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My ridiculous, messed up life to date(49 Posts)
I just want to start by saying, straight up, I'm a regular who's name changed. The reason is because I'm going to talk about some very sensitive personal stuff. Some people may recognise me, but if so can I respectfully ask that you don't out me.
Also if you think what I say sounds like some third rate soap and must be made up - well I can assure you it's not. It really happened and I'm not a troll.
Not sure where to start but here goes.
My parents split up when I was 8. So far so normal. When I was 11, my mum attempted suicide. It was pretty traumatic. I came home from school one day and she didn't answer the door. I went round to a neighbours house and to cut a long story short, I didn't see her for around 18 months. We did go back and live with my Mum after she recovered. Me and my sibling moved in with the woman who became our stepmother who was previously a very good friend of my mum (see what I mean about the soap opera..)
Anyway, things were ok to start with but then, and to this day I've no idea why, my stepmum just turned on us. There was no physical violence, but constant emotional abuse. We were stupid, hopeless, embarrassing, messy, boring, lazy, selfish, disgusting, our manners were awful etc. Her DC were absolute paragons and we were the scum of the earth basically. I was terrified of her, she bullied me and my sibling and no-one did anything about it or protected us.
I don't remember a lot of the details..I suspect I blocked it out. Once she told me it was no wonder my mum had tried to kill herself because I was so useless. That was 28 years ago.
Over the years I've come tp the realisation that my Dad must have realised what was going on but chose to turn a deaf ear. I really can't quite put into words what I think of him for that.
Now I'm 39 and I'm a single mum, looking after my DS. My XP was an emotionally abusive bully (guess I was set up for it). He left me when I was in recovery from severe PND. He unilaterally decided the relationship was over and announced I had to move out and basically sort myself out. He did this in such a charming way - left me to look after DS while he went out courting his new lady love, rubbed the relationship in my face - smoochy phone calls in front of me, loving texts, doing nice things for her and letting me know all about it. Basically I had what I suppose you might call a breakdown. XP called my parents to come and get me, chucked me out and sent DS (18 months old) off to stay with his parents. My life just about fell to bits at this point. I nearly lost my job and went into an IVA.
I managed, with the support of my family, to slowly get back on my feet. I got a decent council flat and shared residence of DS 50/50. XP continued to bully me , making various decisions about DS which I was not 'allowed' to challenge (I know this sounds utterly mad but anyone who has been there with EA will understand). Somehow, thank god, I managed to hang on to my job although I was 'downgraded'. By this stage I was just happy to have a job so I didn't bother challenging it. Life went on. Eventually XP did something so awful that I stood up to him and, again, to cut a long story short we went to court for residence. He had threatened this for a long time and I was frightened because I thought my PND would count against me). I was granted residency of DS.
I really thought I had dealt with all this and put it behind me but..I don't think I have, not really, and I just don't know where to start. The childhood stuff is incredibly hard because whenever I try to talk about it, I'm always knocked back with 'well, that's in the past' or 'you can't change what happened'.
Inside, I feel defensive, angry and pissed off. I feel like I'm 'damaged goods' and that deep down, I'm not a nice or good person who is worthy of friendships or a good relationship. Somehow, along the way, by some miracle I have acquired a few friends but..well, I feel like I've failed at life. All my peers/friends seem to have good, well paid jobs. I don't. I have a job which I like...but it's not well paid and money is always an issue. Esp as XP pays a piddly amount of maintenance.
I love my DS deeply and really, that's all that keeps me going.
What an essay. If you've read that, then thank you - you deserve a medal! That's the short version..honestly .
I think what I want to know is, how can I move on? Million dollar question. I don't want to be a write off. If you have any advice then thank you.
Good new nickname! You know you're going to have to live up to it now, and make sure that things turn out well for yourself, despite all the obstacles.
Thank you . This thread has given me the boot up the bum I needed - in the nicest possible way.
Yay for the name change, and yay for the positive thinking. Good on you.
This is one of the best bits of MN for me-tons of (reasonably....!) impartial people taking an objective look at your situation. Sometimes it means hearing alarming home truths, and sometimes, just sometimes, it means hearing that what you see as "damaged goods", other people see as pretty damn great.
Bollocks to the negative internal voice. Tell it to pipe down
Jan - Thank you, but I feel I have to defend my friends as I know none of them look down on me for not earning a lot - they're lovely, kind, supportive people. That's my negative internal voice talking.
It's me - along with suggested nickname change (for the purposes of this thread).
You know, I saw the troll thread and wondered if people though I was one but then I don't really care if they do - I'm not.
All your comments are making me think I need to be a bit kinder to myself and stop beating myself up internally.
On a positive note, I have an appointment first thing on Friday with the welfare officer at work.
I'm feeling more positive since writing that initial post - less like I'm floundering and feeling 'out of control'.
pantson - yes, I think she does. I've never blamed my Mum though or felt it was her fault. But not being allowed to say I'm angry about it or have my feelings acknowledged really rankles.
Oddly enough I remember a conversation with her where she started saying how difficult I was as a teenager (apparently I was bad tempered, horribly behaved, stroppy, touchy, impossibel to talk to..I wasn't really, no more than average but if I was no bloody wonder). I challened that and said to her "No Mum, I wasn't difficult, I was really unhappy". I don't remember her response.
Change your nick name! You are nothing to do with "crappy" in any shape or form.
I agree with all PP, you sound rather fabulous-strong, tenacious, capable. Everyone has said it already- and I wish you happiness, you deserve it.
What a survivor you are and you sound incredibly head strong despite what you were put through, you should feel proud, you even managed to hang on to your job throughout all that misery.
So what if your friends earn more, it's not important, they shouldn't be judging you on your salary, but how they find you and I bet they find you lovely.
Sounds like counselling will be useful but probably what you really need to know is, having read your post, you sound like a very capable young woman who speak articulately and with honestly and reason, hold your head up high, you should.
I suppose you're mum must have a lot of guilt but that's not really fair, you're the one who went through it and you should be able to talk about it if you need to.
Lovely that your sibling is doing well and that you are close.
To answer the last question first - very well, happily married lovely spouse who treats them with love and respect and in a good job. We are close but separated by distance, sometimes we talk about it, sometimes we don't.
I know it's still a source of hurt and resentment for them too.
No, I haven't confronted anyone.
It's my mum who doesn't like to talk about things.
They have minimal contact with my step mum and dad, less than I do and that's not much.
It sounds as though your step mum was actually never a nice person, just put on a good act for a while.
Have you ever confronted any of them?
The childhood stuff is incredibly hard because whenever I try to talk about it, I'm always knocked back with 'well, that's in the past' or 'you can't change what happened'.
Who says that?
I think I just answered my own question there didn't I. He really didn't care at all .
Sorry you have been through the same bugger (is it bad I giggled when writing that?) It really does stay with you, doesn't it.
mistlethrush when you put it like that, it seems so obvious. Maybe she thought my dad would step up and was frustrated and pissed off that he didn't. Her behaviour was horrible though, why didn't he care?
I think at that time it felt like we were just a great big inconvenience to everybody and we were there under sufferance. I've just remembered an awful incident that I had buried. My Dad asked my younger sibling a question, which they got the answer to wrong, so he hit them. My sibling burst into tears and I sat there horrified and upset, terrified to say anything. My step mum and step siblings laughed.
I really feel for you re the childhood experience. I had something very similar - nothing we could do was right / we were lazy selfish and no wonder my real mother didn't love me (although she didn't leave she'd died when I was six). You do get past this and I like to think of myself as very resilient but sometimes I wonder that by coping you never really deal with it. I am v happy - lovely husband / kids always thankful for what I have ( probably because things were so awful as a child). However when things go wrong ( and at the moment I'm about to be made redundant after 25 years in a job I've loved) then it all bubbles up. I think counselling - I get what you are saying that it almost wasn't bad enough as I feel the same - ie was fed / clothed / not physically hurt really - but the fact that it's not forgotten after so many years speaks for itself. My dad also turned a blind eye. Gosh written a lot - the point of this was to say that I counselling is agood idea - just decided to do this myself!
Crappy - you went from being a friend's daughter, to being her responsibility - something that she clearly didn't want to take on - it sounds as though she just wanted the benefit of your father. I am so sorry that your father didn't stand up for you and ensure that you were treated fairly, even if there was no love. This is not your fault - and look where you have managed to get yourself from that low point - be proud of it. Its something to hold onto if any counselling brings up bad memories in the future.
robberbride your day will come I know it - even if it doesn't feel that way right now.
I've been where you are and I know how it feels. If you would like to PM me, feel free.
Funny you should say that mistlethrush, my mum was a teacher too and she was so worn out at the end of the day she used to come home and fall asleep! I know it's a tiring job, and I think she probably was shattered and stressed...my Dad used to lie round doing nothing and just left her to it.
What makes me terribly sad is that she was so lovely before, really kind, funny, lovely and she just "turned" . Her and my mum had been great friends.
You sound amazing OP. I recently split from my EA ex. I don't currently have a job or a home of my own. I dream of having those things. You are an inspiration. Truely.
Crappy - my mother was a teacher, but she found it very difficult teaching me - whilst she was patience personified with other people, she expected me to 'get' it immediately. Perhaps that's something to do with your Step Mother's situation. However, that does not justify one jot the treatment that she subjected you to.
I hope the Counselling helps. FWIW, the fact that you have got to where you are shows you've made huge steps already.
Thank you for the good wishes .
Have contacted counsellor at work to make an appointment too, just waiting to hear back - looking forward to my book arriving.
OP just want to say I think you're amazing too. What an awful lot to deal with from such a young age. I think you sound like a brilliant mum. You're most definitely not a write-off.
I am a bit older than you and I too have felt the same way as you describe, like a write-off/damaged goods/a failure (for various reasons from my difficult past).
Things that have helped me are a good GP, counselling, brilliant friends and when I feel down, trying not to compare myself with others (difficult as it is sometimes not to). I honestly thought a counsellor wouldn't know where to begin with my case but I think this is common and they know how to handle it.
I hope that this week goes okay at the docs and that you can get some counselling. I think it sounds like you're doing brilliantly, please believe in yourself, you've come a long way and overcome all those obstacles thrown at you.
Anyway, I have a plan now for next week so when I go into work tomorrow, I'm going to look into counselling and see about getting an initial appointment.
I've also bought the John Bradshaw book (hooray for second hand bookshops).
So many kind and positive messages, I feel a bit weepy and overwhelmed, but in a really good way. Thank you (that echo ahain )
Do you know I was convinced that people wouldn't believe me because written down it all sounds like something an EE scriptwriter would reject as too dramatic and far-fetched - hence my username . Just just being believed and listened to is nice. I've often wondered if what happened when I was a child was abuse - you know, was it that bad - but other people are saying yes. Just typing it all out has helped a bit.
One of the ironic things about all this, my Stepmum worked in a caring profession, with troubled children. Yet she seemed to find it very hard to care for us.
Thank you for the links and book recommedations, I will look those up and check out the Freedom Programme too. I didn't realise you could do it online.
All I can say is, that you sound an absolutely bloody marvellous heroine and an inspiration. You should be very very proud of yourself.
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