17th October 2016 at 12:44 pm #30279
I love this thread i was abused and still am by my family. Through this abuse when i was growing up it distorted my view on “normal” and how i should be treated which is why i ended up with abusive partners and to some extent abusive friends too!! I’v been seeing therapists for some time now to realign that view on the world and how i should be tret by people. I have new friends and surround myself with different people now that shock me with the way that they behave because im tret like a human. here’s my story sorry it’s long.
When I was a small child i had a happy life my mum was always around i don’t remember too much but what i do remember was happy. Just after starting school age we moved house, shortly after my mum started working again to keep up with the mortgage payments. A few months later things changed. I have a sister who’s a little older than me and for some reason my parents basically vanished off the earth. When they were both home they locked themselves in their bedroom we could hear the screams and shouts and banging of them arguing for hours at a time. My sister and i basically had to look after ourselves we were both small children at the time.
This lasted a few months and when things got back to normal my parents were different. My dad became very abusive and short tempered toward myself and my sister. My mum moved jobs and was working evenings so my dad would cook dinner and it was usually something he’d invented he once gave us tinned tomatoes warmed up and called it soup. I giggle now but at the time it was horrible. If we didn’t eat the stuff he gave us it would hit the wall at high speed and we’d be screamed at. My dad became physically abusive toward me but not my sister. Any slight thing i did wrong he flipped and hit me. I once hid in the garden in the rain for hours to avoid a beating. The beatings i took were along the lines of sitting in a corner in a ball being kicked with his boots on stuff like that. I was terrified of him.
My mother on the other hand became all for my sister what ever she wanted she got. On the nights my mum was home and responsible for us i would still have to cook for myself but i couldn’t touch allot of the food in the house because it always belonged to someone else so basically i never had anything to cook with whereas my sister (who’s always been over weight)was bought expensive foods which my mum prepared for her. My sister had to have all the latest clothes and go everywhere her friends were she had parties not only for her birthdays but mum held parties for xmas for her, Easter basically any excuse to throw her a party. meanwhile i had to stay in my room because i was “embarrassing” or i’d ruin everything. Once at the parties a few of her friends came and sat in my room and i got into so much trouble. when we hit teenage years these parties turned alcoholic and she became very popular.
I had to dress in hand me downs which because they were the latest fashion when my sister had them were now out dated. Not only that but my sister was overweight and they didn’t fit at all i was very very thin. They were worn and sometimes had holes in too.
I became a common enemy between my parents most likely for them to bond through their failing marriage. My name became “that kid” and i was invisible, Unless they had a reason to talk negative about me infront of me “that kid has done ……..” “she’s a pain in the bum” stuff like that. Things got so bad it got to the point where my dad would hit me on the back of the head every time i spoke.
We went on holiday allot and we always went with my mums sister, husband and children my aunt also joined in on the negativity and screamed at me all the time she also accused me of trying to kill her son because i found him drinking a bottle of liquid paracetamol and told them. Once he was better my aunt told me i’d dared him to drink it even though my other cousins told her what happened. So i was shunned for that.
When i became a teenager my sister was completely spoilt and out of control i’d been looking after myself for a few years now. I was never allowed to go see friends or hang out because as my mother put it i was irresponsible and childish. I didn’t have many friends because i was very scruffy looking and was very shy around anyone. My mum would go shopping (detail removed by moderator) and buy food for my school lunches and put it in a box in the cupboard every monday the food had all gone my sister had eaten it all. so as punishment for me eating all the food i was sent to school with no lunch or money. I begged her to believe me it was my sister, I found empty packets hidden in her room and showed them to my mum but she wouldn’t she insisted it was me. My dad once brought home a cake the whole thing went missing that was of course me. When they questioned me i ran straight to my sister and grabbed her hand and looked at her nails it was all over her hands but they still punished me for it!
My mum put the idea in our heads both mine and my sisters that we couldn’t survive without her we needed her. I was always one of the smartest at school one of my uncles asked me what i wanted to be i said a doctor she laughed and said you’re too stupid. Just before leaving school i was tired i wanted a social life so i started skipping school just so i could hang about with kids my own age. Because i’d always been good and quiet at school the teachers never even noticed. I don’t know how it slipped them i was making it to less than half my classes. I got a weekend job so i had money for my lunches. Because i’d given up on school i left with no qualifications.
I got a job and went to college full time and I got in with some bad people. My mother was still over controlling i was beaten quite badly for staying out until dinner time with my boyfriend (bare in mind i was at the age i’d left school by this point) So with no money and my mother always telling my sister and i we couldnt leave her because we needed her. I felt like i was missing out on things as i watch other people my age be allowed to go out and do things. A girl i knew but wasn’t really friends with because i didn’t know her well offered me a bed in her house so i left my mum. She wasn’t a good person the house was always full of men and drugs.
It didn’t last very long before i went back to my mum. My mum wasn’t as strict but she always has held it over my head that i ran off with a load of drug addicts and i caused her hell.
I got a boyfriend he was very good looking and trendy my sister adored him! so did my family he would come and cook for them and hang out with my sister. The abuse calmed down i calmed down he was a really positive influence. My mother still told him “she will lie to you and tell stories about how horrible we’ve been to her” He moved in my parents with me because i felt i couldn’t leave. We were together a while he turned out to be gay so left. The abuse started again by this point i’d been to college and become qualified and was working full time.
One night we were sat in a restaurant and my dad said “Go get me some sauce” so i got up got him the sauce and sat back down. He looked at me again and said “Now go get me some pepper” (detail removed by moderator). Well, I was physically thrown out the restaurant by him and made to walk home in the dark. It was quite a walk and when i got back they weren’t home so i went to my room. When they got back my dad came straight to me he kneeled on my chest and strangled me until i passed out. He too my phone from me (i paid for it and the bills myself) I went to work the next day with bruises all over my neck and chest i sat in my office alone looking at them and i almost called the police but i couldn’t because they would be so angry.
Shortly after i met my husband and fell pregnant so i had to move out. But i didn’t know anything about babies or moving into my own home we were always told we couldn’t do it so i relied on there help (exactly what a parental abuser wants!)
My mother still sees the kids regularly and showers us all with gifts and money (guilt maybe) I can’t bring anything she’s done from the past because “It didn’t happen” or im feeling sorry for myself. We have the occasional b**w up. everyones telling me too keep her away from the kids and why do i still speak to her? In truth i didn’t cut her off because we were told we couldn’t be without her and having a baby made me need her more. By the time i figured out my upbringing was totally wrong the kids were attached! Luckily my kids know right from wrong living in a normal environment my daughter wants to travel the world but is scared grandma won’t let her so i support her saying it’s your choice and maybe i’ll come too!
My sister, now a full adult, still lives with my parents never had a partner never thought about moving out. She so over weight the doctors are saying she needs to change or she won’t live much longer. She has many mental health issues and takes lots of medication for them. Mentally she’s still a child if she goes far from home (holiday or something) she needs a parent there because she’s scared to go alone. If she wants to buy an item of clothing she has to ask permission because she cant make those decisions alone. she has hardly any friends now and can’t do anything for herself. But because she wasn’t abused in a bad way people can see or she can she she’s unwilling to change her life iv tried helping her but any attempt goes back to my mum and i get a call telling me to stop filling her head with rubbish.
my parents recent altered their will to block me out completely. if my parents die everything goes to my sister if my sister dies or is already dead everything automatically goes to my kids because i dont need the money (single mum doing her degree living in rented accommodation doesn’t need the money?????)
My university provides free counselling which is amazing and the therapist is now helping me to change my perspective on things because my mind has been so warped by them. The one line my therapist uses is “you are an adult and in control of your own life you can do and say what you want within reason obviously” this is really helping me and iv pretty much got my life under my control now. When my mum blows up or behaves wrong or my sister does it’s easy to manage and remain in control because they are so wrong and unreasonable. My father is very calm now and adores the kids he’s a very positive person for them to be around (since abusive ex Their dad vanished off the planet.) And over the last few years i found out the arguments between my parents which changed everything was because my mother was cheating with multiple men (she told me herself) I think she was abusing my father although there is no excuse to treat their child the way i was tret.
Sorry my stories so long and well done if you read it all!!! Just feels good to get the whole lot out there!
17th October 2016 at 8:48 pm #30295LisaMain Moderator
Thank you so much for your post. I am pleased that you find this topic helpful and that posting has been a cathartic experience. I am sorry that you have experienced such sadness and abuse and I am so pleased that your counselling is helping you. None of what has happened to you is your fault. You are not at all to blame and perhaps in time you might decide that you do not want any contact at all with your mother and that may help your recovery further.
Please get plenty of support from your local Women’s Aid and keep posting here to let us know how you are.
17th October 2016 at 10:41 pm #30302Peaceful PigParticipant
Hi Bubbles, well done for sharing your story. I’m sorry life has been so horrible for you, but you’ve done amazingly well to be thriving, parenting well, doing a degree etc despite all that. The dynamics of my own family were very similar. It’s a strange thing the whole scapegoating thing. I think the theory is it prevents everyone else having to face their own realities. They sacrifice one child to bond the rest of them together. My sister was the golden child who is now suffering with health problems and struggles to talk about the past or breaks links with our parents. At least being the scapegoat we can see it’s wrong and can escape at least, eventually. My sister, who is slowly understanding, once said to me “how did you know it was wrong?” They are more controlled than we are. I have only just fully gone no contact with my parents this year. It has been very hard to do but a great relief. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful counsellor. I really hope you also reach this point in time and can finally live entirely free from abuse. Your doing brilliantly xx
18th October 2016 at 2:26 pm #30342
I read the book daughters of narcissistic mothers that was very useful!
We don’t see it’s wrong at the time, when something bizarre and wrong happens they have the rest of the family to back them up! Even now in arguments with her i tell my story to my friends and they are gobsmacked where as my sister and father will back my mum up. However if we didn’t have that opinion of our friends how would we know their behaviour was wrong? This is why i think my mother stopped me socialising as a child because there was a possibility i would speak!
The golden children come off allot worse than us. I am very good at anything that comes with looking after ourselves cooking, cleaning,DIY This is thanks to my upbringing i had to learn! I’d have furniture bought for me as a child and just given to me in the box if i wanted that set of draws i had to build it myself if i wanted that food i had to cook it myself. My sister unfortunately is a long way from seeing it and she still has the tough to come her behaviour toward myself can be disgusting sometimes to say the least. She’s very self absorbed and doesn’t care about anyone elses feelings.
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The thing about us as scapegoats we can see the wrong. All abuser are really to be pitied they live in their own torment. For the first 16 years of my life i spent my days locked in a room talking to a stuffed animal because i had nobody else and a good proportion of my adulthood has been taken by abusive relationships. However, my life will change and get better theirs wont!
The therapy is teaching me that we are tret this way because we allow it. The problem with parental abuse is we are brought up believing their way is the right way. Once iv started changing the way i behave the way they behave changes too! To become the reasonable adult in the situation and then they become the children. It does work but it’s keeping conscious of what i am doing or saying all the time that’s hard. Now when im with my mum and sister the positions have changed i am now the parent and they are the children to the point where they’ve been bickering and i’v had to sort it out like a mother would do with her kids!
I’m the opposite now i push my kids to be independent because that’s what i wanted i push them to believe they can do anything because thats what i wanted. Also going to uni shows them you can do this too! The contrast between me and my family is massive to the point where the kids notice my daughter picks up on some of the bullying towards me and falls inlign with it but it only takes a little reminder “in this family we love and respect each other so please don’t do that” and she’s back to her usual self! my son is quiet and observes and he has noticed my sisters behaviour is bad. x
21st October 2016 at 9:43 pm #30550SerenityParticipant
Your story brought tears to me eyes.
You are so much more powerful than you ever imagined. You don’t need your family’s approval for anything you do- you are within your rights to just go and do it!
There’s a whole world out there. If your kids end up wanting to travel, you will be free to travel the world too!
I hope that you will spend the remainder of your life enjoying the previous things that you deserve. I hope that you will put your children and yourself first, and not allow your parents in their old age to make you feel you need to sacrifice your freedom for them. They owe you! Xx
22nd October 2016 at 1:19 pm #30587lover of no contactParticipant
Thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope with us. You survived horrendous abuse. Serenity is right, I too hope you spend the remainder of your life enjoying the previous things you deserve.
That’s interesting the perspectives on being the scapegoat. I too was the scapegoat in my family of origin where my mum was the abuser. I think that was the only role available to me because I wouldn’t join my mum in abuse of my dad as my brother did. In my ex marriage/inlaws/children I too am the scapegoat (along with my daughter) because we won’t join the abuser (my ex husband) in hurting others. I suppose I chose to be hurt rather than intentionally hurt.
My 2 whole family systems (‘family of origin’ and ‘family I married into’ and my children) are in denial about the abusers. So I’m the ‘problem’ and the abusers get off scot-free with their abusive behaviours and their façade of charm.
Now in work I find I’m back in the scapegoat role. There’s different hierarchies of bullies from the abuser boss to my work colleagues. Even the bullies are being bullied. But because myself and another girl won’t bully anyone we’re at the bottom of the heap being spoken and treated badly by everyone (even good people influenced by smear campaign). Not all the time but in a cycle of abuse.
I was always ashamed of that scapegoat role but now after your post I see it has a positive component. It means I chose not to join the perpetrator in intentionally hurting another person to protect myself from the wrath and the smear campaign of the bully. I would never join the abuser as part of his coterie. And you pay the price for that.
That is so true. Being the scapegoat means I see the wrong. But its also good when I move from the stage of from blaming myself for another’s harsh treatment of me.
2nd November 2016 at 7:57 pm #31392
I’v noticed though although nobody asks to be the scapegoat we allow it to happen. It’s just us it’s how we naturally behave. I dunno about you but my problem is, is that i cannot be bothered to go out of my way and make other peoples life hell. Nor do i have time for malice or hate its poor wasted energy plus i don’t like confrontation at all i’d rather put a face on and just accept someone and the situation for the duration i have to spend there.
I’m at uni and a girl in my class was “jokingly” hitting me and speaking to me like rubbish all the time. It was making me dread going and she was hitting me hard too. One day she hit me round the head with a book very hard i saw stars and i just screamed at her in her defense she said it’s just a joke over and over again and i just roared at her “it’s not effing funny though is it?” nobodies had a “joke” with me since and she’s as quiet as a mouse now.
The trouble is people growing up with narcissistic parents have had limited “social training” so we don’t know how to behave around other people. My parents limited my contact with other people and my peers so socially i have not developed at all. This causes a problem when we behave around other people if you hadn’t of had your upbringing you might of nipped it in the bud when the workplace bullying started so they would of sniffed out somebody else. I sit and tolerate things for a very long time then just explode. The only thing i’v learned so far is how to keep my explosions clean. a year ago id of cried and not been able to say anything now i can express what i need to say when things have gone too far another few years I might be able to stop it all together!
Iv moved past hurting over the DV now and this is my focus however my mum hacked my email yesterday cancelled holidays and lunch dates then called me crying and apologising saying she thought i was back with my abusive ex so thought she needed to basically cancel my life. This has put a heavy dark cloud over the last day iv not been coping well today at all.
7th November 2016 at 12:52 pm #31684AyannaParticipant
Hi, I have a book, Scapegoating in families by Vimala Pillari, which I found very helpful for my own situation when I was a child.
The best way to get on in my life was to keep a big distance between me and my family. I left my country of origin. They did not get out of my head, but they have no physical influence over me. The distance helped me to flourish, to go to university, to do a degree. And I continue studying.
You are incredibly strong. It always surprises me how strong survivors of childhood abuse are. One of my friends back in the days said she found it incredible that I learnt a profession, worked and lived a healthy life after what I had been through in my childhood. People around me expected me to become a drug addict after all that abuse. But I did the opposite.
My problem has always been that I did not know my own limitations and I had low self esteem. That made me easy prey for abusive men.
I have now reached a stage where I became a very vicious woman who rejects any man straight away. I have turned from a beautiful, nice, kind and soft woman into a yelling, unfriendly, fat and bitter crone. My limitations are now extremely narrow. I am ready to fight anybody who invades my space without having been invited.
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