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To ask you if this is abuse?

22 replies

rnamechangesixty · 30/11/2019 17:11

Please can you help me gain some clarity? I suffer from depression and I feel it's from my childhood, my stepdad and the fact that my mum and sister are in denial. My mum remarried my stepdad when I was about 7. We never saw eye-to-eye. I could be quite a mardy child so I wasn't an angel and over the years I began more and more isolated and determined to defend myself. Here are some things that reflect him/my teenage years:

  • threw a 6 pack of Diet Coke at my head (mum intervened and he missed)

  • posted a video of my dirty bedroom and dirty knickers on Facebook when I was 13

  • would call me names such as "fucking cow" and "spoilt brat"

  • left a large hole in our wall due to his anger

  • squared up to a teacher at my school during a meeting about my home life

Mum spends 99% of her time with him. I've seen her twice in the last 4 months and one of them was when she came to an abortion clinic with me. Her and my sister have a really good relationship and I feel they think I'm a drama queen/ in the wrong to blame my issues and sadness on my stepdad. I personally feel resentful and bitter that they don't believe how traumatic those years were and how much it affects my everyday life.

Please be honest with your opinions as I'm starting to think maybe I do just need to get over it and accept that those two are just closer and my stepdad isn't all that bad.

Thanks! X
OP posts:
MrsBertBibby · 30/11/2019 17:15

That sounds really bloody rotten OP. Shame on your mother, letting anyone treat you like that.

They won't admit they are wrong, though. You need to look elsewhere for real family. Can you get counselling to help you process all this?

MakeItRain · 30/11/2019 17:22

That sounds absolutely awful and must have had a huge affect on you growing up Flowers I'm not surprised it's causing you problems as an adult.

Could you start with a doctor appt and ask if there's support for your feelings of depression- maybe counselling to talk this through? It's not for everyone I know but I found it really helpful when I finally decided to try it.

rnamechangesixty · 30/11/2019 17:24

@MrsBertBibby @MakeItRain thanks for your replies guys ❤️ I've had counselling but I feel the only thing that would help me move on would be some acknowledgement from them about what i went through, as they watched on, and perhaps them trying to include me more in all of the nice days out and things they do

OP posts:
90schic · 30/11/2019 17:30

This is definitely not normal behaviour OP. I’m not surprised that you are traumatised by this. However, I don’t think that you are going to get the apologies that you need (and deserve) from you SF unfortunately. Can I ask... have your ever had an honest calm conversation with your mum about these events, and how they made you feel? Sad

rnamechangesixty · 30/11/2019 17:32

@90schic hi, thanks for your advice. I've spoken to my mum possibly hundreds of times about this. I didn't actually see her last Christmas because she thought it was unfair of me to say that I only wanted to see her in the festive period if I could see her without him there. So I don't think she understands :( she always says it's unfair of me to "put her in the middle"

OP posts:
bridgetreilly · 30/11/2019 17:34

the only thing that would help me move on would be some acknowledgement from them about what i went through, as they watched on, and perhaps them trying to include me more in all of the nice days out and things they do


The abusers in an abusive relationship are not only never going to do that, but also, thinking like this is still allowing them to control you and your feelings. You do not need them to acknowledge what happened, nice though that would be. You need to be able to confidently name what happened and be able to rely on your own judgment of that, no matter how they might like to frame it differently and make you shoulder the blame for it. You were the child, OP, you were not the problem in that family. Please do go and see a counsellor again, and consider restricting your ongoing relationship with these people who have hurt you so badly.

Treacletoots · 30/11/2019 17:35

Time for you to get over to the Stately Homes thread OP

Their behaviour was appalling, but sadly not as uncommon as it should be. I've been NC for a decade and it's been a vast improvement..

Pinkbonbon · 30/11/2019 17:39

Stepdad sounds like a right sociopath. He probably kicks off of she goes anywhere without him so she just doesn't see you, for a quiet life. His kind like to isolate their victims. He probably hates you all the more as you moved out, meaning he lost control over you.

You don't think she understands but she does. But when you live with an abusive man for long, you become codependent and everything becomes about keeping them happy.

Dilkhush · 30/11/2019 17:41

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holly40 · 30/11/2019 17:56

Yes the things you have listed he's done are abusive. Sorry to say.

SaveTheTreesPlease · 30/11/2019 20:52

I’m so sorry OP, how utterly horrible. Everything you listed there is abusive behaviour, no question. Second PP recommendations for counselling - do not wait for some sort of acknowledgement/apology from your family - I know from my own and friends’ experiences that this never happens. The stately homes thread is definitely worth a look - latest thread here:

Chancey1982 · 30/11/2019 20:54

Oh hun, no that's all really sad. You're totally valid to feel sad about it. Xx

messolini9 · 30/11/2019 21:14

There isn't enough information here to know either way, but you might have provoked your step dad much more than you remember.

Fuck. Right. Off.

"Not enough information" ... did you actually READ the OP @dilkhush?
Which of the stepdad's actions are excusable to to "provocation"?
If a kid acts out, is it ok to throw cans at their head? Let alone all the other aggressive & abusive acts?

How can an adult - provoked or not - behave as described above to a child, & it NOT be abuse?

messolini9 · 30/11/2019 21:26

maybe I do just need to get over it and accept that those two are just closer and my stepdad isn't all that bad.

You can work on how to accept that your mum & sister are closer OP - but your stepdad IS all that bad.

Your mum & sister are in denial. They choose to enable your stepdad, & that will mean accepting his narrative. He cast you as the black sheep because that is easier for them to accept than that he is the villain.

It is frustrating & hurtful & yes - a childhood like yours can lead to problems with depression, anxiety, self-esteem ... BUT it is possible to choose to move forward.

I had a similar dynamic to yours, although my mother as the abuser. She & my sister have gone NC with me because I had the temerity to lose my temoer & refer to the abuse my mother perpetrated on me. It's ... outrageous of them! - but what it has given me is the realisation that I can;t change their narrative, their denial, their victim-blaming - but I CAN change how it affects me.
I have grown from hideous nightmares, insomnia from OCD unwelcome thoughts, circular arguments about how I can possibly make things roght or make them see the truth, to acceptance that my truth is enough for me. It is curiously peaceful. I now only think about them a couple of times a month - it used to be constant. The energy drain is gone, & I am much more 'present'.

In short - you cannot change them. But you can change YOU.
As pp urged you above - please revisit counselling.
It's unlikely you will ever have their acknowledgement, understanding, or the closeness that you presently crave - but you can make your own peace with your past.

messolini9 · 30/11/2019 21:36

So I don't think she understands sad she always says it's unfair of me to "put her in the middle"

It's not you being unfair.
You're not asking her to be in the middle.
You are asking for her to acknowledge the facts of your childhood - she won't. She didn't when it was happening, she hasn't done over the subsequent years - she is deep in the FOG (google 'Fear Obligation Guilt') of living with a personality disordered individual.

What is unfair is that she put this angry & controlling man ahead of her daughters. I say daughters in plural because - even if not directed at her - your sister also lived with his abuse & violence, & a child who witnesses violence is a victim of violence. She doubtless minimises - & perhaps was his favoured child anyway - but her denial of your pain is part of her own "normalising" of what you all lived through.
Your mother cannot acknowledge what happened to you because she would then have to admit that she was shit at protecting you, & didn't put her daughters first.

Please re-engage with counselling to help you unpick this, & make your own peace with how you are going to deal with & manage your feelings around your mother & sister. I am sorry for what you went through & the horrible impact it continues to have on your life - but you CAN work through this. You can go forward & be happy ... you just cannot have the happy-ever-after family relations that we might all secretly yearn for. Flowers

Dilkhush · 30/11/2019 21:53

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

T0tallyFuckedUpFamily · 30/11/2019 22:02

I’ve reported your post, Dilkhush. If a child came to you and said that had happened to them, would you tell them they were partly to blame. Disgusting.

Of course your useless, selfish mother should have been in the middle. In the middle defending you from her child abusing husband. I’m sorry you went through this OP. As another poster has said, you can find a new family by having friends.

billy1966 · 30/11/2019 22:21

Oh you poor pet OP, that sounds awful and lonely.

You sound very much like feel you are excluded by your Mum.

Of course he sounds awful. The teachers saw through him no doubt.

You have had some very, very hard experiences when you are so young.

Unfortunately, we cannot change other people, much as we would love to, and try to.

Your mother is wrong, has chosen very wrongly, but there is not a lot you can do about that.

However, what you can do, is not be defined by it all.
You can choose a different, and better life for yourself.

MN is a wealth of good advice, and great suggestions, on great books to read.

Help yourself, and you can have a better life.

You sound like a great, clever, self aware girl, someone who is very bright and intuitive.

You can do this👍

Sn0tnose · 30/11/2019 22:43

the only thing that would help me move on would be some acknowledgement from them about what i went through, as they watched on, and perhaps them trying to include me more in all of the nice days out and things they do

I agree with bridgetrielly. The trouble is, this is never going to happen. If they were the sort of people that could show genuine remorse for the way you’ve been treated and for excluding you from their ‘unit’ then you probably never would have been treated like this in the first place. The only thing that will truly help you move on is to understand that their behaviour is nothing to do with you. You did nothing to make your mother’s husband treat you like that. You have done nothing to cause your mother’s current attitude. Their behaviour is all on them and there is nothing that you could have done to change that. They are the one with the problem, not you.

rnamechangesixty · 30/11/2019 22:48

Thank you for all your replies, I'm reading them all❤️ Mumsnet is the best xxx

OP posts:
Apirateslifeforme · 30/11/2019 22:56

Honestly it doesn't matter what you were like as a child, as an adult the fact he did those things and spoke to you that way is pretty disgusting.

It does appear that your mum has made her choice, please let her just get on with it.

Move on, and dont take her actions as a direct reflection of you, or who you are, or any worth you may have.

FWIW. This aspect of your childhood doesn't sound especially far removed from min, and I've spent a lot of my adulthood mulling over why I wasnf good enough to protect. Or what my mum could have reasonably done.
Reasonably she could have removed a man (my step dad) from the home who was physically and emotionally aggressive toward me. The same as your mother.

If she cant see that, then maybe she doesn't even deserve a place in your life.

Groovinpeanut · 30/11/2019 23:22

OP the treatment you've described is very abusive. It's tough when the very people we expect to be there for us and look after us behave as your mum/stepdad/ family have. I know it's easier said than done, but please don't waste any more time on them in asking them to acknowledge their wrong doing. They are abusers, they are too cowardly to own their disgusting selves. I would keep well away from them. Focus on you and what you want. Maybe explore counselling again and work through your way forward with them. People who treat you bad don't deserve your input. Your mother has made her choice. You just work on making your life better

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