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How do I Get Over It- Will This Void Ever Go Away

Started by DASF, March 25, 2014, 10:55:34 am

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I'm a 25 year old college student, and have been a Certified Nursing Assistant for over 7 years. On the outside I look like the average person my age, but I'm not. I am also the single mother of two beautiful boys and they are my world. Even that is somewhat normal these days, but most people I have come in contact with has no clue of how abnormal I feel. I'm the youngest of 7 children that comes from a pretty dysfunctional family. I didn't have the best childhood and I never had a sense of security. After my toddler years I never ever felt that I was nurtured or even felt important. Growing up my siblings were very mean and selfish, and I almost never felt like I belonged. My sibling closest in age to me is 4 years older and my oldest sibling is about 15 years older than I am. My parents had me when they were in their 30's, neither of them graduated high school, and my older siblings started having babies in their teens. My parents were always working to make ends meet I never had a close relationship with them because they were not involved. They also lived unhealthy lifestyles, and abused alcohol on a very regular basis. I hated seeing my parents drunk, it was like a different side of them, lots of fighting, arguing, and just embarrassment. I kind of got used to it over the years but I never thought it was acceptable. After years and years of this dysfunction, things somewhat got better. There was a little less fighting but lots of stress as my siblings never did anything with their lives and had many children which my parents were now helping financially raise, even though I was the only child of theirs under the age of 18. As I started to feel there was a glimpse of hope of my parents changing for the better I was completely caught off guard with what happened next. At the age of 17, during a time that I was scrambling trying to fill out college applications and gearing up for my high school graduation, one Saturday morning my mom was discovered unresponsive. After going to the hospital, it was discovered that she had a stroke in her sleep, and passed away three days later, the day before my high school graduation. Just a few months later, my father was diagnosed with cancer. After over a year and a half of treatment, and surgery to remove the tumor, things were looking up, until he started to refuse treatments and passed away, less than two years after my mom. These series of events were very traumatizing to me. I held off on college because I wasn't emotionally ready, I stayed to help financially and sometimes physically care for my dad when he was sick, then he just gives up. I was only 18 and both of my parents are gone. Now, I'm 25 and I still find myself longing to have that bond that I never had with my parents. I'm fearful that this will affect me for the rest of my life. I feel like I have this huge void. All of my grandparents were deceased by the time I was born except for one, my paternal grandfather, he was a fairly well off and uneducated man who disowned his kids to make his new wife happy. I saw this man every weekend and had no idea he was my grandfather because his wife wouldn't allow him to be involved in our lives. I also feel I'm a great mother and others do as well, but I have never seen how a healthy family unit function. I feel like I've not been properly guided and have no positive examples to refer to, which gives me anxiety. I recently got into a program that matched me with a mentor mom and I think it's a good program but my mentors example of getting to know each other is meeting once a month for an hour at the mall. I've been matched with her almost 7 months, we've seen each other only three times, and  I really don't know her on a personal level. As someone being mentored my needs and wants from the program isn't met. I'd like to do regular things like healthy cooking, doing some light exercise, crafts, activities that would help us bond and also teach me a thing or two. I don't know what to do about it, just as I was going to asked to have a different match after 7 months she has a mild stroke and now I just feel obligated to stay matched until she's better. I would like input from people who could give some good advice on these issues and if this void I feel pertaining to having no guidance or family will ever go away. Thanks.


Welcome D - We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First to read the four posts placed there. Please pay special attention to our Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

My take is that you need to move on and ask for a different mentor. Meeting your own needs is how you are learning to love yourself. An occasional, superficial encounter doesn't seem supportive to me. And slipping into a care giver mode in any context isn't warranted or even healthy to my way of thinking.

A great deal of healing can happen and has happened on our Website when you open your heart and others respond by opening theirs. Again, welcome.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome D.  My you've had a rough go of it.  And may I say that you are showing your strength, Mothering abilities and College?  Give yourself a pat on the back there.  You are overcoming a lot and making your way in life.

Secondly, give yourself a high five for thinking about these things and seeking out a mentor.  Ok, so this one isn't working out but just the very idea you are working towards a goal is another reason to realize you are very strong.

Now, here's my old woman advice for you and something that has taken me many, many years to actually get and realize.  No one is responsible for your happiness but yourself.  Not parents (even if they were the absolute best parents in the world), siblings, mentors, friends, etc.  You and you alone possess the ability to find what makes you happy and live that way.  No one defines you.  Your dysfunctional family doesn't, your mentor doesn't, no one.  You can be anything you want.

So find something that you enjoy doing.  If you want to do the light cooking, then take a class or just simply pull stuff up on youtube, buy the ingredients and go to town!  I find that doing my Zumba DVD for just 15-20 minutes a day, in the privacy of my home makes me feel wonderful.  Take your beautiful boys and go for walks, exploring leaves and dirt piles. 

You are much stronger, just by seeing what you posted, than you realize.  And if you find your inside happiness, you just might be surprised that good mentors and friends will come into your life without you even trying. :)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you so much ladies. It means a lot to me that you took the time to reply to my message.  Your advice made me look inside myself and really see what you saw. I think there is some sort of emotional block that I have realized is there, and I need to tell myself those things and that I am worthy of happiness and feeling complete. Thanks.


Your last sentence says it all, D. Turning that internal page can make all the difference in the world. Good for you!  :D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I certainly agree with everything everyone has said here but I would like to add one thought.  You need to give yourself permission to be really mad about all you have had to put up with.  You need to vent all those negative emotions that you certainly deserve to have.  Beat on a pillow and yell about how you were never nurtured and never felt appreciated.  Break down and really experience the absence of your parents, not of the parents you lost but the parents you never had but so deserved.  Loving parents who taught you how to love yourself.  Clear the slate and start anew.

After the emotion has cleared and the calm sets in you have one job.  Your job is to tell yourself, every time you blink, what an incredible person you are.  It is amazing that you came through everything you have and are worried about being a good mother!  Trust me sister, you have the good mother market cornered.  You are incredible and strong and unbelievably resilient!  Let me repeat that!!  You are incredible and strong and unbelievably resilient!! 

You have all that you need to be happy in life and all you need to raise wonderful children.  The only thing you lack is confidence in yourself.  We have confidence in you! 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Such wisdom from everyone...and I applaud you, DASF. You are making a fulfilling, solid life for you and your boys.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Thanks a lot ladies, I appreciate all of your advice. :)