Jump to content

Abusive Parent's Death


Recommended Posts

My mother was verbally and sometimes physically abusive, especially when I was young. I repressed the physical stuff until my son was born, ( I asked about the scar on my face, but no one could remember me without it.) so we never talked about it. We had a reasonably good relationship towards the end of her life, and I was with her every weekend the last few months of her life. We never talked about how she treated me, however. My sister had a much happier relationship with her and thinks I'm exaggerating the impact of Mom's attitude towards me because I was unwilling to quit my teaching position and leave my 16 year old home alone ( my husband travels a lot) to move to Phx. and sit with Mom for an unknown amount of time. (As it turned out, 6 weeks). Instead, I took over her finances and paperwork and went there each weekend to give my sister a break. She says I'm just selfish for not helping more and trying to feel less guilty about it.

Lately I've been feeling angry that Mom never apologized My husband feels it's time I "just get over it" without anyone ever acknowledging that I didn't deserve to be hit or screamed at. He says that since he doesn't believe I'm fat, ugly, and useless, I should forget all the things she said and be happy with myself.

There's a sense of relief that it's all over, too. I just finished dividing the last part of her estate, and I guess that's why I feel like everything should be finished.

How do I move on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Quiltcat,

I replied to your post, that responded to my post, and suggested that you write your Mom a letter, telling her exactly how you feel, and that she has upset you. Tell her how mad she made you feel, or how much she hurt you.

My daughter suggested that I do that, on a day when I was mad at my Mom for dying! I told her how upset she made me, and asked her things. I just saved the letter on my computer, and have never gone back to look at it again. It did make me feel better, even though I cried the whole time that I wrote it.

It may work in your situation, but you'll never know unless you try! I hope it helps, even a little bit. Take care.

Kim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a difficult situation. I like the idea of writing her a letter. As a survivor of abuse (though not at the hands/voice of a parent), I know there came a time when I decided (and it was a conscious decision--almost 15 years after it happened) that I was not going to let the incidents ruin or control my life. I have read some things more recently that talk about people surviving difficult situations, and how it makes them stronger. Many of us who overcome the pain and struggle of such abuse, to become survivors, realize that as difficult as the incident(s) were, they are part of us and make us who we are today.

You will know when you are ready to let go of your anger or anguish. When that time comes, you may be able to think more about the improvements in your relationship, and less about the apologies. There is always so much unfinished business when it comes to death. I know I would love to have just one more conversation with my mom, but I'm thankful that I was able to talk to her the day before she died, even if neither of us knew it was the last time we would ever speak.

I would suggest that perhaps using the board to write about what you are thinking and feeling so we can discuss it with you might help as well. That's why we're here.

Whitony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quiltcat,

Your feelings are natural. I would advise that you just talk it all out (to yourself) and rant and rave and say everything you are feeling. Face all your feelings (and don't feel guilty about the bad ones) and just let it all out. I think once we do that we feel free, sort of like letting go of it. I'm so sorry for your loss and your abuse. That makes grieving particularly hard I think. As far as your husband saying you should just get over it, well, men don't seem to understand why something hurts us forever. Or they have a built in way of just blowing things off, I don't know! I've found the same experience from men, that I should just not let things bother me....please! They just don't understand. The only hope is that the men on this board are different, they seem to understand, so I am hopeful I will meet one like them someday!

Hugs,

Shell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try writing to her and see what happens. I'm only recently starting to see how much it affected me. So much of what I 've done with my life has been an attempt to prove her wrong. I've never really thought about the choices I've made in that light before.

She was furious when I quit school halfway through my junior year of college, and I thought I just needed a break after going to school summers and winters all through highschool without a break, but I can also still vividly hear her telling me "You'd better get a good degree in something that pays well because it's for damn sure no one will want you for your looks." I wonder now if I could have stayed with it.

I also have always considered myself big, boxy and masculine looking, so it was a shock when someone recently made some comment about me being small. I honestly never even considered it, but I guess I'm pretty much an average sized woman. (almost 5'4" and size 10) It amazes me that would never cross my mind. I just took whatever she said as true. Maybe I need to spend some time figuring out who I really am.

Anyway, I really appreciate your comments. It's nice to know someone else is there. Yesterday was an especially rough day. My husband ( who does try, but doesn't get it) left on a business trip of undetermined length right in the middle of our replumbing our house (by ourselves), leaving me with drywall to finish, tile to grout, and walls to paint. Then my oldest son called needing a doctor's phone number because he's been ignoring his asthma and couldn't breathe. I ended up ordering pizza and curling up with a book all evening. I'm feeling better today. My son is back on his med.s and is feeling better. The water is on, the drywall is up, and the rest will either happen or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Quiltcat,

I understand your confusion over losing an abusive parent. Although my mother was never physically abusive with me, when she drank she was sometimes verbally abusive. As well the drinking alone felt like betrayal and a kind of hurt that I still can't seem to forgive, even now that she's gone.

One of the things I try to do when thinking about the past and some of the things that happened is thinking of my mother as a person seperate from me. I'll never understand her alcoholic mind - I hope - but maybe if I separate the alcoholic from the mother I can eventually come to terms with everything. At the same time, it was my mother who said those things.

You were so right about it hurting forever. And I often struggle with the concept of forgiveness and what exactly it means and feels like. Hopefully in time we'll be able to share what it means and feels like for us.

All the best

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i too have some really difficult issues to overcome w/ my mother. she died last november from complications of alzheimers disease. both her and my dad were alcoholics. he died 8 years ago this past sept 30. i have spent the last 10 mos or so just really trying to work on and begin to heal the old stuff. while my parents werent abusive, they simply were not there emotionally and by todays standards you could say there was neglect. ive been trying to work on forgiveness. for so many years i built up a wall to protect myself from being abandoned by her. i struggle w/ feeling anything about her. i dont think ive really helped give you any advice, but i just want you to know that you are not alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quiltcat,

I do not know how you move on with something like this, but I just want you to know you are not alone at feeling this way.

I am the baby of 9 & I was daddy's girl. So when he begged my family & I to move in with him after mom passed away, I did not think twice about it, & packed up & moved in. He was ill too, so he needed lots of care, but my family & I never batted an eye to care for him, & give him everything he needed & wanted. Then after being there a few months he turned into the ugliest man I have ever seen in my life. He would beat me & my kids & say things that I NEVER thought he would about us. He finally kicked us out & made us live in our van for about a month, till we moved in with my sister for 6 months till we found a place to live. I have never been so confused in my life. He told me he hated me & he was glad I was homeless, & he never wanted to see me again. Well I granted his wishes, & he passed away about 8 months after I left. I feel quilty because I did not go back to see him, yet I have such feelings of hate for him, because of what he did to me & my kids. They were only 8 & 12 at the time. They do not remember the good times with Grandpa, they remember what a bastard he was.

So I know what you feel about the mixed emotions, & I wish I could tell you it will all be over soon, but all I can say right now, is that you are not alone, so keep on talking her about how you feel & what is going on. They here have all helped me so very much & I am sure they will help you too.

Tootie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...