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Am I a terrible person

(11 Posts)
dramajustfollowsme Thu 18-Apr-13 22:26:34

My parents split up after I informed my mum about catching my dad and a family friend in a compromising position. She was naked from the waist down in a tent that we were sharing. Dad was right next to her.
He always claimed I was wrong and therefore to blame for the divorce. My mum said that was nonsense. However it is a tough thing for a then 12 year old to hear.
All of my dad's side of the family (bar one uncle and his dd) cut me off.
They still had/have lots to do with my sister who was only a baby when this happened.
As my sis grew older, she came to her own conclusion about the situation and now doesn't have that much to do with them.
Both my parents died very young as did the family friend. I have no one I can ask about my memories of that time. I just have my dad's words of it being my fault ringing in my ears.
I am so paranoid that I am evil deep down and will end up hurting my DH and dd. I don't know why I have this feeling. I have in the past blamed myself for not fighting harder for my mum when she was getting crap treatment in hospital.
I try to be the best I can be as a mum, wife, sister and friend. I feel like it isn't enough.
These feelings came to a head after my mil commenting on our house being messy. She came after dd (2) had a v&d bug so there were piles of washing. The usual toy chaos of a toddler and I had been trying to catch up on work.
My best just isn't enough.

DippyDoohDahDay Thu 18-Apr-13 22:38:11

It's awful that you were treated like that. You were a child and your mum was an adult who made an informed decision about her marriage. No blame lies with you. Sounds like you are giving yourself a hard time and need to ease up on yourself

WafflyVersatile Thu 18-Apr-13 22:44:10

you told the truth about what you saw. Your dad was 100% wrong to blame you.

Your mil made a judgemental insensitive comment even if she didn't mean to. Having a messy house sometimes does not make someone a bad person or not good enough.

Have you spoken to your DH about how you feel?

Maybe it's worth getting some counselling? the talking type rather than the CBT type.

Hassled Thu 18-Apr-13 22:46:36

Looking at the facts as an impartial observer (imagine this was an AIBU thread) - a woman is semi naked in a tent with someone who was married to someone else. In what universe is that not dodgy? Of course you were right, of course the divorce was not your fault. You were a child who told the truth.

I think a lot of children of parents who died young end up with a whole heap of unanswered questions and unresolved issues - there's no sense of closure, is there, because you can't, as a rational adult, say "well what did happen back then? Do you think you were fair to me then?". So the issues build up and build up more than they need to - it's very hard.

But the reality is that you've clearly ended up a nice, thoughtful, caring person. Sounds like the MIL made a thoughtless comment without necessarily thinking - we've all done it. It doesn't mean anything - you live how you want to live.

Grrrbloodyuni Thu 18-Apr-13 22:47:40

I think you saw what you saw, reported it as such (as any 12 year old should and has a complete right to do- I imagine it was pretty traumatising for you, to be honest) Your mum had adult knowledge and knew your dad as a partner and made her decision. There may have been other incidents that you as a child knew nothing about. I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't have acted on one disputed incident.

Adults then bullied you and blamed you to cover the embarrassing situation, which is wrong.

Maybe you saved your mum from a miserable situation. Is your perception of what happened to your mum in hospital affected by your feelings about yourself? Did others feel the same? Could they not have supported you at such a difficult time, maybe spoken up instead of leaving it to you?

You don't sound like a crap person at all. You sound like someone who care for those you love very much.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 18-Apr-13 22:55:34

No, you are not a terrible person, quite the opposite. From what you have posted, it sounds like that label would be more justly applied to your father.

SirBoobAlot Thu 18-Apr-13 22:58:59

You are not a terrible person, or a horrible person. But I also know that other people could tell you that forever, and it won't mean a thing until you are able to tell yourself that.

Have you considered some kind of talking therapy? CAT might be a really good port of call to work through these emotions.

You did the right thing. x

dramajustfollowsme Thu 18-Apr-13 23:01:17

No-one else blames me for mum. My DSis and I are very close. It is just that niggling doubt in my head that rears its head when I wonder if dad was right.
I think finding out 4th hand that two of my cousins have had babies and are pissed that I haven't been in contact also doesn't help. Erm, hadn't been in touch as didn't know they were even pregnant.
That side of the family always jump to the conclusion that I am in the wrong. It gets hard to remain sure that I am generally a nice person.
DH tells me to ignore his mum like he does. I don't find it that easy. DH has always been a rock for both my sister and I. We have been together since DSis was 8. She looks up to him like her big brother.

Grrrbloodyuni Thu 18-Apr-13 23:14:40

Agrees with SirBoobAlot

When adults who you need to be able to trust treat you badly in early life, it can stay with you for a very long time.

I can understand that your dads side of the family want to see him in a good light- he's one of their own- but it does not make them right, and it is totally wrong to keep you in the same role as the 12 year old who had the horrible experience of catching her father doing something he should not have been doing and was made a scapegoat to hide his betrayal.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Apr-13 23:20:10

Regarding DH do you trust his judgment normally, is he given to poor decision making? No. He met you, got to know you, fell in love.

Does DD care about anything but the sight smell or touch of you? At 2 in an uncomplicated way she loves you.

When she is in her teens and asks about her grandparents or their divorce, will she able to see past any childish involvement and realise a 12 year old can't influence something as critical as a total marriage breakdown? Very probably.

Being a parent ourselves can trigger old memories. You were a powerless child then. Now years' later perhaps you fear your own happiness won't last.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, we're all wiser after the event. A knee jerk reaction, an adult shifting blame, sadly not uncommon. Neither parent is around to ask. (They might have fobbed you off anyway). Talk it over with someone professional, ask your GP.

Don't under-estimate what you have now. Don't over-estimate what power a 12 year old can exert.

Family-wise it takes two, could someone not have mentioned these pregnancies? Is there a sympathetic family member who can act as peacemaker?

MIL passed comment, did she sympathise, pitch in? If not she can't have been too fussed. Some people speak before they think. We all have off days honestly! If you had a time machine you could zip back to her house when DH was small and had d+v. Would she have everything sparkling? Laugh it off or ignore, it isn't worth dwelling on.

Hope DD is better now.

skyebluesapphire Fri 19-Apr-13 00:01:58

as others have said, you are not a terrible person. you were put in an awful position and told the truth. The grown ups in the situation should not have put anything on to you in any way and they are to blame. As said above, if anybody started a thread on those lines, everyone would state the obvious wouldn't they? that there must be something going on....

Have you ever talked this through with a counsellor? It is the adults involved who should feel ashamed of themselves, not you. I appreciate though that if the people involved are now dead, that you may feel like you havent got closure. Counsellors are great at dragging up things in your childhood that may affect the way you are now...

and agree - ignore MIL. I had to grit my teeth regularly with XMIL who could be a real bitch at times. I did it for the sake of my XH.

Hope DD gets better soon

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