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"But we took you to stately homes" - Part 4

(1002 Posts)
oneplusone Sat 09-Aug-08 17:07:59

Can't beleive we're onto part 4, although i can't see this thread ever dying.

I was just reading through past posts to try and catch up on the months i have missed and something somebody said has triggered something for me. I know my mother didn't bond with me or love me and i think part of the reason why was because she thought i took after my dad whom she hates (although she is too gutless to leave him). I remember when i was young her saying things like my hair was like my dad's but she wouldn't say it an affectionate way, but quite a venomous way and it always made me feel uncomfortable when she said that but i must have been too young to figure out why.

The more i realise about my mother the more i despise and hate her. I remember she used to play hide and seek with me when i was very young, about 3. Only she would 'really' hide in a place i would never be able to find her. I remember crying and feeling completely distressed one time as i thought she had gone and left me alone at home. It was only after i had been crying for some time that she jumped out laughing from her hiding place. What a nasty, cruel, ugly piece of work and she parades around looking as if butter wouldn't melt and she has a lot of people fooled including my 2 sisters. I know my dad can see her for what she is which is why she hates him and i can see her true colours too which is why i hate her.

I know inside she is deeply insecure, lacks intelligence, strength and integrity. I have witnessed her lie, manipulate and cheat to get what she wants and the people to whom she lies and those who she manipulates are us, her own family. I just can't beleive my sisters cannot see through her, they are totally blind and deaf to her true character and have completely fallen for the victim role she has carved out for herself.

Cutting off my parents was the best thing i ever did and i have realised i need to set some boundaries with my sisters, my last remaining friend and even DH. How to do that is another thing, something completely new to me.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Feb-09 08:04:43

Hi Roseability,

Re your comments:-

"I had a converstaion with my mother on the phone today about family issues"

You do want to try but I have learnt from bitter experience that it has to be two way otherwise its no point. My relationship with my parents these days is superificial; my Mum mainly talks about what my younger brother is getting up to and I say yeah, yeah. I can only go by my own experience of my crap parents here but with them it just goes in one ear and out the other. They don't want to hear it (the fact I was trusted, well left, to get on with it) or acknowledge anything (which is typical toxic parents type responses to anything they perceive as a "personal attack" or "slight" on them).

I was told that my issues were 'in my head' and that counselling was a load of crap.

Well they put those issues there. I often think that people who utter that counselling is crap or don't want to go are in deep denial themeselves.

"I hate her, I really do, and wish my parents were out of my life".

You can do this, only you can do that though. You would not let a friend treat you like this, why should parents be any different?. I will always support anyone who decides to cut parents off because it is a truly difficult decision and certainly not one made on a whim. You grieve for the relationship you want with them but will not and never have. We've cut off the NPD BIL (I did so first, my H later on) and I certainly feel happier for doing so.

babyinarms Wed 18-Feb-09 22:18:08

sorry for delay between log ons but DD sick with tonsilitis and bronchiolitis..poor mite, i was so worried for her but today she seems so much better.

ATM ...thanks for your advice. Imagine i have read a self help book in my life...not sure why but will def read your recommendations. Maybe i felt i was dealing with things but obviously I'm not.

roseability Wed 18-Feb-09 22:04:05

I had a converstaion with my mother on the phone today about family issues

I was told that my issues were 'in my head' and that counselling was a load of crap.

I hate her, I really do, and wish my parents were out of my life.

Nabster Wed 18-Feb-09 15:04:15

Sorry for hit and run but I really have to clean up.

I have realised lots of things lately, mainly about why Ihave been so affected by being in touch with my first love.

I have rarely chosen to finish a friendship, usually others have left me so to chose not to be in touch with someone I wanted to be is strange.

I feel trapped in my life and this was something for me that wasn't me being a wife or mother.

Can't remember the other bits. hmm

oneplusone Wed 18-Feb-09 15:00:41

And keep posting. Do not worry about responding to others, just get all your thoughts and feelings out on here, no matter what they are. We will all do our best to help and support you. smile

oneplusone Wed 18-Feb-09 14:56:31

Hesdoneitagain, hi. Your family's reactions, including your brother's, to you talking about the TRUTH about your childhood and all the things you DID experience is absolutely typical of dysfunctional/toxic families. Whilst you are taking your courage in both hands and are willing to face the truth head on, no matter how ugly it may be, they do not have your courage and so are doing their utmost to avoid facing reality.

So they are doing their best to make you think you are mad/mistaken/misguided so that they can protect THEMSELVES from the truth.

I would suggest you do not speak to your family about all of this as they will make you question yourself. DO NOT QUESTION YOURSELF. What you remember about your childhood experience is authentic and genuine. You should seek professional help to enable you to process and deal with the long term effects of what you went through as a child.

Please seek out a counsellor/therapist who has experience of dealing with adults who experienced abuse as children.

I would also recommend you look at Alice Miller's website and also NAPAC (if you google you'll find them).

I will try and link you to the previous stately homes threads, but am not always great at links so hopefully someone a bit more technical will be along soon to help you on that score.

Good Luck. x

Hesdoneitagain Tue 17-Feb-09 18:19:52

Hi again, another update. Sorry I write these around working and looking after DD so I never really get chance to respond and try to help others who have written.

Could someone point me in the direction of the 1st 3 threads pls so when I get time I can catch up on how we got here?

Update, spoken to Dad today, It was like the elephant in the room. Just wasnt mentioned. Eventually I said something that would bring it up, I thought I can't go through this again, last time I had this conversation with him and poured my heart out he never mentioned it again that is not happening this time! Anyway he said 'I don't want to go through it all again I just want to know what next steps we have to take to make it better.' I know he's a man and they like action but suddenly I felt rage again (this time I did't show it thank God). I felt like saying 'You may not want to go through it again but maybe I bloody do. Yes you've had a horrible conversation yesterday for about 1.5 hours and a 1 hour conversation about a year ago the first time I brought it up. Poor you. I had bullying for TEN years!!!!!!'

This process is very up and down isn't it??!

Also I'm starting to feel like I'm going mad again. While my brother was originally supportive hes now saying that some therapists are 'witch doctors' and what about 'false memory syndrome' and 'what if shes just encouraging me to remember the bad not the good' etc etc. Hes 36, very educated and in a very high earning job so these comments just don't make sense, how could anyone think that? Im starting to think I'm either mad or he is REALLY repressed. Weird.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who's reading and sorry I'm just moaning on about me. When I get chance at the weekend I'll try to respond and offer any help I can to others who have posted (altho not sure how much use it will be as I am very much at the start of this process!)

Also - started reading Toxic Parents, excellent. x

oneplusone Tue 17-Feb-09 15:08:37

I suppose a big reason i didn't want to face the fact that it was just me who my dad hated/mother didn't love is that it is really hard to beleive that it wasn't because of some inherent problem in me/something wrong with me and it really was them. I keep telling myself it was them not me but don't know if i really beleive it.

I think my dad hated me because when his psychosis was triggered i was around 10. My sisters were around 5 and 3. And i guess what he wanted was an argument, somebody he could shout at and rage at but who wouldn't be passive towards him, or just start crying or run away ie he wanted a response to his rage and i, after a while i suppose, once i learnt that that was what was required of me, started giving him that response. I remember i always used to act tough, like i didn't care what he said and as if i wasn't scared of him, so in a way, i gave him a run for his money. He got a good argument, which he would always win in the end because he was of course the adult, and that is probably the satisfaction he was looking for. I know my mother during any arguments with my dad would just clam up, and my sisters were just too young to put up a good fight, so it was down to me to satisfy his need for a sort of verbal power struggle, and i remember he used to seem to get a kick out of winding me up and prolonging the argument and he would say outrageous things. An adult would just see that he was mad and that it was impossible to reason with him and so would just walk away, but of course i was just a child, i had no idea what a nutter he was and i would time and time again get drawn into an argument with him and of course i would always walk away the loser.

I feel even more angry now at my mother, because she knew him well enough to just keep quiet if he started picking on her but she allowed him to then start picking on me as he was not getting the kick he needed from her. I feel so angry with them both, what a cruel, exploitative way to treat their child. Now i do wish them dead out of hate, they are just despicable.

So my dad basically just used me to get his 'raging argument fix'. No doubt this is some legacy from his childhood, i know his dad had a repuation for having a really bad temper, but he should have done what i am doing ie sorted out his childhood issues so that they wouldn't be taken out on his children. But my dad is and always was far too arrogant to think he had issues, the fault always lay with everyone but him, we all had issues but he was perfect. What a w*nker. Sorry for my language, i don't normally swear but thinking about all this is making my blood boil. I honestly feel that if there was some way i could get away with murder i would do it. I would go and kill both my parents. And even that would be too good for them.

ActingNormal Tue 17-Feb-09 14:50:32

Message withdrawn

oneplusone Tue 17-Feb-09 14:23:59

Hi again. Thank you AN and Sakura for your posts. Sakura, are there any particular books you can recommend re scapegoating? I feel you are right in that i should read up about it, in order for me to realise that it was 'them' and not me.

Rationally I do know quite definately that it was them and not me and particularly in relation to my dad i have always known it was him as it was he who suddenly changed from a nice dad to a nasty dad and i was old enough at the time to notice that it was he who had changed his behaviour within the family rather than me who had been naughty/bad.

With regard to my mum; she has always been distant with me and cross with me for as long as i can remember, so i suppose in relation to her i have more of a doubt as to whether it was me or her. But, as you have said AN, my own experience tells me it was definately her. Because like you, i have found it much harder to find and feel my loving feelings towards DD as compared to DS. And it is most definately not because DD is any less loveable than DS, less likeable at times perhaps, but absolutely no less loveable. And my feelings or lack thereof towards DD have been there since the moment she was born, even before she was born, whilst i was pregnant. And all that has happened is that the lack of bond/connection has continued in my relationship with her from pregnancy, to birth and so far during her early childhood.

The big difference between me and my mother though is that i noticed and recognised there was a problem with my relationship with DD and i faced the problem and am doing my best to resolve it. My mother didn't do this, she being of low intelligence, lazy and a coward, and she therefore endured me until my 2 sisters were born and then, because love for my 2 sisters came easily and with no effort on her part, she quite happily ignored me and lavished her attention and love on my 2 sisters.

Also in my case, my love for DS came the instant he was born, if not even before he was born, and has steadily grown stronger and deeper every single day. BUT i have not abandoned DD, and taken the easy road with DS, i have worked damn hard and am still working hard to find and feel the love i know i have inside for DD. DD WILL NOT suffer in the same way that i did, absolutely NO WAY.

I just wanted to clarify the issue with regard to me telling my sisters how i feel about my mother. In my case it's not so much a case of wanting them to understand how i feel, as i know this is asking the impossible. It's more a case of putting the record straight with them as to how i do truly feel about our parents. Because some time ago i told my sisters that i didn't hate our parents. I said that because it was true, i don't hate them, i am indifferent. But my sisters took my statement to mean that deep down inside somewhere i do still care about our parents, which is absolutely not true. I want them dead not because i hate them, but because it will give me the final and absolute closure of our relationship that i want and need. I am sure this is why my middle sister felt the need to tell me about our mother's heart op; she thought that as i still care, i would want to know. But i don't care and i didn't want to know about the op.

So, that is why i feel the need to tell my sisters how i really feel, i don't them under some illusion that i do still care about our parents and will perhaps come running back to the family if, say, my dad now finds out he has cancer or something. I am aware that if i tell my sisters they may want to back off from the relationship we currently have, but if that is the case so be it. I would rather have a relationship with them where i can be completely and i suppose brutally honest about my feelings, in particular about our parents, than have a superficial relationship with them where i am holding back for fear it will end our relationship. If that is the true strength of our relationship then it really is not worth the time and effort it takes to maintain it.

That is why i love the quote i posted earlier. I think all of us should be able to be who we are and say, truthfully, how we feel, to those with whom we have close relationships. And the people who can't or don't want to accept our truth don't matter and the people who can and do accept us, brutal, honest, ugly truth and all, are the only ones who really matter.

Just one more thing. I actually feel quite silly now for not facing up to the fact that i was the only one singled out in the family as their scapegoat. I remember i used to talk to my therapist and somehow try and pretend to her and myself that my middle sister was at least as badly off as me if not worse off in some ways. But that is so blatantly not the truth. It is what i wanted to be true. I didn't want to be the only child out of 3 who was singled out and hated by her dad and not loved by her mother. But all the facts show that this is indeed how it was and no amount of twisting the reality or deluding myself will make it otherwise. In a strange way it is actually a relief to admit this to myself, instead of denying it, especially when the only person i was ever fooling was myself.

AN, can you imagine at all how you would feel if it was only you your parents chose to treat badly? Instead of both you and your brother? I suppose i was looking for a tiny crumb of comfort in all of this, by trying to beleive that both me and my middle sister were hated/unloved, but it was just me and only me. I even tried to tell my therapist that it was actually a good thing that i was really badly abused and hurt by my parents, because the severity of what i experienced and the long terms effects are what made me seek therapy. Whereas my middle sister suffered less abuse and was therefore less likely to be affected in the long term and therefore less likely to seek therapy to help resolve her issues.

What mad thinking. That it was better to have gone what I went through than what my sisters experienced. I realise now i was desperately trying to avoid the feeling of being alone in all of this, of trying to feel that at least my middle sister was in the same boat as me, but it was so far from the truth. Neither of my sisters are anywhere near my boat, they are not even in the same sea. Why it has taken me so long to realise such an obvious truth i don't know. But, to finally see the truth feels liberating, not scary and painful as i thought it would.

I am sorry for going on so much, i really needed to get that load off my chest. Thank you to anyone who has read so far.

ActingNormal Tue 17-Feb-09 14:23:46

HesDoneItAgain, I felt really excited for some reason when I read your post! And really proud of you! And I feel that a really good thing has happened! I know you don't see it at the moment though.

I believe that the more emotion you express about what happened, and it sounds like you expressed a lot, the quicker you will get over what happened! I also think that your relationship with your parents couldn't have got very close anyway until you had got everything out in the open and now you have! I can't believe how brave you were to do that, it's amazing! Things could be really uncomfortable and painful for a while but you are all in shock at the moment and it will calm down eventually. If your parents are strong enough and good enough they will gradually think about what you said and think about how you felt/feel and come to understand you more than ever before. If they are really crap they will just keep denying things but if this is the case they would have never changed anyway so you have not lost anything by talking to them.

I believe that what you have done is the best thing for you and when you stop being so shocked by the conversation you will feel some kind of relief!

I know you feel guilty about upsetting them but compare it to how upset you have been, and for so long! I know people don't like to admit to wanting revenge but if you feel you have had some revenge for what happened I think it will lessen the anger you feel about it.

I hope things calm down soon and you start to feel ok

roseability Mon 16-Feb-09 21:34:48

Hesdoneitagain - You poor thing. I have had plenty of these emotionally draining long phone calls as well. I too have felt utterly depressed afterwards, so my heart goes out to you.

I feel it is up to your parents to rebuild the relationship and to apologise for not protecting you. Please don't feel guilty

roseability Mon 16-Feb-09 21:30:24

Sakura - the 'you are too sensitive line' was used on me all the time as well. I believed it for a while but realise now that it is a common tactic used by bullies to justify their behaviour

roseability Mon 16-Feb-09 21:23:22

Hi everyone

What I am finding difficult at the moment is the worry that my difficult relationship with my parents and disdain for them makes me look bad. I think we live in a culture that expects you to love and respect your parents. Do you talk to others about your family problems? Do you feel people understand?

I was talking to my MIL today about things. She has been a wonderful support and listens. But she still says things like 'well you are such a lovely girl so your mum did a good job bringing you up'. Arghh! I know this is a compliment to me and she means well but the reason I had counselling was because of my bloody mother (and father) and their crap.

My MIL had a wonderful relationship with her mother so I appreciate it may be difficult for her to understand.

Hesdoneitagain Mon 16-Feb-09 20:42:25

Back again. Wanted to recommend a book 'If you had controlling parents' by Dan Neuharth, I'm finding it very useful.

Also wanted to offload. Have been seeing therapist and trying to keep distance from parents as I knew I was having bad feelings towards them and I didn't want it all to come spilling out. Unfortunately, today on the phone with them I lost it. Totally. It was almost like 15 years of anger just came out. I was vile to them and made my (very usually unemotional) father cry. It broke my heart. I said how I could never forgive them for what had happened in my childhood and them not 'saving me' from being bullied day in day out. The conversation went on for about 2 hours and was incredibly painful. I sobbed for hours afterwards.

I then spoke to my brother. The reason I mention this is because above someone says:

My instincts (which could be right or wrong) say that telling your sisters that you want your parents dead will not help you! It will push them further from you. They don't feel the way you do because they had a different experience and can't understand how you feel because they don't know how it feels. Maybe you will never be able to make them understand. They probably won't want to understand because they want to feel they had good parents and it would affect them badly if they started thinking this was not the case. For this reason they might get angry if you keep trying to convince them their parents were bad. So there is probably a limit to the closeness of the relationship you can build with them. Accepting that limit might be hard. I can see how it must seem so unfair that they can't see the truth. Just because they don't understand/believe you though does NOT mean that it is not true. Perhaps they are not the best choice of people to choose to validate your experiences.

And want to say how true that is. My brother was very very upset with me for upsetting my parents and said that maybe my therapist was 'planting memories' and that it wasn't right for me to be judge, juror and executioner for my parents. He also said I had been a 'difficult child' etc etc. This he said even though he has previously agreed with me 100% that what my parents did in not protecting me from the bullying was wrong.

Therefore I second the - perhaps don't do go looking to your siblings for validation point.

Am now very depressed, very worried about parents, very worried about how we ever get a proper relationship back and very sad.

Sakura Mon 16-Feb-09 03:49:55

oneplusone,
It might help you to read a lot about scapegoating withing families. The "black sheep" syndrome.
The literature explains how the family needs to have the black sheep in order for it to (pretend to) function. SO the main role of the abused child is to be a poison container for the adults and other kids, so the family can basically function as normal in the eyes of society.
I don'T think its any coincidence in my case that my parents filed divorce proceedings shortly after I left home for university. I was not there to contain there anger anymore. STrangely (still in the trap) I always felt extremely obligated to visit during Xmas and summer holidays where the abuse towards me by my mother during that time was insane- as though she was making up for lost time and absolutely HATING the fact that I was no longer there for her to take her anger out on.

I think its important to read up on this because it does help get it all into perspective. THis is a very COMMON pattern amongst abusive families, this scapegoating. When you read about it, it becomes so obvious that the poor, scapegoated child has not been born "faulty" at all, but that the more powerful members of the family are carrying out a common, garden variety coping mechanism because they aren't BRAVE enough to face their own pain.

ActingNormal Sun 15-Feb-09 22:03:48

OnePlusOne, this sounds really really hard and at first, appears to 'blow away' the 'theories' I use to explain things to myself.

Then I thought about how we know from the problems we have both had with our DDs, that it is possible to feel ridiculously 'in love' with one child and yet find it hard to find your positive feelings about the other one because they have ways that make you so bloody angry! In my case it isn't even because she is extremely bad or anything, it is because she subconsciously reminds me of someone who made me feel angry in the past! In my case she reminded me because of her birth order and her more 'powerful' position in her relationship with the soft and sensitive younger DS. Maybe similarities in looks and personality traits might also remind other people of someone who made them angry?

Could this be an explanation of how your parents could treat you so differently to the others? Also in the case of your dad especially, could he have been thinking that you were the one who was the strongest who was most able to 'take it' so he let it all out on you and saved the others from it? Especially if you perpetuated this impression by acting like it didn't bother you (not that this makes it your fault at all!)

I can see how your mother's impression of 'goodness' to the outside world could really make you feel like you must be going mad to have not experienced her the way everyone else did. I can also see that it would feel like nobody would believe you if you told them the reality and then if you did say something and the person reacted with disbelief it would make you feel even more like you were going mad! We believe you though and don't think you are mad.

Like your therapist said it is horrible to think about what an isolated position you were put in and how you still feel this to some extent. And I really do sympathise with the feeling you must have of "What is wrong with ME?". My friend who was given away while her 5 siblings were kept feels this. I can see that it is MUCH harder to make yourself see that there was nothing wrong with you, it was them when other siblings were treated differently. I feel it is easier for me anyway knowing that both me and my bro were treated similarly to each other.

I still feel strongly though that there was nothing wrong with you, it was THEM who were deficient. We have felt differently about our two children but are working hard on putting this right. The difference is that your parents did not work on it. You are stronger than them.

My instincts (which could be right or wrong) say that telling your sisters that you want your parents dead will not help you! It will push them further from you. They don't feel the way you do because they had a different experience and can't understand how you feel because they don't know how it feels. Maybe you will never be able to make them understand. They probably won't want to understand because they want to feel they had good parents and it would affect them badly if they started thinking this was not the case. For this reason they might get angry if you keep trying to convince them their parents were bad. So there is probably a limit to the closeness of the relationship you can build with them. Accepting that limit might be hard. I can see how it must seem so unfair that they can't see the truth. Just because they don't understand/believe you though does NOT mean that it is not true. Perhaps they are not the best choice of people to choose to validate your experiences. It does sound like you are building relationships with other people who might be better for this 'role' though. It seems like, from your posts, that you are progressing more and more with your stuff all the time.

I wish I could shake your parents (if I had the guts) and shout "Can you see what you have done you oblivious, unthinking t*s!"

oneplusone Sun 15-Feb-09 19:48:48

I am realising that one of the most difficult things I have had to face and accept is that I was really the only one singled out in the family to be the scapegoat. I have tried to avoid facing this fact for a long time. I have always 'comforted' myself with the illusion that all of us children were abused, albeit to differing degrees. But the truth is that neither of my sisters suffered anything even remotely like what i experienced with my dad. And to counter the abuse my sisters did experience because of my dad they had a much much closer and deeper bond and relationship with my mother. In contrast i really had no relationship with my mother at all, she always distanced herself from me, she always seemed cross and annoyed with me, she never talked to me or gave me the opportinity to talk to her; she basically was not interested in me, especially after my 2 sisters were born.

Until today, until just now, i really couldn't bear to face up to the fact that it was just me, I was the only one who my dad seemed to hate and i was the only one my mother didn't care about. I can see that even my dad did care about my sisters more than me and of course my mother was far more of a real mother to them than she ever was to me.

So both my parents singled me out to be their scapegoat. Just me and not my sisters, although there was a little bit of 'spillover' of abuse from my dad towards my middle sister. But not much, and certainly nothing compared to what i went through.

I feel relieved in a way that i have finally faced up to something that was always there, i could always see it out of the corner of my eye, but i was reluctant and scared to look at it head on. But I have now.

oneplusone Sun 15-Feb-09 17:28:03

If i wanted to find support for myself in relation to my dad it would be easy as he is extremely unpopular whether inside or outside the family. Which means my mother looks completely like she is the victim as nobody outside the family has any idea how abuse my father was towards me. I hold my father responsible for his actions but i accept that during the worst of his abuse he was mentally ill and needed help.

My mother was not mentally ill, she was just a coward and exploited the fact that I, as a child, couldn't speak out about what was happening at home, and so she kept silent herself instead of seeking help, if only on behalf of her children. She buried her head in the sand/turned a blind eye, even when her own, 10 year old little girl was horrifically abused and traumatised by her husband.

I'm sure my mother was very scared of my dad as his abuse, mainly psychological extended to my mother, even before he started abusing me, but for me, no excuse is good enough for not protecting your own child.

oneplusone Sun 15-Feb-09 17:18:08

Hi all. Turned my back for a second and suddenly so many new amazing posts!

I agree wholeheartedly with TMSB and AN.

Attila, sorry you and I went through similar horrors after having our first DC's. I do feel less alone now, DH and I are a lot closer and I am gradually building up new friendships that are healthy and supportive and above all based on the full knowledge about my childhood and parents.

Sakura, I LOVE what you said to your father. Bloody brilliant!

One thing I am dealing with right now is the fact that my mother was not actually incapable of being 'motherly' in the real sense. I was talking about her with my therapist recently and realised that she directed all her motherly protective instincts and loving and nurturing qualities to many people outside her own family. ie she stood up and spoke out in a way i would normally respect at gatherings of the wider family, went above and beyond the call of duty at work as a primary school teacher helping out her 'kids' and their parents admirably.

BUT for some reason she never chose to direct her love and care towards me, her own child, she clearly found it easier or possible to direct it towards others outside the family and towards my 2 sisters. BUT never towards me. WHY? I tell myself it wasn't because of me, it wasn't because i was unloveable or not worth standing up for, but there is still a little doubt in my mind. Because she was capable of being the sort of mother i wanted, she just was unable to be that sort of mother with me. And only with me. She was 'motherly' towards my sisters and towards her children at the school at which she taught.

So why not me? I know AN would say it was just bloody bad luck that i happened to be the child who was the scapegoat or 'poison container' within the family. I know it is very common for the eldest child to be cast in the role of scapegoat/poison container by the parents. But this knowledge, that it was purely a random, unlucky, chance that i happened to be the first born to my ill-matched, mentally ill parents, but somehow the knowledge does not ease the pain at all really.

I remember HG talking a while ago about the only option in my situation being acceptance of my lot and this being the most bitter pill to swallow. I suppose i am just not ready for that yet. I cannot accept that my mother was capable of being loving, warm, caring and protective, but just not towards me.

And i met a friend recently who knows my mother a bit and who has seen her being assertive and caring and the friend was very shocked to hear about how my mother was so different behind closed doors within our family. How she stood by and allowed my dad to psychologically and emotionally abuse and hurt me for years on end. And AN i totally agree, my dad's harsh, cruel and hateful words hurt me far more than any sort of physical assault.

I can't bear the image my mother has created in the outside world, that she is a great mother, hugely caring, great with children etc etc. It makes it so difficult for me to speak out about her and find any sort of support for myself. As anyone that knows her, even my own sisters, are totally fooled by her self portrayal as some sort of earth mother/madonna figure.

My therapist said that she has put me in a very isolated position and i suppose i hadn't really realised this myself til now. But it's true, there are many people i suppose i could have turned to throughout the past couple of years, but almost every time i have been reluctant to say anything because i know the image they have of my mother. I am sure most if not all of these people would be shocked and disbelieving of me and would also try and somehow defend my mother and find reasons why she neglected me. Nobody would be on my side, or more accurately on the side of the little 10 year old girl whose dad suddenly went from loving her to hating her and who found no help/protection/support from her mother who seemed only to care about her other children.

I really want to talk to my sisters in depth about our mother, especially since her heart operation. The op focussed my mind and i felt quite disappointed that she seems to be making a good recovery and did not die. I talked to my friend about how i felt and she asked me if my mother's death would give me some sort of closure on the situation and i think she was absolutely right. I think only once both my parents are dead will i be able to totally and completely 'let go' of it all and feel totally free of them. Cutting them off has gone a long way towards freeing me of them and of course emotionally i have done a lot of work to free myself of them, but i think the ultimate and absolute freedom for me will only come with their death.

I know one or two of you have mentioned on here that you felt relief when your parent(s) died and that is what i imagine i will feel too. I have avoided telling my sisters this but i feel increasingly strongly that i cannot keep these feelings to myself any more. I need and want them to know. I can't protect them any longer from my true feelings. If they really care about me they will respect how i feel even though it may be incomprehensible to them. I feel like i am not being true to myself and betraying and letting down the little girl who lives on inside me by not speaking out to my sisters about my true feelings about our mother.

I read a quote on MN the other day which I love: "Be who you are and say how you feel, because the people who matter won't mind, and the people who mind don't matter." (Dr. Seuss)

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Feb-09 08:50:16

Am glad that your Mum got away from him but it still took her until you were 17 to do so. And that is very sad as well.

Remember as well the 3cs to do with alcoholism:-

you did not cause it
you cannot control it
you cannot cure it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Feb-09 08:48:29

You may also want to read "Adult children of alcoholics" written by Janet G. Woititz.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Feb-09 08:39:31

Hi babyinarms,

You've been left a very damaging legacy by your Dad. All that you describe and your behaviours now too (seeing any criticism or a raised voice as a threat, you're probably very much a people pleaser too. That's not at all an indictment of you at all btw that is a description) - can be directly attributed to his behaviour, what you saw as a child. And he still affects you now which is not at all surprising.

There is a support group for adult children of alcoholics which is www.adultchildren.org - something like that may interest you even if you just read the webpage. There are also books about adult children of alcoholic parents and how such people recover on Amazon - if you look through Amazon's search engine you will find publications.

One book I would suggest you read as a starting point is Susan Forward's "Toxic Parents" as it has a section in it about the alcoholic parent.

You may want to talk to Al-anon as well as they can help family members of problem drinkers.

I would not actually feel too worried that he does not want to see your children - alcoholics are some of the most selfish people in the entire world and he would not actually be having any meaningful sort of relationship with anyone. That sort of malign influence in your lives is not one that you need. Your Dad's primary relationship was and likely still is with alcohol.

You need to work on your own self and I hope that you can now take the first steps to helping your own self overcome his damaging legacy.

babyinarms Sat 14-Feb-09 22:27:22

Hi every one, i have not been on mn for a long time now but in the past i have looked through posts in this forum and never been brave enough to join in..feel i'm intruding a bit, but will give it a go!

Anyway not sure where to begin, my Dad is an alcoholic and my mum seperated from him when i was 17 (doing my final exams in school)I am now 35.
My dad was/is a very violent man and regularly beat my mum...never me or my older sis..but we saw it all. We would regularly be up until 5am on a school night trying to pacify him and stop him hitting our mum.

I'm a grown woman with my own Dh and two lovely DC's but i still find it hard to deal with my past. I hate confrontation. DH is very patient and the complete opposite of my dad but if we have a disagreement i fall to pieces and god forbid DH should raise his voice to me ...I'm inconsolable...and i know he would never hit me, but i feel like a child again being so frightened ..its pretty pathetic really cos i know all couples have arguements..probably a lot more than us, cos DH is afraid i will break down..i dont think thats too healthy really!

My real issue is my loss of contact with my dad. I was the only one who would meet him after the split. For years i would meet him for coffee every time i was home, just to keep the peace really, i didint want to but felt i had to.
Now i have DS aged 4 and DD aged 17 months and he has not seen either one of them! I tried to arrange to meet him when DS was a baby but he was always busy..so i gave up after a few attempts.
He phoned last june to meet up, i was going on holidays so asked him to phone when i got back but he still has not phoned..too busy it would seem!
It really annoys me that he has seen all 3 of my sis children..and she never made the effort to ever meet him.

This might seem crazy but i really dont want to see him or my kids to even know him but it also hurts that he doesnt want to see my beautiful kids...am i making any sense?

I have prob rambled on enough. Thanks for listening. xxxxxxx

toomanystuffedbears Sat 14-Feb-09 17:42:48

...or I could say nothing and really roll my eyes hmm(I have 2 teenagers to give constant demos)hmm. If/when she gets her panties in a bind over that I'll say "Oh, you'll never change Middle Sister." winkAnd we all know she never will.

It is quite comical when her authority is challenged. Imagine a victorian school marm pursing her lips, micro-shaking her head tensly...the pressure building-how dare anyone...

grin
It is almost enough to provoke her intentionally, but that would be mean wouldn't it? No matter how much she deserves it, no matter how many thousands of times over she has earned it.

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