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My Mum Called Me "Sarah the Slasher"

Hi, I've discovered your website, thank you so much for all the information.  Im 28 now, and all my life I never knew why I am like this, I just thought its just the way I am, my own stupid fault, I have hated myself since I can remember, I've felt such a failure, I used to self harm, even now I sometimes have to cut at times, although nowhere near how I used to.  I feel like a waste of space, like a bother on other people.  I mean, the check list about characteristics of someone who was emotionally abused sums it up. 

My mum moved abroad several years ago.  Growing up was miserable.  I was never good enough, I was told constantly I need to eat less, I'm fat (I was 6.5 stone) my brothers would make up fat jokes about me to please my mum and she would laugh.  I was made to go to bed at the same time as my little sister who is many years younger than me so this ended with me not at all tired but having to lay in bed in the dark in the room I shared with my sister, all I did was lie there for hour after hour hating my life, I wasnt allowed out after school ever, I could never socialise.  I was told constantly I'm too sensitive. 

I am always blamed openly for causing my mum to becaome an alcoholic because I was a bad baby, and that because she drank too much while pregnant with my brother that this is why he is dyslexic and special needs at school. When she discovered I cut myself she laughed and called me "Sarah the slasher", said I was  only doing it because I wanted attention.  The emotional blackmail was endless.  If she wanted me to do a task, like to hoover up, she wouldnt just tell me to do it, she would begin ' You're so lazy, you never help me do anything, you always just sit there, I dont know why I bothered having you, why wont you hoover for me?'

> I have no confidence now and didn't growing up.  I didn't know how to talk to people my own age or to grown ups, I was deadly shy and this was something else I was ridiculed for.  She seemed to love to show me up or embarrass me, when I was 6 I had to have some milk teeth taken out because where she would feed me ribena daily they had rotten, this seems to amuse her even now, she will always tell people in front of me this had to happen.  She constantly told me, and still tells me, that I was the first baby so naturally I was the experiment and thats why I've turned out this way. 

> She used to go on about me being the only child of four who will go on to do anything with my life, I was clever, I had brains, I wouldn't let her down when it comes to exams.  But when I got my GCSE results back, I got some B's and C's and A*, but all she said was I let her down because I only got a D for German. 

> Money was always tight at home and I wasn't allowed to get a part time job until I left the sixth form.  So until I got a job I had no money at all.  This meant anything I needed including deodorant / sanitary towels etc. I had to ask her for.  And a lot of the time was refused most things.  If she did buy something necessary I knew the effort it caused her, the waste of money I caused, the trouble maker I was for asking for it. 

> When I was 17 I had a pen friend who was a boy, about 20.  We would write letters weekly, I really looked forward to getting his letters, I had nothing else to look forward to then.  My mum used to open his letters when they came because I was at school, she would read them and then give them to me, when I needed a stamp to post my reply she refused to give me one unless I let her read it.  I felt so deadly embarrssed and so angry but I had to let her do whatever she wanted or I couldnt send it. 

> These days now she is abroad with my dad and I hardly ever see her.  She has started drinking again, which again is my fault, because I got divorced.  This has greatly upset her and embarrassed her.  She says she can never again go back to the church because his family all go there and that I've ruined her reputation and her friendships.  When she was over on a visit and found out the relationship had gone bad and that there were rumors I was cheating on him she would go mad and slap/punch my head, pull my hair, scream in my face.  She always used to react this way while I was growing up if she got that mad.

> When I started going out with someone after the divorce, she wanted to find out if I was sleeping with him because we weren't married.  It was so embarrassing and again involved screaming and slapping til she got her answer.  I told her I wasn't but it wasnt until she had made me cry that she seemed satified and left.

> These days there isn't much contact.  She only rings me if she wants to blackmail me into giving my brother money when he needs it.  I say blackmail because I am not free to refuse.  I am told she hasnt got any money or she would give it to him, that she feels so strssed because of him not working, that he is my brother, my family and this is more important than anything else.  She doesn't ever think I will refuse. And I never do.

> Even now I'm so afraid of being on my own with her, my husband knows this as I always ask him to stay in the room.  On the occasions where he has been working and I've had to stay with her alone he says he gets home to find my crying or extremely upset, feeling my life is worthless and pointless.  I mean, im 28 now and she doesn't even live in the same country as me, but the power she has over me is just as strong as ever.

> I know I'm a disappointment to her, I can see why in some sense, and I know why she wouldn't care that I am now happily married as its my second marriage.  Together we have recently bought a house, saved up the deposit and everything but she seems like thats no big deal, isn't interested at all.  Everything I do seems to mean nothing to her.

> All the six years she has been abroad I am still like I was when she left.  Compliments by other people make me feel panicked and sick, I can't talk to people, I am still very introverted and shy, I am worrying constantly that people will leave me or no longer want me, I am only truly happy when I'm doing something, like the housework because I can control it and do it to my standards, although I notice I am very compulsive in this.  I still have problems when it comes to eating, I either refuse to eat at all or the bare minimum, or I eat the standard 3 meals a day but they consist of food that is low fat like weightwatcher meals or ryvitas.  I am seven stone but truly feel miserable because in my head I am fat.  From waking up in the morning, to picking my clothes for the day, to going to bed at night all I think about is being fat and what to do about it. 

> My mum was a good mum.  Despite the little money we never went hungry, she would always have dinner ready for us after school and we got presents on our birthdays and at christmas. 

> After school, once me and my siblings sat down to eat our dinner my mum would go straight upstairs and lock herself into her room and we wouldn't see her again until that evening because she would come down to watch tv.  During that time we could do what we liked, despite my brothers fighting and upsetting me she would still sit up there.  She would scream for us to get away from her door when we would try to talk to her. If there ever was a problem you couldn't talk to her, in fact it wouldnt even cross your mind to try most times, she was someone I regarded as having to keep secrets from.  She would check our pockets and go through our rooms, there were no healthy boundaries at home at all.  My sole purpose in life was to look after my three younger siblings and do their share of work. 

> I love my mum, its not her fault.  Her mum used to wish she had been born a boy, and would make her wear boys clothes and cut her hair so short.  Her mum prefered her brother over her.  My mum knew this.  So I know my mum is only acting this way because she knows no different.  I mean, Im pretty sure she doesn't love me but some things she would say or how she would act couldn't have been deliberate.

> Sorry to go on for so long, I didn't mean to, I havn't ever written/thought all this through before.  Again, thank you so much for the website, its shown me its not all my fault that I'm like this, and that other people are the same, it is so true, if you are being emotionally abused you don't know it while its happening, you just think it's you and this is how your life is