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Feeling Isolated

(12 Posts)
hiddenhome Fri 15-Jul-11 22:48:27

I was brought up in care due to an abusive mother. I had a very bad time in care due to an abusive foster mother and her son.

Loads of stuff has gone wrong in my life, but I've always fought back and managed to improve my situation.

dh and his family are what I can 'normals'. Him and his sister had a good upbringing and there's no history of anything nasty. His sister is really nice and has a lovely job, dh, home, dcs etc.

I've been with dh for 11 years now and none of his family really know anything about me. He's always said that it's up to me to tell them things if I want them to know, but I just can't. SIL is a bit sentimental and only sees the good in people and I know she'd try and see things from my mother's point of view hmm even though it's blindingly obvious that my mother's nothing but a monster who should never have had children.

I don't see my half brother either due to the way his wife was towards me when I married dh sad

I just have a trail of nasty people whom I've managed to dump, but I don't think that dh's family would understand.

I feel so isolated and not a real part of things. I feel like I'm carrying around so many secrets and they don't know the real me. I have some social phobia and some things that I can't manage to do (like crowds and shopping centres) and I try to hide this and I know they think I'm a bit 'funny'.

noraa Fri 15-Jul-11 22:55:49

why do you have to talk about your family to them?
what help will this be?
it will upset you and the others.
concentrate on your future with your husband and your children, make new good friends through hobıes, work etc.
it is very good that you have a good husband and his family is good to you.
I would say try to put your childhood behind, just forget.

buzzsore Fri 15-Jul-11 22:56:00

You don't have to explain yourself, you know smile. But it sounds like it's something you would like to share. Maybe your dh could support you and either help you tell your past or shut up any justifications for your mother's behaviour?

But before you do try, if you decide to, perhaps you should get some counselling, to help you deal with the past and their possible reactions if you do confide in them?

kyacat Fri 15-Jul-11 23:02:39

You are a real part of the close unit you and your DH have built smile You can tell his family the big picture about having a difficult childhood without going into details. It's all they need to know unless you feel you want to share more. You don't know how your SIL would see it unless you do tell her.

And I think it's a great thing you've managed to get the nasty people out your life and leave them behind.

hiddenhome Fri 15-Jul-11 23:03:58

I don't particularly want to talk about it. I'm due to have counselling with a psychologist at some point this year, it's just that I feel like his family don't know me.

The person that I am is partly due to my experiences. I don't want them to be, but they are and I feel like I'm hiding some sort of secret by these people not knowing.

SIL asked a question about what uniform I wore to school because her and dh were looking at old school photos and I just mumbled something about it being black. The truth is that I went to 9 different schools when I was growing up and I went to three secondary schools.

babytantrums Fri 15-Jul-11 23:09:06

HI Hiddenhome

I don't have any words of wisdom really, but I (to an extent) know how you feel.

I was 'attacked' when I was 21 (someone broke into my home and 'attacked' ((sorry can't write the 4 letter word)) me and my sister - that's the first time I've ever even written that down...ugh!) I'm much older now, but it still hangs over me and makes me feel different from everybody I meet. It was a defining moment in both of our lives and it will always be with me.

None of my DH's relatives know (it would make them uncomfortable - we're all so terribly mc and things like that don't happen to people like us - sounds like you understand that..) and few friends know and I agree that it sets you apart. I have felt very isolated in the past. I know that some people think I'm a bit strange because I find it difficult to 'let people in'. The funny thing is - would I have turned out like this anyway, or did this shape me? Well, I'll never know.

However (and perhaps this is because mine was a one off incident and yours lasted too long) I don't feel that they don't know the 'real me' (whatever that is...) I'm not going to feel guilty or ashamed of the things that weren't my fault - like it or lump it - my DH and DC do and that's what counts.

I'm so sorry that you've had such hard times in your life, but you seem to have a lovely DH and lovely IL's so is it THAT important that they know all about you? They might be proud of what you've managed to overcome.

I don't mean to be flippant and I hope I don't come across as such...

michglas Fri 15-Jul-11 23:18:44

Wow you write like you could be my foster-sister. I was in care in Milton Keynes for 5 years in a family with an abusive foster mother and her eldest son was also abusive. I went home when i was 14 and left when I was 18 where i fell into an abusive relationship, which i got out of 3 years later. I have now been married for 13 years and have 2 children. If I start to feel down about things I've been through in the past, I remind myself that i am a survivor and i am truly lucky to be alive today. A few close people know what i have been through, but DH's family don't know the full extent and I don't feel they need to know. It is enough to know within myself that I am the strong person i am today, because of what i have been through, and I feel really proud of that.

I hope one day you can find peace and know that like me, you have been able to dump the people that have done you wrong, and you have a wonderfully supportive DH.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Fri 15-Jul-11 23:34:12

hidden, there are threads on MN to support people who come from abusive families, and you would be very welcome there.
Have a look at this and the Stately Homes thread.
Pete Walker is also brilliant on the aftereffects of childhood abuse.
There are lots of us in the same place as you. Some are a little further ahead on the road to healing and are happy to show the way.

hiddenhome Sat 16-Jul-11 15:50:20

thank you for the kind replies smile

I'm so sorry that others have been through the same kind of stuff.

About 4 years ago I accidently found out that my foster mother is still alive, after my mother telling me she died when I was about 13. I went to the police and made statements about her and her son and it dragged it all up. I also managed to access my social services files which didn't make pretty reading, so this is why I'm having counselling.

theredhen Sat 16-Jul-11 20:41:54

I completely understand. I think people get embarrassed and don't want to upset you but it just makes you feel like it's something you should be ashamed of. [Sad]

cloudedyellow Sat 16-Jul-11 23:09:21

hiddenhome I think the counselling will help you to feel less uncomfortable and embarrassed or even ashamed about your earlier life. It wasn't your fault, was it? sad And when you find it easier to accept that, inside yourself, I believe it won't seem like such a big deal to be open with other people about it if you want to be.
What you have coped with and still kept your integrity is something to be proud of, I think.

michglas Sun 17-Jul-11 09:04:31

Hidden, i totally understand what you mean about dragging it all up. My foster-brother was arrested when I was 16 and going through all the statements, totally made it raw again for me. I had a complete nervous breakdown and the case was dropped as I wasn't strong enough to testify. Fast forward 12 years, and my foster sister finally feels strong enough to go to the police about foster mother and brother. However, I had already accessed my social services file (like yours wasn't pretty reading) and I now felt that I had to put it behind me and move on. I didn't want to make it all raw again for me. I already knew at this stage that my foster-parents had been banned from fostering again and I had previously warned my foster-brothers girlfriend when I found out they had kids. I feel as though I am at peace with my decision not to take it further.

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