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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families.

(1000 Posts)
garlicBread Tue 01-Nov-11 18:18:50

It's November 2011, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011

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

pluckingupcourage Sun 15-Jan-12 22:55:27

I reported my original post, a few hours ago, any idea how long it takes to get deleted (I don't want it to remain up there!).

sogladifoundyou Mon 16-Jan-12 14:37:18

Hi everyone, my talk name says it all. I have been reading the threads and can't believe there are so many of us who are living with such toxic relationships. If it helps anyone else to feel they are not alone here is a summary of my story...
I made the phone call today, left message on mum's phone to say I need a break from her, we don't get on, we never have; I'm 43. I think she has NPD, I have no memories of early childhood, and plenty of toxic ones from being a teen. She divorced when I was 11, Dad lived abroad,when she broke the news they were divorcing she told me I had to look after her now. She said if it wasn't for us (I have younger bro, he is the golden child but even still he suffered when I left home and turned to drugs and now has found solace in religion) she could have travelled with Dad and kept marriage together. I am told I was a terrible teenager (despite achieving good exam results,going to college and having a good career) when I opened my Alevels envelope I got a slap round the face for not getting all A's... Needless to say I've never felt I could be good enough.
She can be sweetness and light if shes getting her own way but the rages and tantrums if she doesn't are frightening, at least she doesn't lash out physically anymore. My lovely Nana helped me "escape" and get my own place. Since having kids it's been a rollercoaster, she's babysat for us twice, the first time she set a 10.30pm curfew, the second time we'd gone away for our 10th wedding anniversary and she phoned at 8am to ask if we'd left the hotel yet. Never again. I can only give the lighthearted stories here, most are too painful to repeat. She tantrumed the night before my wedding because I didn't want to share a hotel room with her, She kept going until I was sobbing.
Thats probably enough for now, I don't want to bore you all... The catalyst for trying to go NC was my 2 boys (9 and 13) expressing concern that Mum treats my DD (11) "differently" to them.... Little things, sly and probably wouldn't worry an outsider but I felt sick... The kids DO want to continue seeing her, even DD but I have stressed that it is their choice and contact can be as much or as little as they want. They understand my decision and do not seem surprised.

pluckingupcourage Mon 16-Jan-12 15:30:13

Very brave of you to decide for no-contact sogladifoundyou. I am in a similar position, though I am going through a lot of mixed emotions. When I suggested having less contact my mother reacted quite aggressively, but I hope that yours will respect your wishes.

springydaffs Tue 17-Jan-12 16:45:51

I've just been to see my GP, who has referred me to a unit which supports parents who are being abused by their children. fastrack referral, apparently. I've had a lifetime of abuse - family, husband, now kids - and I so wish that the knowledge people have today was around when I was bringing up my kids. I facilitated a relationship not only between them and my terrifyingly abusive ex, but also facilitated a relationship between them and my family. In fact, kept up my relationship with the family for the sake of my kids. Fundamental error.

Anyway, as I'm being accused left and right of passing the buck when it comes to what's going on, I'm sure there are other factors... but exposing my kids to the systematic abuse I suffered at the hands of my family certainly compounded this appalling mess and taught my kids that that is all I am good for. It's the last taboo though isn't it, kids abusing their parents, and I suspect I'm talking to myself..

I saw my mum briefly yesterday, who stated the minute she walked through the door that she was here to support my kids, and then proceeded to shove the downloaded MH dx under my nose. I went out after 5 minutes as my temperature was rising (big time) and she was gone when I got back, thankfully. She is saying that this is worse than the pain of when her mother died.. but was curiously spiteful when she was here, almost as though she is glad to have got one over on me? sounds fantastical but that's how it felt. She point blank refuses to listen to a word I have to say, has accepted the kids' accusations wholesale and is acting accordingly.

Bear1984 Tue 17-Jan-12 22:28:45

Hi all, just a quick one as I haven't been around much as I've been busy. Got myself a job last month, yay! And I've been doing a 12 week challenge to lose a stone so I don't have lots of spare time.

But I've been to see the mediator. She was lovely and very understanding. I feel better about the whole thing now. She seemed to understand my mother without me having to go into too much detail. I told her that I'm worried it'll be very difficult when it comes to talking things out with my mother, but she said she'll sit me by the door so if it gets too much, I can just walk out, so I'm happy she really understands the situation. She hasn't seen my mum yet so she's going to make an appointment with her and then we'll start.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 18-Jan-12 10:57:39

Hi Bear,

re your comment:-
"She hasn't seen my mum yet so she's going to make an appointment with her and then we'll start"

Hmmm. Well I sincerely hope that this mediator can firmly bring your mother into line when she starts because your mother surely will given any opportunity and will look into getting one over on this person.

I have grave misgivings about this whole thing. I'd be interested to see what this mediator thinks of your mother after making such an appt. I don't fwiw this this whole thing is actually worth doing as your mother is solely acting out of her own interests here.

Congrats to you re your new jobsmile.

jasminerice Wed 18-Jan-12 11:24:01

Springy, your referal sounds very positive. I wasn't aware there were such things available on the NHS. I don't know your while story, but I am so sorry you find yourself in this position.

I totally agree with you about the knowledge that we have today should have been around years ago, I wish it was around when my parents were bringing me up. In those days there was very little knowledge about mental illness. My dad definately suffered from severe depression but went completely undiagnosed and unrecognised. I think my mother also suffered from depression, again unrecognised and undiagnosed. If their illnesses had been picked up on, how different my life would have been.

I seem to continually suffer from a feeling that people ie the other mums at school from DD's class don't like me. I know it's actually not true, as I am good friends with some of them and know I have never done anything to warrant being disliked by them.

I think it's a feeling I grew up with and now can't seem to shake off. I felt disliked by my sisters. They made me feel like I was horrible, different to them, an outsider. They shared jokes and things I was not a part of. I think now any time there are groups of people I automatically feel excluded and disliked. If I'm in a one to one situation with a friend I'm fine. But 3 or more people and I feel very uncomfortable and have found myself just walking away sometimes before they can make me feel unwanted and excluded and invisible. I don't know how to stop feeling like this.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 19-Jan-12 10:42:41

Hello world,

I have deleted 2 e-mails from my mother, unread. At a glance, the first appeared to be a loooooooooong e-mail of mememememe, and the second a "why aren't you writing back?" e-mail.

Then I blocked her. Felt lighter; no guilt.

It seems I have gone NC. I suppose I should inform her.

smile

springydaffs Thu 19-Jan-12 13:07:09

spoke too soon about the referral! I'm in the wrong area, apparently - too posh.

garlicfrother Fri 20-Jan-12 19:33:06

Hello smile

I'm too fragile/stressed/confused/knackered to engage with this thread at the moment, though am very moved by recent posts. This is just a reminder to the NEXT thread starter, there's a pre-formatted OP in Word here if you want to use it. You may have to right-click and 'unblock' it after downloading.

RasberryMilkshake Sat 21-Jan-12 18:01:58

Hi all...back again after a few days of no internet shock
jasmine your last post has really struck a chord with me. I feel EXACTLY the same, and hadn't really thought about it till I read your post. I actually always asume that the other Mums at school dont like me, I even imagine that all our neighbours dont like me, and probably talk about me behind my back. I have always felt this, and just sort of accepted it as true. But you know what - there is actually NO reason at all why any of them wouldnt like me. In fact the neighbours are always very pleasent to me when we see them, and I do chat to a couple of other mums at school, but actually have a very deep belief that in reality they dont like me - why on earth would I believe that??? I imagine it's from growing up feeling that that wa sexactly how my Mum and sister felt about me. They would often make jokes about me, and talk about me behind my back - so I suppose that is just what I have always expected the rest of the world to do. What a revelation shock
I hope you can overcome your feelings and begin to trust more that people(even in groups) do like you cause you're a likeable person.grin It is something I will need work on I think.

springy what a shame about the refferal - hope you find some other support.

HDLIG well done! glad it feels good.

soglad Hi, hope you are doing ok with things. well done on the steps you have taken so far.

well....I have been very busy in RL, ad I have had horrible stomach bug so havent had much time/energy to dwell on this stuff....but need to start thinking about some stuff again...

Sister has resected my request for some space and hasnt called or emailed me in a couple of weeks - so that's good.
Also havn't heard from my parents since I hung up on my Mum last weekend. Good in many ways. Does feel uncomfotable though....imagine they are all there talking about how "unreasonable" and "selfish" and "horrible" I am being...
I thinking still about trying to put some of it in a letter to my parents. Feel like i need to explain some of it , even if they more than likely wont accept/understand it - I feel it would help me at leats to have expressed my views to them....

Interestingly I did something I wouldnt normally do at work the other day! I sent an email to express my dissatisfaction and concern about current situation to "The Big Chief" (currently I am covering for a lot of absent colleagues, have been for months, with very little support and being expected to take on more and more etc...)
Normally I would just keep battling on, taking on more and more, even though everyone has told me how badly I am being treated and despite the fact it is having a negative effect on my own well being.
It actually took my 2 days to pluck up courage to send the email - but feels as if I have done the right thing and been pro-active for once, instead of always asuming that I just have to keep trying harder and doing more, and that I dont have any right to feel tired/overwhelemed/stressed etc... as I should just be able to "cope" all the time....quite amazing really. To admit it is OK to have reached my limit when people are placing unrealistic demands on me grin

Off to ponder letter....

Bear1984 Sat 21-Jan-12 22:05:11

Attila I agree, I do know my mother will do whatever she can, and I am interested to see whether the mediator can help bring some light to her. I doubt it. I've been told that I can stop this at any time, and only going through it at the moment because my solicitor had advised me it would be a good idea to do, so we shall see. And thank you smile

springydaffs Sun 22-Jan-12 11:39:35

Well done for stanidng up to your boss/es Raspberry. I read the other day that people often get a flush of anger when they do this that stays with them for a few days – like a backlog of rage.

I’m typing this in a word doc because the thread is so slow – a character a second – and Im not a techie.

I am really struggling at the mo. I read the stuff on the new thread and 1. it was my siblings who were worst, the most abusive – actually, vicious - and 2. the toxic parents could be me? Is it me? Did I fuck up my kids? Could be! Maybe I can say that here (and hope that I won’t be piled on as on the main site). I certainly did all I could re years of therapy, reading/research etc and was as aware as I could be, thought I had my finger on the pulse. Maybe it wasn’t enough?

My kids going to my family is a deep betrayal. They knew they would get a sympathetic hearing for the allegations they are making. I offered to meet them to talk – the next thing I knew my family were going ape, screaming at me down the phone, blocking me from seeing my mum, blaming me for her illness, circulating MH diagnoses about me.. It took me a while (a week?) to work out that the kids had been to them with these terrible allegations, and what they were. Is it possible that Iv been done over again, this time by my kids – or am I the one who is abusive?

These are rhetorical q’s but I need some answers – p[erhaps not getting the referral to the specialist unit will galvanise me to demand something else. I’m in a bad way here, finding it hard to function, literally don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know if it’s my imagination but my friends seem to have vanished somewhat..

What referrals can I ask for from my GP? not a rhetorical q this time, I don’t know what is on offer and I am tired of being fobbed off.

RasberryMilkshake Mon 23-Jan-12 09:45:18

springydaffs sorry you are struggling at the moment. I don't know your full story - but sounds like you have been through a lot. What sort of age are your DC? What sort of counselling have you had before - did any of it help?Does the specialist unit never accept referral from outside their designated area?I would go back and discuss with GP and make him/her understand that you need something asap and if specialist unit cant help then demand that GP comes up with some alternatives.

I am feeling so totally rubbish today. After feeling a bit brighter a week or so again I appear to have gone right back down again. I can barely function sad I'm going to try increasing my ADs to see if that helps, but am begining to feel I will never be able to just be content and relaxed and happy with my life.So fed up of feeling like this.sad
I did write a letter to my parents. But am not going to send it. Made me feel better writing it though. Not sure how I will proceed - they have been ringing me again yesterday and I have been ignoring the phone.....sigh......

springydaffs Mon 23-Jan-12 12:11:29

I’m typing in a word doc again – is the thread slow because it’s so full? I can’t refer upthread easily (takes minutes) so apologies if I’m blundering through with my post.

Raspberry I am sorry too that you are feeling shit at the mo. Ime anti-depressants were a lifesaver and I can’t rate them highly enough. I ended up on the full dose and would go back on them in a heartbeat if things get that bad again. I hope an increased dose will do it for you – it certainly did for me (I was a total basket case). That’s what abuse does to you eh. Are you in counselling? Thoughts, watch your thoughts – they bring us down in a nanosecond: don’t take them seriously, it is a good technique to step away from them, watch them scrabbling around and not take them seriously, try not to identify with them re yes we’ve had a shit time but the world carries on turning and there’s a lot out there to enjoy, even for 5 minutes. Probably a good idea to try to focus on some good things, however small, when thoughts are at their most vicious. (am I supposed to be offering advice on this thread? Probably not…)

My kids are in their 20s, ex abusive; abusive family. Lots of counselling, a lot of it quite shit really (£, or lack of), lots of reading, research: just about enough in total to cobble together a means of surviving the truckload of shit I seem to have been dealt, though certainly not high quality. I’m going back to my GP and plan to be ‘difficult’: being naice doesn’t cut it. Gloves are off.

Like a fool, I tried to stop smoking at the weekend – went horribly loony. Back to puffing out the back door. Hate the stuff tbh but very hard to kick into touch for good. I won’t give up giving up, will keep on keeping on: do it properly next time (probably tried this time as a means of taking control of something I could? When all around me is seriously shit and out of my control). My eyesight was so clear when I wasn’t smoking, it was lovely! Everything looked so bright and clean. Shame my head was in such a mess. I’m looking forward to knocking this on the head one day, now I have the lovely eyesight to look forward to.

HattiFattner Mon 23-Jan-12 20:33:20

oh hello, i'm checking in after quite a while. Just wondered if we EVER get that peace of mind thing back - I've been NC with my mother for several years, have never stopped her speaking to GC but she can't be bothered.

Last week my DH was told he had to fly to parts foreign on business - they live there. Its all very last minute, but he did have time to contact my DB (who also lives there) and arrange to meet for a drink.

DB has told DH that he (DH) is not welcome at their home.

My DH is the loveliest man you can imagine, an excellent dad and a loving husband, a great provider and a kind and considerate bloke.

My mother for some reason has decided that he dominates me and that he has turned me against her.

So not actually accepting her own appalling behaviour, the tissue of lies and half truths and fantasy that she has woven around him and me and the kids.

I think its down to me breaking the control and influence she had over my life, (and feeling so much better for it) - she needed to blame someone for not having the family scapegoat under her thumb any more.

Despite cutting all contact, i am incensed at her rudeness to my DH. Can't understand my own head yet, but just needed to rant a little. Anyone have some insight?

springydaffs Tue 24-Jan-12 11:00:24

I don’t know about other people, but when there’s a break I kind of settle into normal, rational thinking… and assume the abusive family has done the same re common sense and rationale wins out. But it doesn’t! After a time of NC and then having contact with my family again, I am re-shocked all over again; that they are the same as ever, that things haven’t remotely moved on, that they’re still up to their tricks… even worse as there’s no scapegoat to hang it all on (or there is but in our absence, which kind of augments the scapegoating and drives them nuts). It's the same old same old, relentlessly powering on like a neverending train. Desolate, really.

I think for me at least it is very hard to quash those feelings of wanting everything to be alright, or at least half decent (or a quarter decent…). Imo they aren’t capable of letting you/me go as the scapegoat and will drag the universe’s furniture around to support their claim. Their lives depend on it and although it’s very hard for us to face, imo it is vital we don’t take it personally. It’s horrible when someone lovely and innocent [that’ll be us too, remember!!] gets dragged into it. Try not to take it personally, they/she are only conforming to type.

GoingForGoalWeight Tue 24-Jan-12 14:07:20

springydaffs smile xx

ledkr Tue 24-Jan-12 23:17:13

I dont know why ive never thought to post here before but it would be great to sound off now and again.
I am the eldest child-44 my Mum was left by my Dad when she was pg with my brother now 41. She was very hurt and we had a bad time,lived in about 10 different unsuitable places,very poor,never had nice stuff or holidays and days out.Felt loved though and have happy memories.
Mum very bitter about my Dad,not encouraged to see him or talk about him.
When i was 13 she got re married to a nice man but who never actually tried to father us just lived alongside us. They had a baby boy who dies at birth,we were never allowed to talk about this or ever given any explainations.
They went on to have 2 more dd's my sisters.I was delighted as i loved babies but went on to feel pushed out and uncared for.Tiny house,no room or time for me.I did a lot of babysitting whilst Mum worked and Step dad continued his social life.I had a place at a dance school but they couldnt afford it (didnt even try) i was so pushed out that i rebelled at school,went a bit wild and ended up pg (on purpose) at 16 by a violent older man.
Told i had to get a flat asap as no room (true) not a massive amount of supportshe was even on holiday when i had ds on my due date.
Violence got worse and worse,very very bad,i was really beaten up lots of times.By now living the other side of town.Mum knew but was too wrapped up in her own little family to help me.I was so isolated and had nowhere to go if i left.when i did get out i was pg again but told nobody as i was scared.I had him at 28 weeks and he was very ill.He was premature because exp beat me up in the street. Mum must have known a lot of this,i had bruises often and told her about some inccidents.
To this day she will accuse me of lying if i talk about it and speaks highly of my ex. I was married again very happily for a long time and had 2 more dc's,he had an affair but she still adores him.
I did my nursing training when i was a single parent then trained as a sw some yrs later.My Mum has never aknowledged this and didnt attend my graduation-nobody did.
My sisters have had a settled and happy life with 2 parents and are lovely sucessfull girls. My Mum makes no secret of her favouritsim of them,calls them "the girls" speaks to them daily,supports everything they do,spends vast amounts on them for xmas and Birthdays-much more than on me-openly.
If a man hurts them she is fuming but loves my far more nasty ex's.
She didnt attend my wedding 3 yrs ago as it was on xmas eve and she was too busy.
I spent xmas alone lots of times as they liked a quiet xmas (with my sisters) but now ,my sis is married they go to her every year with my other sis and have a big family xmas.
Really i could go on but i wont. My dh is fab about all this and knows how it annoys/hurts/upsets me.
I ignored the favouritsim when they were children but they are now in their late 20's and i still have to hear her rant on at xmas about what she has put in their stockings and what mahooosive presents she has them.
I feel its as if me and my brother are products of a life she wants to forget whilst my sisters are from her happier life.
My ds needs a kidney now and she was suggesting contacting his father,i pointed out he is an alcoholic and also he was the cause of ds2's ill health for his violenc to me when i was pg.She replied "I dont think that is true is it?" grrrrrr.
Thanks for the rant sorry its so long. ,AND BREATHE.

garlicfrother Tue 24-Jan-12 23:26:24

i pointed out he is an alcoholic and also he was the cause of ds2's ill health for his violenc to me when i was pg.She replied "I dont think that is true is it?"

shock

You sound remarkably calm under the circs.

ledkr Tue 24-Jan-12 23:32:32

I think im just used to it tbh.She is a man pleaser,i am not.She thought i was selfish for not taking ex back after he cheated shock All i know is that if anyone touched my dd's id do everything in my power to stop it and i think she would do the same if it was my sisters.
I often feel as if they all talk about me behind my back,i get the odd wind of their little private jokes etc.
Im lucky to be as balanced as i am i think. Apart from my extreme temper and prone to anxiousness that is hmm

GoingForGoalWeight Tue 24-Jan-12 23:42:41

(( ledkr )) angry on your behalf x Cutting contact?

Mollydoggerson Wed 25-Jan-12 00:01:00

I'm being very self indulgent by coming on and blurting out my bit and not responding to others.

The only other think I would say is because I was Daddy's girl (alcoholic daddy's girl), I think there was some resentment towards me, as when he was on form everyone loved him. But he was less and less on form all the time and more and more morose. I really remember from about 14 on, he became my problem. He was effectively unemployed but as we had money and he was self employed to an outsider looking in he was a business man. He wound up his business, let his staff go, who where his drinking buddies and just started hanging around the house... My mother basically avoided him and encouraged him to hang out with me. He would drivev me to shops after school and I would buy the dinner food, come home, light the fire and cook the dinner. Now in fairness I knew how to cope with an alcoholic, difficult person, so I kept an even keel. My two older sisters just stayed away really.

I know it's not that bad really.

At any rate he had lost his drinking buddies.

I expressed an interest in horseriding and within a week he had bought me a wild pony from a boy who was well able to ride and he paid the subscription fees to a hunt. So I started hunting. I was terrified. After the hunt the pony would be put in the box and we would (me, my father and brother) would go into the pub for maybe 6 hours or so. Then my father would drive home drunk, and I and him would have to unhinge the horse box and get the freezing pony out, feed it and then drive home. I would have school the next day. I would also be minding my brother. I used to start feeling sick with anxiety about the hunt from a Friday evening on. In a funny way it was good as it kept me sorta slim.

I asked my mother to collect me from the hunt many times, as I didn't want to be in the pub all evening and then have to endure an angry 1 hour drive home followed by returning the pony to the stables. She came once, I saw her and when I went back to find her car to get the lift home, she was gone. She had left without me as i was getting on fine, and Dad would be cross if she interferred.

Despite all of the above my mother and eldest sister resented me on some level because I was daddy's girll and my middle timid sister was just fearful and anxious about everyone's well being.

I couldn't and can't really complain as, as far as they are concerned it was a privilaged upbringing. Relly the title of this thread is inspired.

ledkr Wed 25-Jan-12 09:17:48

It is a good title yes.
I dont have resentment for my early child hood apart from being very poor and not experiencing much.
I overindulge my children now.
My Mum was very bitter about my Dad,we hardly spoke of him and when he came to pick us up she wouldnt help us open the door to him so me and my brother had to bunk each other up to open it hmm We then had a few uncomfortablr hours in his posh car which made us feel sick whilst we visited my grandma.We would tell him we feel sick but he wouldnnt stop.
Even now my mother will not say anything positive about my father althogh expects me to be best mates with mine-one who beat me and one who cheated with a 16 yr old girl. Its the hypocrisy i find the hardest.
I do drop contact from time to time for a few weeks and it does work,however i do love my sisters and they know no better really and also my dd adores my mum.
I think the frustrating thing is never being able to say how i feel.I do touch on it with the girls but they have been sold the story of me being "difficult" all their lives so i doubt they would listen.
They did get very upset at Mums non attendance at my wedding and told her so,which was a first so they are loyal sometimes.

HexagonalQueenOfTheSummer Wed 25-Jan-12 10:03:24

Hello, can I join you all?

I have had a bit of a read through and identify with so many stories on here, especially the posts by Raspberrymilkshake

My parents, in particular my mother, were very emotionally abusive to me as a child, and still are now really even though I'm mid 30s and after counselling I now see it as their problem and not my fault, but I still have this sense of fear about them that I can't explain. For me after a series of recent events it is getting to the stage where I am considering cutting them from my life totally, and in any case will be withdrawing a lot of contact with them. I feel they are trying to do to my DCs what they did to me. When I've tried to tackle them my mum just starts crying and saying it's all me and that I was always jealous, and didn't fit in with the family and turns it round on being an injury to her. I remember once joking about a haircut i had in the 1970s aged 4 and she went beserk at me, saying well at least she kept me neat and tidy. She is so uptight and cannot take a joke or have fun about anything. She also has always tried to constantly blame me for anything. As a child if she did anything to me it would be because I made her do it. She had a go at me for no reason a few years ago and DH stuck up for me and she swore at him. He said not to swear at him and she went all sweet and said "Sorry, but she has driven me to this, surely even you can see that"

Growing up, my mum favoured my sister over me and I was basically the black sheep of the family (still am). I wasn't a naughty child, I didn't dare be naughty but my mum portrayed me to family members as being naughty and awful. Sometimes when we were with family members she would start crying and getting hysterical saying it was because I was such an awful child. If she talks about my childhood she refers to me as being difficult. Difficult because she decided I was, obviously. I was constantly told I was horrible, mean, evil, that I had to change. From the age of 12 I was repeatedly thrown out of the house, then they started saying I could F* off and move out and live in the streets as they didn't want me. My teenage years were hell, with me creeping around the house, not knowing what mood my parents would be in. 9 times out of 10 I would be in trouble about something, even though I hadn't done anything wrong as again I didn't dare do anything wrong! None of the "normal" teenage behaviour from me as I was too frightened! My mum said several times that if she could kill me and get away with it, she would!

My sister was always favoured by my mum and even now she speaks to me with an air of superiority and doesn't hesitate to side with my mum. If all 3 of us are together my sister snaps at me and they totally leave me out. My mum has also started the leaving out tactic with me when she's with me and my family. She will be all loving and nice to my children and nice to my husband but if I say anything she doesn't want to know and looks at me like she's scraped me off her shoe. She wants to leave me out constantly. My self esteem was understandably at rock bottom before I had counselling, and even now I struggle in social situations and have a huge fear of getting left out or ignored. I know this is all linked to my self esteem.

And like raspberrymilkshake said, I was never taught how to enjoy anything as I was never allowed to enjoy anything. Everything would involve a telling off or a dirty look or being told not to do anything. I was told i was too loud, talked too much, too quiet, embarrassing, ugly, disappointing. A favourite saying of my mum, loudly, to my dad was "Makes you wonder where you've gone wrong doesn't it" whilst looking at me. I was also regularly called horrible names such as a bitch, slag, slut, as a teenager, all for no reason.

I am proud to say that I have totally broken the pattern as a parent and my 3 children all seem to be very balanced, well-adjusted and have high self esteem. My eldest is a teenager and can see what my mum in particular is like, and says when she and the other two go round there, I am often slagged off or moaned about. As a result she no longer goes round there as she doesn't like it.

Anyway, this has turned out longer than I planned, but I really look forward to chatting with you all and it's good to know I'm not alone! x

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