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abusive mother makes me think...

(23 Posts)
meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 00:40:05

i grew up with a narcissistic and an emotionally and physically abusive mother. it started at age 6 when she started to hit me, it became worse over the years. i was a good girl, my classroom teacher liked me, but my mother would put me down and said nobody would like someone like me. she called me a whore ay age 12 despite i never kissed anybody by then,nor did i go out. i was a bookworm and always went to the library (before the internet age). when i got in to a good university, instead of congratulating me she said "i shall see how you fail".

i never understood why she was like this.
my dad never said anything, he saw me being hit by her, he just went out or put the tv on really loud, as a result i also despise him.

i never went to a therapist to get the root of the problems, but i have low self esteem, i always think i dont deserve to be loved. that my husband will leave me any time.

i pursue a good career, we have a stable home, but i always doubt he loves me,i am pregnant with our first. but my past is making me question whether i will be a good mother.

my mother has also over the years mellowed, she is acting as if she never abused me, whenever i question her she goes into denial and says no way of course i never hit you or said those things, or she shuts down and walks away. thats the end of it.

we see each other once or twice a year for 2 weeks approximately.

i realised being pregnant has made these feelings of resentment more intense. i now hate my mother so every conversation we have i would sneak in how wrong she was in the past.

recently my sister who was never abused (in fact she used to defend me) overheard what i said to mum, she told me off that im now hurting mum and i should stop. but honestly i enjoy hurting her because she lashed out on an innocent child until i was 18, even after that she would say nasty things to me whilst i was at uni.
so i am very angry. so i want her to feel what it feels like being lashed at for no reason.

i am thinking of not talking to her ever again because i feel so incredibly low in her presence. she makes me feel bad about myself.

im thinking of cutting them off and not let them see their grandchild.
but i dont think they will be bothered as my sister has a child and they adore my baby brother who at 24 still lives at home and doesnt pay rent or food and gets his laundry done and food cooked every day.

i hate how they treated me my whole childhood. why did my mum hate me so much?

bragmatic Tue 17-Jun-14 01:09:07

Well, nothing makes you examine your relationship with your mother more than having your own child, that's for sure. And my relationship with my mum was generally pretty good!

It sounds like you would only be cutting her off to 'punish' her. And I'm not sure that it would give you the peace of mind you crave. She sounds like she'll never admit what she did, so your conversations are always going to be destined to be about reminding her of her past wrongs, and her ignoring or denying them. If you cut her off in your current state of mind I'm not sure you'll find peace because you are still (understandably) resentful.

I'm not saying don't cut her off. Not at all. Maybe when all is said and done that is the best thing. But perhaps in the meantime you could talk things through with a counsellor, and while you're doing so, perhaps minimise contact with her. I think if you're going to cut contact with someone, you should do so with a light heart - in a relieved sort of way. Rather than a "that'll show her", kind of thing. Otherwise you run the risk of still carrying the hurt with you. Plus, I also think you should talk to someone about your relationship and your feelings of being unworthy. I'm sure you're not!

Good luck. x

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 02:30:00

if i cut her off, i inevitably cut of my siblings and father as well, as they will be on her side..

well obviously i cannot sleep now and it is very late. i am troubled by all this, that it is affecting my sleep pattern.

i just hate how selfish she is.

bragmatic Tue 17-Jun-14 02:45:48

I'd probably be equally as angry with my father in your shoes.

Can you talk to your husband about it? Though, as I said, nothing makes a woman question her relationship with her mother more than when she, herself becomes one. So perhaps it will be difficult to get him to understand. But can he be a sounding board for you?

heyday Tue 17-Jun-14 02:49:05

I grew up with a very violent father and the emotional scars run very deep indeed. However, as long as I allowed my life to be governed by the hurt, anger and rejection that he made me feel then the more the negative and destructive power he had over my life. Because of him I know I am a much better parent myself because I will never make my children endure the torture he put me through and you will be a great mother too because of her and how she has made you feel.
Remember, that all the negative emotions that you experience will affect your unborn baby inadvertently and you both deserve more.
Please try and get some cognitive behavioural therapy to help you examine your overwhelming feelings and to change your whole thought process.
You will never discover why your mother did what she did, she obviously has huge issues of her own. You cannot change what has happened in the past but you can, with help, make a huge difference to your future and that of the wonderful life which you now carry inside you.
Please don't let the pain, anger and jealousy control your life. You will soon have a little baby of your own so rejoice and feel deeply proud of how amazingly well you have done and will continue to do.

Its not you, its them.

You have two qualities your mother completely lacks: empathy and insight.

You are currently low contact with these people, I think now that cutting such people off is completely understandable in your circumstances given the abuse you suffered and if you eventually decided to do that I would not demur. Self preservation is actually the name of the game here; there is no guarantee either that she would not start on your child given any opportunity. Cutting off contact can bring with it a lot of guilt; that will also need to be dealt with by you at the time and that can be difficult to deal with as well. If you decide to go NC with them all (and it will be all of them because your mother has done the usual divide and conquer type strategy on your siblings as well so they will not back you, also she made you the family scapegoat) it needs a lot of thought.

As for counsellors, counselling would be helpful to you - but the first counsellor you see may not be the necessarily the right one for you. You certainly need to find someone who has no bias about keeping families together despite the presence of mistreatment. That is extremely important.

It is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and such narcissist women always but always need a willing enabler (in this case your dad) to help them. The only other possibilities are that the father is also narcissistic, or is gone. A man who stands up to his wife will not be tolerated for long, or will not find his life tolerable for long, and will either leave or be kicked out. Narcissists simply don't have healthy and functioning relationships, and so there is either no relationship, or a dysfunctional and enabling one. He basically becomes her hatchet man, he will not (and he did not) protect you from her. He would have done anything to keep the peace, including sacrificing his childrens own well being. He has done his own bit of damage here as well.

A percentage of the general population is dysfunctional and/or abusive. That percentage, like everyone else, has children. Then those children grow and have children of their own. The not-so-loving grandparents expect to have a relationship with their grandchildren. The only problem is, they’re not good grandparents.

Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate first hand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with.

The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)

The well-intentioned parent ends up feeling mortified for having done more harm than good by hoping things would somehow be different — instead of having a child who simply never knew their grandparents and who was never mistreated, they have an abused child who is now also being torn apart by the grief involved in having to sever a lifelong relationship with the unhealthy people they are very attached to.

You may find reading the website Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers helpful as would be reading "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown. You may also want to post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages.

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 09:37:39

thank you all for your support.

maybe i will never know why she acted like this. but i know that she suffered from 3 muscarriages after having my little sister. though it is poor show to take it out on a child.

my father had a difficult upbringing, although they were not poor, he went to live with his grandmother and rarely saw his own parents. he is emotionally distant. bever hugged or kissed us kids, he never wanted to share food or things with us.

my mother by all account was a loved child, she was the oldest of 6,and was always praised.

i am strongly thinking of cutting the cord because they make me feel unloved.

with my wedding, i had it abroad, when i invited them they asked if i would pay for the tickets. but the same year my sister also got married, they had already bought tickets to attend,even paid for my other younger sister and brother.
i felt like they didnt want to support me unless i coughed up some money.
it hurt me a lot how they behaved. but in the end they came and paid for themselves as i yelled on the phone how they never treated me equally and made me feel loved. so i guess they did it out of guilt.

what have i done wrong?i will never know why they treat me differently than my siblings.

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 09:47:25

i thought getting straight A's will make them proud of me, but they arent proud of me.

i work in a high profile industry, earning a good salary and now they think they should be part of that. that is what i hate.
they think because my husband and i are hifh earner then there is no need to get us presents. but my sister and her husband are equally high earners, yet they got a new expensive from the parents when they moved to their new house.

there are many little things that make me feel unloved by them, the above is just one of them.
i am just using this board to vent my anger..

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 09:48:22

*new expensive sofa

You have done nothing wrong.

Its not you, its them.

She acts like this because she can, her parents did that lot of damage to her. You did NOT cause her to become the person she now is. Your father had an awful and emotionally neglected childhood as well but again it is no excuse for how he has acted and he still fails to protect you from his wife's mad outbursts.

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles. You are and have been treated as a scapegoat by your family, this is precisely the sort of behaviours narcissists do. They are more favoured because she has made them the "golden child"; one of them will fall out of favour at some point. Its a role also not without price but unfortunately your siblings are not aware of that.

Honestly, you are better off without such people dragging both you and your own family unit down. Do read the book and links I wrote of in my earlier post.

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 12:29:28

one of my sisters said "oh come on, you are over 30 and about to become a mother,stop blaming them for your awful childhood, get over it"

i am very close to her so i feel hurt that she takes their side and that if i do cut them off then i will also cut the rest of the family off

meredefille Tue 17-Jun-14 12:31:29

my husband wilk definitely not understand it. he thinks no matter how bad a family member is you still must be in touch, blood is thicker than water according to him..

he enabled his mother and sister to be nasty to me.

it seems like i choose people in who resemble people who treated me badly

Lottapianos Tue 17-Jun-14 12:37:26

'one of my sisters said "oh come on, you are over 30 and about to become a mother,stop blaming them for your awful childhood, get over it"'

Absolutely loads of sympathy OP - similar family history to you. OH yes, everyone wants you to shut up and 'get over it' because it's much more conventient for them that way. But you are entitled to your feelings. Just because your mother is deep in denial about her behaviour towards you does not mean it didnt' happen. And you don't have to do what anyone tells you and you don't have to hide your feelings away just to make life convenient for other people.

You absolutely have a right to your anger. It took me 2 years of psychotherapy to even get to the point where I could acknowledge my anger so well done for getting so far by yourself! I can't recommend therapy enough though as Attila says, the first person you see may not be the right person for you.

Low contact and no contact are both options you have open to you. You have a right to be treated well by people you are in relationships with and it doesn't sound like you're getting much of that from your family right now. It hurts, it hurts like all hell, but you are doing the right thing by putting yourself first here.

Lottapianos Tue 17-Jun-14 12:38:53

'what have i done wrong?'

This questions drives you utterly crazy I know. The honest answer really is 'it's not you, it's them. I know that can sound a bit thin but honestly, there is nothing you can do to please these people. The problem is them, not you.

imip Tue 17-Jun-14 13:00:09

I'm sorry op...

As someone above said, having children is when you truly examine the way you were brought up.

I grew up in a violent, alcoholic family. Very emotionally abusive and I witnessed lots of violence, not only towards my mum and brothers, but also others. It's a pretty shit lot. Like you I turned it around, good job, paid well, raised my own family dcs now aged 7, 5, 4 and 2. I think having 4 dcs was, in part, an attempt to create a large, happy family.

Nothing really prepared me for what it was like to have kids and then remember all the things that happened to you, happening to them. It's hard stuff to take, I've really struggled on and off for many years. But I'm coping well, I post on here occasionally (I don't participate in the stately homes thread because I think it would be too overwhelming for me), but I do appreciate the odd thread where there is lots of support and I get what I am experiencing is all normal and to be expected.

I didn't nc with my family. However, I have the second best option, I love on the other side of the world! My siblings are supportive, because we all shared the experience, all of us had a turn at being the 'golden child' whenever my father thought he could brag about us. I was called a whore from a young age as well. I remember I was 16 in front of all my parent's friends at a party. He said it in front of my grandparents, my friends (I was just leaving to go out with them) and all his friends. Ffs, I didn't lose my virginity until I was 21.

One thing I would advise, as you mention your dp is an enabler. My dh is great. Doesn't understand really, but is amazed at how I am not fucked up! (2 DBS have quite bad mental illnesses, my sister is a stripper - she had a shed load of issues that would occupy a number of threads, and my other brother is a bit of a drifter, bless him). He doesn't know I post about them, but knows I find it helpful to be on here every now and then for support. Anyway, should you be with dh? I'd hate to thing you trap yourself in a relationship akin to one you grew up in. I have issues with sil and mil, being overseas helps greatly! I pacify, but dh knows they are in the wrong.

Oh, we earn well, so my parents so no need to give us presents, eg wedding presents. My kids don't get presents either. Just the same when I was growing up. I've moved on and created my own functional family. The wonderful thing is, we do get a second chance to experience it xxxxxxx

bragmatic Tue 17-Jun-14 13:10:48

You didn't do anything wrong.

You didn't do anything wrong. Nothing at all.

Is your husband good to you?

Jumblebee Tue 17-Jun-14 13:22:39

I understand completely what you said when you said every conversation with your mum reverts to you trying to tell her how wrong she was and to admit what she did. I was the same with my mum because she split up my family when she left (and did a lot more unpleasant things)

She did admit what she did was wrong, she apologised over and over--yet it wasn't enough. It didn't bring me peace of mind to hear her admit it or to have her break down in tears apologising because the damage was already done.

I have my own baby now and while I know the anger and resentment will always be there in the background, I suppose I've been able to let go and move on. We have a better relationship now, however I will always be jealous of the "perfect" mother daughter relationships I see around, the one where your mum is your best friend, because I know I'll never have that.

Obviously our situations are different (physical and mental abuse is much worse than what my mum did to me) I just wanted to say I understand where you're coming from.

As other posters have suggested, if you could afford to see a counsellor I think you should. Even just to talk to someone.

Hold on to the thought that you will have a beautiful baby who you will cherish. You will never make the same decisions your mum made and you will have an amazing relationship with your child.

greedygal Tue 17-Jun-14 13:31:47

Reading your post has set me off. . . I could have written it myself.

My Mothers was a selfish, nasty, antagonising witch who would torment me for no reason. Like you I was the perfect child, acutely shy, didn't believe in myself and as a result am very insular. She loved my Brother and Sister but hated me to the point that she admitted that she loved my siblings and said 'you should have been a boy, you were a bad mistake'.

For years an years I sought her approval. It never worked, nothing was ever good enough for the vindictive woman. She even denied having abused me because like your Mother, she too has mellowed in her old age.

Finally at age 33 I'd had enough of her ruling my thoughts & life. I thought - the fuckers can stew in their own juices as I only have one life. Im going to live my life the way I want from now on. . .

That was 8 years ago, Im happily married (most of the time), have 2 stunning Children and finally believe that Im worth this beautiful life I have created for me and my family. Im not a worthless, ugly, pathetic whore. Im fairly lovely and look good actually : )

I do have counselling now as the scars never heal fully but for the first time in my life, Im content and I like myself. Im very introverted but no longer give two hoots about that.

My advise to you? Give them the two finger salute and live your life. It will kill you at first but is better in the long run. To those who say 'you only have one Mother, make the most of her', they cannot relate to abused children like us so IGNORE THEM. You will soon become a Mother to a beautiful child, put all your positive energy into bringing up the child as best you can.

Best of luck X

BreakingBuddhist Tue 17-Jun-14 13:36:07

Op you sound like you are really suffering.

I agree with pp that becoming a mother really does bring out an intense need to address any problems we have experienced as a child particularly at the hands of our mother.

Can I recommend a book called ' the emotionally absent mother' and another called 'growing up again: parenting our children parenting ourselves'.

Try to find some with the low self esteem - cat and mindfulness are both very good.

Wishing you well op. Make your first priority being kind to yourself.

BreakingBuddhist Tue 17-Jun-14 13:37:46

Cbt not cat. Although stroking a cat is lovely.

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 17-Jun-14 13:44:01

sending you love OP

I know that people that are 1 million times wiser will come along and advise

however you need to know its not you, its her. Its him

the general advice seems to be to go NC in these cases- I would listen to others with similar experiences to reiterate that:

you are not alone
this is sadly common
Its not about you

what she did (and you Dad too) was disxgustingly wrong and frankly unforgiveable. So its no wonder thatevery conversation focusses on this

move on, if you feel brave enough cut them off and as people say its painful to start, but the long term angst will be eliminated


best of luck xxx


re your comment:-

"my husband wilk definitely not understand it. he thinks no matter how bad a family member is you still must be in touch, blood is thicker than water according to him..

he enabled his mother and sister to be nasty to me.

it seems like i choose people in who resemble people who treated me badly"

Exactly, meredefille.

And your H is wrong on so, so many levels.

Maybe also in the longer term you want to look at your H as well and decide if you would want to stay with such a person given the above.

I reiterate that you never did anything wrong and did nothing to make these dysfunctional people the ways they are. They do not change and I would keep any children you have well away from them. They need positive role models, not those who was snipe and put down their mum at any given opportunity.

foadmn Tue 17-Jun-14 14:57:27

go nc if you need to, op and get help. counselling really helps.

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