Anyone in the same boat?

by on November 26, 2010

in Stories

I am a male only child and at forty years of age can look back on my life and say it has played a part in at least ninety percent of it. I was married very young had two beautiful daughters but sadly the marriage was rocky, mostly my fault, I left and the work I was in took me to another country. I kept in constant contact with the kids and between my traveling back and they coming over we are very close, but I have an overpowering feeling of guilt at having left them. The girl I’m with now is the love of my life, we tried to have kids but to no success, this is affecting me more than her. My want of children and thinking that without them it cant be a home has threatened our relationship.

I can relate to most of your e-mails as I to have the numbing feeling of loneliness even with the person you love that you could never explain to her, that horrible feeling of envy at other peoples families that you shouldn’t feel, the lack of confidence, the making up of stories of your childhood to try to fit the norm, Ive had three fits of depression that I can attribute to it, even dreading Christmas and other family occasions cause you don’t feel you deserve to celebrate them, there is also the fear of the future that hard to shake, but if you ask other people they would not believe all this about me they think I’m just a normal guy and I usually am but it all seems to be coming to a head, I would love to hear from other people in the same boat and find is there a way to turn all this bad energy around to make it work for you.

  • anon

    I relate closely with this post. I'm due to turn 30 this year, I'm an only child female with no children of my own as of yet?? I've only recently become aware of my loneliness as an only child in the past two years following a break up from my fiancé of 7 years. This may sound silly and believe what you may but it shocked me. I went to see a medium to seek guidance at a very low point in my life when I didn't have anyone else to turn to. During this session he mentioned a little boy was standing nearby but stopped at that. He then appeared to be arguing with someone over weather or not to tell me something. In the end I asked him to be honest and he was. He warned me what he was about to say could upset my life but I asked him to go on, thinking he can't make grand accusations if they are not true or can he?? He went on to ask if I had ever given birth to a baby that was still born or if I had ever had a termination. I said no, he then said well this little boy is your brother then. I instantly starting crying as I've been on my own so long and the through of having someone was great, till I realised he wasn't alive and the conversation was past tense. I went home that evening to my grandmother who I was living with at the time and questioned her about this, turns out that some time before I was born my mother fell pregnant with someone elses child -whilst she was still with my dad and had the pregnancy terminated. I felt so lost and resentful that all the years on my own as a child with no one to play with all came flooding back..

    Since then I have noticed little things when people mention “oh me and my sister/Brother are doing or have done this” and I feel really left out like I have missed out on a whole lot of life. I also now can make sense of the years of how hard i found it to make and keep friends, still to this day my friendships don't last for some reason. I have to work very hard to make my own relationship with my boyfriend work as well. I question if the insecurities that I have now are from the fact I no one to talk to and play with when little, if I had would I interact more easily?? I've only got my grandmother for family as such as my parents drink too much to stay in contact with them, so one side of my family is off limits not that we were ever that close anyway.

    I'm really trying to find out how I can deal with these feelings now as I move on through my life, 30 years old almost seems late to be feeling these strange ways. I feel lost and alone and jealous when I see the bonds that some people have, knowing I'm never going to have that. Most of my friends from school all grew up to have kids of their own and make a family even I have started to think this but I'm scared as to what I can offer a child/children as I'd not have an only one. my family structure isn't perfect if any and I don't know what I can give to that child other than love and affection, but what if my problems rub off on them??

    • Em

      Hi Anon, 
      I have had similar experiences but on the other side of the world. I was lucky to share some childhood experiences with my cousin who is also an only child but my family and I moved to a different country when I was ten years old. I was never one of those kids that didn’t want to share and always shared whatever I could afford with family and friends.Now I am at a similar age as yourself and finding it harder to catch up with my friends as the years go on. My friends all have different priorities – children, pregnancy, husband/boyfriend/partner, renovations and their siblings. It is also getting harder to make friends even when I was studying post-graduate course at university, most of the other students were older and had many priorities. Even when I was at a simple dog training with other dog owners, they had different priorities. Everyone my age appears to be extremely busy with their children, pregnancy, husband/boyfriend/partner, renovations and their siblings. To make things worse, my partner works away a month at a time, and I recently moved into his house which is an hour drive from my parents. I am beginning to wonder that maybe it’s my Asian physical appearance with a western upbringing that is hard to make friends with other Asians and also westerners; However, I should not think negatively and get so down in the dumps. I should keep joining different social groups to make friends. A few months ago, I saw on a television program that an adult person can adopt a parent and a senior person can adopt an adult child. I wonder if I can adopt a sister…that would be wonderful to be able to share again :)


  • Lara Jones

    Depression is common in people with siblings too. Difficult upbringings are common to only children and children with siblings. Try being honest about your feelings and you may discover all kinds of people from various backgrounds share your experience. Your upbringing did contribute to your depression and I’m sure too the ‘only’ aspect of it but that is not the whole story. Your parents may not have encouraged emotional honesty or not cared for you adequately but this may have been visited on you and your siblings had you had any. You will have to negotiate this difficulty alone (siblings may have helped or hinderd this) but professional help is key. Embrace the loving family you have now and recognise you are in fact no longer out in the cold.

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