Happy mothers’ day??
The phone call
Well I just got off the phone from my mother. I nearly didn’t call her at all but thought I’d try to be civil, despite her being as far from a mother as she possibly could be.
How it all began
It all started with her drinking problem when I was a kid, the things we had to witness and get in the middle of when she refused to leave my violent dad. Then when he turned on me, mainly verbal abuse, but of the most awful kind that sticks in my mind to this day, she stood by and said nothing. She said nothing when he told me I was all the disgusting names imaginable, that no-one really liked me and I would be better off dead. Perhaps she was scared but that doesn’t excuse her behaviour since then.
When I, at fourteen years old, confided in her that I’d started to self-harm. Instead of providing the comfort and reassurance that I needed, she told me to ‘stop being so stupid’.
The self-harm continued for years. Then because she refused to see the signs that my dad was mentally ill and needed help, she allowed him to be in the house alone with me while she was off drinking. He cut his throat in front of me and everyone afterwards, including him, blamed me for it, including the police treating a frightened, sixteen year old girl like some sort of villain.
When dad was sectioned, she got the support from her friends that she needed, my sister was watched like a hawk, but no-one seemed bothered about how traumatised I was becoming. Blaming myself for his actions. All I had done was ask him why he was emotionally abusing me and told him how it made me feel. That was his response.
Age seventeen and me and mum got into a fight. She was drunk and started hitting me so I slapped her back, because for once I refused to be a victim. It’s not a moment that I’m proud of but the fact that her and my sister then got me on the floor curled into a ball while they rained punches and kicks on me, that makes me feel a bit less guilty about it than I would have otherwise.
That was the last night I spent in that house. Mum called the police on me for one slap and they took me to stay at a friend’s house. From there I ended up in hostels. The whole time my mum was happier to see me staying in those dingy places because she now had her perfect family, now I was absent from it. Till dad turned on her.
By that time I’d been housed in my first flat, and mum, who had been cheating on my dad towards the end, moved in with her new boyfriend, who had a flat of his own, and left my sister with my dad.
When I told mum I preferred for him not to stay at the flat, she began to use my place like a hotel. Doing her laundry, eating all my food when she was working full-time and I was living on a pittance. I asked her to start contributing but because she was spending nights with her boyfriend she thought that gave her the right to stay at my place free of charge, whilst I was getting further and further into debt trying to support both of us.
I asked her to leave as she wasn’t staying with me anyway and she spread the rumour around my entire family, that I had made her homeless!! As a result of which none of my aunts and uncles and cousins and maternal grandmother have spoken to me properly since.
I got sexually attacked when I was nineteen. I tried turning to her again and she couldn’t even look at me, let alone do what I needed her to do, which was to hold me, reassure me, and call the police, so that the perpetrator could be brought to justice. Instead, because of her reaction, I didn’t tell anyone else for a long time. My mental health deteriorated, I got into a lot of debt and ended up leaving the area to move hundreds of miles away in the hope that putting distance between us would help me to cope with her rejection. It didn’t.
For years I leant on other people , including my ex husband. On discovering that he was a sex offender, I made the brave decision to report him to the police. This resulted in me losing everything, my home, my support and most of my belongings. In the hope that my family would finally be the support that I needed, during the most awful period of my life.
My family weren’t interested though. And after an argument with my mother in which she told me that my dad didn’t want me, I took my fourth overdose in six months and nearly died. For each of my hospital stays after the overdoses, not a single member of my family visited me. Apart from a single friend, I was alone. Not long afterwards, I moved away again.
Since I moved away, apart from some disastrous visits (me visiting them), and one even more disastrous move back, I have hardly seen them. I have made efforts to keep in contact with them but they are rarely interested, just completely wrapped up in their own lives. Even when I was hospitalised for four months on a psychiatric ward, I did not have a single visit from my family, and they didn’t even call the hospital once to check on my progress.
The final straw
The final straw for me has been getting out of hospital and not having a single bit of support from them. I know that I’m not perfect and that it must be extremely hard to have a daughter with an unpredictable mood disorder, but all I get from my mum now, if I want to confide in her about a bad day, is that I’m moaning, or how much worse she has it. I’m tired of her being so self-centred. All I ever wanted is for her to love and care for me, but now I just want to know how to move on from her.
This post is a shout out to everyone who gets a pang on mothers’ day when the adverts and news stories are all about perfect mothers. This is for those of you who don’t know what that feels like, that maternal love, because for some reason it’s been missing.
I know that there are many people who have worse mothers than I do, and I really feel for them. I hope though, that in sharing this, you will feel less alone for not having the perfect family.
Feel free to share your stories in comments or on Twitter @spursbythebeach . You are never alone.