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keobooks's avatar

Did your parents ever make you think that you were unwanted?

Asked by keobooks (12638 points ) February 3rd, 2014

I have this friend with a son three weeks younger than my daughter. I know she loves her son, but she CONSTANTLY mentions that she and her husband were planning to be child free. It was one of the first things she ever said to my husband and I when we met. Seriously… the fact that she never wanted kids was the third or fourth sentence out of her mouth.

She is always bringing this fact up and talking about how she tried to keep her pregnancy secret because it was so depressing and horrible for her. I can’t think of a time we’ve gotten together that she hasn’t mentioned it.

Yesterday, she posted that “Four years ago, I couldn’t enjoy the Super Bowl because of a terrible personal tragedy.. and I still can’t enjoy it today..” She didn’t say what it was, but I knew pretty darned quick that she was talking about finding out she was pregnant.

She probably thinks this is OK to talk about because her son is only three, but I think she’s going to keep talking about it and he’s going to understand pretty soon.

I just wondered if anyone else ever felt unwanted by their parents. How did they do it? How do you think it affected you long term?

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32 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

I was unwanted, unplanned and pretty much jacked up my mom and dad’s life.

For me, I felt love from my mom and the rest of my family, so it wasn’t a huge issue. When I got older and started realizing the extent of my mother’s experience with my father and all the negativity she had to deal with, I felt horrible. She also told me once that she wished I’d never been born, and it was very hurtful.

To this day, there is still distance between us that may never heal, and I definately have trust issues with other people as well. As my niece put it, if you can’t trust your parents, the people who are supposed to love you no matter what, then who can you trust with your heart.

As far as your friend goes, I think it’s horrible of her to continue saying things like that. If she can’t love her child and get over the resentment, she needs to let someone else have him and love him appropriately before she does damage to him. I don’t have kids and don’t choose to, but if an accident happened, I’d raise that child with all the love I’m capable of. She may need some therapy or something.

anniereborn's avatar

Thankfully that was not one of the problems of my childhood. I was very much planned and wanted. What your friend is doing is horrific and terribly damaging.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

Only when they told me they wished I had never been born.

cookieman's avatar

My mother told me when I was fourteen that “The problem is you. You should never have been born.”

Does that count?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Not that I ever remembered.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cookieman I’d say yes to that. It’s hard for me to fathom any parent thinking that’s okay.

keobooks's avatar

This is another thing she wrote:

This time four years ago I could care less about the Super Bowl. Not simply because I don’t care for the mass media of sports, but because I had a far bigger problem on my mind…

Today that feeling was thrown in my face, as so many do on a daily basis. Some are malicious as to do so purposely, while the rest inadvertently by projecting their perspective upon my person.

Please think before you speak. Not just of yourself, but of others too. What you say flippantly today may be reflected and replayed repeatedly in the years to come. You can never truly know the noise of your part in someone else’s soundtrack of life.

There is a saying that it is easier to build a strong child than repair a broken adult. This is so very true, but I find that it is good to be considerate to people of all ages. After all, you never know which adults are truly free of their broken childhood.

*************

She’s mad most likely because other people are as sick as I am of hearing about how she never wanted kids but had one anyway but they TOLD her about it. Basically, she thinks that she was damaged as a kid and it gives her the right to talk about not wanting her son ad nauseum.

Sorry to go off track on my own post, but if she didn’t have a son my daughters age, and she didn’t live across the street, I’d give her a piece of my mind right now.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My parents didn’t say much about it, but I grew up knowing that they wanted a boy. I was their last-ditch effort, but turned out to be their third girl. I always knew that even though they certainly didn’t harp on it, or mention it. It did make me feel unwanted. I don’t think adults have any idea how that kind of knowledge affects children. But as an adult, I mentioned it once, and dad was emphatic at saying that yes, he would have liked a boy, but it wasn’t as big a deal to him and I always thought. Wish I would have known that sooner.

keobooks's avatar

Yes, I think I am sensitive to this because my mom told me she considered suicide when she found out she was pregnant with me. She only told me once or twice, but it was enough to really damage our relationship. No matter how well you mean, it’s probably best not to tell the kids they were the wrong gender or came at the wrong time or weren’t wanted.

Nobody needs to know that about themselves.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

I always felt – especially after my parents got involved in their holy-roller, super-strict fundamentalist religion – that I was unwanted, particularly so by my mother. I have a box of old family photos from when I was a kid and the ones of me with my father probably outnumber the ones of me with my mother by something like 20 – 1….there just aren’t that many! I really don’t think my mother was all that much into parenting and looked upon it as one of those things you had to do if you were married. Then, after religion entered the picture, it got even worse.

What’s really strange though is that after my father died, my mother and I actually became closer (I was in my mid-30’s at the time) and it seemed like there were times when she was actually trying to make up for when I was younger and began to recognize I was actually an individual, a person with feelings and not just another sinner who could be brought into the fold of the church’s peculiar form of godliness. Perhaps, had she lived longer, we could have come to a better understanding of each other, but she only lived about 4½ years after my father died.

All things considered, and in retrospect, I think that’s probably why I never really wanted any kids of my own – with the upbringing I had, I would have made a truly shitty parent!! I really had nothing to look back upon and guide me. Now that I’m a helluva lot older, I could probably do a decent job of it, but at my age while it’s not something that would be out of the question, I’d have to wonder if I’d live long enough to see the kid graduate from high school and if I did – would I even know what was going on?

Pandora's avatar

Yes my mom. But she didn’t start that nonsense till we were in our teens and she was going through severe menopause.
Honestly, if it was my neighbor and it happened more than once, I would inform her that there is no hard and fast rule about keeping your kid. You can give them up for adoption. And let her know it is kinder to do it while the child is young and can learn what it means to be loved and to love someone back. And then suggest she get her tubes tied.

There is also closed adoptions. I’m sure there are plenty of infertile parents who would love to be blessed with a child. At the very least she may realize how she sounds like such a douche bag. I can see saying it as a joke once in a while. I would joke like that when the kids where little but no one who knew us took me serious. If anything, most people thought I was too attached.

rojo's avatar

No, mine never did. Although dad was pretty distant, what he did for us he did to the best of his abilities. From what I remember of my grandfather & grandmother, his own family was rather standoffish; stiff upper lip and all that. Not very emotional or physical. I tried to do different with my kids but even now I feel emotionally detached.

Found out in my teens, after doing the math, that my mom seems to have actually only had a seven month gestation period with me instead of the full nine.

Odd.

Blondesjon's avatar

My parents booted me when I was fifteen. My father told my mother to choose between him or me. Mom had two other kids to raise and no job skills. I ended up on my own.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Not me. I’m the baby and my mom knew I was her last kid, so I was cherished and spoiled. I had awesome parents. They have issues now, especially my mom.

I think my sister felt unwanted a lot growing up, and that may be why she’s so screwed up now. I remember watching a home video of me at the age of three singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in front of the camera and my sister, who is eight years older than me, was trying to sing along with me so she could be in the video. Next thing you know my mom is yelling, “Jen, hush!” I’m not sure why she couldn’t sing with me…

My sister was born when my mom was 17 and dating a much older, controlling man. That relationship ended in a divorce and a lot of bad feelings. Her relationship with my father wasn’t much better, though, so I’m not sure if that has anything to do with why she treated me better. Even now, my mom and step-father say, “One out of three ain’t bad” (referring to me, my sister, and my currently incarcerated step-brother). They think I’m the only one that’s got my head on straight, and they’re right.

My mom will deny it, but I was always the favorite when we were kids. Now, even though they say I’m the only good one, she thinks I’m selfish and have no compassion for others, and she doesn’t hesitate to tell me so. Oy, family drama.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

No,but sure made a lot of noise that raising kids wasn’t a whole lot of fun,when I turned an adult and got married really knew that I did not want children and was super blessed to find a wife that wanted the same thing.

JLeslie's avatar

Never. In fact I once overheard my mom talking to people on the block and they were all saying how they missed their college days, and that was the best time in their life and my mom said, “I love having my children. Having little kids was my favorite time in my life.” I recommend saying that in front of your kids one day when they think you don’t know they can hear. Gave me a very happy feeling when I was little.

I have friends who complain about their children, honest complaints, but none of them make me feel like they didn’t want their child. Even my friend who who got pregnant 12 years after her first child, who was never planning another child, who is college educated and still didn’t go to the doctor until her fourth month, because she was in denial, and then after her baby was born told her husband maybe they should give the baby away. Even she, after the small stint with post pardum, has never made me feel like she wasn’t thrilled with her daughter overall.

However, my SIL always made me feel like being a mother cramped her style. I think her children felt it to by things they did and said. Hers was not as blatant as your friend, but it was there. Her first born was very wanted, but it was after she accidently became pregnant and then miscarried twice and then had to go through some fertility stuff to get pregnant. If she had never become accidently pregnant I wonder if she ever would have tried to get pregnant. Her second child was an accident and she was freaked out and not happy at all to be pregnant. She’s an ok mom though, it is obvious she loves her children, but I still feel like she wants her life. Her life. Her life free from any obligation to anyone.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Blondesjon My parents booted me when I was fifteen.
How did they not end up in hot water with the authorities? The law as I understand it, at least in California, you can’t just bounce a minor out onto the street and not lose your other children too, or end up in jail.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central My guess is that it wasn’t reported. An automatic alert isn’t sent to the nearest police station when you do something wrong. Kids leave home young more than you might think.

talljasperman's avatar

I was made aware that I was kept around for the $2000 child tax credit.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central . . . It was 1986. I never stopped going to school. I had a couple of friends with understanding parents that I crashed with and I didn’t really want to go back home where I was not wanted.

janbb's avatar

My Mom used to say that I was an accident after two boys who were two years apart but when I was born a girl, she was happy.

Blondesjon's avatar

^^ we’re all kinda glad it happened too . . .

janbb's avatar

@Blondesjon You mean you wouldn’t have wanted me if I were a boy?

Blondesjon's avatar

@janbb . . . meh. you would have been @jonbb and, I don’t know, that just doesn’t seem right.

cookieman's avatar

So what we’re learning from this thread is that a lot of parents suck.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Sometimes when I have conflict with my parents, I always have the feeling they don’t need me anymore. Right now I’m old enough to control myself. Back to my younger time I even had a plan to escape and live alone forever.
Oh well, generation gap. It is a common issue.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@cookieman and that surprises you? Most people really shouldn’t be parents, they either fall into it by not playing safe,or are under a delusion that it is all picnics in fields of flowers and are shocked when they find out that it is hard work and tons of sacrifices ,for some it is the biggest blessing for others it is a curse,my wfe and I chose not to be parents and love that choice with no regrets.
I wish people would realize that parenting is not for everyone and it is a choice, but remember if one does make that choice than be ready to commit 100% to it ,it’s a job you can not quit if you don’t like it.

keobooks's avatar

I’m just curious. I always knew I wanted to be a parent. My husband didn’t want kids (we got together anyway, because I was told having kids was physically not an option for me) but as soon as I got pregnant, he changed his mind. We both love being parents.

But I wonder how many people might think they’d like being a parent and then find out they don’t like it at all. Maybe people just don’t think it through before they become parents.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@keobooks I think most do not, as I said they fall into it by accident or are under a delusion that it is all fun and games, not realizing it is hard work and sacrifice .
My wife and I thought about it very carefully and decided it wasn’t for us,and that was over 25years ago and our life has been great together.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks I remember many years ago some study said that almost 50% of parents wished they never had become parents. Some huge percentage, to me close to 50% is huge. I have no idea who did the study or how many people were in the study, so it easily could be a crappy study. Anyway, I remember my parents talking about it with friends, and one dad said he probably would not do it again if he knew then what he knew now. He had both of his children on purpose, and I always thought of him as a nice man, like a big teddy bear, always loving to his children from what I could tell.

redhen4's avatar

I am the oldest and always felt like the odd man (woman) out. My brother and sister knew it too. My sister (2nd born) was Dad’s favorite, my brother (3rd born) was my mother’s favorite. I just never felt a part of the family.

Don’t get me wrong, I was fed,clothed, etc. But my self esteem SUCKS and I always knew something else was wrong with me, which I found out recently to be bipolar II. Explained a lot, actually. I did things as a child/teen that they should have put a stop to, but didn’t.

Later, as an adult, I found out (during a medical crisis with my father and I called her office) that no one she worked with knew she had a second daughter. That is when it became undeniably clear that I wasn’t up to par, nor wanted. She could only brag about my brother or sister and their accomplishments. I just worked, had no special skills or accomplishments.

susanc's avatar

Sent to boarding school. Gave me a hint of whether they were delighted to have me around.

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