Archive for the 'Mother' Category

Domestic Violence

I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time but it’s hard to write for many reasons. One reason is that my family read my blog and I know that this would upset some of them so I haven’t put it down in words, but I think it will be good for me to share.

When I was 6 my mum left my dad for another man, we came home from school one day and all our things where packed and we were buddled into a car and taken to a new life. Me and my sister didn’t know what was happening but we pretended it was a great adventure and it would all be OK.

My step-dad was really nice to start with but he wasn’t used to children and had a nasty temper especially when he had a drink in him. He would hit us and our mum, he scared the life out of us but we never told anyone not even our dad.

My mum has two more children with him, I can’t remember him hitting them only when they were ‘naughty’ but he often hit me and my mum, he picked on us the most.

He was worse when he was drunk, I saw him try to strangle my mum on many occasions and we learnt as we got older to hide the knives (he was a butcher) when the arguments started.

He didn’t just abuse us physically he was really good at emotional abuse, he would tell me I was fat and threaten to send us to the ‘naughty girls’ school if we misbehaved, we were terrified. I remember once dropping and breaking a plate and I started sobbing and having hysterics because I thought he would hit me.

My mum stayed with him for 8 years and they were horrendous, I know we should have told someone but we were scared he would kill my mum. There is a part of me that hates my mum for putting us in that situation, on their first date he hit her and yet she still left my Dad for him and put us in the violent home environment.

We don’t talk about it, my younger siblings can’t really remember their dad being like that and my sister only remembers a little bit of it, but I remember it all and find it really hard to be around him.

I find it hard to trust men; actually I find it hard to trust anyone, my childhood went from bad to worse and sometimes I really struggle with it. I have nightmares and often suffer with insomnia, l also have bouts of depression. I don’t talk about it and it eats away inside, I feel bitter and twisted.

The one bright spot in my life is my daughter who makes it all worthwhile and I know I will try my hardest to make sure her life is a happy one.

Help! What Can I Do About My Mum?

I love my Mum very much, I really, really do but since becoming a mother myself I’ve found her attitude towards parenting to be very annoying. I feel that she has brought me up very well but for some reason has “changed the rules” since I was little.

She always said that when she brought me up she wouldn’t take any crap from anyone and that her word was final when it came to the way that I was raised and she think this is how it should be with me, UNLESS it is her that is saying something?

DD is of the impressionable age where every word she hears, she repeats so imagine my “joy” when after spending some time with Grandma that she turned around and said “SHIT” to me!! I mentioned this to my Mum as I know this is one of her favourite words and she said that yes she had said it a couple of times with her too. I have asked my Mum to mind her language around DD as I really don’t want her coming out with bad language and many of the other words which Mum uses are worse. She agreed with me but then continues to call her a “little bugger” to her face when she is being naughty or talking quite loudly about work in front of DD where she uses words such as f***ing!

I find it really hard to talk to my Mum about this as I don’t want to fall out with her and she HATES people telling her how to behave but I don’t want my daugther to use bad language if I can help it. Also, if i tell DD off for being naughty in front of my Mum and she gets upset, my Mum will pick her up and cuddle her! What sort of message does that give to DD? Oh Mummy shouldn’t have told you off? Though in the next breath she will go over the top about something as little as dropping a toy on the floor and will shout at her.

Please advise, how do you cope with unhelpful people around your children? I have another baby due any day and I really don’t want this problem to get worse when there are two to deal with???

To My Mother

The summer I turned 18, I came home from college and moved into my old bedroom. I was working in a bar, I had a boyfriend who played in a band, I had friends. I was living the life I always wanted. The life I dreamed about through my early teenage years in a provincial Yorkshire town.

I was a bit full of myself. I thought I knew more than I did. About life, about men, about everything. I recognise it now, when I see undergraduates, with their slightly-too-loud, self-consciously intellectual conversations on trains, their self-conscious drags on Camel Light cigarettes. They know it all, masters of the universe in waiting.

So, when I came home late that night, and you were discussing a fight you’d seen in the pub, I didn’t think twice about saying that violence didn’t impress me, I was probably just parroting something I’d read or heard someone else say. Actually, violence terrifies me. Makes me feel sick. Always has, always will.

It was a stupid thing to say, but the backhander I got from your husband still came as a shock. When people say something is like a slap in the face, I don’t think they really know what they’re saying. When you’re slapped, really slapped, you stumble, try to keep your footing, confusion clouds your mind while you try to work out what just happened. And that’s before it starts to hurt.

I was still trying to find something to hold on to, to keep myself steady when I found myself on the floor, him standing over me, shouting curses, making threats. You threw your body over mine, there was screaming, I can’t remember if it was you or me. And he was raining blows on us, kicking and shouting. “I’ll show you violence, I know what violence is.”

You found your feet first, which is why it was your throat he closed his hands around, pinning you to the wall and demanding, “Should I kill her? Would that impress you?”

It wasn’t the first time I’d seen him violent, but it was the first time he’d turned on you. That was new. You always imagine you’ll be courageous in that sort of situation, heroic, saying the right thing, standing up for what’s right. As it turned out, I just lost my voice. I could hardly breathe. I was so shocked. How did this happen? Within the space of 60 seconds, it had all gone wrong. An hour ago, I was in a wine bar with friends, smoking cigarettes and drinking damson wine from half-pint glasses.

I backed into the kitchen, praying I wouldn’t fall over. I wanted to run out of the back door, but I was too scared to turn around to look for the escape, and fearful that by the time I opened the bolt, he’d have got me. So instead, I fumbled on the worktop and picked up the biggest knife I could find. I waved it at him. I admit, I wanted to kill him. I wanted him to come for me, so I could kill him and we could finally be rid of him. I don’t think I’d ever felt such rage before.

Emboldened by my hate and anger, I found the breath to tell him to stay the fuck away from us. With my back to the wall, I eased past him towards the front door. You didn’t move. I opened the door, I dropped the knife and I ran. I didn’t look back.

The next night, he was in the pub where my boyfriend worked behind the bar. He leaned over the bar and said I could go home if I wanted; he’d decided not to kill me yet. He laughed. Big joke.

And that’s how history gets rewritten. In that moment, it became a tiff. A family row. Just one of those things. I’d been cheeky, I got what I deserved, I always was one for the big over-reaction. Drama queen. That’s me. 

It took me a while to fall into line. I went back to college without calling home. I stayed with my sister when I came home for Easter. You never called. The next time I heard from you was in May, when you called to make sure I’d be sending a Father’s Day card. Don’t worry about a present, you said, but a card would be polite. 

When I came home the next summer, I came to your house. I watched you standing in that kitchen, washing dishes at the counter where I’d fumbled for a knife a year earlier. You cried a little. You never cry; my heart went out to you. “I don’t want to lose you,” you said. “But I love him.” And there and then, in that moment when you chose him over me, my heart broke a little.

It’s strange but I started to believe the story in time. I provoked him. He wasn’t a bad man, really. He means well. It’s hard for a man to raise someone else’s children. If only I wasn’t so stroppy, so opinionated, so – me. I didn’t want to make life harder for you. So I tried very hard to bite my lip. Most of all, I learned to keep my eyes down when I came home and he had a drink in his hand.

Of course, 10 years on I have my own children. And reading those journals, I feel my heart break all over again. I look back on that moment in your kitchen, and I know what I should have said. I should have told you that a man who hurts your children isn’t a man worth loving. And that as much as I don’t understand what made him do the things he did, your choices will always be a complete mystery to me.


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