The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female company employee in my 20s who gave birth to a baby without marrying. It is painful that my family has been so worried and concerned about this.
My baby, a boy, was born in January. Because the mother of my boyfriend, who fathered the boy, did not acknowledge our relationship, we broke up. And he did not recognize the baby as his child. I now live in my parents’ house with my baby.
I cannot confidently say “I’m OK” about anything to my family, who are concerned about us. I have been so proud of my mother and my other family members that I’m very sad I have become a burden. My elder brother also severely criticized me. I have yet to recover from this situation.
At the same time, I sometimes can’t control my anger toward my former boyfriend. And although I realize I should not bother my mother, who is over 60 years old, anymore with my problem, I often find myself getting emotional and starting small arguments with her more often than before.
I’m afraid I will be overwhelmed with my negative feelings and hurt my mother’s feelings someday if this situation continues. However, I have yet to have a heart-to-heart talk with her.
While writing this letter, I can’t stop shedding tears. Please advise me.
Y, Chiba Prefecture
Dear Ms. Y:
People who choose difficult paths in life are given the energy to survive adverse situations they face on these paths. So in the first place, be confident in your own bravery to face this issue head-on.
You broke off with your boyfriend, who did not acknowledge the baby as his child on the grounds that his mother refused to recognize your relationship. You made the right decision. Next, you should concentrate all of your energy on how to live independently financially. At the same time, to protect the rights of the child, don’t give up on seeking your former boyfriend’s acknowledgment of paternity of the child.
Don’t waste your energy by worrying about your public image or about who says what about you. Just think about what you need to do for the happiness of you and your baby and then do it.
You have to make use of your energy to overcome difficulties in life. Don’t forget this. Also, don’t be afraid, always be proud of yourself and keep moving forward. Even if you hear somebody gossip about you or speak ill of you behind your back, don’t worry about it. Instead, you should live your life with determination.
That attitude will eventually make your family feel easy about you. Work and study and ask for your family’s help when necessary. And repay them someday. This will settle the issue.
Junko Umihara, psychiatrist