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"But we took you to stately homes"... a thread for adult children of abusive families

(1001 Posts)
Pages Sat 15-Dec-07 10:52:22

This thread is a follow up to "My mother has cut me out of her life - long sorry" because we reached the end of the thread life.

I originally posted on that thread to say that my mother had blamed me for something that was in fact her fault, called me a liar, got the rest of the family to gang up on me and then blamed me for splitting up the family.

It generated a huge amount of interest from a number of women who, like me, had grown up in an abusive, or "toxic" family environment where we had been the scapegoat or the dustbin for our parents to dump their own unresolved difficulties. My mother, like all our mothers, has refused to apologise for what she has done and many of us have cut ties with our families in order to recover our lost selves and self-esteem.

oneplusone Sat 01-Mar-08 14:06:32

has part 3 been started? if so i can't find it! Help!

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 07:52:57

Pages, do you want to set up the next thread or shall I? I've re read your post about it and I think I would be okay setting one up but don't want to if you have reconsidered?

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 07:48:47

Hi Matildax

I'm seeing a therapist and I find it difficult to open up. I feel like I want to keep that hurt part of me private. Like its my secret place and no one elses...if that makes sense. I hope this thread will help you if no one else can, I suppose here you can go at the pace you feel comfortable with and there is no weekly working your way up to your appointment and what the heck to say.

Hugs to you if that's okay...


matildax Sat 01-Mar-08 00:26:28

hello again, i have stayed up late to read this very long thread!! and i must say i still have not read it all, but what i have read has made me be extremely emotional tonight, and more importantly not alone. yes i have been to councellors, (who in my opinion and experience are more harmful than they are worth) therapists, psychologists,but i have never felt quite comfortable with allowing others into a horrible place inside of me, so going to see these people and really saying very little, kind of defeats the object if you know what i mean? I have spoke on occasion to some people, but its so hard, because i really do not want pity, i want some help in understanding who i am, and why i act in this way, and especially why i do and hopefully wont but probably will, always blame myself for every thing. im rambling, im sorry, i am also crying, but i know that sometimes thats a good thing. anyway have a good weekend all, and i am glad to have found you. xx ps, to dividedself, i think we are in good company here, and have found something good.
try to stay positive and i will try also. smile

ally90 Fri 29-Feb-08 20:48:11

Hi Attila

We don't do mothers day. My dh has never got his mother a card. I was always emotionally blackmailed by family to join in with all 'hallmark' card days, something I am glad to have left behind.

Your mother treating your brother as the favourate isn't new I presume?


mampam Fri 29-Feb-08 20:15:47

Congratulations Smithfieldsmile

Attila- I've sent my mother a card but not because I want to or mean any of the things it said on the card but because I know that if I don't send one she will yet again play on it to get the sympathy vote from people and believe me she's very convincing.

Yes I know it's a complete cop out but I don't want people to think I'm a heartless bitch (when in fact thats her) and that is exactly what she'll have people believing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 29-Feb-08 17:56:05

Hi Pages, Smithfield, Sakura, all of you..

Was wondering what your feelings are about Mothers Day?.

I am personally not sending my Mother a card or a gift for this day, she can forget it as far as I am concerned. Perhaps it is a bit easier for me as she has said she does not like Mothers Day anyway (feels its both a rip off and sentimental old tosh). Even if she did like Mothers Day I would still not send her a card, I would feel uncomfortable about doing so.

I've also felt too often that I have come second to her cleaning my brother's empty house whilst he is at work and that is also why I am not going to send a card. I am really disappointed in her.

I wish you all on this thread a very Happy Mothers Day. You people are truly deserving of the term.

With best wishes


bearsmom Fri 29-Feb-08 16:48:37

Congratulations Smithfield!! smile smile smile. Fantastic news, both about DD and the fact that you had such a wonderful birth. xxxx

Circus Fri 29-Feb-08 12:19:18

I often read this thread - and find it extremely useful - but don't often contribute. I'm sure I'm not alone in finding Mother's Day leading to negative thoughts about my mother and consequent sadness and anger. That's what I was going to post about till I read Smithfield's news.

Instead I'd like to offer many congratulations! Rather than dwelling on my bloody mother, this has reminded me to enjoy the great benefits of being a mother myself. In fact, I think I'll take my baby DS out and help him buy me some Mother's Day chocolate (it's what he would want, if only he were beyond the 'feed me, feed me' stage of development...). Happy Mother's day everyone. smile

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 29-Feb-08 07:18:04

Congratulations to you Smithfield and Mr Smithfield on the birth of your daughter

toomanystuffedbears Thu 28-Feb-08 23:19:04

I am sooooo happy for you.
Life can be good, nay- even great! ...and I am glad for you that you have this fantastic positive experience as quite the ultimate proof, imho.

<<<<happy tears and hugs for you>>>>>

Please take care and take your time for recovery.


I am still waiting...
will be induced early 4 Mar if necessary.

ally90 Thu 28-Feb-08 21:01:05

Smithfield - well done and congratulations!!! All teary eyed now!! Welcome to baby Smithette grin So pleased you achieved the birth experience you wanted this time! Any support you want over the next weeks just pop on say, doesn't have to be a long post we'll be right here! Sending pink cyber hugs your way

Sakura Thu 28-Feb-08 19:30:54

Congratulations Smithfield smile DO tell all smile
So glad you appear to have put some ghosts to rest, as they say.
Your mother can't touch you now! Nothing can take this lovely birth experience away from you.

Danae Thu 28-Feb-08 15:45:19

Message withdrawn

Pages Thu 28-Feb-08 15:18:03

Smithfield smilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmile and lots of hugs to Little Smithfield

matildax Thu 28-Feb-08 15:11:49

hello again all, and thankyou for your warm welcome, i have not read the whole thread yet, pretty hard finding the time with a one yr old, very active son,and a five yr old daughter, who does not yet seem able to entertain herself!! hence very little "me " time, plus i have a teenage daughter also, but thats another story!! smile i did read the post by oneplusone on the last page, and shed a few tears, i so did not think anyone else felt like that!! it was a huge comfort to me. anyway i will try to speak again soon, maybe i will come on tonight. I hope you are all ok xx congratulations to the lady who has just had her baby! lovely news.

oneplusone Thu 28-Feb-08 13:45:28

Smithfield, my warmest congratulations! You have triumphed over adversity and all due to your immense hard work and persistence and insight. Your DC's are 2 very lucky children to have such a strong, loving mummy. smile

hanaflower Thu 28-Feb-08 12:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Danae Thu 28-Feb-08 12:17:25

Message withdrawn

kaz33 Thu 28-Feb-08 11:57:02

Smithfield - I am overjoyed and that by the sounds of it you have found peace with what happended to you with your first birth. As I read your post a lovely warm tingly feeling spread all over my body grin

All my love, XXX

smithfield Thu 28-Feb-08 10:50:24

Hello- Quick post from me.

And a quick hello to all the new posters!

You will be happy (and Im guessing a bit proud) to hear I had my baby 4.20 on tuesday morning. A little girl smile

Doesnt the universe move in mysterious ways. It's as though some external force knew I had to get to the place Im at now to recieve my dd. So thankful for the work I did do before her arrival.

I dont have time at the moment to tell you the full story but, I could not have asked for a better birth was truly amazing, everything I could have hoped for.

And once again...thanks for all your help in keeping me sane and supported in order to keep the wolf from the really has paid off a million times more than I ever could have thought.

Will post again very soon I promise

kaz33 Thu 28-Feb-08 09:42:05

Danae, its so scary isn't it. One book I read talked about the 20% rule, ie: give yourself permission to get it wrong 20% of the time and when you are really stressed because life is giving you a hard time that can increase to 40%.

By the sounds of it you have no spare time to yourself what with work and childcare, and lets be honest looking after small people on its own can be mind numbingly boring.

I also think that there is a tendency to over compensate, my eldest has social issues at school (6) and I am so scared that he will end lonely with no friends (just like me) that I over analyse all situations and am always asking him questions about his friendships. Funningly enough I am very relaxed about learning and he appears to have a very positive attitude to reading and learning. My long post is that maybe you need to relax about the whole bedtime process. When I was having huge difficulties getting my boys to bed (they ganged up against me - about 4 and 2 i recall) I won some books on mumsnet. The day they arrived we had a mammoth reading session (about an hour) and they both fell into bed happy and exhausted. It totally broke the cycle of misbehaviour, I continued to read to them a lot for about a week and the habit had been broken.

Your daughters needs will change as she grows older, what might work/be required when she is 1 might be different when she is 2. What are you trying to achieve? My eldest (6) will go to bed happily with a book and read for half an hour before lights out. My youngest (4) still finds bedtime stressful, so we listen to his requests for various lights being on and off, if he gets up we put him back to bed without any fuss, if he needs to say something we listen.

Lots of advice there (please ignore) but hopefully compassion as well. You are a mum who is trying to be a better mum and you have clearly identified the anger and rage that lives inside you. It has a feeling, I had a bad day yesterday and i lay in bed with it still inside me - it was a knot in my stomach, a tightness at the top of my windpipe, a slight feeling of nausea - its all the anger and frustration that I swallowed as a young girl.

Try writing about when you get it right, because i bet you are doing it 80% or even 60% of the time.

ally90 Thu 28-Feb-08 09:22:24

Hi Matildax Nice to see you on here. Sorry to hear you are in a bit of a state, if you want you can elaborate on that here if it helps? Post about your childhood when you are ready. And of course you can get advice or chat. Any post helps all of us validate each other and our experiences.

ally90 Thu 28-Feb-08 09:15:41

Danae, can you try to positivly parent the angry you? Basically agree with yourself when you get angry? "Yes I have a right to be angry because of my childhood experience and because it is bloody hard work when a little one will not go to sleep, it isn't fair, you have every right to feel angry, but right now is not an appropriate time to show that anger. I will deal with it later"

Or you could look at behavioural change. Spoken about this recently on here, mainly because I got a book from the library on irritation and anger. Look at the triggers, how you are feeling, what really flipped you out? How soon did you notice you were ranting at dd? Was it during the rant, a second after, mid rant? Really give yourself a pat on the back whenever you notice your behaviour. That is the key. Don't constantly beat yourself up about it or you will feel/be worse. My therapist tells me to feel an appropriate amount of guilt. (Not sure what that is!). It isn't okay that you are shouting at your dd, but you are recognising the fact that you are and that deserves praise and encouragement. Perhaps more nurturing needs to come from somewhere?

Behavioral change is difficult, they describe it as beating a new path through your brain, you want to go down the easy well worn route, but over time you can make the new route the acceptable one.

I know this is not dealing with your childhood anxiety, but behavioural change can go hand in hand with therapy about your childhood.

So well done for recognising that your anger is linked to your childhood. Well done for recognising the fact you were unreasonably angry with your dd. Well done for being here and telling us about it to try to stop the behaviour. And I have no need to say anything negative about you shouting at dd as I'm sure you are busy doing that yourself right now

Sakura Thu 28-Feb-08 08:30:14

YEs, Danae- I have had the same night-time experiences as you. I wrote in an earlier post about how I used to lift up the edge of the carpet next to my bed and pee on the floorboards because I was so so scared of going downstairs to the toilet on my own. There was no chance of calling a parent to alay my fears.
I'm sure I was a victim of Cry it out and there was no way I could have called one of my parents if I was scared. They had five kids and I think because they were so inadequate as parents and people, they needed us to be quiet in bed- otherwise they could never have coped. Rationalising it now didn't make the experience any less frightening though. I'm still affected by it today and I become terrified at night.

My guess is that cutting off your parents may have a positive affect on your night anxieties, or at least working on it like you are will have a good outcome. Since moving into my flat more recently my fear of going to bed has lessened.
But I still have trouble forcing myself to prepare for bed and for sleep so I stay awake until all hours- I think because of my underlying anxiety about bed-time; its just not a pleasant experience for me, but its getting better.
Regarding DD- it does get me down when she won't sleep. (I think the way you are trying to raise your DD is brilliant, by the way, with either you or your DH helping her to drop off smile ) At least you know what you're aiming for. Most Some people have no insight just go along their merry way and repeat their parent's disastrous parenting without question.

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