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Joined: Jun 2009
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Amoeba
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Dear Sosdd, Welcome! you are in a very good place here! I feel for you and your post can never be too long:) I am so sorry for the pain you have suffered! Unfortunately we could not choose our families. I wish I could have. I was in a similar situation myself. I have parted ways from my mom sister and stepdad. I thought the sky would fall for the longest time. I have come to feel very relieved. Its been 4 months or so since Ive had contact w/ them. For a long time I thought I would be hurting them. Funny and strange, why did it matter?? As I moved away from the situation their behavior become increasingly bad! In the process I became so scared of them to the point of not being able to see them out of fear. I would screen calls and lock doors and watch windows. My imagination of what would happen went wild. The world may not understand but I do! my kids do. Many friends do! Hell my neighbors could see before me! The truth is the truth. The people who dont get it, do not walk in our shoes! My world is very small now, but it is safe from abuse. I feel empowered to some degree. I still feel out of place in the world but the pain of wishing they would turn into a loving family has subsided to a great degree:) In time the toxic shame I was given will be less and less. I went thru the whole phone thing too! They would knock on the door if I didnt answer the phone. Then they went thru my kids in secret! that really freaked me out! I threatened the law on them and they backed away. My kids are 10,15,20 and 22. They have suffered so much:( we are healing a great deal even in this short time. I am so glad your little baby will not see many years of this! Please know it is right and good to move away from this abuse. We have rights too! They are bullies. If they went to school now they would be kicked out!! Good luck to you! Keep posting everyday if you need to:) it was a great lifeline for me! You are not alone:):) HUGS Lisa:)

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Amoeba
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Dear Amazed, I just read your posts. I havent been here for a little while so I am catching up. I was wondering how you are? I am hoping you have found a new place to live. Your mother scratching you and pulling your hair makes me angry! You know she deserves to go to jail for this? When I read of your life time of bullies, it reminded me of myself. I isolate some to avoid new people because I have pretty much ridden myself of all past bullies. Being bullied was normal to me until I realized it was not!!:) I struggle to stick up for myself. Its getting better! I feel awkward around people for a length of time. That is why I enjoy this forum so much:) I am truly understood here! If you need daily support in distancing yourself from your family,,,we are here!! Thats how I did it!!:) coming here everyday! Please be safe! call the police if you need to! Hugs,Lisa

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[quote]This went on for years. At age 18 I left. I went to college, got into law enforcement and have done very well for myself. I'm married to a wonderful man, beautiful home and expecting my first child. [/quote] Sosdd, congratulations on getting out and making a new life for yourself - that's strength indeed! [quote]Why can't she see what she does is wrong? What do I do? Do I change my number and ignore her? Or do I continue letting myself be hurt? I worry what she might say or do to my child once it is born. [/quote] - I don't know there is a good answer to this. But it's been my experience that sometimes people just refuse to see the error of their ways and there is nothing you can do. I guess you have to decide - what kind of boundaries are you going to set with her? It sounds like you're not ready to cut ties with her, yet by letting her say and do hurtful things and still keeping the relationship the same, you are giving her implicit permission to continue doing so. I guess another question to answer is, do you want your mother in her current state to be a part of your child's life? Perhaps what you can do is tell your mom that if she continues to say & do those hurtful things, she can't be part of your life. And if she does, you'll have to change your number/etc in order to reinforce your words. Maybe work out a plan with a therapist as to the best course of action? Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by hopeforfuture; 04/28/10 10:04 AM.
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Thanks for listening. freemenow- I'm sorry to hear that you went through all of that. It sounds like it was a long road, but you are in a much better life now. hopeforfuture- I appreciate your input. I have been to numerous therapists over the last 20+ years. After I moved out and was on my own, I couldn't find a therapist that thought I should continue the relationship with her. Several of them wanted her to come to therapy, individually or together with me. She has refused every single time. She says she doesn't have to. If I try talking to her in a civilized manner and explaining to her that her ways will not be tolerated. She acts like she is the victim, telling me, that I am trying to hurt her. I explain that I have been hurting for years and just want it to stop. She then tells me that I exaggerate the situation, or it never happened like that. I know that is denial. I just live one day at a time with her for now. Severing ties with her would also severe ties w/ my 90 year old grandmother, who knows all of this. One of the worst things is my grandmother was 70 when my mothers boyfriend threw her down a set of steps so he could go beat my mother. My grandmothers mind is sharp, she remembers all of this. My mother denies that this ever happened (he was even arrested for it--grandmother pressed charges--he did jail time) What I was trying to get to was that my grandmother has lived with my mother for the last 5 years, she has a hard time walking and hearing, but other than that she is in great health. I am her only grandchild, if I severe ties w/ my mother, I will lose my grandmother. My grandmother and I have talked about this in the past, she understands that I don't want my mother doing this to me, but she doesn't want me to 'leave' my mother. Both my grandmother and I have tried to talk to my mom over the years and my mother would call us both liars and leave the house. I guess what I am saying is, that for my grandmothers sake...I allow it to happen. Thanks again for letting me get this out :)

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For some reason last night in my sleep I relived every memory I have of the beatings and verbal abuse my mother dished out to me. I woke up with a headache and nauseated. I still feel like [censored]. Maybe this has something to do with my father contacting me before Mother's Day to come over for a family event. I have not heard from them in a couple of years....that birthday card they sent to me of a baboon giving the finger. Yeah, that was nice. I sure wish I could get rid of these memories. I hate Mother's Day.

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E4TA,
I'm so sorry to hear of what you are experiencing. Nightmares can be very difficult. I have had my share of them recently as well. They are hard to process. I hope tonight you are able to get some good sleep. You're in my thoughts.
Kelli

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Thanks Kelli, Just got an email from my mother yesterday briefly stating that we love you and we miss you and can we some see you. The cycle has started over again. This time I don't plan to respond. I'm not getting back on that rollercoster. I guess I can expect another nightmare now. Usually takes a few days.

Last edited by E4TA; 06/11/10 02:23 PM.
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[quote=sosdd] Why can't she see what she does is wrong? What do I do? Do I change my number and ignore her? Or do I continue letting myself be hurt? I worry what she might say or do to my child once it is born. [/quote] I would say that someone who doesn't respect you and only seems to want to make your life miserable doesn't deserve to be in your life. Is your grandmother your only tie to her? I would say to start establishing boundaries, but with someone as extreme as her, I don't know that even that would work. What I would suggest is for instance, if you're on the phone and she starts degrading you, just simply say you won't be talked to that way, and say goodbye. At this point there's no point in trying to bring up the past with her or anything like that. I doubt she'll really change how she talks to and treats you, but YOU have control over whether or not you want to give her that opportunity. I think you should just nip her any time she tries to be be negative. You can't reason with people like this, or try to make them feel bad, or see what they've done wrong. It's good that you recognize that you don't deserve to be treated this way, that you've not done anything wrong, that this isn't healthy, etc. But you have to make the choice of whether or not you want her in your life, and if you do-to what extent. I would say though, that with the way she's treated you, she doesn't deserve to have your child in her life. Even if she treats him/her well, the baby will pick up on how she treats you. I just don't think it would be healthy.

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Thank you so much for posting this. All of your responses resonate deeply with me. I am struggling with a very similar situation - I grew up with an emotionally abusive, manipulative, intimidating father. I am very blessed to have a supportive mother who fought with me through this time, but even us together couldn't negate the effects of his comments/behavior. I have a strong sense that everyone here really understands the pain involved with having a parent like this. I tried so hard to protect my mom (I would fix things/clean up the house before she came home from work so he wouldn't yell at her...he called it "barking"...)but things still were never good enough for him. I was the ultimate over-achiever in high school and still now while I'm finishing up college...but there was always something I did wrong. We've been in on/off contact for 5+ years now after he left and divorced my mom when I was 16. I have really tried through emails to make him understand what it was like growing up like that, but we haven't had any breakthroughs...I have felt extra pressure to reconnect with him lately because his already bad health is deteriorating . He is obese, has high blood pressure, type II diabetes, sleep apnea...he can't walk very far without gasping/straining for breath. I worry all the time that I'm going to get the call that he had a heart attack or he's in the hospital. I unfortunately suffer from panic disorder and symptoms of PTSD...I can't see someone that looks like my dad without getting a pang of extreme anxiety, or a red car like the one he drives (I check parking lots even when I'm away from his hometown to make sure he's not there). I have been going to counseling since the panic started and I am on the long journey towards self-acceptance and learning to love who I am. But all of this anxiety complicates things because even thinking about talking to him is a very nervous endeavor. I know really deep down it is ok to not have a relationship with him, but I doubt it constantly...has there been anything you all have done to help this persistent guilt? I'm sorry this is so long...I just felt comfortable sharing my story among people who have felt the same pain. Even though I haven't been able to realize this fully for myself yet, I want you all to know that you have enormous, inherent worth as human beings...I am so sorry that you all had to experience such trauma and I hope you can all find true happiness free from criticism, judgement, and abuse. Big hugs :)

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Welcome! And I'm sorry to hear about all you've been going through. You definitely came to a place where people DO understand what you're going through. I'm almost 27 and have been on a similar, long journey as a result of a verbally abusive father. Personally, I do not feel ANY guilt about not wanting any relationship with him. The only reason he's still in my life because 1) I'm STILL financially dependent on my parents (just graduated from law school), and 2) my parents are unfortunately still together and I'm pretty close with my mom. I realized a long time ago that every family is different; my father is NOT the typical father like my friends and family have, and he does not deserve all I have to offer. Like you, I tried for YEARS to "protect" my mother in various ways. However, I am now at the point where I'm understanding that she voluntarily stayed in that marriage, and she really should have been protecting me (still working on plenty of anger from that!). She continues to be in denial about him, and will NEVER see things clearly. I realize the effects of being a victim in an abusive relationship, but my personal journey has moved me past that issue, and I no longer see myself as a protector to her. I'm SO happy you are in counseling, but I do want to stress that it is important to find the RIGHT counselor for you. I hope you are happy with your therapist, and if you are not, please be sure to find someone you really like. I found that therapist a couple years ago and have made a LOT of progress since then. Even more, she finally met my parents a couple months ago. A HUGE breakthrough for me has been an understanding that my father is probably NOT neurologically "normal." The educated guess is severe autism. That, of course, does not ever excuse his actions, but it does put a different spin on things. This obviously will not apply to everyone, or even necessarily anyone in this forum, but I just wanted to put that out there. Keep in mind that you cannot ever change anyone but yourself. I went through the same thing trying to make my father understand the way he treats people... and he completely denies it. The lack of empathy with the autism is obvious. Further, my father also has many, many health problems (all of the things you named minus obesity, plus a LOT more), but he doesn't take care of himself. He has never and will never listen to anyone, including doctors, about how to properly care for himself. The only person who can make him understand is him, and at 60, I'm not going to waste a single breath attempting to teach him anything. He knows better by now and makes conscious decisions which contribute to his ailing health. I don't think I will ever fully move past or forget the things my father said or did, but at the same time, my journey of working through these issue has made me a much stronger, empathic, and clear-thinking person. My confidence and self-esteem still suffers badly, and while I no longer fall into long depressive slumps, I have anxiety issues, but I've tried to turn the focus to myself and making MYSELF feel good rather than allowing anyone to make me feel horrible. Remember that there are a LOT of good, confident, successful, happy people out there who, for one reason or not, do NOT have a relationship with one or both parents. The only person who can make the decision of what's right for you is YOU, and you'll figure it out. Last but not least... are you an animal person? :) I find them to be incredibly therapeutic, although I realize not everyone is an animal person. Sorry THAT is very long, but hopefully some of this helps. This journey will be long, but with work and dedication on your part, I can promise that things will improve.

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