My Stepmother's Anger And Hatred Has Ruined My Life
My stepmother has had an unreasonable hatred of me since I was 8 years old. I was about 7 when she married my Father. She has always been very jealous of the relationship between me and my father and I think that's what started it all.
When I was 9, we went to family counseling, in her words, "to find out what was wrong with me and why I caused so many problems." That ended when she claimed I told the therapist I would do everything in my power to ruin her marriage. Of course nothing like that was ever said since I was 9 years old and a child doesn't think like that.
She always accused me of crazy things that had no base in reality. She started calling me "it" about this time. By the time I was 11 she started calling me "the whore" and told her family horrible things about me and accused me of constantly trying to ruin her life. This was when she also started beating on me at least 3 times a week, but most times it was almost every day. She would tell me that everyone hated me. My whole family, neighbors, everyone. She told me I should do everyone a favor and kill myself. I was suicidal by the time I was 14.
Every morning I woke up to her screaming about me and calling me names. My Dad of course always stuck up for me, since I wasn't doing anything wrong and would ask her what her problem was, and she would say, "she's alive, she's breathing." She accused us of having sex when I was 15. She is constantly mad and screaming and swearing and just raging in general. But in front of other people she would be all nice and laughing. The whole time she is telling her family horrible lies about me and making me out to be this terrible person that spends every waking moment causing her nothing but grief.
That is not who I am at all. I have always been a good person that goes out of my way for people. I have always done my best to stay out of her way and do everything she told me to. I am now 36 years old and nothing has changed. I work on the family farm and suffer her wrath constantly. The only reason I stay is because I want to take over the farm but she is making that impossible. I have so much anger built up in me I think about this stuff every day. I have bad dreams that I don't even want to describe about 4 times a week.
In a recent argument she not only denied all of this but blamed it all on me claiming it didn't start until I was 17 and it was because I was such a horrible kid that did nothing but cause problems. This has really sent me over the edge. The funny thing is that I have a 6 year old daughter that is her favorite person in the whole world and she absolutely spoils her rotten. What exactly is this woman's medical problem and how do I get her to realize that she is the one who has the problem and needs to seek help?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hi Cindy, and thanks for telling your story on this site. That is quite a history of abuse you're describing, and as you state, it is still going on.
You have been a victim of child abuse for a long time, and you are still around your abuser on a daily basis. It's good that you're angry--you'd probably be horribly depressed if you weren't. Your anger is there for your protection, and it's trying to protect you. It will keep getting worse until you get away from that woman.
Here are some things I want you to think about:
1) You need to heal from a lifetime of abuse. You can't do that when you're around your abuser on a daily basis and still being abused. It's impossible. That situation keeps you on alert and vigilant, watching and waiting for the next abuse. That emotional state prevents the deep personal reflection necessary for healing and emotional recovery from abuse.
2) You're not doing your son any favors by allowing him to be "spoiled rotten" by your step mother. When food is spoiled, we throw it away--so why is it a good idea to spoil a child? I have had a lot of very disturbed adult clients whose problems go back to being spoiled as children. You need to protect your son from that type of abuse (that looks like something good).
3) You are going to have to face the fact that your father is almost as responsible for your suffering as your step mother. When you were a child, he may have stuck up for you, but he did not protect you. That may be hard to hear, but it's true. Until you face that, it will be hard for you to do any of the other work you need to do.
4) You were a victim as a child, but now that you're an adult, you are no longer a victim--you're responsible for where you live and what happens to you. It's your job to take the necessary action to keep yourself safe and healthy.
5) You don't need a medical diagnosis of your step mother, and you will never get her to realize anything--that's her job, and she can stay in denial for the rest of her life if she chooses. She's not bad, she's just sick--and you can't help her. You just need to help yourself.
6) When you're ready, start using the journaling processes on this page. It will help you to see the trauma you've been through clearly, and hopefully help you to make the decision to protect yourself and your son.
7) Read these relationship quotes, and see if you think any of those apply to you.
Talk to a lawyer and find out what your options are for taking over the farm without living and working there.
Shift your focus from your step mother to yourself, Cindy. You and your son need to be your top priority now.
My very best to you,
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