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Thread: If your mother was physically and mentally abusive to you would you trust her with your child? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-28-2012 03:25 PM

I was emotionally and phsyically abused as a child by a woman who was having an affair with my father. She abandoned and neglected her children and was cruel to myself and my siblings.Made us work, pinched us, twisted my arms around my back etc, told me the devil was in me. She herself claimed that she was getting battered by her husband. She had to take it out on us! The impact of that homelife was unreal. It affected my self esteem, worldview, self view, life choices etc.


I'm only just beginning to fathom how much this has screwed up my life. Anyways, she is dead now. I've just told my father about what happened. he said he didn't know. I feel so guilty for telling him :( I did not want him to know incase he would blame himself. Has anyone anyone any insights?


Much love to all Motherless Mothers. xx

03-31-2012 10:21 PM

Oh HECK no. Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, a significant part of why my mother and I are estranged (and will remain that way) is due to the visceral horror and mama-bear rage I went through watching her talk with my friend's daughter. In that instance, my mother was "completely appropriate," they were discussing red peppers and green peppers and which was their favorites.

Its just that growing up with her every preference I expressed was, sometimes violently, disregarded. Pants vs dress, peas vs beets, what my favorite color was- the specifics didn't matter, I was asked what I wanted specifically to have it denied, shamed or ridiculed, and still have physical scars from these altercations. It's still hard for me to say straight out what I'd like.

This exchange was the thing that made it clear to me that I needed a healthier relationship with my mom. None at all is the healthiest relationship she's capable of, so that's where we are staying because *I* deserve healthy relationships and will allow nothing else. If that means I must mother myself, then that is exactly what I'm doing- because she wouldn't and didn't. I hope your husband can get to a point where all of the past, crappy though it is, matters less than taking care of himself now. 


As parents, you are tasked with keeping your kid safe. There are plenty of dangers that you cannot prevent against, but there is no reason to allow a known risk. If you feel obligated to have a relationship with this woman, treat her like someone from Craigslist- meet in public places, have an escape plan ready and don't let anyone talk you into anything you're uncomfortable with. 



03-21-2012 02:00 PM

Averylamb---Great idea!  I have gotten into the habit of asking him if he feel's lonely and loved.  The days he's fine he will say he's ok but other days he will say he has issues to work out.  Last night he was trying to hurt me for no reason at all.  This is a pattern that I wish I knew how to break him out of.  His mother did the same to him just picks a fight for no reason.  I realized last night that when he has a certain look to leave him alone.  Otherwise he will say things to really get at me.  I'm a SAHM he decided to say he feels trapped in his job and feels obligated to be there so I could stay home?!?!?  Normally that would upset me but I took a step back and gave him a very neutral let's end this answers.  I saw that he was upset and looking to hurt me too.  We have been together for over 13 years and married for the past 5.  These arguments would send me in tears but not for the past year.  I think that is driving him crazy that I'm no longer this person possible (himself as a little boy?) that he can pick at.  By no means is he abusive.  I'd like to know what I can do to stop this vicious circle.


I am analytical too which is probably why I'm so angry too!  Too many bad memories and different events being explained.  Like while washing dishes I'll remember something and become angry. 



"I understand why you are picking a fight but you need to stop everything is fine???"
"Stop repeating your mother's cycle.  Nothings wrong at all.  No need for an arguement??"


Jen Muise---He won't do counseling I tried to set an appointment.  He joined an abused a child forum and found a sponsor.  That seems to be helping him.  Next time I see him feeling blue I'll try to help him "console" his inner child.  I'm sorry for what you went through and how courageous of you to get away from that monster.  It's very hard to admit abuse and to get away from the abuser.  It took my DH almost 13 years to admit the full extent of the abuse.   

03-21-2012 11:55 AM
Jen Muise

I haven't been in that situation, but having lived through a very abusive boyfriend I can tell you that the most empowering thing that happened to get me over it was when a good friend of mine got mad on my behalf.  She was listening to me talk it out, and told me how angry she was with him, that I didn't deserve that and that she wished she had been there to knock some sense into him.  It sounds like your husband still hasn't consoled the little boy in him that had his heart broken - maybe if you tell him how angry you are with his mom for treating him like that, that you wish you had been there to give him a hug and treat him with the love he deserved, the same love that you give to your son, and that it is so hard to be around her because he is a wonderful person and didn't deserve any of her sickness it might help him grow.  A little councelling probably would help too, but it's hard to get guys to go. 

03-21-2012 11:34 AM
Originally Posted by Lulu0910 View Post

Averylamb---- Thank you!!  Your very helpful!  If you don't mind me asking is there anything your DH did to help you feel more confident of his love?  Or over time were you just more accepting of it?  I know my DH is still struggling with knowing that I love him and would never leave him.  Since I found out each day I make it a point to ask if he feels loved and does he no longer feel lonely.  I don't think that's enough though? 

He would always reassure me that he loved me. He let me set boundaries that encroached on his own, until they were no longer necessary. And yes, over time things have gotten better. Still, though, sometimes I'll get flashbacks and be worried and stuff. Maybe ask your husband what you could do that would help him? Like...saying "do you feel loved?" is great, but what about trying to find his triggers? Is there anything specific that makes him feel that way? Like, if you don't tell him you're going to the grocery store (for example)?

Of course this is me being analytical, lol I like to find the roots of the reasons for things and address that. But it might give you some ideas smile.gif
03-20-2012 02:55 PM

No, of course it is fine to ask :)  we have to all help each other :)

Well, a year back now I took some time away from seeing my mother because it was just all to hard.. In giving myself that distance I was able to see what she was doing to me and what she had done to me. I was able to see her very clearly, and compare her to the "normal" mothers i know. e.g. "your mum never pulled your hair? Oh.. mine did"..

Seeing her so clearly and having time away definitely helped me to stop trying to make/see her as the mother i always wanted/needed.

But yes- definitely before that I needed her permission on everything! and i still tried for her love.

I would say that (from what you described) its possible your DH is stuck in that cycle too.

Its very hard- and VERY  common- for people who have suffered abuse to revert to the person/age/stage they were when around the people/person that abused them..


Please feel free to PM me, for anything that you may want to ask or tell etc :)


Oh and yes i would definitely feel uncomfortable with a grandmother smacking any child like that.. I have witnessed my mother hurting my niece and nephew, and thats part of the reason I won't leave my bubba with her.

That and my DH says "leave our baby with your mum? Eff off!!" hahaha

03-20-2012 08:31 AM

purplerose---You are right my DH's siblings were not abused to the extent that mine was.  It's truly sickening that they feel

he should just forget about it.  Then again they don't live with him and see what I see. 


Hi mother has several grandkids.  In the past I have witnessed her spank one of them when she saw I saw she she had

a I was caught reaction.  When I told my SIL that her at the time 8-9MO was spanked she told me I was overreacting and

that our MIL would never harm her child.  She's not a loving grandmother she's has a wall up.  Though she will say the

right words the oohs and aahs.  But she calls one of her grandchildren an "evil elf" which at the time I found disturbing?

What grandma calls her grandchild that??  She has regular sleepovers with them but never in a million years my son. 

I don't trust her period.  I think given the opportunity she would abuse another child. 


Travelmumma--I'm so sorry to hear of your abuse.  That is very brave of you to be able to visit your mum each month.

If you don't mind me asking (hopefully not too intrusive.)  When you see your mother are you in some way looking for

the mother you've always wanted?  An affectionate, kind and caring mother?  In my pp I wrote of how before I knew

of the abuse that I thought my DH acted strange towards his mom.  I'm just curious. 


Good luck with TTC #1

03-20-2012 08:20 AM

Averylamb---- Thank you!!  Your very helpful!  If you don't mind me asking is there anything your DH did to help you feel more confident of his love?  Or over time were you just more accepting of it?  I know my DH is still struggling with knowing that I love him and would never leave him.  Since I found out each day I make it a point to ask if he feels loved and does he no longer feel lonely.  I don't think that's enough though? 


I'm slowly working towards peace and I know over time this will blow over.  Provided that I don't see my Inlaws often or not for months that is. 



03-20-2012 04:09 AM
travelmumma I just wanted to agree with previous posters.
I was abused by both parents sexually/ physically/emotionally. Right now my hubby and I are trying for number one. I don't not have contact with my biological father ( who sexually abused me) but I do with my mum (who emotionally and physically abused me)
Perhaps once a motn I see her.
Under no circumstances will she ever be alone with my child. Ever. No sleep overs, no nothing.
And that's with her having recognized/ kinda apologized for it all..
Trust your gut. Do not do it.
03-19-2012 07:08 PM

your dh's siblings may not have been abused, which is why it may be so east for them to tell him he should be over it. i know my brother was treated far, far better than i was. he knows it. we've talked about it. my parents don't seem to realize it, though.


as for abusive parents and their mom is totally different with my children, as my own grandmother is different with me and my children than she was with my mom. but i think that is something you can see and feel whether you are comfortable. i know my grandmother would never hurt my children, but 45 years ago she was beating my mother. if anyone was still abusive then my children would not be left with the abuser.

03-19-2012 06:49 PM
AveryLamb I know. It's stupid, and covering it up only creates another cycle of abuse.

For a long time I was kind of like that with my husband (my issue was I kept feeling like he didn't love me anymore). He was really really patient with me until I became more confident in our love.

I think the anger will leave mostly too. When my husband found out about what my parents did, he was really really angry with them all the time, but it sort of wore off. When we think about it it makes us angry again, but it's not consuming our lives.

Hey, that's not a bad thing wink1.gif I wouldn't like it if a complete stranger started touching my baby either!!

I'm not sure anything I'm saying is helping...but again, I hope you will find peace for yourself in the midst of a difficult situation. (And that you won't have to interact with your MIL for a very long time!!)
03-19-2012 08:29 AM

AveryLamb  I'll never understand why abuse has to be the elephant in the room.  Almost like its hate to label it "shameful."  I think a person who has the perfect parents are the first to say "get over it."  They can't understand it and certainly are against listening or offering advice.  Your 100 percent right as an adult you are affected.  My husband is suffering greatly.  It's hard for him to accept that I love him and never will abandon him.  For years he used to drive me nuts when during an argument or just out of the blue.  He would say "your going to leave me"  "I feel your affection has changed."  Now I understand why he said those things even to this day though it's finally stopped once he told me of his past.  But now I'm remembering too many things of either him or things his mother has said.  That is why I'm having a hard time coping.  Each day that passes out of the blue I'll remember something it makes me soo angry. 



I already told my husband that I can't be near her.  I have the overprotective crazy mom hormones I swear!  When my son was about half a year or so.  I was walking with him around my neighborhood in his stroller.  A woman was walking towards us she stopped and started oohing and ahhing over my son.  Which is fine but she started touching his face and I lost it!  I screamed the worst swear words at her.  It all happened without thought too which scared me!  Poor lady in hindsight and even now I feel horrible.  Since then I always put my body between a strangers and my son.  So I'm scared of what I will say to my MIL.  



03-18-2012 09:38 PM
AveryLamb Wow, I'm disgusted with his siblings, too!! People have told me the same things...get over it, move on, stop playing the victim, stop blaming others for your problems, etc. Those people either deny abuse or don't realize how much what happens in one's childhood (and even in infancy) affects the rest of their life.

It can be a hard thing to come to grips with the fact that a loved one of yours was abused by someone you know! I hope you can find peace -- it sounds like if you deal with your MIL it won't be often! (And good for setting/having boundaries on where to meet her!) ((((hugs))))
03-18-2012 08:45 AM

AveryLamb--- I'm so sorry what you went through.  It does take lots of courage and guts to overcome horrible parents.  I'm happy to hear that your parents cut you off.  That is a blessing in disguise believe me.  I didn't grow up in an abusive home just a inappropriate one.  My parents selfishly used me as their means to hurt one another.  They constantly argued and complained about the other to me.  In fact 2 weeks before my wedding their problems were so severe that.  My mother had my father arrested (long story) and scheduled the court date on the day of my wedding.  Suffice to say I'm estranged from them (still got married). For once in my life I finally am able to lead the life I was meant too.   


My husband always behaved strangely around his mother.  Can you imagine a grown man behaving like a child towards his mother?  I've always thought that was strange but never said anything.  In hindsight that should of been an early warning that he was severely abused by her.  As an adult he is always and forever looking for a bond that frankly never existed.  His father wasn't abusive just a coward that stood by his wife and did NOTHING to stop the abuse.  


The last time my husband saw his mother was at christmas.  What I noticed is that she won't hold my son for long and has a wall up.  What I didn't notice is the look my husband gave her when she held his son.  Now as a father its very hard for him to see his mother.  Too many bad memories.  I know my husband won't close the door to her though I wish he would.  I just told him from this point on but not for a couple of months.  Since I need time to cope.  We only see them in public areas restaurants only no where else.  Especially not his childhood house!  


BTW I'm truly disgusted with his siblings.  They feel that he is being a "baby" (their words!) for not forgiving her and moving on!  His siblings and their spouses are an entirely other matter.  Now that I see the big picture it disturbs me to realize that they chose wives from abusive backrounds.  I guess in some patterns repeat themselves.     

03-17-2012 09:11 PM
AveryLamb Your priority is your son. You do what you need to to keep him safe. If you don't allow contact with your MIL, that's just fine. You don't have to, especially if she's STILL abusive.

My parents were mentally and physically abusive as well. If I had contact with them (they cut me off, go figure), I would never allow my daughter to be alone with them. Ever.

I'm glad your husband is a good father to your son!!

What does your husband say about visiting with his mom?
03-17-2012 06:24 PM

For the past few weeks I have been struggling.  My DH told me that his mother abandoned him as a baby his grandma's raised him as an infant.  Through childhood his mother was emotionally and physically abusive to him.  I knew that she was abusive but not to this extent.  My husband (who already sought help) has been emotionally struggling since our son was born.  For the life of me I couldn't understand why since now is the happiest I've ever been in my entire life.  When he sees how I behave with our son, very loving and nurturing.  He often wonders what he did wrong why his mother never loved him.  It breaks my heart to see him struggle.  He is a wonderful loving husband and father.  It makes me soo angry to think of his mother.  I had so many unanswered questions about her treatment of him and myself.  She hasn't changed though physically she stopped beating him once he became a teenager.  But now it's still mentally.  Before DH told me I had this unrelenting gut feeling that I couldn't trust her.  I was afraid to say anything to him but when she would call the phone ringing would feel like nails on a chaulkboard.  I couldn't explain it then but now I understand why I never trusted her.  I only allowed her to hold my son for a few minutes with a barage of excuses:  hungry, diaper, tired.  We don't see her often at all (5 times since my son was born all in public too) but now I don't want to see her ever.  I don't think she changed at all I think the monster is still there.  How do you cope??  I'm soo angry as a mother to a son I can't rationalize her anger and hate towards my loving husband.  I already told my husband that I can't be around her because I will say something.   

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