Mental Health issues because of parents Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#1
What are you meant to do when you know for a fact that a lot of what you're going through with your mental health is because of your parents? I had a fantastic childhood, great relationship with both parents, but that all changed when they split up. I was 25 at the time and as such wasn't shielded in the same way a child would have been. I was caught directly in the middle, playing counsellor to both, used all my savings to deal with my dad needing somewhere new to live.. so I was left with nothing, a broken family, and parents who live more than half an hour apart.

Now, over 4 years from when it happened, I'm still suffering. Neither of them have found anyone else, and I've moved in with my boyfriend and they forever make me feel guilty for not visiting as much as they would like (it's rare if I don't see them for two weeks, which I don't think is that bad). My boyfriend has a son who I help look after, I have a job and I'm setting up another business with my partner AND renovating a house, so it's not like I'm not busy. But for some reason they play this guilt game all the time - and if I manage to go and see one of them, the other has a go at me. I have said to both of them I can meet up for a coffee in town but they seem to want me to go to the house and see them (which annoys me further because I hate seeing where my dad has to live, and I hate seeing the family home without him in it).

It's ruining my life and MH as I can't cope with the guilt, plus I just want to yell at my mum sometimes that it's her fault the family is messed up.. which it is. She split with my dad for no reason other than she was "bored of the relationship". She said they were more like housemates than husband and wife, but now they both complain about being lonely.. it makes NO sense. I used to look forward to moving out and going to the family home for Sunday lunch all together and stuff - obviously that can't happen anymore - and I looked forward to having kids and taking them to see my parents, but now I don't even want kids because I just know how much stress there's going to be taking them to see both, as it'll have to be exactly equal or they will have a go at me. Fed up of being made to feel guilty, it's having an impact on all areas of my life and my anxiety is through the roof. I literally can't go to my dad's for lunch or anything as my mum will find out (because they text each other still, and tell each other if me or my brother have been!!) and vice versa.

Sorry for that it was more of a rant than anything else https://static.thestudentroom.co.uk/...lies/frown.png.

Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation? My boyfriend says I should tell them to **** off and grow up, and while I'm coming to think that might be the only solution, I'm worried that it will ruin my relationship with them forever if I say something like that.
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AzureCeleste
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#2
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I wouldn't quite word it how your boyfriend has.
But I think that's the most viable option. Tell them that you've grown up now and want a life of your own which doesn't revolve around seeing them the whole time. It will become more meaningful when you visit then
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Decahedron
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You should talk to them about how they are making you feel. Your boyfriend in right in a manner of speaking but being civil will be far more productive.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by Anonymous)
What are you meant to do when you know for a fact that a lot of what you're going through with your mental health is because of your parents? I had a fantastic childhood, great relationship with both parents, but that all changed when they split up. I was 25 at the time and as such wasn't shielded in the same way a child would have been. I was caught directly in the middle, playing counsellor to both, used all my savings to deal with my dad needing somewhere new to live.. so I was left with nothing, a broken family, and parents who live more than half an hour apart.

Now, over 4 years from when it happened, I'm still suffering. Neither of them have found anyone else, and I've moved in with my boyfriend and they forever make me feel guilty for not visiting as much as they would like (it's rare if I don't see them for two weeks, which I don't think is that bad). My boyfriend has a son who I help look after, I have a job and I'm setting up another business with my partner AND renovating a house, so it's not like I'm not busy. But for some reason they play this guilt game all the time - and if I manage to go and see one of them, the other has a go at me. I have said to both of them I can meet up for a coffee in town but they seem to want me to go to the house and see them (which annoys me further because I hate seeing where my dad has to live, and I hate seeing the family home without him in it).

It's ruining my life and MH as I can't cope with the guilt, plus I just want to yell at my mum sometimes that it's her fault the family is messed up.. which it is. She split with my dad for no reason other than she was "bored of the relationship". She said they were more like housemates than husband and wife, but now they both complain about being lonely.. it makes NO sense. I used to look forward to moving out and going to the family home for Sunday lunch all together and stuff - obviously that can't happen anymore - and I looked forward to having kids and taking them to see my parents, but now I don't even want kids because I just know how much stress there's going to be taking them to see both, as it'll have to be exactly equal or they will have a go at me. Fed up of being made to feel guilty, it's having an impact on all areas of my life and my anxiety is through the roof. I literally can't go to my dad's for lunch or anything as my mum will find out (because they text each other still, and tell each other if me or my brother have been!!) and vice versa.

Sorry for that it was more of a rant than anything else https://static.thestudentroom.co.uk/...lies/frown.png.

Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation? My boyfriend says I should tell them to **** off and grow up, and while I'm coming to think that might be the only solution, I'm worried that it will ruin my relationship with them forever if I say something like that.
Oh dear what a mess. Firstly none of this is your fault so you need to set ground rules .

I recognise some of the guilt traits in myself when my husband broke our marriage. Feel a bit ashamed now. I know my children were very upset by it and I probably didn't help.



Anyway ground rules. You have to learn to say NO. No I won't meet you at your house. I will meet you in Costa or something similar. You will have a pre arranged time that you meet each of them and you will tell the other parent about this so there is No secret texting between them. You must tell them that their behaviour makes you anxious. They are being selfish. Sometimes this is what it takes to wake people up.

It sounds to me as if they still have feelings for each other but are too scared/lazy to do anything about it.

Don't be put off having kids because of it. I was gutted that my marriage broke up but we have three wonderful children together and without the break up I would not have met my darling second husband. Too old for more kids but that is all.

Good luck
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Anonymous #2
#5
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It's ruining my life and MH as I can't cope with the guilt, plus I just want to yell at my mum sometimes that it's her fault the family is messed up.. which it is. She split with my dad for no reason other than she was "bored of the relationship". She said they were more like housemates than husband and wife, but now they both complain about being lonely.. it makes NO sense.
No offence, but this bit sounds quite selfish. It is their life and of they are unhappy, their 29 year old child wanting to visit for Sunday dinner is hardly a good reason for them to stay together. They don't owe you anything - you are a grown-up.

As for how to deal with them, I would agree with your boyfriend (though don't say it in those words obviosly) - you need to make it clear that you have your own life and encourage them to do the same. Tell them you need to plan any visits in advance.
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Strotty
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(Original post by Anonymous)
What are you meant to do when you know for a fact that a lot of what you're going through with your mental health is because of your parents? I had a fantastic childhood, great relationship with both parents, but that all changed when they split up. I was 25 at the time and as such wasn't shielded in the same way a child would have been. I was caught directly in the middle, playing counsellor to both, used all my savings to deal with my dad needing somewhere new to live.. so I was left with nothing, a broken family, and parents who live more than half an hour apart.

Now, over 4 years from when it happened, I'm still suffering. Neither of them have found anyone else, and I've moved in with my boyfriend and they forever make me feel guilty for not visiting as much as they would like (it's rare if I don't see them for two weeks, which I don't think is that bad). My boyfriend has a son who I help look after, I have a job and I'm setting up another business with my partner AND renovating a house, so it's not like I'm not busy. But for some reason they play this guilt game all the time - and if I manage to go and see one of them, the other has a go at me. I have said to both of them I can meet up for a coffee in town but they seem to want me to go to the house and see them (which annoys me further because I hate seeing where my dad has to live, and I hate seeing the family home without him in it).

It's ruining my life and MH as I can't cope with the guilt, plus I just want to yell at my mum sometimes that it's her fault the family is messed up.. which it is. She split with my dad for no reason other than she was "bored of the relationship". She said they were more like housemates than husband and wife, but now they both complain about being lonely.. it makes NO sense. I used to look forward to moving out and going to the family home for Sunday lunch all together and stuff - obviously that can't happen anymore - and I looked forward to having kids and taking them to see my parents, but now I don't even want kids because I just know how much stress there's going to be taking them to see both, as it'll have to be exactly equal or they will have a go at me. Fed up of being made to feel guilty, it's having an impact on all areas of my life and my anxiety is through the roof. I literally can't go to my dad's for lunch or anything as my mum will find out (because they text each other still, and tell each other if me or my brother have been!!) and vice versa.

Sorry for that it was more of a rant than anything else https://static.thestudentroom.co.uk/...lies/frown.png.

Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation? My boyfriend says I should tell them to **** off and grow up, and while I'm coming to think that might be the only solution, I'm worried that it will ruin my relationship with them forever if I say something like that.
That sounds really difficult. Like you say, your parents are both lonely and you are their nearest and dearest person now that they have split up. It might not make much sense to you why they split in the first place, but that is their decision, just as you choose to ay in your relationship - they might not be telling you everyything. Or they might be ... whichever it doesn't matter, only that they HAVE split up and they are messing with your head. This should not affect your decision to have children - with this reaction you are enabling their behaviour saying it has to be 50/50. Chances are you having children will bring them together - or maybe not ... however this is your decision alone.

I would get them both together in a public space and with your adult head on, tell them how you feel. How they make you feel guilty and bad. Then tell them what you want. How you will visit them in a timeframe that suits you. That you are not prepared to speak to them about the other parent. Make them listen to you. You might have to do a bit of broken record to get them to listen to what you want. Then stick to your rules. You can't deviate or they wil take advantage.

It's a bit like having kids - kindness, sensible approach and consistency should work. .....and stick to your guns when you're tempted to break your own rules. Sounds like a bit of role reversal is required whereby you are the adult and they are the children!

Good luck - let us know what you decide and how it goes.

S x
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Anonymous #1
#7
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(Original post by Anonymous)
No offence, but this bit sounds quite selfish. It is their life and of they are unhappy, their 29 year old child wanting to visit for Sunday dinner is hardly a good reason for them to stay together. They don't owe you anything - you are a grown-up.

As for how to deal with them, I would agree with your boyfriend (though don't say it in those words obviosly) - you need to make it clear that you have your own life and encourage them to do the same. Tell them you need to plan any visits in advance.
Haha, I honestly wasn't suggesting they stay together just so I can go round for dinner. I was just saying that as far as I was concerned we were a close family, and we would be doing these things in the future - then the rug got pulled out from under my feet sort of thing. Just because I'm not happy with them breaking up doesn't mean I think they should get back together because of the lovely future I used to imagine - but it could have definitely been dealt with better. I don't understand why she chose to throw him out and then make me feel guilty because she's on her own so much? It's not my fault it happened, and that she's living on her own.

Thanks for all of the above for the advice, I really appreciate it. I am going to have to talk to them both, but it's not going to be easy .
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Strotty
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Haha, I honestly wasn't suggesting they stay together just so I can go round for dinner. I was just saying that as far as I was concerned we were a close family, and we would be doing these things in the future - then the rug got pulled out from under my feet sort of thing. Just because I'm not happy with them breaking up doesn't mean I think they should get back together because of the lovely future I used to imagine - but it could have definitely been dealt with better. I don't understand why she chose to throw him out and then make me feel guilty because she's on her own so much? It's not my fault it happened, and that she's living on her own.

Thanks for all of the above for the advice, I really appreciate it. I am going to have to talk to them both, but it's not going to be easy .
No you're right it's not going to be easy. But you can explain how you feel. If they are the parents you say they are, they will be horrified at what they are doing - they probably just don't realise.

You've said a couple of times that you don't understand why she threw him out. That seems to be your sticking point. Sometimes we can't always understand someone else's reasons / motivations, but to be able to move forwards, you do have to be able to accept them. But you can tell your mum you are angry with her and you don't understand why she threw your dad out. Then listen closely to what she says, accept her motivations even if you question her reasoning.

Without telling you what to do, it's best for you to accept their relationship is over - they will always be your parents and they will always love you, but they don't love each other any more, and that is hard to accept. I would always say to my own kids that it's best to be on your own than be unhappy in a relationship..wasted years when you could be living your life. The time will come when they will be with someone else and that will be another transition for you - a difficult one maybe if you don't like their new partner. But your parents are not an extension of you - they are your parents, they make mistakes and they have to live with consequences. Best for you is to let them make their mistakes (again like children!!) and carry on with your own life.

For what it's worth, having kids is the best adventure you will ever have. You will never know another love like it - I would lay down my life for my kids. I'm sure your parents would do the same for you, and would be horrified their actions make you feel so bad.

Talk to them together - that way they both know what you've said to each other and that you're holding them BOTH accountable. Then move on together.

You will be just fine.

S x
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