Mommie Dearest

by compound complex 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • chickpea

    bonjour coco...

    i have to tell you i was so
    blindsided by YaYa Sisterhood...
    here i thought i was going to a comedy
    and it turns out my childhood horror
    was being played out on the silver screen....

    how do you spell flashbacks?

  • screwproof

    Boy did this bring back memories.

    My mother lived her life through me as a teenager, I never knew this till she got much older and her mind started to wonder a bit. Because of doing this, she tried to make me perfect, especially my weight. I can remember she would put me on every diet that came out, the grapefruit and egg diet, the 1000 calorie diet, pre surgery diet. IF I did not lose weight on these diets, I was backed into a corner and hit and hit until I swore I would lose the weight. I do believe this is why I am fat today, she has no control over my life and I will prove it by being fat. LOL

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Dear screwproof,

    This is so sad ... I don't know what to say. I hope you're doing all right now.



  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Dear Joan,

    I understand how you feel - really, I do. Of course, our individual response to how Mom treated us (and she was very democratic about how she dished out the abuse) is different. I've always felt more sorry for her than angry or bitter. We've discussed that fact into the ground and may never see eye-to-eye on it.

    Mom had her hang-ups long before we were born, Sis. I honestly believe that she took out all her frustrations and anger on us because she was so mad at life and the hand she was dealt. No one in Dad's family respected her though she sure as hell tried to win Grandma's approval. Since her own mother had died when she was only four, Mom needed a surrogate female to guide her through those early years raising us. She had no idea what she was doing. Despite the distance Grandma put between herself and Mom, Grandma wasn't evil and conniving. She didn't hate Mom - just didn't know how to deal with her crazy daughter-in-law.

    So here we are: Mom was screwed up early-on, but you know just as well as I do how much she loves us. Maybe she has a queer way of showing it, but, now that I'm older and a little wiser, I want to be forgiving. I'd hope my family would show me a little compassion if I turned crazy. Well, crazier ...

    You know, Joan, Mom wasn't ready to take on the responsibility of a brood of kids so soon after she and Dad were married. Even those times she took off and Dad had no idea where she was and we kids were crying our eyes out, she never really abandoned us. I realize that sounds ridiculous because she was truly gone physically. Dad was frantic. We felt orphaned, though, of course, Dad never left our side.

    When she finally returned, one time, and then another, she was so pitiful. Even as a little girl I could feel her grief and see the guilt etched around her mouth and eyes. Kids don't need words and big explanations to see into the heart of an adult. Mom dragged home sorrowful and her tail between her legs after she got her head back on straight. She hated herself but loved us so desperately. I'm not making excuses for Mom's terrible behavior. I think you realize that. But there are reasons that we should at least try and consider. How we deal with them is between us, Mom and our Maker.

    It's no wonder we question our ability to be good mothers, if and when that day should ever come ...

    I hope we can meet up some time soon and, for once, just have a good time and not dwell on our past.



  • Scully


  • compound complex
    compound complex


    s & s ...


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I too had a Mommy Dearest. I saw mesmerized to the screen when the movie came out. It was like my home minus the money.

    The odd thing is I grew up thinking my mother was kind and loving and compared to my father and step-father she was the better parent. But I received my last beating from her when I was 17. She had a special leather strap she got from the shoe maker - about 2 inches wide and 2 feet long and at least 1/54 inch thick. She proudly hung it at the front door and made sure the people who came for the book study in our home knew she used it on us so there was no pretending in our home. Welts and bruises were common for all of us.

    In the movie it is quickly mentioned that her brother is tied to the bed. My mother did that to my 2 yr old brother. The 18 month old baby had a cover tied over the crib so he couldn't get out. And the oldest of the boys 5 1/2 and I at 7 were supposed to be quiet and stay in bed although my job also entailed making sure the others stayed quiet and in their beds while my Mommy Dearest slept in late in the room beside us.

    It wasn't until years later that I realized how sick my mother was and how bad she made me feel all the time. I remember sitting thinking one day that if she wasn't related to me I would want nothing to do with her. So what was I really getting from this relationship? hmmmm

    • I was her emotional caretakers. When she felt bad about anything it was my job to make her feel better. If she ever said "Maybe I wasn't such a good mother" that was my cue to tell Say "It's OK. We knew you did the best you could. We knew you loved us." and again make her feel better. If she moaned about her marriage or her job or her kids I was the one to make her feel better. I wasn't getting anything out of this.
    • If she criticized me about anything I could never contradict her. So my weight, how I raised my daughters, how I cared for my home, what products I bought, what I wore or how I dressed my daughters -- all were fodder for her sharp tongue and she never cared who heard. I wasn't getting anything out of this one.
    • When she had an affair outside her marriage she told me and expected me to support her. She went to the elders who publicly reproved her. She had been seeing this man for a while behind her husband's back for quite a while. But she expected me to make her feel better about cheating on her husband. But when I had sex 1 time to get out of my abusive marriage I got zero support. And she shunned me after I was DFed. Again I was getting nothing out of this.
    • My mother spent her life trying to get rid of me.
      • Before I was born she planned to give me up for adoption
      • When I was 8 she left me with family friends and left my father and never came back to get me. My father got me first and she still never came back for me. I didn't see her again for almost 3 years when the police found her and told her to come and get me. (After going to the police about my father sexually abusing me)
      • sent me to foster care when she discovered her common-law husband was sexually abusing me - didn't see her for another 3 years
      • made an arranged marriage for me to get me out of the house when I was 18
      • refused to let me come home because of the abuse of my husband
      • shunned me when I was DFed - I think somewhere in her mind this was the perfect way for her to be rid of me and really blame it on the religion

    So. . . .

    • I did all the giving and giving up of things. The only thing I think I got was some sick sense of being a co-dependent care-taker.
    • Is that what I wanted? Would she ever change and become the good mother I needed? I highly doubt it
    • So why was I still trying to have some kind of relationship with her when all I got was hurt over and over? I still hoped that one day my mother would become the mother I wanted and needed
    • Even if she ever left the JWs would I want a relationship with anyone who treated me that way? No way. I just refuse to let abusive people in my home?

    Therefore I had to give up the hope that she would change who she was whether she was a JW or not. There was something seriously wrong with this person who gave birth to me. She wasn't a mother in the way we think of them as kind caring "motherly" people. She hadn't been when I was a child and she hadn't been when I was an adult.

    The bottom line was that a relationship with her was hurting me far more than what I was getting from it.

    I still cry at movies where babies are born and welcomed to the world. I still cry in movies when mothers are reunited with their children in a "Thank God you are 'home'" kind of way. It is something I never had and a part of me still yearns for it. But. . . and it is a huge BUT. the person who gave birth to me is not capable of being that kind of mother. She will not change. I have to accept that and move on.

    The fantasy lives on but the reality MUST step in for my own well-being. I had to stop wishing for something that will never happen.

    I hope is that some of you can find a way to come to terms with who your mothers are. My solution works for me. It might not work for you.

    But there should never be any room for "Mommy Dearest" in any one's life

  • mrsjones5

    "So why was I still trying to have some kind of relationship with her when all I got was hurt over and over? I still hoped that one day my mother would become the mother I wanted and needed"

    That question above is strickening similiar to the question my beloved cousin asked me recently and I gave the same reply. Years ago my mother told me that she just couldn't love me the way I wanted to be loved which confused the hell out of me, I couldn't understand why.

    If I told all the shit that my parents (mainly my mother with my father standing silently by) did to me I could write a book and you all would wonder why I'm still sane.

    I really to this day don't understand why I had to be the one. It's just not fair.


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Dear Lady Lee:

    The fantasy lives on but the reality MUST step in for my own well-being. I had to stop wishing for something that will never happen.

    Thank you for this painful account of life with Mother. Your coming to terms with such sorrow and pain has made you the excellent therapist you are. JWN benefits greatly by your presence.

    Bless you!


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Dear Josie:

    I really to this day don't understand why I had to be the one. It's just not fair.

    No, it's not fair. Perhaps your success as a loving wife and mother is borne of the ashes of a failed relationship with your folks. I may be way off there, but the screw-ups of my life I can see as benefiting me at long last [once I learned how to deal with the supreme emotional confusion].

    Sure, it would've been better to have had a sane childhood ...

    Hang in there, Good Wife/Mother!


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