Is there hope?
1 April 2018 at 9:16 pm #9465
Hello, I’m really struggling to cope with being a single parent; the loneliness (despite having a little person for company) missing your partner, not having anyone at home to share the burden and responsibilites that come with a small child, the intensity of being solely responsible for your child and then them being with the other parent for days on end (the ‘all or nothing’ feeling) and also the emptiness you feel inside at various points during each and every day…which can often be totally overwhelming and all consuming. Please please please can anyone offer any hope or reassurance that these feelings do eventually go away? And that life can be good again? I am really failing to see any positives in life at the moment, and also acutely aware that I don’t want this to start being obvious to my child 😔 (I’d like to add that I have great family and friends, so that isn’t an issue, but their presence and support is only comforting whilst they are there, as soon as they leave, or put the phone down, the black hole reappears) It feels as though the only person who can make it all better is the one person who has caused all of this by walking out 😢1 April 2018 at 10:16 pm #9466
Hey Shabbybean, I’m not full of all the answers but I read your post and did want you to know you’re not on your own.
I have been separated for 2 years and yes it does get easier. There is a healing process you need to go through and it can be lonely at times but there are still so many great moments in life. Enjoy everything with your child and spoil yourself a bit when you have the ‘free days’.
Keep busy and push yourself a little to join groups/the gym etc. Listen to music and try to do the things that YOU enjoy doing.
I talk honestly to my friends and family but I admit to keeping it brief as I worry that people will start avoiding me if I’m always airing a worry or problem.
It really does get better and the future is something to be excited by.
I’m sure others will give better advice. But from my experience in life keep strong and remember you’re lucky in so many ways!2 April 2018 at 7:15 am #9469
hi JsDad, thank you so much for your reply. It’s good to know that there is hope, even if for me it doesn’t feel like it at the moment!
I know what you mean about talking to people; I am so aware of how repetitive I must sound. I mostly only talk about it when they ask, but there are times where I need to call them up and vent/cry. I don’t want to become be a social lepur! Hence using this forum for some moral support. I therefore really appreciate your advice and reassurance
I’m glad that life is working out well for you, and that two years on you are managing to make a happy life for you and your child 😊 Onwards and upwards!2 April 2018 at 12:13 pm #9477
JsDad’s right, it’s unfortunately a slow process and rushing it isnt a good idea no matter how badly you want to. I’ve been doing this on my own for the last 18 months and freely admit the first few months were awful. I went through everything you’re going through, and on occasion still do. I hated being alone, I had the radio on constantly as I couldn’t bear the silence and for the same reasons as you didn’t want to talk about it too often. Take it all at your own pace, even the little things you do every day. I joined a yoga class on the nights my daughter went to her dads as it got me out of the house and although there were other people around, it’s a calming environment that I so badly needed, it really helped me get out of my head for a little while – once I relaxed mind you, took a few classes!
How old is your child? I found my school counsellors were brilliant, they worked with my daughter for a few months as I didn’t understand why this had all happened so how could I answer her questions? They also put me in touch with family counselling which gave me an outlet to vent and not have to worry about how what I was saying affected the other person as you so often do when talking to family and friends. An unbiased alternative perspective is sometimes needed.
There is most definitely hope and the joy will come back I promise, just take it little by little and try not to get overwhelmed (easy for me to say that now lol). Any time you need to chat, feel free xx2 April 2018 at 8:32 pm #9488
Thank you for such a motivating and upbeat response. I can tell that time has been kind to you, so I hope it is the same for me. You certainly sound as though you’ve worked through your ‘grief’ and done everything you can take make life good again. That’s what I need to do, it’s just finding a starting point. You mention taking small steps, which is great advice. I feel as though I want to rush everything to get back to being good old me again! A tall order I know 🙂 Unfortuntely my daughter isn’t with her Dad on a regular enough basis to take up a hobby. I’d only be able to take one up from home, which sort of defeats the object – I’d like to be able to do something that is sociable and distracting. However my friend did recommend online yoga videos to help relax and clear my head
My daughter is 3, so not at school. Her nursery are aware of our home situation, but I don’t think there is any support offered (or if there is then it’s not being made widely available) Luckily my daughter knows we both love her and enjoys her time with both her parents. I hope that continues. Hence why I want to have faith that things WILL get better!
I appreciate the advice and offer to chat 🙂 xx2 April 2018 at 9:18 pm #9493
Oh I hear you lol I got so fed up of the shell of me I’d turned into!!! You’ll find you again, she just needs time to heal.
I have the same issue now in that I have no free nights during the week as her going to her dads only lasted about 6 months. Weekends are sketchy too as even when she goes she doesn’t want to sleep over, so I thoroughly sympathise, it’s a vicious cycle and doing it all from home lacks motivation doesn’t it?! Is there anything you can try whilst she’s at nursery or are you at work? Or can your family help you out? Just having something to go out to once a week is good, though I’d definitely say don’t do too much! I crammed everything into my free time in the beginning and with hindsight it was a bad thing, I was too busy being distracted to actually deal with it.
Hopefully this week gets off to a good start 😊2 April 2018 at 9:46 pm #9499
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that your daughters father isn’t stepping up to the plate. Your daughter, and you, need consistency. However take some pride in the fact that you’re being an amazing solo parent…being both Mum and Dad isn’t easy, so go you 😄
My family aren’t close by, well not close enough to pop over and babysit anyway. Also I work part time, and when I’m not working I’m with my daughter. I have just been looking online to see if there are any hobbies that can be done from home. Reading seems to be the popular one, so not overly helpful as I do that anyway! I might start a shirt online course, and maybe treat myself to a facial or similar next time I have a child free weekend. I guess it’s the little things like that which can help us heal…or provide a short term distraction at least!
Thank you again, and I too hope that you have a good week 😁4 April 2018 at 6:23 pm #9594
Well thank you, always good to hear 😀. My kid is ace, even if I say so myself but I’ll be eternally sad for her that her relationship with her dad isn’t what it should be. Hopefully that will change in the future
Same here, again lol, my family aren’t local either! Her paternal grandparents are about a half an hour drive away but don’t drive themselves so although we see them a lot, we go there. Yes, do something for you. Even tho it took me a while to get my head around it, it’s not selfish to do things only for you 😉4 April 2018 at 11:23 pm #9599
Hi both. I was in the chat earlier and I had a read through your messages to catch up a bit. You seem to have found a gingerbread mate and I’m pleased for you both.
It does lead me to a point I’m struggling with though… My son stayed with his mum 9 nights last year (not that I’m counting) and twice so far this year. Yes, that doesn’t give me a lot of time to have a life/get out/do things for myself etc. However, I’d struggle if my boy was away 3-4 nights a week.
We see his mum frequently, we all went to London zoo today and have dinners together etc.
Why get annoyed with her not having our son more as I’ll just miss him.
I don’t want to get in a mindset where the grass is always greener with the opposite of what I have.
I’m lucky right?5 April 2018 at 7:24 am #9601
In my world, I’d say you’re lucky! Of course you counted, that’s what we do 😂.
And I completely agree with you. Yes it’d be nice to be able to do the things I want but if it means my daughter spending days on end away from me then, forget it. I want her to have a good relationship with her dad but the selfish part of me doesn’t want to give up a chunk of weekend when it suits him in order for that to happen, cant win really lol. I’ll never stand in the way of it, but I can’t be walked over for it to happen.
My world revolves around her, I’ll never understand how a child becomes an after thought once the adult relationship has broken down, how they are fitted into pockets of time. This is the part I get more annoyed with more than anything else.
I also think it’s brilliant that you can all spend time together. It’s not an option in my case so am really glad you’ve found a way to make it work for you all.
I hope your weeks been good too, at least it’s a short one work wise 😀5 April 2018 at 8:55 am #9603
i totally get what you’re saying. I’m 3 months into this and going through the same feelings. I just want to go back to the way things were but we can’t. My son is a teenager and very angry at his dad, so I don’t get much spare time. Whilst I hope their relationship improves, I’m just enjoying being with my boy, and offering him the stability he so needs.
Could you arrange play dates with your daughter’s friends? At that age parents would stick around so you’d get some company too.
I have tried to think of the things that annoyed me about my husband (which is difficult as all I can think about is all the wonderful things with him I’ve lost) and enjoyed those moments. Silly things like being able to put mushrooms in food (he hated them) and not hearing him snore!
I’m creating a list of 50 things to do before I’m 50, and again some of these are things I probably wouldn’t have done if he were still here.
These things keep me sane on the dark days.
Know you are doing the best by your child, and that’s priceless x5 April 2018 at 9:02 am #9604
Truth is there is no easy answer. I can relate to everything you are saying. I am nearly 2 years into seperation and trust me it has been a rollercoaster and a minefield. After 16 blissful yrs H just came home and announced he was not happy. Reaction said “lets try?” And when he said he didnt want to I was stunned. Y throw away 16 amazing yrs on a hunch. Anyway stupid me rattled around trying for a month or so, while he was going out all the time (something he never did) paid for wkends away etc to “give him some space”etc. Well I guess u can see where this is going, but never crossed my mind. 6 weeks later there it was right in my face, after I logged into online accounts etc, (all passwords saved into Family computer btw😂idiot!!). So turned out he was having affair with w he worked with and bottom dropped out of my world. Before I confronted him I emptied all joint bank accounts into my sole name and re assigned all assets back to myself, then I confronted him. Usual bs followed “just friends etc” until I heard him on the phone saying” I love u” to her. Obviously still in shock, asked him to try for kids etc, but apparently she was “the 1”. Following him moving out 4 weeks later I had all those feelings of loneliness, feeling trapped, like I wanted him back, but believe me it goes. I took a Managers job, as he had a reasonable income and benefits/ maintenance etc was never going to close the gap. Work became my focus so I didn’t have to face what was happening. I never cried or let any of it out. A yr later I crashed and couldn’t continue. I realised that while I was continually working no 1 was there for the children. There school work suffered as I couldn’t be a mum and face the reality that I was a mess. Then something amazing happened, someone threw me a life line. I still remember the day of that phone call. My boss rang me on my day off, kids were at school and I was having a meltdown, couldn’t stop crying that day. Decided to answer phone and meeting followed. Boss has no idea what was going on in my private life. Discussed kids being left constantly with childminder, always working because I can’t stop and deal with fam because I was in such a mess inside. She offered me to move 100 miles away to new job, fresh start etc. Hard decision, but best choice I ever made. Boss offered me 1/2 hrs, same salary, benefits etc. It saved us as getting away from memories, new private schools and help for kids has meant that all the damage I caused by running away has been put right, so looking back the moral to my story is “its ok to feel all these feelings and to ask for help and in time ur blessings will come, just like mine did”. You only have to read what a mess I was in to see there is always hope no matter how bad things get” keep smiling, we are all amazing.xx5 April 2018 at 6:55 pm #9682
Good to hear from you! Of course you are lucky, in fact you are both very lucky to have each other, and I can feel the love by just reading your message 🙂
It must be hard having no time to yourself (I know you are content that way, but it is healthy to have ‘me’ time, even if the family unit is a happy one) However if your set up works for you, then that’s great. It’s also lovely to hear that you can spend time together as a family, and then go back to life as you know it. My ex says he is happy to go on holidays together for our daughters sake, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to deal with the emotions after the holiday was done. My ex can do it because it was his choice to leave and he has no emotional attachment to me. It’s not that easy on my part! It’s a shame as we would love to take her away abroad this year, and financially going together would mean that we could do it. On my own I’m not so sure that I could afford it. So I am torn between giving my daughter some lovely memories, or giving myself a potential emotional setback if I spend a week with my ex in that family unit that I so desire right now. Such a difficult choice!
So hats off to you. I guess it does show that time is a healer and maybe one day spending time with my ex won’t hurt?!5 April 2018 at 7:03 pm #9683
I’m sorry that you are also going through the same thing. It must be even harder when your child is older, and therefore had their own anger at the situation. Also you were married. It’s hard isn’t it 🙁
Great idea about making a list of dislikes about your ex, and also a list of things you’ll now be able to do. I am going to take that idea and do the same!
I am very lucky as I have a great local support network. They are all friends I’ve made since having my daughter (as I relocated an hour down the road when I was pregnant) So although I don’t have family close enough to just ‘pop in’ and see, I do have some great friends who have been there for me throughout all of this. Also my friends are parents of my daughter friends, so we do have playdates where we can chat over a coffee whilst our children play. Thank goodness for them, life would be even harder without their love
Good luck to you, and please do keep me posted on how you are doing. Always happy to have a chat if you need some support, or to just rant x5 April 2018 at 7:15 pm #9684
Thank you so much for your message. Your story is a really sad, but unfortunately not an uncommon, one. It hard enough being ‘left’ by your loved one, but to be left for someone else is beyond heart-breaking. It just gives another set of complex emotions to deal with. I am so pleased that your story has/had a happy ending and that you can live a life that you are proud of. You’ve clearly worked hard in your job to be given the life line that you did; only a valued employee would reap such rewards, so well done you on being a successful career woman whilst also being a brilliant Mum, and dealing with a whole heap of complex emotions. Your words have offered me comfort that there is life beyond an ex, and that sometimes good things do happen 🙂 xx