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Feeling lost and lacking hope.

(34 Posts)
MovingForwardish Wed 17-Feb-21 10:29:08

I'm not sure what this post will achieve, maybe just to get things off my chest as I'm sure my family and friends are completely fed up by now with listening to my ramblings.

I think I've hit a wall. I'm tired of life, heartbreak and having to get up and start again.

My ltr ended 5 years ago. Not my choice. It hit me hard and he left me in an absolute mess. We have a DC and I did everything I could to pick myself up and start again. I have my own home, a good career and a fabulous, healthy DC, so objectively I know how lucky I am and I'm so sorry if I come across as ungrateful, I really am trying to be more thankful for what I have.

What has followed has been a disaster. I met someone who turned out to be extremely emotionally and verbally abusive and eventually physically abusive. Once it reached that point, I ended it and got out.

I stayed single for a while, then met someone last year. We were together 6 months, but something seemed off from the start. He was hyper critical about everything I did. Totally lacking in empathy. Lots of weird, controlling things framed as trying to 'help' me. Lots of harshness under the guise of 'banter' so I was constantly accused of being too sensitive. I couldn't bring anything up that was bothering me as I was accused of starting an argument. Never anything particularly major and I hate arguing, but it always ended up with me being bellowed at. It ended a while ago and I have since found out he lied about something really big. Not just one lie, but many, many others - all to reinforce the original lie and make it seem more legitimate. This lie was told to make him appear as someone he was not. More successful than he was.
I did love him, but I know how pathetic he was now and that I could never have trusted him in the end. Plus the fact he was pretty horrible to me.

I'm just so sad. Sad that I'm 40 soon and I'm literally the only one in my social circle that is single. Sad that my poor DC won't have this wealth of family memories that everyone else around is building up as the years go on. Its just me and DC. He deserves more than just me. We've had some fabulous holidays together, we are such a tight team, and I do try to make everything we do special but I'm so sad for him that he's had this bitty, half family. No sibling to make memories with. I feel like I've let him down.

I feel like my life is at a complete standstill. Everyone around me is building their lives with their families and I'm just waiting for the point where I feel like I'm ok. I'm not. I'm so lonely. I've never been great with my own company and I'm tired of being on my own, meeting people who seemed so wonderful to begin with, then revealed themselves to not be very good people at all. Then having to deal with the heartbreak. I just want a happy ending. To have someone who genuinely cares about me and to share my life with. I do think I'm a pretty good partner, I'm kind, caring and generous and I really show people I love them.

I just feel like I'm failing at life. I know how maudlin this sounds and that I should be grateful for what I HAVE got and I am. I just feel like half a person.

If you've read all this self pitying nonsense, thank you. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, I guess just some reassurance that I won't feel like this forever.

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Lavender79 Wed 17-Feb-21 10:51:57

Sometimes it's good to just get things off your chest. I understand how you feel. I am in my early 40's and have been single for well over a decade. Not through choice - I just don't seem to attract anyone!

It does feel like I'm completely left behind when I compare my life to that of my peers and family.

I don't think you'll feel this way forever. I go through periods where it all feels too much or unfair and then it passes. I genuinely hope things work out for you.

ravenmum Wed 17-Feb-21 10:53:50

I'd love to reassure you that you won't feel like this forever MovingForwardish, but actually - no, that's a lie, I don't want to reassure you of that, as actually I think it's totally normal to look at your life and be pissed off with how it's turned out in some way! Because most people have at least one aspect of their lives - usually multiple aspects - that they feel are totally fucked up. Whether it's having the wrong job, or having a bad relationship with someone, or living in the wrong place, or whatever. It's the norm, not the exception.

But you are being too hard on yourself, of course. One big thing that stands out is you berating yourself for having an only child. That's not even unusual, let alone a failure - many people only want one child! If you don't, fair enough, but that's a different issue entirely to the one you describe. And you skip over the bit where you describe what a huge effort you're putting into being a great mum, as if that was unimportant!

You know what I think might help? When the lockdown eases, finding some new single friends. After my marriage broke down I went out and joined a couple of singles groups - a hiking group, and a group that played board games. We didn't sit around talking about being single or anything, but it was nice being with other people in the same situation, and just normalised it.
Any group of people of different ages and life experiences will do - doesn't have to be only for singles. You need a wider friend group. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it does make you feel better.

MovingForwardish Wed 17-Feb-21 14:34:53

@Lavender79 I'm sorry you're feeling a similar way. I hope you find what you're looking for too x

@ravenmum thank you for your kind words. Lockdown isn't helping for sure, stuck with your own thoughts...
I suppose I'd just like something nice to happen.

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category12 Wed 17-Feb-21 14:52:26

I think you need to reframe it a bit, and think more Stitch. You haven't let your dc down.

Grossedout12 Wed 17-Feb-21 17:37:53

You have absolutely everything going for you OP! You're still only 40, and have the rest of your life to meet someone. Look at what you have - a beautiful DC, a home, and a career. That's more than most! And remember, all that glistens isn't gold - scratch beneath the surface, no family is perfect. Agree with PP - find some single like minded friends, take up new hobbies, put yourself first and make your life as happy and fulfilling as you can, and you'll meet someone eventually. With all your experience and wisdom, you can pick better.

Ntwa Wed 17-Feb-21 21:47:06

Op completely sympathise and am feeling like my life's an absolute shitshow right now because I'm too 'nice'.. But like you have a lot to offer and am a good catch, you'll have good and bad days, I hope the bad ones soon ease

AbiBrown Wed 17-Feb-21 23:30:59

Echoing the above but also, most importantly, your DC and you are a happy unit. That's a million times better than a toxic household with parents that barely tolerate each other and siblings who don't get on or played of against one another. You're giving him a peaceful, loving home and that's brilliant. And (I speak from my parents ' experience) with one child you might find it easier to socialise, do your own thing etc, or at least be able to do those things sooner. Hopefully things will open soon and you'll be able to take up something fun and meet interesting people!

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 13:00:02

Thanks for your kind words everyone... I've just made the mistake of searching for threads on here about finding love after 40... jeeeeeesus that's just about finished me off sad

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PlinkPlink Thu 18-Feb-21 13:12:35

You've now had 2 relationships where they have been abusive. That's not your fault... abusive men are very good at picking out women who are susceptible to it. Once you've had it happen to you though, it takes alot of work to shift out of that cycle.

You sound very down on yourself. I think avoiding relationships until you work on yourself is an important thing to do. You need to see that you are worth time and love and respect.

Realise that you are enough. You are. You are. You are. You have a wonderful relationship with your son and you are not depriving him of anything.

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 13:28:22

Do you know, its funny you should say that about abusive men. I remember early on in the last relationship him saying "I knew you were broken when I first met you." Looking back, not only was that a really unkind thing to say, but it was also a red flag I chose to ignore wasn't it?

I think I know deep down that I'm enough. The past 2 relationships I've had, they seemed to spend so much time pointing out my flaws and ignoring all the lovely, thoughtful things I did and said. I'm fully aware of all of my flaws, god knows I beat myself up enough about them, but I'd always thought that you love and care for someone despite these little flaws , as we're all human, right? I know I've got so much to give but I'm tired of being criticised. I've got so many lovely friends, many 25 years plus, so I can't be that bad to be around surely? The last ex had no friends. Again... perhaps a red flag I chose to ignore?

Thank you for your kind words, they've made me cry but in a nice way. I've had a really dark few days, I'm hoping the way I feel improves soon.

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AutumnRobin Thu 18-Feb-21 13:39:23

Never feel bad about sharing your feelings. It’s ok not to be ok. Sometimes when we verbalise our inner thoughts and feelings it helps us to rationalise what’s important and relieves some of our anxieties and sometimes it does none of these things but it feels good to know someone else knows how we feel.
My little girl actually prefers it when we spend time together just the two of us so that she gets all my attention. Enjoy the time you can spend together
Concentrate on you and your little one and reach out to talk when you need to.

seensome Thu 18-Feb-21 13:44:59

Just want to say I'm in a similar situation, long marriage ended 2 years ago, had another relationship that's just recently ended after 18 months, such mixed emotions feeling like a failure but also feeling strong not to put up with a bad relationship. My boyfriend sounded a lot like yours, always criticising and never anything nice to say, I had to end it.
I think sometimes we have to learn and go through shorter relationships to find what we really need, or at least I hope to find long happy relationship over 40, got to have hope.

BuggerBognor Thu 18-Feb-21 13:50:08

In the nicest possible way, I’d lay off the men for a bit. You’ve had several quite intense-sounding relationships on the bounce and your posts suggest you view being in one as some kind of hallmark of success. (“I deserve a nice bloke. I’m kind and thoughtful” etc). It doesn’t work like that and tbh I think you need to recalibrate to being grand alone but with the relationship as a “nice to have”. I’m a few years older than you, and I’ve entered the phase of my life where friends’ marriages are imploding, and I think women’s expectations of men are off - because men are quite deficient in many fundamental ways ime. They’re not going to fix your life.

I’m married but I know I’d be okay alone. My 4yo DS loves it being “just us” with no DH or other family around, so don’t dismiss your DC’s lovely experience of your lovely close relationship.

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:03:01

Thank you @AutumnRobin it has made me feel a bit better getting my thoughts out. Tbh I'm getting to the stage where I'm annoying myself with the misery!

@seensome I'm sorry you're going through something similar, its so tough isn't it? Unfortunately what's made it worse is that I didn't finish it, he did. Because I was annoying and a "fucking nob" apparently. But like I said upthread, I've since found out a few things that have made me realise actually he wasn't good enough for ME. A compulsive liar and a fantasist. Aside from all the put downs and lack of empathy. I think his critical behaviour and unkindness has all stemmed from him weaving this lie, worried he was going to be found out eventually. I have what he lied about and I think his ego just couldn't take it.

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MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:05:37

@BuggerBognor thank you and I know you're right. I'm steering clear from anything like dating right now. Definitely not strong enough yet.
I think I'd just always seen myself having a lovely family unit. I'm trying to re frame my idea of what makes a 'good enough' family unit. Its hard though.

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ravenmum Thu 18-Feb-21 14:10:01

Honestly, what would you say if you met someone who'd decided to go it alone as a single parent from the start, OP? "Oh, maybe your family unit might be 'good enough' if you kill yourself trying, but obviously it's not lovely"? My sister's a single mum now, with one daughter, and I'm starting to feel a bit defensive towards her, the way you are criticising her life!

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:14:54

I'm sorry, thats not what I intended at all. I'm not criticising anyone for how they live their life. Its just not what I wanted for myself. I did have a more 'typical' family for a while and that's just what I prefer. Its what feels natural for me, that's all.

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BuggerBognor Thu 18-Feb-21 14:16:23

It’s bloody hard OP! I always wanted multiple DC and events conspired to mean I only had one. I would be 100% supportive of a friend only wanting one child whilst berating myself because it wasn’t “good enough” for my kid! Thoughts are optional and I know it sounds corny, but talking to yourself in the way you would a much-loved friend is a really good habit.

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:22:57

Thats a great way of looking at it, @BuggerBognor thank you!

Yes, I also wanted more than one child and I guess it just stings a bit when all of my friends with children have at least 2. I see their relationships and I feel sad for my DC that he won't have that. I have a sister who is a big part of my life and I feel its such a shame that my son won't have that close adult relationship with a sibling.
Aaaaaanyway.... it is what it is. I clearly need to learn to stop being so negative. I'm annoying myself!

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ravenmum Thu 18-Feb-21 14:27:07

You're not criticising my sister, of course, Moving, but you really are criticising yourself. From the tone of your writing I bet you'd never say to someone else that their family unit was anything but "lovely" - as BuggerBognor says, treat yourself like you would a friend! Or even just my sister, that you don't know!

Part of my dream was to own my own home - and for a while I lived in my dream home and we were paying off the mortgage. That's gone now; I live in a tiny flat and am unlikely to be a home owner. Briefly having the dream life, and glimpsing that lovely future, really does fuck things up if it goes downhill later! It does take a bit of mourning. But we only get the one path in life, and it would be amazing if it was precisely the path we thought it would be. And possibly a bit boring ... smile

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:36:48

Thank you @ravenmum, you're right. It does make it harder not to wish for things to be different, when they once were.

I think I need to take a long hard look at myself and start being more grateful for what I DO have, because actually I am very lucky in lots of respects.

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BooseysMom Thu 18-Feb-21 14:39:19

There is an absolute wealth of good advice here and I can't possibly improve upon it.

I do like this sentence and as i think I have always wanted multiple DC it really helps to read this...

One big thing that stands out is you berating yourself for having an only child. That's not even unusual, let alone a failure - many people only want one child!

Once I work through the guilt of not being able to provide a sibling for DS I feel ok and that it's ok to have one. It doesn't make you any less of a family and having one is special, the relationship you have is often closer and more bonded without the splitting yourself in half or more the whole time and dealing with jealousy etc.
I hope that makes sense anyway!
I think you sound like a brilliant mum.

MovingForwardish Thu 18-Feb-21 14:59:48

Thank you flowers

You're completely right, we have a fantastic bond, we're so very close. I may be biased but he is such a thoughtful loving boy and so funny!
I need to buck up and be thankful for that and stop concentrating on things I can't control.

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that1970shouse Thu 18-Feb-21 15:17:36

Don't give up hope. I was over 40 when I met my now DH.

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