To blame my parents for my lifelong mental health issues?(83 Posts)
Which have massively ruined my life and caused me great suffering.
My father abandoned me leaving me with a mother who recently emailed me the following:
I was so terrified of you that I used to hide the knives and put cotton across the landing so I could hear you getting up in the night in case you tried to kill us. I was terrified you would try to hurt your brothers and sisters. You hated everybody. You are nothing but a disgusting, jealous nutcase.
She used to tell me similar from age 7/8 onwards. That is just a small example of her emotional abuse. My father knew what kind of a person she was, that's why he divorced her!
Is it any wonder I have suffered from OCD most of my life. I know OCD is said to be caused by numerous factors which come together but what a coincidence that I suffered 'Harm' OCD which had me considering suicide. It has ruined my career, my relationships and affected every facet of my life.
AIBU to wish there was an option to sue them for causing me intolerable pain and suffering?
Sounds awful, did she hide the knives out of genuine fear (i.e. did you give her any reason to think you would do something like that? )
I'm so sorry OP. She sounds horrific. If anyone should need protecting it was you and your siblings from her.
Have you considered counselling? If you can go private I highly recommend it.
You are clearly very self-aware that in itself shows that you have come a long way.
What's your relationship like now with your siblings and your father?
It would cause more pain to have to relive it to the level a Court would need. Imagine then, if they ruled in your Parents favour because of a lack of evidence.
But I know what you mean. My childhood took the life off me that I could have had.
I'm sorry that I didn't go NC as soon as I could.
Life is so much better now that they are both dead.
What is your mother MH diagnosis? She sounds really psychotic/paranoid.
What are other family members perceptions of your mother? Did you ever raise any of this at school? Were SS/agencies involved?
My childhood took the life off me that I could have had.
That is such a good way of putting it. When I think of all the shit I put up with later in life because I thought it was normal behavior,
well, i just shake my head
It's a very sad fact of life that the people who brought us into the world are the ones best placed to disadvantage us from the start when they treat us terribly.
If it's any consolation, you are not alone. We have this notion of parents being kind benevolent people but there are millions of people dealing with the lifelong effects of abusive parenting. A support group might help.
You are the only one in control of your life now and the only one who can choose how to move forward, they don't have that control over you anymore in any way except for in your mind. Prove them wrong, make a success out of your life and realise how strong you are. X
I have asked several times what was the evidence that brought her to have that 'terror' of me but all she would say was that I was spiteful and nasty.
As an example she used the fact that I used to 'deliberately' eat my food slowly so my siblings couldn't leave the table as the rule was all plates had been clear before anyone could get up . No awareness that it was that rule which created that! I even went round all my siblings asking if they remembered any incidents and all they could say was that I was a 'bitch'. It didn't stop them from strong arming me into babysitting their own children.
I have had years of counselling but it's never going to take away the anger and sadness of what I could have achieved if I hadn't believed that I was a monster.
At school I was top set for everything and described as 'timid and shy'. I even requested my full medical file which showed nothing of her taking me to a GP.
It was just a complete mindfuck.
My father described my mother as bitter and manipulative when I contacted him well into adulthood after a 30 year absence , so he knew but just got on with his life and raised a new family.
It is gutting that I will never be able to get any redress, even living a good life as revenge, because my life is pretty shit and isolating and I'm too old to do anything much about it now.
I've already proved them wrong but thank you Lemon.
Just feeling very morose this morning!
Mother has no mental health diagnosis. Shrinks are for only lunatics like me - that was what I was brought up on. That's why it took so long for me to seek help.
She said she was diagnosed with OCD shortly after I told her I had been with an aside never to tell anyone or she'd disown me.
They sound pretty terrible but I'm not sure that blaming anyone will really help. You need to seek counselling and deal with the issues you have. Understanding where they come from is part of the process but in and of itself appointing blame won't help you.
How awful, your mother has treated you terribly and yes, she definitely sounds like she has MH problems yourself, not that this would excuse the way she's victimised you over the years.
I can recommend the Stately Homes thread on the relationships board, that's a thread where people who have had toxic families can offer each other non judgemental support. I've found it a great source of help following my own abusive childhood.
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AHedgehog I did not have any behaviour issues as a child. Nor did I have any diagnosed mental health issues or display any concerns as I have previously posted that my mother didn't see a GP about anything. She didn't even get me immunised as a baby and when I contracted German measles, it was family legend that she 'saved' me and when she took me to hospital AFTER I recovered, she was congratulated as I could have died.
I was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 37 after being a fully functioning but self hating and low achieving member of society with no support. Talk about spectacularly missing the point!
Why shouldn't I put blame where blames due?
Dear Christ, she sounds horrendous. I fail to see how anyone could grow up with that kind of treatment and NOT have severe mental health problems.
PPs are correct that only you can now work on managing those problems (I fully believe you can overcome them) but your instinct is surely correct that you can only do that by understanding where they come from.
Your mother's abusive email shows how stupid and inconsistent she is - if you were that much of a threat, why did she never seek help? Even if it were true that you were so troubled, she was neglectful not to.
Could you see your way to cutting contact with her (and your siblings, who sound fully brainwashed by their mother)?
I have a couple of friends who suffer from OCD - for both of them, diagnosis and supportive treatment turned their lives around. I hope you find the same help!
People like that deserve no space in your life at all
Some parents are so clearly a key factor in their own children's mental health problems and it often amazes how these same parents will bemoan the tragic and difficult life they lead having to cope with their child or children's issues.
Clearly mental health problems have a vast and wide range of causes but it took me a long time realise what 'environmental' can encompass.
You are allowed to feel sadness and pain over how different things could have been. And you are allowed to move on from that when you're ready (perhaps not a linear process). I'm sorry you were so badly let down.
Hedgehog, in situations like this, blaming your parents is exactly what you need to do in order to move on with your life. People who've experienced abuse like this have a hell of a time understanding in later life when someone is treating them badly, exactly because they were taught as children that they deserved this treatment. Time to put the blame firmly back where it belongs - at the feet of the OP's parents.
Honest to Christ this bloody forum, I think I could post an AIBU posing as Hitler and somebody would find a way of excusing me...
Your parents certainly contributed to your lifelong MH issues and there is blame to be made.
However, you are responsible for how you deal with them.
I find it helpful to think like this about my own abusive parents, and my ex abusive partners (of whom there have been several.)
'Why shouldn't I put blame where blames due?'
Absolutely right. And feelings don't work that way anyway - you can't just decide to stop feeling all the hurt and rage and sadness that you clearly feel towards your parents (quite rightly). Please feel no guilt for feeling the way you do OP. You have a right to your feelings about your parents. Your mother's treatment of you sounds horrendous, like you were used as the family scapegoat. I'm not surprised that you feel the way you do.
There is a very strong push within society to think your way out of difficult feelings. Pain and anger and sorrow and grief can all be overcome if you just decide to 'think positive' and make a decision not to let any of this affect you any more. Well feelings don't work that way - there's no switch you can flick to make any of this magically stop hurting. I'm sorry you're going through this - I'm still dealing with the legacy of my parents emotionally abusive behaviour. It hurts, its exhausting, it gets you down and it feels like an uphill battle at times.
in situations like this, blaming your parents is exactly what you need to do in order to move on with your life.
I'd say yes, but... you need to identify that it's their fault, attribute the blame but then move on from that and focus on how you can get on with life given the way you've ended up (i.e. how to cope with the crap). I'm thinking Hedgehog meant that it's pointless just focusing on blaming family and not trying to deal with that blame. The blame needs to be one step of the process but not the whole process IYSWIM. It's important not to just get stuck on that part.
Your childhood has some aspects of similarity to my own.
My dad left and was subsequently pushed out, some of which was his own doing.
Both my parents failed me.
My dad would say oh but you're like your mother, my mother would say I was like my dad.
It's been hard, and now I'm in contact with my dad maybe once a week, and I have contact with no one else.
Bringing my child up, there are many, many occasions I've been confronted by decisions I've instinctly made, which were far far better than the ones that were ever made for me. It makes bringing children up a triggering experience.
But I've made a conscious effort to realise that the family are all dysfunctional fuckheads, and whilst I'll never get rid of the MH problems I've been left with, I am actually making a far better life for myself, I've completed a lot of therapy, and I try not to give them any headspace.
I also congratulate myself now when I make a decision completely opposite to what they did.
I pride myself on the fact that I'm bringing up a happy family, we are safe, free from emotional, physicial, sexual harm, and neglect.
Focus on that, that HAS to be your silver lining or they will destroy everything that ever happens in your life.
I'm sorry you went through this though. It's hard to get to terms with, but the 3 years NC has done wonders to my mental health, my life and my confidence.
It sounds as though you still have her and your siblings in your life. Why? I mean that genuinely. They bring you pain. You are worth more than that and shouldn't have to endure the pain. Cut them off and get rid of them from your life, you deserve to be free of their mindfuckery.
Why shouldn't I put blame where blames due?
Blame is a negative emotion. You are completely justified in feeling the way you do, but holding onto negativity isn't going to help you move forward. You need to look ahead to a more emotionally healthy future, probably with the help of a therapist, not waste energy by looking backwards.
The key to moving on for me was letting go of blame.
To hold on will keep you in the same place, it going over and over in your head isn't going to make your outlook or your confidence any better.
DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO KEEP YOU THERE.
You are no longer that child, they may be blood relatives, but they arent family to you.
I may be projecting here a bit, but I practically bought up my sisters. That was my childhood. I was looking after 3 girls who all had behavioural issues my whole childhood.
They could wind me up, hit me, steal stuff, ruin my things and it was never ever dealt with.
When I was pregnant (I was a teen mum) my sisters were so jealous they wished my daughter dead on several occasions. One of my sisters got a curtain rail and tried to beat me with it, the other told me she was going to push me down the stairs so I lost the baby. The other said my boyfriend tried to rape her. I ended up on my own at 17, and they lied and lied about me. One of them spent her teen years threatening to kill all of us, she tried to arrange that someone would kidnap my daughter, she threw my daughters birth certificate away and said "well she doesn't exist now"....... and believe me. I am the horrible one in the family.
I cut them out. I made my life good. I went from not having family, or any friends because I didn't have the confidence to make any.
In that three years, I've made some of the best friends I'll ever have.
And you know what? If my mother turned up at my doorstep today, I would tell her that she had no place in my life, because it's a life I have made despite the childhood she gave me.
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