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"But we took you to Statley Homes" Dysfunctional Families Thread

(819 Posts)
Snowdropfairy Thu 31-Mar-11 14:04:18

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
November 2010

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.

Snowdropfairy Thu 31-Mar-11 14:05:43

*December 2010

Not November

Snowdropfairy Thu 31-Mar-11 14:07:06

Sorry my post killed the last thread

I made a new one so noone could shout at me grin

Plus you have to be nice to me now as i'm pregnant grin hmm

hariboegg Thu 31-Mar-11 14:45:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hariboegg Thu 31-Mar-11 14:46:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 14:52:51

[[ Here is the link]


pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 14:54:16


pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 14:56:26

and another new one

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:00:59

I have asked MN to link the two new threads together

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:05:21

Link Here to Previous Threads

Thanks to Grace for the original Links

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:09:50

Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/angry/hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/lifetime experiences of being hurt/angry etc by our parent?s behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotional abused and/or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesnt have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/or current parental contact has left you feeling damaged falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful if you have come this far and are still not sure wether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts;.

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect you feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defenses that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety will undoubtedly us it during confrontation to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behavior. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offenses against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behavior. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get," or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ....

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realize that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

follow up to pages first thread

Im sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out grin. I personally dont claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will recieve a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support.

Happy Posting (smithfield posting as therealsmithfield)

I have cut and pasted this because I think it is fab.Just incase anyone misses the link.

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:11:02

Hi Thanks for your request,
Unfortunately we are unable to link the two threads.
We recommend that you stop posting on one and report the other and we will
delete it for you.
Let us know which one by reporting

Best wishes


pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:12:41

Which one?
I am going to stop hogging the thread,now.

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 15:16:05

Susan Forward

Alice Millar

Personality Disorder Definition

thisishowifeel Thu 31-Mar-11 15:32:07

I have asked for the other thread to be removed, as PM has linked everything so much better than I did.

pirahamorgana Thu 31-Mar-11 16:00:33

>> waves << at thisis Greetings She-Ra smile

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Thu 31-Mar-11 16:09:06

Hello... I have just found you all. I am not quite sure I belong here, partly because I am still trying to work out what exactly it was that my parents did that pushed me over the edge again and again and how it affects me today, and partly because I took the big step in 2004 to move a thousand miles away from them so I could live my own life. Since then we have slowly established some ground rules and can be civil with each other. We see each other 1-2 times a year for about 2 weeks, and only I make phonecalls unless it's vital.

I started psychotherapy yesterday to attempt to work on the effects my childhood had on me, and I have to say that I am extremely lucky to have ended up with a fantastic lady who managed to jump straight to the point in the first session.

Anyway, like I said, I don't know if I truly do belong here, but I hope you don't mind me hanging around for a while.

RubberDuck Thu 31-Mar-11 16:40:19


Found the new thread. Thanks for setting up a new one

Welcome Ivy - of course you can hang around and sounds like a good fit to me. Sounds like you're much further along the road than I am!

I noticed something I did today which was interesting, though. Without giving details, in a conversation someone made a sarcastic joke which I missed, then laughed at me for not getting the "humour". It's the sort of thing that normally really upsets me, spend ages trying to work out how I managed to humiliate myself and how it was my fault - basically be "oversensitive" because that's how my parents always acted - put me down with the use of "humour" then used a second opportunity to put the knife in when I didn't get it.

Anyway, I didn't do that. I didn't realise until a lot later, but my inner thought was immediately, "eh? That wasn't particularly funny. shrug" and just carried on the conversation. No drama.

Only something small, but major progress for me, I think

thisishowifeel Thu 31-Mar-11 16:55:37

Hiya PM I have the power!!!!!!

Hello IVY, sounds like you are in the right place to me. Hang around for as long as you like. Often people posting their own experiences helps others to make sense of something of their own. It all helps.

RD Being laughed at and humiliated is a very regular feature of my reccuring dreams/nightmares, and a reccuring feature of my contact with my "family". I am not oversensitive, I am reacting to being humiliated and laughed at in a perfectly reasonable and normal way. By being upset.

They told me I had a persecution complex.....ah yes, very clever. If I ever complained about the way they treated me or spoke to me, it was because of my complex.

Actually no, it was because they WERE PERSECUTING ME!!!!!

I have a friend who is a psychotherapist, who is keeping an eye out for more stuff on c-ptsd. If he finds anything I will be glad to share here.

droves Thu 31-Mar-11 17:15:22

WOO WOO new thread !

Hello everyone ! . Hope your all having a good day !

Thisishowifeel ,I also had the "persecution complex" hmm

Funny thing is no-body persecuted me , except my (ex-)mother.

Had nightmare last night , so am a little dosy , might not make sence, please excuse.

Nightmare , horrible , wake up sweating in terror ,palpatations , cant catch my breath,in a panic.... thinking mother has my children.
Have to get up out of bed and check they are all safely tucked up in their beds.
Cant get back to sleep . When i close my eyes i see her.
I cant remember exactly what the dream was about, just that she has my kids .
I have the awful feeling that this is somehow connected to the blanks in my memory , or a result of seeing her recently.

Why is this happening ?.

garlicbutter Thu 31-Mar-11 17:37:45

Thank you for the new thread, Snowdrop, and Piranha for your fantastic intro and links There are some lovely people in this Stately Home! x

garlicbutter Thu 31-Mar-11 17:49:41

Another "persecution complex" sufferer here hmm

I'm having pretty bad ishoos of self-worth and so on just now. I reacted badly to being picked at online, fgs, I thought I could handle that! Have gone back to doing my self-compassion meditations at night, and am slowly picking up my pieces again. Despite knowing how this is all valuable learning for me, I'm going through one of those phases when I wish I were still in denial! Gah. Then I think about my brother and his extraordinarily dysfunctional marriage ... and think, well, maybe this is all worthwhile after all.

Droves, I guess your dreams have probably been triggered by seeing your mother. From your recent posts, it seems that you're working through some of your old stuff and dreams very often do tell you what your unconscious mind is processing. Could it be something as simple as the contrast between your own children's security, compared with how your mother made you feel at that age? Just an idea ... you always "know" when a dream interpretation is the right one Hope you get a better sleep tonight, anyway.

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Thu 31-Mar-11 20:35:21

Oh I know all about the persecution complex. To this day I am paranoid about leaving my handbag or my phone somewhere out of sight, because I spent years "imagining" that my mother would go through them, or read my diary, then work little digs about their contents into conversation. But it was all in my mind. It was all in my mind that I could never work hard enough to satisfy my parents. It was all in my mind that people talked about me behind my back because my parents made me stay at home to study or do chores when others were going swimming or out in the sun, or whatever. It was all in my mind that I developed anorexia to regain some sort of control over my own life, because I wasn't really ill, I wasn't really depressed, and my parents didn't really tell me I was a failure at every opportunity.

droves Thu 31-Mar-11 21:36:37

Thank you garlic . I didnt think about a comparison. I am working through old stuff, perhaps because now i am in a happy safe place in life , so i can do it now. Its more trying to get my head around it all and accept it happened. A last attempt at trying to ditch the anger about it all iykwim?.

Ivy , i understand the fear of the toxic having "something" on you. The digs , the not having personal belongings untouched, its a cruel thing.
Im sorry you had to go through that. I hope you have recovered from it and are in a better place .

Everyone on this thread has been an inspiration to me, a support i never thought for a second i would have. Just wanted to say thank you, for taking the time to read my posts and helping me through this.

You are all wonderful.

reddaisy Thu 31-Mar-11 22:16:27

Hello, I have dipped in and out of this thread, I'm not a regular poster.

I am pregnant with my second DC and I am finding that I am dreaming about my dead abuser a lot recently and he is flashing into my mind a lot.

For background, I am normally very good at repressing my memories and not thinking about him (my stepfather) and I wondered if anyone else had experienced this? I wondered if it is because being pregnant makes you more vulnerable/protective...

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