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The Wrongness of me. Overcoming a lifetime of abuse. Is it possible?(14 Posts)
I'm trying to recover from a lifetime of being badly treated by the significant people in my life.
I'll try to give the briefest background. My mother was very cruel, always made it clear she regretted adopting me and my sister, actually frequently saying "I wish I'd never had you.". She was never kind or nurturing, called us "shitbags" and was heavy handed to say the least.
My Dad was more loving, but was quick tempered. All my childhood I was afraid of both parents.
My first marriage (15 yrs long) was abusive. Ex drank, did drugs, didn't work, had no time for me and left me to do everything. Being who I was I put so much effort into trying to make the unworkable work.
My second marriage (20 yrs long) was worse. Charming and handsome, STBXH was cruel, controlling, violent, unfaithful and more.
So here I am, alone now, for the last year. I enjoy my life. I have a good relationship with my children, all adults. Like my job and home. But inside, there's so much damage been done.
I feel, essentially Wrong. Like I've been made wrong, I'm only here at all, on Earth, through some oversight. Most people wouldn't realise I feel this, I think, but there are those few who "see" it and home in on it. My default position is to think I'm doing something wrong, either I should be doing something else, or doing it differently. Whatever it is, cleaning the home, driving, work. Anything. It's a heavy burden. And it's ridiculous, realistically I'm as competent as the next person. I have strengths and weaknesses. But that's not what I feel. I feel wrong, faulty, out of place. As if I have to prove my worthiness. Which I did have to do, all through my childhood and marriage no. 2.
Now I do lots to nurture myself, but I think the damage is so great I'll always be that terrified, unloved little girl, inside.
How do I recover from over 50 years of the significant people in my life telling me I'm useless, worthless, regrettable, unlovable, bad, wrong. Is it possible?
It must be possible. You'll need help along the way
It's difficult when you have spent a lifetime focussing on the needs of other people (even those who didn't deserve it)
I have seen a good counsellor, which helped a lot. Helped me see the dynamics. Expensive though. She didn't think I was co dependent, but that I put up with a lot of bullying, because the was normal for me.
You make the point about the abused frightened little girl, in my experience this part of you is the part that needs the attention. That little girl needs her moment in the sun to say what happened to her and how it's effected her.
You have repeated patterns lovely because that's what the little girl you was , was told its all she was worth, if that part of you could be freed, then your adult self could become whole and start to make better choices and love/trust yourself.
Yes, it is possible but it takes a hell of a lot of work. Counselling would the first step, but essentially you have to let go of the idea that you're wrong and that'll be hard because for some reason feeling wrong works for you on some level - feeling 'right' might be harder.
cailindana Yes, feeling wrong feels right, it's my normal. But it is still uncomfortable too, I'm aware of it and how it trips me up.
guiltypleasures now I've become aware of these patterns I am steering clear of any kind of relationship, because I don't trust myself to make good choices, basically. I'm also loving my alone time.
I think you seem a strong person who has brought up children despite all the abuse you received from other people, you survived and became a good mother, even though there was bullying and abuse all around. I think you have more positive qualities than you realise, don't let the abuse from the past define you
May I ask whether your sister is your biological sister, or whether she was also adopted by a couple who shouldn't have been allowed to adopt before or after you were placed with them?
Do you have a good relationship with your sister and have you gone in search of your birth parents?
Leaf - lots of adoptees feel like this , like they are a mistake . You are not alone .
Yes you can overcome it . You ARE overcoming it . You are a strong and good person. You hold down a job and you've successfully raised a family . You are not letting your experiences destroy you . You are fighting back, every day .
I think it would help you to see a counsellor who specialises in adoption . And also to speak with other adoptees, even if you could join an online community .
Bless you - you sound so lovely.
Please do focus on that.
Womens Aid Freedom Programme can help you find some self esteem and help set you up correctly for any future relationships.
As you've already had 2 abusive marriages, I am hoping you've already done it. If not, give them a call and sign up today.
You've overcome so so much. You've done amazingly well.
Do you belong to any groups? Have a look on meetup.com in your local area and see what is on offer. What are your interests? You could find some like minded people you will have lots in common with.
You are already having counselling which is a great step. If this is working for you then please try to carry on.
If you simply can't afford it then go to your GP for a referral.
You sound as if you know a lot about what the issues are and you are sorting them.
It will take time but you can certainly do it!
despicablebee I do try to recognise my strengths, but I can't shift the wrongness, if you see what I mean.
goddess my sister isn't my bio sister. I spent a lot of my childhood protecting her from my mother's violence. It's one of my earliest memories, my baby sister screaming in terror and me trying to stop my mother hitting her. We were under 5.
I don't have the best of relationships with her. We don't argue, but seeing me brings back too many bad memories. We see each other rarely, but I've been there for her when she's had serious crises. It doesn't go both ways. ☹. She can't do it, or chooses not to.
My counsellor wondered if it was all tied up with adoption. Back in the 60s adoption was such a shameful thing and my mother's all too obvious regret didn't help.
Women's Aid helped me when my last marriage was breaking up. I have a support worker I can contact if I need to. I started the Freedom programme but started work and couldn't attend, but I have the book.
I've looked at meet ups but felt a bit intimidated.
aLeafFa11s firstly I want to send you a huge hug.
As a fellow adoptee I can completely relate to a lot of what you feel. I was "lucky" in that my adopted parents were not abusive like your mum but had no idea how to deal with a child whose whole life fell apart the day I learned that I was adopted.
I have spent my life feeling not good enough and not wanted and because of this I have been in a number of abusive relationships with horrendous men.
I am now middle aged and have read everything I could get my hands on about adoptees, how being adopted affects our lives and many books on abusive men and relationships.
And I have learned a lot.
I understand that being adopted was not my fault. There was nothing wrong or bad about me that made my birth parents reject me. I understand that many, many adoptees spend their lives going from one abusive relationship to another, not because we want to but because the child we once were is still there inside us, desperately needing to be loved so much that we stay in horrific relationships that other less damaged people would leave. Somehow deep down inside us we believe we don't deserve a good, nurturing, loving, normal relationship.
But we do.
Councilling is the best place to start, please go to your Dr and ask to be referred.
You deserve to have a happy life so much. We all do.
Thank you for your post, thegirl. I've read so much about abusive relationships and trying to understand why I put up with being treated badly. I have met my birth mother and have understood for most of my adult life why she had to give me up.
But by then the self image of being unwanted and wrong was already embedded. My mum used to lament that her parents didn't value me and my sister because we were adopted. Ironic, considering her own feelings about us.
I'll start reading up about adoptees. And look at counselling again.
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