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Moving on from an awful mother, can it be done?(7 Posts)
Throughout my childhood my mother was emotionally abusive, my earliest memories are of her telling my brother to stop being annoying or she would stop talking to him like she had me, of overhearing her telling my grandmother she never loved me like she did my siblings. She never spoke to me apart from to put me down right from being little, I don't remember a time when she spoke nicely to me or comforted me or praised me. I thought this was because I was so annoying she couldn't bear to be near me, that is what she said to my brother so that is what I believed. I used to cry myself to sleep every night, promising myself that I would be better the next day, that I wouldn't annoy her that day and that she might start to like me. I moved like a shadow, trying to be quiet, trying not to annoy her but I always did. There was always something I did wrong. All through this time she was a perfectly good mother to my siblings, I watch her hug them, joke with them, brush their hair, care for them.
As a teenager I acted out, I got drunk a lot, I stayed a friends a lot, worked , anything to avoid being at home. As soon as I finished school at 17 I left and never really went back. I might see her once a year if that at family functions but I don't think I have ever had a conversation with her as an adult. That is fine by me, I put her in a box and thought I had moved on.
I'm 30 now, married with 2 children. About a month ago a friend put up a post on facebook about her mother flying all the way to Australia to surprise her and that she was so happy, best present ever etc. I read it and just cried. Since then I have just felt so sad. Sad about the mother I never had, sad about the impact she has left on me as an adult. I have cripplingly low self esteem, a voice in my head that tells me I am not good enough, no matter what I try.
Just a tiny example of how she still affects me everyday is the other day I asked my dh to slice the loaf of bread because I am shit at it, he asked me what did I mean and I realised that I am not actually shit at it, she had just told me I was and I believed it. Things like this happen with nearly every aspect of my life, I feel almost frozen with fear that I will fuck it up and anxiety kicks in and I either don't do it or feel like I haven't done it good enough. I hate it, I hate that she is still in my mind, I hate that I have no self confidence, I hate that I'm not strong enough to move on from her.
If you have gotten this far, thanks, I know I sound really self pitying and like I need to grow up. Is it ever possible to move on and just leave her behind? She doesn't even know me as an adult, why can't I just forget her?
Sorry for all my typos, I was crying when I wrote it and my mascara was stinging my eyes
Get counselling, believe it's not your fault. You are better than what you were brought up with
I've been here. My mum ignored me for months on end and never really loved me. I realise now it's not my fault.
I'm not the mother I had.
I'm happy and although I'm sad for what I didn't have I accept it (my dad was no contact with me because he had another family)
Im so sorry, have you spoken to anyone in real life about how you were treated? I dont think you just "grow up" about stuff like this - if its upsetting you its important, very important.
You mention you have low self esteem, would you consider going to counselling to talk things through?
I haven't really spoken to anyone about it, I feel stupid talking about what happened when I was kid when I haven't really had anything to do with her for years. Dh obviously knows that we don't have a relationship, he knows that she wasn't a good parent to me but I have never gone into it in any detail. I try not to think about it for the most part but for some reason when my friend posted that about her mother it is like I can't stop thinking about it now?
I have thought of counselling but I suppose I fooled myself that she was locked away, that my self esteem issues are just because I am a bit shit at life. I feel like I wouldn't how to start going through it. Just writing what I did upset me so much, remembering what it was like when I was small makes me cry every time. The thought of someone making me rake everything up terrifies me.
Do you feel that counselling would help you? I think maybe now because you have your own children you are starting to realise that the way she behaved was not normal. Please know that this was NOT your fault. Be very, very proud of yourself for the lovely little family you have now, your DP and your two lovely children.
Your post makes me so sad.
I agree with the counselling suggestions, there are loads of different types. Doesn't have to be traditional talking therapy if that's not your cup of tea.
I will also say, it is not your fault, and it never was- be kind to yourself.
I also recognise that it's hard to top contact entirely with a parent. I think a bit of us always hopes that things could be different and they could be the parent we needed (and a still need) them to be.
I talk from experience, I am currently wresting with the same dilemma with my father. On the one hand I think the best thing would be to stop all contact. On the other I can't quite face it. Often feel envious of DH who's parents are amazing.
Know that you are not alone. and that you are stronger than you know for getting through it all and being a loving parent to your own family.
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