Anxiety and Depression Support
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Making ammends

So I finally managed to build up the courage to visit my parents today. My mum suffers from depression and has done for a long time. I spoke to her briefly on the phone New Year’s Day, when she told me she didn’t want to talk to me. I asked if it was my fault she was having her most recent low point? She said yes, but then also indicated it was a mixture of things also not just me and my situation. I’m trying to make amends but it’s hard. I visited briefly today & saw my mum close to tears, my dad’s look of disappointment. Me trying to make conversation but with very little in return. All I could see in my mum is the similarities in my behaviour recently, which brings my situation and circumstances back to the forefront of my mind. But I choose not to give in and will keep fighting to find a way forward out of this pit and back into the light. I’ll take today as a step forward in the right direction to making amends with my parents.

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None of this is your fault, it sounds like your mum sees too much of herself in you and feels guilty even though she has nothing to feel guilty for.

Mental illness is a wicked illness and it can destroy families if you are not careful but just keep doing what you’re doing and i’m sure your mum will eventually realise it is not your fault she is feeling like this.

Good luck x

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I know it’ll just take time. But I constantly feel as though I am running out of this & feel as though everything has to be fixed and done now, rather than later. Thanks for your kind words.

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Well done for making the effort. My mum is also on meds for depression so it definitely runs in families. I really hope you can get on good terms with your parents.

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Sadly it does run in families and us unrelated to upbringing. I was adopted and when as an adult I discovered my birth mother she had depression. I often felt guilty and selfish contacting her because she wasn't maternal due to a dysfunctional upbringing.

We had a good few years writing and phoning until I rang to wish her a happy Christmas. She told me never to contact her again.

Ten years later I found her in a care home with dementia. She hated visitors but amazingly didn't mind me going. I recall her saying she didn't know who I was but she liked me.

It brought me much comfort and eased my guilt. However difficult things were I am glad now I persevered. I am so so grateful for the time we had together and getting to know her.

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I am so sorry to hear this but happy to that you got some connection and closure. It’s strange for me as my mother would always say I was neglected when I was younger and that she didn’t know where I came from. Also she constantly said I must’ve been switched at birth. I always felt a bit of an oddball in my family, like I didn’t belong.

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That is so sad. I feel so sorry for you. I had lovely adoptive parents but it wasn't quite the same.

I was always interested in astrology and wanted a crystal ball when I was about ten. When I discovered my birth mother she was an astrologer and had a crystal ball. She drew up my chart before she met me. I also wanted throughout my teens to be a prison officer. Little did I know three generations of my birth family had been

I have so enjoyed doing my family tree back to 1500 and so I do know how important roots are and a sense of belonging and I feel great sadness and sympathy for those who feel alienated.

May you find peace and strength.

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Instead of making someone else happy, make yourself happy. I'm not completely aware of your situation so please forgive me if I misinterpret it. I know how it is to try to make people happy (especially parents) but make yourself number one and people (parents) will see that. I'm not sure of your age but if your an adult, you take care of you. It seems you are down on yourself as it is, don't let anyone make you feel that you're the blame. I'm not saying to turn your back on your parents but make yourself a priority. It will all then fall in place. I wish you the best of luck with your parents.

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Thank you for your reply, it’s one of my main issues that I work to please other people and in most cases don’t even think of myself. I’m trying to be selfish, but it’s hard I’ve always been the one that tries to go that little bit extra for others, although it doesn’t always come off that way. I’m struggling a lot with what will actually make me happy, having been in such a bad place for so long.

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Taking care of yourself is absolutely not selfish! It sounds like there are some things that happened in your past and present that are contributing to your feelings. Making others happy instead of yourself is sometimes needing to raise your self esteem. If you can, I would recommend talking to someone such as a therapist to sort your emotions out and getting you on track.

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You did the right thing for the right reason at the right time. That took a great deal of thought, effort, and willpower on your part. I respect you very much.

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what a wonderful move that you made to go see your parents especially your mom keep putting one foot in front of the other and don't give up. talk about easy things happy things. you are so blessed to have that chance and still have your parents whether you have one minute or one year to Cherish them the best you can. Whatever you do don't get the skirts all will turn out for the good you will see

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This is really cool. Unless parents are abusive, I think forgiving them and having the best possible relationship is so important. Maybe you could follow up your visit with a nice card or a box of chocolates of cookies (if they can have them).

At the same time, it's important to take extra good care of yourself right now. For every nice thing you do for them, reward yourself with something positive. You are being the adult in this situation, and that takes a lot out of an adult child.

It would be great if you could all learn to trust each other again, But even a civil and polite relationship may be an improvement. Set small goals. It takes time to repair relationships, and if the people involved aren't the healthiest, that's even harder. Just keep being kind and you will have no regrets, but do not put up with abuse! You can always say, "Mom, I can't have this kind of conversation, so let's talk later when you're feeling happier." Boundaries!

Good luck to you. Such important and brave steps you are taking

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The one thing about depression that those who do not understand it often do, is try to look for a reason or cause of their depression. Sure it's a viscous circle sometimes, yes we can be depressed about an actual issue, but being truly depressed means it's chemical, genetic, you don't have any specific reason to be depressed, you just are experiencing the symptoms of the disease.

So to feel you need to make amends because you are blamed for your mothers depression is misplaced. She is just depressed, we have no control over people, places, and things. If your mother blames you, she is wrong. Sure you may have things to atone for if you are making an amends list, which in recovery for instance, many of us who have done the amends to our family and friends know that some will accept it, and others won't. And the ones that won't, well you have made the effort, now you have to walk away and move forward. It's regrets and resentments that hold many of us back. But we cannot change the past, and we don't know the future, it hasn't happened yet, we only have today, this moment.

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You showed kindness to your parents today and compassion for your mom by relating her behavior to how you've felt at times. What a great start. As long as they're not being mean to you, maybe you could bring them a treat next time like some cookies you made. Just a small gesture to show you care. Don't have any expectations, just be proud of your effort whenever you reach out. You're doing great.

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