What to do next (sorry it's long)

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What to do next (sorry it's long)

Postby retrochav » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:19 pm

I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to post this, then deleted it.

My aunt and two uncles made my life a living hell throughout most of my life. Mum had me at 17, and tried to raise me on her own. A mix of lack of money, lack of confidence and my aunt trouble making with the neighbours (she moved in with us when she was 16, and I was a baby) led mum to have a breakdown. I was sent to live with nan and grandad, and mum joined me there when I was five.

My uncle was 22 when I was born. All my memories are of him ridiculing me, tormenting me until I snapped and then laughing as mum told me off for getting angry about it. On odd occasions he would be nice, but I was so afraid of him I couldn't relax and build anything from it. The aunt would seem kind, and could be, but would constantly tell me that I was a mistake, that mum wanted to abort me, and any error in action or speech would be constantly brought up. She would hold my wrists so I couldn't strike her and if I did manage to attack, mum would make me say sorry. My mum would always say it was my fault, my failing. So in the end I stopped telling her about it. The only salvation was nan and grandad, who would defend me, but I learnt it made the bullying worse, so I learnt to just take the torment.

I was so traumatised that I couldn't make friends at school and was quickly bullied. Strangely mum would go to the school to complain. I realise now that the problem couldn't be solved because I couldn't trust anyone not to turn on me so I shut them out. I suffered anxiety attacks because my aunt frequently talked of my mum taking me somewhere and running away. A trip to east London was wrecked through my continuous crying for example. I had unexplained vomiting which my GP later told me raised questions about what was happening at home, as they knew it was due to stress. I was no older than 11.

At 14 I came out as gay. It was great. I made friends with older, kinder people and began to feel a bit better. My other uncle, who is also gay wanted to hang out with me. He would arrange meetings then stand me up, and I was pressured to keep meeting up with him. When I was 16 I had spent my last money buying mum a rose, which he ripped to shreds. I came home crying only for mum to shout at me to grow up.

I went for counselling, and the first two times mum pressurised me not to mention family issues as the counsellor would think me crazy. Two years ago, in my 30s, I confided in my partner about it all. He was appalled. I found strength to tell others and they said it was abusive. Mum however said it didn't happen, until my cousin confirmed much of it. Then she said her brothers and sisters were "kids" and it shouldn't bother me. My friend who is mums age, and a mother and sister herself challenged this. Now mum says she is a victim and didn't know what was going on.

I am not blameless. I have raged at my mum for being dismissive, for showing me no support, and twice when pushed, I have held her wrists and made her see how it feels. All I want from her is to accept what happened, accept she had at least a suspicion about what went on, and to say that it's not acceptable. Instead she tells me how my aunt is now spiteful to her grandchild, but then changes the story when challenged.

I have felt suicidal at times because my mum presents the image of a loving mother and kind person, and defends her family like a lioness, but won't show me the love she states she has for me.

We meet on Wednesday to talk, probably she is going to tell me she wants me out of her life. I wonder if anyone can advise me how I could try and get our relationship back. Is there any hope for change?
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Re: What to do next (sorry it's long)

Postby snail » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:56 pm

retrochav wrote:All I want from her is to accept what happened, accept she had at least a suspicion about what went on, and to say that it's not acceptable.


I understand this very much, but I think you may have to accept that it is not likely to ever happen. I know from my own experiences and from things people have posted on here over the years, that it takes a really 'big' person to accept and admit that they very significantly damaged their own child because they were a bad parent. Because this is an awful thing to acknowledge and also carries a massive social taboo, they will not face up to it, even to themselves. I'd go so far as to say that the sort of person who could do this would not be the sort of person to put their own well-being before that of their child in the first place. If it's any consolation (I'm not sure if it is) your mother knows the truth, somewhere buried deep in her heart - it's clear from things in your post that she does. But I doubt she'll ever say it - it doesn't sound as though she will. If she truly confronts what she did, she probably feels as though her world and her self-image will implode. My own parents dealt with it in different but related ways - my father very, very, rarely sees or contacts me or my brother so that he won't have to think about us, and 'adopted' his second wife's children, playing the role of perfect dad to them in order to expunge his failings from his mind. My mother chose the same tactic as yours - denial, excuses.

One of the most helpful things I got from my own counselling was the realisation that my parents were never going to say 'sorry'. Once I let go of expecting that, I felt much better about the whole thing. You might also benefit from taking the same position. I know it feels like a double betrayal - she didn't care for you and she damaged you and she's perpetuating it even now by not apologising - but the two go together. If your parents weren't able to do as they should have done by you then, they won't be able to now.

Try to accept that it's not you that has caused this - she is the parent here. If she wants no more to do with you, then that is down to her own issues. You should have whatever relationship you want with her, which may of course be none at all. But I think you're probably stuck with a relationship where you have some contact but she never admits things in the way you want her to, or no relationship at all.

So what happened today?
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: What to do next (sorry it's long)

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:01 pm

I totally agree with Snail.
My mum knew I was being "spied on" by my step dad and she totally blocked it out and acted like nothing had happened.
I decided a long time ago that I would not make trouble with her as only my sibling would suffer from a fragmented family. I didn't want people to have to take sides.
I maintain a very distant realtionship with my mum. At a family gathering it appears I get on with her but anyone close to me including two of my siblings know how I really feel.
One day my mum did apologise after watching a program about abuse but she did it by phone and whilst I think she was sincere in that moment it was already too late for me. The betrayl had already been committed. I told her not to worry and it was forgotten now. By that time I had moved on and wasn't willing to allow her to discuss it with me, probably much to her relief.
If you are determined to give it one more try then tell her straight that she needs to acknowledge her wrong doings or you will never be able to move on.
One other alternative is to ask her to go to conselling together. I don't think she will agree however so you need to be ready for the possible rejection that will be the outcome of this meeting.
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Re: What to do next (sorry it's long)

Postby retrochav » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:00 pm

Thankyou both for your messages of support, which gave me strength to deal with what could happen, and how to manage.

Thankfully mum came to apologise and acknowledge that she had let me down. I was shocked as I was prepared to accept we were going to say goodbye. I have urged her to get some counselling to come to terms with it all, and she agreed. I think that now she acknowledges it, it will be helpful for her to come to terms with her feelings about the family.

We had a meal and I escorted her home. I think I will always have some scars from this, but I am hopeful that in time the pain will go away.

Thanks guys once again for your support.
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Re: What to do next (sorry it's long)

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:40 pm

That's an excellent outcome and one that means you can hopefully salvage a good relationship from
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