Thursday, June 4, 2009

Watch Out! Toxic Parenting! 2

Everyone has complaints about feeling they were unfairly treated by their parents when they were a child. Every child complains, I'm no different in that respect. I complained when my older brother and sister got a piggy bank - and I didn't. I complained when they could walk across the street to play with the neighbor kids and I couldn't. That kind of stuff was normal childhood, but there is behavior that is not normal of a loving parent. Pt. 3 & 4: More parental toxic behavior. 3. I remember the exact day I realized my mother set out to make me believe I was fat.

Mom always wanted a fat boy. Both of my brothers are thin (one is anorexic-looking and he intentionally keeps his weight there). My 2 sisters are thin. I used to be thin. But, in fact, at age 14, I easily passed for 18. I had all the right curves in all the right places. That's when my mother noticed.

I shared a large bedroom with my older sister and one afternoon we both happened to be changing our clothes. She had a date. I had to get out of muddy shorts before Mom saw them. My sister stood and watched me as I pealed off all of my clothes
and went in search of a clean short-set.

"Mom says you have the flattest stomach she ever seen."

"What?" I asked not having the foggiest idea what she was talking about.

"You must be her favorite."

"Favorite what?"

"Well, she just had to point out that my stomach was like hers: Round, not flat. And then she said yours was flat."


"So, she must like you more than me. It figures, you'd be the one."

"One for what."

"You idiot. It won't be flat for long."

A year and a half later, I was raped and got pregnant. She was right, I got fat. And so went the rest of my life.

When I was 23, I began to gain a lot of weight. Mom was finally happy. She teased me and belittled me in front of everyone about being fat. I weighed about 130 (I'm 5'4"). When my husband and I moved to another state, I really got fat. Two years later, I lost down to 112 pounds. My mother hadn't seen me since I began to diet and the first thing she said when I walked into her house was, "Oh my God! You look sick! What in the world have you done to yourself?" Emotional murder.

4. My mother never believed I was cognitive enough to know if I was hurt, sick, sad, or in pain. I guess she thot little kids were just moving tree stumps.

a) I stepped on a nail, accidentally of course. It was stuck in the very middle of the bottom of my foot. I went in to my mother and she wrapped a long piece of torn cloth around and around my little foot because she wanted to let me go back outside and leave her alone. She tied the ends in a knot - on the bottom of my foot, right on top of the hole left by the nail. When I limped away from her, she reached out and bapped me on the head and said, "Straighten up, it can't be that bad." I was 7.

b) My mother taught me that pain is not a valid experience of life. I was shamed if I cried, shamed if I couldn't keep something from being uncomfortable, and shamed if I couldn't control my child emotions. On a cool summer evening, my family was walking down the street towards the movie theater to see Sleeping Beauty. My brother caused me to break my nose on a parking meter.

I wasn't taken to the Dr., I wasn't even fussed over. My mother told me to shut up and stop making a scene ('cause, like, I was crying - duh). We all went to the movie anyway and I couldn't even see most of it because my eyes were swollen, tho from crying or the break, I don't remember. She even smacked my head a time or two and hushed me so my sobbing wouldn't bother anybody.

The ultimate ignorant thing my mother has said to me was when my brother confronted me about the abuse, just 4 years ago. He didn't believe me and was yelling and swinging his arms around. Mom got so upset that she leaned over towards me and hissed, "Oh, how do you even know you were hurt, you were just a kid?" Verbatim, that's what she said to me. I didn't even know how to respond. At least she's consistent.

If any of you treat your children this way, STOP IT, stop it RIGHT NOW.

If you know a parent who treats their child(ren) this way, find a gentle way to address it. Don't stand by and be an accessory to the creation of another broken life and wounded heart.

Still bruised and bleeding,


Missing In Sight said...


I'm so sorry your mother committed "emotional murder" and commented on your weight in such a derogatory manner. I guess any mother commenting on the weight of their daughter is setting them up for an eating disorder.

Sounds like your mother really missed out on the opportunities to care for you and make you feel nourished. I know you will care for you inner children better than your mom cared for you.

Stay strong and take care.

Missing In Sight

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

That is so horrible. I'm so sorry that your mother abused you like this. It is not about you, it is all about her and her lack of compassion and empathy. Those traits are what make us truly human. I'm sorry that she hurt you so badly. People don't really understand that damage that emotional and verbal abuse causes. But it sounds like your mother, like mine, knew exactly what she was doing. So sorry dear.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


jumpinginpuddles said...

we always tell our daughters and sons how amazing they look because to us they do

Ivory said...

@ Missing In Sight,

Hello! Thank you so much for the support. I have a lot to give and no where to give it. My daughter loves getting it, tho, so there is some outlet.

@ Kate,
Hi! I am embarrassed to say that I didn't realize I was treated so badly - it was all I knew. Thank you for caring, it means a lot to me.

@ JIP,
Hey, there! You are wonderful to make sure you positively notice your children. There are times I would give anything to have a compliment from my mother.