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Posted by Harvey_James_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I found this website, i dunno whether you can help or not but no harm in trying
I dont know how to say this either, itll proberly come out sounding crap so if you can understand it woo [Frown]
my lady gave birth to our daughter 6 months ago shes beautiful and i love her...i think....i dunno i really dont know and i feel awful every time i look at her i dont think i feel any thing...i sound horrible i know but i dont think i can do this any more i dont think i ever could i didnt plan on becoming a dad so young. Im not gonna do the hole sob story saying that i dont know why she got pregnant i know...i know we should of taken precautions but we didnt we where just stupid thinking it would never happen that she wouldnt get pregnant...but she did and now NOW i just feel like im totally ******* up the sleepless nights the constant crying the fact her entire life depends on me and my lady, i sound stupid i know if i didnt want a baby shouldnt of had one, but shit happens
every one says how beautiful and how lucky we are that i am i dont feel lucky i feel like im letting every one down that im not helping my daughter or my lady
im young im stupid and i cant do this parenting shit what can i give a little girl she doesnt need me at all
im getting to the point on just giving up on the whole thing the whole family thing the whole baby thing the whole life thing
i wouldnt babble all this shit on here but i have no idea what else to do
thanks for listening
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :
Hi Harvey. (By the way, if you are using your full name as your screenname, we ask that you change it to protect your privacy as this can be pulled up on google searches. You can change your screenname by going to your profile. Thanks!)

Parenting can be really difficult, and more so when you aren't ready for it. Honestly, though, I'm not sure anyone is really "ready" for it, even if it's something they've been planning and reading books on. So you aren't alone in feeling so unprepared. In fact, I'm willing to bet your partner is feeling pretty overwhelmed herself. Have the two of you talked about how you are feeling? Also, what have the two of you decided in terms of parenting and any relationship between the two of you?

It does sound like this is a pretty rough time for you, as a big change like parenting can be. Do you have any friends or family, especially those who have kids of their own, that you can talk to about your fears? People you can rely on for some childcare when you and your partner need a break or a night out? If you don't, or if you feel you need a little more support right now, we'd be glad to look up some sources in your area. One thing you may find helpful is going to a support group for new fathers. If you are interested in that, I found this meetup group for fathers in North London. This site also lists some numbers in the UK that you can call to find out more resources in your area for parents.

You talk about not feeling anything when you look at your daughter. Really, I think our society tends to push the idea that parents instantly bond with their children the moment they are born and if you don't then there's something wrong with you. That, however, is BS. If you talk to real-life parents, not the ones who are trying to keep up the Hallmark image, you'll find that a lot of them were in the same place as you for a while. It's confusing, it's scary, it's intimidating, but it does get better. You've made an incredibly brave step coming here and opening up about this. If you want to talk some more here, or if you would like us to help you in locating some resources, don't hesitate to ask.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
We dont talk we seriously dont talk when we do we just argue about every thing every ******* thing
even things that arent important we argue about!
She looks after the baby i try and advoid going home i work late i go and see my family i know i sound awful but i know if i go back we'll eng up arguing, its like are relationship is totally fucked if we're not arguing we're not talking its horrible!
i have my family she has hers my mum looks after my daughter from time to time,
i totally feel like im ******* this shit up even if people do feel the same as me they must feel something for their children
i sound really bad but sometimes i just hate her! [Frown]
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
First off, let me send some big hugs your way. It's hard being a new parent (no matter what your age) and even more so when you're young (and hadn't planned on things being this way). I don't know that I have all of the answers for you, but maybe we can help sort out some of how you are feeling and come up with some things to do.

One of the things that many parenting books talk about is how after a baby is born, people will "mourn" the loss of their old life. Things are never going to be the same again, and that can be hard and it hurts. One of the worst things you can do is deny this or try to pretend that it's no big deal. It is a big deal and it's okay for you to acknowledge that and take some time to deal with it.

It's also okay if you're not feeling completely warm and fuzzy about your little one. Not everybody falls in love with them right away. Heck, not everybody even likes kids. If you are feeling like you might be a danger to her (like you feel so negatively that you are thinking about doing something that might harm her), then you need to tell someone so that they can help. If you're not to that point, then just give it some time, you may find that you come around as she gets bigger and can interact more.

Is there someone who can help you and your partner talk? A relative, clergy member, or even seeking out counseling? I've got to be honest, it doesn't sound like this is a healthy situation for either of you. Constantly arguing (especially around your daughter) is not good. And avoiding the situation is not going to be helpful in the long run.

It also may be wise to consider whether this is going to be a workable relationship. It is not fair to you, your partner, or your daughter to continue a situation that is not healthy. Have you talked with your partner about what part each of you plan to play in your daughter's life?
Posted by tomasita (Member # 42220) on :
Hey i'm a teenage mom and i certaintly did not plan on having a baby this young either. So I kinda know what your going through. I'm not sure how much different it is on the father, but i know for a fact that having a kid changes your life. Maybe your feeling this way towards you daughter because you feel that by her birth your limited to many things you used to be able to do. Also you may feel like you "hate" her sometimes because you regret everything that got you in this position of being a parent. But remember it's not her fault. She needs you. Just try to be calm with the mother because I know what she's going through and she might be feeling the same things you are. Being a parent is an enormous responsibility so dont give up. Everything will eventually work out for you and your daughter [Smile]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I wouldnt do any thing to hurt her she hasnt done any thing to me. i wouldnt think twice about ******* myself over. i dont mean to argue with my lady but every ******* thing she does really really annoys me i love her dont get me wrong wrong i love her alot but annoys me at the same time [Frown]
i cant afford counseling neither do i have time for it i sound like im making excuses but if im not with the baby im at work if im not doing either of them im out with my friends
im not going out and leaving my lady cause im a selfish little shit i go out before i go totally mad [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey: I'd suggest talking to someone at an NHS office to see if family counseling may be available to you at no cost, which it very well might, particularly for young parents. You may also be able to access parenting classes so that you can feel better equipped to do this.

One thing that counseling can do beyond offering you support is help you two figure out how to deal with your relationship, and what is going to be best for the two of you. It may be that living together isn't best, or trying to sustain a love relationship, rather than a relationship of platonic co-parents, isn't best. You two do have options, but it sounds like you're going to need help from a third-party to explore them if all your communication has broken down as it appears to have at this point.

Can I ask what your relationship was like before the pregnancy? Did it feel like something good for both of you, that made you each happy, then?

I hear you when you say you don't have the time, but at the same time, if we have a situation that is bad for us, and we want to see some change, we've got to do things to try and foster that change. And an hour a week IS something anyone can manage, it really is. Maybe that's one night a week you don't go out with friends, then.

In other words, clearly, you are very unhappy with this situation, and clearly, you want things to change. Just walking away from your partner and your kid is certainly one option, but it's probably one that will only change so much, particularly in terms of how you feel about yourself. You also do have the needs of a kid to think about, and how having a parent abandon them tends to impact a child. You say she doesn't need you, but when we see how children and adults do who were abandoned by parents, it tends to be pretty obvious they did, in fact, need those parents.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Before the pregnancy it was was great it wasnt forced we could be together we could be apart i trusted her she trusted me.
face to face counseling the idea alone stresses me out! this is hard enough people judging me and sitting down face to face with someone telling me they understand when to me it seems they clearly dont their paid to say it!
i know how hard it is! my dad left my mum and since then theres been a different man ever since
i wouldnt want to leave ive stuck at this for months and months i know im not helping my self at all and not helping any one else in helping me but it seems to me that things cant get any worse my lady judges me my daughter judges me doctors judge me i might as well have looser branded on my ******* head [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
A counselors job isn't to judge. In fact, one of the big parts of being a counselor is accessing a skillset we're supposed to have where we don't do that like the average guy on the street. I know that it can be intimidating.

But too? Counselors don't tend to choose that line of work just because it results in a paycheck, but because it is a kind of work they feel drawn to do because they like to help people in need. Yes, they will often get paid, but everyone needs a roof over their head and to eat, and those needs don't mean someone's motives aren't good. Think about it this way: someone who decides to be a painter may have people purchase their paintings, but that probably isn't why they do what they do. They paint because it's where their talent and passion is.

So, why not TRY counseling with someone before deciding how it's going to go based on....well, a lot of uninformed assumptions?

Too, look again at what others have said here, and do bear in mind that you are hardly the first new parent who has felt like you are feeling. People who work with families know this.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I did counseling when i was 15 in school she opened old wounds and went round and round in circles about things im not trying to undermind the job even if i sound like i do which im sorry about
but...its like...i dont know i feel like i go round and round in circles people try and help and i end up in the same ******* position i was in, in the first
doctors put me on anti depressants to help
the councle give me and Maddy a home to help
my mum gave Maddy baby shit to help
things dont help i dunno maybe its just something wrong with me
i cant cope with old wounds getting opened up
Maddy depends on me and if i break then shes fucked aswell [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Well, one thing to know about dealing with old wounds is that in order TO grow and change and move past them -- and how they may be influencing us now -- we generally DO have to reopen them and work through them. And if we try and avoid really digging into that stuff, then yeah, we aren't likely to make a lot of progress, and will tend to stay stuck.

I know it's painful to do that (and believe me, I do: been there myself), but it is what it is. Too? I'm of the mind that that's not going to break us: we're much more likely to break by NOT dealing with things than by dealing with them.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
So the only way round this is counseling?
im going to sound sad but it really scares me
i know my past is ******* up my future and my life now but it fucked me over so much going back into is hard
i know Maddy and my daughter dont deserve all the shit in my past being heaped on them
no im not happy but i dont want to do what my dad did to me!
i am just going round in brutally painful circles [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
It may or may not be, but it's certainly one sound place to start trying. Given how big the communication breakdown has been between you and your partner, it does sound to me like you ARE going to need SOME kind of mediator if you're going to get back to better communication.

Sometimes, the places that scare us are important for us to go to. But if you try counseling and it isn't right for you, you certainly can try and find a different kind of objective mediator: a neutral friend or family member, a clergyperson, a doctor, what have you.

And since you express keeping in painful circles, I'd say it seems clear it's time to step outside your comfort zone in some way to break those patterns.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Clergy person??? what??
breaking out my comfort zone isnt moving in and having a baby with someone breaking out my comfort zone enough! im sorry
having a pop at every one else isnt helping me in the slightest i know
i know your listening to what im saying and i know i need to drop my gard to let people help me and i dont want to sound like a stupid kid that wont accept any thing that people say and refuse to listen
but...i dunno i know if i listen and accept what people say i know they'll be right (if that made sense)
i know things arent right with Maddy far from right she dont trust me at all we fight and argue all the time she thinks im sleeping with everyone i know what the best thing to do is
i know what people are going to say a counseler is going to say what every one is going to say
but i still love Maddy and i dont want to leave her i know im babbling now aswell
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Not knowing much about you, I can't possibly know what your life is like, or if you are someone who goes to a church or has some other spiritual tradition. For people who do, a clergyperson or spiritual leader or teacher is often a good person for help.

I hear what sounds like you feeling pretty angry at some of the things we have said or suggested, but I hope you realize that when you ask for help, all we can do is offer out what we know has helped others.

For sure, becoming a parent likely did move you out of your comfort zone. However, doing those things in and of themselves likely isn't going to help you grow if you aren't growing in them, aren't supported with them, and have approached them in a crisis-state (which is understandable). It also isn't likely to help you much if you are coming to those things without adapting -- of course, that goes both ways, that's about your partner as well, not just you.

If you knew, though, what a counselor was going to say, one supposes you would also then know the kinds of changes you might need to try and make together, and I'm not hearing that you do. I think that your fears about counseling and you two getting help (not a house or baby items, but help) are driving that attitude.

But if you want, we can certainly talk about what you think a counselor would suggest and do with the two of you and then, why you aren't able to do those things?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
they would more than likely say we shouldnt be together...ok your right i dont know, i dont know what they would say or do
it just seems easier to walk away i dont want to but i cant go into how much of a selfish bastard my dad was and killed him self and how my mum doesnt even accept that it was because of me and how im turning into my dad ruining my daughters life
all i want is to be a dad and i cant do that and yes im depressed and yes im pissed off and angry but cant you see why?
im not trying to go against every thing you say im not trying to share my most in depth and painful secrets with people i dont know especaily when im clearly not worth all it
i dont mean to be a bastard and annoying but but its defence i know people try to help i know you try and help and im sorry [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Perhaps it would be helpful if I told you what I would do/say if I were in the room with you as your mediator? It may or may not be any given counselor's approach, but I'd say it'd be common enough.

I'd personally start by asking each of you how you are feeling right now, how your relationship and lives are going, what you see as what's good right now and what is problematic. If I wad told you were fighting a lot, I'd start by asking what you are most frequently fighting about, how those conversations seem to go, and how you both feel about them.

I'd ask what it is each of you really wants right now, out of your relationship, out of your lives. I'd ask if you are both invested in this relationship together, and what kind of relationship you want. In other words, right now, is your bond mostly about your child, are we looking more at co-parenting, or is it also about you two, separate from your child: do you still want a love relationship together or not?

I'd probably also start by picking one area of conflict the two of you have and walking you through a conversation about it. If you started to argue or fight, I'd step in, get you both to step back, and try teaching you both some tools for better communication, then have you try them out in my office to work on that conflict.

Given what you have shared here about your family history, I'd ask you to talk more about that, both for yourself, and so that your partner could get a better sense of how HUGE a struggle it has to be for you right now to be trying to parent unprepared, trying to have a family unprepared, and to feel like bolting but have so much guilt and worry about becoming just like your father who hurt you so deeply: your partner realizing that that's a huge issue, and likely a huge part of your challenges in this, would be really important to me.

Those are just some starting points, some things to give you an idea of how a counselor might work. I'd say it's highly unlikely you're going to walk in and have a counselor say a couple shouldn't be together. In fact, overall, counselors tend to ask far more questions than make judgments or edicts like that. And a family counselor saying that on visit one, rather than after months of seeing how you two are together and if you're progressing, would be nigh unto impossible.

Do those things sound like your expectations of counseling? If so, and you feel a resistance to any of them, why do you think you have that resistance?

Perhaps it's also worth asking how, if not with the help of another person, YOU see ways to work through this? What do you feel like your best options are?

For the record, I absolutely see why you're pissed off and angry: I said what I did, though, to try and make sure you recognize that directing that in any way at someone trying to help you who you have asked for help both isn't productive, and also really isn't appropriate. If, when you're asking someone for help, you swear at them, get very angry with them, there's both not going to be a lot we can do, and we're also going to be inclined to at some point say we can't help because we don't want to be barked at, which is a reasonable limit.

[ 02-22-2009, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
no not really no
the only thing im against is talking about my dad
its not like im jumping though hoops to talk about it but i cant...if i do i either end up getting totally smashed or i just flip i dont understand what you say by saying "perhaps its also woth asking your self how" how what
And im sorry i dont mean to be so brash and rude and swear all the time i know your trying to help
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Okay, so if you're not yet at the point where you feel able to talk about your Dad -- which is understandable, especially with someone brand-new to you -- then you get to walk into counseling with that limit, with saying, "There is one thing I don't feel able to talk about yet, and that's my Dad," and that should be respected.

Mind, eventually? You probably ARE going to need to talk through that, especially since my guess is it's not a minor factor in all of this, and probably a good part of WHY you are having such a tough time managing parenting. BUT! You don't have to do so before you have established trust with someone first, and a good counselor is going to understand that and not want to push you into talking about it before you have that trust and some more tools to manage your feelings in general.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
But if it is one of or the mane reason for all this im going to have to talk about it...urghh i just want to be a dad to my daughter i wanna look at her and not hate her its not fair on her that i inflict on her what i feel about my dad its not her fault its got nothing to do with her at all i know...or i hope i couldnt hurt my daughter as much as he hurt me [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I'd say it's very likely a factor, but I highly doubt it's the primary reason for everything going on right now. My guess is the primary reason is that you're 18 (right?), which is exceptionally young to be a parent and even to live with a partner who is the mother of your child. It likely has a lot to do with being thrown into something VERY big you had no preparation or planning for.

It may also have to do with how good your economic resources are, how good your relationship with this woman really was beforehand (and how right it was per being a relationship this serious and daily) -- it sounds to me like you two may not have yet learned how to communicate well, period, before now -- what kinds of other supports you two should have, but don't, and a whole lot of others things including the mere the fact that parenting, period, is really freaking stressful.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah im 18
I know i come across arrogant and rude and like im self absorbed i mean who cant bond with their child
but i do my best honestly i do as hard as that might be to believe people who help me or try
i hate talking about my dad...i hate it i hate him and i mean it i was never good enough for him!!!
this is what i mean old wounds! how can he say he loved me he lied!! even though ive messed this up so much i can never hurt her as much can i? or am i just telling my self this to make myself feel better?
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
You ask who can't bond with their child, but as was already mentioned here, plenty of people face challenges with that. And I'd note that when you aren't the one who was pregnant and gave birth or who nursed their kid, it's an extra challenge: you don't have the benefit of some body chemistry that helps with that.

I also think that the way you are talking about yourself says more about how YOU think of yourself than how I or anyone else does.

I haven't talked with you about your Dad because you've expressed that you don't want to talk about him. But if you'd like to, we can certainly do that. And if you want to, I feel like the only way I can do that is if you can basically write out your story when it comes to him so we have a sound place to start and I understand what you are referencing when you say things like that he lied to you and didn't find you to be good enough.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
My dad and mum would fight all the time about every thing he had an affair years ago years and years ago! my mum and dad got back together but my mum never really trusted him she would lie to him about how she was feeling and say to him to do what he wanted. my dad wasnt stupid but they didnt talk about it, it got to the point when my dad would avoid my mum, me and my brother and sister didnt know whether we where coming or going one minute its my dad moving out the next hes moved back in the next my mums moved out every day when we got home from school it would be another drama my dad wouldnt be in we'd wait and wait and wait for him to come home and eventualy he'd come of smashed this happened for months my mum would accuse him of every thing she would follow him to see if he went where he said he went it was hard enough on me and my brother but my little sister was 12! their relationship was messing up my life my brothers life my sisters life we where young we where kids what where we meant to say when people asked "Oh nothings wrong just my dad is a boozer, my mum is insecure and paranoid i listen to my mum cry her self to sleep every night when my dads god knows where" a year later things seemed to get better my mum telled us she was pregnant, my dad seem to sort it out got help for the drinking went back to work him and my mum went into counselling together to sort out their "differences" My brother got into Uni i met Maddy my sister was happy at school WHOA things where almost perfect, yeah my family is almost cursed with bad luck as my mum miscarried and BAM i thought things would go back to how they where...but no my dad stayed away from the drink stood by my mum i knew it was hard for them but they seemed ok well as ok as things could be. Maddy told me she was pregnant about a month later timing couldnt be worse i didnt want to turn my back on her and when she decided she was going to keep Emily the only thing i was worried about was telling my mum and dad.
When i went to tell my mum she knew there was something wrong she says its mother intuition...ok then but she was happy about it she said i was "blessed" and that she was looking forward to being a grandparent. one down one to go
when i told my dad he said he wasnt proud of me because i was only 17 but he loved me and because of that he would stand by me...but he didnt he went funny with me like fake and forced he would tell me he loved me all the time and how Maddy would be welcomed to the family. i didnt think much of it i thought it was stress of work and my sister was being...well a teenaged girl but my mum told me he was going out and getting back late again he came round our flat drunk of his face laughing then crying then normall this went on for about a month and then he stopped talking to me i was sitting in my mums house with maddy and he threw her out saying that she wasnt welcome, i told him i hated him and that he would have nothing to do with the baby or maddy or me, my sister moved in with me and Maddy because she said he was loosing the plot... i should of relised then things wherent normall for a growen man but i didnt i was just so pissed with him because of how he treated Maddy my sister had been living there a week and a half and my mum called up late i thought it was one of my friends messing around but she told us to come home she when we got back my older brother and his girlfriend where there my mum read out this note thing from my dad which was saying how he was feeling and how he never meant to hurt any one but he couldnt cope he wasnt dad material however he loved us all so very much... i didnt understand what was going on untill my mum said he had taken some sort of overdoes on some drugs or something
i went to the funeral but i didnt cry how can i grieve for someone that treated us so badly and killed him self because he was thinking of him self
i feel like its my fault if Maddy hadnt gotten pregnant it wouldnt of knocked him off so much he and my mum lost a child and i was thinking of myself and my girlfriend my mum wont listen when i say this she says he loved me but how can he!!
thats my story
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey, I have just read all of this, but have to run and errand and also want to think on this for a while.

But since I won't respond to this for a little bit, I did want to be sure to say two things to you.

For starters, thank you for trusting me with your story, to hold your story. Second, you don't probably need for me to tell you that that is a LOT for someone to grow up with and deal with, and a LOT for you to have had culminate the way it did at this particular time in your life. I also very much understand -- including in my own life, I had someone very important to me commit suicide when I was younger -- how easy it is to blame ourselves, and how incredibly hard it is to live through.

I'll add more in a little while, but just wanted to be sure you knew that you were heard until I can.

Are you feeling okay having written this out?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
not really but ill survive
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I'm back, and have some thoughts with you about this. However, I was also talking to someone close to me about this thread, and I thought he had some really, really great things to say about all of this. He also is someone who very much understands really getting ripped off by a father.

So, I'm having him register right now and he'll be around shortly. I can add my thoughts and feelings on this later as well.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Posted by Blue Griffin (Member # 42231) on :
Harvey: Happened to read your posts and am very touched by all the things you are dealing with and impresssed that you are hanging in there with all this, it is tough to be vulnerable but one of the odd things about being a man is that we are stronger when we admit our vulnerabilities and work through them. I feel what you are going through and thought I might be able to add some perspective on some of the things you are dealing with.

First let’s deal with being a father. You are one now, nuff said. You have a choice on what kind of father you want to be. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now but you do. Everything you do from this point on in your life is a choice. I know it doesn’t feel like a choice, you didn’t have a choice in all the **** your had to deal with as a kid growing up, that is a given. But you have a choice in how you deal with your family now. Let’s look at few of your options: you could choose to run away and abandon the mother of your child and your daughter, you can choose to hang around, get drunk and continue fighting over and over again creating a really unhealthy environment for yourself and your family, or you can choose to take this on fully and commit to growing and becoming the father you want to be. Sure there are a lot of other choices but let’s stick with those.

I am guessing you don’t want to do the first two, but that you have very little idea on how to get to the last option.

So let’s talk about fathers. A lot of men, who where hurt by their dad, go off in life to promising to "never be like my dad", in doing that they cut off dealing with how their fathers really acted and the issues and feelings around their father. They strive so hard to not be like their dad that they end up doing and acting exactly what their dad did. Until we own how we are like our fathers, and believe you me I NEVER wanted to be like my father, but it’s not until we can look at what we learned from the fathers we had and know how we are like them we can never figure out another path. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. We have to know where we come from before we can make a choice. So in your becoming the father you want to be you will need to look at what you learned from your father and make choices about if those are ways you want to act and be.

I am going to out and out say it… you got gyped by your dad, you never got to see how a loving and committed man could act as a father and how a loving father would act around his children. You were right in your anger at him for the way he acted, that was you being a father and protecting your family. It also makes sense that you don’t feel that instant bond with your daughter, mainly because any paternal feelings you did get from your dad seems to have been painful to you as a child, I understand you not wanting to subject your daughter to the same pain you felt as a child.

Your dad made his own choices, he was a man too, and they were not because of anything you did. I know it’s hard to get that because when we grieve we tend to take on more responsibility than we really have. This is a sticky wicket but I trust you will realize this fully in time.

I really resonated with the way you feel like you are doomed, but let’s be clear that this is your judgment on yourself and not the reality of your self. I know having compassion for yourself is really hard, especially when you feel like you fucked up. It’s like being a fish in water you can’t imagine feeling anything but the water you are in. It is really hard to get out of this vicious circle by yourself, but it is doable, people around the world do it daily. I would ask you this… if one of your best friends was going through what you are going through what would your heart desire for them to do? Would you be more compassionate to your friend than you are to yourself? I know I am my own critic and need support to get out of that circle. I would have never gone to any kind of counseling but would always support my friends doing it.

So here is what I think about counseling, if you do it fully and honestly you will go round and round, it will suck to be dealing with the same issues over and over again, however if you are really doing it honestly and fully what you will realize is that you are not in a vicious circle but a very tight spiral staircase. Like a staircase you go round and round but if you are working it right you are moving upward and eventually you get a different perspective on the same issue, eventually you learn to deal with those issues, grow and be able to make better choices for yourself. The advantage to counseling is that you learn to see that there are other ways to do things than what has been done and what you feel doomed you are going to do.

You have a lot on your plate, you have been smart in that you reached out and have gotten a lot of good advice and if you keep doing that I suspect you will find you can get a lot of good support as well. I guess it comes down to what kind of man, what kind of father you are going to choose to be.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
if my friends where going through this id tell them to get help id nag and nag and nag to the point where they would hate me but its easy to say that from a different persepective
he fucked me over big time though how can someone say they love you then do that!
i learnt how to hit from a bong i learnt how to drink without throwing up i learnt how to make people feel worthless and treat them bad and i learnt that "men dont cry" and "Real men dont talk about there feelings" yeah he...was great
he didnt even see Emily she clearly meant about as much to him as i did
hes a waste of space he screwed me up
im violent like my dad
i drink till im drunk till im paralytic like my dad
im depressed like my dad he left me all this shit and the only way out is counselling
counselling that my dad went to and now my dads dead...fantastic
i dunno im thinking he could of fucked me up a little bit more than he already has
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey, why don't you kind of sit with all of this input and feedback for a day or so, then come back tomorrow and we can talk some more?

This is a lot to digest and process, after all.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Cant sleep
wont sleep
ill get drunk if i go out
the baby will wake up any way
no ones awake
no one to talk to
i can sit and depressed
that sounds like fun [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Okay, if you do want to talk more, we can absolutely do that.

Would you like me to add my additional thoughts on this, or do you want to write more for yourself?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah go ahead
what do you think?
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I'm wondering if it might be helpful for you for me to talk about how I worked through having someone really close to me suicide. If it isn't helpful, we can certainly talk about something else.

I think one of the toughest things for me was not being able to get any resolution. For instance, you clearly -- and validly -- are very angry with your father, both around his suicide and all of what he did to you and didn't do for you. You clearly feel you bear some responsibility in his suicide. But, you're now without the opportunity to voice that anger, and also without the opportunity to talk with him about you causing a pregnancy and to hear him say that was NOT -- and it really likely wasn't -- why he did what he did. That's so painful and so hard, and unfortunately, we can't ever get that from people who are gone. It's just something we have to accept, but it can be really difficult to do that because it is so, so unfair.

I had similar feelings of responsibility with the person I was close to who suicided. It took me a really long time to recognize that he was clearly on that track all by himself, and nothing I did or didn't do would have changed anything: he was going to go that route regardless, and that was all about his choices, not about me.

By the way, chances are your dad was behaving the way he did after you told him about the pregnancy and until he died because he'd already mentally checked out. people on their way out of this world like that just don't tend to really hear the rest of us or feel where we are at: being suicidal is a very, very self-absorbed space to be in.

I think it's sound to look over again, a lot of what Blue said. You do have choices here, despite all the challenges you have, many of which were set up by your Dad.

I realize we haven't really toughed on your partner and how willing she is to work on all of this. What's your sense of what work she is willing to put into changing things for the better?
Posted by Ecofem (Member # 13388) on :
[Hey Harvey, I know you've got a dialogue going with Heather and others here. I don't mean to butt in but I would really like to recommend a book to you. Have you ever seen or heard of Slam by Nick Hornby? It is a novel about teen pregnancy told from a male perspective in a way that feels very authentic and insightful, realistic-yet-hopeful and just unlike anything I'd read before. You can look into the book at that link, as well as read others' reviews. It is fiction but deals with a lot of things you are mentioning here.

I also just wanted to say that, for all the incredible challenges are you facing, I am very impressed at your commitment to work through all this; as hard as it all is, you are showing a massive amount of strength (and, yeah, the negative and mixed feelings and doubt don't take away from that.)

I would wish you could give yourself some more credit here because I am pretty damn impressed and I know I'm not the only one; I know I'm just someone from the internet versus being there with you and seeing what all you're going through. But your strength and commitment shines through so brightly I can just tell, for real. [Smile] Good luck!]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I dont know
we dont talk well we do but not about my dad
she bangs on and on and on and on and ******* on about getting help
i love her she puts up with so much of my shit
we argue and i treat her bad at times but i love her and i know i love her she says she'll do any thing to help me help Emily even help my family
i go out late
i get smashed
i kick off and she still stands by me
so im guessing she'll do any thing
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
When she is talking about getting help, is she talking about both of you getting help TOGETHER? because while it certainly sounds like you need some help, it also very much sounds like the both of you need help as a couple which is not just about you, but about both of you.

What I'd suggest is that rather than assuming she'll do anything, you have a talk with her -- maybe right now, if she's home -- and talk about some of what we've talked about here today. Perhaps you might even show her this thread? Then you can ask if she'd try some counseling or another kind of medication WITH you, and you two can start to make a plan together to find something/someone who you both want to try out.

If I can suggest something else? One step you can do right now, without a counselor, is to make a choice -- and this is up to you and no one else, and you have this power -- to quit going out late and getting smashed and leaving her alone with your kid. By all means, blowing off steam now and then and seeing friends is important, but if you earnestly want things to change, one thing you'll need to start with is by dedicating some real time to your life with your new family. Even if you can just cut out one of those nights a week at first is great, and you dedicating real time and making that effort is likely to help her really feel your commitment, help you feel less like a screwup, and give you both some time to be together without the extra stress of her seeing you after you've been out all night drinking.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
no on my own she says counsellers creep her out she says quote "id rather stick pins in my eyes" unquote
the medication thats a whole different pile of crap i take it i take it cause i gotta not cause i want to again because of my ******* shall i call him dad he was a ******* waste of space
because of Adam screwing up my life
im in tonight woop
im not out all night most the night yeah all night no [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Perhaps then you could show this to her and gently communicate to her that a couple cannot fix all their problems by ONE person addressing their own issues. You getting counseling for yourself will likely help you, and help with the relationship somewhat, but she has to be willing to do some work, too.

For you two to improve, you will have to do some work together. You cannot possibly fix the issues you two share by yourself.

As well, if you are going to go into counseling, it's really important that your partner is supportive. calling therapists creepy and talking about counseling that way is not supportive, nor likely to help YOU feel good about it.

[ 02-22-2009, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i hope she will
it is like quarter to two in the morning she is asleep sort of like every one else thats if i go
pluck me it didnt help my family oounselling did it [Frown]
Posted by Ecofem (Member # 13388) on :
Hey Harvey,

I just wanted to come by and say hi again. You still up or around?
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I'm heading towards bed, but I wanted to mention that how much counseling helps a family had a lot to do with how much a family puts into it. It seems very possible your father was not investing a lot in it.

As well, when someone has a serious mental health issue, like being suicidal, or a serious problem like alcoholism, those things need pretty serious treatment separately, and the person with them also needs to be invested in that treatment.

So, if you want to be helped more than your Dad was, that's going to have a lot to do with what YOU bring to the table with counseling, and that's totally up to you.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Harvey showed me this forum thing
and say thankyou, he doesnt talk about his dad to many people bottles it up and ends up taking it out on himself. he takes the whole weight of his dads death on his own shoulders
i'll stand by him no matter what and i WILL do what ever it takes to help help us and our family as disfuncational as it may be
However harvey and counselling in the same sentence never go together, ive tryed so flipping hard to get him to go ive even said id go with him but he refuses he says it never helped his father how will it help him and says hes destained to go the same way. [Frown]
i just wanted to say thankyou
Maddy X
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Hi, Maddy. It's good to "meet" you! can you do us a favor, though, and if you're going to post here, register your own account? We're happy to talk with you, two, but couples or friends wanting to participate need their own accounts so that we don't get confused.

You're very welcome. So, do you feel like you might be willing to make another try and getting counseling together? Is what Harvey said about your attitudes about counseling not really how you feel about it? If not, I think it might be helpful to him to hear you express more positive support around counseling.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I will i i honestly will
its my next thing to do when ive got time
I think itll be good for us to do it hes knows i do
im only against it when he asks me at 2 in the morning
he went to one counselling thing with me just after his dad died but he walked out and hasnt given it another thought about it.
ill set up one of these thingys soon!
thanks again
maddy [Big Grin]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I showed Maddy this as you know
and now her like every one else is on my back about counselling
ive done it before, i cant do it again i know i sound like a looser whats so hard about walking through a door or making a call but i cant do it
seriously [Frown]
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
It can be hard to walk through the door or make a call. The first time I called to schedule an appointment with a counselor, I dialed and hung up at least 5 times before I had the nerve to stay on the line and actually book the appointment. Heck, that's not even counting the probably 10-20 times I picked up the phone and put it back down because I couldn't even get to the point of dialing! So if being afraid to call and make an appointment makes somebody a loser, then I guess I'm one and so are a heap of other people.

It may help you to remember that even if counseling didn't do it for you before, that's not a guarantee that this time will be exactly the same. Maybe your last counselor just didn't mesh well with you. Or, maybe you were not in a place mentally where you were ready to deal with it yet or were committed to making it work. Do you want to talk about what it was about your last experience with counseling that you think made it not work? I know you've said above that you felt like you were going around and around...but as somebody already responded, that's often part of the process of dealing with your issues and then healing.

It may also help to take this one step at a time. When I'm feeling lost and like things are overwhelming, I'm a big fan of making lists to help me sort myself out. Could you make a list of all of the good things that you WANT to get out of counseling and another list of the things that make you afraid of counseling? Maybe if you can look at the benefits and we can talk here (if you'd like) about some of the specific issues you are worried about with counseling, we can come up with ways to deal with those things.
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
As an additional question, what is the time you are spending with your partner and daughter like? I feel like we might be able to tackle some of this more easily if we had a good idea about what the day-to-day is like for you. How involved were you during your partner's pregnancy? (Did you go to appointments? Present for the birth? Did you want to do those things?) What are your interactions like now? (How much time do you spend with them? How much time are you and your partner spending alone together? What do you talk about? What is the time with your daughter like? What do you usually do? Etc.)

I'd like to add another question here as well...this is less about counseling (though I think it's really important that we continue that dialogue here as well) and more about you and how you're feeling right now...

When is the last time you did something with your new family that made you feel truly good?

(I've got to step out and run a few errands, but I'd like to come back later and continue to participate in the dialogue.)

[ 02-23-2009, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
It was just after adam died and it just freaked me out
the whole thing every thing they said hacked me off every thing she said annoyed me i ended up getting wrecked and high and ended up in hospital.
i just wanna be able to talk to my girlfriend
and be a parent to my daughter and feel usefull
and not feeling so depressed all the time.
but someone unpicking why my adam did what he did or why he did it
or why he treated my mum and my family or me the way he did
or someone telling me they understand when they dont!
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey, I want to make sure you understand that when the two of you, together -- as Maddy has said she will with you, so long as you also make that effort with her -- pursue FAMILY counseling, it is not going to be all about you and your dad, but about exactly the things you say you are wanting and need: about improving communication, about support with parenting. It sounds to me like you're kind of locked in this idea about what family counseling is going to be like based on the counseling you had before just for yourself, and that's not sound: they're different kinds of counseling.

You also can pursue counseling just for yourself, separately, to address your depression if you like.
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
You're also saying, though -- and that makes sense -- you want more help or options than counseling can provide, and I think answering some of Sarah's questions a couple posts up is a good way for you to get started on some of those other things.

So, how about looking at and responding to her questions? [Smile]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
awquard its forced when im with maddy and my daughter but when its just me and Maddy its not so bad i was there with her through the entire thing once we moved in together other things kinda got put on hold college work Maddy and the pregnancy was every thing to me
i try and advoid being with both of them i feel like a spare part all the time me and maddy sleep together like not sex...well yeah but
we sleep in the same bed and thats the only time we really talk we talk about any thing work what she did in the day what i did what we are going to do together when i look after my daughter she sleeps i sit and do nothing or she lays on the floor mat and plays and i sit and do nothing
i havent done any thing with them i do things for them i go to work so they have a home and are safe but apart from that i havent
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
I second Heather's statements about therapy and about family therapy specifically. Yes, eventually you likely will find that you need to deal with your own depression and your issues with your father so that you can move forward and be as healthy as you can be. But family therapy does not have to be about can be about both of you learning to communicate together and getting the skills you need to feel like a good parent.

So I'm seeing you say that your relationship with your daughter and partner feel forced when you're all together. Okay, let's talk for a minute about some things you might do to help connect. It's great that you are working and helping to support your family, but it also sounds to me like you are wanting to be a part of that family, not only a paycheck, yes?

In the past, how have you tried interacting with your daughter? Have you played with her? At 6 months, babies are starting to become really interactive. They love it when you engage in play with them. As silly as it makes you feel as a "grown up," peek-a-boo can be endlessly entertaining. Or just shaking a rattle or rolling a ball or just tickling, smiling, and laughing. You can also just talk to your daughter...tell her about your day or read her a story. No, she won't understand the words at this point, but it's the interaction that counts. Are any of those ideas that you feel like you would be comfortable with? This doesn't have to be a big thing...we're just looking for 5 minutes where you can interact with her.

I'd also like to ask if there is anyone in your circle that you feel like is a good dad? A friend or a friend's dad? A pastor? Another relative? Someone at work? Anybody you are close with that you feel like fits your idea of a "good dad".

In case it helps, I will not say that I totally get what you're going through. You are the only one who has "lived" your experience. Yes, I am older than you are and I'm female (I did carry and deliver my son). However, as a first time parent of an (almost) 9-month old, I do understand quite a bit of what you're saying here. I understand that feeling of knowing life is not going to be the same anymore and mourning for what's gone now. I understand not having that immediate "connection" that people say you should have. I understand wanting to run...I can't tell you how many times I seriously contemplated getting in the car and just leaving, and how ashamed that made me feel. Was my experience exactly the same? No. But I do know to some extent where you are coming from in that regard.

I've got to go make some dinner, but I'll try to be back later in the evening as well.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i didnt get drunk! thanks to my wonderful girlfriend for that!
and no i havent and no idont play with her she just lays on the mat thing and babbles to herself happy enough
my friends dad is pretty good yeah hes annoying at times but hes alot better than what im used to
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Babies need interaction, even if they're happily babbling to themselves...they love to have faces to look at and others to interact with as well. Do you feel like you could play with her?

Is your friend's dad someone you feel like you could talk to?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I dont know Maddy makes all look so easy when im with her i have no idea where to start she just looks at me and when maddy walks out the room just crys and then i really have not a clue what to do
and yeah i guess i can talk to him not about every thing but i can talk to him
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Okay...well let's start there then.

If she's really strongly bonded to Maddy, then the crying is not about you being there, but more about Maddy leaving. Know what I mean? So how about playing with her while Maddy is there?

At first, she is just going to look at you. She doesn't know much about the world yet, so she's observing everything, really taking it in. Of course that means she's going to look at you. So play a game with her. At 6 months, games like peak-a-boo are great. You could make funny faces or noises at her. Or just sit on the floor with her and talk to her. It doesn't matter what you talk about...just talk. Some form of interaction will help get you started.

If you are comfortable with your friend's dad, do you feel like you could talk to him about being a dad? I mean, no matter how old you are, parenting isn't something that comes naturally to everybody. One of the best things you can do is find another parent who you can talk to and get advice from.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
if i play with her when shes in the room shes gonna know when maddys left...she must know she knows when shes in the room and the other day when i picked her up she cried not a little cry not a wimper a full on cry with tears any every thing thats cause of me she doesnt cry when maddy picks her up
yeah... maybe hes helped me out with other things before
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Well, so Maddy stays in the room while you play with her for a while. That's okay, it will allow you to spend time as a family. When she's more used to being with you and interacting with you, then Maddy can step out of the room if she'd like. Do you feel like you could play with her with Maddy in the room?

Also, sometimes babies just cry. I bet if you asked Maddy, she'd tell you that your little one cries sometimes when she picks her up too. Remember that she doesn't have any other way to communicate with you right now, so crying sort of substitutes for everything.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Yeah....i think so im still worried im gonna hurt her or freak her out or make her if Maddys there then at least if she cries shell know what to do:(
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
And that's okay. You know, I was terrified of hurting my son when I first brought him home. And that's really what you're talking about here...if you haven't really spent time with her or had a lot of contact with her, then it's not surprising that you'd be nervous about hurting her. It's almost like she's brand new and you're going to be learning about interacting with her.

Let your partner help you learn about her. If she's been the primary caretaker, then there are a lot of things that she'll be able to help you with if you want.

Babies are a huge learning experience. Nobody, no matter what their age or situation, knows everything about being a parent from the first day. We all learn as we go along. So take it one step at a time.

How about setting a goal for yourself of playing with her (with her mom in the room) for 5 minutes? Go slowly and gently with her. Small steps that will help build your confidence that you can interact with her.

(I've got to be away from the computer for the rest of the evening, but I'll be back tomorrow. I'd like for us to continue the conversation, both about learning about your daughter and about communicating with your partner, therapy, etc.)

[ 02-23-2009, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I couldnt do it i couldnt do it
i fucked up and went out instead
and got wasted
she just doesnt deserve all the crap i heap on her or maddy
im not worth all this
i dont want to be like my dad but when i look at myself i see
ive successfuly managed to turn into a waste of space like him
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
You're 18.

I think it's SERIOUSLY early to proclaim yourself a waste, as you have plenty of time in your life to turn yourself around.

Did you happen to look at the discussion I'm having with Maddy about your drinking? If nothing else, if you're not at family therapy yet, might you at least be ready to start addressing the alcoholism you did seem to inherit from your Dad?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
alchohlism? are you saying im a drunk
and how the hell do i get that from my dad
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Addictions tend to be, to some extent, inherited. So if you have family members who had problems with alcoholism or other addictions, you may be more prone to do those things as well. (Additionally, beyond the genetic tendency, we can learn the behaviors from them as well.)

From what you have said here, I would agree with Heather that it sounds like you may have a problem with alcoholism, or at the very least you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Being unable to stop yourself from going out and drinking is a pretty big sign of this, as is binge drinking.
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey, I want to pass one a link I shared with Maddy that is a good evaluation tool for considering alcoholism. As I told her, just based on what you two have shared with me, I easily checked off several boxes for you that do, indeed, suggest you may be or be becoming an alcoholic.

Why don't you go ahead and take a look for yourself, okay?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah well it stops me from thinking about every thing if i stay in i cant stop thinking my head wont stop going over every thing stuff i dont even want to think about but is in my head all the time when i go out and get drunk it doesnt make me forget it but it blocks it out [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
...and that would be one typical and common symptom of alcoholism. People who have a healthy relationship with alcohol don't use it to escape.

Did you look at that link and read some of the material there?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
the stuff you sent maddy? yeah some of it
but what do you want me to do with it? i know as much as i want to sit here and blame my dad for this but iant this is mine
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
My hope was that you'd recognize that this is a problem and consider making a choice to do something about it. You're right, this is yours.

Figuring out who is to blame for things like this is only so helpful. For sure, it helps to look at the roots of things, but you still have to do something, for yourself, to create a change. We've talked about a handful of things over the last few days you can do to get started on some of those changes: have you made any of those steps, such as getting started with phone calls to find out what kinds of family counseling you can get?

Did you look at that link I posted three entries up, and look at the image of the cycle of alcoholism and recovery? Might you consider going to an AA meeting or talking to your doctor about your problem with drinking?
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Well, looking at the material Heather linked in depth is a good place to start. Addiction problems are not easily solved on your own, so again we'd encourage you to seek get some treatment. There are resources available that can help you work through this and that would be terrific in conjunction with family therapy. We can talk more about getting treatment as we go along here. I think there would be a lot of benefit in that for you and your family.

You are really reaching a point here where if you want things to change and to be better for you and your family, you are going to have to be proactive and get yourself some help. I know that it can be tempting a lot of times to think "oh, there's no way someone could understand"...but the truth of the matter is that they don't have to 100% understand in order to help you. One of the things that really great counselors have is empathy for those they want to help. Part of what this means is that when they say they "understand," what that really indicates is that they understand that you've been through something really difficult and that they feel with you in that.

I see you say that you just couldn't play with your daughter last night. That's okay, it's not a huge failure. The very fact that you THOUGHT about it is a step in the right direction. Maybe what you need to do is slow down a little bit. You said that she likes to lay on her mat and play. Do you think you could sit on the floor next to her while she plays? If you're uncomfortable interacting, then let's just start with getting close to her. Again, try having Maddy be there in the room with you. Just sit on the floor next to your daughter and watch her. If you feel like you can do this, then I want you to give it a try, just for 5 minutes. And in that time, try to be really in the moment. You don't have to DO anything...just watch her, focus on her. See how she reacts to the things around her, see how she reacts to you. Would you feel safer starting there? There is no way you could hurt her doing this and there is not the pressure to interact.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
no, no and i dunno
i dont wanna sit here and be manicaly depressed i wanna go out get mashed but thats because im a alcoholic and ive fucked up my life
yeah im 18 but look at me im running out of things to live for
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
You've got plenty of things to live for...not the least of which is a brand new daughter.

But sweetie, YOU can make a choice to DO something about your situation. You came here asking for help and wanting to make your life and your relationships better. We want to help you do that...but a big part of that is going to be you helping yourself.

Can we talk about why you feel like you can't/don't want to get help?
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
The thing is, Harvey, you can change that.

I get having huge challenges. I grew up with them too, and also had a lot of tragedy to deal with when I was young, too. I absolutely had the choice to let all of those things screw up my life and to stay in dysfunctional places, but I made a different choice.

You have that choice, too. So, if we're going to be of any help to you, it's about helping you find resources to start making those choices. We've supplied some, and now it's up to you to take a step with them. If you won't take any of those baby steps, though, we're not likely to be able to do much for you.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I dont know
16 years of someone drumming into your head about not talking about how you feel kinda sticks in your head
i want help but its so ******* hard im not making excuses for my self
i wasnt brought up by my parents i was dragged up
im scared i am so freaking scared that i will hurt emily as much as my dad hurt me
because im going exsctaly the same way as my dad counselling drinking ******* up my kids life
my dad told me to "be a man and sort it out like a man"
i let him down so much when he was alive
and i still do it now
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Harvey: I totally understand. I basically parented myself, too, and I also grew up in a very dysfunctional family. Seriously, I get it.

But again, you are voicing fears about things "happening," when things don't just happen: people make choices. Your Dad made some really bad ones, and you can choose what he did or you can choose something different.

But honestly? When we bring up being proactive and taking a step to start doing things different, I feel like you avoid those things and go back to talking like this, which just isn't likely to go anywhere without you ALSO starting to take some of those steps.

So, I'll ask again: have you made any of those phone calls? If not, pick up the phone. Make one. Just talking about how you're stuck isn't going to get you unstuck: taking small steps to start getting unstuck is.
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
Let me throw this out there again's been said before in this thread, but it bears repeating...

Just because your father had therapy and it didn't work for him...and just because you had therapy before...that does NOT mean that all therapy is bad or that it'll all end up the same.

Let me give you an example. While I care very much for my family, they're like anybody else. There are some unhealthy habits in there and some bad communication skills. My mom went to therapy for a year and it didn't do a thing for her. I went to therapy and got the skills to change things. Why did this happen? Well, for one thing, my mom stayed with a therapist who was not a good fit with her. And for a second thing, I went to therapy truly committed to it. I wanted to get something out of it and was willing to WORK with an open heart and mind. My mom wasn't. She continued to be guarded the entire time and refused to truly share or look at her behavior.

This is not about the path that your dad took. I'm sure your dad also wore socks. Are you gonna stop wearing socks because they were part of his path? This is about the path that YOU are choosing to take and what YOU are choosing to put into treatment and recovery.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i called them...well Maddy did but i asked her to
your right every thing you say is right
but every thing sucks dick my entire life sucks every thing is soo uber hard
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
So, who did she call, and what were the results of that call?

You're right, right now, things totally suck. That's painfully clear. But I think we're going to do better not dwelling on that and working more towards some of these steps, okay?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
The Family counselling thing
i go down tomorrow morning...or we go down tomorrow morning
and take it from here
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
That's fantastic, Harvey. Can I make a suggestion that you stay in tonight -- without question -- to be sure that you are awake and clear-headed tomorrow so that that appointment does not get missed?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Urghh...i wont be able to sleep so i dont see what the point is me staying in and staying up all night
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
As I understand it, you and Maddy have had appointments before where you didn't make them because you were drunk or hungover.

The point of staying in is to avoid that happening, and also to take a step about being with your family, which is part of what the counseling is to help you do.

I'm sure you can figure out a way to get some sleep if you stay in, and can find a way to sleep without drinking for a night. If not, now is as good a time as any to start experimenting with that.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I didnt go to the thing as you more than likely know i honestly dont see the point any more im a drunk i cant look after my daughter and my girlfriend hates me
ive tryed so hard not to be like my dad and i am i cant do what people want me to do i just wanna give up on every thing and every one i donr even know why im saying this but i am [Frown]
Posted by KittenGoddess (Member # 1679) on :
I'm very sorry to hear that you didn't go to counseling. We really feel like some counseling is going to help you.

You know, it looks to me like you're the only one giving up on yourself here. Heather, myself, and other volunteers have committed quite a bit of time to talking with you here because we believe that you could change your situation. Your partner has (to this point at least) tried to help you, even to the point of helping you schedule counseling. I'd bet that your daughter even very much wants to know you.

I still very much believe that you can be different. But you must choose to do that, which is not something we can do for you. There is a point to counseling...the point is to give you the tools to help yourself and your family. I don't believe anybody is beyond help if they truly want and truly commit to allowing others to help them.

Is there a reason why you chose not to go to counseling this morning?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I was hung over, and i had to do something else bad excuse i know but it was important
Millie and Maddy are better of somewhere else everyone thinks it
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :

I’ve been following your thread and didn’t want to disturb the flow by jumping in, but would like to offer some insight as well if it’s okay with you? I’m really seeing that you want to be different, and that you want to be there for Maddy and Millie. That’s such an important first step – making the statement that you want for a change in how things are.

I know this has been said before, but I really want to make sure it’s stressed again. It’s understandable that you are afraid to be as your father was, and that’s a big step in the right direction, realizing and making the statement in and of itself. I think really taking the time to break things down and assess them individually will help you a lot. For instance, you say that you want to change who you are now – if you were to break that into steps as a rough draft of how you would formally do that, what would you do? For instance, would you start by really opening to Maddy, since she will be the most helpful person in bringing out that comfort zone between you and Millie? That may be a logical place to start. And being able to open up to her may make you more comfortable with the idea of visiting a counselor, which could really be a stepping stone to where you’re saying you want to be. Can you tell me a few steps you think you may be comfortable with?

I have a little exercise I’d like you to try. It’s something that you and Maddy can do together, that can be a bonding experience, and can also really open the doors for you on having a better view of yourself. Everyone here is really seeing you as a strong willed person, wanting to make a change, wanting to be different – and everyone can use a guiding hand every once in a while. There are a lot of hands reaching out to help you right now, but you have to be ready to reach and out take them and accept the help.

The exercise is this: Stand facing Maddy, and ask her to offer you the questions in a way that changes the emphasis of what's being asked. As she does so and you prepare your answers, really add some feeling and some of your own tone to the words. You have to believe them about yourself as much as I’ve seen everyone here and Maddy express that she believes them. If we believe these things, and she believes these things – the you can trust that they’re true of you. It may seem silly the first time or two, but go through this a few times. It’s really empowering and powerful when you believe the words you speak. Afterwards take a few minutes and talk over how you’re feeling, and what you think would be a good next step and what you’re comfortable with.

Who am I? I am somebody
Who am I? I am somebody.
What am I? I am intelligent
What am I? I am a genius.
What am I? I am strong!
What do I have? The ability
What do I want? Change

Will you try that?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Ill talk to Maddy about...every thing
yeah how i feel and about Millie
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
That's a great place to start Harvey. I'm glad to see you taking a step forward, and know that you can find the strength to make more steps forward as time passes.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Id like to point out i didnt get drunk last night i went out to sort my head out and talk to my friend about all this shit
i went down to this place to sort out this counseling thing
i refuse to go down the same road as my dad i refuse to end up like my dad i know ive hurt people but i cant hurt them any more
and i cant be helped by people unless i want to be help
yeah my heads been messed up but i know now i gotta sort this thing out
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
How did the conversation about counseling go? Do you feel a bit better having your friend’s perspective? I really commend you for taking this step, and I hope you realize what a huge step it is. Would you like to talk about how you’re feeling today, and where you think you’d like to go next with this?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
the conversation about the counseling with my friend or with the people at the counseling place thing? you lost me there
and yeah it did he gave me the slap in the face i needed he said that other people are hurting and are pissed off about my dad but im just hurting them even more and it just opened my eyes to what people are saying to me
i feel ok today you know not great but better than yesterday i know it sounds strange but i flet so good today to wake up and not feel like crap or really sick
i wanna get to know emily
i wanna get to know maddy again i know that also sounds strange but its like i dont know her any more
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
I think waking up and not being sick from alcohol is a great thing Harvey. It’s always a good feeling to wake up clearheaded, and I think now that you did so again you’re going to find it easier to do so again.

It doesn’t sound strange to want to get to know Maddy again. A lot has changed since she had Emily, and getting to know her again sounds like a great idea. And I’m glad to hear you want to get to know Emily. Why not plan some time for the three of you to be together? You and Maddy can have some time to talk through some things and how you’re feeling, and maybe you’ll want to try a game of peek-a-boo with Emily? Babies love that game. Also, with Maddy there, she can help you to become more comfortable with Emily, and that can be really empowering for you.

How are you feeling about maybe trying to set up another counseling appointment? Now that you spent a night without alcohol, I’m sure you can do it again – and that way you can wake up clearheaded and make it to the appointment. I really see a lot of positive steps in the right direction here Harvey, and hope you’re seeing that as positively as I am.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
It flet really good to go to work and be able to work rather than nurse a hang over all day
and this evening when i got in maddy showed me how to bath emily which was really ******* strange how can someone so little get so much happiness out of water and bubbles she squeeked lol
i know ive done a totall U-turn on how i was and i know its strange like how much my friend helped but he was blunt and straight to the point and didnt cotton wool stuff up
and yeah im alright about the counseling thing im not jumping through hoops to do it but ive got to
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
That's awesome! And yes, you'll find in the more time you spend with Emily that babies are really excited by the little things. Everything is new to them, and the world is a big place with a lot of things to discover. It's an amazing thing to see them interact with the world, and I think that's going to be helpful to you in finding ways to communicate more with her.

Doind little things like bathing her together and feeding her together are wonderful ways for you to become more comfortable with taking care of her, and in turn for her to become more comfortable with having you take care of her. And there's a lot of things like this that you can do together that will help you both become comfortable with one another. What other things do you think you'd like to do together that you can talk to Maddy about?

Counseling isn't often something people jump through hoops to do, it's a big step emotionally to decide it's what you need, let alone to make an appointment and to be there. But I definately see it as something that can be very helpful to you in helping you work through all of your feelings and as you become more comfortable working through anything else you're maybe not wanting to bring into the sessions right away.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I want to know how to like feed her...i sound stupid not like how maddy feeds her clearly not, but like the solid foods shes on i want be able to do that and change her i dont even know how to do that i dont even know how to change my daughters nappy which sounds really bad but i dont know how to do it and i want to like be in the same room as maddy and not feel awquard if we talk we talk if we dont we dont not that nasty silence
i feel like an arse hole i treated them badly so badly i looked at them today properly watched them and this is my family i dont have to make the same mistakes my dad i dont have to **** up my life like he did
but i feel like such a bum shes a little girl who gets excited by bubbles and likes watching the light on the tv change and likes being held and spoken to and loved and i treated her so badly im such a bastard [Frown]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Harvey, none of that makes you a bad person at all, really, it makes you human. And you know what else, she's just a baby - and babies are so forgiving. You're her dad, and that means a lot. And Maddy obviously cares about you too, and knows you're trying to change now - so let's work from there.

So maybe you didn't help with all of those things before, but you can now. And now is what matters. Someone that's never fed a little one or changed a little one doesn't just know how to do it, they learn. And that's what I'm hearing you say, you want to learn. Can you see how important that is by itself. And with Maddy there, you can learn. She's there and willing to help you learn, so work together. Next time Emily's ready to eat, or needs changed, let Maddy know that you want to do it but that you're going to need her help in that.

If the three of you are sitting together and you feel like the conversation's a little strained, why not ask something about Emily? It's a good conversation starter, and a great way to learn more. Or try singing her a song (twinkle twinkle little star's a good one). You can also ask Maddy how she's feeling, or a neutral question like how her day was.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i know... she smiled at me today so unfortunaly shes stuck with me...i tryed to feed her this evening maddy showed me how to do it but somehow i managed to get it every ******* where in hair in her eye all over her face all over my hands all down her bib how the bloody hell i managed to do that im not sure maddy made it look easy but seriously im surpised it wasnt up the walls
what do i ask about emily
im not trying to sound stupid but what do i ask about her she doesnt do alot she eats sleeps and craps and occasionaly does some other stuff inbertween
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
I think that's a pretty typical story of the first time feeding a little one for most people. And yes, it does look a lot easier than it is. You'll learn quickly enough, have faith in yourself. (If it helps to know, the first time I ever fed a baby I had a lot more on my clothes than made it into her mouth)

Ask about what songs she likes, or what book you might read to her. What her favorite toy is. Or simply filling the time by playing a game of peek-a-boo, though you may find yourself doing that for quite some time as babies tend to really like that game.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Ohhh, every thing seems so much easier today i dunno why i dunno if its because i dont have a hang over or because i spoke to my friend last night or...i dunno but every thing seems so much easier
its a good thing not a bad thing but its strange in a way but a good way [Smile]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
I think it's safe to assume it's a combination, but in any case, I'm glad you're finding things so much better today. [Smile]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I went to this counseling thing today it was weird im not sure yet whether it was a good weird or bad
i didnt go out drinking last night either which not only surpised maddy it surprised me aswell tonights hard though like really hard like AHHH!
being with emily is hard tonight aswell WHY does she cry every time Maddy isnt in the room and its not even a little half arsed cry she goes all out to get her point across that she isnt impressed [Frown]
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :
Hey Harvey, it's really awesome to hear that you've gone through another day sober! That's seriously an amazing feat. One of the things that they will tell you in AA meetings is if you can make it through your first 100 days sober, then you have a very high chance of staying sober for good. Slip-ups will happen, and that's really okay. We are all human, and we can experience times of high stress. One thing you may find by going to AA meetings or as you continue with counselling is that you can replace the desire to go out drinking by something else. Drinking is a coping mechanism, it's how you relax, unburden, or deal with the stresses of life. Everyone has different coping mechanisms, some healthier than others. Through counselling and/or AA meetings, you can find those healthier coping mechanisms and ways to feel really great about yourself. You can do it, you've already made it through two days and that's a seriously awesome milestone.

As for Emily crying, do you feel you get a little nervous and expect she'll cry when Maddy leaves the room? Babies are incredibly intuitive and can pick up on our emotions and behaviors, so remaining calm, keeping up a happy face when Maddy leaves the room may help Emily stay calm too. I'm not a parent, but I have a niece and nephew, and I know I get very nervous when I'm holding them or playing with them and their parents leave the room, like suddenly they're going to shatter at the slightest touch. They're not going to shatter, though, and if you keep them occupied, they won't even notice their parents left the room.

Good luck Harvey, and I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say that I'm really proud of you.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Urgh 2 days out of a 100 urrggghh what a piss take...sorry
2 days have sucked dick enough
i abousltly crapping myself when she leaves the room im really worried ill hurt her what if i squash that weird bit in her head and give her brain damage or like today she head butted my studs she didnt cry or any thing but she had little red patches on her head Ohhhh i hurt her i did that and im worried ill drop her or stand on her
so yeah i get a little bit nervous when she leaves the room ok maybe not a little bit maybe a big bit
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :
That anxiety you're experiencing when you're around Emily will get better with time. I know my brother was the same way when his daughter was first born. He was even afraid of us using the flash on our cameras because it might hurt her. After spending a lot of time around her and taking care of her during the day while his wife was at work, he got used to it and now he plays with her quite freely and happily. You have to remember that Emily isn't made of glass, you won't hurt her just by playing with her. If you're worried about the studs, you can take those off while you are playing with her. Another thing is if this anxiety is something you've had for a while, then you may want to bring it up at the next counselling session and see if the counsellor can teach you some techniques to calm yourself down when you start feeling that way.

[ 02-27-2009, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: orca ]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Harvey: How much time do you spend holding Emily while Maddy is in the room? If it’s not a good bit of time, I’d try working through that first. The more comfortable you become with Emily with someone there to reassure you that you’re doing everything correctly and that she’s happy in your arms, the more comfortable you will be when Maddy does leave the room.

And too, you can have a routine set up for something that will make you more comfortable when she is out of the room, that will ease Emily as well. For instance, babies respond to inflection and changed in voice. Making your voice into the “baby” voice where it’s a soft tone and asking something like “aww, what’s all that crying for” may catch her attention. Or if she has a favorite song you can hold her and rock her lightly and sing the song.

Like Orca said, babies aren’t made of glass. But yes, they are going to pick up on your discomfort, so maybe you and Maddy need to spend some more time with you becoming comfortable together before you’re going to be comfortable alone. And you can play with that. Remember she’s new to everything, and the world is a big and scary place, so she’s going to get a little nervous when the person she’s made the biggest connection with may not be right there. Keep working with her though, you’ll get there. And awesome news on another night sober! So glad to hear you’re keeping up on that and went to counseling. Remember too, counseling takes some time to get used to, but I think it will really be very helpful to you. Congratulations on another step forward.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
not alot
sometimes she wriggles to much and she nearly took my eye out last night i have a black eye going on where she flung this thing at me
although i do now know my daughter is bubble mad she got so excited by them she had to have a little sleep lol [Smile]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
A lot of the time she's going to be wiggling, that's another thing that babies just tend to do. They sleep a lot, and in turn have a whole lot of energy when they are awake. The more time you spend holding her, the more you'll get used to all of the movements she makes. How has the feeding gone since last time? Have you given that another try?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I tryed bottle feeding her again i thought it was gonna be easy maddy makes it look like a piece of piss but she kept pushing it out her mouth with her toung and then she had a coughing fit which scared the shit out of me [Frown]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Everything looks like a piece of cake when someone else is doing it rather than us. All of this takes time and a bit of practice. Just don't give up on it, and you'll get the method down as well as Maddy quickly enough.

I do think your continued effort really says a lot about how much you want to be there for her - and that's really the most important thing. She's going to be able to bond with you the more time you spend with her. And don't forget if you want some tips, you can always ask Maddy what works best for her when Emily does the same with her, because sometimes babies just want to play instead of eating.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
its hard though
it feels like im banging my head against a wall especaily when Maddy takes over and makes it look easy! not just easy really easy like she can do it in her sleep easy
and every time i tryed to get her to go to sleep she'd be asleep sort of and just like pop open her eyes again and stare at me and cry and then stare some more when maddy puts her to sleep shes asleep in minutes
and what is with the waking up all through the night she did it before but not this much i think shes against sleeping through the night
maybe she did do it as much but i was to fucked off my face to realise but what the jesus is with it why! does she keep waking up? maddy gave me this book thing to read about it but honestly i got to the second chapter and i nearly cryed it was so crap [Frown]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Babies are hard. That’s something that you just have to accept and continue to work through. Sometimes you want to cry because something doesn’t work just right, but the thing is – the times she makes you smile and laugh are worth so much more than the hard times.

I see you saying Maddy takes over, but that’s something that you really need to work on together, getting her to let some go and you to take a little more on. If every time she cries or something doesn’t work right away Maddy takes over for you, then Emily is going to associate the crying with mom taking over, then she’ll always cry for you because she knows mom will be there to take her right away. Make sense?

And yes, babies do wake a lot during the night. They have small bladders and bowels, and they get hungry easier. Consider this, if you went to the bathroom in the middle of the night ina diaper – would you sleep very well? She doesn’t either. And you’ll find the same is true about being hungry, how well do you sleep if you’re hungry? Since she’s on some solid foods, you may want to try that closer to bed so her tummy will be full with something that has a bit more substance than milk, then she won’t be hungry as quickly in the night.

I know it’s hard, and I think this is something you should really bring up in counseling – because I’m seeing you feeling very discouraged about this and that may be a way to get help with these feelings. Remember though, babies aren’t a lock in a door – so you can’t just use a key and get the desired result every time. It takes work, patience, and a lot of love. You’ll get there, but you need to remember to be patient with her and especially with yourself to do so.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
So when she cries she cries cause she knows Maddy will be there? huh
either im slow or you totally and uterly lost me there :S
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Not always, she'll cry when she's hungry, needs changed, and tired, and wants attention - all babies do. It's their way of communicating wants and needs. That's normal.

What I'm talking about here is a bit different. Association is when you know that when you do something, the same reaction will happen. So if every time Maddy leaves you in the room alone with her, and she begins to cry then Maddy comes and takes over, she knows that when she cries because mom left, mom will come right back. The same thing happens when you feed her. If when you give her a bottle and she playes a game of pushing it away with her tongue Maddy takes over, she'll learn that all she needs to do for mom to feed her is push the bottle away with her tongue while you're feeding her. Make sense?

If she lets you keep trying for a little while, Emily might come around to it. For instance, if she is pushing the bottle away and Maddy doesn't take over, she'll eventually realize that you're feeding her this time and she'll start to eat for you. And the same thing with her crying. When she's crying, Maddy needs to let you have a good chance at calming her down before coming and taking over, because if she gives in to taking over every time, then Emily will always cry anytime mom leaves (Which will make it very difficult for to to have any alone time with her, to have someone babysit, etc.). She has to become used to you, but Maddy has to let that happen too.

[ 02-28-2009, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]
Posted by shirrell (Member # 42276) on :
i think i kno how u feel mi little gurl will be 3 this year she's the joy of mi world but when she first was born it was so hard in i was only 16 but in i was doing everything bi miself her dad was no where to be find it was so hard going from school to work boy i'll tell u it ain't no i tell anyone thats not where they want to be in life is to wait.
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Hey, Harvey. I just wanted you to know that I'm back in town. Very badly jet-lagged, but back and will be getting back to my routine this afternoon. I'll leave Maddy a note, as well.

I've just caught up with all of this: it sounds like you've had some pretty major positive changes during the days I've been gone! How are you feeling?
Posted by Blue Griffin (Member # 42231) on :

Just now catching up on you and your progress with your daughter and with your self and for what it is worth wanted to give say I am proud of you for making the shift and the choices you've made to work through all this.

When I heard you went out drinking in reaction to all the stuff I figured you needed to go there to see and feel a bottom, sometimes we need to hit a wall, or see that we are going to hit a wall, before we turn around. I commend you for whatever you did to turn yourself around, also grateful that you had some friends who were able to support you to do what you need and want to do.

I can say from my own experience of dealing with drinking and with choices I've made to deal with my stuff that things are going to be hard, but not as hard as doing it alone.

I look forward to hearing about how amazing your daughter is and how great you are doing as a dad. I know you can do it.

Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
im tired im fed up my daughters getting on my nerves maddys getting on my nerves
emily crys maddy moans about every thing
i want to go out with my friends so badly i could cry so im not fine im crap but im surving
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Perhaps we should talk about why it is Maddy is unhappy, and how you two can better communicate and work on things?

Have you gone to any of that family counseling yet?

In terms of Emily, babies cry: it's how they communicate before they have language, and there is nothing to be done about that, honestly. It's just a matter, I think, of you recognizing that and recognizing that this is part of the choice you made.

[ 03-03-2009, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i dont know why maddy is unhappy she just moans about ******* every thing i dont know what she wants from me i have nothing left to give her if she wants the clothes of my back she can have them
and no i havent ive sorted it out for when im not at work
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Okay, so when you don't know what is making someone unhappy, then you need to ask them to tell you why.

You might say something like this, "Clearly, you are unhappy, but I need you to tell me the reasons why, even if you think I should already know. If I know why, then we might be able to work on it."

I would, though, not go to a place of martyrdom here. In other words, I'm sure Maddy has reasons to be unhappy. The mere fact that it sounds a lot like up until very recently, she's parented a kid you had half a part in making mostly without you, and that she'd tried to stay in a relationship with someone actively alcoholic are two HUGE things which are a LOT for one person to deal with, especially unsupported.

I also think you probably do know some of what she wants from you, and know it's likely not material, but about things like you taking more responsibility -- over time, consistently -- and becoming more invested in being an active adult member of your family. And personally? I do think you have these things in you and do have them left to give. I also think you'll feel a lot better about your relationship and yourself when you do.

Might you at least put some more effort into sorting out that family counseling this week? You CAN do that.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I am going on thursday im gonna go ive just had things ive had to sort out with other people i know that sounds like a really bad excuse but ive been busy at work and working again and if im really lucky working some more its not like i say ill do it and sitting on my arse and getting drunk ill do it ive gotta sort this shit out.
Im not stupid she crys and im not in her face but i ask her whats wrong and she tells me its nothing or changes the subject or just ignore me entirely i know i put so much shit on her over the last year with Emily and every thing
i dont wanna say i wanna help her cause i dont even know whats wrong! and i dont know what she wants me to do there proberly is a good reason why shes upset but i dont know what it is
shes stressing me out [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I think one thing that might be helpful with the dynamic you're describing is if, perhaps, you could ask her to write down her feelings for you. Obviously, verbal communication isn't working right now. You two might even consider buying a blank notebook so you can keep a shared journal for each other.

How about that?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Cause she stresses me out
im not gonna shout at her i refuse to shout at her i have no right to have ago at her cause shes stood by me and brought up my daughter
i have on right to judge her and im not if shes having a bad day, having a bad week, having a bad month who am i to judge but someone constanstly snapping at getting a huff on and refusing to do to even bother talking to me
ill try the note book thingy i will but it will get on my nerves i just want to go out!! [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I hope, Harvey, that you're comfortable enough with me at this point that I can be honest with you and talk with you the way I'd talk to a friend voicing what you are.

I hear that you just want to go out with your mates and get plastered. But what I KNOW is that the life you chose -- you chose to have sex with Maddy, after all, she didn't get pregnant by herself, and you chose to agree to co-parent with her and live with her -- is one that doesn't leave room for that save every now and then. And in order for you to feel better about all of this, you're going to have to make some other choices about doing things that will support you in this life.

Saying that using a tool like a notebook so you can communicate will "get on your nerves" sounds -- I have to say -- pretty juvenile to me. You're both parents now, so you both have a lot of growing up to do and fast. If you are unhappy -- and of course you are -- with the lousy dynamics in your home, you have to take actions to change them. Whining about them, or talking about how annoying being proactive is is nonproductive and doesn't help you grow into the space you need to.

So, yes, someone who is being an uncommunicative as you is not going to leave you feeling good and IS going to be frustrating. But if I understand right, Maddy DID go to the family counseling we started to help you arrange, and you opted out. Maddy IS still being the full-time parent, and you still are only opting in when you want to. Maddy HAS been willing to stand by you, even with the alcoholism, and probably will be willing to try things like the notebook and give it a real chance. Okay?

Yes, this is going to stress you out. Life is stressful, though, and becoming a real adult is stressful. And I totally get how hard it can be -- I've been there myself -- to feel like you've had to grow up faster than others. But when you stop resisting it so much, or sticking in a down-in-the-dumps place about not being able to act like a kid anymore, it usually becomes a LOT less stressful. Do you know what I mean?

[ 03-03-2009, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah i get what you say
do i like what you say...nop not really
is it true...yeah
yeah i wanted to **** off in a strop but i gotta stop acting like a kid throwing a fit when things dont go my way
as much as i wanna sit here and say your wrong your right
i spend to much time moaning about what wrong rather than doing any thing about it
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
...and seriously? You WILL feel a lot better when you can just let go of an attachment to the way things have been and get invested in living the life that you DO have as best you can.

I can absolutely, positively promise you that.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Im sorry for being an absoulute ******* arse hole
im going out but before the hole world jumps to the conclusion im going to get drunk im not im gonna sort my ******* head out
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I don't feel like you've been that to me. I feel like you've just been voicing how you feel, and that's okay.

I also think you need to give us a bit of faith here: we're not likely to jump to the conclusions you think. [Smile]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i went to the counseling family thing
for some reason it was awful
really crap
im not gonna chip out on it just like that but WHOA
i nearly cryed...which was brave of me to do so [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I agree, it WAS brave of you. It was also brave of you to go, and while you don't know me so it may not bear a lot of weight, I'm seriously proud of you for going.

Often with a new therapist, you need to give it a few sessions to get to the better stuff and also to see if a given therapist is a good fit for you. If you're using NHS, mind, you may not have a lot of choice in who you see, but all the same, I'd still go a few more times before drawing any big conclusions.

Again? Good for your, Harvey, and good for you for doing something challenging in the best interest of yourself and your family.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
i just couldnt hack it
im not gonna go to just one and then cry about it and not go to any more cause thats gonna help no one
it was proper tough i dont cry and i nearly cryed
but ill go to the other ones cause its gotta be done
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Harvey: Counseling is a very difficult and also a very emotional thing. I am so glad that you went, and it is a very brave thing to do. I also want to say that I see you mentioning you don't cry, do you mean that you just tend not to be someone that cries a lot or is this more with the way you were brought up? Sometimes it helps just to remember that crying is okay - it means that we're really facing a lot and coming to terms with a lot.

I really see a big turn from where you were, and this is one more huge step on the road to where you're expressing wanting to be, so continue to hold that faith in yourself because you've already come so far and are doing so well with working through everything already.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
my dad and my brother where always like boys dont cry when i was a kid but i dont really cry alot any way
i get upset yeah but i dont really cry
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Just so you realize, a lot of boys and men alike do cry, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a way of dealing with emotions, and it's a healthy way of dealing with them. There's nothing wrong with crying, and there's nothing wrong with not crying. It's about what any one person needs at any time.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
dont get me wrong im not emotionaly bunged up and holding back years or tears i cry when like theres something to cry about but i honestly dont see the point in wasting the engery on crying all the time! i dunno whether that makes me right or wrong
i looked after emily on my own today and she didnt cry! yeah im a little bit proud of myself [Big Grin]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Doesn't make you wrong at all, and we cry when we feel we need it - totally normal. Awesome news about staying with Emily today! Sounds like you're really forming that bond with her, and that's so cool to hear. It's also a very big thing for you to be able to say to yourself, and it shows how much work you're put into forming that bond with her. So proud of you and so glad you shared that with us!
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
Ahh i dunno whether...its because ive been such a shitty person for the past year or because no one in genral trusts me
but why why WHY is it that today when my mum, my sister and my cousin where round which is fine and nice woo go family! but the minute it comes to emily they go all freaky and talk to me as if i dont understand my own name
im not being all high and mighty because they proberly do know more than me when it comes to emily but how am i meant to learn when my family is on my back watching every mistake i make!
My mum doesnt want me doing counseling either not even a little doesnt want me to do it she full on warned me away from it giving me grief from all angles about telling me i have my family to talk to why do i need that
i wouldnt want to do any thing to hurt my mum i know i sounds stupid but i hide shit from my mum, like how i feel because she dont need any more heaped on her. and she seems so disappointed and upset that i even thought about counseling. i know in myself its something i gotta do. but i gotta look after my mum aswell i feel torn
i just dont know what to do?
i know i should know but i dont and i know im ramberling but i dont know what to do [Frown]
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Can I ask where you think your mother has gotten her ideas about counseling? In other words, is she a pretty educated person? Do you feel like they are ideas based on a good amount on unbiased information, or -- as I suspect -- they are more about feelings she may have about it related to your father?

Did your mother ever do any counseling of her own?

One of the biggest deals about the transition from childhood to adulthood is differentiating ourselves from our parents, especially when parents are unsupportive of those differentiations. I'm willing to bet that over time, as your mother both recognizes you as a separate adult, and sees what positives counseling can do for you and your family, her opinions may well change.

But for now, you certainly can set limits for her that you need, and in a kind way. A response like, "I understand that you don't like the idea of counseling, but I feel it is one thing which can help myself and my family right now, and it is something I am going to do. I'd like your support, but if you can't extend that to me, please at least respect my feelings as different from yours and keep your opinions about it to yourself for now."

In terms of how she is talking to you about Emily, parents will tend to do that, just because they have been parents before, and often feel a need to be experts. She may be trying to be helpful in her way -- even though it's clearly stressing you out -- and may also be figuring as a young parent, you need even more help.

But here is another area where you get to set limits and boundaries, which I'm guessing, from what I know about your upbringing, probably isn't something people in your family were good at, and you likely did not learn. But you get to get good at that, and it's really important for people to have them in any healthy relationship.

So, here, too, you can say something like, "I understand you are probably trying to help me, but we need to find a way for you to do that where I don't feel suffocated and patronized. I also need you to recognize that I am going to, and want to, learn some of this on my own, and Maddy and myself are also going to develop our own parenting style, like you did yours."
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
its more to do with my dad
she did some sort of counseling but i dont know what.
my mum aint stupid just i dunno...scared i guess i know that does sound like what! scared of what shes a grown woman but i dont know my brohers at uni my sisters only a kid and if things go wrong im the person she turns to, shes vulnerable... she has to get of my back cause i cant hack my mum telling me what to do all the time...but ive always looked after my mum even when i was i kid like 15 ive always looked after my mum
but im scared im genuiely scared that if i tell my mum i need my own space i need to be me!
that she'll take it the wrong way
i know shes my mum and hses older enough to look after her self
i get to the point where i want to scream Emilys my daughter not hers [Frown]
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Something you can do is try sitting down with her in a neutral environment and talk calmly with her about your feelings. For instance, it’s difficult for a parent to step back and let their kids take over, but at some point we all have to ask for that bit of space to do just that. But it’s all in the way that you say it. It helps to make the words softer by saying how you know how much she’s done for you, but that you really feel like it’s time for you to step up as a father for your daughter. Remind her that you know there’s a lot left for you to learn, but that you’re working hard to learn how to take care of Emily, and you feel like you can start to take on more responsibility for her, and you know your mom is always there if and when you need her, and you know how to reach her.

Also, just because she may not have had a positive experience with counseling doesn’t mean that this can’t be a positive thing for you, and letting her know that may help this all along as well. Let her know that this is something that you and Maddy are doing together, and that you’re both on board with trying this as a way to open the lines of communication. Because remember that you’re going through this together so that you can help one another to get where you want to be in this relationship, and to help you begin communicating openly again, so it’s different than just a one-to-one counseling session. And too, we all want to take care of our parents sometimes, but remember that we have to take care of ourselves and our needs too.
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Well, I can think of some things she might be scared of.

If she associates counseling with your father's suicide, that's one. She might also be scared that you will be talking with a counselor about her flaws and mistakes: people tend to worry about that and feel very insecure about it. She may worry you may find there are ways she could have been a better parent, or find out you need a different dynamic with her now. She may worry -- weird as it sounds -- that you may wind up happier, with a better life than she has.

Screaming isn't sound, and that is hurtful. Setting boundaries like this is not, and it really is important, even in terms of your and your Mom learning to have a healthier relationship. In other words, setting boundaries supports people loving each other well.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
im not going to do what my dad did i got my problems but i gotta sort them out i wouldnt shout at her i wouldnt kick off im not my dad
even thinking about my mum today i realised alot of stuff
i refused I REFUSE! to do to my daughter what my parents did to me
it does annoy me so much...i respect my mother and i love but i brought my kid sister up i was there for her and my mum tells me how to look after emily
i know shes trying to help but she annoys me and i say that in the nicest possible way but she annoys me
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
It is a very frustrating thing when someone is trying to tell us how to do something we’re working so hard to do ourselves – especially something like taking care of a child. And really you’ve worked so hard to learn how to do everything, and have come such a long way in that. The progress was shown with your taking care of her on your own and how she responded so well to you in that. And while I had never met your father, I can tell you what you’ve described of him is not what I think of at all when I see your replies. Look at everything you’ve done and how hard you’ve worked to bond with your little girl, you’re there and wanting to learn to care for her and how to do so on your own – you’re doing everything you can to be there for her and to meet her needs. You’re not your parents, your yourself and that's a different person, and you know who you want to be and are working towards getting there in full. Do you think wanting to care for Emily and learn to do so in your way is something you could talk with her about?
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
my mum says im just a kid myself which i understand will try and talk to her again about it but she will more than likely give me the big lecture about being so young and that how will i know how to be a parent when im little more than a child myself
then she expects me to get out of bed at 3 in the morning because somethings fucked up! urgh she pisses me off
but i will try and talk to her because if i dont ill be going round in circles but i do feel like im banging my head against a wall with her
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
You could point out that yes, you are young, but that you ARE a parent. That simply IS. It is not a question or a maybe: you are, already.

You could also invite her to do things with or for you, if she really wants to help, that actually ARE helpful. For instance, perhaps she could help you find a parenting class for you and Maddy, and support you two in that.

Some of this may also be coming out of her own guilt: after all, chances are good you weren't prepared very much by your family for avoiding pregnancy at a young age. She may feel somewhat responsible for you being a parent now.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
what! whaat
maddy getting pregnant didnt have any thing to do with my mum
how...what...what what?
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
Step into a parent's mind with me for a minute, okay?

When a teenager gets pregnant -- or gets someone pregnant -- a parent is going to tend to think about how that happened, and what they did or did not do to prevent it. So, if a parent didn't talk to their teen a lot about birth control and safer sex, about sex in general, about life goals and what can get in the way of them, about sound pacing for all of this they are -- validly -- going to feel somewhat responsible because what our parents do to help protect us from this stuff IS an issue, and very much CAN have a big influence.

Now, if your Mom did all this kind of stuff with you, gave you this kind of support or information, and you just ignored her or did the opposite, then she's likely to be able to know a bit better that while she would not have wanted this for you so soon, she did all she could, and will feel a bit better knowing that.

But if not, then she is going to tend to feel some responsibility, because as your parent -- who is supposed to help with these things -- she does bear some.

I'm sure that when Emily is a teenager, you're going to get this a lot more, but you might even get it already. If something bad or unwanted happened to Emily, and you didn't do anything or what you think you could have, to prevent that, you'd feel guilty and somewhat responsible.

[ 03-06-2009, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
ohh i understand now
maybe..i dont know ive got shit i gotta think about
i know things have got to change because shes making things harder than they should be
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I agree, if that's the case. So, I'd suggest trying to have a calm talk with her where you compassionately lay down some boundaries.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
so i told my mum i was nice didnt shout didnt snap at her. i explained to her about every thing
firstly she cried and babbled about things that i wasnt even talking about
then she guilt tripped me by saying i didnt want her to be apart of my life then she guilt tripped m even more talking about my dad then she guilt tripped a little bit more just incase i wasnt feeling bad enough by telling me that she must of been such a bad parent if im so fucked up that i have to go into counseling
then then THEN just in case i wasnt depressed enough after seeing my mum she told my entire family that i do counseling not just my sister my entire family my auntys and uncles and cousins saying ill go the same way as my father
my mum just didnt stop
its like she doesnt want me to be happy
its like she wants me to do what my dad did
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Harvey, I’m so sorry that she reacted the way that she did. I know that you have a lot on your mind right now already, and her reacting to your conversation in the way that she did certainly added a lot more to an already full plate. Obviously her telling your family about counseling was very unfair to you, especially since you’re trying to get the help you deserve and counseling is supposed to be a positive thing. I think for right now it might be a good thing to let her have a little bit of time to cool off.

It’s understandable that she’s worried about you, but you really are not your father, and it may take her some time to be able to realize that. In the meantime, you have Maddy and Emily, you are doing so well with Emily, and really making some progress with forming those bonds with Maddy again. And in time, you can try talking to her about how you really do want her to be a part of your life, and that you feel to do so in a healthy way she needs to realize that you’re not your father, and that you’re really trying to be a good father to your little girl, and that’s why you have to need to learn to do things on your own, so that you are being there for Emily and her needs as her father – as a dad. And hopefully in time she’ll understand and you’ll be able to help her make the connection that you’re in counseling to help yourself, not because she did something wrong.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
I am just getting to the point of why the **** do i bother. my mum clearly see's me a **** up and a child my family have no problem stabbing me in the back.
she says all this nasty shit to me and about me and the next day expect me to turn around and act like she never said it then she kicks of all over again when she brings up counseling WHAT DID SHE EXPECT!
she does to me what she did to my dad. but im not married to her im not her husband i dont need to hear every day about what she did or what went wrong or whats shes going to do i moved out to get away from it and i still get it!
And this morning she called my baby fat!! she called my beautiful baby fat! which went down well with maddy1 what is she trying to do? shes just ******* my life up even more and my daughter is not fat!
i cant take her bullshit on top of every thing else shes ment to be my mum i say ment cause she was never really a mum its just me she takes it on golden boy could never do any thing wrong even if he tryed and neither could my sister i dont want all this shit heaped on me i cant handle all this shit i go to the counseling i feel guilty to my mum i dont go i feel guilty i feel guilty to maddy emily im only one person i cant please ******* every one!
Posted by Heather (Member # 3) on :
I just want to note that the way you're expressing your anger here is a healthy way to do it, so kudos to you.

I think how you're feeling is totally justified.

It certainly sounds like there has been a lot of grief, conflict and dysfunction in your family, and that's always tough to deal with, even once you leave home and have your own adult life. It also sounds to me like you're starting to recognize some of the family patterns and approaches that were not helpful to you.

Again, you do get to draw lines and have boundaries you need. Some of those boundaries can also include things like how often she comes over, calling first, etc. It's up to you.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
and when she turns up at my flat and when she calls not only do i have my mum in one ear going on and on and on i have my sister that has to have her say
its like a loosing battle
ill just sit on my arse and smoke weed and drink cause thats clearly what she wants me to do
its not a real suprise that my mum isnt surportive
but the fact that she wont back or if i tell her to back of she wont piss off in a nice way
she never gave about me my brother or my sister when we where little
why does she suddenly care now?
just seems to be ******* the rest of my life up
she wants me to spend the rest of my life in a depressive drugged up drunk state yeah thanks mum!
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
You’re right, you can’t please everyone all of the time. I know sometimes we all wish that we could, but we just can’t. As well, you’ll often find that everyone in your family wants to have a say, because so often everyone thinks they know what’s best. But I think that right now it has to be about you meeting your needs, and making sure you’re taking care of yourself. And you know that Who you are now and what you want to accomplish certainly doesn’t involve drugs or drinking. Right now, I think the best thing for you to do is try working with those boundaries Heather mentioned above, remembering that you have to take everything with a grain of salt. You know that your mother is upset right now, so don’t let what she has said bother you. You’re doing what you feel is right for your little girl and for your partner, that’s a good place to focus on.

And too, I think Heather really made a good point about how your mother is feeling. No, she’s not reacting in a positive way by any means, but at the same time she is probably feeling a lot to blame for things you’ve been through and are going through now. And I think in her own hurt, she’s hurting you without really noticing how much it is hurting you. But don’t forget your own mission in all of this. Follow what you think is right for your good and the good of your partner and daughter, look to Maddy for support and Emily for the smiles (because I’m sure when she smiles and giggles you get that great feeling inside) and continue to do what you feel you need and want to for yourself and them.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah she is amazing ive never noticed all these things she does and what makes her laugh and what doesnt i try and block out what my mum says i still have to go to work i still have to get on with the rest of the day but it really hurts because thats my mum i dont break down in tears about it but it does hurt what she says
but ill live
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
It does hurt, especially coming from your mom or any family member. But I think right now focusing on the good rather than on the bad will help you to get through this as tough as it is. Like focusing on continuing that bond you've started to form again with Maddy, and focusing on Emily. Your mother's opinions and words aside, do you feel that counseling is something positive right now? Because it seems to me that while it is very difficult, it's something that is really giving you a lot of support with working through everything, and that's something you can keep in mind as well. That what you're doing, you are doing for the good of the family you and Maddy are with Emily - and that's the most important thing right now.
Posted by Harvey_1990 (Member # 42222) on :
yeah i think it is the first time i went i thought it was shit but last time i went it was better i thought the guy was a nob but now i dont
i dont want my daughter growing up seeing me drunk like i did my dad and my mum wasnt a great role model and has never helped me through any shit ive had to deal with
and the counseling does help even now ive started to see things in a different way
Posted by Stephanie_1 (Member # 36725) on :
Then I think that where you want to keep focusing on. If counseling is a positive experience, and it's something you feel can really help you, then it's something you should do for yourself. You deserve to have that positive in your life, you deserve to get help and you're reaching out your hand asking for that help - so as difficult as it may be to go through with this when your mother is being anything but supportive, I think it's something that you should keep on board with. And know that there's people there for you, wanting to see you succeed in everything. Maddy and Emily are there and want to see you succeed, and all of us here want that for you as well. Yes it's difficult, but you do have people that care that want to help you succeed and are cheering you on.

[ 03-08-2009, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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