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To think my childhood wasn't normal?

(87 Posts)
Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 14:53:19

I've just been reading the thread about a couple having the police called on them after a 10 minute row and posters were saying this isn't normal behaviour. This has surprised me and made me think about my mum's behaviour specifically which in comparison to that thread seems extreme, but I've always just assumed lots of people grew up like this?

She was loving and financially provided for us, but was deeply stressed about her job and not very happy with her life really. She used to get into extreme rage over as little as us looking at her funny, even if this was imagined. She'd go from joking around with us to screaming and furious in a second.

We had numerous incidents when I was around 12 where she'd get wound up and then would threaten to kill herself and tell us that it was because we were such awful children to her.

I remember lying in bed a couple of times at night and would be listening to my mum scream at my dad and hear plates smashing. Once I heard my dad telling her to stop throwing knives at him. It was terrifying at the time and I just lay in bed crying.

But other times she was lovely and took us on amazing trips to America and Australia so it's hard to feel one particular way about my childhood.

But her behaviour wasn't normal was it?

Mintandthyme Fri 12-Apr-19 14:54:06

No it was not normal. At all.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 12-Apr-19 14:54:57

That isn't normal behaviour

boredboredboredboredbored Fri 12-Apr-19 14:59:55

No it's not op. What is she like now? Does she ever mention those times?

HarrysOwl Fri 12-Apr-19 15:01:07

Normal for me.

Only, my mother has borderline personality disorder and my father was a narcissist.

I've got fun-filled anxiety disorders to prove it grin

But really...no. Apparently not normal. Are you okay OP?

There's a 'but we took you to stately homes' parental abuse thread you might find helpful, so many with similar experiences.

Jakethekid Fri 12-Apr-19 15:01:14

I have to agree that when I read the other thread I had the same thoughts as you. I was raised in a household where my parents had separated yet still would have blazing arguments (sometimes with the front door open so everyone could hear and I and my siblings would be so embarrassed).

In my situation it was more my mum than my dad, he was the sort that couldn't really be bothered to have an argument, which would then annoy her more. When I look back I see bad on both sides but I also wonder why noone else ever intervened and called social services. There's other examples that I won't go into but sometimes I read threads on here and it really opens my eyes up about how my childhood really wasn't as normal as what I thought it was (most of my friends parents were also divorced) and even though we went on holidays every year, our home was dangerously cluttered and we lived quite poorly.

Every time me and my partner get near a serious argument now I have to stop myself because I don't want my children to have to endure what I and my siblings did.

Bananacloud Fri 12-Apr-19 15:02:28

No sad and I’m sorry you think it was xx

Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 15:04:12

Once I moved out of home at 18 things hugely improved and we get on really well now. When I was around 17 and we got into arguments I'd tell her about how much her behaviour affected me and my siblings but she completely denies ever having said or done any of these things so it was quite infuriating. The one time I finally got her to acknowledge some of her actions she just got annoyed and said what did I expect when she had 4 badly behaved kids and no support from her husband (our dad).

ScreamScreamIceCream Fri 12-Apr-19 15:06:56

OP it's not normal.

Your mother abused both you children and your father, and from your update is still doing it.

Ribbonsonabox Fri 12-Apr-19 15:10:22

Normal for me. My mother would scream and scream... just lie in bed screaming. I'm sure she had some kind of personality disorder that was untreated. From what I've learnt she herself had a very strange arguably abusive childhood so it probably stems from that. And I notice that my own emotions can be slightly unstable and I can be very anxious which manifests itself as anger sometimes.... I dont scream like that though... but I think the emotional instability may be genetic or something, my gran was also similar.
I actually now speak so quietly that people are constantly asking me what I just said, because I hate loud noise.
My parents fought constantly, but they have been together a very long time and also appear to still be in love. But it was all very dramatic and as an only child I was drowned in the background of it all.
I feel for you. It's a horrible way to grow up and it really distorts your view of what is normal. I ended up in two abusive relationships because I had no idea what level of conflict was normal. I just assumed that people were shouted at by people in love with them and that live was drama...
Luckily I've realised that is absolute bollocks. I rarely fight with my husband and when we do disagree we talk about it we dont scream even if we are angry. It was actually a revelation to me to be treated with respect. I honestly didnt realise that love could be calm and respectful.

Becca83 Fri 12-Apr-19 15:12:15

Normal for me too.

Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 15:13:29

To be fair my father was no saint either. He lied and secretly got the family into lots of debt which is what triggered many of my mum's worse outbursts and he would intentionally say things to her to rile her up. That doesn't excuse her throwing knives at him of course.

It feels strange to hear that this is seen as abuse. I've always just accepted it as just a lower point in my childhood but that generally I've been pretty fortunate to have had a 'privileged' upbringings in some way (nice house etc). I still just see it almost as part of who my mum is.

Saying that I would never ever treat any child the way she treated us.

Purpleartichoke Fri 12-Apr-19 15:17:09

I had a similar childhood. As an adult, I am able to name my father’s behavior was abuse.

It skews your perspective on relationships and makes it hard to know what a healthy relationship looks like. It took me some time, but thankfully I finally figured it out.

Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 15:18:10

Consolations for everyone who too had a childhood like this!

@ribbonsonabox my mother too seemed to have had a somewhat abusive upbringing judging by her descriptions of life with my nan. Apparently my mother was never allowed to choose her own clothes or what she wanted to do in her free time. She wore what my grandmother chose for her right until she moved out at 18 and had to spend every weekend trundling round the shops with my gran, even as a teen. I think it's because my mum had such a restrictive upbringing that she felt she was a really relaxed and progressive mum to us in comparison.

Teaandtoastie Fri 12-Apr-19 15:20:16

It was normal for me... until luckily a neighbour did call the police.

Even now I can’t stand raised voices. My DC also get upset if they hear adults shouting at each other as it’s just something they never hear at home.

ginghamtablecloths Fri 12-Apr-19 15:21:31

No, your mum's behaviour wasn't normal. Many couples argue now and again, many of us get fed up with our lives but not to that extent. Sorry, but your mum sounds extremely unhappy or moody.

ILoveMaxiBondi Fri 12-Apr-19 15:23:58

I’m so sorry OP. That was an abusive situation.

so it's hard to feel one particular way about my childhood.

No-one feels just one way about their childhood. It’s such a huge time period with loads going on that it would be impossible just to feel one way about it. Don’t worry about that.

KrispyKremes Fri 12-Apr-19 15:33:04

Not normal. I'm so sorry OP.

I only ever heard my parents argue once or twice as a child. it was never violent though.

But it still was hard to handle. I feel so bad for kids who have to grow up in homes where shouting/violence is "normal"

Our DD is 6 and so far she's never heard DH or I shout at one another. I don't actually think we ever have shouted at one another. We bicker/piss each other off, of course. But can never stay mad at each other for long.

But then I guess maybe it's what you grow up in that teaches you what's "normal" in a lot of cases.

I can only assume the OP of the other post grew up in a house of shouting, as did her partner. So to them screaming at each other for "10 minutes" isn't police worthy.

IHateUncleJamie Fri 12-Apr-19 15:40:14

Normal for me (Narcissistic Mother with poss BPD). Nobody called the Police though because everything looked perfect from the outside.

Been No Contact with her for several years now. Much more peaceful!

It’s Emotional Abuse, OP. Part of the control/programming is the re-writing of history/gaslighting/deniability. If our parents had been horrific 24/7 we’d have realised we were being abused much more quickly.

I’m so sorry this happened to you. flowers

Meandwinealone Fri 12-Apr-19 15:42:15

It was normal for me. I just don’t understand why people stay when they’re so clearly unhappy

Are your parents still together

mrsm43s Fri 12-Apr-19 15:44:29

Not normal.

I remember my parents having big argument once. Just once. It was about a dent on the car that both of them were accusing the other of having done. It was the only time they had a full blown row, it was terrifying and I still remember it clearly. I was probably about 8 or 9.

I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to grow up in an environment that was like that day in, day out. Luckily for me it was a one off in an otherwise fantastic childhood, in a home where I felt safe, loved and valued.

(I might have to ask my parents whether they still remember that row! I suspect they don't. )

Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 15:46:35

@meandwinealone they are still together. They shouted constantly at each other about how much they hated each us and wanted to get a divorce but it just never happened. Just remembered that my mum would often shout, when in a range that she hates my dad and wish he'd go and 'fucking die'. I always felt really sorry for my dad after those comments and would make sure to tell him that we love him and we didn't want him to die!
I think they get on better now it's just the two of them but I don't know what goes on in the home anymore.

Yarkoplan Fri 12-Apr-19 15:47:26

Hated each other*

NigesFakeWalkingStick Fri 12-Apr-19 15:48:36

Not normal at all. My parents occasionally fought but they never subjected us to it.

My ex on the other hand was always caught up in his families drama. His mum would regularly say she regretted having the kids and would have meltdowns in front of them. He has long lasting mental health issues mainly to do with anger after being subjected to it for so long during his childhood. And his parents are still together.

SileneOliveira Fri 12-Apr-19 15:49:02

Not normal AT ALL. I don't ever remember one incident like that, let alone several.

I don't think I've ever heard Mum swear and I'm 45... and "shine a light" doesn't count as swearing Mum, even if you think it does.

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