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Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:15 AM

Are there any other DU'ers here who lost a parent (death) in childhood?

I am learning more and more these days how much this affects me as an adult. Iíve always known I had certainly been affected by this, but the stresses of this past year have made this more pronounced.

I believe some of this has been positive in resulting in a better understanding. My mother died of cancer when I was eight.

Just wondering if there are other DUíers who lost a parent in childhood who might want to share some thoughts and open a dialogue. My understanding is that children who were abused, abandoned, etc. experience much the same in adulthood as those who had a parent pass away, so that may be part of the discussion as well.

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Reply Are there any other DU'ers here who lost a parent (death) in childhood? (Original post)
hamsterjill Mar 2021 OP
Laelth Mar 2021 #1
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #3
Laelth Mar 2021 #6
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #8
Laelth Mar 2021 #10
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #15
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #2
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #5
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #28
Sanity Claws Mar 2021 #4
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #7
SheltieLover Mar 2021 #29
TreasonousBastard Mar 2021 #9
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #16
TreasonousBastard Mar 2021 #26
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #27
Historic NY Mar 2021 #11
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #17
Historic NY Mar 2021 #22
No Vested Interest Mar 2021 #30
elleng Mar 2021 #12
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #13
elleng Mar 2021 #18
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #20
Laurelin Mar 2021 #14
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #19
redstatebluegirl Mar 2021 #21
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #23
IbogaProject Mar 2021 #24
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #25
SheltieLover Mar 2021 #31
hamsterjill Mar 2021 #32

Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:23 AM

1. Lost my mother at age 2.

Lost my father at age 5. I donít talk about it much. If fact, this is probably the first time that I have ever mentioned it on this forum.

Naturally, these events have had an enormous impact upon me (and my own children) over the years. From time to time over the course of my life, when I have really needed parents, I havenít had them.

I find it difficult to be sympathetic about the very real grief that others experience when they lose a parent. I have a definite empathy defecit in this area.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:26 AM

3. This is the first time I've talked about it here, too.

I had a weird kind of ďflashbackĒ experience recently, and I started reading about that. A lot of what I read made a whole lot of sense.

Your situation mustíve been terrible. Iím so sorry.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:29 AM

6. It is what it is. I know nothing different.

I try not to think about it. Thatís probably unhealthy. I wish you peace, wisdom, and growth on your journey of self-discovery.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:35 AM

8. Thank you.

I wish the same for you. If you ever want to visit, please PM me. Iíd love to share more about the impact on adulthood.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:42 AM

10. Kind of you to offer.

I can definitely either confirm or not whether I have experienced some of the things that you are now noticing. I would be happy to do so.

Confirming the experience of a poster below, I show all the signs of a person who has been emotionally (and otherwise) neglected. I am a love addict, to this day, and that makes it easier for me to be further abused.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:02 PM

15. I went the other direction.

I donít trust anyone enough to establish a relationship.

I do have a group of trusted friends, but itís a small circle.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:23 AM

2. My two stepchildren lost their mother. A child psychologist told my husband their grades wouldn't

Be much affected, except for math. Sure enough, when my stepson hit fractions, it was all over.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:28 AM

5. Did the psychologist say why specifically math

Would be affected? Because itís higher end learning perhaps? More analytical?

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 04:10 PM

28. Math requires abstract thinking.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:27 AM

4. Yes. It was the single most impactful event in my life

I was 13.
I suggest that you read up on emotionally neglected children. IMHO, many children who lost a parent become emotionally neglected, even if the remaining parent is still in the child's life. Even with the best of intentions, the remaining parent has to deal with his/her grief and sense of overwhelming responsibility.
When I first read some books about children of emotional neglect, I cried. It just rang so true for me.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:33 AM

7. Yes. This.

My father was so devastated that he could barely take care of himself. I viewed that as ďweaknessĒ in him for many years Iím ashamed to say. Then I had the opportunity to reconnect with my motherís sister many years after my father had passed (which was in my adulthood). I was able to ask some questions and my aunt explained how very much my father had loved my mother. I donít know why I thought that if him for years, but learning the truth was a great relief.

Everything is just jumbled in childhood and perhaps we donít have accurate perceptions.

Iím trying to learn everything I can about this - thus my post. Thank you for sharing.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 01:25 AM

29. Children lack rational filters

Often, what is accepted as fact by a child later turns out to be an irrational belief, yet that belief has colored perceptions & relationships for decades.

Something to consider.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:41 AM

9. Not exactly childhood, but my father died of cancer when I was in high school. I can't say...

whether or not it affected me, but I suppose I could find a way to lay blame for various problems to that.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:05 PM

16. I don't think it's laying blame.

For me, itís more about just understanding how the effects of this have caused me to be certain ways, etc.

Itís been almost like a puzzle. With pieces being revealed ever so often. Iím trying to put the pieces together.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #16)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:12 PM

26. "Blame" might not be the best word. As with you, it's more a question of understanding. But...

our lives are all affected by incredible numbers of outside influences, so trying to figure which ones did what may not give any good answers.

In my case, I have usually, (and often unsuccessfully) looked within myself for answers.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #26)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:14 PM

27. Understood.

And agree. Thank you.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:50 AM

11. Both parents by age 12.

We (my twin) left an abusive, pill popping, hypochondriac stepmother within 2 months after my father died. My fathers brother and his wife took us in.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:06 PM

17. That sounds awful.

Iím glad you had someone to ultimately take care of you. Do you feel youíve had any effects into adulthood?

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #17)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:27 PM

22. What was lost, or what could have been...

hey we had people in our lives neighbors and relatives....both of us had jobs until we retired due to injuries. I put myself through college and grad school, we saved our money and bought cars, etc. Community service, Fire - EMS played a big part. I think we both found being involved in the community was a substitute. I still have an official appointed job and serve on some boards. When my brother passed 4 yrs ago the measure of his accomplishment was in the people from far & wife that showed up. One of our old timer friends said he'd never seen anything like that. Life goes on, places are missing at the table, we reflect, laugh, but remember.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #22)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 04:09 AM

30. The fact you had a twin and he had you likely gave you both a combined strength you wouldn't have

had otherwise.
A blessing.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:51 AM

12. My mother died of cancer when I was 7.

I was not abandoned or abused, as my father lived until he was 98. He later remarried, and helped Dad establish a sound family.

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Response to elleng (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:01 PM

13. My father lived to be 95 and remarried 5 years after my mother's death

My step mother was awful and I didnít live with them. I lived with an older sibling once they were married.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:07 PM

18. Sorry to hear that, my adopted-mother was terrific,

and is the only Grandmother my daughters knew. They think of her fondly now; she died about 10 years ago. Dad lived on.

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Response to elleng (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:09 PM

20. Good. I'm glad you had a stabilizing force.

Thank you for sharing those details.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:01 PM

14. If we don't count teens

Then no. I lost both parents at 14. I always heard that if you lose your parent(s) before 18 (one psychiatrist i know said 25) you have permanent emotional damage. True for me, I think, though I do think it's hard to lose a parent whenever it happens.

I will add that I was reasonably fortunate. I didn't end up in an orphanage. I had good friends and family that tried to be supportive but they couldn't replace my parents or the security I felt before I lost my parents.

I am not saying the loss destroyed me, but I know I have more trouble coping with loss, even now, than some of my friends do. And I've never been able to trust that bad things happen to other people, not me. It's funny though, that something that happened decades ago still affects me, but I think we're pretty strongly affected by how we developed when we were young.

Or maybe I'm a wimp. Who knows?

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Response to Laurelin (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:08 PM

19. You're not a wimp!

I consider childhood to be anything before adulthood.

Yes, I think we all want to believe that we ďget over itĒ. But it comes back. For me, the pandemic and all that has gone in tandem with the pandemic, has been a trigger.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:11 PM

21. I was not as young as my sister who was 8, I was 17 but I have had lots of abandonment issues

throughout my life. I got therapy for it, which helped, but it still pops up from time to time.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 12:54 PM

23. It pops up more for me during stressful times.

And the last 14 months have been a doozie!!!

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:04 PM

24. My Dad died suddenly when I was 11

My Dad died suddenly when I was 11, I am not aware of what I missed out on with him gone. I guess it lead to less discipline during my teens and a lack of a range of advice with just Mom making suggestions. Also they were both only kids and 3 of 4 grand parents were passed too. Mom was good getting me a range of adult role models and being in Boy Scouts helped my maturation as well.

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Response to IbogaProject (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:10 PM

25. Sounds like your mom was great.

I had older siblings and they filled in some of the gaps, but they couldnít do it all. The missing piece was always missing.

Thank you for your post. Seems there are quite a few of us.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 09:03 AM

31. "The Inner World of Trauma" is an exceptiomal book

Last edited Tue Mar 9, 2021, 09:36 AM - Edit history (1)

By Kalsched

It is not an easy read, but explains very well how trauma affects behavior.

I hope this is helpful to everyone.

PS - This book is a benchmark in Psych for those seeking to understand the effects of trauma.

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #31)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 12:39 PM

32. Thanks.

Iíll take a look at it.

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