When a Mother says She is the Victim of her Adult ChildrenBy
“I was reading on your FB page about a post you had written about a year ago. It was about a “narcissistic mother” that demanded honor from her daughter. But I have a question for you; what about a mother that has truly been hurt by her children? I am one such mother. I have been “there” for my children countless times. I have emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially supported them in anything they wanted and wanted to do in their lives. I have told them all of their lives that I love them and believe they have the power to do and be anything they set their minds to. As a result they have thrown insults back at me and called me names. To this end they have basically abandoned me telling me I am worthless and a burden. I am a little upset that you seem to take the side of the child in most of your posts without balance. I would like to see you post that there is balance in all things. Signed, Hurt Mother who loves her children endlessly and doesn’t understand.”
First of all, I would like to qualify that in my work here in Emerging from Broken I am not advocating or empowering grown children to rise up and abuse their parents. I am not in favor of abuse of any kind. I am not supporting revenge on parents and I am NOT advocating or recommending that grown children go ‘no contact’ with their parents which I believe is an individual choice that each person has the right to make. Emerging from Broken and my work here represents the concept of equal value for all human beings and it’s about learning what love is through the truth about equal value, which in dysfunctional families is grossly misunderstood. What I am trying to do with my articles, speaking etc. is EXPOSE the TRUTH about relationships that are out of balance such as where the entitlement of parents rules over everyone or where the rules in love and relationship that apply to the children (even grown children) are not the same for the children as they are for the parents. EVERYONE has a choice about continuing or discontinuing in relationship. I am advocating for and empowering people to make those choices through looking at the truth through understanding equal value and the true definition of love.
The first part of her question is
“what about a mother that has truly been hurt by her children?” and this is a valid question; I know that there are lots of grown up children out there that hurt and even abuse their parents and I am not an advocate for that treatment but my question is always “Where did it start? Did it start with the child, or did it start when the child was devalued in childhood?” So I look for what I call ‘the truth leaks.” In this case as in most cases of upset mothers who write to me, the writer goes on to reveal other things that reveal these “truth leaks”.
This writer mentions that there is ‘balance’ which in this case I read it as balance when it comes to the blame. The strange thing is though that in her email she herself is blameless; she presents the story in a ‘hard to believe’ way. She says that she has done nothing but LOVE, validate and empower her children and the result of that was that they insulted her, told her that she is worthless and that she is a burden. This sounds strange to me because I have never met a grown child that has walked away from a loving supportive empowering parent. I acknowledge that this is just my experience but this question was asked to me, and I can only share MY experience.
But then, finally the woman states her real issue; the real problem is that this woman is upset that I take the side of the child ‘without balance’.
Here is my response to the “Dear Darlene” letter.
Dear Hurt Mother who loves her children endlessly and doesn’t understand;
You asked me “what about a mother that has been truly hurt by her children?” and my answer is that the situation you are writing about is not in my experience. I don’t write about what isn’t or hasn’t been MY experience. I am a mother to 3 children, 2 of whom are adults but I am not a hurt mother. I stopped that cycle. My writing is about what happened to me, how I faced it, the truth about the way I have come to understand it, all the things I tried and how they didn’t work, and finally I write about what did work and how I healed and overcame the dysfunctional family system that had done so much damage to me in the first place.
You state that you are upset that I ‘seem’ to take the side of the child;
I AM on the side of the child. I DO take the side of the child because that is where I found healing for myself. I took MY side but more importantly I took the side of the truth. You can be upset all you want but that doesn’t change what happened in my life. A mother and child relationship or father and child relationship doesn’t depend on the child. The child (as long as they are children) doesn’t bear any responsibility or contribute to the success of that relationship. The foundation for success of the relationship is up to the parents. I am writing about the outcome of the parent child relationship when the parent (MY PARENTS) were not willing to be responsible for the outcome of the relationship when I was a child and that resulted in the lack of relationship that we have today. I am writing about the fact that although I am an adult today, THEY taught me how to have dysfunctional relationships and when I took my identity back I had to teach myself how to have functional relationships, even with my own children. My parents are not interested in looking at their part in any of this which is their choice but I decided that I also had a choice.
I don’t know your situation but in MY experience, children don’t grow up and cut contact with their parents when they have wonderful loving, supportive parents. At least not the readers and commenters of THIS blog and please understand that THIS blog is My blog, my story, my work, my website and my opinion.
You say; “I have been “there” for my children countless times. I have emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially supported them in anything they wanted and wanted to do in their lives. I have told them all of their lives that I love them and believe they have the power to do and be anything they set their minds to. As a result they have thrown insults back at me and called me names. To this end they have basically abandoned me telling me I am worthless and a burden.”
I just can’t get my head around this; you are saying that you have been this amazing mother, and as a result of your amazing love and support your children are insulting you, have called you names and basically abandoned you, telling you that you are worthless and a burden?
Perhaps your children can help you understand why they have withdrawn from you. Although I have no idea why this has happened to you, the thing is that this website isn’t about parents’ rights or parents feelings, it is about the children who grew up without knowing their own value because parents who believed that their rights as parents were all that mattered. It is about children and adult children validating that there WAS damage and that damage has had life-long effects. Validating that damage is the first step in overcoming the results of it.
Please understand that this is MY blog and it is about MY life and my experiences. Why do I have to write from the view point of the hurt mother? I am not a ‘hurt mother’. There is no healing or solution for me to appeal to my audience from the viewpoint of the hurt mother and MY website is about healing and solution. This website is about validating the child who grew up with invalidation. My website is obviously not for parents who feel that they were the ones who have been abused by their kids. I am sure that there is another website out there that will support your beliefs that this website isn’t fair to you as a mother. My parents also seem to believe that they are the victims in our situation too.
And finally, you ask me to post that there is a balance in all things. The truth is that there ISN’T balance in all things. The responsibility in relationship isn’t 50/50 when it comes to kids and parents. Parents are NOT blameless. Nobody is perfect but what does that have to do with anything we are talking about here? My mother was there for me sometimes. There were some good times, but the good doesn’t cancel the bad and the truth was pretty bad. The truth about the bad and how it wasn’t right, set me free to live. The fantasy that my mother couldn’t help it, and that she didn’t ‘mean any harm’ and that she didn’t know any better, is what kept me so depressed and struggling with my life. The thing is that even if she could not have done any better, I had a choice about how much I was willing to take. Setting boundaries with my parents (which means that I asked them for mutual respect and when they refused I realized there was no real relationship) was about validating and embracing MY worth. There is a balance in my life now, but not because I validate, accept and justify everything that they did anymore. If you want to read about enraged and unfairly treated parents of ungrateful, spoiled and entitled children, I know those sites are out there, but this isn’t one of them.
Sincerely and with love, Darlene Ouimet
I am not here to alter or sugar coat the truth for the sake of absolving parents of guilt but I am thrilled when parents are here to discover how to have better relationships with their children. My true purpose is about love and truth for everyone and I am here to validate the voice of the unheard child of dysfunctional family dynamics. I hope that this lost reader will find a website that helps her to understand her children instead of looking for one that helps her children understand her… but then again… maybe she just did.
Please share your thoughts!
Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time
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Related Posts ~ “Victim Blaming ~ When you are Blamed for the Core of your pain” Also see the highlighted or coloured phrases in the body of the post.