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I need to draw some strength before I have a breakdown. My mother won’t talk to me about my sexual abuse.(21 Posts)
Some of you may remember my story, I’ve posted a few times.
Basically - my stepdad met my mum when I was 4 and they married when I was 6. I have a couple of memories of sexual abuse as a child, but it got really bad when I turned 16. My stepdad sexually harassed me for 3 years. He’d pinch my bum, he offered me money for sex, he used to stand in his bedroom doorway naked and masturbating, he used to talk to me ‘sexually’ through the walls and would leave the porn channels on my TV so when I came home and switched it on there’d be porn showing. I lived in fear for 3 years of being assaulted and raped, I can’t begin to tell you what that felt like. I was too scared to tell anyone.
When I was 19 and on the cusp of moving out, Mum found out what he was doing. She saw him grab my bum when he was in the kitchen and saw me look upset. She confronted him, initially thinking it was an affair but he confessed the truth. Although he said he’d only been doing it for 6 months, not 3 years. Now I don’t recall the exact conversation between me and my Mum, but I did tell her the basics. She confessed he’d had dozens of affairs, some with teenage girls (16+). She said she was gonna leave him and move out etc. She never did. They’re still together. I’m in my 30s now.
Between 19 and now there’s been a few developments - she has basically swept it all under the carpet and tried to force a relationship between me and him. She forced me to let him give me away at my wedding (I know you’re probably thinking who would let her abuser give her away but honestly Mum is very manipulative). They moved abroad when I was 20, and I visited initially and basically just ignored him as best I could. We all seemed to pretend it never happened.
Then I had DD. I got brave and told my mum that he would not ever be visiting us and vice Versa. She was upset, manipulative in fact as she had a ‘heart episode’ that night and ended up in hospital. Last year she did briefly leave him and came back to the U.K., stayed for about 3 months. Her reasons for leaving seemed to be based on being under appreciated rather than his sexual behaviour. In that time I told her everything, including about the childhood abuse. She seemed to believe me. After a few months, saddled with depression and anxiety, Mum returned to her home abroad but said she was selling up and leaving her husband as soon as she could. She also said she’d ask him why he did what he did to me: That was 18 months ago. I’ve never heard a peep about her leaving, or any conversations about my abuse between them, since then. We are right back to not talking about it. If I try and broach the subject, she cries or starts having a panic attack.
This sweeping under the carpet suits her but it’s killing me. Yesterday she sent a message to me meant for a friend about her ‘wonderful’ husband. She knows this man abused me and either 1. Doesn’t believe me or 2. Doesn’t care or think it’s a big deal.
She’s coming for a week tomorrow. If I say nothing it will be yet another week of not talking about it. But I want answers. Why did she go back to him, why does she stay, why hasn’t she had it out with him? I need to be brave and just face it head on. It’s grinding me down. I’m in the bedroom while DH is downstairs and I’m in tears thinking about it. I have so much anger and hate inside me towards them both, it’s a really ugly part of me. I talk to DH so much about it that, although he doesn’t show it, I think he’s getting fed up of hearing it. He has told me that I either need to confront her or deal with it ina different way, because if I never do she’ll spend the rest of her life ignoring it. I know he’s right but I need to draw a hell of a lot of strength to do this. I worry about ruining her visit, I worry about her crying and making herself ill (although I am very dubious about these ‘episodes’ she has, it seems to me a convenient way of avoiding conflict).
Sorry I don’t know what I expect posters to do, I just wanted to vent in a place that has been so good to me before.
Also I took charge earlier this year and wrote ALL my memories of the abuse and harassment down in a notebook. I filled the whole thing and also wrote letters in it (not sent) to Mum and my abuser. I’m tempted to make her read it. I wish I could say “you ARE reading this or you are out of my life for good”.
She brings nothing to my life. I feel like I entertain a relationship out of sheer obligation
Your mum doesnt deserve a daughter. She cares more about appearances
Why the fuck is she staying with you?? I wouldn't ever speak to her never mind have her under my roof!! Speak to a therapist as I doubt you will get the answers you need from her.
It's not too late to involve police, I think.
I would not be having contact with DM, ever.
That is how much of a betrayal it was.
easy to say when it doesn't affect ones self
I think that is a good idea. The 'read this or you are out of my life'.
If she wont acknowledge it then she forfeits the right to a relationship with you. Imo
Honestly? I think the only thing you can do is cut her off. She's just hurting you over and over. She's prioritised her relationship with this scum over you and she continues to do so.
She isn't going to change her behaviour. The only thing you can change is your reaction to it.
And I'm really, really sorry that they've both abused you like this. You didn't deserve it, it wasn't your fault and you don't deserve the legacy it's left you with
You’ve been through so much, I’m so sorry.
Have you considered counselling? It might help you form those words and have the strength to confront your mum.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to have her stay with you tomorrow though. She doesn’t deserve you and you don’t sound, understandably, strong enough to face her right now.
Also, have you thought about involving the police? Your mum’s ignorance is quite disturbing and I doubt you’re alone in being abused by him.
You poor thing. I understand the fear/obligation/guilt (FOG) thing (google it).
The bottom line is, your life would be better without her in it but it's so difficult to let go of the idea that one day she will have an epiphany and acknowledge your experience
She won't, love.
Have you read Toxic Parents by Susan Forward?
Cut her off and focus on your DD.
If you don’t want to report him to the police, then at least seek therapy. Your mum is a hideous creature and if you were my daughter I would be wearing his balls for earrings. I’m so sorry you went through this, you are the victim here, not them
I can't begin to imagine what you're going through.
Your mum has been complicit in his abuse by denying it. And she's aware of others too, yet turns a blind eye.
Of course you're angry. She didn't protect you. In fact, when she saw him sexually assaulting you her first assumption was that you were having an affair?!!! She let you down big time.
Do you want to have a relationship with this woman? Really? Because you can sever ties with her completely. Imagine not having to face her again. Is that a welcoming thought for you or is it important for you to maintain a relationship with her?
I think the difficulty is that you want answers from her. But she's not been forthcoming so far and she's had multiple opportunities. She clearly wants to brush it all under the carpet, so much so that when you (quite rightly) tell her that her husband is not welcome she fakes a panic attack or a heart problem. That is hugely manipulative.
She's dangerous. To what lengths will she go to protect her child abusing, rapist of a husband?
Have you had a chance to discuss any of this with a professional?
You have no obligation to you mother because quite frankly she doesn't deserve it. You say she is visiting next week ( but not if that means actually staying with you ) . I think I'd tell her you would like to enjoy your time with her but that also means getting what has happened to you via him out in the open and that means her listening to you and understanding that this has affected your life and also her disregard of your feelings has affected your relationship with her. If she turns this around to her acknowledge to her that you are aware she becomes unwell or emotionally unable to cope but it is about you and not her. If this does not still have the outcome of her acceptance I'm afraid I'd say that for your own mental health and future wellbeing you have to stop contact whilst she still has this man in her life.
I’m so sorry OP
I think I’d go with what @CharisMama says
Hi Cherry; my heart bleeds for you and frankly if strangers on the internet feel this way but your darling mother has ‘attacks’ when you mention abuse (presumably because you’re ‘picking on her’, or some other such drivel), the universe is really f’d up. She deserves justice, your abuser deserves justice and you deserve justice.
If this justice cannot be meted out legally (if you’re unwilling to go there) then it must be meted out by giving your dmother a small taste of the utter desolation that you must have felt at the hands of your shithead abuser. Cut her off; make her realise just how wrong she has been.
The benefit of this road is of course that you put yourself first as well, at last. It means that you can heal, for many years and if necessary, for all of her remaining years.
Stop allowing her to think it was OK; it wasn’t and the only way she will learn this is to cut her out of your life. Please believe in your own self worth.
Sadly it’s very very common for mothers whose partners abused one (or more) of their children to do exactly what your mum is doing,.
You’re working on the scenario that one day she’ll accept everything you say and leave him.
But she can’t. If she admits to herself what he did it makes her a terrible mother which is very difficult for her to live with. Equally, she needs your SF and is too weak and frightened to leave him.
So the point you’re hoping to get to with her will never happen and you’re tearing yourself apart in the process.
You have to accept everything as it is. She will likely never fully admit what happened, even though she probably believes you. And she will likely never leave him.
If it was me I would go to the police and report it......if this happened to your own daughter what would you do....he needs to be brought to account for his actions....the smug bastard is sat there knowing full well he has got away with it....you need to find the strength to confront it and get the justice you deserve...fuck your mum she is a just a pathetic shite mother have no sympathy for her at all. Speak to your hubby and ask him to support you in reporting him
Thank you everyone for your kind words
I really wish I could explain why I never cut her off. When she found out about he abuse I was 19 and more vulnerable than I realised. I was just relieved that it was gonna be over, and - as mad as this sounds - relived that she wasn't mad at me. She made a meal about leaving him so I wasn't mad at her, just sad for her, but when it never happened we sort of settled back to the way things were and that became our new normal. I was extremely passive when I was young and it never actually occurred to me to confront her.
That sounds strange, and reading it back it makes little sense, but it's the only way I can explain how everything got ignored.
AnyFucker I've read the first4 chapters and it's already helping, I find myself nodding a lot!
I'd love to go to the police and when she lived back here briefly I told her I'm doing it. When she went back to France she asked me not to. Again going to the police never occurred to me, until now really, and I do think I have the strength to do it. It's partly why I started writing down my memories.
I haven't every had therapy, I'm very much a compartmentaliser but that's getting increasingly difficult.
If it happened to my DD I think I'd want blood, in fact her being born gave me a massive kick up the arse to confront my mum because o know for a fact I could never do to my daughter what my mum has done to me.
DH came into the bedroom and found me crying and gave me a big cuddle. He says he'll be there if I want to sit her down while she's here and thrash it out with her. I don't expect to get the answers I want but at least I can try.
I am reading the rest of Toxic Parents BTW that last post made me sound like I'd only read a bit!
Good for you I wish I was your friend I would give you the support you need to put this to bed and get on with your life with your lovely hubby and daughter take good care.....don't have her stay with you though....not a good idea
Cherry - so sorry for what you have been through.
My Mum is the same over my brother abusing me. She won't discuss it and if I raise it, she tells me what a hard time he has had.
It's totally your choice, but for me, having therapy and going NC with her has helped tremendously.
Don't allow anyone to push you into reporting it to the police unless you really feel in a place to do that. If you feel you can, please get some support from a therapist. It amazes me, how people can just throw it out there, as if it's the easiest thing in the world.
Counselling has helped me enormously, but the thought of reporting my brother scares the crap out of me.
Anyway, my thoughts are with you and I hope, with your husbands support you can move on and get the support, peace and happiness you deserve.
I’m really sorry that this has happened to you. I’m sorry your mum has not put you first which is awful. You need to do what you need to do and stop caring about the effect your actions have on your mum. I’m sorry but she does not deserve this level of consideration from you. Please read back what you wrote...you are worried about ruining her holiday? She ruined a huge part of your childhood and if she is remorseful she has a funny way of showing it. If that was my partner doing that to my child - I would have not stopped until he was in jail. She instead choose to stay with him. Please put this in your past and enjoy your current family. You seem like you have a lovely supportive partner, so please just focus on him and your daughter and enjoying your lives together. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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