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A Hopeless Situation: Growing Up Too Quick

by Bitterly Resigned
(England, UK)

Being a child with two abusive parents is a pretty crappy life, I'm sure you can imagine. All the pain and no way of getting out. Not for me, anyway. My parents have been divorced since I was 4. They both work at minimum wage but send me to private school because I won an academic scholarship and bursaries in Year 7.

I'm now in Year 10 and I have a brother in Year 7. My mother has been physically and emotionally abusing me since as long as I can remember. Sometimes she's okay, and acts relatively normal. However when she's stressed, has a lot to do or is generally just in a bad mood, she takes it out on us. She'll order us around like slaves doing ALL the housework, talk to us with absolutely zero respect, call us vile names and demean and insult our intelligence or other things. In these rages she's hit me, kicked me, pulled my hair, whacked me over the head with objects, and threw food on me. And I don't mean pastries or pieces of bread - I mean noodles and all slimy stuff. She's a nightmare to live with. I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells around her. I loathe her.

My dad was okay up until the death of his mother five or six years ago. Since then, he's lost houses and flats, been threatened by loan sharks, gambled away all his money and has started developing liver problems because of his alcohol consumption. He's also at high risk of a heart attack, always gets headaches, fatigue and chest pain, and I believe suffers from severe depression.

Me and my brother used to see him and sleep at his house all the time. Half the time he would simply slump in front of the tv on the couch, complain about how awful his life is in a pathetic whiny little voice, then say he didn't want to live anymore and we'd be better off without him. He was saying things like that since my brother turned about 7, and I turned 10.

Then he whined at us to try and make us feel guilty, saying that we didn't care about him, when really as a 10 year old I just had no idea how to react to my dad saying he wanted to end his life. He's broken down in front of me before when I was what, 10, 11? I had to sit down next to him, miserable and awkward, while he broke down and sobbed. He needed to be coddled and looked after, but I just couldn't do that. I needed my dad, but he was then and still is a stupid little boy. As a consequence of that, I had to grow up far, far too quickly.

The worrying thing is, my brother recently has started turning out like my mother. He now talks to me with no respect, expects me to do everything around the house like Cinderella and demeans me with vile insults. I don't know what to do to stop him turning out like her.

Also, I wondered if anyone could assist my speculations on just how my mother turned out the way she did. As far as I know growing up she was part of a big family. Her mother was strict and her parents were divorced. She had 4 sisters and a brother. she married my dad at 19 and had me young at 21. I can't get much detail about my parent's split - only that my dad 'wasn't a good husband'. She now loathes him and bleeds him dry of money every chance she gets. Do you think any of this helps to explain why my mother is the way she is?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. You are a strong person, or you would not have survived this long. I know you missed out on a lot, because of having to grow up too fast, but the question now is not why is your mother like she is, and you really can't do anything about the way your brother acts either.

The good news is that you can do everything about yourself, your focus, and how you develop yourself for your future. Make up your mind that you're going to create a good life for yourself, heal from your past wounds, and live a happy healthy life, and you can do that.

Start by doing the journaling exercises on this page. Then use these imagery processes to heal your past emotional wounds, which are substantial. Then use the positive journaling exercises to focus on the things of value in yourself and the world around you.

You are a good person with a brilliant mind, and you can do anything you set your mind to. One of the ways you can connect with the child self you left behind is by learning about nurturing your inner child.

Believe in yourself, and focus on your strengths and assets, while deciding to make your shortcomings into areas of growth and strength.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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