Having no relationship with my mother(27 Posts)
I have always had a very difficult relationship with my mother. My parents got divorced when I was 10, I lived with my mother and my abusive father moved out. He used to hit me, and hit my mother. I hate him, and til this day I still do. He was never there for us, and chose drink and drugs over his own children. So when I moved out at 18, I had no contact with him. I’m 28 now, and haven’t seen or spoken to him since I was 28.
My mother on the other hand, she did her best to make sure we had food and roof over our heads. But she never showed us affection, never said “I love you”, never hugged us, never kissed us. She also used to hit us, and hit me a lot, I was the eldest. And if the house was clean enough she would hit me hard, she didn’t expect much from my younger siblings even though there’s only 3/4 years between us, she expected a lot from me. She would wake me up to help her make the packed lunches(I hated her for this, because why the fuck did you decide to have 6 children if you can’t look after them yourself and have to have your eldest help you, I think I’m seething with resentment, because I never got to play like my younger siblings, I always had to help her) she never let me go out with my friends, I always had to stay home at the weekends. I hated it at home, there was 5 other children, so much screaming and shouting. I think that’s why I moved out, to get away from it all.
So I moved out at 18, and when my mother came to see me when I was 23, she hugged me for the first time I couldn’t believe it. My DP was watching us, so I don’t know whether she did it because of him, but it made me happy. Imagine going 23 years without so much of a hug or a kiss from the person who brought you into this world.
I have friends who have amazing relationships with their parents, they go out for lunch or shopping, doing lots of things together. There’s always an “I love you” at the end of their phone call, I feel jealous, upset and angry.
So fast forward to now, I have three children and I always give them lots of cuddles and kisses, always tell them I love them, always make time for them and listen to them. I’m determined to be the best mother I can be for my children, and give them everything I can.
To be honest, if my mother died tomorrow it probably wouldn’t affect me as much, I’d be relieved because then I wouldn’t feel obliged to call her. She always complains about how I don’t call her enough, maybe I would call more often if I felt like I could speak to her about things, but I can’t. She never listens, I have a lot of resentment towards my parents especially my mother, I know that I probably need therapy, but would like to her from people who’ve had similar childhoods.
I've had therapy, and I'm going to encourage you to do that instead.
You don't need permission to kick this woman out of your life.
How did therapy help you, upstartcrow??
The stress of looking after six children, and my father harassing her for money for his drink and drugs got to her, and she would snap and take it out on us kids. Unfortunately some of my sisters think she's been a good mum, but then again they've never got hit as much as I did and never had to do as much as I did.
I went NC with both my parents nearly two years ago. I've had therapy since because I was dealing with a lot of rage and resentment and it wasn't making me a happy person. It has helped me a lot, even just to talk to some one who told me it was OK to feel this way, that what happened to me as a child wasn't right. My mother gaslighted me so I often felt like I was a bad person to feel so angry and hurt, as obviously nothing bad was going on, Mummy said so! I am lucky I don't have siblings who agree with her rosy view on life. Go to therapy, OP, it will help you enormously just to hear someone say, "You were hurt and let down and I am sorry that happened to you." You are never going to get an apology from your parents.
I had a very similar childhood only my parents divorced and continued to share the house as though mum didn't want dad she didn't want anyone else to have him so wanted to keep an eye on him.
I haven't had therapy though did consider it at a very low point. It took a lot
mainly drunken venting to friends on nights out, I was so fun! But I realised I can't change them, I can only change how I choose to be affected by it. I went NC with mum and very low contact with dad. I've decided to leave it in the past and use it as a way to not parent. My relationship is happy and so much healthier and respectful, I have kids whom I adore and make sure they know they're safe and loved and there's not much more I can do.
I definitely recommend talking it out rather than seething, I'm just lucky my amazing friends stuck by me as I had a semi emotional breakdown that rendered therapy unnecessary. Life is too short to live with bottled up resentment, talk it out definitely.
@Fullofresentment I was able to 'forgive' my parents, let go and move on. I no longer live in my childhood in the way I used to, and I'm able to make new experiences to remember.
I haven't forgotten any of it, its just that it no longer has the emotional power over me that it used to have.
By 'forgive', I don't mean that everything is alright between us. I mean I am able to accept that they are damaged, selfish people and were unable to parent. They couldn't do any better, because they didn't have it in them to want to.
They don't see my kids. Looking at the way they've treated my nephews and nieces, I made the right decision.
My brother has not had therapy and he does not have a good relationship with any of his children or ex wives.
Your history sound very similar to my mum's upbringing and she too resented her mum (my Grandmother) until she died. Now she's just relieved she's gone and she doesn't have to feel obligated to keep up the contact anymore
because why the fuck did you decide to have 6 children if you can’t look after them yourself and have to have your eldest help you,
I'm not condoning your mother's behaviour towards you, but she was being abused by her husband, and it's quite possible that the pregnancies were the result of rape. Your father may have told her she couldn't use contraception. I think you should cut her some slack regarding having 6 children, and try to understand the position she was in. Many abused women don't find the strength to leave their abusers for many years, if at all.
I agree with others that you should have some therapy. You can unpack your feelings, and may come to a point of understanding and forgiveness for your mother, and can build a better relationship with her.
No need to forgive your father though. He was just an abusive bastard and you're better off without him in your life.
To be honest, if my mother died tomorrow it probably wouldn’t affect me as much, I’d be relieved.
I have a friend who used to say this. Was NC with her mum for 10+ years for similar reasons plus some other pretty shocking ones.
The mother died recently and friend is absolutley gutted. She has a lot of regret and though she was rightly upset with the mothers treatment of her + multiple siblings, she would have wanted to see her one last time to get some closure. She always said she wouldn't care...she certainly does now poor thing.
Please don't fool yourself into thinking it's not going to affect you...it will. If it helps then tell her everything you need to/ ask her what you need to then leave it there. Don't have any regrets. x
I could have written this post. I've recently started getting therapy (I have previously tried but didn't feel it helped). I'm NC with my family and very low contact with my Mum.
I know I'll never get acknowledgement or apology for the abuse and I've done extremely well for myself despite things. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful girls - But I am 33 now and I am finding that the anger and resentment just keeps cropping up.
I'm hoping the psychologist I've just been introduced to will be helpful. It's the only thing we can do right? Learn to live with the pain? I don't think it will ever go away.
Another very strong recommendation for therapy. I have a broadly similar situation with my mother - not listening to me, not feeling valued, no real connection between us, tons of blame and demands and judgement. I'm very low contact with her and my life is definitely better for it. I have no idea how I will feel when she does
I was in therapy for 7 year and it was by far the best thing I have ever done for myself. Having a childhood like yours is dark, scary stuff and it leaves very deep scars. Exploring the effect of your mother's behaviour on you with professional support and guidance will be invaluable.
Yes your mother was likely in a horrendous relationship with your father, but you are entitled to be angry at her. It sounds like she was a very poor mother to you and has done nothing to make up for that in recent year. So don't put pressure on yourself to force forgiveness. If it happens, it will come up naturally for you
'It's the only thing we can do right? Learn to live with the pain? I don't think it will ever go away.'
That's my experience Constant. There's no 'getting over it', or any other trite phrase. I'm quite a way down the road with my grief and it still hurts. I still have times when I question myself and wonder whether I've done the right thing by going low contact with my parents. Overall though, I feel more at peace with the situation, and am moving towards acceptance. Life is so very much better than it was a few years ago. So stick with therapy, if you feel safe with your therapist, and I hope it goes well for you
Please don't fool yourself into thinking it's not going to affect you...it will
Don't be guided by this sentiment! When my abuser died, all I felt was freedom and relief. Truly- my life got better from that point onwards. There was no regret at the NC, no wishing there had been a deathbed request for salvation, just relief.
Your life is for you fullofresentment - don't let these people take up any more of your precious time or heartache- concentrate on your life and your children, free from them
I fully understand that Motoko but the thing is I know she wanted lots of children, and she even told me long time ago if she was still married she would have had more children, which even angered me more because why would you keep breeding when you have children who don't feel loved and don’t get the attention they need?
I remember being upset at the announcement of her 6th pregnancy, I was only 9 and they separated 2 weeks after the birth. At age 9, I didn't understand why I was upset, I just knew I was. I remember a family friend telling me i should be happy I was getting a sister, but I wasn't. Obviously now I realise I was unhappy because I felt like she should have concentrated on the children she already had and not kept having more children, especially when some of her children felt unloved. I think that’s why I’ve stuck to only having 3 children, I want to focus on them and give them the best life.
I forgot to mention that she told me later that my youngest sister wasn’t planned, she did use a condom but it apparently split.
I do want to go to therapy, but I worry a lot about confidentiality, how does that work?
It really annoys me just thinking about it, she already had 6 children and she wanted more? She was on benefits, living in a council house. Where's the limit?
Op, I would really recommend therapy. I've just started going after a difficult childhood, and I already feel a load being taken off me.
I know you don't want to hear this, but on the other side of the coin, I've been in an abusive relationship, and your mind plays awful tricks on you. I was in a place of survival, just getting through life hour by hour.
My therapist said that all info is confidential unless I reveal info that puts myself or others in the way of harm.
You can ask for your notes to not have your name on them. Names and addresses should be stored separately from notes so no one can piece your identity together.
Therapy quite some years ago helped me process my (similar) feelings about my mother, who was a very difficult woman for me - as the only girl child (I have two brothers) - to deal with. Her expectations of me were a massive burden and I worked my arse off for A levels to ensure I got away to university. I rarely went back for many years.
As she aged, she mellowed a lot and DP and I were even able to take her with us on some holidays, which she enjoyed a lot - DP was great with her, I should add, which was helpful.
I still felt empty inside when I heard her - only a few years ago - tell my nieces "I'm proud of you", which is something she never, ever said to me (and I'm a massively high achiever, something my therapist helped me to see was all about trying to get my mother's approval).
About 18 months ago, we knew she was in her last months of life (she died last July) and on one of her many emergency hospital admissions, she suddenly told me she loved me and she didn't want to die without saying so. I hadn't voluntarily touched my mother for decades, but I hugged her and did so each time I saw her after that - and also told her I loved her. When she died, I felt that at least I had restored some sort of relationship with her - but I still mourn all that we never had.
Ah OP I see. I wonder if she's one of those people who loves the baby stage, but doesn't like it when the children start becoming independent (and start pushing boundaries). That could explain why she wanted even more, so she could feel loved by a baby, until it starts being naughty and answering back.
Regarding you and your sisters, every child in the family has a different relationship with their parents - your sisters would do well to remember that and to not expect you to feel the same as them.
The eldest in a big family often has to forgo their childhood in order to bring up the others - it's something that women with big families don't like to admit to anyone, though. Obviously not all mothers of big families do this but a hell of a lot do.
I'm from a very big family and there were massive strains within it. I do wonder why the hell they went on to have so many (though it was religious reasons for them) when they couldn't cope with the number they had.
'The eldest in a big family often has to forgo their childhood in order to bring up the others - it's something that women with big families don't like to admit to anyone, though. '
I agree. I'm the eldest and was given too much responsibility for making sure the younger ones were safe. I feel that way more was expected of me than of them and it felt very unfair
Eldest of a large family here too! Yes, my 'childhood' was so different to those of my siblings. My parents were abusive/neglectful to all of us, but in differing ways.
My youngest sibling astonishingly suffered no physical abuse, but the emotional abuse was far worse than the three in the middle suffered, because they were the one left behind when all the rest had left home. But tbh, I've been more of a parent to them than my parents were, despite being only eight years older.
Oh I'm so happy for you Caribou, at least you got some closure and she managed to say I love you before she died.
Same here Philodox, amazingly my youngest sister has never been beaten by my mum, and she got to go out with her friends etc. She had it easier than I did, and maybe that's why she always defends my mum. I also think my mother has gotten older and maybe learnt from her mistakes I don't know, but she definitely treats the kids still living at home different. But that doesn't help me because she's never said sorry or admitted she was wrong
I've realised how important it is for a child to have a good childhood, like that literally sets the foundation for your life.
Yes, I’m in a similar situation for different reasons. My mother was fine as a caregiver when I was growing up, albeit emotionally not quite there as I got older. The difficulty came when, as young adults, it emerged that my father had been abusing another sibling, and she chose to stand by him. It looks so black and white when I condense years of events to those two sentences, but it doesn’t make the guilt-anger combination any easier to work through.
Therapy is helping, and I’d really encourage you to look into it. Mine is helping me realise that I’m not misremembering events or overreacting if I decide to end my relationship with her. My mother may have done her best at the time in some ways, and I’d suspect she had a shitty childhood, and undoubtedly an unhealthy relationship with my father. But she has no awareness of the impact of her actions years later, and I don’t need permission - except my own - to say that I don’t want to have anything to do with her anymore.
Reading this thread with interest. I have been very low contact with my DM for about 10 years now. However, she is now old and I’ll and the family expect me to look after her (except that I live 200 miles away and I have small DCs). What is everyone else going to do when the time comes with your own mums?
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