• Please read the thread in Forum News and Announcements pertaining to race related discussion on SF - thank you :)

Dealing with receiving sympathy for the death of an abusive parent

Rosie21098

Active Member
#1
My mother was extremely mentally ill but nobody knew how to help her. Her doctor even told me after she died that it was very unlikely she would ever had recovered from her mental illness and that there was nothing anybody really could have done.

I have spoken about it a little bit on here, although not in much detail. She abused me physically and emotionally. I was neglected from a very young age and our house looked a lot like the child neglect stories you see on the news. As she had nutritional deficiencies, she died suddenly due to an undiagnosed heart condition when I was 13. It's likely that these deficiencies were caused by our living conditions as she hadn't always had them (at least not until we started living like that). It was her death that was my escape from all of the abuse and I dread to think what my life would be like know if she hadn't have died.

Nobody else knew my mother the way I did. I don't know my father so we were always together. Everyone thinks we were super close and gives me sympathy all of the time. When I passed my exams I had cards from people who hardly know me because, according to them, 'it's amazing I did so well considering my mother is dead'. People talk to me who never spoke to me before because they feel so bad for me. I have felt pressured to put up posts on social media every birthday and anniversary of her death saying how much I missed her and wished she was here. All of her friends were doing it. They'd message me and post on my Facebook. If I didn't post anything then they'd message me checking that I was ok.

I know it's not their fault. They have absolutely no idea. They see her death as the start of my suffering, but really it was the end. I like to explain it as though, to everyone else, her death seems like a big part of my story when really it is just a small part of a very long, complicated and painful one.

I feel bad for posting this in this thread where people are actually grieving people they love and truly miss. I'm sorry if this seems insensitive :/
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#2
Oh, that's hard and frustrating. Even if you *were* grieving like people seem to expect, it's not up to them to decide how you should do that. I was going to say it should peter out with time - it's really surprising to me that people are still bringing it up. How long ago did it happen?

I'm not sure if you were asking for advice or just venting. I think if it were me I would just have a polite but not bending response planned to give people. Like - 'Thanks for thinking of me, I'm doing fine. I just prefer to remember my mother in my own way.'
 

Lady Wolfshead

"Don't fear mistakes. There are none." Miles Davis
#3
Big hugs to you. I too had an abusive mother, but mine is still alive at 83... She has mellowed a lot with age but that's another story....

For some reason, people are very indoctrinated to believe that mothers are all wonderful, sweet and kind... or at least not abusive. If I tell people my mother was abusive, they look at me like I must be an axe murderer. I have learned to keep it to myself. Fakebook (oh excuse me Facebook) is a shallow pile of crap. Don't post anything you don't want to. You don't owe anybody an explanation. I personally think memorials on Fakebook are tacky and trite. Actually I'd just cancel my Fakebook account if it weren't a convenient way to remember people's birthdays.

I think it's a great idea to just say, "Thanks for thinking of me." I personally would follow that with. "I'm focusing on the present." or some such thing.

I think if anyone is pressuring you, it might be a good idea to unfriend that person and block them.
 

Rosie21098

Active Member
#4
Oh, that's hard and frustrating. Even if you *were* grieving like people seem to expect, it's not up to them to decide how you should do that. I was going to say it should peter out with time - it's really surprising to me that people are still bringing it up. How long ago did it happen?

I'm not sure if you were asking for advice or just venting. I think if it were me I would just have a polite but not bending response planned to give people. Like - 'Thanks for thinking of me, I'm doing fine. I just prefer to remember my mother in my own way.'
This was 5 and a half years ago. I think people make a big deal out of it because I was only 13 and she was 34. It was also front page on a newspaper and a few national newspapers picked it up as well and wrote articles online about it. They interviewed some of my family but I could see they were only really interested in what I had to say. I guess a few words from the 'heartbroken' daughter was what they really wanted. They then made me take a take a photo with one of the photos I had of me and my mother when I was a baby. I was told to 'look sad' because the photo would be better.

I only expected it to be a small piece in the newspaper but then I woke up and it’s on the front page and I definitely didn't expect it to be picked up by larger news outlets. Every title read - ‘Young mother dies suddenly from ‘adult cot-death’ after wrapping daughter’s Christmas presents’. They all played on how she was such a loving mother who was looking forward to spending her first Christmas off work in 5 years with her 13 year old daughter. I try to stay away from them as much as I can but it's difficult sometimes.
 

EmB

Absolute Peach!
#6
This was 5 and a half years ago. I think people make a big deal out of it because I was only 13 and she was 34. It was also front page on a newspaper and a few national newspapers picked it up as well and wrote articles online about it. They interviewed some of my family but I could see they were only really interested in what I had to say. I guess a few words from the 'heartbroken' daughter was what they really wanted. They then made me take a take a photo with one of the photos I had of me and my mother when I was a baby. I was told to 'look sad' because the photo would be better.

I only expected it to be a small piece in the newspaper but then I woke up and it’s on the front page and I definitely didn't expect it to be picked up by larger news outlets. Every title read - ‘Young mother dies suddenly from ‘adult cot-death’ after wrapping daughter’s Christmas presents’. They all played on how she was such a loving mother who was looking forward to spending her first Christmas off work in 5 years with her 13 year old daughter. I try to stay away from them as much as I can but it's difficult sometimes.
This is awful. Stuff the media sometimes, that's messed up.

I wish my dad had died. I can see how that would be a huge relief for you, and for people to tell you they're sorry for it, it feels frustrating, even when they are coming from a good place. It's hard knowing someone's true nature and feeling so negatively and strongly towards them when everyone else praises them as amazing.

Don't let your mum be a part of who you are. She doesn't deserve it. And if people think otherwise, let them. Just don't let them make you feel like you owe her any time or attention.

I'm sending huge hugs your way. Big, massive, giant hugs.

Em
 

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount
$600.00
Goal
$255.00
Top