Mental Health Support

Cutting myself off from my family

I find Christmas so hard. I feel useless and lonely even though I have my immediate family around me - I have been sleeping all day and shutting myself off from them. I grew up with a mother who made Christmas difficult and I was an only child so her anger and focus was all on me growing up until I had to sever ties with her when I was 36. She died four years ago ensuring that she was cremated before I was told about her death. I hadnt seen her for 8 years before she died although I sent her pictures of my family and kept her updated by text. She had a difficult upbringing herself and was diagnosed with BPD. When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed out or have time-out to myself as I had to stay in the same room as her and always had to be careful with with I say or she would go in a rage, telling me I am selfish and evil. Christmas time is a reminder of how she would lavish all her love on the run up and then take the tree down angrily on Christmas Day. After I learnt of her death after getting concerned not hearing back from her for a few days, I received a package in the post containing angry letters and messages from her. So Christmas time is so hard. I am feeling so bad for my family and shutting them out and blaming myself for the way I was to my mother. No closure, no support, being an only child so no-one to share the experience with. So hard. I just still feel so worthless and the world’s worse mother to my children.

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I ensure you I have made sure my children are enjoying Christmas - in shutting them out, I just say I don’t feel very well ensuring they have things to keep them busy (they are not young children but two are adults and one of secondary school age) whilst I am alone in other part of my home. I would never dream of inflicting this on them but suffer in silence like I always have - perhaps this is not a good place for me to be. I feel worse than I already do.

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Forgive your mother and then forgive yourself..you are too nice of a person I feel..pray everyday asking for forgiveness...find a quiet place and talk to your mother in prayer..talk to her and tell her everything you feel and whatever else you want to tell her..tell her you love her and forgive her..Then ask God to forgive you..ask God for forgiveness as many times you can..atleast once day..

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P-L-H - well done for expressing yourself clearly and concisely on this forum. A big step I would have thought, although I suspect you have tried in the past to express the way you feel, but lack of 'anything' from 'anyone' meant suffer in silence, we are taught to deal with the shit...never how to clean it up properly!

Ok, going from your post, your Mother, very sick individual, both with a severe MH problem and one of hate and resentment towards life.

I have no idea why, and you being her only child, you seem to have no idea why also, which makes for a complete screwed up scenario, and one quite understandably your still trying to cope and deal with.

Here's the answer...there isn't one! You will never ever know the true reasons for it all, despite her package of hate mail on her death bed...you are simply the victim of her poor life, poor choices, and her illness. You was the target, the pin-board to release her shit.

She in no longer here, you have to grieve properly and although easier said than done, start moving on and forgive her! Yes forgive her AND yourself!

By the sounds of it, your a genuine person with genuine feelings and clearly want better for yourself and your beautiful family...so start by telling yourself these things and more, go to grief counselling, go and speak about this as much as you can with whoever will truthfully listen, release it all...you will get through this, everything takes time, this is no different.

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Hi Peace-love-hope and welcome to the forum. As Ajmiki has said, well done for expressing your feelings on this forum. Please stay on here and you will receive support from other members. You have experienced so much sadness and Christmas time is particularly difficult for you. Please believe you are valued. Begin by taking small steps and being kind to yourself. It may be a good idea to see your GP and as Ajmiki suggested, arrange some grief counselling. You may want to have a look at crusebereavementcare.org.uk. You will get through this difficult time and then you and your family can move forwards. Please let us know how you are doing. All the very best to you.

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As the daughter of a difficult parent I can sympathise with you, about how past memories can interfere with your enjoyment today. What we all want is a calm wise and loving parent who is emotionally well balanced and who is there for us. Sadly this does not always happen. Our parents can quite easily be emotionally unavailable, dealing with unresolved issues themselves, or maybe a narcissistic individual who is incapable of expressing real love. It is not nice and not fair and we can feel very cheated and angry, especially when we hear so many stories about supposed perfect family Christmasses. I think you do very well to not burden your kids with your anger, but it is a shame that you and they are not enjoying the experience as much as you could. I hope they do not remember their Christmasses as a time when Mum was always ill and not emotionally present for them. It might be an idea, now they are older, to explain to them that you have issues relating to your past (without going into details which would only stir up bad feelings for you), but you are trying to deal with them, and that it is nothing for them to worry about. Perhaps you could ask your kids to help you to develop some of your own Christmas traditions which bear no relation to your mother's idea of a family Christmas, so you can start to build a better relationship with your kids, without having to fight the bad memories that Christmas is triggering in you. Wishing you a lovely Christmas day and a happy New Year, and all the best. xxx

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