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Old 08-26-2013, 02:15 AM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,828,676 times
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I was thinking about my parents' divorce 15 years ago, when I was 8 years old, and how it's changed my life and I realised something I never had before.

Before my parents divorced, my mom was my best friend. Really aside from my brother, she was the only person I would open up to and felt affection for. I saw her as my protector and knew she would always love me and take care of me. I wanted to take care of her when I grew up too.

After my parents divorced, I realised, my feelings towards my mother slowly changed. I never stopped loving her, but I think I felt rejected by her. After all by not loving my dad, in some sense she was also rejecting a part of me, or at least I felt that way in some subconscious primal sense. It made me very upset that she didn't love my father anymore.

Not only that but my stepfather could be rough towards me at times, and she never stuck up for me against him or got angry with him for it (at least that I ever saw). Understandably I suppose as she needed support and protection from a man, and I'm sure she had a halo effect type of thing going for him (not to mention overall he is a great man and I love him very much now).

I started to fear my mom in some ways, and didn't feel like she loved me unconditionally anymore. I also felt like when she had 3 new children with my stepdad that she loved them more than she loved me, and that the fact they existed meant she loved me a little bit less. I suppose you could say I was "jealous" of them, but I had a rational and deep seated reason for this. After all she loved their father but not mine or my other brother and sister's.

I was also very afraid I would hurt them by accident because babies are so vulnerable and that if this happened, my mom would not love me anymore and I would end up a ward in a prison or a hospital, unloved and forgotten. It also took me time to grow to love my younger siblings, I never hated them but sadly I don't think I fell in love with them as soon as they came home. My brother and sister seemed to accept and adore them right away and this made me feel very guilty and like a bad brother and person.

Oddly I didn't come to this conclusion until tonight, more than a decade and a half later! I think it caused me to develop obsessive compulsive disorder and is also why I am very afraid of rejection and feel a deep hole in my heart. I think divorce is traumatic not only or even primarily because of the separation from a parent, but also because on a primal level it raises fear of orphanhood because the fact one's parents don't love each other anymore in on some genetic level a rejection of some aspects of their offspring as well.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,502 posts, read 14,132,016 times
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You sound like you were a sensitive child, and your mom didn't recognize this very well. I don't know if your feelings about your parents' divorce are accurate. I don't know if your mom really stopped loving your father. It could have been the other way around. You don't mention any further contact with your birth father.

The other issue, your stepfather's mistreatment of you early on, is also not addressed.

Many of us are traumatized by things that happened in our childhood. If you have trouble being functional in your present life, then I would recommend finding a counselor to help you learn how to think about your upbringing, your parents, your siblings. It is easy to dwell on the past, but the present needs your attention now. Your inner narrative should not be about how damaged you are, but how strong you are becoming.

If you find a good counselor or therapist, you can talk out some of this, and learn how to change your inner narrative.

Good luck to you.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:08 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,828,676 times
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Yeah it's just weird, I never thought that I resented my mother at all for it, but thinking about it I felt kind of abandoned by her in a way after.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
1,752 posts, read 3,731,856 times
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Not to be argumentative, but I'm not sure the issues you discuss stem from the divorce itself. Perhaps the way your mther treated you and/or your relationship with your stepfather, etc. While obviously you wouldn't have had a stepfather but for the divorce, it sounds like perhaps if your mother remarried somebody else things might have been different. I only say this because I often fear that people who "stay together for the kids" may not in fact be acting in their best interest. If a marriage is broken, he the kids grow up learning tat is the way married people interact with each other, and I don't see how that can be a good thing. I myself am a child of divorce - my parents split in 1976, when I was 6 years old. But I don't believe the divorce harmed me and may have in fact helped since I did not grow up learning that dysfunction was the way familes stayed togetehr. This issue is of course difficult because everybody brings to it his or her own experiences, and I have to acknowledge my own perspective. But regardless of the cause i certainly hope you can find some peace.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:13 PM
 
3,049 posts, read 6,546,615 times
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I agree about getting into therapy if you are not. Also you stated you have OCD so therapy could help with that along with seeing a psychiatrist if you need meds for assistance. I understand yotru have just discovered these feelings and issues but do you think you could talk to your mom and tell her how you feel? If you don't that may be a goal in therapy to tell your mom how you feel and you could possibly bring her into a therapy session. What about your step dad have you talked to him?
My mom has been divorced twice and in my opinion I have always felt kids are better off with parents that are divorced and happy then married and miserable. Living with parents who are not happy together or argue to the extreme is not going to be a happy place to grow up in. A child can still have both parents in their life
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,232,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I was thinking about my parents' divorce 15 years ago, when I was 8 years old, and how it's changed my life and I realised something I never had before.

Before my parents divorced, my mom was my best friend. Really aside from my brother, she was the only person I would open up to and felt affection for. I saw her as my protector and knew she would always love me and take care of me. I wanted to take care of her when I grew up too.

After my parents divorced, I realised, my feelings towards my mother slowly changed. I never stopped loving her, but I think I felt rejected by her. After all by not loving my dad, in some sense she was also rejecting a part of me, or at least I felt that way in some subconscious primal sense. It made me very upset that she didn't love my father anymore.

Not only that but my stepfather could be rough towards me at times, and she never stuck up for me against him or got angry with him for it (at least that I ever saw). Understandably I suppose as she needed support and protection from a man, and I'm sure she had a halo effect type of thing going for him (not to mention overall he is a great man and I love him very much now).

I started to fear my mom in some ways, and didn't feel like she loved me unconditionally anymore. I also felt like when she had 3 new children with my stepdad that she loved them more than she loved me, and that the fact they existed meant she loved me a little bit less. I suppose you could say I was "jealous" of them, but I had a rational and deep seated reason for this. After all she loved their father but not mine or my other brother and sister's.

I was also very afraid I would hurt them by accident because babies are so vulnerable and that if this happened, my mom would not love me anymore and I would end up a ward in a prison or a hospital, unloved and forgotten. It also took me time to grow to love my younger siblings, I never hated them but sadly I don't think I fell in love with them as soon as they came home. My brother and sister seemed to accept and adore them right away and this made me feel very guilty and like a bad brother and person.

Oddly I didn't come to this conclusion until tonight, more than a decade and a half later! I think it caused me to develop obsessive compulsive disorder and is also why I am very afraid of rejection and feel a deep hole in my heart. I think divorce is traumatic not only or even primarily because of the separation from a parent, but also because on a primal level it raises fear of orphanhood because the fact one's parents don't love each other anymore in on some genetic level a rejection of some aspects of their offspring as well.
There is a lot of stuff here honey. Please consider making an appt with a therapist to discuss it all.

You are still carrying around a lot of pain that needs to be processed and dealt with so that you can truly enjoy your life.

I wish you all the best!
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