There are possible [triggers] inside. I'd like advice and resources on healing and reconnecting after past familial abuse, when I want to bond with my family and keep them in my life.
I was not sexually abused by this person, if that makes a difference. There was physical abuse but the emotional abuse was more intense seems to hinder me most. The examples are only a few of many.
Is there a way to come to terms with this on my own and realize my self-worth as a person, without involving my Mom at all? And how do I actually *start* that process? I want to love myself unconditionally. I want my inner voice to not automatically call me stupid, ugly, worthless, etc. But I'm hoping for a method that also addresses past abuse as a child.
I have not reached out to a therapist about this because I told all my teen therapists and a few of my teachers at the time what was going on and no one took action
; most said my Mom seemed too nice or that I must be mistaken or lying. Some told my Mom or forwarded e-mails which got me in trouble at home, and the one time something may have happened (I ran away from "home" but did so from school; she dropped me off 2 hours early at the front door and I waited for her to leave and bolted), my Mom called the school and threatened to sue and a host of other things happened. Even the two High School boyfriends I told told their parents, or someone, and it somehow got back to my Mom which ='ed more Badness.
I realize I'm an adult now (23) and it will be different, but I do not see myself being comfortable sharing this with my therapist for awhile. Eventually I would like to.
1) Mom and I have not been close for long. We had a tumultuous relationship, did not speak for around 3-6 months after she kicked me out for being gay. This was either in 2011 or 2012.
2) The night I left home, my Mom and step dad sat in their SUV and pointed and laughed at me and my then-girlfriend while I hugged Girlfriend as she was crying. They then drove off. Before this, my Mom would accept me when my step dad wasn't around but would act differently if he was. He started threatening to leave her (after 10 years together!) and call off their new engagement because her daughter was gay and she in turn started threatening to kick me out. There was a countdown on the fridge to the day I'd be kicked out. In Mom's defense, when I later told her that if she wanted me gone I'd walk out the door right then, and to just say the words and I'd be gone, she refused to say anything and told me to calm down and get some rest. This is the incident that bothers me most because I think if he'd pressed the me vs him issue she would have chosen him, over her own daughter, because the environment at that time was extremely hostile towards me from both of them, if they were both around or just him if she wasn't. I feel that maybe my Mom had grown to love me at that point but when they found out my "boyfriend" was a girl, all the trouble it caused Mom and my step dad as a family unit, maybe Mom hated me then or resented me as a person. She told me my step dad resented me because I spent so much money going to high school, didn't pass that, different colleges, didn't pass any of them and liking girls was the "last straw."
2a) Also in Mom's defense, I was not directly told to leave but told I could either continue to see my girlfriend or get out. To me this was a choice to hide who I truly was or get out, so I chose to leave & ended up homeless (not for long) that way. My Mom did try to reach out to see if I was okay a few times but I ignored her given the circumstances. It was also her (I think) that initiated the contact again a couple months later.
3) I have very low self-esteem. This is likely because I never felt unconditionally loved by my Mom growing up, or loved at all, and I still cannot say if she loved me as a child/teen. I also have a lot of guilt for being a spoiled brat. I begged for stupidly expensive things I thought I needed to be happy, like going to a private $$$$ college and needing an expensive laptop. Because of this (and other recent things not involving me) my Mom cannot retire yet. I feel extreme guilt, and at the same time I try to tell myself that I was ~20 the last time I did something like that and teenagers tend to be bratty and whiny. As a teenager, I did not truly understand the implications of the expenses and my Mom needed to protect her finances and say "no" to me.
But that view seems bratty and just... wrong. I wish I could go back in time and be different in that aspect. My Mom did tell me often about how my decisions affected our family finances. I wish I could be a different child that graduates high school, gets a full-ride to that fancy college all the graduates of her highschool got, that graduates on time and can keep a job and has a lot of friends and makes her mother proud. My Mom expressed a lot of disappointment in me growing up. She doesn't do that now but I still feel almost worthless as a human being. If I cannot tell if my own Mom loved me as a child, how can anyone else love me & how can I ever love myself? I want my Mom to see me become a healthy, well-adjusted adult. The thought of disappointing my Mom today is almost unbearable.
4) I have difficulty accepting that my own Mom probably didn't do the best job raising me. She's my Mom, she's awesome and I love her, and my childhood didn't land me on Oprah as the newest cereal killer. How can I think she was/is anything but an amazing parent?
5) I can *objectively* see the ways that she loved me and did the best she could as a parent. I love her as a Mom but I *do not* forgive her
6) Because when I've confronted her about it in the past... The first couple times, when I was a teen/younger, she would heap on more (for example, telling me I was strange child and she'd wished I'd died in a car accident we'd been in.) When I got older and tried to talk to her about it a few times, she denied remembering anything at all. Not enough time had passed that she would have forgotten what I was talking about. I know she may have *actually* forgotten because Freud.
7) I don't want to talk to her about this if I don't have to. We've recently gone through some health issues and it's likely we'll be around for awhile but that and seeing my peer's parents passing away left and right. I don't want to rock the fragile boat we're on. We get along now but there are days when the old dynamic threatens to show up; but now I live on my own and I'm an adult and can walk away until my Mom calms down.
The following information isn't relevant to the question but I do not want to paint my Mom in a negative light:
I want to add that my Mom is a very good person, and I can (objectively) see the ways she loved me as a child. She was a single Mom, worked two jobs to support us, & sacrificed most of her savings helping me out.
She worked hard to provide a good & safe home for me, so much so that I was born extremely poor in a dangerous area but by the age of 10 I was "upper middle class."
She sent me to all private middle/highschools, paying an arm and leg for that, so I'd get a good education and wouldn't have to live in poverty and work as hard as she did. She kept sending me to them even though I switched schools every year of my childhood-schooling career except 2, because I was bullied so often at each school I went to.
Then I developed weird physical ticks such as walking extremely slowly through the hallways at school; being too scared to raise my hand all the way in class, etc etc. because of things like that I actually got asked *not* to come back to one of the grade schools. Despite these failures I scored so high on the GED I got into every single college I applied to, because my Mom made sure I had a good education.
Mom'd saved up for 4 years at Local College (which would have been free anyway) and that was gone in a year because I picked Expensive Private School, which I flunked out of. Then I enrolled in Equally Expensive School. Emotionally, I couldn't handle everything going on in life and attempted suicide again toward the end of the semester. My Mom and Step Dad paid $$$ to take the plane to come out and see me; when I was in the hospital I was asked if I wanted to be released to them and I said I'd rather die than go home, which the nurse told my Mom and she later repeated back to me. I can't imagine how this must have devastated her at such a time. So I've definitely given her a lot of trouble.
I am still in school and she still supports me and tells me she wants me to succeed. I don't know what happened when I was smaller that there was so much anger towards me. But I was a very quiet, anxious child who spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals for head scans because I did not talk to anyone, when I did speak I spoke too low for anyone to hear, & then on top of that I had a seizure disorder.
I was not a "bad" child in the traditional sense, but I was a very isolated person who spent most of her days in internet chatrooms and on WoW. I overslept High School frequently, could not stay awake in class even when I did sleep and had multiple suicide attempts. I also failed out of online Homeschool/Highschool. She sent me to expensive private schools,
So I know I put a lot of stress on her as a kid. Some of it was probably caused by our family environment but I don't know that she would have known that at the time. She is a very strong person to go through all those years and still be where she is now.