Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
When my parents die(8 Posts)
When my parents die I am not going to miss them, and I don't even think I will feel sad.
There! I've said it out loud for the first time EVER. Thing is I worry about how I will handle things when this comes to pass. I am the eldest of 5 and my parents have never made me feel loved or cared for in all my life. I don't know how to explain what my childhood was like, I'm afraid if I try I will just ramble on and end up boring anyone who reads this and/or not make any sense at all. I'll make a list
1) I have no memory of ever being kissed or hugged or told I was loved by my parents.
2) I was sexually abused by my grandfather when i was 11 but was afraid to tell my parents because I knew they wouldn't believe me and I would be shouted at and punished.
3) When I was growing up I was never given any sex education except to be told by my mum about periods and how when I had them I could get pregnant. I didn't know about vaginal discharges so I thought the stains in my knickers were a sign of some awful disease. I got thrush just before I was pregnant, (I wasn't sleeping around, one boyfriend only, looking back now I think I just wanted someone to feel close to) so of course the discharge changed and I thought I had what we then called VD (now an STI I believe) so for the first time in my life I went to the GP alone and he laughed at me, told me it was thrush but not what thrush was and suggested I talked to my mother. I didn't dare though.
4) I got pregnant at 15 and was forced to have an abortion. This was in the 1960's and when I told my mother I was pregnant she took me to the GP to ask for an abortion on the grounds of my age. The doctor never once spoke to me, no one asked what I wanted. I was too stupid to realise that if I just said no, then I couldn't have been made to go through with it. I regret this stupidity every single day of my life. When the abortion was over it was never spoken of again. There was no counselling. Nothing. When I came round from the anesthetic I cried for a long time, but the ward sister shouted at me and said if I was old enough to get pregnant I was old enough to deal with the consequences. I hate her. I don't know her name or anything about her, and she's probably dead by now, but I hate her.
It's only as I have got older and had my own family that I look back and see how far from normal my upbringing was (there is a LOT more than I've put earlier but dont want this post to be so long that people get bored and can't get to the end).
My sisters have always been treated differently and they love our parents. There is quite a big difference in my age to theirs and as I left home as soon as I could, I don't really feel I grew up with them although they all grew up with each other IYSWIM.
I always feel in the wrong, and as if my views/wants/needs are selfish. My siblings don't know how I feel or what happened to me (abuse and abortion) and always talk to me as if I feel the way they do about our parents. I've never had the confidence to tell anyone (other than my DH who is lovely) and to be honest I've always had this feeling that what happened to me was OK because it was only me, and me isn't a good enough person, so I'm not entitled to feel bad about it all. I'm probably explaining that badly but I don't really know how to word it, I can only say how it feels.
I don't think I will ever be able to tell my sisters about the past and if I did they would probably tell me it was years ago and as our parents are old now I should just forgive and forget. But I can't do that.
I don't get on with my siblings particularly well, we are very different in personality and I resent the fact that they had a much different upbringing to the one I had.
My parents are now elderly and I'm scared of what will be expected of me if they need more support while alive and what will be expected of me when they die.
I don't really know why I'm writing this as no one can change any of it, but it's been worrying me so much lately I can't sleep, so am hoping that getting it out of my head might help me.
Sorry you have been through all that OP
I had a difficult relationship with my mother. When she died I felt relieved, because that difficult relationship was over. I have never told anyone this in real life.
Sounds like you could do with some counselling. I had some after my husband left but actually a lot of it was about my parents and upbringing. It really helped. Just telling someone the stupid details of all the things I'd kept bottled up inside for 40 years somehow relieved some of the pressure. With a counsellor you can tell them all that stupid shit, it is their job to listen, and they have some good answers.
Might help you forgive your 15-year-old self, who really couldn't have been expected to come up with the knowledge you now have as an adult. She wasn't stupid, she had been brought up to think adults knew best. Fifteen is still a child, and the ward sister was speaking out of her own (possibly shitty wartime) upbringing and the morals of the time, not out of a sense of care for a child. If you'd had someone to back you up at the time you'd have been able to see that comment in the proper context and wouldn't still be plagued by it today.
Who do you think will expect things of you when your parents are old or die? Your sibings (frankly, there are plenty of them to do it, if they like them better!) or other family? What would happen if you didn't do what they wanted?
I think in regardless to the abortion you must acknowledge that you parents were from a completely different era, this wasn't acceptable to them not their faults as such its what they thought and knew to be for the best many parents did this and a lot worse.
I also had similar parents, your points 1 and 3 were true for me. I always felt i wouldn't be upset when mine died. I remember a girl in my class when i was 16 had both parents die in a car crash and i remember everyone acting like it was the worst thing that could possibly happen, then it dawned in me that they weren't acting, they all actually meant it. I wondered if i would even care, let alone find it a bad thing! I also have siblings who were treated differently and i was the family scapegoat with lots of barbed comments to put me in my place. However this changed overnight at 35 when i bought my now DH home for the first time. All the snide side comments stopped and i was treated with respect for the first time ever. I remember in the train back saying to my DH i would never visit them without him! Its been 10 years now and things are still a lot better they delight in my kids(though have never actually hugged or kissed them, some habits can't change). What i am saying I felt like you for 35 years and now i think i might be a bit upset. They were a product of their upbringing and i have been treated well enough for a few years now to stop being bitter. I hope something changes in your relationship to make it better, but if it doesn't, it's ok and it's not your fault.
Marriedtwice be good to yourself. It wasn't fair, what you went through and it was beyond your control. You are in control now and you are safe, amongst people who value you. Seek counselling to help you develop skills to deal with your parents. [Flowers]
You were let down as a child. You should have been believed. You should have been looked after better. I am sorry .
I think you might be best having some counselling.
It probably wouldn't be helpful to bring this up in detail with your family, and in that respect, I would probably choose low contact with them. Don't be pressured into doing any more than you are happy with, in the future as your parents age. It's not your fault, and it's a fairly common dysfunction in families to have blacksheep / golden child dynamic.
When my mother died all I felt was an overwhelming sense of relief. Still do, in fact. I had done my grieving already, over the years before she died once it had finally dawned on me what a shite mother she was and that she was never going to change. Or apologise.
What you are feeling is perfectly normal.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.