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Why does my mother pretend like nothing ever happened?

(15 Posts)

I'm not sure if this is the right place or not. Apologies if it's inappropriate, a bit woe is me and/or boring. I feel like a rant I suppose.

My mother called me earlier, as she does about once a fortnight to complain about how ill she is feeling, or to borrow money. Today she was upset, she mentioned how my second-eldest brother (I have four) hadn't spoken to her for around five months. She was talking to me about how she just couldn't understand what she'd done so wrong to have her child ignore her like this... So I told her.

What's surprising is, this all seemed to be actual, breaking news. She was crying. Was she not present while we were growing up? Did I miss something?

I don't understand. Genuinely confused. We were beaten by my father in front of her, sometimes she held us down. She was there when my father riveted locks to the fridge and freezer so we couldn't feed ourselves, even though they made no effort to feed us. We were hungry, dirty, and bruised. We had little clothing. Unless the neighbour had given me some of her daughter's old clothing, I wore tatty boy's clothes to school in place of a uniform. My father kicked us out one by one, at the age of sixteen or seventeen, explained it all away to the social services as us being 'out of control', which translated to attempted beatings which turned into a full-on fight, my father sustaining some injury and calling the police to have us arrested, I was arrested twice for assault before the age of 15, the police never believed me, I was a 'child', even though my brother sat next to me whilst I was giving my interview, backing up everything I said. They didn't care. My mother backed up his false stories every single time this happened, we had no hope.

How can she wonder why we're not close to her?!

I'm so angry, I don't like thinking about all this. How can she be so fucking stupid.

Lemonies Fri 05-Jul-13 21:51:13

Sorry you are feeling shitty Cat.

The fact you still speak to your Ma shows how much a better person you are despite their cruelty.

wine

RandomMess Fri 05-Jul-13 21:53:59

So sad to read what a shitty non-childhood you had. I guess your mother has rewritten history.

Hugs

Nothing I can say to help but quite clearly you don't need any more of her crap.

foolonthehill Fri 05-Jul-13 21:56:28

because to admit it she would have to stop the denial of her part in all the abuse of your past. And the guilt is too scary and big for her.

it's not right, it's not just and I am amazed that you can even bring yourself to speak to her and I ADMIRE you for it

And i am truly sad that you were never heard or believed by people who should have stepped in to protect you.

Well done for building a life for yourself. Don;t be afraid to stop having a relationship with her if it hurts you too much

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 05-Jul-13 21:57:23

DH's mother has issues. Didn't cope as a parent of children or adults. He has made the decision to step away. Its been two years since contact. 1 year seeing various behavioural therapists to help him get his head straight and now finally he is developing self confidence and planning our future rather than living in a constant state of guilt and anxiety.

The things that went on and social services involvement of the 70's/ mainly early 80's is shocking. He didn't remember the depth of much of it until therapy and has had to bring it to the surface to work through.

In answer to was she present...Yes of course she was. Its selective memory and blacking things out at best and negligence/ abuse at worst.

You sound like you've been able to break through and become a strong independent adult. Don't allow her manipulation to revert you to your vulnerable child self.

Would a little mantra help if she gets on the 'poor little me track'?

Hissy Fri 05-Jul-13 21:59:17

Re-writing history. It's the only way they can live with themselves.

The tears are designed for you to NOT bring it up, and to eventually believe HER..

If she doesn't add to your life, leave her to her own devices.

She deserves nothing from you.

Vivacia Fri 05-Jul-13 21:59:24

Have you spoken to your brother since you spoke to your mum?

I agree with the re-writing history comment.

silverangel Fri 05-Jul-13 21:59:28

I'm so sorry for what happened to you. I have no advice but think she must be massively in denial. Is going no-contact an option?

TwasBrillig Fri 05-Jul-13 21:59:59

Oh cat I'm so sorry to read this. I'm struggling with my parents at the moment as they seem to have rewritten history and I sometimes don't know whether to mention it or just pretend, but then they accuse me of being uncaring and I think after all I've been through and after all I've done. . . Fuming this afternoon and just can't get my head sound how to handle it.

However my case was neglect (food, clothes, emotional, safety, etc) but not active beatings. I can only imagine and as I'm feeling raw today my heart really goes out to you.

Its so hard and weird trying to maintain a relationship with 'family' when what you really crave is someone to love and accept and parent you, a v the reality is the background of neglect/abuse.

TwasBrillig Fri 05-Jul-13 22:03:25

I don't know if its the same for you but I feel sorry for my mother and have that urge to make everything better for her. I guess its that weird symbiotic relationship/people pleasing thing. However the hard thing is putting yourself first and I'm still uneasy working that one out.

WandaDoff Fri 05-Jul-13 22:16:02

I wasn't beaten either. But it wasn't benign neglect, it was just neglect plain & simple.

Sometimes I'm glad my parents are dead now, because there is no point holding onto the resentment any more.

Your Mum won't admit the abuse because then she would have to admit she was complicit in it, she'd rather have a selective memory where all the bad stuff never happened.

Have you spoken to your brothers since speaking to your mother?

LittleFrieda Fri 05-Jul-13 22:38:13

How horrible of her to minimise yours and your siblings' pain. sad. Do you talk about it with your 4 brothers?

No, I didn't know he wasn't speaking to her, he probably doesn't even know I speak to her, we don't talk about them at all tbh, unless its relevant. We're our own nuclear family in a way.

I did feel sorry for her before I had DS. I felt as though she was abused alongside us and her part in it was to protect herself, though i never recall her being assaulted. I remember her crawling into bed with me one night after my father had hit me, sobbing. We never spoke about it an she never did it again. I can't justify her behaviour now I'm a parent if that makes sense, she should have tried harder. She still lives with my father in squalor.

I feel better after this. A rant is all you need sometimes.

LittleFrieda Fri 05-Jul-13 23:50:14

Kirjava - My best friend grew up in similar circs and it was helpful for her to talk to a counsellor. She had just a very few sessions and said it helped her finally jettison the bucket of shit that she'd been carrying on her back for so long. When she last saw her parents (she goes just twice a year on her own) she said that she felt nothing but alarm about the fact that she'd been under the care of these incompetent fuck ups. She's a brilliant person and a brilliant mother as I'm sure you are.

It's not your fault. X

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