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Sadness for sons

(36 Posts)
Pap67 Sat 15-Feb-20 12:30:26

I married young (20) my husband was a funny lovable friendly man with lots of friends but also an alcoholic. We had 2 beautiful sons (3 miscarriages) and I finally ended it after he was violent towards me. Hideous divorce with his alcoholism going into overdrive but always kept the contact going through family or contact centres. Met ex boyfriend who had lost his wife, I kind of walked into her shoes and became step mum to 2 children similar ages to mine. He was cold and didn’t show any affection to the children. 10 years and a child together after his “snip” we parted and I lived alone. My boys have never had a proper father figure and to add salt to their wounds my first husband passed away aged 57 due to his lifestyle. All I ever wanted was to have a happy family and not move from place to place with no security. I feel I have let my boys down so very badly and I feel such a failure as a mother. I lost my parents young and my sister died suddenly at 48. I feel so alone and have started withdrawing from almost any social situation apart from with my boys. Work and sleep is my life. Don’t know what to do anymore.

sodapop Sat 15-Feb-20 12:45:33

I think you may have posted in the wrong forum Pap67 you will get more responses elsewhere on GN.

Squiffy Sat 15-Feb-20 13:01:48

I was thinking the same, Sodapop! I’ll contact HQ and see if they can move it for them.

M0nica Sat 15-Feb-20 19:26:39

Pap67, you sound depressed and I can understand why. Go and see your GP and see if you can get counselling or other help.

Lots of children, boys and girls, have difficult childhoods for reasons out of their - and their parents - control, yet they grow up balanced and stable and loving their mother because of how well she managed during such difficult years.

Have you actually talked to your sons about how you see their childhood and yourself? I suspect they do not see it as negatively as you did and just see a loving and brave mother, who like a Lifeboat breasted the highest wave and loved them and protected them.

Now take as much care of yourself as you took of them and go and see your doctor and get some counselling.

ineedamum Sun 16-Feb-20 08:06:06

Your sons always had you, even if fathers were absent. I'm from a dreadful background and if I had one person there for me, it would have made such a difference.

I have sent you a private message.

Greymar Sun 16-Feb-20 08:20:40

I have a feeling your sons are probably doing fine because they have a good and caring Mum. Look after you.

optimist Sun 16-Feb-20 10:18:42

Read "A Good Enough Mother" by Bev Thomas. I am listening to it being read on Really helpful for those of us in challenging family situations.

Rocknroll5me Sun 16-Feb-20 10:26:48

I have those kind of guilts and my daughter says why did you pick such dreadful men...and of course its only one way of looking at it. Its a gamble, desire is not sensible and bad things happen to good people. So stop licking your wounds. You've done are a good person and your influence for good and order will be felt for ever in ways you will not understand. So dont give up on yourself. You are not a failure. You have got this life a short span to do as much good as you can. And I think you have. And will carry on doing so. Dont judge yourself so to yourself as a good friend. This is bootstrap time - every day. Believe me you have a lot you're just having a wobble in self confidence.

Jillybird Sun 16-Feb-20 10:34:36

Similar story here, including the two sons and the alcoholic! When people go on about single parent families I remind them that after WW1 many dads never came home and mothers did a fine job of raising their sons on their own. I think I did too. My older son is 46 and a dad to 3 (one seriously disabled) and in a volatile but ultimately very solid marriage. Younger son's 40 but sadly the love of his life left him with no reason given and he's struggling to get over it, despite two long-term girlfriends since. None quite match up to his first love. Otherwise he's well-ballanced and hardworking. Your boys will be fine. Now focus on yourself, get well, and you too will be fine!

Hetty58 Sun 16-Feb-20 10:37:30

Pap67, I believe that one good parent is quite adequate, quite good enough. Many poor souls don't even have that.

A somewhat disadvantaged background can provide just the impetus to make a success of life, to value what's important and to be happy.

I worked with students from all backgrounds. There were two groups I truly worried about. First, those who were very disadvantaged with everything against their chances, second, (surprisingly) those who had every advantage - and seemed to have no drive at all!

Camelotclub Sun 16-Feb-20 10:58:26

You didn't let your sons down, those men did. You have nothing to feel guilty for.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Feb-20 10:59:28

Life must feel hard for you at times but I assure you, Pap67 you have done your best and have your lovely sons to prove it.

Don't lock yourself away. Everyone occasionally feels job done - what next but have to carry on to the next hurdle step.
Nothing will happen at all if you hide yourself away.

My DM brought 3 of us up alone and she had mental health problems, so we were often separated even from her. However we remained a strong family because we knew we were loved.

Bamm Sun 16-Feb-20 11:12:27

Pap67 please don't be so sad. You were there for your sons and did the best that you could. I do understand how you feel, I too feel that I have let my sons down, especially the eldest who had a rather disturbed childhood, but with age and hindsight it's easier to see what paths we could have taken. I am sure many, many mothers feel that they could have done better and you had a lot to cope with. You sound a very loving mother and I am sure your sons love you very much too.

Pap67 Sun 16-Feb-20 11:14:01

Thankyou all so very much! I have tried hard to explain to the boys how I feel. It’s them that have said about not having great childhood family memories that have started these self destructive thoughts. It’s true, my 2nd husband moved us away from everyone and with 5 children it wasn’t easy getting back to see family, but I made a huge effort. I feel like their dad did so little and yet he was more important than me... stupid eh? I think yes, I need a little expert help, after all we are seeing about mental health, it’s important I practice what I preach to the boys about not bottling things up.
Thankyou so much for each reply and taking the time to write.

Applegran Sun 16-Feb-20 11:17:18

You have cared deeply for your sons through a very hard and painful life - I agree entirely with what MOnica says. Please read her post again and find support - you have much to be proud of and at the moment you need, as we all do, someone to be there with you as you move ahead.

Bluegrass Sun 16-Feb-20 12:31:52

It seems to me that you have been a devoted mother and that the men in your life are the ones who let your son's down. Reading through the lines I believe you may need to find yourself again as an individual. Think about how you'd like to spend your leisure time. Take every opportunity to enjoy hobbies or other pastimes in the company of others - you will build a new circle of friends who enjoy the same things in no time. Good luck!

faye17 Sun 16-Feb-20 13:03:46

Every one of us shares your feelings from time to time - it's human nature. We want the absolute best of everything for each of our precious children and feel bad because our own humanity limits what we can provide. All mothers/grandmother's need to be very, very kind to themselves because most of us put all we have into our families often with scant appreciation shown for all we give of our precious selves.
Take time for you, a walk, a bath, candles, flowers, a good book - simple things that affirm your worth.
You are a wonderful woman thanks

GoldenAge Sun 16-Feb-20 13:22:30

Pap67 - feeling a failure is not very pleasant and no amount of anybody telling you that you are not a failure will make any difference until you commit to the idea of giving yourself some time with a professional who will be able to work with you and address these basic beliefs. Honestly, you need some real self-care - you have been mum to five children which is no mean feat, you've been unlucky in your partners, and yet are holding a job down. The guilt you feel is misplaced. Please go to your GP and ask for some counselling on the NHS. You will get a series of six sessions initially with a counsellor who will help you talk through your feelings, and then you can ask for some CBT sessions which will help with orienting your deeply held beliefs about yourself. I'm sure your children and especially your boys don't feel that you've sold them short in any way.

Greeneyedgirl Sun 16-Feb-20 13:47:08

Pap67 It's so positive that you were able to post on here about how you feel.

As you can see, posters do not condemn you, but are overwhelmingly supportive of how you have managed to bring up your boys, despite the odds being stacked against you, and think you should feel proud of that.

These feelings are negatively affecting your life, but professional support is available as others have said, and I think you recognise that this may help. There is no stigma in this, in fact it is a very positive thing to do, and am sure it's what you'd advise a friend to do if she unburdened to you.

Tillybelle Sun 16-Feb-20 18:07:46

Pap67 You poor dear girl. You are probably depressed, I think. To have such low self-esteem is a big sign of depression and it makes it very hard to do anything beyond the basic necessities of life. I really do sympathise. I often still feel this way and have been through it a lot. My own marriage has parallels with yours and the person I was lumbered with afterwards was a terrible burden to me even though I managed not to let him move in with me.

I think you have no right to criticise yourself in this way. I think you coped amazingly well in extremely difficult circumstances! Both relationships were ones that were extraordinarily demanding and neither gave you any support in return. I would imagine you are suffering from exhaustion and a feeling of emptiness because you do not even have happy memories on which you can draw. I know this so well. But I am sure you fed, dressed and tended to all the children in your care with love and kindness. Considering their fathers' inputs, you rescued them from dire neglect. I think you did a wonderful job for all those children! Where would they have been without you? You raised 5 children!

My own husband died at 56 at his own hand. I have three daughters. I cannot come to terms with his death, nor with the cruelty he dealt me every day since I met him. We, you and I, are always left with the difficulty that we cannot talk about the cruelty of their father to our children. Then there is the added terror that one of them at least might take after him. After all, they share his genes. I have often felt intensely alone with my memories of the cruelty I suffered.

Please, Pap67, it's your turn now to do the things you enjoy. You can spend your money on yourself, treat yourself. You must start appreciating yourself. You have nothing whatsoever to reproach yourself for. No! You did not let your boys down! Not at all! You did the best you could for them at every stage in their lives. What more could you do? I often feel the same because my daughters' experience growing up was not ideal, with their father being strange and dying while they were,- one in her first term at University, one doing GCSEs and the little one just 8. But I have to tell myself I could only do what I could do. We had to move when he died because of his debts but it turned out to be a good thing although it was a night-mare at the time. I am sure you managed really well! Every meal you made them was a miracle! I know! I have been there.

Pleas start being kind to yourself. I think it would help to have someone to talk to. Maybe your Gp can arrange some counselling for you? It would be so good if you had somewhere you could go to process all those difficult times. I think you are an amazing lady, a wonderful Survivor who rescued 5 children from a very difficult and sad situation and never gave much thought for yourself. Now's the time to take care of yourself. You deserve it. 🌈🦋💐

Nanny41 Sun 16-Feb-20 18:13:40

Pap67 you sound like a wonderful Mum and your Sons must be proud of you,you are not a failure.Mybe talking to a professional person might help, you deserve more than sleep and work in your life.
Sending hugs.

V3ra Sun 16-Feb-20 18:14:04

Tillybelle what a heartfelt, powerful and moving post x

Sparkling Sun 16-Feb-20 18:18:45

It doesn't matter if you are on the wrong thread, you sound so depressed but you did a wonderful job. You raised two sons who knew you were always there for them. lots of children are from broken homes, and a lot of those that aren't, it's not all happy families. Be proud you were there for them, but start to look after yourself, it's your time now, start little by little getting out and about. I'm on my own now like so many people, I get down, but I book a holidays and get out and about, so many can't, the first step is the hardest , but it gets easier, you can do it.💐

GrannySomerset Sun 16-Feb-20 18:30:41

Lots of lovely and worthwhile people are poor pickers of life partners, so you are part of quite a large group! Loved children have the best of all advantages and will themselves be loving and committed parents. You should not feel that you have failed; in the face of great difficulty you have brought up children who are well equipped to face life. Your turn now?

Tillybelle Sun 16-Feb-20 18:46:13

Oh V3ra! That is so kind of you! I'm having trouble typing and seeing my mistakes so I have my heart in my mouth when I press 'post' even after previewing! Thank you again, I do worry in case I say something stupid or unintentionally hurtful.