Hi, I'm new here but I need advice if anybody can help? I'll try to be brief but it's complicated.
I'm 64. I was the 3rd of 4 children, and all through my childhood my mother always favoured my younger brother and continuously criticised the rest of us, especially me. I grew up in a very noisy, aggressive household, where there was constant conflict, fights, arguments and shouting. My mother brought us up on her own after our father left her for her best friend when I was 4. It was a relief to everybody when he left because he physically bullied everybody - except me, the only one of us to whom he showed any affection. I was only 4 years old but I clearly remember, on the day he left my mother stood over me and very angrily told me I was "nothing special and now I was about to find out what life was really like". So the dysfunctional family dynamics continued. From that day until she died in 2005 I tried so hard to please her and make her love me but nothing ever worked. She was proud of my achievements but otherwise never showed me any love. For me this led to a lifetime of depression, no self-confidence, the belief that I am unlikeable, that "I will be found out", uncontrollable jealousy of anybody who has or does anything better than me, and physical symptoms like overeating, leading to diabetes, however the diabetic meds are keeping that well under control. I also take Lisinopril for high BP and since 2004 I have taken antidepressants. I have recently been changed from Fluoxetine (which stopped being effective) to Sertraline, but this has caused me to have bad diarrhoea so I'm currently being weaned off that. I'm not sure what will happen next.
I do have a supportive husband, who has stuck by me through all the trials I've set him over the last 45+ years. I don't know how he has put up with me, but he has done so with love and unshakeable loyalty.
So, to bring this up to date. I have 2 daughters in their 40's, who are like chalk and cheese and hate each other despite all my efforts to calm the waters over the years. They go through long periods of not speaking to each other but at the moment are being "barely civil" - but at least they are in touch, just. I love them both and did my best throughout their childhood to be the loving mother I never had, but I still feel they don't really love me, so it seems I failed in that too. They both tend to shut me out of their lives and seem to regard any interest I show in them as "interfering". So our conversations tend to be short and infrequent. We mostly talk by phone these days as I live 500 miles away. (we moved here to escape my dysfunctional family several years ago.)
Now my 44 year old daughter is pregnant with her first child, something we never thought we'd ever see as she's never shown any maternal urges, but we're all thrilled about it.
But this daughter has never accepted my mental issues. She has a cold and detached demeanour and rarely shows her feelings. She believes that depression is something you should just "get over" and that doctors dole out tablets like sweets. She gets cross whenever it's mentioned either by me or my husband and tells me I should "stop taking all the tablets and pull myself together". I get defensive, she gets aggressive, so I avoid the subject whenever we talk.
So.... I am already feeling very anxious about visiting my daughter when the baby arrives. I hardly leave the house these days so I dread the 500 mile journey there and back, and the tense atmosphere that is bound to develop during our visit. I am beginning to feel it would be better for us not to go, but my husband is adamant that we must. I can't talk to my daughter for fear of causing an upset at this late stage of her pregnancy, but my husband told me last night that only last week she had a go at him for "humouring me with my so-called depression".
I'm at my wit's end. I sometimes think it would be better for everybody if I cut all ties with all my family except my husband. I love them but at best they barely tolerate me. Our first grandchild is about to arrive but I know in my heart I will not be allowed to be like a normal "granny" to them, as much as I want to be. I tried to tell my husband last night that I don't want to go for this visit but he reacted badly and I'm worried it could permanently damage our relationship.
I'm sorry for this long first post but I feel like I have nobody to turn to and I need some advice from people who understand mental issues. Thank you for reading this far.