When I was about five or six I remember faintly, my grandfather watching me. He was a bad alcoholic. I don’t remember if my parents went out, but I remember the room.
He was pacing outside the living room and masturbating and he made me help him. I don’t remember if it happened again, but I remember the smell of the rum on his breath and what his penis had looked like.
In middle school, in the middle of a fight with my mother, I burst out sobbing and told my parents about it.
My mother refused to believe it and thought it was an attention ploy. My dad brought me into his bedroom and asked me questions.
He Googled the basic image of a penis and made me point to which one it looked like, as he said he remembers what his father’s would’ve looked like. I chose, and he believed my story.
My father passed away when I was still in school. My mother ridiculed me to my sister who loved my grandpa.
He’d died so I was never going to seek legal action. My mother said, “He’s already dead so nothing can be done."
She said she’d have to tell family members, and make me repeat the story to my family doctor. She never did either. It was as if it never happened.
I’m grown now. I thought getting sex from a boyfriend meant that they really loved me. I was near hyper-sexual.
My mother is toxic and I’ve spent my life never feeling understood or complete. I want her out of my life.
How do I cut her out without feeling the manipulative guilt she passes onto me? How do I further myself in relationships?
I have an amazing partner of three years and we live with my parents. We’re desperately planning to be able to move out this year.
I have no other family members. All were cut out by my mother or were toxic just like her. I grew up without family and as my household scapegoat.
I’m not suicidal or depressed anymore as I realize her toxicity is a reflection of herself and nothing of me. How do I proceed to live my life and let this part of me go?
Toxic Mother, Disturbing Past
The sadness everyone feels reading about a small child’s waking nightmare, cuts deeper because both your grandfather and mother failed you.
She should’ve believed, supported, and comforted you, plus reported your grandfather and sought help for you to not be traumatized for years after.
You’ve come a long way on your own – difficult as that was – to lifting yourself from understandable depression.
You must move out from your mother’s oversight sooner than later. Both you and your partner need to seek jobs, student loans, social service help, whatever it takes to live on your own.
Once distanced, you may eventually be able to have a better relationship with your mother. But it’s important, when that’s not working, to recognize again that you need to keep distance between you.
Though your grandfather shocked and upset you (even a youngster knows when something is very wrong and scary), he apparently didn’t touch you.
The fact that you can have an “amazing partner” now shows you’ve emerged from your unhappy childhood and “hyper-sexual” youth, into a strong woman seeking a positive future.
Take the needed steps toward independence from toxic relatives, as soon as possible.
My friend’s a brilliant, attractive professional woman. She’s been divorced for five years after a long marriage.
She became depressed for a couple of years… until a handsome, successful man swept her off her feet. She’s very happy, yet I worry for her.
Her “boyfriend” uses putdowns of her to get a laugh when they’re out with others. She barely protests. He dominates conversations, though she’s the more interesting conversationalist.
I fear she’s letting him belittle her just to keep him around. What should I say to her?
Ask gentle questions about her, instead of making statements about your concern. Example: Does she believe she’s found her perfect match?
Say little while she forms her answer. If you nod and smile encouragingly, she’ll open up if she’s as concerned as you.
If not, that’s her choice. She may think she can curb the comments over time, or she’s confident enough that they don’t bother her.
Tip of the day:
Parents who dismiss a youngster’s story of abuse and don’t investigate/report it, are complicit in the child’s trauma.