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

(1000 Posts)
singingprincess Sat 28-Jan-12 13:25:06

There is a word document with all the relevant links which I will try and find, but in the meantime...Post away.

mrskoz Fri 09-Nov-12 23:31:31

hi to everyone.

I am new to this thread but i hope i can help anyone who is battling toxic parents!!

I have also been battling toxic parents. Lately i have lost my temper with my mother about my childhood which she says never happened in that way.
When i was younger i have suffered from verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.
The sexual abuse by my grandfather was when i was 3 years old. I went and told my mum and she stopped me from going to see my grandparents. When i was 7 years old my mum decided it would be ok for my brother and me to go to stay with my grandparents while she went to work all day!!!! The abuse started up again and after a number of weeks mum stopped me from going there once again. 3 years later i told my friend, she told her mother and her mum reported my abuse to the school who then got me some psychological help. When i confronted my mother it only happened the once when i was 7 years old and never when i was 3 years old!

I have also been beaten by my father and had my head and face split open to the bone. This all because i was a bad teenager and use to wind my dad up! I have cut my wrists and took about 4 overdoses when i lived at home too. I have been in foster care.
It is my sole fault my mother is unwell with depression as i use to run away and was off the rails as i was a bad child. This has made my mum so ill. This has been a key factor in keeping me in control all these years.
I was never cuddled, told i was loved or felt wanted by my parents. The older i got the more in the way i got. I was often with left with my Nan who mentally abused my mother when she was younger and my alcoholic uncle who would beat my brother and would abuse animal in front of us. I could go on about this kind of stuff all day long and i have only scratched the surface.

I lost my temper with my mother about 6 months ago and told my mother exactly what i thought of my childhood and her narissistic behaviour and she didnt like it one bit. She blamed me for everything saying i was a bad kid and its all my fault my brother was an alcholic as they spent so much time on me when i ran away that he is now an alcoholic all because of me and my behaviour. Everything is always my fault and i was the bad black sheep. I said what i had to say and left. We no longer speak.

I decided i would do a little digging into my past. I could never understand why we had a social worker when we were younger as i had always been told what a wonderful home i had and i believed it was me all along.
I got copies of my social services file and my psychological file from when i was abused. When i read the file the school had called in the child protection officer on my parents 3 times as they suspected i was being abused!!! There was a report in the file and my mother had admitted there had been incident of abuse!!! I was shocked as it revelled allsorts of shocking things.

Then my psychological files i went to see and got a copy of. I had been sexually abused when i was 3 years old and when i was 7 years old. My mother admitted she had stopped me from going to there house when i was 3 yrs old but decided it was okay for me to stay with my grandparents again when i was 7 years old on the condition i stayed with my grandmother??? But my grandfather was at the house. Alarm bells???? She had admitted she had called the samaritans as i was constantly crying and she couldnt help me!!! 3 years later i got help when my friends mother called the school. My mum didnt even report my grandfather to the police. This is my mum who said i got it wrong it only happened the once! It was in her report!!!!! Gggrrrrrrrr

I am far from fixed and have a long way to go. I am happily married with 3 lovely children who are all doing extremely well at school and are happy, i own my own home, i do voluntary work for charity and i have many friends. I sadly have fibromyalgia. My therapists thinks its brought on by my childhood.

My advice to anyone suffering from toxic parents is your parent wont change and it will hurt to admit it. You have to grieve like they have died and it does get better. You have to be ready to let go though. Always believe in yourself and your memories, not what others tell you. Dont doubt or question yourself. Dont let people control you with threats of being ill. Definetly go and look at any files that might be on you as a child as for me it held the key and it could be an eye opener for you. I thought i was going insane thinking all these bad things, but it was the truth and i should of believed in myself.....

financialwizard Sun 11-Nov-12 18:32:22

I have been reading that book that Atilla suggested - really enlightening. Am half way through at the moment. I am feeling somewhat relieved at the moment.

MouMouCow Tue 13-Nov-12 13:27:54

MrsKoz, your message rings very true to me, I should have read it before DM showed up 3 days ago to help me with DS whilst DP is travelling for business. It's the first time that DP has left us alone since DS is born and I feel a bit vulnerable. Well 3 days into the ordeal, I'm physically sick, I cried myself to sleep yesterday, my son was ill, I've been at A&E on Sunday morning for DS, alone, by taxi.
God I so hate myself for thinking this woman could show empathy, understanding or even just kindness and love. We had a screaming match yesterday in the rain and I walked away shouting you stupid b*itch. As childish as it is, I actually feel better for it.
DM was so consumed with her couple and my cheating father during my childhood, that she was emotional vacant to us. I remember her bursting in the room where I was playing with my sisters and just growling "I have a migraine, be quiet" and slapping us all across the face. I remember being hit so hard I fell to the floor like a sack of potatoes, or ended with a black eye and a cut on the cheek inflicted by the stone on her ring. I got psychologically abused by her colleague in primary school and she played along with my teacher. She could see how I was deteriorating, but instead of protecting me she not only did nothing, she helped my tormentor. I ended up at 11 on strong sleeping pills as I had nightmares that would stop me from sleeping and of course at 14 in boarding school I tried to take them all in one go.
I've invited them for christmas and I frankly don't know why. I think I have to disinvite them, it's hurting me physically to see her I feel nauseous and I don't want my son to see that side of his mother. I can deal a lot better with it usually, the physical distance helps. Not seeing them helps too.
With DPs' super narc mother I'm wondering how my poor DS will get to have a relationship with his grandparents. On both sides they are so f*ucked up. I feel sorry for him, both his parents come with such emotional baggage. Well at least he's a super kid. He can ride a scooter at 16 months, he talks very well for his age, he's cute as a botton, I just love him so much. If only I could rid myself of her and this past. It ever so often creeps back and it's usually I that allows it by thinking it could be any different. How silly I am. I told DS that, silly mummy. He loves saying that with a huge grin and a perfect set of teeth!

cantreachmytoes Tue 13-Nov-12 22:11:10

Hello everyone, I'm feeling a bit funny tonight so I thought I'd tell you. When I was a child, my brother and I called Childline as a bit of a joke (novelty of a free number & access to a phone box). I later let it slip to my mother and she went beserk saying that we should never call Childline and that if we did we would be taken away from her, she'd lose her job (worked in social services, but not social worker) and we'd lose our house. Obviously that put the fear of god in us and I was scared if ever anybody even said the word.

I've recently been wondering about Childline and have in the past month found out (over 20 years later) that calling Childline does not equal losing everything in your life! Tonight I went on its website and it has made me incredibly sad. It seems like such a lovely organisation and it would have been wonderful to feel like someone would listen to me.
I also can't help thinking that such a ferocious response is a clear indicator that she knew she wasn't doing things 'right' - not that that stopped her!!

Bobits Tue 13-Nov-12 23:28:12

This is very personal to me. It is my perspective, no more, no less.

At 13 in six months,
After 1 suicide attempt
And two hospitalisations after drinking too much,
I was unhappy and vulnerable.

As Empty as Nothing
They all say they love me but I feel so alone,
The sounds are my tears my wails and my groans.
I’m standing here screaming but no-one can hear,
No-one can stop these hysterical tears.
I know I can’t be saved after all of this
If I left, not one soul would I miss.
Neither would I be missed if I were ended,
Too much has happened that can’t be amended.
Lower than low, down to the ground,
Forever I’ll stay here never to be found.
No-one understands the pain that I feel
But it’s always there, so deep and so real.
My life and it’s point has been completely drowned,
Forever I feel I’m eternally bound.
I’m feeling so low I break down and cry,
I’m feeling so sad I just want to die.
There’s nothing in my life, no reason to stay.
The loneliness devours me, night noon and day.
This emptiness makes me certain of something,
My life is as empty, as empty as nothing.

I learned being unhappy and vulnerable was bad.
That it caused my parents to be unhappy.
That it caused my brother to leave.
It was my fault.
I learned I was bad and felt ashamed.

I’m sorry for saying the things that I’ve said,
I regret all those things that I have done.
I didn’t want to hurt you as much as I did,
I never want to hurt you again.

Do you think I enjoyed being horrid and nasty?
I hated every second as much as you.
Do you think I took pleasure in making you cry?
Until your eyes were red and sore?

I don’t like what I’ve done to myself.
And the things I’ve made people think of me.
I hated the thought of your cruel empty words,
I hated the thought that I made you hate me.

I look back on all the times that I scared you,
And brought everyone else along for the ride.
Every single time I’m ashamed and I cringe,
I feel so guilty and can’t stop the tears.

I’m sorry for hurting you.
I’m sorry for scaring you.
Please forgive the things that I’ve done.
I’m sorry.

At 15, 6 months after being raped I talked about it.
7 months later I was destroyed.

Through your eyes you see failure,
Because I am not what you wanted.
You compare me to people I never could be.
Disappointed because I am not scholarly or virtuous.

My thoughts are not of your worth,
And you find my ideas absurd,
And I am not wise enough
For my opinion to have importance.

Let me breathe my own air
I can experience life for myself.
Not from your eyes
And not from your shoes.

My voice cannot be heard to anyone
Because you intervene.
Like a vulture you scour for fragments,
My broken history, confusing even to me.

Forced to reveal my insides naked and raw,
Never thinking how hard it feels.
My life so unprotected
And at your leisure you tell me what you will.

From honesty breeds unhappiness.
I tell you truths to help you understand.
You only hear what you want to,
A blueprint for your vain interference.

Setting standards I would never lay down
Expecting from me what I never wanted.
Growing into not my own life but your,
With your morality and beliefs strange to me.

Strong against your control now,
Your disappointment and shame doesn’t break me…for a while.
You wear me down and weaken me,
And soon I don’t fight anymore.

You twist and warp me,
Until I am no longer me because,
You make me believe
Everything I feel and think and want

Is wrong.

I learned I was bad and felt ashamed.
It hurt.
I reached out to the people who loved me.

Trust Me
Trust Me, as I am a person capable of making decisions.
Trust Me as I have my own mind, my own beliefs and ideas.
Trust Me to live my beliefs and entertain those ideas.
Trust Me as I have a voice, yearning to be heard.
Trust Me to listen as well as to talk.
Trust Me to hear the answers to my questions.
Trust Me to look around in awareness.
Trust Me as I see the world around me, to feel it to breathe it.
Trust Me to feel with my heart and think with my head.
Trust Me to learn from my mistakes, to come through stronger and wiser.
Trust Me to take responsibility for my actions, for all I say and do.
Trust Me that I will learn all I can from my experiences.
Trust me to accept my defeats with grace not grief.
Trust me to rise when I fall and start all over again.
Trust me in times of trial to choose which way I fly.
Trust me to fly with my own wings,
To live my dreams.
To follow my destiny.
Trust me as I have trusted you.
Trust me, because I love you.

But they didn’t.
Talking was unsafe.
Feeling was unsafe.
So I didn’t.
Trust Me in times of trial to choose which way to fly.
Trust Me to fly with my own wings,
Trust Me to live my dreams,
To follow my destiny.
Trust Me, as I have trusted you.
Trust me, because I love you.

But they didn’t.

financialwizard Wed 14-Nov-12 15:20:06

I feel for you ladies. You have been through some awful things. I really wish I could give you a big hug ((HUGS)) I know not real, but the best I can do from here!

Just to spit it out today, I feel disappointed in myself in that my mother called me today and asked me about my money situation. I answered. I did give her a woolly answer, but it was still an answer. Grrrrrrr why did I allow myself? Still haven't plucked up the courage to tell them not to come the first weekend after we have moved in. I thought this was going to be easy, not a hope in hell is there?

I feel awful for talking about my parent problems when other people have far greater ones.

cantreachmytoes Thu 15-Nov-12 06:26:22

Hey Wizard, parent problems are real problems!

As for giving an answer, it doesn't happen overnight, so a woolly answer is a step up from a detailed one - well done!

financialwizard Thu 15-Nov-12 08:50:49

Thank you. It is so difficult to train yourself out of something you have done your whole life isn't it? Although I look back and think I was more able to do it when I was younger than I am now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 15-Nov-12 08:57:22


Your problems with your parents are just as valid as anyone's. Do not ever think that your problems are somehow less worthy of being considered.

A lifetime of being conditioned as you have is hard to unpick but you made some progress re your mother yesterday by giving her a woolly answer. Presumably before she would have received a lot more detail. Well done you!. This is indeed progress, baby steps are good.

Perhaps DH and you can tell them together that you do not want them to visit the first weekend after you move in to your new home. He is a helpful ally to you.

ledkr Thu 15-Nov-12 18:31:49

Hello all.Is this the current thread to post on? I have been thinking of sharing with you all for a long time now and of course xmas is making me think too much and I watch all the happy families out shopping and I could cry. I am also needing to stop allowing my experiences to impact on my life (bad temper,prone to depression and anxiety)
I dont even know where to start tbh and whether it will help but I just want to check this is the right place to post before I do.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 15-Nov-12 20:24:58

Hi ledkr,

Yes, this is indeed the current Stately Homes thread.

Feel free to post on here in your own time. It may help you also to read the second post at the start of this thread and look at the links posted.

With best wishes


Dawndonna Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:27

Well, two weeks have gone by and I'm starting to relax a bit. So far no fall out from going nc. Let's hope it lasts.
I do feel sad, I always wanted a mother who loved me, and it's one thing I didn't have. I was lucky in other ways though. My grandmother was wonderful, as was my grandfather.

ledkr Thu 15-Nov-12 21:48:05

Thank you I feel very welcome will post tomorrow from big PC as will take ages on phone. X

Dawndonna Mon 19-Nov-12 19:44:20

Ha! Ha!
Today I received (a couple of weeks early) a birthday present. Now, this is interesting. Up until now, she's always sent a paperback that dh would like, for my birthday. I opened the parcel today as I didn't know who it was from. It was a book that I have, although being fair she wouldn't have known that. However, it's a book that anyone who knows me well would know that I would like and it was a hardback!
I sent it back to the amazon supplier.
It amazes me that she thinks I'm that bloody stupid.

HissyByName Mon 19-Nov-12 21:51:17

Evening. Sorry to do the whole seagull thing, flapping on in to off load crap... but I have no other outlet. Can't talk to Boyf, he has dysfunctional family of his own and has literally just lost his SDad

How the f*ck do we sit on our hands and not say a bloody thing when confronted with shitty parents/siblings? I know there is no flaming point in taking any of them to task, I know they will deny it all and turn it around and use it against me, but OMFG I am full to BURSTING with it all.

OK the usual eruption of sadness at not having a proper family, yadda yadda, but Mum's gone down to DSIS for a week, didn't call me to tell me, put a note through my door. Mum NEVER helped me with my DC, only came to visit me abroad cos she was retiring, needed something to do and a stamp in her passport. Trooped off to the MOON when my ex left, left me for dead emotionally, as she always has done.

I just want to say to her that I hope she has a nice week there and that she will give my sister AS hard a time as she and her H have seen fit to give ME, seeing as DSIS IS the one that has actually done HUGE wrong to me. I now know that I have NO support from anyone. I said that I wasn't asking her to choose between me and my sister, but she did anyway.

I don't apparently have the right to be upset, I don't have the space to have been in a DV relationship, I don't warrant ANY sympathy, I just need to STFU and get back in line.

I wish they would all definitively FUCK off forever, so at least I will not have to see them again. Times like this, I feel I need to go back to therapy, but can't afford the money or the time now I'm FT working and paying shit loads for childcare.

I know there is a showdown coming and I can't avoid it. It might be time to crack out the Stately Home Christmas Special Thread.... cos this has to be the shittiest time of year for us.

Again, sorry for piling on in...

CreepyLittleBat Tue 20-Nov-12 21:12:52

Excellent idea, a Christmas thread! Man, that would fill up within a day, wouldn't it?!?

Love the seagull analogy, and sorry that you are having such a shit time. This is indeed the worst time of year.

I came on here to do a seagull impersonation too.

I have been feeling more and more ill, exhausted, irritable over the last few weeks knowing that Xmas is coming up and a showdown was on the cards. There is no way in hell I would go to my birth family for Xmas this year. I had my first nice Xmas in 10 years last year as my inlaws have moved near to us and we went to them. All hell broke loose, my m and f were incandescent and tried to ruin it for us. So yeah, no chance. (I am also twinkle....have posted before)

But tonight my m has phoned up and inflicted such a completely deranged tirade on me that there really is no going back. She insinuated (again) that I am mentally ill, told me I have imagined all the awful things they've said to me, and apparently my dh - who has been like a son to them - is stopping me from seeing them, is a 'bully' and a bad father!!! That man works six days a week to provide for his kids, and the seventh he spends taking them to activities and days out. He is the kindest, gentlest man - you know what, I said goodbye and I deleted my m's number from my phone. That is it. MN people told me a year ago to break contact with these loons, and I wavered. More fool me. There is no going back from that, is there? And you know what, I feel so free.....

HissyByName Wed 21-Nov-12 07:37:13

You sound in a similar place to me, but this is the first time I have said I'm not going, and tbh, I don't think they 'heard' me tell them the other week, so it'll come as a mock massive shock. I'll get all the you imagined it stuff, StepF got me with the MH issues the last time he barged came in to nag talk to me.

I made a decision that if people are not there for me in the Bad Times, and actively conspire to make my life worse, then they won't get access to me and my good times. So no, I'll not be introducing my Boyf to them, they don't deserve that honour of knowing him. They will not share my Birthday, Christmas or any other celebration in my life. I will not be a part of ANY 'family' celebration.

'Family' don't do the shit they have pulled on me.

Mum is moving away. when that happens, it'll be easier for me, emotionally.

As sad as it is Creepy/Twinkle (grin) you have made the right decision for you and for your family.

have you had any therapy? I did and it was really helpful.

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 08:11:13

Funny how many of us have such vivid imaginations. My dm is fucked in my case because it turns out my ds and db 'imagined' it too!
Laughed like a drain!

financialwizard Wed 21-Nov-12 08:39:25

It looks like I might have been given a 'stay of execution'. Although whether I have definately or not remains to be seen.

The back story is that my Mum had an operation on her knees week before last I think and cannot walk very well. Dad still has to go to work so Nan (Mum's Mum) was drafted in to look after Mum. Mum is fed up because she feels like she is looking after Nan not the other way around (the woman is 86 ffs). Originally they were going to all buy a house together up near me, and now I think Mum is waivering given her interpretation of 'What has happened the last couple of weeks'. She would never leave Nan on her own either (no family left and only a couple of friends still alive) so I might remain free after all - Now obviously I feel like this grin I just hope I am not celebrating too soon because it feels like such a weight has been lifted.

Mum is blathering on that we should have moved nearer her, and I said to her that we didn't want to. I am answering everything as a 'we' now because I still haven't plucked up the courage to tell her that I don't want her over ruling our life.

The book that Attila recommended has definately helped me, and I do think I might need to dip in and out occasionally to stop myself from going back to what now feels like a compliant doormat. Now I know that she is the problem (and my Dad for enabling) I wish I had done something sooner.

HissyByName Wed 21-Nov-12 19:23:52

If we do what we can do, when we can do it, that's good enough for us.!

Its better than living in denial and struggling to comprehend.why.we feel so crap all the time..

Zazzles007 Thu 22-Nov-12 01:21:58

Hi All, I haven't been on this thread for a while, and have NC. There are a few posts upthread under the name of SoSad007.

I'm considering spending Christmas on my own this year, and not with my exceptionally dysfunctional parents. I've been working in myself all year, and have gotten to a place where I value myself so much more than my parents have ever valued me. I realise that I'm 'worth it', and if they can't see that, well f* 'em! I have spent all year avoiding them, because any interaction with them leaves me feeling worthless and unhappy. And of course consequently, they have upped their crazy game, trying to get back their percieved control of me. I've realised that I must go to all lengths to protect myself against anything or anyone who 'harshes my happy'.

Earlier this year I had a great counsellor who was helping me start the healing process and we had a discussion about either finding or developing "The Good Mother". Its a psychological concept that talks about finding (in someone else) or developing (within you) all the characteristics of a good mother. I think that accepting that I am worth it, and developing the good mother within me has gone a long way to helping in this journey.

I'd be up for a Xmas thread, after all, looks like I'm going to be on my own this year. But ya know, I think I'm good with that smile.

CreepyLittleBat Thu 22-Nov-12 20:07:30

if people are not there for me in the Bad Times, and actively conspire to make my life worse, then they won't get access to me and my good times.

Spot on Hissy - good for you! Stand firm. I am on the waiting list for therapy but it is long. Am making some good progress myself though, so probably when the therapy comes it'll be about recovery and reinforcing the decision I've made. The most important revelation I have had is that it's not me, it's them! Sounds obvious, but it took me years to realise.

Zazzles you are an inspiration! Stay strong and imagine what a great Xmas you'll have without them.

Dawndonna Thu 22-Nov-12 21:29:18

Zazzles I spent a few christmases alone. It was miserable. Then I got organised and enjoyed a couple and then I volunteered at the local hospital and it was brilliant. I'd thoroughly recommend at least being organised. Having what you want in the house, food wise, not what the season dictates, but what you fancy, having films to hand, good books and I know it sounds silly, wrap yourself something that you want and wouldn't normally get yourself, it works!

Zazzles007 Fri 23-Nov-12 23:03:28

Creepy - thank you for being my cheerleader. Yes, I will have amuch better Xmas on my own, than with them. The quiet and peace I have achieved since I have gone NC has been wonderful. Sad to realise that I would be better off without them, than with them, isn't it?

Dawn, some really great suggestions there. I am rather like my dysfunctional father in that I'm very happy with my own company. But having some creature comforts around during Xmas sounds like the way to go! I'm sure I can find many small ways to treat myself grin.

And to all those who are struggling, I recognise all the knots you are trying to untangle, as I've been there too. There are still many more tangles for me to unravel, but one by one, I'll get there. Take heart, it hard but well worth it smile.

Dawndonna Sat 24-Nov-12 10:15:03

And the birthday card arrived this morning. Strange, it's usually late, but because I've told her to piss off, everything's two to three weeks early this year. Guilt trip or what.
Nah, it's not working, we laughed and binned it!
She's 77, you really think she'd have grown out of this crap by now!

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