“Does the abused become the abuser?”
It seemed I was going to be the Neglectful Bitch my Mother was!
One mother’s struggle to break the chains of an abusive childhood, to become a loving mother.
Does the abused become the abuser? His scrunched-up new-born face is screaming, as if in the purest agony, while his little body is stretched out tight like a star. I’ve changed his nappy, it can’t be that. I’ve fed him, he shouldn’t be hungry. Is he too hot? Is he overtired? Is it colic? His squeals shoot through my brain like a red hot poker and tears of frustration spring to my eyes. My fists are clenched and my voice comes out in a strangled knot, ‘What is it? What’s wrong with you?’ I beg him. Before the truth hits me – there isn’t anything wrong with him. He’s doing this on purpose. Yes that’s it, he’s trying to wind me up. That’s what this is. It’s then I imagine it – grabbing his podgy arms and squeezing them. Lifting him and throwing him away from me, along with my frustrations. Nothing beyond that matters – because then there would be no more crying. Babies have to be hurt. They need to be shown who’s boss. I was going back. Back, to somewhere familiar. Instead of trying to fight it, I was accepting the truth. There was no other way. This was the only way he was going to learn. But my parents can’t be right – can they? I need to get away from here – from him. Spinning round, I almost fall down the stairs in my rush to escape.
‘I’m going for a walk,’ I brusquely inform his dad.
‘My mum was a shit mum and I’ll be a shit mum too!’ I proclaim, storming from the house. Who was I trying to kid? I would never be the patient loving mother, I fantasised I’d be. Motherhood is intuitive and natural isn’t it? Well I don’t have those feelings. ‘And’ I remind myself bitterly, ‘this was supposed to be my new beginning.’ This baby was going to right all the wrongs of my own childhood.
‘I’ll never hurt my children,’ I had whispered defiantly, as an eight year old to my sister. ‘I’m gonna love them and cuddle them.’ ‘Me too,’ she replied, just as assuredly, ‘and if their dad hurts them, like dad does us, I’ll phone the police.’ ‘Yes’, I agreed, ‘then they’ll take him away forever.’
Does the abused become the abuser? to be continued …
to be continued …