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How would I know if my mother disliked me as a baby or now?

Abuse

Ask the Therapist
Apr 11 2013, 20:58
  • keby Newbie

    -1 +1

    Wall of text, so I'll start with the tl;dr: I am an angry, abusive man and I think it might be because my mother found it very hard to cope with me as a baby. How could I remedy this if she is unwilling or unlikely to discuss it and how can I forgive and move on to become a better person?

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    I am a 34 year old man with a 15 month old son who lives in another country because his mother and I split up. We had a very, *very* intense relationship that was the archetypal heaven/hell scenario: we adored each other, but the slightest nudge off-balance and we were screaming at each other for days on end. She was physically violent towards me, I was verbally abusive to her. Probably due to my partner growing up in a violent household - her dad beat her mum - she never seemed to see this as wrong and in fact described it as the "only" way she could react, even to little things. I eventually called it off because I knew it would be no good for our son to grow up watching us fighting like we did.

    However, the relationship she had with me - the assumed moral superiority, the violence, the abuse - reflects almost exactly the way that I treated (and still do) my brothers, except this time I was in the victim's seat. My youngest brother (mother's unspoken favourite) especially is still subject to me being violent to him when I get angry and, although he is infuriating to everyone, I am aware that my violence is by far the bigger problem. For many, many years - 20 years of therapy - I have tried to understand why I am violent and angry like this, but have never made any breakthrough and never got any better. I am still an violent and abusive person when I am angry and it takes very little to make it happen. Most people find this hard to believe, because outwardly I am very funny and charming, but I have made a point to tell friends about this side of me because I want it out and exposed so I can end it.

    6 months ago I started meditation and self-hypnosis and now do this for around an hour a day. For some reason, I have started to draw lines in my mind that I never did in therapy and started to suspect that my mother does not like me, although she is outwardly as nice to me as to any other of my siblings and I would always say that she loves me as a son. She has also accepted me living at home again while I try to sort my life out following the split.

    However, between the stories my mum used to tell me about how I used to scream and scream and scream as a baby, how my pregnancy was the worst for morning sickness, how my double-breach birth was the most painful and how simply awful I was as a baby, crying 20 hours a day, I have begun to suspect that she may have suffered from some sort of post-natal depression or even lost her temper with me, which would be both uncharacteristic, but understandable (everyone in my family talks about how bad I was).

    If this was true - that my mother secretly hated or resented me - I suspect it could have led to me craving her love and approval - and violently resenting my brothers for their normal shares of it. I have tried to ask her if she ever lost her temper or felt down when I was a baby, but she seems evasive and I don't think she would tell me even if something did happen. If it is not possible to truly forgive someone without their admission of guilt, how could I find out, short of dragging up a past that I am unlikely to get anywhere with?

    The thing is that I want to forgive her, but without necessarily accusing her of something that may never have actually happened. Is this possible, is it healthy and would it be wise or unwise? Or am I just avoiding upsetting her for the same reason as everything else - because I am scared of her?
  • Katelyn Contributor

    -1 +1

    Jun 16 2013, 03:50
    Honestly I have wondered the very same thing about my own mother the only difference is that my mother is bipolar. And I am similarly afraid of confronting my mother. What I would like to say though is that your suit of armed is that you are a grown man and the worst that could happen is she could get angry at you even asking that question. I think you should go for it. And just remind her that even if she did feel the way you hope she doesn't you still need to remind her that you do love her. Maybe in talking to the source you will finally find your peace(: