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Imprisoned by my own values?!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nosandals, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. OK.
    Many years ago I came from a council estate upbringing, single parent family, miserable 70s existence. I was lucky enough to be very intelligent. Top of the class. Without trying. I made it through the 11plus and to a good university.
    Trouble was, I was emotionally needy. No dad, not a lot of emotional intelligence (something I still struggle with, but then I was brought up by a chronically depressed mum in a chronically depressed place), my mum had an emotionally abusive partner, there was absolutely nobody who loved me.
    I found uni hard to cope with - not intellectually, but emotionally. I had nobody to support me emotionally whatsoever and was unable to do this for myself. Boo hoo, I know, but I was only 18.
    In my second year I got pregnant to someone I should not have been with. He begged me to keep the baby. I could not morally terminate when I knew he wanted it so much. I knew how awful it had been for me growing up with no dad, so I married him. I had the baby in my third year. I continued at uni and got my degree. Mr N alienated my friends by being rude and ignorant and by sulking if I ever tried to do anything I liked or see anyone I liked, so it all quietly stopped, all so my child could have a dad. Then I had an even bigger problem. I had no money. He was unemployed. I couldn't go for a graduate job, because I couldn't afford child care etc.
    I went and worked in a semi-skilled job because there was a creche. He got a temporary unskilled job that became permanent.
    Eventually my baby got a bit bigger and went to school. At this point, I applied successfully for a PGCE. I became a teacher. I got promoted. Now we actually have a small but ok house, some holidays and my kids have got a dad and a mum and a stable background.
    I get on ok with Mr N. He loves me and treats me well.
    But I am deeply, deeply unhappy at basically losing myself. I have no interests, no hobbies, I don't do the things I love, for 2 reasons - 1 because we can't afford it and 2 because Mr N is very possessive and can't bear for me to have friends or interests outside of him. He isn't the kind, patient dad I imagined my kids having. He's just the only one they'll get now.
    I am very lonely. I know I've done the best I could and each time there's been a decision it's been morally right, but I seem to have lost myself somewhere - somewhere right near the start.
    I think I'm probably just being selfish when I feel like I do at the moment - like making a plan to leave when my kids have left home - but I still keep thinking it, and when I get down it gets worse. That's not fair on him either. He thinks I love him. I'm in this situation where if I want to think of myself at all, it means letting someone else down.

  2. Are you asking for advice?

    If not, please ignore the following.
    You sound like a nice person who's done the right things for the right reasons. But on that journey you've lost your sense of self.
    I can recomment The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It is an excellent 12 week programme for recovery of a sense of your creative self.
  3. Yes, that's the sort of thing I'm looking for. Thank you for your advice. [​IMG]

  4. Don't really have any advice to offer but wanted to post to say that somebody has taken the time to read your thoughts.
    Have you spoken to anyone in RL about this?
  5. No. I feel ashamedly self-indulgent by saying anything even on here. After all, I have 2 lovely kids, we are healthy and can pay the mortgage each month.
    I don't actually have many friends, either. (That sounds self-pitying, but it's just a fact).
  6. Well you shouldn't feel that way. It is not self pitying at all.
    I don't think that life should be valued by how 'many' friends we have, but more from the quality of the friendships we do share.
  7. That's true, but it limits who I can talk to about it in rl. I'm not really close enough to anyone in rl.
    Lol, so I thought I'd talk about it in public!!! Am anon, though, so makes it easier.
  8. This forum can be good for some therapy.
    If it is something that is really affecting you though you should consider talking to someone in RL about it, perhaps counselling.
  9. Do you think it's a big enough problem to go for counselling?
  10. If feeling deeply unhappy, trapped and lonely it would be something I would consider. However everyone is different and counselling isn't for everyone. It all depends on how much it is affecting your daily life.
  11. You are not happy ... seems to me that is a BIG problem
  12. I'm very closed off. I am very hard on myself. I'm impatient with my kids sometimes. When I'm in the middle of work I forget how bad it is, but that's making me exhausted.
    I think you're right, but have no idea how to access counselling. Certainly can't afford it.


  13. Seems tricky. Try signing up for a night class or something before conselling. A few lifestyle tweaks here and there can work wonders.
  14. I've been like this for about 15 years, though, and I keep telling myself it's for the best reasons. Is my happiness that important? Can I hang on for another few years? I have got used to not having what makes me happy. If I change now, I'm throwing away the sacrifice I've made already.
  15. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Sounds to me like you are being used, if not genuinely abused, by having the spirit crushed out of you.And it does affect the kids, even if it does not show. I had similar but got out, and I won't elaborate on here even "anonymously".
  16. Good idea. I've been looking at the Julia Cameron website and that has some good tips. I'll have a look at night classes too. I did do stuff like that in the past, but I got promoted and now I'm running myself into the ground to prove myself. Wish I could go back to my old job! [​IMG]

  17. If you are here looking for someone to sound out about a problem then it is a big enough problem to seek aid in RL!

    You sound as though you never really found out who you are - on your own, just being you!
    You went from being daughter to pregnant girlfriend, mother and wife! Never just nosandals! Never a self supporting singleton, however good or bad!
    It's hardly surprisng you feel something is missing!
    Even if Mr N was utterly perfect and everything you could ever want in a partner I would imagine you would still feel a little hollow!

    That and it's Christmas... the time of year we all have our emotions magnified - whether trapped in close proximity to family for 2 weeks or lonely, living as a singleton, or any other variant of just being alive!

    Make a New Year's resolution (warning: this next bit sounds soooooooooooo corny): find the real you!
    Aerobics, knitting, painting, dancing, writing, re-training, moving, moving on..... whatever it takes!

    Good luck with getting it all sorted - come back and have a moan whenever you need it!

  18. Your LA will offer free counselling services. If not, speak to your doctor. You will have to wait a lot lot longer if you go through the doctor but it is a start, especially as you say you have felt like this for so long.

  19. What exactly happens when you try to go out with friends, or you try to engage in a hobby that doesnot involve your husband?
  20. Hello nosandals!
    Just read your posts and thought I'd drop in my two penn'orth.
    It sounds like you've made some choices which maybe you don't regret but wish you hadn't had to make. Your situation when growing up has coloured your perspective on life (as is the same for all) and now you are feeling unfulfilled and wondering "what about me?" This is not selish - it sounds like you are the back bone of the family and it's in everyone's interests for you to be emotionally well.
    I think counselling would help you (if nothing else it's one hour a week where you get to off load and have someone solely there for you) but you're right it's not cheap. However, can you afford not to get your mental wellbeing sorted?
    Have a look on line for a list of registered counsellors (BCAP acredited) and basically ring one up. They'll explain what their approach is and if they think they can help you.
    It may help to keep posting on here for a bit -lots of people are good with advice and their own experiences.

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