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Am I being abused?

Open Discussions About Child Abuse

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Am I being abused?

Postby magatahmanbun » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:59 pm

I’ve never really gotten on well with my mother and I can’t tell if she’s genuinely abusive or if I’m just misconstruing her actions out of some twisted desire to feel “special” or something.
We argue all the time, and the simplest of topics- like me putting my shoes beside the door- can spark shouting matches that involve her shouting about how I have no agency in this house and no right to “dictate how she should run her house”. These arguments are suuuuper frequent, to the point where we can barely talk without her either saying something obnoxiously wrong that usually prompts me to try and gently correct (bam, argument started) or her taking issue with me saying something (bam, argument started). Either way, we can barely keep from shouting at eachother.

For most of my life she’s been very vocal about what she thinks of me. She frequently calls me lazy, disrespectful, argumentative and bitchy. She tends to use everything she’s ever done for me as a bargaining chip, including how she had me anyway even though she was told after her first child not to get pregnant again, and how much money she has spent on me during the years. When I’ve tried to tell her that this makes me feel like some sort of investment, she gets really angry and it turns back into her shouting at me. She also frequently calls me a dickhead, and if I fail at a task or do something in a way she’s not satisfied with, she’ll say “you’re not STUPID,” despite the fact that she repeatedly calls me a dickhead.

Whenever I try and voice an opinion that conflicts with hers, she gets irritated. I’m a really placid arguer and tend to calmly explain myself, but no matter how rational or gentle I try and explain myself with, she gets irate and tells me that it’s her house and she can do what she wants, and that I don’t get a say. If I try and stick to that opinion and elaborate and talk about how hers and mine can coexist? It usually escalated to her shouting and/or hitting me. When I’ve protested her saying I don’t get an opinion in this house she’s set a goal line- “when you get into high school”, “when you get a job and start contributing to this household”, “when you’re an adult and have your own place”. Each time I reach a point where she’s said I can have a say, she changes it to be further away. She also withdraws money from my bank account without telling me, as she’s the only one who can access it- she says it’s for “essentials”, but it makes me very nervous that I’m not being told what’s happening to the money I work for.

She’s really dismissive of my achievements too. Good grades are met with a simple “good job” while bad grades are met with a torrent of interrogation on why I haven’t done well enough. If I do the cleaning she’ll ignore that in favour of something tiny I forgot to do, and get annoyed about it. She also blames literally everything on me and my actions- when I was violently ill not long ago, it was of course due to me drinking too much milk (I had an infection, it had nothing to do with milk and I don’t see how she assumed that was it.). If I have a headache? I must have been playing games all day. If I’m tired? Clearly I’ve been not going to bed on time and staying up late. If I’m having trouble with an assignment it’s because I haven’t emailed my teacher. If I fail a test it’s because I blew off study in favour of goofing off. No matter what I do Mum blames it on me, and it drives me crazy because I genuinely want to know why something is and the answer isn’t “email your teacher” every freaking time.

She does hit me, although it’s probably only a once-every-one-or-two-months thing, sometimes more if we’re having a particularly bad month. As a kid it was just a regular slap on the bottom or a hit with a wooden spoon on the bottom, but as I got older it turned into one or two open-palmed hits to my upper arms- more if I flinched and tried to shield myself from the blows- and has now become one or two open-palmed hits to the face. These hits are usually punishment for saying something in an argument- the thing is, it’s completely random what might set her off. Everything from actual disrespect to me trying to point out that she’s just said the exact same thing I’ve already said to me being honest about how I see her actions can garner one or two hits to the cheek, hard enough to raise prominent hand-shaped welts but not hard enough to keep those welts there until I get to school the next day. It’s to the point where if people move too fast or touch me without announcing themselves I’ll flinch violently and expect them to hit me- the kids at school think I’m just being chicken but I genuinely think they’re going to hit me every time.

I just...I can’t tell if this is abuse or not. It’s not like it’s all bad- we watch movies or sometimes play a board game or go on a shopping trip (even though I hate shopping and she knows it) and we’re relatively calm for several days at a time, but we can rarely go for more than three days without some kind of argument that usually either ends in shouting or hitting or Mum saying that I’m not worth her stirring up her blood pressure. Am I just being dramatic and trying to make myself feel special, or is this actually abuse? And if so, how “bad” is it? Even if it’s just on a cheesy scale from one to ten, one being Miss Honey and ten being your stereotypical teenage fiction drunk abusive stepfather. I just want to understand what’s going on and whether or not it’s all in my head.

(I don’t really live with Mum anymore- two months ago we had a huge fight and Mum sent me to live with my Dad as a test, and I elected to stay with him, but I still see Mum every day and stay with her five days a fortnight. She hasn’t hit me since I’ve moved but the shouting and belittling and nastiness hasn’t abated at all, and nowadays I find any mention of Mum kind of triggering. Also if age helps gauge this, I’m 17 years old and in my final year of high school.)
magatahmanbun
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Re: Am I being abused?

Postby Terry E. » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:07 am

Are you in Australia ???

Abuse these days has a huge and varied spectrum. To some this is abuse to others just less than stellar parenting.

She sounds like a very unhappy person, and they are never pleasant to be around. Take her as a role model for what not to be in life.
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Re: Am I being abused?

Postby magatahmanbun » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:21 pm

I am indeed in Australia. Mum is certainly a very unhappy person and she’s never avoided telling me that I’m basically the reason why every time- especially since I went to live with dad, she’s begun to be more overtly miserable and tell me I’m the cause. She’s also got my teachers in on it by the sounds of it- she works at my school and apparently when we’ve had confrontations at school and I’ve gotten snappy or tried to leave when she’s being derogatory or accusatory, it’s been witnessed and the teachers have sided with her by her testimony.

I know that abuse is often a spectrum but I’m tired of guessing and dancing around the topic, and I just want to know- is this abusive or not? I’m tired of being blamed for nigh everything, I’m tired of being called a liar, I’m tired of Mum getting angry if I ask her to stop something, and I’m tired of being hit. She denies everything even in enormous confrontations where everyone lays bare the truth, and says that everything said against her is untrue and hurtful and that everything she has said is gospel truth even if it honestly isn’t. It’s driving me crazy and I think if I don’t work out whether I’m the problem or she is it’s going to drive me around the bend.

The worst part is I can’t actually talk to anyone I know about this because she’s incredibly charming and charismatic and everyone I know is besotted with her and thinks she’s a genius.
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Re: Am I being abused?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:58 am

The hitting of any child is abuse. The continued name calling and eroding someone's self esteem can be very damaging and is these days called abuse.

Yeah, Dickhead gave it away.
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