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If my parents ever see me upset they totally ignore me and it freaks me out a bit...

(16 Posts)
bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 17:28:50

For instance, today, I had a bit of a nervous breakdown (toddler, new baby, no sleep in weeks, just scored badly on PND questionnaire) and my DH phoned my mum and asked her to come round. And the fact that I was in pieces was virtually ignored - there was no compassion, it was "what's the matter", "well, it's the same for everyone you know" and the implication was, as ever, to just pull my socks up and stop whining.

It's pretty much always been like this - if I get upset they just carry regardless and imply I'm being a bit of a tw@t.

Anyone else got parents like this? It makes me feel like shit. Just to make it clear, it's not like I break down in front of them all the time, it's happened maybe twice in 10 years, it just makes me think that they really couldn't care less about me, and it's not a great feeling. sad

catsmother Thu 16-Oct-08 17:40:28

You have my sympathies. My mum's very similar. I've tried to avoid talking "emotions" with her as it seems obvious she feels very uncomfortable but you know, sometimes crap stuff is your life and short of lying totally, it can't be avoided. In the past I've been on the phone to her - simply wanting a shoulder - and she'll make any excuse to finish the call, such as her dinner being ready and I just want to scream because if someone I cared about was in distress, the dinner could bloody well wait. And then ..... I don't hear from her for weeks (or months), as if the issue has been dealt with. BTW - I don't expect answers from her on the rare occasions I have tried to confide (like you, I am talking a handful of times in 20+ years) but simply want a bit of sympathy and/or reassurance that I'm not going mad.

I've all but given up trying to talk to her about anything now unless it falls into the "soft and fluffy" category (pets, TV, weather FFS). It does make you feel incredibly lonely ..... and when you're already feeling crap because of a crisis, the last thing you need is rejection from your "nearest and dearest".

mehgalegs Thu 16-Oct-08 17:45:44

My DH is like this and so are his parents. I had a bit of an emotional crisis a couple of years ago, DH was crap. It's a horrible feeling when you just need a hug, some support and love but there's nothing.

My parents are the opposite and I actually hid my depression from them because I didn't want them to think I'd lost control.

bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 17:51:41

thanks for replying, catsmother. That sounds awful too. I really hope my kids never feel that way about me.

I had bout of severe depression about 10 years ago, and I remember being on the phone to my dad, who basically said that life's shit, no one said it was supposed to be fun and I should basically get on with it. One of the things that was a factor at the time was that I felt like my dad was really disappointed in me all the time, and I felt like he didn't like me. I was on the phone begging him to tell me that he cared about me and he wouldn't - he got cross and said I was being stupid and he shouldn't have to.He works in psychiatry as well!

I've found myself distancing myself in the last couple of years and trying to focus on my own family - but it's all come back to me today. I just don't understand how people can be that way with their kids - I certainly hope I never am.

Do you find it puts distance between you and your mother, catsmother? The ironic thing in my family is that they pride themselves on being really close knit, but as soon as anything comes up, it's swept under the carpet. My depression was otherwise ignored - I found out my own brother didn't even know about it until I mentioned it about 5 years later. And I reckon it's all about to happen again. sad

ConstanceWearing Thu 16-Oct-08 17:57:43

You poor thing - was she like this when you were a child? It's really unsupportive, and totally invalidates your feelings (which are, obviously, very valid and you can bet she felt just the same after her babies. It is a very, very hard time in a woman's life).

You are not being a tw@t. Your mummy is being a bit of a cold fish. Very unempathic.

ConstanceWearing Thu 16-Oct-08 18:00:20

No, BB.This is not right. Think of your own behaviour as a mum. I'm sure you are nothing like this. All this stiff upper lip crap died out in the 50's, for goodness sake. If they are hurting you, keep a distance.

Would it really kill your dad to tell you he was proud of you? Grrrrr. sad and angry for you.

bohemianbint Thu 16-Oct-08 18:05:14

Thanks CW. My mum is actually my stepmum and she and my father hate my biological mother, which makes me think that it might be to do with that, ie I remind them of her, or something. I can understand it from my SM to some extent, but not really from my own dad. I really don't understand him a lot of the time. sad Also if I keep a distance they get all uppity like it's me being funny. I feel pretty much like I can't win no matter what.

ConstanceWearing Thu 16-Oct-08 18:15:48

I can understand a SM is not as close as a birth mother, but that is no reason to eliminate all sympathy in her dealings with you.It's not good enough to walk around saying "get over it, we all have to". We do all have to get over it, and we do all get over it, but where is the harm in a little compassion?

If I were in your posistion I would expect nothing in the way of support. That way they can never let you down again. I don't really think this is any of your fault. Perhaps they are very self-congratulatory people who think they cope brilliantly with everything, so their idea of support is to tell you to crack on and get to the other side of it - like it really is that easy?

DwayneDibbley Thu 16-Oct-08 19:27:19

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DwayneDibbley Thu 16-Oct-08 19:29:39

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DwayneDibbley Thu 16-Oct-08 19:35:08

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oneplusone Fri 17-Oct-08 12:04:03

Yep my parents are exactly like this; if they see/know I'm upset they literally turn their backs on me and walk away. Pretend everything is ok until I feel better (with the help of friends etc) and then they re-appear in my life again.

This is why I decided to cut them out of my life and haven't seen them for over 2 years. Feel a whole lot better for it.

ActingNormal Fri 17-Oct-08 18:32:54

Mine too. I'm wondering if this is what people of their generation are commonly like? I can see that there are reasons why they are like they are and that we can understand those reasons but do you know what - I DON'T forgive them and I AM angry! Saying that feels gooood grin. They are supposed to be our parents. Part of their job is to reassure and comfort us and show love to us. They failed and continue to fail. I feel better since I stopped expecting anything from mine or hoping for them to change. They can't disappoint me anymore.

It is really important that we think about the things we wanted and needed from our parents but didn't get and make sure we find practical ways to give those things to our children. I wrote a list to make myself focus on it and wrote down things to do to make it happen, eg. I show love but find it hard to say "I love you" so I wrote down that I would make myself say it at every bedtime until it started to feel more natural to say it at other times as well.

izyboy Fri 17-Oct-08 20:01:51

Oh BB its not much to ask - a bit of compassion costs nowt does it?

I am afraid to say that the reason they ignore it is because they simply cannot handle taking feelings/emotions on board - it is THEY that are unable to deal with the situation and therefore easier for them to sweep your concerns under the rug. This is of course selfish behaviour,

Have you anyone else in RL to talk to? I am angry for you (an emotion they would no doubt frown upon if I vented it at them lol).

izyboy Fri 17-Oct-08 20:07:12

Oh lord BB just read about your dad being in psychiatry. Its almost as if he has used that profession as a shield to keep real emotions at bay. He is the professional everyone else with 'emotions' are the patients. So sad - he will one day need you compassion, I only hope for his sake you will be 'big enough' to give it.

bohemianbint Sat 18-Oct-08 20:21:47

Thank you for all the replies, and I'm so sorry for anyone else in a similar situation. To everyone who is in the same boat and trying to break the cycle - we're trying to do the same thing with our children. It is difficult, but at least we all recognise that there are changes that need to be made, which is half the battle I guess.

Dwayne - you make some really interesting points, some of which I had never even thought of, like my dad not being able to reach out to me. And izyboy as well - what you say about using psychiatry as a shield, I think you could be spot on with that. Thinking about it, whenever I've been upset or angry around my parents I've always felt a bit like a bug under a microscope, and there has very rarely been any sort of emotion shown by my dad. Not to my face, although I'm told he's very sentimental about his kids behind closed doors? Not sure I entirely believe it myself.

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