I'm cutting ties with my mother.

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I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Tarantula » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:57 am

I've had another awful Christmas, probably the second worst (after 2005, the year when I disclosed to my mother and the police on Christmas day about my father sexually abusing me since early childhood).

Although my mother was technically 'supportive' (she ejected him out of our lives), I've always felt that she secretly blamed me, as she has kept it a (dirty) secret from the rest of our family and has never, not once, asked me how I am dealing with it. In hindsight, I wonder if she would've done anything about it at all if my brothers hadn't immediately called the police after they found out.

I've never lived with my mother. I used to live with my dad and step mum, and my mother would visit on the weekends, whilst working the rest of the time elsewhere. I think I started living with my step mum as early as 11 months old. Over time, my mother's visits became less frequent - and even when she DID visit, whilst she'd shower us with material gifts like computer games and chocolate, she never really spent any time bonding with us. It was more a case of 'go play your computer game whilst I watch my Indian programs.'

I think I had some confusion as to my maternity at a young age, because I once called my step mum 'mum' and she told me off and warned me to never call her that again. Meanwhile, I would look forward to Fridays every week, and cry every Sunday when my real mum would leave again, no matter how much I protested. I'd always be the last one standing outside when she left, until the last of her headlights had disappeared from the bottom of the hill. 'Abandonment issues' doesn't even scratch the surface. I think I would have been just as upset/traumatised had I not been molested behind closed doors, but the fact of what I had to look forward to whenever mum wasn't around (so most of the time) made it worse.

I wanted so badly to be taken away with her to London, yet whenever she asked us (my brother and me) if we wanted to move in with her, I'd say no, because I thought I'd miss my school friends. I was in two minds about it, I was a kid. Am I mad to believe that, as an adult, she should have seen past my initial reluctance, knowing that I would soon forget my school buddies when I made new ones, and made it her business to be with her kids as much as possible? I don't know. She relies on the defence of 'well I asked and you didn't want to go', along with the excuses of 'I had to work', as if there isn't an NHS anywhere else in the country (she was a GP, retired now, and seems to think her career achievements translate to achievement in every department of her life).

Anyway, fast forward to yet another awful Christmas of trying to force a decent family relationship because everyone else in the country is doing it and it's Christmas so we're supposed to fall in line with lovey dove concepts of love and unity and it's Christmas so we have to bury our issues with our parents and stomach a few days of each other's company because it's Christmas.

I realise it isn't Christmas's fault that my mother is insane. I'd been staying in her flat since about the 16th of this month, and my boyfriend was staying with us too, and my brother. Since we'd been there, my mother had been doing all the annoying things she always does - treating me like I'm thoroughly incompetent at completing basic tasks like cooking or food shopping or putting food in my mouth and chewing; constantly asking questions that I've just told her the answer to; constantly overriding anything we try to say; interrupting our conversations with each other because she wants attention; talking over any movie we try to watch together; criticising me for wanting to eat healthy food and get up in the morning and drinking gin every night even though she knows we absolutely hate it - even though the last time I saw her, back in August, I ended up storming out because she broke a promise to not drink during our visit. She's been drinking all my life, and as a child I learned that there were 'two versions of mummy', and that one was worse than the other because it'd make her cry and get angry most of the time. I mean she went through phases. First she'd become overly-friendly and giggly and rosy-faced, then angry and vindictive. She also liked to do things - sober or drunk - like pretend she was dying on the sofa, tell us - her young children - that she wanted to commit suicide because we didn't love her enough, and regularly argue with my father about money, who was of course himself a pervert.

But on the flip side, she'd buy us things. Any computer game or piece of clothing or book we wanted, she bought it without hesitation. She was on about £110k at one point in her career as a partner in her surgery, and she would generously spend £50 for a computer game or two for us, and we worshipped her for that. Mum coming home meant four things to me: presents, fast food, going to bed when we wanted and no molestation from my dad. It's no wonder I have always had mixed feelings towards her. To my child mind, those material things offset all her bad qualities, and boy, did she do a good job of guilt-convincing me that this was true. I suppose I still need someone to shake me by the shoulders and tell me that it doesn't compare; that I would have been better off with a poor functional mother than a rich and emotionally abusive one. But 'abuse' is a word that's thrown around so much, who am I to say that it was really that bad? Am I whining like a b.i.t-you-know-what?

Today I lost my temper when she muscled into her tiny kitchen to 'help' me put shopping away when I'd already asked her to just let me get on with it, let me do it, I can do it, I am capable, I can put the shopping away. But, no, she came in and started moving the stuff around anyway, and when I told her to stop, she walked away muttering angrily under her breath about how all children are punishment. So I flipped - after enduring a week's worth of gradual torment where I've tried to keep my temper because it's kwissmass - and I tried to convey to her all the same old issues that I've tried a million times before to get her to acknowledge. Seriously, I've tried. I've tried talking, screaming, crying, negotiating, reasoning, ignoring and writing. I once wrote her a long letter of grievances in which I stated that the door would always be open and I hoped for a better relationship - it was practically ignored. Well actually it wasn't ignored; it was used as ammunition for her to whinge about how much of a victim she is.

Among other things tonight, she told me that the sexual abuse was my fault because I didn't tell her it was happening sooner, that she never wants to see me again unless I respect her (which is hard to do, not only because of everything I've already mentioned but because her flat is an absolute tip, she's fat, doesn't wash and stays in her night gown all day feeling sorry for herself) and that I'm 'not getting a penny' from her will after she dies. She was pointing the Indian finger at me whilst she said it too.

Her point of view is that I should respect her because she's always financially provided for us - despite the fact that, given her huge salary, we only ever saw a small portion of it, relative to what she could have afforded - my brother was raised in a council estate (uuh, GP? Council estate?! You heard it.) where he was racially bullied and beaten up and poured beer over by chavs when he was a little boy (all whilst mum wasn't there, of course), and she's spent loads of money funding random Indian relatives through education and buying almost-strangers presents like cameras, plasma tvs and Macbook Pros. Oh yes, everyone else loves her, they think she's God, oh so generous. Her own kids can't stand her, and what do other people say? That we should 'look after our mom, our mom's old, you should take care of her'. Easy for them to say.

My mother has never been to a single parents evening of mine - it was usually my step mum and sometimes my pervert dad, but in recent college years, my brother came! My brother is the only person in my family who has helped me and stood by me. My boyfriend also tries his best. We've been together 1.5 years and I believe my meeting him is documented on this site somewhere. He even tried reasoning with my mother tonight, telling her how happy she'd be, as a mother, if she took the time to actually get to know us. Well, she didn't appreciate that. Not at all. Told him he had no right to say anything (sure, he's only been there the countless nights when I've been crying in bed next to him about whatever latest poo my mother has put me through) in her house when we're not even married (for shame!). By this point, my brother had already packed his stuff and stormed out and was waiting for us in the car, and after my boyfriend carried our stuff out it was just me and my mother left in the room.

She said '[boyfriend] is nobody, he's nothing to me, he's just a sh**!' I hit the roof, slapped her round the head, called her the C word and left. It was a proper Jeremy Kyle moment and although I've never crossed those lines before in my life, there was something just so darn liberating about it. I didn't hit her hard at all - I still never would - but I wanted to do something to demonstrate how much that infuriated me. She didn't even seem surprised to be honest. I don't want to see her again, ever. I left in fits of crying and as far as I'm concerned, she died tonight.

Tonight I gave up any lingering hope that she would ever be the mother I needed, and will always need to some extent. I have to walk away now. Being around her is like having an aggressive infection, and she has a way of bringing out the smallest parts of myself. I don't need her BS anymore so tomorrow I'm blocking her number (she will never understand, I have to accept that) and starting fresh.

I feel hollow, and the same old pangs of guilt are there; she did a good job making sure that I would always come back on the artificial hope of meaningful reconciliation. But no. I guess I just have to make sure I turn out nothing like her (or dad) and try my best to move forward without any parent. I'm 22 on new year's eve and right now I feel like I'm bleeding directly from my heart. :(
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Bel Bel » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:28 pm

Oh Broken Chord I really feel for you.

Your mother sounds like she needs some serious help.

She KNOWS she abandoned you as a child and all her words are words of guilt because her actions left you in the situation where you could be abused. It’s not her fault that you got abused that’s only your father’s fault but she feels that burden of responsibility because she left you in that situation.

I suspect you already know that children have a way of internalizing things and blaming themselves. You did NOTHING wrong.

I hate the fact we are expected to spend time with people we don’t want to at Christmas, out of a sense of duty. Next year book a holiday away with your boyfriend so you don’t have to be here.

A parent’s job is to provide for a child. Just because she fulfilled her financial obligation does not mean she can opt out of her obligation to be there in other ways.

Don’t be swayed by the opinions of those who know her less, who she “bought” the affections of with a mac book. This helps her justify, in her own head, that she has done all the right things and nothing is her fault. These people do not really know her or you and the relationship you have. Their opinions are invalid.

Do you think you could get her to mediation/counselling? Firstly to help your relationship but secondly because she might realize she needs further help and actually get it if she starts the process with you.

I completely understand if you feel you have already tried everything and if you no longer feel that you can be in this relationship any longer. She is toxic to you after all. However if this has left you feeling low, sad and angry then she is still having a power over you and for your sake you need to deal with that and get your own counselling.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby highlandcow » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:19 am

I just read your whole post B_C and I just want to get on the first plane to Southampton and give you a huge hug.

I completely agree with Bel Bel. Don't ever, EVER start thinking that any of this is your fault. It isn't in any way, and a lot of is isn't your mum's either. She's just handled the whole thing terribly.

Was going to suggest family counselling as well.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Tarantula » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:16 pm

Thank you Bel Bel and HLC.

By next Christmas I will have graduated out of Cornwall (so I'm not actually living in Southampton atm HLC!) and moved to London - the promised land - with my fella, into the house where he grew up; his mum's living abroad so it'll be us and potentially two of the tenants who are currently living there. I cannot wait. As horrible as it was, from next year on, I'm gonna have a permanent place to call home (moved around a total of seven times in the last six years), so I won't be going anywhere next Christmas. Everyone can come to my home for a change, although obviously that won't include my mother. Actually, by 'everyone', I really just mean my brother. Anyway, we won't be roped into going anywhere.

Unfortunately I know that she'd 'laugh' at the concept of family counselling. She's too ashamed to even get dressed and go outside (she gets a 'friend' [read: employee] to do her shopping for her), let alone divulge her bedrock of dysfunctions to a neutral third party. She's basically a miserable, lonely old woman now, and it's her own darn fault too. Of course, if she rang me and said she wanted to get better, the door would swing open from my end; but I've tortured myself for many years with that kind of hypothetical 'what if' thinking. It is NEVER going to happen and I have to find a way to accept that, and let go of the overwhelming sense of guilt and pity I have for her. As if it wasn't already blindingly obvious that she will never change, in the argument she said so, repeatedly, in plain English. She asked me, if I 'hate' her so much (too strong), then why do I bother to keep coming back year after year? I told her it was because I still have a little-girl hope that this time might be different. She said it will never be different, she is never going to change, and if I don't like it, then not to return; that she doesn't want to see me or my brother when she's dying, and that we should 'mark her words' that we're not getting 'a single penny' after she dies.

I just don't know how to begin getting over it. I know that cutting ties IS, in my sorry case, the best thing to do. I don't doubt that. But I'm so upset that it had to be this way. I'm heartbroken and feel like strangers in the street somehow know about this and are judging me. Bit paranoid I know. I sometimes get these wonderful, fleeting moments of relief where I imagine what my life would be like if I could stop feeling so low about mum once and for all, and never have to go through it ever again. But then the moment passes and I'm deflated again. I feel like I don't have the 'right' to be happy because of the 'bad stock' I come from - apple never rots far from the tree, and all that. I'm totally ashamed of my parents and ashamed of my life story. I'm ashamed of the fact that their blood runs through my veins.

I'm going to see a counsellor when I go back to Cornwall in the new year. It can't hurt. But what I really want to do is disappear for a month, go someplace where I can quietly reflect on my life and vent like crazy. I really want to vent but the demands of everyday life mean that I hae to bottle things up when I'd rather lock myself away and cry. My boyfriend says that monasteries allow people to stay for free but I don't know. I know there's a place where suicidal people can go to reflect on things but I'm not suicidal, although the thought has crossed my mind that maybe if I drove off a cliff my mum would suddenly understand me. It's depressing and I'm not actually gonna do it. But the fact that it even crossed my mind makes me feel even more ashamed. Everyone had told me about how 'strong' I am but I'm clearly not. I feel like a snail without a shell, totally vulnerable to the elements. Other people have the shell of parental love which protects them from being hit hard by the external environment. I feel extremely exposed and ashamed.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby retrochav » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:05 pm

You have suffered abuse from both parrents, and have found the courage to confront it all. You are stronger than you realise, and you don't need to justify yourself to anyone.

You won't make the same mistakes your mother made. An apple falls close to the tree only where the soil is fertile, where the soil is tainted it rolls away. Translated it means that any family or relationship you form will be free of trauma because you will actively spare them from it.

I had bullying relatives in my life who sought to crush me through childhood, but I vowed I would love and protect all children in my life and I always have. The cycle of terror ends with us.

I understand how tough it is to walk away from family, it's a never ending tug of emotion. You could do as I have done. I wrote to each one, and with accusing anyone of anything, said that the relationship doesn't work, and that apart from cards and gifts I would make no further contact. That keeps the door ajar for things to change, without commitment.

For now focus on your partner and friends, those who are worthy of the wonderful person you are. Those who cause you such sorrow should be kept at a polite distance until they can start to heal themselves.
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:48 pm

I can't add anymore to the wise words from retrochav but I am thinking of you and hoping 2013 can be a less emotionally stressfull time for you.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Tarantula » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:17 pm

Thank you very much for your replies - I realise my entries are typically very long so I do appreciate the time you take out of your days to offer someone support anonymously on the internet.

Retrochav I agree 100%, in fact you sound just like me, when I'm supporting other people in these difficult sorts of emotionally-taxing situations. It's the oldest tip in the book, but I didn't even think about what I would tell another person in my situation...

Feeling a little bit better now. It was actually my 22nd on NYE and, of course, I didn't hear from her. I wasn't expecting to, but it still hurt all the same. Anyway my brother and boyfriend made sure I had a good time and I'm going back to Cornwall today to finish the last 6 months of my degree.

I made a few calls and got myself a job interview next week for a care position; I've decided that I really need to sort my life out financially, and the job - together with studies (ha!) and other stuff - will keep me busy enough to not get too lost in depression.

Oh, and I'm definitely getting counselling again.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby retrochav » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:07 pm

That's great news, having goals for the year ahead will make a huge difference for you. I wish you all the best in your plans.

Remember it's your mum who is loosing out here, so hopefully that will dawn on her some day and she will work to make amends with you.

Happy birthday for Monday. Value your twenties, it flies by in a flash x
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Re: I'm cutting ties with my mother.

Postby Bel Bel » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:38 pm

Well you sound much more upbeat and that's a start.
You are going to have bad days but I agree that having a job and studies is going to keep you really busy and give you less time to be depressed.
Here's to a better year
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