I am 48 and an only child. My extended family is very small. I have 3 kids, 22, 12, and 9. the younger 2 are from my second marriage which is in divorce limbo. I had always thought I had a happy childhood; my parents were young when they had me and "did the best they could." Both parents come from difficult childhoods. My mother, while I adored my grandparents and was close to both, speaks of how difficult her childhood was, sighting verbal and physical abuse. I could never understand the conflicting experience I had with them and what my mother described. As I got older, I began to see the verbal abuse. My Uncle was clearly the golden child. My mother would tell me, "If I ever treat you the way mother treats me, tell me." Yeah, she didn't want to hear it when I did. My Uncle never had children so I was the only grandchild.
My father's parents? His dad was a gentle man who was so loving yet at times seemed sad. He was an alcoholic, but I never saw him falling down drunk or mean. My grandmother? We, the 3 cousins, call her the grandmother from hell. It would take me pages to explain her; suffice to say, she was a true psychopath and a walking DSM. She attempted or threatened to kill most of her blood relations at one time or another, including me when I was 19. She attempted to kill my Aunt when she was an infant; her father filed for divorce and got sole custody. My grandfather did not know GFH had been married or had a child until years into the marriage. He tried to leave her once; she put my 5yo father behind the car so he would be run over... My grandfather got out of the car luckily. He remained married to GFH as she threatened he would regret it if he left. I heard my great aunts "saved" my father by their support. Yet, I question him not having some damage from being raised by such a woman. She was an alcoholic and addict, checking herself in and out of the state hospital. She was also diagnosed Bipolar and had anorexia. I did not know her until she had gotten her act together enough when I was 12. She claimed to be a member of AA, which I did not understand- and I would also witness her drinking. She would tell me all these stories which I would ask my parents about. They were more often than not fabrications, I was told not to believe her. I will never understand why or how they allowed her back in their lives- especially after threatening to kill me (she was living with us, I snuck out of the house per Dad's instruction).
I grew up knowing my father wanted a son and my mother wanted a frilly girl. I was neither. I was a tomboy who enjoyed fishing and hunting while hating dresses. I always heard how I was their only child and they just wanted me to be perfect. While this was said as "joking" I knew otherwise. "You better not screw up because we only have you." I don't remember ever being very close to my mother though I wanted to be. We had certain things like shopping in common but I cannot remember ever feeling I was being my real self with her. I would say I was a "daddy's girl" but this was by default. We would fish, do some day hunts but the serious outdoors things only males allowed. I have a male cousin, 18 months older than me. We were very close. He sexually assaulted me once when I was young; I just buried it and never told anyone. One time when I was about 16, my cousin and dad had gone on a hunting trip. My cousin relayed how my dad told him, he knew I was not a virgin. I was angry because I was and remained a virgin until college. I never thought to ask WHY my dad and cousin discussing MY sexual activities. My mother avoided topics of sex with me. She gave very basic birds and bees explanation and told me to look up anything else in books. I was so ashamed when I got my period at 12. When I was an older teen, my mother said she did NOT want to know if I was sexually active; she gave me the name of her OB/Gyn while often saying "women have choices now when it comes to unwanted pregnancies" and "no reason have to have a baby outside of marriage" I asked her several times if she had to get married. She denied it even after I pointed out their anniversary, my birthday and their eloping. Just this past year, I found out they did get married because my mother was pregnant.
I went to college. They told me what to major in and I rebelled. They never knew it though. I changed my major and then they decided they would not pay for law school. I married an abuser. My wedding was not my choosing. I wanted to cancel at one point, my mother said the invitations went out so had to go through with it. When I got pregnant, she hung up on me when I told her. She had told me NOT to get pregnant. When my son was 3, I was at their house (never moving away because they told me not to) and said I was afraid to go home. I wanted to tell my mother what I was going through but she got angry and said I had made my bed by marrying him and having a baby. I had begun drinking heavily to cope. I felt only one option left and attempted suicide. I worked in psych, so I knew the right combo to take. I nearly succeeded. While I was in the hospital, my husband told them all kinds of lies about me. they believed him. When I was discharged, I went back to him. I had gone to a meeting with friends I made in treatment. We were hanging out at one guy's house. I called home saying I was out with people from the meeting. He *69 and hung up when a male answered. I hurried home, I was met with being choked and shoved around. He called my parents to come and get me because I was out of control. I knew he did this to cover up what he had done to me. Make me crazy so no one would believe me. My parents arrived and they called my doctor. My doctor knew my story and refused to admit me. That was the first time I heard how I was just like the GFH. Great.
They believed my husband over me until my mother caught him in a lie. Suddenly, they supported me. I lived with them and my son while I finished my masters. I stayed with them until I had worked for a year to save up money. I had a trust fund, my father kept control of it until much later. Control issues color my life. I moved into the house I had bought with then ex. Oh, there were many times I would find myself met with the silent treatment from my parents. I never knew what I did, until a friend or relative would tell me after months of being shut out what I did. I would always apologize for perceived wrongs. I was always at fault.
I worked at a hospital and there met my next husband who was a med student. He too was divorced. I was reluctant to commit to the relationship as quickly as he wanted, but I did. I ignored red flags thinking he was my soul mate. we moved about two hours away, which I felt awful moving away from my parents. They had friends who were willing to give him a residency spot to keep us near. I wanted to move. Life was really good for several years. Our schedules were crazy and he was making good money moonlighting. We had been trying to get pregnant for years. I learned pregnancy would be near impossible. At that point, my son being 10, we decided not to pursue options. I quit my job as we never saw each other. Then I got pregnant. After the birth of my daughter, things changed in our marriage. It was lonely being a SAHM. It was even harder as he would continue his hunting and fishing without me. Once, he called to ask me if I was ok with him extending his hunting trip. he had been gone 4 days, I had a baby with sleep issues and I had post-partum depression. I said I needed him home. I never said that again after days of the silent treatment. I found a group of moms and things perked up again. We had discussed having another baby, I was 38 so waiting not an option. I got pregnant right away. We moved to a larger home. Meanwhile, the distance between my husband and I grew. One point, I cried every night because he was so distant. He would get angry at me if I tried to talk about it. Our second daughter was born as I began getting sick all the time. I always had periods of joint pain, pretty bad but could manage. My pain became chronic; I couldn't sleep having a baby, a toddler and a teen. but life looked great from the outside. If i tired to talk about my day with husband, I was dismissed. My health went downhill. then the problems began with my parents. My mother would visit and corner me, telling me how I was severely mentally ill and needed to be on psych meds. I was exhausted. My mother insisted I was manic. She would accidentally leave messages on my voice mail thinking she had hung up. I dreaded their visits. The control and allegations I was mentally unwell. I was falling asleep while driving. I would be having a convo and dreaming at the same time. It was awful. I was having shingles outbreaks. Drs would hand over pain pills and send me away. I did have several surgeries as well. Pain pills for an alcoholic is a bad combo. But I found relief from my marriage and parents using.
Long story but we ended up moving to a different state. I wanted to be far away from my parents. A new start for us. So I thought. I was still sick all the time. His new job took him on many trips. We had returned to coast where we lived for vacations. On one such trip, I had taken the kids to a friends and my husband and parents went out to dinner. What I walked into, a hornets nest. My father verbally attacked me. I was shocked because seemed out of no where. I tried to diffuse the situation, I was cold sober, he was not. I was called "F-- loser" "F disappointment" and on n on. My mother shooed us out to the balcony because we were loud. The things my father said were horrid. I had taken my phone out and set it on a table. I saw it and realized I could record him to play for him the next day...when I reached for it, he grabbed me. He had me by my shoulders and would not let go. I tried to break free but found myself 5-6ft away. I landed against the corner breaking two lawn chairs and a table. My mother came out to help me up and I bolted. I went a connivence store for a soda as I tried to wrap my head around what happened. A policeman came to me and asked if I was ok. I thought odd but I was crying. He then asked if I wanted to press charges. I shook my head NO; then looked up and saw myself in the antitheft mirror. My left side, face, arms, legs, bloody from the wall. I drove around in shock. I would check for lights to see if safe to go back to the condo. I had my iPod on, walked in and saw my father and husband sitting and drinking. My father laughed and asked if I was ready for round 2; my husband ignored me. I went to tell my mother I loved her but she pulled back from a hug saying we would talk in the morning. I felt the world go upside down. What was going on? I was lost. I was in contact w a friend trying to decide what to do. Long and short of it, next day, lawn chairs gone and I was told by my mother I ruined my marriage and husband suicidal because of me. Husband mad at me for leaving him alone with my parents fighting the night before. My father insisting he was only defending himself. again i was compared to GFH. Then I began abusing pain pills. My marriage was in pieces as my health declined. My husband returned from a trip acting odd. I snooped on his phone. He forgot to close out the escort pages he sought out. I was sick seeing he emailed them. He denied cheating. I was losing my mind. Life spun out of control for me. My best friend contacted my husband one night when I lost it. Next thing I know, I am back in treatment. It was needed. Saved my life. My parents seemed happy. They weren't so happy when they spoke w my dr there and he said I had PTSD from them. I also was diagnosed with a sleep disorder and Celiac Disease. I was able to confront my husband about his cheating. We decided to work on our marriage. It was an illusion. The gas lighting was awful. I believed I had to have a brain tumor or something because how he denied things I knew to be true.
Nothing improved with my parents. I tried to be honest. Instead I was insane according to them. I finally reached my limits and filed for divorce. My parents blamed me for problems. Of course he went outside the marriage because I was a bad wife according to my mother. I thought I needed my parents. Seemed they were supportive as they said I was the best they had seen in years. I confided in my mother. I then caught on to something- she was also talking to him. Then I found out she agreed to do a deposition for him. He was asking sole custody and saying I was unfit. I had been sober 3 years then. I stayed at our house waiting for him to move. He refused. after 4 months of stress, I agreed to move. The deposition was a new low. Things my mother said were not only false, they were hurtful. She distorted everything. She glared at me the whole time. My lawyer said it was as bad as I thought it was.
I moved out. Because of a court ordered custody eval, my lawyer insisted no contact with my parents. I found myself alone on holidays as my parents paid for airline tickets for husband and kids. My mother insists she did nothing wrong. She never asked me things believing my husband over me. I told her she did the same thing with first husband. She said she doesn't remember that. She has a very selective memory. I was barley making ends meet. I was desperate once and asked her for money because my gas was about to be turned off and I was behind on rent. She said I should get a job. My health prevent this. The custody eval was awesome as the recommendation of split custody that was in effect remain that way. I went through intense psych testing, I was declared mentally healthy. Husband? not so much. my family did not want to hear that.
Few months ago, after a year and a half of hearing how this is horrible for my parents, how they have suffered because of ME, no one seems to care my mother did a depo against me... My fault. My mother contacts me and we give it a shot. My son is graduating and wants me there. the only was I can swing it financially is my parents paying for myself and daughters. Typical pattern, things seem great then my mother texts me, she is sick of trust issues and having to walk a thin line. I ignored her. Next message is two days later, she said she cant wait to see me and the girls and looking forward to us staying with them. I never agreed to staying with them. I am sick. If I don't go, my son has told me he won't forgive me. My Uncle sides with my mother. I cannot afford a hotel. I am that broke. So I have to decide risking my sanity, safety and peace of mind or my son. Its all on me. I am the cause of the rift. I am constantly compared to a sociopath. My not-yet-ex was also invited by my son. He is going of course. Which hell do I choose? I don't have others to stay with - even so, the control. I cant do this - choose.
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