Any mama's who were abandoned by their moms in childhood/teens? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-17-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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My dsd has special needs. We've been told in some states she would qualify for services, but in Hawaii, she doesn't. : Handicapped enough to need a lot of help, not enough to get any. We're going into a better school this year, so hopefully we'll see an improvement. I think the psychological stuff is the real handicap, at any rate.

But the big question is, how do you mother when you didn't really have a mother?

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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But the big question is, how do you mother when you didn't really have a mother?


That is a valid question. I know what you are saying.

For me, it was a combination of things.

1. simply the desire to be a better mother and not repeat patterns.
2. some instinct.
3. trusted parenting books.
4. friends and colleagues.
5. magazines such as Mothering.
6. MDC.
7. Select playgroup role models.
8. Talking to my "network" of experts - pediatricians, specialists, etc.
9. examples in literature (books were a solace to me in childhood, and many books had good examples of mothers or mother figures.
10. To a lesser extent, cultural icons and mores about good motherhood.

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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My marriage is going on five years now and the best thing that ever happened for me. And we got married when we were 20.

I had a couple of bad relationships as a teenager, and then I buckled down and voluntarily started reading marriage self-help and other self-help books-- as a teenager! It was so important to me that I build a string and happy family unit-- probably THE most important thing to me. So I started doing more emotionally detached dating (healthier), looking for the right kind of guy, instead of throwing my heart out there right away in a needy way. I think that helped me to attract a healthier guy.

DH comes from a healthier family, where the members are mildly, normally, endearingly dysfunctional, not toxicly so, and they all very much love each other and are devoted to each other. His parents are still married, too. So he had a good role model to go by, mostly. And me, reading those books really helped me a LOT.

I'll tell you one thing, from a young age I have had a fierce determination to have a successful and happy life. I want to prove my mom wrong about me.

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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I'll tell you one thing, from a young age I have had a fierce determination to have a successful and happy life. I want to prove my mom wrong about me.
Yeah, me, too!



I have found success in everything besides my marriage. I've been very successful academically, when it comes to friends, in my career, financially.

But I think my marriage is just never going to be successful. My husband and I have very competing goals and dreams in life. We have personalities that don't mesh well. We don't enjoy a lot of the same things in life, and we have different ideas about lifestyle. Lots of other issues, too!

DH is not a warm and sensitive guy. He's not in tune with, in touch with, aware of, or perceptive of feelings (mine and other people's). He prides himself on not being too emotional about anything. He doesn't like to deal with emotions.



If I met him today instead of as a teenager, I wouldn't be attracted to him, certainly wouldn't date him, and would most likely be annoyed by him. It's the truth.

I think I got myself a man who wasn't aware or keen to feelings because I got a man who was imperceptive...because I didn't want him to be perceptive of my parents major issues and scorn me as other kids did throughout my childhood. Big, big defense mechanism that turned into a big, big mistake.

Oh, well. I got a good kid out of the deal.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:05 AM
 
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Do any of you who were abandoned by parents as children feel that the abandonment caused you to make a mistake when selecting a spouse?

I have a terrible marriage (not as terrible as my childhood) but I think my childhood played a role in how made decisions that go me to this point. Ugh. My standards were just way too low because I never was really loved or cared for.
I'm so sorry about your marriage. I lucked out with my dh because we put no thought behind getting married. I got married 2 days before my 19th birthday and we had only known each other maybe 9 months. I'm very very blessed that we turned out to be so compatible.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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If I met him today instead of as a teenager, I wouldn't be attracted to him, certainly wouldn't date him, and would most likely be annoyed by him. It's the truth.

I think I got myself a man who wasn't aware or keen to feelings because I got a man who was imperceptive...because I didn't want him to be perceptive of my parents major issues and scorn me as other kids did throughout my childhood. Big, big defense mechanism that turned into a big, big mistake.

Oh, well. I got a good kid out of the deal.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 07-18-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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I'm so sorry about your marriage. I lucked out with my dh because we put no thought behind getting married. I got married 2 days before my 19th birthday and we had only known each other maybe 9 months. I'm very very blessed that we turned out to be so compatible.
Thanks. I married young, too, but had dated for a while, but had never really dated anyone else.

It's not that my husband wasn't a good person. But who a person is at 18, or 22, is not the same at 35. People change. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in other ways.

For those of you who have experienced parents who abandoned them and/or bad childhoods or childhoods of neglect, have you been able to do things in life to find happiness now?

Specifically, I am thinking about how when I was growing up there were so many things that I never got to experience (sleep overs, prom, going on a vacation, taking any sort of day trip, travelling, swimming, etc).

I got through those long years by telling myself how I would do all the things I wanted to do in life when I was grown up.

Now I am in my 30s, I put myself through college, I've had a successful career, I've achieved financial stability and I've given back and tried to help others. There are a few things in life that I've wanted to do since I was a little girl that I want to do now. But DH says he's not responsible for making up for my childhood. He says that all the time. It's kind of a let down.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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There are a few things in life that I've wanted to do since I was a little girl that I want to do now. But DH says he's not responsible for making up for my childhood. He says that all the time. It's kind of a let down.
So start planning!

Don't let one more person in your life hold you back from fulfilling some life goals.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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So start planning!

Don't let one more person in your life hold you back from fulfilling some life goals.


I know! I have all kinds of plans. I need to wait until I'm done being a SAHM and I make my own money again (more money for extras, not just essentials, that is) and then I'm doing some things!

I should say that really being a SAHM is one of the goals, so to be fair, I have been blessed to have that.



Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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I was surprised to see this thread...mainly because often I feel very alone in my abandonment. Thanks to everyone here for all your beautiful posts.

My mother left for another man when I was about 2.5. I have no memory of her...and like some others here have said...she basically fell of the face of the earth. My father was serving a two-year stint in the army overseas. When he came home, he found me with neighbors and I was severly malnourished. He cried and my grandparents cried and everyone has been incredibly hushed about this subject my entire life. Whether she is still alive is a complete mystery. She would be about 65 years old now.

I used to think I didn't care. When I had DD, however, I kept thinking (and keeping thinking): how could she do it??? How could she just walk away??? Sometimes I have nightmares that I forget DD somewhere or have failed in my care. I guess there is a lot of underlying crappola that I haven't dealt with over the years. The loss exhibits itself somewhere...

But then again, maybe the experience had positive effects. When I see parents over-agonizing about whether the decisions they make will turn their kids into serial killers or immoral people...of god-forbid - unloved and disfunctional adults...I remind myself that no matter where you come from or what your situation...you can rise above it and find happiness and love and success...even if you yourself lacked love.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I used to think I didn't care. When I had DD, however, I kept thinking (and keeping thinking): how could she do it??? How could she just walk away??? Sometimes I have nightmares that I forget DD somewhere or have failed in my care. I guess there is a lot of underlying crappola that I haven't dealt with over the years. The loss exhibits itself somewhere...


I know exactly what you are saying, and I feel the same and have felt the same way since having children.

I think I've gone through three phases in life with regard to parental abandonment and neglect.

Phase 1: The first phase was devastating in a way that manifested itself physically. This was when I was a child and could not provide for myself yet. Having parents who abandoned and neglected me caused many problems during that 1st phase: hunger, lack of schooling, limited and zero opportunities, not having a winter coat, and being cold, etc. During this phase I was almost always cold, hungry, lonely, and felt very unloved.

Phase 2: I think phase 2 was when I was an older teenager, then a college student, and then early adulthood. I was finally able to slowly begin shedding the layers and layers of baggage, and begin to fend for myself so some physical needs started to be met. As a teenager, I could finally get a job and earn my own money, so for the first time in my life I had food most of the time, bought my first pair of brand new shoes, and started working out a plan to go nowhere but up. College and early adulthood for me was a wonderful time, full of opportunities that I had never earlier experienced, including having basic needs met and not being hungry and cold.

I saw myself as an island, as a person who could be completely independent, meet all my own needs, and never be neglected again. I excelled at this, but it was all false. People aren't islands.

I met my own basic needs, but unfortunately I spent pretty much all my extra money, time, and energy trying to pull the rest of my family out of their self-inflicted problems. That turned out to be a huge waste in every way.

Phase 3: In phase three, I became a mother. Even though the physical manifestations of abandonment and neglect were long gone, the emotional ones came again to pay a visit. I realized I wasn't an island. I had a baby, and other issues related to parenting and small children, and I needed help. And there was no one to count on.

It was devastating to see other mothers who could balance their life and motherhood so much more easily because they weren't islands. They had a network or village of family who could, and wanted to help.

I was and am still very sad when I see other grandparents who are so lovingly, willingly, warmly, and functionally involved with their grandchildren.

There are examples everywhere I turn of this. And it is always shocking and hurtful that loving families come naturally for some people. It all depends what family you are born into, and that is so very random.

My DH says to get over myself, stop feeling sorry for myself, let it go, etc. I don't think he truly understands. It's not feeling sorry for oneself.

It is far deeper and far more aching than that. You don't know it unless you've lived it. I've found this thread to be refreshing because all of you have experienced similar things in life, and seem to have much the same perspective.

I know what you mean about dreams. I have dreams where I think, surely there must be someone I can count on, I'm just not thinking clearly or thinking hard enough to come up with that person.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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I was and am still very sad when I see other grandparents who are so lovingly, willingly, warmly, and functionally involved with their grandchildren.

There are examples everywhere I turn of this. And it is always shocking and hurtful that loving families come naturally for some people. It all depends what family you are born into, and that is so very random.

My DH says to get over myself, stop feeling sorry for myself, let it go, etc. I don't think he truly understands. It's not feeling sorry for oneself.
Yeah, no, he doesn't get it. My mom was barely involved in my kids' lives (now not at all) and never wanted to help in any way. My dad lives far away. But DH's parents are very involved. What a huge difference it makes. It's HUGE! I don't know WHAT I would do if we didn't have them to fall back on for babysitting and sometimes just moral support. The boys are very attached to them.

I get it and I'm sorry it's so hard for you. Because you're very right-- it IS hard.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you mamas who have had absent mothers think it was better to have no mother at all (ie. abandonment, suicide) compared to one that was there but wasn't really there (ie. depression, withdrawl)? Which circumstance is healthier for children to grow up in?
Mamaterra, I wanted to come back to this to tell you about how I feel towards my mom. I am angry and hurt that she rejects me, staying away when she knows I'm right here. But I would probably be 10x angrier, and carry it with me for the rest of my life, if she were to kill herself. I've had in depth conversations with her. I know her mind works. What I do not understand is how the f*** she can toss the idea of suicide around in her head and actually believe it would be best for me. I've been depressed as a teenager and considered suicide. But since becoming a mother, I would NEVER do that to my child. My mom's twisted rational thought in her head so much that she believes she would be doing my family a world of good if she were to die tomorrow - but she is WRONG. At least now I have the hope that one day she'll pull herself together. If she kills herself, it will break me. Haunt me. Devestate me.

I'm an adult now, but if I could go back to my mom when I was 13, I would say: Listen up, lady. You are a mother. I know that things get really difficult, but there are real children living in this situation. You need to look within yourself, summon every bit of spirit you can, and straighten out your life before your children develop wounds which will last a lifetime. Whether that means prozac, institutionalizing yourself, or anything else you can think of, you had better do it right now. Because it'll only get worse from here.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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Do you mamas who have had absent mothers think it was better to have no mother at all (ie. abandonment, suicide) compared to one that was there but wasn't really there (ie. depression, withdrawl)? Which circumstance is healthier for children to grow up in?
My mom was a depressed alcoholic, and I did truly feel abandoned. I wished many times that my dad would leave her and take me away with him. Now as an adult, she is sober and healthy, and I consider her my friend. I have gotten help for myself and have forgiven her for it all, because I now know she was being the best mother that she could be. I truly wish she would have loved herself enough to have gotten help sooner.

One of my best friends also had a mother who was a depressed alcoholic. Only when she was eight her mom killed herself. It was horribly tragic and my friend was haunted by it for her entire life (and also dealt with depression and suicidal tendencies as a young teenager, that is not anything a 13 year old should be having to deal with). Now she is a mother, and she is even more angry at her mom for killing herself, because she knows that she would never do that to her kids. When it comes up, I remind her that her mom was a very sick woman and couldn't see how her actions would affect her children. Suicide is a very selfish act, and truly any mother who would do that is obviously not doing it in the best interest of her children.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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if I could go back to my mom when I was 13, I would say: Listen up, lady. You are a mother. I know that things get really difficult, but there are real children living in this situation. You need to look within yourself, summon every bit of spirit you can, and straighten out your life before your children develop wounds which will last a lifetime. Whether that means prozac, institutionalizing yourself, or anything else you can think of, you had better do it right now. Because it'll only get worse from here.


We all wish we could go back and make an absent or neglectful parent change their behavior.

How likely is it that they would change their behavior in the past, if we could turn back time?

I don't think my parents would be able to change anything a second time around. They are still dealing with all the same issues that caused them to act the way they did so many years ago. Nothing has changed, or improved, in their lives.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Now as an adult, she is sober and healthy, and I consider her my friend.
I think our parents recovery is key to us as children forgiving them and having a healthy relationship in the present time and forgetting the past.

Recovery and a commitment to clean, healthy, present, and emotional available living is atonement on their part, I think.

My parents are the same as they've always been...mired in their own vast problems. In fact, I think their problems are much, much worse now than they were when I was little (and they were very bad back then, too).

So, it's hard to have any kind of a "normal" parent-child relationship with them, or even to be friends with them when they do not have their acts together.

I feel empathy for them, certainly, but they have not changed or improved. The issues remain. So there is no healing or recovery.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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Something that irritates me about my mother is how now that I have a family and life of my own she tries to push her way into it. I know that sounds terrible like I'm closing her out, but it's hard to get past the resentment.

I spent years wanting and waiting her to come out of her dark place to be an active participant in the lives of her family and in life, in general. And yet even now she has done NOTHING to create one for herself: She still has no friends, family (outside of my dad and her DC), job, hobbies, interests, she never even leaves the house. She has done nothing to improve her situation, and yet she wants my family to give her a social outlet and a renewed purpose. I want to say, "No. You don't get to use my family when you had decades to make it better for all of us (my family growing up) and chose every day not to."

On some level I feel like I'm being as selfish as she is by not sharing more of my family with her, but I don't trust letting her in. She has a habit of fallinjg back into bad patterns very easily.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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im not sure if this counts really but my mum left me twice. once when i was 18 months old she jsut left us, she had to get asway she never loved my dad and felt trapped and jsut left leaving me with my dad, where i stayed till i was 10 then had to move in with mum who by that time had a 2nd child (my bro teh golden boy how i seriously dislike him) and within a year of me moving in with them she marrie dher abusive partner and had another kid. wasnt really a happy place. we were all walking on egg shells. was only a matter of time till stepdad1 kicked off. somewhere between 13/14 she kicked him out/divorced him mat another man, got with him and when i was 15/16 she left me again. they all moved 180 nmiles across country. we were all gonna go when i finished high school but we were burgled and they took EVERYthing. didnt bother me i was used to it having been burgled 7 times in 10 years i was used to coming home to a smasehd up house and my stuff gone so i idnt really care. mum felt violated and could not stay in the house any more so i HAD to go stay with my epileptic nana and grandad for a year while i finished up schoo. i spent a year playing baby sitter for my nana having to spend my nonvisitation weekends with her 24/7 i hated it. i hated her for doing that. i hated my dad for not doing ANYTHING. last year we talked about it and she said it was one of the worst decisions she made and she wished she could of either held out or insisted i go and i agree now maybe i would of done better. my dad also agreed he could of done more to help.

sucks but i know fine well my mum never even wanted me. she siad so her self but she said that as soon as she saw me and a baby she loved me but the differance between how she treated me as a teen and how she treated my bro (6yrs nyounger) makes me so mad. even now. he screwed up living there so came here, screwed up living here so goes crawling back to mummy. i begged mum to let me and kids move back with her after hubby was attacked in our house and she point blank refused!!!! she told me i had made my bed so had to lie in it!!! come on mother a man bursts in my house, beats my husband up infront of my kids, scares the crap out of us all and i have to jut suck it up and deal! bro gets drunk, argues with me, punches a hole in a wall, runs up a phone bill im not sure i can pay and get to go home to mommy!! yeah right. thanks mom!! love u too

yeah im getting angry now so gonna go

Kiz
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