I don't really matter to anyone, not really

I am a married mom of 4 - an 8 year old girl, twin 4 year old girls, & a 2 year old boy. I’ve been married for 6 years, and we’ve been really moving up lately. I finished my certificate in baking & pastry arts, we got a new house a month ago, a new car, I started a new job 2 weeks ago, he started one 2 months ago, my twins start preschool tomorrow. You would think amidst all of this, I could find purpose to my life finally. But on & off I’ve been feeling like no one really cares about anything related to me. I have trouble looking people in the eye, even finishing a sentence at times because I get bogged down by the thought that they don’t care what I’m saying. My husband is totally into himself, not like conceited, but if there’s one of his foods left, it’s his. If he wants to sleep all day & have my son stay in a wet diaper all morning & afternoon, he does it. If he wants to ignore the kids completely & play video games all day, he will. He doesn’t talk much, & I still don’t think he knows me, even 6 years in. I don’t talk much on my job, everyone always tells me how quiet I am, but I get the craziest amount of anxiety being the 1st one to speak in a conversation. I only speak when spoken to. I struggle to find something to hold onto that makes me feel anything other than weird & stupid. Sometimes I think if I can do “whatever” better than “he” or “she” can, I’ll be worth something, so I pick people apart in my head at times. I’ve been seeing a counselor for the past few weeks, but I haven’t had any episodes of depression during that time, but it’s different now. I guess I’m looking for some advice on exactly how to feel like it’s okay that I’m alone on the inside. I can’t cope, and I’m getting to the point that I don’t really want to anymore. A lady fainted in my church today, & she was sent to the hospital, we were really worried about her. But I kept thinking to myself, “Imagine the level of peace that would come from dying…she’s lucky…” My thoughts of death have engulfed me lately, thinking about who could move on from their lives without me being the weird girl that doesn’t talk to anyone anymore, my husband could find someone that gets him, the only thing that keeps me going are my kids. I can’t have them go to just anyone, and my husband can’t handle them by himself all the time. They need me, sort of. They’re babies, so they just need a caring someone, but I’m the only one that gets them like I do. I’m really sad guys, and I can’t shake it anymore.

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I could really feel your words from this and can see how genuine you are. Thank you for sharing! First, please know that you do matter to those that are closest to you in your life. Your kids look up to you not only as a caring mother, but the one they can lean on through thick and thin. To me it sounds like this emptiness that you feel may be coming from you not being able to feel the love that is around you. It sounds like you give your all at home being a mother, taking care of things around the house, all while going to work to pay the bills and support your household. I give you major kudos! But perhaps you are not getting the appreciation or the gratitude that you deserve for all of your efforts? I hope that doesn’t sound harsh in any way, but perhaps you don’t feel recognized for what you do and that is what makes you feel alone. Hold fast friend! What you do at work matters to someone. They hired you because they felt that you were the most competent in helping to get the job done. Take pride in that! You have the capability to do some great work where you are! As for home, everything you do to keep your home and your family at bay does not go unnoticed. The effort that you have put in to get to the point where you are now can never be taken away from you because you made it happen. And above all, the love of Jesus is always with you. Psalm 34:18 is a great reminder of how close He really is to us, even when we feel so alone. Sometimes we like to fabricate loneliness to make ourselves feel worth something, but the truth is is that you are already worth so much to so many people in your life. What you do matters, in every part of your life!

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Thank you for sharing and I’m sorry you’re going through this. I appreciate that you shared all this because it takes a lot of courage. As a parent I know your kids get you and love you like crazy. I’ve had a lot of self worth issues in my life and it was interesting as my therapist brought up not thinking of myself like I do but to try to see something I’m struggling with through the eyes of my kid. Like they look up to us and generally see us as way better then we see ourselves. I’m sure your kid looks at you that way too, I’m sure they are proud of you getting the certificate and the new job.

I can’t speak to things with your husband but how have conversations gone about his lack of participation in the family? Would marriage counseling help?

We’re glad your part of the community here and thank you for reaching out, you’re a very important member of our community!

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Thank you, I really appreciate your response! My huaband & I have talked about Marriage counseling in the past, we’ve actually gone to 2 different counselors at separate times during our marriage. Both times he felt like it was a “bash fest” against him, and he’s not interested in going again. I’ve started to focus more on myself & the kids lately, but I see it on his face when he feels pushed to the side. When I talk to him about everything, the conversation is very one-sided, he usually just ends it with “I’ll work on that,” or “I’ll try to do better.” Literally, one or 2 lines from him only. He works overnight 4 nights a week, and I know he’s tired at times, but in my mind that leaves at least 2 days of being able to get things done with 1 day for a break.

Our twins started preschool this week, but before then, it was the twins & my 2 year old son that would stay home with him during the day, which did make things tougher for him in terms of sleep. I still get anxiety about everything because now, though he gets more of a break with them being in school, he’s not grooming them in the morning. I do feel like a big part of why I can’t seem to connect with purpose in my life is because of who I chose to marry. When I try to connect with him on a daily basis, it usually involves tv, food, or sex. Very little emotional, and I feel stupid for trying. But I have an extreme sense of guilt when I consider leaving him. His parents are pastors at our church, which doesn’t make it very easy either. Am I overthinking all this?

I know it’s hard but it’s awesome your still trying to connect! A bit random but does he like his job? I ask because I have depression and a former job really amped that up and I had to work really hard to give energy to my spouse too, otherwise I’d get stuck in my own world. I had a therapist say how depression can make us selfish and it was a bit of an eye opener.

Do you guys have any common interest you could try to carve out some time for to connect with emotionally? My spouse definitely struggles with understanding their feelings so I’ve noticed I have to ask more open ended question to help a conversation be more full.

What does he say if your getting kids ready for school and ask him to help?

I don’t want to sound like I know everything, I definitely don’t lol. We’ve just had some similar struggles at various times in our marriage. We definitely have peaks and valleys we work through, some valleys were really long and dark but we came out of them. Also we only have one 1 year old so big props to you for juggling so much with 4 kids!!

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Thank you for giving me encouragement, I wish I could say the loneliness was purposely fabricated, I really do. It feels like almost the opposite, that agreeing that all is well with me, and I’m surrounded by people that love me feels fabricated. I feel surrounded by people that don’t know me, and it’s hard to break out of my shell, really hard for some reason. I always run scenarios through my head about things I should say or do in certain situations, and never do them in real life. But you’re right, I have to remind myself that what I do, and where I am, matters, and that God loves & appreciates me.

No, I appreciate your input completely! It’s encouraging to hear that the dark places are not subject to only me (it feels that way sometimes). But my husband mentioned that he enjoys this job more than ones he’s had in the past, which is really great. He’s been let go from 4 different jobs through our marriage. I do worry that there are things he may be dealing with that he’s not talking to me about, such as depression. But he does help with the kids in the morning when I ask him to, without complaining.

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Hello there Cecilia,
I noticed your post and even though it seemed like you had gotten pretty good advice I still wanted to give you my opinions.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re a person. If you feel like something is wrong it’s not just a mistake, there’s a reason for it. That being said I don’t want to say my situation is even close to similar (I’m not even an adult yet and I also don’t have children) but my fiancée is a gamer so I understand the feeling of being ignored over a game.
You have to remember that you’re more important than a game… But not more important than the other person. Because Sure… every person needs their own alone time in a relationship but if it bothers you that much you need to address it with your husband.
I know it’s tough to get time for a full conversation that isn’t rushed but you need make clear how important it is to you.
When the kids are asleep or in school or in daycare or something, pull your husband into a room, sit down next to him, tell him to look into your eyes and tell him how you feel. Try to get him to talk how he feels and make him understand that maybe the counselor isn’t such a bad idea seeing as you both probably have flaws and are a bit at fault for this situation. Maybe you could get an agreement, that you’ll have a day or two in the week where you can meet friends, do your hobbies or just take a long hot bath while your husband takes care of the kids. It is important not only for you but also your marriage and your family that you feel happy and comfortable with your life.
That being said i just want to thank you for being such an amazing mother. It’s not often that mother’s dedicate their entire life and health to their children.
But just a friendly reminder… once in a while it’s important take care of yourself as well.

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Where did you lose your confidence? It sounds like you’ve experienced something you found to be quite traumatic in your eyes and no one else thought the same, and you bottled up everything in fear that your concerns would not be returned. You’ve done everything right, but you’re still waiting for someone to ask you about it, to care enough to remember where you lost yourself. (Maybe I read your story and thought of my own too deeply, I might be way off).

If you have the time to read, please read Presence by Amy Cuddy. I think it’ll help you change your perspective on some things and yourself.

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That’s good he enjoys his job and is helpful. Hopefully in time he’ll better understand the things that may be hindering him from being fully himself. I know from first hand experience it’s a lot of work but worth it.

After my parents divorced when I was 13, she & I fell far apart. We were constantly at each other’s necks, and I felt a long time ago that she didn’t really consider me as someone ahe loved. She loved my brother, though. I was very promiscuous in my younger years, as she would be gone from the home for days, sometimes weeks at a time chasing her boyfriend. I feel extremely damaged from that relationship. We’re a little better now, we text each other Happy Mother’s Day, Merry Christmas, etc. But there’s still a deep sense of lack I know that I have from all of that. My dad was in & out of jail around that time, so I never really absorbed a sense of true love from anyone for a looooong time, I still don’t trust nearly anyone I meet.

The answers you seek are within you. The hardest part is creating a solution. That, I can’t help you with. But I do hope that you take the time to rediscover yourself and find things that you actually like doing. It’ll definitely help your confidence and self fulfillment.