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Being pregnant has brought my issues with my own mother bubbling to the surface

(14 Posts)
Lynchian Thu 30-Oct-08 21:44:30

Basically, I just wonder how a woman could even consider staying with a man who she knew sexually abused her pre-pubescent daughter?

I have blocked this out for years and years, but now I'm having my own child I could not even consider for one minute letting my child be at risk, and it's completely doing my head in that I was put in that situation.

In a nutshell, my Mum met this bloke when I was 10, got pregnant to him when I was 11, married him when I was 12. About that age he started doing stuff to me, I don't want to go into too much detail. After about a year I reported him to a teacher at school, who called the police. But basically, he talked her round and that very night she let him back into our home, into her bed. I was allowed to stay with my grandparents for a couple of nights but he then made me go back home (he was physically abusive too) and he made ME apologise to HIM for telling the police.

We had to stay for another 6 months, until he threatened to kill her, and then we finally moved out. In that time, he did try to make his disgusting advances to me again, but I managed to avoid being alone with him as much as possible.

How, though? How could she let it carry on? Why didn't she just kick him out that night after I'd gone to the police, once she knew what he'd done? How could she live with him still, sleep in the same bed?

I just don't understand. I'm trying to, but I don't.

Miyazaki Thu 30-Oct-08 21:50:21

I don't think it is understandable tbh. And being pregnant is bound to bring all these things roaring to the surface. I don't have any wise words - but I wanted to answer your post. All you can do is know that you will never ever betray your dc the way your mother betrayed you.

NotDoingTheHousework Thu 30-Oct-08 21:51:36

Message withdrawn

Martha200 Thu 30-Oct-08 21:58:30

I think sometimes there is no way we can ever understand what goes on in other people's heads. Maybe she was in denial, severe denial (this is NO excuse) and repressed everything she felt and thought by carrying on as normal? I don't know, but it goes against what many of us think and know we might do. I had a friend (lost touch) and her mum tolerated her husband abusing her daughter because she was also abused by him, she was agrophobic, very depressed and it took her over a decade to throw him out

Pregnancy brought out a lot of feelings etc for me too (though not the same as your case) it threw me somewhat when after ds1 my mum texted me to say sorry for being such a bad mother for all the years she was. It made me very and I didn't know how to respond. As an adult I now know why she may have been the way she was, and in my eyes she was not the worst mother ever, but I understand that pregnancy having your own really does throw up the past in ones face at times.

Is it worth you finding someone you could trust and chat to about this? Sorry to have any answers but just to let you know you were heard and are thought of.

Lynchian Thu 30-Oct-08 21:58:39

I did go to counselling, for a while. I know that it wasn't my fault, he was a pervert, had a history of it with his own biological daughter, it turned out afterwards. He chose our family on purpose because I was there to be groomed, according to the counsellor.

I can't talk to her about it now, we don't have a particularly close relationship. There's quite a lot unsaid between us - I always feel that she prefers my brothers, I lived away for 12 years and I feel that she just doesn't know me, doesn't know who I am. There's no animosity, there's just not much affection from her.

Hence why I'm trying to understand. And failing, and making myself a bit cross in the process.

Martha200 Thu 30-Oct-08 21:59:49

that's not to have any answers.. oops

Ronaldinhio Thu 30-Oct-08 23:09:49

i don't have any experience of sexual abuse but we were horribly physically abused as children and even though i've gotten through a lot of it it was made a thousand times worse by becoming a mother myself so i know exactly how you feel.

it made my relationship with my mother much worse than it was previously but i don't know what to do to move forward again
i'm just really angry and hurt by her allowing it to happen when she was actually the only person who could stop it
becoming a mother jujst makes it much much more real

i'm wo sorry for your experience and send you a great deal of love and support to work through it

walkinthewoods Sat 01-Nov-08 09:24:19

When I fell pg with #1 so many feelings came up from nowhere with regards to my Mum. During my childhood she was very cold. Dad was a bully and Mum was an absolute mouse. I felt aggreived that she never defended us.

We didn't suffer any 'abuse' other than Dad bullying everyone so not as serious as other posters by a long mile. I also felt aggreived that Mum had 'taught' me to ignore bullying. This lead to a completely inappropriate reponse to bullying I suffered from at school. This really affected my confidence (and still to this day)

The main feelings I had when pg and having a new baby was the fact that Mum told me I should leave baby to cry it out. I always believed this was the right way but once pg was so violently opposed it took my breath away. I suppose I have probably over compensated and will not ignore my children.

I realise that Mum was doing her best and my feelings over all of this is my responsibility. I have gone some way to reconcile my feelings but unfortunately am going through a really bad time and my Mum is being totally unsupportive and sticking her head in the sand. I can't see how my relationship with my mum could ever be the same again.

SmugColditz Sat 01-Nov-08 09:28:50

It does. I had issues with my mother that my second pregnancy brought bubbling to the surface.

YOU will not become her. YOu will not be that woman, you are not her, you are a different person.

I think the fear that we are going to do just what they did, because that is all the mothering we know, can be pervasive. But you will be a different mother because you are a different person.

Miyazaki Sat 01-Nov-08 09:32:06

Yes, same experience as Ronaldinhio. Was very angry. I would say these feelings you are experiencing might get stronger when you have your baby. It might be worth seeing a counsellor again, as the transition to motherhood is intense even without a history of abuse. I had been quite reconciled to my dp before having the dc, after I was furious again and couldn't bear to be with them, to see them holding my child, and being model gp was almost more than I could bear. I had to go back to therapy - for quite a long time.

findtheriver Sat 01-Nov-08 10:30:38

I would echo what everyone else says about the transition to motherhood bringing all kinds of stuff to the surface. I'm sure that's the case for everyone, whether there has been an abusive relationship or not, though obviously where extreme stuff has happened the feelings will be more intense.

It's a period when we reflect on our own experiences, evaluate them, and make judgements about what we think was good and not so good about our upbringing. And this will help shape our own parenting, hopefully in a positive way. I'm sure it's generally a good thing, to look back over our own childhood, as it can help to break patterns of negative behaviour. Though obviously if someone is obsessively thinking about it, and locked into it, then maybe therapy would be helpful to come to terms with past experiences.

My own childhood wasnt bad compared to some people, but I can relate to what walkinthewoods says. My father was overbearing and could be a bully; in contrast my mother was a mouse. She would defer to him all the time. She saw her role as subservient, and it certainly affected me negatively. I knew by the time I was going out with boys,and getting into relationships that the last thing I wanted was a partnership where the roles were unequal. Certainly by the time I was getting pregnant I knew that I wanted DH and I to have far more equal parenting roles - I would have been really unhappy to raise my children thinking that mothers and fathers have hugely differing roles.

It might be really helpful for the OP to have some therapy to explore the issues in more depth. It's not always a case of finding the answers to our questions, because in all honesty we don't always find the answers about how other people have behaved. But it could really help in terms of seeing what affect this has had on YOU and how you can change things with your own child.

ActingNormal Sat 01-Nov-08 18:11:28

Message withdrawn

Lynchian Sat 01-Nov-08 18:32:53

Oh yes, I see her all the time, though always at my instigation ie. if I didn't call her she wouldn't call me, if I didn't go round she wouldn't ask me to go round, if I didn't practically force her into a corner to visit me she wouldn't bother. I've lived with DP since January and she's been around here the grand total of three times even though it's less than 5 minutes drive away.

She doesn't really ask about the baby, yet she dotes on my brother's little 18 month old boy. Even though my baby's EDD is on her birthday!

Would I consider going back to therapy? I don't know, maybe not at this point. I got quite upset the last time and I'm not sure I want to open up the wounds of the abuse any further than they already are while the baby is still inside me, not sure it's terribly good for the baby for me to be stressed. I already am to a certain extent, but it's manageable at the moment. I'm not sure more counselling wouldn't tip me over into the doldrums. Does that make sense?

I also don't think I want to talk to her about it. I don't think there would be anything to gain by being accusatory, and she's the kind of person who would just go cold and clam up, which would make me angrier.

Miyazaki Sat 01-Nov-08 19:18:58

Yes, it does make sense - the facing it all and it always feels worse before it feels better, do understand that you would want to keep things on an even keel as possible.

I found that one of the things that about being a mum that I hadn't thought of, was that my own child gave me strength. It was as though I couldn't fight for myself, or say for myself, I am worth being treated well (and I am not a pushover by any means, but in terms of what I tolerated from my family and how I tried and tried and rewrote the past) but when I had my first I suddenly felt my (our) value and gradually realised I didn't have to waste it on being 'good' (for who?) and that I could choose to be with people who when I was them, I felt good. Who I looked forward to seeing, and who made it clear that they liked, loved and wanted to spend time with me.

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