Feeling really, really low…need to vent about my life.(30 Posts)
I’m not really even sure where to start. I’m sitting here today feeling so down. Feeling like my relationship isn’t right, feeling betrayed by friends, feeling that actually, I don’t have that many ‘real’ friends. More than that though, I’m feeling really affected by my past. I’ve never spoken about my childhood, to anyone. I saw a counsellor privately last year for a bit and didn’t even really tell her all that happened.
I think I just need to get it all out.
Basically, in a nutshell, I grew up with an EA, PA & controlling father who was a gambling addict. He, however, is a very educated, intelligent man with a pretty good job.
A mother, who, is extremely uneducated/ unintelligent but very beautiful and who saw my dad when she first met him all those years ago as a meal ticket. More fool her.
My whole life she was completely and utterly beholden to him, which he loved, wanted. He was paranoid throughout our whole childhood that she was having an affair and basically kept her under lock and key. She doesn’t drive and hardly ever went out or did anything without his ‘permission.’
We struggled financially as although my father had a pretty well paid job, he was/is a compulsive gambler and I suspect racked up loads of debts. At some points during my childhood, I’m not even exaggerating when I say we had no money. Not enough for food. For a few years they had no car so had to walk to bus stops and literally scrimp for change so my dad could get the bus to work until payday came about again. They were literally living pay cheque to pay cheque.
My dad then went self-employed and built up a small business, it did well and for years we then had some money, in fact, we were pretty affluent for a time. Myself and my sibling materially had everything; amazing holidays, shopping sprees every week, expensive school trips, horses etc and for a while, forgot what it was like to be ‘poor’ except you never forget do you. However stupidly and foolishly, they didn’t save a penny and when the/ a recession hit, my dad’s business was hit too. It didn’t survive and within a few months of it folding, we were back to square one. My dad joined back up with the corporate, global firm he worked for before he went SE, however, looking back it’s clear he was depressed as he just stopped going to work, literally lay in bed and refused to do anything.
Throughout all of these ‘poor’ stages, my mother refused to work. Well, whether it was a refusal or my father wouldn’t ‘let’ her I don’t know. Occasionally she would do a few weeks work here and there but as she is uneducated and doesn’t drive etc, they were never jobs that paid more than minimum wage. One day, she upped and left, taking myself and my sibling with her. She had been having an affair and had taken us to live with this man….funnily enough, another ‘rich’ man.
Except it wasn’t just ‘upped and left’ my father found out just before she took us and physically assaulted her in front of me and my sibling. The police were called but she eventually dropped the charges.
I could go on and on but basically, over the next 10 years her and my father got back together (when the other man she left him for finished with her) and split up again numerous times. There were other affairs by my mother and more accusations by my father, he got even more possessive if that’s possible, but he kept taking her back because frankly he was lonely, no one else would have him.
They struggled for money until he eventually took VR from the big, global firm and went SE again as a contractor. Almost every time the going got tough financially, my mum got going, but always came crawling back once she realised on her own meant having to actually work for a living.
I am painting a really horrible picture of my mum, who is actually, my best friend and is incredibly kind and supportive in everything I do. I have gotten so angry with her over the years for not working and getting us out of financial hell, to be fair I think a lot of it is confidence, she has none and also the jobs that she has done in the past haven’t been very nice (cleaning, factory work) and so I think she associates working with really crappy jobs. But still, I AM resentful of her. I love her, but I don’t respect her and I always vowed to never end up like her.
So cut to now, today, 2015. I am well educated, have a pretty good job that pays a pretty good salary. I somehow ended up ‘graduating’ (if you like) to a circle of friends that are all ‘upper middle class’ and who know nothing of my background or previous struggles. I have a lovely, amazing DP who is very successful in his own right and I feel really proud of him. He comes from a very modest family and had a very modest upbringing with financial struggles too, however, his parents were responsible with money and BOTH worked bloody hard and so now their days of worrying about money are over. He is very careful and savvy with money and is very scathing of people who aren’t. He knows nothing of my parent’s struggles. Everyone who knows me and the lifestyle I lead now assumes I come from a very affluent background, I tell them I don’t but don’t go into details and I think they think I’m just being humble.
Cut to my parents today and luckily, the past 6 or 7 years has been okay for them money wise, still only my dad (who is now retirement age!) working SE, but they are mortgage free and only have small bills (I assume) to pay and so are okay for money.
I know for a fact though, they are just okay. They have absolutely no savings and still spend money like it’s water. My mum spends her days shopping, getting facials and manicures and lapping up her ‘lifestyle’ I want to scream at them, what the F are they going to do when my dad has to retire?! How are they going to manage to pay bills and live on just my dad’s pensions?
I’m ashamed to say I’ve developed their spending habits. I have a pretty well paid job but I do tend to live a champagne lifestyle on lemonade money. I have a bit of debt (not loads but a bit) that I am trying to clear and save for a mortgage. It’s bloody hard though.
My parents will never be able to afford to give me a deposit for a mortgage, god knows what I’ll do if I ever get engaged as there is no way my dad has a spare £20k for a wedding. Not that I think I’d ever be able to accept money from them for a house or wedding knowing their financial situation.
I am angry, ashamed and resentful of them every day and I’m ashamed that I’ve ever just typed that. To my father for being the complete nutjob that he is and gambling so compulsively. He has been supportive in decisions I’ve made and helped to a point and he would give me his last penny if he could, he’s extremely generous and always has been. But that’s it. He is paranoid, controlling, lies and is the most arrogant person I’ve ever met.
My mother for being weak and dependent and at times throughout my childhood, horribly selfish.
And I’m ashamed of myself because this is my background. I wonder if my OH, with his incredibly superior stance and views on finances would still be with me if he knew my background. I wonder if most of my friends who were born with silver spoons in their mouths and had loving, stable families, homes and upbringings would still be my friend if they knew.
I wonder what my future holds. I want to be secure and stable, I never want to worry about money. I know it can’t buy you happiness, but I also know that the feeling of being piss poor and literally not having enough money to eat, worrying about where the next penny is going to come from and bailiffs knocking at the door is absolutely the worst and it is definitely not conducive to being happy.
I love my DP, he is kind, supportive, attentive, always there for me when I need him, prioritises me and I never doubt his love for me. He is a completely different man to my father. Yet, I always try and sabotage our relationship, I push him away. I take my moods out on him (I really try not to but if I’m having a bad day, it’ll be him I snap at irritably) I have this overwhelming sense that one day he’ll wake up and find out all these things about me and go.
I don’t know why I typed all of this out. Today, after seeing my parents last night I just feel this massive weight. I feel so down and angry. I worry about the future constantly. How will they manage once my dad has to retire? What is my mum going to do when my dad dies? Will my sibling and I be left with debts? I just have these worries rushing through my mind all the time.
I don’t know what I want/ expect from writing this post. I just need to get it out.
You can't choose your family, or change the past, but you can choose your future.
Focus on this:
'I love my DP, he is kind, supportive, attentive, always there for me when I need him, prioritises me and I never doubt his love for me. He is a completely different man to my father.'
He loves you for you. Value that. If you continue to take your moods out on him and push him away, one day he might take you at your word and go. Treat him as you would want to be treated yourself. Happiness if a choice. Grasp it with both hands.
I've started this comment about 4 times now, but I can't hit the right tone.
I am from a poor working class background but now 'pass' for Upper Middle Class. All my friends know I'm a prole and don't care, so unless your friends are horrible people I don't think you should worry about what they would think 'if they knew'. If they are horrible people, stop being friends with them.
I am not ashamed of my background, I am proud of myself for what I have achieved, both because of and in spite of my background. I think you should think more about who you are and what you have done and achieved, rather than continuing to think of yourself in terms of your parents. They were responsible for you, but you were not responsible for them.
I think a lot of what you say could have been your Mum's reasons for marrying your Dad and going back to him:
I want to be secure and stable, I never want to worry about money.
You criticise your Mum for spending her days shopping, getting facials and manicures and lapping up her ‘lifestyle’ yet of yourself you say I do tend to live a champagne lifestyle on lemonade money. What's the difference?
You criticise them for saving but you haven't saved anything either. You're in debt!
You criticise your Mother for expecting your father to bankroll her yet you
say, with no irony whatsoever: god knows what I’ll do if I ever get engaged as there is no way my dad has a spare £20k for a wedding. You do realise that most people pay for their own weddings, don't you? And save up for their own mortgage deposits.
You feel very superior to your parents but from the financial point of view I can't think why. (The affairs and violence are a different matter but they are not the main focus of your post.)
OP, you seem very distressed by the contradictions in your background: rich/poor; working class/ middle class; business failure/ success; father doing highly paid jobs/ mum doing low paid jobs etc etc...
I can see where you're coming from, but regardless of those contradictions and the instability they created in your psyche, you seem to be doing well. You have a well paid steady job, a steady relationship with a reliable man. You have a steady circle of friends.
Focus on your present and future. Start saving up for your wedding and mortgage deposit. Your parents will be ok. Stop worrying and focus on practical things you can do to improve your life without relying on your parents. You are in control of your life now. If your friends think less of you because of the mistakes your parents made, they are not true friends. Move on. Try to separate the grain from the chaff or whatever the saying goes.
I'm baffled why you think you're parents should pay for your wedding (20k?! seriously??) or give you a deposit for a house.
My parents didn't so this for me, nor did I expect them to.
You're an adult now , with a good job and salary of your own. You need to start looking at that more positively and take responsibility for your own actions.
I do understand the worries about how your parents will cope in the future (my mum has been married 4 times, taken financially to the cleaners and left in a very poor financial position now she's retired).
Do you really think your DP would not be with you if he knew about your background? It's your past, and not something at the time you had any control over. If he really would sneer at you for that then maybe he's not as wonderful as you think.
My parents won't be able to give me a deposit for a wedding or mortgage either. Why do you think they should?
Another here who got zero towards a house deposit and "only" a contribution for our wedding. Why God knows what happens if you get engaged? You pay for the wedding you can afford.
I’m sorry if my post came across as mercenary (I guess it would, mainly being about money and all)
I don’t expect my parents to give me money for a house or wedding and I wouldn’t take it from them if they did. However, it’s tradition that the bride’s father pays for the wedding no? I understand that it’s the 21st century and people pay for their own weddings nowadays but you also get traditional people and some men may still expect the bride’s father to cough up the majority of the wedding costs. It would worry me as I know my dad wouldn’t be able to afford it and he’s proud and it would hurt.
Re house, it’s not expected at all but in all my group of friends, they’ve all had deposits handed to them by their parents, except for 1 or 2 who are only now just buying without parental support. I know my parents would love to provide us with a deposit, they’ve said they would, but know they can’t afford it, especially as they’d have 2 to get as you can’t give one without the other.
TBH, I’m just feeling a bit down and confused about how my childhood is affecting my adulthood, like I said, I too worry about my parents in the future. I could’ve done with a bit of support rather than a kicking but maybe a kicking is what I needed, I don’t know.
your parents are just people. Theyre as flawed as you are. Let it go, and try to stop obsessing about money and the things you cant control
What age are you OP?
I suspect you're in your 20s and it's natural to reflect about your childhood. It sounds as if you parents relationship is dysfunctional and they could have done a better job of being parents and managing their finances. Part of growing up is accepting that your parents are the way they are and that you can't change them or your childhood.
However you say that you received a good education, you've now graduated so have been to university,you have a decent job and have a good partner. Therefore something along the process went ok.
It sounds as if your circle of friends are financially fortunate. I'm lucky I did get the cheque for the wedding and the deposit on the house. DH didn't, he grew up in a poor household. Only a small percentage of people are lucky enough to get that support from their parents, you need to focus on the fact that relatively you're very lucky compared to most people - you have a job, partner, tertiary education.
Why not focus on what you can change not what you can't. Start logging your spending and cut back so you don't have debts any more. If you are hoping to get married in the future - think about ways you can do it that don't cost a fortune.
This may sound patronising and it's not intended to. Something that helped me enormously when I was younger was volunteering. I helped out at a Marie Curie coffee shop on a Sunday afternoon, it helped me put my own concerns into perspective.
It sounds like you have a great life tbh. Maybe you should be grateful?
Can you not change your perspective a little and realise, even with all their 'shortcomings' you have a lot to thank your parents for too?
I honestly doubt your friends or dp would ditch you if they discovered the ins and outs of your upbringing.
Maybe try some more counseling, and make peace with who you are
You don't need £20k for a wedding. My wedding was on a budget of £600. My MIL and I made a huge buffet, reception at her house/garden, someone made my dress for me and we drank fizzy wine instead of real champers. Everyone loved it and was very personal and relaxed but still special. If I re-married I'd do something similar...I'd never waste thousands I don't have on a wedding and certainly wouldn't expect my dad to. Saved up for my own house deposit too...not easy but lots of people do it themselves.
Yes, I’m in my 20’s. I guess it’s just really starting to affect my relationship with my parents. I don’t want to go home/ see them all that often at the moment which I feel guilty about but within 5 minutes of me walking in the door I start to feel frustrated.
They just live so totally dysfunctionally and wrecklessley and they are now in their 50’s and 60’s so really, is it not time to start acting responsibly? Should my mum not be learning to drive so that if something ever happened to my dad she woudn’t be stuck in a tiny, rural village with hardly any public transport? Yes, it would cost money but at the moment, they would easily be able to afford £900 or whatever for a week’s intensive driving course. Over the past 6-7 years they could have EASILY afforded it and it’s never been done. My dad had health issues last year and had to spend some time in hospital, it was me that had to take time off work to drive my mum there and back to see him etc. For everyone saying just concentrate on me, I can’t when things are like this. My mum has no independence without my dad, practically I mean.
I just feel this big weight on my shoulders all the time like even though I am in my 20’s I still have to carry them too.
Have you spoken to your mum about the driving lessons? Shown her the cost, directed her to a website or course? Sometimes what appears obvious to us may not be so to others.
Why do you live so close to your parents? A lot of this may be easier if you had some distance between you.
I think it is a good thing that it is affecting your relationship with your parents. You do need to reassess it and see how you want to relate to them. It doesn't sound like you have yet managed to fully establish your own identity, separate from your parents. You need to ensure that you have firm boundaries where they are concerned.
Other than that, as previous posters have pointed out, you need to understand that your new, well-off friends are not typical. Most people do not get £20K from their parents to pay for their wedding (and btw, your phrasing ' god knows what I’ll do if I ever get engaged as there is no way my dad has a spare £20k for a wedding' sounds incredibly entitled); most people do not get a house deposit from their parents (although, as most media reports are written by middle-class people who seem to assume that everyone else is middle-class, it sometimes seems that everyone else does). Most people have to do things for themselves.
You are not your parents. If you keep resenting them for being flawed individuals, you will not ever really move on from your childhood. Try to accept your parents for who they are, and then work out what sort of relationship you want with them.
So what your friends parents handed them money over for house deposit? They are privileged, your parents not. THAT is not reason to resent them.
I'm another one here who had to fund my own wedding. And did not get pissed off with my parents for not funding it.
Why are people focussing solely on one sentence of my ENTIRE op?! Yes, it would be nice, if like ALL my friends my parents could help me out a bit with a house/ wedding if I ever get married in the future but I’m really not overly fussed about that. THAT is not the point of this post.
I’m not sure what the point was really except that my childhood and not having enough money to eat, watching my dad beat my mum up and my mum have affairs has seriously F*&ked me up and soured my relationship with my parents but yet everyone is just focussing on one paragraph of my most and bitching at me.
I wasn't focusing on that. The reason I mentioned it is because I think you have to let go of the resentment and, frankly, any expectations you have of them. You know who they are; wishing they were other people won't help anyone.
OP, you sound as if you've inherited your mother's sense of material entitlement. It's not for others to provide for you; this is something you, as an adult, should be doing for yourself.
Your post drips with not only entitlement, but also a strange sense of your inferiority. If you've got a good job, and a good set of qualifications, you should be judged on those, not on the virtues of people you happened to be born to.
I can only think that you need to spend more time worrying about yourself than about other people. Take responsibility for yourself and stop projecting onto everybody else, and you will soon feel more like you're in control and happiness will follow.
.....and if it's any consolation, my alcoholic father beat the shit out of my mum, we were always broke, and nobody's going to bankroll my wedding or mortgage. None of that matters though; I've got a decent education and a good job, and my life is what I make of it.
I was lucky enough to be supported in pursuing a half-decent education and in developing the resilience to look after myself. That's all the inheritance that really matters.
It is very hard growing up in a household like that,my dad was a alcholic, a very clever man who could have given us a really good life but chose not too. We lived in a horrific council estate in the 80s we were often hungry,my parents argued constantly and I was bullied at school for having rubbish second hand clothes.i grew up with a fierce burning determination that would not define my life or that of my children. I fought and worked bloody hard for the life I have now but now,my children are happy and well adjusted and although we live in a nice midfle class suburb they know all about my past and that hard as it was it shaped me into the person I am. Please please op let go of your past and concentrate on your here and now.let your partner know about your past,you have nothing to be ashamed off ,you were a child and not responsible for your parents action. Then throw yourself into building your life,work hard,save hard and when you pay for your first house I can guarantee the pride and satisfaction you feel that you did all that yourself will go a long way to healing you.
OP, I'm sorry you've had a bit of a kicking here (although I agree that the way you phrased it made it seem like you felt you were entitled to have your parents bankroll you.)
From what you have described, your father was horribly controlling of your mother (and you I assume). I would recommend reading If You Had Controlling Parents to start working through some of this.
I also recommend working one on one with a trained therapist who can help you sort through the childhood influences which are both helping and harming you. Your childhood has given you immense resilience and drive, but I can also hear a lot of insecurity and instability in your posts.
Going from poor to rich and back again, and the constant on-off with your parents' relationship, must have made you very wary of the future, with no assurance that the present might not be subject to another frightening change at any moment.
A therapist can also help you get your own spending habits under control so that you don't feel "fated" to follow in your parents' footsteps.
Lastly, I'd urge you to share the story of your childhood with your DP. If you love him, and he loves you, he deserves to know how you came to be the person you are now. Good luck
I'm sorry. But why are your parents paying for a £20k wedding. That is ridiculous. My parents gave me money but I used it as a house deposit instead. You can save up for a much less fancy wedding. I think you have real problem with money.
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