Note this will be a work in progress
I’m a 56 soon to be 57 single mum of a beautiful 17 year old daughter. Both my parents have passed away and I have no siblings. I have several cousins and a few Aunts left alive, none of which I’m super close to as I have always felt judged and in some ways pitied by them. There are a few close friends. So as far as a support group there really isn’t one other than one friend who is going through similar.
Through reflection I’ve discovered that my depression/anxiety dates back much further than I realized. To childhood in fact.
My parents lost two children prior to having me, my sister at 2 1/2 years of age and my brother at 6 months. I was two months premature and back then the survival rate was not good for a premature baby. I assumed this was the reason my mother was over protective. What I’ve realized is that she just wasn’t over protective but also controlling. Until the day my mother passed I lived under the shadow of what she thought my sister would have been like had she lived. A perfect child. A child who could have done no wrong. To some she boosted about the achievements I had made and how good I was. To others I was a failure and ungrateful. I know some saw what was being done but I don’t know who or how many. What people thought of me at the time was important, so this hurt. I didn’t know who saw what was happening so I had no one to turn to. I was alone.
My parents marriage wasn’t the best. They fought often. Nothing physical. Just words. There were days, weeks, months where they didn’t speak to each other. I tried very hard not to take sides but felt like I was pulled by my mother to make it look like I was on her side. My father left twice. The second being for good, moving out west. I was 18. I didn’t see him or communicate with him in the early part of the final separation as when I did I was made to feel disloyal by my mother. She eventually blamed me for them separating as I was going to University here. My father moved on with his life and we kept in contact with birthday cards and Christmas cards and nothing more. My mother refused to move on.
Years passed and I was in my early twenties and living away from my mother when one day I had the feeling that I had to call him and I did. He was in the hospital having hip replacement surgery. Since then my dad and I communicated regularly with phone calls every Sunday and visits in the summer. We developed an awesome relationship. He was supportive and understanding. This however was ridiculed by my mother. I was made to feel guilty for talking to him. Visiting with him. Having anything to do with him. There was one good thing she said to me about him though. I told her I felt he would have preferred my brother to have lived or for me to have been a boy. She said that wasn’t the case. He was very proud to have a daughter.
To be continued.