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Old 01-01-2008, 02:34 AM   #1
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I don't want to be a full time mum any more

I would like to tell my story if I can. I have 4 kids to a man who treated me like a servant, he abused me, but he didn't do that to our kids so I thought he was better then my father was. I tried to be the best mother I could, while their father did nothing, but try to be their buddies, so I was the only real parent to them. 11 years ago, after 23 years, I left him, after making the decision not to kill myself or him, I was that depressed by then. My oldest has not spoken to me since then, he's 32, married with 3 kids whom I haven't seen, & I don't think we could get along now anyway. He was always daddies boy, & when they were young I encouraged that, I wanted all my kids to have a good relationship with their father even though he never returned the favour for me, he never backed me up. The second & third kids were old enough to make the decision to stay or leave but I took my youngest, she was 11 at the time. I was the one who cooked, cleaned, fixed up their cuts, made sure they could read & write, & tried to teach them how to look after them selves, took them places & picked them up from places. The younger 3 are now 29, 28 & 20.
After I left I found a man, who I never thought I could find & for the last 11 years I have been happy for the first time in my life & I have some one who has excepted me for how I am & so I'm a differant person to the mother my kids knew when they were groing up. I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer 5 years after I left my ex & my new husband stood by me the whole time, I wouldn't have fought the cancer if it wasn't for him, it was a slow growing cancer & I probably had it when I left my ex. I'm now having to have total knee replacements because I have osteoarthritis. My problem is, now I want to have a nice peaceful life & don't want sympathy nor do I want my kids to do what I say, or think how I think, but I would like them to try to understand who I am now. You see when they were growing up I was a down trodden person who tried to please every one just so I could be loved & liked, my ex didn't do that for me, hence, why I left him. Now my adult kids think they should come first in my life, they all have lives & families of they own now. I can't seem communicate with the other three kids, without doing something to upset them, even when I try not to. If I try to advice them, I'm interfering, if I don't say much, then it's, I don't care about them, if I try to let them know I understand them by telling them a time I went through the same thing, then I'm being self centred by talking about myself, so no matter what I say or do I am doing the wrong thing, they don't seem to understand me because they haven't gone through what I have & that is because I tried my hardest to make sure they didn't. My oldest daughter even told me I was not a good grandparent, in a round-a-bout way, she refereed to my mother whom she said had told her off when she was a kid. Apparently I wasn't very motherly ether. This my be due to the fact I never wanted kids, but when I did & this was under threat from their father, I did my best. I told my 5yo grandchild off, when my daughter, husband & 3 kids, came for one of they rare visits (they live 3 hours away) why she wasn't allowed to move my things around in my loungeroom, (she did break something) even if it was to clean, my daughter got upset because she said I had no right to tell her off, I didn't shout, it had been only the second time I had to explain why she shouldn't touch other peoples things, in her life. I now have all my kids upset with me for one thing or another & if the things they were upset with me for, they had done to me, then there wouldn't be anyone upset. My youngest daughter has been angry at me because I said I was selfish for having her, to someone else, she took it as if, I was telling how miserable I was with her father , I never mentioned him & I didn't want her, I had always told her I never regretted having her. She has since married her boy friend but made sure we couldn't come & even said because her father wouldn't come if I was there, then she would rather not have any one there, yet she expected us to send a card & call when she gave me the impression she didn't want anything. She didn't send me a card when I went into hospital for my knee opp, but wants every one else to consider her feeling. She has since told me she is pregnant. They want me to be their depressed mummy, who devoted her whole life to them because I didn't have any one else to give my love to. Well I'm not depressed now, I'm who I have always been but was never aloud to be, & they have there own lives now. I don't want to be that unhappy person again but they don't want to know the me now, so how can I get them to see I'm different now. Recently I have had to tell the 2 girls that I didn't want to talk to or communicate with them again till they stopped accusing me of wanting to live my life, my own way. They have told me I'm selfish, disrespectful, a liar, have a ****ed memory, uncaring, insulting, friendless, unfeeling, embarrassing, & more & I have not complained about their behaviour once. For the whole time I have been arguing with them, it has been defending & trying to explain myself, but they come back with more accusations. I have been so upset with it all, after I had given every thing to them when they were little, they don't remember, I couldn't take it any more, so I had to cut them off, that's not easy or I could get sick again.

My grandmother once told my mother that kids make your arms ache when they are young but they make your heart ache when they have grown.

Can any one help me come to terms with my decision.

 
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Mum, sorry for these struggles. Sounds like a big lack of communication is going on (people are talking but they are not understanding each other). Is there anyone who can mediate for you all to help you all understand each other better? But I guess what you have asked for is for help in coming to terms with your decision. I guess this doesn't address what you asked for....

 
Old 01-01-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

I wish I had some constructive advice for you but I don't. Your children obviously have no idea of your struggles while they were growing up because you did what any mother would do in that situation, shield them from the abuse you were getting.

The result of that is they have come to expect you to be one way (living for them) and your not anymore. And they are adults and you have every right to try to be happy after all the misery you endured. But for one reason or another your children are just not understanding you or anything you went through. They don't have the same memories of their childhood as you do and chances are they are hearing another version from their father. There is definately a huge communication issue here.

It would be nice if you could try to go to some sort of family mediation so you could all hear and understand eachother. But unless they are willing to go and listen to you then that won't work. All you can do is try. If your children would rather blame and accuse you of all these things then it may be best for your own mental and physical health to take a step back from them for a while. Nobody wants to do that with their children, but you also deserve to be happy. It's not like you are abandonning children at this point. They are grown with families of their own.

 
Old 01-01-2008, 09:44 AM   #4
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

The lessons we learn so late. Apparently you taught them you were a doormat when they were young and that is what they want you to be now. Nothing you do now will change what they saw/heard/felt when they were raised ...that is imprinted in their minds and for children now adults to just erase that would be next to impossible. So it all boils down to the same thing with each and every person...you can only change yourself...you only have control over yourself. You did what you thought was the right thing to do when they were young but as you see you only taught them that you don't count...you don't have feelings. So now to live your life in peace you will have to exclude them from your life and that is a sad thing but maybe in time they will understand?...hard to tell I don't know. There is generally one that 'gets it' and warms up but only time will tell. Continue your life as you wish it to be and tell each one with love in your heart this is how it is and that you expect to be treated with respect and if they can't do that then they can not visit you. I am sorry for all that you put yourself through so now it is time to re-educate. good luck.

 
Old 01-01-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Thanks for all your replies. It's a bit hard to tell the whole story & not make it into a book, but I'll try to give a bit more info as briefly as I can.
I have tried to tell my kids how it was with there father as they got older & I thought they could handle it, but they didn't want to hear it. They say that they know that he wasn't a good husband & my daughter remembers her father pushing me up against a wall hitting me, I can't remember it & neither can my oldest son. I have only tried to tell them my side so they don't only get his side.
I'm hoping my story will help some one else in their life, as listing to other people stories, has helped me to get to a place where I have found happiness. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, as we all do, so some of what I tell you might not be pretty.
I'll start when I had my first kid. I was 19 & very naïve, & my ex wanted kids, so when I had my son I thought he would be happy with me, for giving him a son, but I found I became redundant, & he often took our son to his mothers house, he was close to her. I have look back at that time & I know now, I was jealous of my own son, & I often got angry at him & treated him the way my father treated me, (I was the reason my parents got married,) then one day when he was about 3, I saw myself hitting him, I had lost my temper with him & I was shocked at the realisation, that I was like my dad. From there on, I promised myself that I would not loose my temper on him, or any other kids, I was to have. I think I did well, I learnt to control myself & by the time I had my forth, I hardly ever touched them, I even went to a good parenting class, the not smacking kids thing, was just starting to get popular & I want to know a better way to discipline my kids without smacking them.
At times in my life I had been so depressed, that it was like being in a deep black hole with no way to get out, so I have gone to counsellors for help & sometime it has helped. That where I learnt you have talk or write your problems out so I started to talk about what had happened in my life. Before that I just kept quiet so I would not be thought of as weak. I have come a long way from that quiet, naïve girl who was looking for a happy ever after & now I have finally found it.
Today it would be nice if my kids could be where I am now, you see, I have forgiven my father & mother for the life I had as a kid. I have listened to how they were raise & come to understand their personality & can now accept that they did the best they could for the way they were raised. My father, was often beaten by his father & it was except-able. My mother is a big woman & I thought she could have been able to protect us better back then, but now I see she was not strong in her personality, so was not able to fight back. I now understand my parents but I don't have to agree with them, just accept them, that is all I wanted from my kids.
Their father has admitted to them he was a bad husband but the simple truth is we were like chalk & cheese, we were never right for each other. The other big shame is, my ex has not looked into himself, he has gone into the bottle farther & he will never understand what happened with us. If he could, then we would be able to sort things through with the kids but my kids don't think they need to see anyone for help with this, just as their father never did.
The problems I'm having now with communication, I didn't think would happen, I thought they understood where I was coming from better, but I think, unless you live it, it can be hard to understand for yourself.
Thanks again, I just needed some morale support.

Last edited by oldmum50s; 01-01-2008 at 08:47 PM.

 
Old 01-02-2008, 05:40 AM   #6
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Mum, are you acknowledging their grievances? I would assume they would listen to what you really want them to know better if they felt that you were hearing what they want to tell you?

 
Old 01-03-2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Sannah, I have be thinking how to answer your question. I have tried to listen to them & I do understand them, because I have been there & done that. That's why I have been accused of not caring, I try to show I understand, that I know how they feel but I come across as unfeeling, I suppose I see it as something you can get over, just one of life's little hurdles & not a big deal. My youngest even told me, after she told me that she was emotional because she was pregnant, that I didn't know how she felt.
It's hard to tell enough of the story in short.
I have always been a loaner, so, to tred to not be alone, I have always tried to please the people in my life, I see myself as a little puppy, wagging my tail & running around to every one, just to get a pat on the head. I have always watched people, trying to understand them, listing to them, trying to do what ever they want but still never being able to make friends, even in my family. I have now realised that the people who have always excepted you as you are, are the people who, you don't need to impress, so you don't try, but the people who have always made you feel less worthy, are the ones your always trying to win approval from. I have always told my kids they are good & smart ect but I think because they don't think that of themselves, they think I really don't think their any good, hence being thought of as a liar.
To give a couple of examples. My daughters don't like my husband & myself showing affection in front of them. We only give each other little kisses & hugs in front of them, nothing more. I've tried to tell them that they are not use to seeing two people showing affection because they never saw their father & myself show any as they grew up, but what I get back from them, is I'm not giving them enough of my attention when they come to see me. We actually tone down our behaviour for them. I told them we're not going to act like “normal” married couples (they used that term) & act cold to each other, for them.
Another time was when I talk about my life with their father. I don't have any happy memories with him & I try not to mention him, & even when I don't, I'll say some thing about how I felt at a certain time or something I did then & I get accused of putting their father down & I never mentioned him. I have always just told things how they are & tried not to be one sided, but I know people interpret things in there minds, what it would mean if they had of said it. I have tried so hard not to do the thing they say upset them but I still manage to do something.
I never learnt how to socialise because I was to sensitive to peoples feelings & most people I met gave me the feeling I was not welcome, so I would leave. I have been told I'm to sensitive but also I have been told I'm patients, wise & gentle, most of the friends I have now are 20 years or more older then myself, I like talking to older people because they understand me, & I understand them, younger people don't. So I went looking on the net to see if I could find what sort of personality I am.

Life is like being in a race for happiness & I have finally come from behind & now I'm right at the winning post, & it's as though my kids want me to be back with them & are throwing what ever they can, at me, to get me back. I don't want to be “normal” again, they can keep in the race & I'll try to help them or they can stand on the sideline & watch. I can't be their full time mum anymore, it's to draining.

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Old 01-04-2008, 08:19 AM   #8
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

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Originally Posted by oldmum50s View Post
I have tried to listen to them & I do understand them, because I have been there & done that. That's why I have been accused of not caring, I try to show I understand, that I know how they feel but I come across as unfeeling, I suppose I see it as something you can get over, just one of life's little hurdles & not a big deal. My youngest even told me, after she told me that she was emotional because she was pregnant, that I didn't know how she felt.

I have always tried to please the people in my life, I see myself as a little puppy, wagging my tail & running around to every one, just to get a pat on the head. I have always watched people, trying to understand them, listing to them, trying to do what ever they want but still never being able to make friends, even in my family.

I have now realised that the people who have always excepted you as you are, are the people who, you don't need to impress, so you don't try, but the people who have always made you feel less worthy, are the ones your always trying to win approval from.

I have always told my kids they are good & smart ect but I think because they don't think that of themselves, they think I really don't think their any good, hence being thought of as a liar.

what I get back from them, is I'm not giving them enough of my attention when they come to see me.

I never learnt how to socialise because I was to sensitive to peoples feelings & most people I met gave me the feeling I was not welcome, so I would leave.
Hi Mum, this is very insightful of yourself. Concerning the first paragraph that I quoted of yours. Maybe you are just different from your children. You are tough and can get over things easier but maybe they are just more sensitive and cannot? It's okay that you all are different from each other. Maybe it would help your children to feel more understood if they could feel from you that they can respond differently than you would to a situation? Everyone responds differently to things and it feels nice to feel understood for your own individual feelings and unique reactions to things.

The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs up there sound like you are outwardly directed but only by those that you haven't won over yet. Do you think that your drive is just to finally win everyone over and this drive to win over the more resistant leaves you with no energy left for those who really should matter in your life?

Maybe your children learned their self-worth from you?

 
Old 01-05-2008, 11:53 PM   #9
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Sannah, I wish you were be able to help me to understand my kids better, if it could be possible. Your right to say we are all different & I respond to things differently. Your right to think I get over things easier then they do, that is why we've been having so much misunderstanding between us, I don't get upset easily & they get upset with very little. There are right to say I don't understand them, but not in the way they think, I understand about every day life, but what I can't understand is why anyone would carry a grudge with someone, for so long, when it hasn't hurt them physically, financially, & wasn't verbally aggressive, eg; “****** you” or “s**t” etc. It really upsets me & I know it's because I'm to sensitive, but that's me, I don't know why they would get upset over some of the things they have been upset about, I wish they would get over it, I have done that for them in the past. Then, on the other hand I have been told I am tough, because I can put a wall around my feelings so I can tone down my feelings. It's something I have done to be able to keep my sanity. I have to be tough, to be able to get over cancer & all the other things in my life. I'm not going to go on about them because I know there are people worse of then me. I suppose I am a lot different then my kids. I can't seem to do or say anything right, no matter how hard I try, so what can I do? I don't know how to talk to them with out upsetting them but at the same time I don't think they can tell me how to live my life, I think I have the right to be happy now. I don't like confrontation, I try to avoid it. When it comes to winning over anyone, I don't care if the whole world thinks I'm weird, I have some friends who like me how I am, it's my family who I have always wanted to accept me. I know I'm a good person & I like who I am now, I'm not perfect & I think that is some thing that is not socially acceptable. I'm uses to being alone mostly, I have been, all my life, though I now have one true friend for the first time in my life, that's my husband. I know I'll never be able to be normal & I have accepted that, I just wanted my kids to accept as well. Have you ever watched the TV show Bones, well I'm not as smart as her, but I am nearly as socially unskilled as she is. I don't like getting drunk, but my kids think it great. I don't understand anyone who would want to put drugs into themselves to escape the world. I don't like football or any other sports like that. I think we should respect every living thing in this world. I think that you shouldn't do to someone else, anything you wouldn't have done to yourself. I believe you should always tell the truth or keep you mouth shut. I don't think beauty is on the outside, the most beautiful people I know, have beautiful souls, not faces & to much money can make you unhappy. They are more important thing to worry about, like climate change, wars, social break down etc. Instead of what your mummy might, of meant when she said such & such. I think, we are too different from each other.

 
Old 01-06-2008, 06:35 AM   #10
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

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Originally Posted by oldmum50s View Post
I get over things easier then they do, that is why we've been having so much misunderstanding between us, I don't get upset easily & they get upset with very little.

I can't understand is why anyone would carry a grudge with someone, for so long, when it hasn't hurt them physically, financially, & wasn't verbally aggressive, eg; “****** you” or “s**t” etc.

It really upsets me & I know it's because I'm to sensitive, but that's me,

I don't know why they would get upset over some of the things they have been upset about, I wish they would get over it,

on the other hand I have been told I am tough, because I can put a wall around my feelings so I can tone down my feelings. It's something I have done to be able to keep my sanity. I have to be tough, to be able to get over cancer & all the other things in my life.
Hi Mum, so from what you have written it sounds like you are very sensitive but you have learned that the best way to handle it is to wall off the feelings which is basically just ignoring your feelings. It sounds like you want your children to do the same thing but is this really healthy? You have learned to ignore your own feelings so I assume you are ignoring theirs. Maybe this is what is making them angry?

 
Old 01-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Sannah, I don’t exactly ignore my feelings, I control them instead of using drugs, antidepressants or alcohol to cover them up. I’ve learnt to face up to the depression in my life & work through it. If you have ever been physically or mentally abused, I would be interested to know how you dealt with it. The only drugs I take, are prescribed for physical problems, not mental (as this is a health forum, I thought I would find other people with personal problem in their lives they can’t deal with) By keeping my mind clear, I have been able to understand myself, so yes, I think that is very healthy. I don’t ignore their feelings ether, I know about all the problems they are going through & understand why they are so touchy, but I can’t do anything about it, if they don’t want my help. I don’t intend to be their whipping boy ether, so if that gets them angry, then so be it, they will have to work through their problems the same as I did, I just hope they won’t do what so many kids are doing these days & take drugs or drink, my 32yo son whom I haven’t seen in 11 years, (a family member told me) is already on antidepressants with his fathers encouragement.
They have their own lives now & they live too far from me to deal with them face to face. I’m just going to wait until they want to come back to me.

 
Old 01-08-2008, 05:42 AM   #12
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Re: I don't want to be a full time mum any more

Hi Mum, you are very open to looking at yourself. This is good. We all had to learn how to cope with our issues and it looks like you have done just that. Controlling your feelings IMO still is not the absolute healthiest route but it sure helps a person to cope. I just get a sense here that you control your feelings by placing this wall around you and this is what your children do not like. I was never abused but I had a neglectful mom and I have spent the past 30 years working through that (the middle ten years in on/off therapy). I am 44. I do know about control and walls and I had to work through mine. I now have such freedom. I can allow myself to feel whatever I need to without needing to control anything with myself or around me. I used to cope by controlling the environment around me. After I have worked through all of this stuff I can truly let people get close to me now. Before I never let anyone get close.

 
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