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Such a mess I don't even know where to begin. Warning for violence.

(17 Posts)
Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 17:49:04

This isn't really about me. It's not my divorce. It's my parents. I am 29 years old and I guess I'm the grown up version of piggy in the middle. Which is ridiculous because I have a house, mortgage, job, etc, and yet I feel like a helpless child.

Growing up my father was physically abusive to my mother. He would beat her and on one occasion I remember he threatened to throw her off our third floor balcony. I was awoken in the early hours by her screaming "no no I have children". I saw the altercation as my room faced the balcony. I banged on the window and then hid under the duvet. The next morning everyone was acting as though nothing had happened. This was a common theme growing up: violence followed by surreal "normalcy". He hit me once, and my brother several times. My mum has spent her life trying to appease him. Last year he said he was leaving her, and she was distraught. However, they remained living together. They're still in the same flat now.

I moved out to go to university and never looked back. I hated him for the violence and I hated her for being weak and staying put. I remember once we packed to leave while he was at work, but by the late afternoon she changed her mind and we had to unpack again.

I managed to remain distant from both of them for most of my adult life. I tried to have a relationship with my mother, but she was always talking about him, trying to draw me in, it was just easier to see them for birthdays and Christmas.

That worked until I bought a house. It needed a lot of work doing to it and everyone went on at me to let my dad help as he is a builder. I'm ashamed to say that I gave in as the cost and quotes piled up. At that point my mum hadn't said anything about him hitting her in years and so I kind of thought he was past that in his older years.

He moved in with me and DP temporarily and he was nice as pie. Friendly, charming, helpful, etc. Confided in me about his mental health issues and did a huge amount of work on the house, including re-wiring the house. However, he never finished the work as he had to go to do other jobs and we remain living on a building site. Then the Corona virus hit and here we are. I've since found out that he moved the fuse box himself, but he's not an electrician. So I feel anxious about addressing that in the future, especially as I know he had plans to move the mains power supply!! I know it's my fault for being so ignorant, but I guess I trusted him to know what he was doing.

Last week my mum's mum died. He chose this opportunity to remind my mum that he was leaving her and that he would have moved out already if he had had somewhere to live.

And to top it all off, when she was crying about her dead mother he came to close the door so that he didn't have to hear her and said that he was training her to live alone. The man is a stone-cold psychopath.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to help her. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare, in a fog and I feel like a hopeless child. I can't have him back here of course, we'll have to finish the house ourselves, but my mum remains trapped in a flat with him 2 hours drive away and my blood runs cold at the whole situation. I keep having flashbacks to the balcony and I am terrified that he might finish the job. My brother is there, but he has learning difficulties and wouldn't be any help.

Please, someone tell me what to do.

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Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 17:49:54

Christ, I'm sorry this is so long. I didn't think I was rambling until I pressed "post".

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ChocAuVin Sat 18-Apr-20 17:54:59

In my experience, these men rarely leave (unless for another poor woman).

It’s simply another way to inflict torture on their partners. I’m so, so sorry but you and your mum have had to endure this monstrous behaviour for so many years.

Please encourage your mum to get help – and please keep posting here, I’m sorry I don’t have better advice, but having escaped my own nightmare abuse story, I’m very invested in your mum escaping hers. I’m sure somebody with better advice than me will be along soon — sending you un-mumsnetty hugs flowers

ChocAuVin Sat 18-Apr-20 17:56:13

FWIW my ex threatened cyclically for years to leave me. It was only when I finally left that I realised he would never have actually done it.

RosesandIris Sat 18-Apr-20 17:57:18

An your mum come and live with you until lockdown is over? In the meantime, make sure your dad is making an effort to find somewhere else to live. Get you mother to tell him in writing he has a month to find somewhere else to live. Put it in an email so there is a record. Get her to phone a solicitor and start divorce proceedings.
She needs to take back control of her life.
She also needs to let the police know he is violent so they have it on file.

She may be so brainwashed she lacks the ability or will to do these things. You need to really hammer it home to her and try to get her to act. If she won’t act, sadly there is nothing g you can do. Try to look after yourself.

TippledPink Sat 18-Apr-20 18:01:57

Sounds like an awful situation, could your mum move in with you temporarily or is it too much of a building skte.?

Fanthorpe Sat 18-Apr-20 18:08:19

Absolutely miserable situation, I’m so sorry about your GM’s death. You talk about how dreadful your mother’s life is but yours has been made miserable as well. Your father is not going to change. I don’t blame you for giving him the chance to help you, but he’s done exactly as he chose in your house and given you a bigger problem, no matter how charmingly he did it.

Give your mother the information she needs to leave him if you choose, but she knows it anyway, you can’t do it for her. You’re being constantly dragged back into their drama, with little consideration of your needs. Witnessing violence has had an impact on you, no doubt.

You’re not responsible for them, only they can take decisions for themselves. I’m so sorry for all they’ve done. You deserve more.

itchyfinger Sat 18-Apr-20 18:10:23

Is there any way your mum would leave him and come and stay with you until he moves out? I know hugely inconvenient but could also be life saving.

Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 18:13:40

ChocAuVin

In my experience, these men rarely leave.

I think you're right, otherwise he would have moved out last year when he said it was over, right?

RosesandIris

She could move in with us, but I don't think we really have space for both her and my brother, unless they sleep in bunk beds? Then that would need to be bought, I don't know any shops which are delivering furniture at the moment. We don't even have a sofa, just a couple of chairs. There are no floors yet, everything is exposed and raw and a fucking deathtrap. Although the kitchen works.

She is also a carer and I know she doesn't want to leave work.

I know I need to talk to her. She should be grieving her mother right now, not dealing with this monster.

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Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 18:30:16

Thank you for your condolences Fanthorpe

You make a very good point with this: but he’s done exactly as he chose in your house and given you a bigger problem, no matter how charmingly he did it.

He DID create a bigger problem, I'm now worried sick about getting fined by the national grid or something on top of everything else.

You’re being constantly dragged back into their drama, with little consideration of your needs. Witnessing violence has had an impact on you, no doubt.

I strongly suspect that my eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and possibly my memory loss are linked to my upbringing. Despite all this, my DM somehow thinks my childhood was pretty good??

You’re not responsible for them, only they can take decisions for themselves. I’m so sorry for all they’ve done. You deserve more.

Thank you once again. Absolutely, and this is the line I've maintained for the most part - but no-one is acting like an adult, perhaps I was naive to expect them to.

I've text my mum to ask if she's ok and offered her my house to stay at. I can buy blow up beds and maybe put my brother in the living room. There's always a way.

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HollowTalk Sat 18-Apr-20 18:35:22

Oh god, please don't ask your mum to stay with you. I'm really horrified at the way she's behaved, tbh. I know she's a victim but it really sounds as though nothing will separate her from him, even if he's trying to kill her. If she comes to stay, he'll come too; you know that.

Why did you ask her to stay? Did you think he was going back to her? Do you think she needs someone caring for her? I know it's very sad her mum has died but most mothers wouldn't move in with their adult children in that situation.

Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 18:42:17

HollowTalk

I don't know what to do. I can't just ignore her suffering. I could never forgive myself if something happened. I am still kicking myself for not calling the police on numerous occasions when I lived there, I was such a coward, I got used to living like that and lost all sense of perspective.

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MrsBobDylan Sat 18-Apr-20 18:49:40

Right <very stern tone> your Mother is not your responsibility. If anything happens to her it is not your fault.

Here's my guess - your Dad have you a bit of help in return for living with you. Now he has created an unholy bloody mess, you feel weirdly guilty and drawn back into their drama.

I am more worried about your brother and in your shoes would ask SS to do an assessment.

If it makes you feel better I drew up in a similar situation and neither I nor my 3 siblings feel responsible for the violence our Mother received.

Your parents are codependent the violence and drama IS their relationship, it's all they've got.

They have fucked up enough of your life, don't let them take this part too. Good luck, you deserve better thanks

MrsBobDylan Sat 18-Apr-20 18:54:03

Also, you were not a coward, you were a child. A very frightened, living on eggshells, never able to just relax, child.

Both of your parents have let you down. I can't believe how many people think you should ask your Mum to live with you. This woman allowed your childhood to be trampled on and let you with physiological issues. Which part of her mother care should op feel as though she has to repay ffs?

organicbox Sat 18-Apr-20 19:26:45

You don't have to have your mum live with you. It sounds like that would be extremely hard for you emotionally.

Can you help her to access help in another way?

Whatthefuckk Sat 18-Apr-20 19:29:11

She replied with "thanks, I will just try to take on lots of extra shifts to stay out of the house as much as possible."

So that's that, I suppose. Back to surreal normality.

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StayinginSummer Sat 18-Apr-20 19:35:04

I worry about your brother with learning difficulties? He’s a vulnerable adult and therefore not safe surely?

Your mum, yes I’d give her every opportunity but ultimately it is up to her.

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