I've been doing some research lately into the affects of abusive childhoods and the relation to illness in adulthood. By abusive, I don't necessarily mean sexual or physical abuse but in the more wider sense. Neglect, absent parents , emotional or verbal.

I wondered if any of you would be interested in sharing your experiences with me.

I'd also be interested to hear from those who had good , happy and secure childhoods and how they think this impacts on how they deal with illness as adults .

If you'd like to talk privately rather than on the boards please feel free to pm me on here or pm me an e-mail address and I'll contact you.


Helen xx

39 Replies

  • Hey Helen, gentle hugs.

    This is my story. Brace yourself - it's quite explicit in places -though Fibro Fog is crowding in now! I wrote this a good few years ago - before diagnosis of Mr Fibro and the fogginess I now have.

    I hope you and anyone else reading it are not offended in any way. So here goes -

    Well here it is a "condensed" version of my story.

    I initially wrote it in 3rd was called "A Doll's Story" as then I would not be greatly upset writing it if I was not writing as myself about myself...But I eventually decided to write it as myself - hoping - I guess - that I could put it all to rest but so far I've not done that - despite the ogre being dead now.

    Even though I had written this a long time ago now - I still read it through again before I pasted it here - hoping that I could read it finally and not break down crying but I could not stop the river of tears falling and the IBS is doing a number on me!...

    I am one of 7 children and from very early ages my father took great pleasure from beating the living daylights out of us - he used a very thick bamboo cane or his belt - usually the buckle end and also his fists. My mother left us when I was 12 - taking my eldest brother with her as he was not my father's son - my father from here on will be referred to as the "ogre"...

    From the age of 12 I was mother to the 5 remaining brothers and sisters. I did all cooking and cleaning, washing and ironing as well as going to school and doing homework.

    All the while the ogre continued his beatings of us I was the eldest and I managed to become the sole victim of his beatings as I feared he would eventually kill the younger ones - it was pleasure to him pure and simple - and not a single beating was deserved.

    Then when I was 16 - he decided to start raping me 3 times a day - 7 days a week - for 18 months - until I left home - or to have him believed - he threw me out.

    During the 18 months not only had the ogre raped and beat me - he made me give him BJ's and he sodomised me after each rape -He forced himself up my bottom so hard - causing untold bleeding there - he never let up - he never took me to the ER for obvious reasons. There were many times I thought I was going to die from loss of blood alone. I cannot be certain, but on many occaisions when he forced into me from behind - it felt like he used other things - bigger - width-wise and lengthwise - inside me - the pain was excruciating. He said he had a carving knife within reach - and threatened to kill me and the younger ones if I did not comply to his will. And he said if I told anyone about what he was doing - I'd be dead. I lived in fear for my life - he was a very stong man - I was petrified of him!

    The one time I tried to stand up to him, we were sat on his bed and he wanted me to leave school and remain at home as his "housekeeper" and not go out to work. When I told him I was staying on at school or if not I was going to get a job, he said I was nothing but a whore just like my mother - I told him I would make him eat his words and with that he back fisted me right into my face - smashing my nose and making me fall across his bed screaming and in tears. When I sat up he said "Crying are you?? Want something to cry for?" and he back fisted me into my face again and then raped me. He told the younger ones I fell down the stairs! He'd busted my nose and yet he still never took me to the ER - 6 weeks after that I took 2 blocks of wood and smacked each side of my nose together -it does not look broken now - but I still have a bump that gives me pain to this day - And in fact, all the beatings and rapes I took left me in the agony that I suffer today - Hence I now suffer from Fibromyalgia.

    After I left home at 17 I stayed with my Grampy and Aunt - the ogres Father and Sister - never telling them anything but just that I had words with ogre and he threw me out. My sister who is 18 months younger had already ran away to my Grampy a few days before after having words with my father over some trivial matter and so the 4 younger ones were now left with ogre - 2 boys - 2 girls. I felt extremely guilty at leaving them but had to save my own life first - I was only 17 and so very naive.

    For 8 years the guilt at leaving them ate away at me - so when I was 25 I finally had enough courage to report him to the police. I was believed unquestioningly and they went to see what he'd done to my younger sisters - questioning them without his knowledge so they would not feel imtimidated by the ogre. By this time another sister had ran away from the ogre and was in care but not yet lost in the system - she said nothing happened to her but the continuing beatings. And as for my youngest sister, he had not started on her - yet - she was 15 by this time and was still only being beaten. Then a short time later the police went back and found out he'd started on her too and he was arrested - and admitted what he'd done to us both. And as I'd only told police about the rapes and not the other stuff he did to me (I did not want anyone touching and examining me - I'd been violated enough) He got 2 x 18 month sentences in prison for offences against both me and my sister and they were to be served consecutively - But he did not serve the 18 months - yes - you read it correctly - 18 months -he was out in 6 months and as his reward for "good behaviour" was being given the family council owned house back. At this time I was homeless due to a dispute with my landlord and full term pregnant with my first child.

    I got no help at all - whether it was councelling for what he did - or an arm around me during the time I was going through the hell of reliving it all telling the police -To this day no one has ever cared enough about me that way. He had a life time ban of ever coming near me as he threatened to kill me and it would mean he'd be back in prison for much longer if he tried to get to me.

    Eventually over the years I disowned my family as they blamed me for breaking up the family - not him. They treated my like I was nothing. My Grampy was only one who cared about me but he was getting old now and because of the bitch that my aunt was to me - about15+ years ago she stopped me from seeing him . Sadly, he died at aged 92, about 12 years ago - And for whatever reasons I cannot fathom - the aunt says to anyone who will listen, that I'm my mothers' daughter - and deserved all that the ogre - her brother -did to me!! No one deserves all I went through for no real reason or ANY reason! - no one does!

    As far as I am concerned the only family I have are my 2 daughters - despite the elsest estranging herself from myself and her sister 3 years ago (not seen nor heard from her since - and a whole other tale to tell)

    I've only ever been in 4 or 5 relationships...long term as well as short term. I was not - and am still not - into casual sex - But all I got was "wham-bam-thank-you-mam" in out sex on my back that was over in 2 minutes from start to end. I never got kisses, cuddles, no foreplay - nada - nothing. I was used for the body I had back then. - I had a figure that put Marilyn Monroe et al to shame - and all guys saw was the body - not me for me - And not one man spent the night in my bed - they scr***d me for their own sexual release and left. Even the girls father who is 22 years older than me never cared enough to even live with us. We were together 9 years as a "couple" - by then I'd had the girls who were 2 and 3 - Out of the blue he decided to tell me he never loved me - that all I was to him was a "naive convenience" for his own gratification - And he never kissed me in all those years or cuddled me - I was so blindly "in love" I never noticed how he was actually treating me. We finally split 17 years ago and have not seen him in about 16 years.

    And that. as they say, is that!


    Carol xx

  • carol

    you have had a cruel start in this world. there are so many hugs coming your way. not out of sympathy, but for your strength.

    i used to work in the public sector, dealing with abused women and unfortunately ive heard these facts and worse more than a few times, so you dont shock me.

    i read your post with such a heavy heart and sadness. i dont know if you have already, but counselling and similar therapies are worth their weight in gold.

    also have you been made of the victim support scheme? the Criminal injuries compensation scheme is worth looking at. i attach the link

    may your strength continue to grow.

    warmest hugs


  • Hey westgate, thank you for the hugs.

    I've not had a great lot of good experiences with counselling - in fact NONE have been good - even in recent years. Usually the counsellors change career and I'd be shoved from new face to new face and really got anywhere - despite them having my notes - they wanted me to go through my history of events each time. One counsellor would leave mid session as one of her young, preschool children, had a temperature - and she'd rush off home - she would cancel appointments for same reason - and not once did she bother to actually listen. I was really depressed, suicidal and in tears - she came across my living room, slapped me on my leg hard and shouted at me to pull myself together. Suffice to say, I withdrew into myself and pretended all was fine - She eventually "signed me off" as her "client" as she was going to become a Health Visitor.

    The last counsellor was at the pain clinic a few years ago - we'd barely scraped the surface of how I would manage my pain, when I got a letter from her cancelling an appointment as she was going into hospital for a surgical procedure - and would rearrange a new appointment when she was back to work in a few days. It was a few months later, when I found the initial cancellation letter, that I realised she's not yet gotten in touch. When I rang to see how things were with her - I was told she'd been promoted elsewhere! - So I have very little faith in any counsellors.

    As to the criminal injuries compensation, I doubt after almost 23 years or so, that they be very helpful would they? But I'll check out this link at a time when I'm not in so much pain.

    Gentle hugs,


    Carol xx

  • As I understand the law, you usually have 3 years after an event to make a claim, but this can be stretched with permission from a court, if there are circumstances explaining why you did not claim at the time. The example given to me at a recent workshop on legal rights I attended was when complications developed after 3 years, but as I understand it, being a minor and then thinking you could not legally claim later could well be considered to be a legitimate reason. If you did want to explore this option, I would suggest getting legal advice, perhaps from a law centre for free.

    You have been through an incredible amount -far more horror that I think I can truly comprehend.

    Best wishes and gentle hugs

  • Hey Lindsey, gentle hugs.

    I had to chuckle about the 3 years after an event - somehow in this case 34 AFTER the event is stretching things. As horrific as my life has been in the past - and how it's affected any future with a partner I may have wanted to share my dotage with fibro or not and the effect on me mentally as well as physically - the ogre has been dead a few years apparently - and I doubt the courts could - or even would - do anything - besides getting it out on here is a walk compared to the courts methinks! Rather not stir up old wounds on top of all else.

    Thank you you for the suggestion though - even had it been a viable option when my girls were younger it would not be worth it to be honest - why should other people pay for the ogre's crimes? It would not have affected him one jot as he had no money to compensate me - nor would I have touched it with the length and breadth of the River Nile even if he had - it would have been so contaminated by him - He would not be hurt back then - Taxpayers would methinks!

    I still have nightmares - on rare occasions I do sleep at night - And there is ALWAYS something to remind me on a daily basis - be it in the news - Internet etc. - So it's hard to escape the memories no matter how I tried. I do believe though, had I not had my girls, and now my lovely S-I-L and Grandson - I'd not be alive today. Especially now I have the fibro et al. There are days I truly cannot cope - not just with the fibro and all that entails - but living alone and being alone - not what I thought my life would be like at all. Housework, cooking, shopping and other "normal" stuff is too much for my head to cope with as well as my body. I am ringing social services everyday and no one picks - up if they do am put on hold and eventually the line goes silent - So if it happens tomorrow when I ring then I will demand my GP get his finger out of his whatsit - and darned well write/call/email them for me!

    Lawdy, jeez! I did not intend saying so much at 12:40 in the wee hours!

    Again, thanks for the suggestion Lindsey.


    Carol xx

  • oh Carol my heart goes our to you, all youve been through, I just dont know what to say, to you at all, all I can do is send you lovexxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thanks lally,

    Gentle hugs,


    Carol xx

  • Hi Carol,

    Thanks for sharing that , that is really hard to read , so I can only imagine what it must have felt like to write . I think you're incredibly brave to have not only survived the abuse, but to have gone to the police .

    I'm reading a book at the moment about toxic parents and I'm learning a lot about how that abuse manifests itself in physical conditions when we reach adult hood.

    It also explains how many adults who were abused as kids go on to have co-dependant relationships and what can be done to put an end to that .

    I'm sure you've found many similar books over the years , as I have, but this one has really pushed a button for me .

    Have you ever sough any support or counselling as an adult ?

    it sounds a very strange question, but do you think your experiences have impacted on your attitude to your own health ?

    Big gentle hugs.


  • Hey Helen,

    Have read a good few books, similar - and worse/not so worse - as my life and all really touch me to the core.

    As to counselling as an adult, I replied to lally, above, about that.

    Until I was diagnosed, I never gave a thought much to what happened to me. I was able to compartmentalise things like it, away in my mind - until something set off a memory somehow. It was when I was referred to the pain clinic here in Cardiff, right after the Rheumy made his diagnosis and sent me to the clinic - and the consultant, Baroness Finlay, heard my like history, then told me I had not been abused as such - but brutally tortured - That I could, and did, attribute my past with the Fibro and that the ogre WAS the cause of what I will go through for the rest of my life.

    Gentle hugs right back to you,


    Carol xx

  • Have PM'd you Carol.


  • KK, heading there now Helen xx

  • Extra special hugs lally.

    To let go of my hurt? I'd have to forgive the ogre and forget the past - but with Mr Fibro a constant reminder every day, and like now, flare-ups of Costochondritis, of the permanent damage, both mentally and physically he caused me - it'll never happen. I'm past being bitter and angry - am numbly accepting my £fate£ as best I can - behind the wall of steel I built to stop anyone getting too close and hurting me again. I have let one or 2 guys through - but they changed when they realised I was "cold and indifferent" to coin their words - not scared stiff - when they tried to get intimate. With them walking away off into the sunset, never to return.


  • Carol, the book I'm reading says NOT to forgive your abuser . it's the first time I've heard that said . I don't forgive mine and I've always felt that was holding me back. Now I know it isn't I feel easier about it.



  • Hey Helen, gentle hugs.

    Am glad you have nothing holding you back now - you can sigh with relief knowing you did right in not forgiving. Why should you? Why should any of us that's been abused by people meant to look out for us - the innocent victims?

    The ogre's sister, the Horrid Aunt - always thought I DESERVED whatever he did to me (said to her 2 other sisters) as I was my mother's daughter - well never!?! I am??!! Kidding aside - my mother put it about to all and sundry - So no doubt it fell that, at aged 16 - I did so too! To my face H.A. told me I should forgive him. Two-faced B! I would never, ever forgive - I just jolly well wish I could forget though - As far as I'm concerned for how she was with me - she's as guilty as the ogre for her nastiness if nowt else.


    Carol xx

  • Helenuk1963, hi I am Caz, and my abuse started so early that I am not sure how young I was,I do remember an occasion when I was about 3 in particular. I am in my 50s now and still have flashbacks and nightmares. I believe it has an enormous impact on your life in many ways. I would really like to know the title and author of the book you are reading please. best wishes Caz

  • good god you shouldnt forgive a bast>>d like that, he should have been locked up forever, or better still bloody shot.You couldnt possibly forgive or forget abuse like that, but you can get your own back by living, you sound a lovely caring person, do you think you could help others that have gone through similar, and write your book xxxx

  • hi just out of curousity what is the resurch for ? ( sorry work head on )

    gentle dyslexic hugs

  • Hi Lexie,

    It's really something I'm interested in as I'm trying to deal with issues from my past . To do this I was recommended a book about toxic parents, and in the book the author mentions the link between unhappy , insecure or abusive childhoods and health problems that occur later in life - and also how people who've had abusive childhoods feel guilty about being ill when compared to those with illnesses that had happy, secure childhoods .

    It's something I intend to mention to my GP . I hadn't previously made the link between my mother's behaviours and how I deal with this condition - and others- and I thought it would be interesting to get an idea of whether my feelings are common .

  • I was told something years ago Helen,by Samaritans and it was this.

    Never forget that you were the child and they were the adults.

    It helped me somewhat,but still need the correct counciling which I hope to start soon.

    And at 58 know I desperatly need to move on.It`s hard but I will do it.

    It`s awful when you realise everything that was done to you,and the feelings of guilt at being ill,can make you feel so much worse.We just don`t need it when trying to cope with the illness`s that we have,

    Thanks for bringing up this topic,it makes for a lot of soul searching.

    Love and hugs Jaynexxxx

    P.S I like the statement that you don`t have to forgive them as I know I never will xx

  • good god Helen, youve hit the nail on the head, my major problem is I do feel guilty about being ill. Im eaten up with it, My phycholigist picked up on it, he told me Ive got to give myself permission to be ill

  • It's interesting to me that all if the therapists ive seen previously have told me firgiveness is an essential pa4t if recovery and that has always felt wring to me. The author of this book , who's specialist therapy is incest victims says forgiveness is definitely not necessary . That was a huge relief for me to hear .

    Lally , your psychologist is right . I've always felt really guilty for being ill and that has to change . I wasn't allowed to be ill as a child . Its about learning to validate your own needs when youve been taught that they dont matter , either directly or by implication . That's what I'm working towards .

    Hugs to anyone who's been through this Xx

  • Apologies for spelling mistakes , typing on my phone x

  • Hi HelenUk1963, So, what you're saying is that all our pain in our body is attatched to pain that we have suffered as children? This sounds to me like what some doctors are saying, 'that it's all in your head, there is no real physical pain at all' is this the case, what about people who have not had any of this abuse in their lives at all? Mt heart is breaking for all those of you that have been treated so badly. But I need some more answers before divulging my soul XXXX I think I would need to do it via PM anyway HekenUK1963

  • No no, not at all dizzy . it's not about the past causing problems , more about how we view the ill health we have . It's true in my case that some of the problems I have may have had roots in the mental anguish I went through as a child . IBS for instance is known to be often caused by stress. That doesn't mean it isn't real or painful nor that it can't have other triggers.

    What I'm really interested in is how we feel about our condition , how we deal with it. How much difference to our quality of life does it make to have the support of parents ( and other family but parents in particular )

    I'm really not asking anyone who isn't comfortable with it, to divulge anything about their past . Just to think about whether they feel the relationship they had with parents has made a difference to how they themselves feel about being ill.

    Sorry if I didn't make that clear, it's quite complicated and I'm only just getting my head around the possibilities myself .


  • This is a very interesting consideration. I have come across a lot of people who really struggle with being ill and so struggle to seek out and accept help and so look after themselves. Others who are more accepting that illness is illness and not their fault in any way, and who have supportive families around them, are in a far better place to be proactive about managing their conditions.

    It is scary how much parents can mess up their children!

  • It really is interesting Lindsey,when I got my dx of sjogrens and fibro in Jan this year,it was like my life just spun out of control.

    I have had severe spinal problems since a child and osteoarthritis for years.Meaning I`m used to pain and know how to pace.

    So I could`nt understand why my childhood was the thing that came and smacked me in the face,all the years of sexual abuse and mental abuse I thought,at the age of 58 I had put away and handled,but never spoken to anyone.Not even when I had a major breakdown.

    I think what happend was everything in January was the last straw.

    I have now spoken candedly to my doctor,and she said you can`t just shuve stuff like that away,and I am waiting to see counciler who deals with adults who have suffered this kind of abuse.

    At long last I feel I can open up and get it out.

    Hugs Jayne xx

  • Please, please, please, e.mail: this is so relevant to my situation and is something I have been looking for answers to for so long!!!! Have you any info. auto-immune?

  • Hi Tulip ,

    I sent an e-mail to you Sunday but it bounced back and failed to send . If you'd like to try my e-mail it's . Not sure why it didn't go through, I tried twice and copied and pasted the address so I couldn't get it wrong !

    The illness that have been mentioned have been everything from cancer to IBS , from what I've read it's the weakening of the immune system caused by years of prolonged stress , so it is possible that auto immune conditions could be worsened by the stress we went through as kids. I haven't found any direct research that would confirm this though .

    What is becoming clear is that those of us who suffered abuse as kids seem to have a guilt complex about being ill and also have a problem with being persistent when asking for help from the medical profession and lack of empathy from parents - both now and when we were younger is certainly a key factor.



  • I just want to make it clear that what I'm looking at in no way implies that the conditions we have are psychosomatic .

    In fact some of the research I've been reading suggests just the opposite. Some if it is looking at cancer and heart disease and the link to stress from an early age . It's looking at how stress can affect the immune system and weaken it to enable these illnesses to occur and develop.

    While nobody ( not thta I've read anyway ) is suggesting that we can cure illnesses by having less stress , what it does suggest is that how we ourselves feel about being ill can have a marked affect on how well we cope , how we not only deal with pain but how good we are at asking for help , from partners, family in general and the medical profession .



  • Hi HelenUK1963. Thank you for your reply, this makes it a little easier to digest. I've had many sessions with my OT ( through work) where she asked me why I was at work in so much pain, I told her that I felt guilty leaving my collegues to pick up my lessons and paperwork. I never had a very loving mother at all, she was verbally & phyiscally abusive to me all my life, even after I got married and had children, she still controlled my life and I was afraid of her, and of her reactions to what ever I did. My husband was ans is my rock,I would never have survived without him. I had a breakdown when I became pregnant with my first child, I has servere agrophobia, I was taken to a phsyciatric hospital for medication as I WAS pregnant. Spoke to a Dr, who had a wonderful foreign accent, he was wonderful and it felt like a concrete block had been lifted of me. His diagnosis was..........I was so frightened of having a female child, as I had read an abused person becomes and abuser, and that I felt it was my fault that my dad left my mother, and that because both my mother and step father would always say that i was fat and ugly that they would have to pay a man to tkae me off their hands, I BELIEVED THAT about my wonderful husband. He stayed in the room with me while this was going on and it broke his heart, he never knew what they had done to me. I have started to write a book actually about it, it makes me feel so much better when I can get it out of those filing cabinets in my head. It's a shame I can't remember the fella's name as I wouldlove to thank him.

    I have 2 wonderful daughters and 2 beautiful grandchildren 1 boy 1 girl and a fantastic husband, A teaching degree.

    I have not been happier since the day she died. Not sure that my pain is contected at all. I am very happy with my lot.

    PS it would be wonderfulif there were a spell checker on here, LOL LOL

    Hope this helps, gentle hugs and love to you

  • Hi dizzy,

    Guilt seems to be a recurring theme . Why should we feel guilty for being ill ? We do though .

    Similar to Carol I was sexually abused from the age of 5 , not by my parents, but by God parents who lived next door . My mum walked off with another man ( my dad's best mate ) when I was just short of 5 , my dad went into a deep depression and while he did his best , he still had to also work to support us so care of me was left to the God parents. I would often be left there over night - and those were the worst times. They would bring friends round , members of the church sometimes . I'd be raped , sodomised and forced to perform all kinds of things while they filmed it on an old cine camera.

    Strangely, it isn't that , that causes me the most problems now. Years of psychotherapy helped me deal with it, my abusers are long dead but after therapy I did go to the police and I have to say they were brilliant .

    What causes me most problems now is the total rejection I had from my mother . She told me how she'd tried to abort me , that she never wanted children ( thankfully she never had any more so she didn't ruin any more lives ) , she told all her new neighbours I was her niece . When I stayed with her at a weekend ( rarely ) she would never buy extra food but would load up stepdad's plate and what was left we had to make do with . It was another way of reinforcing that I didn't matter. So far no amount of therapy has managed to help me deal with that . She denies all of these things and that doesn't help .

    My step mother moved in when I was approaching 9 , she came first as a housekeeper- but soon ended up taking over . An alcoholic she was both violent and cruel and her favourite punishment if a beating didn't work was to ignore me , and I mean completely , for days - sometimes weeks on end . I wasn't a naughty child, I was quiet and withdrawn but it didn't take much to set her off. She didn't believe in illness so I was never allowed to be ill , and my mother recoiled from illness so if I had the misfortune to be at her house and be taken ill I was dragged back to my dad's , where step mum would flatly refuse to believe anything was wrong with me .

    I guess that's why the guilt kicks in now.

    Thanks all for sharing your stories , it's heartbreaking to read that so many of us had less than happy , and in some cases quite horrific childhoods.

    I'm going to keep digging into the research that links childhood stress and adult illness and if any of you would like to be kept informed please let me know.



  • My mother also said that she had tried to abort me too. You know a lot of parents with todays support networks would have been done for child cruelty and abuse. I think we should take a good look at ourselves and give ourselves an gentle pat on the back, as many of us broke that abuse cycle. Mine was always jealous of whatever I had or was doing. She even flirted with my husband. My best friend got a mouthful from her when I was 18 and she slapped my friend round the face, my mate slapped her back. It always makes me smile. 30 yrs on and my friend said her mum newsomwthing was not right I n my home that's why she always askked me stay there sorry about writing doing from mobile. - try and forget all this. Until someone asks me about it. - could do with a ghost writer really. Xxxlove KB

  • Hi all. OMG my story is nowhere near as bad, but the scars are just as deep. My mother always made me feel as if I didnt matter. I dont remember any real affection or specialness. She made me feel guilty for everything, for not being as clever as my brother, my friends, the music i liked, the clothes I wore, where I went, what I did....even for being born."Do you think I like working 2 jobs just to keep you two?". I think because I wasnt a clone of HER, I had my own mind and it was very different to hers. Even when I was ill, I dont remember any "care". I'd be in my room ,in bed, feeling scared and alone,desparate for a cuddle and kind words, but none came.Just the occasional food and drink, and "Oh no, youve been sick on the bed, more washing for me to do". My Dad had been driven away by her jealousy when I was about 3. So she tried to make my brother and I worship her instead, in a twisted sort of way. She told us lies about our Dad, just to make us hate him and make her look better. But it didnt work. She had a boyfriend when I was in my early teens.He tried to get me into bed with him after my mother had gone to work one day. She found out about that when Id written him a letter telling him to stay the hell away from me. (He stayed at ours sometimes but didnt live there, until Id left home.) She saw the letter, talked to him about it, then accused me of trying to break them up, but asked me "Do you want me to stop seeing him". What? Does she even have to ASK? but then Id be the reason she was alone, and make me feel guilty some more? So she made excuses for him and swept that under the carpet.In adulthood, I'd been married and divorced twice - that was "MY fault". I had to give up my son to his dad, when he was 7. By then I had developed Fibro symptoms and depression, my son was a "handfull" and I couldnt cope. She said I was "a bad mother". She tried to control how I lived my life, but because she couldnt, she'd belittle me and make me feel guilty, so Id do what she wanted me to. She told people that if she didnt give me money all the time, I couldnt cope. That didnt work either. But I had such low self asteem and confidence.I gradually got so sick of her and how she made me feel, I had to do something about it. So when she asked if she (and him) could take my 4 year old daughter to Disneyland in Paris, alarm bells rang. What if he tried to abuse her too? She'd be too far away for me to rescue her. She'd be so scared. Also, I wouldnt allow him to screw her head up, the way he had mine. Im 54 now and I can still see it in my head clearly. There was no way Id let that happen. So I said no, she asked why, I told her and she said "You dont think Id let him do that, do you?". But she didnt think he'd do that to ME either, did she? So I told her I didnt want her in my life anymore and to leave me alone. She tried all sorts of twisted backhanded ways of getting me to give in, yes even guilt. I havent seen her for 15 years now. She's even ruined relationships with family members with her lies.Family members who told me the truth. But I STILL feel guilty about doing things I want to do. I have to tell myself, outloud, ITS OK FOR YOU TO DO THAT IF YOU WANT TO, THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. And I STILL dont know how to give affection without it feeling "wrong". But I desparately want to. And yes, I feel guilty for being ill. It sounds really horrible, but I wish it was HER that had Fibro and Depression and Asthma etc. And yes, I cant wait for the day when my son,who is the only family member who still sees her (my brother got married in 1976 and hasnt seen her since), tells me shes died. Only trouble is, its all screwed into my head so far, nothing short of dying myself, will take it away. And Ive seriously thought and planned that. But with help, Im still here. Thank you for your time, and I LOVE YOU ALL....that felt good!! xx

  • Bumblebee . I wish these parents would think about the long term health effects on their children, in fact they shouldn't have children at all.

    It does help to get it out of your system .



  • omg,so so sorry,iam a man with one daughter and two sons.some men are so could he do those nasty things to you...they could bring back hanging...or put this so called man in a room full of women...see how he gets on then i don't know how you are copping at wishes to you

    bob xxx

  • I deal 24/7 with the fallout of my abusive childhood. It is undoubtedly my 'trigger'. I haven't read the replies here before posting this or I know I will loose my focus. I don't mind talking openly about any of it but hesitate to post publicly in case I upset anyone.


  • Me too , that's why I started searching for some answers to see if this is why I keep suffering health problems .

    I've just read one book about toxic parents , which covers the whole range from sexual / physical abuse right through to neglect and everything in between . I'm now reading a book about narcissistic mother's and that's making even more sense.

    I needed some explanations and it's been helpful for me so far.

    If you want to talk privately , please feel free to message me either here or by e-mail.


    Helen xx

  • My mother used to say she had 6 kids, all wanted except one. Me! So, I grew up knowing I wasnt wanted, wasnt loved, abused mentally by my siblings and my mother. She would tell me if I got hurt that I deseved it. JUst what did I do to make her hate me like that? She died a few years ago, we hadnt spoken in years.She died without telling me why she treated me like she did. She wouldnt let me go to school, I would have to do all the cleaning and the cooking. My childhood has no happy memories for me, I cant think of a single one. She would tell me she hates me but my dad loves me. I dont remember a single conversation with my father. He was a grafter, but had no emotions towards his kids. He died about 6 weeks ago without talking to me. I have a 4 year old grand daughter, everyone says she is so like me. She is gorgeous, I look at her and think what could i possibly have done at that age to make my mother hate me so? Now I will never know.

    Now I have to suffer every single day of my is so not fair.

  • Thank you all for being so open and sharing , it's been heartbreaking to hear your stories and to hear just how many of us have suffered from neglectful or abusive parents. Some of the stories have brought me to tears.

    For those of us who were neglected or abandoned as children it's really hard to understand why our parents bothered to have children at all. The abusive parents........ well I'm at a loss for words. Such cruelty .

    I've just finished reading a book about toxic parents and found it helpful, although it was written by an American psychologist , and they do handle things differently there it seems , with far more people getting therapy .

    Some of it hasn't been helpful as the one thing that she insists on is that the " child " should confront the parent and that isn't always possible . However one of the suggestions is that a letter should be written to the parent , or a conversation had with the parent as if they were present , the letter doesn't need to be sent but writing it can help. That didn't help for me , but it may help someone else. Confronting my own mother is pointless , she has a skewed memory of her treatment of me , and I've learned that that is quite common in narcissistic parents . I went down the confrontation path previously and it did no good at all.

    I'm now reading a book about narcissistic mother's and I'm about half way through , I'm not so much looking for a " cure " , just an understanding of how what happened as a child has so much bearing on how I am now .

    The saddest part for me , is that when I had my eldest son I had no clue about parenting and have the most horrible feeling inside that I might have displayed some of my mother's traits . He was looked after , fed, clothed , changed etc but I didn't know how to love him. In truth , being only 19 myself then, I really didn't even know how to play or connect emotionally with him. I've talked to him, and he tells me he didn't feel neglected at all and that he thought I was a great mum , but he had an absent father ( his dad left when he was just short of 2 and we haven't really seen him since ) . So far I've not seen any type of behaviour from my son to suggest he DID feel neglected , and certainly he has good health so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. He's a very quiet person though , who tends not to share feelings , so I do worry............

    The more I read, the more I see the link between being neglected as a child and having physical illness as an adult , self esteem issues and feeling somehow not valid . Feeling guilty for being ill and not feeling able to be assertive when asking for help, whether that be from family or the medical profession . Abusive parents leave scars that aren't just physical, but emotional and mental too.

    It's such a shame and my heart goes out to you all.

    Thank you all so much .



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