I remember sitting at the dinner table, after I had come back from school and having an argument with my mother. This soon came to an end, though, as she ended up leaving the table and going to her room.
I can’t remember exactly why we had this argument as it was a long time ago, but I think that I had every right to stand my ground. Even so, I ended up being told off by my father and he told me to go and apologise to her.
I Was In Trouble
I felt that my mother was the one who did something wrong, not me, and this meant that I would soon pay the price for defying my mother. If I remember rightly, I was given the silent treatment and then sent to my room; for once, this didn’t result in me being hit.
My mother was emotional unstable, and this meant that just about everyone had to walk on egg shells around her. So she would either lose it or, she would end up disappearing and leaving my father to deal with everything.
My father did just about everything he could to please her, but what he did was never enough. If it came to being there for me and my sister or being there for my mother, my mother would probably have been chosen every time.
I think this was partly out of his fear of losing her, as his first wife had died of cancer. Along with this, I think that maybe his older sister bossed him round a bit when he was younger; this may have been another reason why he felt comfortable with a woman like my mother.
It Wasn’t Fair
So, after this took place, I couldn’t understand why both my mother and father were behaving in this way. I didn’t realise this at the time, of course, but this was setting me up to feel comfortable with being treated badly.
My mother was acting more like a child than a parent, and I was the one who was expected to apologise for standing up against her dysfunctional behaviour. The part of me that was there to protect me was seen as the problem, which meant that I was expected to not get angry at being treated badly.
It Wasn’t Safe
In this instance, it could be said that I got off lightly as I wasn’t hit; at the same time, having to go to my room and be by myself wasn’t exactly pain free. There were plenty of other occasions when I would end up being hit for not doing as my mother wanted.
This meant that I soon ended up disconnecting from my anger and trying to stand up for myself. At this point, it was far more important for me to survive than it was for me to rebel.
Along with this, I also had to watch my father being treated badly by my mother, who would rarely do anything about it. If he did stand up for himself, he might lose his temper or even suggest that they get divorce (which caused me to panic).
It was normal for her to put him down in one way or another, and this caused me to believe that men had no value. She criticised men and women, so it wasn’t as though she only had a problem with men.
Having said this, I don’t want to make out that my father was perfect and therefore, just happened to end up with someone like my mother. He clearly had his own issues (I have mentioned a few of these above) or he wouldn’t have ended up with her.
And the reason why how my father was treated had an effect on me was due to the fact that I had identified with him. But my mother was oblivious to the effect that her behaviour was having on me and everyone else, for that matter.
I then had no other choice than to do as I was told during this time and this meant that I wasn’t really aware of my true needs and feelings. Doing what I could to avoid being hit was more important than just about every other need.
When I started to read books on childhood abuse and neglect, a number of years after all this took place, my feelings and thoughts were validated. I wanted to understand why this happened and the effect that this kind of behaviour can have on someone.
Through reading these books and working with different therapists and healers, I have gradually been able to construct a deeper understanding and to move forward. I wanted to find out as much as I could and I had the need to go to the depth of my own being.
And words can’t express how grateful I am to all the people who have assisted me so far. Without their support, it is hard to imagine what my life would be like – I don’t forget the people who have made a difference in my life.