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My recollection of childhood is not the same as dm and dsis

(22 Posts)
Bumblequeen Sun 01-Dec-13 19:02:25

I enjoyed the majority of my childhood up.until the age of 10/11. I then suffered with depression from secondary school to my early twenties.

I have never really felt I fitted in but was the black sheep of the family. I was not a naughty child but was misunderstood, awkward and 'different'.

I recall the following incidences but dm does not;

Being forced to drink hot chocolate with no milk.

Being smacked regularly and being terrified of my dm. Yes, I was naughty as is every child but I feel dm was always angry with me.

Being called names about my facial features and being told I was as bad as my df who walked out on us.

I feel guilty most of the time as dm ends up in tears and asks why I make these stories up. Dsis says she had a happy childhood and cannot understand why I did not.

Is it possible that I have somehow exaggerated my past? What would I gain from doing this?

I love dm and dsis but realise I cannot spend too much time with them without feeling low and overwhelmed.

MuffCakes Sun 01-Dec-13 19:10:56

My mother was awful growing up, we were constantly scared of her mood swings. World war 3 would break out over a library book being lost.

My sister doesn't really remember any of the fucked up ness.

I actually get on really really well with my dm now, I speak to her a lot, see her a lot and I would say she's my friend as well as mum now. She is the first person I'd call in an emergency and I know she'd drop anything if I was in dire need.

The reason we now have a great relationship is because
I have let go of the hurt she caused me, I can see things through an adult point of view now and I've forgave her. She has never apologised (I ended up in care) but I know she is sorry and does regret things that happened whether she says it or not.

Gingersnap88 Sun 01-Dec-13 19:34:24

My DM also does not remember significant chunks of my childhood, specifically bad things which happened where she was involved / responsible in some way. It tortured me throughout my teens because I couldn't understand how she could have done those things and why she wasn't sorry

I had therapy years later which really helped. I see now that it is a copy mechanism for her because she cannot deal with what happened. She's blocked it out. We have very mismatched memories (her drug use, stealing, violence etc).

I was very angry with her for a long time. Therapy helped me to accept what had happened and to realise that she had royally fucked up, but that didn't mean she didn't care.

We have a great relationship now and are good friends. Hang in there thanks

Bumblequeen Sun 01-Dec-13 19:48:12

Thanks for your advice.

I probably need to speak with a counsellor.

I do love my dm but there are issues sad

Twinklestein Sun 01-Dec-13 20:15:56

My mum was awful to me and lovely to my sister. She's lovely now but she was bonkers when we were growing up. My sister & I had totally different experiences of our family life.

Sometimes people project things they don't like about life or parts of themselves onto one child, and the good stuff onto another. The fact that she connected you with your father is telling. By walking out & leaving her to cope with the kids alone, he must have caused a huge amount of pain and anger. She probably saw him in you & that's why she treated you the way she did.

She may not have been aware of it though, and she may not even remember now. My mum doesn't. Trying to make my parents confront the past was a dead end. I learnt that ultimately, it doesn't matter what anyone else says or remembers, you experienced it how you experienced it, and you have to confront it yourself & work through it.

misswishy Sun 01-Dec-13 20:20:58

I lived with my grandmother till I was 5.

All of my family dispute this and I'm not allowed to talk about it. The only person I could ever talk about it was my nan...and she had photos to prove it. Otherwise I'd have doubted my own sanity!

Families are strange!

Maybe they feel guilty about it and want to change the past?

Damnautocorrect Sun 01-Dec-13 20:22:21

My oh had a totally different childhood to his siblings.
One had an idyllic childhood
Another massively messed up, recalls periods of depression almost neglect
Him, mostly happy but had to grow up far too quick

But they all can't relate to the others

My mum doesn't remember loads of things that I remember clearly. I think she was depressed for a large part of our childhood and I think that she blamed me because I was the eldest.

I also think that because I was always very mature for my age she thought (and still thinks) I don't need the same support as my brother, who still hasn't grown up properly.

Its sounds to me like your mum saw your father in you, and took her anger at him out on you. Doesn't ease the pain though.

steeking Sun 01-Dec-13 20:30:50

My sis remembers mostly bad stuff from our childhood. She challenged me to remember anything good, so I gave her a list of about 20things.
"Oh, I'd forgotten all about that" was the reply and it all sort of came back to her.
I wonder if we remember/forget things depending on our nature- Dsis is a glass half empty person, but I tend to be the opposite.
Obviously this won't apply to everyone though...

steeking Sun 01-Dec-13 20:32:28

OP- this wasn't meant to be a attack on your character blush or minimising what you went through.

Bumblequeen Sun 01-Dec-13 20:50:13

I just feel that my dm needs a lot of attention. I feel drained when we are together as she requires constant validation.

I feel I am here for her and not the other way around. I almost have to 'forget' myself as I just become a listening ear.

As the oldest child I had to grow up so quickly. My dsis was allowed to be young for as long as she wanted. I know this has affected me.

Bumblequeen Sun 01-Dec-13 20:50:45

steeking no offence taken.

Spottybra Sun 01-Dec-13 20:59:17

Dsis and I have totally different recollections of our childhood. Listening to dsis its surprising we didn't end up in care. My recollection is of a pretty idyllic childhood.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 01-Dec-13 21:04:51

My DH was 1 of 3 siblings who grew up together. All 3 of them have entirely different views on their childhood. DH's brother thought it was terrible, DH's sister enjoyed parts of it but acknowledges fairly bleak parts, and DH is the one with rose tinted glasses.

3 people, same upbringing, 3 different views.

Unfortunately I have no idea how you deal with your memories and move forward but just wanted to let you know that it doesn't seem unusual to have a differing perception of the past to other members of your family.

CleopatrasAsp Sun 01-Dec-13 22:24:49

I don't think it's unusual for people to have different views of their childhood because often siblings are treated very differently from one another by their parents, particularly in dysfunctional families. Just because one sibling thinks they had a wonderful childhood doesn't mean that another sibling is wrong in thinking their childhood was crap.

TheNewSchmoo Sun 01-Dec-13 22:56:12

My brother and I have completely different recollections of our childhood but then he was the golden pfb and I was my mother's punchbag, verbally and physically.

It was only a few years ago that he admitted to seeing her pull me up the stairs by my hair. I've been NC with her for 25 years now. We don't discuss her or anything connected to her.

IWishYouWould Sun 01-Dec-13 23:11:25

Does anyone else think that they helped to shelter their siblings from these events? I know I did and successfully. My sibling has no recollection of any situations I have dared bring up. DM claims to not remember any eitherhmm But they all happened and shaped the struggles I have been left with.

BillyBanter Sun 01-Dec-13 23:16:40

Did it start from when your dad left?

Maybe you misremember things because you were depressed? Maybe your dad shielded you/stuck up for you and couldn't after he left? Maybe you were 'your father's daughter' so your mum treated you badly in comparison to your sister? Maybe any number of things.

I'd agree that if things differ this much in detail and quality it is maybe worth getting some counselling.

Bumblequeen Mon 02-Dec-13 00:22:45

My df left when I was very young. I cannot remember him being in the family home.

I am definitely his daughter- I look exactly like him. I had no choice in the matter and grew up thinking it was a wrong thing.

I try so hard not to resent my dsis as she had a much happier childhood and a far better relationship with my dm.

springytickle Mon 02-Dec-13 00:33:49

My sibings all think we had a good childhood and that I spoilt it all. hmm They still think I spoil everything. I'm NC - yay.

yes it is possible to have differing memories. It's actually the norm as far as I'm aware. If you feel you have to empty yourself in order to have a relationship with your mum, it would be a good idea to get some counselling. I say 'some' counselling but it's probably going to take a fair bit. Not because you're in a bad way but because dysfunctional families are very complex, it takes a lot of digging and rearranging to work things out for yourself. (btw your mother/family will never, or rarely, agree about what happened.)

BillyBanter Mon 02-Dec-13 02:06:56

I've seen it said a few times here and elsewhere that siblings who remind the resident patent of the absent one has correlated with being picked on or scapegoated.

EBearhug Mon 02-Dec-13 02:23:27

One of my aunts refused to let her children reminisce as they grew up, because everyone remembers things differently. (They still do, I've heard them!)

And I find it fascinating, some of the things I remember so clearly, so how could my sister have absolutely no recognition of what I'm talking of? But it's happened the other way, too, I don't remember some of the stuff she does.

So I think remembering differently is normal, and usually, the truth will lie somewhere in between.

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