I'm not a troll. I'm a regular who doesn't want to use my screen name for a sensitive question.
I'm estranged from my parents and siblings. There are many reasons, but one of the chief ones is their ongoing refusal to acknowledge the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse I suffered in our family home at the hands of my mother, and the fact that my father either didn't know about it and should have, or knew about it and did nothing, depending on the version of the story he happens to be telling when the subject comes up. I'm generally okay with that and have taken responsibility for my own recovery and my own quest for happiness.
But I suffered a setback yesterday. My dad and I crossed paths at a family event, and he remarked on how big my daughter was getting. He hadn't seen her in months. I said she was growing up fast, trying to find a neutral answer when what I wanted to say was that he was missing out on his granddaughter and he would never get her childhood back or really get to know her if he didn't make an effort to resolve our issues. Then he said that he hoped that as a parent, I'd finally learned that every child is different, and the approach that worked for one wasn't the same as what would be best for another. He said a lot of people had criticized the way he and my mom brought me up, but that since I' turned out well, they must have done it right.
I was horrified. So beating on me, kicking me, throwing me around, screaming at me and calling me names from the days of my earliest memories was the approach that they felt would work best on me, but not on their other kids? Then it was all intentional? Because of the way I was? And justified by the way I was?
Trying to maintain a discussion, I said that I strongly disagreed with the methods my mom used on me, but it was true that I turned out to be a strong, independent person. I said that with my daughter, I was going for a gentler, more positive approach that built her up and let her know she could come and talk to me about anything. He said that was great, if it worked for me and my daughter, but that parenting wasn't black and white and that I'd been an extremely stubborn, hard-headed, difficult child from the beginning. So it was all on me again.
I'm having trouble even knowing how to deal with this. I'm sure I should just blow it off and consider the source, but it's really dragging me down. In my world, there's no way a child could ever do anything to warrant being abused, ever. It's like blaming a rape victim, only somehow worse because a child is absolutely innocent, defenseless, and innately trusting of her parents. But the idea that my own parents believe there was something wrong with me, something bad enough that the acts of abuse were justified, and that those acts fixed whatever the problem was so that I became a competent, productive adult is hugely depressing. My SO says to consider the source and blow it off, but I'm really struggling. My child is beautiful and close enough to perfect for me, falts and all, and although it is my job to guide her toward a civilized adulthood, if beating her and breaking her spirit with verbal and emotional abuse was the only way I thought I could do it, I'd give her to someone else to raise who could do it more humanely.
Then too, I'm not sure I want my child around my parents at all, ever, if they believe acts of child abuse are in any way at any time justifiable.
So am I overthinking this? How can I let it go? I'll never get apologies or even admissions of what happened from my parents, but my dad was the one who brought it all up yesterday, and basically blaming me for the abuse seems to have taken the pain to a whole new level for me. I was hoping maybe someone had been through it and could relate, since my SO doesn't have a clue. He seems to think having sex tonight will make me feel better, and he's been coming on all day. He really is trying to help, but it's like trying to fix a shattered vase with spit and bubble gum.
Asked by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on Jun. 30, 2013 in Relationships
Answer by gdiamante at 5:16 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by SWasson at 6:49 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by Rosehawk at 7:40 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by Mummzie120 at 11:11 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by LeJane at 10:38 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by DusterMommy at 12:59 AM on Jul. 1, 2013
Answer by goldpandora at 4:20 AM on Jul. 1, 2013
Yeah, I like the idea of writing down your thoughts. Journaling can be cathartic. Avoiding them as much as possible is another positive step. Focusing on the positives in your life, like your child & your so, who wants you, btw! Sex releases all kinds of endorphins & I highly recommend you let your SO help you out there! :)
Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:20 AM on Jul. 1, 2013
Answer by Crafty26 at 7:08 PM on Jun. 30, 2013
Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 8:38 PM on Jun. 30, 2013