To be furious at my parents suddenly for things that happened over a decade ago? (Long and possible trigger: assault)(18 Posts)
I have a dd (3) and a ds on the way. Before dd I genuinely believed I had the best parents and childhood.
Mum would bend over backwards for me, was/is very much a mummy martyr. And very judgemental if people who wouldn't put their children first before anything. They literally threw gifts and money at me and I very rarely heard the word no. Very much an idyllic middle class existence from the outside.
Then suddenly after having dd I started really thinking about my childhood, more so the teenage years, and I feel a deep rage and in the early hours of the morning when I can't sleep I want to call them up and say 'WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK WERE YOU THINKING!'
I have in the last few years been diagnosed with hf autism. So I accept that this has probably made me more vulnerable to the situations I'm describing here. My mum says she always knew I was 'different' and did worry about the speech delays etc. but figured I was doing fine so didn't take me to the doctor.
My parents were constantly cheating on each other. When I was around 7 I remember my Mum going into detail about what Dad had been doing, with who, and what a horrible man he was to be married to.
They took me to a smoky club usually every weekend, I can remember lying under tables to get away from the smog (asthma) and I was given beer from around the age of 8. By the age of 12 they were letting other people buy me double vodkas and boasting how well I could hold my drink and that I could drink adults 'under the table'. But they didn't/don't have alcohol problems. Mum doesn't drink and Dad will have at most three pints of bitter.
At a New Year's Eve party at this club when I had just turned 13 everyone was buying me double vodkas and finding it hilarious that I was drunk.
The party eventually went back to another pub dwellers home. Dad and Mum disappeared for a bit (to take friends home I think) and a fourty year old friend of Dad's challenged me to a drinking race. He kept pouring out shots of whisky but giving me his too (somewhat before this point my memory has failed so the rest of this night is based on what I've been told by people in a 'oh isn't it a funny story' way.
I then became very very ill and unconscious. My parents took me home and made me drink litres of water with paracetamol in. Mum said she 'thought' about taking me to the hospital because she was worried I would die BUT social services might have taken me off them. So she watched me all night instead.
When I was 15 I wanted to go to a night club Halloween party two of my friends were going to. My parents bought me a bottle of vodka to drink before I went out and dropped me off at a city a few miles away.
In the early hours of the morning my friends lost me and started to frantically ask around for me. I had been taken outside by a group of men to the park next to the club. I have vague memories of this but have no desire to write them down. My friends eventually found me in the park and called my Mum who picked me up.
This bit is very upsetting for me. I was covered in bruises and cuts. There was blood dried down my legs (I was a virgin before leaving the house) and semen covering my clothes. I have been told this by my mother but I cannot for the life of me figure out her actions after this.
She washed, dried and ironed all of my clothes in the early hours of the morning. She put me to bed and gave me a bed bath, the. Woke me up in the morning to have a shower to wash my hair (also had semen in). Then told me I better make sure my Dad never heard about it and that she felt terribly guilty for letting me get into that situation but if we went to the police it would look really bad and they would want to look inside me and take pictures of me naked, sand did I want that? I said no, and that was the last thing said about it.
A few months after this was my sisters wedding. A 21 year old man took a fancy to me and my mum and sister arranged my first date with him (I knew nothing about it until a couple of days before) They even bought me an outfit (see through top) and gave me some more drink before going out. To be honest I felt pimped out. I saw him for around a year and won't go in to the disaster it was.
How the hell have I thought this was normal for so long?! I look at my daughter and just can never imagine reacting how they did. Would I fuck let my child get drunk, if they did so without my knowledge they would be straight down to the hospital. I would never put my reputation above her health. And the nightclub? I'd kill! I would want those bastards caught and my daughter listened to. I would NEVER act like them.
The best bit is when I had PND for the first year of my daughters life I was made to feel like shit by my parents. They have make out I'm a bad mum sometimes and do you know what I'm not. I don't shout, I don't hit, I put firm boundaries in place because I honestly think it makes you feel safer (I had an aunty whose house I loved going to, she had a routine and rules).
Sorry for the rant. This has been brewing for some time and it feels so good to get it off my chest.
I feel like the childhood I've had in my head has been a complete lie. It's all been about appearances and when people and family say how lucky I am to have my wonderful mum I think 'But she wasn't actually there for me when I needed her'.
Why has this only started occurring to me after having children?
I could have written your post myself. I had a horrific childhood & like you, it wasn't until I had children that I really started to feel angry about it & how my parents let me down.
I think this is because once you realise you would never raise your child in the way you were raised, you then realise just how wrong it was. It's easy to live in a situation & be almost blind to how damaging it is until you are away from it & can look back.
It's a horrible realisation, but luckily one that will set you apart from your parents. Where yours were relaxed about your safety & wellbeing, you will put every effort you have into making sure your children are looked after & feel safe. It sounds odd but I'm almost glad I had such a terrible childhood because it's made me so determined to be a good parent to ensure my DS has the childhood that I missed out on.
I'm so sorry you've had this experience and that you're now reliving it. When I had my first child my mind went completely. ..well it seemed to explode. Nightmares, memories coming back, I was very lucky that I was referred to a good physiologist who helped me make some order of my new and scary thoughts and memories.
Being a mum changes the way you perceive everything. It changes you cell by cell, I'm convinced of it.
First I think you've been very brave to write this all down. Second, is there anyone in rl you can speak to - gp? Friend? I don't for a moment think you'll put this to rest by talking it over with a friend but it might give you a chance to figure out what you need.
Depending on where you are there are people who can help.
Good work OP for getting angry. It's shit, and it can feel as if everything on which you constructed your adult life has gone mad, but my experience is that i came out of it better. And damn right my kids aren't going to deal with anything similar.
Thank you. It's good to know it isn't just me, it does feel a bit like going mad!
It feels like if I said this to anyone else (other than Dp) they wouldn't believe it. I don't really have any close friends at the moment and my entire family is entirely committed to giving mum a sainthood.
Dp knows a lot of this due to me having to overcome a lot of anxieties a year ago re: being excessively over protective and anxious about dd. He was angry for me but not actually that surprised, apparently he had thought for a long time that my parents were very big hypocrites.
Despite the fact that I know my sisters at least know all about the things I've mentioned. But they are so bloody 'proper' and judgemental of other people.
It's hurting my brain to be honest, to have these two completely differencing perspectives on one person (Dad also but I guess since having dd I'm looking at things more from a mums PoV)
I love my mum, but I just can't compute how she could live me as much as she says she does and act how she did.
It feels like if there is anything unimportant or superficial (or just looks good to other people) the. I can rely on them. Actual things like keeping me safe I couldn't.
Having children makes you question lots of things that happen in your childhood. I am sorry that it has stirred up some of these horrific memories. I think you would benefit from talking to a counsellor.
I have asked about a counsellor and have been given a leaflet with a number on it to call, I can't remember what it was called but I'll give it a go I think.
Gosh OP, what you have been through is horrendous. Just out of interest did your Dad ever find out what you went through after your Mum said not to tell him? I don't know why I'm asking that though, just wondering whether it would be worth sitting him down and talking to him about what happened? How do you feel about your parents? Do you still love them? Did anything similar happen to your other siblings? Are they older or younger than you?
I'm just trying to get a picture of your family dynamics.
I'm one of 5. Firstly I can honestly say that NONE of us went through anything like that but we had our own problems. My Dad had an affair, my parents constantly arguing, my Mum having constant headaches, all day every day, being hit by my Mum all the time, my Dad not really being interested in us because his work was busy. Like you I would say that we were middle-class aswell. I went to see a psychic once who asked me if I had a happy childhood and I said yes, she looked at me in a very odd way and said 'are you sure about that?'.
As others have said, it's only since having DD that I have been able to really identify all the ways that my parents behaved that I would NEVER do to DD. I would never smack her, we don't argue in front of her (petty squabbles about what to have for dinner but never anything serious) and DH adores her and would never be uninterested in her.
But I still love my parents and just see that they had/have faults that were brought on by their own parents and society as a whole at the time.
What your parents did however, I don't think I could ever forgive. But not having that happen to me, I can't confirm that 100%, especially if there are good things about them that you see and that you love them.
When you had PND, did you have the counselling offered and did you tell them what happened to you in childhood? If not, I would definitely seek counselling now. If getting it off your chest here as helped, getting it off your chest to a counselor will likely help even more. Good luck OP, you sound like a fantastic Mum with a supportive DH.
big hugs to you
I think counselling is the best way forward. Talking to someone to try make sense of all this will help a lot and you can sort through these emotions and memories. Please don't worry about not being believed - it all sounds very believable indeed (I work in child protection).
Becoming a mum opens your eyes to a lot of things and changes the way you see the world.
You're a good mum. You have recognised where your parents were not good parents and you are sure that you wouldn't do the same to your children.
Things will get easier once you are able to talk about the past and figure out how you want to move forward. Xx
I am so sorry that this is the childhod you had, for me, I found the biggest struggle in coming to terms with my childhood was when DD started getting to an age where I had my own memories, which was about three onwards... It started with 'I can't believe I was treated like that at the age of three' amazement, to a more serious and deeper, painful understanding of exactly what had happened to me.
You are looking at your child now, and understanding that even as a toddler, things were not right, that life was not as it should be for you... Yet, despite all of those challenges, experiences and the horrific things that happened, you are parenting, making sure life is appropriate, and safe, and stable... Why is it that you are able when two adults were not able/willing to do it for you?
That is what I struggled with and still do, why did the adults in my life not care or love for me enough to stop the high drama, the neurotic behaviour, the selfishness, the neglect and the abuse, it has taken me a while to realise that it really, truly was not my responsibility to engender that in them, I was abused at the age of five, which was the biggest challenge I had with DD when she reached that age, it sometimes feels that all of her milestones are my milestones for a lost childhood, once where I was forced to be an adult and know those adult things that children are never meant to know.
I am working on embracing it, with each milestone, I now try to think that this is a milestone with her, for her, not about the lost me, I cut almost all contact with family members who compunded the pain by denying it, it was really hard, but once it started, it was like a rolling stone, all that resentment I felt if I saw them reduced by half.
I hope you get to this point, I cannot tell you how light it feels, I do sometimes still feel battered and bruised from my childhood, but between counselling, watching DD grow up (she's six now) and focusing on being a mother and not a daughter) has really helped xx
Oh my goodness. That is absolutely AWFUL.
I am so, so sorry that that happened to you OP
I think that you need to talk to a counsellor about this. Call Rape Crisis.
This is one of the worst things I have read on mumsnet.
If it were me, I think I'd need to know why my mother did this. Perhaps the counsellor will suggest a joint sessions henhouse strong enough?
No I was only offered antidepressants when I went to the GP with pnd.
Yes I still love my parents but that's now underlaid with a simmering anger that is tainting every memory and conversation for me at the minute.
To my knowledge Dad still does not know anything about the Halloween night. I don't know where he was but he wasn't at home that night when I got back.
My Dad and Mum actually got together as the result of an affair. My half sisters and brothers are all a fair bit older than me on both sides.
Somehow despite this and they way they have behaved ( the New Year's Eve party was very public knowledge) they are still thought of as virtuous and just fantastic parents.
Either I'm mad or there is some sort of collective delusion going on in my family. It's like I'm seeing these events through a different 'lens' than they all are if that makes any sense?
I'm so sorry to hear of others experiences too
I honestly wouldn't say my parents were abusive, though my dad could be quite bullying at times. But then I can't say it was normal behaviour either. Anything that didn't fit in with the 'lovely parents' story was just swept under a rug.
I'm having a huge struggle if I'm honest. I can't understand how I have only just in the last three years started to question this at all? Was my brain turned off?
My Mother left the family home (for another man) when I was 14/15, my siblings were younger and my Dad didn't know what had hit him, she wanted to take the youngest with her but Dad said no, we stay together.
She didn't say goodbye, she packed a case and just left but expected us to treat her as if nothing had happened.
Years later, when my own children reached their teens it suddenly hit me how shoddily she'd treated us. All sorts of memories hit me and I realised what a lying, deceitful woman she was, in her eyes she must be number 1 and come first.
I can't and won't forgive her.
Your experiences were really dreadful. Think about the counselling.
I'm sorry to hear what happened to you as a child - awful. And I understand as I've had similar feelings and they've only really come up since I have had the DCs.
Your parents treated you in an awful way.
We are programmed to love our parents as children as they are the main role models in our lives and we don't really know any better until we see other role models.
So it is confusing that when we get to the stage of questioning them - we still love them and yet have feelings of anger towards them.
I dont know the answer but hope you find the answer.
You should be furious. Those are hard memories to deal with but you can feel justified in your feelings.
Counselling helped me when, like you after having children, I started to question a lot of my mum's decisions. This was magnified because she is still making awful judgements and treating people like shit. I felt I could have benefitted from confronting her or cutting her out but I did neither because I can see she won't change, she will just shrug it off. Maybe when you have had time to talk/remember/ process your memories in this new light, you will decide on a way forward that will be truly yours. You don't have to think/feel/accept the way you think your half siblings have, you don't have to buy in to the sainthood version of your mum.
Sending you strength and
It's likely because you've had a child and now realise just how fucked up it all was.
I don't think it's strange at all. My childhood was challenging and I knew things were 'not right' but I'm still trying to get to grips with how abusive it was. We are hard wired to love our parents but also to survive. I think this leads to a kind of attachment blindness where we normalise behaviour which is far from ideal. This is compounded when the people around us either explicitly or implicitly provide external validation that the behaviour is fine.
I honestly thought having children would help my relationship with my mum as I'd understand her better! I can't believe I thought that now but I was desperate for that connection. I know how healthy I am because I'm not repeating her pattern and I have, I hope, broken a chain of abusive behaviour, especially down the female line.
I have found it immensely challenging and my biggest crisis was when my marriage finally broke down after years of me trying to fix that too. An amazing therapist has helped plus reading about complex PTSD, I googled Pete Walker recommended by another mumsnetter, has provided external recognition.
Thank you I will google that.
Yes I am 100% trying my very best not to mess dd up, if anything I'm too overprotective so will have to work on that a little so my own experiences don't affect her.
What's been said makes sense to me, still feels like I've spent a large chunk of my life lying to myself iukwim.
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