I feel like I'm going crazy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
I feel like I'm going crazy.
15
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 2:31pm

I feel like I'm going crazy. A little background: growing up my mom has been abusive, usually verbally and emotionally, but sometimes physically. My dad has also been the "suck it up and sweep it under the rug" type of person. My mom also has a history of "not remembering" incidents of abuse. Like she broke my knee cap... and says it never happened, despite x-rays and that my knee still acts up to this day.

I got married in January and found out we're pregnant. My mom apparently went into a "deep depression," told me my husband was abusive (not true at all), that she was furious at not being involved in the decision of me getting pregnant and a number of other similarly bizarre things. Both my parents insulted my husband to no end. So, we backed away and haven't visited since January when they really blew up.

My parents have been sending me passive aggressive emails and text messages, including "Haven't you hurt us enough?" since I have really put my foot down for the first time on their behavior. This is the first time I have stood up for myself and my husband and kids with them. I sent a very straight forward email saying if they wanted to have a relationship with me and their grandkids, they needed to cut out the behavior and apologize.

Today, I got an email saying "We can't apologize, since we haven't done any of things you're upset about." Essentially saying, it never happened... again.

I feel like I'm going crazy. I know they've said these things and can remember the incidents clearly, for most my husband was right there too. I just don't know what to think or feel. I'm so confused.

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Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 3:02pm

send them a last email giving bullet points of the incidences. Then say, sorry, your priorities are now with your children and soon to be new born. And at this time, you would prefer to be left alone since they obviously do not understand the emotional/physical pain they continue to cause. This is difficult but you will need to go no contact, if they continue to pursue you. So sorry that your own mom was like this - I never quite get that..I am really sorry..but you will need to "divorce" your parents.

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 5:31pm

Hi Chipper, man, what a mess.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 5:57pm
Thank you. It really bothers me that this does seem to be a common thread in the past abusers in my life. I had an ex-fiance who would always pretend like nothing happened or tell me it was my own fault and my ex-husband would have "black outs" and not remember anything. I guess it helped a little when the ex-fiance contacted me years later to acknowledge what he had done and actually even say sorry. It's so frustrating! And, I really hate feeling like this - doubting my own feelings and memories. My husband is so upset by all this that he wants to write them an email. The last one I sent them was very specific on the the incidents and what I felt needed to happen (an apology). I'm so iffy on letting my husband get in the middle of this. I know he's trying to be protective of me and the pregnancy, but I still cringe at the thought of them attacking him next by email.
Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 9:00pm
Well, there's an easy way to fix that - block their e-mails. Don't rent them space in your head, Chipper. And if your husband wants to wade into the middle of it in defense of YOU, let him. That's what a good husband will do. You DESERVE that protection and defense that he is willing to put up. Let him, it's his way of demonstrating his love and devotion to you, and it will send your parents a very strong message, that the two of you are together in this and that neither one of you will tolerate this behavior from them any more. With grandparents like that, your kids are much better off without them. Toxic parents are a special breed all unto themselves, but you have them and their abuse of you to thank for what happened to you later in life. Because of them, you came to believe that abuse was normal and to be expected, and that influenced your choice in every single relationship you entered into until you met your current husband. And he has proven to be the exception to the rule.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 9:25pm
You are not going crazy! Your mother should never have been a mother, she's the crazy one.

I would start considering divorcing your parents - well your mom at least. Block her out as much as you can. You can go on with life with out her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 9:25pm
Have you had any counseling over this topic?
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 04-25-2011 - 11:58pm

Just because a woman gives birth to a baby.......and a man contributed the sperm......doesn't automatically give them the title of Mom & Dad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Tue, 04-26-2011 - 9:12am
@ sienna76 - I've had counseling, but in regard to my issues with my parents I constantly deflect, defend them and get very uncomfortable, especially when alot of blame gets put on my dad. I don't know why, but I have so much trouble really thinking of them as the "bad guys." This is just horrible and I've told very few people this, but when I was 4 or 5, I put salt in my mothers glasses of milk because I hoped it would poison her. I was so young (and salt? really? what was I thinking?), but the one therapist I told that found it very telling about our relationship. I know I need more counseling. I've had tons of therapy focusing on past romantic relationships, but its not quite the same.

@cajunharmony - it was nice to hear that that is what a partner is supposed to do. I still have a lot of trouble trying to figure out what a "good relationship" is, but I know my husband loves me and I trust him. I definitely lucked out with him (or maybe finally got enough sense). :)

@fissatore - You are very right. I know quite a few people who have strained relationships with their parents, but still let them see their grandkids. In January (the last time I saw my parents), my son had spent the night and he seemed almost brainwashed when I went to pick him up. He was acting scared of my husband for some reason (which he never does - they have a great relationship) and he was acting weird with me too. It was very obvious my mom (and maybe dad) had tried to pump him with questions and reinforced some ideas to be scared of us.

I have completely stopped communicating with them. They called repeatedly last night, but I ignored it. I'm considering changing my email address and phone number.
Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Tue, 04-26-2011 - 1:49pm
Sweetie, the reason (IMO) you have a hard time identifying your parents as toxic, abusive and downright evil is because we have been taught that our parents deserve our love, respect and loyalty. Well, yeah, IF they aren't abusive and toxic. It's expected. And rightfully so, in a NORMAL relationship. The fact that you "tried to poison" your mother at such a young age tells me that you have endured pure hell at her hands, with your father's tacit approval because he didn't stop her. Even at that young an age you knew instinctively that what she was doing to you was not right and you tried to fix it the only way you could. Don't feel bad. I agree with your therapist, that is VERY telling. Now that you are in a healthy marital relationship, maybe once the baby is born and your hormones have gotten back to (relatively) normal, addressing the mother problem and its effects on your life is something you can consider doing. You are a true testament to SURVIVORSHIP. I am so glad you have decided to join us. There is another boardie who used to be a cl here, wishful78, who has a mother as toxic and evil as yours. I'm gonna give her a shout this evening and see if she can offer some words of encouragement. If ever there is someone who understands where you are coming from, it's her. And she's another incredible woman who I think you could really benefit from hearing about her experiences. Hugs and hang in there.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2011
Tue, 04-26-2011 - 3:02pm
Thank you for reaching out to wishful78 for me. I intermittently feel guilty and like such a bad daughter and then wish they would just leave me alone. My dad just sent me a text saying "Why are you refusing to respond now?" It feels so passive aggressive and belittling. DH is writing his email to them now. And, I just feel like crying.

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