If only I had family?

So many mental health sites etc. seem to take it for granted that we have the support of family. I was an only child, and both parents are dead. I'm 67. I have a few cousins. I hear from, and occasionally see one - my next of kin - at Christmas, others just send cards. I've never had a date, let alone been married and had children.

Theoretically the 'church family' should be a help, but most are married with children, and people who are retired but not disabled seem to be invisible. Even the leaders often have little understanding of depression and anxiety. I do a little voluntary work, and quite a bit on the computer.

Does anyone else find this a problem?

10 Replies

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  • I don't have this problem but I can imagine it must be incredibly lonely and sad. How come you never married, if you don't mind me asking? X

  • Hi There, I can only say that family is not everything, I am the black sheep of the family, and I did not see my family for well over 20 years.

    I just could not settle to my family's rules and went off the rails quite a bit, but since seeing a counsellor has helped me see my life in a different way, and why I suffer with anxiety and depression .

    I have always tried to be in control of life and cope on my own, I now have sort help in lots of different ways from my doctor to self help groups and of course on here.

    I know what you mean though because every where I have sort help from that is one of the first questions that is asked, have you got support of other family members. Are you married do you have children etc.

    I have been married twice and have two children that I don't see.

    so, no family is not everything in my world.

  • I too have been married more than once and was what my parents called their 'wayward' child in that I rebelled and did what I wanted, was pregnant at 15, married at 17, divorced at 19 etc. I have been married 4 times now with 3 children plus twins that died at birth. My 'family' don't bother with me, my children have all gone their own way with my two sons saying I'm no f**king mother of theirs and my daughter prefers the company of her dad despite the fact that I brought her up without him in my life and housed her until a few years ago when her husband (my lovely son in law) died of cancer at 45 when she went seeking her dad out and has not left his side since.

    Although I do have my 4th husband he has had 3 strokes and is physically disabled, the only other person in our life is his mum who is 86 and fitter than either of us. I see no one else as I have agoraphobia.

    I think we would all love to have the dream 'perfect' family but life isn't like that for most of us.

  • It is hard without family. I was married and divorced and my partner Jim died four years ago. I have not tried to meet anyone, but it would be nice to have a partner. My biological family I might see once a year and I don't count on them for any support. So yes being hard makes it harder to be well, I think we aloners have to work harder at not being isolated. I have a cat and I do invite some friends for coffee too.

    My GP always says that he wished I had some social support, but that's life, maybe Missrat you would like to meet someone who shares the same interests. Pity I live in Ireland , I seem to be the only Irish person on the site. Enjoy the weekend everyone

    Hannah

  • I think I'm the only welsh one!! X

  • That must be really hard, not having any family at all.. I'm lucky enough to have my mum,my brother and his kids.

    They live in a different country (because I left when I was 17 and never came back, but that's another story..) and people say to me; 'that must be really hard, living in another country all by yourself and not having any family here at all'

    But it isn't,especially not these days, with internet, and phonecalls not being as expensive as they used to be, its really not that hard to keep in touch with them ,and, like I said I'm lucky enough to HAVE family, especially my mum,who i'm really close to and who's very supportive of me. And after living in a 'different country' years, I'm used to not having my family round the corner, this country has became my home, and I have a handful of very close friends who are just as good as family.

    The only times I find it hard not having my family near is at Christmas, birthday's, mothersday etc.. And when one of my pal's say; 'Oh,I think i'll just pop round my mum's for a bit' , that's when I wish I had them near,and I could just 'pop round' for a bit, but that's just not the way it is, and that was my choice..

    Where-as you didn't have that choice, and I can't imagine how hard Christmasses and things like that must be for you.. I'm sure you get invited to people's houses and that, but it just isn't the same is it?

    This might sound a bit of the wall, and it's just an idea, but there's a lot of charity's that care for lolnely elderly people, like ones who don't have any family (anymore),or are just lonely. You can volunteer and just go round to their house once a week for a bit and give them some company, and yourself at the same time!

    I used to sell the Big Issue, and the amount of elderly people that would just come out every day just to have a chat with me was unbelievable.. It was something they looked forward to, because sadly enough a lot of them would go days, sometimes even weeks, without talking to a single soul..

    I got to know a few of them really well,and I enjoyed it just as much as they did.

    It was a bit like having a few granny's and grandda's, because all m ine died years ago..

    It's just an idea,but maybe have a wee think about it?

    Luv, Holly Xx

  • Hi I am the same. I have never married or had kids though I have had a few affairs in my life. I also have 3 sisters but I rarely see them and I never talk to them about my depression. I did try once and got no support at all so I don't bother now. My youngest sister has a kid and 2 step kids one of whom has 2 kids. I am rarely included in anything and they obviously don't want me. This hurts. Don't assume if you had family that they would be any better. At least your lack of family is a different kind of hurt to mine. You can't be hurt by their actions or lack of feeling for you. Sometimes I wish I had no one.

    Bev x

  • Thank you all for your replies.

    'Why did I not marry?' - I suppose I was never attractive enough to anyone to be asked out. I want any partner to be a committed Christian.

    I try to go on a couple of short retreats over Christmas and New Year, 'Digital Days' in the summer and occasionally other short retreats.

    Although I have friends at church and in the 'rat community', I'm never invited round - I don't think people realise I need it.

  • I am on my own at christmas as well now. My sister with a family doesn't want me - she's made that clear.

  • hi I have family but they are never there when you need them. I am close to 1 sister who has parkinsons and I am her carer. I am sure she wouldn't want me if she was well.she didn't bother with me for years didn't even come to see me when I was in hospital with a breakdown. her husband died 6 years ago and that is when she got friendly again. my son is very good but he is expecting another baby and is always busy.

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