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Domestic Violence - did you witness any towards your mother?

(309 Posts)
CityFarmer Wed 12-Sep-18 16:18:39

Just that really, did you witness your mum (or dad) getting hurt as a child? What's your opinion of both your parents now?
It's got to the stage I can't protect my kids from seeing it. I suspect my eldest has seen more than I've thought I've protected him from, certainly heard arguments.

Despite the split lips, stitches, bruises, fear. His numerous online relationships.
I think this will be what breaks me.
I'm not in love with him, a few months ago I explained I wanted to stop all this, I'd not cry if he left or we divorced, there's no love left for him. Yet here I am, stuck.

Before anyone suggests to LTB. I, and many domestic violence sufferers now this already, but still stuck.

I'm stuck because I'm too embarassed to say the words out loud that I need help.
I think soon I'll have to tell the police, or his family or mine. As soon as I do, there's no going back, it will all end. But the words stick in my throat. I can't get them out. I can't protect myself, but I want to save my kids from this.

My priority is to shield the kids. I have no one IRL to ask this Q. did you witness your mum (or dad) getting hurt as a child? What's your opinion of both your parents now?

LondonLassInTheCountry Wed 12-Sep-18 16:24:28

I did.

My father beat my mum.

It effected us kids and still does massively in every day life

My mum thought she shielded us

I hate my father

My mum died of cancer 8 years ago

The wanker is still alive

Nesssie Wed 12-Sep-18 16:25:13

No. I didn't witness any DV between my parents. They occasionally had huge blazing rows, screaming at each other, but I never once saw either of them cross the line. Not even during the really bad arguments did either one of them so much as threaten the other.

It made me realise that there really is NO excuse for violence - not anger, frustration, alcohol.

Your children know exactly what is happening. You know what you need to do. I pray you find the strength soon flowers

CityFarmer Wed 12-Sep-18 16:27:15

To whomever reads this, thank you. At the end of this message, you're the first person in years I've told. I don't know if I'll still be stuck here or this is the first step to it finally ending. I do know it's not the last abusive event, not sure exactly what I'm trying to achieve, but I'm trying. i know it's a painful subject, so thank you for reading.

RickOShay Wed 12-Sep-18 16:27:45

I didn’t.
My parents war was different, with silences and infidelity.
I am so sorry this is happening to you. It is NOT your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
You deserve to feel safe. Have you got anybody in real life you could talk to? I think Women’s Aid are very supportive, perhaps give them a call.
Sending you strength flowersflowers

sanssherif Wed 12-Sep-18 16:27:48

Exactly same as london.
I also went into the same. He then hurt our kids, sadistically.
We got out. You are never trapped enough to stay but you must seek help. X

araiwa Wed 12-Sep-18 16:28:18


YeTalkShiteHen Wed 12-Sep-18 16:28:53

You did it OP, you got the words out once on here. Well done!

You can do it again, I promise you can. You have to.

FlyingElbows Wed 12-Sep-18 16:29:09

My mother was emotionally volatile and violent towards us all. I have no relation ship with or respect for either of my parents. You are not "shielding" your children while you prioritise your wants over their safety. That's harsh, I know, and I understand why you say what you do but fgs reach out and help yourself and your children.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 12-Sep-18 16:30:03

Yes, I did. Not on the scale you’re describing but my Dad was very emotionally and verbally abusive to my mum and I sometimes heard him pushing her or pulling her around during arguments. He also damaged chairs, shelves etc. Later she learnt to block him out and he grew increasingly aggressive towards me, assaulting me a few times in my teens. I’m still very damaged by my experience.

I know it will be hard to leave. Focus on your children. You deserve freedom too but I think it’ll be easier if you focus on doing it for them.

PotteringAlong Wed 12-Sep-18 16:30:06

No, I didn’t. There were arguments, yes, but actually that modelled for me how to have disagreements and resolve them and work at a marriage and how, actually, things change and develop and love changes and develops.

flowers for your very brave step.

Neem Wed 12-Sep-18 16:30:24

Yes. Sadly we did. It wasn't regular, but I remember being petrified when it did kick off. It was terribly forceful and violent. I remember once, they were fighting, and I ran in the room saying the neighbours are knocking. The fighting immediately stopped and I remember my baby brother who must have been around 6 looking at me so relieved, as if I had somehow found a way to fix things. It doesn't happen anymore, and my relationship is alright with my dad, but it's unforgettable

Smartiepants79 Wed 12-Sep-18 16:32:12

No I've no eperience of this.
The only way you can protect your children is to GET OUT.
It's highly likely they will be next on his list of victims as they grow older and more defiant.
The only person with any reason for shame is your husband.

Nicknamesalltaken Wed 12-Sep-18 16:37:14

I did.

I heard the slaps.

I heard the stifled cries.

I believed her when she said she walked into a door.

I watched him throw her across the room and stamp on her hair.

I’m nearly 50 and I want to love him. He is a good man. But he isn’t. Even now I’m so conflicted. I have barely anything to do with them.

She kept telling me that as soon as I was 18 she was leaving. So in the meantime it was my fault she couldn’t go.

She never left him. They had another baby, lived in misery for a long while and 30 years on seem to be able to rub along now they are in their 70s. I don’t know if the violence stopped as I left home as soon as I could.

I left my emotionally abusive XH when I realised that I was teaching my DCs that that is how adult relationships are, but I put up with it for years. He was only violent once.

You know you have to leave. Sometimes it’s a matter of when. When you are strong enough.

I got an awful lot of support from Mumsnetters.

I applaud you for saying it out loud on here. It’s an important step. An important first step.

Maybe a conversation with Womens Aid could follow?


Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 12-Sep-18 16:39:22

I watched my father almost bleed to death following a fight with my mum. I helped her clean the blood up from the floor whilst he was rushed to hospital. I kept their secrets for years. The rows, the broken things, the screaming, the name calling, the blood.

That was the worst of many conflicts, of mum leaving him (and me), of them making up but not being able to enjoy the peace because I knew it wouldn't last.

He died earlier this year, they were still married and my mum is now grieving for a relationship I certainly never saw. I'm 41, have attachment issues and am currently having psychotherapy to help me deal with the fact that my default setting is that everything is "my fault". That I'm a worthless, useless horrible person who doesn't deserve any friends or to be loved and that my children should be taken off me before I become my parents. That being raped was my fault. That ds's horrendous birth was my fault.

I tolerate my mum, she's in my life because I want my children to have a relationship with her but inside I feel nothing but contempt.

MsHopey Wed 12-Sep-18 16:39:35

Sounds terrible. But at least he's not physically violent towards your kids.
That's how some childhoods are (mine included). Your still protecting them from that, and that's still something.

JustTheLemons Wed 12-Sep-18 16:39:48

Op, I am so sympathetic to you, what a horrible situation to be in. I hope my words are not harsh as I really do not blame you in this.


My father was violent towards my mother. She did not leave, still not too clear on why, but definitely for some of the reasons you have mentioned. She wanted to keep the family together, all that jazz. As a child, I never directly saw it, but the atmosphere spoke for itself. I was so frightened of the sound of my dads car coming home from work I used to get nauseous. I used to lie in bed shaking with my ears covered when I could hear them shouting downstairs.

My mum always used to say that she stayed because ‘he never hurt us.’ Fine and dandy until the day he did. He attacked me and both my sisters, luckily we got out with minor scrapes and bruises. She did leave him after that.

I have not said this to my mother, but to this day I am still confused and slightly resentful that she did not leave him sooner. What if we had been hurt worse than we were? Why did she leave us in that situation? As much as my mum was a wonderful parent, a good chunk of my childhood memories are of being constantly on edge and scared. It is no life for a child, and I don’t understand why she didn’t prioritise us and get rid of him.

I will also add that I believe seeing my mum get treated that way had an effect on my younger sister, as she seems to think she doesn’t deserve to be treated well. She is now dating a mildly abusive, unpleasant and aggressive man and we can’t say anything to change stop it. My mum is horrified that she is repeating the pattern and I can’t comfort her because deep down, I blame her. She taught my sister that you stay with these men.

None of your reasons to stay are good enough op. Your children have one chance to be children. You control their childhood. Don’t expose them to this. Take your responsibility seriously.

I wish you luck and my thoughts are with you.

MsHopey Wed 12-Sep-18 16:40:58

Obviously you still need support and to find a way to get out asap for yours and your children's sake. I'm not minimising what you're going through at all!!! I'm just saying things haven't gotten worse for them yet and there is an opportunity for it to get worse.
Get out before they are bigger victims in this.

NorfolkNellie Wed 12-Sep-18 16:48:28

I could hear my father hurting my mum at night sometimes. Never saw anything but there was always the threat in the air which was really horrible to live with, It has left me not trusting people, hyper vigilant and not quite whole. I am super sensitive and always checking the 'temperature ' of a room.

I am sorry, but you are not protecting your children. I have had therapy as an adult and I feel nothing for my father but am angry at my mum for not protecting us emotionally. It was always about her and I used to to try and make her life easier and worry about her. Nobody worried about me, the child.

Seniorschoolmum Wed 12-Sep-18 16:49:25

I did. I didn’t speak to my father again until the day before he died. I still regard him with contempt.

Seniorschoolmum Wed 12-Sep-18 16:51:56

OP, you know you need to get out. My mum didn’t manage it but that was a long time ago. People will help you and won’t judge. You just need to summon the courage to ask. flowers

CityFarmer Wed 12-Sep-18 16:52:13

I won't be able to reply to all of these, but I'll read them.

Have you got anybody in real life you could talk to? I think Women’s Aid are very supportive, perhaps give them a call.

I just don't think I'd find the words to say it out loud.

A friend at uni asked me once, my best friend. She was a real real friend. But I honestly couldn't face her after that and she moved away shortly after, to continue her studies.
I also didn't want to make it her issue.

His sister asked me, once. In a vague way. I think it was shortly after she had her own baby, a daughter. Because she never really spoke about it before that point. That daughter turns 10 soon.

I've not spoken about it since.

I can't find the words to say that the first time he hit me i was 18 and the most recent time I'm, 30. My family would be so upset, by the whole of it, by the longevity that's occurred.
It's not an every day occurence,
but I've finally reached a place mentally I can't really continue.

Every mental mote, I've set has been broken.
- Don't let the kids see you reduced to tears.
- Don't let the kids hear.
- Don't let the kids see. ..ultimately this is what has led me to posting.

But I just want to sheild the kids while this comes to an end.

CityFarmer Wed 12-Sep-18 16:54:49

What's your opinion of your parents as a result?

Losingthechubrub Wed 12-Sep-18 16:54:55

I saw it, in fact as a child I was dragged out of bed to witness it. It's probably affected my whole life if I'm honest, from my career/earning potential (couldn't wait to leave home at 16, never went to college) to my entire adult dating history. I've never had a physically abusive partner but that might be more luck than judgement. I've also never really had a successful, trusting relationship. And don't get me started on eating my feelings all the way up to 23 stones. That's taken some undoing I can tell you.

If you knew me in real life, you'd think I was a happy, energetic, well adjusted 40-something but you never know what trauma someone is keeping to themselves. If you're in a position to get out, OP, please give it some serious consideration.

Graphista Wed 12-Sep-18 16:58:21

Yes. Violent alcoholic father on mother.

You are extremely naive/in denial of you think your kids don't know. They see, hear, pick up on tense atmosphere. Even if I wasn't in house when there'd been an incident I could tell when I did come in from how they both were even if no obvious injuries.

My opinion of them both now? It's very complicated because there's always an element of "unconditional" love still for your parents. I've no respect for my father on that score and I do see him for who he is and part of me, a big part, hates him.

My mother it's even more complicated. Sympathy for her as a victim, but also anger and frustration at her not leaving, and for not protecting us - both as witnesses and later victims ourselves. I was also sexually abused by my father which I believe she suspected but even now she won't properly believe me.

My mother claims she was unable to leave due to finances etc - this is not true she had/has a supportive family who could easily have provided her and us with somewhere to live and supported us until she was able to. On 2 occasions they sort of 'kidnapped' us to try and get us away from him but she went back and took us with her. The 1st time I don't remember but the 2nd I do and I remember her arguing with her family who were saying 'at least leave the kids here' - I do think she was very selfish not to.

She's still with him, she'll never leave. But it's just the 2 of them now. Our family has shattered. I'm lc with them, they have virtually no relationship with dd. I'm Nc with my sister who's ended up similar to dad in many ways (addiction, manipulative, controlling, narc), I'm mc with my bro who's moved several hundred miles away and rarely visits. So parents aren't close to his kids either.

Frankly it's a bloody mess.

Oh and my siblings and I are all in our 40's now and sis and I have multiple mh issues.

The longer you stay the more your children will be harmed. There's also the high risk that as they get older either by trying to protect you or by challenging him themselves they will be next in line for the abuse directly I'm afraid.

Hope you find the strength soon to leave - could you write it down and hand that to somebody? Hv, GP, neighbour, relative?

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