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(71 Posts)
Ellie Anne Mon 20-May-19 18:40:38

I’ve never had a great personality or much confidence in myself. I do have opinions but am afraid to voice them in case i can’t back them up.
I pussy foot round my children because I can’t cope with conflict, ditto myDH.
I feel like I’m nothing and nobody and am slowly turning into a grey shadow that will eventually disappear.
Sorry if this sounds ridiculous but it’s how I feel.

silverlining48 Mon 20-May-19 18:47:33

Not ridiculous Ellie, many of us will understand. Have no suggestions other than to try and voice your opin ion, maybe something uncontroversial, chances are you won’t necessarily have to explain why. Then start on brexit! Only joking of course.
The only person who can change this is you. Baby steps. Good luck.

SueDonim Mon 20-May-19 18:55:31

I'm so sorry you feel like this, EllieAnne. Is it a lifelong problem or is it getting worse? Do you get physical symptoms, too, rapid heart beat, upset tummy and so on?

I don't generally go round diagnosing conditions via internet but I wonder whether social anxiety/phobia is a consideration? The NHS has an article here, which you might find useful. Have a read and see what you think.

crazyH Mon 20-May-19 18:57:57

Oh don't say that Ellie Anne and don't ever think like that. We all pussyfoot around our children, because we are scared of conflict. Just last August I had a big fall out with my argumentative son. Things are sort of ok now. But since then, I have decided to keep my opinions to myself especially in his presence.
You are somebody Ellie .... you are your own person.
You have your husband.....probably he is more vocal than you and probably talks for you as well. Lots of men do..
I do wish you well. There are lots of well educated and well experienced GN, who will come along and give you practical advice. Good luck xx

DoraMarr Mon 20-May-19 18:58:26

Well, we can’t all be movers and shakers, and you seem to have a successful marriage and have brought up a family. Instead of focusing on what you perceive as weaknesses, think about the things you do well, and try to think of those things you think you don’t do well in a more positive light. You say you pussyfoot around your children: others may see this as you being conciliatory- a peacemaker. You don’t express your opinions: perhaps you are a good listener. So many people come on this site bemoaning their relationships with family members, so if you have managed not to lose your children that is a good thing. You sound a thoughtful person. flowers

CanadianGran Mon 20-May-19 19:36:23

Oh EllieAnne, you sound so sad. I do hope you find a way to come around and feel more confident.

I'm afraid sometimes we women put our families ahead of ourselves so much that we do lose a part of who we originally were.
Try to find happiness in small things, even if it is in pleasing others, and try to do things that please you. Perhaps a trip to the library or bookshop to find a book on building confidence. Start by standing tall (good posture shows confidence), find one small thing to improve or change, and find joy in something every day. Even if it is a small item, like a blossom from your garden in a vase to enjoy.
Once you start to feel more confident in yourself, others will notice and perhaps not overlook you.

Please try, and report back to us.

M0nica Mon 20-May-19 20:00:20

It sounds as if these symptoms could now be depression. I would see your GP.

M0nica Mon 20-May-19 20:02:05

Mind you a lot of people who shout a lot and make a lot of noise cannot support their opinions in any way other than just shouting louder as if the volume of their opinions validated them

Ellie Anne Mon 20-May-19 20:30:37

Thank you all. I am already taking antidepressants because of the stress at home. DH and I have grown apart and hardly speak. No fallouts just nothing in common and different lives.
I spend a lot of time out of the house to get away.
He hardly goes out at all.

annep1 Mon 20-May-19 20:32:47

Sometimes feeling intimidated makes your mind go blank even though you have the knowledge to back up your opinions. Its awful, I know.
Perhaps you need to get out with other people doing something just for you. You're a partner, a mother but also an individual. Maybe you could spend some time on you. U3A might be worth exploring.
As for children, some of them think mum knows nothing. I used to enjoy debates with ny daughter but I just agree now. You're not alone there.

annep1 Mon 20-May-19 22:19:56

I just noticed your last comment Ellie Anne.
Perhaps speaking to a counsellor would help. It has helped me at times.

lemongrove Mon 20-May-19 22:23:35

Some good advice on here Ellie and in any case if you are a good listener you will be in demand wherever you go and whatever group you join.

Glammy57 Mon 20-May-19 22:37:56

Oh, Ellie Anne - you are not disappearing, just look at how many of us have read your post. I have always suffered from g.a.d (general anxiety disorder). However, at the age of forty, I finally found my voice and felt more able to voice my opinions. Now, twenty years later, I do wonder if I am too opinionated. To be a good listener is a gift, but do try to offer a response as conversation works both ways. Good luck in your future endeavours!

GabriellaG54 Mon 20-May-19 22:54:24

Count me out crazyH. You don't speak for me. I certainly don't pussyfoot around my children.

BradfordLass72 Mon 20-May-19 22:57:23

Ellie Anne
You might try talking to someone from the Women's Refuge Service.
I realise you're not being bashed (or I hope not) but they specialise in helping women become stronger, in some cases so they can start new lives.

But even if you don't want to leave home, they may be able to refer you to a good counsellor.

The thing to remember, even if you don't believe it yet, is that you ARE an important person in this world. You fit into other people's lives as part of an essential and beautiful pattern.
You matter to so many, whether you realise it or not and although you may be a quiet and unassuming person, those are often the very people who make the most impact - but they rarely know it.

Don't underestimate your own worth but please try to find someone who can help you realise this. flowers

Urmstongran Mon 20-May-19 23:09:26

You sound like a gentle person EllieAnne who has lost her way over the years and this has made you feel sad. You don’t get on with your husband. Maybe he is a bit of a bully. Your opinions don’t seem to count so you submerge them and have lost your confidence.

Eloethan Mon 20-May-19 23:51:38

I'm really sorry to hear you being so down on yourself EllieAnne. You sound like a very sweet, gentle person. You don't have to be an expert to voice an opinion - even experts frequently come to different conclusions about various issues.

Do you have some good friends who you can talk to, or do you keep your feelings to yourself? Drugs can assist in "damping down" feelings of hopelessness and sadness but I think it is so important to be able to express how you feel to someone you can trust. In my opinion, if you feel uncomfortable raising these issues with people close to you, counselling can be very effective in helping a person to reflect on what is going wrong, and give them the confidence to gradually deal with the things that are making them unhappy. Perhaps you could ask your doctor to refer you to a counsellor.

annep1 Tue 21-May-19 09:46:32

GG54 I can't imagine you pussyfooting around anyone. Lol. I wish I had more courage.

Gonegirl Tue 21-May-19 09:58:30

Ellie Anne only you can help yourself with your situation at home. You say you don't have opinions because you are afraid you won't be able to back them up. You don't need to back them up. Just say, "Well, that's what I think --and I'm usually right--". Works for me.

You don't say how old your children are, but never forget one of the most useful phrases ever invented - "Because I said so!"

luluaugust Tue 21-May-19 10:09:55

EllieAnne it doesn't sound ridiculous at all, I don't know how old you are but when I was growing up you did as you were told, something it took me years to get over. You sound a gentle person looking for a quiet life, why would any opinion of yours alienate your children? Is there any chance of getting things on a better footing with your husband I feel there is more to be said there. If you feel talking to someone might help go for it and do speak to the GP about your tablets they don't sound as if they are helping much.

Bbbface Tue 21-May-19 11:01:24

*We all pussyfoot around our children, because we are scared of conflict*

No, we don’t. And family relationships are much closer and loving as a result.

Op, have you always been like this? Or has it crept up on you / a recent development?

Jishere Tue 21-May-19 11:05:44

You write that you do have opinions - so you are far from nothing. Remember how we feel is not necessary what we are.

But what it sounds like is you do deserve some love.

lizzypopbottle Tue 21-May-19 11:07:07

I haven't read everything on here but I'd advise finding something to do away from family; something that's just for you. Join your local U3A group and force yourself to attend. Look for local authority adult education courses and go. Don't ask if it suits anyone else's convenience. Find something creative and become good at it or just enjoy doing it. What did you like doing before others claimed you? Be bold.

B9exchange Tue 21-May-19 11:09:02

I'm another one with one AC that I have to keep my opinions entirely to myself, because I hate being shouted at, I can't cope with it. Don't put yourself down, you have actively made that choice not to confront, so that is you in control.

I do fear that perhaps your husband has destroyed your confidence over the years. What you need are people telling you that you are lovely, you have a loving, caring personality and they value you. We can do that on GN, but we don't know you personally, you need support locally.

I am glad you get out on your own, do join a class of something you are interested in, and U3A is also good. Perhaps visit your local church, synagogue, temple or mosque, depending on your faith. Don't worry about voicing opinions, just ask people to talk about themselves and their interests, they will love it. Just try not to glaze over when they are discussing how amazingly gifted all their grandchildren are! grin

If you can find the strength to believe in yourself, others will too. It's not easy, do try counselling as well as the antidepressants, which can make you feel a bit of a zombie anyway. Good luck, and keep us posted on progress! flowers

annep1 Tue 21-May-19 11:11:11

No, we don’t. And family relationships are much closer and loving as a result.

Not my experience. Especially with DiL. Do whatever is needed to keep the peace works.