5th January 2022 at 9:07 pm #136581MewTheCatParticipant
New to the forum and just wanted to put it out there in words.
My step father joined the family when I was a child. I never got on with him but that was overlooked as the ‘no child likes a step parent’ trope.
He fat shamed me (I was always overweight, due to an undiagnosed condition), made fun of my taste in clothes, music and even made fun of me for studying and trying to work hard at school. He was incredibly patronising and would say mean things about me in the other language the family spoke thinking I didn’t understand because I was not fluent. I could understand enough. He said homophobic, racist, sexist things (in English as well as the other language) so casually. He even remarked about during his own childhood he (removed by moderator).
He would use the excuse of ‘oh but I say it because I care (removed by moderator)’
He made fun of me for working out, eating well and training (removed by moderator).
He threatened me, called me worthless to my face said, and I quote ‘(removed by moderator).’
He tried to kick me out of my family home multiple times and went on to deny ever saying that (even when there were other people who witnessed both events and can testify otherwise).
That is bad enough but my mother just let it happen. I remember telling her when I was a teenager about how he was bullying me. I would tell her when I was sad (which was often) and she told me not to tell her anything unless I had anything new to complain about and that I should just move on.
I was trapped with both of them during lockdown. It was awful. I was eating super well, working out and (removed by moderator) but all this just made me the scapegoat of why my step dad’s life was bad. Everything I did was wrong. ‘(removed by moderator).’ ‘Why don’t you do that in your room, that’s what it is for.’ I was trying to work on the relationship I had with my mother under the guidance of a counsellor and things got better (or so I thought). He got so angry at me for asking him not to call a friend a rude name that he banned me from seeing them and my mum just stood there and let it happen because she was afraid of him. She has admitted she is afraid of him. So when he doesn’t get his way, no matter how much work the pair of us had put in she would fold to his wishes.
I have cut off contact. I tried to help her to see how bad it is. Even after an extended amount of time with me being away she still keeps him in her life rather than her own flesh and blood. She said to my face that it is ‘easier for me to leave’. So I did and she got upset about it. Until he is gone she won’t be safe for me to even consider making contact with. The police told me not to go back. While she may not have been outwardly abusive to me, the fact that she let it happen while I was a child when I had no other choice makes me soo angry. As an adult I make the choice to leave for my own safety and she gets mad at me.
I am having to rebuild my life without much help from anyone and there is still a part of me that grieves for her and the life I left behind.
6th January 2022 at 3:43 pm #136625ISOPeaceParticipant
I’m so sad to read your post. I know what it’s like to be bombarded with abuse, but as a child, with a mother just standing by? I can’t imagine how awful that must hae been.
I wonder whether your counsellor understands abuse. From what you say, I assume your step-dad abuses her as well, and she is well and truly under his control. From everything I’ve read on abuse and my own experience of an abusive husband, I’m not 100% surprised by what you say. Given that she stood by the abuse for years, I wouldn’t be hopeful that she would do anything different now. I hope your counsellor didn’t give you unreaslistic expectations. Until she is ready to acknowledge what is happening and then do something about it (i.e. leave him), he will stay in control of her. If you haven’t read up on abuse you might find it helps to make sense of what’s happening. I always recommend Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft (you can find it free online).
This doesn’t mean you weren’t wronged in a huge way, but it might help you see that none of it is your fault. Your mum not protectecting you is nothing to do with anything you’ve done and it’s not what you deserved. You have a lot to grieve for. Every child deserves a mother who loves them and keeps them safe. It must hurt so much when she chooses him over you (she actually believes choosing him is literally a matter of survival). It sounds like cutting off contact was the right thing to do, even though there is a big sense of loss. I would recommend contacting Women’s Aid for support. You may find there are support groups locally. Sound sound so strong, but you don’t have to do this alone. Sending love xxxx
6th January 2022 at 11:17 pm #136642Wants To HelpParticipant
I have just read your post and I will be honest here, so I’m sorry if this upsets some members.
Mew, what you have posted is heart breaking but also very brave. Regardless of whether this man was a step-father or biological father, what he did, what he said, how he made you feel, and how you now see your mum as a result of this is very powerful.
You have done so well in identifying what your mum can’t, or won’t, see or accept. You are on here as an ‘adult child’ who has grown up with an abusive man in her life and you feel you have been failed by both of them. As a result, this has affected your relationship with your mum.
There are so many ladies on here who have children and are still with their abusers. They are doing their best to save their relationship with their abuser as they don’t want to take their children away from him because they believe that by doing that they will damage their children more. I have read a couple more posts this week about ‘adult children’ who are angry with their mums and blaming their mums for not protecting them from the abuse when they were younger. Some are also frightened to leave their abuser because they fear further harm if they do leave, and it sounds as if your mum is also in this category too. There is nothing more you can do for your mum. You have thrown her a life line but you can’t rescue her. Your mum has to decide when to take it and when to save herself.
You now need to focus on your own life and learning how to protect yourself from entering a relationship with an abuser. I also think you would make an ideal advocate for domestic abuse work from a child’s perspective and your life story will perhaps help other women find the strength to somehow find a way out of their abusive relationship, not only for their sake but for their children too.
I have found that sharing my story to raise awareness has been a part of my healing process. My therapy, in some way, has been using my abusive situation to help others overcome theirs. I have used it so that my awful experience hasn’t all been for nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I haven’t had professional support/counselling for what I went through or that it hasn’t affected me, but from the way you write, I think being an advocate could be a good thing for you along with getting support.
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