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Have just had the realisation that my mother hated me when I was a child.

(76 Posts)
dimsum123 Sun 03-Feb-13 23:43:04

We have never been close. I don't remember ANY cuddles, hugs or affection from her when I was very young. I DO remember plenty of times when she was cross, irritated, angry, annoyed and impatient with me. I have realised she probably had PND and never ever bonded with me.

But I have only now realised that she actually disliked and probably hated me. I have years of counselling about my relationship with her and I know that the reason she hated me was not my fault but due to her own issues.

I am finding it wierd though that I am not upset about this latest realisation about her. Or perhaps I am in shock just now.

It explains a lot though. Especially about the very horrible negative feelings I used to have about my own DD and still do sometimes. My feelings about DD never made sense as she is a lovely, kind thoughtful girl and yet I would sometimes have such strong feelings of dislike towards her that seemed so out of proportion to whatever childish misdemeanour she might have committed.

I'm not really looking for any answers. I just needed to say this out loud as it's been going round and round in my head all day. I don't feel I can talk to DH about it just yet. I used to be on MN a long time ago and found it so useful, indeed a lifesaver at times when I was in the thick of dealing with the effects of my abusive and dysfunctional childhood and family.

amazingmumof6 Mon 04-Feb-13 00:22:52

sorry to hear about your troubles.

do you feel relieved about the discovery? maybe you are not upset, because you are actually happy to put another piece of the puzzle in the right place.

I'm glad you have/had counselling, and if you think you have a lot of anger that still needs dealing with, I can recommend you a book called "Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way" by Gary D, Chapman.

there's another fantastic book he wrote called "The 5 love languages of children" - it could give you ideas to observe your DD (and yourself) and how to build a better relationship with her.

BTW the writer is a Christian, so if you are not a believer, please don't disregard his books based on that.
You don't have to accept his views to gain some insight about how to deal with your specific problems!

I suggest you have a little read of the "love languages" book first, I found it really interesting and useful!

I hope this helps

pollypandemonium Mon 04-Feb-13 00:30:03

That is one of the saddest posts I have ever read.
Sad because it may actually be as simple as that. A mother couldn't love her child. You go through years of turmoil and pain, your own daughter suffers just because of that fact. Thankfully this realisation may make you able to let go of your mother and focus on people that do love you.
sad

Mimishimi Mon 04-Feb-13 00:32:01

Does she hate you now? Would you be able to talk to her about it? Some women just generally don't enjoy having small kids but did she get better as you got older?

KatyPeril Mon 04-Feb-13 00:32:10

I feel your pain! I think everybody should be loved by their mothers. Sadly some of us aren't. I've no idea what to say to help, just wanted you to know I'm there too xxxxx

RivalSibling Mon 04-Feb-13 00:33:31

Didn't want to read and run...

You poor thing.

Do you still see your mum now?

I think you are doing an amazing job of looking at difficult stuff and being honest about the darker things you feel yourself - that will have made a huge difference in stopping the damage being perpetuated.

The thing to hold on to is that your mum may have had trouble being a mum but a tiny baby can't do anything wrong and it wasn't your fault.

dimsum123 Mon 04-Feb-13 00:53:15

Thank you all for your lovely kind posts. I will look up those books, thankyou.

I still don't really feel anything after realising she probably hated. But it is true that it is like another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. Am sure the realisation came now, at a time when I am strong enough to cope with it.

I am amazed at how my mother's unspoken message to me came through loud and clear. Children are so sensetive and pick up on body language and facial expressions and tone of voice even though she never actually said out loud how she was feeling inside.

I am heartbroken that my DD has probably also picked up on similar feelings from me. Although I do try and hide them as much as I can. Fake it til you make it. I wonder why my mother didn't try to do that.

My mother did get better as I got older. But I'm not sure that she was better with older children because she obviously adored my little sister from day 1.

KatyPerry sorry you have experienced similar. It's hard. You only get one mother and if she doesn't love you and in fact hates you there is nobody else you can get that sort of love from.

I couldn't speak to my mother about this. I have tried in the past but she seemed to have totally forgotten what she was like and thinks she has been a brilliant mother. She really had no idea what I was upset about.

I've taken the only option I felt I had and stopped all contact with her and my dad.

Booyhoo Mon 04-Feb-13 01:25:06

oh OP. i am so sorry you didn't have a positive realationship with your mother. i hope you are able to use thsi realisation to start healing and improving your feelings towards your dd in future.

i have had similar but not identical realisations about my mum in the past few years/months and it has really helped me to be a better parent.

jacktarot Mon 04-Feb-13 09:41:08

There is a similar dynamic in my family except that I was the loved younger sister. I always knew our mother preferred me but only since starting therapy have I been able to admit that she did seem to strongly dislike my DSis - maybe even hate her at times.

My DSis has had a very troubled life & low self esteem and the dysfunction has also had a negative impact on me: I spent years feeling like I didn't 'deserve' my achievements and was an interloper in my life - it's only relatively recently that I've realised this stems from the awful guilt I feel toward my older sister.

We always since young children had a fairly one sided relationship - I would give and she would take... It was because we both felt I had to make some reparation for being the more loved child.

In recent years DSis has pulled back from her relationship with our mum and consequently also with me - I miss her but I can see that in her mind myself and our mum are inextricably linked. I feel so sad and that I've been cheated of a proper sibling relationship because my DM couldn't manage to treat us equally. I also have always had a very superficial relationship with my DM - I don't feel I can confide any upset in my life to her, as I guess deep down I'm afraid that if I'm not perfect she will treat me like my sister.

I hope you can find some peace with it OP and realise that it wasn't your fault - every child deserves to be loved by their parents.

jacktarot Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:09

Gosh sorry didn't mean to write an essay!

snowshapes Mon 04-Feb-13 10:07:43

This is really hard. I'm in the same position, and to be honest, hard as it is, I think the realisation is important, because lack of love as a child shapes one's life in multiple ways. For me, I realise the desire for approval and to be loved has shaped all my significant adult relationships (in a fairly negative way). It seems to have other effects on you, for example, in your feelings to your own DD, but I guess the important thing is recognising it has an effect and trying to address that (because that is something you can change, whereas what happened with your mother is not).
Easy to say on an intellectual level, harder in practice sad

dimsum123 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:11:51

Thankyou again for posting.

I really am hoping this will make me a better parent to DD. I hate feeling like I do towards her sometimes but however hard I try I can't seem to change my feelings. And it's made worse because I never feel that way about DS. I just love him absolutely and at most sometimes get a bit annoyed frustrated with him but never hate.

I realise also that I have been somehow trying to justify my feelings about DD and blame her and her behaviour for my feelings of hate towards her. But she has never done anything to deserve hatred from. I feel sick just thinking about it. I hope to god she has not picked up on how I sometimes feel. I do try and hide it and we do also have many good times, chats, laughter, hugs and cuddles which I NEVER had with my mother.

Horrorvacui I am so glad you posted. It is really interesting to hear your perspective. I have stopped all contact with my sister as well as my parents. She cannot understand why I don't agree with her that our parents were wonderful. Unlike you she didn't notice at all that my mother treated me very very differently to her.

You must have been far less self absorbed than my sister to have noticed the difference like you did. Like your sister I had very low self esteem and only after many years of therapy and hard work have I come to value and respect myself.

It is interesting that you do also say that your mother did seem to hate your sister at times. Because it helps me to trust in my instincts that my mother did hate me at times (the rest of the time she was indifferent and disinterested) and that I haven't imagined or exaggerated it.

TantrumsandBananas Mon 04-Feb-13 10:13:13

Mother/Daughter Relationships...I posted briefly before about my own relationship with my Mother. It was on a thread where someone was terrified as they found out they were having a girl as opposed a boy when they were pregnant. I responded at the time, about being terrified when I found out I was having a daughter, was scared that history would repeat and I wouldn't beable to bond with her. I made a decision at that time. I am going to be the one who breaks the cycle. So far so good, she is 3, and I adore her.

My own relationship with my mother was horrific. I simply should have been taken into care. Emotional and Physical abuse were a regular part of my life. She had tried to abort me, and I ALWAYS knew this, I "ruined" her life. I was ugly/fat/stupid....dragging me out of bed in the middle of the night, simply so she had someone to shout at. I was a child. Leaving me to look after my younger brother from age of 8, he was 3. I could go on.

The thing is, I KNOW it has had a terrible effect on ME. But I don't want to pass on my issues to my beloved (and she is) DD. So, I try very hard not to.

Strangely enough I have had no contact with my mother since I was 17. 27 years! But its still there....its there with my inability to have close friendships with women. I don't trust women. Its there in my struggle with an eating disorder, either too much, or too little. These are things I am trying not to pass on to my DD. I see my DD's loving and trusting nature and VOW that I will not let anyone knock it out of her, like it was me.

Gosh, sorry, bleated on a bit.

The single most important thing I have learnt is, I am my own person, I AM NOT anything like my mother.

sweetestB Mon 04-Feb-13 10:16:06

I could have written your post, I will definitely buy the books and come back to read and comment properly as I had this thread on my head but was struggling to find the right words

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 10:20:16

After years of counselling, you have realised that, through no fault of your own, you were emotionally short-changed. There is a strong chance your M had PND and yes, chemically out of kilter, she may have disliked you. Now, in what feels like a curiously detached way, you can acknowledge this because you know that her majorly flawed parenting was never a direct result of your doing. Her own mother your grandmother may have treated her similarly.

Your mother has probably no wish to go back and examine her treatment of you so prefers to paint herself as she now wishes she had been. That is probably as much as you will get. I understand why you feel it is better to disconnect from her totally. If your sister has no empathy for you then it's better to put that relationship to one side too.

Better for you to focus on your relationship with your own daughter. If you are able to discuss this with your DH perhaps he will be able to offer another perspective - you are worthy of love and you haven't repeated your mother's patterns regarding your own child. We all get irritated or cross with our own offspring sometimes but it doesn't mean we don't love them. Unlike your M you have put in place is a bedrock of love and affection so that your child can still feel secure and knows you and her dad do care about her.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 10:21:23

Sorry for typos this was quite difficult to read and answer as it also rings familiar bells.

Geeklover Mon 04-Feb-13 10:28:00

I had the same sort of relationship with my mother growing up. I spent my whole life wondering if it was just me until only 2 years ago I found out my sister had the same feelings growing up.
My brother didn't. Even now my mum speaks to me in a way that she would never dream of speaking to my brother.
I have tried to talk to her about it but it's futile. She doesn't seem to realise or chooses not to remember what she was like.
I do see her often as she is an amazing grandparent to the dc but our relationship is purely functional towards that.
I have tried every now and then to spend time with her but have ended up realising I just don't want to anymore.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 10:29:23

Did you talk to your mum about this?

It sounds like you just suspect that she may have hated you when you were a child.

spiritedaway Mon 04-Feb-13 10:39:49

Sad post but really familiar. . i can't remember any hugs. I was told i wasn't an affectionate child and she didn't feel like a mother until my brother was born. I lowered my expectations massively over the years. She is ok with grandchildren but bare minimum of interaction unless a Granny audience is around. Her mum treated her badly.

dontsqueezetheteabag Mon 04-Feb-13 10:58:50

OP, how brave of you to come out and say what you have said. Personally, I have experienced similar thoughts and feeling over the last few months. My mother recently had an affair, left my father and abandoned myself and my sister. We are both grown up and away from home but abandoned is probably the right word. We now have no contact and this has brought a lot of old, bad feeling to the surface for me. I think my mother had PND after my sister was born, my father worked away and I bore the brunt of a very nasty lady, punched, poked, shouted at and one evening he shove my face into a boiling hot plate of dinner. All of these things make me think she hated me as a child and now she is gone she can no longer poison my life.

Good luck OP. x

dimsum123 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:18:13

I can't believe there are people out there who understand. I thought it was just me. Thankyou for posting everyone. It is sooo interesting and helpful to read all your responses. I could never have this sort of discussion in RL.

Tantrums, when I was pregnant with DD I was DESPERATE for her to be a boy but didn't tell anyone. But at that point I didn't know why. I was still totally embroiled in my family lie that we were a happy normal loving functional family. I only started realising and facing up to the truth about my family and my childhood a few years after DD was born.

I also have huge problems in friendships with women. I can't open up or truly trust anyone. I am drawn to the wrong people for the wrong reasons and end up being hurt. eg. I think I crave to be spoken to in a loving, soft and caring voice. My mother never spoke to me like that. So I have tended to make friends with women who are softly spoken who have kind sounding gentle voices. But even though they sounded kind, these 'friends' actually treated me really badly and it took me a long time to realise this and do something about it.

Donkeys yes I am sure my grandmother treated my mother in exactly the same way as she treated me. She never talked about her mother, only about her dad who she clearly had a better relationship with.

And my mother actually sees herself as a victim (I'm the baddie for cutting her off from her grandchildren after all she did for me) and yes my sister has no empathy for me. You are so right in everything you say.

Geek it must be good in a way to feel validated by your sister. Because it's only me I do question my perception.

Cote you're right in that I don't know for sure if she hated me. But she would NEVER admit it now even if she did as she wants to keep up the perfect mother image she has with my sister and wider family. And she definately made me feel as if she hated me and that is what is important here, my feelings as a child and now.

Spirited yes I was told I was a difficult child and that it was my fault that our relationship was so bad. And I also didn't feel like a real mother until my DS was born.

TantrumsandBananas Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:02

OP Yes, amazing how they can rewrite history. My mother alternates between disowning me by sending weird nasty letters, or professing to anyone who will listen that "she doesn't know what she did wrong".

I too have had some counselling over the years. We came to the conclusion that she narcisstic, and probably a sociopath. A very sick woman. Loves playing the victim, and is very good at it.

I never thought I would have a child, had DD at 41, but you know, it was meant to be. I like to think, to right some wrongs? Does this make sense?

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 12:27:44

dimsum - I think it is important for you at this point to word your frustration as "As a child, I felt as if my mum hated me" rather than "I just realised that my mum hated me when I was a child".

dimsum123 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:09:28

Cote probably that is more accurate but does it matter? Everyone on this thread seems to have understood what I meant.

Yes my mother is probably narcisstic. Everything is about her. My dad bullied us all but she only feels sorry for herself and has no concept of how his psycholigical abuse and bullying affected me. I don't think she ever even thought it might have affected me. She only ever thought about herself.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:13:42

I wasn't trying to be pedantic. It's not about what is more accurate.

I was trying to say that it is important for you to think of that period as one where you felt like your mother didn't love you, rather than suddenly be so sure (without even any verification) that your mother hated you as a child.

I think it is important for your state of mind. You were of course loved. If you talk to your mum, you will probably see that she had some issues at the time and took it out on you - had no patience for you, she was short with you, etc - but she didn't hate you.

That is my two euro centimes. Of course you know your situation better than anyone else here. Just try to steer your mind away from the dark thoughts, is what I'm trying to say.

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