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Why did nobody help me? **Trigger Warning** - childhood abuse. Title edited by MNHQ

(156 Posts)
ConfusedAboutChildhood Tue 07-Mar-17 17:18:07

I've name changed, don't want this post linked to what I usually get help with on this site.

I've only recently realised that I had a very confusing childhood. I didn't get smacked, like a 'tap on the hand/bum' I got lashed out at irregularly. Like, kicked in the stomach when I was upset that my little brother was hurt. Then smacked over the head the same day.
I got booted in the leg and chased home and chased up the stairs, causing me to wet myself when I was 9 or 10.
I had belongings smashed up and burned in front of me (age 4) because my bedroom wasn't tidy.
I fell off my bike, and rather than be comforted, my bike got thrown across the field and I had to chase after him (again, I was probably about 4)
I've been rang up and told 'When you get home, you're dead' because my bedroom wasn't tidy, I was 17. When I said to my Mum that he couldn't do this anymore, she told him what I said and he went crazy. He trashed my room, kicked me, I threw my hands up to my face in self defence and gave myself a black eye.
The next day we went strawberry picking like nothing had happened.

All this happened at the hands of my Dad. But my Mum knew. He never laid a hand on her, never on my little brother. Just me.
According to my Mum I'm Dad's favourite and I can do no wrong. From the time I was 6, she was always telling me how jealous she was of our relationship, that she wished he called her 'darling' she still does that now.

I spent my entire childhood walking on eggshells. I once joked about my dad accidentally dying his hair, and when the others had left the room, he looked and me with such a snarl and said:
'At least I've lost the weight, you still look like that' I was 15, overweight and severely depressed. Self harming at every opportunity.
I know it doesn't sound like much written down, I know people have gone through much worse, I just feel so broken. Everybody still says they envy my relationship with my dad, because I'm the only one who can talk to him, which makes me feel guilty about feeling any dislike towards him.
I have two wonderful DC's now, and an amazing DH, but I'm still so scared. Nothing has happened since I was 17, but I still get this sick feeling every time anybody is behind me on the stairs. I can't be grabbed too tightly, I even get terrified if I hear DH swear when the tap turns on too hotly - it sounds exactly like the beginnings of one of my Dad's rages.

I just don't understand. My family must have known. Even though my Dad is generous and will help anybody, they all knew he had a temper. Why did teachers not notice that sometimes I had boot print bruises on my legs? How did my Mum do a social worker course, and not see there was something wrong with her own family?
Why did nobody help me?

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 07-Mar-17 17:21:00

I am sorry you have had to go through this and I didn't want to read and run. I went through similar and I do just think the 70s (which is when I went through this) were just different times and things were swept under the carpet. It doesn't make it right though.


neonrainbow Tue 07-Mar-17 17:22:16

That's horrific abuse and your parents are a pair of cunts to let this happen to you. Your mum is as much to blame as your dad and you'd be justified in never speaking to either of them ever again. Have you ever thought about counselling?

GoodDayToYou Tue 07-Mar-17 17:25:45

Because they were cowards.
Or because the status quo was more comfortable for them than dealing with the consequences of helping you.
I'm so sorry you went through this, it sounds awful. Please don't minimize it any more. flowers

IamFriedSpam Tue 07-Mar-17 17:26:13

I know it doesn't sound like much written down you're wrong about that. What happened to you is abuse and sounds terrifying. I'm not surprised you're struggling to deal with it. You were also let down by others who might have protected you. Have you ever considered counselling?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 07-Mar-17 17:26:40

It's reads as a horrific tale of childhood abuse, you don't need to minimize by saying it doesn't sound much, you are obviously traumatized by your childhood, unsurprisingly.

I too think you would benefit from counseling to deal with the issues around your mum not safeguarding you, as well as the abuse. Your mum is as bad as your dad for not keeping you safe if she knew what was going on.

I'm sorry for what you went throughthanks

Astro55 Tue 07-Mar-17 17:28:59

Why haven't you asked your mum?

are you in contact?

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Tue 07-Mar-17 17:29:53

Same thing happened to me (although it was step mum that allowed it to happen)
I always wonder the same thing but more so because I used to rebel quite badly!

I'm NC with my dad and it helps a lot.

Do you have children? I find it even harder to understand since having DD as to why you would want to be so violent to a child (or anyone). It really is a coward that does this though as he never got into fights with men his own age.

My dads excuse when asked about it later was that his childhood was so much worse hmm and he didn't do anything to me and my siblings. I think he has honestly blocked out what he did to us and how bad it got.
My dad sufferes with schizophrenia so I'm not sure if this contrabutes to supposed memory loss of it all.

ConfusedAboutChildhood Tue 07-Mar-17 17:30:18

Allthebest I'm only in my early 20's, so I'm not sure what was acceptable parenting in the 90's/00's?

Neon I don't think I do want to speak to them ever again. They live around the corner though. Although my Mum isn't interested in DS1 because he's autistic, she's constantly asking to take DS2 out and about (he's only 7 months old, so still in the cute stage for her)
She hates that DS1 doesn't fawn over her. She's always asking when he's going to say Nanny, we're still waiting for him to say Mummy & Daddy fgs

My Dad adores DS1. Like, adores him. He'd do anything for him. He takes us to hospital appointments, therapy, everything. So I'm finding it really difficult to separate those feelings in my head.

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Tue 07-Mar-17 17:30:52

Sorry, seemed to have missed the bit about DCs!

RatherBeRiding Tue 07-Mar-17 17:31:09

That is appalling. Of course they knew and of course your mother should have protected you. Sadly it sounds as though she was conditioned to his behaviour. And sadly it sounds as though you yourself have become a little conditioned - you feel "guilty" for feeling any dislike towards him? That's quite scary!

You don't have to have a relationship with him, that man who abused and terrorised you through your childhood. You don't have to have a relationship with your mother, who enabled it.

I really think counselling would help you make sense of it and, more importantly, decide what kind of relationship you want with them now.

Don't make excuses for them - you say he's generous and will do anything for anyone but "has a temper". Abusing a child like that - there are no excuses. Any redeeming features he might have cannot and should not ever excuse child abuse.

You can take back control - you can stop feeling scared - you can decide on your future relationship with them, but you probably need some professional help to get past what has happened to you. flowers

yellowfrog Tue 07-Mar-17 17:31:22

My God that sounds horrific! You absolutely do not need to keep in contact with them and I certainly would never allow them unsupervised access (or any access frankly) to your children. Does your DH know about all this?

alltouchedout Tue 07-Mar-17 17:31:28

I know it doesn't sound like much written down

No, it sounds like what it was- vile abuse.

Sometimes, people don't see because they don't want to, which seems to be the case with your mum. Or because they just can't believe what they're seeing, which may be the case with teachers (although I hope to god that today, any teacher seeing a child with regularly occurring or unusual bruising would act).

You mention that people say they envy your relationship with him. Maybe they really do and their jealousy lead them to leave you to the abuse. Or maybe they say that to convince themselves that there wasn't any abuse, a sort of "oh come on look they're so close what do you mean his treatment of her was abusive?" thing.

It was not your fault. You did nothing wrong. It was his fault, and your mum's, and that of any other adult who knew and did nothing.

myoriginal3 Tue 07-Mar-17 17:32:00

Because it wasn't the done thing.

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 07-Mar-17 17:32:26

Horrific abuse. Your father is a disgusting excuse for a human being. Please find it within yourself to distance yourself from him. And your mother, knowing about it, condoning it, then idealising your relationship with your abuser? It's sick.

So sorry for what you went through. You owe them nothing. They ought to be prosecuted and shamed.


ConfusedAboutChildhood Tue 07-Mar-17 17:32:35

I'd love counselling, I'm just not sure how to access it. I know the wait would be really long on the NHS, and I can't really afford private.
My Mum acts like it never happens. Like none of it happened.
I wake up shaking nightly, that's when I can even get to sleep. It's starting to affect my day to day life and it's scaring me now

ConfusedAboutChildhood Tue 07-Mar-17 17:35:30

Myoriginal3 wasn't it? My mum worked in the same school I went to, she was forever talking about safeguarding issues with children, it just only occurred to my recently that I could have been one of those children.

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 07-Mar-17 17:37:52

A lot of private counsellors do a sliding scale for cost. Start doing some research and maybe think about where you can make weekly savings and put the money into your mental health and happiness. You deserve it.

ConfusedAboutChildhood Tue 07-Mar-17 17:38:02

Astro55 I have asked my Mum. She just ends up crying and saying things like; 'Well now you're just making me sound like a terrible parent!'
Or she denies the events ever happened, or says I remember things differently/exaggerate them. Which is possible I guess. I was very young

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 07-Mar-17 17:38:52

OMg Confused - you are so young. You are definitely not one of the generation where it was just ignored.

Please go to your GP. they should be able to get you in touch with a counselling service.

yellowfrog Tue 07-Mar-17 17:39:24

You poor thing - no wonder it's affecting you - what happened to you is awful. I would see the GP and ask about therapy. You might as well get on the waiting list now. Also there is a thread on mumsnet called "but we took you to stately homes" that is for supporting people in your position. Hopefully someone can post a link to it. Hugs.

Nospringflower Tue 07-Mar-17 17:43:23

You can access therapy on the NHS - there are target times you need to be seen in so you wont have to wait too long (12 or 18 weeks). Your GP can refer you or sometimes you can srlf refer.

Dulcimena Tue 07-Mar-17 17:44:41

That's an awful childhood to have to bear on your own.

Are you sure that your mum knew, and wasn't a victim too? I judge your father harshly for what he did, but not all wives/mothers are fully aware of what's going on under their nose. Interesting that she envies your relationship with him, sounds as though her relationship with him may not have been rosy as it looked to other people either.

I hope you have good support around you now and one day can put this to rest. I don't know if someone like Childline would be able to suggest sources of support for you now? Take care.

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Tue 07-Mar-17 17:45:17

I know it doesn't sound like much written down you're wrong about that. What happened to you is abuse and sounds terrifying. I'm not surprised you're struggling to deal with it. You were also let down by others who might have protected you. Have you ever considered counselling?


I was almost in tears reading your post. Your parents both abused you and especially your dad is a bloody bastard asshole dickhead excuse for a human being.

I would really recommend getting counselling - if you leave this it will only fester more and eat you up alive. You need to deal with it. And go NC if in any way possible.


HerOtherHalf Tue 07-Mar-17 17:46:32

He never laid a hand on her

I suspect your mother didn't get off as lightly as you believe. Based on what happened to you, your father was a violent, vindictive and sadistic man and if he could treat his child like that I'm pretty sure his wife was not in the clear either. You might not have seen anything but I expect she had her own good reasons to be afraid of him and thus not intervening to protect you. That doesn't excuse her in my book but you have to make up your own mind.

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