mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

dear mum, i think you ruined my life…

on June 3, 2013

i know my situation isn’t unique, i’m currently studying in the human services area and i’m finding a lot of people also interested in social work have come from broken homes, backgrounds of abuse and neglect, and now as a result have some sort of mental illness. but how much of it is from our formative years? i also know people with mental health issues who have supportive, present parents who genuinely care, not perfect parents (they dont exist outside of movies and tv) but good parents who give a shit.

when i was 13 and my mother started breeding with my abusive alcoholic stepfather (3 kids with him within 4 years) she started pulling away from me. mark (stepfather) and i clashed more and more and i saw her choosing him over me. carrying on a tradition from her first marriage, my mother liked to holiday at the beach foreshore for a good 5 weeks over the summer holidays, she started leaving me home alone when she did this. can you imagine the crap that went on with a 14 year old alone in a house with a penchant for self destruction? i had many parties, i was quite a novelty and my house became a drop in for whoever was around. i didn’t realise it at the time but i felt abandoned, and still do in some ways. and then i feel like an idiot, so my mother left me alone in the house when i was young, a lot of teenagers would love that kind of freedom, but ultimately i craved structure and some form of discipline, i think that’s why i kept choosing to go back and live with my grandparents, when i was with them things seemed to move slower, more stability.

so i was a hideous teenager, i got in all kinds of legal trouble and drank and did whatever drug my friends were into at the time. this culminated with my mother’s ‘new’ family and for years i blamed myself. i figured that if i had of been a better kid that i would have been included, if i had of been better in general people would have liked me more and i wouldn’t have been so lonely. and then a couple of years ago i did therapy for a while and in fine cliche form, i came out blaming my mother instead of myself. sure, if i had of been a better teenager things would have been a lot easier for me, but i was a “bad” teenager because of the years leading up to that point. my brain literally didn’t form as it should have because i didn’t have the stability and ‘safe’ feeling that children need to form all those clever brain connections that help people cope and become better adjusted.

i haven’t seen my mother, or the rest of the family, in about three and a half years now. when i got back from england i stayed with her and my stepfather and he was back to his own tricks within a month of me returning. i had a medical procedure done two days before i flew back to australia, it was one of the hardest times in my life and my stepfather decided i wasn’t doing enough house work (i was working full time and still struggling with my health) and told me he was going to beat me so hard i couldn’t call the police on him this time as i wouldn’t be able. he swung at me but was so drunk he fell down, so i collected my daughter and fled to my cousins place for the night. that was really awkward, my cousin acted as if i had overreacted and made me feel really unwelcome, so i suddenly felt like a 14 year old all over again, completely lost and no idea where to go. (to clarify, my hubby and younger daughter came over to australia about 4 1/2 weeks after myself and our older daughter as he had to finish up work). my mother turned up at my cousins the next day and assured me that mark was sorry, that this time he really was going to get some help and that i would be safe to go back to the house. honestly, i had little other option, so we went back and it was better for a week or two, and thankfully when my hubby turned up mark dare not try anything with me.not long after hubby and kiddo got here, we found our own place and moved out. we would mainly see my mother at family gatherings at my aunt’s place and she would occasionally cook a sunday dinner, but she was really hard to be around. mark had an affair about 6 years ago and they have been miserably married ever since, she told me she wanted to end it but every time i would try and make appointments with lawyers or look into info for her she would shy away and change her mind. i was also spending time with my cousin, and the whole lot of them (bar my aunt, she’s pretty awesome) are amazingly negative horrible people. every one would bitch behind every one else’s back, but be all smiles to one another at family gatherings. no one would ever dare say what they were really thinking to anyone directly, it was all passive aggressive and bitchy and literally started to drive me mad. so after my mother cancelled turning up to my daughter’s birthday (she’d done this three times in a row at this point) and broke her little heart, and my cousin’s husband went on another one of his rants at me, i decided to cut the lot of them off. they made me feel like shit, being around them, listening to them moan about their difficult EVERYTHING, it was just weighing on me so much it was making me a shitty person to be around too, so i decided for the sake of my kiddos they needed the best version of me, and the best version of me was not conducive to being anywhere near my family.

my therapist told me that healing would start once i let go of the anger towards my family, in particular my mother. now, i only just discovered this anger a couple of years ago and honestly, i don’t know how to let go of it. i know i don’t really mention much anger towards my stepfather mark, well, there is some there but in fairness, he’s an alcoholic. more days than not, this man was in a state where he barely knew his own name, and if a rabid dog attacks a toddler do you blame the dog or the owner? well, i blame my mother, she’s the one that had the onus of protection and safety for me, so as much as he’s the one that did most of the hitting and hurting, she’s the one i hold responsible for letting it span 15 years.

i’m not stewing in my anger, i dont wake up with an instant hatred of my family, but when i think about it, hell yes i’m mad at her. and i dont know how to feel a different way about her. part of me thinks i’m holding onto my anger because it’s the last connection i have to my family and i miss having my family, i miss the gatherings and the catch ups and having people there. we spend christmases with my good friend’s family and that’s great for my girls and for me as well, but i’m not part of their family, as good of a job as they do at including me in their get togethers and birthday celebrations and christmas etc, i still miss having my own family and if i let go of the anger, then i guess i feel there will be nothing left. they will just be people that i used to know.

who knows, maybe i’m just angry because i feel slighted and cheated out of a family, i don’t really know, but maybe i should try to let go. is letting go of pain that’s ingrained so deeply possible? just knowing that it wasn’t my fault was so freeing, will forgiving her be the thing that separates me from my pain? so many questions, no way of knowing for sure because i don’t know if i can.

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14 responses to “dear mum, i think you ruined my life…

  1. Ashana M says:

    I disagree with your therapist. Healing begins at a great number of different points. There are multiple places you can start and healing can stop and then start up again later. Maybe you just need someone to know how very angry you are. I find the anger is something like a tide. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes you just have to ride it out. Good luck.

    Also, the more I honestly feel the pain and vulnerability of the past, the less there is a need to hold onto anything.

    • mckarlie says:

      Yeah, I tried every trick in the book to avoid actually feeling any of the pain but now I’m a bit older, I’m knee deep and still ok. You’re right, it comes and goes and there’s fluidity to the emotions, I just wonder if I am in fact slowly healing and letting go or if I’ve tied myself to the anger as an anchor to my family. Thanks for the input 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Rogue Adoptee and commented:
    Something I can relate to on so many levels in my life with my adoptive family. Could explain why I want to pursue MFT.

    • mckarlie says:

      MFT? i found out i have a half brother who was given up for adoption about a year and a half before i was born. i have wanted to look for him many times, but i’m scared and fear it could lead to more disappointment. it feels like there’s pieces of you out there floating about unattached and lost.

  3. I know exactly where you are coming from. That was a very frank and honest account. I hope that helped. Take care

  4. shoe1000 says:

    Anyone with a title like that is my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. malctg says:

    Hi mckarlie. That’s a lot to hold onto and tell the world. I hope it gets better for you. Glad you have a husband and child. I have found writing has helped me with my problems over the years. Good Luck. Thank you for liking my poem ‘ The Cyclist’. Nice to have met you Take Care. The Foureyed Poet.

    • mckarlie says:

      It was my pleasure. Yes, writing is definitely proving to be greatly therapeutic for me, and quite rewarding. Thanks for your thoughts and comment 🙂

  6. Bee says:

    Keep writing it helps

  7. […] dear mum, i think you ruined my life… […]

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