This question sounds stupid. I have been coming out of my shell recently and I have been doing more self exploration. I have been seeking help for anxiety, detachment, delayed onset PTSD, etc. I spent a great deal of my life afraid of my mother, to the point where when she was coming home I would get stomach aches especially if I had been given a task to do. If it wasn't done to her expectations I was spanked. From the age I was old enough to hold a broom just before she moved to Ohio, taking my identity with her, me and my sister were meant to clean up after everybody no matter how big the mess.
Anyway, on my birthday years ago there was a house fire that was put out and re-ignited that I can't exactly remember but I say this because I feel my mother misunderstood me more than anything else. I mean she didn't understand that I was having issues with the fire, kids at school, and feelings of worthlessness. I didn't even know what was going on at the time. Terms like PTSD and anxiety were not known to me. I don't know if she really cared.
One or two birthdays after that I was asking her what she was going to do for my birthday(which I always had to share with someone else so it was never just my day). I believe I had a bad grade on my report card or something but what ever it was she brought it up as ammunition and asked me if I thought I deserved a birthday. The obvious answer and the one I gave was no. She seemed satisfied. I always got the feeling I wasn't really wanted around my house at all. My sister hated me, my mom was only there when she was punishing me, my grandmother wasn't really there, my step dad was drinking or smoking weed, and my great grandmother always called me stupid.
When I voiced my dislike for words (that she did not need to use that were racial slurs or otherwise offensive to me) she kept using them rationalization that she did it because I didn't like it and was voicing my opinion of such. If I hadn't said anything about it it wouldn't have been a big deal and she wouldn't have used those words as much. I was already having problems in school with bullies and when I told her about them she asked me what I wanted to do about it, being the shy one not wanting to cause any wrinkles in the fabric, I said "nothing."
I now feel that she didn't have my best interest at heart and I didn't know any better (4th grade up to high school). She and my older sister used to pick on me rationalizing that I had better get used to it because the world is a cold place. My sister probably has her own set of issues. I don't tell her I love her and she doesn't tell me she loves me. She was the worst abuser I'd known because we were close as kids and she got a little older and just abandoned me.
Me and my older sister used to get spanked for losing or accidentally breaking stuff. Punishment was also very inconsistent. She would say that she was going to spank us making us feel that fear and anxiety then she wouldn't do it. Other times she would do it, more often she wouldn't.
For example a notebook got lost and we got spanked for it because we
I also remember getting spanked for watching porn that was in the house prior to my discovering it. My step dad had some naked lady playing cards and I found them and was looking at them in my room. My mom found them and spanked me. To this day I'm exactly sure why I was spanked. Because I took the cards? Because the ladies were naked on them? I still have scars from being spanked. A couple times mom said there was no fun in being a parent if you can't beat your kids and I think she had fun with it. That "it hurts me more than it hurts you" line was bs.
My mom went so far as to freeze an extension cord in the deep freezer to spank me with. I remember walking passed her when she skinned a limb as a switch and her hitting me with it for no reason. "That will work," she said when I yelped. Apparently, she was going to use it on someone but not me.
I don't know but I think my family is more dysfunctional than abusive but being from that family I just see this stuff as normal. Associates tell me she is lying to me on recent matters or trying to control me.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: fallingthin clj2425 (04-15-2011), jillian4 (03-13-2011)
I don't think it's stupid. It's easy to get confused by parental mistakes, and children are very impressionable, making any abuse more heinous. I mean how is a child supposed to know the difference between parental discipline and crossing the line to abuse? A child has no choice, and has nothing to compare it to. As an adult or older child, you are now trying to discern the difference. GOOD for you!
Yes, from what you shared, in my opinion you were abused. There are various levels of abuse that are still abuse. It could be from meanness, or it could be unintentional. Frankly to me the abuse you went through appears mean and intentional. The main thing is that you don't allow it to make you bitter or let it eat at you. Abuse is always about the person that does it. It says absolutely nothing about your worth and beauty as a person.
That you are basically strong and healthy in your mind is indicated by the fact that you are seeking to make sense of your experiences and to look at them directly. When people get sick-minded, in my opinion, is when abused people internalize it and think the abuse is about them. Abuse is always only about the abuser.
There are people that rationalize their poor parenting or people skills that they are toughening a child up for harshness in the world. That's total crapola! It makes children more vulnerable and confused about the difference between real love and unhealthy relating. Don't waste energy on being upset with the abusers because they probably were abused too. That doesn't excuse them at all. But if you focus on them and not getting recovered yourself, you give away energy you need to recover. And, you can recover.
Al-anon, even if you don't have alcohol issues in your family, is a free and safe place to learn the difference between self-control and abusive behavior, and how to have a healthy relationship with yourself and healthy boundaries with others so they can't control you any longer.
I hope this helps.
Last edited by jillian4; 03-13-2011 at 04:28 PM.
Reason: changed word
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jillian4 For This Useful Post: fallingthin (03-13-2011), JJ (03-22-2011)
I think my mother was abused because my grandmother wasn't around a lot and my great grandmother who was around when I was being raised as well, wasn't the best parent. It is hard to accept my mom abusing me. Maybe because she denies it. I'm confused.
The following user gives a hug of support to fallingthin: jillian4 (03-14-2011)
I can understand that. It is amazing how loyal children can be toward abusive parents. My mom abused me, but I felt sorry for her and was in denial about it, and at the same time was confused and also loved and hated her all at the same time. That's part of what is so terrible about abusing children. At the same time, don't let other people put untrue thoughts in your head. You have your own memories that will come up as you can look at them. That's enough to deal with.
What you described is abusive. But reconciling the emotions you have with what you remember is difficult at best. How can a mother abuse her own child? Even my own mom told me she knew she could have abused me but didn't know why she would after how she had been abused. It's all so confusing.
All I can suggest is that you get some books about abuse and learn what kind of actions are abuse, then you can start to sort it out. Looking back, I can see ways my mother was good to me and ways she damaged me horribly. I forgave her. But it doesn't change the bad choices she made with me.
It's a lot to think about and take in. You don't need to think about it or accept it any faster than you want to. So take the time you need.
I hope you are in a safe place now or have a safe place to go if you need to.
From what you have said I would say yes, she did abuse you. Many of us have been abused in one way or another, either physically or mentally, but you have to try and put as much of it as you can out of your head and KNOW..you are a good person and deserve better.
I am a mom, grandma and great grandma and I love them all but in different ways as they all have different personalities. Oh I am sure I made some mistakes raising my children, moms aren't perfect, but to me, the best thing any parent can do is give them quality time and let them know they are loved even if they do things that may annoy you at times, as it is all part of growing up.
Hopefully you have someone to talk to as that to me is the best thing to do, as keeping it bottled up isn't healthy. Just coming here and talking about it is a VERY good start. I hope things get much better and just remember, you are a good person and if mom doesn't see it, it is her loss.
Take care, we do care....JJ....
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The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JJ For This Useful Post: fallingthin (03-14-2011), jillian4 (03-22-2011)
Well I am getting ready to move out of the house where it all happened (from the house fire to my moms parenting). I'm moving in with a guy that really seems to love me and I feel safer there than here.
Maybe when I am out I will have some clarity.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: fallingthin jillian4 (03-22-2011), JJ (03-22-2011)
I am so sorry that you had to endure this as a child. As children, we yearn for our parents love and attention. When we are given attention in negative situations in our hearts, we are displeased of our parents choice of providing the negative attention but are often happy for any attention given. We cling on to the hope that one day our families will provide us the nurture and love that we deserve. And as children we often believe that everyone should be loved, cared and respected.
Believe it or not these emotions are human emotions and even as an adult we still have a little something in us that wishes our parents would one day understand, respect and love us as we believe we deserve. Often the person who is abusing was once abused. Have you ever heard of the bully at school is the bully being bullied by his parents or someone at home.? Well abuse is no different, it is something that is environmental and even through witness could be a trait that is carried from generation to the next. I have found that most children who were abused by their momís often try their hardest as parents to not continue the cycle with their own children.
I commend you for taking the steps of communicating your feelings of your experience; this is the first step to healing. You may also get joy of writing a journal, expelling these experiences rather through verbal communication or written literature will help ease your anxiety of thee horrific experiences.