I have a friend who is doing it tough at the moment so I wanted to let her know that I thought she was great particularly after she was visibly upset after a mutual person we know made several insensitive remarks. I tried to put those remarks into a better context and wrote to her. At the end she said thank you and she was so glad that I understood her. Later, however, she did spiral downwards. So I’m putting up this letter for anyone else doing it tough. Hopefully it will touch someone and make them know they are not alone before the darkness becomes too much. With much love here is my letter to a friend.
Your childhood was not awesome. I’m sure there were happy moments but what your parents did was just plain shit. You don’t give up on your own child. You do not ship them off for somebody else tp deal with. Now as adults we can realise that your parents didn’t give up on you they actually gave up on themselves and tried to put you with a better option. Clearly stupid and wrong to do and clearly a child is going to feel abandoned, anxious, unloved and deeply worthless. Not something any healthy parent wants for their child. So clearly the wrong choice no matter how “right” the reason was. What your parents did would be considered unforgivable by many. But you are such a good person that you’re actually trying. Here’s the thing, reparations in “the circle of security” are the parents job, not the child’s. You don’t need to reach out, they do. And for how long do they need to reach out? Until you feel it, until you’re 100% secure in your relationship with them. “I’ve tried for 10 years and that’s how long she was gone for,” does not even come close to cutting it. That upheaval was done when you were too young to have a voice so it’s deep and needs lots of effort on their behalf. So you don’t need to reach out to them they need to reach out to you. In fact reaching out to them only makes it worse every time they don’t reach back because it only reinforces that message of “I’m not worthy.” It’s like if you’re thirsty and you go to the tap and no water comes out. you feel worse each time it doesn’t come out. even worse than had you not gone. So put your parents on the back burner. No need to text message or Facebook or call trying to seek out their support or pride. They need to volunteer it willingly with open arms for it to matter. So don’t pursue them with a nice dinner or a lovely message or any of the millions of little things you do to try to make them see you. They’re the ones who fucked up, they need to do 100% of the pursuing. Sure welcome it but don’t pursue it back. This is not a fifty fifty street. So I think try to dull down any thoughts to do with them. let yourself off the hook and put them on it. Not with the odd angry word just calmly disengage and let them do all of the legwork. It’s their job. They’re your parents.
Now I am going somewhere with this. I know what X (removing the name) said was to do with your secure base for your little girl. That’s just the context for what I’m about to say. I haven’t totally lost the plot yet.
Because you did not have a secure base, your parents were evidently in an emotional tractor accident where they lost their metaphorical hands, you are super sensitive to suffering. You hear the crying and it doesn’t just make “shark music” it tears your soul apart
The idea of your kids, or anyone else feeling that kind of pain is too much. Hence I think she’s worried that you’ll unintentionally avoid the situation and cause some anxiety around the secure hands. Not like your parents caused. Definitely not! There’s no way she’s stupid enough to think that! I think she’s just worried that the pain will make you shut down.
Now here’s the catch about your kids crying. They’re not you. They haven’t been abandoned. They are not suffering. You are there for them. You are a great mum who is doing her best.
But even though you are there for them and they aren’t suffering like you were it’s hard not to get that emotional response because it has been drummed into you. “You’re not worthy, you’re not worth the effort. ” And your husband has just sent you that message again with his carry on with his “mate’s mum” bullshit. And the hospital cancelling and then giving you the wrong number just builds up in you. A very raw time for you. But you are worthy and you are worth the effort.
Put it in perspective. You were treated quite poorly by your parents (understatement of the century), but you’re such a good person you actually still talk to them. Your husband is being a prick at the moment and you haven’t kicked him out. And your kids, you’ve got a threenager and a reflux baby, that’s fucking hard, and despite not having good roll models for sticking by when the going gets tough you hang in there. You haven’t left them. You’ve stayed in their lives, in their home, in their sights. Well done chicken! That’s beyond fucking amazing. I think it’s about time you said, “Fuck this shit, I’m amazing and I won’t carry your burdens any longer, I’m going to take care of me and the kids.” Let the people responsible for wronging you in your personal life come to you, forget about pursuing them as they continue to distance themselves. Time for you to distance and them pursue. Put that pain on hold and focus on cuddles with the kids. Bring them in close and hug them twice as much. Once for them and once for you as a little girl. Your parents make comments like “relax” or other stupid shit just ignore it, distance yourself, stop talking to them and turn around and hug your kids/self. Because seriously, chill/relax, how fucking chilled and relaxed were they to abandon their daughter, fuck that, they don’t get to give advice until they’ve made amends. And that husband of yours… hmmmm… he’s an insecure, spoilt, brat who is wholly taking advantage of your insecurity and abandonment issues. There, I said it. He’s being a jerk because he can be. He knows you’ll keep pursuing him because you want a deep and loving connection. And you deserve one and it’s about time he gave you one. No more begging for attention by cleaning the way he likes or doing stuff that makes it harder for you just because he likes it. Next time he flips out about your whereabouts you very calmly and firmly say, “No, you don’t get to question my integrity. I have been a good and loyal wife and mother, I have not snap chatted my vag to a “mate’s mum” that was you, my integrity is not in question, you may not divert attention from what you have been up too by randomly blaming me for imaginary wrongs.” Then calmly walk away to another room or hang up. And if he flares up and gets aggressive or lays so much as a finger on you get those precious kids and pack up and leave next time he is at work. You do not want your daughter thinking it is ok for her husband to yell at her and you don’t want you bear cub thinking he can yell at his wife. Don’t return until he heals the rift he has caused… although if he lays a hand on you don’t return ever. Now that seems all very practical but of course emotionally it isn’t that easy. “But I’m not worthy he won’t make amends.” If he doesn’t it is because he is too small, it is a reflection on his character not yours. You’re great, you’re flaw is putting up with too much and not valuing yourself enough, not being a bad person. So what if he doesn’t make amends. What’s the worst that can happen? He bangs on about how he’ll take the kids but he won’t actually be able too and you’ll get free accommodation at your parents house… let’s face it they owe you at the very least 10 years rent free plus all the add ons for emotional suffering. So the worst that could happen is that you gather up money whilst your parents get a chance to really make it up to you through taking care of you and your kids. And the best is that you break this negative cycle with your husband and he finally comes out of his shell and reaches out and steps up to be the husband and father that he deep down wants to be but has had it so easy and so good that he’s just become a spoilt little boy who acts on every whim he has because he’s been living in a consequence free world. At the very least he needs to never invite that woman who shipped her son off because he was “too hard” into your house again. Granted she’s obviously as nuts as us with huge issues but her issues are going to traumatise you so you need to look after yourself before you can look after others. She can be cared for by her loved ones, Lord knows she needs it.
So the new world order is you, then the kids, then the husband, then the parents. I’d actually insert then the friends in front of hubby and parents for a while so we can energise you and bolster you up a bit so that you can feel confident enough to love you. Now you take care of your beautiful self and those beautiful kids.
You have a good heart. Granted your “picker” is broken but that’s understandable. You’ve surrounded yourself with selfish bastards who don’t appreciate you not because you’re a bad or unworthy person who deserves shit but because you didn’t have someone model to you what a true connection is. Now you’ve got to flip flop around and learn it all yourself which is bloody hard. But never think that you have arseholes surrounding you because you have a character defect because that’s not true. Your character is fine, just a bit shaky for obvious reasons, they have the character defect. The reason they’re with you is because everybody else told them to fuck off before they got too close. Unfortunately with your broken “picker” you didn’t. Never too late to say now is the day I get respect. Quietly and calmly distance yourself from the arseholes and embrace all good things openly. You deserve it.