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AIBU to still feel angry with my parents about the way they treated me?

(26 Posts)
thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 17:49:34

I struggle so much with this. And I really shouldn't. It was years and years ago, they are both now dead.

But they were both capable of being very loving, very generous, very supportive. Yet most of my memories of them are largely negative. I feel a bit rotten about this, as if I'm just deliberately in my mind trying to find bad things about them and remember no one is perfect.

One of the main things I struggle with now is the public punishments they used to dole out and the way they'd compare me very openly to friends of theirs with similar aged children and say their children were prettier, cleverer, funnier, more talented.

AIBU? I feel I might be! So give it to me straight.

Grittyshunts Sun 15-Jan-17 17:53:21

No I don't think you are BU. Perhaps you feel you wish you had a chance to pull them up on their behaviour and now you can't? I'm sorry both of your parents have passed away flowers maybe writing them a letter saying how much you loved them both but how these things are bothering you then burning it would be a cathartic thing to do? It might sound silly but it might also help.

whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 15-Jan-17 17:54:38

I think the public humiliation is incredibly damaging and no wonder you feel negative. Your parents should love you best of all and perception that this isn't the case is quite hurtful.
However, parenting is hard and the older I get and the more mistakes I make myself, the more forgiving I am of my own parents. I hope my daughters remember when I got it right and not the times I got it wrong and know they are loved.

NavyandWhite Sun 15-Jan-17 17:56:50

That sounds really tough actually OP. Even worse now they are both dead and you can't put things straight.

Have you had any counselling regarding these issues? That might help you.

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 17:59:06

A bit, linked into pnd, but it's difficult as I talk about them and end up HATING them! Then I feel like a horrible person for hating my dead parents!

relaxitllbeok Sun 15-Jan-17 18:15:46

I think you need the same technique you're probably familiar with from parenting: separate judgement of the actions from judgement of the person. What they did was horrible, wrong, cruel. Hate what they did. Try to let go of hatred for them. A thing that can be helpful is to look back down the line: what was it about the way they were parented that made it so hard for them to do a good job of parenting? In my family I can see the pattern going back three generations (and can see something of how circumstances beyond anyone's control played a role). That makes it easier to understand, and to see my job as breaking a cycle. Hugs, though: it's hard to have to admit parents behaved cruelly.

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 18:17:13

Thanks. I find it very hard to separate actions from the person because their actions were them.

HorseyHorseyTwat Sun 15-Jan-17 18:22:48

Honestly, I think everyone outside of those who's parents were actually abusive would be better off if they'd just let go of the resentment and anger about things their parents got wrong. It achieves nothing other than eating you up from the inside out.

Your childhood may not have been perfect, but it is over. Hang on to those resentments and you may as well still be living it.

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 18:25:48

You see, I think they were quite abusive, to be honest.

But they could also be very loving.

They would call me the most awful names. I used to dread car journeys with them, they mocked my appearance. I appeared in a local paper aged 11 with some other girls after we did a charity drive and they shoved the photo in front of me saying to look at it, at how much prettier the other girls were compared to me. They'd scream and shout and smack, a lot. Smacking was always public.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 15-Jan-17 18:27:04

You would really benefit from counselling to get closure. Its not that you have to forgive them as such, its that you can accept they were capable of no better, and you are able to let it go and move on.

HorseyHorseyTwat Sun 15-Jan-17 18:27:25

Well that's different of course. Have you considered some kind of counselling?

kerryob Sun 15-Jan-17 18:32:09

Therapy is a good idea to help you let go of the resentment towards them. You don't need to forgive but be able to move on.

Have you tried writing a burn letter?

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 18:33:14

I just end up tangled up.

I remember a bad thing and feel angry and hate them, then I remember a kind thing, and hate myself.

user1471453601 Sun 15-Jan-17 18:33:34

As PP say, counselling may help.

I read a quote in a newspaper today that rang so many bells for me (sorry, cannot recall who from). It said something like "give up all hope of having a better past".

Mehfruittea Sun 15-Jan-17 18:57:22

YANBU - having kids of your own can often trigger feelings from the past you thought were dealt with. I hear DM say things and double cringe - I remember how it made me feel then and again now she is saying it to/about DS. Sometimes I answer back, for my own sanity. Sometimes I leave it in the past. You don't have the chance to debate and resolve these issues with them; adult to adult. You need to find some way to resolve these feelings or you will continue to be unhappy.

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 19:08:25

Thanks. I do worry I end up going round in circles with 'yes, they were abusive, no, they really loved me!' type thoughts.

NavyandWhite Sun 15-Jan-17 19:17:38

Honestly I would definitely seek some counselling for yourself. Life is short to be so angry and unhappy. Could you ask your GP?

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 19:26:38

I don't know, Navy. I honestly feel at this stage it would be largely counter productive. I'm not angry or unhappy but I also know a lot has happened to me that wouldn't, had I not been set up from an early age to believe I was worthless sad I suppose it's made me who I am though ... For good or ill!

NavyandWhite Sun 15-Jan-17 19:30:10

You say that you sometimes hate them when you're talking about them, that's a strong emotion to have to carry. It might do you some good to talk to someone that can help untangle all your feelings?

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 19:30:53

I know, but then I end up jumbled because if I tell you one thing about them they sound horrendously abusive, but other stories about them they are lovely people.

NavyandWhite Sun 15-Jan-17 19:34:29

A counsellor would understand that though. At the end of the day you have feelings about them that you find hard to process and talking it through could be a way of getting rid of them or at least understanding them.
Good luck whatever you decide.

Babbitywabbit Sun 15-Jan-17 19:41:05

It's hard. I used to get caned by my dad for what were seen to be major misdemeanours (and I remember getting caned at least once for something my sibling did)
It seems horrific now, but this was 60s /70s and physical punishment were more acceptable.

I don't know what the answer is... I feel angry with my dad at times, and angry with my mum for taking the subservient role and allowing that to happen. I sometimes wonder if counselling would help. I do try though to accept that there were no doubt factors in my parents upbringing that led to this, and to put it in the past and move on.
It's hard though

thelakewiththewhiteswan Sun 15-Jan-17 19:50:53

Gosh now awful sad I was never caned but physical - and public - chastisement was a big part of everything.

chocolateisnecessary Sun 15-Jan-17 19:51:39

No, YANBU. You feel how you do and it's valid and understandable.
I struggle a lot with mine. I think having kids makes it worse as before I just thought it was them and now I don't understand how they could have behaved like that if they loved me.
Counselling probably won't hurt and might help.

bellasuewow Sun 15-Jan-17 20:10:47

I am so sorry about the awful way your parents abused you op. It was not your fault and you have very right to feel angry and sad. Please get yourself over to the stately homes thread in relationships you are not the only one who has felt this way and experienced this type of childhood.

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