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slightly strange one.(31 Posts)
feeling not great at the moment...
long story but i got in touch with my mums first husband. via email. he lives abroad. that was all fine. my mum was married for a year, then left him, then he had a nervous breakdown. this was thirty odd years ago. i wondered about him as a child.
some years ago i had a nervous breakdown. i've been having counselling. my mum got back in touch with him recently and found it helpful. so i decided to do the same.
i had meant to mention it to my mum but it didnt feel the right time, so i waiting til it did. but before i did, he told her that i had got in contact. so now i feel strange about it. too much to explain. i feel a little overwhelmed.
Is your Mum's first husband a therapist? Have I missed something?
no he isn't, sorry if i didn't explain it clearly.
why did your mum find it helpful to get in touch with her first husband?
I mean...was it for some kind of closure? Why did the marriage only last a year?
I think he got in touch with her. But I think they both found it helpful for yes, some kind of closure.
Why did the marriage only last a year? I'm not too sure. I think my mum said he wasn't the right person and they shouldn't have got married. It may have something to do with her wanting to move to a different area, away from her parents and she just wanted to leave it all behind, or something.
I don't know how she was then, but i know she has suffered from depression. She had very bad postnatal depression after she gave birth to me. (I had depression for years as well.)
She just said it didn't feel right - being married to him.
(Am slightly paranoid writing on here. But i can't think who else to talk to!)
No he isn't. Though it did cross my mind when i was a child and found out my mum had been married before.
you sound v confused and nervous.
Who/where is your father? Does he come into this?
Why did you contact your mum's first H? Was it just some kind of morbid curiosity? To know an important part of your mother's past?
Not uncommon, I would think. No big deal. Put him on your Christmas card list and move on. And if your mum thinks it strange just tell her, it was just curiosity and no big deal.
my dad is still married to my mum. they got married when i was young.
it definitely was curiosity. yes, i wanted to know an important part of my mums past.
so why do you feel overwhelmed?
Do you think you could leave your mum's first love in the past where he belongs?
probably over thinking it.
and very sensitive to my mums reaction (psychobabble: i used to blame myself for my mums postnatal depression when she had me, so very sensitive to criticism from her)
yes, of course i can leave it in the past. it just sometimes helps to understand things. but i didn't mean to upset anyone in the process.
gosh, how strange, no wonder you are tying yourself in knots
I don't understand this at all, why would you contact a virtual stranger out of the blue? What were you possibly trying to gain by it?
putting your mum to one side, you sound in a bit of a pickle, tbh
Repeat after me;
I am not responsible for my mum's postnatal depression after I was born.
I am not responsible for the breakdown of my Mum's first marriage.
I cannot resolve any issues between my mum and her first husband, and I should not even try, because that was her life - her decisions. I have my own life to lead.
I am not responsible for how my mum chooses to interpret what I did (contacting her first husband).
I will not live the rest of my life feeling guilty.
Last night me and my mum had a quick chat on instant messenger (she is deaf so we don't use the phone).
We haven't been using it very much, so misunderstanding sometimes happen.
She mentioned that she heard I had made contact. I said, yes, I just wanted to say hello (to the ex husband). She took it as meaning that I just (there and then) wanted to just say hello to her, as in I didn't want a full conversation, so she said, ok, goodbye!
I didn't get what had happened, and then realised what she must have misunderstood me.
Anyway, it just added to my anxiety.
It sounds as if you are overwhelmed by worry about your mother's reactions - and also by her history before your birth. But it also sounds like she wasn't too perturbed on IM since she mentioned that she knew you'd been in touch with her ex but didn't condemn you for it. It may well not be as big a deal to her, as it is to you. If you cannot get to visit her to talk it out face to face, and as IM is not really as satisfactory to have a proper conversation, why not write her a letter? Put down exactly why you contacted him - that you were curious about her past (and what child isn't? That's perfectly normal) - and particularly as you and he had both had mental illness, you thought it would be helpful to contact him but that you meant no disrespect or disloyalty to your own parents. Ask her to let you know if it's ok with her - and tell her you love her . Just take it from there and see what response you get.
And remember, you are not responsible for your mother's life before or after your birth. Take care of yourself.
when she mentioned it last night she said she thought it was weird (but ok).
when the exhusband asked her, she said she thought it was a bit strange.
i don't know.
some people can understand it. others can't. she seems to be in the can't understand it camp. which i can understand!
am supposed to be meeting her tomorrow. my boyfriend thinks i should explain quickly before then so that she and i don't worry - that i say it was natural curiosity, etc. (not because im going to be seeing her, but just to clear it up as quickly as possible)
however, im not really ready to do that. i love my mum but she can be unpredictable in her reactions.
(i need to get to a stage where i'm not so affected/upset by her reaction. im trying to work on it, but am not there yet!!)
ok well i've just sent my mum a very quick email with a very brief explanation. hope it will be alright.
i won't be getting involved in anything like this ever again!!!!
and i will also work on myself a bit more so i can handle things better.
If you can find the courage, I think your boyfriend is right - just say you were curious about her ex and get it over with. Otherwise this is going to be 'the elephant in the room' - it will play on your mind and overshadow your time with your mother. What is the worst she can do? She may say you're weird; if she does, smile and say, 'perhaps' and leave it at that. She may say her past is none of your business - you can agree and say you aren't planning to keep in touch with him. Then change the subject and move on to something else - even if it's only by saying, 'would you like another cup of tea'. Good luck with it though and let us know how things go.
Oh well done ! Now you can go ahead and meet your mum without worrying about the elephant. Now it's up to her to mention it if she wants to - and if she doesn't, it's over. And you know, there's nothing wrong with you having delved into her past a bit. Any of us could be curious about our family history - especially if we feel it has a bearing on our parents' later behaviour or illnesses. It can help you understand so much - and through understanding, may come healing.
I hope you will feel better and stronger too. Keep up the good work !
our messages must have crossed!
yes helpful to hear your advice on how to react. is good to be calm like that.
they crossed again! thank you, yes that's exactly it. these are difficult subjects (health, relationships) which need to be handled with tact and thought (in other words exhausting).
im not feeling better yet, but hope it will subside.
well done, I think a short email was a brill idea.
Hopefully you won't have to worry now.
Exhausting - yes, tell me about it! . Hope you will get stronger - I'm sure you will. Do you still have a counsellor you can talk this all through with, to ease your sense of confusion and being overwhelmed? It might help you feel better. And I hope you and your mother have a nice time together. Depression is sooo debilitating, but if you have good support from your family and your counsellor, I am sure you will come through. (I have issues myself with my DP's depression, again, family, relationships, health - really, really wearing me out. Only, he hasn't sought help yet).
thank you... fingers crossed it will be alright. i've done all i can do for now.
thank you tanee.
yes i am still seeing a therapist. fifty minutes does not feel enough time!!
i don't really have much family. my parents are alright, but not a lot of support at the moment. i have my boyfriend, who does his best! i think all the topics i get involved with are too heavy for my friends!!! (as you can see)
anyhoo... i keep battling on. i keep collecting as many helpful things along the way as i can so hope i will get there in the end. (in fact i was feeling pretty good, which is why i think i made this move in the first place. doh.)
Hope you are ok with your dp's issues.
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