I am writing this as therapy for myself — so don’t read if you need cheering up

Research has shown how damaging not being loved is

I also know that there are others who will identify to some degree.

I was born just before midnight on the nineteenth of February 1949 in Billinge Hospital Wigan.

My Mother had wanted a boy and couldn’t have more children after my birth, hence she never liked me.

 I turned three on board the SS Strathnaver on the way to South Australia.

She never liked me but I always loved her.

 When I was a child I thought that she was the most beautiful and the cleverest person I knew.

I suffered sixty three years of physical and mental abuse abuse from the person that is supposed to love you when no one else does.

Admittedly this century her physical abuse was limited to slapping me across the face when she felt like it.

I have flash backs to when I was in my cot so know the abuse started when I was a baby

 I started school when I was four: Mother arranged this so that she could go to work.

I have blocked out a lot of my abuse but somethings will occasionally trigger a flashback.

me age three

When we were still at Northfield and I was already going to school my mother pushed me into the wood burning part of the wood stove when it was lit and shut the door: She then pulled me out: wrapped me in a blanket and told people that she had saved my life after I crawled in. I had first degree burns.

 A few years later we moved to Salisbury North. It was still mostly farms at the time.

When I was ten my mother was bashing me with a scrubbing brush and had also washed my mouth out with soap. I said to her “I haven’t done anything wrong” and she told my that she just felt like bashing me.  Despite this, for over half a century I believed that I deserved abuse because this is what everyone told me.

I had no idea her behaviour wasn’t normal when I was young.

I had no siblings nor extended family and when I was young, no television.

When I was in my twenties I thought I was a bad mother because I didn’t scream at my children and bash them.

 My mother was my role model.

With my first child my mother’s advice was:

“When she cries put her in her cot; shut the door and let her cry herself to sleep.”

I did not follow this advice.

I did not know to hug children;

give positive reinforcement

or play with them.

I could forgive my mother for the abuse but not the lies

She had almost everyone convinced she was all sweetness and light

Although on a few rare occassions she showed her true colours

including spoiling her “best friend’s” last Christmas by abusing her.

I attend teacher’s college in the seventies as a mature student.

 Gough Whitlam was prime minister and university was free.

I had only two units to go to my diploma when I  dropped out, expecting to go back and complete these units later.

 My husband had quit his job and we had his brother’s children as well as our own to support.

 His brother had dumped his children, initially on his mother but then on us.

 I had a social worker come out to see if we could get financial support toward these boys and we did.

 My brother in law had smashed a beer bottle in his wife’s face, so she left him. He found her and said he wanted his children. She gave them to him.

 When I told the social worker about the abuse she said “She probably deserved it!” My reply: “Well I hope that you deserve it one day!”

I took work with the intellectually disabled.

I let my mother mind the children, which in retrospect was stupid. My nephews were four and six at the time and the four-year-old was in his twenties when he told me how abusive my mother had been to him. I didn’t hear about the abuse to the then six-year-old (now in his early forties) until just after my mother’s funeral.

I looked after my mother until she died

The doctor had said she was not to be on her own

It was very stressful being around someone who criticized everything I did no matter how well I di it

When I found her a placement in a local nursing home her clothes had to have name tags pressed on. She apologised to the staff for my being too lazy to sew them on.

Mother’s physical abuse was scary but the mental abuse did more damage:

Her frequent statement:-

“After all the pain and suffering I went through giving birth to you: you are useless a failure a disappointment: neither use nor ornament.”

Has been well and truly inculcated:

So I have no self-confidence or feeling of self-worth.

I criticize myself in everything I do because this is what my mother did.

If I feel I have done something that doesn’t conform to the norm I just start crying and going into a panic attack.

Mother looks like a lovely person: no wonder people believed her attention seeking lies.

This photo was taken at the Goolwa hotel in 2003 – I put my arm around both of them but my mother just moved away

When Dad was alive I noticed mother would make up stories about how horrible my Dad was to her:

She claimed he was cruel and abusive: he wasn’t

She claimed he slept around with other women – not so

She claimed he was gay —

you may think “So what!”

but in my mothers day gay men would be certified insane and put in a mental institution. (this stopped in 1955)

She also made up stories about how horrible I was – some I heard about:

for some I just was abused and treated with contempt for being horrible to my mother.

There are so many more stories but I don’t think telling them is helping me feel better

Screaming might help but I would scare the neighbours

I do have happy stories  and I have the best children and grandchildren

some of my family
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