It was just five days ago that, after over forty years, I finally felt in a position to acknowledge that I had been on the receiving end of emotional abuse from my mother.
This is the first time I’ve ever consciously and deliberately written about my life as a survivor of emotional abuse. It’s not a decision that came without careful thought and also some feelings of anxiety and fear, especially when I’m looking for the right therapist/counsellor to help me deal with the thoughts and emotions I’ve been hiding or sitting on.
Why write publicly about it? Well, primarily, starting this blog is for me, knowing that I am writing what I no longer wish to keep quiet about. Silence does not make abuse go away, or rather it never has in my experience.
My secondary reason is the hope that by writing specifically about the effects of emotional abuse from a mother it will perhaps reach others who have never realised what was, or is, wrong with their relationship, who may have always felt it is their fault and responsibility that they cannot seem to build a close and happy bond with their mother no matter how hard they try, just like other “normal” people do.
Unsurprisingly; there is still a huge taboo in various cultures and society that mothers can be anything different from the ideal of always being healthily loving, wonderfully supportive and incredibly encouraging to their children. Which is not to say that many mothers do not have those qualities and more. But there remains a heavy silence when it comes to emotional abuse being talked about in general in the U.K.
When I started to search for information on abusive behaviour the more well-publicized and prominent information was for those who have suffered physical and/or sexual abuse. Emotional or mental abuse appear, intentionally or not, to fall lower on the scale of abusiveness although there is little doubt to me that all forms of abuse are abuse and the harm and pain they cause are incalculable to the individuals who experience it.
As I start the process of understanding what has happened during my life and how to cope with the effects of that abuse; I will share here what I have learned, or tried to unlearn. In my future posts I will be writing in greater detail of my experiences and how I, finally, understood it was abuse.