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Talked to my mum and feel like I need a debrief! [sensitive](11 Posts)
So I was brave and (confronting the F.O.G. as it's called on here) brought up something that's been upsetting me.
Background - I have recently been diagnosed with ASC (Asperger's). My parents have kind of struggled with this, which is understandable. But there's been an issue with my parents not accepting that my behaviour as a child was actually unhealthy. Basically I was really, ridiculously passive. I never rocked the boat, I'd let anyone walk all over me, I was literally silent most of the time. I was the child they wanted - intelligent, never ever naughty, a little adult who would fit in with them. This was a big point of conversation during my assessment, after the specialist had interviewed my parents, and it's been the one thing I've really struggled with dealing with since the appointment. Because the other issue with me is that I was sexually abused (this is the main reason my ASC status was missed as a teen - when I revealed the abuse and had a breakdown obviously all the focus was on what had happened, rather than the deeper cognitive issues that were caused by my AS and predated the abuse). And of course that has a huge impact on a little child, it will make them repress all the fear and anger, and withdraw into themselves. The specialist was the first person to ever understand how the two issues fed into each other.
I've struggled for a while with this behaviour/passivity issue because my DCs are, basically, a lot more 'normal'. They do wind each other up (I was an only and so were my parents as children, so this is new to us all anyway) and yes they had the odd tantrum, pushed the boundaries, and they play noisily and dare I say boisterously which my parents can't handle. So it is a sensitive issue for me. I'm dreading Christmas there because they will be expected to be quiet and still (thankfully we are only spending part of the day there).
Anyway, my mum said yet again today how she was quiet and passive too and it was just how children were brought up then, and laughed about it. So this time I took a deep breath and (in a nice way) called her on it. I hate bringing it up, it was my mum's half brother who abused me (much younger than her hence her growing up as an only) and I feel guilty about it. But I had to explain how it affected me because mum has never wanted to accept that it did affect me. I had to explain how of course I was passive and never rocked the boat - I had been scared into submission. So yes, when she laughs about me just being a good girl like she was, it hurts, it really hurts. Because it was a PROBLEM that I just lay there and took it, because I was too scared and ashamed to ever actually ask for anything. It wasn't because I was just a good, well brought up child. I was not particularly well brought up, I was just left to it, that's the whole point. Not that I said that last bit to my mum, I would never dare.
I don't know. I think she kind of got it but it's hard for her to accept. I don't even know why I'm posting but I kind of wish I hadn't said it now.
I think you did well to say it. It feels terrible partly because of the context but also partly because it was an example of you not being passive. While there are a mix of complex reasons that you were passive as a child, you have gone against that passivity in this action. You are bound to feel strange, uncomfortable and even regretful but that is the conditioning at work. I think in this case it's safe to say your turmoil indicates just how big of a step you have taken. Well done, OP, it was very healthy what you said and did.
Your mum may or may not take it on board, that is up to her. You may need to be prepared to say it again, or at least reference this cinversation as she may want to restore the status quo. She's had that narrative because it had suited her to think that way. You need not accept her narrative but you may need to accept she can't let it go, and find strategies that preserve you when she's saying this stuff.
You seem to have a real clarity about the relation of your ASC to your mum's ideas of who you were and what is/was normal. No amount of her making up self serving shit can change that. Please don't depend on her to see your point for you to continue to have this clarity and insight.
I think you did exactly the right thing, whatever the outcome, because voicing your boundaries/ making clear when you feel that someone is blithely overlooking your experience of a shared situation is always, always worthwhile.
Firstly I want to say, well bloody done on calling her on it. That in itself is such a difficult thing to do given the circumstances and the fact that it is your Mum you had to say it to. You really should give yourself a big pat on the back for that alone.
Secondly, (((hugs)). You have had a tough time and you have gone against what feels right to you by standing up and saying that it wasn't OK, and that your experience of your childhood was entirely different to the way your mother portrays it.
Do not, for a second, allow her to minimise your feelings on this or play the victim. You might need to reinforce what you have already told her and she might attempt to victimise herself.
Keep going against your passive nature, because it is NORMAL and HEALTHY to challenge people on these things.
Stay strong OP
That's the old you, the one that hates being naughty, telling you it was a naughty thing to say. Well done for saying it. It's like having a rotten tooth pulled out. The process hurts and you wish you didn't have to do it, but in the long run it's the only way to clear up the problem.
Well done op. My mum used to talk about how good I was as a child and I'd be there thinking that I was too fucking petrified of causing trouble (she had an awful temper) to be anything else, so I get that aspect of it.
You are doing really well - not meant to be patronising!!
OP my heart goes out to you. It is extremely difficult to talk to parents about things in your childhood that you feel they may have done better and you were so brave to even attempt it.
You did well to say it. You are strong and you survived your childhood. You are now healed enough to speak firmly to your mother about it. I feel very proud for you, you've come so far.
Thanks so much everyone. It's really helped to read your encouragement.
I am hoping to get some therapy again, I have had a lot but in the past it's all been about the abuse of course - I'm hoping to find somebody who has lots of experience with ASCs.
That sounds like a smart strategy. Your instincts about what is and is not healthy in this context seem spot on.
Thank you. That's something I've struggled with, I never know if I'm in the wrong or not because I've only ever had my parents to ask IYSWIM. Like when my mum told me not to go to court about the abuse etc because he'd never cope in prison... a whole other thread!
I did actually say to my mum that I wasn't saying what I said to criticise her. Because I actually wasn't. I don't resent the fact that they didn't pick up on the ASC because they had no reason to realise TBH. All I was asking for was understanding NOW, because now they do know. If that makes sense.
It makes very good sense.
It sounds like your mum got quite a few things wrong about your situation, it must have been very difficult for you. I think in the circumstances it would be completely understandable if you went through a bit of a difficult patch with her while you got all your boundaries up and sorted through the whole issue. They might not be able to readjust as quickly as you to this information that has a significant impact on your understanding of your past. I think your instincts are spot on though so do trust yourself and assume that they are struggling if they don't react in an ideal way.
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