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(11 Posts)
seastar Tue 06-Aug-19 23:51:52

My situation:
1) My doctor reckons I come from a dysfunctional family
2) I have been lonely all my life even though I have 2 sisters
who are in their 50's and I'm 60
3) Sisters have never really made an effort with me but I have made all the effort over the years
4) One sister has repeatedly written evil letters to me, \She wrote an evil letter which my husband read and a week later he died suddenly at 56.
5) My husband I loved from the moment I saw him and when he died suddenly I couldn't cope and fell apart. My other sister expected me to get over my grief in a month and I couldn't. I am still grieving a year on and have severe depression and have been on a maximum dosage of anti-depressants. Counselling hasn't worked.
6) My dad died 3 weeks after my husband.
7) mum has dementia and lives with my other sister. I went to see my sister and mum and was told to leave by my BIL
after 30 mins because my sister had to get up for work. I left immediately but thought my BIL was rude in the way he dealt with the situation. Now my sister has banned me from her house. So, I can't see my mum.
8) At Christmas I'm on my own with my one daughter and we only get one card from each other- same on birthdays.

Both my daughter and I are very lonely. We find it difficult to make friends with people. Counsellors have told us both that we are too nice. We have tried to join various clubs, have volunteered for things and have a part time job but no-one seems to want to make friends.

I spend days crying as I don't know whether it is me, my family or the way society is.

Has anyone out there felt like me and overcome it. If so how did you crack the problem?
I'm trying to sort my life out but have no ideas on how to beat the loneliness.

CanadianGran Wed 07-Aug-19 02:29:05

I think that by doing all the things you are like working, volunteering and joining clubs that will open the door to combat loneliness, and of course you are still grieving for your husband.

Do try to find blessings in every day life, whether it is the relationship with your daughter, pets, or nature around you. Do you have a small pet? Keep on seeing your counsellor and doctor, try to get out for walks in nature even if it is the last thing you want to do. It is proven to uplift depression.

As for you family woes, I'm sorry but I cannot comment without knowing you or your family background. Perhaps have a conversation with your sister as to the reasons she doesn't want you to visit your mother.

I do hope you soon start to feel better.

M0nica Wed 07-Aug-19 13:43:56

seastar A few random thoughts.

Have you considered joining Cruise, the club for those who have been widowed?

Making friends is a slow process. The things you are doing are all the ones usually recommended, but it often takes a year or two to really get embedded into a society.

Given your history of loneliness, Do you think you have developed a defensive attitude to making friends, expecting every attempt to fail, so your body language, actually language and reactions to people are self-protective and stop people approaching you.

I think you should continue with therapy, but for your loneliness CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) may be helpful, or specialised classes aiming to. The mental health charity, Mind have a very good page on their website about lonliness. This may help you.

Nellie098 Wed 07-Aug-19 15:18:04

I hate it when people say it's about body language, being self-protective etc. I certainly know what it's like to come from a dysfunctional family. I now have only one sister left who thankfully I do see from time to time. Some of us are just shy but still make every effort to get out there joining groups, activities and still can't make friends. Only once in the past 2 years have I met anyone who wasn't so involved with their family or did everything with their best friend (usually from school) that actually wanted to be a friend. Being lonely doesn't mean that you can't find something that you enjoy and lose yourself in the activity i.e. pilates, painting, walking and my favourite is going alone to the cinema. The more you do the better. Your first challenge is to try to think of how you can reach a point in your life when you feel stronger and then set yourselves the next challenge. Sometimes counselling seems pointless at the time and is only appreciated when you look back so may be worth continuing. Rejection can feel magnified when depression is dominant but it doesn't always make it your fault. It is only natural that you feel like crying all the time and there is no time limit on grieving.

M0nica Wed 07-Aug-19 16:48:05

Nellie for some people it is and it is a reasonable question to ask people to consider and possibly reject.

I think we concentrate too much on friendship between individuals, rather than the company of the group.

I have a long standing hobby. I have belonged to the local society for over 35 years, I am on the committee and have chaired the organisation. I am on happy terms with many of my colleagues who have been with the society as long as I have, they are my friends, but I do not socialise with them, do not see them from one meeting to another, although we do stay in contact discussing society business. I do not meet them for coffee or discuss personal issues. But they form a friendship group. If I died, all would try to come to my funeral.

I have recently, through GN, made a personal friend, but that was the result of a person to person contact and finding we lived very close to each other and have shared interests. She is the first personal friend I have made in 30 years.

So much is made of personal friendships and advertising and the media make a lot of it and groups of friends getting together, but for many of us our friendship groups are people we work with, or do an activity with, not necessarily intimate personal friends.

Some people have a gift of friendship, DS and wife are verys ociable and have a wide friendship circle, the kind you see in adverts, but DD, by choice, lives alone and is self contained. She finds the constant presence of other people in her life overwhelming. She has a handful of long-term close friends, but mainly, like me she is part of friendship groups at work and the sports centre and other places she goes, her personal friends are few and longstanding.

Lessismore Wed 07-Aug-19 17:02:20

sent you a message OP.

Sara65 Wed 07-Aug-19 17:10:21

Reminds me of my youngest daughter, she had a best friend in prep school, a nice girl, but the friendship was very claustrophobic and exclusive, and greatly nurtured by the girls parents. That’s not to say that they weren’t good friends, because they were

When she changed schools, she said “I never ever want to have a best friend again“ and she never really has, always been happy with different groups of friends.

A best friend doesn’t suit everyone

seastar Mon 12-Aug-19 15:30:51

Thank you to everyone. I use to have many friends but I find it difficult to make friends as I have got older. I am very depressed so maybe things will improve if I get better. At the moment I feel like I've been cut adrift. I feel like an astronaut cut off from a lifeline and I'm drifting in black space with no hope and only my own thoughts for company. It's dreadful.

M0nica Mon 12-Aug-19 16:33:13

seastar that sounds more like a mental health problem than anything. I do hope you are seeking medical help.

I went there once, and you describe it so well, but thankfully not for long, as I said, see your GP.

EllanVannin Mon 12-Aug-19 17:08:42

I had the mostly lovely friend who we'd known each other since 1960. We had many holidays both home and abroad, days out, dinners, meet-ups, phone conversations etc and when she died just under 2 years ago I wondered what I'd do.
Yes, I miss her dreadfully but instead of going into a deep depression I think of all those happy years we shared together as friends and also think how lucky I am to have had such a long and close friendship which could never be repeated with anyone else and I wouldn't even try. I'm alone but not lonely and there's a difference.

To have had such a friendship leaves me so thankful that I'm more than happy with just the memories.
It can take a long time for real friendships to form. To trust would be the first step.

Sexysixty Sun 18-Aug-19 16:53:04

Making friends is one thing, but finding a really good friend is hard! In some ways it’s like dating. I just keep trying to find someone who 1) needs a friend, 2) shares my values, 3) shares some of my interests, and, 4) doesn’t have a terrible husband!

I spend a lot of time alone. I am a maker, so I fill my time creating things. It’s therapeutic.

Someday, I’ll have a wonderful friend again.