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Full of self pity(17 Posts)
A male friend came to visit today and I keep going over a couple of comments he made. He's late 30s, single, to the best of my knowledge hasn't really had a long term relationship but is a decent guy, he's quite well off and independent, works a lot, travels for work. I'm a couple of years younger, and was in a similar situation life-wise until 4 years ago when I was kind of having a breakdown, made some poor decisions, ended up pregnant and have raised a child on my own. The father left early in the pregnancy and I didn't so much decide to keep the baby, was more in such a state that I never made a decision - I don't regret it in one sense, my daughter is gorgeous, but those 4 years have gone by in a flash, and they have been so hard. There has been noone there to see it really. I went from being single, independent, someone who liked travelling and generally enjoying life, to what I am now - I feel so much older than my years, frumpy and fat, I live in the middle of nowhere, barely go out except to work full time and then look after my daughter and a house, and that's life. I've had poor mental health and still struggle daily to think positively (have been on an NHS waiting list for talking therapies for a very long time). I don't know many people and don't know how to get out to meet anyone new, or where I would do that, even if I could afford a babysitter. I'm worried that I lean on the few people I do know too much already, and hate asking for favours because there is very little I can offer in return. I feel like everyone else has someone to talk to and I don't, from a conversation about the most basics of things to anything that matters.
The comments he made were basically that from Facebook it looks like I have no friends, and he more or less asked whether that's true. I kind of fudged the answer but it upset me because while it probably is the harsh truth, I don't know how to change it. Other mums don't seem interested in more than occasional play dates, colleagues live too far away as I commute an hour each way to work and am constrained by childcare hours so can't stick around to socialise. I often feel like I'm a loser, but also recognise I put myself in this situation, so I don't complain or try not to, to other people, though in my mind everything seems very bleak.
The other thing he did was not so much comment, as help me out (which was great, it was an odd job that I would have struggled with myself) and then practically bolt. I offered a drink, he didn't want one, he just wasn't very chatty, and then made his excuses and left. I don't want to read too much into it, but it made me feel like even more of a loser, like I'm not even interesting enough for a basic conversation. Maybe I'm not, it's the most likely explanation.
On top of this I was thinking to myself the other day, that I've never really had what you might call a proper, normal, healthy relationship. I se friends in lovely relationships - I know they take effort, give and take, but the do exist. I've begun to think that by this age and with a small child, and not even getting out of the house by myself let alone dating, I might go my whole life without really experiencing just a decent, normal relationship. Thinking that just makes me more upset though. Even right now, all I have to console myself with is a message to anonymous MN, cleaning up my house for the umpteenth time today, a cup of tea and probably repeat play of something on netflix. I'm not tired but the house is so silent, I don't normally notice that but it's different when I've actually had a visitor and they are gone again.
Sorry, I know this just all sounds full of self pity.
He is a dick. I have 43 Facebook friends most of whom are my family. Quality not quantity. Unfortunately having a child as a mother means you prioritise them especially in the early years and especially as a single mum. Things will get easier and better.
Don't worry too much about what people think.Who cares what they think. If you want to change your situation you can. It may take a long time and effort but you can. Think ahead. Your daughter will be independent and you'll get your independence back to. It's a struggle now but it doesn't have to be in the future. Don't care what anybody else thinks and don't compare yourself to others either.
If a grown man is viewing your Facebook contacts as a metric of your value...then he is a loser. Lots of single parents have no time for a glowing social life, and your circumstances do not reflect who you are as a person. When your child gets older, your opportunities to socialise with enlarge. My DH works long, anti-social hours and I also run two business operations so we struggle to find 'me' time with two kids and elderly care responsibilities. Most friends are far away, and local people do not appeal to me at all...rural narrow-minded place full of bitchy gossips. I get name-called around here by some people with dubious mental health...alluding to my lack of social contacts...but I don't care, I am too busy enjoying time with my family and doing work and hobbies to worry about the perceptions of others.
Not having friends is not a plague...lots of lovely people struggle to keep in touch with people they once knew. I am more suspicious about the needy creatures on Facebook who need to show they have lots of 'friends' to the world. While you juggle so much then you don't need emotional parasites in your life like this man you describe. He is low in empathy and social skills. Solitary confinement is better than dealing with the likes of him
I know what pp mean about who cares what people think but sometimes if you are unhappy it can help to have an outside viewpoint. I wouldn't set too much store by it but maybe think about how it made you feel and what you would change if you could.
I am quite sociable but conversely get very anxious about social situations. I really like Facebook as it's a way to keep in touch with people without the massive pressure to perform. I don't update it much but will like or comment on other people's statuses. It's just a little low-risk interaction.
If a grown man is viewing your Facebook contacts as a metric of your value...then he is a loser
Or incredibly immature. Either way why do you value his opinion?
It is quite isolating looking after small children but they are worth it.
I was wondering why you are living in the middle of nowhere? Much as that sort of location has a lot to recommend it, it is isolating you even more.
When my dd was small I rented a house and then found another single mum to share it with me, is there any chance you could do something similar?
Hi.. thanks, for all the pp, I find it hard to get any perspective when there' noone to bounce things off of
Atenco I was persuaded to live where I am by family who promised to help when I had my child but didn't. If I had stayed where I was I'm not sure I could have coped well financially. For now I can afford a basic spartan sort of lifestyle.
Not sure I would cope with sharing as my house is my sanctuary in some respects, though isolating in others. As with dating/relationships, I suppose I'm trying to keep myself 'safe' in some respects over throwing myself out there, but then thinking am I being too rigid, is life passing me by while I'm playing it safe. I don't want to risk the precarious balance I have now, for something that doesn't end well, I don't want to have to ask anyone to rescue me because I've put myself and my child in a situation that doesn't work out.
He's late 30s, single, to the best of my knowledge hasn't really had a long term relationship
Well I wonder why that is..........
You have your priorities, maybe ask that family who said they would help and see if you can develop a bit of a social life beyond those priorities.
OP it sounds as if you are coping incredibly well with a really difficult last few years. Well done, you should feel proud of yourself!
Having a small child is isolating for everyone, particularly a lone parent with a commute, so there is nothing wrong with you at all, it is just the stage of life you are at. Just keep your eye open for opportunities to meet people locally and take them when you can.
And BTW, change your Facebook settings so only people you have flagged as friends can see your FB!
Re the counselling. As per, NHS MH is very poorly funded. You have waited a very long time for a referral (funding) and ime, once it comes, it isn't worth waiting for. Re poor quality and short. Some ppl get lucky but it's chance more than anything and, anyway, far too short.
I appreciate your income is limited but it would be better for you to arrange private therapy. I have done this for a long time and I am the proverbial church mouse re limited funds. Have a look at the BACP site to find therapists in your area - most offering a sliding fee scale, just ask (they won't be offended). Yy NHS should offer this but they don't and that's that.
Working with a therapist when you're up against it practically, therefore emotionally and psychologically, is worth its weight. Having someone in your corner is priceless, someone you can offload to and bounce off. Ime I have paid as little as £5 per session.
Don't be afraid to interview numerous potential therapists to get a good fit. Ask lots of questions - you're going to be exposing your deepest to them, you have to feel comfortable and safe. Someone may look good on paper but may not be right for you. They have to be like a good pair of shoes: comfortable. You don't need to be in awe.
And don't beat yourself up about 'self pity'. There's a fine line between self pity and genuine distress at challenging life circumstances. That said, ime it's the worry about challenging events that does the most harm to my MH. Self compassion is more appropriate. To that end, putting things into perspective is a good antidote re your life has changed dramatically, you have been abandoned (by the father and family), it is challenging to hold together the practical elements of your life eg work, getting there, holding it all together. Anyone would be challenged by this bank of concerns, don't take it personally. And remember: this too shall pass. It always does.
Forget this vacuous man who, lacking social coherence himself, has rained his judgements down on you. His stuff, lovely, not yours. You are doing extraordinarily well with what is on your plate at this current time: you hold down a f/t job, you're unexpectedly bringing up a small child and you're doing it well. Bravo you, I say.
Thank you everyone springy you may me cry all over again, but in a nicer way
I didn't know you could ask to negotiate with BACP
Oh what a lovely post springydaffs
And yes, OP, house-sharing can have its downside, which is ok if you can shrug and put things down to experience, but maybe not so good if you are feeling a bit fragile.
Yes a lovely post from springy
Do give house sharing some thought - it could be big enough to retain some sanctuary & have potential benefits of reducing the feeling of isolation plus babysitting possibilities so you can connect more.
You're doing what you have to do for your dc. It won't be like this forever. Good things can happen when you least expect it.
I think you deserve a fucking medal.
Thanks. I've had another message from the same guy tonight policing my Facebook posts - thinking something I've put today is about him (offensive about him) when it's got nothing to do with him (it's a joke between a couple of friends he doesn't even know), then when I say that he tried to make his comments to me into a sexual joke (wtf) .. he hasn't been like this before, I don't know what's going on with him, but it's upsetting me and I don't need it. I hope you're right and there's a way out of this with better friends.
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