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#4759 - 07/01/05 09:01 AM My Family
barbawhiskey Offline

Registered: 06/30/05
Posts: 1
Where do I start. I am 38 years old, a mother to a 21 month old boy and I have a loving, supportive husband. I am American but I moved to the UK years ago, mainly to get away from my family. I have suffered a lifetime of bullying and demonising by them - they are terribly, terribly dysfunctional people - and I am scarred for life. I am at a crossroads right now, I have limited contact with them for a long time, but I am about to sever all contact with them for good as they still get to me, and it has escalated lately because I had the nerve to try to call their bluff, hold them accountable, and they are, my mother and my older sister, seething with venom and on the rampage to discredit me and turn everyone against me.

Where did this start? Both my parents have severe baggage, neither of them has come to terms with, they are both unaccountable. My father who had been previously married and who walked out on his first family only stayed with my mom 7 years, then left her. He's been with his third wife for 20 plus years now. He was a short tempered bully who never really liked me. He made me feel dumb, humiliated me, underestimated me in all respects, told me i would only be good to be a secretary in life and tried to bully me into becoming one. He was never loving or affectionate, although my mother vehemently defends him and tells me the opposite was true against my own recollection (as if I'm mad) and he used to scream at me until he was red in the face and i was cowering in a corner crying, my mom doing nothing to stop him. up until i met my husband he has tried to continue bullying me, but my husband has 'slapped' him verbally, like a bad dog, and he has for the most part backed off, although my mom continues to pull him into situations, making me the bad guy, getting him involved again. and he continues to take the bait.

My mom was also married before she met my dad. She had two daughters with her first husband. The eldest, 9 years older than me, has always been bossy and a bully, although she is far meeker in public than in private. She has always shut me out, made me out to be nothing but a brat, and bullied me whenever I tried to fight her. But more on my mom for now.

My mom is the sickest bird i know. When my dad left, my mom shut down emotionally from me. popped valium, withdrew into herself, cutting herself off from me completely. she had no time for me. left me alone so much of the time, put me with babysitters while she went on date after date with one creep after another. i was a latch key kid from the age of 10 or so, coming home to an empty house, alone, scared, lonely, she would turn up at night, after work, with no time for me, shutting herself up in her room. what she did for me she did begrudgingly, like cooking dinner. i felt like a burden.

meanwhile, my self esteem plummeted so i was a target for school bullies. i also lost all my friends, who decided to collectively snub me permanently for no reason i know of, just because. to this day it still hurts me deeply. since i have not been able to make friends. i always think people will 'discover' i am a bad person and not like me once they get to know me. i have spent my life mostly friendless and lonely.

My mother had been a housewife, hostess, etc. until my dad left. then she decided to go to school, became, of all things, a licensed clinical social worker. she is 76 and still counsels people, god help them. This is what she does to me: - she recreates reality. she denies things she said or did a year ago, a month ago, a day ago. she dismisses anything i say, she wont listen and she will counterattack me if i try to communicate with her.

The most hurtful thing she has done is she has used me as a pawn, has made me the bad guy to all friends and family, convinced everyone that I have anger issues, I have a mental disorder, I need help, etc. She has caused other family members and friends to treat me as if i'm some psycho, or to altogether avoid me. She continues to demonise me to this day. She has never respected me, it is just endless.

My sister, 9 years older than me, 47, has over the years systematically bled my mom dry of all her money, and continues to do so. I didnt realise the extent to which this was going on until I visited my mom in february of this year and found years of bank statements showing thousands and thousands of dollars gone her way, to fund her pipe dreams, none of which have come true, to allow her to exist in a bubble because she is 'fragile,' to pay her rent, to fund extended education that never amounts to anything, to have taken out a second mortage to finance it, to have sold our beautiful home and moved into a condo, then three years ago she sold the condo and now lives in a trailer park. She is running out of all funds and still is paying my sisters upkeep, when i question it all i get is attacked. My mom defends my sister to no end. When i tried to raise issue with what was going on, my mom reminds me that she has helped me in the past (yes, a few months of help with rent when i was 22, that was it), just trying to deflate any validity in what i was trying to say.

I found myself stuck there, in her trailer, for 7 weeks (i took a break from UK weather to visit her so i could take my toddler son to the park, beach, etc), drowning in her and my sisters dysfunction to the point i thought id lose it. Once i found out what was going on with my sister, who has walked out of job after job after job and manipulates my mother into paying her way by threatening suicide or whatever else that keeps her writing checks...

anyway, while i was there i cornered my sister. i tried to have it out with her about bleeding my mom dry. she resorted to projection, told me I was the one causing my mom all the grief, threatened me and my son, and threatened to call the police when I had a mad outburst after she threatened me. In hindsight I realise she intentionally provoked me to dodge the issue I was raising, which was her bleeding my mom dry.

Since that visit I have had no contact with them. My mom has called me, crying into the phone trying to blackmail me, and i dont bite. Since that, she has accused me of bizarre 'crimes,' such as trying to hurt my sister through 'identity theft' online (which they wont clarify), and once again getting my father involved.

life is hard enough without this. i am here, spend my days alone with my son, i am very lonely and i have no help or support from anyone apart from my husband who works and travels frequently (his family dont help either, another story).

I would like to find out how to heal myself. How to come to terms with all this endless lifelong dysfunction on their part, how to be at peace with it, etc.

I feel so incredibly sad that my family was so unhealthy. I feel forever hurt by being made the bad guy by all three parties. I feel so sad that they will never hold themselves accountable, but contrarily continue to operate this way.

Why me. I never did anything to hurt anyone.

Please help.


#4760 - 07/01/05 03:03 PM Re: My Family [Re: barbawhiskey]
sylvie25 Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
Hi Barb,

I can relate to having dysfunctional relatives (I think many posters on this board probably can) - it's no picnic to say the least because unlike other situations, it's difficult to get away from it completely. And they usually are extremely messy situations too which doesn't help any.

I'll repeat something I said in a much earlier post and I hope it will help you even a little:

I once said to a counsellor that I really wished the P that I was dating (didn't realize he was one at the time) could just get along with his siblings and parents because their turmoil was affecting our relationship as well. The counsellor explained to me that sometimes family members had conflicting or extreme personalities and would likely clash if they weren't related so we shouldn't expect it to be different simply because they are family. Obviously society conditions us to think otherwise and that gap between reality and the idealized version causes a lot of pain and bitterness. That simple explanation put things in perspective for me.

It's still a tough pill to swallow because we all know people who seemingly have grown up in more stable and happy environments. For me anyway, it is a reminder that at the end of the day, we are all individuals and we have a right to set boundaries and to live our lives on our own terms.

You may not like hearing this, but I believe a professional would say that as long as your mum is consenting to your sister having that money, that it's her decision to make. I'm sure it is difficult to just stand by and witness it, but by doing that you are putting yourself right in the middle of the situation and in contact with relatives you feel cause you grief anyway.

I spent a lot of time and energy trying to get a relative to acknowledge what another family member (and her husband) were doing to me. It was only when a friend (who has done psychology) told me not to even bother, that I was wasting my energy and weakening myself in the process, that I stopped.

In many situations, where there is some victimization, there is also denial that it's even going on. They seem to go hand in hand. I think it is atrocious, even cruel, and VERY difficult to accept, but it seems common. However, since I've stopped doing that, it has helped a great deal. Really, all I was doing was banging my head against a wall and it's much more peaceful just to step back and accept it.

I was wondering, do you have access to any counselling at all. I really believe it can help to have someone help you sort through things and guide you.


#4761 - 07/02/05 07:04 PM Re: My Family [Re: sylvie25]
Dianne E. Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Hi Barb, welcome to the forum. Do you suspect that your relatives are Psychopaths or Bullies?

Here is a great resource to explore the bully aspect:


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