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Abusive parents can't cope with adult childrens feelings?

(91 Posts)
appletarts Thu 09-Jan-14 19:56:40

Does anyone else notice that dysfunctional/abusive parents get very angry when their children (adult) talk about how they feel. I have been talking to my mum about how I feel about the past and less emotive subjects in a totally non-blaming, calm and rational manner and it's sent her over the edge, she went absolutely hysterical nuts. Is this an attempt to silence me or does anyone have any reflections on this? Is it true for anyone else and why does it trigger such a massive response? We were never allowed to express our feelings as children but never knew what would happen if I did because I just knew I shouldn't. As an adult I am silenced constantly by her.

MrRected Sat 11-Jan-14 13:59:02

Logg1e simple statement is a reflection on victimisation - not intended literally.

As a child of abusive, alcoholic, violent parents, who left me alone to fend off sexual abuse by one of their friends' teenage children - whilst off getting pissed and swinging. I totally get your outrage - if you could try to look at the statement as a point of view/manner of being to endure that blame sits squarely at the feet of the abusers instead of a literal view of what she says - it does make sense.

So much sense, I almost feel a sense of epiphany. After years of harrowing self loathing, I really get it.

MrRected Sat 11-Jan-14 13:59:45

<ensure >. Not endure !!

Logg1e Sat 11-Jan-14 13:59:48

And why do you seem to not understand that what YOU may find comforting is upsetting to others

I haven't said that others shouldn't be upset.
I. Shared. Two. Concepts. That. I. Found. Helpful.
And I'm glad I did, because others have found them useful too.

DoctorTwo Sat 11-Jan-14 15:24:32

I think that there are two helpful thoughts. Firstly, each parent is the best parent they, personally, can be.

That's what my stepmother told me at my dads funeral. Why was my experience of childhood different to my siblings? They weren't beaten, often with shoes. She broke my nose, a cheekbone, an eye socket and one of my collar bones. I got better exam results than my siblings, yet was belittled and they were praised. I wasn't the one getting arrested, but I got blamed for it.

If that's anybodys idea of being 'the best parent they, personally, can be' you can do one.

I've never told anybody the full horror of what she did as I honestly don't think I'll be believed.

livingzuid Sat 11-Jan-14 15:26:05

I. Shared. Two. Concepts. That. I. Found. Helpful.

Well I'm so glad you've spelled that out for me. How thoughtful and considerate you are to be so sarcastic to someone who's commenting on their own experiences of abuse.

If you'd got to clarifying this several posts ago in an non-combative manner, or even in your original comment, that would have been even more helpful. Instead you chose to get argumentative and defensive when posters challenged you on what is a hugely emotive subject for them and me.

OP I hope you come back and give us an update at some point. Sorry for turning your thread into a row. Thank you for sharing your story, I found it really helpful to read. Good luck smile

livingzuid Sat 11-Jan-14 15:28:15

And I'm really sad and sorry to read everyone's stories of abuse. I hope we all find some peace someday to live our lives.

FrauMoose Sat 11-Jan-14 15:43:48

I've spent time - years - trying to understand why my parents were as they were and did what they did.

There were aspects of my father's childhood that were difficult. On the other hand his sister shared a lot of those childhood difficulties, but turned out to be a warm and loving parent. It is entirely possible that my father was not neuro-typical, and had Aspergers Syndrome. However I know other people with AS, who are gentle and do not resort to violence against others.

I think my mother's values and emotions may have been systematically eroded when she got married to somebody who was highly manipulative and controlling. On the other hand some people who are married to partners of that kind do ultimately leave, for the sake of the children. Or seek to make amends to their children - belatedly -after the controlling partner has died. My mother did neither of these things.

I think their belief of theirs that they 'did their best' is/was deluded, based on a entirely mistaken set of ideas about what parents were entitled to do and about what children require in order to flourish.

It was like being brought up in a sort of mini-cult, because nothing could impact on their own sense of their righteousness. So I suppose my parents 'did their best', in the sense that religious fanatics may believe that they are doing their best.

I could choose to say, 'My parents? Oh they did their best.'

But that would be like subscribing to their delusion, giving it a validity it absolutely does not deserve.

Hissy Sat 11-Jan-14 16:05:12


It's ok to rage about this 'best a parent could be' thing.

I have dearly wanted to hurl myself to the ground and screamed 'but that's not good enough' and it's not fair' and i'm (and we all are) entitled to. We DO deserve (and need) to express that anger.

Once we do, once we get that out of our heads, it gets easier.

appletarts Sat 11-Jan-14 20:21:40

livingzuid please feel you can talk freely here, I won't feel at all that you are derailing thread, rather you are sharing your experience. To me what loggie said is what my mother says and she says she did her best and my answer is no she didn't, or best in the circumstances which is her other get out of jail free card. I think those statements mean she avoids responsibility. Her best one when I confronted her about something that happened when I was a baby was.... "It wasn't you apple, it was a baby". Notice I was an 'it' and to her a baby wasn't a person, not me. I still don't know what to do next for the best.

appletarts Sat 11-Jan-14 20:22:05

and thank you for all your support, I really appreciate it.

appletarts Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:29

Well, I've decided to go no contact. I have sent her a letter getting everything off my chest so I don't have to carry it all around with me in things I wish I could have said. It was a non-blaming letter which set the record straight on a few things. I have changed my phone numbers. Today is the first day of my life without her hanging over my head, let the healing begin!

LineRunner Mon 13-Jan-14 14:28:34

Good luck, appletarts.

Have you a plan fir if she writes back to you? I binned all my mother's letters in the immediate post-NC period until she stopped sending them.

Hissy Mon 13-Jan-14 14:31:50

Bloody well done apple braver than me with the letter, I'm thinking there will be a response that you may need to be prepared for.

At least if you have changed your numbers already, that'll limit the shock factor of taking a call.

appletarts Mon 13-Jan-14 14:38:19

I felt I didn't want to be frightened any more of telling my truth and felt abuse thrives in silence. I will keep any letter she sends but not open it until I feel stronger, or bin it.

Logg1e Mon 13-Jan-14 16:51:07

I was going to suggest holding on to them, and not rushing in to reading or chucking them. Is there someone you can trust to read them and give you a brief precis?

appletarts Mon 13-Jan-14 18:55:20

Good idea Loggie but I just don't want to hear what she has to say, even through a 3rd party. Will maybe read it one day, if I ever feel ready because I know it would be more of the same old rubbish, yes of how she did her best etc etc and I am to blame because I have feelings about it that won't go away and I won't shut up talking about things. I don't expect anything to come from this other than I am free of her and my vicious sister who is her sidekick.

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