Learning to let go of my dream of a supportive family. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 12-11-2012, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are rock solid and I'm so grateful for that.  We've been together for 12 years and have 2 home schooled boys, both of whom with some specific learning differences.  

 

My father has always bullied me and at the beginning of the summer I'd had enough and cried when he started on me.  He was telling me I was disgusting for breast feeding among other things.  Basically trying to make me feel bad.  It's the first time in 40 years that I've shown any emotion about this and it took him by surprise.  I think my emotion made him realise what he'd done over the years and he felt bad.  So bad that he lost his temper and frightened me and my children.  I had to hide them behind me and I was begging him to stop and leave us alone - that he was scaring me and my children.  Eventually he told me that I was dead to him and I stood up to him, at last, and thanked him.  I said that would be great.  Goodbye.

 

And so he left and I'm free.

 

But my family seem to have taken his 'side' and are cutting us out too.  No-one wants to talk about what happened.  My son tried and my mother physically turned her back on him.  We've always been the outcasts of the family.  They would go on holiday together, have birthday parties without inviting us - a 60th birthday party weekend away for my father that we weren't invited to, we'd turn up at my parents' house and there would be stuff all over for the other grandchildren but we would only go there when i asked if we could - we were never invited etc etc etc.

 

So although it's a relief that they're cutting us out, it hurts too.  I'm hoping my sister in law will stay in touch but I've not heard back for a while.  I hoped my mum would listen to me but she won't.  

 

I'd like to move on without feeling so lost and hurt.

 

Does anyone have a similar experience?  My husband's parents are truly wonderful and so I can hardly complain that I have no family, as I have them, but all the links to my childhood seem to have gone but they're just out of reach.  It's very confusing and hurtful.

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#2 of 19 Old 12-11-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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I am so sorry you are experiencing this and I am sorry that your father scared you and your boys. While my experience with my family is not the same, it is a source of constant hurt and drama. My advice to you is to go to therapy. It has been the one thing that has helped me move forward from the toxic family members in my life and finally reach a sense of peace with it all. I spent a long time feeling stuck and mourning abuse and neglect, and the fact that I did not grow up with the most emotional basic need that children have: loving and protective parents. Your post feels familiar to me in that respect.

 

It sounds like you have stopped the cycle with your own children, be proud of that. Focus on the great people in your life, your solid relationship with your husband, and create your own family. For the relatives who are siding with your father; chances are they are on their own journey with him. Sometimes people do whatever they can to make an emotionally abuse person happy or to please them, because they are lacking feelings of approval from them, or because it is easier than experiencing the person's anger or disapproval. If you want your mom and others in your life, make sure they know you love them and are there for them if/when they need it. Chances are they will come back around eventually.

 

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#3 of 19 Old 12-12-2012, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you.

 

The cycle has definitely been broken and I know it's something my husband and friends are proud of me for, but I feel like that part was really easy.  My kids are so special to me.  I can't imagine treating them with anything but respect, love and dignity.  How I was treated never made sense to me so it's easy for me to reject it.

 

Thanks for your kind words.  I think my mother has to deal with his bad behaviour so it's easier for her to just pretend it isn't happening and she'd done it for 50 years so maybe she doesn't know how, or no longer wants to try.  He threatened her too during his outburst, forcing her to call me a liar.  I told her to just say it and it was okay.  Rather that than see her get it too.

 

I'm going to go to counselling.  I'm booking an appointment tomorrow.  Time to put this all to bed I think.  As you say, I have the most wonderful family right here and in my husband's parents.  This is what I want to focus on.  

 

I think maybe the rejection of my past is what makes me so clear in my focus in raising my children.  'Punishment' was wrapped up in all sorts of mess.  I was raising my kids with gentle discipline before I realised there was even such a method that existed with other people - that I wasn't alone.  I love that I've found this site with like-minded people.  

 

I home educate the kids and the decision was finally easy when I had to get the eldest away from a violent situation at school.  I don't want to protect them from the world but to be able to show them the wonders of it.  I hope that's the right balance - not over protecting them - letting them take risks and fail and get hurt, but keeping them safe from people who want to inflict damage on them just to make themselves feel better. 

 

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble. 

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#4 of 19 Old 12-12-2012, 06:22 AM
 
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I have zero contact with my family. It is very hard. You have to let yourself grieve for the death of relationships you wish you hadbut never actually had. It's not your fault they are broken. That happened before you. I find most of my comfort on the Internet, which feels pathetic, but it is what I have. I have my kids. That is my only chance for family. I am trying so hard to do it right.

Good luck.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#5 of 19 Old 12-12-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Me too - just trying hard to get it right with the family I am lucky enough to have and who need me to love them unconditionally.

 

I love your signature by the way.  

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#6 of 19 Old 12-14-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a cancellation for counselling and start next week.  Feeling optimistic.

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#7 of 19 Old 12-14-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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Yay!


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#8 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

You have to let yourself grieve for the death of relationships you wish you hadbut never actually had. It's not your fault they are broken. That happened before you. 

 

This.  It is hard to remember that you never actually had what you are feeling sad about losing :(  

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#9 of 19 Old 12-18-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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I'm in a very similar situation right now.  Over a year ago I cut ties with my dad (here) and it still hurts.  Slowly my family is taking his side and bugging me to make up with my dad.  Not gonna happen.  But it hurts every time they suggest it.  To top it off I recently left my natal religion and my in-law family is having a very hard time with that.  So my husband truly is my rock to anchor to.  I'm glad that through your storm you have you husband to stand by you. 

 

You deserve a hug for doing what you did.  hug2.gif  Good luck in everything!


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#10 of 19 Old 12-19-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the support everyone.  Lazurii, you're amazing.  I read that thread with a lot of emotion.  A lot of the support on the thread is relevant to me so it was also very helpful.

 

I have lived my life believing my emotions were a weakness.  Don't cry.  Cry and I'll give you something to cry about.  Be quiet.  Don't tell.  Well, I cried and I feel liberated.  I realise now that my tears are what freed me.  My tears are my strength.  My emotions empowered me because they gave my suffering a voice and the reason I was told to keep them in was for that exact reason - keeping quiet was keeping me in my situation and allowing it to continue.  I kind of want to shout it from the rooftops!  

 

It's like a river pouring out of me now and I want to talk and talk and talk about it.  I have my first counselling session tomorrow and it's scary but I'm hopeful.  And although I wouldn't wish it on anyone, it does help to know I'm not alone.

 

So thank you!

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#11 of 19 Old 12-19-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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Silverring, that's amazing.  I believe crying is so necessary for the soul, it's so damaging to be prevented from crying.  Feel the power of those emotions!!

 

Good luck in your session.


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#12 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you.

 

My counsellor wasn't very good.  Actually, I would go as far as to say that it was worse than unhelpful.  I don't think I needed to be asked if I think that I am over reacting to a small problem.  Nor do I think it's helpful for her to suggest that there's a school of thought that says bodies react physically to sadness when I told her I had 3 miscarriages, as if my babies were lost because I was unhappy.

 

Feeling pretty crappy but I have a good friend to talk to and am going to her house now.  

 

Never mind.  I'll keep trying until I get a good fit.

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#13 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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Yes, try again and find another counselor.  That person sounds very insensitive. And odd.  It might feel awkward but you should 'shop around' for counselors. Talk with them on the phone before you make an appointment, and ask them what kind of experience they have dealing with whatever major issue you face.  Domestic abuse, for example, or childhood abuse.  I have no idea what you're facing, those are just examples.


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#14 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you.  Yes, both domestic abuse and child abuse, unfortunately.

 

This was a college counsellor.  I have limited options as I have to wait for an NHS one now.  We don't have the money for a private counsellor.  But I can try another college one if I'm brave enough to say I'm unhappy with this one, which I think I can bring myself to do after Christmas.

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#15 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

I have zero contact with my family. It is very hard. You have to let yourself grieve for the death of relationships you wish you hadbut never actually had. It's not your fault they are broken. That happened before you. I find most of my comfort on the Internet, which feels pathetic, but it is what I have. I have my kids. That is my only chance for family. I am trying so hard to do it right.
Good luck.

 

 

I agree.  My husband has a similar situation with his side of the family.  They think he's in the wrong for taking care of himself and us, by separating himself from them.  His attitude is that he's grateful for their awful behavior - it made the choice easier for him.  But there will always be the pain of loss for him, sometimes really bad pain, especially around the holidays when all is supposed to be merry and bright.  You are doing great, dealing with it head-on the way you are and protecting your kids from that kind of abuse.  My opinion, your relatives that are shutting you out, it's because they are mad that you did what they wish they could, if only unconsciously.  You're not responsible for them.  I think it eventually comes down to just being "okay" with your feelings about this, both good and bad.  Staying away from your dad and the others might never feel good - that doesn't make it the wrong thing to do.


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#16 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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And btw, that's terrible, what your counselor said to you.  Push that away and know that you are not at fault for your miscarriages, nor are you at fault for your father's or anyone else's behavior toward you.  There is NOTHING wrong with you.  I think you are courageous and a great mother.  JMO.


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#17 of 19 Old 12-20-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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I try to schedule two first appointments within a week of one another. Then I feel less pressured to like either one. I shop for therapists every few years and I have learned a screening system. You can ask lots of questions about fit in advance by phone or email and save yourself some money.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#18 of 19 Old 12-21-2012, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much.  

 

I feel pretty good about things today.  I spent the day with some lovely friends and feel okay as a result.  

 

Have a peaceful holiday season everyone.

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#19 of 19 Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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Silverring, I was wondering how you're doing.  Did the holidays go well for you?  How is therapy working for you?


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

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