documentry called Help me love my baby
might be of some help.

Annabel1 Fri 13-Nov-09 11:40:06

Interesting - I think I love my daughter but I find her very challenging and find opportunities to be away from her. What are the defining things that show you love them? I panic that waht I thought was love is concern about doing the right thing.

gah Fri 13-Nov-09 13:47:56

I tried to start this today and it is just too depressing. I am not convinced that vocalising horrible thoughts is that beneficial tbh.

I need to remember that I am the adult and just deal with the situation. I think lots of people (everyone?) has moments or even extended periods of not feeling wonderful about their child but what I feel is so unwaveringly negative, he is actually beginning to repel me and I fear I am emotionally abusing him. Made an appointment with a GP but then worried about social services coming and taking him away!! (and I can hardly believe it but my first thought there is not even a worry of losing my son but my husband who would be destroyed by him being gone....)

Fake it till you make it?

allthreerolledintoone Fri 13-Nov-09 20:00:47

I really feel for you gah but im glad you are getting help

AitchTwoToTangOh Fri 13-Nov-09 20:04:34

have you watched the programmes that were linked to? they were truly inspiring, the women felt just awful about not loving their children, but with help and work each one turned things round.

BiscuitStuffer Fri 13-Nov-09 20:30:55

How is he as a person? Is he irritating / demanding?

thatsnotmymonster Sat 14-Nov-09 21:48:45

Hi Gah,

I hope you are still around?

I don't agree that you should just keep quiet and try to 'fake it' on this one. It sounds as though it is quite traumatic for you and you will suffer a lot of anxiety, stress and guilt if you try to keep it hidden.

I think you should go to the GP - much better you aknowledge that there is a problem and show that you are willing to try and get help than do nothing and then do something you might regret?

Can you identify any reasons at all behind the way you feel, big or small, or is there nothing that has triggered it, as far as you can tell?

haveemailedtoniandguy Sat 14-Nov-09 21:51:22

Does your child realise how you feel do you think?

gah Sat 14-Nov-09 23:16:51

He is consistently irritating and demanding!! but do I feel the way I do because of the way he is or is he the way he is because I feel the way I do?!

After nearly talking about this on here I had a total explosion at home and wound up having a sobbing gut wrenching blurting-it-all out moment with my husband. All rather hard, but it has been a long time coming. My husband is amazing and could have reacted in all sorts of ways but reacted by finishing work early to spend time with us all and basically being kind. It is pretty hurtful for him as I know he loves his son and actually has an even stronger bond because he had to do a lot of compensating in the early days as I was falling apart.

I have made an appointment with a GP, still unsure whether I will keep it (what can they actually DO?)

More importantly I have made a phone appointment with a psychotherapist on Monday to try and see whether therapy might be the way forward.

There are all sorts of reasons/circumstances that I can think of that may have contributed but ultimately working those reasons out does not deal with the here and now. I have spent hours (and hours and hours!!) thinking about every tiny detail from pre-pregancy to pregnancy to birth and beyond and there are all sorts of things I can think of. You have all been very supportive maybe I will just sit down and write it all down, at least if I do start therapy I can just print it off and take it with me!!!

On the positive side I do care about my son, as otherwise I wouldn't feel so damn guilty about warping him.

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