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Not really thankful to my Mum for anything.

(96 Posts)

Very obviously in relation to the 'thankful to Mum' thread but I didn't want to drag it down as it is a lovely thread at the moment!

It is making me realise though that I really don't think of anything to be 'thankful' for wrt my parents, especially my Mum. She's not bad or anything, she was just never a strong character, never encouraged me to be strong, always listened to my fears/upsets but always just said "Well, I was like that as a child and I grew up." so never actually helped me be constructive or did anything constructive about it herself.

I was bullied mercilessly both by teachers/adults around me and peers from the age of 5/6 to 18/19 in various fashions. I remember crying to her when I was about 10 saying that I only had one friend and she told me that she only ever had one friend growing up so I would be fine. I was always encouraged to brush the bullying under the carpet, to hide in a corner and not face it, I'd cry myself to sleep every night and I know that bothered her but she never actively tried to do anything to help. I'd cry to her most days but she always said that she couldn't do anything.

I eventually moved schools when I was 12 after a particularly bad incident where I snapped and ended up being bitten at school. She let the police talk me out of pressing charges and it was only because I refused to go to school when the school wouldn't even give the girl detention that I got moved. Second high school was just as fun. I should have been pulled out of school entirely. I still can't forgive her for her lack of trying to help when I was bullied through school.

When I finally told her, after a year of debating, that I was bisexual, she pulled a face, told me I'd grow out of it and that I shouldn't say anything to my Dad. When I tried to tell her that I was being sexually abused by my boyfriend she dithered and wouldn't talk about it.

She was a complete sap. No sense of strength in herself, no pride in her appearance (more pride in her refusal to be 'feminine'), never stood up for me, never helped me get my own strength or ability to handle situations.

She now says that my childhood/teen years have made me 'stronger' and the person I am today. It has made me who I am today, but I am not bloody 'stronger'. I'm a person who really struggles with relationships of any kind. I have no self esteem. I know nothing about how to look good and when I apparently 'look good' I feel ugly as muck. I feel uncomfortable wearing anything that is not jeans and a t-shirt. Cannot handle disagreements with friends so I just avoid having friends and up until recently fully accepted that my only friend in life would ever be DP, it didn't bother me too much as I didn't let it. I accepted that I should just lie down and not do anything about things in my life. Mumsnet has been more of a parent to me than my own mother, what a crock of shit, right?

My relationship with my immediate family is very blase. They are my family, but the relationships are entirely superficial. If any of them were to die tomorrow I would mourn for what I feel I should have with them, not them. It feels awful to admit that. My sister had an accident last week which could have ended horrifically, she's fine, but it did make me realise that I have no relationship with her and I was so upset by how close we came to losing her because of that, not because I love her so much.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 22-May-13 20:21:48

Oh bloody hell I remember reading about that study on monkeys. They must have experimented in the 60s or something, it was a really old book when I read it as a kid in the 80s. Some of the mother monkeys had been xperimented on themselves and wee terrible mothers, beat the baby monkeys aeverely. I remember that the baby monkeys would keep going back despite being beaten, didn't lose their faith in their mother. I remember feeling sickened when I read that as it made me remember my childhood thrashings and pleaing for them to stop, and I also remember wanting a cuddle afterwards. Bloody horrible memories. And yes the baby monkeys would cuddle a stick, or pretend monkey mother in the absence if anything else.

God I hadn't thought of that in years,

Yes to the grimness of buying Cards. My gran was the type of person who would be furious if she didn't get those monstrous cards with sentimental verses of devotion etc, and even though she was my gran I had to call her mum, so the cards had to say 'wonderful mother' or something. Strangely even after I left her (moved out when 16 And got in contact with my actual mother when I was 17) I then somehow had to do the same for my mother to 'make up' for lost time. So another set of cards with sentiments I didn't mean.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 22-May-13 20:21:59

Bloody hell, essay.

AnyFucker Wed 22-May-13 20:41:54

Getorf sad

Lizzylou Wed 22-May-13 20:57:22

I completely relate to so many posts on this thread.
Finally, at my grand old age of 40, the scales are off my eyes and I realise that my Mother ( and Father, but I never had great expectations of him anyway) were not all that. It spurs me on to be a better parent, same with my brother ( who has always been bemused by my steadfast stance of supporting my mother no matter what, according to my sil). I dunno.
All I know is that I will never be put behind her partner again, that myself and my brother are better parents and that she verily showed herself up for what she is over Christmas.
I only suddenly snapped because she put a man (and such a feckless one at that!); before my children. She did the same throughout my childhood, but my boys will not be snubbed.
I am horribly vindictive and that will never happen again.
Just wish I had woken up beforehand.

Lizzylou Wed 22-May-13 21:06:59

Oh Getorf, you are so fabulous. Despite them all, you are sad

pointythings Wed 22-May-13 21:35:40

This is sad.

But you can overcome your mother's failures. My own mum is proof of that - my gran was a weak woman, always avoided conflict, never stood up for her DDs against a bullying narcissist husband who was my mother's stepfather and who ruined one of my aunts and scarred the other for life.

My mum overcame all those things, because she had the insight to see what her own mum had done wrong and to do things differently. You, OP, sound like you are cut from the same cloth. You have the same insight and understanding. It is sad that your mum did not give you anything to thank her for, but you have made yourself what you are now and you should be proud.

AnyFucker Wed 22-May-13 21:44:50

Pointy, that is a good thought

I can categorically say that everything I have achieved in my life and all the good things I have now are all down to me

I can be proud of that. For not repeating the pattern, for not going under.

alcibiades Wed 22-May-13 21:48:20

I took so long writing my response that I got logged out. Fortunately I copied what I'd written:

Xiaoxiong - that conversation with your aunt really encapsulates how people try to normalise such behaviour. Assuming that your aunt is a kind person, it shows how difficult it can be for some people to actually understand - it's almost as though you were each talking a different language. But in some families, people choose not to hear, preferring instead to sweep things under the carpet.

FuturePerect - yes, what I thought was just an interesting and somewhat trivial thing to note, she had to tell a blatant lie in order to be superior.

I've read about that experiment before (it was carried out by a psychologist called Harry Harlow). But strangely enough, I hadn't actually connected that to myself. That experiment was cruel (and wouldn't be allowed these days on ethical grounds) but did help to bolster the growing view at that time that more was needed for an infant to thrive and grow into a confident adult than just the basics of food and shelter. I guess that's probably why I've had issues of low self-esteem at times - it's difficult to love yourself if you weren't loved as a child. God, what a legacy these people have bequeathed to us.

TheArmadillo - I applaud you for telling others and educating/enlightening them, but all of that comes at a price. People do have problems in coping with their own feelings when a victim reveals their story, but that's often because society hasn't yet got to grips with situations like ours. It's a taboo subject, but a taboo that needs to be broken, and it's mostly us who are having to do that. A double whammy, in a sense.

For some reason, I've been thinking about the physical response to an infection. Sometimes the body creates a wall around a site of infection, resulting in a cyst full of pus. That cyst can start off being very small, but with each repeated infection it grows a little bit larger. Eventually, it'll grow so big that it bursts. And that's when others see the grossness that's been lurking there all the time.

Xiaoxiong Wed 22-May-13 23:25:11

Yes they are all in denial. Everyone sweeping it under the carpet and refusing to believe me.

Just got an email asking when she can come round tomorrow to see DS. She is making a point of bringing her PA. We haven't spoken in 6 months and yet I bet she will arrive as if nothing had ever happened because her PA will be there watching. Means she doesn't have to apologise too as she is adamant you don't air family problems to outsiders hmm

AgathaF Thu 23-May-13 07:58:03

Xiaoxiong you don't have to see her tomorrow, you know. Or if you do want to see her, why not make it at a different time, so hopefully she arrives on her own?

forgetmenots Thu 23-May-13 08:46:19

Xiaoxiaong just say no - or better still ignore the request and be out!

doodleloo Thu 23-May-13 10:12:22

The cards thing is very pertinent. I remember reading a Mother's Day card from my sister to mum where she actually wrote the words ' I love you' - I was shocked, wondering how my sister could write those words. Those words that were never ever uttered to us. They just seemed so alien.

Card greetings for toxic parents." thanks for keeping my body alive throughout childhood, while causing irreparable damage to my psyche."

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 23-May-13 10:20:27

Thanks lizzy - that's a lovely thing to say. smile

Bloody mothers day gets me down. It always had to be a big performance. Never used to get the flowers right.

It is astonishing looking back how similar my mother is to my gran, with subtle differences. I almost had to break with my mother in order to be able to see it. My gran had 5 children (plus me) who she raised, and she died alone, none of her children spoke to her because she was so awful. My mother now only speaks to one member of the family (my brother) as she has alienated all the rest. The similarity is that neither of them were to blame - my gran went around telling everyone (small town) that her children were selfish, wicked, awful, insane, and my mother is doing the same. Everyone else is to blame.

xiao - that is bloody telling that she hasn't seen you in months and emailed you to arrange it and is bringing her PA.

it's difficult to love yourself if you weren't loved as a child - that's bloody true. And difficult to expect it from others as well. Causing harm in relationships - on one hand you never really believe that you are loved, so constantly challenge it, and then if you do believe that your partner loves you you will end up staying with that partner even if the relationship is flawed or damaged because you can never believe that you deserve anything different.

Mollydoggerson Thu 23-May-13 11:17:00

Powerful thread.

Xiao - Either ignore her or else respond saying you would prefer if she came on her own. Bringing her PA to a private family home would be uncomfortable for all involved. (It's clearly her security blanket - insecure woman).

Xiaoxiong Thu 23-May-13 12:11:55

Thanks for the push everyone. I've emailed to say I will set up a meeting with her PA separately if she wants to see DS. I bet she still arrives with the PA anyway sad I often think she wishes I was like her PA - thin, "interesting", eager to please and ready to pander to her every whim for a salary.

God I've dodged a bullet with cards though it sounds like. Thank goodness we don't do cards in our family, sounds absolutely awful forced hypocrisy.

I would be very wary and infact I would now cancel any such meeting saying that you've changed your mind and that its not acceptable. If these people are too toxic for you then they are certainly too toxic for your children to be anywhere near.

Some parents should really not have any access to their grandchildren.

SkaffenAmtiskaw Thu 23-May-13 16:32:44

Thanks for this thread. I have also lurked on the stately homes thread, but not felt able to post as my childhood doesn't seem to have been as bad as some on that thread.

My mother did love me in her own twisted way, but she always prefered and prioritised my brother. For instance, talking, some years later, about a house move we had when I was 13, she said she'd regretted moving because my brother didn't cope very well and "retreated into his shell". Erm, excuse me mother, did you not notice me going completely off the rails (bunking off school when I had been a straight As pupil, drugs, alcohol, underage sex, you name it)?

I never had cuddles because she had decided that I wasn't a cuddly child, and I don't remember her ever telling me she loved me.

I remember writing a poem for her when I was about 15, one that went "you're such a lovely mum, always there for me etc" and crying buckets while I was writing it. I didn't understand why at the time, but never gave her the poem. I realised much later that I was crying for the mother I didn't have sad

My mother is dead now, and I sort of miss her, although again, I think I miss the mother she should have been rather than the mother she was.

Hissy Thu 23-May-13 20:11:02

Xiaoxiong Her PA thing is so that you don't take her to task about anything. Classic manipulation.

Do you have the number/email of the PA? Seeing as diary management would doubtless be one of her tasks... contact the PA and say you are going to have to reschedule.... and that you won't be able to make the visit after all.

THEN GO OUT ALL DAY.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 23-May-13 21:32:48

Oh skaffen sad heartbreaking the thought of the 15 year old you crying over that poem. I a, sorry.

poppysays Thu 23-May-13 21:54:43

Are you me? Or are several of you reading my mind? I've just plucked up the courage to post a mother related post on here, it took me nearly an hour and several edits to click post message. However now I realise I've missed so much out of my thread that is mentionned here. I was dreadfully physically and verbally bullied at school and mother said "don't make such a fuss" when i broke down in tears in front of her.


puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE said:
My greatest fears are that I will turn into my mother and that I will push away anyone who loves me.

This is my fear entirely that started my own thread. I'm sort of relieved I'm not the only one, I think thoughts like this and then reprimand myself, feeling this cannot be normal, as my mother would say "don't make such a fuss"......

SkaffenAmtiskaw Fri 24-May-13 16:50:24

it's difficult to love yourself if you weren't loved as a child - that's bloody true. And difficult to expect it from others as well. Causing harm in relationships - on one hand you never really believe that you are loved, so constantly challenge it, and then if you do believe that your partner loves you you will end up staying with that partner even if the relationship is flawed or damaged because you can never believe that you deserve anything different.

This ^. So true. I ended up in an abusive relationship.

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