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Old ghosts

Started by Kate, August 12, 2015, 06:33:05 pm

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Kate

My mother died last week.  She had dementia for many years, so it's been a strange period of waiting for the inevitable to occur.  Her death has left me with a feeling of unfinished business.  I was the youngest of five children and have always known I was unplanned and unwanted.  I felt as if I was a ghost for much of my childhood, not noticed or loved.  Now I don't know how to feel.  I've cried, but not really for my mother - more for what might have been, but wasn't. 

My father died nearly 20 years ago and I didn't mourn him either.  He actively disliked me and I was the frequent recipient of beatings. 

I met my husband after my father died, and after my mother developed dementia.  I drew a line uder that period and wove a fantasy for him (and others) of what my life was like with them, probably due to the abusive marriage I'd just escaped and the fact that I didn't want to be the pathetic person that nobody had ever cared for.  It seemed harmless at the time, but now I can't express my mixed feelings about it all to anyone because they all think I'm grieving for my mother.

I don't know what to feel.  I'm actually quite depressed.  I'm thinking of getting counselling, but I dread opening the can of worms that was my childhood. 

Any advice gratefully received. 

luise.volta

Well, K., your first move was a good one, you came here. You have a 'been there/done that' cyber-family that loves you.

What I would offer, from my vantage point of having lived close to 90 years, is to focus on loving, cherishing, listening to and accepting yourself. The others are gone and their history with them. You remain and you matter...if you say so.

I took me a while to realize that I was the one keeping it all alive and allowing myself to remain at the effect of it. (Youngest, unwanted, invisible, neglected.) Eventually I moved beyond it instead of trying to understand it. They had their own paths...and those paths drastically affected mine but/and I came to where I felt that I deserved to feel joy and find peace. I didn't need their permission or anyone elses. I gave it to myself by saying so.

It took time for me to believe it but I got there and so can you. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pooh

I'm sorry for you loss Kate.  I for one, think you might benefit for some counseling.  My personal opinion is until we slay our personal demons and face them, we can't move on.  If you can't find a way to do that on your own, then as painful as it may be, I think it would be a good idea to deal with your past so you can move forward.  Never be afraid to ask for help.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

shiny

Kate, sorry for your loss, and I agree with others that counseling would help.
I, too, had abusive parents and when my DF died thirty plus years ago, I felt no emotion at the time.
Later, I got professional counseling and it helped tremendously.
Take care of yourself -- you are so worth it!

Pen

Sending love, support, hugs...I hope you (and all of us here who are similarly affected) find the peace and self-value we richly deserve. I just read a little article that is mostly about growing self-confidence, but also discusses the difference between self-worth and self-value:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/iyanla-vanzant-confidence-exercise_55f7033be4b077ca094fcd40

I know it isn't exactly what you were talking about but it kind of fits...
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb