to think my mother is a bloody nutter at best or bloody horrible at worst?(32 Posts)
I have just had a surreal telephone conversation with her where she has said that me seeing terrible domestic violence between her and my father (alcoholic) and their very acrimonious divorce when I was 6 together with my father buggering off and never seeing him again (he was never mentioned again and she once strangled me when I said I wished I'd gone with him), then her immediately remarrying for money, not love, would have had no impact on me at all. I was fine apparently. I did not get as far as to mention the psychological abuse she inflicted on me all through my teens until I left home at 18 and the outrageous favouritism she bestowed (and still does) on the children she had with my stepfather as I could see there was no point. She said that me almost dying of german measles would have affected me though which I was never aware of until today. Although I was only kept in hospital overnight so hardly on life support.
As an adult I have suffered panic attacks and waves of fear and dread constantly that has made me feel I am going mad and I have isolated myself so have no friends. I believe I have PTSD as I suffered further trauma in the death of my 2nd child and apparently childhood trauma is a mitigating factor and I NEED to get to bottom of it so I can live a normal life but I have blocked most of my childhood out and wanted her to tell me what went on but she won't.
I feel so much anger at her when she tells me 'just move on' and that is what I want more anything (so I can get an actual life rather then waste time on MN ) but I feel like I need to get to the root of the problem to be able to do that and I need her help which she won't give because then she will have to face up to the damage she inflicted on me. She was never there for me as a child (which she admits) but she is not here for me as an adult either.
AIBU to feel such fucking rage to her? I was not looking to blame anybody, I know she had a terrible life, I just want to know why I am such a fuck up so I can do something about it .
Think about what you're asking for. What you want is a rational, detailed, impartial, truthful chronology of events, that covers all your blank points.
I can already tell from your post that she will not give it to you. All you will get is her own impassioned self-defense, her denial of events, an unhealthy amount of blame (directed at you), her self-rationalisation of her actions, and general painting herself in the best light. Tbh, I don't see that as helpful, unless you want to develop false memories about how everything was your fault as a small child. Sounds like you've already put in lots of work moving on from that perspective! (I'd like to say a genuine well done here. Well done!)
Stuck I would write her a letter, laying out exactly how you feel, but not blaming her, then do not contact her and see how long it takes for her to contact you.
She wont listen to spoken words, maybe she'll understand the written.
What MeSo said. It has helped me distance myself emotionally from my anger and reactions to my mother, who was not herself abusive, but was enabling of the abuse, and who refuses to recognise or acknowledge that she might have some responsibility for all the shit that went down (and our resentment!) when my counsellor pointed out that she will never admit these things because of her OWN defence mechanisms. Now that I have stopped wanting that recognition from her, a lot of our interaction has become much less traumatic.
Brilliant post and well done. OP you should print ^^ and laminate it
This all sounds so familiar to me. I have battled every day for the last 8 years with those feelings of panic and anxiety following an abusive childhood and an ongoing disfunctional relationship with my mum. The anger I felt was overwhelming.
I have only just got into therapy now, but in the 5th session I hit rock bottom and realised that it was hopeless. Nothing was going to change. I despaired. For me I am pretty sure that I have been looking for replacement parent figures all my life and I went into therapy secretly hoping that here would be another one who could fix it for me. Then I realised that that was impossible. I was incredibly low but then the realisation literally hit me - I can not change the past, my mother's reactions, her ongoing shittyness - and I felt acceptance. I think that that is the point that you are actually striving for. Acceptance that the answers will not be found, that the sorrys won't be given and that your mother will continue to let you down for as long as you expect her to be anyone different.
These are things that I have always known intellectually but, trust me, when you FEEL them you will be liberated. I promise. And I think that I had to feel the anger, the despair and the sense of being lost before I could be ready to say 'you know what, this doesn't need to drag behind me like road kill for one more day'.
I know you will get there too.
Oh that sounds awful stuck.
I haven't got much time, so will post and run, but look up Complex PTSD, it sounds like you may be a candidate. Also have a look at EMDR therapy, your counsellor may know something about it, it's reported as having very good results.
Such wise people on here [thank you]. Wilson yes.
You will get there but you have to keep working on it and it's very, very hard. At the moment you're looking for her to provide the solution though and that's not going to happen ((hugs))
I guess I would like her to give me something so I can work through it with my counsellor and then my brain would go PING and all my panic attacks would disappear and I would even be able to write this post without my heart going like the clappers and feeling shaky. Not going to happen though is it. It's probably not just one traumatic incident, there were probably too many to count.
You are all right thank you. I will not just miraculously recover just because I now understand that my family is dysfunctional! I so wish I could just feel calm and not like a fucking rabbit caught in headlights. I really don't know what else I can do I've tried everything.
I would be tempted to say to her, you know what mum, you are right i should just move on and im going to do just that - goodbye.
She is a toxic cow and im so sorry for what you have been through, she doesn't deserve you and you don't deserve her ruining your life anymore. Look to the future happiness that you do deserve
I tend to agree with Bridget in that you have two choices: unlock and explore your feelings and memories through counselling and therapy, or put them away, accept you won't find the answers you seek and work on living in the moment with the amazing family you have built for yourself.
Note that neither of these responses include contact with your mother.
She is NOT going to help you through this.
She is NOT going to change.
She is NOT going to tell you the truth.
She is NOT going to love you in the way you deserve to be loved.
I sound harsh I know but you have to cut her out of your life. She is toxic and she can't or won't change. The only thing you can change is you and the way you respond to her. That takes a lot of time and a lot of work so the best thing to do is cut her the fuck out of your life. Your need for her love is screaming off the page but she isn't capable of giving you what you want. I'm truly sorry for that, it's terrible, but you're becoming as stuck as she is.
Your parents abused you. That's a terrible thing to happen to you and I am so, so sorry. But now you have to protect yourself or it's going to keep happening.
My counsellor told me to confront my parents, it got me nowhere, they denied, became vague, blamed each other (they are separated) so I gave up and went back to the counsellor and we continued with therapy and I am happier than ever even though I know that I won't get the information or admissions that I had hoped to hear. Can you do the same? Continue the counselling without further information/confrontation with your Mum?
She is never going to tell you what you want to hear. She copes with the way she treated you by convincing herself that it wasn't bad, that you were not traumatised by what you saw and she makes you believe the problem is you not her.
My god, the problem is so her.
Think how you love your kids, how you would die for them!!! Why wasnt she like that with you?? Because she wasn't a good mum and she really does not deserve to have you love her.
My mum would have laid down on a railway line for me -she was a bloody good mum..
Your mum sounds toxic - don't let her ruin anymore of your life OP - step away and watch your mood lift so much higher.
I'm not sure I necessarily agree with the posters telling you that you need therapy and you need to 'unlock' your memories.
Personally I have found them destructive to a degree and I have found the best therapy is to find happiness with my own family, work and keep busy and try not dwell on the past as often as possible. I felt I was still allowing the past to ruin my future as long as I dwelt on it.
Stuck parents like yours can get under your skin like no one else! In a sense we (who were neglected or abused) all carry a scared child in us who wants to be accepted, understood and loved so they are still able to hurt us.
You need to distance yourself as much as possible ,she will never admit she was/is wrong and will continue to hurt you to bolster her own self esteem.
Keep away from her love you and your children deserve much much better x
I have had a similar experience with my own family and also have never managed to get them to speak to me about what happened and why to provide me with some sort of understanding and closure. My mother mistreated me very badly including violence whilst she treated my elder brother wonderfully. I was the family scapegoat from a very young age and was blamed for everything entirely from a smashed cup to problems in my parents marriage. I was told I was horrible and worthless and was ruining my family's life from a very, very young age.
I think part of the reason is that when parents treat their children that way they dehumanise them to an extent where they don't admit to themselves that their children have needs or feelings or that their behaviour even affects them. They just expect their children to be unfeeling robotic sponges who should simply soak up their anger.
Because they react like that it's impossible for them to understand as adults how traumatic their behaviour was towards you. They still can't understand that you had feelings and that the way they behaved damaged you badly.
Personally I found in the end that waiting for an apology or an explanation was self destructive as it was never going to happen and I was only hurting myself by dwelling on it and needing it.
I've had to accept it will nver happen and find peace in accepting that my own feelings and memories are enough to validate how I feel and the damage that was done. I needed to accept that abusive parents power over you lessens as you grow up but the fundamental flaws in their character that lead them to believe their behaviour is okay at the time never really change.
I honestly think it's something that you have to come to terms with on your own and depending on her for explanations or apologies just allows her the power to hurt you again.
OxfordBags therapy has so far failed to unlock my memories and I have had lots. That's why in desperation I turned to her. My DCs have very limited contact as I realised she had chosen one of them to 'scapegoat' and one as a 'golden child' (the one with my stepfather's name would you believe). I called her on it and she said it was because of my bad parenting which I would imagine you would agree with!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Xpost - glad you are getting counselling.
We don't have a lot of physical contact due to distance but I have realised how my mood can change just by phone contact.
I'm going to be blunt now - she was abusive to you and still is and you are allowing her to be abusive to your DC with her ignoring and putting down and favouritism. They are suffering whilst you wait for her to tell you that she is sorry, loves you and realises what she did wrong... which will never happen. the phone call proves it. It's continuing the legacy of abuse to keep her in their lives, and your own, of course.
The only way to know your past and make any sort of peace for it is to have therapy, it will inlock those memories, however terrible and help you work through it all. She is utterly the wrong person to look to for answers or support. I feel so sorry for you, no child should have to live through any of that. But thinkof your DC too now. She is a toxic influence on all of you.
People like to try and rewrite history so it shows them in a positive light,people who do this will rarely admit they fucked up.
Yanbu to think she's a nasty piece of work but yabu to think that a nasty piece of work is ever likely to have a moment of clarity and use that to assist you. Yanbu to think it would be the decent thing to do but yabu to think she would because cunts rarely stop being cunts.
I am having counselling that is how I have got to this point. I had denied any wrong doing by anyone but myself until now, e.g. I was a horrible kid that's why my mother hated me, it was my fault my father left etc.
When I say I don't want to blame my mother I meant that I can understand why she might have been like that when I was child but I can't understand why she can't be open about it now if it would help me and she knows I have suffered badly.
Stuck I'm struggling to understand how you could love her after what's she's done and what she's continuing to do.
As for putting down and ignoring your DC, if I were you I rip her a new one!
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