I'm so sorry to see everybody is in this situation.
My mother is severely mentally ill. She refuses to admit anything is wrong with her. The problem is with everybody else according to her. She won't see a doctor or get treatment.
The abuse was quite severe against me when I was a child. My mother used to make up stories about me to my dad, saying I did something bad. She's encourage my father to "discipline" me (spankings, beatings, etc.). She'd hide out in the bathroom as I screamed for help, yelling "WHY?!"
Sometimes she'd dish out the beatings. When I was in 2nd grade, CPS was called on my parents. My mother denied any wrongdoing, and I was taken to the hospital, so she could "prove" there were no signs of physical trauma. I was so scared of her I refused to talk. She tried to get me put in a mental institution saying something was wrong with me emotionally.
When I was in the 5th grade I showed up at school covered in bruises, and I hid in the girls bathroom until the teacher found me. She thought I was upset about something else, until I rolled up my sleeves and showed her the marks. CPS was involved and it was founded, but they still had me stay in my parents home.
In 6th or 7th grade my mother accused my uncle of molesting her when she was a child. She ruined his life. He was a business owner. He ended up losing his business and died shortly after from a heart attack.
Around the same time, she was working at a mall kiosk and accused her boss of sexually assaulting her. We don't think that actually happened. It was her way of quitting her job. She got another job, and accused her coworkers of sexually harassing her. Again, we don't believe that actually happened, and that it was her way of quitting.
In 7th or 8th grade the school called CPS on my parents again, because I was covered in bruises. I was so scared of going home I hid in the school, planning on running away to a safe house. The principal realized I was missing, locked down the school, and they found me. They called in an outside therapist, and I explained how I was scared for my life. They said they'd find me a place to stay until the whole CPS thing blew over. I spent two weeks in a mental institution because my mother insisted I made the whole thing up and was hurting myself.
My mother held a knife up to my throat, threatening to kill me. I called 911. My mother had the cordless phone in one hand and the knife in the other, talking to the dispatcher on the line, as I was shoved against the counter screaming for the police to come rescue me. She dug the knife in my neck, meanwhile talking calmly to the dispatcher, "Oh, she's a teenager, you know how they are. No, I'm not threatening her with a knife." My mother laughed. The 911 dispatcher laughed, "Oh, I have teenagers at home. I know how they are."
Another time, my mother was raging because she was trying to organize the upstairs hallway shelves. I went upstairs to go to my room. She started screaming at me because of the mess (none of which was mine). My brother's friend just happened to be downstairs as this was going on. He started running upstairs just as my mother pushed me down the staircase. My brother's friend caught me about halfway down the stairs (I was falling BACKWARDS). I'm convinced that fall would have killed me had that boy not been there to catch me.
My mother accused me of burning a flag (it wasn't me but I casually knew the person who had done it). I got dragged home 2 full blocks by my hair.
My mother accused me of trying to hire a hitman for $50 to kill her and my father. She accused me of being a drug addict and a prostitute. She spread these rumors throughout the entire neighborhood. I couldn't have any friends. No parent would want their kids hanging out with somebody like that.
In 9th grade the state finally stepped in and I was removed from my parent's care. Usually the kids in the home got sent on home visits. My case was so severe my parents weren't allowed to have visitation. I lived in a group home for over a year and a half, until I got pregnant. Once I was knocked up I couldn't stay there anymore. They released me into my parent's custody! The baby's father (my now ex husband) moved in to my parent's house with me. I was 16 years old, and paying rent to my parents to stay with them. Since I was pregnant they didn't dare beat me. As soon as my daughter was born her father and I moved out.
My mother became upset because I moved out. One morning I went out to a diner. When I came back all the neighbors in the apartment complex were outside. Apparently my mother showed up pounding on my door, screaming to the door and all the neighbors that I killed my father. As I sat there trying to find out what had happened, the cops rolled up. My mother called CPS on me saying I was starving my child. They escorted me to the pediatrician's office to force a weight check (she was fine). My father was fine, as well. Apparently he had gone to the hospital for a migraine headache caused by all the stress my mother was putting him through.
I moved 70+ miles away from my mother after that.
Even after all of this, I somehow thought it was all my fault. It was so ingrained in me that I was a bad person or that I was crazy. I tried to make amends.
When I turned 18 (1998), my now ex husband and I got married. It was just a justice of the peace wedding, but still I wanted family there. I never sent out invitations. I just called and spoke to my mother several times a week for the 2 months proceeding the wedding. Every time I called supposedly my father and brother were working. When the wedding day arrived, none of my family showed up. I was humiliated. NOBODY was there for me. When my MIL got home from the wedding there was a message from my mother on her answering machine. My mother was screaming at her that her only daughter didn't invite her to the wedding. Thing is, my mother was not aware that my MIL was there on several occasions when I was talking to my mother on the phone, telling her about the wedding, the location, the time, etc. My dad and my brother apparently were unaware that I was even getting married. That is, until Christmas morning when my mother announced "Oh, btw, she DID invite us to the wedding, and I just never told you. MERRY CHRISTMAS!" (insert creepy smile here).
I didn't talk to her for some time. Of course, eventually I let her back into my life. There were several other events that came up over the course of the next few years.
In early September 2001, my mother was having another episode. I was staying with her because my previous apartment had a gas leak that the landlord refused to fix. My mother started throwing chicken bones at the neighbors, and called the cops on the neighbors saying they were the ones throwing chicken bones at her. When the cops showed up, since they knew my mother and her history of lying, they asked me if that really happened. I told them she was lying. My mother became extremely upset and kicked me out of the house. This whole story is a long one, so to make it short my mother slammed my 9 month old daughter against the arm of the couch (giving her a black eye) and accused me of doing it. She was trying to do whatever she could to have my kids taken away from me because I didn't lie to the police for her. I beat the living daylights out of my mother, and my dad beat me up (he didn't know what had happened, he just came in to my mother screaming I beat the baby and I was beating her). The neighbors called the cops, and when the cops showed up my mother tried slipping out the back door with my kids. She was attempting to kidnap them. I ran after her, and I got tackled by a police officer. The other officer tackled my mother. CPS became involved, and the case was marked founded against both her and I since they couldn't determine who had actually hurt my child. I didn't get my baby back for over 3 months.
Several more years passed, and several more episodes occurred. She kept calling CPS on me as payback for all the times CPS was called on her. It was ridiculous. She drove 70+ miles to my house to steal my cats, then she bragged to my kids about taking their pets from them.
The final straw was in 2006 when she tried to help my ex husband kidnap my kids and take custody from me. I was severely ill at that point in time (Tertiary Lyme Disease), so I relented to him getting placement while I sought treatment, though we kept joint custody.
I didn't see my mother again for another year and a half. Then she showed up at my door out of the blue. She had driven the 70+ miles to my town to see me kids and my ex husband only to find out he had moved and hadn't given a forwarding address. She called my now current husband to ask him where I lived, and he actually told her. I was livid. However, since it was Christmas and she had a bunch of presents for the kids, I took her over to where my ex was staying and we spent the afternoon together. That was the last time I saw her.
My father had to have open heart surgery. My mother stole all his pain relievers. She ate a month's supply in less than 10 days. She started drinking heavily, and stealing narcotic pain relievers. She's been doctor hopping, getting multiple pain relievers from multiple doctors.
BTW, she most likely has neurological Lyme Disease. She is an animal hoarder and I'm sure those cats & dogs brought in ticks. I have Lyme Disease, and her physical symptoms match up to mine. However, she refuses to get tested for it or start treatment.
A year and a half ago, my current husband and I were planning on getting married. I decided I wanted my father there (but definitely not my mother). I called their house, and my mother insinuated that my father was dead. I ended up having to track down other family members online to find out what had happened. Turned out my father finally left her. He was alive and well.
After that, I was able to start talking to my father again. He apologized for all the pain I went through. He apologized for the beatings. I understand the situation he was in. He actually believed his wife when she said I did those horrible things. Why would a mother lie about her own child? Why would she beat a child if they did nothing wrong? The thought never crossed his mind at the time that she might be lying. But, as my mother has gotten older, her mental illness has become much more pronounced.
When my parents separated, my mother created fliers saying my dad was into beastiality. She plastered his apartment complex with the fliers. She created picket signs saying my dad was into beastiality, and marched up and down the road in front of where he worked. She called all his family and friends making these accusations. She tried breaking into his apartment. She keyed his new truck. She had a family member hurt herself and accuse my father of doing it. She spent their entire life savings in one day at the casino. She trashed the house that they bought, so that when they finally did sell it, it only sold for $10,000! When they sold the house, my father did a final walk through about 2 weeks after she left. He found some kittens my mother had left for dead. She left them for him to find. Two or three were already dead. The other 2 or 3 were so emaciated they had to be put down. Oh, and my mother ended up going to a psychiatrist's office (required by the courts). When they told her she was insane, she trashed the office and got the assistant fired (who was actually a friend of mine 15 years ago), claiming that there was an undisclosed conflict of interest and my friend had some influence on my mother being diagnosed with a mental condition.
Oh, and you may have seen my post on TAO... on Father's Day my mother told my dad that he's not my biological father. We're getting a paternity test done after I move.
Sometimes, my husband's mother throws it in my face that I should start talking to my mother again. She doesn't seem to understand the extent of the abuse I endured. She knows it's a touchy subject. I know she's just trying to push my buttons, but it still hurts. There is a part of me that still blames myself for all the abuse I endured. If only I looked differently. If only I acted differently. Maybe she would have loved me. Maybe if I was better able to articulate what was going on in the household the state could have stepped in sooner and removed me from her care.
Sometimes I catch myself feeling that rage. I can feel myself becoming irrational during arguments. I'm afraid I'll end up like her. So, I read books on psychology and self help books when I know I'm having a hard time. I try exercising. I've tried church. I've gone to therapists. I've tried medication (though that was more related to depression due to a severe un-treatable illness). Sometimes I come here to inspire me to be a better person. There's no one answer.
At times, I just don't know what to do. I feel it's inevitable that I end up like her. I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I have a hard time parenting. I look in the mirror and I see her face. I look just like her. My mind probably works like hers. That scares me.
There's a lot of behaviors I've had to unlearn. I'm still unlearning them. I'm finding out what is normal and what is not. I get jealous of those who've had a non-insane mother.
For awhile I got really into the Mothering type parenting style. I've relaxed a bit, knowing that it's equally unhealthy to latch onto an opposite parenting style only because it's part of a group of ideals. I didn't want to associate with any parents who didn't follow attachment style parenting because I figured they must all be like my mother.
I also sought out people who were mentally ill, figuring I understood what they were like and maybe if I helped them get treatment maybe there was hope for my mother. I was in several codependent relationships as a result. I'm learning now, though.