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Losing The Mum That I Came To Know


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Hi there all

This is my first time posting, so here's hoping someone may understand the pain that I feel.

As I had had a highly abusive childhood at the hands of my biological family I have always had to deal with issues of grief over relationships.

Just over two years ago I worked for a woman who became mum to me. She was everything that I hoped for in a mum and loved me as her daughter. Long story short I was welcomed into their family with loving arms, to which I readily took up the offer (foolish of me). Quickly cracks started to appear in this new family as the husband was becoming ever increasingly jealous of my relationship with mum. I called him dad and tried to do everything that a daughter would do to help her parents, but when mum went to work he would tell me inappropriate things about their disintegrating marriage and how he was going to kill himself if mum left him. He specifically used to tell me that he would hang himself, as this is what my biological sister did when I was 10 (something that I have never recovered from). He began to treat both mum and I more and more like servants, making him dinner every night, not being able to have a conversation without him walking in to see what we were doing and talking about, telling her that she was either spending too much time at work, with me or on her laptop and not enough with him. He refused to look at the finances and left ALL responsibility up to us. It was our duty to tidy during the weekend, to remind him to have a shower, to pay attention to his daily ailments, to get him to the hospital every time he felt that he may have had a virus and the list goes on.

Eventually things were becoming too heavy for me to handle and I began to argue with mum over the fact that I was expected to molly coddle her 50 year old husband because he puts everything down to his depression. Last Christmas mum had told him that she was leaving and he carried on as though nothing had been said. We sat down to have a rum together (ONE) and he arrived to lecture about how we shouldn't be drinking etc...I snapped at him and told him that he uses his depression as an excuse to treat people badly and to pass blame onto everyone else; to which he then responded by becoming furious and threatening to kill himself. He went to his garage and mum and I left to go to a friend's place, leaving their son and nephew at home with him. Eventually the son called to say that he was scared to go to the garage to in case his father had done something to himself and so Victim Support was called. During this call they decided to contact the police to do a welfare check. He was consequently strip searched and taken into respite. His family blamed me for everything and worse still, mum labelled me a manipulator because this is what his family said. It devastated me as I had done so much for both of them and now everyone was attacking me for HIS reactions.

Moving on in the piece mum began to see that he was emotionally abusive and was becoming strong enough to leave. We moved out for 6 weeks and then we had to move back in here. We have been here for three days and lastnight she told me that I am not invited to Christmas lunch, to which I was very upset. In my upset state I was talking to my mum and his nephew overheard some of what was being said. He over reacted, slamming doors around the house and triggering her husband into a rage directed at ME. He told me that when he was in respite a mental health doctor had told him to "Stay the hell away from that manipulative little b***h" and that I was sneaky in arranging to move out in the first place. Mum sat there and didn't say a single thing to support me in the fact that I arranged the move because SHE had asked me to.

I can't come to terms with everything that has happened and how it has affected me & my mum. Her husband is so emotionally manipulative and abusive and she has submitted every single time. I don't know what to do, but I am heartbroken that I'm losing my relationship with her (as he has made it clear that he wants). I feel hopeless and as though I have no fight for life anymore. My heart aches and my body is writhing with pain. I haven't been able to sleep anymore than 3 hours each night and cannot stomach food without bringing it up again. I was previously a self harmer and have resorted to it again. I wish to be with my sister again and the nan that I lost in March and I simply don't know what to do. I'm so stuck and yet I'm hanging off the edge of a very high cliff. Can someone please give me advice?

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Hi, I'm glad you wrote here, because this is a safe place to come to, free of judgment and I hope you will continue to come here as often as you feel the need.

You ask if anyone can give you advice...as you are self-harming, I would advise you to get some counseling to help you get away from destructive behaviors and learn why you do this and what would be a more positive way to help yourself. As I haven't been through that before, I'm not sure what are the driving emotions or what one hopes to derive from inflicting pain on one's self. Back to the situation you speak of, sometimes it helps to look at the overall picture and ask yourself, are these people, is this situation, helping or harming me in the long run? I think the answer is clear and it is good to move on to more positive relationships and environments. Having come from an abusive background myself, one of the difficult things I've had to tackle was the fact that I didn't grow up with a sense of normalcy, so it made it hard for me to pick positively in my life. My life bears out the bad choices I've made in selecting people in my life. You can, however, learn to be more selective and to treat yourself with the kindness and courtesy you deserve. You can learn self-care and to affirm yourself. The guidance of a therapist in learning to do this would help greatly.

The next step would be in finding a new job. I would urge caution in getting too close to people too soon. Let people earn your trust through demonstrated behavior, and then dole it out little by little, seeing what they do with it before giving more. Most of all, learn to be your own best friend. You already know you don't need or deserve ill treatment. When people turn on you or are fickle, then hold back, don't readily give them opportunity to hurt you more. Changes can be made; it won't all happen overnight, but it always starts with a first step. Please let your first step be finding a good counselor or therapist...and your next in looking for another job. Both are very important.

I'm sorry you are going through this at the holidays. I know that can add to the emotions you are experiencing. Try to set some goals and focus on reaching them and give less heed to what others do/say. YOU are what is important!

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