The truth about my mother

I am coming to grips with the fact that I endured years of covert sexual abuse at the hands of my mother. I have read so many survivor stories, now, and while all of them are filled with the worst of humanity, I’ve felt like an imposter being here, even though i resonated with so many of the feelings and experiences described. The first clue to the puzzle was paying attention to the fact that the stories of abuse at the hands of a mother, by far, make me the angriest.

In putting the pieces together with my T, I am finally willing to say out loud that not only did my mother commit narcissistic emotional abuse throughout my life, but subjected me to the sinister nature of covert sexual abuse
by having few to no boundaries with me.

As a preteen, she once told me, in public, that she was sure I’d grow up to be “just like her when it came to sex: never able to get enough.” She would mail me treacle-sweet Valentine’s Day cards professing her undying love, every year well into my 20’s. Around the age of 11 or 12, she invited me to have a sleepover in her bed when it was just us in the house, which I agreed to, not knowing any better, even though it felt weird that she would ask.

She was a serial monogamist and undiagnosed sex addict and I remember being about 10 and going with her and one of her boyfriends to his condo, where she immediately pointed out the boyfriend’s stash of pornography and encouraged both my self and my 13-year-old, elder brother to go through them and “learn” about sex.
Throughout my life she’s always identified me as “hers” and told me that she was and would always be my “home.”

All of this while making me responsible for her emotional well being and happiness with a constantly moving bar.

I will eventually tell my whole story in the Stories forum, but for now, i just want to comment on the most insidious part of all this: because there is no overt incident - no inappropriate sexual contact - she can deny what she did to me.

I have thought for years I was crazy, that I was just making a big deal out of nothing. Now I know, moms don’t behave this way or say these things to their sons.

Like many of the men here, my abuse led to all kinds of sexual acting out as a child and teen but I never could put a finger on the abuse that got me there. I’m relieved to have a name for it, and I’m pissed that it happened to me.
 
Welcome, I am sorry this happened to you. Only after I was married did I tell my wife (a therapist) that my mom would sleep in my room and, just by observation, she said my mom committed emotional incest. It is just as destructive as physical sex abuse and you are definitely not an imposter. We got your back my friend.
 
Thank so much, Jim. TBH, I’m spinning a bit and don’t quite know how to process it all. I feel like I’m dealing in truth for the first time, but I am also angry, AND unsure of it all. Thank you for the affirmation that I’m not an imposter. I’ve felt so long like a man without a country, belonging somewhere is really important to me.
 
One of the things to understand about trauma Mick is that we generally won't be able to remember details of what happened to us. The part of the brain that monitors events and creates a narrative go off line when something traumatic is happening. Things happened in the crib when I was an infant that I didn't remember for decades and when I began remembering them in long term therapy I didn't interpret them as a problem that might explain my out of control sexual behaviors. It took me another thirty years to finally realize that what she did with me overtly as well as what I picked up from her emotions traumatized me profoundly. I was unsafe with her, falling back in to terror that made it impossible for me to feel secure in myself or safe in the world. Now I understand and all the pieces have finally fallen into place. I now understand what I needed to do to survive and it wasn't a pretty picture. So don't jump to any conclusions. You're on a journey of self discovery which is an integral part of healing trauma. Be patient with yourself. This is a wonderful place to do such work. You will be listened to without judgment and supported as you claim your aliveness. And this is a fine forum for that part of your work that deals with your mother. In fact, it is a great place to begin that process. Thanks for sharing so honestly about it all.
 
One of the things to understand about trauma Mick is that we generally won't be able to remember details of what happened to us. The part of the brain that monitors events and creates a narrative go off line when something traumatic is happening. Things happened in the crib when I was an infant that I didn't remember for decades and when I began remembering them in long term therapy I didn't interpret them as a problem that might explain my out of control sexual behaviors. It took me another thirty years to finally realize that what she did with me overtly as well as what I picked up from her emotions traumatized me profoundly. I was unsafe with her, falling back in to terror that made it impossible for me to feel secure in myself or safe in the world. Now I understand and all the pieces have finally fallen into place. I now understand what I needed to do to survive and it wasn't a pretty picture. So don't jump to any conclusions. You're on a journey of self discovery which is an integral part of healing trauma. Be patient with yourself. This is a wonderful place to do such work. You will be listened to without judgment and supported as you claim your aliveness. And this is a fine forum for that part of your work that deals with your mother. In fact, it is a great place to begin that process. Thanks for sharing so honestly about it all.
@Visitor - I appreciate what you’re saying. I am certainly open to any and all legitimate memories coming back. Who can know what happened in the crib with me, but I do know that the area of recovered memories can be tenuous. In any case, I know now where to begin to pull the threads. And now that I’ve put this information into the equation, where I have ended up makes a lot more sense.
 
@Mick74 said "I have thought for years I was crazy, that I was just making a big deal out of nothing. Now I know, moms don’t behave this way or say these things to their sons."

My counselor has said that fish are the last to realize that they are in water. I think that is true of folks like us who grew up in toxic environments but don't know any different. I have been stunned to have my counselor speak matter of fact about my life. One time he said "Greg, people who have experienced trauma like you..." I was perplexed that he would refer to my abuse as trauma. Another time he talked about emotional abuse I suffered from my parents. It never occurred to me that my parents were emotionally abusive. It is difficult to realize the truth about our story. But I also think that when we acknowledge what is true about our past, we are finally positioned to heal and move on from it.
 

BDD

Registrant
@Mick74 The truth about your mother is hard to read. She didn't need to touch you to violate a private place. It was her duty to protect, not exploit your budding sexuality for her own needs. The abuse you suffered is sinister and insidious. I am glad you see it for what it is. Your anger will do you well.
 
@Mick74 The truth about your mother is hard to read. She didn't need to touch you to violate a private place. It was her duty to protect, not exploit your budding sexuality for her own needs. The abuse you suffered is sinister and insidious. I am glad you see it for what it is. Your anger will do you well.
thank you, Bri. I need all the validation I can get. I appreciate your words very much.

PS calling you Bri based on your sig at the bottom, if that's ok.
 
I am coming to grips with the fact that I endured years of covert sexual abuse at the hands of my mother. I have read so many survivor stories, now, and while all of them are filled with the worst of humanity, I’ve felt like an imposter being here
Mick i so understand your feelings. You can read my post where i sadly exarated things at first here cause i felt my stuff was not bad enough. My grandfather did stuff to me that was bad but to me my mom has been that hardest yet was not like any where near as bad as my grandfather or stuff others here had. I now get it was cover i am still not sure she realized how it was wrong but she was the one person who to me was there for me cared for me i was a messed up kid but she was the one person who was caring. Though i get it now we crossed a line but I struggle with did she mean to, did i take it to far i love her yet i want to tell her she messed me up.

Just know i understadn it is confusing but yeah might not be as bad form a physical aspect but yes mentally is is just as bad.
 
Mick i so understand your feelings. You can read my post where i sadly exarated things at first here cause i felt my stuff was not bad enough. My grandfather did stuff to me that was bad but to me my mom has been that hardest yet was not like any where near as bad as my grandfather or stuff others here had. I now get it was cover i am still not sure she realized how it was wrong but she was the one person who to me was there for me cared for me i was a messed up kid but she was the one person who was caring. Though i get it now we crossed a line but I struggle with did she mean to, did i take it to far i love her yet i want to tell her she messed me up.

Just know i understadn it is confusing but yeah might not be as bad form a physical aspect but yes mentally is is just as bad.
Thank you for this, @smc1972 i really appreciate the validation and I share your sorrow, anger and confusion at the failing of our mothers. I have had to cut my mother off from all contact in order to preserve my wife and children. I hope that it does not have to come to that for you as well.
Thanks again for your encouragement as we walk this together.
 
I have not cut y mother out of my life but it has become Like strained over the years. I tell my T it is like finger nails on a chalk board. I do love here and care for here but i can never tell her how we were to close
 
I true ly feel my mother did not ever mean to harm me mentally and stuff it just happened. It is hard to explain she to me was the one person who cared about me. Not saying my dad hated me or stuff but my mom was the caregive to me on stuff
 
Hey Mick74

I hope I didn’t offend you with my remark but calling it “mommy dearest” disease. But it is the best way I was able to describe both your mom’s and my stepmother’s abuse. My T called it sexual abuse. But I remember it as abuse.
I am finally willing to say out loud that not only did my mother commit narcissistic emotional abuse...
My stepmother was a narcissist, the best thing since sliced bread. My father was a doorknob. He never said anything to me, never played with me, and never saved me from my stepmother’s beatings. All this led up to my stepmother’s total control over me. My stepmother was not a drunk but drank a lot. She was into prescription pills (“Mother’s Little Helper”).

My childhood memories (before age 9) are scant but they show the control and how she ruled over everything. As a child under 9, I didn’t wear shoes because I would only ruin them. I was potty trained by having my diaper and pants taken away. That went on till I was around 7 for safety precautions. I would have to take my clothes off (if I had any on) to eat supper so I wouldn’t get them dirty. She would then keep me naked for my bath after supper. But this was also while guests were in the house. Since it was the only bathroom in the house I would be kicked out of the bath so someone could go to the toilet. So I would stand in the hall naked while other guests would walk by and tell me what a cute boy I was. While I was waiting in the hall she would take me into the living room over to her guests and introduce me. She would make me go over and shake hands with the men and give the ladies my hand while giving them a peck on the cheek.

I have to describe a bath which was given to me until I was 12-1/2 which was given to me at least 4-5/week if not every day. I would sit in a bathtub with maybe 4” of water and no toys. I would wait, sitting in that puddle, for upwards of 1/2 hour or more. She would come in stand me up and lather me up with her hands. She would pay particular attention to my penis and it’s a foreskin and my genitals in general. She would also stick her finger in my anus to soap and clean that out. If I got an erection she would violently slap it till it went down. Then she would rub me down with a rough washcloth till I sometimes bled especially my penis. At 10 years old she started giving me enemas after each bath. She would lay me naked on my back on my bed, etc…

There is a shitload of this stuff that went on before I was 9. But it was your description of how a mother controls her child’s life and it reminded me of my stepmother’s actions to the point that I would go into a living room full of people naked and not think twice. At least I wasn’t getting beaten. How after a bath she didn’t have pajamas for me to put on and I would have to go around naked and go to sleep that way also. It didn’t bother me to be naked because I thought that was “normal”.
…there is no overt incident - no inappropriate sexual contact - she can deny what she did to me…
But you did call it maternal incest. You mentioning that your mother was a narcissist and that you didn’t think that it was sexual abuse. I also didn’t think that way. I thought it was just part of being a child. I was used to being naked in the

house and I was also naked in a neighbor lady’s house. The lady’s daughter was also naked. As far as the baths and concentrating on my foreskin and anus, I thought that was normal. My stepmother said I had to keep that clean. My T told me only a few years ago that it was sexual abuse. I still haven’t figured out was was her turn on.

I hope I explained my “mommy dearest” disease remark
 
I hope I explained my “mommy dearest” disease remark
More than adequately, amigo. I am not offended in the slightest and deeply moved by what you have shared. I feel so bad for that toeheaded boy in you photo. You deserved so much better than that. You deserved safety and respect and nurture and what you got was abuse and cruelty and exploitation.

I cannot tell you how much it means to me that you shared your story here. Thank you so much. I treasure your vulnerability and our shared trauma. Thank you for coming alongside me so powerfully and reminding me that I’m not alone.

The lack of a mother in my life is really painful. I have been the lost boy for so long. Thank you for understanding my grief.

as for Mommy Dearest disease, I said “I don’t like that” in a spirit of agreement with the statement. I meant the equivalent of “the truth is ugly.” It’s a very useful name for this syndrome. I just had pictures of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in my head and I gagged a little. ;-)

mick

ps now we’re friends. Hit me up here anytime.
 
Hey Mick74

There was so much how your mother and my stepmother got control over us. I know there are other guys here on MS that were or still are in the same boat. Your mother went one way with that control and my stepmother went another way but they both had control of us. Too much control. But I think that no matter who reads your story they can connect with it.

I always hated my stepmother. But I didn't have really any memories of my years before the age of 9. I came across a bunch of photos of me in a neighbor lady's house along with her daughter. I remember my stepmother always telling me that when I would disappear she knew where to look for me. What do you mean by "when I disappear"? My wife always knew where our kids were. She never had to think about a child disappearing. But my Stepmother didn't keep track of me. I could run out of the house naked and go to the neighbor lady's house and I would be returned the next day. I got to know when I was due for a beating so I ran. When I turned 9-10 she turned me over to the guy who would sell me for the next 14-15 years. He became my official off-site baby sitter. I was lucky in that respect. I was treated 100 times better by that guy. I'm sorry you had to put up with yours for so long.
 
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