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Having DS has reopened the wounds from my parents

(34 Posts)
LlandudnoLlandudno Sun 19-Feb-17 20:07:21

DS is a year old and despite a tough start adjusting to being a parent I am loving being his mum. He is my joy and the most wonderful thing in the world. I love him more than I ever believed possible and I want him to have a wonderful life and I will do everything in my power to help that happen.

I am struggling however with how my feelings for him have reopened the pain of how my parents have treated me. As I snuggle up with DS I realise that I have no memories of cuddling my parents. I think I can count on one hand the number of cuddles and kisses I have received in my lifetime from them.

Everything I have done with my life I have been criticised for. I was a straight A student who never got into trouble, never smoked, never did drugs etc. Yes I made some mistakes as a teenager, for example at 18 I wasn't great with money. My parents didn't give me pocket money but somehow expected me to save the money I made waitressing around school. I spent it instead on trips to the cinema with my friends and clothes etc. Things they wouldn't pay for. Despite being a mostly good child I was made to feel like the worst and a massive inconvenience to have around. I spent my life in fear crying myself to sleep often.

Reading posts on here about the cost of putting a child through uni I realise how little my high earning parents supported me. I had the minimum loan due to their earnings yet the money they gave me meant that after I had paid accommodation I had £10 a week to live on. I had a part time job and worked hard. I didn't go out and yet I was still in my overdraft when I left. Somehow that was all my fault too.

Every good thing that has happened to me has been a source of disappointment to my parents. When I told them I was moving in with now DH I was told that I was ruining my life. When we got engaged they disappointment down the phone was palpable. When I told them I was pregnant it was even worse. I was married and 26, living independently with a good job. It was a planned pregnancy and I was so happy. I was shaking with fear at the thought of telling them and did so from Spain as the distance made me feel safer.

Work has always come before me. When I was secondary school age they wouldn't give me a key to the house but would tell me to be home by 6. I knew if I weren't that by six I would be in so much trouble. Sometimes though they didn't turn up till past seven. It wasn't too bad in the summer but sometimes I was standing outside for over an hour in the dark and cold. They recently cancelled a trip to see DS because of work and it broke my heart that they are putting it before him too.

I could go on and in but this post is already really long. Since having DS I realise that I could never do any of those things to him and it makes me wonder what I could have done wrong to deserve the childhood I had. I can't understand what was so awful about me, why I was unlovable. I tried so so hard to be what they wanted me to be.

Popskipiekin Sun 19-Feb-17 20:18:02

Christ they sound awful. It is of tremendous merit to you that despite their dreadful example of parenting you are being a loving mother to DS. My heart goes out to the younger you, crying yourself to sleep. Of course you weren't remotely unloveable, but your parents sucked at being parents and had other priorities - unforgivable.

Your DS is young enough now not to mind whether his grandparents come to see him when they promised but it won't be very long before he starts to notice and will likely feel sad if they don't keep their promises. I expect you need to think long and hard about the relationship you would like him to have with them and how much you can risk exposing him if they are going to repeat the toxicity of your childhood with him. flowers a difficult decision. But I think you know that neither you nor DS deserve any more of their appalling behaviour.

SandyY2K Sun 19-Feb-17 20:21:27

It doesn't sound like your relationship with them as an adult was any better than your childhood. Are you an only child? Do they treat siblings this way, if you have any?

I would focus on your lovely DS and be the parent you want to be.

It's also worth remembering that some of our parents were from a different generation. I tell my DC that I love them way more than my parents did. In fact I can't honestly say that I recall them saying it. Although my DM says it now and says what wonderful children we are and how proud she is. My DF also says the proud bit and how great we are.

I don't think they loved me any less because they didn't say it as a child.

Times have changed. My DC are teenagers and I text them saying I love them quite often. I send them poems to express it too. It's not something my folks would have done even if we had mobile phones back then.

You DS doesn't need them in his life and if my parents felt that I was such a disappointment, I'd just stop communicating with them.

At this stage of my life I can function very well without them, so if they didn't stop being critical, they'd see the back of me.

LlandudnoLlandudno Sun 19-Feb-17 20:26:50

Yes pops I have realised that I mustn't tell him about potential visits until they are actually on their way which is very sad but I'm not having them hurt him too.

Yes I am an only child Sandy. Interesting what you say about different generations, I suppose the lack of cuddles shouldn't bother me so much. It probably wouldn't if they had obviously loved me I guess. There was just no affection at all in any form. All the affection I had as a child was from our cats who were my life line. I will never ever ever not have a cat for as long as I live smile

LucySnow12 Sun 19-Feb-17 20:32:54

I would get into counseling. Having kids, can definitely trigger unresolved childhood issues. This often happens when your kids are the same age as you were, when traumatic episodes happened. I often compare how I am with my kids to how my mom was with me.

There's nothing wrong with you and you didn't deserve the treatment you received. You need to realise that it was your parents who were lacking.

caffelatte100 Sun 19-Feb-17 20:48:54

Sounds like you are a lovely loving mother, despite your own parents. I can understand you want to protect your son and I am sure that you will. Your parents sound very unloving and very mean. You are doing so well, maybe it's beyond talking to them, too deeply ingrained to change them. Might have to go NC with them. How would you feel about them?

Have you ever asked your parents if you've been a disappointment or how they make you feel? Are they cold with everyone?

MessyBun247 Sun 19-Feb-17 20:53:16

No real advice but just wanted to give you big hug. You sound lovely and didnt deserve to be treated like that.

Counselling could help with the healing process.

Enjoy your gorgeous son!

pinkiponk Sun 19-Feb-17 20:57:14

I could've written your post Op, becoming a mum opened wounds for me, I paid for therapy and am feeling much better now.
The main thing is, the way you were treated will make you a better Mum, as you wouldn't dream of treating your son the way you were treated smile

mainlywingingit Sun 19-Feb-17 21:18:51

This is a really sad post - but look how you r breaking the cycle. You are lovable - your
Son loves you 100% and that is all that matters. I imagine (don't know how) the next step is to focus on your
Wonderful unit.

The chances are they had shitty childhoods which shows what a brilliant exception you are for breaking the cycle.

X

ChocolateHelps Sun 19-Feb-17 21:29:34

I feel very similar to you OP and all I can say is that I will 100% not treat my children the way my mum treats me. I think that's the only positive to come out of it. I've been no contact many years ago but since having children have skirted under the radar enough to just not draw attention to myself!

Molly333 Sun 19-Feb-17 21:41:32

This also sounds very much like my life . To this day my parents can't be bothered yet rush around after both my brothers ( males are superior in my family ). However 18 years on my daughter is kind living and caring and we are an utter success as a family . It's now me alone with two children. We've done it all alone for 18 years supported by an amazing counsellor and fantastic friends. Success is my degree, my own bought him, my daughter going to uni and my son a lovely rounded little boy . My dad's advice, stop making a fuss in yr divorce you'll get housed and benefits, just give yr ex the house ! You can and will probably do this better without yr family as your choices are made out of utter love.

SallyInSweden Sun 19-Feb-17 21:50:24

Agree with all of them. And would add Icy Disdain to your armoury. Absolute contempt for what they say, and be vocal about it.

User1483300717 Sun 19-Feb-17 21:58:25

She sounds like my mum but only my mum didn't have the good job and was also physically violent to me also. I think she just hated me from birth.
Now I have my dcs it made me open my eyes to it more. I'm trying to go NC with her as she is very emotional abusive to me even now and I don't want that around my dcs.

TheElephantofSurprise Sun 19-Feb-17 22:01:17

Get counselling. What they did to you was abominable and you know it. You're a survivor and you are making DS's life better than yours. flowers

holeinmyheart Sun 19-Feb-17 22:05:54

llandudno for whatever reason your Parents are awful. You can go on for ever trying to reason why? and/or trying to please them. I think the quicker you realise that there is nothing you can do about them the better.
Go and get some Counselling and do a mindful course, it will help your mind set. It will make you realise that it is them not you.
They are they and you are you. You have one precious life and you sound a kind sensitive soul with lots of self knowledge. Don't waste your time puzzling out their behaviour, they had their chance to give you a wonderful stress free childhood and they blew it.
They will be sorry, as eventually as you will be their carers. They have amotionally abused you.....
it came as a revelation to me when I had Counselling, to realise that it was my Father not me.... I became indifferent to barbs and insults and blackmail.
Best of luck, sweetheart and lots of hugs. As Philip Larkin said ' your Parents Fuck you up' and I say ' only if you let them.

Mehfruittea Sun 19-Feb-17 22:07:33

My mum was a neglected and abused child, in and out of foster care but always returned to abusive parents. She wanted to raise me and DB better. So she did her best. It wasn't good enough, but was better. I could have written your post and much more. When I had my DS, it opened up wounds again.

I have found it really healing for me to watch my mum be a better grandmother than mother. She still makes mistakes, and fucks off on Christmas Day, but she plays with my son, cuddles him and says I love you. They're things I have no memory of from when I was young.

My advice is to let go of the pain from the past and use your son as an opportunity for them to get some things right. My mum didn't do these things automatically, she watched what I did with him and copied me. At times I had to say to her, he wants you to play etc and I do get really frustrated but I focus on the good bits. It's incredibly sad that she has not felt that overwhelming and fiercely protective love that I have felt when becoming a mum.

Take care and be as kind to them as you are to your son.

MotherofA Sun 19-Feb-17 22:10:57

I won't go in to the details of my upbringing / I will say that when I was pregnant with my DD 10 years ago and really after having her I felt shock and disgust at how evil my mother was (and still is ) . Ten years on and pregnant again , I still feel exactly the same way .
Having a daughter myself I cannot begin to imagine why you would want to make your daughter feel ugly , thick and useless . My DD has a relationship with her but I feel nothing but resentment (which I need to shift ) ....
I guess we just have to accept our past and try to just enjoy our children and be thankful we see their flaws rather than imitate them . smile

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sun 19-Feb-17 22:31:30

It's not because of being a different generation. I'm in my 50s and my (very) DPs have always told me they love me. It's because your parents are emotionally stunted and cruel.

OP, you adore your DS. The cycle will not be repeated, because your relationship with him will be warm and loving for the rest of your life. Don't underestimate what a huge achievement that is. You could so easily have copied how you grew up. Instead you are doing the opposite.

You are going to have to decide what to do about your parents going forward. From what you say, going NC might be your best solution.

May09Bump Sun 19-Feb-17 22:39:57

I could have written your post - you have two options, one get counselling or two bury it and focus on going forward with your positive parent attitude. I would also go NC for all concerned.

I found counselling destructive - for me the walls I had built round the issues had protected me and allowed me to move forward in a healthy way. The counselling begun to break these walls and I was dwelling on the past and not coping with day to day life. It didn't work for me, that is not to say it wouldn't be a better outcome for you - but wounds do open and you need to be ready for that.

The one bit of advice I would ask you to consider is to never let them look after your child, not only because of their abuse - but should you go NC it may be possible for them to get a contact order via courts. I have a friend who is going through this and it's heart-breaking.

Also, if you haven't considered a will - make sure you have one with your wishes for care of your child in the event you / DH cannot. Seems a bit extreme, but I have ensured that my parents will never be a part of my children's life.

MotherofA Sun 19-Feb-17 23:23:33

May I wish I could go NC . I don't know why I allow my mother in my life . I have three sisters and it's all so involved yet so destructive. Their relationships with her are toxic but mine is the worst of them all.

blankmind Sun 19-Feb-17 23:44:42

it makes me wonder what I could have done wrong to deserve the childhood I had. I can't understand what was so awful about me, why I was unlovable. I tried so so hard to be what they wanted me to be

I'm shouting so hopefully you can hear and understand, YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.

It's all them, no-one should treat a child the way they treated you. Whatever their problems, they let you blame yourself and assume things were your fault when a good parent would never treat a child the way they treated you flowers

Enjoy your life with your son and don't give them a second thought.

fc301 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:51:25

Christ how awful.
IT WAS THEM NOT YOU.
Come join us on the Stately Homes thread. It will help x

Smallangryplanet Mon 20-Feb-17 00:36:29

I was having counselling after having a baby for something I thought was unrelated. I understand now that it's fairly common for childhood pain to be regurgitated when you have a baby. I felt pain in my heart that my baby was ignored. He was such a happy little chap and my parents abandonment of him (as I saw it) was gut wrenching. I also had some serious health problems and DH and I had no help. I still find it hard that they didn't even offer to help.

I came to my scenes when ds was about 7. He did a family tree in school and put my parents down as dead in a very matter of fact way. For weeks I truly mourned for the parents and grandparents we should have had. I'm over it now;. no fear, obligation or guilt. I'm happy with my DH and DS, my heart is full of them. I have some great friends and lovely siblings. It's not me it's them. I now see how disfunctional their relationship is with each other. They deserve each other. I won't be helping out in their old age. I know that might be hard for others to understand but they haven't lived my life.

None of what happened is your fault. You are not the same type of parent as you had and could never be so. Counselling may help. flowers

SeriousSteve Mon 20-Feb-17 01:11:35

I agree with much of what you wrote Sandy, but disguising any form of toxic behaviour under "^It's also worth remembering that some of our parents were from a different generation^." is really dangerous.

Your parents sound very controlling Llandudno. If you're comfortable enough to express your feelings, counselling may well help, as others have said.

pillowcase6 Mon 20-Feb-17 03:19:02

Llandudno, your post broke my heart. No child deserves to go through their life feeling unwanted or not good enough.

* Since having DS I realise that I could never do any of those things to him and it makes me wonder what I could have done wrong to deserve the childhood I had. I can't understand what was so awful about me, why I was unlovable.*

As others have said, THIS WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. You did nothing to deserve their emotional neglect and meanness. The blame is entirely on them for being substandard parents and not caring for your needs.

I think it's absolutely remarkable and admirable that you're such a loving and wonderful Mum considering the example you were set. You're breaking the cycle indeed.

However that doesn't help the fact that you're grieving for the childhood you never had, you poor thing. It seems quite a normal thing for you to be going through at this stage in life, and perhaps only you can decide whether the feelings are something that's so overwhelming that you need outside help, or something you can manage on your own. Everyone is so different. Perhaps be cautious of whether you're slipping into a more serious depression, in which case certainly do seek help.

I have seen counsellors for various issues, one wasn't especially helpful, the other one was.

I love that you've had so much love and companionship from cats! Cats are very special!

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