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Having a baby after emotionally abusive childhood

(6 Posts)
WeiAnMeokEo Fri 13-May-16 18:25:04

Hi all,

I posted a while back about my emotionally abusive stepfather. The responses and subsequent research/work I did helped me to see just how messed up my childhood was. In a nutshell: my father left my mother before I was born, and I didn't meet him til I was 16. We now have very limited contact, in great part because his mental health is very poor. Meanwhile, my mum met and married my stepdad very quickly, when I was around 7. He was incredibly controlling, critical and blamed me for my sexual abuse aged 13 (not at his hands). In later years, was dismissive of my mental health problems and largely treated them - and me - as an inconvenience. Throughout this my mother certainly enabled the abuse, largely down to her own chronic feelings of worthlessness.

And so to the present: I'm 7.5 months pregnant and had a very tough time in the first trimester. He has shown sod all interest, predictably. He is still very controlling of and speaks shockingly to my mother, to the point where I've told her my husband and I won't stay with them as I can't continue to condone his behaviour with my silence. I assumed - foolishly - that this would flip a switch in her head with regard to his behaviour. Instead, she just said she could understand why I felt that way and was sorry; that she didn't want me to feel uncomfortable. Then everything went on as 'normal.'

It breaks my heart to see my mother treated so badly, and to continually have such a low opinion of herself. I am also still very angry with my stepfather for what he did/does to both of us. However, my priority now is my own soon-to-be family unit. Given that I have never experienced a stable, loving home environment and that my relationship with my mum was - and still bloody is! - subordinated to the one she has with him, I am TERRIFIED of cocking everything up with my son. I already love him so much it hurts, and though I've worked hard to recognise and process the baggage I carry I am definitely not free of it yet.

Just wondering if anyone has experience of dealing with similar issues, and any advice for mindfully developing functional and loving relationships with their own children afterwards?

Thank you so much in advance.

MewlingQuim Fri 13-May-16 18:36:57


I had a very difficult childhood full of abuse and neglect, and I found having a child of my own opened up a lot of old wounds. I thought my mum would be a good grandparent despite my own childhood, but she has been rather indifferent to her only grandchild. In some ways it has been shocking and hurtful, but in other ways it has been quite healing. It is quite obvious now that the problem was her and not me because she is exactly the same with DD as she was with me as a child.

I have also discovered that I am absolutely nothing like her as a parent, at that has been comforting.

gawkygirl Fri 13-May-16 18:52:13

I had a less than ideal childhood and went NC with my parents. I too was worried about messing up my DC due to lack of role model so I took a simple decision: their parenting wouldn't be down to just me, no 'my baby, my rules'.
I decided to get as many involved in their upbringing as possible so if I messed up then I was only one influence out of many and it didn't matter so much. I got the rest of the family involved, went to play group, sent to nursery, sent to guides/scouts, joined sports clubs, arranged playdates. I made sure that the DC could see how other families operated. My mantra was 'it takes a village to raise a child'. It seems to have worked - the DC are psychologically sound and I am daily astounded by their normality wonderfulness.

MusicIsMedicine Fri 13-May-16 19:10:42

Also dealing with EA parents and an extremely difficult pregnancy and frankly I don't want them near my baby!

You are powerless over your mother's choice to stay, but you can take steps to protect yourself and baby.

StepfauxWife Fri 13-May-16 19:15:04

The fact that you're so aware of it can k my be a good thing. I didn't have the best childhood and as a result I am hypersensitive to any possibly causes of harm to my children.

No real advice but I came across this the other day which might be of more use:

LoveyDove Fri 13-May-16 19:35:49

I am so sorry for what happened to you, nobody should have to experience a childhood like that. I wish i could of helped you when you were younger. The abuse that happened to you as a child has never been your fault! Never let anyone treat you like your Step-father, I am proud that you have left that environment. You have made the correct decision, and I am so sad to hear that your mom is still accepting of his behavior...
I myself was molested when I was only 8 years old, as traumatic as it was I kept it a secret from everyone until I was 14 years old. Both of my parents were abusive physically and emotionally. I was hit with a metal spatula when I was 9, kicked across a living room multiple times, and on more than one of those occasions the verbal abuse was overwhelmingly hateful...
I ran away from home, was kicked out of my home...
I had a rough life due to this abuse that I went through with my own flesh and blood... and yet I questioned myself. I blamed myself. When in reality it was my parents who needed to do so. I feel that they had their own demons that haunted them, and they were only venting what they knew as discipline. I finally got the courage to put a stop to the abuse... and they have changed for the better. And regardless of the past I love them.
I have three beautiful daughters. And I had my first daughter through an abusive relationship, ( in a sense I was repeating the cycle because my father was abusive with my mother as well) I ended up turning in my ex-husband to law enforcement, I was going to put an end to the cycle.
My daughters and I have created with each other a wonderful relationship, my oldest daughter loves her step-father so much that she refuses to use the word "step" because she says that she would never "step" on her dad.
I have grown so much as a mother and through life's hard learned lessons I know what "NOT" to do and what "NOT" to say. I know to treat my daughter with the childhood that I had always wished for: love, caring and supportive relationships with both of my parents.
You are taking the correct steps into further becoming the wonderful mother you know to be. Keep at it! Your children come first! I am sorry your mother has yet to come to this conclusion. I hope and pray that she will, not just for you, but for that darling grandbaby. Much blessings and Good Luck!!

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