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A bit difficult, about my childhood

(20 Posts)
alicecrail Sat 01-Aug-09 09:16:32

I don't know whether this should be in this topic, so sorry if it's in the wrong one blush This all happened yesterday.

I went to visit my family yesterday and we had a lovely day. We were having a cup of tea and cake near home time, when we get talking about DD's new haircut (i cut her fringe thursday night) and how my grandma had my hair cut off when i was DD's age. It soon turned into some quite shocking revelations. The reason my grandma had my hair cut was because when i would go there at the weekends i would arrive filthy, with dirty, matted hair that couldn't be brushed easily (i had a lot of hair that needed brushing regularly), i would be dressed in filthy clothes and would be in desperate need of a bath. (quite bad, but nothing terrible) Apparently my mother had tried to get me taken into foster care and when my grandma found out she started making moves to get my dad to get custody of me. At first they wouldn't allow it simply because my grandma fed me well enough at the weekends that i had enough to survive on during the week when my mum forgot to feed me (i was 18mo) which technically meant i wasn't starving although i was very underweight. The deciscion was made a couple of months later when my mum had got someone's kid to look after me so she could go down the pub and they left me on my own. Normally she would take me to the pub where i was often in just a nappy that wouldn't have been changed since the morning. That was all the solicitor needed. She also took my sister just wrapped in a towel (aged 3mo) to her parents, and asked them to look after her while she went shopping and didn't ask for her back until she was 4yr old. In that time she looked after her once and my sister fell down the stairs and fractured her skull. My mother didn't do anything, just put her to bed and when her parents come to collect dsis she wouldn't wake up, and my mum told them she had fallen down the stairs so they took her to hospital.

I now know why my sister can't forgive my mother of abandoning her, she knew all the horrid details that i didn't.

I was supposed to see my mother yesterday evening but had genuinely run out of time, but somehow felt guilty for not going to see her. It has made me feel completely thrown and i don't know what to think.

I know there are children much worse off, and i do feel lucky that i got a proper upbringing by my dad and grandparents, but at the moment it is taking a while to sink in and i would appreciate anyones views on this and any advice.


ssd Sat 01-Aug-09 09:20:12

how awful to find this out now

have no experience but bumping for you

just wondering, whats your mum like towards you now? sorry but she sounds totally awful.

filchthemildmanneredjanitor Sat 01-Aug-09 09:20:22

i can't imagine how you would feel hearin something like that. it must be very confusing. i would be very angry i think-i would want to scream at my mother!

i do't have any advice i'm afraid.

how do you feel?

luckylady74 Sat 01-Aug-09 09:22:55

What an incredible bombshell for you.

You need to give this time to sink in.
I wouldn't speak to your mum about it for the moment- give yourself time to digest.

You have a lot to come to terms with- I'm sure other people more helpful will come along.

alypaly Sat 01-Aug-09 09:22:59

sit and talk to your mum and try and find out the reasons why she couldnt cope. It is normally ore deepseated than just drink. Maybe she had issues that she couldnt deal with in her childhood and just turned to drink to forget. Abuse when peolpe were youger often manifests itself when you have your own children i.e your sister and u. Tread carefully as the memories may be paibful for her. Vut approach your own isses and c if she will talk, you are her daughter ,u hav a right to know but it may take time and so open questioning.

alypaly Sat 01-Aug-09 09:24:17

sorry about the spelling, hit the wrong keys

alypaly Sat 01-Aug-09 09:25:49

wat i meant by open questions was , dont ask closed ones that enable her to say yes or no. Use the open question technique as it makes people give you a more detailed answer

Dalrymps Sat 01-Aug-09 09:26:15

How shocking for you. You say 'I know there are children much worse off', well i'm sure there are but that stuff is pretty bad IMO.

The very basics of looking after a lo are to feed, change nappy and wash them and your mother didn't even do that!

Ask or your sis falling down the stairs and being put to bed with a fractured skull, words fail me.

I'm releived to hear you were properly looked after by your dad and grandma but I don't know what would have happed if you hadn't been.

I can only think/hope that your mum had mental health problems or some kind of drink/drug dependancy to 'parent' in that way.

Can't imagine how you must feel to have found this out now, I would be really sad and upset.

Pruneurs Sat 01-Aug-09 09:26:46

I am open-mouthed at all that, so I can only imagine how you feel.

How do you get along with your mother now??

My mother left us when I was a child and it's not an easy thing to have to deal with (different circumstances for us) - a lot of it is made up for by her being an excellent grandmother. It is hard, though, at times.

You don't have to see her for now, until you work out how you feel/whether or not you want to approach her about it etc.

Pruneurs Sat 01-Aug-09 09:28:37

Sorry, I didn't clarify: my mother was, I think, quite profoundly depressed. It's useful to be able to see it as 'not her fault' - do you know enough yet about your mother's state of mind etc at the time? How is she now?

alicecrail Sat 01-Aug-09 09:51:01

Thank you all.

My mother was 17 when she had me, had a termination, then had my sister who is 17months younger than me. I think my mother was very careless and irresponsible. She said she suffered with pnd and i'm sure there is possibly some truth in that. She was never an alcoholic, it was more that she is very selfish with her time (still is) and she used to be selfish about everything. When we would go and stay with her we often wouldn't get breakfast (ice pops were in the freezer) and we were often sat in a room filled with cannabis smoke (she did some dealing) This is all stuff i actually remember.

She has tried to make a bit of an effort since i've got older and more so since my sister has stopped talking to her.

I feel so bad at hassling my sister to start talking to mum again, i thought she was mostly in the wrong. I even said that she was so much like our mum, which i now see is completely untrue.

RumourOfAHurricane Sat 01-Aug-09 09:58:36

Message withdrawn

alicecrail Sat 01-Aug-09 10:06:34

Thank you,

I do find it more difficult when i know people iyswim?

I told DH but i didn't want to talk about it so i got drunk instead - easier (doesn't happen very often though)

alicecrail Sat 01-Aug-09 10:56:14

One thing that bothers me more now is that my mum was abused by her step dad, but yet she was happy for her daughter to be brought up by him. My sister was never abused though and really looks up to him. This is another reason my sister doesn't speak to my mother.

giraffesCantCatchSwineFlu Sat 01-Aug-09 13:05:55

Hiya Alice. Goodness what a thing to find it, sounds like it must be really shocking to have heard all of that. How are you feeling today? What would you like to happen now? <passes cake to fellow slattern>

alicecrail Sun 02-Aug-09 07:05:06

I have spoken to DH about it yesterday and i have decided (for the moment anyway) to just carry on as i was. Obviously i won't forget it, but as i'm not sure how to deal with it, i am going to just put aside for now. Obviously, there is the worry it will come out at some point, but it is just how i can get through now iyswim? I am probably going about it the wrong way, but it does seem the only sensible option.

LeninGrad Sun 02-Aug-09 07:29:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alicecrail Sun 02-Aug-09 08:42:41

I suppose that is kind of what i'm doing but in reverse! I think i should hide it away until i'm ready to deal with it, but you suggest that i should try to think how i would feel after some time has passed and try to bypass some of the difficulty? I like the idea of that, but i feel it could go one of 2 ways: Either i feel that it makes no difference and it was shock but that is all, OR It ends up coming back at some random moment and eating me up with guilt/resentment.

I feel at the moment that i am very aware of my parenting and how it affects my daughter.

My mother has said all along how good i am at being a parent and how she feels at least she has taught me something hmm which i suppose in a way is true, she has taught me how not to be ever. I do worry that perhaps it is something you can't help and that i will end up like her reguardless of what i do. I do love my mum, but i don't feel it is as straightforward as it was before.

LeninGrad Sun 02-Aug-09 09:54:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alicecrail Sun 02-Aug-09 17:17:37

Thank you smile

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