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Do you think you can genuinely not care about members of your family? ( triggering- abuse mentioned )

(21 Posts)
lia66 Sun 29-Jun-14 00:42:52

My mum died when I was 11, my self and my older sister ( different father if relevant) were thereafter brought up, or not, as it turned out by my stepfather. He had got together with my mum when I was 10 months old.

To be fair, he was so grief stricken that to this day, 36 years later, he can't mention her without getting tearful.

There followed some years of kind of bringing ourselves up, he went to work full time and would come home and cook a meal but we did our own washing, went to school if we flat like it ( I did ), he went to the pub every night and sometimes brought friends back.

Now, about a year maybe before my mum died it became apparent to me that she and my sister didn't like one another and at one point my sister was going to be "sent away" she wrote me a long letter on the inside lid of my desk in my room apologising and telling me to take care and that she loved me. I don't know why I thought that this was because of in appropriate goings one between sister and our (s) dad.

It didn't happen, mum died, life went on.

When I was about 12, maybe a bit older I witnessed my sister perform a sex act on our dad.
Some time later ( i was13), I witnessed her with a bloke who had come home from the pub one night, was one of a few people, men and women. ( she was 15, adult was 24 ish, was definately consensual), I was in the same room but they thought iwas asleep.

Around the same time a friend of dads began abusing me by coming to my room when they came home from the pub and touching me and making me touch him. Strangely in my head it was made worse by the fact that I had my favourite pyjamas on hmm one time.

As soon as I could, I escaped. At 16 I caught a bus to Switzerland and have never lived at home again.

As an adult I have been promiscuous and been in some awfully abusive relationships, I have drugged and gang raped and taken advantage of. How I am still alive I have no idea. If I told my now friends the story of my life they would think I'd made it all up.

My dad us still alive and lives in the same house, my sister visits more often than I do.

The thing is I don't really know if I care about him, does that make sense? He was diagnosed with lung cancer just before Christmas and I haven't spoken to him since January, I know I should and every so often I ring him regularly but then it just fizzles out. He's 83 and fragile and I know that when he goes he'll be happy to be back with my mum but I just feel so disconnected.

Same with my sister, I actually don't like her, I don't speak to her since she was really really nasty to my dd a couple of years ago, I have nothing I common with her and I genuinely don't really care about her, that's a terrible thing to say sad

I don't know what I asking, I don't really feel as if I care about anyone except my children. I wonder if it's not odd to feel so emotionally detached from people.

Thank you if you got to the end.

readrunraverelax Sun 29-Jun-14 01:00:01

They abused you and you have every right, and I would say it is normal, to feel disgust towards them and feel like you do not want them in your life. I hope you have had talking therapy. You must be very preoccupied with this if you are putting this on Mumsnet.

You are brave to post about this. Just remember that your feelings are your feelings. You are allowed to have them! X

lia66 Sun 29-Jun-14 01:02:04

I've never told anyone about it fully. It occupies my thoughts a lot, I wonder if my abuser is still alive.

readrunraverelax Sun 29-Jun-14 01:05:22

If you keep it all in it will pollute your whole body, as if it were a poison. You must get it all out. Speak to your GP and ask for counselling.

What a shame! Noone deserves what you have been through. Keep posting.

Stratter5 Sun 29-Jun-14 01:06:21

I am so sorry that you've had to experience all that, you are incredibly brave to speak about it, Nd I'm sending you much love and strength.

FWIW, I am completely emotionally detached from all my family; the only people who matter to me, and who are in my thoughts, are my children, and oddly, and to a lesser extent obviously, my XH and my darling XPILs, who I love dearly. They are my small, odd, and broken little family. I do not even think about my other relatives, they are not worth any emotional space in my life at all. They might as well be dead tbh.

lia66 Sun 29-Jun-14 01:10:12

That's it stratters, they may as well be dead. My dear mil died suddenly this year and it's made me think how upset I have been over that but completely cold towards my own family.

Stratter5 Sun 29-Jun-14 01:47:47

There's nothing wrong with feeling that way, lovely. I will cry when my XPILs pass on, I cry when a beloved animal dies, heck I cry when one if my foster birds doesn't make it. I won't cry when my parents or sister die though, they've already died in my heart.

They abused you.... I think it's natural that you have no bond.

I have a grandmother and aunt that I don't love or feel any connection to in an otherwise close family, due to their mistreatment of me. And that's nothing like what you've been through. I don't think that your disconnection is odd or unwarranted. Agree with pp that some talking therapy would be good for you.

Good luck OP.

WolfMoon Sun 29-Jun-14 02:33:34

So sorry that you've been through all that, OP. You are so incredibly brave to speak out about it, and you are absolutely not wrong to feel that you have no connection.

TheFantasticMrsFox Sun 29-Jun-14 02:46:38

My father was a selfish, controlling, self absorbed bastard who made my DM's life in particular an absolute misery (there was never any physical/ sexual abuse) Once DS was born my fragile contact with him stopped and I have no qualms about it whatsoever. Given what you have been through I'm amazed you retain any contact and a feeling of detatchment and distance is frankly very generous IMO.
Don't get hung up on it, he made very clear choices when you were a child that had far reaching consequences. If you feel the need to make your peace now he is sick then do so, otherwise continue however you feel most comfortable thanks

differentnameforthis Sun 29-Jun-14 02:49:59

she was 15, adult was 24 ish, was definately consensual A child of that age can't consent to sex with an adult. It was, for all intents & purposes, rape or sexual assault.

differentnameforthis Sun 29-Jun-14 03:01:21

I don't care about my mum. It wasn't a great relationship, and when I left home at 18, it was the best day of my life, thus far. We haven't spoken since & I am in my 40s.

It is no wonder that you don't have feelings for your stepfather. He let people rape & sexually abuse you, he & his friends raped & sexually abused your sister. By letting your sister 'perform' in front of all those people, he told them all that you & she were for their taking...and that is what they (some of them) did.

Was it possible that your mum knew what was happening with your sd & sister (if that is why your sister was going away)

Your sister is hurting. Probably hasn't dealt with what happened to her, because while you believe it may have been consensual (and she may have too) it wasn't. You say that she performed a sex act on someone is a room full of people? I wonder what 'rewards' your stepfather got for that!

Not caring about her is not the best thing, no. Because you both went through the same thing. But it sounds like perhaps you blame her for 'letting' those people abuse her & in turn abuse you. Like, because she 'consented' that meant that they all assumed you would too? Does that make sense?

You grew up in a deprived household, you saw things that you shouldn't have, you experienced things you shouldn't have & it is no wonder that you cannot care about people.

What, if anything, have you done to sort these feelings out & deal with your past?

differentnameforthis Sun 29-Jun-14 03:05:08

it is no wonder that you cannot care about these people.

Poshsausage Sun 29-Jun-14 05:18:27

I left home at 11 for similar reasons it was the best thing I ever did

Can't say I give a shit really . I'd be very proud if the fact you had the strength to walk away and be your own person and not continue that cycle of abuse

Well done you! Be proud . And the situations you found yourself in afterward were almost inevitable . But it's done now and you are a good person .

Not caring is fantastic :-) it would be a worry if you did !

elvenbread Sun 29-Jun-14 06:56:41

Your poor sister and you sound like you've been through so much. Don't forget she was a victim too. Consensual or not she had been brought up to believe it was ok. She was sexualised way too young and so were you.
Maybe building some bridges with her might help you come to terms with it all. However it's understandable if you can't. As for your step dad, I wouldn't get in touch.

elvenbread Sun 29-Jun-14 06:56:56

Your poor sister and you sound like you've been through so much. Don't forget she was a victim too. Consensual or not she had been brought up to believe it was ok. She was sexualised way too young and so were you.
Maybe building some bridges with her might help you come to terms with it all. However it's understandable if you can't. As for your step dad, I wouldn't get in touch.

lia66 Sun 29-Jun-14 21:01:29

Thank you all for your responses, I don't feel brave. I wonder constantly about whether my a abuser did it to other children and I feel guilty for not telling anyone. Assuming he's a similar age to my dad he'd be in his 70's maybe knocking on 80 now. No one would have believed me, we lived in a small village, everyone knew each other. I was a black sheep.

My sister is in constant contact with sd, I don't know if it bothers me, sometimes it does. I don't think I've ever thought of her as a victim too as she always appeared to be a willing participant and once at least, the instigator sad.

I've never sought counselling, there's some shocking stuff in my closet that should maybe stay where it is but maybe talking about it and then putting it behind me would be a way of letting go of the past.

You can't escape it until you've dealt with it can you? You can just hide.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 29-Jun-14 21:15:49

It's a very sad tale lia. You must be incredibly strong to have survived it. I think it's a measure of your strength that you do not care for the horrible twisted bastard who abused your sister and let you be abused; you have clarity about what he did. Sounds like your sister is more damaged and has more confused feelings. I just wish you all the best.

differentnameforthis Mon 30-Jun-14 03:26:28

Your sister instigated it because it was normal to her. That in itself is very sad.

I am so sorry op, no one deserves to have to carry this with them.

NinePeedles Mon 30-Jun-14 07:52:39

Please don't beat yourself up over this.
Your "Dad" is not even a blood relative. He let you and your sister down in the worst imaginable way possible when you were at your most vulnerable and doesn't deserve any relationship with you now.
I hope you get the support you need to move on from this. You have absolutely no reason to feel guilty but you will grieve for the relationship that might have / should have been.

cheekygeeky Mon 30-Jun-14 09:53:42

You have every right to not care. But if I could give you any advice it would be to open that closet and get all the secrets out. You don't deserve to live with this alone. Speaking to a counsellor or friend or here on mn may be very cathartic for you.

Although you owe nothing to your sister it might be worth thinking about speaking to her about it all. She may be suffering too.

I'm sorry for everything you went through and fully understand how a toxic childhood can leave deep deep scars.

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