Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

why will my mum never admit or address what she did to us as children

(22 Posts)
Danity856 Fri 05-Aug-16 21:30:36

My mum was a bad mum, not always abusive but bad.
I get on quite well with my mum now but sometimes all my memories of things she's done make me feel so much hate towards her. I feel rage it's almost uncontrollable, to the point where I want her to have nothing to do with me and my daughter... But I live with my mum and have been for almost a year now.. I am very dependant on her atm, she helps me a lot.

I have memories, mostly of watching her beat my older brother in fits of rage for no reason, starting when he was only 4/5 and I see how depressed he still gets now in his late 20's.. But she has nothing to say to him ever.

I contemplate addressing things with her? I can't look her in the eye sometimes. I think she is delusional as she will mention things about her parenting style when we were younger and every-time she does this I tell her "I have a very clear memory of our childhood" ...to which she changes subject. I also make statements about how I will never lay a hand on my child, she changes the subject again. Why will she never say anything, she knows that I remember, she see's how depressed my brother is about it but she never says anything. My brother came to my mums at Christmas, he went out on Christmas eve, came back late in the night drunk and wrote on my mums chalkboard about what she did to him. She ignored it.. I don't understand it and sometimes wonder if she is just crazy? and maybe I just need to move on and put it the back of my head now? I feel almost certain that if my mum made some attempt at acknowledging some of the things she did to my brother and letting him know that it was not his fault in any way, that it would change so much for him. He is a high achiever, one of the most intelligent people you could ever meet but he is constantly struggling to get over his feelings about his childhood which was either physically abusive or neglectful and it holds him back.

Dowser Fri 05-Aug-16 21:41:42

Too painful for her.
She'd have to confront her dark side and she's u able to do that because of all the heavy emotions like guilt, fear, anger etc

Far better to pretend they ever happened

Or split off those feelings and put the, onto someone else.ie your brother...ie he deserved it, he was so naughty etc etc

Fairylea Fri 05-Aug-16 21:46:22

She's never going to apologise. People like that don't. To be honest she's probably borrowed it so deep and rationalised it that it is forgotten to her.

The best way to break free of it for your own sanity is to build a path to your own Independence now and move out. Why are you so dependent on her now? How can you lessen this? I lived with my mum for 31 years and finally cut the apron strings a few years ago. The relief has been intense.

Danity856 Fri 05-Aug-16 22:00:41

I'm in the processes of starting a business with Prince Trust, It's in the food industry which means I have to go through a lot of legal processes before I can begin trading or acquire investments. So currently I have 0 income apart from benefits. Living with my mum right now seems to be my only option.. Although I agree with you, I don't know what I could do

RedMapleLeaf Fri 05-Aug-16 22:07:59

I think you living with your mum even now is also part of the dynamic playing out from your childhood.

SandyY2K Fri 05-Aug-16 22:12:38

It's her guilt and shame.

Addressing it while you live there is pointless, because you can't escape from her.

My friend /coworker confronted her mum about abandoning her in another country when she was just about 6 years old.

Her mum got defensive and put it back on her saying it was her choice and she said she liked the place. Until my friend called her on it and asked how a 6 year old could possibly make such a decision.

She often went hungry and had inadequate clothes after her mum abandoned her to be looked after by another relative.

She finally confessed that she was young and stressed and simply could not cope... The confession and apology took a couple of years after my friend started asking the questions though.

knaffedoff Fri 05-Aug-16 22:20:52

I think you need to accept your mother warts and all, accept her failings and appreciate that as a child, you may not have been in receipt of all the facts. Was your mother ill or depressed?

If you can't accept the past and need to judge your mother, it might be better all round if you stop relying on her financially and become independent.

Pteranodon Fri 05-Aug-16 22:30:06

I wonder what facts would have made beating her 4-5yo an acceptable thing to do.

HedgehogHedgehog Fri 05-Aug-16 22:31:16

I think when people hurt you its natural to look to them to stop the pain or to make up for it. But thats not healthy and it hardly ever happens. It keeps you trapped in a dynamic where they have power over you. You and your brother need to move on with your lives and heal yourselves as best you can yourselves. The damage has been done and she cant undo it for you whatever she says. Even if she did acknowledge it it wont change what happened. You are the only one who can truly make yourself feel more positive. If i were you id try and stop being dependant on her. Move away and get some space to grow. If you cant do that right now just look forward to when you can and make plans for then. You arent going to get answers from her, people that do things like that rarely have the strength to address it. xx

imother Fri 05-Aug-16 22:32:07

Although tempting to confront your mother you've got a problem if you live wither her.

In any case, it might be much more productive for your to speak to a counsellor and work through your feelings with them, rather than your mum who is likely to deny, get angry and defensive and detach from you.

Danity856 Fri 05-Aug-16 22:57:26

@ knaffedoff

Okay so when I say I am living with my mother, to clarify: My mother does not work or have any income she has never had a job. Her husband who I get on with, owns the house and everything in it. I pay my rent to him. he is the one who is helping me get by and helping me with my business as he has his own successful business. But most of the time he is working, so any time I spend at the house is with my mum.

I do see your point here, I agree that I need to stop judging her as the past cannot be changed.

Dowser Fri 05-Aug-16 23:01:43

I would suggest you go to mind for some counselling to help you cope with your feelings of anger etc

You can't change your mother, only yourself.

Danity856 Fri 05-Aug-16 23:05:21

I live with my mum but I am not taking any subsidising financially from my mum. when i say she helps me I don't mean that she gives me money or anything like that

BusStopBetty Fri 05-Aug-16 23:06:02

Do you think you'd be better off trying to get employment and be able to leave her home? Starting a business is great, but not if it traps you there for the foreseeable future.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 05-Aug-16 23:29:33

I think it's really admirable that you want to start a business, but find it interesting that your mum's husband also has his own business. Almost like he's the only positive role model you have and you want to emulate him. Of course there is nothing wrong with that. But I wonder if you would be better off getting a job and finding your feet/renting/just getting away from your mother for a while would be a better solution.

You can always start a business, but I think doing it now means you're stuck in a not great situation. A bit of distance would do you good.

Best of luck though.

happyandsingle Sat 06-Aug-16 11:36:19

my mum was abusive but she would never admit it. she had bad depression and often took it out on me being the youngest.
she will often tell me what a great mum she was and I don't know if she really be lives that or she's making herself feel better.
she is a great nan to my daughter but I can't forget how bad she used to make me feel.
I think a lot of my low self esteem comes from her and deep down I do hate her even though I pretend I dont.
I can honestly say if she died tommerow I wouldn't be sad.she is remarried now and I believe happy but she still has that nasty side that comes out every now and again.
However I love my dad and have been blessed to have a good dad so at least I have that.
I do relate to you op I think it's so hard esp when they act like the perfect grandparent to your kids and u renember how they were with you.

hotdiggedy Sat 06-Aug-16 18:11:26

So how do you think your brother is feeling about you going and living with her and he was so badly treated by her in childhood and present times/ Must make him feel even worse, no?

Gottagetmoving Sat 06-Aug-16 18:51:21

Your mum cannot face the truth of how she was.
My mother was abusive and would rage and lash out. Sometimes she would shout for over an hour non stop. When she did, we didn't dare move in case she lashed out.
I spent a long time hating her for it but after I grew up I started to learn some things about her. She had suffered anxiety and depression after having a very bad childhood herself. Her mother had died when she was only 13 and I suspect she had suffered abuse herself.
None of this excuses her behaviour towards us but it made me realise she was carrying a lot of pain.
I think only counselling can help you and your brother unless you can make your mum listen to how you feel about it all. I know that is not easy to do.

Imbroglio Sat 06-Aug-16 19:04:31

This isn't something that can be resolved while you are living with her.

Look at it from her point of view - its probably not ideal for her having you there, its her home, and you are there because she and her husband are supporting you. Its not the ideal time to ask her to dig deep into memories of what were probably difficult times - she's going to feel resentful, pushed into a corner, and pretty upset.

You might also have to manage your expectations of what can be achieved anyway. If you really want to 'go there' could you focus on the positives about your childhood and talk to her about that? That way you might build some trust. If she thinks you are going to attack and accuse her she'll find it hard to have any kind of conversation. If she was horrible to you and your brother its quite likely she was struggling to cope and she might not want to talk about that time in her life.

Trust me I know how hard this can be. I've tried resolving stuff with my own mother and it has only every been disastrous. She only wants to hear that she's wonderful. I try very hard not to be like that when my own children challenge me. That's really all I can do.

hellokittymania Sat 06-Aug-16 19:10:47

I understand. I have a disability and work and live on another continent from my mother. Sometimes she acts like she's proud, other times like I'm a burden. I am about to pay for my things at her house to be shipped overseas, so we aren't on good terms now. She turns things on me and says stop fighting when I'm trying the best I can do be independent and hapy.

NewtoCornland Sat 06-Aug-16 21:42:10

Oh dainty flowers I know exactly where you are coming from. I had an abusive upbringing and my mum was a fucking parental disaster. We all regularly endured beatings and I was in/out of care from 10 years old. A few years back I tried to raise the subject and went through a few things that happened and all she said was 'that never happened' or 'it wasn't like that' or my personal favourite 'you were such a difficult child'...of course I was, I suffered abuse of all types and was constantly told I was a mistake, doesn't make what she did right.

I realised pretty quickly I was never going to get the acknowledgement I wanted for the hell she put me through. I didn't speak to her for nearly 7 Years after that.

We talk now but I'm still wary...she's great with my ds but I will never trust her enough to look after him without my stepdad there.

I don't think you will ever get what you hope for out of confronting her and how you deal with that is personal to you (although I found it easier to walk away). I could never imagine living with her again, the thought makes me shudder, I just don't see how it would work without me killing her you must have the patience of a saint.

panegyricS1 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:53:11

Have you discussed all this with your brother? Could you live with himUntil your business is up and running? Or could he help financially? He can't be happy that you're stuck with her, irrespective of how pleasant her husband is.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now