Hello, my mother and I have a very dysfunctional relationship and I could really use some advice. My parents’ divorce was finalized when I was 15 (they divorced because she was a chronic cheater), the day my father packed up all of his things and moved out, my mother’s boyfriend moved in. This was literally within 20 minutes of my father leaving.
Her boyfriend was an absolute monster. He was verbally and emotionally abusive to my younger brother and I, as well as my mom. The abuse became physical within the first three to six months. My memory is a bit hazy because I think I have subconsciously tried to block majority of it out. Initially, he was only physically abusive to my mother. The cops were constantly at our house for domestic abuse, when I look back now I am shocked my brother and I were not removed from the home by social services.
Every time the cops would come, because I called 911 (she never would have), she would tell the officers that I was lying. However it was always very obvious that he did indeed abuse her, so he would be whisked off for a night. Upon his return, my mother would always say, “You better put on a f*cking smile and go say hello to him. This is all your fault.”
One time, which I will never forget, I was outside with one of the officers who had come to my house several times before. I was filling out my statement of what had happened, and I was very shaken up. He proceeded to take me in the house, walk me right up to my mother, and ask her point blank, “How could you put this guy before her? I have children too Ms. *****, and I would love to know how you can do that.” She proceeded with the usual, “She’s lying” response. Even more upset than I was initially, we went back outside and as I was finishing up writing my statement the officer looked me dead in the eyes and said, “As soon as you turn 18, get the hell out of here.” The look on his face has been burned into my brain ever since.
I was constantly afraid her boyfriend was going to molest or rape me. Luckily, I thank god everyday this never happened. Within two years, my brother moved out. I naively stayed with my mother, wanting to protect her. She and her boyfriend both were raging alcoholics, which sparked majority of the physical altercations.
My mother has always been a selfish person, constantly putting relationships before her children and family. I should also note that my mother was not an angel either, she was constantly spouting off verbally and emotionally damaging remarks as well. After about five years of living with this man, he left her. He moved to Europe for business. I thought the troubles were over, though I knew I could never forgive my mother for the abuse she had put me through as a child.
Upon him leaving, she became extremely promiscuous. Out drinking all hours of the night, bringing home strange men, it is really very bad. Her drinking has continued to increase, and she is constantly emotionally, verbally, and occasionally physically abuse toward me. Somehow, I still feel “stuck” with her. I am almost afraid to leave her alone because I fear she may harm herself. I believe she suffers from depression, if not other mental ailments.
I want to forgive my mother, really I do. However, I just cannot. I truly hate her. She is a miserable person who has dragged everyone else along with her. In my own weird, unconventional way, I do love my mother, just not enough to let these things go. I was robbed of my childhood, essentially parenting her. My question is, am I wrong? Am I being selfish? Would you be able to look past all of this? What would you do?
I have kept this post short and sweet in comparison to what I have endured. I am not looking for a pity party, just honest answers. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I truly will take all responses to heart.
You are not wrong for feeling emotionally abused and I'm very impressed that you are so articulate in expressing how you feel. What your mother has done is unexceptable and I would say unforgiveable, but within time, she will reach an age where you will look at her with love and pitty at the same time for how she chose to live her life. You and your brother were completely innocent children, who had the misfortune to be born to someone who is or was irresponsible, immature, poor decision maker, selfish and self centered putting herself first, before her children. You feelings are completely justifiable. I fell that within time you will be able to put this behind you, but it is completely up to you.
Just know that you now have the ability to change your life in any direction you choose and not repeat the past or cycle of dysfunction. chose to be a good, productive person and show her that you will never be like her, yet have in your heart a compassion that she never had for you.
Remember, one day she will be old and will probably need to be taken care of and her life and past is going to comeback and haunt her for the way she chose to live her life. To forgive is a gift that is divine and not to many people are able to forgive, but how she treated you and your brother is going to comeback to her one day and show her that you are a better person than her and maybe, just maybe have pitty on her and forgive her. Only if you want, it's completely up to you. I also recommend that you seek counseling if your childhood has traumatized you. There is help and you don't have to live the rest of your life tormented by the past, because then you will not be able to move forward in the future. Seekp help if you need to and there is a great big beautiful world out there just waiting for you. Best wishes. Judy
I have been in a similar situation to you. My parents are both alcoholics and have been for 30 years or so. There have been horrible times where the police have been called and I've been questioned, and times when the police have pitied me, too. Though luckily for me these past few months have calmed down a hell of a lot and my Mum is now trying to quit. She is doing this because she came very close to loosing us all and she finally realised what she had done. My Dad has cut down drink too, but I still hate him when he's intoxicated.
To answer your questions: No. You are not wrong. Your mother should be ashamed of all the harm she did to you and your brother. Never should a boyfriend come before her kids. It sounds as if you have always stuck by her despite the crap you've had to endure and she really is not appreciating what a lovely daughter she has. She is taking her family forgranted and can't see that happiness can be days out with family, rather than at the end of a bottle, and thats really sad. It was the same for my parents, and I always resented that they never put me first even though I was always a really good well rounded kid.
You are not being selfish either. She is the selfish one. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in themselves and there own problems that they forget the suffering going on all around them. I think your mother is depressed too, she is trying to run away from her emotional problems.. maybe even guilt for what she did to you, by drinking and acting like shes still a teenager. She is addicted and associates happiness with guys and drink when she should associate it with you and the rest of her family.
Would I be able to look past all of this? Well, I did. But only after she stopped and everything calmed down. When it was going on, I made it clear I couldn't stand them. I'd try and stay out for as long as possible, or I'd lock myself in my bedroom only leaving when I needed too. I used to always tell myself when I was able to, I'd leave and I'd never talk to them again to show them how resentful I was. However, in the end, she is your mother. And as much as you resent her, hate her and feel so much anger towards her, we are all human and we need that relationship sooner or later.
My sister once cut contact with my mother, she said she couldn't forgive it anymore. It lasted 6 months, but in the end she became very sad because as much as she hated to admit it, she needed her. She didn't want her kids to grow up not knowing her either. So she bit her tongue and they reconsiled.
I think you should stop being burdened by her, your 20 now and she is no longer your problem. Write a letter explaining how hurt you are, how much you love her but you are so angry she would put you through a life like this and say that you need some time away. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Tell her if she wants a healthy relationship then she needs to make a lot of changes, and there needs to be a lot of sincere apologies. Take a break from it, time for yourself to heal and get over this, and then when you are ready slowly but surely start contact with her again. Show her what shes missing out on without having you around and make a stand. Only be around her when she isn't drinking or acting like this. I found that my parents were completey different people when they were sober. They are lovely in reality, but with a drink they turn into horrible people.
“As soon as you turn 18, get the hell out of here.” The look on his face has been burned into my brain ever since.
I think you should heed this advice. Ontop of what has already been said. Everything thats the best has been said. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic, and I have had been dealing with my own nightmares in life because of that.
Only thing I can say? Is do not suffer for her, and do not put your life on hold for her. You are a person who has been put through alot by the sounds of it. Go on your own, get therapy, and your own place. School yourself, and get a decent job. It is not your responsibility to make her get better. It sounds like she does not want help, and feels as if she doesnt need the help..
Ohh hunny, you know what you should not feel guilty, selfish or otherwise for one second longer than you already have. Your mother and father brought you into this world and it was both her's and your fathers job to raise you in a protected, loving, supportive environment. Both parent did neither. You were subjected to terrible volience, abuse and having to deal with issues that were way too grown up for such a young girl. This was in no way your fault and you shouldn't have to 'feel' that you owe your mother anything by staying as she has def not put you first in anyway shape or form. All she has done is made your life hell and stripped you of your childhood.
I know this is going to be hard for you, but what you need to do now is to accept that your mother is never going to change, you could try to get her help from every possible source but if she doesn't accept that she has a problem then i'm affraid hunny nothing will help her. She has to 'want' to change. All you can do now is, and please, please, please take this advice, is to move out the house and build a life for yourself that you can indeed be proud of. Don't let her drag you down any further. You deserve happiness, love, support, respect, worthiness, and so much more.
I do not know which country you are in but maybe you could go to a citizens advice, housing sheltor or womans refuge to get some advice on getting some new accommadation and getting some benefits until you sort yourself out and can support yourself.
Please let us know what you have decided and i do wish you all the luck in the world, may it shine down on you and grant you peace and a new life. Much affection Julie
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