How Can I Find A Man To Be The Father Of My Baby?
We owe it to the next generation of children to have healed our own emotional wounds before becoming a parent.
Q. I had quite a good childhood – I was an only child who had plenty of stuff, nice holidays, pretty dresses and toys – but yet I still feel so sad and lonely inside.
I’ve been self-harming since my teens, have an eating disorder and I’ve even tried to kill myself in the past. My dad was a busy business man and we travelled around a lot and I went to several schools. My parents divorced and I lived with my mum from the age of 12. She was depressed and a heavy drinker.
I’m trying hard to make a go of my life, but I’m still single at 35. It’s becoming late for me to be a mother and I fear this will never happen now.
More than that I fear that I’d pass on my own sadness and other problems to my child. I hate my own company, and yet when I do get a man to have a relationship with me I change into this suspicious, scared and clingy little kid and I despise myself for being like that. It causes arguments and split-ups. I push people away because they can’t cope with me. I’m so sad underneath my smiley face. How can I find a happy relationship and have a baby with him?
A. You’ve raise several points here – and my written response can’t cover them all fully – but I’ll share my main thoughts with you, and perhaps you can then decide if you’d like to get additional professional help to fill in the gaps.
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
The fact that you wear a smiley mask, and then harm and punish yourself, and avoid spending time alone suggests that this area really needs some care and attention first of all.
It sounds like your parents gave you the illusion of a good childhood but clearly something very important was missing. I’d guess that was time, attention and interest in you as an individual. They were both distracted and may have neglected your emotional needs, perhaps without even realising it.
Relocating to new homes and schools would also have created an insecurity inside you and difficulties with fitting in and forming new relationships – which you didn’t expect to last for very long anyway.
Your self-harming behaviours and child-like regression in your relationships are both a symptom of your earlier pain and emotional wounds. We repeat the trauma, but we take on both roles ourself – the giver and receiver of pain.
Your neediness in relationships overwhelms people and pushes them away. They know that they can’t meet your needs. They are not your parent. This heightens your pain even more as history keeps repeating itself and you are left alone again.
You are probably attracting men who have their own drama to re-enact and play out – and which ends in familiar and painful ways for you both.
You need to soothe your own emotional pain – or are trying to get other people to do that for you – but the problem is that you don’t seem to like (let alone love) the little child who still lives deep inside you. That vulnerable and sad part of you that most needs your care and attention. That child you once were who still needs you to care for her - before you can then care properly for a baby.
It’s time for you to become your own loving parent. Your Inner Child is crying out for your help – and only you can soothe her and give her a happier life.
'Re-parenting your Inner Child' will gradually allow you to feel more worthy of love, care and attention from someone else – and then to have enough ‘topped up’ to be able to share this love with your own baby later on.
Talk kindly to your wounded Inner Child. Do not repeat any words of rejection or of not feeling worthy of time and attention.
I don’t know what you saw of adult relationships as a child, but perhaps you need to get clearer about what makes a good, healthy, mutually respectful adult relationship.
You can’t create, or pass on, what you don’t know. There are some great articles available on the internet about what makes for healthy relationships.
I know this may sound weird (and counter-intuitive) but give it a go anyway. Ask yourself ‘Why do I have such a good/great relationships?’
The answers will show you what you need to have in place.
When you can begin to re-parent yourself with care, empathy and compassion, you will become more emotionally robust and resilient. You will be better able to moderate and regulate your emotions, and clean up your thought processing – and thereby avoid old negative patterns from constantly playing out in your life.
You can regain that innocence and perfection you had as a baby - before your absorbed any negative impressions about yourself.
If you catch yourself saying nasty things to yourself, then ask yourself – would I talk to my own child like this? Would I force feed or starve them? Would I cut, bruise or scar them? Would I avoid being alone with them?
As for finding a relationship and perhaps becoming a mum. That can then follow. There’s no rush… the end result will be worth the time. Better make a start right now with repairing the relationship you have with yourself.
First and foremost, you have to learn how to make yourself feel good all by yourself – and then no-one can take that lovely feeling away from you if they leave you.
You are the only person who will never leave your inner child – so promise her a better life, give her your time and attention, bring her laughter and love.
Then you will radiate a different energy and attract people into your life who are on that same wavelength.
You may also attract some who aren’t, but just see them as a test of your determination to only have people in your life who respect you and your time, and can return your love in a safe and considerate way.
Mature love is about wanting to keep repeating the good feelings you have when you’re with your partner/lover. It’s about needing someone around because you want them in your life… not wanting them because you need them to be there to make you feel better.
No-one, whether adult or child, can ever do that for you. It starts with you and your courage and determination to change your pain into self-compassion and love.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com - Where you will find abundant FREE resources to help you to have happier relationships in spite of your childhood experiences and conditoning.
You will also find inexpensive self-help workshops - notably Understanding Yourself, and Understanding Relationships, as well as others which work with a variety of the aspects and emotions in your life.
www.maxineharleymentoring.com - Therapeutic Mentoring - to help women to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours... to FEEL better, so you can BE, DO, and HAVE better in your life.