A Part of Someone Else’s Story: Guest Blog by S, age 31 

​This morning, I woke up at 5am feeling tired and groggy from the new medication that my doctor administered for me, for anxiety and depression. The anxiety and depression that has festered for the last 26 years of my 31 years on this planet, created by my mother. 

“Don’t say anything to your mom, she’s got a headache.” 

“Don’t say anything to your mom she’s not in a very good mood.”

She’s never been in a good mood. Ever. Apart from the false niceties that she puts on in front of people to make believe she is a caring nice person. When I was young, if we were going anywhere I got told “Don’t get saying anything like (whatever it was at the time) and showing me up!” At the age of about 8, I didn’t really understand why I wasn’t allowed to speak exactly as I was thinking. It was from those early experiences of treading on eggshells around my mother that I became very aware of what I said or did; I still do the same now. 

As a child, I’d watch a kid’s television show called The Shoe People; it was based on talking shoes and each of them had differing traits. There was a ballet shoe called Margot, softly spoken and caring who looked after Baby Bootee which was… a baby bootee. There was an Army boot called Sergeant Major who was described as a shoe which always shouts. I likened myself to Baby Bootee and my Nan to Margot.  Can you guess who I said my mom was most like? She always denies that she ever shouted at me as a child. I remember her distinctly yelling at me for not understanding things and not doing things her way. I remember once when I was eleven she yanked my head back by my ponytail while I was sitting eating breakfast because I had said something that she didn’t like. The food I was eating got stuck in my throat and I started to choke. She stopped me from choking and consoled me like she hadn’t just been violent with me seconds earlier. Another night she yelled and screamed at me while I lay in my bed, because I hadn’t done my homework for school the next day. When she left I just lay there sobbing and again she came in and ‘apologised’ and said she would never do that to me again.

There are countless stories where I’ve been verbally abused at the hands of my mother, too many to go into here. It still goes on. Usually every couple of days I get called a lazy, selfish ungrateful girl. I work and I went to university at the same time. I started a Master’s degree in Psychology in 2015, a distance learning course from home. I also had just bought a puppy. Everything started well, until I needed to go upstairs to my room to study for assessments. She would either instantly complain that I was just going upstairs to sleep, or she would say that she had things to do upstairs which meant I would have to stay downstairs with the puppy, because he couldn’t be left alone at the time because of his age. I begged but she just wouldn’t let me. That was the beginning of the end for me and that degree. As I hadn’t studied I spectacularly failed all four of the first units and I was never able to recover. I can’t help but think if she hadn’t been awkward and deliberately stopping me from studying, I could have passed the course with some work. As it stands, I dropped out at the resit stage with six resits to do in 6 weeks, which was pretty much impossible with no study time being available. This wasn’t the first time she stopped me fulfilling a dream, but I’m going to make damn sure that it is the last time she does.

To finish, yesterday I decided to quit smoking and put the money I would spend on cigarettes in a piggy bank as the starting foundations for me to move out and away from my mother. Anyway she was making lunch (she won’t allow me to cook my own food, I don’t prepare/cook right) and we had run out of ketchup and I had to go to the shop to get some. We needed electric too so I said ok. Then she said she wanted cigarettes and I told her that I wasn’t going to get them for her. That was about three hours ago; she’s still stomping around and muttering under her breath about my selfishness. I said I didn’t want to buy cigarettes as I would feel tempted to buy my own. That apparently makes me selfish. 

I didn’t really understand why my mum hated me so much growing up, it is only now that I’ve realised that none of her reactions are my fault. She’s a toxic, narcissistic person with serious issues. I know its not me. It’s definitely her. 

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