Friday, September 9, 2011

"It was for my sanity, my self-esteem, and my son."

The first of many anonymous stories to come...

The Back Story
They never physically abused me but I had enough of the emotional abuse, especially from my father. My dad was always very critical, demeaning, cold.  He'd often make fun of me, my brothers did this too a lot, and my mom would laugh along with them, treating me like my thoughts and feelings were silly, stupid, ridiculous.

I was labeled as crazy because I was emotional, and got upset when I was treated like crap, instead of laughing it off or acting like a robot like the rest of my family.  I wasn't emotionally tough enough.

I think my brothers were jealous when I was born, and they tortured me for my existence. My parents did nothing to stop them.  When I tried to talk to my mom about it she would only defend them. They were watching me after all. She had four kids and couldn't watch me apparently so I was supposed to be thankful to these abusive brothers I had.

The Last Straw
Every visit I end up in tears but on this last visit in January, it was the last straw.  It was my son's 4th birthday and I was working really hard to make it a great birthday for him.  I set it up at a bowling alley and invited friends, etc.  I could handle my dad criticising my bowling, whatever, but the whole visit I was just fed up with both of them. Oh and they can't listen at all. I don't even talk a whole bunch. They can't pay attention to ONE SENTENCE. I literally cannot finish a sentence, even when it's an amazing story or something really important to me.  They've always done this to me, nothing new there.

So my dad pulls into a handicapped spot, which apparently he does all the time. He has no stickers and is not handicapped in any way. It was next to a regular open spot btw.  So, ok, be a dick on your own time but when my son and I are both in the car and I ask that you not force me to participate in something I am strongly morally against, can you please respect that?  No, he does it despite my pleading.  Then he goes on to call me a self righteous bitch and little miss perfect, in front of my son in the restaurant.

I can't hold back my tears and my son is now rubbing my shoulder because even though he's just turned four he had more empathy in his little finger than my dad could ever have. So my dad doesn't even notice I'm upset and goes on with his crossword. I retreat into depression in my room when we get home and my mom doesn't understand why I'm upset. She was there when he said those things by the way.  Instead of supporting me she acted like I was overreacting and then left the room calling me some names. They decided to leave because I wouldn't come out of my room. I don't think my dad actually noticed.  I decided I'd had enough.

The Reaction
My mom is very surprised and in shock. She even accused my super sweet husband who she adored, of brainwashing me, because she couldn't comprehend it. My mom is still stalking me, (my dad probably hasn't noticed) leaving me weird self-centered messages.  I haven't responded other that to initially tell her that I wanted them out of my life.

I don't regret it but I did have a twinge the other day of feeling bad for my mom not seeing my son grow up this year, he's changed so much.  I could consider letting her back into my life if she divorced my dad but I know she never will.  I'm not sure how yet how I'm going to handle her sending my son presents on this upcoming Christmas and birthday.

The Bottom Line
Basically it was emotional abuse that drove me away. I was getting way more pain then love from them and it just wasn't worth it anymore. It was for my sanity, my self-esteem, and for my son. 


  1. I applaud you for making a difficult decision. Separation is not necessarily saying that you don't care about the people who raised you (no matter how damaged) but that you're making a conscious decision to provide better influences for your son- and yourself. I wish you luck in finding the balance you deserve.

  2. Thank you for sharing. What you are doing is right for you and your family. Our parents taught us to question our self-worth and ability to make decisions and that will always be a constant struggle. But, you have made an important choice not to expose yourself or your family to the abuse any longer. It has taken me a long time to realize that we can't change our parents, they may continue right along, but they don't have a right to infringe on our health and happiness. It is negative for us and for all of those around us who depend on us. Keep on keeping!

  3. It shows that you want to do better for your child(ren) than what was done for you. I firmly believe that's what the absolute bottom line of parenting really is.

    I am not completely separated from my parents, but have learned that I must dictate the terms of things when we get together.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It must have been emotionally wrenching to write it all down.

  4. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. :)

  5. I've had similar experiences with my parents. I was raised always told I was "too sensitive" because I would grieve for weeks, months over a harsh spanking. My dad abused animals in front of me, had terribly harsh discipline methods, threatened to "beat the shit out of us" if we didn't listen, and emotionally abused my mom in front of us. And, if that's not enough, he threatened to bite and slap my oldest son across the face, then he did actually hit him one day last November. We have not spoken since, But, somehow, in my parents minds, it's all my fault. I'm too sensitive, too emotional etc. etc. etc. You, anonymous, are a survivor, as I am and many other adults---and I applaud you for that and for the strength it must have taken to finally say you've had enough. As hard as it is, I can speak from experience, it's so worth it. The freedom of not being bullied by a parent anymore is a wonderful thing!!!

  6. I could have written this myself. There comes a point, where we as mothers, have GOT to protect our children from the people who've inflicted so much pain onto our lives, despite their blood relation to them. I commend you for taking that step!

  7. We have not seen my parents for 6 years because my mother is a control-freak and drama queen. We refused all gifts and letters sent to us and had them returned in the mail. I was about to patch up the relationship 3 years ago and say she and I could re-establish contact (I know I can handle her, but the kids shouldn't have to deal with her) but then she stole x thousand dollars from her mom (my adorable grandmother) and that was the last straw for me. I told her I would not talk to her again until she returned the money she had stolen. She said she deserved the money. Some people are so blinded and selfish. And the strange thing? She thinks of herself as an exemplary Christian. Some people's rationale is so different from my own - I just can not wrap my brain around it and separation has been the best solution. Holidays are so much more centralized around our own immediate family - it's different, but different in a nice, peaceful way. Another Anonymous....

  8. I know this is hard, and I am sorry. My husband and his sister have "divorced" his parents as well- for very good reasons. As time goes on it gets easier. NOw that you are not submitting yourself to such abuse you will find yourself stronger, and surrounding yourself with people who build you up.
    Don;t be surprised when the abusers throw even more vitriol and abuse your way. They will be upset at you moving on with your life and fixate on it. Expect it and don;t let it bother you.When they send gifts, just send them back- it;s what we do. They will not use my children as an excuse to abuse us. If they don;t care enough to not abuse their own children, how can I trust them with my children?

    And remember- restraining orders are your friend as is moving the hell far away.