This isn’t really a blog that will interest anyone I don’t think, but I am writing a lot at the moment as I am processing this stuff… it is hitting me hard right now and I can’t stop these memories popping into my head. It is all-consuming again.. these notes are partly responses to things I am reading and partly the random memories and me makign sense of them.
Lack of affection:
No hugs or words of love. Never saying things like “I love you” or “you are pretty” or “you are kind” or anything like that.
Didn’t help with emotional hurts. When I confided in her about arguments with people at school or things like that (which I stopped doing at some stage) she always, always took the side of the other person. She never one said she understood my feelings. I have absolutely no memories whatsoever of affection from her. I have no memories of even laying on the sofa with her, or of her tucking me into bed and reading me a story. Nothing. I can’t imagine how that would have felt as a child. I cuddle my stepchildren (particularly the youngest) all of the time. I always tell him that I love him, that me and his daddy are proud of him, that he is handsome and kind etc .. that we miss him. How could a parent not do this? Isn’t it natural?
Placed unreasonable demands on me as a child such as having to listen to her adult problems about relationships and finances. Having to raise my younger sister.
When we moved into the pubs, she worked as landlady and so would be working downstairs in the pub until the early hours of every morning (and all weekend). I used to have to come home from school and look after my sister. This would include feeding, bathing and putting her to bed. I was in primary school myself and shouldn’t have had to do this. When she split with this husband, we moved into a place just the 3 of us which I thought would be better but I still had to look after my sister all of the time as she took a job where she did lots of “late shifts” which meant she got home about 10.30pm at night. This meant I would have my sister after school as before and so nothing improved. At some stage during these years, I started to go to my sister’s dad’s house with her when she went (twice a week) which I enjoyed. I suffered from terrible migraines during this time which her dad always told me was stress and worry. He was always very kind to me but my mother made me feel terrible about this and told me one day that he wasn’t as nice as I thought he was and then told me in graphic detail how he had physically hurt her and beat her up numerous times. I felt very sorry for her and very scared for myself. Shortly after she told me this, he got angry and shouted at me, I then locked myself in his bathroom convinced he was going to hurt me and she had to come and pick me up. She was angry that she had to do this. It is only now that I see how messed up that is!! If she genuinely thought the guy was dangerous then why did she allow me and my sister to go there twice a week? And if she didn’t think he was dangerous, then why did she tell me!
When my sister’s dad brought us home on a Thursday morning or a weekend, there would be people in our house. Friends of my mother and men they had brought home from clubs. There would always be someone asleep in my bed and I was never allowed to go in my bedroom when there was. They used to make my bed-sheets stink and the whole room would smell of stale alcohol. I hated it. We were also made to whisper in order that we did not wake anyone up and we were not allowed to go into our bedroom to get things unless it was our school uniform and we were made to creep and if we woke them up, all hell would break loose. It is only now that I realise how wrong this was. I cannot imagine EVER doing this to my stepchildren. It is disgusting.
One time a man came downstairs who looked so young, he was a good-looking young man, probably not much older than I was! My mum’s friend made a joke to me about how my mother had managed to pull someone who was young enough to be her son…. Again, it is only now I see how revolting that is. Who she sleeps with is up to her, but I shouldn’t have ever had to be around this or see it so obviously – why wasn’t I sheltered from this type of behaviour?
Did not let me play as a care-free child.
Made to feel that I wasn’t important as a was not a grown up. Regularly sent away/to bed/out of the room because it was “adult conversations”. Felt a nuisance. I was always in the way and a chore. I have recently started to feel a grief over the fact I never felt care-free. I watch my stepchildren run around at home, playing games, using their imaginations, being silly, being young and I can’t even imagine how that feels. That hurts really badly today.
Emotional abandonment is the core issue. I was not left physically, but I was left alone emotionally. Left to get on with life on my own. No attention, affection or time from my mother.
Can cause you to rapidly form attachments – you reach out to the first person that comes along because of an intense desire to connect.
Emotionally absent mother lavished attention on someone else. The feelings of jealousy may have been intense. Children tend to bury these feelings and only return to them when they are in a different relationship as an adult.
This has clearly been VERY relevant for me. I have always ended up in relationships where the ex was on the scene. I have always been VERY jealous and insecure in my relationships – this is the reason I phoned my T up the very first time. I hated myself for being like this and for ruining so many relationships.
I have thought to myself today that even my lovely boyfriend now who is the only securely attached man I think I’ve ever been with, came with an ex wife and kids (3!!). There was always a battle for feeling like I had space – I think I’ve unconsciously attracted myself to people where this pattern plays out.
I would never leave my current boyfriend as I am very happy with him really but it did make me wonder how it would have felt to have met a single man with no ex-wife and no children. How would it feel to just be the two of you.. to have your weekends to yourself, to not have to talk about the past to have it regularly throw in your face? To only have yourselves to think about financially… so much could have been different.
Fear of rejection so strong that you feel the need to leave a relationship first, so you aren’t the one who is rejected.
This is definitely true for me. I left a 5 year relationship and absolutely devastated myself for years afterwards. I just knew he didn’t “love me enough” and he never put me first. I have never been “dumped” but yet I’ve been heartbroken.
Since your mother rejected you by emotionally abandoning you, your self-esteem plummets when you feel alone or afraid. You may feel you caused the entire situation by not being good enough and take it out on yourself by isolating yourself – withdrawing from normal activities.
I think I have started to do this regularly since therapy has got difficult. I think I am doing it today. I just crave being on my own. I crave closing the curtains, being in my safe environment, my house, alone. I find it hard to do day-to-day things and get very emotional and teary.
Mother didn’t pay attention to your joys or sorrows. You may have started ignoring yourself thinking that those feelings were not important or not real. You may find it hard now to feel happiness or sadness. Feelings become numbed – or shut off.
It has taken me over 2 years to even begin to cry in therapy. I am only now just starting to come to terms with having angry feelings. I would have never thought of myself as someone who was emotionally numb, I cried often but at silly things like adverts or tv shows. Now I understand that I was very emotionally numb. It made me feel “faulty” for a long while and now that I am feeling things, they seem to come in tidal waves. They hit so hard and then they ease back off.. then they come back and floor me again, a bit like now.
Reason for my mother’s emotional absence:
She put all of her focus on her romantic relationships: at the expense of her children. Women spend all their time trying to avoid a breakup. Men were and always have been more important to her than anything or anyone else. She would admit this. In fact, her and her current husband (number 4) have told me regularly that if either of them were to die, the other one will kill themselves because they cannot live without one another. She would then make a joke that he would kill himself because she can’t allow him to be happy without her but that if he died, she would probably not actually do it….. go figure.
Her men were the reason she lived and her children got in the way of her freedom. When I was about 13/14, I had a friend stay over. Me and my friend were hanging around the street with our friends near an off-licence. My mother had been on a date that evening and pulled up in a man’s car. She got out and came over to me saying she was stopping off to get a bottle of wine and that we were not to come home for a few hours. This was 10pm at night.. on a school night. I told her that my friend’s mother would be phoning to check on her/say goodnight and she said she would say we had gone to bed. We were really happy about this initially but soon the novelty wore off as we got bored and cold and all our other friends went home…. I cannot believe looking back at this that a parent would do this. Let her child and her child’s friend stay out until midnight on a school night on the street just so she could go home and sleep with another man and the fact she actually made this so obvious just makes it worse. Having said that, it didn’t usually stop her when I was home with or without a friend so I don’t think it was for our benefit that we wouldn’t have to hear her.. but so the fact she had a young daughter(s) would put him off.
She told me once she was going to move away with a new bloke. I told her I didn’t want to, I had my school and my friends (I was 14) and she told me that she would pay a few months’ rent and maybe I could look to move into a rented place with my friend. … I was 14!!!! Anything to get rid of me.
Or maybe “She was raised that way”: her parents may have been emotionally absent and she knew no different… but she could have chosen to break the cycle like I have. This makes me furious.
Other random memories that I have to write out:
Education – she didn’t make me go to school. She would regularly offer me the day off if I did her ironing/hoovering/cleaned the house. I always wanted to do this. Some days she would tell me I had to be quiet and not talk to her and just get on with the jobs and I would agree happily. Some days I would say I was sick and she would let me stay home, other days I would say I was sick or ask if I could stay home to do jobs and she would go absolutely mental. This continued even when I lived at home in my very early twenties. I would say I wasn’t going to work because I felt unwell and she would go ballistic and tell me that I was going. This was confusing. I now realise how bad it was that she let me miss so much of my education, why my attendance was so poor and why ultimately I am not very clever. I wish I could go back and do school again.
I left school and went to college and a few months later I had to drop out. My mother needed me to stay at home with her because she was the victim of domestic abuse. She was regularly beaten and I had to go to the hospital with her. I was scared to leave her alone. I got myself a job locally and we left this new guy and went into a new flat just the 3 of us again. Again, hoping it would be the start of a better time… obviously it wasn’t. I met a boy who persuaded me to go back to college and train as I wanted to before I had to drop out. I got a place and came home and told my mother. She went absolutely mental. I got called all sorts of names, mainly selfish. She said that she would lose my income and she depended on it. She went so mad that I ended up going to stay with my boyfriend for a few weeks. During that time I received calls from my nan and granddad telling me I couldn’t do this, that I had to go back to my job and not start this college course. I was so confused, I thought everyone would have been proud. I stuck it nonetheless and nowadays she likes to tell everyone that will listen what I good job I have and what a good salary I earn……………. Go figure. I can only think now that she just didn’t want me to be more intelligent than her?? I don’t know.
My mother made friends with someone at work who was only a year older than me. This girl would come over during the week and all weekend regularly. They became best friends. They would drink and smoke together all evening, and invite other people over. They would all go clubbing together. Eventually I started to go with them, I used to use her ID because she didn’t need it and I was underage. Eventually this girl moved in and I began to hate her. I felt very jealous of their relationship. My mother would send me away, out of the room for certain conversations or send me to bed and make me feel and look very immature compared to her new friend – our new lodger. I hated this. A long time later, maybe 4/5 years, this girl fell pregnant and my mother dropped her like a sack of shit. They’ve never spoken since.
When I was young, maybe 5 or 6 my mother got two kittens. I loved them, they were tabby and so cute. The kittens were naughty though and climbed all over things, knocked things over, typical kitten like traits I guess. Now I can’t remember this story clearly enough to say with any certainty, but either I pulled my mother’s curtains down in the living room, or the kittens did but either way when my mother came in and went mad, I said it was them. This resulted in her taking the kittens back to the cattery. I begged and begged her not to – I told her it was me but she didn’t believe me or didn’t care. I went with her and cried so much in the back of the car as she took them in.
I also had a dog, I loved him dearly. When she moved into the pub with husband number 3, she gave the dog away because her new husband already had two dogs. I was devastated by this.