OMG, I cannot say how happy I am reading this thread. Mirthfulmum, do we have the same mom?!? LOL! (Hi, BTW - I've missed seeing you around!)
I really am at a place of needing to work thru my parenting issues. Even if nobody reads this all the way thru, or responds, I need the catharsis of writing it. These are the important incidents in my immediate family:
-My father molested my mother when she was a child. She was also molested/raped by a great deal of her parent's friends (they were alcoholic swingers who had parties at the house, and men would go up to her room).
-My mother married an abusive man when she was 18 to escape her parents' house who beat her every day. She left him after 18 months.
-My dad (20 years her senior) gave my mom a job at his office (he was a doctor).
-She felt that he had "saved" her, allowing her financial ability to get out of her marriage.
-My dad continued to molest her while she worked for him. She was 20, he was 40 and an important respected member of the community.
-My mom got pregnant. My dad threatened her with blackmail to abort the baby. He was married with 3 kids.
-She had the abortion. He decided to leave his wife. He proposed, she accepted.
-She got pregnant with my brother, they got married. My mom thought she was "in love" - really, he was just her abuser.
-She had me 22 months later.
-They had a very unstable relationship, but my first 5 years was stable to my recollection.
-She got pregnant with another man's child. She left my dad and moved us to another state.
-He got thrown in jail for white-collar crime.
-We moved back to our hometown.
-She spent the next 10 years bouncing either my dad or this other man in and out of the house. Dozens of times. We never knew what "side" to be on. My mom started yelling, hitting, name calling. She had two kids by the other man and at least 5 abortions. We all lived in a totally tumultuous situation.
-My parents got remarried in that time. My mom was never faithful, and my dad knew it. He used to bring me with him to tail her and spy on her going to motels. I was not allowed to tell anyone. He used to make me write notes and put them on her car saying, "Hi Mom! Sorry we missed you!" I was 10.
-My mom became extremely abusive in my teen years. Yelling was the norm, and hitting was common. She would back us into corners and hit us till she came to her senses. She would then mockingly suggest we were "so abused" and dare us to call CPS.
-I was molested by one of her boyfriends. I told her, and she didn't believe me. She continued to see him, he continued to hang out and sexually harass me.
-I finally moved in with my dad, who had really gotten his sh!t together. We had a great time and he was unconditionally loving, supportive, and active in my life. Sadly, he was also dying. I found him dead in bed one morning when I was 17.
-I had to go back to live with my mom, the other man, and my sibs again. She would yell, scream, hit. I remember once she dragged me out to the car by my hair and drove me to my father's grave in the middle of the night.
-I moved out at 18, married my dh and 20, and had our beautiful two children.
I have been trying to have a relationship with her. My kids have been having a relationship with her. We saw or spoke to her several times a week. She is completely unstable. I have just been too freaked out by severing ties. However, a few weeks ago I reached my breaking point. I haven't seen her or called her or responded to her. However, I know I need to say something to her, so she will stop contacting me. I cannot have a relationship with her, I know that now.
It's really hard for me, because she spent 25 years telling me I had a great childhood, even though she'd "made mistakes". She would mock me if even hinted at her being abusive to us. I also feel so guilty, because she has almost nothing going for her in her life but her kids and grandkids. So much of me thinks: maybe I am blowing this all out of proportion? Maybe she isn't so bad? Maybe I didn't have an abusive childhood? And, I know she had a really difficult life and I feel so bad for taking the joy of me and my kids away from her - and they really do love her, and so do I, despite all of this.
Anyway - are these conflicting feelings common? I want to sever all ties, but I am totally scared. Am I just blowing this all out of proportion? BTW, I am starting therapy this week.
Thanks so much for letting me ramble. It's incredibly hard IRL, because on the surface, she does project a very "normal" front - but she is toxic to be in a relationship with.