16th April 2016 at 11:11 pm #14120
I don’t know why, but I am suddenly plagued with guilt about not being the mum I intended to be.
I know my kids will remember me doing things with them, packing picnics, doing crafts,making them costumes,taking them to playgroups and play dates with friends, reading with them,but underneath all this there was an undercurrent or alternative reality that I either was blocking or just wasn’t aware of.
My ex could be so charming, yet as the years went on his home persona grew gradually worse. We all lived through repeated abuse cycles. Then when he left, my eldest told me all kinds of things he had done when I wasn’t around.
I feel angry at myself and stupid for not joining the dots. When my eldest was 6 or 7, he used to hit me quite a lot. He literally kicked me in the face. I was upset and concerned, but somehow I sensed he was getting rid of some tension – I should have made the direct link with his dad. Today I feel I hate myself for my stupidity in not seeing the truth.
Tonight, I watched on Netflix a documentary about Jozef Fritzl, the Belgian who hid his daughter in the cellar for 25 years, raped her and begat at least 6 children with her. They were describing his personality, and all it reminded me of was my ex- a charming public persona, but a despot at home, and rude and bullying to his wife’s family. Ditto. I am angry at myself for being so deluded.
All I ever wanted was to be a mum. I was told I may have problems conceiving, so getting pregnant was a real gift to me. But he marred the experience by his meanness and dictatorial nature. Then it worsened and became abuse of us all and we all began unraveling.
I worry about how my children have been affected. They said Rosemarie Fritzl, Jozef’s wife, was a weak character, and I began to think maybe I am weak, and pliable, and my ex saw me as just that.
When I was at school, a boy in my year had a dreadful bully of a dad. We all pitied the boy for having him as a dad. His mum eventually divorced him and remarried. But I ended up marrying and having kids with someone who, frankly, resembles this boy’s dad so much!
16th April 2016 at 11:23 pm #14122
Hi Healthy Archive,
I split about a year and a half ago, my youngest is not yet a teen, my eldest is a teenager.
My eldest lives here all the time, chooses not to barely see his dad, though his dad tried to get him to live there ( for money reasons, I am sure, and to make me lose the house ) and my youngest is made by the courts to see his dad which works out between a third / quarter of the time.
I might seem clued up, but that is because I have researched things like a mad person since his mask lifted. Whilst with him, he seemed to have the power to make me believe that so much was my fault, yet now I can see so clearly it wasn’t. Yet I feel guilty for not leaving him sooner.
17th April 2016 at 12:09 am #14126Confused123Participant
Even i feel guilty about not leaving my ex sooner, then my kids would of not been so emotionally damaged, but we never knew they were going to turn out to be that evil and play us like that. I think of life as an experience, even been with these abusers it has opened our eyes and made us stronger then we realize and know, and that experience will help us how we go forward with our children. Your not a bad mum, u want the best for your children, we cant change whats happened but how we go forward we can have a impact on that. Remember what i always say there is no correct way to parent, we all have different styles and beliefs, and you seem to be doing a very good job to me with your kids
17th April 2016 at 12:12 am #14127shine bright 2Participant
serenity..you sound like an amazing mum and I hope I’m half as good. I think times.we are just getting on with life in the best possible way that we can and at some point we get that light bulb moment for me it was sitting I the child protection conference hearing the things that they had told the social worker…I wept throughout. ultimately we have both done the right thing in getting rid of these men. We can’t change the past can we, but u can do the good things that u r doing so that u can change the future x
17th April 2016 at 12:34 am #14129Falling SkysParticipant
You are a wonderful mother and when married wife. Your ex is and always will be a a bad father and husband. I could use foul language but they aren’t worth it.
We both spent too many years trying to make a silk purse out of a soar’s ear.
I regret the years I tried to be the better wife, and make him happy. At least your children are younger than mine and you becoming the woman will show them there’s a better way than there father’s way.
Sadly children and abusers don’t come with manuals so we have to learn as we go.
17th April 2016 at 12:34 pm #14186AyannaParticipant
Oh Serenity, please do not compare yourself with Rosemary! That woman was so much under his thumb that she never thought of leaving him. She never inquired what was in the cellar. He told her to stay away from it and she did. She never questioned the kids that were on their doorstep. She believed his sick stories.
Elisabeth never forgave her and stopped the contact with her. She is a broken lonely woman now.
I think she is to blame partly. Because, which mother puts the husband on such a pedestal that he can commit any crime and she never does anything? In my opinion she is a very stupid woman.
I also blame my mother. My mother was so devoted to my father that she joined in when he beat me unconscious. She is a stupid uneducated woman. Any woman with a brain would have punched my father and left him for beating her children unconscious. Until today she does not understand where she is lacking. She misses this part of the brain. They are old now and I have forgiven them. They also did good things for us. But that is their duty as parents. They could have done better.
You left the abuser. You stood up to him and you created a new life for your children and yourself. You are not weak. When we think we met the love of our life we are very devoted and want to make a happy life with them. It was easy for these awful men to abuse us because we did not have the mental weapons that we have now. We did not expect them to abuse us. We expected them to love us as we loved them. You realized what was going on and stopped it. You did the right thing. It takes times to realize the abuse, then we have to act. You did that.
Rosemary never did anything to protect her children in all those years of her marriage. She watched when he beat his other children. She never said anything. He humiliated her and told her that she was sexually incapable and she let him do what he wanted. She let that man go to Thailand and abuse little girls there with his friend. I think they were married over 50 years and she never once said anything.
Please, never blame yourself and do not compare yourself with the Fritzls. x*x
17th April 2016 at 1:59 pm #14188
Thank you all.
What my ex hated was that I always stood up to him if he was unkind to the children. Thing is, he was ( it appears ) mainly unkind to them when I wasn’t there. And I was stupid enough to believe he was behaving like an adequate dad when I was out.
Yes, he left in one of his threatening walk-outs, and I hurriedly began divorce proceedings, and I am glad I did.
I just feel guilty that I kept in the marriage so long and hoped he would change. I gave him too much forgiveness. I should have been a true warrior queen at turfed him out in year 1!
We are told that marriage involves patience and forgiveness. But if you show this to an abuser, it allows them to continue abusing.
17th April 2016 at 4:05 pm #14224White RoseParticipant
None of us mum’s feel we’re good at it but we are – May be not all the time but who’s perfect?
Everything you’ve ever written on here is so sensible and thoughtful for your children’s needs and their best interests so don’t put yourself down.
We all wished we’d left sooner but maybe initially we didn’t recognise the abuse. All of us with children regret not running sooner but by that stage we were all under the thumb and scared rabbits and lost our confidence in ourselves.
Keep doing your best as usual you cant do more. You can’t change the past but you can help the bad memories fade and shape your boys’ future with your love and personal qualities x*x
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