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to not forgive mum for not being terribly mum like?

(6 Posts)
runningoutofsteam Sun 19-Oct-08 23:11:25

Now my mum has suffered from mental health issues for as long as I can remember, so many of the things she did maybe should be forgiven by me as she was dealing with so much at the time.

This could be a looooong post so to quickly explain some of what happened:

She confided solely in me about her childhood sexual abuse when I was 13 and unable to deal with it or her properly. She continued to confide all her personal problems to me at length. I know she had to tell someone but looking back now I really think it shouldn't have been me.

She wouldn't let me go out to see friends or have them over - I was expected to be her companion.

She had several severe breakdowns, no doctor ever seemed to get called, it was delt with within the family.

She would occassionally send me off to school saying she would commit suicide that day

When I tried to leave home to live with boyfriend at 19 she said she threatened to kill herself if I did.

When I was 21, relationship I was in broke down and my dad came to fetch me. Mum wouldn't let me back in house so I had to sleep on floor of friends house for year.

When I had first child she refused to talk to me or see Ds for 6 months as I was unmarried mother - though in stable relationship and we went on to marry.

Ok, this is starting to sound like one of those rather awful biographies that are so popular now, the ones of miserable childhoods! It really wasn't so awful, we knew she was pretty unstable and didn't take much of it to heart. Crazy childhood sometimes but we all turned out ok and reasonably happy! Only as I get older I find it harder to be so forgiving and feel guilty about that. She is much more together these days but I keep her at arms length and try not to see a great deal of her. She has had the most awful life but think I am angry I didn't have a 'mum'.

Should you just be able to forgive someones actions if they have suffered terrible life events and suffering from mental illness? It's been buzzing round my head for months and I can't think whats right...

Seabright Sun 19-Oct-08 23:16:45

I wonder if it's really your mum that you need to forgive?

Assuming everything she told you was true, none of that was her fault. Your wider family must have know some, if not all, that was going on, and should not have allowed you to be treated in this way.

Personally, I would find it easier to forgive a person suffering from a mental illness than those around her that allowed you to be treated as you were and, maybe, prolonged her suffering by not getting her the treatment she needed.

herbietea Sun 19-Oct-08 23:16:59

Message withdrawn

runningoutofsteam Sun 19-Oct-08 23:30:20

I do want to feel more warmth towards her, this sounds so selfish of me doesn't it? I can rationalise it all in my head, recognise it was hard enough for her to get through each day most of the time and yet I keep her at arms length because some part of me is angry.

Maybe you are right, I'm angry at the wrong person Seabright.

twinsetandpearls Sun 19-Oct-08 23:34:12

I have mental health issues and I know at times it has made me a crap mum. I have not done all the things listed on here though. I hope my dd will understand when older. But I do understand you being angry,

My mum has been a fundamentally crap mum, i suspect there have been undiagnosed mental health issues and have found it has helped me to forgive and move on. But I don't feel any warmth to her.

herbietea Sun 19-Oct-08 23:35:16

Message withdrawn

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