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Family headfuckery (warning: possible rape triggers)(7 Posts)
Bit of a long one this sorry, so I'll try and keep it short. My head is all over the place and I feel I need to talk this through.
My mum died a few years ago. She was very mentally unwell and an alcholic. We had a strained relationship, but she is my mum so I've always felt I was on "her side" iyswim?
My dad, his family and my mum's own siblings/nephews/neices etc, all abandoned my mum (and me by default), because of her behaviour. They have actually said that it was too difficult to try and stay in contact because of her and that it was better for me if they didn't have anything to do with us because I would suffer if their presence annoyed my mum too much.
My first problem is this ^ I suffered anyway because of their lack of presence. I was a CHILD and they all left me with a woman they couldn't have anything to do with because of her behaviour.
I was talking with my dad and his family recently and I asked to hear his side of the story. I've only ever heard my mum's side before but I'm not stupid and I know she won't have been an innocent party in all the troubles that happened. I learned of some things my mum did which I did not remember/had no knowledge of and I am fine with this.
What I am not fine with is the stance that my mum's worst "crime" was to allege that her brother in law tried to rape her when she was a teenager (my dad said she said she was raped, but my mum told me it was attempted rape - I obviously can't determine which is the correct version). I am finding myself quite angry and confused about this. I have never doubted what my mum said about the incident, but her whole family always thought it was a lie.
I have always reconciled my mum's behaviour with the fact that she had mental health problems. I can accept she behaved in atrocious ways at times towards these family members. But I can't help but want to ask them whether they think that perhaps the fact that nobody believed her when she told people about the attempted rape (leaving this man to remain a part of the family) might have contributed towards the decline in her mental health. I can't help but feel they are in some ways even more responsible for the events that took place because of this. And I'm angry on her behalf that she is still not believed and that they speak of her with such venom because of this.
I know the short answer is that nothing can be done, I can never get any answers adn I just need to get over it. And I will, but I just wanted to get my thoughts out and here is generally a pretty good sounding board.
Do you have a therapist, Stars? You really deserve to be heard by an empathetic person, who can help you untangle all these issues in detail.
That is a very hurtful past you carry. You sound very insightful about the family dynamics - that will stand you in good stead in overcoming the legacy of dysfunctional families.
Yes, you were a child in need of support, and they threw you under the bus: it suited them to brand your mother as trouble when she came to them for support after being assaulted, because they didn't want her revelations to rock the boat. They adopted that same tactic when the time came to help you, too.
Good advice from ricecrispie - you need some support. Is there a friend you could talk to?
Unfortunately you can not make this situation "right" as much as you want to.
You have reconciled your Mums behaviour and clearly love her very much, you sound hurt that others haven't, that they think and/or speak badly of her). Don't let this prevent you from grieving for the Mum that you knew and love (I use present tense as you will never stop loving her). Your feelings for your Mum are between you and her, don't let others try to come between you now as you grieve.
There is no doubt that you were treated very badly by their abandonment of you and you feel that they treated your Mum badly. If (and you don't have to) you want to have a relationship with your family members can you agree to not talk of your Mum? I don't think you will ever get the answers you want from them or shift their views, however ill informed or wrong that they might be.
Be kind to yourself, you have had a very tough time, "getting over it" sounds like you are beating yourself up for feeling this way, you shouldn't.
Grief counselling could be a really good way to find some peace from all of this.
I have been thinking about you, how are you doing?
I'm ok thanks, still mulling things over in my head. I had some grief counselling when my mum died and it did help so I'll bear it in mind to help me deal with this.
Not talking about my mum is what everyone prefers I think. Just ignore her, like they did when she was alive. So that won't be too hard.
It's good to be angry op. I'd be the same. I wouldn't be able to forgive in your shoes and it would leave a very sour taste in my mouth. I don't think your dad's family have your best interest at heart and I'd be forever wary - especially being around the perpetrator. It was a fucking crime what he did and he got away with it. Yes, they contributed to your mum's mental decline.
You need to decide what kind of relationship you want with them. I don't think I could......
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